Each morning and moment I am presented with the opportunity to choose who and what I am feeding in my life.
I think everyone I know has heard the tale of the two wolves--the good and the bad and how it matters to whom you are giving emotional sustenance. Am I waking up with anger and frustration? Chances are, if I am, I will probably attract and look for more things about which to find fault and complain throughout the day. I feed THOSE feelings of inadequacy, comparison, emotional neglect and disgruntlement, and within this heartspace of hurt, I can birth and strengthen a wolf of fear and anger.
However, if I awake and consciously choose to look for the beauty, the love, the miracles and joy, then I manifest and feed the wolf within who protects and honors the same things in life. It is a beautiful and powerful story of creation and personal responsibility. No one else is responsible for what I am creating in my life. Even when challenges happen or disappointment comes to my doorstep, I can decide the story I am going to tell and which main character I will emulate--the "hero" or the "villain."
Some mornings, it can be a challenge to get up out of bed and see the sun shining, the food in the cupboards and the gift of those I love resting peacefully nearby. I am human and have an ego. These are the days when I get back to the basics of being still, building body awareness and breathing. They are powerful tools to find your way back to the pack of gratitude.
First, I sit someplace peaceful and quiet. If I can, I go outside near the earth. Being still to me, means no distractions of computer, TV, radio, children, etc...AND it may only be for a few minutes of time.
Next, I internally scan my body to notice HOW I am feeling. Is there pain anywhere, do I feel emotional or restless, and is my mind chattering away and WHOSE voice and words are really speaking? I practice observation and non-judgment during this time and I MEAN PRACTICE. There is no perfect way when I practice. There is only the doing over and over until it becomes more ingrained in my psyche.
Finally, I take deep, slow breaths. I like to inhale through my nose, pause and hold my breath for a moment and then open my mouth and exhale deeply--sighing like the wind blowing through the trees. I do this for a few moments, envisioning my feet growing roots and settling further into the earth and myself. I feel better and am able to lovingly feed the gentle, playful and compassionate she-wolf within.
I invite you to practice these same techniques and see who you wind up wanting to feed inside of you.
There is something comforting and soothing to me about peeling soft, yellow skins from apples in winding spirals and plunking the cut up chunks of antique ivory sweetness into the large stainless steel pot on the stove in the exact space where my grandmother did the same thing.
It brings me continuity and reminds me that life, no matter how often you take care and plan and prune and use natural remedies (like salt rings, vinegar and prayers) to rid yourself of pests, is often like the bruised and twirling remnants of the apples...worm-hole ridden, mushy-messy, chaotic piles of compost.
This doesn't mean you should throw everything away or leave the golden fruit of your life to rot where it has fallen. On the contrary...take a moment, find some gloves and get in there. Brush things off, wash and soak, and then lovingly cut and peel away the parts that have served you, but you no longer want to ingest.
Sometimes, you may feeI the need to gouge and dig away mercilessly until only the smallest perfect layer remains. I, on the other hand, meticulously cut as little as possible--I tend to forgive and make due by adding honey and spice (literally to my applesauce, but also figuratively to my relationships) to the collection in the pot.
We are all different and on our own journey of creating sustenance and joy in our lives, so the final recipe we use may be different.
However, what remains the same for all is the need to face our issues (friends and family who suck away at your goodness like worms, wallowing where you have landed in the damp earth of regret like the apples tossed from the tree during a storm, or withering away from lack of resources or holding yourself too far up and away from others who want to help) sooner than later so we can create a meal that will feed us and our unique lives...one sweet and sour bite at a time.
Don't waste time--enjoy the harvest when it comes where you are.
I have. I get it occasionally, and not just with others, but also with myself.
Sometimes, when I am afraid or feeling vulnerable, I like to tell stories or make excuses, and they are usually the same ones. They sound like this in my mind, "I'm too busy to do that. I don't have the time or money to go there. I will fail and people will think less of me. I'll be disappointed so why bother." Do you do this? Do you repeat these crappy lines of doubt and plant seeds of defeat inside of your mind so you don't feel too badly when you don't do something? I do.
The funny thing is, the universe and creator, don't "like" these stories or feelings because they know ME. They see and feel the true and authentic energy of my soul, and they want me to know that self and to BE IT and LIVE IT. (Please note, I don't think the universe or creator "like" or "dislike," anything. I believe they just know and want to support my highest and greatest self.) So...they keep helping me create situations, over and over, which force me to choose. To decide between what is known but contracting and what is unknown and expanding. I have to consciously say, "I am ready. I no longer want to repeat this experience, and am willing to take a risk and do something differently because I BELIEVE it will shift my energy and path."
That's why I like this saying. It makes me laugh at the situation and opens me to the deeper motives of my heart.
Once I recognize the fabrication, I remind myself to pause and reflect on what is really happening. Why is the situation playing over in my life, head or heart and what can I DO about it?
Sometimes, I am not ready to do anything, so I honor that place. I hold myself and my fear until it unclenches and I can feel the tension in my shoulders and belly dissolving. Other days, I am more than ready to wing those feelings off on the breath of the wind so they can settle into a supple fold of the earth and be recycled.
If you are struggling with a repeating pattern or problem in your life, I encourage you to sink into an emotional lull...to rock and sway and feel your breath steadying and slowing until you are more calm and collected. Then, take time to explore the story of your Deja Moo.
I send you blessings and energy for the courage to be YOU.
I am so grateful for the slowly and sweetly unfolding day I had today. It brought numerous messengers of hope and healing for my heart so I could honor the lingering pockets of feeling crappy instead of happy.
As I soothed and stroked my wounded ego, I felt so much gratitude for a plethora of things and people. My daughter and her sage soul and insight. She is so amazing, and I am her mother so I have to have some wonderful wisdom inside of me, also. Friends dropped me messages or called to check in and sent me cyber hugs and love. My dad even asked if I wanted to talk about the situation and what he could do. This outpouring humbled me and sent echoes of knowing through me.
The knowing comes in the format that I am very blessed. I love and honor people and it is such a joy. I have integrity and am constantly gifted with honesty and authenticity in the words and actions of my family and friends. I share my gifts, my connections and so much of what I have and it comes back in incredibly beautiful ways...kindness, abundance, laughter, rich relationships, health and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Sometimes, like lots of people I know, when I get in this mindset of questioning my worth and value, I slide quickly down that slippery slope of self pity and regret--almost like Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life--and I dubiously speculate the difference or contributions I have made. Then magically, evidence comes forth, one after the other, and I bow down in reverence to the universe and the support it is sharing. I love and am living a life that matters. That is the greatest thanks I could ever send to those who have given to me, so that is what I am continuing to do.
I hope you can do the same.
I feel like running outside and singing today--the landscape around the farm is wearing all of its summer splendor and finery. The grass is lush and dewy from the rain and there are bees and small yellow and white butterflies fluttering in the air and quietly landing on pink petunias, white phlox and purple sea lavender in the gardens. The air is warm and softly murmuring a comforting song to hush my need to go and do.
I LOVE the land and trees that are starting to spruce up again after drinking deeply from what the earth received this weekend in thirst-quenching water. Everything seems to be perking up and you can feel the shift in energy around and underfoot. There is an anticipation, a silent preparation and push to embrace all the wonder and beauty of these sunny, glorious mornings.
I took this picture alongside the road with the cattails brown and blurry in the background and the sunny yellow faces in front because I liked the visual reminder of balance between Earth (brown) and Sun (yellow). Its juxtaposing image encourages me to be rooted first in who I am so I can reach toward the heavens and manifest and embrace my dreams. WHO I am doesn't really change--it is solid and comforting in the background of all time--but my dreams and experiences continue to evolve and ebb and flow with the movement and passing of my life.
The seasonal clock is also moving and turning and reminding us to NOW--in this moment and time--see ALL LIFE (not just the parts we love and to which we are drawn and can relate) through a lens of miraculousness. When I do this, I can feel the energy inside of me shifting, too. I understand I am like the land...living, waiting, appreciating, growing, being and dying in cycles of NOW. I know in these moments I am filled with divine grace and I choose to see it in all things and beings around me.
I hope you can use your lens of miraculousness and feel your heart of gratitude beating strongly today.
I LOVE watching and listening to honey and bumble bees. Their gentle hum is soothing and reminds me that the impossible is possible with great dedication, passion and an appreciation for the sweetness in life.
I also enjoy waiting for them to be where I am so I can get a close-up shot like this one. I stood and watched bees and bugs swarming around thistle plants at Yahr Park and took a few closeups of this beautiful creature cultivating sweetness and color and pollinating hope for future generations.
Bees are such wonderful teachers of doing our "work" with purpose and joy. When a bee comes into your life, pause and ask yourself if you are making work harder than it needs to be...Perhaps you need to make time to "stop and smell the flowers?" Also, listen to the hum and buzz--it is like listening to the "Ohm" in yoga class. Some cultures believe, if a bee comes to you and you listen, you will hear the voice of your loved ones in spirit and receive a message from them. I like this belief and find it makes it even more special to wait and listen to their humming songs.
Wendy Skovo wrote these beautiful lyrics for the honey song in The Secret Life of Bees. Remember them when you remember your loved ones and remember to use love and care in all your relations.:
"Place a beehive on my grave
and let the honey soak through.
When I'm dead and gone,
that's what I want from you.
The streets of heaven are gold and sunny,
but I'll stick with my plot & a pot of honey.
Place a beehive on my grave
and let the honey soak through."
It rained, and poured and hailed, and snowed...well, not really, but I wouldn't have been surprised if it had. The hail was big enough to look like large clumps of snow on the browned summer-grilled grass. Our son was very nervous and the dogs were barking and running back and forth to gaze out the window as the skies turned from white, to yellow to dark, sea green. The wind howled and blew branches and leaves all around and across the yard and the heavens seemed to be pouring buckets and tubs full of warm water from their perch high above. We turned on intellicast so our son could watch the storm blow through and around and know that there were no tornadoes. He calmed down and was able to watch all the excitement and beauty unfold in front of him. That is what happens, when we face our fears...our eyes and mind are not clouded by the emotional storms inside and we are able to allow ourselves to experience the miracles all around us. After the storm abated, we went out with the kids and dogs and picked up hail balls so they could see and feel the unique patterns and coolness Mother Nature provided them and the land. We were so grateful and said "Hail, yes!"
Jen Martin is a Mom, Medium and Movement Person. She uses her intuitive abilities and training in yoga, prenatal yoga, meditation, and business to help others appreciate and help themselves. If you have kids, like hearing from loved ones in spirit or enjoy taking heart-centered yoga and meditation classes, check out Jen's blogs.