Health and Wellness

Taking Time Offline

The ideas for my blog come to me in a variety of ways. Sometimes, the thought begins to sprout a few days in advance, morphing in and out of varying shapes, adding and deleting details, and growing towards something bigger, until it is ready to come forth. Other times, I sit down with a clear intention only to end up somewhere else. This morning was altogether different. 

I had settled on a topic last night before heading to bed. However, by the time 10 am rolled around and I sat down to write, I had received two new and consistent messages from two different people on a topic I hadn’t considered. The first came during my morning walk with a friend and the second in an email I received from my partner. 

Recently, when I head out into the woods, I have been leaving my phone in the car. It has been liberating, even though it is only a fragment of time in my overall day, the remainder of which is spent in some sort of online connection. I know there is value in disconnecting and this seems to be the most obvious place to start. After all, why do we go into the woods to begin with? 

Today, we were on a new trail and at one point, I wanted to confirm my location. I was happy to find that I had left the phone in my pocket. It still amazes me that this small device can show me where I am on a map and help me to navigate through most situations. My friend pointed out that I could actually “drop a pin” at the parking area and the phone would mark the location and lead me back when I was ready. There is no denying the miracle of this technology. Yet, as I was expressing my awe, a certain part of me was also questioning to what extent the benefits were outweighing the handicaps.

It brought to mind a documentary I had seen recently called The Social Dilemma (currently streaming on Netflix)  which points out that by gathering, recording, analyzing and categorizing our every move, the internet giants are shaping us into a commodity and steering us towards information that influences what we believe, what we buy, where we go, how we recreate, and with whom we interact. As a result, our perspectives have become more narrow and our exposure to new and different ideas, opinions and experiences is dimming. 

This 24/7 surveillance and manipulation is unhealthy and yet, we participate willingly. We share our location, our friends, our photos, our shopping habits, and even our personal views and information in exchange for updated features, new applications and extended access. We are attracted to the glitter of the technological lure and are willing to sell our freedom and individuality for the newest gadget.

The daily email that came from my partner this morning was another reminder of the importance of balance and consciously taking time offline. It started off by saying that the school where he works had lost internet access. The teachers were running around in a panic (including himself) because the entire curriculum and individual plans were inaccessible. He realized his own reliance and dependency and this made him uneasy. I reassured him that he would be fine given his experience and natural ability to teach, with or without the internet. I sent greetings for the day and a wish that his connection would be restored before the start of class. I also pointed out that if it wasn’t, however, it may actually be a bigger blessing. It might offer him the chance to exercise his abilities to navigate his way out of the woods without the need of technological assistance and perhaps even lead to an unexpected and broader experience, one that would not have been possible otherwise.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

The Passing Storm

Photo: Smithsonian Photo Contest.
https://photocontest.smithsonianmag.com/photocontest/detail/a-girl-alone-in-the-storm/

In a recurring vision, I am in the middle of a storm. The wind is whipping. Debris is flying. The constant and determined rain assaults my face and impairs my vision. I look around and do not see any sensible place to take cover, and so, I run. I push forward hoping to fight through. I am in a complete panic, until suddenly, I stop. Something tells me to stand still. It tugs at my arm and whispers to let go of the fight and allow the storm to continue on her path, forging ahead without me. It takes a minute, but as soon as I stop resisting, the weather passes quickly. The wind travels beyond the place where I am standing and the sun begins to push through the clouds. The calm and warm envelop me and I feel a huge sense of relief.

This is a vision I have from time to time when life’s cyclones enter my life and my fight or flight response kicks in. Whenever I am flailing about trying to conquer or outrun a chaotic or dangerous situation, I remember this concept and consider a more passive approach.  Sometimes it is important to fight or to run, but not always. 

The Covid crisis has brought this point to the forefront, particularly as of late. When the pandemic storm originally hit last spring, people responded by taking cover, by exercising humility in the face of nature’s power, by being patient, by using the time to heal and reflect, and by relinquishing control. Now, some months later, many have lost tolerance and are moving outward and onward, sometimes denying or ignoring the realities of the storm that is still raging. I’m not sure this is the best approach.

If we can be patient, have trust, let go of expectations and be open to new insights, if we can allow the squall to blow by in its own way and time, we may be less damaged in the end. Once the skies have cleared, we may be offered new insights and opportunities. We may find that we are exactly where we are meant to be and by digging a little deeper, we can glean everything we desire from our current position. We may see that the answers will come to us rather than always having to search for them. 

This weekend, a storm blew through town with heavy snow and high winds. Eventually, the weaker tree limbs gave way and the power went out. At first we were upset. We weren’t prepared and certainly not in the mood to deal with this disruption to our plans. We struggled for a while, frantically removing snow and grappling with the generator. I lit candles in the house and tried to figure out what we could eat that wouldn’t require water or heat. We were both cursing under our breaths until at one point we looked at each other, at the beautifully lit house,  the roaring fire, and realized we were actually in a great place. We abandoned all efforts to battle the situation and surrendered to the moment. We ended up sitting by the fire, sipping a whiskey and engaging in stimulating conversation. We lost all track of time and before we knew it, the storm had subsided. The power was restored and our night resumed, with a more charged energy than it would have otherwise.

I believe there is a time for everything. There is a time to fight and a time to run, and there is also a time to stand still. 

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Full Moon Wisdom

The Full Moon ritual of writing out your grievances and blessings and burning them helps to release old unwanted energies and welcome the new.

I awoke on Sunday morning with a lot of angst. The Thanksgiving holiday had gone well. We kept it safe and cozy and got to see most of the family via Zoom and a few others distanced around a firepit sharing some laughs and appetizers. The remainder of the weekend was low key and filled with fireside reading, TV football, casual conversation, feasts of leftovers, and long walks in the woods. By the time Saturday rolled around, I was feeling extremely blessed, well rested and optimistic about the future. So, when this unsettled stirring arrived, it caught me off guard. True, we had officially entered the holiday season which always brings forth a spectrum of emotions, but I could not put my finger on the exact cause of my distress. I felt on the verge of exploding and was not even sure why.

Then it dawned on me. The following day, Monday, November 30, was the Full Moon and I was feeling Her energy pushing my emotions to a climax, asking me to look at what might be causing sadness and anxiety in my life and to consider letting go of any negative patterns that were holding me back.

According to Yasmin Boland in her book, Moonology, “The full moon is the high point of the lunar cycle. It’s a very powerful time for inner work – for looking within, healing, shifting blocks and shedding the past: things we all need to do on a regular basis.”  It is a good time to release feelings of guilt, fear, disappointment and jealousy. 

It is also an important time to forgive (others and yourself) and then to release the relationships that are no longer working. An inability to let go of resentment and anger will only harm ourselves in the long run. Buddha is said to have given this wise advice: “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  

The Full Moon energy also encourages gratitude. Once we empty our plate of what we no longer need, we are left with a void and an opportunity to fill our lives with more positive energy. By giving thanks, we bring focus to the things that are working, attract more of the same and continue to build on them. 

There are many ways to reflect within, identify and let go of outdated patterns, forgive, and express gratitude. One of my favorite approaches is journaling. I usually write the question or topic at the top of the page, in this case, “Why am I feeling this angst?” and then begin to freewrite whatever comes to mind. The answers always emerge within a few pages. When the moon is full, I make a list of negative patterns that are no longer working and any people with whom I need to make peace. After that, I write down action steps, list all that I am thankful for and create a few positive affirmations.  Finally, I construct a sentence or two of forgiveness and then I release my intentions into the Universe by burning the paper in my fireplace.

I love this ritual, particularly the final step of burning, as it feels like I am sealing the practice and conjuring a new cycle, one that will bring me that much closer to my true self.  And on top of that, it releases the pressure that has built up throughout the month and restores me to a more peaceful state. 

Other Websites…..   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

The Universe Has My Back

Photo Credit: gabbybernstein.com

I awoke this morning to a steady downpour of rain and it is still coming. On top of that, it is dark and cold and the days are getting progressively shorter. Today, we will experience exactly 9 hours and 31 minutes of the sun’s light and she will be hidden behind clouds for most of that time. 

The world is also looking glum. The pandemic is raging just as the country’s leadership has gone into hiding and although we have hope of a new direction, it doesn’t look like it will gain substantial purchase until the end of January at best. In the meantime, all we can do is hang on, proceed with our best judgement and pray for a good, or at least less than catastrophic, outcome.

These feelings were haunting me this morning as I sat down to write this week’s blog.  I was finding it hard to pull up an inspirational and uplifting perspective. Then, I remembered the best way to assuage negative feelings is by looking for the positive and giving gratitude. 

This Thursday is Thanksgiving and in addition to being grateful for my health, my family and friends, my warm home, good food, and all of the love in my life, I am also thankful for the ability to receive information from the Universe. One such encounter happened over the weekend and I am convinced there was some sort of divine intervention at work.

For months, I had been trying to make some decisions about where to settle, what type of house to buy, whether or not to go in on the purchase with my new partner, to build a barn apartment or simply to stay put. My ideas had been a bit scattered and broad and I had been looking for clarification. Last week, I decided to take some action steps, to get more details about the barn and what it would take to build, to talk to the realtor about moving, to look at housing prices and availability in some of my top areas of interest. And then, on Saturday, the answer came. 

My partner and I made an appointment with someone who knew the town and the building process, and could give us advice on what we were thinking. As we listened to her talk, the entire puzzle came together and our plan took a complete turn. Everything she said seemed to point us in the right direction as it satisfied all of our needs and desires. It truly felt like the Universe speaking. I knew it was the right move because of the ease at which I was able to let go of my previous idea and the confidence and relief I felt moving forward with this new plan.

If I concentrate on an issue hard and long enough and release it into the ether, I usually get my answer, especially if I can remain open to the way in which it is communicated to me. Sometimes it comes as I am journaling or meditating. Other times, the answer arrives by way of someone else (like it did this weekend) or a seemingly coincidental occurrence. I love when this happens because it not only helps me to move forward in the right direction, but it gives me the assurance that I am not alone and that the Universe has my back. And that puts a smile on my face and inspiration in my heart. 

Wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

New Moon Manifesting

Today’s Moon: Waxing Crescent

I believe that thoughts create reality. Whatever you think, believe, and focus on will attract more of the same and will eventually come to be. I am also convinced that almost any aspiration can be realized if you give it the right direction, action and attention. It just takes practice, patience, and persistence. 

Recently I came upon a unique method of manifesting and it caught my interest for a number of reasons. It nurtures an awareness of subliminal energies that affect our emotions and direction. It utilizes a cyclical and ongoing series of steps that repeated over time have a high likelihood of success, and it brings us in tune with the rhythms of our planet, making life flow more easily and effectively. 

The process I am referring to, which is outlined in Yasmin Boland’s book, Moonology, uses moon phases to help us organize and carry out our dreams and goals.

According to Boland, each phase of the moon offers a unique energy which corresponds to  different aspects of the manifestation process. For example, the New Moon is best for becoming clear on our goals, setting our visions, writing out our plan, and then releasing it into the universe. The Full Moon, in contrast, is the best time to forgive, focus on gratitude, and let go of things that are no longer working. And on the way to each, there are other areas we should address such as confidence, commitment, and acceptance.

For more information on the moon phases and how to work with them for optimal success, I suggest having a look at Boland’s book, available on Amazon, or visiting the following websites: https://www.moonology.com/  or https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/.

This month’s new moon occurred on November 15, this past Sunday, and I spent some time writing out my goals and dreams, as Boland had suggested. I identified action steps and created a list of fears. I made several revisions and additions before I finally settled on a workable plan. Then, I lit a candle, set the list on fire and released it into the Universe (this is not a necessary step but it does add to the fun and magic of the process).

I like the idea of following the moon phases to achieve my goals because it allows for all aspects of the manifestation process, not just the doing or the reflecting. Too often, we focus on the action steps and the need to keep moving forward at all costs. This is an important step.  However, it is only part of the process. When we get too caught up in the doing, we miss the letting go, the tweaking, the reflecting, the recouping, and the mustering of courage necessary to take the risks needed for success. In contrast, when we get caught up in the reflecting and planning, we hold onto the need for a perfect blueprint instead of moving forward with our best effort. I am also attracted to the cyclical nature of the moon’s path as it takes us through the natural and dynamic process of expanding and contracting, much like the ocean’s tides, and it always offers us another chance. If you miss the mark one month, the opportunity will come around again soon enough.

I have just begun working with the lunar cycles and the results are still unknown. Whether or not the moon has any real or mystical influence, I cannot say. I am confident, however, in Boland’s system because it offers a comprehensive, creative, consistent, continuous, and practical approach for moving towards my dreams, and ultimately, I believe it will help me to achieve anything I can imagine. And that is surely magic.

websites: Life coaching: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/. Bodywork: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/. Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

A Win for Yin

Yin and Yang energies always exist together, are constantly in a state of flux and maintain balance and harmony.

Even before the election results were in and Kamala Harris addressed the nation on Saturday night, I could feel the tide changing. Like a rubber band stretched to the extreme, I could sense the swelling Yang energy pushing towards its breaking point. The outcome was simple physics. The band would either snap, ripping apart our nation, or move back in the opposite direction.

Like many of Americans, I was relieved at the election outcome and excited to hear Biden and Harris’ dream for the future. I knew it would be uplifting and hopeful. What I didn’t expect was the magnitude of Kamala’s message, particularly the impact of electing a woman of color to the office of Vice President.

Harris talked about “generations of women, black women, Asian, white, Latina, and Native American women who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight.” She emphasized the “black women who are too often overlooked and so often proven that they are the backbone of democracy.”  These statements produced a swell of emotion because they hit a vein of truth, struggle, and desperate need. 

I grew up in a single parent home with my mother and sister. My father died early and my mother was left with two small children to raise in a world that undervalued powerful women. This brought forth many challenges but also a unique perspective. I am grateful for my unwavering belief that women possess the same abilities, intellect, and power as men (thanks, mom). I have never felt otherwise, and I have never doubted that one day (I hoped it would be sooner) we would elect a woman as President or Vice-President. A woman of color makes it that much sweeter. 

The feminine Yin energy that Harris was touting in her speech has been suppressed for far too long. 

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, “The theory of Yin-Yang tells us that at a macro level-the largest scale imaginable-all things are always balancing and rebalancing into a state of perfect harmony. Yin and Yang are the two energies that embody Universal law, which ensures that all things remain in harmony.”

For as far back as I can see, we have been focused on the male dominant Yang energies of expanding, activating, doing, constructing, producing, seeking, and consuming. These qualities have helped us to grow and evolve. They have been essential to the building of  our country. However, the results of carrying this energy to the extreme and for too long have been detrimental.  We are experiencing an injured environment, perpetual inequality, and the pursuit of money and power at all costs.  

I believe Universal laws are always at play. The Coronavirus, for example, has forced us into Yin activities such as slowing down, reflecting, resting, listening, contracting, and healing. These qualities seem to be needed in order to produce a healthier world. This week, the election has reflected the need for a more compassionate agenda that focuses on all people and our environment.

It should not be a battle of opposites. Polar energies will always exist together as part of the whole. The degrees of each will fluctuate and continuously seek balance. Just as our sexuality takes on varying levels of feminine and masculine, our tides ebb and flow, and our time moves between night to day, the democratic system will continue to shift between conservative and liberal and now, I am hoping more Yin will begin to resurface.

As Kamala ended her speech, I could feel the band of energy release and the direction begin to change. It has been a long road, a spectacular moment in history that speaks to the endless possibilities of real and love-based change in the coming years. It also reinforces an understanding that no matter what we do as humans, the Universe will make corrections as needed in order to restore the balance.

Voting by the Moon

Photo from the New York Times, Oct. 29, 2020

It is an important week. Human emotions are running high as election day approaches. Anxiety is mounting and we are contemplating the implications of either outcome, neither of which will solve our country’s systemic maladies. That we know will take more time. 

On top of that, we continue to face ongoing pandemic challenges and increasing seasonal cold and darkness. It has been hard to relax and move forward in an optimistic fashion.

We are also in the Full Moon phase (Oct. 31-Nov. 3) when our feelings have been known to heighten.

Last night (along with many other Americans I am sure), I awoke with a lot on my mind. I ruminated a while before deciding to get up and turn off the outdoor lighting. The brightness was peaking through the shades and preventing me from falling back to sleep.  On the third try at the switch, I realized the light was actually coming from the moon, and this got me thinking.

How interesting that there should be a full moon right now, coinciding with election day.

According to  Chani Nicholas (an LA astrologer) in a New York Times article (Oct. 29, 2020), “ It is a very significant full moon, and it is happening four days before the election and is sitting next to a planet with upheaval, change, surprise, excitement: Uranus.” 

Link to full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/29/style/blue-moon-wet.html

The full blue moon occurred on October 31 and we are still in its wake until the end of the day tomorrow, according to a system outlined by Yasmin Boland in her book, Moonology.  Much like the ancient (and many modern day) farmers, Boland believes that each moon phase offers a unique opportunity to perform certain activities. 

The full moon is the ideal time to release and let go, especially of people, things, and situations that are no longer working. Boland emphasizes that it is important in this phase to forgive, because “when you forgive, you release the karma and when you do that, you exit the situation.” It is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. It’s detoxifying and helps us move on.

Once we let go and forgive, it is crucial to fill the void with gratitude. Focusing on the blessings in life and the things that are going right will help set the intention and direction as we move forward towards our dreams (the new moon phase is best for designing and focusing on goals).

Whether or not you believe in the moon’s ability to influence human behavior, it does seem like a good time to embrace its energy, to get rid of things we don’t need, to forgive, to extend gratitude, and to get out there and vote. 

websites:

https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/

https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/

https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Yin Energy and the Changing Tide

Life Coaching: MySoulPurposeProject.com 
Bodywork: InBalanceTherapeutics.net 
Music: WendyDarlingandtheLostBoy.org
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

A couple of week’s ago, my daughter asked me to do a tarot card reading for her. She had been on a few dates with someone new and was feeling uncertain about where the relationship was headed. She wanted to know what he was thinking and feeling and if her intuition was correct. She believed they were no longer clicking, that he was pulling away, and she wasn’t sure what to do.

After drawing the cards, the message came forward. The man, who had seemed so promising at first, was dealing with a number of personal issues. The cards suggested that my daughter give him the needed space and although she didn’t have to push him away, she also didn’t need to get involved. If and when he was ready, he would come to her. 

Her job was to focus on nourishing and growing herself, separately. That way, no matter what happened with the current situation, she would be evolving into a more beautiful and self actualized person who would inevitably attract the ideal partner when the time was right. 

I thought it was wise advice and realized that I had been nurturing my own growth in much the same way recently. 

Ever since Covid arrived and we have been forced to social distance, a lot has changed. I am no longer able to get together with family and friends in the way I used to. My band cannot perform live. Restaurants are limited or closed. I can’t work out at the gym. There haven’t been any concerts or fairs and a limited number of sporting events. In essence, there isn’t much to do.

This has become increasingly frustrating. However, there have been a number of silver linings. I have been offered the time and space to slow down and reflect, to sleep more, to read, to take daily walks, spend more time outdoors, cook healthier meals, and rest. In essence, the pandemic restrictions have allowed me to embrace the Yin energy which is often overshadowed in our modern lives.

“Yin energy is considered feminine,” says an article on peacefulmind.com. “Yin is very contracting, passive, languid, inward, and heavier. Unlike Yang, Yin is slow moving and contracts inward.” Some common properties of Yin include: earth, moon, darkness, water, female, space, matter, rest, growth, and contraction. Yang energy, in contrast, contains the elements of sun, light, fire, activity, male, and expansion.  https://www.peacefulmind.com/project/yin-energy/

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, “Everything contains Yin and Yang. They are two opposite yet complementary energies.” and “ Although they are totally different—opposite—in their individual qualities and nature, they are interdependent. Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other; they are never separate.”  https://www.tcmworld.org/what-is-tcm/yin-yang-theory/

The more thought I have given to this concept of Yin and Yang, the more I can see its relationship to what is happening in the world right now.

The Covid crisis is perhaps Mother Nature’s way of rebalancing her energy. Our planet and its inhabitants have been heading down an unhealthy road for quite some time. As a culture, the pace of our lives has continued to increase to an almost break neck speed. We can’t sleep. The rates of anxiety and depression are at staggering levels, and we constantly feel rushed. We take more medication than ever and we spend less free time with our friends and loved ones. 

The earth is also suffering as our outwardly aggressive energy and lifestyles demand too much and give too little. It’s as if we’ve been stuck in Yang energy for much too long and can’t reverse the inertia on our own. No matter how devastating this pandemic has been, it seems to be a necessary step in the healing and rebalancing process. 

The tide is turning, as it always does, and we are being forced towards a more passive and reflective approach in order to survive.

As fall quickly descends into winter, I have had feelings of dread.  The virus is not yet under control. People are fed up with restrictions just as the weather is forcing us indoors. Covid cases are rising. The darkness and cold are lurking, and yet, I have felt an increasing sense of peace and joy coming from a deeper level. 

Perhaps it is my inner wisdom assuring me that all is as it should be, or maybe, like my daughter, I am getting the message that now is the time to focus on myself, to slow down, to grow, to create, and to heal. I do believe that within this contracted state, I will have the opportunity to envision, plant and nourish the seeds of a brighter future.

Meditating in a Bath of Sound

Websites: Mysoulpurposeproject.com. Inbalancetherapeutics.net

Photo from The Den @ https://denmeditation.com/events/crystal-sound-bowl-healing/

I try to practice meditating everyday. I know all about its positive effects on my mind, body and spirit. Done correctly, it helps to clear my head of ruminating and unhealthy words and visions leaving space for the seeds of inspiration, creative ideas, inner knowledge, and positive manifestations. 

I want to affect more of these qualities in my life, but I have found it easier said than done.

For years I have attempted to follow the traditional methods of meditation; sit in an upright position, clear my mind of thoughts, follow my breath, relax, and open up to nothingness. It has been consistently difficult to reach inner stillness as my mind and ego are pretty powerful. By the time I sit down to practice, which is usually later in the day, the incessant inner dialogue has taken full control of the direction and momentum of my thinking.

Recently, however, I have discovered sound healing or more specifically, sound bathing. 

When I first heard the term, I was immediately enticed. I love musical tones (I am a musician) and sinking into a warm comforting bath has always resulted in a relaxed, therapeutic, and sensual experience. 

I knew I had to give it a try, and now I’m hooked.

According to a blog on alomoves.com, sound healing dates back thousands of years and “guides listeners into a deep state of relaxation using the sounds and vibrations from instruments,” such as crystal or brass singing bowls, tingsha cymbals, chimes, gongs, and tuning forks to name a few. 

“These specially tuned frequencies of sound help to bring you into a very deep state of rest and self-healing,” says LA-based sound healer Susy Markoe Schieffelin. “Each bowl is tuned to a different chakra, or energy center. When these bowls resonate with your chakras, they cleanse, they clear, they open you up, and they move energy through your body and bring you into a state of vibrational harmony. This is a time when you can return to a place of centeredness so you can let go of blockages and experience healing.”

https://blog.alomoves.com/mindfulness/the-healing-benefits-of-sound-baths

All of these outcomes can be achieved through a variety of meditation methods. However, with sound bathing, I find myself able to focus on something specific and physically feel the energy vibrate within my body. I can concentrate on what I need “to do” rather than what “not to do.” This style compliments my personality and feels more like a spa experience than a skill I need to develop.

I started tuning into the sound healing sessions online at alomoves.com a few months ago and found it easy to choose from a variety of session lengths (ranging from under 10 minutes to an hour or more), instructors (personality plays a role in the overall experience),  and formats (some are guided with words while others offer just sound). Several come in a series focusing on a specific theme and carried out over several weeks.  

Youtube offers a variety of free options as well. I like this 7-day series because it’s short, covers all seven chakras or body energy centers (one a day) and ends with a journal prompt.

This video provides an hour session without talk:

Ever since I discovered sound bathing, I’ve been more consistent in my meditation practice. I look forward to it each time as it welcomes me into a deep state of relaxation almost immediately. I come away refreshed and recharged, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Although I’ve only been at this for a few months, I am considering purchasing a set of crystal bowls and learning to use them in my healing practice as well as part of my musical composing. My creative and healing potential is beginning to open up, and I feel like I am on the right track. All I have to do is consistently jump into an intoxicating bath of warm and healing sounds, and I’ll be on my way.

Adjusting Our Aperture

Websites: Mysoulpurposeproject.com Inbalancetherapeutics.net

Photo Credit to Diane Connolly Borton

I love walking in the woods. It offers the perfect combination of exercise, fresh air, nature, and time to contemplate. For years, I took regular treks (through the cold of winter and the bugs of summer) with a couple of close friends and our dogs and it provided an excellent chance to connect. We shared ideas and experiences, laughed at each other’s jokes, and gave advice when needed. I remember frequently getting into long conversations and losing myself in deep thought. Then, at some point, I would inevitably look up and realize I had no idea where I was. Luckily, my friends knew the trails and would lead me out safely.

I use to pass this off as my natural ability to “be in the moment,” and it’s true. I have always been good at mindfulness, even before it was vogue. It is fairly easy for me to live in the present while keeping my worries and fears at bay (most of the time). I am grateful for the ability to zoom in to the now and experience the close up view. However, there is a flip side.

When I am immersed in the moment, I lose awareness of time or get off track with my “to do” list. I am late to meetings and am not able to move as quickly towards my goals. Sometimes, I get lost in the woods.

Recently, I have been taking more walks alone and exploring a variety of unknown terrain with my partner. In both cases, I have needed to pay attention to where I was going. I have made note of trail intersections, special landmarks, and other identifiers and have paused occasionally to review my route. I have consistently looked forward and backward expanding my depth of field and have gotten better at navigating as a result.

One day last week, however, when I was on my morning stroll, I had gotten absorbed in thought and by the time I came out of it, I had lost my bearings. I solved the problem I was contemplating but at a cost, and this got me thinking.

Is it possible to immerse yourself in the present moment while also paying attention to where you’ve been and what lies ahead?

In her blog post, How to Be Present While Still Planning for the Future, Heidi Hill points out that, “Life satisfaction generally requires a balance of being and planning.” She suggests 3 ways to do this: Set goals, but let go of your expectations; Plan for the future, but don’t waste your time worrying about the future; Balance planning with action.

Full Post: https://www.lifeinfullbloom.com/how-to-be-present-while-still-planning-for-the-future/

I started to think about how I might apply this concept to my life. Could I continue to practice the art of mindfulness while periodically checking in on my goals and overall plan? Could I be in the moment in the context of where I’d already been?

As I continued my walk, I began altering my focus between where I was on the path and what I could see up ahead, much like the aperture of a camera. It dawned on me that this was a beautiful metaphor for my mindfulness practice and that in order to move closer to my life’s purpose, I would need to do both, knowing when and how to adjust.