Driving to Pilates this morning, things on my mind and trouble in the world clouded my thoughts. Then this popped in my head: Let the power of peace within be stronger than external turmoil. It’ll be my new mantra.
Last year I took a memoir workshop with poet, Roger Housden. When I read his newsletter today, I smiled loving the power of connections. He said, “For all the grief there may be in our own lives and in the world, the world’s beauty waits for us always with open arms, and nowhere more so than in the embrace of Nature. The natural world is the great healer of the soul and its troubles, and Wendell Berry reminds us in this poem that “ the peace of wild things” is always available to us, even if the nearest green space is only a city park. Even a pond can remind us of the stillness that lies at the heart of creation, and we ourselves can feel our own freedom when we open ourselves to the grace of nature.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
And I wake in the night at the least sound
In fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
Rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
Who do not tax their lives with forethought
Of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
Waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
An insightful & amazing evening last night with 1400 people absorbing inspiration from Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra & a surprise appearance by Wayne Dyer!
* If you follow each thought, you’re at the mercy of your mind.
* To really see something, there needs to be alert presence without thinking. Be present.
* You only know half of yourself – the form. The formless is the presence of consciousness. What does it really feel like to be you? Be a presence based entity – not a thought based entity.
* Spaciousness – example: looking into the eyes of a dog. You can just look without thoughts or judgment. It’s connectedness.
* The real you is the timeless observer in time.
* There are no boundaries in the universe. Every boundary is conceptual.
* The most important time in your life is now.
* Everything you do in life is because of fear or love. If fear, there cannot be love. If love, there cannot be fear.
* Love heals
So grateful for the opportunity to see them and hear these powerful messages. <3
There is a common ingredient in all health reports: good food is good for your body. Studies continue to prove the healing properties of fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs. But these super foods go beyond nourishing our body. They feed our soul.
Preparing holiday meals, sharing recipes, and baking cookies stirs our nostalgia. Cooking reminds us of watching Mom make potato salad, licking icing from a spoon, and learning to flip an omelet. Culinary influence is a theme in food writer and author, Kim Severson’s memoir: Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life.
Get healthy and happy… Bon appetite!
Top Ten Super Foods
Low-fat or fat-free yogurt
To celebrate a new year, some writer friends and I started a new group – Inspiration Night where we share something we read or experienced that inspired us, and something we wrote, created, or did to further our goal.
On the day of our first meeting, I wasn’t feeling very inspired. In fact, I was downright annoyed and crazed by loud drilling, banging in every corner of the house from a home remodel project. Checking Email, I lightened up when I read about an event at the Chopra Center with Eckhart Tolle and Deepak. I picked up my copy of Tolle’s book, A New Earth reading his explanation of two fundamental beliefs of most religions and spiritual traditions:
- “The normal state of mind of most human beings contains a strong element of dysfunction or even madness … Buddhists call it dukkha which can be translated as suffering, unsatisfactoriness, or just plain misery.”
- The good news is “the possibility of radical transformation of human consciousness” known as enlightenment, salvation, liberation, and awakening. “To recognize one’s own insanity, is of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.”
I felt better already! It’s normal to feel over-whelmed, frustrated with pressures of life. We all face difficult times – anger, loneliness, fear, grief. I think the key is being aware of these feelings, realizing they are a natural process, and then knowing we have the potential to transcend these experiences and “get up and dust ourselves off,” as my Mom used to say.
Meditation helps create tranquility, awareness and many other health benefits as studies show. Last year, I attended the Chopra Center for a meditation workshop. Previously, I couldn’t still the voices in my head long enough to quietly meditate. Through Primordial Sound Meditation – repeating a mantra, I could finally still my mind. Essentially, Mindful Meditation consists of:
- Sitting quietly in a comfortable position
- Observing your breath
- When thoughts arise, notice them without judgment. Think of them floating away like a cloud. If they persist, go back to observing your breath or repeat a mantra like Om.
At the workshop Deepak fascinated everyone talking about cosmic energy, explaining how we are all connected. I’ll be riveted again on April 24th, listening to a Conversation with Eckhart and Deepak. Namaste~
I needed a break from our home remodel – it’s noisy, intrusive. The ocean is always a good escape and therapeutic for me. I strolled along the beach full of more birds than people, soaking up the sun, listening to the surf and seagulls.
A lone sand piper pecked at the sand. Gulls fed on a huge mound of mussels. Ahhh … just what I needed to melt away tension. It reminded me how I need to take more time to enjoy simple pleasures in life.
My favorite quote and motto for life:
Success by Ralph Waldo Emerson
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.