Savor the Day (excerpt)

IMG_1504

When working with children or even ourselves towards a behavioral change goal, it can be difficult to see the success. In setting a goal or an objective, one might make clear images as to how that NEEDS to look in order to be stamped as successful. However, I am learning and embracing the idea that success does not always match my preconceived notions nor does it always just “click” into place. There are steps and stages that link me to the celebratory objective fulfilled moment I am searching for.

I am training myself to celebrate and honor the small shifts. I believe that these small steps are the beginnings of the monumental change and cannot become such a wondrous thing unless we honor and motivate them.

There is so much I want to do to make my world a better place. There are so many mountains to climb and conquer. I am through thinking that focusing so intently on the big picture will get me there. I am taking much needed time to start small. Moment to moment I am thinking about what I can do to help create the things I desire. Most of the time, this is about carving out time to meditate and be good to myself. Enjoy my cup of tea. I have learned that if I simply sit and love that cup of tea, it creates a fluid sense of love and warmth coursing through my body. Now when I get up to help the kids or take on my next task I move with love and appreciation instead of rushed anxiety or emptiness.

I am practicing being with myself and savoring experiences. This is allowing me to make choices to shift and move towards something new with joy and motivation verses feeling forced to change myself and my habits. Savor the day moment to moment and move with it.

Begin Again

There is a voice inside me. It varies in volume but is ever constant. This voice is reminding me that I am on a journey. I am not done. I am not only who I was, but so much more I have forgotten and not yet discovered. 

Begin Again.

This is something I hear from deep within my body. my heart, my mind, my soul. When I hear these words I can become so powerful if I give myself the moment to say them out loud to myself. Honor these words and magic happens.

Begin Again. 

I drop the heavy load of guilt, shame, and judgement. I release the joy and pleasure into the universe. I make a contract with myself that there is no one beginning and no single end. 

Begin Again. 

I am vulnerable and meek. I am quiet and cautious. I am observing the world and all its power. I am taking notes. I  study the grace and strength of all around me. I take a pause with rage and anger. I am gentle and loving. I am pensive and full. 

Begin Again.

I am vibrating and steaming and boiling to the top. I can hear nothing but the sound of my own emotions. I spin with the force of generations of earth, wind, and fire. I am infinite in my powerful rage and fervor. I shake the core of my own existence with an outward tsunami of love and raw emotion. I am unstoppable until I am done and empty.

Begin Again. 

this voice can purify me. It can subdue me. It has the ability to motivate me to move mountains. If I listen and repeat, anything is possible. It is all inside waiting for me to breathe and release the transformative power. It is in me. I breathe. I believe. 

Begin Again. 

 

Turning it

A year of motivation and power – a year of DO it.

My mind was focusing on this over the weekend. And somehow in the marination and meditation of the Monday morning chill, these thoughts have shifted.

I am still feeling motivated and powerful. Maybe I am feeling more of this. Now I am breathing in and getting my thoughts, breath, and heart in sync so I can turn this impulsive fervor into calculated action. Decisions can be made in a breath without derailment or hesitation. That is the goal.

I am like the little man spinning straw to gold with each turn of the wheel.

Honor

My new routine involves me creeping out of the house in darkness. I attempt to move as swiftly and silently as possible so not to wake everyone sleeping. I ascend the steps to my car in darkness with some moonlight and the sound of the River singing the day arise. I drive to work in contemplative thought and discussion. Once at work, I go to my room and sit in darkness. Sometimes with some oil diffusing and sometimes with some music. I sit and drop into my willingness to be with the day in the best possible way. I practice yoga until it feels complete. Then, I sit again with the newness of myself.

And now I have added to this routine. I write.

I firmly believe this is more ritual than routine. I am connected.

Today my heart, body, and mind converged on a concept of Honor. Today I am charged with honoring the love. I am discovering that I want to be thankful for the love I have received in all forms at all times of my life. I want to honor the love I have given. In reflection of this I feel my breath deepen and know that this giving and receiving of love is breath. It is as essential and simple as breathing.

I am so grateful for those that have loved me throughout my journey. I am so grateful for the immense displays of conventional love as well as the man that stood in the rain and held the door for me this morning. The security guard that hollered “watch your step the floor is wet!”. I am grateful for such love. The love that came from the sleeping student in my class yesterday. I am thankful that he felt safe and comfortable enough to surrender to his needed rest. I am thankful for the kisses from my children as they recharge my soul and send me flung into the universe on a comet of love.

I am honoring myself for the love I have given. For the letters written, the drawings, paintings, and things made with love. The food I have prepared for others and myself. The presents, hugs given, and kisses shared. I honor the love I showed myself when I have stumbled out of despair to rise one more day no knowing why until now. The love that was bound in countless Yes’s and a few No’s. I am capable of such wondrous love and see now the intense beauty it has and the path it will take, the spiral and link to the love I have received and will continue to receive as long as I breathe or have someone’s thoughts breathed about me.

A dear friend said this morning that he is trying to live in the honor of someone whom he loved that recently passed. I think that is possibly one of the greatest things we all can do.

Live in honor of Love.

Give and Receive

Breathe

Love

A garden wall

It is a bustling day back to work and the air is crisp, biting, and awaiting direction from the wind. I am very aware that today is important. Always when I return back to my routine after I have spent time focused on prayer and meditation, those initials steps back into the regular rhythm of life are important. Especially if i have had time away from work, a holiday. Today I came to work early and filled all my water jugs to feed my plants and make tea. I sat in mediation, did yoga and sat again. I prayed for strength to stay focused on health and selfcare. I prayed for guidance in helping others and myself. I prayed for the understanding of boundaries and how to uphold them especially today. I knew I could easily take on more than needed.

I had a vision of a beautiful garden growing up around me creating a breathable, moveable, and glorious protective shield all around me. My garden wall shall wrap me and help me stay on my personal journey. The leaves and fresh blossoms wil caress me and adorne me. The wines will strengthen my limbs and help me to spread without breaking myself into pieces. I will walk through my day with my garden as my shield and inspiration.

The Birds will Guide You

This morning in meditation my throat hurt and my head was sore. I was feeling a little under the weather. I kept breathing to release and begin my yoga movement. The more I drifted away from the pain and annoyance of a possible cold coming on, the more I was absorbed in the sound of the birds. I don’t know if they became louder or I became more focused on them but it seemed as though they were in my head. Singing and taking me on a journey. Leading me and coaxing me to sing and let me head fall back to rejoice in the song.

 

Book Review: Braiding Sweetgrass

I love this book.

Unexpectedly, I received this book as a gift. A new friend was telling me about it. She was floating and swirling with emotion and passion as she spoke of this book I was so intrigued. I put it on my mental list of “get this book and read it”. What is truly amazing that although RF and I are new friends, she knew me well enough to realize my TBR pile is LONG. We are kindred spirits in that sometimes you read a book and you NEED to talk about it. You NEED to share it and know that it is wrapping up your loved ones in its wisdom and imagination. We saw each other on a retreat in April when she was gushing over this book. In May she presented me with the book and I was overjoyed.

I wasn’t sure what to expect and found myself pulled into this book with self examining interest. Although it isn’t a book about self healing and change, it is exactly was it became. I appreciate the opportunity to look deeply into my own practice of reciprocity and my relationship with our natural world. I discovered a liberation in sorts and began to embrace gratitude on a whole new level. “Braiding Sweetgrass” has begun to assist me in understanding my role in global harmony and change.

 

Approaching the New Year

The Post Christmas Pre New year window has always been a stressful time for me. I noticed an increase in relief when I let go of making plans for New Year Eve’s festivities. The year I decided that I didn’t need to be somewhere special or with someone special in order to conjure up good things to come was the year that I began to find some peace with this emotionally charged time of the year.

This year I was hoping to relax and disconnect from everything that is swirling in my mind a million miles an hour. That however is not in the Universe’s plan. I was silly to think that disconnection would ever be in the Universe’s Plan for me. Christmas Day brought me what felt like endless waves of emotional discomfort, being rushed, ignored, and angry. I tried to articulate my feelings, send up the flares that I was in need of some help to process. Looking back I realize my mistake was in looking to someone else to help me through instead of spending the time to look within and find my answers and strength.

Christmas night I walked alone. I walked and walked. I sat and watched the water and the moon. I listened. I sat still and listened to my heart. I am taking time now to seek comfort within myself. I am taking time to allow myself to work through what is unfolding. This process may seem trivial to others. I am on a journey. I know this.  I have spent a lot of time recently trying to build a communities,  teams of emotional support and guidance. I have poured myself into relationships and I am feeling alone and exhausted from the efforts. I am looking around and realizing that I am going to redirect my energy into my own body and mind and build that community.

I am engaging in my morning ritual of meditation, yoga, and prayer. I was wavering on this practice, but now I feel peaceful and committed to my practice. Two days ago I went outside and practiced in the rain. As it misted over my skin and I stood in warrior, I felt a voice call out “Power and Motivation.” It became a mantra through every asana and breath. Power and Motivation will thrust me into the day and guide me. The next morning I sat and sank into Dirgha breath as the wind blew the large leaves around me. It whispered “Open and be Willing.” I unfolded and allowed my self to float in love with what was and what is to come.  This morning I sat. I breathed. I moved when an impulse took me. I allowed my body to go wherever it was driven. I felt nothing. I breathed and allowed my impulse to move me. I did this not planning out my sequence or even opening my eyes. I dropped into someplace of purity between breaths, a place of prayer. And then it came, the voice inside asked me to purge. To let go. I felt another whisper reminding me not control what that means but allow. I took a deep breath and agreed to let go today. Then my body said step forward, step out of that puddle and into New.

I am listening. I am creating. I am breathing. I am letting go.

Stepping out of the puddle into New.

Things Change

I am sitting outside on my deck getting some much deserved reading and relaxing done. The glorious babble of our river lulls me into quiet gratitude and joy. As I am looking up from my pages, I notice a few dried leaves cascading to the grass from the canopy above.

It is happening. Already. I feel the pang of wanting summer to last forever. I feel the need to capture my time in a jar with fireflies and laughter. I hear a soft cry hanging on to the wind and realize it came from me.

Things change. Life moves.

In that moment I remind myself of the apple picking to come and the amazing crisp bite to the air. I think of the cozy blankets cuddles and the warm cider kissing my lips. I allow myself to feel excited for the squeals of delight at our first snow. I welcome the thoughts of sledding, baking, and wrapping presents. This delight gives way to seeds and garden plans. Then onto another splash in the river and harvest in the sun.

Change can be so thrilling when I see it through a lens of joy. Knowing that it can be challenging and sometimes difficult. Yet I greet it with compassion and kindness for all the wonder it continues to bring.

Magic of Foxes

Not too long ago, we noticed a large dirt mound on our hill. It had not been there before and it was strange how it seem to simply appear. My husband climbed over the railing of our steps to take a closer look. He reported back that it was a large hole, like a den some animal has built.

Then the most amazing transformation happened to our household this week. An adorable family of foxes emerged. From what we have seen there are four babies. They tumble around the woods and race around with their lunches hanging out of their mouths. It is exciting and soothing all at once. Everyone in our family is so in love it is invigorating. Yesterday we spent most of the day watching them race around and watch us watching them. It is wonderful what they have released in us. I am so grateful for this new bit of life and joy in our world.

My daughter desperately wanted a fox from Santa Claus. A real fox she could have as a pet. We convinced her that it would not and could not happen. She kept believing that a fox would come to her. So this experience has caused a sense of hope and universal connection for us all. She believes they are there because of her wish.

We have been doing research and learning about foxes. We have told the children that we are going to do our best to live in harmony with the fox family. We are happy to learn that they will help limit the rodent and tick population as both of these felt out of control. Maybe the Universe answered my pleas for help on both accounts. The foxes are here and we welcome them with open hearts to our River Cottage.