Monday Meditation ~ Getting to Know You (self)

I really enjoy musicals,   I also enjoy walking in nature and spending time with my family who I love.  These things are a part of who I am in only small measure.  The deeper me, the one full of experiences in this life is sometimes more difficult to get to know.  Sometimes I am full-out in the sun, clear and bright.  But there are places, experiences within me that are beneath the water or hidden under the protective overgrowth of scars that keep me walking through life pretty happy.  Every now and then though, when a bump in the road suddenly appears, I get thrown off kilter.

Breath is life, without it we literally can’t exist.  Inspiration  filling us revives as the exhalation emptying creates release.  Our yoga classes always begin with the breath.  Feeling and deepening the breath.  Then to just be, to sit with the breath as we feel this body we inhabit.  Noticing tension or heaviness we can breathe into these spaces with our imagination.  We become fully present as we focus on breath and body.  And then, sometimes, a wondrous awareness occurs.  Emotions may rise, joy or sorrow, strength or fear and connections occur to let us know a deeper part of ourselves that has been hidden away, waiting to be revealed.

This week I had the opportunity to explore some of those places within as I moved from breath, to body, to awareness, in Gestalt Pastoral Care class.  A new opening to grace as I shed tears that washed away debris and allowed light to reveal a new knowing of myself.  The song from “The King and I”  began running through my head this morning, “Getting to Know You”  “Getting to know all about you, getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.  Haven’t you noticed, suddenly I am bright and breezy.  Because of all the beautiful and new, things I’m learning about you, day by day” Written by Oscar Hammerstein II in 1951, in the play  a teacher is singing to her new and foreign students.   But I sing it to myself with joy and anticipation to greet the child, teen, adult within me and uncover the beauty and mystery of my life.  I learn that deep sorrow and pain can be a wonderful teacher and that I am never alone on the journey.   We can walk the road together.

May you get to know and love yourself.






Monday Meditation ~ Harvest

Ripe tomatoes hang waiting in the fall frost in the bed right next to tall swiss chard and a zucchini that has gotten out of control.  The harvest in my garden this season is scarce compared to last year.  I could blame too much rain, the snails that demolished the early green bean crop or the early fall parching heat.  But those are just factors that I can’t control.  I could have adapted had I given the garden the attention it required.  I was an absent gardener this summer.  I planted and visited but did not provide the attention needed for an abundant harvest.   It is a blessing of the sun, the rain and the hardiness of some of the plants that I have a harvest at all.  We will be eating zucchini everything for awhile and fresh tomato sauce will grace our table for some months.  But I will miss those fresh green beans.

Attention, care and time for self (body, mind and spirit) when lacking can also reap a crop of stress and diminished energy.  If left too long physical symptoms arise as warnings like  dry, limp plants seeking water.   It happens.  Life happens with all of it’s highs and lows pressing in on our awareness to create the things to do lists.   The lists get longer and the days get shorter and our harvest basket of life is not full.  What to do?

Time is relative, check this out by attempting to meditate for 10 minutes.  Set a timer and sit to breathe.  Breathe in and out slowly and focus on the breath.  10 minutes becomes a long time.  And in that 10 minutes of quiet and focus on the breath you have calmed your nervous system which in turn benefits your whole being.   Add a physical activity prior to your meditation time, a 20 minute walk or yoga! Incorporate your spiritual practice as well, a reading or prayer.  No equipment required just 30 minutes.

Once a week do something that provides for your whole self wellness.  What helps you relax, what inspires you, what brings you joy?  Give it an hour or two.  Then practice a short time of meditation daily.  The garden of your soul will grow to support your body and mind as you move through life with attention and intention.

May your week be full and ripe with opportunity for growth and peace.