Emotional Balance

Emotional balance has been unfolding in my life for 50 years.  One of the biggest hurdles has been letting go of the belief that my emotions define me; that I am what I am currently feeling.  I now define emotion as: e-motion = energy in motion.  When I am experiencing a specific emotion, I realize that it is energy moving through my entire being.  It is energy that has been given a name such as happiness, sorrow, anger, etc.  Remembering this helps me release judgement about the nature of that energy.  Energy is energy; it is neither good nor bad; it just is.

As practices for the body and mind (yoga, meditation, healthy eating, exercise, fresh air, loving friends, etc.) have become consistent in my life, my emotions have become more consistent as well.  For the most part, my emotions fit what I am experiencing in the moment.  When each of my parents died, I was deeply sad and grieved.  I was also profoundly grateful that I was with them in their transitions. I was proud to be their daughter. I was also grateful for everything they had given me over the years.  So many emotions flowed during those times and I felt them all. Intense and fulfilling all at once.

In releasing judgement, I view these experiences in terms of intensity.  Seldom is overwhelming happiness described as bad, yet it is every bit as intense as sorrow and can be just as exhausting.  My granddaughter’s birth was so intensely joyful that there were times I didn’t sleep very well.  There were times when I quietly cried for happy.  Intense.

On the other end of the spectrum, I choose not to take in news about things like child abuse because the depth of anger I feel on behalf of these innocents is almost frightening to me.  But is anger always “bad?”  Not in my opinion, because there are many people who have been inspired to acts of bravery because of the anger that arises within them.  Anger and frustration with things I had allowed or created in my life have given me the courage to make very difficult changes.  Intense.

Intensity is seldom comfortable, which is why these energies are judged as bad or unhealthy.  The key, is – guess what? – balance!  It makes more sense to realize that imbalance in the emotional body creates confusion and can be destructive than to set the goal of never feeling these things.  When I feel angry, can I allow myself to be in it in a way that leads me to action, forgiveness or compassion?  If so, I will quickly return to peace and tranquility.  My actions will be appropriate to the situation and to my desire and intention to live lovingly and compassionately.  It is when I avoid and stuff or hide my feelings that my behavior becomes inappropriate and possibly destructive.

Balance is the key. Here are a few reasonable goals:  Feel without being thrown against the wall by the intensity of emotions. Be willing to sit with the discomfort in order to remember that energy in motion does not define me; it is something you are experiencing in the moment.  It will diminish, shift, transform because that is the nature of energy.  Embrace the experience for what it is:  a human experience that does not change or define your True Self, a spiritual being. Be patient and remember that it takes time and maturity to come into this awareness in every aspect of your being: physical, mental, emotional.  You don’t have to change everything at once.  You don’t have to fight yourself and judge yourself.  You do not have to be perfect.  You can be in this moment, experience it, and be all that you are.  You can unfold into True Self as naturally as a healthy tree matures and produces perfect fruit.

One of my favorite responses to myself when I explode into emotional intensity and catch myself in the midst of it is:    Well, Catherine Ann, welcome to the human race!

 

Advertisements

Walter Littlemoon

Walter Littlemoon passed through my life briefly during a time of personal healing and searching. I carry him in my heart and mind because he looked into my soul and knew me. He honored my journey when I didn’t understand it myself. I remember him as a tall, quiet, gentle man of great intelligence and profound compassion. He spoke softly, humbly and taught much with very few words.

Walter Littlemoon was born at Wounded Knee in 1942. Taken from his family at the age of 5, he was forced into a federal government boarding school. His family, language and traditions denied him. I met him in the early 1990’s when he visited  friends in Florida. He graciously conducted sweat lodges without asking for payment of any kind. Money offered in gratitude for his presence and teaching was given to the destitute community of Wounded Knee. His entire life has been dedicated to restoring his people and his land. I sat in stunned silence when he told us he was not supposed to leave the reservation without official permission. How could that be in a free country?!  Fortunately for all of us, Walter answered to a power higher than any government and traveled where Great Spirit led him.

I will not presume to tell his story for I cannot do him or the Lakota people justice. I hope you will search him out on the internet. You will be blessed.

When I told him I was nervous about doing my first sweat lodge (in summer, in Florida), he very lightly touched my shoulder and quietly said, “Trust the Creator. You are meant to be here.” At his touch, a calm peacefulness spread through me and I entered the lodge. Those words have carried me through many challenging life experiences. I could easily feel the sacredness of Walter Littlemoon’s path; he helped me understand the sacredness of my own.

Even as I struggle to share something of my experience with him, I hear his sweet voice, “Trust the Creator. You are meant to be here.”

“Here” is wherever I am in the moment, whatever I am experiencing in the moment. “Here” is all that I have been in the past, all that I am in this moment, and all that I will be in the future. “Here” transcends geography, ethnicity, gender, religion, politics. Let this be your meditation today:

TRUST  THE  CREATOR.    YOU  ARE  MEANT  TO  BE  HERE.

5 Minute Compassion Meditation

Namaste everyone! May you be abundantly blessed as this day unfolds. I am sitting in my rocking chair and re-reading the notes I took while studying an online course titled “ Primordial Sound Meditation.” It is an available through the Chopra Center.

Toward the end of the course is an exercise entitled: Empower Yourself

I stopped and did the 5 Minute practice and knew I wanted to share it. A meditation anyone can do that can benefit the practitioner and others. Oh, the power of 5 minutes! Sit where you can see a clock or set a quiet timer if you like.  Here it is.

Sit comfortable with your hands resting on your heart. Close your eyes. Slow your breath down so that you can feel yourself breathing and you still feel comfortable.

As you inhale, breathe in Compassion for yourself.

As you exhale, breathe out Compassion for others (it might be one in particular or your family, office, country, etc.)

When you finish, sit quietly for a moment and open your eyes. Notice how you feel and allow gratitude.

Blessings!

Appreciation

Appreciation, finely developed, becomes an art form. It is an art form that emerges from a place of Divine Love and Compassion Within. Expressing appreciation allows another person to see and, hopefully, feel your understanding of their effort or experience.

I am thinking about this today because it is almost Memorial Day. For me, Memorial Day fills me with love and gratitude for those who are committed to protecting my country and the freedom that it promises. I am the daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend and former spouse of military personnel. Many of them are or were career military. My appreciation of their desires and sacrifices fills me with a depth of gratitude I find difficult to express. I know their lives because I lived it daily as a family member for the first 49 years of my life.

As a result, when I see a military member, my heart goes out and, if circumstances allow, I quietly approach and express my gratitude for their service even though it never feels as though my words are enough.

I was in an airport last week when I recognized an active duty backpack being carried by a gentleman waiting to board a flight. I lightly touched his arm and, when he turned, I extended my hand and said, “Thank you for your service. Even though I do not always agree with or like the places you are sent, I am always grateful that you go without question and do what you are trained to do. You go where I would not have the courage to go and I know because my father and former spouse were career military.” As he heard my words, his hand gently shaking mine warmed and he thanked me for saying it. Then he stopped and looked more deeply into my eyes and said, “Thank you for your service. You gave every bit as much as they did. And we can’t do it without you.”

Whew! Time stopped. I felt as though I was in one of those movie freeze frames. The full impact of genuine appreciation filled me with such a depth of Oneness with this “stranger” that I felt the presence of the Divine.

So, dear hearts, think about those who serve in the military, law enforcement, and fire department as we approach Memorial Day. Honor those who gave their lives, of course. Also please appreciate those who still do.

Then, day-to-day, pay attention to those who serve in much less obvious ways so that you can become more aware and find ways to express appreciation. It feels absolutely heavenly to be understood and acknowledged! Are you wondering where to begin? Here are a few suggestions: the school or church janitor, the grocery clerk who puts up with lots of fussy people even if you aren’t one, the garbage man. Please remember as well those that you are related to, live or work with, whether you like them or not. Expressing genuine appreciation for the smallest of things can change the course of someone’s day and, perhaps, their life.

I appreciate each of you for taking the time to read this, for those who don’t know me and for those who do. Be blessed and a blessing today. We need one another more than ever. 💫💖

Cosmic Travelers

In the final pages of his book titled The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra comments:

We  are travelers on a cosmic journey – stardust swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. But the expressions of life are ephemeral, momentary, transient. Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, once said,

This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky, rushing by like a torrent down a steep mountain.

We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, lightheartedness, and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then this moment will have been worth while.

This touches my heart and soul. May you feel the beauty of his words and may your heart be light 💫💖

 

You Are In My Thoughts

I have a rattan rocking chair in my bedroom. I just sat down with a cup of coffee to begin my morning quiet time & meditation. All of you who read my blog come to mind as I settle into the moment.

When I think of you, whether I know you or not, I am blessed. This morning I want to send you a blessing in return:

Dear hearts, may your day unfold in peace and ease. May your heart be light as you remind yourself that you are Divinely and Eternally loved. May your need for peace, joy, healing, hope be met. May you be a blessing to those you meet in the course of your day. May you be the one who smiles first for you are Love and Light manifesting in human form. 

Aum shanti, Peace.