Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Body Wisdom in Challenging Times

Yesterday, I felt a slight tension in my chest that often leads to tachycardia (pulse sometimes as high as 200 bpm) that accentuates my regularly irregular heartbeat, (not to worry- it is being cared for and monitored.)

And the thought came, "My heart stumbles."

I've just been sitting with that. A rapid, irregular heart beat can feel like a stumble, the kind of misstep we make when walking if we are distracted, or moving too fast, or feeling very emotional.

So, I remind myself to slow down, to focus on this present moment, and to notice how too much news and passionate commentary can stir up strong emotions that exhaust and disorient. I am not suggesting that we turn away from awareness of our shared world, but I think my heart is reminding me to consider how I can be informed and participate in a sustainable way.

And when it comes to sustainability, our bodies are the experts.

So, what is your body telling you today about what you need? ~Oriah

Just looking at this photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming I imagine the sound of the waves. Perhaps a day to go down to the lake and let their rhythm steady my stumbling heart.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

No Deal With The Divine

There is no deal with the divine, no sacred scoreboard keeping track of and rewarding us for being at our best, or punishing us for lapses in awareness when we are ruled by fear. Hard things- deep losses and daily struggles- happen to good people.

But here's the paradox: There is no deal AND what we do matters. What we do matters because it funds or depletes our ability to greet what happens with an open heart; because we are one strand in an infinite tapestry that connects all that is, and our attitude and actions ripple out into this inter-beingness co-creating our shared world.

For me, this is the core paradox of being human: There is no deal AND what we do matters. If we can hold both of these truths at the same time we can make choices fueled by hope, without white-knuckled attachment to outcome, aware of how little we know or control. In the moments when we can do this, we are free to offer what we can, live with what is, and receive what we need. When we can live the paradox we can let Love hold and guide us.
~Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House

Gratitude to Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming for the photos that remind me- as walking outside does- that life-sustaining beauty presents itself to all without reservation. Reminds me of scripture I heard as a child about how the rain falls on the just and the unjust.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

How To Live The New Year

How do we want to live this year? The thought that keeps popping up when I ask this question is: I want to live as if each action and activity is an end in itself and never a mere means to another goal. For instance, today I drive to a class I am taking. Driving is the means to the end of arriving at the class- which I could easily do on auto-pilot. But what if I treat the drive as more than a mere means- as an end in itself, bringing my full attention to how my body moves and how my breath flows as I drive, noticing how my perception is filtered by the task (hopefully seeing bicyclists sharing the road and not being distracted by the mother arguing with her child on the front porch of a house I pass.) A great deal of our day is consumed by maintenance. We work, shop, cook, clean, run errands etc. What if we did these tasks, (some of them anyway) as a way to be fully present with ourselves. others and the world? Because a great deal of life goes by when we are on auto-pilot or preoccupied by what happened yesterday or what comes next. I don't want to "miss" so much of my life in this way. I want to let peeling potatoes, vacuuming under the bed, and brushing my teeth teach me how to be here fully. Of course it means taking time to smell the roses, but it also means bringing awareness to everyday activities, letting them bring us into this moment. ~Oriah Thanks to Karen Davis at Open Door's Dreaming for this photo.