Farewell 2022

Another year has rolled past and for me it was at times a painfully slow roll. It reminded me of a class in college almost 25 years ago. The professor was a mild mannered, aging hippy; complete with ponytail tied, not with a rubber band, but a piece of old leather cording. I was a geology major and just as granola as the professor. He was very knowledgeable and the cadence of the class, stratigraphy, was on par with how long it to for the strata we looked at to have morphed from sand to stone.

The classes and field trips were well planned and enjoyed by most. (As I am sure, dear reader, you are aware that there are always a few humans who need to complain no matter what.) Anyway, about two weeks into classes, as we were learning about the law of superposition, our quiet peaceful professor suddenly turned from the chalk board (yes, there were chalkboards in college-that’s how old I am) and began a rant about his ex wife, loudly, emphatically with gesticulations and maybe spittle.

Then just as fast as it began, it was over and he turned back to the chalk board continuing the lesson as if the whole diatribe never happened. Clearly he was a catastrophist! A uniforitarian would never exploded like that!

These outbursts happened randomly in every class I had with this professor. Initially it was shocking- was he crazy? A few screws loose? Overtime we adjusted to it and it became a normal part of his classroom experience.

The effusive eruptions didn’t make him a bad teacher, on the contrary it showed depth, a story- more than meets the eye. He wasn’t just an aging hippy teaching a bunch of ungrateful kids. This man had a life, hopes, fears, dreams. The outbursts were breadcrumbs leading the inquisitive on down the path of human experience just as the eruptions of pain and confusion I encountered this past year, were breadcrumbs leading me deeper into the mystery of my deteriorating health.

Pitchoff & Balancing Rocks. Adirondacks NYS

By following the trail, patterns began to emerge; both with my health and the life of my professor. Allowing a patience to settle over me- I am able to see more clearly into the patterns of detail. By pausing and stepping back, becoming the witness, I can see the forest through the trees, blossoming with awareness.

The shifting moods, subtle yet complex, were easily noticed by anyone paying attention. My professor suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety. The outbursts were his coping mechanisms when not wanting to take meds; a full release of energy- and a prompt return to normal.

Was there a clue here for me? My confusion, tremors and other symptoms had to be breadcrumbs leading me to the path of healing. I only needed the patience to persevere and not play the victim to my heath. With the belief firmly established that healing begins within, I used these random outbursts of bizarre symptoms to discover the patterns.

If the pattern of trees makes a forest then my pattern of symptoms would lead to a diagnosis. So like any good geologist, I got out my field notebook and began sketching out the layers of life that were impacting or being impacted by my symptoms.

It’s amazing that it takes catastrophe to look at the stratigraphy of our lives . Where is the fault? Where have we allowed the pressure to build to the breaking point. Where can we find small moments of release as to not completely shake loose our moorings later?

These insights along the rocky shore of healing has led me towards deeper inner wisdom and a softening of spirit. Patience, it seems, has been born of cleaving layers of sediment crashing through me. What else can you do with tremors, but ride them out, knowing this too shall pass and calm will be restored once again.

And in the calm lies stillness and elucidation; for from the pressure of living comes forth the diamond clarity of truth – all of life is an ebb and flow of pain, joy, suffering and love; leaving traces of each story to become fossilized in memory.

And in the calm, what I discovered classifying my pain and suffering was a pattern of excess and scarcity. It is between these two extremes a balance can be found. Overdoing it, taking on too much leads me down a path of deterioration. Doing too little leads to stagnation and eventually down the same path of deterioration.

However when conditions hover in the sweet spot between the two extremes; this yields a slow yet steady pace, allowing for the unexpected & reveling in its mystique. Set backs are no longer boulders blocking my way, but a chance to meander creatively around my inner space getting a fresh view, creating new neural pathways.

When we can witness our story, layer built upon layer, lessons and meaning emerge from the patterns. We can learn from our past, adjusting our patterns to create a path of fertile soil which holds within it the sediment of our memory, allowing for new growth and experience to ripple through our lives.

Wishing you a peaceful 2023.

Namaste

Inner Wisdom Meditation

open.spotify.com/episode/03dLyVHoAcJfeMjJeYM76G

Wellness

Are you being mindful of your needs? As we (in the northern hemisphere) move towards colder shorter days, it is a good idea to spend sometime creating nourishing routines to maintain balance.
Are you getting proper nutrition?
Eat warming nourishing foods like homemade root vegetable soups, stews, or try a warming Kitchari for a gentle seasonal cleanse.

Are you moving your body to keep your lymph flowing? Your lymph cleanses your blood and system as it circulates through your body. Unlike blood, lymph needs you to move in-order for it to move. Try some gentle yoga, walking or a rebounder is great for lymphatic system health. Always check with a doctor before starting any new exercise. ..and remember to drink plenty of water!


Are you getting quality, consistent sleep? Movement and proper nutrition will definitely help with getting better sleep. Try not to eat 2 hours before bed. Getting up and going to sleep every night can also help with the quality of your slumber. Need help unwinding? Try a guided meditation (check out Spotify page) to help slow down thoughts and find restful comfort.

Have tips you’d like to share? Let me know!

Beginning Practice

Practice.

Beginning a meditation practice can be daunting. I have heard so many times “Oh I stopped because I couldn’t stop thinking” or a similar statement. It’s a challenging stigma to overcome — meditation doesn’t mean your mind is blank. It means we are able to lose the attachment to the thinking mind, we release the attachment to the thought.


The easiest way I found, when I was first dipping my toes into the meditation pool, was to view my thoughts as just something happening.


Like this: When you have a thought (doesn’t matter what it is!) say to yourself “there goes a thought” and I guarantee you’ll have another one following right behind-“ oh look, more thoughts”


Thoughts come and go all day long. It’s not the thoughts necessarily that cause us the stress but the attachment to certain thoughts. Replaying stressful situations or worrying about the future are both forms of this attachment.

Meditation allows us to learn how to find space and release our attachment to constant mind chatter. Over time, with consistent practice, we are able to sit with a calm mind. Outside of meditation the chatter quiets down, loses its hold on us and we begin to live more mindfully with less attachment, stress and worry.

If you are just beginning your practice, I recommend guided meditations as they provide a focal point for the minds eye. I have some short guided meditations, perfect for beginners or seasoned mediators available on Insight Timer, for you to explore.

Once comfortable with guided practice, try sitting for 1 minute. Yes only 1. Trust me. Set a timer. It’s longer then you think if you are not used to sitting quietly. The first time I attempted this I lasted about 35 seconds before checking the timer!

Patience. Practice. Perseverance.

Namaste.

Shadow

𝖶𝖾 𝖺𝗅𝗅 𝖾𝗑𝗉𝖾𝗋𝗂e𝗇𝖼𝖾 𝗍𝗂𝗆𝖾𝗌 𝗈𝖿 𝖽𝖺𝗋𝗄𝗇𝖾𝗌𝗌 𝖾𝗂𝗍𝗁𝖾𝗋 𝖿𝗋𝗈𝗆 𝗌𝗂𝗍𝗎𝖺𝗍𝗂𝗈𝗇𝗌 𝗈𝗎𝗍𝗌𝗂𝖽𝖾 𝗈f 𝗎𝗌 𝗈𝗋 𝖺 𝗋𝗂𝗌𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗈𝖿 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝖽𝖺𝗋𝗄𝗇𝖾𝗌𝗌 𝗐𝗂𝗍𝗁𝗂𝗇. 𝖠𝗅𝗍𝗁𝗈𝗎𝗀𝗁 𝗐𝗁𝗂𝗅𝖾 𝗂𝗇 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗆𝗂𝖽𝗌𝗍 𝗈𝖿 𝗍𝗁𝖾𝗌𝖾 𝗍𝗂𝗆𝖾𝗌 𝖺𝗅𝗅 𝖼𝖺𝗇 𝗌𝖾𝖾𝗆 𝗅𝗈𝗌𝗍 𝗈𝗋 𝗁𝗈𝗉𝖾𝗅𝖾𝗌𝗌, 𝗂𝗍 𝖼𝖺𝗇 𝖻𝖾 𝖺 𝗍𝗂𝗆𝖾 𝖿𝗈𝗋 𝗎𝗇𝖽𝖾𝗋𝗌𝗍𝖺𝗇𝖽𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗀𝗋𝗈𝗐𝗍𝗁.
𝖶𝖾 𝖼𝖺𝗇 𝗂𝗇𝗏𝗂𝗍𝖾 𝗍𝗁𝖾𝗌𝖾 𝖿𝖾𝖾𝗅𝗂𝗇𝗀𝗌 𝗍𝗈 𝗌𝗍𝖺𝗒, 𝗁𝖺𝗇𝗀 𝗈𝗎𝗍, 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝖽𝖾𝖾𝗉𝗅𝗒 𝖿𝖾𝖾𝗅 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗁𝖾𝖺𝗋 𝗐𝗁𝖺𝗍 𝗍𝗁𝖾𝗒 𝖺𝗋𝖾 𝗍𝗋𝗒𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗍𝗈 𝗍𝖾𝗅𝗅 𝗎𝗌.
𝖶𝖾 𝗇𝖾𝖾𝖽 𝗍𝗈 𝖾𝗑𝗉𝖾𝗋𝗂𝖾𝗇𝖼𝖾 𝖽𝖺𝗋𝗄𝖾𝗋 𝗍𝗂𝗆𝖾𝗌 𝗂𝗇 𝗈𝗋𝖽𝖾𝗋 𝗍𝗈 𝖻𝖾 𝗐𝗁𝗈𝗅𝖾. 𝖳𝗁𝖾𝗋𝖾 𝗂𝗌 𝗇𝗈 𝗅𝗂𝗀𝗁𝗍 𝗐𝗂𝗍𝗁𝗈𝗎𝗍 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝖽𝖺𝗋𝗄. 𝖭𝗈 𝖽a𝗒 𝗐𝗂𝗍𝗁𝗈𝗎𝗍 𝗇𝗂𝗀𝗁𝗍. 𝖡𝖺𝗅𝖺𝗇𝖼𝖾 𝗈𝖿 𝗈𝗎𝗋 𝗅𝗂𝗀𝗁𝗍 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝖽𝖺𝗋𝗄 𝗂𝗌 𝗐𝗁𝖾𝗋𝖾 𝗐𝖾 𝗍𝗁𝗂𝗏𝖾. 𝖨𝗍 𝗂𝗌 𝗈𝗎𝗋 𝖽𝖺𝗋𝗄𝗇𝖾𝗌𝗌 𝗍𝗁𝖺𝗍 𝖺𝗅𝗅𝗈𝗐𝗌 𝖺𝗋𝖾 𝗅𝗂𝗀𝗁𝗍 𝗍𝗈 𝗌𝗁𝗂𝗇𝖾 𝗍𝗁𝗋𝗈𝗎𝗀𝗁.