We live in complex times… We are all different yet the same, as we are all human, all part of humanity and the universe. We must embrace our lives, our relationships, and our world as the precious gift that it is, seeing that compassion of heart is truly the only path to both our inner peace and peace for our world.
The lazy, sweet days of summer…
The summer is in full swing and I am thinking about things I can do to really enjoy the fruits of the season. I want to do things that will bring joy and meaning to my summer days. I started to think back to my childhood… I went to camp, played outside, spent my days at the beach… I was carefree and easy drinking bug juice and sailing the summer seas. Childhood immediately brings us to a time where we were playful, joyful, imaginative, and curious. I want this summer to be like that! We are not taking any vacation per say, but as you know I live on an island that is a vacation destination. My challenge to myself is to carve out a little time each day to find a simple pleasure of summer. Here are some of the things that I am going to try to do:
Simple Pleasures – Fun things to do this summer:
- Make a sun tea – my husband is always asking for iced tea and though he is a traditional iced tea drinker, I want to make some delicious herbal fruity drink too.
- Build a sandcastle – it is so wonderful to just focus on digging in the sand and molding shapes with water and your hands.
- Play hopscotch or jacks, or another favorite childhood game like Miss Mary Mack! That will bring a smile to your face for sure!
- Go beachcombing – look for stones, shells, and beach glass, find the sea trinkets that are calling your name.
- Gather your family and friends and sit around a firepit and enjoy smores. Sing a campfire song or tell a scary story too!
- Retake a picture from an earlier time in your life. Family photos are really fun to do! We did that last summer – in the original photo my kids were 10, 7, and 4, in the re-do, they were 23, 20, and 17.
- Play in the waves. Grab a boogie board or a raft and float in the sea.
- Have a bbq and play lawn games – croquet, wiffle or volleyball, or badminton. Capture the flag is one of our family favorites.
- Make a chalk drawing on a sidewalk. Let your creativity flow.
- 10. Go out for ice cream and an evening stroll. There is nothing like a summer evening and a gelato, ice cream or frozen yogurt. My favorite is frozen yogurt with a little hot fudge.
- Play a round of mini golf. When the sun goes down and you are looking for an evening activity, head to your local mini golf course. Make bets with each other and heighten the stakes and the laughs!
- Take an outdoor yoga or tai chi class. A great way to begin or end your day, movement and fresh air will help you ground and balance yourself.
- Spend an hour under a tree in a hammock. What a peaceful way to recharge and reflect.
- Sit outside and read or draw. I love just sitting on my deck with a cup of coffee or tea, reading from my current book, or with a sketchpad in hand, I might color my wildflower garden or the view of the water.
- Have a beach picnic at sunset. One of my favorite things to do is be on the beach at sunset. It is not so much the dropping of the sun into the sea, but the afterglow – the light and color in the sky is magnificent. And don’t forget your favorite food and beverages, or your chairs or blanket, so you can relax and enjoy yourself.
Let me know what your summer simple pleasures are and more importantly, how they make you feel. This summer, let’s all feel the joy, the peace, and the love that we deserve.
Do things happen for a reason, or is it all just random? And so the question of whether or not there is a prescribed path for each of us to follow, a designated sequence of events, is pondered. Is there a grand plan? A friend recently suggested that if indeed there was a grand plan for everyone, then why was I worried or stressed or sad? I should just trust the plan and more importantly, I should try not to analyze “why” things happened. Are there truly lessons to be learned that we contract to experience, lessons that guide us through our own personal mine fields where we bloom or implode, and outcomes are written in our destiny? It is said that our soul’s journey is comprised of prescribed lessons that we agreed to learn before we came into this life, lessons that we will learn no matter what path and relationships we choose. I read that what you are doing does not matter so much as what you are learning from doing it. Maybe then the lesson is not in the “why” it happened, but in the fact that it happened at all. Life is after all about moments. And each moment and event is filled with the opportunity to learn something about our selves. Each moment or event opens the door to other opportunities and paths for us to explore. But are we guided to these certain experiences by some inner aspect of our selves? How often have we known that a decision is correct, or that a choice resonates truth? Would that be a confirmation from our higher self or divine guidance from within? We simply have to follow the path. One friend described her path as “following the bouncing ball.” She had experienced something extraordinary and now was attuned to the sound of that bounce – the one that reverberates and says, “come” and adds “do not fear for all will be OK”. When I think of my path, I think of following a thread – or a ribbon that is at my place at the table and winds its way through and intersects with other ribbons, embodying all that it feels, sees, senses, and hears, becoming educated in who it is so that when it reaches the big centerpiece box filled with surprises and joy in the center, it lands in gratitude. I like that metaphor – each day, each experience is new and so a surprise, and the hope is that at our center, our lives are filled with gratitude and joy. It is of course up to us to make the choices, have the perspective, and the perceptions that can lead us through our embedded scripts where we will encounter the conflict and pain that will deliver us to that joy filled center. When I watched Life of Pi, I was struck by something the father said, “How can you find your way if you don’t choose a path?” There is always some choice that we will have to make, that will determine what we will experience, what relationships we have, what paths we follow. It is our free will that we must exercise, that we can exercise, to enjoy the surprises that the bouncing ball or the thread invite us to explore. And it is also our free will that can keep us open and listening for that inner voice, our inner guide that does indeed seem to know what is best for us, that informs us of what is true, what path we should follow, and when we will learn the lessons we came to learn. My astrologer of twenty years always reminds me that free will can change everything. It can affect timing, circumstances, and relationships. But ultimately it guides us to see what is within us. It instructs us to transform the way we view our selves and everything around us. So let us bless this idea that things happen for a reason, that we will learn our lessons, and that there exists within us a higher intuitive self that offers guidance and insight. And as for free will changing everything, let it change us all, and the world, for good.
I had always been intrigued by Anais Nin’s quote, “I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” The idea of diving deep into life, not wanting to live on the surface, and really understanding what was in my heart and soul, was a driving force in my creating this blog, and to how I would ultimately pursue my dreams and passions in life. So here I am, submerging myself in the depths of my soul… listening to the quiet stillness… the silent echoes… transforming with each moment.
“Take things as they come.” “Be present.” “Live the moment.”
All great drops of advice and all important to having peace in your heart. So why is it that we have such a difficult time doing them? Many of us analyze, over analyze, think, and over think why certain events and relationships happen in our lives. We are stuck on not only the fact that they happened, but on the why. After all, everything happens for a reason. But is it so important to know that reason Can’t we just accept that it happened and look for what it has shown us, taught us, and how it has helped us grow?
If there was ever a statement that strongly resonated with me it would be Caroline Myss’ words: “Let me give up the need to know why things happen as they do. I will never know and constant wondering is constant suffering.” I spent years trying to find the reason why something happened, why I made the choice I did, why things had worked out as they had. It was so painful and I suffered greatly. Living in the past or holding on to a fantasy is such a waste of energy. And it causes great hardship. Trying to decipher all the meanings in our personal universe is exhausting and we may not find all the answers we seek, or want for that matter. The search could be enlightening, but most often we feel anguish, sadness, and heartbreak when we remain in that search for the reasons why.
We all make mistakes. We all experience some emotional trauma. We all suffer. But we have the power, the choice, to free ourselves from that pain. I have often joked with friends about how it is time to get off misery road, that it is within our power to change the trajectory of our lives. We must choose to be vigilant and redirect our thoughts away from the questions of why something happened, why a relationship soured, why a person is the way they are, why a job didn’t work out, why we had to lose a loved one… why our life is the way it is. The best thing we can do for ourselves is give up the need to know why things happen as they do and just accept that they did, that they are as they are now. Just accept and allow the lesson. I dislike the expression, “It is what it is,” but it is the truth, and I find myself thinking or saying those words a lot lately.
So turn off of misery road and turn on to the road of joy, of happiness, of contentment, and of peace. Turn off your wondering mind. Cease the inquiry. Give up the need to know the why and concentrate on what is – focus on the present moment, and then focus on each subsequent moment as you experience life.
“Take things as they come.” “Be present.” “Live the moment.”
Peace of mind and soul can be yours. It is your choice.
Every thought, feeling, sound, or action from us contributes to the nature of the vibration that emanates from our body. The truth is that we can attract similar energy vibrations to us. Have you ever been with a group of friends where the joy is so infectious that your belly hurt from all the laughter? Or conversely with a friend who was sad, and you felt that sadness in your own heart and soul. It is so important to be mindful of our energy and what vibrational message we are sending out. Breathing is the first step to our becoming aware of our energetic signature. Just breathing deeply, fully, in complete cycles of inhalation and exhalation, will help get our energy moving. Another really helpful practice, is to each morning before you do anything else, wake up your body. Spend the time each and every morning to ground and center yourself. Whether it is a simple stretch sequence or a personal yoga practice, spend the first few minutes of each day becoming mindful of how you feel – body, mind, heart, and soul. Scan your body as you stretch, as you breathe… Notice where the kinks are, notice what thoughts are getting stuck, and breathe and move through it. Get your energy flowing. Set your vibration to receive joy, happiness, patience, love… whatever it is that you want to embrace you.
I have always loved kaleidoscopes, my eye taking in all the ever changing shapes and colors. Life is like that too… the patterns, the lightness and darkness of our days… All it takes is that twist of hand, that shift of perspective, the ever so slight altering of something to bring about a change. A deep relaxed breath… a stretch of the arms towards the sun… an opening of your heart… Life is ever-shifting, each moment offering an opportunity to change and alter our outlooks and outcomes.
It has been such a long time since I have really written anything… I have been thinking about that lately, and feeling that it might be time to dive in to my heart that feels so broken, shattered from the loss of my father, and the shifts of life that have rippled from that loss. A friend sent me a book shortly after my father died… “How to Heal A Grieving Heart” by Doreen Virtue and James Van Praagh. It was given to her and signed by James Van Praagh, yet she felt called to put it into my hands. If you don’t know this book, each page has a separate thought, so you can just open the book to any page and find some bit of inspiration to help you through your grief. I think one of the first things I read from it was about how one great loss will trigger other unhealed losses. I had been experiencing that and reading that passage validated what I was going through. And so I have been wading through all the other losses that I thought I had put into place, accepted, understood, integrated, healed… only to discover of course that that was the furthest thing from the truth, my truth. Why when I wanted to focus on grieving the death of my father did I have to think about other things, relationships, parts of myself that brought up so much emotion. But there it all was. And I really had no choice but to somehow find my path through it all. My heart ached. I was depleted emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And ten months later, I can’t believe that my father has been gone (in the physical sense) for ten months, I am still very much immersed in the process and feelings of that grieving. Tears flow daily and I basque in the salt of my personal sea.
I think that our hearts are continually being broken – but broken open so that we may have the opportunity to really see who we are and who is really there for us in our lives. I have talked to many friends that have experienced the loss of a loved one, and everyone shares this – that the dynamics in their relationships change. Perhaps the person who died was the glue of the family… perhaps in the process of the death family members did not see things exactly the same way… or perhaps because we are all unique, we handle our grief as we handle our life in different ways. The point is, things change. Everything changes. And the change is continual. And so I take comfort in the fact that the sadness or pain or anger or disconnectedness I feel will change too. I think loss is the great wave that washes over us and like the ocean washing the shore, exposes every rock, every shell, every granule of sand, every piece of us. It forces us to be in the light, and yet there is the darkness too, when the water blankets us and allows us to stay in our depths, in whatever feelings we choose to be in at that time. I prefer the light. I relish the sunlight that shines on the beach, on me, warming my heart so that feelings of acceptance and love emanate from my soul, from my very core essence. But I also recognize the importance of the darkness and the time spent in that place. There is a quote about how it is darkness that gives us the opportunity to see the light. I think I see the light now – I think I see the path, to healing and love and acceptance and understanding of it all. And that is all we can really ask of ourselves – to find our way in a manner that allows us to be in the light of love and happiness, if even just for a moment each day.
We begin our very physical existence in water. It is in the womb that we are surrounded by the gentle, soothing fluid that allows our consciousness to develop, our human-ness to form.
There is something so beautiful, natural, and serene about being one with the nature of life itself. There is an inherent truth to an integral return to that from which we came, that from which we developed and discovered ourselves, that from which our consciousness is at home and one with. It is the very nature of our mermaid soul…
Returning to our natural states is as necessary as the air we must breathe to live, as the sustenance we require to exist as a complete and conscious body. It is there that we can awaken to our greatest power and potential.
Life crashes us with its thunderous surf. It lulls us with its tides. It pushes us with its currents. We only need to look at the waters to understand the vulnerability and strength within us. We only need to dive deeply into where we came from to recover the treasures that are within our hearts and souls.
Breathe and anchor yourself in the rush of each present wave… surrender to the flow… allow the sea to carry you, just as it did at your very beginning.
I have been pondering one of my catch phrases… “Dive deep”. Meaning is a subjective thing. We give everything in our life meaning by the value we place on it. So I asked myself, what is the value of diving deep into my heart and soul? The painful unraveling of the puzzle of who I am, chiseling the layers of self protection to discover that essence, where every breath, if I let it, helps shatter the illusions, the non truths, inviting me to reach for and grasp my very passion and purpose that I am diving for, to find and live in alignment and balance.
We dive for the inspiration to get through our day, our life. We dive for answers to our many questions. We dive with our mermaid sisters so we can know that we are not alone, that we are supported and loved though our journey is fraught with emotional undertows.
We dive deeply into our selves so that we may find our highest and greatest good, so that we can know peace and joy in our soul. For when we follow our passion, we indeed find our purpose and then our world all at once makes perfect sense. Dive deep…