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find your spirit

Posted in Uncategorized on April 24th, 2010 by carol – Be the first to comment

The biggest source of addiction and illness is the lack of intimacy with one’s spirit, or soul.

Having access to this part of ourselves is nurtured in our creative mind. When was the last time you felt tied to imagination in that glorious, open way of childhood?

Too soon in life, our imaginings are discounted, seen as unnecessary or silly, and we suppress this very essential passage to the creations of spirit. Society certainly encourages us to march blindly into the “norms” of our times. We can easily lose our original thoughts as we try to fit in.  I think one reason some of us enjoy watching children so much is that they show us that hidden world of expression and play that we shoved down deep inside of us.

Some of us have jobs that require creative thought or we problem solve from this more expansive part of our brain,…but when was the last time you lay on your back to watch clouds pass overhead and let your mind wander? What were the dreams you had when you were eight years old? Do you incorporate that self into your world now?

Do we even see our surroundings once we get used to them? Question the color on the wall? The arrangement of trinkets which mark our passage through space and time? Do we dare diverge in our thinking as we observe the world around us?

What is the dream for your self at this point in time? Is it more simplicity? Maybe an adventure? Perhaps it’s been a while since you met a new person who could help you feel your edges?

It’s too easy to lose the visionary inside of ourselves. Maybe finding a way to nurture that self will lead to a more fully realized and unique being that we are all capable of. In doing so, it may help all of us heal the parts of us longing to be expressed,…and we can forgive all the ways we let ourselves be made small in our journeys.

After all,…there really is only one you,….or one me,….and if it is not expressed in this place and time in all its potential,….that is a real shame. Dare to be all that you are, and see how much joy it can bring!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21st, 2010 by carol – Be the first to comment

panama-180

Poem: Patrick Kavanagh: The Self-Slaved

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21st, 2010 by carol – 271 Comments
Me I will throw away.
Me sufficient for the day
The sticky self that clings
Adhesions on the wings
To love and adventure,
To go on the grand tour
A man must be free
From self-necessity
See over there
A created splendour
Made by one individual
From things residual
With all the various
Qualities hilarious
Of what
Hitherto was not:
A November mood
As by one man understood;
Familiar, an old custom
Leaves falling, a white frosting
Bringing a sanguine dream
A new beginning with an old theme
Throw away thy sloth
Self, carry off my wrath
With its self-righteous
Satirising blotches.
No self, no self-exposure
The weakness of the proser
But undefeatable
By means of the beatable
I will have love, have love
From anything made of
And a life with a shapely form
With gaiety and charm
And capable of receiving
With grace the grace of living
And wild moments too
Self when freed from you.
Prometheus calls me: Son,
We’ll both go off together
In this delightful weather

Poem by David Whyte

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21st, 2010 by carol – 1 Comment

When your eyes are tired the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark where the night has eyes to recognize its own.

There you can be sure you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb tonight. The night will give you a horizon further than you can see.

You must learn one thing. You must learn one thing.

The world was made to be free in.

Give up on all other worlds except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.
David Whyte

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16th, 2010 by carol – 1 Comment

inner fire

Change

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16th, 2010 by carol – Be the first to comment

Dramatic and necessary changes are preceded by times of great chaos. Inner and outer changes are difficult, and often the only way we will take those challenging times upon ourselves is through a discomfort so great, there is no way out except to go through it.

These are great times to give up old and outdated habits, beliefs, and relationships. Nothing escapes scrutiny in times of great change. All seems novel as it is  sifted through an awakening mind; seen as though for the first time,…because it is a new time. It is a time to redefine and unload what no longer works in order to  take on the new.

Sometimes, we attempt to avoid such radical change, and that is where addiction and defenses step in as we try to blind ourselves from the intense emotions required to face upheaval. This can work for a while, but is not a long term solution. In addition, long term reliance on addiction or defenses can harm us in all areas of our lives, and in some cases kill us. The choice is to drown in this ‘pushing away’ or surface and meet the change and fresh air our spirit requires to thrive.

Not listening to the inner voice of wisdom requires great effort. I would argue it is almost easier to take on dramatic change than to fight months or years of our lives fending off the inevitable. It’s not like your higher, wiser self is going to change its mind. It’s just that we might not be listening through our distractions and defenses. When we wake up, the need is still there. The need is change.

What is required is an honest and courageous inventory of what is working and what is not. Which parts of our lives are no longer serving to help us grow and develop into our optimal selves? No-one else can define that self for any of us, but we often know it before we live it.

After confusion comes clarity and the steps needed to transform will be revealed to us. But first, we have to enter willingly into the unknown and listen to the voice which whispers, “Change“.

Planning A Vacation?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18th, 2010 by carol – 2 Comments

I read an article today in the New York Times about the question of whether vacations make us happier. It’s a time of year a lot of us are taking time off and/or getting away. Interestingly, the study showed the biggest boost in happiness came from anticipating a holiday. This made me think about the value of visualization for stress relief.

Most therapists have taught or used the tool of visualization in training others to de-stress themselves. This usually involves taking an internal journey to a time or place that created peace in the subject at some point in time,..but it can certainly be a ‘made up’ place, as well. In practicing this skill, you  ask yourself or another person to imagine the sights, sounds, and smells of a relaxing place, engaging all the senses so the brain can feel respite.

When we plan our vacations, I suppose there’s a lot of that, too. We plan the place we will rest, the restaurants we might check out, the sights and sounds, or the many choices of a work-free day at home. We anticipate. And it’s usually those daydreams that keep us moving through the usual grind until that time arrives. The tasks of getting ready make the vacation real before it begins.

So, maybe this gives us some insight into how we can take a mini-vacation or trip to Peaceful even when our schedules only allow us a 20 minute break or a weekend hour. Following our internal bliss to a place that is waiting for us to just notice it, we can experience a different view of our lives. If you aren’t able to take a trip, allow yourself to browse travel websites or read about a faraway place,….or a not-so-faraway place,…and see if your creative potential for imagining increases!

By the way, the article concluded that travelling vacations did not make subjects happier than their non-travelling co-workers,..unless the vacation was described as “relaxing”, in which case, the happiness factor continued 2 weeks beyond the vacation. Those who felt their vacation was neutral or stressful were no more happy, and the remaining fact was that anticipation and planning the vacation was what increased happiness in the group of travellers as a whole.

snake_river,_grand_teton_national_park,_wyoming.jpg (JPEG Image, 1600×1200 pixels) - Scaled (46%)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26th, 2010 by carol – Be the first to comment

snake_river,_grand_teton_national_park,_wyoming.jpg (JPEG Image, 1600×1200 pixels) - Scaled (46%)

Is This True?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26th, 2010 by carol – Be the first to comment

Thoughts lie to us all the time. Surprised? Check it out for yourself. Pay attention to your mind for a few minutes. What is it saying? Cognitive scientists believe over 90% of our thoughts are negative.

Without being fully aware, we can be thinking global thoughts like “I’ll never get anywhere,” “Nobody cares,” “I’m unlucky”, etc. and not even realize that our biology has made it real easy to globalize one negative event or feeling without us even having to work at it!

Biologically, it may be that this was very helpful when we faced more immediate and environmental hazards during the hunt for food or in weathering the elements more directly. Our minds trap and ruminate thoughts of possible danger and make it a universal threat so we will hopefully avoid the same danger in the future. This might be good for survival in a physical sense, but is it good for us mentally and spiritually?

Because of the hard wiring of our brains, it might be a useful tool to check in periodically and make sure we are not believing every alarm that goes off in our bodies and minds. It might help to ask, “Is this true?” fairly often.

For example, if I am cut in front of on the highway and the other car gets too close for comfort, it is appropriate that I ‘come to attention’ in order to avoid a collision. If I am conscious of my thought process, however, I may notice fear and negative thinking long after it is needed or useful. Maybe my body is trying to keep me safe by staying alert to possible and future collisions, but that’s no way to spend the day!

Our stress cycles last at least 20 to 30 minutes once they are activated, but we can keep ourselves moving toward a more relaxed state of mind if we use our minds to check in with the emotions and see what beliefs are driving them. If I am aware that my thought is that I am in danger, I will feel fear and arousal. If I can ask myself if it is true that I am in danger and answer ‘no’, then I may relax and carry on with the rest of my day in a more peaceful and detached place.

Our minds are amazing. They can keep us safe, and they can keep us captive. It’s knowing when to be the observer and question those thoughts that may help us distinguish which is appropriate for the present moment. The sayer of “I think, therefore I am” may have been on to something, but it may be good to add “I think, therefore I need to be aware of what I think.” Doesn’t sound as eloquent, but it may help us lead more satisfying lives.

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Posted in Uncategorized on December 10th, 2009 by carol – Be the first to comment

Well - Daily Giving Is Seen as a Healthful Treatment - NYTimes.com