* Be Ready for Love – a poem by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet book cover

These words on love come from “The Prophet” by the Lebanese American poet and writer Kahlil Gibran. His work touches the heart and soul. Its beautiful and real. No pink hearts, flowers and chocolates here.

Why not take some time and simply absorb the beauty of them … Love is truly a part of the highs and lows of life. Val x

LOVE

When love comes to you, follow it, though its ways are hard and steep.
And when its wings enfold you yield to them, though its hidden sword may wound you.
For even as it is for your growth, it is for your pruning.
Even as it ascends you to your height, so shall it descend to your roots and shake them.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and pleasure,
then it is better for you to cover yourself into the seasonless world, where you shall laugh,  but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives nothing but itself, and takes nothing but from itself.
Love does not possess, nor would it be possessed.
And do not think that you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
 

* Yoga Inspiration for Today – Tree of Life

single tree in sun

“You must be firmly rooted.

Such is the first law.

Then grow and assert yourself.

At this moment open yourself,

stretch out your arms to feel the radiation around you,

and then bring the universe back to you with your head held high,

for it touches the sun.

Be deep, wide, tall, truly a Tree of Life.”

 Lizelle Reymond

tree pose in yoga

…. and breathe fully knowing that this is who you truly are.

Namaste.

* Unconditional Love – A Poem by Joy Bush

I am so grateful to have been partnered with some amazing women at Kripalu as part of my 500 hours Yoga Teacher Training. We were asked to support each other in teaching what we had learned during the week. This is a poem written by Joy Bush to inspire us for our last yoga practice. It touched my heart… and I hope yours too. Thank you Joy for sharing your loving unique voice.

 

tender heart

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

I feel my own heart beating
Regardless of if I have been good or bad
Whether I am happy or sad.

She keeps a steady rhythm moving the fluid of life
Even when I ignore her in sleep
and don’t listen to her by day.

She doesn’t turn her back on me when I get angry.
That soft presence shames me into forgiveness
time and time again.

My heart beats as a witness to my sloppy mistakes
as well as my glowing successes
without judging one better than the other.

She is always happy to see me
when I return home to my body
from one of my epic mental journeys.

She is loyal and faithful.
She has never strayed
to beat for someone else.

I search everywhere for the comfort of this unconditional love
Too immature in my humanness to remember
She has been here for me this whole time.

p.s. Joy is leading a yoga inspired retreat to Machu Picchu, Peru this summer with Global Yoga Journeys. WOW – Check it out!

machu picchu

*Connected Once more

Here in the icy suburbs of Philadelphia, there have been major power outages with trees and limbs down. Our power came back on the first day, but my heart goes out to others who are still in the dark and cold. I’ve had 3 days without internet or being able to connect to others other than by cell phone.bird on icy branch

It has been an intriguing experiment to sit with a book instead of at my computer, and to play previously downloaded classes that I’d not got around to listening to. On the whole it’s been nourishing and relaxing…. but I have missed been able to connect with peeps around the world and to share my musings!

I’m so happy to be back 🙂

In the meantime I listened to a course on Self Compassion by Dr Kristen Neff from Sounds True and an interview with Sydney Banks on the Three Principles. I’ve dipped back into the Bhagavad Gita and practiced Non Violent Communication Beauty of Needs Energy Clearing with Robert Gonzales.

It has been pretty awesome. I continue to be amazed at the wisdom of others and the richness of learning around me. There has been a lot of spiritual and personal nurturing, especially around self compassion and how to help others be kind to themselves. As well as reflection and learning, it has also been a valuable time for self connection.

…. and now I feel my middle ground is complete with being able to connect with you and express myself once more!

virtual hug

Namaste.

* In the Highs and Lows of Life …. Have a Plan B

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

When we accept that things are always changing and its pointless to try to keep things the way we want them to be, then we are able to move towards that place of peace and contentment. However ….

Letting go and trusting is hard sometimes!clinging on

Are you clinging on to something that no longer serves you?….. Perhaps its time to consider a different perspective and a plan B.

Having a plan B can help you bridge the gap between being stuck  where you are and letting things flow naturally.

There are always options and choices. However, acknowledging  our own reality can be the hardest part. There is judgment, sadness and loss. It takes courage to face this and be a part of creating a new future for ourselves.

We are not at the mercy of life. We can take responsibility and choose how we want to live it.

I am here to help. Val x

* Finding your Middle Ground – What Gets in the Way?

I write about finding that place of connection, contentment and peace in the highs and lows of life. I call it your Middle Ground. When you can spend time in this space and connect inwards,  life comes into balance.   My journey, and this blog, is to explore finding how to come from this place all the time….. This morning I woke up asking myself “What gets in the way?”.

negative emotionsThere are several things that come to mind – the busyness and speed of our lives; how we are caught up in external expectations and the stress from work, economic circumstances and family relationships…..all the things we have no control over but we feel are controlling us.

However, the bottom line is that it is our mind and our thoughts that gets in the way. Our thinking creates our reality. Its how we interpret what is happening that makes us feel stressed and anxious.

Just because we aren’t in control, or aren’t getting what we want, it doesn’t make it bad.

What if everything was neutral?

Right now its snowing heavily – this is the umpteenth snow storm this winter! I could make a judgement here and start ranting about how unfair it is. How the roads aren’t cleared quickly enough. I could complain about the number of snow days at school and how children are going to be left behind. I could moan about the driveway that we will need to clear if we are going to be able to get out. I could start to panic about global warming!

I could post this and ask people to join in with how awful this …. and create more judgments, negativity and charged emotions.

Our thinking creates our reality, and it impacts others too, especially when we tap into our human fears and basic needs to be in control, be heard and belong.

Do we want to contribute to peace and good will in the world or encourage the opposite? Our thinking, our words and our actions will determine this.

The neutral fact is that it is snowing.Teddy in snow

I could also create positive feelings and energy around it, by saying how beautiful it looks. Its a fairy wonderland out there. How often do we get to simply be with mother nature in her winter finest? Its a lesson on letting go and enjoying having no place to go. Its the opportunity to open a good book and snuggle in. The pups adore going out in it. They play and burrow and try to catch the snow flakes. Children are excited because this is the perfect snowman making kind of snow. Each snow flake is huge and wondrous!

When we are able to step back and be the observer rather than the judge, we are able to create our own reality … and in doing so impact those around us, and the world….

Its time to start shoveling. I recognize that I am pretty neutral about it now!

* The Road to Freedom

This is not a post advocating Scottish Nationalism …. Its about inner freedom.  Perhaps something even more elusive!

freedom

I’ve read that when our inner nature is truly free, we find within ourselves a wealth of treasure: love, joy and peace of mind. We aren’t thrown off by the highs and lows of life, or the stock market! We find freedom in our middle ground.

Albert Einstein explains it so clearly:

einstein“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison.”

Einstein was raised by secular Jewish parents and described himself as agnostic. He believed in the connectivity of the universe and a higher consciousness but not in a personal god.

What he is expressing comes from science, yet resonates with the teachings of Jesus, Buddha and other faiths.

We are all on our path up the same mountain towards enlightenment where we find freedom, peace and a sense of oneness …  What really matters is finding the path that feels right for each of us, being open to what unfolds and not judging the ways of others.

Namaste x

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