Archive for February, 2012

Our minds race with our to-do lists and things it thinks we should be doing.  We are multi-tasking as fast as we can, no sooner pushing the send buttons on our smart phones than we are updating the status on our Facebook pages and blogs.  Minds racing, hearts racing, always feeling behind, feeling less than enough.  This leaves us vulnerable to negative self-talk, accepting unwarranted criticism of others, and being overly critical of others as well.

To balance this out, and to actually help us be more productive, I suggest taking regular breathing breaks.  Set a gentle hourly timer on your computer or phone, and when the crickets or chimes or the silent pop-up reminder goes off,

  • check in with your body – relax any tension in your face – roll your shoulders and straighten your back – unwind yourself from the constricted position you might have gotten yourself into
  • take a deep breath, from your belly – now take another one – then, take one more
  • if you’re feeling particularly anxious, close your right nostril with a finger on your right hand,  and breath through your left nostril for a few breaths to calm down your nervous system

You can keep it that simple, or you can add a smile to your breathing break, or perhaps a thought or two of gratitude.

Remember to unplug and take a walk outside daily if you can.  Let your eyes focus on something other than an electronic screen that’s a foot in front of you.  See the trees, the sky, the grass.  Put your to-do list in perspective – so much has already been done, and most of it not by you!  We are part of all that is, not in control of all that is.

Take a few deep belly breaths and enjoy your day.

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My husband and I are getting ready to do some landscaping, to take out the grass and replace it with drought tolerant, native plants.  We’ve been talking about doing it for a long time, and are finally moving forward.

I journeyed this morning to the sprit of our property to let it know of our plans and to see if it needed or wanted anything in particular.  I connected with it after only a few minutes of drumming, and its voice was very clear.  What it wanted was for me to develop a stronger relationship with it.  I acknowledge the spirit of our land every morning, but it wants something deeper than this, especially during this upcoming landscaping project.

I learned when I started gardening that it’s important to connect with the spirit of the plants you are working with to let them know you will be weeding them so they can retract their life force for an easier transition, or so they will feel blessed and welcomed if you are planting seeds.  I have learned to connect to the spirit of our house on a regular basis, smudging after vacuuming to make sure things are cleansed energetically as well as physically.  And I thought I’d paid attention to the sprit of our land as well, but it wants to ramp things up a notch.

I encourage everyone to get to know the spirit of the land where you live.  If you know how to journey, journey to the spirit of your land, introduce yourself, and see if there’s anything your land would like from you.  Develop a ritual, even (or especially) a simple one to honor it on a regular basis.  For instance, our land wanted me to go around its perimeter today and scatter cornmeal, something I’d told it I would do a long time ago but finally did today.

Another thing you can do is set aside an area, even a very small area, that you leave untouched, an area just for nature spirits.

If you don’t know how to journey, you can meditate or center yourself in some other way and set your intention to connect with the spirit of the place where you live.  Focus your energy in your heart and perhaps walk around the boundaries of your land saying hello.  Even if you live in a rental apartment it’s still important to connect – otherwise, it’s like living in someone else’s house without ever acknowledging them, or having roommates your never say hello to.

So, say hello to where you live.  Welcome it into your consciousness and develop a relationship with it.  After all, it was there first.

Sunflowers, © Lynda Skeen

Squash blossoms, © Lynda Skeen

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