A Guided Fall #5 – Receive

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“Forget all you know or think you know; abandon power and enforced decree. Inward, where the deepest rivers flow, find the currents of eternity.” ~ Fin Raziel (Willow)

Reflect . Refocus . Restore . Revive . Receive . Rejoice

We’ve reset our compass, refocused our energy, infused some restorative practices into our lives and revived a dream or vision that lay dormant too long. Now, are you open to the changes you seek?  Are your hands so full you can’t open the door you wish to walk through?  

Here is the fifth installment in our six week journey to consciously create a time of growth and renewal.

At so many times in my  life, my first (and sometimes second, third and fourth) reaction is to control the situation to achieve what I think is my desired result.  I could be starting a new endeavor, revisiting an old challenge, feeling under assault in some area of my life or just generally overwhelmed.

As I narrow my vision to focus on my goal, I don’t realize that my view is becoming distorted. I think I have all the knowledge and experience to set a path toward my goal or to identify a problem and formulate a solution. But in most cases, I am acting from a place of vulnerability, fear or even shame and I’m unaware of it. The problems, the results, the goals, the responses and the paths are all tainted by this undercurrent of emotion, these stories I’ve created, so what I think I know likely won’t be enough and my experience may not serve me anymore if my real goal is authentic awareness and connection.

What can serve you during these times is to remember the story of the wise old monk that was visited by an eager young man who proclaimed himself to be well accomplished in Zen philosophy and wanted to confirm there was nothing more the wise monk could teach him. As the monk poured the young man tea until the cup runneth over, he calmly said, “Just like this cup, your mind is so full of ideas that there is no room for any more. Come to me with an empty-cup mind, and then you will learn something.”

In order to receive the gifts, the subtle shifts and the major changes we are now consciously attracting from the Universe or praying for, whether it’s at work, in a relationship or through creative expression, we cannot go into these situations believing we know it all or even know enough to identify our goal or set our course.  

We must acknowledge what we know and then empty ourselves to receive all that we do not.

We must unlearn what we have learned to make space for the new.

We must open our hearts and minds to new possibilities and new ways of seeing ourselves and how we relate to others and the world in order to receive all that the Universe intends for us – all of the love, opportunity, inner peace and joy.

Let go of labels, rid yourself of rules, rethink your definitions. Open your mind, empty your cup and receive.   

Puck

I’m finding it difficult to stay on topic this past week, but in the interest of creating for creativity’s sake……

leaves

The somber silence of saturated leaves

sedated by sprinkles beneath bared trees.

On clear, crisp days by the winds they are struck,

possessed and playful, as if agents of Puck.

~WTR

A Guided Fall #4 – Revive

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Reflect . Refocus . Restore . Revive . Receive . Rejoice

We’ve reset our compass, refocused our energy and infused some restorative practices into our lives. Now, what could you breathe some life into? Resuscitate, resurrect, give importance again? Here is the fourth installment in our six week journey to consciously create a time of growth and renewal.

What idea has been idle too long? What vision is now just a blur? What dream has become a distant memory?

Why did you set that dream aside and move on? Did others discourage it? Did your own internal dialogue disavow its importance, its relevance and its probability?

But what about the journey it may set you on? What about the creativity, the fun and the whimsy? You may think you know what the result will be but you can never know what that journey will feel like and how it could change you. The end result is far less important.

Give yourself permission to be everything and anything but goal-oriented. Knowing you went back and honored a part of you, a part you now know is an authentic part, will do nothing less than infuse enthusiasm, courage and confidence into your life.    

Dig deep and unearth something that is worthy of revival. Rub your eyes and refocus them on that vision. Remember what that dream looked like, what it felt like, what it smelled like. Give it space, meditate on it, bring it back to life. Awaken a dream that has slumbered too long and awaken your spirit.  

Awakening

art-beach-beautiful-black-blue-favim-com-288456

Oh! Beautiful day, beautiful skies!

I lift my head and open my eyes.

Without any effort I start to smile

seems it’s been here all the while.

Oh! Glorious night, glorious moon!

Sleep will have me dreaming soon.

I lay my head, let go of the tears 

shed for the day I forgot all my fears.  

~WTR

A Guided Fall #3 – Restore

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The third installment in our six week journey to consciously create a time of growth and renewal.

Reflect . Refocus . Restore . Revive . Receive . Rejoice

Restore – Now that you have reset your compass and refocused your energy, start taking restorative steps for your mind and body to create the physical energy and mental state necessary to change the negatives and build on the positives.

One definition of “restoration” isn’t about merely returning something to its former state, but it is about receiving back more than has been lost to the point where the final state is greater than the original condition. Let that be our mission. 

Restorative practices are very personal, so find what works for you.

Here are some suggestions –  

  • Meditate to find your center, your “peace core”, your authentic connection to God and/or the Universe; to plug in to the source of creation, energy and renewal within yourself. A wonderful place to start or continue your meditation practice is Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s Free 21-Day Meditation Experience. A new 21-day experience starts on Monday, October 31st. Check it out HERE. I recommend sitting on a comfortable mat or folded blanket with a smaller, hard pillow or yoga block under your seat. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you will stay in and return to the space. I have a super comfortable mat that I look forward to spending time on every day, both physically and mentally. It looks like this….ztnezf_bk__74778-1389909072-1280-1280

          I call it my magic carpet because I never know where it will take me and I know the                   possibilities are endless.

  • Yoga to find a mind-body connection and increase your energy flow. This can be done through gentle stretching in your home or massive sweating in your local Bikram or power yoga class or something in between. I use all three and choose based on what my body is telling me that day. Although, I always have a slight panic attack just thinking about a yoga class packed with super fit men and women who can balance on one hand (levitate really) with their legs in the shape of their first initial. I can barely touch my toes and need blocks, the big ones, to help me get through most poses. But with each pose I feel myself pushing muscular and mental boundaries. And when I find that flow from pose to pose, inhale to exhale, that flow in my body quickly translates into a sacred, spiritual, mental flow that stays with me long after I roll up my mat.

Namaste!

Would you?

ladybugif you were me, would you let them see
would you let them see you fly

or would you sit on this petal perfectly
and watch them pass you by

if you were me, would you let them see
would you let them see you fall

or would you comfort yourself in complacency
having risked nothing at all

~WTR

A Guided Fall #2 – Refocus

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On October 14th I posted A Guided Fall and posed the question:

Rather than mourn the loss of longer, warmer days until we find ourselves eating turkey and counting how many shopping days remain, how can we consciously create a time of growth and renewal over the next six weeks?

I offered six practices, one for each week.

Reflect . Refocus . Restore . Revive . Receive . Rejoice

Here is the second installment for our second week.

Refocus – Last week’s exercise on reflection hopefully gave you a sense of, and maybe even a clear list of, where to refocus your energy. You’ve identified areas of your life that are important and deserve more of your attention, more time and space to grow. You’ve also identified habitual behaviors, destructive patterns, knee-jerk reactions, or even toxic environments or relationships that you need to finally shed light on and either deal with differently or discard entirely.

With that as our guide, below are some practices to help refocus our energy on the path we are consciously forging:

  • Identify the feelings and thoughts that creep in and cause you to act in ways you never intended, shifting your direction, choice by unconscious choice.
  • Practice mindful awareness throughout your day to maintain focus on your priorities. Are you giving those important areas the time and space they need or are they falling to the end of your “to do” list?
  • Recognize when you feel your best, your happiest, most connected, most fulfilled, most hopeful. Make a list of what contributed to it and what compromised it. Replace the compromisers with contributors. Recognize, replace, refocus, repeat.     
  • Refocus your energy with manageable adjustments to produce significant changes over time.     

A Guided Fall

autumn-1649207_960_720Rather than mourn the loss of longer, warmer days until we find ourselves eating turkey and counting how many shopping days remain, how can we consciously create a time of growth and renewal over the next six weeks?

After the lazy days of Summer, the long weekends, the loose schedules and lack of structure, I see the signs of Autumn all around me. Whether it’s the late day sun shining on a crimson leaf, the crunch of acorns below my feet or the smell of apple cider on the stove. As the bronze glow fades from my skin, a similar glow around my spirit dims as the back to school, back to structure bell tolls.

I am hesitant to let go of the care-free feeling I embraced the last three months. It makes me wonder if people began to refer to Autumn as Fall because a fall is usually something you don’t choose to do. You don’t choose to fall down the stairs. In fact, you make every conscious effort not to fall. You don’t choose to fall in love, you just brace yourself when you feel the arrow pierce your heart. Leaves don’t even choose to fall from trees, they just can’t hold on any longer. And no one chooses to turn their back on summer, to just pack up their swim suit and walk bravely toward winter. That fall must be involuntary, from warm to cold, from light to dark.

But just because we fall against our will, doesn’t mean our fall has to be unconscious. Autumn is a time of harvest. So I invite you to welcome the six practices I set out below into your lives for the next six weeks for a guided, conscious fall through Autumn. And how many of us actually (or secretly) seek such structure, long for predictable patterns, and thrive on schedules.

The intent is to harvest the gifts you already have by seeing them with new eyes, appreciating them with a new heart, utilizing them with new focus and celebrating them with new energy.

Today I offer the first – Reflection. Each of the following five weeks I will offer the next practice so we can digest and explore each one fully before moving on to the next. May these practices yield an abundant and bountiful harvest. 

Reflect . Refocus . Restore . Revive . Receive . Rejoice

Week 1:  Reflect – First, reflect on…

What’s working in your life and what is not?

What do you need more of and what do you need less of?

What are your strengths and what areas could use some work, some focus, some love. Look at each aspect of your life (mother/father, husband/wife, lawyer/doctor, writer/singer, friend, caregiver) with a clear mind and a compassionate heart. Be fair but forgiving, objective but empathetic.

What direction are you headed right now? What major decisions in your life set you on that path? What small choices that you make every day, intentionally or without any thought, have subtly changed your direction over time?

Does that direction align with your core values and goals? What would a slight pivot look like? What would a complete sea change entail?