~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Saturday, October 31, 2009

And to Her we shall return

Life and Death are not opposites.
Birth and Death are.
Life is always.

Because we were suddenly blessed with a balmy (67 deg) evening, I decided to go outside to the labyrinth to celebrate Samhain and honor those of my loved ones who have died. In many pagan traditions, this evening is when the veil is thinnest between the worlds and thus our connection is stronger to those whose spirits are no longer in the forms in which we once knew them. The forecast was for rain but, in spite of an overcast sky, we had only experienced the occasional light sprinkle.

I gathered some supplies and candles, and as I stepped out the door I heard some rain droplets pelting the dead leaves everywhere. I continued to the labyrinth, lighting candles on the outside at the four directions and a large one in the center.

As I spoke the names of my loved ones - two-legged and four-legged - who have died over the years, I honored their lives in form, expressing gratitude for the gifts of love, wisdom, and companionship they shared with me. I still feel compelled each year to ask forgiveness for any hurt I may have caused in whatever form it may have manifested. As raindrops fell on my upturned face, I realized that they represented tears of sorrow and joy, grief and pain; tears I have shed as well as those I may have been unable to release before. Tears of letting go.

The night was dark because of the overcast sky so the nearly full moon could only barely cast her glow through the clouds to silhouette our sentinel pines, but still I was drawn to walk the path. I wanted to release any negative emotions of the past - to set them free and let go of those that might be holding me back in some way. I asked my ancestors and loved ones to guide me, knowing we are all One, always, no matter where we are, on what plane in what incarnation -- we are still One - part of each other - connected through our joint experiences of love in the world of form.

So, as I walked the dark labyrinth, I turned off my flashlight, only the light of the candles at the four corners and center lit -- only the pale glow of the night sky that looked more like smoke -- keeping total blackness at bay. But I realized as I walked that the night was perfect. The path perfect. I shuffled my feet through the thick layer of leaves, taking small steps along the path, guided more by feel than anything else. The flat path a contrast with the edges of the large, dark rocks that lined the path, the hardness halting my feet when I needed to turn. I trusted my feet and the rocks to guide me -- and I embraced the reminder that I could also trust Gaia (Source, Infinite Spirit, She of Ten Thousand Names) and my loved ones to guide my path in this life of form, to help me know/see when to turn or pause or reflect - when to be tentative and patient or bold and forthright. To see that if I release the past -- my fears, the negative patterns -- then I can trust in love to guide my steps where I need to go.

And as I stopped in the center, releasing, I sighed from deep within, raising arms and face to the sky. Beautiful indeed. Light sprinkles of rain fell on my cheeks and I smiled in gratitude -- to Gaia, to my loved ones -- for love, guidance and wisdom bestowed now and to come.

Walking out of the labyrinth is a time to embrace, to welcome in joy and love, beauty and wisdom, the peace of knowing that all is as it should be past, present and future. As I walked, I sang:
"We all come from the Goddess, and to Her we shall return,
like a drop of rain, flowing to the ocean."

I felt the moon's glowing, healing energy pouring down upon me, infusing me, lighting the way. The path that earlier seemed so dark, was now far more clear, softly lit, water on tips of leaves twinkling like little fireflies. The message is also clear. My path is always right there in front of me and all I have to do is trust and step forward into the light of Love.

I am blessed. We are blessed.
I am never alone. We are never alone or separated.
I am filled with gratitude. We have so much to be grateful for.
I am loved. I love. We love.
We are all One.

Monday, October 26, 2009


"The influence of our daily lives creates a subtle imprint. It colors our consciousness just as a dye colors a cloth. This permeation of our consciousness by the subtle influences of our lives predisposes us to certain attitudes, which determine our mental happiness or unhappiness.

Cultivate contentment by cultivating inner sources of creativity and awareness."

~ Ayurveda and the Mind - The Healing of Consciousness by Dr. David Frawley

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Child I Was

Feeling tugged and pulled in many directions? That was me! Just when I think that I have set my course and planned the route and started the path -- whoopsiedaisy! LOL What happens? Life! And it's supposed to! It's called Being Present and actually experiencing LIFE. And you know what? I have all the time I need to be and do and experience and live because I chose to be here. I chose to experience this precious birth and all the amazing living - including the exquisite innocence of being the child I was - that happens between that moment and the one of death of this body. Every moment is a world within itself. Each breath is a miracle, flowing into the next and the next, but not in a linear fashion -- when I breathe in, does the air flow straight? No, it moves throughout my entire body! And when I breathe out, does the air go straight then? No, it expands or dissipates into the immense space beyond! Of course, even that perception is one of human limitation because I am air, just as I am earth, water, fire and ether, just as you are and just as everything else is in our world of form. And beyond that, we are all One without separation. But, I'm getting a little off track here. All of this blissfulness (feeling full of bliss!) is because this morning I was journaling about how earlier this year, I was sure that I was going to give my full attention to my writing for a while and really explore the creativity of writing in depth - plunge in, dive deep, explore the murky and the crystal clear expanses of that particular expression of life. That's what I thought. I sought out workshops and books, began using tools to encourage writing on a variety of levels. Then Ayurveda took hold, I thought by chance or maybe divine providence because my passion for it was instantaneous; the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. Uh-oh. Decision time. Writing or School? Creativity or Study? Expressing or Learning? In which did I have more confidence? So, I started school, and then began feeling the pangs of loss! Where did the time go for my writing?! But, this morning, I was journaling and the full realization warmly enveloped me that I have all the time I need to do both. I don't have to choose because each has its place, and both are immersed in love, healing, creation and bliss. Maybe school is a higher priority at the moment because I'm on a set schedule, but I can still write and create whenever the urge becomes too powerful to resist. And without the experiences of living, where is the inner growth that will power the fires of creativity? And writing/school are only two facets of this magnificent life I live that is lovingly filled with Ron, our companion animals, family, and friends - and the many new friends I'm meeting. Is life awesome or what?! :-)

The child I was at nine years old is smiling and happy this morning; she is being and doing, stretching and growing, and alive. Hug your inner child and help her to dance and live!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Degrees of Silence

What would a Day of Silence mean to you? I was thinking about this today because I will be giving myself a Day of Silence soon and wondering what can I let go of to increase the serene silence of most of my days. I mean, I do most of my work from home and I'm a homemaker - that means very little verbal conversation with people until my husband gets home at night. I do talk with the animals who live in our home, and I occasionally sing or answer the telephone, but generally most days are days of relative silence around here which is what I created and what I enjoy. So, how to take that a step further?

To reduce what comes out of my own mouth, let's see... I can rely upon body language with the dogs and cats; when I sometimes go silent (being introspective, or studying or maybe a sore throat), they become more attentive and responsive - but not always - so that will be interesting. No answering the phone! And, if I need to go out to run an errand, put on one of those little pins that says "In Loving Silence" so others know why I'm not speaking -- or hang a big placard around my neck to that effect! LOL That's pretty much it for my own voice. It would be really simple to do.

What about the noise/silence surrounding me? Do I have any interest in reducing that during a specially designated Day of Silence? What could I do there? Again, our home is pretty quiet as I don't usually have music or anything playing in the background, just the normal, everyday noises of the animals. I suppose I could go somewhere? Somewhere that I don't need to do any talking myself, but is also quiet surroundings. In the summer that would be easy -- head out to a national park and walk or study there. And we still have some mild weather days left this season so I could maybe manage something to that effect if I wanted to take the silence to that level. Do I want to? Hmm, I'll think about it!

Setting aside an entire Day of Silence is an interesting proposition! To be alone with one's thoughts without distractions? Or to be unable to communicate verbally with other people? To have the external silence in order to find the stillness within? What might happen?!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


A dear woman who was one of my roommates at KSA sent this video link a week or so ago and it brings peaceful tears each time I listen to it. I listen and feel like a blanket of warmly compassionate energy envelops me. Further, I had occasion to use it this weekend while giving healing attention (love, Reiki, remedies) to one of my cats - with powerful results. The CD can be purchased through Snow Lion Publications (I ordered a copy yesterday).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Best Sandwich EVER

Okay, first off I realize that this is probably one of the worst food-combining choices, and as I learn more about Ayurveda (tastes, foods, digestion, AMA, etc.) I'll probably look at this sandwich objectively and think "OMG, I can't believe I ate that!" However, having been blessed most of my life with a 'cast-iron' stomach and overall fast metabolic rate (although I'm realizing now that I'm nearing 50 that the metabolism could use a boost) -- Go Agni! -- I confess that I'm drawn to some very strange combinations. So, this isn't necessarily a recommendation - and I won't make it myself very often probably, especially once the fruit is no longer in season - but I just have to share the recipe! LOL Here goes...

Use Tapioca/Rice bread, toast it, smear peanut butter on both sides, then put a big ole tablespoon of Pomegranate seeds in the center, spread them around, and smash those sides together! Voila! Positively mouth-watering scrumptious!!!! Best sandwich EVER!

Friday, October 9, 2009


"Yoga is being in touch with the very pulse of the universal energies, and vibrating in tandem with their gentle throb."

~ Shambhavi Lorain Chopra
Yogini: Unfolding the Goddess Within

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pomegranates etc

For class last night, I set out a nice little display of apple slices and pomegranate seeds which lent a festive appeal while also being a healthy, seasonally-appropriate snack. Thankfully, I had learned a clean, relatively simple way to extract seeds from pomegranate (immersing the fruit in water as fingers dislodge the seeds) and they were worth the minor trouble -- yum!

The class was titled Transitioning Into Autumn and I had such fun with it! We started with learning about various flower essences that provide emotional support, whether for letting go of the warmth we liked or dreading the coming cold, or in the case of fears or anxieties surrounding the current Swine Flu hype. Then we listened to a three-minute resonance remedy for flu prevention, followed by discussion about three Homeopathic remedies for cold/flu prevention or to 'nip-it-in-the-bud'. In addition, there are two cell salts perfectly suited for transitioning from summer into fall/winter. With all these situations, I mentioned how EFT could be helpful.

Then, we moved into lifestyle and the many ways available to support our bodies, minds and spirits, including some that are part of the daily and seasonal routines in Ayurveda. It was exciting to be able to already share with others some of the lifestyle tips I'd learned through my KSA studies. I also mentioned a few simple yet deeply grounding techniques.

I enjoyed the class so much that I'm pleased I'll have another opportunity to facilitate it this Saturday at a different location! I'm deeply grateful to be able to share this supportive and self-healing information with others.


Golden glow everywhere
it fills the air
as trees share leaves
on grass carpets weave
sunshine patterns
from limbs now bare

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


When I was at KSA, the day before we were to take our exam, I decided to still my nervousness by walking the labyrinth on the Kripalu grounds and inviting within its healing energy. The path is grass, lined with trees, tall grasses, and Cosmos* flowers. Pausing at the threshold, I set my intention to release any fear, anxiety or expectation surrounding the exam and then walked to the center holding that intention. In the center, I gave thanks for the many blessings in my life. And as I walked to the exit, I welcomed peace, calm and the knowing that everything would happen as it was meant to regarding the exam and future studies. The experience was beautiful and filled me with contentment.

I do a similar ritual of release and invitation when walking the labyrinth that Ron and I created on our own property, and yet find each experience to be unique because every moment is changed from the preceding one. In the winter, when our labyrinth is covered with snow, I sometimes use a small hand-held labyrinth as a focal for meditation, consciously moving my finger along the path each direction.

Today someone directed me to a wonderful on-line cyber labyrinth that one can follow along at Gratefulness.org -- give it a try!
* It just so happens that the Cosmos flower essence (the very first essence I bought of this range years ago) is for:

Positive qualities: Integration of ideas and speech; coherent thinking; mercurial expression

Patterns of imbalance: Unfocused, disorganized communication; overexcited speech, overwhelmed by too many ideas

Saturday, October 3, 2009


So, the early part of this week was a bit overwhelming to me. Returning from Kripalu, and realizing what lay ahead of me, I became temporarily overcome when viewing those myriad tasks of school, home, caregiving, volunteer work, and a few other projects. How could I fit everything into the coming days and weeks? I used to do it. Prior to 2003, my life was chock-full of "busy-busy" - like most people I knew - and I spread myself fairly thin which was exhausting. Then, through conscious planning, Ron and I created a simpler, less hectic life for ourselves which has been beautiful and serene. How do I maintain that deep sense of peace while still achieving the new goals I've set? I have no desire to return to that more intense lifestyle of earlier years. I realized that along with adding the KSA studies, I would need to, at least temporarily, let go of a few other self-assigned projects I had recently taken on. A gentle reminder to myself that I don't have to be Superwoman even if that is what society seems to expect from all of us! All I need to do is come home to my center, my Self, my Soul, and The Way is clear ... the current supporting ... the flow divinely inspiring and gently guiding. We take on and we release. I felt the strong tug of attachment when I let go of a few things in order to open space for studying. This time of year supports the natural release as the plants relinquish leaves that are no longer needed - does a tree resist the loss of its leaves? - while at the same time we gratefully harvest the fruits that will continue to support us through the coming time of inner growth and contemplation. The study of Ayurveda is a study of balance: observing the natural cycles within their continual flow of creation/preservation, conversion/transformation, and destruction/propulsion.

The 48th verse of the Tao Te Ching (various translations) encourages this natural 'go with the flow' harmonizing; I don't feel this verse negates learning so much as promotes releasing any struggle in order to move with(in) the current of life. As a student, I seek knowledge with wisdom - balance as dynamic, not static - because life is change.

Learning consists of daily accumulating.
The practice of the Tao consists of daily diminishing;
decreasing and decreasing, until doing nothing.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It cannot be gained by interfering.

[translation provided by Wayne Dyer]

* * *

A man anxious for knowledge adds more to himself every minute;
A man acquiring life loses himself init,
Has less and less to bear in mind,
Less and less to do,
Because life, he finds, is well inclined,
Including himself too.
Often a man sways the world like a wind
But not by Deed;
And if there appear to you to be need
Of motion to sway it, it has left you behind.

[translation by Witter Bynner, 1944]

* * *

The student learns by daily increment.
The Way is gained by daily loss,
Loss upon loss until
At last comes rest.

By letting go, it all gets done;
The world is won by those who let it go!
But when you try and try,
The world is then beyond the winning.

[translation by Raymond B. Blakney, 1955]

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