Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Tributes - The Pause Between

On this gray, dreary, misty, wintry morning, I sat on my mat at the end of yoga class and listened to my breath, especially to the pauses in-between.

I’m granted this opportunity every week I practice at my intimate neighborhood studio, Amsa - to surrender, become absorbed, immersed in my breath - but this morning I was especially able to savor the experience.

Throughout the day, I continued to reflect on this morning gift of gratefulness. I was struck by how little attention I afford to my breath - that automatic thing we all do in order to live. The constant current of our life force, that breath that breathes us into a continual state of being, holds such surprising gifts. 

The same lessons learned on the yoga mat are analogous to ones absorbed working at the studio table.  If we listen to the tide of our breath, to the rhythm of our inhales and exhales, we gradually begin to become more present, more attune with our essence, our essential selves.     These exquisite pauses hold vast potential where everything dissolves into nothing.  It is within this nothingness, this pause between, where we are bestowed glimpses of an intimate inner peace some refer to as brushes with the divine..

A larger force bestows these gifts of gratefulness, reflection, knowing, and wisdom, but we have to do our part by showing up. 

In this New Year, consider pausing from your life's routine to take advantage of Healing Icons creative offerings  and consider signing up for a week of artistic and cultural immersion in Italy this May – where we will have many opportunities to honor, reflect, create and awaken more fully into our lives.

"A lifetime is not what is between
the moments of birth and death.
A lifetime is one moment
Between my two little breaths.
The present, the here, the now,
That's all the life I get.
I live each moment in full,
In kindness, in peace, without regret."

Chade Meng, Taoist poet

Frankly, I wish he had said strive to live each moment...because I think it is impossible to live each and every moment as he describes ... but we are lucky if we get glimpses into this pause.

"Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?
While the soul, after all, is only a window,
and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep."
Mary Oliver
       from - Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday Travels

to move forward towards a given direction or path
to journey through or over a given distance
to follow a course or path, going from one place to another
to cross over boundaries and borders

The idea of movement from one known, comfortable place to another unknown, mysterious place can fill us with terror, trepidation, anxiety, fear.  Simultaneously, the idea of leaping wildly outside of ourselves is lusciously stimulating and excites us with curious life-affirming wonder.
Yet how often do we allow ourselves this gift?

Comfort zones are a wonderful place to come home to but certainly not a place to live! Traveling outside of our known, expected selves keeps the juiciness of our human journey vibrant and alive.

Whether we physically travel to unknown lands, delve deeply into our interior lives, or embark upon learning to paint, to sing, to dance...we are traveling forward, opening our vision and hearts towards learning that the most valuable things in life are not our possessions but our experiences.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

In this Year 2011

"We need to travel. If we don't offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don't lift to the horizon; our ears don't hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and find we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days. Don't let yourself become one of those people. The fear of the unknown and lure of the comfortable will conspire to keep you from taking the chances the traveler has to take. But if you take them, you will never regret your choice. To be sure there will be moments of doubts when you stand alone, on a empty road, in an icy rain or when you are ill with a fever in a rented bed. But as the pains of the moment will come, so too will they fall away. In the end you will be much richer, so much stronger, so much clearer, so much happier and so much a better person that all the risk and hardship will seem like nothing compared to the knowledge you have gained."

"Letters to My Son" by Kent Nerburn

As you begin this New Year, consider traveling with Healing Icon's to Italy in May.