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7 days ago  ::  May 23, 2015 - 9:00PM #1531
Artahrens
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April 27, 2007


Flying Home


Free Of Gravity


 


As earthbound beings, humans have always had a fascination with winged creatures of all kinds. The idea of being able to spontaneously lift off from the earth and fly is so compelling to us that we invented airplanes and helicopters and myriad other flying machines in order to provide ourselves with the many gifts of being airborne. Flying high in the sky, we look down on the earth that is our home and see things from an entirely different perspective. We can see more, and we can see farther than we can when we're on the ground. As if all this weren't enough, the out-of-this-world feeling of freedom that comes with groundlessness inspires us to want to take flight again and again. 


Metaphorically, we take flight whenever we break free of the gravity that holds us to a particular way of thinking or feeling or being. We take flight mentally when we rise above our habitual ways of thinking about things and experience new insights. This is what it means to open our minds. Emotionally, we take flight when the strength of our passion exceeds the strength of our blockages; the floodgates open and we are free to feel fully. Spiritually we take flight when we locate that part of ourselves that is beyond the constraint of linear time and the world of form. It is in this place that we experience the essential boundlessness that defines the experience of flight. 


Taking flight is always about freeing ourselves from form, if only temporarily. When we literally fly, in a plane or on a hang glider, we free ourselves from the strength of gravity's pull. As we open our minds and our hearts, we free ourselves from habitual patterns of thought and emotional blockages. As we remember our true nature, we free ourselves from identification with the temporary state of our physical forms. The more we stretch our wings, the clearer it becomes that taking flight is a state of grace that simply reminds us of who we really are.


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6 days ago  ::  May 24, 2015 - 10:26PM #1532
Artahrens
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May 24, 2015


The Importance of Sleep


Healthful Slumber


by Madisyn Taylor


Regular periods of sleep are key to a healthy body and a clear mind as it is during sleep that your body renews itself.


When life gets busy, sleep is often the first activity that we sacrifice. Considered a luxury by many busy people, sleep is actually as vital to sustaining a balanced life as are breathing, eating, and drinking. Getting sufficient sleep can be a potent energizer, just as not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling drained and sluggish. While eight hours is the average amount of sleep most adults should generally aim for, the right amount of sleep varies for each person. Some people may thrive on just four hours, while others don’t feel well rested unless they’ve slept for ten hours. How much we sleep also varies, depending upon where we are in life. Young people often need more sleep, while older people may need less. The benefits of sleep always stay the same. Regular and consistent periods of wakefulness and sleep are key ingredients to fostering a healthy body and a clear mind. It is during sleep that your body renews itself.


The ability to forgo sleep is considered by some to be an asset. But while it may seem that the nighttime hours can be better used for more productive activities, sleep in itself is extremely productive. During sleep, your body and psyche are both regaining their strength for the coming day. You may even have the unique opportunity to explore the hidden recesses of your personality while you dream. Meanwhile, your long-term memories are reinforced.


Many cultures engage in an afternoon siesta. Taking a nap is refreshing and can increase both productivity and creativity. Author Lewis Carroll is said to have conceived his idea for Alice in Wonderland while dreaming. A good night’s sleep also has been known to bring with it the gifts of clarity, wisdom, and a fresh perspective. Even the ancient Greeks thought of sleep as a gift from the gods. Give yourself the gift of peaceful slumber and you will likely find yourself feeling alert, refreshed, and ready for life’s challenges. You may also find yourself feeling more centered, thoughtful, and aware throughout the day so you can live your full potential.


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5 days ago  ::  May 25, 2015 - 11:02PM #1533
Artahrens
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May 25, 2015


A Lifelong Gift


Family Meditation


by Madisyn Taylor


Meditating in groups is powerful, meditation with your family members is beautiful.


Once we have discovered all that meditation can do for us in our lives, we have the opportunity to share that knowledge with our children. Since a child’s first experiences take place in the home, what they learn there provides a foundation of knowledge and then becomes their basis for comparison as they move out into the world. Even if we may not feel that we are qualified to teach, we can plant the seeds that will give them a basic understanding of the peace and power that lie within them.


There are many ways we can instill the value of meditation. Since children tend to learn just as much, if not more, by observation and imitation, rather than by instruction, we can teach by example. By following our practice, we show them that meditation is part of daily life. Even if they appear to resist, they will come to understand meditation’s importance in maintaining their inner health if you treat it as something that is as important and as essential as eating well and keeping proper hygiene. Little children are not the only ones that can benefit by learning meditation; preteens and teenagers can also benefit from learning the skills necessary to calm their minds and spend quality family time meditating together.


We may be able to introduce them to the concept of closing their eyes and taking inner journeys by listening to visualization CDs, or you may comfortable enough to guide them through a visualization of your own. Creating a time of quiet listening in the middle of guided imagery helps them know that they can be silent and go within whenever they choose. You might want to sit together and hold hands, creating a deep bonding ritual that may become everyone’s favorite part of the day. By discussing afterward, you can discover how your child experiences his or her inner world. By teaching children how to create with their minds and how to access the stillness within them, you are giving them tools that will help them create the best lives possible.


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4 days ago  ::  May 26, 2015 - 10:06PM #1534
Artahrens
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May 26, 2015


What Makes People Tick?


Exploring An Alternate Universe


by Madisyn Taylor


Many people are very different from ourselves and coming to a place of acceptance can make the road easier.


All people have their own way of being in the world. It is easiest to comprehend this basic yet profound fact when we consider that every human being on the planet occupies a distinct role in the universe. We grow up in different environments, affected by a unique range of influences. The preferences, values, and beliefs we embrace are frequently related intimately to our origins. And the need to individualize our experiences is instinctive, as doing so enables us to cope when we must face challenges on our own. Consequently, each of us has developed a perspective that is uniquely ours. Interacting peacefully and constructively with people from all walks of life is a matter of first understanding where they are coming from. Then we can adjust our expectations so that we avoid making undue assumptions about what they are about.


In the face of emerging interpersonal conflict, it is easy to assume that others are being difficult, unreasonable, or stubborn. We are apt to grow frustrated when someone in our environment does not share our opinions or feel compelled to support us in our endeavors. It is likely that the individual or individuals before us may simply possess differing notions with regard to what is and what is not important in this life. We can ease the tension that exists between us by reaffirming our belief in the fundamental right of all beings to determine their own destinies. To foster a harmonious relationship, we need to do our best to relate to the unique universes they inhabit. And as we discover what makes them tick, our ability to find a mode of interaction that is pleasing to both of us is enhanced.


When there are barriers keeping you from connecting with someone else, think of questions you can ask them to gain a more thorough understanding of their point of view. You may discover that in addition to the differences in perspective dividing you, they are subject to insecurities and other personal issues that influence their way of seeing the world. It is likely that you will never fully grasp the myriad complexities embodied by humanity, but you can go a long way toward encouraging mutually satisfying relations by reaching out to others in the spirit of sympathetic comprehension.


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3 days ago  ::  May 27, 2015 - 10:44PM #1535
Artahrens
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May 27, 2015


Being a Strong Container


Grounding Ourselves


by Madisyn Taylor


As a human being living on earth it is important to learn to ground yourself in relation to your earth mother.


We often hear people telling us to ground ourselves, but we may not be sure what that means and how we might do it. Grounding ourselves is a way of bringing ourselves literally back to earth. Some of us are more prone than others to essentially leaving our bodies and not being firmly rooted in our bodies. There’s nothing terribly wrong with this, but while we are living on the earth plane it is best to stay grounded in the body.


One of the easiest ways to ground ourselves is to bring our attention to our breath as it enters and leaves our bodies. After about 10 breaths, we will probably find that we feel much more connected to our physical selves. We might then bring our awareness to the sensations in our bodies, moving from our head down to our feet, exploring and inquiring. Just a few minutes of this can bring us home to bodies and to the earth, and this is what it means to ground ourselves.


We can go further by imagining that we have roots growing out of the bottoms of our feet, connecting us to the earth. The roots flow with us so we can we always move, but at the same time they keep us grounded. We receive powerful energy from the earth just as we do from the forms of energy we associate with the sky, and our body is a tool that brings these two energies together in a sacred union. When we are grounded, we essentially become a strong container in which our spirits can safely and productively dwell. This is why grounding ourselves every day, especially at the beginning of the day, is such a beneficial practice.


Fortunately, it’s as simple as bringing our conscious awareness to our bodies and the earth on which we walk.


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2 days ago  ::  May 28, 2015 - 9:27PM #1536
Artahrens
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May 28, 2015


Be Happy Every Single Day


Finding Your Joy


by Madisyn Taylor


Discover something daily that makes you happy and become witness to your life transforming.


Our lives are rich with potential sources of happiness, but sometimes we become victims of negative thinking because we believe that focusing on all that has gone wrong will provide us with the motivation we need to face the challenges of survival. When we choose to focus on what makes us happy, however, a shift occurs in the fabric of our existence. Finding something to be happy about every single day can help this shift take place. The vantage points from which we view the world are brought into balance, and we can see that being alive truly is a gift to be savored. There is always something we can be happy about—it is simply up to us to identify it.


On one day, we may find happiness in a momentous, life-changing event such as a marriage or the birth of a child. On another day, the happiness we experience may be a product of our appreciation of a particularly well-brewed cup of a tea or the way the sun shines on a leaf. If we discover that we literally cannot call to mind a single joyful element of existence, we should examine the cause of the blockage standing between us and experiencing happiness. Keeping a happiness journal is a wonderful way to catalog the happiness unfolding all around us so that joy has myriad opportunities to manifest itself in our lives. Writing about the emotions we experience while contemplating joy may give us insight into the factors compelling us to resist it.


Happiness may not always come easily into your life. You have likely been conditioned to believe that the proper response to unmet expectations is one of sadness, anger, guilt, or fear. To make joy a fixture in your existence, you must first accept that it is within your power to choose happiness over unhappiness every single day. Then, each time you discover some new source of happiness, the notion that the world is a happy place will find its way more deeply into your heart. On this day, find one thing to be happy about and let it fill your heart.


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21 hours ago  ::  May 29, 2015 - 9:56PM #1537
Artahrens
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May 29, 2015


Do What Excites You


Capturing the Thrill


by Madisyn Taylor


We can all fall into the motions of life, trying something exciting can be just the spice you need.


Each human life has the potential to be dramatic, thrilling, and awe-inspiring. Our lives are, in truth, ours to design. Each day, we make choices that influence the character of our experiences, and our decisions determine whether our paths are rousing or tedious, breathtaking or tiresome. We can create an exciting life by simply doing what excites us whenever the opportunity presents itself. Your passions may ebb and flow, and what excites you one year may not excite you the next, but when you make excitement a regular part of your existence, life becomes more fun and more fulfilling.


If you are somebody that tends to live practically, excitement may overwhelm you at first. To ease the anxiety that prevents you from incorporating all that you find exciting into your life, acknowledge that you are alive right now in this time and every moment matters. When you choose to do more of what excites you, even if your choices requires you to make certain sacrifices, your daily life will soon be imbued with exhilaration, pleasure, and optimistic anticipation.


To understand what excites you, you may need to observe and ponder your reaction to the activities, events, circumstances, and concepts that make up your life. What makes your pulse race, what makes you want to get out of your chair and take action? Try to avoid getting too wrapped up in life’s details; their tedium may cause you to plod through your existence unaware of prospective excitement. Once you have created a substantial list of what excites you, find ways to integrate each item into your routine. You will soon find yourself riding a wave of excitement that lifts you up and makes life truly worth living. What excites you in your life?


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