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Archive for January, 2009

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Posted in Uncategorized on January 26th, 2009 by carol – Be the first to comment

FFFFOUND! | kashiwaso-chair.jpg 460×379 pixels

How to Feel Truly Alive,…

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26th, 2009 by carol – 1 Comment

I was reminded in yoga class this morning of what “aliveness” feels like,..the awareness that as breath flows in and out of our bodies, we are humming with oxygenated cells and a presence that may or may not be appreciated by the person who is the sum of this exchange.

My teacher read from Ekhart Tolle’s The New Earth as a way to bring our concentration to the sense of aliveness in our bodies, our legs, our arms, our faces, our lips,….each part humming underneath all the noise that is our mind’s chatter.

Tolle writes that as we are separated from this awareness, we live our lives seeking outward substances and people to medicate our “unease” with the disconnection we feel. Staying tuned in to that aliveness within us as we interact with the world we inhabit is the key to staying present,…and being well.

How do we get there? Being still is essential to bringing focus back to the center of our being,…breathing in, breathing out, and asking the mind to be quiet. It won’t necessarily listen, but if we practice, we can keep coming back to breath and the feeling of aliveness within. Think of your thoughts as leaves on a river,…they float by and you let them float on,…you do not grab them, hold them,…simply watch them come and go and return to the stillness that is the experience of the neverending river of consciousness.

Many people I have talked to were surprised to find that meditation was such an active process. It takes practice to be still. The pay off, however, can be an amazing connection with life as it flows through us and with us. It pays off because there is less need for external “goodies” and distractions. If we can hold onto our “selves” in the world, we are not threatened by the changes of our environment, economy, relationships, weather, etc.

Practice when you are most still and take advantage of your natural rhythms. If you are most still in the morning, take a few moments to check in with your breath and sense of aliveness. If you are most still at night, then practice then. As you get stronger in your practice, you will be able to achieve stillness in a traffic jam, your office, waiting in line, and all those challenging places you may find yourself lost in.

When you have been able to commit yourself to this practice, you will find that there is an untouchable place in you that honors spirit. Compensity for joy will increase. Compassion will have room to grow~for yourself and for others in your life. Peace will be possible in the midst of chaos. Make this a familiar place and your life will feel truly alive!

simplify

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18th, 2009 by carol – Be the first to comment

Many times, I find myself going deeper in thought about something than is good for me. I make something complicated when it need not be. I know I’m not the only one who does this, so what is it that makes us go to a place of analyzing ourselves into unhappiness or anxiety?

Maybe we feel that if we can predict the outcomes of our choices and interactions, we can be “ready” and know what to expect. Life rarely works according to our predictions, however, and it’s really true that the only constant is change.

A useful way to be in the present instead of out there in the imagined future is to ask yourself, “What do I want out of right now?” If all is well in the present moment, then simply enjoy it. There isn’t any future anyhow, because it never exists. We only have the present.

If the present moment would be better or more fulfilling spent in another way, then take action. Often emotional dis-ease is there to prompt change and movement.

Keeping the present moment clear frees up vital life energy to make necessary changes. Predicting what may or may not happen is a waste of the same energy, and often keeps us from taking the action we need to be content and present.

Now try it,…..ask yourself! What do you want out of right now?

FFFFOUND! | ProcessRecess : Maze

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18th, 2009 by carol – 1 Comment

FFFFOUND! | ProcessRecess : Maze

FFFFOUND! | Amazing Filtered Things

Posted in Uncategorized on January 16th, 2009 by carol – 1 Comment

FFFFOUND! | Amazing Filtered Things

inter-dependency

Posted in Uncategorized on January 12th, 2009 by carol – 1 Comment

I notice in my work that it is a great struggle for us to admit our existential helplessness. Most of us see with shame our need to accept help, compassion, and assistance from one another. We walk around with this grand illusion that we are self-sufficient and we will bother noone with our neediness,…our distress.

What if we look at it another way? By delving into our helplessness, we may find greater connectedness to our world. This involves recognizing, however, all the ways we need one another for survival.

At the most rudimentary level, we come into this world helpless. We are dependent on our caregivers for many years for our survival. As we grow, we become consumers of various products which are brought to us through complicated means. We are dependent upon persons we have never met to supply us with food, energy, goods, and health care.

On an interpersonal level, we are dependent upon others for self definition, a sense of accomplishment, love, and security. What else do we find ourselves needing from others that we try not to acknowledge? Maybe it is easier to admit our needing of those close to us, but what if that is not enough? What if we need perspective from an impartial person? A judge, a doctor, a spiritual leader, a therapist, and others at a distance may be useful during times that we lack clarity.

Why is it so hard for us to feel vulnerable? Maybe it’s biological. Perhaps our survival feels hinged on at least seeming like we have it figured out..seeming strong. I would imagine that acting vulnerable in many circumstances would be counter-intuitive. So how do we know when it’s okay?

Ask yourself the question: Am I afraid to ask for help because it puts my survival at risk? Or am I afraid to ask for help because I feel ashamed or small? If it’s the latter, then do it despite the discomfort it brings,…because the reward will be inter-connectedness and intimacy with the person, group,  or entity you ask.

This has been one of my hardest lessons, but I have found that when I ask for help, I have never been disappointed in the response,…and I have felt greater security in this world because I was honored and assisted in my journey. Consider it for yourself! You may find that with practice, life feels much more friendly and supportive.

poem by David Whyte~Everything is Waiting for You

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6th, 2009 by carol – 4 Comments

Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

– David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You
©2003 Many Rivers Press

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6th, 2009 by carol – Be the first to comment

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fear and love

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6th, 2009 by carol – Be the first to comment

Someone once told me that there are only two places that human beings act from~and those are fear and love. When we make decisions about our behaviors, we can use this to guide us through anxiety, fear, and apprehension. Our bodies are designed to fight or flee from situations that cause us discomfort. Life, however, sometimes requires courage in these moment to face the “monster”.

Think of the last time you had to communicate something difficult to a loved one. Most of us feel fear in these moments, don’t we? There is fear that we will be vulnerable to hurt or that we will hurt ourselves or another. There is anxiety of saying something ‘wrong’ or distancing the person we love from us. This is a situation where love can help guide us through the struggle of the moment. Calling on the energy of love can remind us of our connectedness to the ‘other’ in the situation and help us to love ourselves in that vulnerable place.

This is not to say that if you are facing a physical danger that you should stop and contemplate love and courage. Certainly, our survival often depends on the chemistry of fear to propel the body into action. Many times, however, there are fears that are worth challenging with opposite action. That is, acting opposite to the fear of the moment and choosing a path of resistance.

Many people live lives full of disappointment and confinement  because of listening too closely to fear. Maybe they don’t speak up at a crucial moment or they don’t go back to school as they planned to. Maybe an opportunity is lost because it feels frightening. What would your life look like if you felt fear and moved forward in spite of it?

Try it in practice. Before you make a decision from an emotionally-muddied place,…ask yourself, “Am I acting from fear or am I acting from love?” It may help you decide what to do next. Remember you are not your feelings.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 5th, 2009 by carol – 16 Comments

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