Monday, September 29, 2014

Spirit Is Calling Are You Busy?

Spirit is always calling. Each one of us. Every day.

And sometimes I am tying up the phone line with my busy-ness.

After all, there's work, the pet, the dishes, the laundry, keeping my checkbook balanced, the family. And then there's all that entertainment on social media, Netflix, TV/Hulu, concerts, not to mention a social life.

And if I let myself get caught up in all that, am I allowing any opening for the still small voice within?

Stress Reduction

That is why meditation is suggested as a great method of stress reduction.

If you don't like sitting on a cushion or sofa, then maybe your form of meditation is walking, running, or sitting at the coast watching the immensity and power of the ocean.

Whatever it is, it definitely helps recharge a tired mind. It helps put things in perspective. It helps keep us sane, And healthy.

My Path Began

When I was 17, living in the Midwest in the early 70s, I took a class in Eastern Philosophy. I loved it. There were no classes at that time in that area, so I got a book on yoga, and another on meditation. As I sat for the first time, I heard a clear message, "You cannot go further in until you go out in the world." I had been quite a little recluse for the previous few years. So I did just that. Dropped the meditation and started to venture out into the scary social world.

I meditated off and on during the ensuing decades, and now make it a regular practice. When I get busy and skip it for a week, I notice a huge difference in how I approach my day. I feel not quite balanced. I don't sleep as well. I don't focus as well.

So if you aren't a regular meditator, give it a try. See if it makes a difference in your perspective, patience, and emotional keel.

How Do I Get Started?

Don't know how? You could start with this book: The Power of Meditation.

There are classes too. Check in your area to see what's available.

Monday, September 22, 2014

In the Stillness

Sitting in the silence of the sanctuary on Sunday morning, I feel the stillness. I hear the intermittent coughs, babies, creaking seats as pelople shift their weight.

And all of this appears in the quiet. The Peace. The Stillness.

Have you ever stopped to notice that?

The things that we hear, we hear in the ocean of stillness and quiet.

The things we see, we see in the spaciousness of the invisible presence. Think that's woo-woo? Well, if there was no empty space, we could not exist. Everything would be one big lump of stuff.

Of course, sometimes when life feels overwhelming, it can feel like it is all one big lump.

Return to the Silence

That's why times of silence are so helpful. It's a time to remember that we exist in an ocean of stillness, and that all that happens inside us and around us happens in that field of Being. If you have trouble picturing this, remember the last time you stood at the shore of the ocean. The pounding or quiet surf, the seagulls, the wind, the sky, any boats or wildlife you may see. All of that happens in the space and the silence and the invisible Presence of the All-That-Is.

Or remember the last time you walked through a woodland that was undisturbed by humans. The sounds of the birds, the leaves in the breeze, the smell of the woods. All that happens in the stillness that holds the life in the woods.

What am I bringing to the world?

Sitting in that stillness, the quiet and Peace of my source, my focus is drawn to this Truth. What am I bringing into the space that we call the world? How am I appearing in that space that holds me, that supports me with oxygen and freedom of movement? Am I adding clarity and Joy to my immediate environment? Or am I polluting it with anger or fear or worry? Am I driving my vehicle mindfully, aware of those around me, combining my trips to save gas and not pollute the air? Am I bringing a presence to my world that enhances it or detracts from it?

I have that choice every day. Every moment. I can bring kindness, remembering as Rev. John Watson said, that everyone is fighting a hard battle.

Am I allowing the endless to-do list to get the best of me? Have I recharged my batteries enough to be civil and even kind in public?

Am I appreciating the people I meet in my day? The cashier who stands on their feet all day, remembering all those codes for the produce, and patiently waits as we fumble for our wallet. The person ahead of us in traffic who may be late for an important appointment, or may have just lost a loved one.

Regularly recharging my mental-emotional-energetic batteries helps me bring this awareness to my world. And I enjoy my days much more that way too!

How About You?
How do you recharge your batteries?
What do you like to focus on to bring awareness to your day?

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Raspberry Seed

My morning protein shake includes frozen raspberries and blackberries. And when I wash the food processor, I often find raspberry seeds stuck to the sides.

Tenacious Little Seeds - Tenacious Little Thoughts

Sometimes they rinse out easily. Sometimes they are amazingly tenacious, requiring quite a concerted effort to remove them.

So I had to wonder... are they reflecting some of my more tenacious thoughts? Thoughts that, like the raspberry seeds, serve no useful purpose any more? Thoughts that are actually getting in the way of what I want?

In the case of the food processor, what I want at that point is a clean container.
In the case of my mind, I want the same thing. A clean container of mind and heart. Free of negative emotions like frustration (like with the raspberry seeds!). Free of emotions about past events that only live in my memory. Free of wishing things were different, or that I were thinner, richer, fill-in-the-blank.

Thoughts of if-only. Ever have any of those?

The Gift of Time and Attention

So much is clear in hind-sight. So I sit on my meditation cushion. It happens to be on the sofa, but it works. I put on music or my favorite gong that allows me to breathe very slowly. And by sitting there for 20 minutes, I wash my mind of nagging thoughts and worries. I can always pick them up later if I still want them.

But for now, I take the time to sit with myself. To give myself the gift of time with myself. No distractions. No electronic devices. No status updates. No housework. No schoolwork. No errands. Just Being.

Its like a mini-vacation.

And I miss it when I skip it. I notice a huge difference when I take time to do a little yoga and sit  in the morning. It's a chance to break the habit of worry, of stress. And clear out those sticky mental raspberry seeds so I have a nice clean container with which to start my day.

And I am grateful to have the trifecta of time, health, and financial support.

How About You?

Do you take time with yourself in meditation? Dose it make a difference in your life?

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Highest most Amazing Being

Visioning or meditating on the Highest

I invite you to sit quietly.

Close your eyes.

Imagine in your mind the most radiant, beautiful, amazing person you can imagine.
You might be looking at a man or a woman, or you might go beyond gender to pure radiant Beingness. Whatever you choose.

Really see this person. Their energy, their radiance. Their brilliance. That they have so much to give. That they give from their sense of overflow. That they are Love and Joy and Light and Power.

Take your time and enjoy it.

Now realize that this person is you. You are looking in a mirror at your true essence.

That is who you truly are.

You were made in perfect Radiance and Love.
You have a gift to give.
You are unique.

And you are not alone.

Accept this image into your body as deeply as you are ready.

And when you feel complete, open your eyes.

You are made of stardust.
You are steeped in the Essence that created you.
You are unique in all the universe.
You have a gift in you longing to be expressed.
You are welcome in this world.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Labor Day.  What does it mean to you?

The end of summer? The kids returning to school? A day off from work? The last barbecue of the summer?  Working even though others have the day off? The first day you are able to go outdoors during the day without getting a sunburn? The 24 hours you spent delivering your child? (They don't call it "labor" for nothing!

Here's To All the Full-Time Job-Holders

Full time work is not for wimps. At least not for most of us, who are working for someone else, and not in our dream vocation. Then work is labor, as in struggle, dreariness, tedium.

When I was working full time people would ask, "What are you doing on the three-day weekend?" I was so caught up in the day to day tedium, trying to keep my nose above the water, that those three-day weekends nearly always snuck up on me. So my answer was usually, "Stay home and rest." But really I would be catching up on things that hadn't been done: laundry, reducing the population of the dust bunnies on the living room floor, balancing my checkbook. It just meant I had a day to catch up on all the things I didn't have time for. Maybe even have the chance to meditate without having to watch the clock. Pure luxury.

Vacations As Three-Day Holidays

So I started to schedule vacation days on Fridays to get a three-day weekend in any month that didn't already have a holiday. That was wonderful.
And during the slow time of year, I took every Friday off. Much better than the stress of packing, traveling, and then paying for a vacation. I had stay-cations.
Really they were mental health breaks. I still love stay-cations.

Semi-Retired - A Leap of Faith

I am recently retired. Semi-retired. As of a year ago. And I LOVE it. In fact, I don't know how I ever had time to work! But taking that retirement package was a leap of Faith. My pension included health benefits, or I would not have taken it. It doesn't fully support me, but I am so grateful that I took that leap, knowing that Spirit would support me.

I still work part-time at a few different things. And I am so grateful that I no longer need to go to an office for 40 hours a week. And there has always been a source of support - virtual assistant, clients, temp agencies. Because Spirit is my Source and my Supply. And these things are how that Supply flows into my life to support me.

Now I am so excited to finally be studying music! The classes are all during the day, so now I have the chance! I am finally doing what I want to do! So stay tuned for more tunes from me during the coming year!

And have a wonderful Labor Day!

How About You?

Have you ever taken a leap of Faith?