Inspiration – Lighthouse Keeping

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On Sunday I spent some time with Ali Grimshaw’s writing circle and once again, enjoyed being with like minded souls as we explored poetry together. You can find out more on Ali’s blog flashlightbatteries.blog

The inspiration was a poem called “Lighthouse Keeping” by Kay Ryan

This is what I wrote:

Know that we are
keepers of the light

Holding space and
reaching out to those
in darkened places.

Its not our job
to judge, advise, fix
or rescue others.

Our calling is to keep
the light shining
within ourselves and

bring it to the world,
to keep us all afloat.

I wrote this for all of us who have experienced struggling and being in the dark. After all, we all go through the pendulum of life. Never doubt that within you, the light is still there. As long as you live, it is within you. Your job is to keep connecting to it, so you can continue to shine in the world, and keep us all afloat.

Namaste

Mooji on Awakening

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“What is the ego-mind’s fear of awakening? It is: Who wants a relationship with Miss Nobody? Who will employ Mr No-Mind? What kind of future is there for one who is desireless?
But I am reminding you that all these are the ego’s taboos, imaginings and attempts to distract you from your ever-perfect nature.
In truth, your awakened life will be magnificent, harmonious, joyous and complete.
Follow your intuitive sense of the divine within. Welcome its presence and vibration. Like this, your insight opens to fully recognise the real as your own Self.
The awakened heart invites and allows the Supreme to shine its light upon this world.”*

Miss Somebody enjoyed reading this this morning! Mooji’s words are so simple and straightforward. He makes the complex, understandable. And makes me smile.

Namaste

*Mooji (2015-12-03). White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 232-238). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.

Cherish

“The practice of cherishing can be taken very deeply if done wordlessly, allowing yourself to feel the love and appreciation that already exists in your heart”.

The Dalai Lama
Dear one, Cherie, Cheri
Let us cherish ourselves
And others today
And every day.
Hold your self near and dear
Care deeply for those you love.

Be loving to everyone you meet
Let kindness shine from your heart
And show in your eyes
See it be reflected
in the eyes of others

It is always there.
Love is in our hearts and in the air.
No purchase required.
Breathe it in with lightness and joy
Breathe it out and send it far.
Let it touch all who need it most.

A never ending cycle of love
To replenish and nurture ourselves
And the world.


Namaste 🙏

Create an Open Space Inside You

Words to inspire and open your heart today 🙏

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“This is what I have to say to you. Create an open space inside you by choosing to be quiet. Don’t rush to fill that space with conjecture, thought, or inquiry, but let it stay open – a place for the mystery to enter in and take up residence. Don’t seek to name it, tame it, or frame it in an enclosure of ideas. Just be with it, or be it, no other action needed on your part. Let the mystery do or not do, move or be still, shine or stay invisible. Notice if it’s you or not you, or maybe both at once. When the mind chimes in, invite it to rest in the infinite depth and breadth of mystery and soul light. When the time for sitting ends, be grateful for however long you spent in that presence.”

~ Danna Faulds prose posted on her website from January 6, 2021

These words really resonated with me today. I have been sharing Danna Fauld‘s poetry for some time. It is always inspiring and brings me Home. You can find her books on line to purchase, but you may not know that she has a website that she regularly updates with new prose and poetry. It is a delightful resource for creating space inside you and finding your middle ground.

Namaste

What is True Balance?

~
Inner certainty
Move from being right or wrong
Find your Middle Ground
~

We find inner balance when we let go of ideas of right or wrong, and good or bad; when we embrace a deeper sense of knowing and being in the world.

When we witness the mind’s need to analyze  and the ego’s urge to judge, we open up the freedom to choose.

This is where true balance resides.

The center of our being has no preferences. It is there to open up to the fullness of loving presence.

Our practice is to keep coming back to it again and again. And to listen.

From finding our middle ground, to living from it.

Namaste

Poetry Inspiration – from David Whyte

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Last Sunday I had the opportunity of joining a writing circle on Zoom facilitated by Ali Grimshaw. I’m not sure if I see myself as a writer or a poet, but I was very curious to explore whatever came up!

My sincere thanks to Ali and the others for being in community in such a supportive and loving way. We came together as if we already knew one another, listened fully as the words came forth, and literally opened our hearts. It was an inspiring experience and I would recommend this to anyone interested in reflective writing and poetry from the heart. You can also find Ali’s poetry on her WordPress blog FlashLight Batteries. I look forward to jumping in again.

These are the inspiring words from David Whyte that resonated with me:

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again"

~ David Whyte,  taken from Working Together

I wrote:

We are born into
a world already 
formed by people 
with their roles,
ideas, and 
ways of being. 
We rely on them 
to keep us safe.

We adopt the views 
on life through the 
eyes of others
to fit this world, 
and be safe.

Then comes a time
when it fits no more.
From comfort
to irritation, 
like a hair shirt 
that itches and 
rubs the neck raw.
Was it just in
a blink of an eye?

We have grown,
but have yet to learn
life's real lesson.

The world is always 
at work, shaping us, 
giving us hair shirts,
and messages that 
go unnoticed 
until we wake up.

Then we realize we 
have to take off 
the clothes of 
conformity and 
discover our truth.

In the shedding 
we allow ourselves
to be shaped anew.

~ Val Boyko

Wisdom in Changing Times

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“We tend to lose interest in more superficial, less authentic ways of being together. We invest less energy in our self-limiting stories, as well as the self limiting stories of others. Personal dramas, gossip, and projections tend to fall away, and we spend less time ruminating about the past, or anticipating the imagined future. We are more at ease with silence and don’t feel compelled to fill the gaps. We realize that we don’t need to leave our self in order to meet someone else. In fact, we come to see that until we are at home in our self, we can’t truly connect with others.

When there is nothing to prove or disprove about our self, we are more in the present moment, enjoying what is here now. There is creative space for sharing and discovery. Out ordinary life continues, but our relationship to our life becomes increasingly more spacious and open.”

John J Prendergast. Taken from The Deep Heart Our Portal to Presence

These words come from John J Prendergast’s transformational book The Deep Heart, and refer to the awakening process.

What struck me as I read this, was how many people may also be having a similar experience during the pandemic. I know that I have spent so much more time in self isolation and being in nature. Despite the turmoil and chaos of the external world, there has been a settling and expansion of my inner world.

When we slow down, pause and take time to simply be in silence, we may discover deeper or hidden aspects of ourselves.

Some of us may think there is something wrong. After all, we are not the way we were before. But the reality is, that something unfamiliar is taking place that wants our attention.

It’s time to let go of the familiar and open to what is arising.

Namaste

Inspiration – Join the Dance

This is a re-post from December 2016. No matter the dance that comes along, join in and be a part of the future as it unfolds.


change

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

– Alan Watts

I love this message … especially as we move into a new era that is sure to bring about many changes here in the US.

What we resist only persists… and adds to our own inner struggle.

Stop resisting, and start to accept that we are in for …  Something that is yet to unfold.

When the seeds of change open, there must be growth.

So let’s embrace it, join in it and dance with it.

Each of us is a part of a future that has not been written.

Something much bigger than ourselves is at work here… and we are a part of it, whether we like it or not.

Don’t be a wallflower.

Join the dance.

Dealing with Stress and my Inner Teenager

waves of life

This is a re-blog of a post that was powerful for me to work through. As we continue through these difficult times, more and more stress and distress will impact us all. May we all find our middle ground in the waves of life.


On Tuesday I had a stressful day. A dip in the highs and lows of life day. It wasn’t surprising. I had some concerning news that took the wind out of my sails, and I developed a pressure cooker of a sinus headache. I was in a trough. I know how my mind and body are connected. My body tells me quite clearly when I have to pay attention to what is happening around me and what I am feeling.

The message is clear –  take care of my well being. Pause. Connect to my Self.

In hindsight it is easy to catch, but at the time it may take a bit longer to realize that we are under stress. In this particular occasion it became very clear as I went through emails and started to read updates from fellow bloggers. As I painfully squinted at the screen. I was no longer present, but my inner judge was! “What do they want? … Why bother me with this?… How stupid! How superficial!… They are so self centered!… Don’t they get it?… This is trivial! Who has time for frivolity? Pl-ease get to the point.”

Teenage brat

My thinking revealed that Val was not present or in balance. My defensive inner teenager had been unleashed.

Everyone was dumb. They didn’t get it. They didn’t see how much pain I was in. They took advantage of me. They tried to control me. All the unmet needs from the past were right there demanding attention.

Our inner teenager  is challenging and requires some kindness and understanding. Its in pain – emotionally and often physically. It has so many unmet needs and is trying to figure out how to get them met as they move from childhood into independence.  It is our ego at the height of all of its immature defensive glory.

One part of me was determined to be miserable and show the world (?) that I had every right to be. Thankfully the part of me who has learned to be a compassionate observer knew that it was time to unplug. NOW!

You are stressed. Take care of yourself  and find your middle ground. Be gentle and kind. Let things be as they are. Let this mood/energy pass and find its way to nurturing balance once more.

Stones surrounded by rushing water

It was easier after I had taken half a Sinutab and put on my favorite restorative yoga music. I embraced everything that was coming up. I noticed resistance. I breathed and didn’t push. I found my middle ground and was able to stay there. Healing tears fell softly. I meditated and lost track of time. My husband came and went and let me be. He knows better than me sometimes.

I began to feel better and went to watch tv to distract myself … and found I had no appetite for it at all. ZERO. I wanted to stay in solitude. I journaled instead.

The old habits of distractions, shopping, cleaning, entertainment, drinking and eating had lost their pull in that moment. By being fully present and knowing how to ride the wave and find my middle ground allowed me to center myself.

So I honored the request to be alone and put my teenager to bed early. I woke up as a headache free and stress free adult once more. Ready to approach the day with a sense of curiosity.

Thank you to the makers of Sinutab, yoga and meditation, journaling, my husband and friends who support and nourish me, and to those of you who read this today!

May we all find our middle ground in the waves of life.

Namaste 

Yin Inspiration

This is an inspiring poem I shared at the end of Saturday’s Find Your Middle Ground and Winter Yin Workshop. Yin yoga is about going inwards and deeper, through the layers of our being until we touch that precious peace within. Beautiful words from Danna Faulds to bring us home to our guiding presence.

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Here

Its always here, the silent

underpinning, the foundation

beneath the foundation.When

I reach deep enough into darkness,

~

inside fear, self doubt, aversion, or

despair, there’s something so intact

I almost miss it in my focus on

brokenness. Its always here, this

~

ground of being. ike the water in

which fish swim, its easy to overlook

the eloquence of truth. Its here, this

guiding presence, this calm, abiding

~

stillness. Its here when I don’t try

to make life any more or less than

what it is, when I stop trying to be

right. Its here when I unclench my

~

fists and breathe, when I let go of the

demand to make ife smooth or easy.

Its here, the oneness underying

multiplicity, the exquisite “is-ness”

~

of everything. I could shout it from

the rooftops, but its true no matter

what I say, and I know you’ll find

it in your own time, your own way,

~

that precious moment when you

choose to meet life exactly as it is.

~

~ Danna Faulds. Taken from “One Soul” More Poems From the Heart of Yogau

I’m Not Needy – I Just Have Needs

This is a re-blog of a post that is a handy reference on human needs – and how important they are to ensure that we get them met. As we continue through these difficult times, more and more stress and distress will impact us all. May we all get our needs met and Find our Middle Ground.


Every human being has needs. It is part of the human condition. We were born with them and will go through most of our lives trying to get them met. When our needs are met we can fully access our humanity. Bringing compassion and kindness to ourselves and others.

Over the years as a life coach, I took several courses in Non Violent Communication. In NVC, needs are acknowledged and embraced. There is a vulnerable beauty behind our needs. The essence of who we are as human beings.

There are three groups of core needs that once we identify, we can honor: WELL BEING – SELF EXPRESSION – CONNECTION. Needs get a bad wrap…. but they shouldn’t. The more we recognize them, the more we can evolve and grow as human beings.

We often aren’t aware of our own needs, and it can be a powerful self-discovery to identify the ones that are most important to each of us. The needs below are grouped into the three categories. Pause for a moment and identify what needs resonate with you personally:

man deep relaxed breathing

WELL BEING
Health and Sustenance
Thriving
Vitality
Safety and Security
Stability
Rest
Peace
Acceptance
Gratitude
Balance
Celebration of life

joyful girl

SELF EXPRESSION
Autonomy/Freedom
Authenticity
Inspiration
Passion
Meaning
Contribution
Learning
Growth
Skill/Mastery
Self actualization

Loving Connection

CONNECTION
Love/caring
Compassion
Empathy/Understanding
Communication
Respect
Acceptance
Recognition
Community
Belonging
Relationship
Trust

Here is a self inquiry exercise to explore your needs more. Take a moment and ask yourself:

What am I grateful for?

Then

What needs are being met when I feel grateful?

Now think of a time when you were upset, possibly at work or with a family member…

Then

What needs were not being met?

In all likelihood it would be about recognition, respect and a sense of belonging.

Needs drive us and are essential for our well being. When our needs are being met it opens the door to be in connection with ourselves and with others.

We come to see there is no need to judge ourselves or others any more.

We are more able to center ourselves in our Middle Ground and handle the the highs and lows of life.

Namaste

The Power of Empathy

Enjoy this re-post about the power of empathy, especially in difficult relationships.


One of our fundamental needs as human beings is to be heard and to be accepted as we are. Take a moment to recall where you were going through a hard time and someone empathized with you. How did it feel? Pretty good I expect.

When someone empathizes with us we don’t feel judged; we no longer feel alone; we feel understood; we become calmer; we usually feel better and are more able to handle a difficult  situation.

empathy babies

Empathy is a powerful tool for connecting to another person in an open loving way.  It feels good to us, yet how often do we intentionally or mindfully empathize with someone else … especially when someone is angry or frustrated?
Marshall Rosenberg writes in his book “Non Violent Communication; a Language of Life“ how it can be especially difficult to empathize with those who appear to possess more power, status or resources and those who are closest to us.
One of my favorite take aways is:

“Empathize, rather than put your “but” in the face of an angry person.”

When we want to help we tend to jump in with a “but” and a “fix” for the other person. Yet empathy is more powerful and empowering.

He writes: “I continue to be amazed by the healing power of empathy. Time and again I have witnessed people transcending psychological pain when they have contact with someone who hears them with empathy.”

Why not increase your ability to empathize with this exercise:

frustrated man at work

Over the next few days see if you can empathize more with those people who are closest to you, your children, a colleague, or even your boss.

Really tune in to what they might be feeling and reflect back what you are sensing they are going through. Here are some examples of reflecting feelings statements:

It sounds like you are really frustrated about this

I can see that this is tough for you

I can’t imagine all that you are going through. It must be so hard

I’m sensing that this is scary for you

I hear that you are concerned

It sounds like this is a real challenge for you

but in your face

 It sounds so simple, yet can be hard to do in that moment. So instead of putting your “but” and point of view in the other person’s face, empathize with their situation and reflect what they might be feeling.

Give the gift of feeling heard and understood.