Life is movement, change, and continual transformation. If everything stayed the same life would not only be boring, it would cease to exist. When you are challenged with changes in your life that seemingly “come out of the blue,” or are initiated by external forces or that you are unprepared for, it is natural to put on the brakes and resist. Sometimes change is hard to understand. As Alan Watts says, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” These days I am feeling the quick motion of life sweeping me off my feet into an entirely new realm and the only thing I can do is go with the flow. Jumping into this river of life can be demanding because it can be so easy and comfortable to stay on the shore of what is known....
You’ve heard it before, “Forgive and Move on,” and inside you are still reeling from the pain and hurt that has been done and there is no way you want to “forgive, forget or move on.” The feeling of violation is strong and you feel justified in blaming and having resentment. If you were betrayed, unloved, neglected, rejected, lied to, cheated, dismissed, manipulated, silenced, emotionally or physically abused, you want justice and acknowledgment of the wrong that has been done to you....
Sunbeams, blue sky and daily temperatures rising into the high 70’s beckon me into the garden. Sweet birdsong from robins, finches and doves lighten my mood. The bright blue jacketed jays distinctly stand out as they sit in tree branches just beginning to bud out. I feel drawn to the mystery taking place under the dry leaves. Finding my garden gloves and wielding one lawn rake, one shrub rake, my favorite Felco pruners, and garden shears, I venture into the orchard. It feels so good to stretch my arms and limbs in the rhythmic motion of raking the leaves and shriveled stems off of the candytuft. Luscious green mounds appear to float above the ground...
Conflict is difficult for me. Life has taught me that my desire for everyone to get along and be in harmony is an almost impossible expectation. I especially struggle when family members show disappointment and criticize my choice to do something, be with someone or be somewhere that goes against what they desire or want. It feels as though I am being torn apart and made to decide between my life and the people I love. No matter what choice I make someone will be hurt. In the past, guilt would tear at my heart and eat me up. The pain would muddle my thoughts and hold my energy hostage. I could not be fully present to my own needs. It created a “No-Win” situation for my family, my friends and me...
Opening into Compassionate Presence
Last year of 2015 was the Chinese year of the Wood Sheep (Ram) where new possibilities, hopes and dreams were gestating. It was also a time of cleansing, releasing and facing difficult truths in order to form new patterns of connection. As you enter the Red Fire Monkey on Feb. 8, 2016, you step into a fresh opening where new aspects of yourself are birthing and developing a healthier connection to yourself and others.
Monkeys are inquisitive, quick, adaptable, intelligent, inventive and versatile; monkeys always keep you on your toes. It will be an adventurous fiery year of unpredictability. Monkeys are known to hop from one activity to another, so it is wise to observe what you really care about and what brings you and others love, joy and connection. There will be plenty of creative opportunities opening up. The key is to walk into the year with compassion for your vulnerabilities as well as your abilities...
International Teacher Meditation Facilitator
Dreamer, Visionary, Writer