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5-Minute Try It: Gifting from the Heart

PURPOSE: To gain access to your deeper wisdom for giving as an expression of love and appreciation.

Minute one: Relax in a setting that inspires you (nature, before a fire, on a meditation cushion…)

Minute two: Connect to the person to whom you want to give. It can definitely be yourself. Visualize yourself or him or her in a brilliant clear scene.

Minute three: Connect to your heart and visualize a flower opening to receive. Connect your person (or yourself as other) to the flower in your heart.

Minute four: Float the question, “What is it that wants to be given to ______ as an expression of my love and appreciation?”

Minute five: Rest in this place allowing inspiration to arise. Continue to breathe, being open and connecting in the heart.

Complete your practice with: A commitment to trust whatever arises will be perfect for this person. Write down what you discover. Bow in generosity.

It’s Been A Year… two weddings and a funeral

There’s a movie by that name, right? Two Weddings and a Funeral? No, it’s Four Weddings and a Funeral. But still, how fascinating to live as a movie, or part of one. Perhaps that statement is more poignant and profound than meets the eye. Moving our attention deeper, down to our heart, breathing into our belly, we glimpse our life in the script of a movie. We gain a whisper of knowing that our life is, in many ways, just a scene on the screen.

When I sit down to write this monthly connection, sometimes I have a clear idea, sometimes there is an inkling of a thought, and sometimes, like today, those ideas and thoughts dissolve into just this moment.

Earlier this morning I sat quietly in sweet stillness with my journal, with my iPhone, with my colored pencils, and a short sip of espresso. (I am beginning a 5-day intermittent fast that allows for one bit of caffeine per day.) Following a thread from my junk email, I happened upon this quote from Peter Brook.

“it takes real skill to stay silent.
a large part of our excessive, unnecessary manifestations come from a terror
that if we are not somehow signaling all the time that we exist,
we will in fact no longer be there…”

Feeling deeply into the above quote, I see, feel and taste the idea of belonging and my fears of not belonging. I see a large part of excessive social media, phone calls, zoom interfacing, conversation comes from a terror that if I am not sharing, reporting, looking and responding to ….. (FB posts, emails, phone calls, the newest free course, insert your favorite) – that I see you, I feel you, I resonate with you – I will in fact no longer belong, be connected to you. Money activates these centers too. Bookmark this point.

Staying silent, being home in my heart, the realization of belonging is ever present and ever bright. But this year, with the urgency and demands of life on that screen, I confess to have lost faith and touch with being and belonging – even as the truth of connection slaps me in my face daily or each minute. Two weddings and a funeral are, in fact, my year. My father passed away in April. My niece married in June. My nephew married in November. In between those events I add … son joining our firm Colman Knight, purchase and ongoing renovation of cottage, devotion to my mother’s well-being, attention to my father’s estate affairs, a teacher’s physical decline, another teacher’s mental decline, just to name a few. My opportunities for silence, space and stillness evaporated. Or, truer, my ability to seek refuge in the real skill of staying silent is weak. My terror of not belonging reaches out, beyond “me”, to you, and others. I am reminded this way is not sustainable, ever.

Today, I wonder into these questions and invite you to do the same, if there is a spark of resonance.

What is it like to just be me?
How do my days unfold in chronic wonder?
Flexing in my totality of goodness, who am I with you? Who are we together?
How do all of the “we’s” love? Express? Create? Contribute?
What’s worth our attention? And how shall we engage action?
How does money weave with these wonderings?

Let’s begin again, and again and again.

Juicy surprises are in the works for Somatic Finance. Glimpse and savor the sections below to learn more. We will experience more funerals and more weddings. Our life is a movie. The precious part is we are the directors, writers, actors and producers. Are you producing a comedy, tragedy, drama or mystery?

A sweet and deep bow of gratitude for you and your presence here. I am connected. I belong. And so do you. Let’s choose to remember always.

Belonging,

 

 

Five-Minute Try-It: Closing the Gap

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PURPOSE: Closing the gap between natural expression and every moment—unsticking ourselves from the mind.

Minute one: Set an intention to respond authentically, spontaneously, nakedly—closing the gap between inspiration and action.

Minute two: Sense your body—kinesthetically—follow the impulse to move—either your entire body or a body part (arm, leg, head).

Minute three: Sense your voice—the gift of sound—allow sound (words, song, vibrations) to flow from your throat.

Minute four: Sense your imagination. Bring a person, thing or being to mind and match the way of your imagination with your body. Become what you imagine.

Minute five: Sense your heart and the spirit of gratitude. Speak out loud or telepathically communicate appreciation for what or who came to mind.

Complete your practice authentically, spontaneously and nakedly. Close the Gap and be surprised!

Don’t Just Stand There. Do something.

Three decades ago, my spouse and I married. Some moments feel like an eternity. Some moments feel like yesterday. Time has a special way of playing with our mind and memories. One such memory is indelibly marked with humor, humility, and horror…

Let me share.

On return from our honeymoon in Germany and Austria, Rich and I stopped at my parent’s home in Belleair Bluffs, Florida, to pack up our wedding gifts and remaining items left at the end of our wedding. Our intimate ceremony was held in my childhood home where my parents lived, and the celebration with friends and family was enjoyed locally. We departed for our honeymoon travels from there. The memory stoking my fire now, took place in my parents’ foyer and their driveway. I was in the foyer packing wedding presents. My father was in the driveway packing the car (for their summer trip to Maine.) Rich innocently lingered, slowly getting familiar with the Knight family ways, and …

As I feverishly organized boxes, gifts, and packing paper for our travel back to Massachusetts, carefully and systematically getting our belongings ready for a trip, Rich stood motionless watching me. After what seemed an eternity, I looked up and snarled, “Don’t just stand there. Do something.” With wisdom he retains to this day, he silently, carefully, walked away.

He ventured outside where my father possessed the same feverish packing energy.  After a few minutes, my father stopped and looked at Rich. Without batting an eye, he declared, “Don’t just stand there. Do something.”

Some of you may be able to relate to the doing doing doing and a numb stalled person “not helping.” Some might be wondering how our marriage survived. Most of you recognize both the desperation of trying to get work accomplished and the innocence of not being present to the urgency caused by our doing culture.

I wish I could say that after three decades I am a recovered doer and life flows like a smooth gorgeous river of ease. There are those moments. And, presently, I am face- to -face with my doing. Instead of admonishing her as a terror or maniac, I am holding her fiercely with loving arms of acceptance, compassion and admiration. Yes, she gets shit done and I bow to her generative nature and powerful heart. With this soft opening, I am able to pause and breathe.

There is no glory in results if you have little left in your reservoir for life. Cultural and familial messages, that pressure us beyond our heart’s knowing, push us away from our real work in the world—our real sanity, our real gifts. As the decade comes to a close, we can pause, stop and drop. In the space of non-doing, breathe. Come into our body. From our deep well of body wisdom we make the best decisions about life.

A few weeks remain in the decade of the 2010s. Seize the completion moments with confidence, grace and intention. In my non-doing space this morning, this declaration appeared for my real work.

Somatic Finance meets a present situation in our modern money culture so that evolution of our species is possible on this planet. I, Gayle, feel joy, confidence, energy, connection and love holding hands with this vision of a humane world where we all belong.

Our real work is a gorgeous balance of doing and being. In this flow of elegant inseparable movement, we make the best decisions about our wealth. We make the best decisions about money. Join me in elegant flow, completing what asks to be completed, grounding in now and opening to new possibilities in a fresh decade of life.

Revealing truth, encouragement, and this,

 

 

Five-Minute Try-It: Matching, Relating, Fusing

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PURPOSE: Open our awareness to our similarities rather than differences. We are much more like each other than different. When we recognize viscerally our similarities, the ability to make progress together – particularly around money – expands.

Minute one: Recognize your magnificence and blessing on this earth. Recognize the magnificence of others.

Minute two: Bring to mind a tree – any type. Root your feet and body. Feel your spine, strength and the ground.

Minute three: Be a Master Martial Artist; move like a master. Try the fluid movement of Aikido.

Minute four: Bring to mind a person who you feel neutral towards. Notice what arises in your body when you relate to them.

Minute five: Bring to mind someone or something you love: open your heart and move with the gestures of this other.

Complete your practice by recognizing our seamless and continuous connections with all others and with all of life.

 

 

What Matters Most

Today I was challenged, by a long-time friend and colleague, to reveal…

• What matters most to me about Somatic Finance, my motivation for giving time and energy to this work, and,
• Intimate and personal feedback from recipients of my work over the years.

One way to answer the above is to frame the conversation in stages of life. My professional training for financial planning ignited in college and my early twenties. For the last four decades I have given my professional life to the work of money through the practices of financial planning; more accurately, Integral Wealth planning. During the same period, recognizing and practicing integral theory, I engaged in other human developmental trainings and practices (somatic meditation, breath and movement, energetic healing) to name a few. Through direct experiential discovery, I realized that all of our life choices are optimized when we include the unique intelligence housed in our body. Even though throughout life our work, play and practices and our body may appear separate, they are not ever separate.

One experience always informs another. We are, in fact, integrated beings. The more I delved into interior practices and exterior manifestations, the more my spirit was stirred to offer my direct experiences and insights for the benefit of others. After all, my motivation when I started at age 22 to become a financial planner and help people make wise financial decisions has never wavered. This motivation remains, in a mature form; I have discovered wise financial decisions did not arise from our brain, but rather from our heart.

All disciplines grow up and mature along with the evolution of our human species. Financial disciplines, the profession of financial planning, are included. In the early 2000’s I understood that the ways of money were limited and needed something more. Through my study, training and engagement of somatic practices, I discovered directly the essence of body intelligence and how this unique wisdom applied to our work in finance. My calling to bring this forward in 2006 has only grown stronger with each step and each breath.

Though crazy to some and weird to others, a few curious beings have received these ideas with a leap of faith and willingness to explore. With growing interest from an evolving culture, it has been deeply satisfying to witness the outcomes of those open and willing and able… to engage in an expanded approach.

By the way, I am careful and very intentional about clarifying that this new way is in addition to the effective and essential financial practices already present. Nothing is taken away. Whatever is working for you, please continue. Body wisdom complements everything that benefits you. Opening to our interior wisdom is kind of like a super-power waiting to be your best friend.

Working with clients, and most recently with a group of seasoned financial professionals, I offer a few paraphrases of communication to me, after engaging in a somatic practice I offered.

There are no words to describe my experience. But each time I am in one your sessions, I am moved deeply. Something happens that enables me to see more and feel more.

You and your work are instrumental in how I show up for clients. Meeting you and receiving your wisdom has been essential to my development as a financial planner. My clients benefit from all that I have learned from my body, taught to me by you.

Whatever is happening, as difficult as it might be, I know to come home to my breath and body. This is the first and most powerful step that allows me to let go of external baggage and allow good decisions to follow.

I learn so much from you that is far more important than all other tools combined. I wanted you to know how important you have been in my life.

As I recall and write these responses from people who are learning to access the wisdom of their body, several thoughts arise.

The first and perhaps most prominent is – none of the wisdom they gain is from me. The appreciation is directed at me and “my work”; however, the beauty and profundity of their experience is all their own. I did very little except create the space, point the way and let them know what is possible if they are willing. While I do not deny my motivation, capacities and wisdom, I am also keenly aware that each of us possess innate wisdom ready to be revealed through somatic practices.

Second, when we touch an aspect of ourselves where fresh wisdom resides – it is often difficult to put into words. We are not familiar with our expansion of insight, coming from within us. Our natural tendency in these situations is to project it outside, hence, appreciations to me for their experience. I am humbled by and receive these points of gratitude, as I clap my hands to encourage further practice.

Third, far more interesting for you, the reader, is to take these words and statements as fuel for your own practice, your own journey. Allow these nuggets to be inspiration for you to get curious about the wisdom your body holds for you. Are you willing to engage practices and seek new intelligence held in your body?

Let me know. I offer my unconditional support, guidance and joy.

Revealing truths and encouragement,

 

 

 

Five-Minute Try-It: Body Appreciation

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PURPOSE: Our body is always present and available to communicate with us about what is nourishing and what is not. Let us attend to this precious instrument, appreciating the wisdom and value it abundantly offers.

Minute one: Notice the entire felt sense of your body. Recognize the inevitability of aging and death. Smile – you and your body are alive!

Minute two: Focus on your feet. Touch your feet with your hands and appreciate that these feet transport you every moment you walk. How are your feet responding to your awareness?

Minute three: Focus on your belly and touch it with your hands. Appreciate that the food you choose to eat passes through your digestive track, extracting nourishment to give you energy. What wisdom does your belly hold?

Minute four: Focus on your heart and touch it with your hands. Appreciate your heart for beating and for pumping blood through your system, keeping you alive and vibrant. What does your heart know?

Minute five: Focus on your arms. Hug your arms. Appreciate your arms that allow you to embrace others. Where do your arms want to hug?

Complete your practice by recognizing the preciousness of your body. Commit to sustained body appreciation and notice how your body responds.