It For those of you that may be aware, I just returned from the Himalayan Institute, where I facilitated a training for children's yoga teachers to be for Yogachild. An awesome experience , but glad to be home with my ever-loving sidekick with four legs.
If you are anything like me, whenever you are able to experience a seminar, or are in learning/teaching mode, it gets the brain going, and also reiterates things you know but aren't always at the forefront-or things that are overlooked .
We teach "whole Body Listening" as part of our curriculum. (You may, or may not be saying wait-how is that possible, my ears are on my head?) But, I am hoping that you have an inkling of the actual meaning of the phrase. There are six ways to listen with your whole body....
1. Your Eyes, to look at the person, and REALLY SEE them
2. Your Heart, to EMPATHIZE with what they are saying
3. Your Body, to be STILL and hold the space
4. Your Ears to actually HEAR what the person is saying
5. Your Hands, to GESTURE that you hear them
6. Your Mind to really FOCUS on and process what is being said
You could also add your Mouth, to be quiet, while they say their words.
We all have an inherent need to be seen and heard. It validates to us that we matter, that others want to hear what we have to say. It feels good. It gives a sense of belonging.
Take that out into the world, and in this modern incarnation, it is not happening very often. Imagine going out to visit with an old friend. You are so excited, and have so much to say. When you come together, it doesn't go that way. Words are said, and while that is happening, there is not eye contact. You say something and the friend glosses right over, not acknowledging what you have to say. They are constantly on their phone, flipping through pictures, and social media. Simply put, It does not feel good, and yes it has actually happened to me- and it downright sucks! It made me want to scream "don't you hear me?"; and made me feel like I didn't matter-it hurt.
Perhaps, you finally get angry, or just shut down. And it seems to be more and more the norm. People will be in the same space, yet you wouldn't even know by the body language, the constant presence of the devices we all carry around, and the apparent lack of actual connection. It's kind of like the teller at the bank that asks how your day is going......it is just words without true connection most of the time. Just watch the people you observe out in public, it is epidemic. We are all guilty, I think, to some degree of empty "conversation" without connection.
Humans are social creatures. We thrive when we are in groups, especially of like-minded individuals. It supports our inner being, and having your words heard on a deeper level, activates those feel good hormones. The heart and mind connection is strengthened. Especially for the generation of children that are watching the behavior we adults emulate, we must make the effort to take the time to make your conversations meaningful. We are all busy, but the pause you take is pregnant with possibility to see each other, really see. To stop, be still, put down the cell and look into the eyes of the person that may really have something important to say or emotions to release, and hold space for their words. Focus on them, nothing else really matters in that moment. You might think that it is insignificant, but to the "other" it is monumental. Imagine a not being truly there for someone, and then them passing on. Being present for each other is a gift of shared experience. It will enrich your day to day relationships, and the more you do it, the more it will become your way of being.
To quote Baba Ram Dass-
"Be Here Now"
It's all you got.
The Moon. Mysterious, magical, beautiful moon. We are pulled by it's tides, and they impact both our way of behaving and emotions. We are about to experience what is being hailed as "the Eclipse of Our Lifetimes." There is a sense of apprehension, the electricity in the air is tangible. And just because you cannot visually see it, doesn't mean you won't feel or be effected by the sheer power of this one.
It is said in the Wise Woman Tradition, "As Above, So Below." and what is happening in the heavens manifests here on Earth. And right now, there are some pretty significant players lining up in the sky to create challenges, changes, and catalysts. Take a walk outside, watch the news, you'll see what I mean...…..interactions, have been, interesting to say the least.
This eclipse is in my sign, Aquarius. And, I am finding directional changes in the past 48 hours, literally hour by hour. It has been rapid fire, with nothing to do, really, follow it. Aquarius, the mover and shaker is ruled by Uranus, and their cold, changeable nature asks us to release and be unattached, while the Sun in Leo energy pushes us to bravely accept those upheavals. Mercury is retrograde, and it is letting me, and I am guessing you, to see what isn't working as we revisit it and decide to let go.
You may also be noticing a lot of anger, violence, and events of upheaval due to the red planet Mars. Notate all the fires and natural disasters, that are really exploding all over the planet? Mars is raising the fire under us, and it is testing our mettle to stay steady, and burning off what is illusory.
We are very fortunate to live in such a time, and we are here to help hold the light, and heal each other, and through the challenges we are being presented with, allow ourselves to grow. We have to do the work. Growth is painful, uncomfortable, and we fear change, but ultimately the shadow of eclipse asks us to look at the shadow of both ourselves and humanity so that we can come into the Light on the other side. Seriously, the struggle is real!
During this eclipse, EDT approximately 3:00-5:30 p.m. I recommend that you stay indoors. Pregnant women especially. It is said to fast several hours prior, and not to drink water during. (Think about the reflection of the moon) Sit in quiet meditation, perhaps light some candles and incense. Vedic scholars recommend chanting a mantra, such as one to the Supreme Light, which follows below. If not, simply sit in silence and listen to your inner voice. Afterwards, take a ritual bath with Epsom salt and lavender. Use this eclipse to find stillness in a world that is out of control, a time that is confusing, to connect to the Collective Consciousness so that we may light the way...….Peace With Ourselves, Peace with Each Other, Peace for the World.
"OM HREEM HAMSA SO'HAM SWAHA"
A story broke locally here the other day about Pen State University's Outing Club no longer being allowed outside based on a "descision" by administration, and "deemed to be to dangerous." Going down the rabbit hole of information on the web, the press that they are receiving is based on oodles of paperwork to be sure of student safety, proper protocols for health and safety, a no alcohol policy, and more. And while these seem obvious inclusions to any rock climbing or kayaking expedition, more and more frequently it seems like the great outdoors and the education it gives us is moving further out of our reach.
This is troublesome in so very many ways to me, for many reasons. One-it creates detachment from the Earth, her wonders, beauty. And HOW to keep her healthy. If folks don't see what is happening , they can turn a blind eye to environmental issues. Two, our children are being raised with, to quote a favorite author Richard Louv, "Nature Defecit Disorder" They are being disconnected from the natural world and the benefits it offers by spending time outdoors. Children that are exposed to green spaces. show enhanced cognitive development, Allowing exploration outdoors gives a chance to see science in action. Being barefoot in the grass, standing among the trees has been shown to reduce stress hormones and boost immunity. In a world where a young boy has been quoted in the above book to say his "favorite place is indoors because that's where all the plugs are" that is pretty huge. Most humans spend 90% of their time indoors.....that is saying something, and it doesn't bode well. Indoors we are being deprived of something miraculous . Getting dirty , being exposed to the panacea of natural organisms in the soil strengthen the immune system. Climbing, hiking and exploring build physical strength. Looking for rocks teaches geology, and foraging for plants shows the medicine and food that exist right in our backyard .
Fear of injury ( or the lawsuit that can follow) on an outdoor excursion, the unpredictability of environmental conditions, or the disease of our age-"busy" are taking us away from the healthiest prescription we can give ourselves.....a large dose of vitamin Nature.
Its healthy, it will make you happier, and....its free. A gift for us all. The acceptance is our choice.
My musings as I travel around the sun in this lifetime. I am fortunate beyond words to experience life as it comes to me. The people I meet, the experiences I have, all are my teachers. I write about nature, healing with the medicine that Panchamama offers us in the Wise Woman traditions, our children for they are the future, and how we can show them a better way through a reconnection to the Earth we all share.