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Archive for October, 2011

Nostalgia

While out taking a walk the other day, I noticed a few seeds from a milkweed pod blowing back towards the pod, which was dry and split open, heavy with other seeds about to take off.   But the dark seeds, surrounded by shiny white filaments, could not, of course, get back in.  What they came from wasn’t even there any longer.

No matter how much we might get nostalgic for our twenties, thirties, childhoods or even past lives, there is no going back.  Take a quick look, and keep evolving!

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Just Start Breathing

We’ve heard it said over and over in a million different ways: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” “One day at a time.” “A body in motion stays in motion.”

But sometimes it doesn’t matter how many platitudes you chant to yourself, getting started can still be elusive as you lie in bed with a day before you that you’re not looking forward to.  Or looking at your to-do list that will take much longer to do that you have actual time for.   But it’s true – the journey of a thousand miles really does begin with one step.  So if, for instance, you are overwhelmed at the thought of having to exercise, but know you’d feel better after some yoga, ease – tease! – yourself into it with some easy stretching, and let that be enough, knowing that chances are it will get the energy flowing and you’ll be able to do some more.

Or,  let’s say you want to start being more grateful for the good things in your life, but feel overwhelmed by your worries – worries about health insurance, about politics, about whatever.  Worries that keep you frozen in fear, unable to more forward in gratitude.  The best way to break through is to start exactly where you are – be grateful for the fear itself, for what you can learn from it.  Then move to being grateful for having a mind that is capable of worry.  Then be grateful for having the choice to be grateful for other things as well.  Breathe deeply and be grateful for being able to breathe.  And go from there.  Start exactly where you are, and go from there.

We move through our lives one breath at a time. We really can’t breathe ahead of ourselves, but this one breath now will help get us to the next one. So, whatever it is that you are doing, breathe and enjoy the process, one breath at a time.  Deep inhale; deep exhale.  Deep inhale; deep exhale.  And go from there.

The journey of a thousand miles does indeed begin with one step.

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A few days ago I wrote about a cycle of learning I was in that was causing me some distress – Possum Medicine.  I want to encourage us to be gentle with ourselves as we go through our cycles of learning and growth – gentle, yet continue to move through them.  As Winston Churchill famously said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

And as we process our own stuff, it’s good to remember that it’s not just our stuff, but the stuff of the human condition.  The Buddhists would call it not just our anger but the anger; not just our happiness but the happiness.  For instance, even as we do what we need to do to address our specific, personal flavor of responding to being bullied, or finding ourselves confronted with our capacity for being a bully, we can at the same time remember that we’re not alone in dealing with this issue.  We can radiate love and light not just to ourselves, even from the depths of our pain, but to other people who might be going through the same thing.

We are all connected.  We are all in this together.  And when we come out the other side of a time of darkness and confusion, we’ll be able to offer clarity and hope to other people who are in the same tunnel we just emerged from.

So, learn your lessons, but don’t wallow.  The world needs you.

If you feel like sharing, I’d love to hear your experiences with this – via the comments below or confidential email at lynda@lyndaskeen.com.

Possum Paw, © Lynda Skeen

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It’s important to pay attention when we notice animals behave in unusual ways.  The same with the weather or our moods or anything that is out of the ordinary – that is often how things that don’t have an actual voice speak to us.

This morning, my husband noticed a possum walking around our yard – not just for a moment, but taking its time, checking out the compost pile, the hedges, the fence, before finally disappearing into the bushes for its day in the dark.  We know we have possums, that’s not what’s unusual, even though we live in Hollywood.  What’s unusual is seeing them in daylight, especially for an extended period of time, as they are nocturnal critters and generally only come out at night.

I’m paying attention to this, and checking in with Spirit to see if there’s anything in particular I’m supposed to learning or hearing.  It might be that we just so happened to see a possum strolling our yard in the daylight, but my sense is that in a broader sense something not usually seen is about to come to light.

The point is, we need to pay attention to our environment, to what’s normal and what’s unusual.  Spirit and the other life forms we share the planet with are constantly communicating with us, whether it’s just to say hello, or to give us a head’s up about something bigger about to happen.  When we notice something unusual, ask yourself what is it that’s unusual?  Close your eyes and sink into your heart.  Feel the metaphor of the experience.  Invite the other beings in your life to offer their wisdom and counsel.  You don’t need to white-knuckle it alone through life.

Have a beautiful day filled with awareness and Spirit-filled surprises.

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p.s.  Just a couple of days after I drafted that post, new things did indeed begin to come to light for me.  New layers of understanding and insights on issues going back to my childhood came at me suddenly and intensely from many angles – over a game of chess with a friend, a phone call with a family member, and during otherwise normal workday interactions.  Even though I thought I’d had my eyes open, I was still blindsided – our weak spots can be like that.  Sometimes we scrunch up our eyes, sometimes they’re filled with tears, sometimes they’re filled with wonder, sometimes we can’t see because we’re looking too directly into the sun.  May we be compassionate ourselves as the layers of ourselves surface for recognition and evolution.

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