It’s Not Locked in Stone…

…with the key thrown away — my choice, that is.  I use to think if I made a choice I had to live with it — that there was no turning back.  That if I changed my mind it meant I was inferior.  That if I selected one thing, that that was that and that was the end of of it.  Which often meant it was the end of me.  At least until I learned, shall I say, that I could restart.  Make a new choice.  And if that didn’t fit well, make another choice.  And another if need be.  Of course changing my mind rarely happens but how freeing to know I have not sealed my life off in stone.

via Daily Prompt: Restart
Restart

Can You Feel it?

Have you ever had that Twilight Zone feeling, like when the phone rings and an inner voice says, “Don’t answer it,” only to ignore the warning and have that phone call forever change your life?  I did.  And it wasn’t for the best.  Two years later I was still recouping my life yet it would never be the same again.  And I’ve never forgotten that twinge of a haunting feeling.

Every premonition I’ve ever had gave me that familiarly eerie, back-of-the-neck hair raising, uneasy feeling that is too strong to dismiss.  And even if I mistakenly try to turn away, my reality is pin-pricked deep within because I innately know the premonition rings true.  It’s a forecast of what is to come.

Is it an angel giving me this information?  Divine guidance?  Past life, inner wisdom, or fate ingrained in my DNA?  I’ve stopped guessing the source.  It just isPay attention.  Think twice.  Be grateful for the information and heed it.
via Daily Prompt: Premonition”

Winter’s Purpose

Piled high snow conceals the beginning of what we cannot yet see —   seeds, bulbs, and leaves busily working behind the scenes, preparing to come alive and burst forth in spring.

Not knowing yet what lies ahead, time is endless — one long stretch of a simple moment. All the while winter whispers to us, “Stay present.  Have faith.  This too shall pass.”  girl contemplating spring

When efforts feel stalled — like nothing is happening as we take baby step by baby step in the direction of our dreams — think of winter.

Gradually receding snow slides back the covers of change.  Be patient.  Stay true to course.   The next thing we know, winter has become spring and all right before our eyes.

Present

“Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.” — Eckhart Tolle

 

The greatest gift from anyone is to be present.  Not just with those around you but with yourself as well.  Forget the distractions. model-2614569__480 Don’t be distracted.  The greatest gift to anyone is being present. Give the gift of being present.  To yourself, and others as well.

 

“When you have an intense contact of love with nature or another human being, like a spark, then you understand that there is no time and that everything is eternal.” – Paulo Coelho

 

crab
Think this little guy has anything but the present?

 

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Present

42060 to Go

There’s only 701 hours or 42060 minutes until spring!  29 days.  Yes, I know.  People tell me not to rush my life away.  I don’t think I am, really.  Just wishing to rush passed the frigid temps and ice we’ve had for the last few months.

snow flowers
Sometimes Spring can’t wait either!

I’d happily linger in spring, not rushing away a single minute.  But, the older I get the colder I get.  And after a few months of oppressively grey, gloomy skies I’m craving sunshine, warmth and spring’s freshness.  I’ve been admonished before that I hurry up to wait.  Well, truth be told, yes, I’d like to hurry up spring so I can wait and lavish its lushness.

 

 

 

Nature Teacher: We’re All in this Together

We knew the storm was coming and wondered how their fragile bodies would surviveWere there any still alive in these frigid 3 degree temps?  Topping off the bird feeders, we later fell asleep to the hush of heavy snowfall then awoke the next morning to more of the same — nearly a foot of snow and more still falling.

1-17-18 winter heavy snowfall 013

A flurry of birds lined up on the tarmac of tree branches, each waiting their turn for food — the mysterious cardinal whose been pecking at the windows for a year, the usual tiny chickadees, a tufted titmouse or two, and a pudgy new family thought to be dark-eyed juncos (although they may have been plump simply to stay warm).

 

 

The feeder was nearly empty by noon…

 

 

…but my heart overflowed with gratitude

for taking time to care.

 

 

 

 

 

Skin Sensation Meditation

In the same vein as my last post, I’ve begun trying different types of meditation and I’ve had a delightful experience I’d like to share with you:

Remember that just one minute of meditation can do you good?  Well, during my morning shower, I keyed in to how the natural boar bristles of the body brush felt on my skin — down my arms, sides, thighs, calves…across my back and down the other side.  How the hot water soothed my shoulders…and then the silky liquid soap running from my palm through fingers to become foamy lather.  For these brief moments, all I focused on was the pleasant sensation on my skin.

bad-1253863_1280 brush bowl

This experience reminded me of a practice I’d forgotten – dry brushing (aka Garshana).  Besides the obvious benefit of exfoliating the skin, dry brushing has been used for centuries to increase energy, blood flow, circulation and immunity.  It is done before showering and in a particular circular, stroking, upward pattern.

While traditional meditation clears the mind, body brushing clears toxins from the skin.  So, why not do both at the same time and get a double bonus from one effort?

Hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think.sponge-2541251_1280 Loofah Heart

Busy Body Meditations

You hear a lot about the benefits of meditation these days but that incessant mental chatter is reluctant to give up center stage.  Foregoing a lobotomy, what is one to do?

Sitting cross-legged on a cushion to meditate was as agonizing for me as soaking in a hot bath.  (I can’t wait ’til it’s over.)  Same for sitting straight with hands on my thighs — even if it’s my favorite chair.  Someone gave me a book on transcendental meditation but I got through maybe a third of it (at best).  The standard practice of focusing on the breath doesn’t hold my focus.

A spiritual guide who entered my life like an angel, eased my anxiety over not being able to meditate.  (Counterproductive like rushing to yoga class.) “You know, you don’t have to sit in a lotus pose or chant to meditate,” he said.  “Anytime you’re solely focused in the moment, it’s meditation.  Like when you’re gardening or acutely aware of those bluest of blue skies.”  He was talking about mindful meditation.

Somewhere in all of this I discovered hand drumming and before I knew it, I became a regular at the twice-monthly sessions at the health food store.  Drumming for 3 hours straight felt like only minutes passed. (Talk about transcendental!)  I experienced drumming’s healing effects by osmosis and later learned it’s gaining popularity for treating various health conditions (high blood pressure, cancer, stress, Parkinson’s, depression, etc.  For me, it was chronic fatigue).  See drumming for mindfulness.

One of the drummers showed me a movement meditation.  Focusing solely on the fluid movements resonated with me like when I practice morning Qigong.  I don’t drum in the morning for obvious reasons and prefer the energy of a diverse drum circle anyway.

Can you feel the calming energy in her sweeping movements?  You can feel this way too.  Go ahead. Try it. No one’s watching.

Still, there are days when my to-do list wins out and sets me in high gear before I’ve practiced self-care.  More recently, I’ve heard that beginning the day with even one minute of meditation is beneficial.  One minute?  Really?  I can do that. 

So, when I came across this post on sound meditation from a blogger who also has difficulty quieting her mind, I thought I’d try it.   I simply focused solely on the sounds around me as they appeared:  a cardinal flitting from the feeder to my window screen, another bird chirping in the distance, a whooshing car…rain on the roof, on the glass, through the gutter…the hum of the refrigerator…a creaking board.  This worked beautifully to ward off my noisy taskmaster.  And as my thoughts attempted to wander in wonder of what type of bird I heard, it was easier to gently pull back and simply — focus — on the sound — simply — as sound.

No longer am I stressed that I can’t meditate in the usually depicted forms.  Different strokes for different folks you know.  The key is finding what resonates for you.  If you have trouble quieting mental chatter, you might want to try sound or movement meditation.  I’d love to hear your experience — we’re all in this together.

lotus movement

“Meditation:  when the space between your thoughts becomes greater than the thoughts between your spaces.” — Alan Cohen