Giving Your Sadness Peacock Feathers

So there I was, no lie, feeling a wave of sadness crest. Tears began to well up in my eyes, and before sadness completely washed over me, I asked the sadness what it needed.

The image of peacock feathers immediately popped into mind. So I gladly gave my sadness peacock feathers, with little hesitation. It wasn’t until later that I began asking, “WTH does the sadness need with these feathers?!”

What I’m finding is that it’s not really my place to ask. Maybe the sadness was a misplaced sense of pride. And it doesn’t really matter, really. For when I gave of the gift that it requested the wave turned to a ripple upon my inner sea. Now I’m sitting here stronger in my happiness. So why ask why, really?

The take home message? When an emotion threatens to take over and roll you under, pause for a moment and acknowledge it, then promptly ask it what it needs. Then, so long as the request does NOT involve harming oneself or others, hand over the goods.

Now I laugh when I think about sadness prancing around with peacock feathers. Who can remain sad with an image of sadness like that?!

May we each give ourselves and our emotions the very things we and they need, trusting ourselves to take care of us and them. For it is in meeting our own internal needs that we create a happier world to live…

Namaste

 

Having What You Choose in Life

Life is a series of choices. Some are big. Some are small. Some may even seem like they don’t matter at all. Yet, each choice we make leads to a path with new choices, much like with driving. Once we choose a right at one intersection, we’ve changed our course and will have different options than had we stayed straight, turned left or made a U-Turn…or even if we stopped completely in the roadway.

Honestly, I believe we will each get there, it just depends on us HOW we’ll get there….

So there is some strategy involved to “level up” to be able to make the big choices we would like. We must ask ourselves, “What would it feel like to have the thing that I desire?” In focusing on the emotions instead of the outcome, we tune our GPS to find that path to our desire. Our emotions are our road map, if we choose to listen.

This is an important part, too! Once we feel the emotions involved, it is imperative that we then look to our current lives and surroundings. We must then begin to see, create  and give gratitude for those feelings in our lives right now; creating even more opportunities for them to be there. This will help us to magnify the energy to attract the things we wish to have.

Here’s an IRL example. In observing and experiencing life, I now have a more clear idea of what it is that I choose in a life partner. I have driven down many streets with many detours. Each road had a lesson. Sometimes I had to travel the same road because I didn’t learn it the first dozen or so times. My biggest hang ups? I did not believe I deserved to be with this person, I could not see myself with him – nor could I believe fully that he existed in real life, nor that he was fully available to me outside of my imagination.

Now that I believe he exists in real life and I also know that I deserve to be with him, I am seeing, appreciating, giving gratitude and thus magnifying the energies of connection and love. Other supportive energies include having fun and feeling happy, abundant, joyful, grateful, young, supported, appreciated, beautiful, worthy, and faithful.

With each moment that I focus on the presence of these feelings in my life, the less I focus on the lack of having a life partner. The presence involves being present. And the more present I am with the presence of these feelings in my life right now, the more accomplished I feel in having what I desire – and he isn’t even sitting next to me – yet.

When I focus on the nagging questions like, “When will we be together? How will it happen? How much longer is this going to freaking take?,” I am creating more lack and putting down barricades along my path. These questions are like opening the oven door to see if the cake has finished baking, or digging up the soil everyday after planting seeds – it ruins the cake and destroys the tender roots and shoots of what we’re choosing to create!

In essence, we are on a continual road trip in our lives. It is our choice which path we’d like to take and along the way, based on which paths we choose, we are given different options. We often choose the hard way and believe it cannot be that easy, much like my old belief that I was not worthy of love. Because of these outdated beliefs in lack we close down options in our minds that would have lead directly to the very things we would like to achieve.

Based on my understanding of the Laws of The Universe, to have what we choose in life we must:

  1. Identify what it is we choose & believe we can have it (we deserve it, it exists, etc)
  2. Identify how we would feel to have it
  3. Appreciate or create opportunities for #2 in our everyday lives
  4. Step back & allow the outcome to happen (without opening the oven or disturbing the soil). 

Now, here’s the grand irony. The more work that we do along these steps, the more at peace we feel and the less attached we become to the outcomes. For instance, the more I feel the emotions related to my desire (#2), the more peace I feel being single. Reminds me of Glinda the Good Witch, “You had the power all along…”

May we each know what we choose, believe that we can have it and have the courage to open ourselves to it, knowing that it is ours to have.  

Namaste

 

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Rebuilding Connections with Ourselves and Others

Pushing and pulling, we move through life. Resisting and stopping, we stagnate and can die inside. We are human beings, yet all of this action means we are constantly doing and disconnecting. What if we’re always busy doing so much that we’re missing the point?

I remember as a child that I always wanted to be older, bigger and wiser. Then, in my mid-life, I wished to go back to where I could be more playful again. So I’m learning to seize the moment and enjoy life more in the now, being with what is.

All of our doing and multi-tasking prevents us from knowing ourselves and from being ourselves. This prevents authenticity within and between ourselves and others. How can we shift this? By being more authentic ourselves.

Slowing down, unfolding and releasing the need to go-go-go as well as decreasing the need to multi-task with everything helps us to reconnect with our own being as well as with others. In being more and doing less, we allow our true selves to shine through.

May we each connect more fully with ourselves, becoming increasingly authentic so that we may foster greater connections with others. The more we can accept ourselves, the more we begin to accept our faults that we see in others. (See what I did there?)

Namaste

Why Mindfulness Doesn’t Always Lead Directly to Calmness

After a rough weekend, I needed a bit more self-care to be ready for the Monday. Following several bouts of meditation and feeling aligned with The All, I sat and read an inspirational post that quickly “got to me.” Yes, this inspirational post ticked me off greatly! Out of the blue, a wave of envy washed over me: “It must be nice for her to be able to do all of that. She must have a lot of free-time! Otherwise, how could she possibly…?”

In allowing the envious emotion to rise and crest, I began to see where I have felt envious if someone else were to have anything better than me. Hmpfh! Guess I’m not so humble after all… In reflecting on this further, one of my spiritual coaches recently explained to me that we begin to hear our subconscious minds more clearly when our conscious mind feels safe; I’d add to that, “and clear.”

While I understood her at the time, I can now see this more clearly in my mind’s eye. The subconscious mind is constantly sending out ripples of thoughts and beliefs that are much like the ripples seen after throwing a pebble into a calm pond. However, the ripples are easily camouflaged when we our conscious minds are feeling anxious (or anything other than calm); much like the ripples from a pebble thrown into the ocean during a storm would be virtually unseen; yet still present.

As such, I am bringing awareness to this part of myself that I’ve been pushing down and ignoring.  The energy and feelings of envy serve only to build more resistance and push away from me the very things I’d like to create in this life. These feelings no longer serve me, and today I choose differently.

In our mindfulness, may we each see another element that blocks our inner peace, so that we can choose differently. In our mindfulness, may we know that we are exactly where we need to be, being and doing exactly what we need to be doing with what we have. May we see the ease with which others move through life as an inspiration for our own experience to be of greater ease, peace and joy. 

No mud, no lotus.

Namaste

Allowing Joy

We often focus on the lack of what we don’t have more than enjoying the presence of what we do have. When we live this way, we block our ability to feel joy and happiness. We put our stock in our future happiness, and deplete ourselves of the joy that is in our lives in the here and now.

To bridge the gap, it is imperative to more fully see and experience the joy that is in our day-to-day and moment-to-moment lives. In seeking only “big” joyful moments, we miss the subtle opportunities to enjoy life as it is right now.  The more we can appreciate all the joys we have now, the more life brings us things for which to be grateful.

May we each see and more fully experience the joy and happiness that is in our lives right now. May we choose to be filled with the bliss of the present moment; this brings us more of which to enjoy and be grateful. 

Namaste

“Enjoy life’s little luxuries. Spend quiet time alone.” 9 of Earth

Seizing the Moment

How often do we miss fully immersing ourselves in the beauty of the present moment because our minds or our bodies are elsewhere?

Today, I am literally composing this post while my toes are dipping into the calm waters near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Yet, my mind is dwelling on the past or looking to the future. While I am more present now in my mind and body than I have ever been, I see where I’m holding tension in areas such as my neck and solar plexus.

Allowing this tension the space to breathe, I see where I fear being fully present. Somewhere I’ve told myself that being alive and being right here, right now, is unsafe. I block my gut with my muscles as if to armor up against the “other shoe dropping.” I concern myself with silly things such as trying to be sure I have the right saying.

This awareness brings a new softening. As it is in allowing the fears to have light shed upon them that they begin to abate. Once we see that what we’ve been thinking subconsciously is not the truth then we set ourselves free. We are free to enjoy life the way it is meant to be: more and more fully.

So I’ll sit here for a few moments more as the waves lick at my feet, taking away what is no longer meant to be…and bringing to me exactly what I need in this moment: a new sense of peace.

May we each find more of the gifts meant for us by being more fully present. May we shed the old beliefs which no longer serve us so that we may more fully receive exactly what we’re meant to receive: joy, peace and abundance beyond our wildest dreams.

Namaste

The Heart’s Desire for Connection

We run away from it. We chase it. We deny it. We make fun of it and we deny or destroy it. Yet underneath all of the layers, what we really long for is connection with ourselves, with others, and with Our Higher Power.

Connection scares us. It leaves us vulnerable to our basic fears: abandonment, rejection, being misunderstood and on and on.

Yet we are social beings. Spiritually, we are connected to everyone and everything; whether we want to admit it or not.

It is in facing each of our fears, head on, that we are able to see these are just beliefs formed when we were young and that we’ve carried forward; beliefs that cannot hold weight when the light of our awareness shines down upon them.

Despite our fears, the longing to connect, to share, to be part of something greater than ourselves persists. To reconnect to your truth, give to your fear what it really seeks: comforting, acknowledgment, gratitude, love, acceptance, or whatever else comes up. It is in allowing the fear, seeing what it needs and giving it just that, allows us to see it was just a blip on our radar – and not the truth of who we are.

May we each give ourselves what we need, so that we can build stronger connections with others, allowing our hearts to be free. For with each disconnection we reconnect, we all become brighter and better for it.

Namaste

Race for Peace

Have you ever found yourself rushing to get to your peaceful place? Maybe driving faster or rushing to get out of the office to go home so you can relax? Or do you find yourself thinking things such as, “if only this were not here, I would be okay”? I only ask these questions because I must confess that I have lived them each this week.

Just the other day, I was upset about being late because it cut down on my “relaxation” time before work. It meant less time walking with my bare feet in the sand. It meant less “me time” before show time at work.

Then I looked further back and saw how, at times, I’ve been more easily agitated after a good relaxing meditation?! Because I was not at peace with the “chaos” of that moment. It’s easy to be relaxed when we’re in our happy places, not so much so in the day-to-day.

How can we carry the peace from our yoga mats, from our meditations into our daily lives? Daily life is a practice. In giving ourselves the loving grace both in and outside of our happy places, we begin to see that we are being and doing the best that we can be and do in that moment.

Racing after peace means we are never peaceful. (Much like the pursuit of happiness.) Peace is a state of being. At any given moment we have the choice to be at peace or at war with the present moment. And what we resist, persists. We carry it forward with us into the next moment, days, years, decades, etc. Best to practice being at peace with the present. How can we be at peace when we are at war with the present, with who we are or where we are?

May we each rediscover the peace within that is waiting to be seen, releasing the need to fight against ourselves or to use our stories to keep us embattled. 

Namaste

Stress Detox & Breathing Easily

In downshifting this past week and being diligent in self-care to detox, I began to notice how much I was struggling to catch my breath. No cold, not an asthma attack, just every breath seemed labored. Remembering comments from a friend and fellow blogger, I began to look into “air hunger.” This lead to the book Self-Help for Hyperventilation Syndrome: Recognizing and Correcting Your Breathing-Pattern Disorder by Dinah Bradley. Since then, I’ve been relearning to breathe easily.

Most of us think of hyperventilating as something that is acute and requires a paper bag to cure (use caution with this, and avoid if having an asthma attack). However, in the book, Bradley discusses at length how hyperventilation can also become a less dramatic and chronic breathing pattern that can cause some potentially serious, or at the least some very bothersome health problems.

Examples of symptoms include: fatigue, anxiety, lethargy, depression, muscle aches, muscle tension, chest pain, numbness/tingling, and shortness of breath. When examined by a physician, having tests performed, and blood drawn patients were left without any answers as to the cause of their suffering.  In the book, Bradley explains the physiology behind hyperventilation syndrome leading to the symptoms. Please seek immediate medical attention if you are having chest pains and/or shortness of breath! It’s better to get any emergency medical conditions ruled out. 

When we breath through our mouths or quickly through our nostrils, it activates the stress response which then reinforces the breathing pattern; one which then becomes difficult to break. Frequent yawning, sighing or feeling like you cannot catch your breath are signs that you may have a hyperventilation breathing pattern. Breath retraining and making some lifestyle changes may be helpful.

Wear clothing that does not restrict your body, particularly your belly and chest from moving. Sitting upright with good posture also supports better breathing, as slouching impairs the movements of respiration. Focus on the exhale, more than breathing in. Be sure to keep your mouth closed, if your nostrils are not congested, with most of your non-exertion activities. Try to make the exhale “low and slow” while slightly pulling in at your belly and keep the breath as quiet as it can be. At the end of the exhale, pause slightly and then allow your belly to relax with the inhale. Keep the muscles of your neck and throat relaxed while you breathe in.

I highly recommend the book, it has many suggestions for ways to help support breathing more easily. There is no need to struggle to breathe.

May we all breathe easier and enjoy life more deeply today and everyday.  

Namaste.

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