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Posts Tagged ‘Toning the OM’

Embracing the Quiet

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

I have come to terms with doing less and being more. I have written so many things in my head that have not made their way to the page. I have come to terms with spending the past year being in the moment. While I have appreciated seeing or reading about many people being so productive this past year (learning a new skill or cleaning out rooms or closets), I have spent the last 12 months listening and tending to myself.

Instead of keeping busy, I have been quiet. With less meetings, events, baseball games, nights out, vacations, or people to get together with, my schedule became empty—and I chose to not fill it. Rather, I studied the birds out my window. And watched the starlings leave the pine tree when it became invaded by grackles. I watched the cherry trees bloom from the bare branches to large pink flowers. I marveled at the squirrels leaping from tree to tree as the great chase became a daily comedy show. I lingered with my morning coffee enjoying the ever-changing sky. Unable to read novels most of last year, I found myself downloading podcasts and binge-watching television shows. At first, I felt guilty about my inability to read, write, or facilitate (on-line) workshops. And I made the mistake of comparing myself to other people who seemed to be doing so much. Yet, friends shared that they felt just as alone and scared during this time.

I was feeling so much grief about losing people I knew to the virus, working alone in my dining room for hours, staying inside, and the loss of not seeing family and friends. In The Wild Edge of Sorrow, Francis Wheeler writes, “Grief also reveals the undeniably reality of our bond with the world…We need grief in order to heal these traumas and make sense of a world turned upside.”

I needed grief to show me the way out and show the way in. I needed this quiet time to connect me to grace and God. And I needed to embrace the quiet within myself. Am not sure what this time will mean to me years from now or what lessons it will have given me. But I know that I have appreciated the small things, like long walks, songbirds, books, my sister’s homemade meals, and the need to not rush anywhere. For now, the quiet feels like a homecoming. And for today, I am embracing the quiet.

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Tears + Geckos – A Wild Cosmic Heart Journey

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Seven years ago, I began planning a week-long retreat that would take place on the Big Island of Hawaii. I wanted to spend a week exploring our wild cosmic heart. I had no idea that a week before the retreat a hurricane would sweep the East Coast. I had no idea that three weeks before the retreat I would have medical appointments and not feel well. I had no idea that my heart would feel so heavy and raw.

In November of 2012 as I prepared to leave for my flight, I thought of canceling – of staying home to help family and friends affected by the storm. I thought about how I would reschedule my medical appointments that were canceled due to the power outages from the hurricane. I thought about volunteering somewhere to help hurricane victims who lost everything.

When I asked friends if I should still lead the retreat, they all gave the same answer – YES. I listened and took an 11-hour flight to Hawaii. I arrived exhausted and anxious. When I arrived at my room, two large geckos were awaiting me. I barley slept my first night and, in the morning, I met with the Group Manager. She greeted me with a big hug and my eyes filled with tears.

As the week continued I knew I was in the right place (not only because it was Hawaii). I met so many people willing to explore their hearts. I met people who were open to being seen and heard. I met people who were willing to be vulnerable. As I sat and listened to the retreat participants, I became more in awe of the many people who live their life celebrating and tending to their wild cosmic heart.

I met Louise whose husband was dying of brain cancer. I met Yolanda who celebrated her 75th birthday with friends and a group of strangers. I watched Tina snorkel with joy as she swam in the warm ponds. I smiled as Angela took her first hula class. I listened to Francine remember that she can drum and sing. I took a picture of Susan sitting in her shamanic earth mandala, which she made in the roots of a huge tree. I laughed with Lisa in the water, like a teenager with the giggles.

Most of all, I remember that my heart felt open and grateful. I realized that when I open and invite others into my heart, the world expands. Many in the our sacred circle were longing for connection, community, and belonging. The Wild Cosmic Heart Retreats offers just that — deep connections through guided meditations, mindfulness walks around trees, shamanic journeying to the garden of the heart, and sacred play. In the midst of worry and responsibility, participants from around the world were willing to drop the armor around their heart.

I even befriended the Geckos, known to me as Heckle and Jeckle. The retreat was so powerful that I have taught it again and again. And this November, I will be facilitating the Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat at Kalani on the Big Island of Hawaii, November 4-10, 2018. Join us for a week of daily meditations, mindfulness walks in the luscious tropics, shamanic journeying, and homemade ice cream! What is your wild cosmic heart asking of you?

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