A Day of Rest

I’m writing this on Sunday evening, after an almost perfect day. It was pretty unproductive in the working sense, and yet I accomplished a lot.

I woke up this morning, and lay in bed for a little while planning my day. When I got up, I did yoga and showered in time for a phone appointment. Then I did a couple of errands in preparation for my afternoon, spending some one-on-one time with my middle son.

I prepared food for an earl evening potluck meal, and even had time for a nap before heading to the beach. I did battle a little guilt about all the other things on my to do list, and I still honored my body’s signals to rest.

Our potluck was a small gathering of friends at the beach near my home. We roasted hotdogs and marshmallows over a beach fire, and watched the boys play in the water and make new friends. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and the sun, which finally made its appearance. There was very little wind, and I was able to watch the birds flying overhead, fish jumping in the water, and just sit in good company.

huckleberriesAfter dinner, we went for a walk in the woods, and I enjoyed a tart treat of huckleberries from the same bushes that stopped me in my tracks to marvel at their beauty as they blossomed in the spring. I thanked the bushes for sharing their abundance as I harvested a handful of bright little berries.

I often forget how important it is to take time to rest. So many weekends fly by in a flurry of activities and household chores. I still had a full day, and yet, I am so much more renewed for having taken this day without worrying about housework or homework or other projects.

When was the last time you had a day of rest?



The First Signs of Change

Last week as I was walking through the path in the woods near my house, I stopped suddenly because there was a robin right in the middle of the path.  It hopped a few feet ahead, then came back as I stood absolutely still.  I watched as it pulled up some leaves, looking for food.

I took the opportunity to practice “fox walking”, which I learned in the Coyote Mentoring course I took several years ago from Wes Gietz, slowly and silently following the robin as it made its way down the path.

I opened up my field of vision (“owl eyes” from Coyote Mentoring), and saw many other birds flitting around me in the forest.  I saw a hummingbird, more robins and sparrows enjoying the evening. After a little while, another robin came and sat in a tree just above the robin that had stopped me on the path.  My robin flew up to the tree, and very soon chased the other robin off.

I continued down the path, remembering to practice my quiet walking, and keeping my eyes open for the other birds that were in the trees, seeing if I could get close without startling them.

Just before I came to the end of the path, a bird crashed around in the branches as it flew from one tree to the next beside me.  I looked, and saw another (the same?) robin.  After saying hello, I continued my walk, wanting to get home to my dinner.

On the street just around the corner from my home, I heard a loud rustling in the bushes in the neighbor’s yard.  I looked, and there was another robin.  I stopped completely, looked at the bird that was looking at me, and said, “OK! I’m listening! What message do you have for me?”

I received the message to look up the symbolism of the robin.  When I arrived home, I went straight to the computer. 🙂

On several different websites, I learned that robins are symbols of new beginnings.  Just as we may not yet be able to feel the warmth of spring when the robins first return from their winter homes, we know when we see them that spring is on its way.

Knowing that nothing has meaning except the meaning I give it, I chose to see my visits from the robin as a sign that a new season has already begun in my life.  I may not see the material and physical signs, yet I have been sent a message that those more apparent signs are just around the corner. That thought has helped me keep positive through some challenges that have come up over the past week.



The Balance Between BE-ing and DO-ing

I’ve noticed a trend in my life.  I either get stuck in the DO-ing-ness of my life, or drift off into the BE-ing-ness of it. The balance between the two is elusive.

Not long ago, I was all DO-ing.  My days were scheduled to the minute, and I got a lot done.  My DO-ing times can be very productive.

And then, a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t want to DO anymore.  I just wanted to BE.  In these BE-ing times, its all about me.  I read fiction. I sleep.  I avoid checking my email for days at a time. I really want to hibernate, or go be a hermit. Its not that I DO nothing.  I still go to work, and I am still taking care of my family.

And then, I start feeling like I am wasting my time, because I am not DO-ing anything productive. But I don’t want to. But I need to keep the commitments I have made. And on and on goes the conversation in my head.

Balance between Being and DoingSo how do I keep a balance between my DO-ing and my BE-ing?  That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? 🙂

Knowing that balance is not a static position, but one that is fluid, in constant adjustment, helps. There is no one thing that I can do and suddenly achieve balance for the rest of my life.  It’s something I have to work at.

So here are some things I am DO-ing to incorporate BE-ing into my days:

  • I set aside time each day to BE. Part of that is my morning meditation, part of it is my daily walk.  Part of it is writing in my journal.  While all of these are still “activities”, they aren’t about achieving an immediate goal, or accomplishing a task. They contribute more to my over-all well-being.
  • I set an intention each morning for something I would like to accomplish that day.  This way I make sure I am not drifting through my days getting nothing done.

What things do you do to balance BE-ing and Do-ing?  I’d love to hear your ideas, and add more tools to my toolkit!



How do I show up in the world?

I am vicariously taking part in an 8 week coaching program with The Peaceful Woman called Inspired Living.  I say vicariously  because I am not able to take part during the live call, but I can go back and listen to the recording.  Last week was the first session, and I just listened to the call today.

We did an assessment of our lives–looking at various areas and how fulfilled we are by those parts of our lives, and how different areas of our lives support us.  This was an interesting exercise for me.  Some of these areas I knew were not fulfilling me, and I’m working to change that.  Some areas that on first thought I would have said were great, after listening to the discussion I decided I really could be more fulfilled in that area of my life.   Areas that I would have said are not supporting me, really do support me more than I think.

After looking at the balance, or really, lack of balance, in my life, I have to ask myself some powerful questions: How am I showing up in the world?  How do I want to show up in the world?  How different are the answers? And what do I need to do to bring them into alignment?

I feel that I am showing up as Super Mom, an overachiever who has so many things to do, one wonders how any of it gets done.  And I do feel like I have too many projects on the go, but I am not sure how to pare it back.   Each project feels essential to one or another of my goals.  And yet, if I don’t slow down, I may crash.  I notice I go through this cycle from time to time, usually when I have fallen behind on my daily meditation, journal writing, and/or exercise, all of which has happened lately.

The answers to the other questions are going to take a little more time, meditation and reflection to answer.  As requested by my coach, I have chosen a theme for the rest of 2010: My life supports my purpose and my purpose supports my life.  I’m still working to bring all the areas of my life into alignment with my purpose.  I’ll keep you posted as I work out the answers to these questions!

If you know me, how do I show up for you?  Or, how do YOU show up in the world, and how does that compare to how you want to show up?



Walk – Mindfully

Did you know the simple act of walking can be a form of meditation?

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD. explains how in the following article from EVliving.com

Many people have been indoctrinated to believe walking is a chore, therefore, it is something to be avoided. People look for the closest parking space in any parking lot, take elevators to the second floor and generally avoid walking as much as possible.

Some people recognize walking as the most beneficial activity that is a natural course of living.  Walking can be an easy multitasking effort. Walking a few blocks has unlimited benefits-not only for your health, but your spirit as well. As you walk, connect with your inner thoughts. If you are walking outside; walk on grass or bare dirt so that your feet connect with mother earth. If you walk on concrete; the earth is still beneath you, supporting you-simply visualize the earth’s nurturing energy coming through the concrete into your feet and body. Walking allows your body to remember simpler times, when life was less complicated-when walking was the only mode of transportation.

Finish reading the article here…



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