Finding Grace When Triggered

I came across this earlier post … and boy did it take me back. May we all find grace by connecting to the most vulnerable part of ourselves … our heart.

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The Argument

“How dare you!!” 

Come into the present moment and notice

the pounding head, the clenched jaw and hands in fists

the thoughts that spark like fiery daggers

“Don’t control me! I don’t want this! I don’t need you!”

Feel the tears and absolute frustration

the vulnerability at being in this place of hurt and loss.

Loss of control. Loss of connection. Loss of understanding.

Become that wee girl too young for words

crying girl

She knows this place. This sheer frustration. Hurting and not knowing why.

Let this rage turn into one of your biggest breaths ever

Open your mouth and gasp like a fish

take in the air that nourishes and calms

Let it out with a cry from your very soul.

Let the tears roll. Feel their heat running down your cheeks.

Breathe

Feel the energy dropping through you like a stone

allow it to release and pass through the mesh that’s your body

Feel the unburdening and letting go

notice the softening  in your body, your thoughts and your being

Say hello to this vulnerable part of you

Feel the relief and the love

You are still here.

And now you are ready to talk about what just happened.

Namaste.

Listen to Your Body – its Listening to You

The words we choose in our thinking, our speech and our writing, impact on how we feel and our overall well being.

abstract board game bundle business

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Have you ever noticed how a word can bring up a certain feeling inside of you? A sensation, a thought or an emotion?

Choosing a word that connects with your heart and soul can be not only uplifting, but also brings physical well being.

If you have a few moments, let’s explore.

Take your time as you connect to each of the words below. Go slowly. You can say them out loud:

Love
Tender
Soothing
Joy
Cuddle
Grateful
Smile
Gentle
Pause here and close your eyes. What is alive in you in this moment? Is there a warmth, softening, a feeling of tenderness or love perhaps? How is your breathing? Are you smiling? (me too) Notice how these words manifest themselves in your mind body and spirit.

pauseNow take a deep breath and take the same time connecting to each of these words:
Irritated
Ugly
Mean
Wrong
Frustrated
Cruel
Unfair
Bad
Pause here and close your eyes. What is alive in you in this moment? Is there tension or constriction or heaviness perhaps? How is your breathing? Notice how these words manifest themselves in your mind body and spirit.

pauseIn general when it is a word associated with lack, dis-ease, suffering or violence, our body responds by becoming tense, our breath shallows and there is resistance.

In western medicine when there is resistance in our body it leads to inflammation, and increases our level of stress. These are both proven factors for ill health.

I believe in western medicine, and I also believe in that when there is constriction and tension our life energy contracts as well, and a part of inner state becomes blocked. This impacts our emotional and physical wellness.

In yoga, when the life energy (prana) is blocked it can be released with postures, breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation. In Chinese medicine these blockages in Qi can be released through acupuncture.

pause and listen to your body

No matter what we believe in our minds, our body has its own kind of intelligence.

Listen to your body’s wisdom.

Be mindful of your thoughts and your words. Your body is always listening.

Being Out of Integrity

This is a re-post I found inspiring to me today. Take time to find your middle ground and come home to your Self.

oooOOOooo


meditating

I used to think that when I was out of integrity I was not walking my own talk and my thoughts were not in alignment with my beliefs and values.
That when my thinking and actions weren’t aligned, I was letting myself down in some away, and not honoring my best self.
And then I woke up and experienced it as something more.

The signs of being out of integrity were the same. For me, its an icky uncomfortable feeling in my gut. I’ve come to recognize this as my unconscious letting me know that something isn’t right. There is something to discover within.

When this feeling happens I ask myself two questions and then listen for an answer.

1. Am I feeling fearful? ….I didn’t defect any fear. There were no anxious thoughts or worries.

2. Am I out of integrity?…. and I couldn’t see anything “wrong”. I wasn’t letting myself down by being out of alignment with my thoughts and actions. Usually there’s something that comes up –  like avoiding exercise, over eating, trying to get out of a commitment I regretted having made, or feeling bad because I was snippy with someone when I was focused elsewhere. This time it made no sense whatsoever. But there was no “bad” deed or self denial to be dug up and exposed.

So what was going on?

I decided to set aside time to be with myself for yoga and meditation. I moved gently and then simply sat. Being fully present and open to see what would show up.

As I did, I felt a gentle wave of warm loving energy and a softening around my heart. A small voice without words seemed to say “Ah here you are. I’ve missed you.”

The well intentioned judge disappeared and was replaced by pure loving kindness. I gave it space to be and to grow. It moved through my very being. Enfolding me and nurturing my spirit.

My realization is this:

Before I would judge myself as in some way as being “wrong”, and then I would make it “right” by changing how I was behaving or thinking. My judge is well intentioned, but sees things as right or wrong and can be very critical.

When we let go of the judge, a loving connection with ourselves can seed itself and grow. Harmony is found again and everything is aligned once more with life and the world.

Now I know that when I am out of integrity then I am not taking time to be kind to myself.

It’s not about changing my thinking and actions, its about opening my heart and connecting to my Self.

Namaste

Don’t Diss the “Dis”

Listen for what you need.

How come when we feel discomfort we don’t give it comfort.

When we have disease we don’t give ourselves ease.

Its like what we “dis” we DISS”.

Today, and every day day, be kind.

Don’t diss the dis.

 

 

 

Prana and Dealing with Pain

This is a re-blog of a personal story about dealing with some physical pain while I was at Kripalu. For those of you who live with chronic pain, I hope you will be inspired by this.keep calm breathe and ouch

I have a deformity of my low back, which was exacerbated in a skiing accident in the 1990’s. The bottom line is that I have to be really careful not to jolt it, do quick movements or backbends that could bring about spasms or make the condition worse.

So, going to Kripalu a few years ago, I made sure I had strong antispasmodics if my back went into spasm. I didn’t want to be incapacitated for yoga teacher training!

I was alert and prepared. I was also pretty tense about it.

The first two days I was being so careful; avoiding certain poses and making my own adjustments. I feel good about taking care …  “of this darn back of mine that is preventing me from having as much fun as everyone else!”

Then I experienced a sharp pain in my left knee. With all the sitting I wasn’t surprised, and I needed to give it attention.

pranayamaWe were doing pranayama and meditation practice, and what I was learning was to breathe deeply, adjust my body, and  let the prana or life force flow into the area that  hurt.

The idea is to allow the channels to be open so that the body’s natural healing can work. There are different breathing techniques to activate and move the prana energy.

The next day my knee stopped hurting. But there was a shooting pain in my ankle.

So I adjusted my position and breathed deeply letting the prana flow there.

The next morning, there was no pain.

What about my back? I had forgotten about it. It should have been aching after six days of sitting but it was doing okay.

In fact, I felt wonderful. No pain anywhere.

The lesson I want to share with you is:

Notice it.

Let it relax.

Give it space.

Breathe into it.

Let it be.

What I now understand is that this can work for all pain – whether its physical or emotional.

Our body has a way to deal with hurt and brings its own ability to heal when we recognize it, and are kind towards it.

I’ll still take the meds and apply heat  when needed …. but I’ve learned a valuable lesson about living from my Middle Ground.

I am so grateful.

Namaste.

Be Peace

“Be peace. Don’t just talk about it.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Take a moment to consider if you are you getting annoyed and frustrated about the lack of peace in the world.
And then come back to these simple and powerful words from Which That Hanh

Peace begins with our selves.

Make peace with yourself by giving yourself permission to rest.
Be compassionate towards your own human imperfections and judgments.
Forgive yourself. This is an act of peace.
Find your Middle Ground and connect to the inner goodness within you.

Help an other person to find peace. Encourage them to rest.
Show kindness towards them. Forgive them.
Nurture peace in your children and loved ones.
Work for peace.

Become gentle.
Be tender.
Be peace.

 

Understanding Real Love

This is a re-blog of an earlier post… with a message worth repeating. 💛

real love - darkness and forgiveness

“Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who they are.

Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness we don’t really know what love is.”

Marianne Williamson

For anyone who has been a in a long term loving relationship , you can probably relate to this quote. When we  allow ourselves to be seen in such a vulnerable way it opens up real understanding and connection.

Now consider if you were to say these words to yourself:

Until we see our own darkness, we don’t really know who we are.

Until we have forgiven our own darkness we don’t really know what love is.

The world becomes a kinder and less fearful place when we forgive and love ourselves.

Namaste

* Pondering – Sliding Back

I read a post some time ago about “sliding back” over the holidays.  It made me wonder …

sliding back

What if there was no such thing as sliding back in life?

When we make a mistake, we are making a mistake. When we eat that chocolate bar, we are eating that chocolate bar. When we don’t get around to exercising, then we don’t exercise. When we forget to meditate then we don’t meditate….. you get where I’m heading with this.

“Sliding back” is a judgment that we put on ourselves. It is a belief that usually makes us feel bad …. Its like a weight we impose on ourselves.

It isn’t the truth.

Our thoughts are not the truth! Things are the way they are. Our thoughts create judgments in our mind whether something is good or bad.

Instead of being hard on yourself, try to accept the ways things are.

Even better, lighten up and ditch that heavy load you’ve burdened yourself with!

Instead of judging, be kind and accept your own human frailty and failings.

If life is a series of highs and lows, then we move through challenges and setbacks. There’s no such thing as sliding backwards.

Inspiration – May you Awaken to the Mystery

becoming

“May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence. May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon. May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul. May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

May the flame of anger free you from falsity. May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.

May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul. May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.”

~ John O’Donohue

I found these words especially moving today.

May you have a day filled with unfolding mystery and presence.

* Dinna Fash Yersel

HIghland cow

“Dinna fash yersel, its only a wee highland cow”

Last week I met a woman at a supermarket check out who had lived in Aberdeen (Scotland).  She asked me where I was from in Scotland. This is pretty unusual here in the US.

As an aside –  People will remark on what a cute accent I have, and will then ask … Are you Irish? Nope 🙂 Never been there 🙂

I told her I was brought up outside Edinburgh and had lived in Aberdeen for 8 years.  Perhaps she heard some of the lilt. And we then started exchanging pleasantries in the Doric (Aberdeen Scots dialect)

Fit like quinie?

Nae bad…. an yersel?

Chafin awa!

Dinna fash yersel aboot baggin, I’m happy to dae it.

~ooO00~

Fit like quinie is a common greeting for a woman friend or girl. How are things going lassie?

Chafin awa means going along fine. Life is good. I’m content going with the chaff and the flow of life.

Dinna fash yersel  means, don’t worry (english) or get your knickers in a twist (lowland Scots). It comes up in conversation as a way to tell someone its no bother, or don’t bother yourself about something.

I never thought of saying it to myself… but the pleasant exchange reminded me what a powerful message it can be if we did direct it to ourselves.

Imagine when you find yourself judging someone and then feel so bad about it that you judge yourself for not being good enough and start beating yourself up.

Dinna fash yersel Lass!

Let it go! Don’t worry! Don’t stress about it! No need to get into a sweat or become anxious!

Dinna fash yersel … all will be well.

And with this awareness, it is.

 

… Aye – I’ll hae fond memories o’ Aberdeen in ma dreams the niche. And maybe some scenes from Outlander thrown in there 😉