A formula for turning disharmony into harmony and life balance
Our life pathways are many, filled with twists and turns, paved and treacherous. While our formative years are fairly set, successive life chapters require choices that can set the tone for how harmonious our life journey unfolds.
In the labyrinth of life, there are questions that summon us to dive deep into the core of our being, illuminating the profound and transformative aspects that shape our existence. These questions not only prompt introspection but also guide us towards a richer, more purposeful journey. I invite you to take some time as you start the New Year to ponder your own thoughts around these questions to help you begin to unveil the essence of a meaningful life.
What Makes You Come Alive?
Unraveling the mysteries of our passions is an exploration of the self. What activities, endeavors, or pursuits breathe life into your spirit? Recognizing and nurturing these sources of vitality connects us with our authentic selves, unveiling the vibrant threads that weave the tapestry of our true essence. For me it’s the harmony and interconnectedness of being of service to others and in sync with nature. And also unexpected experiences that turn out to be magical!
Pivotal Turning Point in Your Life?
Life is a series of junctures that redefine our path. Reflecting on the pivotal moments that steered you in a new direction provides insight into your resilience and adaptability. This might be a career shift, a relationship milestone, personal revelation, or a dark period of your life. These turning points contribute to the intricate mosaic of your life story. Some of my pivotal moments have been marked by a loss or ending that caused me to rethink the path I was on—thus opening me up to new possibilities.
An Act of Kindness You’ll Never Forget?
Kindness, a beacon of light in the human experience, leaves an indelible imprint on our hearts. Contemplate the acts of kindness that have touched your life—moments when compassion transcended barriers. These memories serve as a testament to the profound impact small gestures can have, fostering empathy and a sense of interconnectedness. There have been so very many in my life. One that comes to mind was when we had a celebration of my mother’s life after she had passed—and seeing all the people sharing memories of her as we sat in a circle.
One Thing On Your Bucket List?
A bucket list is a manifestation of our dreams and aspirations. What is that one thing you long to experience or achieve? Whether it’s an adventurous escapade, a skill to master, or a connection to forge, contemplating your bucket list instigates a sense of purpose, pushing you to embrace life’s possibilities. I consider myself a lifelong learner. At present I continue to learn and grow in my somatic and meditation teaching skills
One-line Message for the World?
If you had the chance to distill your wisdom into a single line for the world, what would it be? Crafting a concise message requires introspection into your values and beliefs. This exercise prompts a commitment to leaving a positive mark on the world, fostering a collective consciousness of empathy, understanding, and unity. My message is best captured in words I live by–Peace and Harmony.
Essence of a Meaningful Life
As we grapple with these questions, we embark on a journey of self-discovery, weaving together the threads of our passions, resilience, and kindness. In contemplating the essence of a meaningful life, we uncover the profound beauty that lies in the thoughtful exploration of our own existence.
Enjoy the journey!
Following is a recent guided meditation I recorded that may help you get started.
In the midst of the holiday season, weaving a tapestry of peace, love, and harmony can seem like an elusive dream. The constant demands of daily existence often leave us entangled in a web of stress and busyness, pulling us away from the serenity we crave. However, amidst the chaos, there exists a profound opportunity to craft a sanctuary of tranquility within ourselves.
Your inner tapestry
Envision your spirit as a resilient flame, flickering with the wisdom of experiences lived. Each challenge, triumph, and moment of stillness contributes to the vibrant hues of your inner tapestry. It is in these moments of reflection that we find the threads to weave a fabric that embodies the essence of peace, love, and harmony.
Let this become like a mantra echoing in the chambers of your soul, a harmonious reminder to relax into the present, restore your essence, and rejuvenate your spirit. This mantra acts as a guiding thread, leading you through the labyrinth of life towards a center of calm. In the midst of the holiday fervor, it serves as a compass, redirecting your focus to the beauty of the present moment.
Embrace the stillness as a gift to yourself, a moment of reprieve amid the festive frenzy. Amid twinkling lights and joyful celebrations, allow yourself the luxury of silence. In this quietude, rediscover the simplicity of being. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and let the world fade away as you immerse yourself in the tranquility within.
May the mantra guide you to wholeness, where the light of your spirit dances gracefully into the peaceful embrace of the season’s end. As the year draws to a close, let your tapestry be a testament to the resilience of your spirit and the beauty that can be woven even in the most chaotic of times. In the stillness, find the power to create a space for peace, love, and harmony – a sanctuary that endures beyond the fleeting moments of the festive season.
Following is a recording of one of my live Rest meditations to help you cultivate “Peace, Love, and Harmony” as a part of your everyday life—and as a pathway for being fully human.
In a world often rife with suffering, illness, and heartbreak, finding solace may seem elusive. However, Zen Master Zono, a beacon of wisdom for those navigating life’s challenges, offers a simple yet profound practice: cultivating gratitude. In the face of adversity, she advises, “Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.” This powerful mantra, uttered every morning and evening, and in response to life’s twists and turns, embodies a transformative approach to living.
The essence of Zono’s teaching lies in embracing gratitude as a daily ritual. It’s a mindset that transcends circumstances, reminding us to appreciate both the joys and tribulations that shape our journey. By expressing gratitude, we shift our focus from what is lacking to what is present, fostering a sense of contentment even in the midst of trials.
I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
—Henry David Thoreau
Wisdom of Pronoia
Integral to this practice is the concept of pronoia, the antithesis of paranoia. Pronoia is the belief that the universe conspires for our well-being, orchestrating events in our favor. When we trust that the universe has our back, gratitude becomes a natural response to every person and situation in our lives. Even challenges take on new meaning, seen as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles.
In embracing pronoia, we acknowledge that everything works together for our good. This belief empowers us to navigate the complexities of life with grace and resilience. Gratitude becomes a force that transcends circumstances, a guiding light in both the darkest and brightest moments.
As we adopt Zono’s practice and cultivate pronoia, we discover that gratitude is not merely a reaction to favorable circumstances but a way of life. It becomes a source of strength, resilience, and inner peace. In the words of Zen Master Zono, “Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.” It may be a tall order to embrace this mantra. However, much like the concept of forgiveness, this may help us better experience harmony and peace. In this simple expression lies the transformative power to reshape our relationship with life itself.
Following is a recording of one of my live Rest meditations to help you cultivate “gratitude” as a part of your everyday life—and as a pathway for being fully human.
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In our fast-paced world, where busyness is often mistaken for productivity, the concept of “soaking in being” has emerged as a powerful antidote. It encapsulates the essence of nurturing well-being and cultivating a heightened state of awareness. This practice invites us to pause, reflect, and connect with our inner self, which in turn promotes a deeper sense of fulfillment and purpose in life.Continue reading→
Many people experience chronic back and neck pain at some point in their lives and it can be debilitating. If you aren’t one of these people, I’m sure you know people who are. A new study published in September 2022 demonstrates the efficacy of using pandiculation with Hanna Somatic Education (HSE) to relieve chronic back and neck pain. This unique self-care method releases chronic muscle tension by retraining the nervous system. I personally am a testament to HSE for relieving my own chronic muscle pain since I’ve been training and teaching this powerful practice.Continue reading→
Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW wrote in “Rising Strong,” “To embrace and love who we are we have to reclaim and reconnect with the parts of ourselves we’ve orphaned over the years.” Those orphaned parts are stored in the library of our false beliefs of lack and limitation, feeling separate. Judging and comparing ourselves, our bodies and the lives we live to others all have the common root of “I’m not good enough.”
In this meditation we will select books from this library of not enoughness and open to deep inquiry and the opportunity for integration into the authentic being and wholeness of “I am enough.”Continue reading→
Sleep is essential for all aspects of health, according to neuroscientist Mathew Walker, author of NYT best seller Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. Sleep is vital for maintaining immune system, cardiovascular and reproductive function. It helps improve memory, psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative decline and prevent cancer. Yet, according to a National Sleep Foundation survey (in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Japan) at least 50% of people don’t get sufficient sleep (7 hours or more) on weekdays. If you routinely get 5 to 6 hours of sleep your body, mind and well-being are paying the price. Sleeping longer on weekends doesn’t replenish your sleep deficit.Continue reading→
Beginning a new year, it’s customary to reflect on our desires and create intentions and resolutions we wish to fulfill in the coming year. For some of us a new chapter of our life is eager to unfold and goals are being called for to charter the course. I rather believe this process can be likened to waking up out of a deep sleep as we do each morning. For each day offers us new possibilities, hew horizons and opportunities to restart anew.
Whatever deep desires we may hold for our lives, we are not alone in this world. Everything we do affects the world around us, as it does us. We are not separate from one another, but interdependent. This interdependent nature calls for cooperation with one another. As you form your intentions, I invite you to consider your impact on the world around you. The following poem may offer some guidance in the process.
At the top of this post, you are welcome to be guided into a live recorded meditation to help you with this process. Continue reading→
May this poem and blessing enlighten and inspire you as you venture into a new year. With wisdom and grace, Larry Robinson’s poem holds many contractions and heartaches of our world with wisdom and grace.
At the end I offer you aguided year-end meditation from a recent live group session for you to gather your own year-end reflections.
New Year’s Blessing
A year of loss and chaos draws to a close.
Stories from a thousand cultures remind us that the cosmos is born – and reborn again and again – from chaos.
We have passed the darkest night of the year but the light only returns slowly.
The old order has passed as well but the new is not yet apparent.
Life does renew itself and new forms emerge as old ones pass away.
It has always been this way.
For all the misery of the past year, we have also seen astounding acts of beauty and courage and generosity.
This liminal space we inhabit is a time to dream, to imagine and to plan.
There are times when seemingly small acts can have out-size impacts.
I believe that we are in one of these times – actually a hopeful time, a time of possibilities.
Cynicism is as perilous a path as naïveté.
Hope is a choice, not a feeling; we create it through our actions and through our words.
At this turning of the wheel I invite and challenge you to dream grandly of the world you wish to bequeath, to proclaim it proudly and boldly and to join with your brothers and sisters to take the practical steps to make it real.
Remember that every act of kindness bends the arc of our shared life toward love.