Monthly Archives: July 2012

The moments that open your heart

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Have you ever had a moment that felt so pure and real.. like the inside of your chest created space to hold that moment? Your throat started to close up a bit and you found yourself in a moment that felt purely authentic?

That’s an open heart. A moment when you could literally feel the inside open.. and the rest of your body can’t seem to function the same. It just stops everything else and allows your heart to have that moment. To have an open heart in those moments means you are able to receive.. You create an open channel for that second.. and although the feeling can’t be kept.. it can be remembered.

Through our lives we have moments when your heart is peeled open and the sensation that comes with it is undescribable. Some of these experiences are so full of joy, while others sadness ensues.. but all of them expand our hearts.

Over the last few days I have found myself in these moments. I went to my Grandpa’s sisters funeral. My Mom told me that Geraldine.. “Jerry” had passed away. I went with my Mom to support my Grandpa, since I didn’t really know Jerry.. just had heard her name.. I knew she was a great quilter.. And while my Mom grabbed some napkins from the car ” just in case” I decided that this funeral was just my support for my Grandfather.. and wouldn’t be emotional for me. I’m glad my Mom had the wits.. As soon as the procession began, I cried. I cried through the first song’s entirety as this beautiful and imperfect quilt was draped over the coffin. I cried because I felt her family’s sense of loss. I cried because I knew my strong and patriarchal Grandpa was a soft towel barely holding on… I cried for all of my losses in life.. I cried. And cried. And my heart opened..

I resisted at first.. not emotional for me. just another service. And then I wept. My heart peeling open. pure. raw.

A lover of animals, It pains me enough to peel open that heart of mine when I see them struggle. A deer on a run had been clipped on the leg… upon further research.. most deer who have broken a limb will not make it. A helpless cat on the edge of the highway.. struggling to meow. These moments are so incredibly painful for me.. they rip open this heart and ask for a place inside.. I resist.. but I must let it in. These are the moments that keep our eyes open. These are the moments that intensify our lives. These are the moments that remind us to show compassion.. and to live compassion.

It may be the birth of your child, or your mother stroking your head before bed.. but these moments exist in each of our lives. They let us remember that we have the capacity to open our hearts. Keep them open. Receive and remember.

 

We have endless love..

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Everyone has experienced a wind of energy or power in their lives. For example, athletes feel a surge of energy when they are engaged in their sport. Or a person may experience a torrent of love or passion for another human being to whom he or she is attracted. Sometimes, we feel energy as a cool breeze of delight rather than a strong wind. For example, when you are hot and perspiring, if you take a shower, you feel delightfully cool and energized at the same time.

Normally we think this energy comes from a definite source or has a particular cause. We associate it with the situation in which we became so energized. Athletes may become addicted to their sport because of the “rush” they experience. Some people become addicted to falling in love over and over again because they feel so good and alive when they are in love. The result of letting go is that you discover a bank of self-existing energy that is always available to you- beyond any circumstance. It actually comes from nowhere, but it is always there. It is the energy of basic goodness.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche- Energy

Stop and smell the Roses

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Just to know youre going in A direction brings comfort. Since being home I have started to better understand that we should not see anything in the lens of a goal. When you reach the goal, you feel accomplished.. yet… there is a trail of dissapointment.. not knowing what to do next.. or maybe already feeling the anxiety of getting higher than that expectation.

The whole reason we’re here is to collect experiences. When you leave your physical body,  you’ll take with you a library of experiences..

So with that being said, I start Grad School this Fall. I don’t plan on having a finish date. I may go to a few classes a year.. or less perhaps.. But there really never is a time like now.

When we fill our lives we have a choice of what to fill it with. I urge you to listen to what it is that brings you to the crisp feeling of being alive. Laughing in the car with people you love. Walking in solitude around the park, stopping at the rose garden to say hello to the recently bloomed toddler flowers, what is it that makes you feel that feeling we’ve all had before.. the feeling of life in its peak.

Personally, my hair against my back moving enough to recognize its presence makes me feel alive. At other times it’s windows down, a great song.. and myself screaming I AM ALIVE.. that makes me feel that perfect moment.

We are so alive today. Take a babystep in the direction of feeling it.

Meditation

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Have you ever asked your mind to slow down? Maybe you were thinking of your to-do list of things and had to write it down. Perhaps you were full of excitement and could barely string sentences together, your mind in life is always in the fast lane. But what if we allowed it time? What if we gave it some rest?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to a Shambhala Meditation Center in Lakewood OH. My sister, Nick and I went from 7-9 to learn more about group meditation and also to have an experience.

What an experience it was.

Meditation is a discipline. It is like a constant reminder of how our minds NEVER stop. With each breath it seemed, I asked myself to refocus on my breath. To allow thoughts to pass through my mind like clouds in a sky. Not to judge my thoughts as good or bad; right or wrong.. But to just label all movement in my mind as thought.. and to refocus on my breath.

Our breath is incredibly powerful. It can be deep and heavy, light and airy, shallow or full, mine even surfaced as shapes in moments. I was more aware of the exact moment I was in..

Set your timer, Yes right now.For 5 minutes. It’s just 5 minutes, and it will feel amazing. Sit still. Feel your breath as you inhale and your chest raises slowly… and then exhale as your rib cage and chest lower. Keep focusing on your breath. Feel it go in and out.. No need to change the movement.. let it be what it is in the moments. but Focus just on your ins and outs. Raises and lowers.  Each time your mind wanders away from you and you catch yourself thinking of something else, come back. Come back to your breath. Just label your thought as thought and nothing more.. It is not good or bad.. It is just a thought and your mind is trained to think.. but Come back. Join the breath. Feel it in. and feel it out.

This beautiful shell we call our body is run by this amazing thing we’ve never seen. And because it’s not on our to-do list .. we don’t give it rest, ever. Give it a minute. Let it be still. Remind yourself to breathe.

I continue on my journey of collecting all this beautiful data and difficult data at times but with a more open mind to how it will teach me.

Reality

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Tomorrow is one week. It has been a week to set my fat feet back into my everyday “reality.” Reality is such a sensitive word.

Reality. I heard that word a lot when I came home, “Is it weird to be back to reality?” One of the many nuggets of wisdom I left my trip with was about my reality.

Here we are living this life. We are living with every breath and we forget. We forget that with this life we have opportunity after opportunity. Everyday we wake with a day full of choices. Which side of the bed, what’s for breakfast, when is the shower (morning, evening?) on and on and on. They’re little, sure. but they’re reality. They’re YOUR reality.

For example, today I decided shoes were, well, optional. I went to Yoga shoeless, I left the library and headed to the park shoeless, I walked to dinner shoeless.. I wanted contact with the earth. It felt like being alive to me. And so.. I made it my reality.

The truth is, coming home wasn’t stepping out or into a new reality. I am my reality. What I choose to be and eat, and do, and live.. isn’t going to change because my environment has.

Think of your life. You create and manifest your reality too. Let the power of your light and love lead you. Let it speak to you and help you. Let it keep you authentic.

I will continue to live in my alterred “reality.” And I say alterred because I do feel changed. The trip allowed a part of myself to open and free itself.

But I can say that my reality will continue to change and yours does and will too.

But let’s not fear it. Let’s not wait until tomorrow to make things better, different.. brighter. As Dr. Seuss so nicely put, “You’re off to great places,Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”

It’s what you make of your day. Your opportunity. Your reality and your moments to live.

Choose with care. Choose with your soul.

An Old Place

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I have a beautiful family. I have 2 amazing sisters, an unbelieveably deep mother, and a full of love and care father. Our family went through divorce when I was in 6th grade. Although young (11-12), the memory continues and at times asks the question of “What if?”

With that being said, holidays can be sticky. I want to see my Mom and Dad and family members, and boyfriend, and his family etc; however, the time ticks away many times leaving the feeling of guilt. Should have gone there, should have called. etc…

Yesterday we revisited an old place. My sisters and Nick and myself jumped in the car and scooted our way to an old cottage community where we spent many summer moments growing up. The traditional community has been a heartfelt place and it was a difficult separation when we no longer had a cottage. Yesterday, though, we went and enjoyed the beach and Lake Erie at its finest. We watched the parade and had some ice cream snacks and mid way through the day we all went with our gut and instead of staying for the night, we left. We came back to home base and relaxed the holiday’s afternoon and evening away, not even seeing fireworks.

A  year ago, or even six months ago, this would have felt like a let down for me. The attachment of this special place, not seeing EVERY member of the family, not making my own parade. But maybe because of my trip, or maybe because I’m a year older, I didn’t feel sad. I sat in discomfort for moments at a time, but I embraced with open arms. I allowed it to pass through me like a wave passing. And it did pass. The evening was spent with friends and Nick.. enjoying the comfort of Air Conditioning and blankets..

And it was perfect in its moment. It felt right and listening to these bodies, minds, moments, feelings, energy is so important.

When you get those feelings, don’t jump on those feelings, just listen to them. Sit in them. Embrace them with open arms. Your soul is so powerful, give it a chance to just BE.