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?

Contentment

Can you allow yourself an hour or two of contentment each day? If that seems like a tall order, how about 15 minutes?

A few minutes, an hour or two of simply feeling at peace with your life, letting go of wanting something you don’t have, letting go of striving for the next goal, letting go of pushing ahead, letting go of forcing things to happen, will bring a refreshing new serenity to your life.

Grandmother Cottonwood

The energy frequency of contentment ripples through the web of life bringing more peace to all living beings on this earth.

Contentment is living in the moment. It is bringing your awareness to the here and now and knowing that life is good, that you have everything you need for this hour, that in this moment and the next and next, all is well.

For this hour of contentment, there is nowhere you have to go, no one you have to meet, nothing you have to do unless it contributes to your happiness.

When you know contentment, your body mind and spirit feel calm, relaxed, and satisfied. Can you give yourself this precious gift?

Be fully embodied

Do you spend precious moments wishing you were somewhere else, doing something else?

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Grandmother Cottonwood, fall color

Do you tighten the interior of your body as you do this – perhaps your throat or your heart?

Pay attention to the subtle ways you shut down the flow of energy through your body and withdraw your attention from what is while avoiding the present moment. Do not feel singled out, Dear one, for all humans do this.

Your impatience with what is has distracted you from your beautiful life, made up of moments just like this. This is your life!  Life provides you with many chances to shift your focus and come into the power of your present moment each day.

Remedy this shutting down of your energy by giving attention to your inner world of feeling, sensation, muscle bone and blood, the subtle opening and closing, the inhale and exhale, pain and ease, contraction, expansion, warmth and coolness. The sensations of your body create a window for you to experience this present moment, to slow down, to be here now.

Will you reach the moment of your death and know that you were too impatient to be fully present for yourself and your beloved ones? Or will you choose to live fully embodied? Bring your awareness down into your body and live in this moment!

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Contentment

Do you fear that you will lose your edge, become complaisant, or a lie-about if you allow yourself to be content? (Those of you who push, jockey, and fight for position in life will need to cover your ears and eyes for a moment.)

Contentment is peace and peace is your true nature. Contentment is a feeling that all is right with the world. “All is right within me. I want for nothing in this moment. I feel good in this moment. All is well in this moment.”

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Belted Kingfisher

Yet, in the next moment, you may find yourself remembering a want, a need, trying to solve a problem, or worrying about what is next for you.

Can you hold the memory of the feeling of contentment in your heart? Then you can bring it back to mind when you want to feel peace again.

You might remember the feeling of contentment you had while sitting on your porch watching golden patches of sunlight light up the trees in late evening.

You might remember the feeling of contentment while walking in the woods on a cool summer morning listening to birdsong.

You might remember the feeling of contentment you had when holding your new grandchild in your arms.

Savor these moments of your precious life and inhabit them fully, for they are your life. Remember the sights, smells, feelings and emotions of contentment and bring them to your awareness.  Pay attention, absorb the feelings into your heart and breathe in the peace you feel.

And now I ask on behalf of the trees and all living things: Can you be content with the earth and her living creatures, her rooted beings, her stones and bedrock without bulldozing the sacred trees, scraping away the precious soil, paving over the prairies, felling the forests, scarring the landscape with ugly buildings, making war on those you do not understand?

Dear ones, these acts  reflect discontent, a pulling away from your center.  They are not you at your best, not a reflection of your higher self.  Find gentler ways to live and interact with this earth and her people, and we will all thrive.

Those who find contentment and peace within will live in harmony with nature, with the earth, with others, and with all that is.