meditation

Time to Unload

I look at my watch and realize I am late. I need to be at the airport in 20 minutes but that is impossible. I am at least a 20 minute drive from the terminal and I haven’t even finished packing. My belongings are spread out all over my bed and my suitcase is already too full and much too heavy. I try to focus and pull myself together but I am quickly in an all out panic and completely overwhelmed. My mind begins to scramble and I lose any remaining mental control. I am going to miss my flight. Of that, I am certain.

I have had this recurring dream over the years and it successfully illustrates how I feel at times. I am an ambitious Capricorn and have always been striving for a higher plane. I know I have it in me to soar to greater heights, I just don’t know how to get there and sometimes it feels like I am carrying too much.

I have been reflecting on this theme recently because I have chosen the 10 of Wands repeatedly over the past month in my daily Tarot card draw. 

The 10 of Wands suggests that we may be moving with too large a burden and that this load may be unnecessary and holding us back from realizing our dreams.  It asks us to reflect on our situation and lighten things up by prioritizing, accepting help, and letting go of outdated and potentially harmful patterns, behaviors, and relationships. It says that our burdens come in a variety of forms including material, spiritual, literal, emotional, and energetic and that if we are to arrive at the desired destination, we will need to unload.

I have felt some heavy energy surrounding my efforts lately and have noticed that most of it is self-imposed (goals I have set for myself, guilt I am working off, scattered organizational energy, unprocessed emotions). I have begun to realize that many of these energies have been with me for years and have slowed my progress. I have started questioning what would happen if I began to leave some items behind. If I dropped some of my bags, would I make it to the airport on time? 

As I consider this, I realize that perhaps it is alright to step back and enjoy the fruits of my labors without carrying any guilt. Perhaps it is better to face my emotions head on and provide time, space, and self care so that I am able to process and release the sadness, hurt, and loss instead of continuing to bring it along, and even though it’s hard to let go of familiar patterns, maybe it’s healthier to say good-bye to those that are no longer working.

In the process of determining what to keep and what to unload, I have found it valuable to observe all that makes me happy and gives me joy. These are the things I want to add to my bag because they are light and propel me forward, and they are indicators that we are on our truest path. 

Everything else can go. 

Of course, there will be negative and difficult situations, emotions, and energies along the way, but I know that the quicker I can identify, process and integrate or let go, the smoother and more successful the journey will be (to begin manifesting your desired life journey, click here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). 

As we head towards the New Moon on April 11th, it is the perfect time to reflect on what loads we are carrying and if they are a necessary part of the voyage or are hindering our progress. We are the creators of our lives and if we want to travel to exciting destinations, it may be wise to let go of unnecessary cargo so that we can move along more freely with ease, flow, and unlimited grace.

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

The Importance of Letting Go

Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash

Ever since I started following the moon phases, I have taken some time around the full moon to reflect on areas of my life that are painful or uncomfortable. I try to pinpoint situations, ideas, and relationships that are causing anxiety, pain, fear, or any negative feeling. I look at past events that have hindered my progress and people who have told me I’m not good enough. I consider the effects these beliefs have had and decide if they are bringing me happiness or holding me back from reaching my fullest potential. 

We all hold onto things for a number of reasons. We may fear change, emptiness, the unknown, starting anew. We may have guilt or believe we are unworthy. We may be holding onto expectations, old patterns and pains, self-limiting beliefs, and harmful encounters that have been thrust upon us by others. We may hold onto the past because we fear saying good-bye. We may define ourselves by these experiences and feel that we are required to carry them with us for the rest of our days. 

The renowned psychologist Carl Jung said, “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” He believed that we have the power to define and create who we want to be by releasing our attachment to past ideas, situations, people, and feelings that are no longer working. He believed that once we forgive and let go, we are then able to begin the process of manifesting abundance, happiness, alignment with true self, and whatever else we can dream up.

The more I practice the art of letting go, the more I believe this to be true.

When we make it a regular practice to reflect on areas of our lives that cause pain, anxiety, or unease, we can begin to identify their origin and take the necessary steps to release them from our lives with love and compassion. Working towards understanding the reality of the situation or belief rather than the story you and others are telling is important, as is determining whether or not we are avoiding painful realities by busying ourselves, perpetuating our perceived shortcomings through rumination, or attracting relationships and situations that reinforce these harmful beliefs. 

If we are not living a happy, joyful life (most of the time), chances are we are not in sync with our true nature and there are likely things we are holding onto that are not supporting our best selves. So, how do we begin to let go?

I would recommend spending some time in meditation or journaling with the intention of uncovering any areas of discord and their possible points of origin. I would then make a list of all the people, situations, and beliefs that are no longer supporting you. Give thanks for all that you have learned from each experience and for any positive purpose it may have served. Send a blessing and then let it go. An effective ritual is to burn or shred the list as you release the energy into the Universe. This will strengthen the process and punctuate your intention. Also, it is important to remember that some of these beliefs and habits have been formed over many years or are deep rooted and will take a repetitive effort over time to fully release. I believe it is worth the effort and even if the letting go is small at first, you are still heading in the right direction and on the best path.

(To begin uncovering your life’s purpose, click here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/).

Once you have set your intention and have gone through the ritual of release, you can begin to heal and create a more spiritually rewarding reality.  It is a good practice to replace the old patterns and beliefs with new more self directed ideas. Some ways to begin include expressing gratitude, creating and repeating positive affirmations, and practicing the art of creative visualization (I will get to this in more detail in a later blog). 

This month, as I meditated on what to let go, older and deeper memories began to surface. I could see a pattern of self limiting beliefs that had begun years ago with the inception of an idea that I was flawed in some way. The accusation, planted by another, had taken root in my subconscious as truth and I had believed it. Throughout my life, I have made decisions that reinforced it and turned down opportunities that would challenge it. These perceived limitations kept me contained.  

Until now. 

Today, I release all negative energies that are not in line with my true self. I let go of ideas, situations, and relationships that are injurious to me in any way. I forgive all those who have harmed me and I forgive myself for any pain I have caused to others. I attract love, abundance, harmony, health, and creativity.  I have the power and confidence to manifest my greatest potential for the highest good of all involved and I accept the challenge.

A Ritual for Pansies

While on a recent walk with my friend, Mary, the topic of spring came up and we began to express our excitement about the coming of warmer and longer days, the re-emergence of plants and wildlife, more access to fresh air, increased outdoor activities and the general hope that always comes with the season. We shared our enthusiasm for all that was springing forth this year and discussed how it was that much sweeter after enduring a year of pandemic. 

Mary went on to tell me that over the weekend she would be heading to the nursery to buy some pansies to plant in her yard. She said it was something she did on the first day of spring every year and that it was a bit of a ritual, a way to welcome the new season, a response to its beckoning.

The idea of ritual has come to my mind recently as I work on refining the services offered through my business, My Soul Purpose Project. (click here to begin manifesting the life you desire: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). I facilitate the process of connecting with inner wisdom in order to manifest one’s fullest potential.  I work with moon cycles, dreams, the Tarot, soul journaling, and other practices that use ritual in one way or another. 

In addition to the benefits of grounding, encouraging mindfulness, reducing anxiety, fostering connection to oneself and others, and improving physical and mental well-being, ritual also helps us tune in to our values and connect with others who share the same beliefs. It helps us to focus our energy, to build habits and organize our efforts. It promotes creativity and gives credence to our commitments. It is a celebration of the things we love.

The aim of my business is to help people create a life of happiness and purpose. Once we identify what is most truly desired, we move into the art of manifesting which involves belief, envisioning, writing, repeating, and embodying the desired outcome. Thoughts and words are a good way to begin, but in order to bring an idea to fruition, we must feel it happening, see it in our mind’s eye, and believe it to be true. Ritual adds power to these practices through focus, repetition, creativity, connection, love and fun. It helps to propel our wishes into action. 

The first day of spring was on Saturday and so far the temperatures have continued to rise and the sun has been shining. I decided to go to the nursery myself today and buy a crate of pansies to plant in the yard. They were a variety of colors and seemed eager to burst forth in their new life. I brought them home, thanked the Universe for the wonders of spring, the beauty of these tiny flowers, and the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, and then I planted them in a container by the front door. 

As I stepped back to admire my work and reflect, I was reminded of the miracle of life and the unlimited potential available to us all at any time. I could sense the importance of taking the time to tune in and create rituals around all that I love and cherish and especially around the things I’d like to manifest. I felt hope that whatever challenges we face in the wintering of our lives, we will be offered a new beginning, a second chance. Spring.

I suspect I’ll be reminded of this each time I pass by the planter and I sense that the more attention, thought and feeling I give it, the more likely I will be to attract more of the same. When I look upon the expanding pansies, I’ll be reminded that whatever we put our attention to grows and the rituals we create will help magnify our gratitude, allowing us to celebrate that which we hold most true.

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

Riding Out the Pandemic Crucible

The Hanged Man as portrayed in two different Tarot decks.

I had a remarkable experience this week which I’d like to share. I am a student of the tarot and as part of my recent practice, I have been drawing a daily card, setting intentions for the day related to the message and then reflecting at night. It’s a good way to gain insights into my life while enhancing my understanding and relationship to the cards. 

I usually find the themes to have important and personal cues which guide me to areas of my life needing attention and often catalyze new ideas and insights. It is not uncommon for me to feel the Universe pushing or pulling me in a given direction or to hear my inner wisdom raise its voice. 

This week, although I was not looking for help on any particular issue, the cards seemed to be asking me to stop and pay attention, and they were rather loud and clear.

Over the past four days, I have drawn the Hanged Man every single time. This is highly unlikely given the fact that I shuffle the deck fully and then cut it at different places before uncovering the chosen card.  It didn’t seem that strange when the Hanged Man appeared for a second time. After all, coincidences happen and the interpretation made sense. On the third day, I thought, “how strange,” and by the fourth (today), I had no choice but to stop and take a closer look.

The Hanged Man card in the Tarot deck symbolizes suspension, detachment, letting go, and uncertainty. The subject hangs from a tree, tied by one foot. He is not free to go easily. Yet, he appears relaxed as if surrendering to his circumstances. His second leg and arms are not bonded and a yellow light emanates from his head, indicating intellect and spiritual development. The card is said to suggest sacrifice, a necessary step in the process of moving forward. Sometimes, the card asks for a certain action to be suspended. It tells us the time is not right to make a move. I have also read that the Hanged Man can represent a crucible, a situation or severe trial which leads to the creation of something new and improved.

I have been thinking lately about the pandemic and its effects on the mental health of our world. People are suffering or at the least being tried, physically, financially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There has been enormous loss and challenging circumstances everywhere and on every level. The economy is wincing. Politics are dividing and in our isolation, we are being forced to face ourselves head on. There is nowhere to hide. We have been stripped of our usual escape routes, like busying our lives to the point of exhaustion and complete distraction. And although the situation is improving, there is no saying how much longer we will be hanging from the tree. 

I have been noticing a growing pressure myself and like many, I feel the need to bust out, to make a move, to release the bondage, to battle with the cords that bind me, and to break free. Some days I feel unnaturally restrained. However, as the Hanged Man suggests, it may not be the right time to act. It might serve me better to relax into the situation and allow my inner light  to mull, to grow and to strengthen. It may also be time to surrender to the restrictions and fallout of the pandemic instead of trying to resist. It seems the Hanged Man is telling me with certainty to accept what is and remain patient with life’s timing. 

This seems to be a good message given the current state of the world and one that is hard to ignore considering the way it was delivered (drawing 4 of the same card in a row!).  I may be more successful and the journey smoother if I hang loose for a time. If I allow myself to ride out the pandemic crucible with acceptance and patience, it’s possible I will emerge on the other side as something new and more highly evolved.

Check out my other websites:  Body https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

The Power of Journaling

Journaling has a way of helping us open to the wisdom of the subconscious mind.

I woke up this morning with an underlying feeling of anxiety. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where it was coming from. There was nothing particularly unnerving in my current life, so why was this visceral gnawing tightening my chest and leaking into my gut? I wasn’t sure. I hoped my morning walk would bring some clarity or at least some icy air to freeze it out, but no such luck. It was just as strong once I returned, refilled my coffee and sat down at the desk. 

Before I could move on with my day, I knew I had to take some type of action, so I decided to employ a method of journaling that evolved over years of daily writing. 

Whenever a feeling or decision has me stumped, I take out my pen and paper, scroll the question at the top and then begin free writing the answer as fast as possible, without critique or concern for the content or style. I write whatever comes to mind, knowing that I can burn or shred the pages if they reveal something I don’t want anyone else to see. This frees me up to say whatever I want in order to get to the truth. And the truth is always what ends up on the page. 

When I first discovered this technique, I used it daily. I took the approach of coach to client, therapist to patient, and friend to friend. No matter who was in dialogue, I could always sense two distinct voices surfacing, one asking the question and one answering it. The questions were insightful and on track but the answers were what surprised me the most. Each time I began to write, the message would pick up speed and ideas and solutions would come flowing out onto the page from somewhere deep inside. It was like discovering a gold mine or an oil reservoir. Once it was tapped, the treasured solutions flowed out abundantly and easily.

This type of journaling helped to guide me through some important decisions and provided insights that may not have been uncovered otherwise or would have taken years. I called the technique “The Inner Coach” and it became my go-to strategy for solving unanswered soul and life questions.

Recently, I came upon a book which outlines a similar method called writing down your soul by Janet Conner. It is a wonderful book and goes a few steps further to help the reader assign an identity to the voice and also provides prompts to foster deeper awareness, meaning, soul exploration, imagination, and creativity. 

After completing the recommended meditation and journaling, I discovered that I was harboring a fear and uncertainty about the events of this past week, the state of American politics, the instability and fractured nature of our country, the continued loss resulting from Covid 19, our injured economy, the growing unrest and persistent hate. What I was feeling in the center of my chest was a result of a connection to the collective consciousness or communal heart (as I like to call it), the most extreme of which wasn’t happening to me directly. Yet, I could sense a piece of the greater suffering and destruction that is part of today’s reality. 

My inner voice suggested that I meditate to a sound healing video in 639Hz (a frequency that addresses the heart chakra). It also guided me to do another journal entry afterwards, this time focusing on what I want to manifest in 2021 and particularly what I’d like to put out into the Universe as a focus for this month’s new moon (which occurs on Jan 13 at 12 a.m). 

After following the guidelines that came forth on the page and writing out my wish for more peace, collaboration, and love, I feel much better. The ball of anxiety has been lifted and my thoughts are where I want them to be, focused on positive change. I am now able to move on with my day, in a heightened state of clarity and hope and with the belief that the work I have done on myself will extend out to help heal the collective condition. 

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

Manifesting Your Resolutions with the Tarot

A Tarot Spread for the New Year

The New Year is underway and our carefully outlined goals have been determined. The dreaming has been fun, inspirational and inventive, and now is the time for action. Personally, I have vowed to improve my self discipline and time management skills. In order to manifest my resolutions, I realize I need to become more focused, efficient and direct. I am committed to trying some of the more popular techniques of time blocking and habit development. However, I also realize that, particularly during this challenging and dark pandemic time, I need to keep things fun, colorful, and light with a sprinkle of magic whenever possible.

I have been working with the Tarot for many years in a personal quest to understand myself and my life on a deeper level. I believe that the human mind and its ability to possess accurate self awareness can only go so far. In order to gain a deeper understanding, we need help from a higher power. In truth, I believe this wisdom is accessible within ourselves. All we need is a compass and some pointers to help guide our way. I have found that the Tarot is one of the best tools for this type of exploration.

In case you don’t know, the Tarot is a deck of 78 cards composed of 22 Major Arcana (representing major life themes) and 56 Minor Arcana (addressing issues of a more daily nature). The practice of laying out and interpreting the card meanings dates back as far back as the 15th century (possibly even further.) Noone knows for sure. Each card represents a theme and is decorated with symbolic illustrations which point to a variety of interpretations depending on the individual and their unique situation. The cards are shuffled and drawn into a particular sequence or layout.  Based on their position, the reader is able to glean a certain meaning. Due to the variety of positions and the number of symbols represented on each card, the interplay can lead to an infinite number of possible interpretations. This is where the intuition or inner knowing of the reader comes into play.

The Tarot is often misunderstood to be a fortune telling tool and many fear that it will bring forth some undesirable news or predict events that cannot be changed. This is simply not true. The Tarot is a wonderful resource for tapping into major (and minor) life themes, relating them to one’s situation and offering options for change or areas on which to focus. When I was first introduced to the Tarot, I would call on an Intuitive Reader whenever I had important questions to answer or felt that I was blocked and needed further insight. I later realized that I could use the Tarot on my own, on a daily basis, to help me navigate through periods of change or even to gain insights into my daily existence. This process of discovery resulted in a sense of peace and a feeling of empowerment, and I continue to use the cards to help me make better decisions as I travel down my life’s path.

After years of daily personal use, it seemed only natural to extend my knowledge to others. I have since started a virtual business called the Soul Purpose Project with the aim of helping people identify and clarify their purpose and also to identify the obstacles that prevent them from reaching their fullest potential. A major part of my sessions involve the use of theTarot as I find it the perfect starting point for a conversation about what lies beneath the surface. In conjunction with my client, I determine an appropriate layout and as they are meditating on the topic, I pull the cards. I send them a picture via text of the resulting spread and begin to explain each card’s meaning and my intuitive interpretation. I find that involving my client in the interpretation is helpful as it promotes their own self discovery. There is never a question as to the accuracy of the final message as I believe we all know the truth when it is revealed. If it does not feel right, then there is probably more digging to do.

The New Year is a perfect time to do a Tarot reading. If you want to try one on your own, I would recommend purchasing a copy of Tarot for Life, by Paul Quinn. The book provides an excellent overview of the cards, their meanings, and a variety of layouts. It also shows ways to use the Tarot in a daily practice to help gain insight into relationships, career, family, and personal development. I would also recommend buying the Rider-Waite deck. This is a good starter deck and one of the most frequently referred to in learning texts. 

A few good New Year’s spreads can be found here:

If you don’t have the time or interest in learning the Tarot on your own but want to treat yourself to a reading or see how I do it, I am offering a 30-60 minute session, accessible here: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/

I look forward to hearing from you and wish you all the power and insight to manifest the life you are dreaming in 2021. And…… I hope you can do it with some fun, color, light and a sprinkle of magic.

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

Embracing the Liminal Space

The Guardian reviews Katharine May’s book, Wintering. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/04/wintering-how-i-learned-to-flourish-when-life-became-frozen-katherine-may-memoir-review

Christmas is over, the New Year is quickly approaching, and my mind has turned to resolutions and what I’d like to accomplish this year. I’ve had plenty of rest in 2020 and now I’m ready to go, but where and ….how?

Every year, the space between Christmas and New Years offers an opportunity to look at our life, evaluate our successes and shortcomings and dream up a plan for the future. What do I want 2021 to look like? What should I let go of and what would I like to attract?

As the thoughts and feelings swirl around my head, I am overwhelmed. There are a lot of goals yet unrealized and habits I’ve been determined to change but which continue to rest on my shoulder. Will this be the year that I figure it all out? Will I be able to shed my self destructive habits and move into my best purpose? I’m not sure.

I am in my 50s and have spent years studying how to access the subconscious for a better understanding of my inner beliefs and feelings. I have looked at ways to manifest my reality and techniques to steer my life in the direction of my deepest yearnings. However, I still get drawn into the liminal space of this particular week, the time just after Christmas and before the start of the new year, a time of suspension in which we have left something behind but have not yet entered into the new. 

The concept of liminal space came to me yesterday while reading a lovely book I received as a gift for Christmas called Wintering by Catherine May. She talks about this “crossing over” time as a confluence of grief, uncertainty, doubt, and fear as well as excitement and anticipation of what is about to come. Liminal space is sometimes uncomfortable. The pandemic has brought it to the forefront and forced us to work within its confines. The result has provoked anxiety and fear. Yet, there has also been healing, blessings and discoveries, experiences and realizations we would not have found otherwise. 

In her book, May points out that liminal space often accompanies periods of transition in our life, offering us an opportunity to reflect, to heal, to forgive, to redefine and then to design, to dream and to set intentions. The concept at its simplest tells us that when we empty or are emptied of something, there remains a space waiting to be filled. I believe the contents of this space can be influenced if not fully determined by our thoughts, efforts, and wishes. 

It dawns on me that this must be the idea of New Year’s resolutions and that our ancestors no doubt felt the need to address this period of suspension and fear with productive planning. I have realized that entering the quiet or wintering period as May puts it, removes the daily static and encourages us to face our truths head on.

I have always been one to seek happiness, comfort, and joy, but I am realizing that these aspirations are only part of the picture. As I move into 2021, I have decided to try something new, to embrace the winter, to hold love in the space of darkness, to forgive the limitations and deflate their power, to feel the sadness and pain of loss and then to move through the discomfort instead of running away or shutting down. Perhaps, this will be just the approach I need to help me leap over the hurdles that have blocked my way for so long. 

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

Crystal Messages

Dr. Emoto’s photo of a love charged water crystal.

The holiday season has arrived and even though for most, this particular year will be a more low-key homestead style celebration, it still carries with it the pressure to shop, decorate, uphold traditions, and surprise the people you love with everything that will make their hearts merry and bright. In addition to that, it usually brings up unresolved emotions from as far back as childhood. It is a volatile time when all of our experiences come to the surface, good and bad, and visions of sugarplums dance through our heads alongside other less appealing confections.

This weekend, amidst the wrapping and planning, and just as my partner and I were feeling the holiday pressure mount, it started to snow. It was unexpected and beautiful. The flakes were large and full and we watched them drift slowly without hurry. We could sense their confidence and poise as they posed briefly in front of the window before continuing their descent towards the snow covered ground below. We stood in awe for a few minutes before looking at each other with the same realization. We could sense the flakes offering us an anecdote to the stress.  So, we grabbed our skis and headed for the woods.

About halfway through our trek, we stopped to catch our breath and take in the serenity and majesty of our surroundings. I noticed a clump of red bittersweet growing on a shrub near the river and as I looked closer, I was able to make out the individual snowflakes. Each held a unique and brilliant design and reminded me of a book I had read some time ago called The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto. 

In the book, Emoto illustrates the effects of words, pictures, and music on the structure and development of crystallized water (snowflakes). The water that was exposed to positive words such as love and peace (and classical music) turned out to be beautiful and intricate, which was evident once it was frozen into crystallized form. In contrast, the water exposed to negative words like hatred and war, (and heavy metal music) turned out malformed and less appealing to the eye. These findings led Emoto to conclude that wherever water is found, in our bodies for example, there will be a susceptibility to the quality of energy around it. Verbal words seemed to have the most impact. However, pictures, music, and the surrounding environment also had a substantial influence. Certainly, we can understand how positive and negative statements, sounds, and visuals would affect our psyche and emotions, but Emoto’s research goes beyond that, to illustrate how these energies have a direct impact on our physical composition as well.

As I continued to watch the snow fall, I could feel my entire body relax. There was a palpable calm which did not exist hours before in the midst of holiday preparation. I had changed in some way, perhaps physically. It may have been the quiet of the snow as it blanketed the forest or the perfection of the crystalized designs. Whatever it was, I vowed to keep the feeling close to my heart by bringing the visual to mind each time I felt the stress creeping in. I also promised to extend kind and loving words to myself and others, especially during these trying times. After all, peace, love and joy (even if only in a word) seem to be the best gift I can give this holiday season.

Masaru Emoto’s findings are spectacular. Here is a quick demonstration measuring the effects of gratitude on water:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDNhH8deZPg

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

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/