The Elusive Art of Meditation

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing an energy session with a new client when meditating came up. I meant to post about it at the time, but summer life and our family “staycation” gave me the excuses that I needed to just be lazy. However today during a session, the same topic came up again! Funny how that happens.So here’s the thing. I am finding that many people are too afraid to begin meditating because of the fear of doing it “wrong”. What we discovered during that last session was that this particular client (not unlike my own mother) loved to work in her garden. This was her meditation! Her goal for that week was to just sit and be in her garden. To close her eyes and feel the warmth of the sun on her head and to visualize this warmth going down and through her entire body. This could last 30 seconds or 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter. That’s the beauty of meditation. There is no right or wrong way to do it really. There is just what works for you. Finding those moments during your day when you can sit and breathe and feel that sense of peace throughout your body. It’s less about how long you meditate and more about just learning to carve out moments throughout your days/weeks for you to reconnect and find that peace. 

How do you integrate meditation into your daily life? What does it look like for you?

“Happy Little Accidents”

splashLandscape
“There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.”
― Bob Ross

This morning, after drinking about 1/4 of my cup of coffee, I realized that it was time to take the kids to school. I poured my coffee into a travel mug and was attempting to put on the lid, when I noticed that it wasn’t going on because the rubber stopper in the lid had come out of place. Worse yet, in my attempts to put on the lid, little black pieces of the stopper had fallen into my coffee. Bummer. I dumped it down the drain, figured that I wasn’t meant to have coffee this morning, and took the kids to school.
When I got home, I decided to boil some water to make some tea instead. The plan was to have a cup of tea and meditate, but I got side-tracked (surprise, surprise!), and began to crochet instead. I heard the tea-pot whistle, got up to go pour it into my cup and that’s when I saw it. On the little paper connected to the tea bag was the word “Connect!”. As you can imagine, I had to laugh at myself for that one. I put down my crochet and sat in my chair. Happy little accident indeed. Had my coffee not gotten messed up this morning, I probably wouldn’t have made tea which means that I would have wasted my morning crocheting instead of meditating (not that crochet is a waste, but you get the picture).
So what it comes down to is this: maybe Bob Ross was onto something. Maybe there are truly no mistakes, just happy accidents. And here we are again circling back to a recurring theme in my life. Perspective and Choice. I could have gotten mad about the coffee. It could have “ruined” my morning. Instead, that little mishap ended up making my morning better. So today, I thank God for ruined coffee 🙂

The Task Tornado

It’s a scary image in and of itself, but imagine this happening within you. I call it (as of this morning) the “task tornado”. We’ve all felt it. We have “a million things” that we have to do and the more we think about it, the bigger the list feels, the tighter our chest gets, and the more overwhelmed we get until…du du du…our list has gone from storm warning to full on tornado! Uhg. How did that happen?

I was given an image this morning as I was talking to a friend. I saw 4 or 5 little dots, aka tasks, spotted around her. Then I was shown how frustration, anger, impatience, feed into and grow these “dots” until they start spinning out of control and become this whirlwind that feels larger than life. It happens to all of us. I currently have a full-page list of “to-do’s” for my day ranging from calling doctors to set up appointments to a whole sublist under the “get ready for my daughter’s birthday party” task. Sadly write blog post was not even on my list! So how do we get out from under the rubble after the tornado has hit?

First, close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Ahhh, better already. Then, begin to pull those tasks apart. Organize them by what must be done today to what can be done this week. I think that it’s very important to recognize the role that impatience plays in all of this. What is impatience really? For me, it’s when I have a timeline that I have placed on those around me. I get frustrated and angry when they don’t finish their task on my schedule. The unfortunate part is twofold: 1- either I have failed to tell them about my timeline OR have failed to tell them about the task (no, thinking it in your head doesn’t count); and 2-sometimes the tornado itself has created the timeline. In other words, sometimes the urgency that you feel in completing the task was actually created in the chaos and not necessarily as urgent as it may have felt. Does that make sense?

Awareness of your tornado is the first step to slowing it down to a manageable level. That being said, I am putting “close eyes and breathe” at the top and adding “write blog post” to my list so that I can cross off 2 tasks already for today 🙂 There’s nothing like seeing a check on my list to give me momentum!

Have a wonderful Monday everyone! Here’s to keeping the tornado warnings to a minimum this week.

Ask and You Shall Receive…

Okay, so that’s just funny. I just typed the title of this post into Google Images, and this was one of the pictures that came up 🙂 Not quite where I was about to go with this post, but okay. Pretty funny.

Now that I’ve got your attention, time to get down to what I really wanted to post about. The stomach bug (sorry Bradley Cooper). That thing has been going through our schools and unfortunately, over the last week, through our children with a vengeance. Today, my friend/neighbor/carpool buddy called to tell me that one of her sons woke up this morning looking grey and saying that his stomach was hurting. Uh-oh. Naturally, I offered to give him an energy treatment to see if we could keep this thing from really sinking in over in  her house. Two kids at our house was bad enough, I can only imagine the war zone it would be if it took hold of her four…I would have to crochet some Lysol holsters for her to strap on…but I digress.

So as I was giving her son energy, I noticed that he was very depleted. I would fill, check and see that he was getting better, but still depleted. I started thinking about how when we are depleted, we are more susceptible to picking up all the yuckies that are floating around us and hanging out on doorknobs, etc and started wondering. Yes, I have this knowledge and yes, I have the ability to keep us all “filled”, but do I really have the time to devote to giving my entire family (and my friends and their families) energy treatments every morning? The answer is no. I really don’t. I would love to, but I can’t. So how do we protect our families from unnecessary illnesses? It was at that point that I asked God to fill all of his energy points. No sooner were the “thought words” out, than I heard, “okay, done.” Really?!?! Ahh, yes. Really. Ask and you shall receive, right? And quickly. I checked him again, and sure enough. Completely full and in balance. Just. Like. That.

I called my friend about 15 minutes later to tell her about what had happened and she said that her son had– the moment before the phone rang–just come down and said he was hungry. Amazing.

I think that sometimes we forget. We forget that we are not in this thing all alone. We forget that it’s not actually all in our control, and thank goodness, not all in our hands. That would be a lot to hold!

So instead of taking a few hours every morning to do energy work on all my family and friends, how about asking for God to take care of them? Keep them healthy and safe and know and trust that it is not such a huge task when I just ask.

Healing with Flowers?

Healing with Flowers?

Disease is solely and purely corrective; it is neither vindictive nor cruel, but it is the means adopted by our own souls to point out to us our faults, to prevent our making greater errors, to hinder us from doing more harm, and to bring us back to the path of Truth and Light from which we should never have strayed.

-Edward Back in his Collected Writings

Recently I have begun to dive into the world of Bach Flower Remedies with a passion. If I could buy all 38 of them and try them out on my own at different times (or with volunteers), I would. Wait, I suppose I could do that but don’t currently have the extra money falling out of my pockets…some day.

Anyway, after reading Vinton McCabe’s The Healing Bouquet: Exploring Bach Flower Remedies, I identified a few remedies that I myself might benefit from taking. Here’s the thing about healing your life (whether from disease or old thought patterns, whatever), it can be really hard! I will be the first to admit that it’s ridiculously difficult to look at yourself and focus on your shortcomings or character “flaws”, but over the last several years I have also become very aware that if you want to move forward with health and joy, this is exactly what you need to do! Uhg to exploring and dissecting yourself. So much easier to do with others 😉

So there’s a part in this book–I will paraphrase as I have no idea where to find it off the top of my head–where it talks about how difficult it can be to see these negative characteristics in ourselves. He says that our answers often lie in our biggest pet peeves. Nooooooo!!!! Yes. So what drives me crazy? When people that I love don’t see themselves for the amazing, beautiful, capable beings that they are. When they lack self-confidence in everyday life and especially regarding things that I (and probably everyone else around them) can see that they are amazing at doing. It really bothers me. Hmmmm.

larch

Sooooo…that being said, I started taking Larch (pictured above–follow the link to see other beautiful photos of flowers and pottery creations). Dr. Bach says that this remedy is “for those who do not consider themselves as good or capable as those around them, who expect failure, who feel that they will never be a success, and so do not venture or make a strong enough attempt to succeed.”

Eek. Could that be me? Yes. Sadly, it could. I will spare you the uneventful, very simple reason that I have had self-confidence issues all my life and just admit it. This is true. This is me. This book helped me realize it and about the same time that I was reading this book, I was looking online one day and found some really great energy workers who were offering meditation classes, etc. As I looked at the bio page, I saw that they had been doing this for 3 years. 3 years! And already they started a website offering energy and meditation workshops, etc. And it hit me. I have been doing energy and meditating for nearly 13 years and have been off medicines for my RA and have had no problems with it since…never once did it occur to me that I was capable or qualified to teach. Crazy right?!

I started taking the Larch about 2 weeks ago. Since then, I have offered and hosted/taught my first beginning meditation class out of my house. It was only a handful of people that I feel comfortable with, but it went really well! Surprisingly well I would say. And the best part about it is that they asked for more. So we are continuing this class every other week and I look forward to watching as each of my friends begins to find more peace in their everyday lives. More quiet to reflect. And hopefully the calm to begin to hear that inner voice, that whisper, that we so often miss.

Healing with flowers Dr. Bach? I’m starting to think he might have been onto something…

To Our Health! (and maybe I was a little bit wrong)

Normally, when I write, I try to first connect so that I can “speak” from a place of higher understanding. The other day I did not. Not fully. I even admitted that in my post. I wrote, “I thought very hard about this and I believe the answer is a simple one: let it go.” Sometimes “thinking” is the problem when it comes to big issues. We trust our logical, very intelligent ;), heads rather than the whisper that comes from our hearts. Well, since I wrote that blog, I have had neck and upper back/shoulder pain that…well, really hurts. And I don’t like not being able to turn my head without that jab of pain, so I am thinking that I am meant to go back and truly listen.

I believe that what I was missing was a crucial step. One that I have spent a lifetime working on. Speaking up. Talking about the problem, trying to work it out, expressing how I’m feeling and trusting that that person will not love me any less for having these feelings or opinions. Maybe, in fact, “letting go” and forgiving has a crucial place, but in my zeal to avoid the part of the lesson that is most difficult for me, I skipped the part before letting go: communicating. And here’s the key…it actually works better if you communicate from a place of calm, from your heart. Issues don’t get resolved when you wait for everything to come to a head and then lay it all out on the table with extra helpings of anger and defensiveness on the side. Instead, everyone leaves the table with sadness in their hearts and truly nothing gets resolved. Just brace yourself for that next dinner party when the same exact menu is served.

So here’s a toast to communicating. To clearing the table and making room for some new menu items to discuss. Hopefully at our next dinner party we won’t be showing up with the same foods that we know nobody likes 🙂

Sticks and Stones…

 My mom always says that this little rhyme is completely false. I tend to agree. After all, bones can heal. Our physical bodies can heal. But the words that people say to us, whether intentionally unkind or not, leave scars.

I thought that once I got the big picture, once I had a handle on these amazing universal truths, the words of others would no longer have the same effect. Unfortunately, I thought wrong. Yes, I might now understand why someone says the things that they do or why someone behaves the way that they do, but that doesn’t always make it better. The pain is still there; the hurt remains.

So how do I release these feelings rather than allow them to begin decomposing me from the inside out? I have thought very hard about this and I believe that the answer is a simple one: let it go. Afterall, what do you change by continuing to think about it? Does thinking about it or even approaching the person change the words that were said? Absolutely not. It could give you clarity, it could make it feel a little better, but I can guarantee that those words are still in the back of your mind (or in your heart) and you will use them as justification as to why you need a wall or a shield in the future when dealing with that person. But that’s not healthy either. Building walls to keep us “safe” only keeps us from truly experiencing the amazing things that come from having meaningful relationships with people. Let it go. Holding on, thinking about it only does one thing: it makes you feel bad. I’m not saying letting go is easy. I’m just saying that truly forgiving does not necessarily entail an apology from the other person. Truly forgiving takes only one person: you. So today that is what I’m working on. Truly forgiving and letting go. Wish me luck!

Moving Forward

I am in a new phase of my life. A “taking care of me” phase. It doesn’t happen as often as I would like (especially while the kids are out of school for the summer), but occasionally I allow myself the time and the space to do something for myself.

Yesterday it was an amazing yoga therapy session with a dear friend. I have now had 3 sessions with her over the past few months, and each session has provided me one (or more) of those “ah-ha” moments followed by a period of letting go, opening up, and moving forward. It is truly a gift! So yesterday, I had this amazing yoga therapy session. Afterwards, I gave her an energy session that was equally as enlightening for both of us. I left this portion of my day feeling blessed and centered and truly joyful…and then the day went on. Slowly, I started thinking about all the things that I had to do by Friday and started worrying about how I was going to get it all done. Over the next few hours, my energy dropped, my tasking mind took control and by the time my husband got home from work,  and I left to go to the store (sans kids) to get stuff that I felt I needed to get by last night or the world would crumble (not), my left hip started hurting. This should have been my clue to center and listen, but I ignored it. By the time I got home, that pain was so strong, that I could barely sit down without bracing myself. But by this time, some more things had gone “wrong” and I really was in no place to sit and listen. So I went to bed and suffered through the night. I was a prisoner to sleeping on my back as it hurt to lay on either side and the pain would wake me up every time I attempted to roll over. When I woke this morning, I came downstairs and sat in my “zen den” to finally listen. Clearly my spirit wasn’t going to let me get through another day without doing so! I raised my energy and listened. Surprise surprise, my energy was low yesterday afternoon, I was tasking from a negative place rather than checking things off my list in a joyful way (yes, it is possible to get things done while maintaining your energy in your heart or in a positive way) and my spirit wanted me to gain this awareness. Simple lesson…but not if I ignore it 😉 Would you believe that as I got up from my meditation–and braced myself for the pain as I did so–the pain was gone? GONE! I still am utterly amazed at how quickly things can change, even the physical, when we listen and make a shift.

But the key is in the last part of that sentence. I have been shown over the last couple of months that this is the essential piece that we don’t always get. It is not always enough (not ever) to just “get the message”. I strongly believe that we can all experience health and joy if we are willing to take the next step. I mention it on my page about energy sessions. You can and will receive the positive benefits of energy when you do a session if you are open to receiving. But how long will that last? A day? A week? A month? A lifetime? I feel like this is where your responsibility in your own healing comes in. How long are you willing to “take care of  you”? I am aware that I stumble. We all do. My shift has been that I am becoming an active participant in my health and my joy. Sometimes that means that I have to do what is uncomfortable or scary to move forward. Other times it’s as easy recognizing where my energy is and then doing something about it. Message. Action. Repeat. It’s a beautiful journey…even when we stumble. The joy is in continuing to move forward.

Wishing you all a pain-less day filled with joy and love.

Maria

Honoring My Authentic Self

This week I have been bombarded with messages about honoring my authentic self. It started with my good friend, Teri’s, post http://saygoodbyeguru.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/mirror-mirror/, the next day from another dear friend, MoJo http://momentumofjoy.com/2012/07/30/facing-my-fear/ and finally later that day I received a DailyOm that talked about carrying on the fears of our parents. Not only did these posts pop up over the past week, but I am blessed with daily “nags” (as we affectionately call them) from my beautiful and enlightened friend and neighbor, Christina who has just begun her blog, http://positivelyengaging.wordpress.com/.

If ever God, my spirit, my guides/angels were giving me a sign, then this was the week! And yet, I have been stuck.  I saw and knew that I was meant to recognize this and write about it, but didn’t know where to start. As I have said before, I am the queen of baby steps. I have been practicing energy work for nearly 12 years now and while I have felt safe with a certain group (mostly other energy workers and a small group of friends) knowing this part of me and my life, I have for some reason otherwise kept this part of myself hidden. Was it fear? Absolutely!!!! I have fears tied to self-worth; fears about not being good enough; fears about what others will think if they knew this side of my spirituality; fears that although I have experienced miraculous healing through energy work, others who haven’t known me that long won’t recognize/know this. The list goes on, but you can see the common theme. Fear.

I was taught a long time ago that there are 2 ends to the spectrum: fear and love. I know this with all my heart, and yet for so long, I allowed fear to keep me from moving forward on this beautiful path. I allowed my fear to shadow my authentic self. But guess what? I am no longer ok with that! Fear clouds us from doing and being who we are truly meant to be. Fear blocks us from what God has intended for us. Fear, not hate, is the opposite of love and if we are living in fear, we are closing ourselves off to the most amazing thing in the world and all that it can potentially bring to us: health, joy, true friendships, limitless possibilities for where we can go and what we can do. Love.

Nearly 2 months ago, I started shedding these fears. My first step was beginning this blog. Since then, my baby steps have turned into leaps and bounds! I have opened up to many of my friends and have been met with (gasp!) acceptance! I have begun offering energy sessions to people outside that little circle and have seen some truly amazing results. And here’s the kicker, since releasing some of those fears (yes, I recognize that I still have some work to do, but don’t we all?), I have found myself being surrounded with people who reflect where I am right now. They support me with love and acceptance. What a beautiful thing! I feel so very fortunate, but I also recognize that had I not begun to shed those unfounded fears, I would not be experiencing all of these positive changes in my life.

I did take another huge leap after reading those blogs this week. I have made the decision to be open to expanding my client base and added a new tab to my site: “Distance Energy Sessions”  https://joyfullyrenewed.wordpress.com/distance-energy-sessions/. If you or someone you know would like to experience first hand the growth, healing, or forward momentum that a good energy session can offer, please take a moment to check out that new tab.

As always, sending all of you much love and light on this beautiful journey.

Maria