Walking the Circle of Life

 

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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. Some weeks more times than not this is my experience. This time of year my windows are open so I fall asleep to cicadas, crickets or night bird songs. When I awaken now, the night is still. So still I can hear the white noise in my own head. Lately I have been able to dissolve into this soft inner sound and return to sleep. Not every time.

When it isn't happening, I simply have to surrender to the experience of resting without sleeping. I am grateful for the lack of frustration that arises now when the initial bouts of early arousal begin. Now, I 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 being. Once discovered, it became my oasis...

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Gratitude

Most of us have heard of and/or made gratitude lists. The speaker at a weekend retreat I attended said, "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, protect yourself. Staying there longer that necessary for survival is counter-productive and can be harmful for...

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Conscious Seeing

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 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 does she just keep looking into my 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....

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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. 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 (left cheeks touch) 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 lives of infants. One of our babies fit...

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True Self

divine love i am love paradox Apr 23, 2019

True Self - so simple it needs little said. So eternal it can be explored forever.

True Self is that essence of being that I Am. Often called one's spirit or soul, it is the eternal that outlives and transcends this third dimensional reality. It is Divine Love manifesting this bodymind. It is Divine Love manifesting in and through this bodymind. I could write lots of words about this. Lots and lots of words.

True Self transcends words. It is felt and experienced and known and quite indefinable. It is unseen and real in the sense that it outlives physical existence which is temporary, transitory. It is love, peace, oneness, wholeness. It is the Great I Am, Great Mystery, All That Is. It is the real or true me.

Third dimensional reality, this physical life, seems in opposition to this truth. Remember that the shadows give definition and clarity to the light (black and white photography is a beautiful example). Life presents us with paradoxes. In the end, it all comes back to Love...

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A Circular Walk

Sunset Park in Las Vegas is a great place to enjoy nature without leaving town. The county has created a desert park there which includes three circular trails that connect for walking, running, biking; leashed dogs are allowed. The thing I like best is that it is like entering a different world. It is a world of jack rabbits, cotton tails, road runners, lizards, and a wide variety of birds. A friend of mine walked on an unpaved trail once and spotted a coyote.

The sounds of traffic recede as you pick which loop to walk. There are times that it is so quiet I forget the city completely. People wave and say hi. Some would let me love on their dogs for a moment, which is helping to soothe my longing heart for my dogs who are no longer with me. We shared many of life's joys and challenges and I love them still. There were times I felt the sky was a painting displayed by the Creator just for me! The clouds were bright white against the blue sky and had that look of having been...

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A Fellow Traveler

While in Taos, New Mexico, I stepped into a gift shop because it had an alluring collection of rocks and crystals. As I browsed, I was in the zone and quite unaware of others around me.  A voice from behind me quietly said, "You are a fellow traveler."

Somewhat startled, I slowly turned and looked into the face of a man who smiled and looked into my eyes with a level of recognition not reflected in my own."Yes, I am on vacation," was my reply.  He chuckled quietly and said, "No, that isn't what I mean. I can see that you are on a conscious journey and that you like to explore the Universe."  My mouth hung open and my eyes widened.  There are many in my life, family included, who claim to know me well and who have never once recognized me in this way.

Humbled, I confirmed his insight and recognition of my true nature and met his smile with joy and gratitude.  Then he took me by surprise again.  "Will you look into my eyes and tell me what you see?" he...

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The Point of Balance

From "Zen Cards" by Daniel Levin:

The center is not always the point of balance. When you find that place where Balance is achieved, peace will result in all situations. There is no conflict, for everything rests without strain.

As I read this, I wonder.....then I pick up an un-sharpened No. 2 pencil. I lay it across one finger at its center point and  it falls off. Of course it does. The eraser end is heavier than the writing end. I move its resting point toward the eraser end. It balances.

So what? Well, balance is essential to our wellbeing. Healthy diet, reasonable amounts of exercise, fresh air, sleep, and the meeting of other physical needs keeps the body in balance. Attention to these things benefits our physical wellbeing. Many of these things are also necessary for mental and emotional balance, and thus, wellbeing. Too much sugar and not enough sleep directly affect how we react/respond to daily life. These two things can throw our mental/ emotional balance off very...

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