First Thai massage–wowie

A long ago student of mine popped up recently wanting to know when and where I have my classes now.  I haven’t taught since I lost the place where I’d been teaching last spring and decided it was time for a break.  At the same time, I lost the bodywork trades I’d been doing in exchange for classes so aside from the splurge to have a couple of cranio-sacral appointments late last summer I’ve been without bodywork.

I offered to just give her some classes and she suggested that we trade private lessons for Thai massage.  I knew nothing about it but I love trying different sorts of bodywork so I said yes. Today I had the first appointment and I was just blown away.  The point is to open energy channels but it’s so much more.  A lot of it involves supported yoga poses while the practitioner also works on the stretched out muscles.  Some of the rest I don’t quite know how to describe.

Of course, after a long time away from getting worked on I realized there were a lot more sore places.  I was also impressed that the pattern of moving through the muscles included a lot of places where I’m very tight but don’t often feel that massage therapists address those particular muscles.

I came away feeling like some things had been blown open.  In a good way. The only time I can remember having quite the same sensation of huge energy from bodywork was when I received some lomi treatments during my Marin years from a woman who’d had the good fortune to study personally with the late, great Abraham Kawaii for a couple of years.  Both techniques are designed to open channels and let the energy flow freely though they accomplish it differently.

As I’ve been noting in recent posts, I’m aware I’ve been a little shut down and closed off recently but it was quite something to realize how my body had closed up a bit as well.  Not that I should have been surprised but I have still been practicing yoga and the Robert Masters-based work I developed–though not with my usual regularity–and I imagined that I’d been doing enough to keep my body aligned.  The good news is that even with a bit of lost ground I’m far ahead of where I once was.

I’m so grateful that the universe always seems to send the right practitioner my way at the right time.  I’m also having fun getting to teach my work again so a win-win!

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Ancestors, forgiveness and letting go

Part of my peaceful Sunday was watching two programs on Oprah.  On Super Soul Sunday she had Adyashanti and a little later there was an episode of her current series with Eckhart Tolle.  I haven’t been following the latter but when I saw this one was about dealing with emotional issues I recorded it.

In that way the Universe has of offering synchronicity, Adyashanti talked quite a bit about ancestral patterns and Eckhart Tolle brought up the relationship between emotional pain and family patterns/issues.  Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while know that I’ve been intensely interested for quite a while now in the role of ancestral patterns in defining our “now” so I was so grateful to get to see these.

Adyashanti particularly made the point that forgiveness is key to letting go.  It reminded me of the Fisher-Hoffman work, in which the finishing piece involves reaching out to the childhood selves of those you have been processing and finding peace and forgiveness by learning about their wounds and their perspective.  I have to admit that while I believe in the power and necessity of forgiveness, I often skirt that piece or do it cursorily.

Something about getting similar messages twice in the same afternoon brought home to me that some forgiveness work would be a good idea.  I’ve been a little angry with those ancestors whose legacies have been the source of deep issues for me.  Time for a little gratitude and forgiveness.

Sunday chanting for peace

It’s not just that the world needs you to hold a space of peace. Every time you stop and focus on peace you give your soul something it needs. Be selfish.  Be peace for yourself.

Collective Prayer Sundays:  In case you’re new, we’re finding 10 minutes at a minimum to pray or chant or meditate (or???) for peace every Sunday.  Details are on the CPS page.  For comments:  you can comment here or on that page or you can go to the Facebook page.

May you be filled with lovingkindness…

Yep.  I know.  Hard to believe it’s time again for peace.  Please chant or pray or meditate for peace.

Collective Prayer Sundays:  In case you’re new, we’re finding 10 minutes at a minimum to pray or chant or meditate (or???) for peace every Sunday.  Details are on the CPS page.  For comments:  you can comment here or on that page or you can go to the Facebook page.

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Peaceful in Florida

I headed off to Florida on Saturday on a long-overdue visit to my father, who turns 89 next month.  Didn’t manage to get wi-fi until too late for my usual peaceful Sunday reminder.  Hope you had a lovely time with the chanting for peace.  I must admit that peace for me was just having a quiet day with my dad.  Trying to get settled in and help him with some things, I never “sat” or chanted.  A good day though, with a peaceful heart.

Shifting… spring, limbo???


Crocus (Photo credit: tejvanphotos)

We’ve finally had some warmer weather.  Hyacinths and crocuses are blooming and the magnolia in the backyard is full of buds.  As my spirits improve with nicer days I’m realizing that my doldrums haven’t only been about winter.  Somewhere last fall I felt like this whole unwinding head thing went past an edge for me.  I just don’t have the energy to keep figuring out how to get it to the finish line and I’m so tired of the yanking and jerking and not sleeping and headaches…

Anyway, since the process keeps on keeping on whether or not I have any patience left, I’ve been in a kind of limbo.  Putting up because I have no choice but kind of withdrawn?  beyond the end of my rope?  In a way the long cold winter and the hibernation it induced gave me a good excuse to stay holed up.  With longer days and a somewhat sunnier attitude, I’m realizing that a bit of that sense of limbo continues.

Having been told several times that if the muscles around my eyes jerked open too fast I could be blinded or if other muscles released too suddenly it could cause a stroke, I try to be grateful that the slow progress of this journey has kept me safe from those dire possibilities.  But some days the only gratitude list I can come up with is “thanks for not making me blind or giving me a stroke,” and that list doesn’t really leave me feeling uplifted.

The good news is that the recent yanks and twists have been opening much more at a time and I have moments here and there when I can just about feel what it might be like to have a head that isn’t scrunched in a vise.  Very nice!  My vision is noticeably improving and I actually feel some space around my eyes.  When I feel one of those big openings I get that this is a pretty miraculous process.

Sometimes the healing journey is so slow and circuitous it’s hard to hold on to faith that the Universe is always working for our best interests.  As the days warm up and the flowers start blooming I’m sensing that movement is afoot and limbo is on the way out.  If any others out there have been on a journey so slow that you wonder sometimes if there’s a point or whether your faith is unfounded, I know how tough that is!  But I do have faith that all our journeys are led by a higher consciousness that knows how to take us where we need to go.


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Chant or Pray for Peace Day!

See if you can find 10 minutes for peace– chant, pray, meditate, celebrate PEACE for at least 10 minutes today.

Don’t forget there’s a challenge for Collective Prayer Sundays and you still have time to do it.

Collective Prayer Sundays:  In case you’re new, we’re finding 10 minutes at a minimum to pray or chant or meditate (or???) for peace every Sunday.  Details are on the CPS page.  For comments:  you can comment here or on that page or you can go to the Facebook page.

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Brrr…again… Cycling up and down

Last Thursday I attended a lovely spring equinox gathering at which we sat outside around a fire.  It was a little too cold for my comfort but it was bearable enough to be out for over an hour and lovely to be out for a change.  Today I can hardly see across the street because it is snowing so hard. In Michigan and Chicago that was not so unusual but here in Kentucky I don’t expect it and especially not in late March when we usually are looking at the early spring blooming things.

I’ve watched my mood go up and down a bit as we’ve lurched back and forth between 70 and 40 and spring-like and wintry.  While I’m also aware that I can choose to hold a calm space that isn’t affected by the weather, I’ve let the moods ebb and flow.  Seems to me life is kind of like that.  I don’t mind a little ebbing and flowing.  Sometimes equanimity feels a little dull to me.  Still, I’m grateful that all the years and all the practices mean I can enjoy watching some ebb and flow without letting it take me over.

But right now, waaahhh!  Freaking snow…

Peaceful Sunday Time

Hope you find some time to pray or chant for peace today.  Yep.  Time again to find 10 minutes.  Don’t forget about the challenge to gather with others to pray for peace..

Collective Prayer Sundays:  In case you’re new, we’re finding 10 minutes at a minimum to pray or chant or meditate (or???) for peace every Sunday.  Details are on the CPS page.  For comments:  you can comment here or on that page or you can go to the Facebook page.

Three years–wowie zowie

By Tayunea on Wikimedia

Since I’m still not back in the world all the way I’m a little behind on things.  So it slipped by me the other day when WordPress told me I’ve been blogging for three years.  Doesn’t seem possible.

I’m ever more grateful for this lovely community and the fact that I’m always meeting new wonderful people.  I love the connection with all of you but I want to give a special shout to those who’ve been part of my blogging journey since somewhere near the beginning.  It’s amazing to me that we’ve been in one another’s lives for three years.  Whether you’re a new friend or a long-time blogging buddy, I’m so grateful we found one another here!  I’m so thankful for the many lessons and insights I’ve received from all your thoughtful, heart-felt posts.  Thanks everybody!

Yoga tip:  Lots of yoga postures for abs involve lying on your back on the floor and raising your head or head and shoulders.   Lots of students complain that it hurts their necks.  As with so many things, form makes all the difference.  Most of us don’t really use our necks properly.  It’s easy to use your shoulders to do some of the neck’s job and in these postures I find most people tend to both hunch their shoulders slightly forward and lift their shoulders up toward their ears and then tighten them.  That position is all wrong for your neck and the wrong position is quite painful.  Make sure your shoulders are back slightly and pulled down from your ears.   Since the neck muscles are often underused and/or overly taut, the muscles that are supposed to hold your head in this position will probably be sore at first, so some pain may still be present but it should feel different when you’re just pushing some muscles beyond what they’re used to rather than scrunching your neck unnaturally.  If you’re holding an abs move with your head up for a while keep checking your form to make sure your shoulders are staying in proper position–down and back.

Peaceful Sunday

Do you have ten minutes to pray or chant for peace?

I haven’t put out a challenge for a while since the break I gave to you for the holidays segued into a break for me…  I’ve been thinking again about the power of two or more gathered together so I want to re-issue a challenge of the past–one I will be periodically issuing.  By May 11 try to get together with at least three other people to spend a minimum of 30 minutes saying the lovingkindness chant or participating in a meditation on peace or praying for peace or whatever your preferred way of praying for peace might be.  If you can only get two people, do it with three.  Sometime within a few days before the gathering, spend at least 15 minutes doing the chant or prayer on your own

Write a post that discusses your experiences.  Link to this post and tag it CollPraySun.  Did you feel any difference between doing it alone and doing it with others?  Was one more or less enjoyable for you than the other?  Did one feel deeper?  Did either of them give you any sense of deeper connectedness to the web of all life or to a movement for peace?  Did either of them leave you feeling disconnected?  Whatever nuances of experience you had, write us a post.

Collective Prayer Sundays:  In case you’re new, we’re finding 10 minutes at a minimum to pray or chant or meditate (or???) for peace every Sunday.  Details are on the CPS page.  For comments:  you can comment here or on that page or you can go to the Facebook page.

Clearing the air…

weeping cherries

weeping cherries

Okay, we’re not quite to the weeping cherries yet–that picture was a few years ago.  But on Monday it warmed up enough that we opened the windows for a little while and then Tuesday it was warm enough to open up the house for hours.  What a difference that fresh breeze made after this long, long cold winter!  And, I have to admit, I love daylight savings time so I’ve been thrilled the last few days to see the sun till almost 8.

For some reason that “breath of fresh air” made a bigger difference this time than I can remember.  Not sure whether I’m just that much more sensitive or whether the oppressive feelings I had this winter were just deeper, but it felt like everything changed with those hours of sweet spring air wafting through.  Even now with the house closed back up, the whole atmosphere is so much lighter it’s as if the fresh air gathered up the heavy hibernation feelings and carried them off on the breeze.

I know I’ve heard that lots of you had a rough winter– anyone else getting those first inklings of spring?  Or noticing a stronger reaction than usual to the change of seasons?

Hope you found time for peace

Peace symbol for CPS


You may have noticed that during this time-out I’ve been having, I’ve even been neglecting Collective Prayer Sundays.  Since I’m too late to offer a reminder to do it, I thought I’d just pop in during the last hours of Sunday in my part of the world, to say I hope you found time to pray or chant for peace and that it brought you serenity.  It certainly changed my day.

Collective Prayer Sundays:  In case you’re new, we’re finding 10 minutes at a minimum to pray or chant or meditate (or???) for peace every Sunday.  Details are on the CPS page.  For comments:  you can comment here or on that page or you can go to the Facebook page.

I”m back. Maybe. Sort of…

By Psy Guy on wikimedia

I didn’t really mean to slip into hibernation but the last couple of months I’ve been increasingly less present, not only in blogging but in life.  I’ve been thinking of it as being funky but that really has connotations of depression I haven’t felt.  It’s been kind of an absence of feeling and a lack of will to keep up with things.  My practices and exercises have been done only sporadically and, aside from one work project that’s had a lot of my attention, I’ve let most things go by the wayside.

The issues with my head have been roaring on and lately I’ve felt at the end of my rope.  And then I laugh because this has an apparent life of its own and is clearly going to proceed whether or not I’m tired of it.  The equanimity born of years of practices is handy at times like this.

In the last week, as I began stirring to life, I checked in with my meditation “council” and got the information that I really needed a time out from pushing so hard; time to integrate all that I changed in the hard work last year.  That’s been hard for me throughout these years of healing and the journey–to stop and integrate, give myself a rest.  I’m inclined to forge ahead relentlessly.

I’m not sure whether the Universe assisted me into hibernation or whether on some level I finally took myself to the place of rest I needed.  However I got there, I’m feeling a bit more put together.  I might be back.  But I’m willing to see where Spirit leads me.

Unwinding Head Saga

Lovely exercise on Bardo Group post

Painted tray by Laurie Rohner

Since the post below is responding to a post in Bardo Group’s lovely environmental-inspired challenge for Valentine’s Day, I thought some of Laurie’s art would be appropriate. And it seemed time to introduce you to her home decor and furniture art.  So check over here to see more of her lovely pieces.

When I started reading Terry Stewart’s post on Bardo Group today I was sitting on the floor with my laptop in my lap and something or other on the Olympics airing on the nearby T.V.  But as soon as I started reading the exercise she gave us I started doing it.  I never did get up and shift to a likelier place and it took a few minutes before it occurred to me to turn off the sound on the television but somehow I became deeply engaged.

From the first level of feeling into the earth and asking Her, “What is your desire,” I started getting back, “For you to be healed so that I can heal.”  At first startled and wondering if I’d made it up, I kept moving upward with the exercise and at every level the answer from earth, “For you to be healed so that I can heal.”

Now, I’ve been convinced for a long time that our dis-ease, emotional and physical, corresponds with Earth’s issues and that human healing means Earth healing.  And I’ve been sure for a long time that the long, mysterious process of ill health and trouble finding answers is an important piece of my path.  But I never quite connected my own healing so directly with being part of Earth’s healing.

When I reached third eye, I received not just that message but a very strong knowing that this healing journey and what I can bring to others about my process is why I’m here.  Whew!  I’m still reeling from the power I felt as I moved through this exercise.  While hanging out on the floor with my laptop.  And my screen continually switching to the screensaver and keeping me from seeing the next instruction.  And the t.v. on…

Thanks, Terry.  Loved it!  I highly recommend that y’all check out the post and try the exercise.