Walking the Circle of Life

 

Heal   Learn   Grow

Releasing Judgement

I periodically travel across the United States to share time with my children and our extended family. It is a joy to share time and love and experiences with those I seldom see. So many unique faces and personalities; so many different levels of awareness. My own awareness level is changing almost daily and I am beginning to recognize how that affects my interactions with others.

I am reminded of biblical passages studied in my years as a bible teacher. In Matthew 13:3-9, Jesus tells the parable of the sower. He speaks of seed falling on different types of soil and what the outcome is of each. The seed is the same; the ground is what is different. The seed represents the truth. The ground represents those hearing the truth. In a later verse (Matthew 11:12) Jesus is quoted as saying "For whoever has, to him shall more be given..." I believe this speaks fundamentally to individual levels of awareness and openness. The more aware and open I am, the more aware and open I will...

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An Open Heart

hope love open heart Jan 14, 2020

Allowing yourself to love and be loved makes life sweet.

Keeping an open heart is a challenge as recent events involving the United States and Iran are unfolding. I remind myself of my own journey when our country came under attack on 9/11. I did not allow myself to watch t.v. until that night because I taught yoga all day. My responsibility to be grounded, present and loving for my students outweighed curiosity and any personal response on my part. In my classes I focused the practice on comforting our own hearts and minds and sending healing light and love to our brokenhearted country and to our world.

That night, when I returned home from my last class, I turned on the television for the first time. I sat down and watched the attacks. Once was enough. My mind wanted to shut down and refuse those images. My heart convulsed within my chest. My body began to wretch and I ran into the bathroom where I experienced a round of projectile vomiting. My entire being was trying to...

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TAKE ME AS I AM

This is an invitation rather than a challenge.

As a child, my father was stationed at Walker AFB, New Mexico (Roswell). And before you wonder, it was well after the UFO's landed so that was not the way I arrived on the planet (though others often doubt that)!  

I remember that my mother and her friends wore dresses or skirts most of the time. My mother had beautiful thick, dark red hair. I was five as I stood near her in our front yard as she chatted with a neighbor. The attention of the woman turned to me. I was an extremely shy and quiet child. My mother never shamed me for that; she simply accepted me. That day, I moved closer to her and stood almost behind her. She silently took the side of her full skirt and wrapped it around me, letting me hide in the folds of her dress. I felt safe.

Over time I learned to come out of my shell, to be social in spite of my innate shyness. I loved meeting people and going new places but it took effort to relax into those...

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Do No Harm

Ahimsa (अहिंसा, Ahiṃsā), loosely translated, means abstinence from violence either by thought, word, or deed. Non-injury requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand. In a positive sense, it implies compassion and cosmic love. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by love. The scriptures define ahimsa as the true sacrifice, forgiveness, power, and strength. At its core, ahimsa is based on the intentions of a person whose focus is to not harm anyone. (Krishna Maheshwari as quoted in www.hindupedia.com ).

Ahimsa is most often defined as "to do no harm."  When I attended certification training through Integrative Yoga Therapy with Joseph LePage, he sat with us quietly one evening under a tree and strummed his guitar. He sang to us in English, Spanish and Portuguese, soothing our minds, bodies and souls. We were exhausted from long days and nights of practice and study. As everyone settled and began to relax, he quietly told us that we would...

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A Natural Smile

joy love peace Oct 15, 2019

I have been practicing yoga for 30 years. My first experience as a student was during a most challenging and sad time in my life. Staying with my class in spite of intense emotions and exhaustion allowed me to go through that time without becoming ill.

One day, while cleaning house, I caught my reflection in a mirror and was shocked to see the look on my face. When had I lost my smile? Did I ever have a face that smiled naturally? I could not remember in that moment. I sat down and wept. My heart opened to a new, healing desire and a new mantra was born: May I have a face that smiles.

Here I am all these years later finding myself smiling as I walk, cook, watch television, read, put out the trash. The smile is natural, needing no stimulant. I wonder at times if I look a little goofy - smiling for no reason at all. I have heard people comment that they never trust anyone who smiles all the time. Now, that's goofy!

Oh, there are times when the soul smile fades a bit. Just before...

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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...

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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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