Gratitude is Under Appreciated
Marianne Williamson has a wonderful short video that talks about remembering what we are connected to and with. She uses the analogy of a lamp; without a lamp being plugged in to electricity, the lamp would not have light. Similarly, we are all connected, we are one, and when we forget this, we begin to feel lost and lose sight of that which is real. We are choosing daily, often minute-by-minute, what we plug into and what we unplug or disconnect from.
As I thought about this more, my plugging into a Netflix series can get in the way of connecting to what really matters, what is real. Not that Netflix is permanently off, as a diversion can be supportive, yet it helped me reprioritize what I plug into… and what I miss when choosing Netflix or any other distraction to excess.
What do you plug in to find that which is real? What takes you away from this? As you notice and ponder, consider joining me for some time to connect to what is real,
You know those little or big promptings that you receive and may ignore or do not even see? What might happen if you did? Signs or promptings are like messages, sent from messengers. We are often ‘sent’ several of these signs with similar messages until we notice. Sometimes the request is to notice, and sometimes we may even choose to take a specific action… no matter how outlandish it might seem. I did, on Thursday evening, and the result, well, astonishing!
Thursday evenings I have the privilege of guiding a centering class, and during class the prompt was received to do a live FaceBook. My mind said, ‘Oh, no, no, no. Too far out of the box, why would you put yourself out there?’ The prompt continued, I went home and found it unexpectedly quiet. Another sign to take the plunge. So, I did, with every intention of deleting the resultant video. And then 14 people showed up – no invite - they just popped in to see what this Rhonda live was about. One of these was a younger generation family member, who called me within minutes of the recording concluding. We had not seen each other for a couple of years. This person was in a tough space, and chose to share with me for almost an hour. As I listened and offered perspective, it was a powerful reinforcement of how following the signs, being vulnerable, and showing up matters. It mattered to this person by providing the sign or prompting to reach out and I know our conversation impacted perspective while offering hope. All because signs were noticed, pondered, listened to and acted on, serving as a powerful reminder of the awesomeness of a spiritual journey that simply asks us to show up as we are when we are able.
You can see the FB Live video, (link is https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10212300876466802&id=1525578292&_rdr) all about the importance of play as part of showing up to this spiritual walk. Maybe you’ll comment, maybe you’ll be looking for signs and moving out of your box when the prompt appears. If so, please share. I am here to mentor myself and others towards love, light and joy.
Earlier this month I was profoundly impacted during the experience of yoga therapy/body psychology training, including feeling first hand the sensation of releasing unprocessed emotions and experiences. Wow! The teachings have provided me with the capacity to be a conduit to guide people to experience their own releases and live with less stress, more energy. It also reminded me of how connected we all are – we hold on, we resist releasing, and when we trust the process of letting go, the journey is lighter and full of joy. My completion of the required course work has allowed me to an I AM Amrit certified Yoga Therapist. This, coupled with the many other trainings, provides a deepening opportunity to support you and others in your journey.
Yoga therapy is difficult to describe. It is not yoga, and it is not traditional therapy. It is transformative. It is powerful. It can reach places where 'regular yoga' and traditional therapy are unable to go.
“If it doesn’t change your life, its not yoga” Yogi Amrit Desai
as i listened to this phrase, ‘if it doesn’t change your life its not yoga’ again and again during the course of 25 days of training, it began to sink in. first, yoga is not what we do on the mat, it is how we take the teachings into our life and live differently, more attuned to connection. yoga has changed my life – it has been the catalyst to metamorphosis that continues to lean into the transformation of showing up with an open heart and humble awareness.
“evenness of mind is called Yoga” (B.G. 2:48) – an evenness that allows both up and downs to be okay, a steadiness of mind that is not guided by thoughts of want or need. the path is twisted and open…. and at the core, timeless, universal and unchanging.i
one of many ways I continue to be reminded of a recent experiential training is via the phrase ‘let life come to you.’ as I have sat back and observed the flow of life, i am amazed at how everything we need somehow just shows up. plus, what we ask also often appears, often in a different form or timeline than we imagined.
while I could cite a myriad of recent examples, instead consider how life shows up for you. could it be with less effort and more stillness? what would happen if you allowed a part of your life to just show up for you in its own time and form? tt might be amazing to watch. for me is serves as the prompt to be aware of the connection always present within, around, and about…and to practice the patience required to allow the unfolding.
a few days ago while attending a class, I came face to face real time with judgment, mine! the trigger was the instructors voice, which alternated between a whisper and shouting. first I experienced anger (how dare ‘they’ waste my time?!), then I wanted to giggle really hard (it did sound funny), and then I was able to witness my judgment and knew I could turn this into any experience I chose. so, embracing the intention ‘releasing judgment, I am the experience’ throughout class, just what I needed showed up. it was one of those ‘wow’ this really works affirmations.
judgment is often harsh, lacks love and comes from a place of scarcity. tt is also quick and takes little time. being in the experience is about fullness, acceptance, peace and ease. and, the incredible thing is, we get to choose which one we embrace. wow! think about that – it is empowering and humbling, yes?!
I leave you with the idea that if we do not try something new, nothing changes. so, find something of interest, take a risk, release judgment, and embrace the experience of what shows up.
how do you respond to a yes or no question? or one that asks if you would like a or b? I think there is a tendency to nuance, at least for me, trying to take into account what the person asking might want to hear. and, not always feeling connected to ’self’ to know what I actually do want.
I got to thinking about this a couple weeks ago. our granddaughter and her parents were staying overnight. she awoke at some small digit number of the morning. upon seeing me enter her room, her response, between sobs and tears, "I want my mama” was swift and loud. when advised her choice was coming with me or going back to sleep given her mother was sleeping, she glared at me, lay down, and slept soundly for several more hours. if her mother would not be aroused, she was not going to settle for me. she took no concern that I might be offended, did not plead for a middle of the road negotiation, she simply made the choice and decided to sleep.
this ties to an awareness, generated by the phrase "we fear the uncertainty choice brings “ that caused me pause a couple months ago when reading Rolf Gates second book. clearly my granddaughter has not developed this consideration – how refreshing ! yet when we make a choice for ourselves, based on inner guidance, there is uncertainty about what lies next. I find the fear is more readily embraced with pauses, stillness, and being as fully aware of each moment as I can muster… at that moment. one inhibitor, or at least distraction, of cultivating stillness and mindfulness is technology. so Sundays now find me off-line. one Sunday down, and I noticed this morning how reticent I was to turn it back on. try it and let me know what you notice.
would you like pause, rewind, and fast forward buttons based on parts of the holiday experience? I would! sometimes I struggle with the consumerism of life, especially this time of year and find obligatory gift giving distasteful so ‘fast forward’ button please. other times I would like ‘rewind’ and experience a second or third time a special moment. oh, and that ‘pause’ button would be so helpful to avoid blurting out that which has not been first considered, resulting in words that tear down instead of build up.
at the same time, my mind is busy creating past based stories, including a list of sorts, that implies what is okay and what is not. yet, we each can strongly influence our perceptions and ease into a space where choices are intentional, based on honoring both our needs and those of others in the Now. for, in the words of Amrit Desai, ‘nothing is a problem until we decide there is one.’
have you ever found yourself wishing that vacation being over and the return to ‘normal’ had not yet arrived? having spent a good bit of my summer blissfully exploring from the southern beaches of California to the eastern most settlement in our continent, it is now time to land, ground and return to whatever normal might be. to remind me that this, too, is a good way to seek bliss, the words above my office door read “live in wonder”. admittedly a stretch when looking at this and paying bills, it does invite and welcome finding bits of wonder in the breath, in moments, and within our being.
this is a summer of exploring places (cooler than Phoenix) and spaces (hitting the pause to see what shows up) that are both new and old, welcome and uncertain, fresh and stagnant. These contrasts represent the dual nature of how we exist; we make the choice as to our experience and then can choose to label it or simply experience. Over the numerous ventures out of town the past few months, I often find myself trying to capture the moment with a picture or thinking about how ‘this’ can be shared verbally in the future. I see that pictures and sharing have their own stories, which can take us away from the moment which is then lost….forever....so it is with our Western way of thinking. Often thought patterns are established that add labels to the experience along the lines of ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Can any experience in totality be so easily described?
Rumi, 13th century Sufi mystic and poet, captures this with “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul likes down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” It is this place and space where the soul is so full that I yearn for, and trust each of you do as well. This is what the experiences, classes and workshops are all about; resting there beyond words when the dual nature merges into Oneness. Join me for one of these – there is full line-up offered!
A story that reappears just when I need it and always resonates is that of the two wolves that live within us. While this story has many versions, the parable is that we have a mean and evil wolf inside that is always fighting the good wolf; the one we feed the most is that one that wins. Thus, the invitation to conscious choices as to what we take in, to notice if we allow our thoughts to distract and take us away from singular focus, and to develop intentionality around feeding the good wolf. First we must decide to not feed the evil that appears in cunningly subtle ways. Focusing on consistently feeding the good wolf inside us is a daily, and often minute by minute choice that is both humbling and necessary. For me, a time that allows stillness is when the awareness of choices can be intentionally cultivated.
Time to be is what we all need, even crave. It may be an unplugged walk in woods, time sitting by the ocean, movement on the mat, or just sitting quietly and observing the breath. Knowing the importance of allowing for human being, not human doing, a series of 1 ½ hour experiences entitled Be: Timeout for Even Being are offered starting in September
Take time to be, to push pause, to feed that good wolf….and try to stay cool this summer!
earlier this summer we had a series of plumbing experiences going on in our home that resulted in the opportunity to practice compassion and patience, as our master turned into a 9 hold room. ;>)
I can now share that it is fixed, the shower has hot and cold water, all 9 holes are patched and await paint. Always learning through observing in retrospect this several week process- which was just wrapping up when my speaking voice was temporarily misplaced for six days. Said differently, I was unable to speak, even at a whisper, without triggering a hacking cough, so I was quiet. Now that was a whole other learning experience! Most of the time I was on a beach retreat with dear friends and it was fascinating to watch me move from frustration to acceptance to enjoyment of the quiet, and time to observe conversations with limited participation. Some people engaged with me despite lack of voice, others seemingly assumed I was not interested given my lack of response, and one server started to write out her response before she realized that my hearing was just fine. This has me laughing hard on the inside and I realize how readily a physical limitation is perceived by others as being greater than it is. So, that six day experience left me with new awareness and ended up being a real gift that is continuing to help me see with a bit less need for voice.
I leave you with a recently read prayer that is helping me move towards that place of ease throughout the day. Sometimes referred to as the lovingkindness meditation, it can be practiced for us and for others:
"May I feel protected and safe, May I feel content and pleased, May my physical body provide me with strength, May my life unfold smoothly with ease”
Let it be so!
Late last month our home sprung a leak. This continues to be a repair in progress. We now can boast of having a 9-hole master bedroom/bath. ;>) I continue to think this is a humorous unfolding of events which reminds me of the Ram Das quote ‘We are all just walking each other home.’ I see how hard our plumber, David, is working and think about how challenging it must be to do his job. Most people do not welcome unexpected leaks in their home, right? Plumbers have the job of coming into a home, trying to fix the leak while minimizing expense and holes in the walls, and at best, usually end up with a customer who is back to “even minus” in the most optimistic outcome. This must take a toll, and yet David shows up with a pleasant face and willingness to continue to work towards the solution.
I leave you with the lingering quote ‘ "We are all just walking each other home" and invite you to keep this in mind, as I am, as the heat outside increases and we encounter unexpected ‘leaks’.
Having just spent the weekend caring for our nearly 2 year old granddaughter, the power of being present and the invitation to be where I am remains strong. What incredible teachers are children, and what teachers are the inner child within each of us. We sometimes know we need to tap into this and are at a loss as to how. It often starts with breath, so take a moment now to breathe, just breathe.
Doesn’t ….. that …… feel …… so ….. delicious?
If you are interesting in tapping into that quiet inner space for a longer period of time, consider joining me for an upcoming class - a time to pause and be.
…please watch your step! As we continue the spiritual journey, we find times when the walkway is moving without interruption and the path is clear. It is when that walkway stops, sometimes abruptly, that we may face unease, unexpected new ways of seeing, and new growth. During a recent airport experience, the repetitive warning ‘the walkway has ended, please watch your step’ was heard in a new way. Yes, it means the obvious - the physical moving track is stopping and we are asked to be attentive. Might it also mean that when there is uncertainty, it is time to be more aware, to be more attentive to where we place thoughts and trust? The phrase has continued to stay with me throughout the week, calling me to deeper awareness of the importance of honoring the guidance of others, and also being attentive to this unique spiritual journey that is reserved for each of us, and with that the invitation to be aware and discerning. How do you respond when the walkway stops moving? Do you stop, pause, and wait? Do you notice? Do you plunge into the next offering, whatever shows up? Regardless of an abrupt or gradual ending, breath is always a good choice. One of my new favorite breathing practices is 5-5/10-10 breath. (see details under breathe) Pause. Notice subtle shifts. Give yourself permission to adjust the count number up or down so you feel full, challenged and at ease. This intentional breathing sequence balances the autonomic nervous system by inviting the body to release and pause. Trust then that the next step will be made from a place of balance, awareness, and openness. As we deepen our spiritual journey, there are times when we find the walkway is in need of new energy and perspective as the old no longer feeds us. This too is a time for discernment and decision. If you are looking for a some new tools to support and explore your It may be just what your walkway is seeking!
Yoga therapy, yoga nidra, crystal singing bowls with healing sounds, all available to honor you, to invite opening and releasing so you can live into the essence of you that always there.