More about living in the present

Please do not cling to the past with all its delights and pleasures. Remember them fondly. Your job is to create new delights and pleasures in your now and be fully present as they unfold.

Step into your now! This is where your power lies!

Painted Lady butterfly on zinnia

You have come this far in life, balancing on the knife edge of each moment as it comes, lasts, passes into the next and the next.

Remember this: Worry keeps you distracted from your present. Fear of the future keeps you powerless to make needed changes to your life. Guilt keeps you stuck in the past.

Take pleasure in your now. Pay attention: masses of sun colored daylilies, a dramatic sky, your life giving breath as you inhale and exhale, your feet supporting your body so beautifully, your arms swinging in rhythm as you walk, shifting patterns of leafy shade on the grass, the summer landscape…an evening thunder storm…

Wild Lobelia

Make the most of your precious time, your precious life, your present moments. Live them fully!

Live in the present

Turn toward life by living in the present.

Do you hang onto “how things used to be”? The “better” life that was, the simpler times, the happy days. Do you long for what you think of as your “glory years”?

My glory days were those sweet summer days that went on forever, when I stood tall, towering over the sweet earth, my green and silver leaves shimmering in the breeze, shading and sheltering all beings who ventured past, accepting tree hugs from walkers and hikers…

GCW in summer

But now, I exist in a new reality. Those days are past and I am learning to let go of the life that was and embrace what is. I will never forget, but I must move on with grace.

GCW stump with painted friend, the Lorax

Do you long for days past when your parents and grandparents sang in the twilight as the fireflies came out? You have these and thousands of good memories stored like a library of movie disks in your mind.

You can pull up the pictures, the memories and remember with fondness your grandparents home, the petunias in the window box, the pot belly stove in winter, the fragrance of lilacs, the soft fur of your tiny kitten… you can bring up any picture or feeling that brings you joy and happiness.

But when remembering turns to longing for a time that is no more and living in the past, it will keep you from creating beautiful moments in the here and now. It will distract you from your present moments that are to be lived fully, savored, and treasured.

Turn toward the true power of your life – your intention and action in the present moment. You thrive when living fully absorbed in this moment and the next and the next. These often mundane moments are your true life!

Embrace your reality, the truth of your present moment. And live fully!

Rediscover Your Inner Child

Just be, for a moment or an hour, like a child without a care, living in grace, enjoying all that life has to offer your senses and your heart.

Lie on the earth, soaking in her familiar healing energy. See the petals fall like snow flakes from spent wildflowers. Look up into the layered treetops. Above and beyond them the circling birds of prey riding the updrafts.

Watch the clouds drift and shift and assume fanciful shapes, then morph into something new. Watch the treetops sway and dance, hear the leaves whisper, watch the dappled shade dance across the green grass, tiny colorful birds visiting, feeding, bathing, taking flight.

In this moment you judge nothing; you fear nothing. You have no worries, no doubts, no distractions, no need to hurry. You exist in the divine grace of this moment and the next and the next.

For this moment you have no agenda. You soak in life, absorb the vibrations of nature, understanding your oneness with All- That- Is. For this moment, this hour, your being has no need of words.

Let yourself relax into this pure silence and pure grace of this moment, merging with all that is.

In this way you rediscover the heart of your inner child.

I Am One

Pearly dark storm clouds roll out of the west covering the sky, shading the sun. I am one with the moving cloud banks.

Prairie grasses, overcast sky

Trees and leafy bushes dip and dance in the afternoon breeze. I am one with the swaying branches.

Robin sings an insistent song. I am one with the singer and the song.

Bird shadow passes over the dappled green earth. I am one with the gliding darkness.

Tiny ants march in formation carrying heavy burdens. I am one with their purpose.

Amazing spider web

From my vantage point I see all. Like a spider in a web, I feel the vibrations of all that occurs.

No living being, no rock or stream, no shell on the beach, no fallen bird, no abandoned nest, no grain of sand escapes my notice.

I am one with all things.

Simple Steps

Dear ones, you are needed on this planet now living up to your full light and power, owning and practicing your skills and sharing your talents, at your best in body mind and spirit.

If you feel dull, diminished, small, take one step toward your health and well-being today. Don’t overthink or complicate things. Start small. Start at the beginning.

Message from GCW

Change one thought. Consciously bring in a new thought that is in harmony with you and your desires in life. Little by little, day by day, new more hopeful thoughts will begin to create a lighter and more positive background to your life.

Do one physical stretch or movement or short walk that will remind your body that you are alive. Let your body move in ways that feel good to you. There is no need to break a sweat or call it a workout.

Take one mindful breath. Inhale and exhale. Pay attention to what you are feeling in your body during this breath. If you want to, take a second mindful breath.

When you are alone, let yourself feel an emotion. Name it. Notice where it shows up in your body, how it changes and moves as you pay attention to it. Let it go on an out-breath by doing safe physical movements, making sounds or vocalizing words in your private space.

Do one simple thing each day to strengthen yourself, to feel better.

Calming Through the Heart

Do you feel stuck with no escape, ungrounded and flighty? Are old addictions coming back to haunt you during the pandemic and the times of social distancing and isolation?

I offer another way to calm and soothe yourself in times of high anxiety.

Find a quiet and calm space and get comfortable. Take a few deep breaths to settle yourself. Now bring your awareness from your monkey mind with its whirring machinery of worry and fear, its endless capacity for self argument, the unkind inner critic, the constant mindless chatter, the never ending ego complaints to the peace of your heart.

Tune into the gentle beat, the quiet rhythm. You might be able to feel your pulse by gently placing a hand on your neck right below where the ear and jaw meet.

Now hold your heart with both palms on the center of your chest. Imagine that you can breathe through your heart. Feel the exhalation, the emptying. Imagine the breath flowing from your heart, releasing the stale worries, the old thoughts that bring you down, spent energy you are ready to let go of.

Now as your lungs fill, know that you are bringing in fresh new air, new energy, new possibilities to your heart, the seat and center of your life.

Tune into the steadiness the cadence of your heartbeat that’s been with you since before your birth. Even before your heart began to beat, you knew your mother’s heartbeat, and before her birth she knew her mother’s heartbeat, the underlying rhythm, the legacy of life.

Trust that right now as your heart beats you are alive. You are safe. You belong here.

Let Nature Calm You

Can you go outside right now? Let the sounds of nature calm you- birdsong, breeze through evergreens, squirrels chuffing chattering and chewing on last fall’s nuts, water rushing downstream…

Red squirrel

Let the sights of nature bring you joy – sunlight pooling and dancing on the earth, trees casting long undulating shadows, spring blooms bursting out, green and red shoots poking out of the ground, birds flashing in and out of the underbrush, red and rust colored cardinals, bluejays goldfinches, robins sparrows, butterflies, moths, bees…

Let the smells and fragrances of new grass, fresh cut greenery, flowering spring bulbs, decaying leaves, tender soft green leaves, a sudden spring rain shower lift your spirits.

Be mindful of the feel of rough tree bark, soft feathers, tender new growth, the textured stems of shrubs, smooth or rough stones. If you can, put your hand in a clear stream, and gently stir and move the cool water. Feel the solid earth beneath your body, under your feet.

Let the tastes of simple foods that come from the earth nourish your body and bring you satisfaction – the sharp and rooty onions, peppery radishes, sweet sugary pea sprouts, the earthy potatoes and other root vegetables, the subtle lettuce, chewy chard… Savor and enjoy these everyday pleasures.

Must you stay inside right now? Find natural objects in your home or have a loved one find something nearby that will infuse your space with energy of nature.

Shells, plants, growing sprouts and herbs, photos and paintings of trees, landscapes, specimens of tree bark, flowering branches, stones of all shapes & colors – stack them up – sand in a bottle, potted bulbs, beautiful wooden carvings and objects, a small terrarium.

Arrange and display these things you’ve collected over the years, touch and enjoy them again, use them in new ways that will spark your creativity. Connect with these objects and precious living things that hold the energy of your true home, mother Earth.

Let nature heal and calm and give you peace.

In this moment

Take a moment to celebrate the fullness of your life. Know that all is well in this moment.

Your heart beats in your chest, your in-breath expands your lungs, the out-breath releases and contracts, the slow and sweet rhythm of life flowing and ebbing like waves on a beach.

You have been given the simple yet miraculous gifts of sunlight, fresh air, birdsong, eyes, hands, ears… the senses through which you experience life in your body.

Robin in late winter

If you are a worrier, anxious, fearful or regretful, you might miss the perfection of this moment here and now, the still point between breaths, the simple yet most precious gift of life.

Bring your awareness to your now. Yes, life here on our planet can be difficult and dangerous, fragile, fleeting, unjust, and heartbreaking. Please do not allow fear grief and anger to steal the fullness of this moment here and now as you partake in the beautiful mystery of life on Earth.

Let your mind rest and bring full awareness to the perfection of this particular moment. In this moment, you are safe, you are alive.

Allow yourself to enjoy and appreciate the most precious gift you’ve been given. Life on Earth in a human body.

Take the Time You Need

Dear ones, It is vital to take the time you need to heal, to grieve, to grow, to be. Allow yourself to take the time you need

Even if it is to pause in an overcrowded day so you can take a deep breath, to feel your chest, ribs, and belly expand with life giving oxygen. Pause a moment to fill yourself, then slowly release with full attention.

Surely you have the time to do this, to give this moment of calm to yourself.

Grandmother Cottonwood

You might pause a moment to notice the feelings and sensations in your body- where they are located, their quality, intensity, the fleeting nature, how they shift and change with your breath.

Pause for a brief time in your crazy busy day and pay attention to this moment. Feel the weight of your hands in your lap, the balance of your head on your neck and shoulders, your feet contacting the floor or earth, your body’s contact with the chair.

You are paying attention to being in a body and loving yourself in these small and simple ways. Let yourself feel and be without judgment, without worry or hurry.

Have you bound yourself with too many shoulds and oughts and must do’s, striving for an impossible perfection? I ask you to come back to your body, your breath, the stillness at your center beneath all the surface flotsam, the noise and the rushing from point A to point B.

When you learn to quiet your crazy busy life for several moments each day, you will learn to know and love your true and deep self once again as you knew yourself as a child.

Let yourself be

Can you let yourself breathe and feel the breath in your body, entering, filling, and emptying?

Can you let yourself relax, letting go of any tension in your body, letting your chair support you?

Can you let yourself absorb the sounds and sights and smells surrounding you, the sensory reality of this moment?

Can you let yourself be without texting a friend, jumping up to do a chore, remembering an errand you left undone, sending a message, planning the next meal, worrying about your appearance, feeling guilty about something you said…?

Can you let yourself simply be for a few minutes each day?

Can you let yourself be with no agenda, no plan of action, no time filling chores?

Can you let yourself be without judgment, without worry, doubt or guilt, with no anxiety?

Rippling water

Can you allow yourself to simply be in this moment, a living being on this planet one with all things, one with the web of life?