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4 days ago  ::  Jul 18, 2014 - 10:01PM #1191
Artahrens
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July 18, 2014


Opening to Understanding


Willingness to Feel


by Madisyn Taylor


When we are resisting something based on a limited understanding, we must then open ourselves to willingness.


There are times when we may find ourselves struggling or even fighting with our thoughts and emotions. We may feel that something must be done in a certain way or not at all, or there may be some other situation that feels absolutely black and white. But life is not this way—it’s the way we are looking at our experiences that is causing the turmoil within us. When we become aware that the struggle we are having is with ourselves, we can turn our attention to the source in order to solve the problem, but we must be being willing to look where we need to and feel emotions that may make us uncomfortable at first. Then we can choose to really open ourselves to understanding all the options we can imagine. We are likely to discover that we are resisting something based on a limited understanding, and we must then open ourselves to willingness.


When we are willing to look at all the possibilities, we also become willing to accept that there is room for more than we can imagine. We can release ourselves from the grip we had on our emotions and stop limiting ourselves. We may have been unwilling to experience feeling loss, confusion, fear, or even joy for some reason or another, but when we realize that our understanding was limited we allow space for the universe to move in our lives.


Opening ourselves to willingness may feel like we are surrendering or abandoning all that we believed. But at the same time it is an act of power and courage because it is a conscious choice we make about how to apply our personal will. Being willing is to be in a state of willing something into creation. It is at once allowing ourselves to be while also choosing to direct our energy in a focused way. It is being and doing from a place of openness, where we can work with the universe rather than resist it. It is an open hand rather than one that is clenched into a fist. When we make a step toward willingness, we open ourselves to truth, possibility, and the movement of the wise universe in and through our lives.


Daily OM.


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3 days ago  ::  Jul 19, 2014 - 10:39PM #1192
Artahrens
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November 8, 2006


Open And Listening


Respecting Wildlife


 


For better or worse, much of the world we experience is dominated and controlled by human beings. We spend our days in houses, cars, and buildings, and inside these structures, we are in control. We assert our wills and manipulate our environment. Within the context of the human world, this is natural. However, we often carry this attitude with us into the world of nature. We forget as we enter the forest, or sit on the edge of a pond, that we are moving into another realm, one that asks us to drop our baggage and surrender to a different sense of order and meaning.


When we move from our everyday world into the world of nature, we may not even notice at first. We might continue talking loudly into our cell phone or to a friend that is with us. We might walk quickly as if we are on a busy city street, our eyes downcast, our thoughts hectic and hurried. In the best case, if we are sensitive to our environment, we will soon notice that it has changed. We may hear ducks calling, or wind moving through the leaves on a tree. If we notice the shift, we will naturally shift as well. If we don't, we may get all the way through a beautiful park without having lowered our voices. Next time you find yourself in the presence of wildlife-even if it's just a duck pond in the midst of urban hustle-try to move into a receptive state of openness and listening, no matter how much or how little time you have. Allow yourself to be captivated and calmed by the energy of the wildlife that covers this earth. Teaching our children to be respectful of nature and to stop and observe is a gift they can always cherish


We preserve pockets of nature in our urban centers and large expanses of nature in our national parks because of the magic we feel in its presence. It reminds us of our smallness and calls us back to a deeper, quieter part of ourselves. When we honor nature by being respectful in its presence, we honor the mystery and wild beauty of our origin.


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2 days ago  ::  Jul 20, 2014 - 9:26PM #1193
Artahrens
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April 26, 2007


The Breath Of The Universe


The Wind


 


We can connect ourselves with a basic force of nature by focusing on the essential element of air during a wind meditation. We begin by centering ourselves on our breath. We inhale the life-giving force, feeling it fill us, and then releasing it into the world to let our breath mingle with the breath of nature. If we cannot feel the wind right now, we can recall times when the wind has sent us gifts of caresses on bare skin, ruffling our clothes and playing with our hair. We can evoke sounds carried on the wind, maybe laughter or song, or perhaps just the wind's own whispers through the trees or across the landscape of our ears. We may summon up an image of falling flowers or leaves from above, vivid colors set free with the wind's encouragement. We may envision birds drifting on unseen currents with wings unbent, or flags and banners unfurled in the breeze. The scent of a sea breeze may come to mind, or the aromas of freshly baked treats or fragrant blooms that reach us from a distance. 


As these memories enliven our senses, we are feeling the vital force that surrounds and animates us. We can look to the trees to sway in time with nature's rhythm. Just as we can be soothed by the wind, we know that nature has great power. In a rush it can block out all sound, leaving us with only the beating of our hearts.


Wind can even make the inanimate dance and whirl gracefully. With a gentle sigh, the wind has carried sailors to faraway lands and balloons to great heights above. We can entrust the wind to carry our voices and best wishes out into the world, knowing it will be carried to its perfect destination. Releasing these precious offerings to its care, we remember that nature's power is as close as our breath, and we breathe deeply once again before returning to the world around us.


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1 day ago  ::  Jul 21, 2014 - 9:16PM #1194
Artahrens
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July 21, 2014


The Power of Union


Entering into Partnership


by Madisyn Taylor


In partnership and relationship we harness the power of union.



The purpose of partnership is to create something greater than we can create alone. Not because of any deficiency or incompleteness in us, but because each of us is unique, with our own talents and abilities, and in partnership we increase the efforts and talents available for creating something meaningful together. All partnerships, whether romantic, creative, or professionally-based, can be powerful relationships for personal growth. In partnership we harness the power of union.


It is important to choose our partnerships consciously. Sometimes forged quickly during times of need, we may find ourselves rushing into unions with perhaps not the clearest intentions. Partnerships created from those starting point might serve our immediate needs, but the repercussions of a union so quickly fostered without much thought can be difficult to recover from. Granted, there is something to learn from every relationship, but looking to another to fix or complete us can turn a partnership into a dependent bond. If we can stay clear about what we want and what we need in a partnership, while staying grounded and remembering that we are our own source of happiness and fulfillment, we can create partnerships that support and enhance the best of who we are.


Everyone in our lives is a mirror reflecting back the parts we love and dislike about ourselves. If we have the courage to recognize our reflections in each other, we can grow through our partnerships. A partnership that offers both acceptance of who we are and an opportunity for personal transformation can be fertile ground for growing a healthy, lasting union. When we find this kind of partnership, we are more likely to want to keep it, invest in it, and nurture it.


Life is a collaborative effort. Much of what we do can be enhanced through partnership. Together we are stronger because our personal power is multiplied by two. Through partnership we experience the joys of working, living, and loving together.


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2 hours ago  ::  Jul 22, 2014 - 9:05PM #1195
Artahrens
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July 22, 2014


The Power of the Circle


Uniting in Thought and Action


by Madisyn Taylor


When we are in circle with others, the energy stays contained within the group giving back to all.


There are many reasons for why a gathering of people in a circle is powerful. A circle is a shape that is found repeatedly throughout the natural world, and it is a symbol of perfection. We recreate this perfect shape when we join others to form a circle. Being in a circle allows us experience each other as equals. Each person is the same distance apart from the next participant, and no one is seated higher than or stands apart from others in a circle. From tribal circles to the mythical round table of King Arthur, the circle has been the shape adopted by gatherings throughout history.


The circle is acknowledged as an archetype of wholeness and integration, with the center of a circle universally understood to symbolize Spirit - the Source. When a group of people come together in a circle, they are united. This unity becomes even more powerful when each person reaches out to touch a neighbor and clasps hands. This physical connection unites thought and action, mind and body, and spirit and form in a circle. Because a circle has no beginning and no end, the agreement to connect in a circle allows energy to circulate from one person to the next, rather than being dissipated into the environment.


Like a candle used to light another candle, the connection with spirit that results when one person joins hands with another is greater than if each person were to stand alone. People who take part in a circle find that their power increases exponentially while with the group. Like a drop of water rippling on the surface of a pond, the waves of energy produced in a circle radiate outward in circular motion. While one person may act like a single beacon that emanates light, a circle of people is like a satellite dish that sends out energy. There is power in numbers, and when the commitment is made by many to face one another, clasp hands, and focus on one intention, their circle emanates ripples of energy that can change the world.


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