Have you ever thought about “opportunities missed”. I have. After further consideration about this, for me they cannot be referred to as “opportunities” but rather portal openings into the dimension of possibility. By this I mean that something happens (a card, a conversation, an insight during meditation) and I’ll say “WOW! … Let’s take a look at that later”. Then I don’t,… and when the attempt is made to rekindle the moment, it just doesn’t happen and if it does, not in the way I could feel the intensity of its original presence, inviting me to explore my inner resources further with the guidance of something much wiser than myself.
During a recent bout with Lymes, I was cleaning off my desk and found a card sent by a friend. It had a message about the dolphins, said to be incredible healers. Desperately needing a nap, I decided to sit with this dolphin energy. All that can be said is that it was one of the most amazing experiences watching “mechanizations” appear in my mind’s eye to cleanse my blood, watching it turn from thick, gooey and black with white stripples to a healthy, rich black with thick, glimmering ruby veins running thru it. The nap alarm went off and instead of staying with this journey for a bit longer (the timer was for 20 minutes)… I got up because there things and people requiring my attention.
In reflection afterwards, I felt like I may have missed delving further into this dimension of possibility,… as if Jesus or Buddah or Einstein came to spend time with me and I could only “give them” 20 minutes of my time. This raised the question for me, “ How did I become so self important as to let pass by the possibility for enhancing my state of well-being… for enhancing that connection?”
Another lesson learned,…
Each item placed in the bag evoked a memory. Among the treasures was jewelry bought back in the 80’s and coins found in the bottom of a thrift shop purse. Each at the time was an affirmation of success or of Providence extending her hand with the suggestion of hidden treasure.
It was time again to dispose of things taking up space in the heart as well as on the shelf. There was a level of expectation that each item would be of great value so she called around to make an appointment with procurers of jewelry and coin. Having found someone with the facade of honesty, she called and scheduled an appointment.
Sitting in a substantial leather chair at a generous table, it was clear this was a place where sizeable sums of money were exchanged and she watched as the buyer began to appraise the items. His hands moved like a blackjack dealer in segregating the objects into their appropriate lots. When all was said and done, he delivered his proclamation of value. Wry amusement began to flit through her mind and the anticipated windfall vaporized before her eyes. As her gaze settled on one assembly of coins, she began contemplating the concept of value,… the worth placed on what we value in our lives.
She began to contemplate a significant personal relationship, greatly valued and recently in distress. It was unknown if communication was merely suspended or ultimately terminated. Emotionally rumpled from the impenetrable silence, she began to consider that perhaps what she valued and invested in this relationship did not have the same value for the other. Most most troubling was the apparent disparity in the valuation of the relationship.
This seemingly innocent experience (of “cleaning house”) brought an unexpected treasure to the level of awareness. That being aware of what is valued is more important than having items of value. That what we value might not have the same level of worth as another,… and that’s OK. That sometimes relationships shift and that new relationships will materialize.
Just for today, take a look at what you value,… is it money, beliefs/thoughts, relationships? Do you hold so firmly onto that value that there is no room for it to be reconsidered? Are you willing to release what you have to make room for what you want? Taking a look at this may be challenging,… yet in the end you will be more clear and willing to access hidden treasures of your own.
This past weekend while riding the bike trail back from Allaire State Park, my eye caught this expansive, green field,… and it invited me to take a time-out. Since the wind was strongly pushing against me on the way out as well as on the way back, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a breather.
I walked out into the field and after inspecting for goose poo, found the perfect spot to lay down in the soft, lush grass. There was a large tree in the middle of the field just coming into bloom and looking up, there where large puffy clouds circumnavigating the sky. I closed my eyes and began to take in the sensory data around me,… a light, clean fresh scent in the air,… it was slightly cool when it first entered my nostrils,… the ground beneath me was soft yet held me firmly,… and the sounds of various birds lifted my spirit as though I were flying with them.
I felt my heart-rate as well as breathing begin to slow. They became more rhythmic and soothing and the tension in my body begin to dissipate. It was then I became aware of the sounds of motorcycle racing at Wall Stadium! It was like a buzz-saw in my auditory canal, almost drowning out all of the other more desirable and relaxing sensory data. I could feel myself starting to get annoyed by this unwelcomed intrusion and then, as quickly as I’d recognized the sounds of the racing and the effects it was having on my “moment”, I decided to see what would happen if my attention became more focused on the nature sounds. Directing my attention to the birds, the feeling of connection with the Earth and the breeze actually resulted in less of an awareness of the sound at Wall Stadium. I was excited about this revelation and continued to lay, immersing myself in the breeze, birds and feeling of the Earth. After a bit, opening my eyes revealed a spectacle of barn swallows swooping and diving all around me. It were as if in that moment I’d become a part of that scene and I left feeling amazing.
Just for today, make a conscious choice about what will be your focal point in any given moment. Become aware of where you are putting your attention and if it is not filling you with joy, amusement, pleasure, peace, then,… you may want to make another choice!
Has February been as challenging for you as it has for me? After being sidelined with a sinus infection (the teeth hurting, ice pick stabbing you in the eye, dry coughing, mouth breathing kind of sinus situation), there came a point I was definitely on my way to clear breathing. I was thinking how wonderful it was to be on the other side of all that and started coughing. Suddenly, my knees buckled and pain seared through my lumbar. My low back, my “Achilles’s Heal”, felt like someone pulled the plug out. It even hurt to breathe. Fearing I’d herniated something, a trip to an emergency care center hooked me up with some pharmaceutical grade pain relief and a sense of relief that I’d (only) probably severely strained the muscles. It’s 10 days now since that happened and I’m relieved to see that this will resolve. Perhaps not as quickly as I would like yet it will resolve.
February has been an immensely humbling experience. My personal preference is to allow the body to use its innate healing wisdom to take care of health challenges and help where possible. With the sinus infection I’d used nasal strips for congestion as well as herbal steams, saline spray, elderberry syrup, manuka honey, goldenseal tincture and rested. My body had in fact taken care of the infection in 10 days. While it was hugely inconvenient and financially stressful, I used the time to catch up on webinars and reading. Keep your eye out for some very helpful information about cold and flu interventions to be posted here.
The back pain was something else. I was really concerned about the intensity and more than that, the incredible limitation of movement. I even needed help getting in and out of the car and putting my socks on! On the affirmative side, it gave me new insight into the experience of pain as well as the effects of pain on the body and mind. It is difficult for those who haven’t experienced intense, debilitating, continuing pain to recognize the effect on one’s state of mind. Between the cold, grey days of February, to be out for the count with the sinus infection and then to be disabled by a cough, there were times when I felt myself starting to drift to darker state of mind. At some point, a snippet of wisdom from recent readings led me to the acknowledgment that regardless of my state of mind, the situation was going to be what it was and that I could be in that situation in one of two ways – disheartened or find ways to uplift my state of mind by investing in that which enriches my heart and mind. This has certainly been a practice in conscious choices and has made the month thus far more palatable.
Looking forward to March!
I’ve spent the past few days doing a lot of reading,… from assorted papers on my desk to articles squirreled away in files to several books, one of which deals with my favorite subject: the brain. I find it fascinating that this 3 pound wonder orchestrates the 3 sacred aspects of being: body (movement), mind (intelligence) and spirit (emotions and behavior).
The unfathomable brain interprets data entered in microseconds and responds to that data by releasing a surge of neurochemicals. The result of this: actions/responses which may or may not be consistent with an intention. In the case of unintended actions, this may be attributed to a lack of consciousness about the data input. You know,… when you say something and then with a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach think “What did I just do?”. I call this “being *ssified”. It is only recently (in an effort to become more conscious of my choice of response) that I literally have a discussion with myself to modify the data presented to my brain for interpretation and response.
The more I learn about the brain and its functions, the more excited I become while pondering: how can one become more conscious about the data chosen to be entered?
Mindfulness! We’re hearing this word a lot thanks to writers like Jon Kabat-Zinn as well as by an increase in yoga studios and meditation offerings. Mindfulness is the act of bringing awareness to the present moment, observing it and allowing it to be the teacher revealing our subterranean dreams and fears. This is no small task given many of us can’t sit still for long enough to complete a full exhalation however, the alternative is to be subject to destructive, impulsive acts of self-expression resulting in internal dis-satisfaction.
Studies show that mindfulness practices (like meditation and yoga) reduce depression, anxiety and stress while increasing working memory, creativity and focus (http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx). You should know incense or a yoga mat aren’t necessarily a requirement,… mindfulness can be practiced just about anytime and anywhere. Gardening, walking, and even brushing the cat can become times for inner reflection and self-awareness.
WARNING: By extracting time from your day to experience mindfulness, there will be an amplification in your sense of inner peace.
“Your perception of me is a reflection of you. My reaction to you is an awareness in me.” Author unknown
On my wish list of things to accomplish was “start a blog”. This wish kept moving to the back of the list because there never seemed to be enough time to sit and decipher the logistics of doing so. That was until this past week when a head cold sidelined me.
During this downtime, I began to catch up on my reading. It was this that actually got me motivated to pull out my decoding ring and crack the cyber-mystery of blogging. I really wanted to share fascinating information I was finding, and blogging seemed a great way to do it. With a little patience, the mystery turned out not to be so mysterious.
I hope what is shared here will help to crack the mysteries that you come upon!