Happy Mother’s Life!

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This morning I was greeted with this card and this book.  Well, and a lick from Lucy, our lover dog. The card is filled with laughter – little bits of Matti’s and my life together these days. Her original illustrations color it and on the back are the words to “Summertime.”  (Last week she asked me my favorite song.) BUT, here’s the big surprise, she has learned to play the song on her Baby Taylor guitar that she just began playing three weeks ago! And so we sing together this morning. And we sing together again. Like we will sing every day of our lives. Thank you God for blessing me with motherhood. (3 daughters 3 grandchildren) This Life.

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Now about THIS book! Take one tiny step to experience the life of a yogi. The last line of the opening is “…build community around mindful living.” Being gentle with our selves and our world. Remembering each other in kindness and laughter and well, song. Happy Mother’s Day!

Forgiveness – Hearts Heal

 

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Are you willing to trust your own heart – when it flutters in your body struggling to be free? Will you lift the cage or challenge the pain? Or perhaps you’ll live with it torturing your spirit. You can trust your heart. Let it lead your head. Give way for the split. How else could the seed vine to the sun? There, there my lovely one.

Meditate – As Simple As Breathing

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     Dolphins are conscious breathers. Each breath is invited in and hugged good-bye.

     Skip to the last paragraph if you want to start meditating right NOW! LOL

     Imagine if we had to decide to breathe. I know I would just keel over. My monkey mind is so busy stopping to look at whatever and have an opinion about that whatever. It would forget to tell me to breathe. So the idea of conscious breathing that becomes unconscious intrigues me.

     I have studied meditation for about forty years – no kidding. I have studied it. I have read about it. I understand the mechanics of it. I have stared at candles; made a sacred space; joined mass groups of meditators. (I won’t go into explicit detail about all of the physical and mental health benefits of regular meditation but email me if you want more information.) Transcendental Meditation, Meta Meditation, Primordial Sound Meditation are just a few I have studied. I kept asking myself, “If this is so natural and easy, why is it so hard for me to do?” I would go for a walk and immerse my senses in nature.

     Then, just this past December, my fifteen-year-old daughter toppled from her high perch as a cheerleader and bounced on her head, concussed. I was in class at Duke Integrative Medicine. Only two weeks on site in the Duke class were required. One of those happened to be the week Matti was brain damaged. In class they were teaching meditation of all sorts. Perfect timing. I was frantic with worry which did not calm my daughter in any way.

     I began again. Because being blessedly human, I can, begin again. And again. The quantum soup of myself can be reformed, but only if I don’t do all of the work. Only if I turn it over to the big soup stirrer and relax. The relax part seemed hard. Jeez, this was trauma and drama. My monkey mind loved that. It was chattering and scratching its armpits and swinging from the trees. Exhausted (and exhausting me) but not doing anything of use. So why not just not do anything, anyhow? I sat. I prayed. I followed the loving directions that were birthed in ancient wisdom.

     The idea is that you accept and release. Notice and let go. Be the watcher of your thoughts and know that you are not your thoughts. You have your story but you are not your story. You are infinite wisdom and divine possibility. You are a part of the space between your thoughts called “the gap” by The Chopra Center.

     THE LAST PARAGRAPH — Meditate with me. Mediate with the world. Set a timer that will be a gentle reminder. I like Insight Timer — insightap. Set it for whatever time you want to give it at first. Just give it some time. By giving it some time, you are claiming your space, time and place. You are committing to give this to yourself. I practice thirty minutes each morning. The Chopra Center taught me RPM – Rest Pee Meditate. They also say, RAW – Right After Work (around that 5:00 pm witching hour). My RAW practice is still birthing.

Sit comfortably in a quiet place.

Close your eyes or settle your gaze downward.

Gentle your heart with loving intention.  (I say something like, “Please help me be in loving acceptance of the imperfection that is life. Help me be kind and lift others with my loving open heart.”)

Then consciously breathe, like the dolphins. Three times.                                                                                  Inhale slowly, a deep breath filling your gut until your belly pokes out full of air and your breastbone rises. Then exhale through your mouth making a whoosh sound. Now do that again but listen to your breath as it enters and exits. This gentles your body — somatic quieting.

Now breathe naturally and notice the breath working on it’s own entirely on your behalf. A miracle!

Thoughts will come. Just notice them. If they are worth remembering they will come back after your meditation. Take your intention back to your breath. Let your breath do what it does naturally. Just notice it as well.

After the timer sounds, open your eyes look around and give yourself a couple of minutes to return. Thank yourself and the breath that led you here.

Love.

 

 

 

 

 

Sun Rise or Sun Set

Once I was on a TV shoot in LA and we shot at sunset. The commercial was about a construction guy. He happened to be in some really great fringed, short denim cut-offs which revealed tanned quadriceps, but I am sidetracked, sorry. Anyhow, this construction hunk was going to work at sunrise for his long day of drilling, sawing and well, creating things. I thought it was critical that the filming captured the sun exactly as it was a fake sunrise. After watching the genius film director, it became clear that he was shooting the commercial backwards.

When I woke up today, I kind of felt like that – backwards. Not physically. I did put my feet solidly on the floor and walked forward to let Lucy, our rescue lover dog, out. I French-pressed the coffee and headed upstairs to wake my daughter (fifteen) so she could drive. And then I turned on the Christmas tree lights and paused to eye hug all the family photos that decorate it. The little folks are now big. There were some big folks that are now little. And there are a few pets and parents that are angels now. I felt like my life was shot frame by frame backwards. 

Until now, I thought that somehow it was my job to restructure my life into some sort of epic meaning. When all along, all I needed to do was to show up with my whole being. And sometimes, just turn around.

If you are reading, I am happy to be conversing with you. Chambers Life is about inspiring you to thrive. I am completing certification as a Duke Integrative Health Coach and will be coaching in the spring. It’s exciting sacred work, your life. I hope I am privileged to be a partner with you.