now there comes a time (audio poetry 3:06)

be whole now

For the last couple of months I have been bringing through
images of angels. This one is “Grounding Angel.”

Grounding Angel Drawing

There comes a time when you will meet your self in a new way
You will not be who you were, and who you are right now
may also be but a temporary situation
What you once believed
you can no longer embrace,
Company you once enjoyed,
may now feel scratchy and out of tune
Without warning, you may find yourself aghast
at your surroundings and your daily routines
Your body will ask for food not in your cupboard –
more greens, more yellow, more orange
Your skin will yearn for a new environment –
more sun, more rain, more trees, more canyons
Whose life am I living now? you may wonder

Cracking and crumbling, outworn ideas and patterns
will evaporate and leave you feeling untethered for a time
How you…

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Working on a new normal

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A few months ago I wrote about trying to do both (1) some different things and (2) more in general.  I’ve been in quite a rut over the last few years of struggling with my unwinding muscles and their serious disruption of sleep.

It’s been an up and down process.  With every spell of sleep deprivation, I lose the will to do more or try new activities.  But the first steps in getting moving created so much more energy and overall sense of well-being, I keep pushing myself to get out more, create new grooves, etc. whenever I’m feeling well enough.

So it was interesting when I took Linda’s suggestion (litebeing post here) to watch Matt Kahn’s video, Energy Upgrade.  One of the main things he emphasized was how change, even in a small thing, creates energy upgrades.  The best way to create a new life/new you is to keep saying yes to new things.

I got a kick out of realizing that my little forays out of the house or into trying new things felt so good because I was upgrading my energy.  Here I thought it just felt good to get out of my rut.  I guess it’s both.  So now I’m making more of a point of changing it up.  I’ve had a couple of days lately when I didn’t feel great and didn’t much want to get ready and go out but made myself run an errand and felt so much better for being out and about.

I’ve been talking for a while about getting back to writing longhand.  And feeling drawn to spend more time hanging out on our sun porch.  Then, the other day, when Mimi over at Manger posted a Spotify playlist that looked pretty good, I first thought I’d probably not get around to listening to it.  Just because I usually never do.  Which led me to think about how many playlists I’ve passed up mainly because I’m in this rut that doesn’t have a space in it for checking out playlists.

Putting the three together, I’ve started taking my Transformer tablet (for Spotify), a writing pad and a pen out to the sun porch for 15 minutes of timed writing while listening to a playlist (it already turned into a longer stretch, but my commitment is just 15, making it easy to carve a space for it) .  Really liked the jazzy 50’s mood of the first–Manger– playlist.  The next one I tried was full of songs and artists I’d never heard of and much of it was country stuff I didn’t much like, but even though I kept jumping forward to the next song and the next to get past tunes I didn’t care for, I heard a few new things I did like.  Whether I liked them or not, I could feel the opening from just being willing to hear some new material.

I’ve also made a promise to myself that this doesn’t have to be a daily practice.  In general I’ve been in the mood to keep changing things.  I’ve been back to exercising more, but instead of settling on one or two things to do regularly I’ve been switching around amongst many favorites from hatha yoga to kundalini yoga to the Eight Key Breaths, to my exercise bike, etc. (which, btw, I started some time before I saw the video).

And that’s what I’m drawn to in general right now–do the meditation or exercise or new thing that springs to consciousness each day without worrying about consistency or frequency.  The ups and downs of muscles and sleep occasionally still interfere with keeping a schedule; I find it less defeating to avoid making myself promises about regularly scheduled activities.  But for right now, I like my little writing practice/playlist, sun porch time so I plan to continue.  At least until I have some other new direction to try…

My big take away on this is that each small decision to do one tiny thing that’s new or different can carve a path out of a stuck place.  I find, when particularly stuck, that if I think too big (which doesn’t have to be really all that big) I become paralyzed, which roots me more deeply in the stuck place.  But I can decide to go sit on the porch.  Or to listen to a playlist.  Or to go run an errand to make myself get out of the house.  And those little things give me such a boost.  The more little steps, the more I feel I can move forward.  And the more I feel my energy upgrading :-)

J2P Monday: semi-break

Bright sun

Since I started the series of ruminations on health and environment, I’ve struggled a bit.  This is one of a growing number of arenas in which I have a very strong “knowing” and a lot of feeling tones about connections but I don’t have words for the feelings.  It’s been hard to write these posts and when I started trying to write one for today, it just wouldn’t come together.

A couple of questions that kept drifting through my mind:

For those who would never think of littering the ground or dumping toxins into a river, are you just as careful about what you put in your body?

For those who fight to preserve wilderness, save streams, clean the air, etc., do you fight as hard for yourself?  for your body?  for your eternal spirit?

Do you want to save yourself as much as you want to save the world?

J2P Monday: Judging and the environment

English: Heart and Earth

English: Heart and Earth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve noticed over the years (I started recycling, etc. 45 years ago, so lots of years) that environmentalism seems to produce more and more self-righteous folks who decide what you should do and how you should live if you’re a “good environmental citizen” and then look around and judge others on whether they’re “doing it right” or not.

Beyond just pointing fingers at other people, there’s even more finger-pointing about whether governments or corporations are being responsibly green.  There’s something about this issue that lends itself to feeling righteous about the right and wrong of it.  So even among people who say they’re living by principles of not judging, being compassionate and loving, etc., there’s still a lot of righteous judging when it comes to this issue.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this in the context of how our behavior affects the earth (see earlier post).  A couple of threads keep showing up for me.  One is about how it affects the world when people by the millions are constantly borderline hysterically repeating over and over “we’re destroying the world”, “the world is dying”, “the air is poisoned”, etc.  Does it help to keep affirming those things or does it create more of what is being affirmed?  I’ll revisit that one in some future post.

The other thread involves people judging one another (including me eyeing them for doing it…) and the underlying reasons behind such strong feelings of fright and/or outrage.  And how all those issues impact the health of Earth.

  • Is it only fear of “the end of the world” that drives feelings about this issue?  What lies beneath?
  • Why the fear that “others” will cause destruction by the doing or not doing of certain things?  Do we feel a lack of control in the world?  Over our own lives?  That others have power over us and what happens to us?  What’s the source of feeling powerless?
  • Do you offer your own body and health the same intensity of feeling that you feel toward the dis-ease of the earth?  If not why not?
  • Do you feel the same lack of power or control over your own body that you feel regarding the health of the world?
  • Do you feel the same love for yourself that you feel for the earth?  Do you feel worthy of being loved that much… by yourself?  by others?

So many possible ways to heal with ho’oponopono or whatever method of healing you prefer.

  • For all the ways in which I judge others about anything, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.
  • For loving what’s “out there” more than I love myself, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.
  • For the fears within that I haven’t addressed, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For not loving myself as much as I give love to people and things outside me, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.
  • For all the ways in which I do not feel the love around me and for me, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For all that I have not healed within me, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.
  • For all the ways in which I fail to offer love instead of judging, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you

Enjoying Sunday Peace

For some reason praying for peace has been at the forefront of my day since waking up and mentally repeating the lovingkindness chant for a while before getting up.  Lovely way to begin the day.

After several days of things shut down (snow) around here, the post office was out making deliveries so the essential oils suggested by Hanna (see post) finally arrived so I guessed at a ratio, mixed them with carrier oil, tossed in some rose oil and put some on.  I’ve felt a bunch of energy moving ever since.

Late in the afternoon I wanted to meditate.  Notwithstanding the morning chanting, I’ve not been in the mood for the lovingkindness chant for some time now (though I repeat the chant to myself often).  I HAVE been drawn back lately to the Ego Eradicator, which I did for the suggested 40 days a couple of years ago and wrote about here, here, and here.  So I began with that.

Then did a short guided (by me) meditation to look into the Roman past life that’s hanging on in my head and work on releasing it.  Made progress though the sense is I need to meditate on it some more. My guidance is to write a spell about it and create a circle in which to meditate.

Then I moved on to singing Gayatri Mantra, followed by Om Shanti Om. I love Deva Premal’s versions of those and I like to sing along with her instead of singing alone (and having to count along with my prayer beads :-) –let her do the counting…).  Going out of order, I remembered after I finished meditating/chanting that I’d meant to smudge the room (burn sage and cedar) as I’ve not done it in AGES and forgot, so I smudged anyway.

My final step was to leave Om Shanti Om playing on a loop in the room.  I’ve found that a piece of music with a particular energy to it can impact or shift the energy in a room just playing on repeat.  I used to do it sometimes in my classes when I felt a need to shift — just put a particular chant or chakra balancer on repeat and let it move the energy in the room through the whole class.

All day I’ve just followed my instincts about what practice or chant to do and I feel SO good!  Hope you found 10 minutes or more to pray or chant or meditate for peace, thereby creating peace in you.

J2P Monday: Resistance to Health

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Last week I raised the issue of personal health relating to the health of the earth.  Continuing that exploration, this week I want to look at the many ways in which so very many of us know what would be good for us or what to do to be healthier but we choose not to do it.

On a constant basis I encounter:

  • people who’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure but eat fatty, high cholesterol foods and hope the medication will take care of it.
  • Diabetics who eat everything they’ve been told not to eat.
  • People who’ve been told they need to exercise but don’t do it.  By the dozens I’ve had people referred to me by body work professionals because my movement work would help them heal faster but they never show up.
  • People with arthritis who are given a list of foods to avoid and continue to eat all of them and movements to practice that they never do.
  • People who exercise to hard bodies and then are told they need to stretch to heal their issues but they won’t.
  • People who are sleep deprived but continually fail to sleep eight hours
  • People who pump themselves up with unhealthy energy boosts to make up for the lack of sleep.

I’m sure you could name examples from your life or the lives of people you know.

I believe there are many interesting questions behind those decisions.  At the core every time I choose not to do the thing that heals I’m literally deciding I don’t want to be healthy.  That’s the choice being made every time someone ignores the self-care possibilities that would lead to healing or feeling better.

Some of the questions I’ve learned to ask:

  • What do I (you) have to gain from holding on to the illness or pain?
  • Why do I (you) believe I (you) don’t deserve to be well?
  • What do I (you) fear will happen if I’m healed?
  • Why do I (you) not want to have power over my (your) own health?
  • Why do I need the Universe or a doctor or a practitioner to have more responsibility for my health than I do?
  • Do I (you) need the excuses that illness allows?
  • Why does my inner self believe I need this illness?
  • When and why did the pattern of this illness start?
  • What happened that caused my inner self to believe I’d be better off ill than healthy?
  • What does the nature or type of illness express about something in me?
  • If you are living a busy life in which many things that are less important than your health have priority over taking time to be healthy, why?  What do you believe about yourself and your right to feel good that causes you to give low priority to being healthy?  [This used to be a good question for me but since I decided a few years back to make getting healthy my only priority, it’s thankfully one I don’t ask any more]
  • Do I (you) feel you’re somehow more interesting or special if you have a food issue or illness or pain?  If so, why do you feel you aren’t interesting enough in yourself?

Many of those questions may require a therapist or some extensive sorting through your past, your ancestors, your issues, etc.  But you can also work on healing these questions with ho’oponopono.

Sometimes it’s easier to think of the questions and the topics for healing if you explore someone else’s life and make a list of the issues you see.  They’ll be yours anyway, so what the heck?  Then say the ho’oponopono prayer to heal them in you.

Some examples of using ho’oponopono on these issues:

  • For not taking care of the precious temple that is my body, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • Because I don’t value myself enough to do what I need to to be healthy, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For anything from the past that now dictates how I deal with my health, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For eating foods I shouldn’t eat, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For failing to exercise as much or as often as my body needs, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you I love you
  • For not loving myself enough to make my health a priority, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you
  • For whatever this illness is manifesting from within me, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you

I think the deep emotional issues and patterns that underlie this tendency to ignore health or to take only some aspects of needed healing and sidestep others has a lot to do with the way we treat the earth.  Heal your body, heal the world.

Note:  As a companion to these pieces about healing our bodies to heal the world, I’ve started some pieces over on my Scribblings blog about my personal journey through finding the health modalities that work for me.  The first one explores greens and raw foods in the diet.  From this point on I’ll try to get links going back and forth.

When the only change is energy…

from: http://www.vishvarupa.com/aum-om-omkara-pranava.html

Om

Julianne from Through a Peacock’s Eyes left a comment a couple of days ago in which she used her awesome ability to read energy and told me my energy has transformed a lot in the last couple of years.  I really appreciated getting the confirmation since shifted energy is all I can feel.  It set off swirls of thinking about trying to count progress when inner growth and changing energy are the only indicators.

Some years ago one of my teachers mentioned that one of her favorite things about hanging around with me was watching me constantly transforming.  It was a nice recognition of the fact that I have never stopped working on myself, doing practices, looking inward, releasing, etc.  Those confirmations help me because I get a little lost when all the change is energetic and/or inside.  Sometimes I start wondering if I’m just imagining I’m different or if anything has moved in my life.

When I started this path I was deeply unhappy.  Drawn to a therapist who used meditation and other metaphysically-based techniques, I loved the new world to which she introduced me but I was there to figure out how to be happy, how to find work I loved and wanted to do, to cope better in the world.  I DO cope better, but I’m financially far worse off than when I started and my outward life/world has changed very little.

Somewhere along the way the practices led me to value the spiritual side of the journey but I still have the desire to live a different and more fulfilling life.  Right now it’s pretty different because all the troubles with my health that have had to be dealt with as part of this journey have left me barely doing anything.  I have to dig deep quite often to find any faith that all of this work and changing and shifting energy actually leads somewhere; and that it leads somewhere I want to go…

Hmm…  Set out to have a better life and the two main outward indicators of progress are I’m poorer and I don’t do much.  Hmm…  But I’m calmer and kinder and healthier and I have found a hard won equanimity in which the world no longer buffets me easily from one emotional crisis to another.  I’m far healthier.  And my energy keeps changing.

Some days it’s hard to keep going along the path down which my intuition is leading me because I just want for life to change in measurable ways.  I’ve seen people wander away from this journey because their frustration at the seeming lack of progress became too great.  It has me wondering how many people give up when the journey outwardly seems to take them nowhere?

I feel my journey has moved so slowly because I am sort of a culminating point of ancestral issues and past life issues creating blocks throughout my being.  It’s taken years to clear away all the debris that’s had me stuck.  And it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of conversation out there about this kind of journey.  I know I’m not by any means alone at starting off with lots of movement and excitement and then running into a tangled web of issues that take forever to unwind.

How many people lose their way because there’s so little support or information about a long, slow slog through the dark night?  So much New Age style literature implies that you should be able to just change your “mind” in an instant and start living a different life.  I’ve seen very few people for whom it’s happened that fast; and of those it’s generally been people who have a dream not that far off from the life they already lead who achieve change so quickly.

Makes me happy again about all that tenacity and determination I got from my ancestors because this version of the journey is slow and frustrating.   I don’t know that I’d have stuck with it but for their legacy. I’m curious to hear stories from other bloggers of experiences — whether their own or friends’–with a slower, longer journey, keeping faith, etc.

Don’t forget it’s time to set time aside for Collective Prayer Sunday!