Well this is the day before I head off to a 10 day silent retreat, the one I was going to train for by meditating for at least 10 minutes a day. You probably can already guess that it didn’t quite work out that way after all. I have done some meditation though and more regular stretching so I have improved my capacity which will be very helpful. I have certainly done a lot of shedding and letting go of energies that were ready to leave, some not feeling very nice. So my training has been somewhat intuitive and for someone who loves to improvise this is probably the perfect preparation!
I am feeling a lot of fear and that makes my mind want to latch on to the few things I need to do before heading off for what will end up being close to two weeks. I am heading in to a very intense experience and I have no expectations as to what that will feel like. I know it will be challenging but in what particular form I do not know and have no desire to make any stories about it. There is fear and there is also a part of me looking forward to the break from everything, even my Beloved. Well not exactly looking forward to the last part, it will be strange for us to be apart for so long. But oh the reunion, and an exchange of our individual journeys, whatever we are able to share.
It will be really, really interesting and I am sure I will learn a lot! I’m not promising a post next week, but if I get time to rustle something up before I head off tomorrow I will schedule it in. So enjoy being in the world as I prepare to leave it for a time, aho!
As a post, post script from last week I would like to add that I went swimming the next day at a local water hole. Even crammed with holiday makers and children of all ages it was incredibly soothing to be in the river and watch the sun glinting on green leaves and water. I’m so not a water baby but after that lovely experience I’m determined to do it again, but maybe after school has gone back!
In the meantime my Beloved and I are having in depth discussions about mindfulness and being in your heart. We run our test class this Saturday and I’m excited and VERY nervous. What a wonderful opportunity to practice staying in my heart as strong feelings are moving through. I’ve noticed that it is fear or doubt that turns the excitement into worry. So does that mean I have to eliminate fear and doubt from my emotional vocabulary? Of course not! Sometimes doubt can be useful when it creates caution in potentially dangerous situations. The trick is to notice whatever you are feeling and to acknowledge or name it. It sounds so simple but often people try to ignore or dismiss uncomfortable feelings and believe me, those feelings don’t go away, they just get deeper.
So rather than having to mount an archaeological expedition to find your feelings at some later date, why not deal with them right here and now. Once you know what the flavour is of your emotional state you can decide what to do about it. Sometimes it requires action and at other times stillness may be the best approach. Bringing the experience into your heart is always a good idea, if you are ever looking for effective simple exercises to achieve this I would recommend the Heart Math Institute:
So lets all be in our hearts as much as possible and I guarantee your world will be a better place, just imagine what it would be like if we all managed to do that most of the time! Peace on earth! Aho!
When things are going smoothly and according to plan it’s so very easy to be in your heart and to feel the joy of life flowing through your veins. The real test is when you are feeling frazzled and stressed, can you be in your heart just when you need it the most? Today I was still tired from a big and challenging work day and it took me most of the morning to get myself into a space where I was able to head off to my afternoon shift. I’m filling in for holidays this month so the schedule is fuller than usual and I was very much hoping to cruise through the rest of the day with grace and ease.
I won’t bore you with unnecessary details but you can probably guess where I am heading with this. There were no great catastrophes or disasters but it was stressful and the kind of stress that comes with a new computer system for routing phone calls going through a bit of a glitch. Nothing earth shattering but when you are already tired it can feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back! I did do some breathing into my heart as I cultivated a feeling of love by thinking of my dear Beloved. It didn’t magically shift me into bliss but it definitely eased the tension I was feeling and helped to keep me on an even keel.
Then I got home to find that my Beloved had also had a difficult day talking to phone companies trying to change over to a new provider and plan. And to top it off the B & B guests were being very noisy upstairs, first time we’ve ever heard the TV up there so they must have had it on pretty loud! We shnuggled and we showered, then we drove to a nearby lookout and gazed out at what was left of a gentle sunset. I followed this up with listening to some soft and ethereal music while my Beloved made our dinner.
Now as I sit here and write I can still feel some of the stress, and only sleep and rest will cure the tiredness, but I am coping. Sometimes that’s the best we can do. I’m also giving myself permission to finish this tomorrow as a deep kindness to me. So remember, if life is getting you down, breathe, be in your heart, change something or go somewhere.
PS: After an 8 hour sleep and then starting the day with yoga I am back in a happy place! I also found a bit of grass to sit on with trees, sunshine and birdsong before I had to be at work. I sent any remaining stress into the Earth and the Mother held me in her nurturing embrace. Only 10 minutes but oh what a difference! So don’t forget nature when you are feeling stressed, you know what they say: “There’s no Wi Fi in the forest but I guarantee you will find a better connection.” (From Facebook by I don’t know!)
So it’s a new year and its summer and I really have been eating like crazy and the sugar monster is like totally out of the box! Not that previous phases of being naturally good have gone to waste either, I have good habits like starting every day with water and herbal teas. In fact this is an opportunity to let go of more layers of old beliefs and the coping mechanisms that used to support them. All in the grand cause of developing optimum health that doesn’t require me to feel like I’m missing out on something. I used to think herbal tea was boring, now I just adore my cup of dieters tea which contains dandelion leaf, celery leaf and fennel.
So the day starts well but all too often it begins to include stuff like chocolate bars or even chips or twisties! Cakes to go with my coffee and even when it’s raw you can still have too much of a good thing, even when it is made with something other than refined sugar. I find it easy to avoid processed foods when it comes to savoury but when the sugar addict is hungering for her hit it’s the crappy food that comes to mind. It is kind of crunch time too for my Beloved and I so fears are coming up around stepping into the larger picture. These fears have big time associations with junk food as it was a very large part of the way that I coped in earlier times.
So as I begin to feel my way into this year I promise to always be kind to myself even when I seem to be going backwards. There is no such thing as a mistake, only divine re-direction! And out of all this change and newness will come a healthier and more prosperous life for my Beloved and I here in the magic kingdom.