Walking the Circle of Life

 

Heal   Learn   Grow

Rest

balance happiness wholeness Oct 08, 2019

Our physical, mental, and emotional bodies are designed for balance and wholeness. Talk of proper diet, sufficient exercise, sunshine, and water abound. It isn't very often the conversation of sufficient rest arises. Human beings have decided, for the most part, that multi-tasking is a necessity and technology has taken this practice to unbelievable extremes.

Eating out is an education. Look around at other diners, even in gourmet restaurants. It is common to see people sitting together at a table using phones and tablets, never interacting or looking at one another. I'm not thinking of a group of friends sharing memories of favorite books and films or photos of a recent adventure.  That enhances conversation and can even quicken our memories of other details to be shared. I'm thinking of times when I was not able to interact with someone at a table because they never stopped texting. They say they are present with us but they are not.

Do they ever let their eyes, fingers, or...

Continue Reading...

I Am Not My Story

In 2000 the internet was still very new. I was still developing the habit of checking email every morning. As I checked early one morning, I discovered an email from a stranger who later became a delightful teacher and friend in my life. 

Jim Dreaver sent that email to yoga teachers to introduce his book The Way of Harmony. In the introduction, Jim presents the core insight of the book. These few sentences set me on the path of discovering my True Self: 

The core insight involves a subtle shift in the way you see yourself and your life. It is a stepping back, so to speak, and beginning to see that you are not the person you thought you were.

Specifically, you are not your "story." The reality you've created inside your head about who you are - your beliefs, personal history, attitudes, identity, and self-image - is not who you are.  (The Way of Harmony, pages 4-5)

For some of you, this is not new information. For...

Continue Reading...

First Thought

The importance of mindfulness, being aware of the present moment, is no longer new to most of us. Being aware of our own level of awareness is an ongoing practice. Mindfulness is easier in a yoga class because the teacher calls us to our breath and to what we are doing and experiencing in our bodies. In guided meditation, we are invited to focus on the flow of our breath and to notice our thoughts. How do we take all of this into our everyday lives?

I first noticed my own awareness levels when my first yoga teacher's voice began to live in my head. I would hear her guiding me to feel my breath or notice my thoughts when my mood shifted. Everyday things became lessons in mindfulness.

Intention is a powerful form of thought energy. It guides the flow and sets the tone for my experience. It is about consciously flowing with life rather than reacting or trying to control it. Awareness of my first thought reminds me to form a conscious intention for my day. How does this work?

...
Continue Reading...

Perfection - What It Truly Means

A book could be written about where this idea of being perfect originates but let's just deal with what is in this moment. I have been involved in countless conversations over the past forty years about how to be a better person, how to meet some standard that has been set, how to please God, gain God's favor, etc. I began looking into myself at a relatively young age. The Judeo-Christian standard set for me left me sad, frustrated and extremely good at judging myself. All of this self-flagellation brought little lasting change and an ongoing battle with low level depression. Ultimately, I became a bible teacher and was fortunate to receive solid training in how to study and interpret the bible. My certifications in Integrative Yoga Therapy and Primordial Sound Meditation confirmed the power of knowing and understanding historical context and the meaning of specific words. I was being set free.

For example, an Old Testament verse commands that a man must not wear women's...

Continue Reading...

When The Night Is Still

There are times when I wake at about 3:30 am. After a sip of water, I resettle myself and soon realize sleep will not return. When the weather allows, my windows are open so I fall asleep to cicadas, crickets or night bird songs. When I awaken in the wee hours, the night is still. So still that I can hear the white noise in my own head. In recent months I have found that it is getting easier for me to dissolve into this soft inner sound and return to sleep.

When sleep does not come, I simply have to surrender to the experience of resting without sleeping. This is called practicing restful awareness. I am grateful that frustration no longer arises when this happens. I have learned to meditate, pray for others or seek the inner wisdom I am needing for a decision.

The world is so unbelievably still during these hours. A gentle reminder that I also am created and designed for stillness. It is my fundamental nature, my True Self, the essence of my be-ing. It has...

Continue Reading...

Gratitude Opens the Heart

Years ago I attended a weekend retreat. I do not remember her name but I have never forgotten a simple, yet powerful statement she made:

                        Gratitude opens the heart for further blessings.

When we are overwhelmed by life, the body pulls into its center. It is a survival mechanism that shunts blood to the most vital internal organs. The body often literally curls in toward the base of the rib cage and navel. The circumstances that overwhelm can be physical, mental, emotional, or all three. The physical is most obvious, of course. Mental and emotional demands can create the same body responses but it is a bit more difficult to recognize the source. Picture where your physical heart is. Now, curl slightly forward and roll your shoulders down as you tip your head toward your waist. You are creating a physical haven for the heart.

This can be helpful in the face of immediate trauma; shut down, turn inward,...

Continue Reading...

Conscious Seeing

awareness soul reader Aug 27, 2019

I grew up hearing the phrase "The eyes are the windows to the soul." When my granddaughter was nine months old, this phrase came alive again for me. When she would meet someone she hadn't seen in a while or someone totally new to her, she would look deeply into their eyes for a very long time. She didn't blink. There was no challenge, no fear or confrontation. She was just looking. They asked us what she was doing, why she just kept looking into their eyes. Her parents' response was, "She just does that." I responded differently, "She is learning you; reading your soul." She was my little Soul Reader.

I have a new friend in my life, one of those instant connections with a familiarity and ease that seems paradoxical to the circumstances. We had a conversation last night about cities we had either visited or lived in. It was exciting and fun to share memories of experiences not shared, places not visited together. It was so fun! My friend looks into my eyes when we talk; as I do his....

Continue Reading...

Conscious Hugging

In his book Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh says:

Hugging is a beautiful Western custom, and we from the East would like to contribute the practice of conscious breathing to it. When you hold a child in your arms, or hug your mother, or your husband, or your friend, if you breathe in and out three times, your happiness will be multiplied at least tenfold.

Hugging in this way was taught to me by Joseph LePage, founder of Integrative Yoga Therapy. I was attending my basic certification to become a yoga teacher. When I arrived, Joseph held me and whispered "Breathe with me, Catherine." We took those three slow breaths and my world changed. He also taught me to go to my right (placing my left cheek against his left cheek) when hugging someone I wanted to draw close, aligning our hearts.

My original college major was nursing. In the neonatal unit, we learned to care for premature infants. The medical community was just realizing the importance of touch in the...

Continue Reading...

A Trusted Friend

friendship love trust Aug 13, 2019

One of my mentors, Richard Miller, reminds me from time to time that it is important to have a trusted friend to talk with when life is frustrating, challenging...well, you know how life can be. Mentors are often trusted friends as well. Richard is my Yoga Nidra Master. I can see his face and hear him chuckle at my calling him that. He would never describe himself as a Master. He has traveled the road ahead of me, both studying and living the path of non-duality and oneness. He is a source of trusted information and guidance, proven by his life and his work (http://www.irest.us/). For me, that defines a Master.

A trusted friend does not have to be the same person in every situation. One of my most trusted friends is the one I turn to with two specific needs. If I am holding on to something that disturbs my peace, I tell her all about it, with the intention of releasing it once and for all. It sets me free. If I am seeking to manifest something in...

Continue Reading...

Balance ⭐️ Harmony ⭐️ Wholeness

Human beings are designed for balance.  Homeostasis is the natural mechanism that functions 100% of the time to establish and maintain balance.  It is an automatic and wonderfully complex process.  Physical, mental and emotional balance are all part of homeostasis . What affects one, affects all - whether that effect is toward health and wholeness or imbalance and dis-ease. My lifestyle choices can make it easier for my bodymind to achieve balance and wholeness. I exhaust it when my lifestyle choices undermine the bodymind process.

I can raise my own awareness by asking myself these questions:  Am I helping or hurting myself?  What are the patterns in my life?  What do I want to experience? Do the choices I make in any given moment support or undermine my fundamental desires?

Have you known someone who is faced with overwhelming life challenges and yet remains loving, kind and able to find joy in small ways? Do you wonder where they find the...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.