Honoring Rhythms and Cycles

My world has slowed right down.

It’s January. The craziness of the holiday season is over, I’ve finished the rounds visiting friends and family and I can finally sit here in my PJ’s, relax and enjoy. We’ve had about 25 cms of fresh snow over the last two days, and it’s a wonderful excuse to stay home. Sure, I can get out easily in my SUV with great winter tires, but just because I can doesn’t mean I have to. In fact, I don’t even want to.  At least not today.

Winter is a time for stillness, for letting everything settle down and move more slowly. I’m not saying life should stop dead, only that we should take a clue from all the animals hibernating. If we don’t fly south to escape, it’s natural to have an impulse to hide away from everything, at least for a little while.

The whole crazy holiday thing becomes even more stressful because it takes place in winter.  When you add in bad weather, the inevitable colds and flus, lack of sunshine and the innate desire to slow day on cold days it’s no wonder it’s a stressful time.  But people power through it, out of internal and external obligations.

I for one, am glad that I can finally honor my natural rhythm, and rest. Stay a little quieter for just a little while. It’s a completely natural process to have ebbs and flows of energy in your life. It’s a cyclical process, just like the seasons and it’s ok to give into the urge to curl up by the fire-place, ( or in my case, on the couch under a blanket) and put off the to do list for a little while.

I’m using the snow as an excuse. I don’t really need one, but I’ll gladly take it if it’s there.

 

 

 

New Years Intentions

The word resolutions is  loaded, mostly with perceptions of failure and broken promises. This year, rather than resolving to do anything, I am simply making a list of intentions.

What I intent to focus my attention on this year:

Love, Fun and Laughter

Love is the obvious one, for obvious reasons. Because it’s so obvious, I thought about omitting it, but I didn’t want to read my intentions later, and ask “Where is the love?”, hehe.   The Fun and Laughter – well, I don’t want to take life too seriously. I never have any fun when I do, and where is the fun in that?

Living Joyfully

I intent to live each moment with as much joy as I can, but when I can’t, I intent to allow myself to feel whatever else I’m feeling, to sit with it, hopefully understand it, and then let it go, and come back to joy.

Dancing

Everyday I dance, I have a better day. As someone who loves and respects herself, I think I owe it to myself to try to have more better days, more often. I want to dance, or at least to move, every day. With my hoop, with tunes, or just grooving to the rhythm of the traffic going by – I need to move to feel free.

Sharing

I have made sharing my light and love my life’s work, so sharing has to be included here. This year I intend to branch out – to share more in more ways. I want to share with my writing, with teaching, with my serving, with dancing and in as  many ways as I can, without over extending myself. The flip side of this, is allowing others opportunities to share their gifts with me, to really allow an exchange of energy, love, light, gifts and talents to happen to see what will happen.

Simplicity

I intend to focus on the important things in life, and allow myself to let go of extraneous things. I know what is important to me (Love, family, friends, food, wine, dance, laughter, conversations, nature, reading and writing all make the short list).  I tend to be interested in all things, and while that is great in so many ways, I think this will be the year I try to spend my  limited time, energy, attention and funds on the things that truly matter to me.

My Love

I am getting married this year to an amazing man.   Our relationship, wedding, honeymoon and marriage are taking center stage right now .. . It’s so easy to get carried away with the party. I intent to stay present and focused on what’s really important: The party! Just kidding. But seriously, I am excited to host an event dedicated exclusively to the celebration  of our love. I am so grateful for the opportunity, mostly cause I really do love a good party,  and because it  give me a chance to incorporates so many of the other things that I intend to focus on anyway. Love, fun, laughter,  living joy fully, sharing, dancing, and even simplicity.

May this next year be full of Love, Light, Laughter, Fun, Joy and Beauty!

All the best in 2011!

Reframing Christmas

I just had the best Christmas I’ve ever had.

For the first time in my life, I wasn’t with my family. I was with friends, and my fiance. I made the decision to stay off the icy roads this year and stay home. I felt really guilty at first. I felt like I was abandoning my family, but I just really, really didn’t want to do the whole Christmas thing this year. I wanted to ignore it completely. To be honest, I was getting a little bah humbug about the whole thing.

It might seem weird for someone who is all over the whole love, peace and joy thing to hate Christmas, but let me give you some background.

My parents were divorced when I was six, and from that time on, every Christmas, it was always a choice between Mom or Dad. When I was really little, they chose obviously. When I was older, I made the choice, and usually chose to spend it with my Dad, because then I got to see more family all at once. It was kind of the utilitarian choice. But no matter who I was with, I always felt like I was letting the other part of my family down.

We had some of the usual Christmas drama, as most families do. Some mild fighting, which is almost inevitable when that many people are together in an intensely emotional time of sleep deprivation, extra sugar, extra excitement with the added instability of the departure from the usual routine. But every year, I grow to hate Christmas more and more, even though I always wound up having fun in the end.   I would cry every year, usually on Christmas Eve ’cause I missed Mom, or Dad and it was usually just too much for me to handle.

So this year I wanted to stay away from all of that, to avoid all those feelings. But I still felt them. I still felt angry and sad and annoyed by Christmas even though I wasn’t going to go through all of that this year. I was so upset about it that I wondered if something traumatic had happened that I couldn’t remember on a Christmas day.

I asked my sister, since she has a much better memory (or hasn’t repressed as much from childhood as I did) and she did tell me a story that explained the depth of my feelings. One year and we can’t remember what year that was, Mom and Dad couldn’t decide who would have us on Christmas day, so we spend the morning with Mom and headed off to the airport to fly as unaccompanied minors in the afternoon to Dad’s house. The flight was empty and the flight attendants fussed over us, with a lot of pity for the poor kids of divorced parent’s flying them all over the place on Christmas day.

It all made a little more sense to me then, my feeling of being pulled in two directions at once at Christmas. I spent some time letting myself feel the unfairness of it all.  I cried, because at the time I didn’t really realize at the time how much it sucked. To survive, I just sucked it up and buried it deep down inside . I had to let myself feel that pain before I could let go of it. Feeling an emotion is the only way you can be free of it.

Once I actually acknowledge just how much Christmas sucked for me growing up, I felt lighter. Up until that point, nothing I tried really let me enjoy Christmas for more than a few moments. Now I can start reframing Christmas on my terms. As an adult, in a new city, with a new family and friends of my own.

And you know what? My whole family was supportive of me starting new traditions. They know I love them, and that I’ll get to see them next week, to celebrate without the past hanging over my head. This year, I was able to stay in the present. To be present and enjoy Christmas on my own terms, with love and joy in my heart instead of old hurts  and sadness. I’m actually already looking forward to next year.

I actually am happy.

A question was posted on a hooping forum I am member of. The question was: ” Are you happy?  No seriously?Are you  happy?”

My answer seemed like something I might as well  share here as well as on the board.

” I am happy. Not always of course, sometimes I get kind of down, sad or angry, but it generally passes quickly and I’m back to my baseline state of happy. I’m not all and rainbows and puppies, but there are moments- many moments lately when I’m not just happy, I’m joyful and I actually feel like I might just explode into confetti sparkles. I really try not to be nauseating about it, but I’m sure I’ve annoyed people who don’t want happiness around them.

It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this place though. A lot of self discovery, a lot of introspection and dealing with old emotions that I had just ignored at the time. Lots of (don’t laugh, it was pretty helpful) inner child work, lots of journaling, meditation, prayer, physical activity,  lots of work on identifying what I actually wanted out of life and then manifesting that. I read hundreds of self help books, I’ve gone on lots of retreats and workshops.

I think the most important thing I’ve learned about happiness for me is that I am the one who is responsible for my own happiness. No one else is. I get to choose how I react to every single event, every moment of my life. I might as well choose to be happy and to make choices that make me happy.  Now, I know that if you are chemically depressed it’s not as easy as just this, but it still comes down to making choices and taking personal responsibility for your life.

You create your reality with your thoughts. If you think life sucks, it will. The more you love life, the more it will love you back. It is the law of attraction, the secret… whatever you call it, we live the life we think of.

Whatever you think of comes back to you… If you focus on the crap, what you lack, what sucks and what has made you unhappy in the past, you just wind up attracting more of it into your life. It sounds so trite, but there really is something to the whole positive thinking jazz.

You can train your brain, and choose your thoughts. It’s really tough at first, but you can use things like meditation and NLP (neurolinguistic programming) to change your thought patterns and put them under your control. Then, you can consciously create your reality. Gratitude is one of the most powerful ways of cultivating thing. Practicing gratitude automatically changes your thoughts and will actually change your life. After awhile it becomes a habit and things start to get crazy wonderful when you are grateful for everything that is.

Once you’d created happy, healthy thought habits, you have the power to create the life that makes you happy. You get to choose happiness in every moment.

Barney Stinson said it best. “One morning I woke up and I was sad, and then I decided to be awesome instead. True story!”

After years of learning how, I can finally do this and it’s more rewarding that I can even explain.
Life becomes awesome at a whole ‘nother level.

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest girl in the world

I am so immensely grateful for my friends and family. I am surrounded by amazing, incredibly loving and supportive people.

This post is purely to say thank you to everyone.

It was sparked by my gratitude for a surprise birthday party on Saturday night. I went to a concert with my fiance and two of my best friends, and met up with a few more friends there, but unfortunately, due to $ and circumstances, not everyone was able to make it that night. I figured I just wouldn’t really have a big gathering this year. But I came home to find a group of my friend hiding and giggling in my bathroom at 2:30 in the morning. I had no idea what they had been planing, and it was a crazy beautiful surprise orchestrated by my fiance and best friend.

Then to top it off, they brought art supplies and they painted two beautiful abstracts of how they see me and my soul.

They are so beautiful, I cried. The pictures don’t really do them any justice.  My friends are artists, every one of them, in professional and just for fun capacities… I can’t believe I get to hang these works of art where I can see them everyday and be reminded of  how much love there is in the world, and how lucky I am to be a part of it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Other creative outlets

I haven’t posted much lately because I’ve been obsessed with another creative outlet of mine. Dance, and more specifically hoopdance.

I’ve gotten a few new hoops and I haven’t wanted to put them down. I haven’t wanted to do much else honestly. I find dancing to be a place of meditation for me as well as form of exercise and way to play and to be free.

Dancing with a hoop is dancing with centrifugal force as a dance partner. It’s just you and the laws of physics dancing together, the hoop responding to your every move. Best dance partner I’ve ever had. It takes me to a flow state, a place of presence so much more quickly than any other thing I do.  It’s also a toy, it’s fun to play with (although the hoops we dance with are bigger and heavier than toy hoops).

 

I have been finding my expression through dance, rather than words, but I started to feel the words plugging up inside me too. I know I need to find a balance, but it always takes me awhile. So, if I’m not posting, blame the hoop, blame work, blame my laziness. But I’ll be back. I have way too much to say to stay away for very long.

My Meditation on 11/11/10

A few days ago I posted about the project http://www.newrealitytransmission.com/ which was encouraging people to meditate on world peace and raising consciousness on 11/11/10 at 11:11 pm EST for 11 mins, and then continue for 11 days.

I had a few friends over that night, beautiful wise beings who are talented lightworkers, healers and artists. We had a bit of extra time together to prepare and connect before the meditation because we had miscalculated the translation from EST to MST originally. It was divine timing really, because we were able to take our time setting up an altar with crystals, candles, incense, statues and some oracle cards. We smudged the house with sage and enjoyed each others company. I had bought a bottle of wine with the intention of opening it afterward in celebration, but in a moment of inspiration (or was it thirst?) I decided to open it and I poured us a glass in a red goblet. We toasted to many things. Life, light, love, peace, friendship… It was some of the most delicious wine I’ve had, and I think that was a combination of the set, setting and company and divine guidance for the evening.

We settled in to meditate after inviting our guides, and any other beings of light who wanted to join us. I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and said “guide me!”

I used a circular breathing pattern I learned from a meditation retreat in Sedona, Az. You basically just take one breath after another, without pausing at all between inhalations and exhalations. This sends more oxygen into your blood than you are used to and can take you to some pretty deep places quickly.

The first image I saw was of a Thai stone Buddha statue. Just the face, and it was the Buddha of compassion.There were so many other images and sensations. The most amazing things was seeing the earth light up with a grid of energy connecting all living beings. I saw the human brain light up, and bodies made of light. Then I had the almost overwhelming sensation of feeling connected to everyone, including friends from countless lives past. We had a beautiful soundtrack playing, and once the bird songs came in, it was like being immersed fully in all of nature.

I said to myself “I never want to leave here!”. It was blissful and joyful, and I was told “You’re always here, silly!”.

Then, our timekeeper rang, and we all slowly roused ourselves from our meditation. It was the shortest 11 minutes of my life, and none of us wanted to stop! It was beautiful. It was amazing.

I can’t wait for tonight.

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