Tuesday, July 14, 2020

July 14--Time

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. 
--Rabindranath Tagore

     Author Gay Hendricks in "The Big Leap" discusses "Einstein time." His premise is that we create time, and we can create as much of it as we want. While this may sound completely wacko at first, it's true. I practice it. So, like the butterfly, I have time enough. One of my favorite quotes from the book is "You'll never have enough money to buy all the things you don't need, and you'll never have enough time to do all the things you don't want to do." Ponder that one for a bit!
     Clocks and our obsession with time are human inventions. Have you ever noticed how time flies when you are having fun, or how it drags when you are in unpleasant circumstances? That's because we create time. I can't explain it all here--read the book. Knowing that I create time helps me to stay in the present, as in the butterfly quote--not counting the future months but enjoying right now, relaxing because I don't need to be in a rush for any reason. 
     Please explore your personal understanding of time. It can be very enlightening!
     On time,

Monday, July 13, 2020

July 13--Appreciating Silence

Every word has consequences. Every silence, too. --Jean-Paul Sartre

     In other words, what we don't say can be just as potent as what we do say. Being a teacher in various ways, I do like to talk. I have, however, been encouraging myself to be silent and listen more than speaking. Fortunately I am not one who is uncomfortable with silence. I actually crave it. While some folks are content with music or TV chatter constantly surrounding them, I'm usually enjoying silence (or as close to silence as I can get). In our world that seems to be constantly making noise of some sort, silence is refreshing and calming.
     I'm off to appreciate the silence of swimming--just my breath and the water...ahhhh, peace.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

July 12--Where'd It Go?

Happiness rarely is absent; it is we that know not of its presence. 
--Maurice Maeterlinck

     Wise Abe Lincoln is credited with the quote, "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be." So happiness is a choice. Occasionally we forget that and think outer circumstances control where we are landing on the happy scale. Happiness is an inside job, so it is never absent. Alas, sometimes we forget where we put it.
     Several friends and I have a long-standing joke regarding happiness. One asked another, "Are you happy?" and the response was, "Well, I'm not skippy happy." I'd offer that there are degrees of happiness, from gentle contentment to ecstatic (skippy) happy. It's one of the joys of being human to experience the full spectrum of happiness. 
     I've been feeling some general angst lately. I work long hours during tax season to support my travel habit the rest of the year. All the travel plans I had have been cancelled. While I consider myself a "home body," I can only take so much "home" before I get a bit bonkers. I'm reminding myself that despite occasional angst, I am happy. That's the "bottom line" that matters most to me right now. 
     Doing the next right thing,

Saturday, July 11, 2020

July 11--Sweet!

That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.  --Emily Dickinson

     I'd have to say "melancholy sweet." I felt a bit melancholy when I first read this. Yes, it's the unique and unrepeatable experiences of life that make it so sweet, but dang, I'd sure like to hold on to or repeat some of those things. Life moves on. Ultimately I am quite grateful that we can't go backward, that we can't unlearn anything.
     Life is simply to be enjoyed. Abraham-Hicks tells us we are here for joy, expansion and freedom. All of those are quite sweet features of earthly life. Having lived well more than half my life, I often wonder if I'm enjoying life enough. The cursed "shoulds" escape their hiding place and show up in self-talk... "You should do more." I herd them back into the closet, reminding myself that I am happy, and generally, I'm doing what and as much as I want. Life holds plenty of opportunity for me, and that's sweet.
     One day at a time,

P.S. Another barn quilt completed.

Friday, July 10, 2020

July 10--Using Words with Care

Words are timeless. You should utter them or write them with a knowledge of their timelessness.  --Khalil Gibran

     Words can wound and words can heal. While I'd like to think that we remember loving, comforting, soothing words just as long as wounding ones, I doubt that's the case very often. Wounding words seem to stick within us, uncomfortably showing us their timelessness. I remember much more the times my parents lashed out at me rather than their offerings of praise or appreciation.
     Words, for me, are a way I express who I am. While I can't say that I LOVE to write, it's a part of my spiritual practice that keeps me connected to Spirit. I feel compelled to write. I also like that writing can be a legacy for me. Having written and published two books, I have something timeless of myself to leave my sons, should they someday be interested.
     My mother-in-law, Shirley, is astounding in her ability to use words effectively. She is hilarious, and she can accomplish great things with her very talented selection of words. She can politely rip you to shreds and leave you asking for more. Her sons and their families refer to the practice as "using our inner-Shirley" when we have to use words carefully and effectively in a challenging situation.
     How about we strive to keep our "timeless words" on the uplifting, positive end of the spectrum? I'm in.
     Breathe joyfully!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

July 9--Open Up

For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.  --Thich Nhat Hanh

     "Don't make assumptions." This is one of the Four Agreements described in the book by that name, written by Don Miguel Ruiz. Too often we go into a situation or a relationship with assumptions or pre-conceived "views" about it. I would venture a guess that in most cases this is not a very helpful practice.
     What if we went into each new encounter or circumstance with a childlike sense of wonder and curiosity? Just completely open, allowing it to simply unfold? Having pre-conceived views can easily lead to disappointment, misunderstanding, confusion and resentment.
     I had a lively discussion with a group of friends last evening about the upcoming presidential election. Abandoning our views about who we prefer to win, we all agreed that we want to be at peace and without fear relative to the outcome, able to dwell in a higher consciousness knowing that good is expanding no matter what the voting results. From a place of peace, faith becomes a powerful ally as "things reveal themselves to us."
     Practicing life,

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

July 8--Go for It

Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep to really sleep. When you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive.  --William Saroyan

     This quote says, to me, to full-out be yourself. One of the many things Ana Forrest brought to our attention in yoga teacher training was the societal pervasiveness of "women should be seen and not heard." So many of the young women were afraid to use their voices, to be fully present as their authentic selves. I, on the other hand, with two or three decades of age on them, was labeled by one fellow student as "bossy like my mom." Trust me, Forrest Yoga teacher training brings out "alive" in myriad ways.
     The pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate what "alive" means to us. For me, it has been a very deepening appreciation of the "typical day." I am breathing deeply as I teach Melt Method and yoga twice a week via Zoom, and in daily meditations. I am thoroughly enjoying my husband's excellent cooking, as we rarely eat out anymore. We laugh a lot, especially at our "so cute" dog, Barney. Sleep varies night to night at our age, and a good night's sleep is priceless. I do enjoy some self-righteous anger now and then, but I must say that serenity feels more alive to me than anger.
     Alive and appreciating this day,