Where Would you Choose to Sit?

Over the past several weeks I have been walking in Chanticleer Gardens, near me in Wayne PA. Every time I venture out I have my iPhone 8 at the ready … and it seems to capture the colors, contours, shadows and perspectives pretty well.

I don’t see myself as a photographer, but I have been taught to have an artistic eye. Recently, I have not only wanted to represent what is before me, but also to appreciate different perspectives, shades, patterns and dynamics that are taking place.

So, these last few visits I have asked myself – where would I like to sit? As I brought new awareness to seats, I noticed so many more in tucked away corners as well as overlooking lovely vistas.

Where would you choose to sit?

 

Wu Hsin – What Is

table scraps

“Too much time is squandered on

What was and

What might be

Leaving only table scraps for

What Is”

Wu Hsin  from the Lost Writing of Wu Hsin translated by Roy Melvyn

Table scraps have their uses… yet can’t sustain us.

Pause and take time to Find your Middle Ground.

Embrace each moment fully and nourish your very being.

Namaste

 

Haiku – still hibernating

 

hibernating
Still hibernating.
There is nothing wrong.
Winter’s Middle Ground
~

A lot of people are in a bit of a funk right now. The cold and flu viruses have been challenging this winter. Perhaps you also  feel the lack of energy, motivation or inspiration …

Remember that we are connected to Nature and its seasons.

There is nothing wrong.

Here in the North, this is a time for nourishing and replenishing before the seeds of Spring start to sprout and inspire us to new growth.

So embrace this time by taking time for yourself and allowing yourself to simply be.

Step back and listen to your deeper wisdom in preparation for new growth that will naturally come.

Haiku – blossom

life blossom
~
Let your life blossom.
With roots secure and nourished.
Find your Middle Ground.
~

Find your Middle Ground is about stepping away from stressful days and anxious minds, and taking time to pause.

When we are mindful of the present moment and simply allow it to be, we open a door to our natural state of being – accepting, loving, peaceful, kind and content. Most of us are so distracted and moving so fast that we get caught up in the world of “doing” or worrying about what we should be doing next.
Too much doing and thinking disconnects us from our sense of “being”and who we really are.

I write about finding this place of connection, contentment and peace in the highs and lows of life. I call it our Middle Ground.

Haiku – Kripalu Awaits

kripalu

~

Take time for a break

Serenity is a choice

Kripalu awaits 

~

I will be away from February 24 through March 5 at Kripalu center for yoga and health

We all need to take time for ourselves and nurture our inner being and creative spirit. This trip is for a Yin Yoga Teacher Training program. I look forward to being in community with some wonderful, kind and talented yogis.

While I am away I will be taking a break from social media and blogging. Thank you for your understanding 🙏

See you on the other side 💛

* Life is Like … an uprooted tree

D.H. Lawrence describes humanity as being like an uprooted tree with its roots in the air.

Uprooted tree

“We are perishing for lack of fulfillment of our greater needs.

We are cut off from the great sources of our inward nourishment and renewal.

We must plant ourselves again in the universe.”

tree for life

I think many people feel like uprooted trees in today’s world.

When we plant ourselves once more we become nourished, rooted and interconnected.

Each of us can do this for ourselves and support others in finding inner nourishment, renewal and connection to our life source and Spirit.

I call it Findng Your Middle Ground.

Namaste

 

* Feeling Off Balance? Come to Your Senses.

Are you still recovering from holiday overload and feel off balance? Try getting out of your head and turning to your senses. In doing so you’ll refresh your mind, body and spirit and connect with your Middle Ground.
Its all too easy to be sucked into the busyness and indulgence of the season …. and we end up feeling off balance, drained and disconnected.  When we notice we are losing track of ourselves it helps to quickly re-center and re-energize before we move on. Here are 10 ideas inspired from yoga – and suitable for everyone. See what works best for you.
stretch

 1. Let out a big sigh! As soon as you notice you are out of balance, there is something ready to be released. Very often I don’t realize how tense I am until I sigh. Its has an immediate releasing affect.   

2. Take several deep breaths, allowing yourself to feel fresh energy entering your body and stale energy being released. Feel renewed with each inhale, and refreshed with each exhale. If possible, connect movement with your breath by moving your arms out and up on the inhale and then down on the exhale.

3. Close your eyes and scan your body in your mind. Notice where you are holding tension. As you notice it, imagine sending your breath there and let the area soften. Breathe into each tense area and be mindful of the relaxation taking place.

4. Stretch. Standing tall reach for the sky and come on to your toes. Breath fully all the way into your belly. Release your heels back down on an exhale and repeat as often as it feels good.

5. Listen to music. Find a song or melody that’s either enlivening or calming, depending on your mood and what you most need.

6. Put your feet up – literally. Try moving to a wall and then raising your legs and resting them on the wall. Bring your hips as coo to the wall as you can. Make yourself  comfortable with a pillow under your neck. You can bring your legs over a chair and let your legs rest there.

7. Smell a favorite smell. It can be useful to carry an essential oil or scent with you. Experiment with a citrus scent, lavender, or mint to see what feels most refreshing.

8. Dim the lights and light a candle. Gives your eyes a rest from the screen or wherever you’ve been focusing.. Let the soft light and flicker soothe you.

9. Lie down in a gentle back bend, with a pillow under your back and  a blanket or pillow supporting your head. Allow your shoulders to relax. Feel your ribs and the space around your heart gently opening as you inhale and relax as you exhale. Rest here for several minutes.

10.  Ground yourself. Take your shoes off.  Notice the four corners of each foot and then wiggle your toes for a moment. Notice how your feet are making contact with the ground and imagine sending down roots through the soles of your feet and deep into the earth. As you inhale, imagine drawing up strength and nourishment through these roots and into your whole body.

I hope you enjoy these mindful moments to nourish and replenish.

p.s. Print this off and keep the list handy – I do!

* Feeling Down? 10 Pick Me Ups That Work

When we are feeling down or stuck in a rut … its easy for negative thoughts to spiral downwards and keep us there. Getting momentum to find your Middle Ground again is crucial. From personal experience, these are ten tried and true ways to rebalance your mind, body and spirit!

dancing flower girl

Experiment with each one to see what works best for you, and adapt them as needed to make them your own.

1. Get moving. Get out of your head and into your body by doing something physical and enjoyable. 

2. Self care.  Be kind to yourself. Do something to invest in yourself or nourish yourself. (Yes – shopping comes into this category  🙂

3.  Get creative. Tap into your individual self expression and make or build something.

4. Connect to your values. What’s important and meaningful to you? – then do something that expresses it.

5.  Joy of anticipation. Get excited about something  – and then plan for it!

6. Give to others. Take the focus off what’s getting you down, by giving to someone else. Make them feel good and you will too!

7. Finish something. What has been waiting to be finished? Can you complete it now? If its too overwhelming, break it down and complete smaller tasks. This will bring new energy.

8. Be independent. Do something that will give you as sense of freedom and autonomy. Let the burden on those shoulders go.

9. Be in integrity. Walk your talk and do something that shows your best self. Live up to your higher self.

10.  Make a gratitude list. Its impossible to feel down AND feel grateful at the same time. The yogis knew it and modern psychology research agrees!

Aaahh … I feel good just sharing these with you.

Thank YOU!

* Do You Need to be Kinder to Yourself? (….. the answer is yes!)

When you find yourself riding the waves of life or swinging on life’s pendulum and its hard to bring yourself to your middle ground, do you notice that you are more critical of yourself and judging of others…..?

Our inner critic keeps us on this roller coaster of emotions and struggle! Its when we start being kinder to ourselves that we can find our middle ground.

self compassionDr Kristen Neff  has done some great research into self compassion and its impact on our mental well being.  She wrote in a recent article in Psychology Today:

“When our inner voice continually criticizes and berates us we end up feeling worthless, incompetent and insecure, and we often end up in negative cycles of self sabotage and self harm. However, when our inner voice plays the role of a supportive friend we can – when we notice some personal failing – feel safe and accepted enough to both see ourselves clearly and make the changes needed for us to be healthier and happier.”

She continues:

“But what is self-compassion exactly? Drawing on the writings of various Buddhist scholars, I have defined self-compassion as having 3 main components:

Heart pebble

(a) self-kindness

(b) a sense of common humanity

(c) mindfulness

Self-kindness refers to the tendency to be caring and understanding with oneself rather than being harshly critical or judgmental. Instead of taking a cold ‘stiff-upper-lip’ approach in times of suffering, self-kindness offers soothing and comfort to the self.

Common humanity involves recognizing that all humans are imperfect, fail and make mistakes. It connects one’s own flawed condition to the shared human condition so that one can take greater perspective towards one’s personal shortcomings and difficulties.

Mindfulness involves being aware of one’s painful feelings in a clear and balanced manner so that one neither ignores nor obsesses about disliked aspects of oneself or one’s life.

The three together combine to create a self-compassionate frame of mind: a compassion that can be extended toward the self when suffering occurs through no fault of one’s own – when the external circumstances of life are simply too painful or difficult to bear – or else when our suffering stems from one’s own mistakes, failures or personal inadequacies.

Much of the research conducted on self-compassion has used the Self-Compassion Scale I created.”

If you want to test your own self-compassion level and find out if you need to start being kinder to yourself click here!

Love this work!!