Meditation is medicine for our body, heart, mind and Soul. It is a practise of, and it supports the awareness of being in the moment, whilst being in the moment. It generates mindfulness, of that moment, with all its emotions, expressions, and experiences…
Meditation is a practise, and a gift. The more we practise, the easier it can become. It’s gift comes in that the more we do meditate, the more we settle into it. Our breathing softens, calmness descends, emotions settle. Sometimes we move into the observer role, sometimes we gain clarity and insights. Sometimes it throws our emotions up, and this can be good too.
That heart-breaking pain of facing “something” – and stretching those muscles inside you – fear, forgiveness, compassion, surrender – letting go, growing and still coming back into the core of yourself… Knowing that there is an energy, a force… And that it will all be ok.
Yes, it looks like Fluffy Woo Woo to many. It has done to many – for so many years. And yet, you know and I know the amount of self-healing, contemplations, navel gazing and just… letting go, surrendering and opening to your own vulnerability and strength which you and I have gone through. I know the pain the Fluffy Woo Woo has taken you through. I get it. I’ve been in there too.
Stand firm Beauty! The work you have been doing, skills accumulated – have all been about preparing you for this time. To stand firm – strong, true, brave and wide open-hearted in this storm… Stand firm.
Yes, it looks like Fluffy Woo Woo to stand in the midst of all we are currently seeing in mainstream media and STILL declare – it will be ok. Without surrendering into the energies of fear and anger yourself…
So many of the stories you and I know – the stories of hope, of land loved, earth turned, children loved, open communication, powerful vulnerability and deep compassion – not many of these stories are not making the news. Yet, they are still there. I know it hurts right now. I know your heart is going through aching sorrow, and flashes of a joy so deep it defies understanding. And that even this joy – it hurts…
You are not just standing in your Fluffy Woo Woo dear heart. You are actively working towards creating a new future. Different to what mainstream media is projecting. And for this future we need you. We need your skills. Your wild, crazy, creative, imagination. Your attention to detail. Your powerful, wide open, vulnerable heart. Your deep fierce compassion. Your vision of a future based on love and compassion. And your willingness to do the work, take the steps needed to get there… You have already gone through the fire in the last years, and in the midst of all this change, all these challenges – you have the right and the strength to stand here in all your glorious Fluffy Woo Woo and declare “It will all be alright.” I will stand by your side. And I will take the steps with you, to create… A different future to the one we see being played out now on mainstream media. And there are others, all holding their pieces of this wild, crazy, loving future we are creating… And there are those, who have perhaps been on the fringes of the Fluffy Woo Woo, but who have gone their own deep healing, through their own deep dark nights…. Who have been broken open by pain, grief, sadness and who have returned into their own sweet hearts from those shadows – and they are stepping forward too. There are many paths…
So, draw together your strength, dear one. Hold onto your Vision. Acknowledge your resources, knowledge and skills. You know the ones – those ones based in the fluffy woo woo knowingness – Emotional, Mental, Spiritual and Energetic. That “stuff” you’ve been healing for the last years, that “stuff” slowly making it’s way into the mainstream. And lets create this new Physical…
A colleague today said “I just can’t imagine how this will work when we go back…”.
I can’t either.
We were talking (messaging actually) about our “other” job, the one we do when we’re not busy mommy-ing. Where we work together in the local Playgroup. A couple of times we’ve bumped into some of the children who would normally be in a play session with us. Normally fairly happy, relaxed- the reaction now is anything but. More like running, screaming and crying… My own child,expecting him to go to dad’s on alternative weekends – in the early days of this virus he flat out refused. “It’s not safe” he said to me. “No contact with people from other households. He’s not from this house, so he’s not safe…”
Can’t really argue with that logic now can I?
The thing is, it will take time. Time to create a new rhythm and way of being. I use this description rather than “normal”, because normal just doesn’t work for me. It never really did.
So, I have to ask myself- as we go back into greater connectivity, what is it that I want to create? I agree with my colleague and friend, I can’t imagine it.
And I don’t want to.
I want to dream it, create it, dance it… It is a new way of being that we are being gifted with the opportunity to create. And that is, quite simply, amazing! Rather marvellous actually.
It’s scary as anything too. Because I have no frame of reference when I begin trying to imagine it. So much has changed! Within me, within the certainties I took for granted in the world around me before all of this .. and I’m an adult, supposed to be inspiring these children who come to me for care that “I have it all under control?”! I don’t feel that I do right now, because I can’t imagine what lies ahead. I can’t imagine it, because I don’t have a concrete, stable, starting point….
But dreaming it? That I feel I can do. Maybe, we need a dream-vision board of what we might like to create. Once we go back…
Thankfully, my whole life has been one of dealing with fluidity and change. And dreaming… That certainly gives me some skills right now, in choosing to dream about what we might create as we come back into greater physical connectivity with each other. And that – the permission to dream, envision, hope – that fills me with anticipation and curiosity! Rather than fear.
The one thing I do know, is that that future will come out of this moment, Now. So, I’m going to do the only thing I can, right now.
Live in the moment.
Cuppa, chocolate, bare feet, planting and playing, in the garden, with my child if i can get him away from the screen. Living in the moment… That’s a song by Jason Marz right? Perhaps, we can even start Playgroup out in the forest for the first month…? Dreaming and visioning the way forward, out of this … 😉
Back when I used to teach intuition development circles, spiritual circles, and more, my students used to ask me so often – “How? How do we do this?” The simple truth is, Listen to your Heart. Intuition speaks loudest through the heart. And to hear it, see it, feel it – experience it – it is so important to keep the heart soft and open.
It is through the heart that intuition speaks. And it can be a whisper, or a roar….
Yea, there’s all the big sparkly visions too, and the guides speaking, and the soul connection. But the intuition is a constant murmur speaking through and from the heart. So, to deepen intuition – listen to your heart. Everyday. And feed it, keep it soft, nourish it with beauty, gratitude and love.
The heart doesn’t speak judgement, or fear. It simply speaks compassionate love. And it connects you – if you are willing to listen – to an ever deepening source for this.
Sounds simple hey? It is. And our minds want to complicate this, have a formula to follow…. but here’s the simple truth. If you want to really deepen to your intuition and keep on deepening this, listen to your heart. And be willing to move beyond fear, judgement, rational thoughts and into ever deepening compassion. For yourself and others.
The most powerful things we can do, are also often the simplest. We look for ways of changing them, making them more important. We look for a structure to follow, a routine, a practise… These things can give our minds a path to follow. And this is good. It is important for our minds to be occupied following this path…
And then, as we get used to following this path, something profound starts to happen. We slow down. Our breathing deepens. We pay more attention to our bodies, – the feelings, sensations and emotions coming up. And all of this – particularly in times of great change are so important.
And, then – the mind goes quiet…
And this amazing energy arises inside of ourselves! This force!
And the only way to describe it, is LOVE.
We look at people differently. Some people seem to shine out at us. There is a pull to talk to them… When we do – there is a synchronicity, a meeting of minds and thoughts which act as a catapult, taking each one of us deeper into understanding of our own life paths. A co-incidence of something needed being offered by the other, a gift of time, and energy being exchanged, or something practical – flour, eggs, seeds, cement.
When we walk with this amazing energy, when we live with this force of energy – this LOVE – in our day to day lives, something amazing begins to happen.
Our minds quiet, judgements and preconceptions of others begins to fall away. Synchronicity occurs. Magical miracles in the everyday. Our breathing slows, our body softens. And there is space for more.
And we come back to our everyday practises, loving the routine. Loving the practise. Loving the structure. Not needing it, but following it nonetheless. Because it keeps our mind occupied and leaves space for this amazing force of energy to rise up within ourselves…. And, there begins to be space to realise that it is the simple things which count. Not the name, or where it originated from, or which master’s lineage.
Just, the breath, the flow, the energy, the body. The Being.
Today, I wish for you that k.i.s.s. That profound moment that happens when we can each keep it simple…
Every morning my child and I start off with a snuggle. It’s hard to remember to do this, to make the time for this. My mind has been going in a million different directions – there are so many things that need doing, so many things I want to do. I really want to sit and meditate… And Snuggling? It is not always on that list! But. When I just give myself the time and permission to do it – the rest of the day does become easier. There is a flow. And we are better at listening to each other and connecting. So, I try. Because, they are small for such a short period of time. And this is my chance now to install in him practises and patterns of behaviour which – hopefully – will support him later on.
This morning snuggle started off in the dining room chair. I had just made that all important first cup of tea. You know the one right? The one that is still hot… We started there – but he has grown so big now that he doesn’t really fit comfortably on my lap. My dressing gown doesn’t go round us both anymore. So, he wanted to move to the sofa… “I can’t carry you and my tea” I told him, laughing… We managed. He wrapped those legs around me, hung round my neck like a chimp and we got there, tea in one hand. By now, it was cool enough to drink -in one quick, throat warming liquid blissful gulp… passing thought – I was glad it was the regular size cup. On the sofa, he snuggled in. I couldn’t get comfy, lying half sideways, no support for my head. I could feel the tension in my body. And, I could feel how his body wasn’t relaxing properly…. I wriggled down, facing into the back of the sofa, with him curled up in my arms, tucked the dressing gown as closely around us as I could, wrapped his toes up in it… And breathed. And realised, I could meditate here, like this, with him in my arms. I might fall asleep again, but it wouldn’t actually matter.
So, lying there, wrapped around my son, with his back to me, in the warmth of the day not started yet, I let myself sink into my breath and my body. Just breathing. Focusing. Feeling. Noticing the thoughts. And letting them go. My body softened. My child’s body softened. I remembered what it was like to lie in the same position when he was still in my womb. Before I knew him as him. I softened further. And breathed deeper. Just for a moment.
The world stopped.
And I realised this is the most important thing I can do right now. His body gets this wisdom. Just breathing. Just being in the moment. Just softening.
This is something I want to share with all my mommys. This practise.
I have been desprately trying to find time and space to meditate on a regular basis, to share this with my child. And all the time it is right here, in my arms, every morning.
As we lay there, I remembered all the times I lay like this as a child, on the earth, feeling that undefinable sense of presence of the land around me wrapping around me. Holding me as a mother holds her child. As my own mother held me, when there was time. And just for a moment, as I lay there, holding my own child, I had a sense of that infinite, undefinable sense of presence, wrapping so softly around me once more. Holding me, holding my child. Safe and warm, in that moment before the day started. Supporting me always.
Musings, meditations and flower essences to support.
So, what does it mean to “Get Connected”? Or to live from a place of connection? Feel the connection?
The truth is we are all connected – every one of us – to this earth beneath our feet, and to each other. We are part of an interwoven web of energy, life forms, beings and consciousness. We are stardust, made manifest into physical, walking, talking, breathing bodies. As are the life forms around us…. We take in stardust in the form of food we eat – nutrients to build our bodies, and when we are done – our bodies return to stardust. We breath in, we breath out – sharing the air with billions of other beings on this planet…. We drink water which falls from the sky, flows through rivers, into oceans, and evaporates in a continuous cycle. Water holds memory. And, it is a finite resource on this planet. Many of us forget this easily, turning on taps without consciously considering where this water comes from. Or where it goes after passing through our bodies. We are all inter-dependant on each other for the breath we take, the bones we build and the lives we lead…
Each of us take different forms, and it is only our judgement, a lack of knowledge and our perception, which limits us, causing us to see these beings as different and separated from each other.
With our human lifestyles as they are, for so many of us it is easy to lose track of this depth of connection. We forget to value this. Family, neighbours, community, global family, all beings. We don’t know how to hold and maintain this sense of connection. We forget to maintain it, even if we do know how. And, we often place our sense of connection with the human over the sense of connection with “All Beings, Planetary wide”. For a great many of us, it is not something which is taught to us within our everyday cultures. For many of us, it is an understanding left out of our childhood. For many of us, it may be something we don’t practise with our own children. And for many of us, there is or has been an instinctive sense of lack and yearning. For something more, something nameless… Something we instinctively know we are missing… We fill it – jobs, career, partner, alcohol, drugs, emotional highs and lows, adrenalin – the list goes on. And in recent years, there is a great turning – a great searching – as more and more of us are seeking a depth of connection once again with the world around us. Joanna Macy, environmental activist, author, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory and deep ecology calls this movement “The Great Turning” and describes this as the essential adventure of our time. “The shift from the Industrial Growth society to a life-sustaining civilisation.” And the great news is that, there are practises written, created and gifted to us by so many teachers and wisdom-seekers to support us in “Getting Connected”. More and more in recent years we are seeing emergence of well-being pathways – eco-psychology, forest bathing – which seek to take us back into connection with nature once again.
In children – we can see the wonder as they stand and marvel at the world around them. That instinctive sense of the world around them, as being part of themselves. Because, for a child – everything is an extension of themselves – until they are taught or learn to separate themselves into “I”, “you”, “me” and “other”. This instinctive sense of connection, this instinctive sense of wonder is lost. And, in our healing, deepening into ourselves, our connection with the planet – and our desire to engage with planet health and restoration – planet care – this instinctive sense of wonder is a great first step in simply re-connecting. Simply creating a practise of wonder – the time to stand and stare. To take a moment to see and appreciate the beauty around us. To stop, to watch it, to recognise what it does within yourself, and to appreciate that sense of wonder…. We need a 25th hour in our day – this hour of wonder where we can simply give ourselves permission to stand and stare, taking in the beauty around us with the awe and wonder of a child…. With our goal orientated, busy, work focussed lives, many of us simply don’t know how to. We live in a city perhaps, thinking that there are no areas of natural beauty around us. We forget to look for it. And so, we walk right past that patch of weeds, flowering beautifully and offering a resting place for bees…
Re-training ourselves to look for the wonder and see the beauty – in each moment – is a powerful first step to take. Giving ourselves permission to take the time and stop, and stare…. This is a powerful practise. It moves us out of our rush, work orientated mode and into a beauty seeking, beauty appreciating wonder mode… Actively taking the opportunity to look for wonder, to look for beauty is a mindset which then sets us up to see more of it. As we see more of it, it opens us up to seeing more of it – and then slowly, actively beginning to care for it and create more spaces for wild, wonderful natural beauty.
For whatever reason, this instinctive sense of wonder and connection has become lost…. And we need to retrain ourselves as to what it is, how to do it. We need to value it. We need to give ourselves permission to create or have the time to seek these moments of beauty appreciation and wonder. And value these for the sense of connection they build within ourselves. And then we need do the work of gifting this into our children’s lives so that it is a constant ongoing conscious practise of connection. Doing this, puts the well-being of the planet, and of all our future generations into a core role in our lives. We become custodians and guardians of the land around us, and all the beings, recognising our place in the whole. Valuing our sense of connection as part of the whole. Not separate from, greater than, smaller than… simply part of the whole.
With each breath in we take, we connect more deeply. With each breath out, we feed another part of the life forms on this planet. It is easy to forget this as a very simple core practise of connection.
And it is a great place to start.
So, let’s do that now.
Meditation: Breath practise
Get comfortable. Try sit in such a way that your back is supported. Or you may choose to do this as a standing or a walking practise. Whatever works and fits within your time schedule for the day – lets just do it. 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 15minutes, 45 minutes. Whatever time frame you have in your day that you feel able to give over to this, lets do so now.
Focus on your breath in. Just breathing in.
Feeling the breath coming into your body.
Feel how your body responds. Ribs rising, stomach extending…. Notice if your shoulders move at all…
And Breathe out.
Feeling the breath tickling over your lips, leaving your body.
Ribs falling, stomach collapsing. Once again, notice any movement in your shoulders.
Do it again.
Breathing in. Focus on your breath in. Just breathing in.
Feeling the breath coming into your body.
Feel how your body responds. Ribs rising, stomach extending…. Notice if your shoulders move at all…
This time, place one hand, or both hands, on your stomach, or just over your belly button. Doing this may help to make it more conscious of how your body moves as you breathe in. Is your hand pushed away by the stomach as breath comes into the body? If so, good. This means that you are using your diaphragm to breathe which means you are drawing your breath deep into your body. If its just your shoulders moving, this tells you that you are breathing with just the top portion of your lungs. Try drawing the breath all the way down and into your hand…. Imagine it, pretend you can see inside your body and imagine a column of air being drawn over your lips, all the way down to where your hand is… Leave the logistics of the “how to” up to your body. Just imagine it.
And when you are ready,
Let this breath flow out from your body.
Feeling the breath tickling over your lips, leaving your body.
Ribs falling, stomach collapsing. Once again, notice any movement in your shoulders. Notice those hands over your belly button – do they collapse inwards towards your core? If so, good. It means your diaphragm is relaxing and any stress held in the belly is leaving your body along with your breath….
And do it all again.
Just consciously breathing.
Ok. 4th time breathing, we are going to add in an extra step now, practising deepening into connection….
The breath you breathe in comes from the trees and plants around you.
So, this time as you breath is, pretend that you can see in your imagination this breath, this air you are breathing in. Give it a colour if you like, or just let it shimmer. And breath this in.
When you breathe this out, in your imagination, see it going directly to the trees or plants around you. And see that plant or tree breathing it in…. When it comes time to take your next breath in – see it coming directly to you from this plant. As this plant or tree breathes out – you breathe in. As you breathe out, this plant breathes in.
Consciously, just practise just this. Breathing out as the plants and trees around you breathe in. Breathing in as the plants and trees around you breathe in. Just breathing. Sharing the air…
It doesn’t matter if you are in a city, or an office, or your room at home. If you are surrounded by plants and trees, or not. Their presence is always there. If you can see them around you – great. If not, allowing yourself to pretend using your imagination, or a picture is a useful aid.
Just breathe. Consciously breathe.
Well done. You are getting more connected already!
When you are ready, feel free to return to your everyday breathing, your everyday practise. And just take notice of the world around you. The colours, the faces, the shapes. Your own energy levels and your inspiration for the day ahead of you.
Deepening the practise.
So, lets go deeper into this connection. This time, it would be good if you can either be outside or within eyesight of a living plant. Even if this is a houseplant, that works too.
Get comfortable. Try sit in such a way that your back is supported. Or you may choose to do this as a standing or a walking practise. Whatever works and fits within your time schedule for the day – let’s just do it. 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 15minutes, 45 minutes. Whatever time frame you have in your day that you feel able to give over to this, let’s do so now. For the first time you do this deepening practise, I do suggest you sit comfortably and give yourself some time to really settle into it. As you get more comfortable with this as a practise, you may find that it becomes more of a walking, everyday practise. It may become a day long exercise – brilliant. Your time, your energy, your motivation, your depth of connection. Go where you can with it.
Start off with the same breathing exercise as before.
Just breathing. Consciously breathing.
For now, that’s all we need to do.
Noticing the breath as it moves into and through the body, releasing as the diaphragm relaxes. Imagining and feeling into this flow of air between yourself and the plants and trees around you, or just the plant in front of you. Your brain will probably try jump in, explaining the way plants breathe, photosynthesis, night-time, sunlight. That’s ok, let it – and come back to your breath.
It is the most important tool you have for deepening connection at this time….
And rest your gaze – softly – on this plant. Soften your focus so that you are resting, instead of concentrating on this plant. If you are outside and surrounded by plants, just rest your gaze, and let it go where it needs to go. It may be that the plant you picked out to focus on isn’t the way where your gaze goes – that’s fine. There is a wisdom to these things, trust it and relax into your breathing.
Just breathing and resting your focus. Consciously breathing. Following the flow of this breath.
At some point, when you are ready, as you breathe out, quietly Thank this plant. This can be silent within yourself, as the breath leaves you, thanking this plant. Notice the shape, colour, texture of the plant. Leaves, flowers, fruit, stem – the whole of its shape. And just, as the breath comes back into your body, say quietly “I appreciate you”. Again, this can be silently within yourself.
Keep breathing, consciously noticing this plant, resting your gaze in a soft focus, giving your thanks and appreciation to the plant. What you breathe out, this plant converts your breath out into air for you to breathe in. Your breath contains valuable nutrients this plant needs in order to grow and thrive…. Breathing out, “Thank you”. Breathing in, “I appreciate you”.
As you do this, stay aware. Notice your emotions. Notice if your sense of the plant changes – do you start to see it differently? Is your gaze drawn to a particular area or part of the plant, or to other plants? Whatever happens, stay with this. Be open, keep breathing and just notice what happens. Soften your focus, consciously breathing. Breathing out, “Thank you”. Breathing in, “I appreciate you”.
Breathing. You may wish to say, “I appreciate the beauty in you.” Just notice. Or, it may be, “I see the beauty within you”.
Softening your focus, staying with your emotions, noticing how you feel.
You will know when it is time to stop, to bring your focus back into the everyday. But do keep breathing. Any actions that spring to mind whilst you are doing this practise – watering yourself, watering the plant – please do so. Take some time before you go back into the busy-i-ness of the day.
Repeat this practise as often as you can. And, as you do so, take notice of what happens with this plant, and with your sense of connection generally.
Top tip: Once you have done this a time or two, try this as a walking meditation. Deepen into this even further – Try this with any and all living beings around you. Work colleagues, children, pets, strangers on the train… You don’t necessarily need to mutter to them, “Thank you, I see the Beauty in you” whilst gazing softly into their eyes. Simply hold the awareness of this energy and thought within yourself whilst going through your day to day and engaging with others. And, simply notice what happens, how you feel and how others respond to you.
One thing: For some people, having someone see them and appreciate their beauty can be a scary experience – and they may lash out, get angry or expressive. This is their stuff and it is being triggered by your Presence. Allow it and come back to your breath. You are doing this as an exercise in connectivity after all. Try to take nothing personally, simply breathe, see the beauty and notice what happens…
And, another: Getting connected means opening yourself up to feeling more. You know what? You got this! You have infinite strength, compassion and resilience to be able to do this. You are here, now, to be Present and Connected, here and now. You are here to share YOU with the planet and the beings around you. And you have a gift to share into the whole. The gift of your connection to the whole – well, darling heart, it adds to the whole. So, thank you. For your courage and your connectivity. And your feeling more….
Tools to further support you:
Getting more connected – to the world around us – and to ourselves can also mean emotions come up. Which is fantastic as it can mean we are becoming more sensitive. Or we become aware that “something” is blocked, and we want to shift it. Again – sensitivity is increasing. A fantastic tool for supporting our emotions is flower essences.
There are flower essences which also support building connection. Different countries, different individuals produce different essences – which can all have slightly different effects. The ones you choose will be relevant to you. It may be that you feel a resonance with a particular flower and choose to take that essence. It may be that you recognise a particular emotional state and choose flower essences to work with that. Whatever method works for you. However, do try to give yourself time in-between flower essences if you are taking them, work with a flower essence practioner and limit the number of essences you take at any one time.
For supporting and building connection, these are the ones I prefer, or have used over the years, along with my favourite suppliers:
Australian Bush Flower Essence:
Boab, Fringed Violet and Angelsword used in combination
Be in the Moment. Every moment. Whatever it is I am doing. Presence to my child: – Throwing toys out of the cot and having a tantrum. – Building a website. – Writing a book. – Massaging. – Being Massaged. Whatever it is, I aspire to BE in THAT moment.
Work in short bursts. Even if that is only 10mins, waiting for a child’s club to end.
Routine and Self-Care are Key! If I don’t look after myself first, routine goes out the window and productivity vanishes.
Dance every morning with my child. If we set the morning right, the rest flows….
Declutter. Whatever, whenever I can. Even if that means doing the damn dishes. Or meditating and clearing out my mind-chatter…
Incorporate chores with my child as part of the day to day. It’s a pain and slows me down now, but in 10 years time when my child is a teen it will make a difference. These are important life-skills, and a chance to chat, laugh, dance, bond, argue, discuss. It is the real stuff of life…
Stand and Stare. Take time out to just stop and stare. I actively LOOK for beauty. When I find it, I stop and stare and let it fill me from the soles of my feet, all the way up… Watching my child do this (even when I was in a rush) – magic. This is the nourishment for life…
Use “Power Times” to actively recharge. Walking at sunset and/or sunrise actively recharges my batteries.
Make eye contact with everyone. Talk to strangers and remember to say hello, goodbye and thank-you. Actively work to brighten everyone’s day. It lifts me up! And, you never know when you might meet an angel in disguise…
Look for laughter opportunities. Most often with or at myself.
Listen to crazy music and dance.
Stretch. Breathe. And Meditate. (even if its just for 2 minutes drinking that cup of tea)
Open the post.
Pay the bills on time.
Celebrate each and every small success. Congratulate myself for those achievements… (Today I washed the dishes and my son left the house smiling…)