This Most Amazing Day

 

e.e. cummings quote on image taken at Ruby Lake Resort, BC

Some days I don’t feel grateful.

I feel sullen and resentful, and a bit let down by this thing called Life.

Some days the pull towards the negative is like a strong undercurrent doing its best to pull me under.

I hear it often in my work, but I do my best not to go there; not to talk about it myself.

But the truth is, we all have those days, and moments in life that frustrate the hell out of us.

We all consider giving up at some point.

Until the choice becomes clear.

We can relax and let ourselves be pulled down into the deep, dark waters or. . .

We can refuse to succumb.

We can choose to find some small way to feel better, and reverse the flow of energy.

It’s not as difficult as we think:

  • a walk in nature
  • your toes in the ocean
  • acknowledging your yearnings
  • time with yourself and your journal
  • connecting with a loved one

Feeding your soul in any way that feels good to you.

Start there, and each small step or action will lead you slowly but surely back into resourcefulness.

 

The Transformation of You

 

a new beginning and
all possibilities exist.

imaginal cells resting
inside their cocoon.

cocoon hanging from a branch

resolve is not needed
in this primordial goo.

just rest, trust,
and patience.

one cell,

two,

then many.

a you unlike any other.

the imaginals know
what to do and…

what

not

to do.

the newness of you will
emerge when ready.

a chrysalis falling away…
exposing, releasing.

imaginal you,
the end result assured.

more you than ever before.

Butterfly hanging from a branch

more fully your Self

more fully alive.

this you, not you,

yet perfectly you.

the past is done.
your cocoon, self-imposed,
no longer needed.

take flight.

 

A Sea of Awareness

 

sleeping  buddha in yoga nidra, a sea of awareness

Not asleep, not quite awake,
such is the magic of yoga nidra.

I heard the question,
“What is your heart longing for?”

I let myself sink. . .

into a longing
where no words lived.

And there in that liminal space
I explored a new world.

Suspended in a sea of awareness.

 

Weep and Set Yourself Free

 

What is it you want to change?
Your hair, your face, your body?
Why?

For God is in love with all those things
and he might weep when they are gone.

~ St. Catherine of Sienna

Dr. Sun Yat Sen garden, Vancouver, BC

Weep…

for what you’ve judged
and  made so very wrong.

Weep…

for all that you’ve lost,
that can never be regained.

Weep…

let go, and
release what’s been held.

Allow what is,
and accept what is not.

Weep…

forgive,
and set yourself free.

 

 

What It Takes to Nourish the Soul

 

“Amidst life’s busyness, we need ways to slow down, turn our attention within, and reconnect with ourselves.” – Karen Horneffer-Ginter

Self-care, for almost everyone I’ve worked with in over a decade, is an ongoing challenge. For the purpose of this post I use the term self-care to refer to the care of mind, body and spirit.

For many, the challenge is obvious, showing up in the physical: do they get enough sleep, does their diet nourish them, etc.

For others, the majority it often seems, the challenge reveals itself in the emotional or spiritual realms, which is not as easily seen or remedied.

Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit is a book that speaks directly to this challenge.

book cover Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit

Written by Karen Horneffer-Ginter, it touches on the most personal and challenging aspects of self-care in a world that often has us running like a hamster on a wheel.

“We live in a world of constant movement, and our day-to-day lives seem to get busier by the hour. Our days are full of information, full of obligations, full of friends and family, full of everything…except fulfillment.”

This statement is true for far too many people. The busyness and stressors of daily life can easily become overwhelming, and self-care is usually the first thing to go when faced with a time or energy crunch.

So, how do you deal with this challenge?

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A Mala of Mindfulness (108 insights from 2012)

 

A mala is used in many religious traditions to count the repetitions of prayers or devotions, and often consists of 108 beads. Choosing one is a very personal experience, and not always easy – at least it wasn’t for me, as I didn’t find the mala that ‘fit’ me until the third try.

It’s worth the search though because when you do find the right one, it becomes a physical reminder of the power of awareness.

stone and mala beads from www.malaimports.com

Every year at this time I review my journals, I complete the year and make space for what’s next. This year, 2012, has been a year of challenge, opportunity and deepening; more than I thought possible.

As I reviewed, it occurred to me as a mala, 108 insights or  moments of mindfulness that have had a profound impact on my life.

I share it with the hope that some of these thoughts also make a difference for you.

1.   Silence is the best antidote to the busyness of life. New thoughts emerge effortlessly in this sacred space.

2.   Imagine living as if wherever you are is holy ground.

3.   When the muse wakes you up at 3am, pay attention.

4.   Feeling hunger is a good thing. It reminds us that we’re alive.

5.   Freedom from responsibility is not the solution. Choosing your responsibilities mindfully is.

6.   It’s ok to want what you want. Stop making your wants wrong.

7.   Get clear on your non-negotiables. It’s highly likely they’re related to your values.

8.   Question everything. Believe only that which feels good.

9.   You have a gift that is uniquely yours. How are you offering it?

10.  That slow burn in your belly will not fade away. Nurture it.

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Keep Calm, and Go Within

 

Everything you go through in life, whether from mind, body or spirit has information for you. Information along with an invitation to go deeper, to go within.

Image of Buddha in Maui: photo credit - Sandi Amorim

What do you do with the information?

Do you receive it or resist?

Do you make changes based on the information or pretend you never got the message?

Both are very human responses.

But whether you resist or refuse to get the message, the information persists lingering in your body.

The bad news is, that information has to come out sometime, somewhere. Wouldn’t it be better to have a say in that?

When you feel stressed, upset or fearful your sympathetic nervous system kicks in, sending adrenaline racing through your body, while your heart begins to race and your breathing becomes shallow.

The best thing to do in that moment is to focus on your breath, slowing everything down to a deep and rhythmic pace.

The second best thing to do is get curious about the information you’re receiving.

During a recent coaching conversation a client shared that she was feeling lost in her life, unsure about where she was heading. We started to explore it together.

I asked her:

  • What has you feel lost?
  • How do you know you’re lost?
  • What do you feel in your body when you experience feeling lost?

Exploring the feeling released the pressure she felt. She was suddenly able to breathe, the tightness in her chest dissipated, leaving in its place a sense of calm.

“Intelligence is not the ability to store information, but to know where to find it.” – Albert Einstein

You have to go within.

Use these simple steps, and be patient with yourself as you begin. Remember, this IS a practice.

With pen and journal in hand, take a deep breath and begin. . .

1.  Say what’s there.

Just as my client did, get out of your head and into your body. Acknowledge the feeling that’s there.

2.  Get curious.

Ask the questions above and write down your thoughts.

3.  Go within.

Feel your way through the experience. Feel what’s going on in your body. Ask yourself, “What’s the message here?”

Then listen.

And remember,

“Calm is a superpower.” – Brene Brown

 

 

Does Your Mind Need a Detox?

 

This time of year inevitably brings up spring cleaning plans of the physical space, both body and home. But that wasn’t enough for me and I began a month-long focus on spring cleaning from the inside out.

Including a detox of the mind.

de·tox

verb – to rid the body of poisonous substances

How do you know if your mind needs a detox? 

Notice how often you think negative thoughts (yes, these are poisonous substances.)

Notice how often you compare, criticize and complain.

With enough time, these ways of being become habitual and toxic, and left alone long enough they will become default; like running on auto-pilot. Which wouldn’t be so bad except this pilot does not have your well-being as a priority.

You may not realize how much that auto-pilot (aka: lizard brain) has taken over your thinking. You may not yet have connected that drained feeling you often experience to the thoughts you repeatedly think and the stories you live like the truth.

Mostly, you probably think if you just took better care of your body you’d have more energy. But it’s not that simple because you are a system, a trinity of mind, body and spirit and if one part is neglected it has an impact on the whole.

Just like the crap that accumulates in your body when you don’t take care of yourself, your mind gets bogged down by crap of another kind, and rather than pretend it’s not there, sweep it out and make room for something new.

So where do you begin this detox?

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Spring Cleaning from the Inside Out

 

According to Wikipedia, spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house in the springtime. According to Martha Stewart, it’s a bit more detailed with a three page checklist celebrating the satisfying rite of the annual clean.

Once upon a time, I was enamoured of all things Martha. What? Don’t look so surprised!

But then I grew up and realized picture perfect cakes and anal-retentive holiday decorating was not my style.

So why am I talking about Martha?

Because underneath the surface of all that spit-and-polish, handmade, homemade OCD there are nuggets of wisdom to be found – kind of like finding that favourite shoe that’s been missing for months under the couch!

Her spring cleaning checklist suggests going through your home, room by room, with a detailed list of tasks. And while that’s all good, and I’m sure my home could use that kind of attention, my mind-body-spirit could use it even more, so that’s where my cleaning strategies and I are focused.

woman meditating, dancing

A new perspective on spring cleaning! 

 

Spring Cleaning from the Inside Out

Mind / Office

One of the great things about working as a life coach is the opportunity to continually do my own inner work.

For me to give my best, I have to make sure this ‘room’ is spacious and clear. That doesn’t mean I have to be perfect and have everything handled, but that I regularly take a look at what’s working and not working in my own life and business.

Working with Jenny Bones in creating the Summer Camp for Solopreneurs has presented this kind of opportunity. As we’ve created the Camp’s curriculum, I’ve uncluttered my schedule to make time for more work I love, and am in the process of clearing physical space in my office.

While I’m amazed at what I get done with the stacks of books and materials around me, I also know I’m more productive and intuitive when my physical world is clean and clear. This creates room to move, and space to breathe and create.

 

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Loving Kindness & You

 

Virginia Satir wrote the following poem after a session with a young client who had a lot of questions about herself and what life meant.

We all have those questions.

But it’s easy to forget and think we’re alone. During a challenging time in my life I read this poem often. It made a profound difference for me.

It spoke straight to my heart, and soothed me.

In a world that could use more love and kindness, I share it with an invitation to be kind – to others and most especially yourself.

 

I am me.

In all the world, there is no one exactly like me.

There are persons who have some parts like me,
but no one adds up exactly like me.

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