Listening...

Blue as blue Birds soaring, freedom

Laughter, conversations, exploration

Embodying the whole

Immersion in the moment of blissful play

Lion’s pose releases the foam

Obsession with the ocean

The fall into the dark, cold sea of unconsciousness

Forgetting

The call for help

Confusion

Mind-numbing panic arises and spreads like a tidal wave

Pain

Bodies move into action as a current of emotion swirls and rages

The seal appears as witness

Feel emotion flowing through

Fear, surrender, courage, despair, support, loneliness, strength, isolation, release, shame, compassion, love

Come pass on

Choice, always choice

Experience at the expense of innocence?

Step away, provide direction and comfort

Embrace, notice, wonder, embody, take it all in

Remembering

Beauty is always present

The rich colors of the sunset sky

Two little girls waving, inviting to return to innocence

Prayer and gratitude

Breathing

Hundreds of birds flying in chaos returning to patterns of grace

Choosing we over me

Connected

Being

Always and forever

Return Home After The Fall

A couple weeks ago, I watched the movie, “As It Is In Heaven” with a gathering of friends. It is full of rich symbolism and powerful insights about relationships, community, and sharing your unique "note" with the world.

THE FALL

You meet the main character as young boy practicing his violin in a wheat field when the local bullies track him down and beat him up. All he wants is to open people’s hearts with music and this act of violence breaks his heart. To protect him, his mother moves them to another town where he practices and practices and grows up to become a world-renowned conductor in high demand.

As an adult, he falls further and further from his dream and suffers for quite some time. One evening, during a performance, he walks off the stage and collapses and the doctor tells him his heart is failing.

In the next scene his agent refers to a concert scheduled seven years out and in that moment something shifts for the conductor. He listens to the invitation to return home to love and takes the leap that changes everything.

THE LEAP

He quits his life as a conductor and returns to his hometown and leads the church choir. He shows them how to each find their own unique note and sing together in harmony. He lives out his mission to open hearts with music and in the process opens his own heart and returns to a state of harmony.

If you haven't seen it, I invite you to watch and notice what you see and feel as his "note" ripples out and touches everyone around him. Oh, and it’s a Swedish movie with sub-titles. Have tissues nearby. Those Swedes know how to make a movie!

HARMONY

Before watching the movie, a wise woman shared a framework of understanding for the journey of life that resonated deeply with me. She showed us the movie to demonstrate it in action.

I invite you to open your heart to oneness and harmony and share through your unique note. If we all listen for the call and take the leap, imagine the possibilities of a world in a state of harmony. (Link to download the diagram document.)

Here's what I see. Each circle represents a state of being. The top circle represents oneness and harmony and I believe we are all born in this state. Then through challenge, heartbreak or trauma we fall into the bottom circle of separation and suffering and it is our thoughts about those experiences and resistance to feeling what wants to happen that keep us stuck spinning around and around.

The main character in the movie experienced several challenges and traumas in his life where he fell into the lower circle. He looped around and around for years suffering until that moment with his agent and he felt the pull to return home. The movie is a beautiful story of his journey home to love and harmony.

You may have recently fallen and feel stuck going around and around looping in the lower circle. As souls, we asked for this human experience and sometimes it gets really uncomfortable, especially when you you don't see a way out...yet! I've been there stuck many times saying, "Really, I asked for this?" Yep. You may think "I don't ever want to fall again." I hear you. As much as you in this moment may not want to ever fall again, I believe we will all continue to fall and that's okay. It's also completely okay to feel whatever emotion comes up for you when you do fall. Feeling is being human.

I see the separation as part of our maturation process and natural evolution of consciousness. Each fall provides the opportunity to practice taking the leap back to oneness through kindness, self-care and self-compassion. With practice and dropping the resistance, it becomes easier to move through the transition from separation to oneness.

My intention for sharing this framework is to bring light to the possibility and potential to find your way back home after a fall and show you that you always have the choice to lead your own experience. YAY! You've got this! I promise you, there is another way.

So, what is one act of self-care or self-compassion you can give yourself today?

SELF-CARE

If you’re coming up blank or don’t think you have time for self-care, here are some suggestions to get you started.

  1. Return to a sense of play in whatever form that looks like for you.
  2. Take a nap.
  3. Go for a walk.
  4. Call a friend you’ve wanted to connect with for a chat.
  5. Spend quality time with your beloved.
  6. Watch birds fly in patterns.
  7. Take a bath.
  8. Prepare a healthy, nourishing meal for yourself.
  9. Read a book you’ve wanted to read.
  10. Plan a personal retreat as simple as spending the afternoon in nature or as involved as spending a week trekking in a foreign land.

I would love the hear about you're favorite self-care ideas and invite you to share in the comments below.

SELF-COMPASSION

Self-compassion may be challenging if you have a loud self-critic, feel unworthy, or just haven’t practiced for a long time. To develop the practice of self-compassion and encourage new neural patterns, try this simple method I learned from one of my favorite people and neuropsychologist, Dr. Rick Hanson.

  1. Find the sense of being cared about by someone else, someone whom you have felt loved by in your life.
  2. Bring to mind someone you naturally feel compassion for like a child or loved one.
  3. Sink into the physical experience of compassion in your body, locate the sensation in your body and stay there for a while.
  4. Then shift the compassion to yourself, perhaps with phrases like: “May I not suffer. May the pain of this moment come pass on (compassion).”

The root of compassion is compassion for oneself. ~ Pema Chodron

I also highly recommend checking out Koelle Simpson's teleclass where she provides a beautiful explanation of the harmony of life.

May you find your way home after the fall.

 

 

Presence: Where Your Souls Wants to Play

Every moment. Awareness.

Being.

Feeling.

With you at all times. Ready to be felt, seen, heard, experienced, lived.

I'd like to share with you an experience with presence that includes a snake.

A couple weeks ago while out on a trail run, I intentionally practiced being present. I noticed the sights and sounds all around me. I frequently reminded myself, this moment matters. Then a few moments later, I came across the "matter" of a rattle snake!

I had heard rattle snakes graced the local foothills though I had never encountered one personally. This beautiful creature was about 4 feet in length and stretched halfway across the trail with about 3 feet of space on either side. I decided it wasn’t a good idea to try to get past her, so I squatted down low to the ground to just be with the snake.

I was fascinated and awed by the way she moved. Watching her filled me with wonder. As she slowly turned her body around and gently meandered into the bushes with no sense of urgency, I stood up and walked passed. There was nothing to fear.

Had I not been practicing presence I may have completely missed her on the trail and come right upon her perhaps stepping on her putting both of us in a good deal of danger.

The lesson I learned from this experience was presence is where life happens. When my mind veers off to review the past or to daydream or worry about the future, I completely miss what is right in front of me; in this case a beautiful rattle snake sunning herself in the warmth of the sun.

When I returned home, I looked up the meaning of the rattle snake as a totem animal and found this message.

In many cultures, the snake animal meaning is revered as a powerful totem representing the source of life.  When the snake spirit animal appears in your life it likely means change, important transitions, and increased energy are manifesting.  Snake energy is the energy of wholeness, consciousness and the ability to experience anything willingly and without resistance.  It is the knowledge that all things are equal in creation.

That fired me up. What a cool message to receive on an afternoon run.

I'll take the message a step further. All things are connected through the web of consciousness. I'll write more about that in the next post.

I would love to hear in the comments what messages you’ve received from your experiences with nature, animals, your fellow human beings, your body or whatever teacher has crossed your path to provide matter for your soul.

Playing with matter,

Diane

Ian Flew An Airplane

Well, he didn’t literally fly a plane.  He asked his brother and Dad to fly their paper airplanes through the air to his total delight. After dinner one night last week, Ian and I sat on the couch while Lowell and Lane constructed paper airplanes.  Lane launched his across the room. Ian showed mild interest.  Then Lowell launched his and it flew straight over Ian’s head.  That’s when Ian squealed with delight.

Lowell and Lane quickly lined up on the other side of the room and launched their planes again. Ian giggled and watched as they glided overhead.

Then something quite special happened.  As Lowell and Lane stood ready to launch, Ian made a sound that translated to “Do it again!”  In Ian’s language, this sounds like “Aaaaa”  The three of us looked at each other wide-eyed, full of excitement. Then off launched the planes!

Ian made the connection that when he vocalized his request, Lane and Lowell would respond by launching their planes. In that moment, with Ian leading the game, it felt like we'd crossed a bridge together, as a family, playing this simple paper airplane game.

Pure play and delight continued for over ten minutes before I asked Lowell to grab the video camera.  I caught Ian’s last few requests on camera just before he began to fade into sleep.  If you watch the video you’ll see Lane and Lowell wait for Ian to make his request.  Ian’s voice is very quiet but you’ll hear his giggle very clearly after the second toss. Enjoy!

Hearing Ian's laughter let us all know we found a way to cross the bridge together.  These moments weave the rich tapestry of love and joy into our every day life.

I wish you and your family many sweet moments over the holiday season that weave love and joy into your life.

Cheers!