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This blog includes reflections, creative work and resources. It is a glimpse of one person's journey within the realm of inquiry, experience with the human body and spirit. Look for ideas rather than answers. No claims are made. Perfection is not implied. I write as inspired to do so. Take what works for you, leave the rest. If you share anything from this blog, either verbally or in writing, please do your best to give credit where credit is due. Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Little Thought of the Day

It seems those most deserving of deferential treatment do not expect it, even shift it away. Self-esteem, self-awareness and self-acceptance are seemingly at the core of this phenomenon. The presence of these qualities lead to the skill of handling and managing deference.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

ABRACADABRA

A B R A C A D A B R A
A B R A C A D A B R
A B R A C A D A B
A B R A C A D A
A B R A C A D
A B R A C A
A B R A C
A B R A
A B R
A B
A

ABRACADABRA may bring to mind old Vaudeville magicians or Steve Miller Band's popular song. Entertaining connections aside it is derived from the Aramaic phrase "I create what I speak." From Hebrew it translates as "it came to pass as it was spoken." 

Behavior starts at the level of thought, continuing to speech if permitted. From there action. Conscious awareness strengthens one's role at each of these three levels: thought/mental - word/speech - action/physical. Be a responsible gatekeeper! Slow down and breathe. Witness. Release what's not wanted. Allow what is desired and chosen to move forward. And we all make mistakes. Just try, try again.

It's safe to say most religious and philosophical traditions guide the adherent to speak wisely, carefully. In yoga attention to word and speech is vachika. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz includes "Be Impeccable With Your Word" as one of the four essential steps on the path of personal freedom.  

I've reinstated into awareness ABRACADABRA with it's deeper meaning. And without losing the levity found in the image of a rabbit pulled out of a hat. Levity invites relaxation!


Flowers teach about cycles, strength, beauty.

Releasing Control of Others

"Danger arises when someone begins to think that his or her truth should be true for everyone."

This phrase is found in Anna Pittman's information about Satya or Truthfulness. The material was handed out in yoga teacher training back in 2000. It is confirming to revisit this concept fourteen years later.

Letting go of the tendency to want to control other people leads to being more focused and responsible for the Self. Those 3 words are italicized and underlined for a very good reason. WE CAN ALMOST NEVER CONTROL THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS. Really all that can be achieved is the desire to. When trying to control someone so many things can happen: enabling someone's bad habits, draining the heck out of yourself, not honoring your own and another's path/karma/dharma/consequences, not recognizing healthy boundaries, feeling hurt and frustration instead of serenity.

I'm becoming more fluent in feeling the signals when thought forms arise indicating a desire to apply my truth on to another. I'm laughing while writing this: at first it felt wrong, unloving, uninvolved, disconnected and selfish to allow another to have their own truth! Miraculously the world hasn't come to an end! I'm more intimately connected with my own truth therefore able to exercise healthy boundaries.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Good Friday Miracle



A mural by Talent Murals in recognition of what I call the 2012 Good Friday Miracle in Virginia Beach.  A Navy jet crashed into an apartment complex to the right of this little commercial building. There were no fatalities.  The few who went to the hospital left soon after on the same afternoon. That includes the pilots.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yama & Niyama Study

With a partner we're applying the Yamas & Niyamas for self-study. We meet every week or two for discussion and inquiry.  Anna Pittman's written information from teacher training is our source material. Each Yama and Niyama is approached on the level of thought, speech and action.

It is a supportive system to refer to with life experiences, whether small or larger, more surface or deep. It is not about banishing your personality or attaining perfection or over-control but about AWARENESS before, during or after a trigger. In fact, the structure provides a framework, in my opinion, to allow you to be who you truly are. The application of Yama & Niyama can help bring experience into THE NOW, offering opportunity to feel and address a situation. It's basic really, taught elsewhere in such as the Ten Commandments. In fact, the Yamas & Niyamas are sometimes referred to as the Ten Commandments of Yoga in order to communicate what they are to beginning students.

If you are a student of Yoga and are unfamiliar with the Yamas & Niyamas I encourage you to learn about them and the eight limb system that is Yoga. Yoga is more than attending a group exercise-type class. If Asana is the one of the limb you choose to practice, great. And knowledge of the big picture will offer fuller understanding. I've written about the 8-limbs throughout this blog. Specifically posts published on these dates will be helpful: 6/13/12, 11/3/11 and 10/23/11.

Marwencol

The documentary Marwencol presents a beautiful example of how one's creative process can be healing and transformative. Darkness is brought to light.  As Alan Moore says magic was and is referred to as "the art". Art and magic are one and the same.

There's not more to share about the documentary except the recommendation to watch it if you believe in art as therapy.

Crafts

While discussing possibly forming a craft sale a friend asked what kind of craft I'd be interested in contributing if I wanted to participate. It made me think about my relationship with crafting. I used to make things on a regular basis. More recently what has become incongruent with crafting is my preference for simplicity, values outside of materialism and the idea of the environmental impact created by the creative process. These are notions for myself. I'm encouraging of others' craft pursuits and I really appreciate creativity. Whatever I'd choose it would have to be low impact in terms of the environment and transformational in the inner sense, even in a small way &/or something to be put to good use one way or another.

In looking around on the Pinterest I stumbled on terrariums. The craft seems environmentally harmless enough. I used to keep one as a kid. It was in a big glass container shaped like a mushroom. Very 70's!

In current times the instructions for making one are different than the old days. From what I found on several websites the mainstream process instructs the purchasing of everything from a store: pebbles, charcoal, moss, soil, plants, figurines. Entire kits are also available. The only things suggested as re-use from around home are the glass containers.

Time will tell how successful my little terrarium will be but I did it the old fashioned way: I went outside and hunted.  I picked up pebbles, sorted and rinsed them. Next I scooped up some garden soil amended over the years using my own compost. I selected charcoal pieces from my woodstove ash discard pile. Then I dug up moss and little plants while walking around on a drizzly day. Shells were already in the house waiting for a purpose.

What is interesting to me, especially after a weekend of weeding, is to see these little plants taking on a new purpose in the micro-universe that is the terrarium. In my yard they are weeds. Here they are part of a little world with roots going into what used to be coffee grounds, fruit peels and vegetable cuttings. The system is also supported by the remnants of the wood that heated my house over the winter. What fun an old pickle jar and a bunch of weeds can be!






As for the craft sale, it may or may not happen anyway. I may or may not move in the direction of participating. What matters is the idea led to another idea which led to creating something new, as small as it may be.

Grace In Place

Several nights ago during sleep the words "Grace In Place" came to me. I woke up with the little but powerful phrase lingering in awareness. It felt as though the word "grace" was a call to action, action to come from me. It was as though the phrase was informing me to be patient, to embrace what is for the sake of growth. Translated the message was saying, "Rest and be with your current circumstances for there is plenty of material with which and from which to grow."

The analytical side of me comes to the question: where did the message come from? I tend to think it came from the subconscious, sprouted from various structures and programs of study to support inner work. Greater minds than my own have pondered such questions about God, the psyche and brain activity. The source matters less to me than the message so I aim to release pondering. It seems to be a distraction anyway.

As I write this I wonder if there's another interpretation to Grace In Place. Is it also reassurance to simply trust that the gift of grace is with me? As it is for everyone if we can only see? It is very like me to hear the former interpretation which seems to ask for a certain level of engagement. It is less like me to see a simple gift being offered as in the lighter-handed latter one. I open to and allow both to be a blessing to my awareness.