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Archive for the ‘Health & Healing’ Category

Everyday

Every dawn heralds the beginning of a new day.  We move into our routine slowly, quickly or somewhere between, depending on the day and our circumstances. The everyday grind draws us into the ordinary actions of daily living.

One foot in front of the other;  one step at a time, we navigate the stream of consciousness.  Home, work,  children, shopping, cooking, cleaning, caring for ourselves and others, commuting, resting, relaxing, entertaining, exercising,  connecting, networking, listening, learning, chores and errands…all aspects of everyday.

So too is quiet time;  meditation time;  prayer time.  These precious moments are the easiest to forbear.  Yet managing to weave these activities into the thread of everyday pays great benefits.  They center us, prepare us, help us to ‘go with the flow’.  They can endow the mundane moment with calm, with hope, with meaning.  And having this daily centering enables us to better manage the unexpected when it arises.

This week I invite you to put  some  Spirit time in your everyday .

Downsizing

I began reducing the size of my material goods  two weeks ago.  I am into it, I’m  obsessed.  I missed my annual spring purge and the amount of ‘stuff’ I have is weighing me down.  But this downsize is a biggie,  far beyond spring cleaning.  I am moving to a smaller space.

I started the downsize with my books.  Then into my closets.  My really large 4 drawer file cabinet is empty, reduced to 2 medium-sized  boxes.  My dresser drawers are now only a third full.  My Granddaughter took four boxes of kitchen goodies home.  And Redwood Gospel Mission is coming to pick up a truck load of goodies.

The sorting process is an extended walk down memory lane.  I found a cache of baby teeth.  Can’t imagine their donor’s would want them at this stage of their lives, so out they went.  I was sailing through my closets until I came to a beautiful dress that was a gift.  My immediate thought was, “I can’t give this away.”  Then I realized I have never worn it;  gone!

I threw out my college transcripts.  I kept years of poetry.  It feels great.  It is empowering to go to the deepest levels of this downsizing.

The basis of Capitalism is  consuming and acquiring.   Deep downsizing is making me less inclined to consume and  acquire.  Instead,  bringing my focus to what I need and what I really use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words

Words are many things.  Words are intelligent sounds, or sometimes not.  Words name things and people. Words are one way we communicate with each other.  

There are words of encouragement, household words, harsh words, curse words, and words of wisdom.  There is a play on words, a password, word crafting, The Word,  and Words with Friends.  You can have words with,  break your word,  and eat your words.  Words can comfort, inspire, and motivate as well as destroy and incite.  Words are powerful.

I love words.  I do my best to use them thoughtfully and precisely.  I have worked diligently to edit my inner words.  I ‘can’t’, I ‘shouldn’t’, I ‘have to’, I ‘should have’, change to:  I ‘can’, I ‘choose’, I ‘forgive’, I ‘want to’.  It is an empowering process.

Taking  our words and how we use them for granted is easy.  This week I invite your attention to the words you use in your internal and external dialogue.

 

 

 

Weeds

In the cool, still, early morning I put on latex gloves, protective clothing and glasses, and a mask.  After filling  my pump sprayer with Image Brush & Weed Killer, I head out to do battle with one of the most invasive species in the world, acacia mearnsii.  I can personally attest to its reputation for spreading fast and being difficult to eradicate.

Native to Australia, there are several hundred species.   Acacia has many positive uses and symbolic associations; perfume and wood for furniture and fuel.  It figures in  Egyptian Osiris and Isis mythology.  For Freemasons it represents purity and endurance of the soul.   Believing the smoke will keep demons and ghosts away it is used in incense rituals in India, Nepal and China.   But to me acacia mearnsii is a weed.

Weeds are unwanted plants.  Plants that compete with food plants.   A weed is also any plant that grows outside its native habitat.  The non-native, very invasive Ludwigia is choking many riparian habitats in Sonoma County.  And acacia mearnsii wants to choke the acre we share.

There are good weeds, like Dandelion (unless it has invaded the lawn that is your pride and joy),  St. John’s Wort, Burdock and others like them that have food and medicinal value.  And then there’s acacia mearnsii and its 99 most invasive relatives.

Although I am having some success,  I am certain this weed will out live me.  For the moment the battle continues.  I feel I am winning if I can just hold the ground I have gained.

Leaves

Not  sheets of paper in a book, table extenders, thin strips of gold foil, or  metal  pieces that are part of a leaf spring, but natures food factories.

Deciduous and Evergreen, all shapes and sizes, leaves  provide life-sustaining food and oxygen.  The color of leaves give us information.  When my dwarf citrus tree leaves have yellow in their edges, they are telling me they need more nutrients.   When leaves change color from green to glorious shades of red, yellow and orange, they signal the coming of Autuum.

I raked the first  fallen leaves on August 2.  I can’t remember an earlier start to my raking season.  The next few weeks will challenge me to keep up with the bounty. Indicating the early arrival of fall, the turning leaves remind me to hasten my summer projects and begin  preparation for the coming winter.

 

 

Reunion

Gorgeous weather, beautiful surroundings, quiet conversations, boisterous laughter,  fabulous food , five generations;  family reunion.

My maternal Grandparents gathered their family together every summer. No matter how scattered,  everyone came.  I grew up knowing all my cousins.  Over the years there have been stellar reunions, not as often but achieving the same results.

Saturday we came together.  Hugging, kissing, crying, laughing;  lingering in the soft glow of re-connecting.

We have become a frenetic culture.    My sincere hope  is that you will be able to set aside some precious time for reunion with those you love.

 

Work

It was not my intention to follow ‘Burnout’ with ‘Work’ until the flowers came.

I am very blessed.  I love what I do!  When I stop and think about ‘Insights’, how it has grown, the many people that have been guided and supported;  finding their center, their truth, their authentic selves, I am in awe.

I am in awe of the power of the Holy Spirit.  I am in awe of the heart and courage of my clients.  I am in awe of the resilience of the human spirit.  I am in awe of the process of transformation.

Like all work it has difficult and sometimes very challenging moments.  Yet the rewards, tangible and intangible, are profound.

Saturday I received the biggest bouquet of flowers ever.  Five gorgeous sunflowers, lots of fresh greenery, the most beautiful dark purple straw flowers and little purple lavender orbs ( a flower I am unfamiliar with);  fresh and crisp and colorfully stunning.  Created by an artist, wrapped in purple and lavender floral paper and tied with bright yellow ribbon.

The flowers were from a client.   Her message humbled me greatly.  It put me squarely in the presence of  everything noted above.

I love my work.  But it would be a vacuous effort without the sentient beings that are my clients.  From the depths of my soul, I thank you  all.

Burnout

I know better than to work seven days a week.  I know better than to ignore the behaviors and boundaries that prevent me from experiencing burnout.  I also know that it is an easy thing for me to slip into a rut.  And slip I did.

I know better.  I did a research project in college on burnout in the helping professions.  Presented before a large group that included educators,  counselors, care-givers, nurses and students,  the impact was far more than I expected.  People crowded around me post-presentation;  some asking questions, most just wanting more…more understanding of what they were experiencing.

Fortunately,  I knew what was happening to me.  I also recognized how big a part my computer, email, phone and cell phone were playing in fostering my burnout.   So, I planned a three day respite.  Three days off from work, from email, from the computer, from my phone and cell phone.  However, I also made a list of all the around-the-house work and cleaning projects I was going to do during my mini-vacation.

I know better!  The morning of my first free day,  I did not want to move.  I was unwilling to even look at the ‘to do’ list I had created.   I was just as unwilling to entertain my inner critic taunting my inactivity.  I breathed.  I prayed.  I meditated.  I rested.

I spent the rest of my time out, doing things that I wanted to do.  Doing things that refreshed and invigorated me; that engaged my verve.  It was wonderful!

Of course, the task ahead of me is staying true to time outs that energize and connect me to vigorous, abundant  living and ward off burnout.

 

 

Adornment

A friend who loves  jewelry and works in the industry recently remarked, “Everyone should adorn themselves with beauty.”   Her statement got me to thinking about adornment.

Defined, adornment is something that beautifies, enhances status, symbolizes affiliation and displays wealth.  I easily imagine early humans adorning themselves with colored mud, plant juices, bones and feathers.

With the ability to smelt metals, cut and polish gemstones,  came a new era of adorning.  Many cultures kept their great wealth in the form of jewelry,  and  resplendent collections survive today.  However, until mass production,  wearing jewelry was reserved for those who could afford such indulgences.

Clever marketing  created a demand for wedding and engagement rings.    Jackie O.  legitimized wearing costume jewelry and it’s popularity quickly became a major feature in making bejeweled  adornment available to the masses.

Modern human’s wear adornments reflecting a range of social, religious, cultural and economic situations.  From medals of victory and honor to the accoutrement of punk and bling, most of us put our adornments on for personal enjoyment and public display.

I am inspired to get out of my rut, dig into my Jewelry Box and adorn myself with some lovely pieces that have not seen the light of day for  some time.  Won’t you join me?

 

 

Flarmies

Flarmies, bat wings, arm charms, chicken flaps, and bingo wings are all descriptive terms for saggy upper arms.  I was born with them.  You may have been too.

In an age of svelte, trim, toned,  lasered and tucked everything,  flarmies aren’t a desirable body part.  Neither are saddle-bags, muffin tops, thunder thighs, love handles, middle-aged spread, spare tires and turkey necks.

American’s earnestly pursue staying young, being thin and getting rich.  But alas, aging,  diets loaded with sugar and fat, and a rapidly disappearing middle-class, all put challenging blockades in the path of such dreams.  But back to flarmies.

I kinda knew all along that they were in my future because my wonderful Grandmother had them.  She was a very active woman and never allowed her weight to exceed 120 lbs.  And she had awesome flarmies!  Mom had them too,  in spite of regular workouts with hand-held weights.

I actually prefer  bat wings to flarmies.  I can envision myself base jumping or hang-gliding with no need for special equipment ’cause I have built in bat wings.  I confess I have never tried them out.  (Perhaps mine are  really  chicken flaps.).

There are a plethora of remedies for this condition including  surgical procedures; I assume as a last resort.  However, I find acceptance as good a solution as any.  It does not cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars and it is painless.

Now I am not one to flaunt my flarmies,  and like Batman, I prefer to be discrete about my bat wings.  But I have them and they are part of  my arm charm.