Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. Rumi

love

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dldldldlldldlldldl
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Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Asking for Guidance (and summertime craziness)



In the morning when you wake, lie on your back and be perfectly still.  Silently say to yourself, "Today I will make no decisions by myself."  Say this several times until you feel that you have meant what you are saying.  Then add, "I will make no decisions by myself because it is no longer intelligent to do so.  Instead, I will make all my decisions in silent counsel with the Infinite.  Erich Schiffmann

photographer unknown

I just pulled the above words out of the book I was gushing about a couple of posts ago.  The book is entitled Yoga, The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann. Everything I read is knocking my socks off.

With all the summertime busyness and having little time to myself, I'm finding it more and more necessary (though not at all easy) to let go and turn it over...to constantly ask for guidance in the midst of whatever wild thing happens to be going on.  I'm doing my best to let go of the idea that I'm going to find some sort of rhythm to my "schedule," this summer, or that I'm going to get the things done that I want to get done, exactly when I want to get them done.  Just as I was beginning to type this, the power spontaneously turned off (I have no idea why) and I lost the several sentences I had finally gotten around to typing.  And now a mosquito is insisting on pestering the hell out of me.  My kids will be awake any moment asking for breakfast and attention & I have a date at the Bikram yoga studio an hour and a half from now (!)....I can't wait to tell you about that later.

So, for today and probably for these upcoming summer days, I will keep this short and simple.  And I will keep doing my best to turn it over and ask for guidance and let go, let go, let go of everything else.

So, here's the exercise...whenever your're faced with a decision, pause for a moment and tune into the sensations in your body, get still and quiet and ask for guidance.  I find that when I take the time to do this before I eat, before I make a decision of any kind, something subtle and beautiful and knowing answers back.  Give it a try.

Enjoy your weekend, dear readers...see you back here next week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Learning to See

"It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see." Henry David Thoreau
Catch the Sun by Artsy Aubs
Catch the Sun, originally uploaded by Artsy Aubs  (As found here)

"The faith you might think you're lacking is functioning perfectly in your own body. Yes, your own body – the body you might belittle, battle and even mildly detest – your belly, your butt, your wrinkles, your gray! Your body is the body of wisdom. While we are busy rejecting and undermining ourselves, our bodies perform marvelous and supernatural feats twenty-four hours a day. 
Don't believe me? Scratch your nose. Feel your heart beat. Inhale and then exhale. Let your pancreas excrete, your blood flow. Allow the spleen to do whatever the spleen does. Wave your hand; wiggle your toes. Lift your foot and stomp the earth. 
Our bodies are inconceivably intelligent and miraculously reliable. Our bodies are the gateway to the limitless power and potential that we already are."  
*    *    *
Wow.  I just stumbled upon these words written by Karen Maezen Miller from a piece of writing she wrote entitled Body of Wisdom.  If you want to read more go here.  She conveys so eloquently what I have been feeling about the body lately.  My body.  That it's a marvel, a miracle, that's it's "inconceivably intelligent."  No matter how much I've abused and misused my body over the years, no matter how much I've put it down, taken it for granted or wished it different (smaller, taller, more toned, less flabby, etc...) it has continued to beat and see and taste and walk and talk and think and digest and breathe and perform countless other amazing functions I can't even name.  It's mind-blowing when you really start to tune in to this marvel of a thing you walk around in every moment of every day.
Today is day 14 of Learning to Love this Body of Mine.  For 14 days I've been tuning in and asking my body what it wants/needs/prefers.  Before I get out of bed each day I thank it for all the moment-to-moment miracles it performs. Before I eat and while I eat I tune in to how my body feels and listen to what it's telling me. I've been running. I've been doing yoga. I've been drinking a ton of water and smoothies and tea, eating lots of fresh salads.  I've been eating small portions because I'm noticing how much better I feel when I eat lightly.  I stopped drinking coffee, not because I thought I should, but because I had a nudge to.  
I even looked in the mirror the other day (sans clothes) and had a genuine, love-filled exchange.  Truthfully, over the last two years or so, since I've gained many pounds, I've been cringing a little when I look in the mirror.  So this loving exchange felt big and new.
I'm learning that when I tune in to this body of mine that it offers infinite wisdom and that it's not what I'm looking at that matters, but what I see.  
I look forward to much more seeing over the next several weeks.  And to sharing it all with you.  And if you're along on this ride with me, please feel free to share in the comment section-it's so much better with company.
With love,
Julia

Monday, July 25, 2011

Remembering


Photo by Daphne


There is nothing you need to do, you know

no amount of hiding or seeking
or telling or trying will erase
the ache, the weight
the trembling, strangling
middle of the moment
grip
that threatens to feast
on your core

You need only
return
to the part
that breathes
and beats and hears
and Sees
all on its very own

to the part that hums
and sways and dreams
lullabies

of Peace

Come, it says
lean the weight of you
against me
sit and stay

until you remember

that you are tangled
and woven
in stardust
in roots and rivers
in suns and moons
in every breath
that has ever breathed

until you remember

that you are Me
and I am You
that together we
Are

everything

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Go Within


"When you sit quietly and let go of every false self-definition, of everything you think you know about who you are, and then be what's left, what remains is the untarnished presence of who you've always been and still are.  This untarnished presence manifests--shines--as pure, clear awareness and unconditional love.  When you experience your essence, you will feel this natural loving-ness within yourself without having to do anything!"   Erich Schiffmann


Photo found here, unknown photographer

Yesterday I picked up a book that has been sitting on my bookshelf for years. The book is entitled Yoga, The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann.  I don't even know where the book came from, I just followed a nudge that said, go pick that book up.  And now that I've picked it up, I can't put it down.  Every time I read a section, I have to stop for a minute and marvel about how, what he's saying, is so totally, completely in alignment with everything I know to be true, everything I've experienced to be true.  And he says it so clearly and eloquently.  I'm only a few pages in and I'm having to hold back from underlining every single passage I read.  And my body is craving yoga in a deeper way than it ever has before.

Anyway, everywhere I turn, I'm hearing the same thing:  get still, go within, listen.

On day eight of 41 Days of Learning to Love This Body of Mine, in a nutshell,  this is what I'm getting: The answers are always within.  When I, on a moment-to-moment basis, pause and consciously tune IN to what my body wants/needs, when I ask it what I can GIVE it, there is always an answer.  And I can absolutely trust that answer.

Our minds want more than anything to complicate all of this, seeking and trying to come up with the perfect formula, the "perfect" thing out there that has nothing to do with what we uniquely need.  I am finding that I possess every bit of wisdom I've been forever seeking.  

In our third Soul Talk, Alia and I discuss the shifts that have occurred around the body in the last seven days and how it really all comes back to the same thing.


Go Within
Soul Talk # 3



Listen now on the player above (click the arrow) or
right-click HERE to download Soul Talks for listening later.

P.S:  I'm over at Kind Over Matter today.  Please stop by and say hello!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Relax



Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it.   Osho, as found here

   

I can't think of a more important message for today...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Asking & Listening


"Our work is not to change what you do, but to witness what you do with enough awareness, enough curiosity, enough tenderness that the lies and old decisions upon which the compulsion is based become apparent and fall away."  Geneen Roth (from her book Women, Food and God)

Photo by SirĂ©liss

Learning to Love this Body of Mine , Day 5

As I become more consciously tuned-in to my body, as I ask it what it needs, I am hearing all kinds of answers.

This afternoon, while my little ones are at day camp, after a very full, busy last few days, I am taking some time to get quiet and listen.  I am asking my body what it needs in order to feel good, this is what it's saying:

yoga
full, deep, conscious breaths
quiet
lots of water
healthy, balanced foods
fresh air
movement
appreciation
positive thoughts/self-talk/visualizations
pauses to ask and listen before I move on to the next thing
gentle tenderness
prayer
consistently good sleep
Trust

Today is day five of Learning to Love this Body of Mine and even though there has been all kinds of crazy-busy summertime activity going on around here, I have been doing my best to consciously pause in the midst of it all to tune in and ask my body what it needs.  Before I eat, I've been asking my body what sounds good.  While eating, I've been paying attention to the sensations in my body and stopping when I feel satisfied (rather than stuffing myself 'till I can't breathe).  When I feel achy somewhere, I'm noticing and tending to.  I've been saying thank you.  I've been visualizing my body feeling/looking the way I want it to feel/look.  I've been conscious about taking deep, full breaths.

Here's a little exercise for you....

Grab a piece of paper and a pen, find a quiet spot, sit down, take a few deep, full breaths and then ask your body what it really needs. Listen closely. Then write down what you hear.  Do you think you can give your beautiful body what it needs, what it so deserves?

It feels so good to finally be listening.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 2, Getting Conscious


"I want to be the best that I can be. I want to do and have and live in a way that is in harmony with my idea of the greatest goodness. I want to harmonize physically here in this body with that which I believe to be the best, or the good way of life. If you will make those statements, and then do not take action unless you feel good, you will always be moving upon the path in harmony with your idea of that which is good."  Esther Hicks



I'm doing one of those big, long hesitant pauses right now, not sure where to begin.  I write a few words, I delete, my thoughts race all over the place. I feel overwhelmed. I have so much to share about all of this body stuff. I'm struggling a bit with where to focus.  


But as I take a deep breath, I know I only need to focus on one thing at a time.


I want to tell you about Day 1 of "Learning to Love this Body of Mine."  After writing my post yesterday morning, fear really wanted to take over.  I started to wonder what is it I'm really doing here, shouldn't I have more of a focus, what if I disappoint myself/others... blah, blah, blah.  

But in between all of this fear/mind stuff, I kept consciously slowing myself down. I did things that I knew would ground me.  I took a couple of really nice walks, I did yoga outside on my back deck, I sat quietly and listened to the birds for a while. I ate an apple.  

By the way, it's been a long time since I've gotten myself on the yoga mat.  For some reason, even though I know how nourishing it is for my body, I continually resist it.  But yesterday I showed up and it felt so good.  And apples...well, it's funny--it's not that I don't like apples, I just, for some reason, hardly ever eat them.  But yesterday when I was a little bit hungry, I paused and asked my body what it wanted, it immediately said it wanted an apple.  I was totally surprised but I listened and it felt like just what my body needed. My point in telling you this is that I know I wouldn't have done yoga or eaten that apple if I hadn't taken a moment to pause and listen to what my body needed.  

I'm amazed at one happens when I slow down and listen.

As my mind quieted, sweet, supportive voices rose to the surface...they said things like, this is for you, you're doing this for your own healing, all you need to do is slow down and tune IN and ask yourself what would really make you feel good (not just in the moment but in the long term).  The process here is the same as it is for anything else, this is about self love (certainly not about bossing yourself arrive or depriving yourself).

Everything is connected and it seems the process is always about slowing down and turning inward.  This isn't about losing weight and thinking that's going to solve or save anything. This isn't about fixing what's broken. This is about me no longer depriving myself of that which serves my highest good.  

I know that when I am in a state of appreciation, when I focus on the good and the gifts, more good and gifts come.  When I slow down and thank my body for all the moment-to-moment miracles it performs, I am in awe.  I know that when I am in awe and in a a state of appreciation for my body, I want to do good for it...I want to nourish it with healthy food, I want to give it plenty of water, I want to move it and give it fresh air. I want to show it LOVE.  


This is where I am right now...in some moments, I feel overwhelmed & wobbly, in others I'm doing my best to consciously slow down & ask and listen. It's such a comfort to know I'm not alone in any of this.  Thank you for being here.


I want to leave you with a few words from Don Miguel Ruiz...Happy weekend, dear readers.


"Today is a new day, a new beginning for you to give gratitude to your physical body for everything it does for you.  When you learn to love your physical body, every activity can become a ritual of gratitude where you fully express the joy to be alive.  Every time you wash your body can be a prayer of gratitude.  Every time you eat can be more than a prayer; it can be a celebration of life because you are giving food to God so that life can keep going.  Beginning today, you can change your relationship with your physical body, and your whole life will change."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another 41 Days...Moving Toward the Fear


"When you inquire, you begin with whatever is happening now--from wanting to eat an entire pizza to wanting to crawl into bed and stay there for the next fifty years.  You don't assume that you know what you need to do or where you need to go.  You become curious about feelings and sensations.  You listen to your body.  You stop bossing yourself around."  
 Geneen Roth



Don't carry the world upon your shoulders... photo by SirĂ©liss

Okay, so I can't wait another minute to begin.  As much as every part of me wants to squirm out of this and go hide in a big plate of food, there is a nudge here that keeps getting bigger and more insistent...as much as I really want to ignore this, I don't think I'm allowed.

So, may today begin another 41 days.  Those of you who have been following me for a while know I've done a few of these.  My first 41 days (the # 41 was initially inspired because I just recently turned that age) was a practice of getting quiet, the second was a practice of saying YES to my highest truth.

And now...(I know, the anticipation is killing you!)

it appears that today I will begin again.  This one is...

41 Days of Learning to Love This Body of Mine.  

Whew!  Okay, there.  I said it.  It's out there.  

It's amazing, these nudges started coming months ago and, since then, it seems every time I open up someone's blog or open a book or whatever is in front of me, they are, in some way or another, speaking about the body. Doesn't this always happen?  Just when you begin to focus on something, it starts showing up everywhere.  I've yes-ed and no-ed and maybe-ed this for too long now and it doesn't seem to be leaving me alone.

This feels really big for me.  It feels scary.  I have no idea how it will unfold or what I will focus on here.  The idea is to move toward self love, self acceptance for my body, something I'm  really not feeling right now. Something I've never felt.  I don't know how I'm going to do this but I know I must begin.  I am trusting that I will be led/guided/turned toward the light--one wobbly step at a time.  As I've mentioned before, this declaring out loud is extremely powerful.  Once I've declared it here, I'm all in--doubt, fear, excitement, hesitation and all.

In an incredibly insightful post on fear (written by Belle from Creative Spiritual Women) I came across these words:

For me, fear is a clear indicator that I’m supposed to go there. It’s no less real and valid than the street sign on the corner.

So, here I am...day 1 of going there, wherever there turns out to be.  I would love to have you, any of you!  All of you!  join me in this.  Something tells me this is going to be big with a capital B.

Big, deep breath.  Goosebumps.  Okay, I'm pressing publish now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Today


"Today I begin the best week of my life. As I invite my Heart to guide me, I am willing to let go of bitterness, sadness, and any restrictions I secretly hold. I am willing to begin again. I pay attention to moments of grace, effortless, love, and beauty. This is all I focus on today. This is where my True Life is beginning."  Tama Kieves


Good morning, lovely ones,

I hope you are all waking to deep breaths, to slow, conscious looks around at all the beauty that surrounds--inside & outside.  Right now, I sit propped up in bed (the girls are still asleep!), the snoozing, purring, cute cat at my feet. It's raining a bit and the mixture of rain sounds and birdsong are soothing me all over.  

Feeling deeply grateful for a moment like this; for this new day, for a chance to begin again, for summertime and friends who understand, for beautiful, healthy little ones, fresh blueberries that the girls and I picked yesterday, fresh air and quiet and pretty visions of all that is to come.  

Last night I pulled one of my "Truth Cards," and this is what it said, There is time and space for everything I want to do.  This was the perfect card for me to pull, an affirmation that I need to continually repeat.  So often I feel a sense of urgency, like, if I can't do it all today, then it's just never going to happen.  It can be hard to wait for the things you want the most.  

But I know true joy never comes later. There is no later.  There is only this one breathing moment, it is in this moment that all joy/peace/love/compassion are found. I also know that this love that I find in this moment, is all that really matters and is far more important than anything I'll ever do.  

And the next step, it's always Love.

And since one of my little ones is now awake and wants breakfast and attention, I will turn off this computer.  I hope your day overflows with love, for all who/that surrounds--but mostly for your beautiful Self--for you, right now, just as you are. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

So good

...to be home.


Ahhh....

I'm home.  Feeling disoriented.  Missing you, my reader friends, and the sweet connected-ness you all bring to my life.  I will be back soon with more words...for now there is laundry that needs doing, a refrigerator that needs filling, little girls who want the attention of their mommy.  

As I was thinking about what I would write here today, I came across the beginning of something I wrote a few weeks back...words I can relate to, thought maybe you could too.

It's called 

Circling

Sometimes
when the darkness 
is blindingly dark
and you're on your knees fumbling
for the on switch 
but you can't 
find it anywhere and you can't 
remember
what it was that you once
knew

the tiniest
nod of kindness 
can lift you
and spark the spark
that never really went out

And the whole wild broken 
beautiful thing circles 
'round
and 'round
again