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Tag Archives: Heart Opening


Five-Minute Try-It: Still Calm Spacious

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PURPOSE: To build awareness about the concept of sufficiency and engage a somatic practice that leads to embodied sufficiency.

Minute one: State the word – Sufficiency – out loud several times in different tones and inflections. Notice how sufficiency feels in your body. Do you have a sense of lack? Do you feel ease?

Minute two: Open to the truth of sufficiency by slowing your breath and feeling this moment of stillness. Right here, right now. Access stillness. Be still.

Minute three: In the practice of stillness, calm arises. Breath slows down to a subtle rhythm and presence. Movement is slight, yet your mind is bright.

Minute four: Stillness and calm give way to space. Saturating in stillness and calm, recognize the spacious quality of your mind and body. Space permeates you.

Minute five: Reflect Abide in spacious, still, calm moments.

Complete your practice by recognizing this is Sufficiency. The concept of sufficiency is not just a concept but a way of being. Commit to embodying Sufficiency.

It won’t be Perfect, but it will be Better

08/08/2019

Six months ago, a dear friend who lives thousands of miles away, a gifted potter who began her passion later in life, sent me two gorgeous pieces. The five-inch green square and three-inch blue rectangle sat on my desk receiving my admiration. One day last month in a hectic frenzy they fell to the ground. The five-inch square broke into three pieces.

I can fix this. I moved the ceramic to another table for repair… when I had more time.

Today, after confirming plans to connect with my potter friend, it was time. Gorilla glue, rubber bands, wet paper towel, dry rag and toothpicks—the damaged tray and I consummated the repair. The work was not hard, but the result was not pretty. In a focused but “need to get done” state of mind, the repair broke apart—three pieces became five.

Though not headed in the direction I intended, the phrase, it’s not perfect, but it will be better came to mind. I glued unskillfully. I did not pay close attention to how the ceramic pieces fit together, and the last two broken parts did not fit in the tray. No problem. Let me glue this together with my creative juices, and with my new teaching: it is not perfect, but it will be better. And it is. The tray is glued back together. Not perfect, but better. (See below for a capture of my creative expression.)

All too often, our efforts seek perfection. Our brilliant minds create ideas about what we want, and that want gets amplified with a concept of perfection— often unrealistic perfection. Perfection misses delicious sideroads, off-the-trail surprises, and spontaneous potentials. Perfection grasps. Perfection clings. Perfection excludes. Perfection exhausts.

Sometimes, all the situation requires is better. Better offers us a way in, a deeper breath, a warm space. Better is better. Better allows us elbow room and with that openness comes perspective. The work of money is a perfect place, pun intended, to explore the idea of not perfect, but better.

Let’s move in with a metaphor. What happens if we view the mountain top as perfection? What happens to the ascent and descent of the climbing experience? How long can we stay at the top of the mountain and survive boredom, hunger, weather? Often in our money journey we seek a top (usually retirement) attached to a number. We might miss the ascent—spending on current life experiences, saving for the future, and giving generously. In the process of accumulating and navigating money flow and growth, we might miss our “better.”

You may recall the well-known phrase and teaching called, the myth of arrival. This idea of perfection will be experienced when this _________ (fill in the blank) manifests. At the top may occur the myth of arrival experience, and the glow of achievement begins to fade. This is perfect! I can see for miles and miles, from here to eternity—the horizon beckons me! And then, just like that, we begin a descent. We fail to recognize that on the descent – spending, saving and giving are the same activities held with fresh eyes. Is climbing down a mountain a problem?

With better, when we know that we cannot make a mistake, we gain access to better decisions. Most harmful decisions come from the belief that there is only one right answer. Right answers close down curious possibilities. When we finally make a decision with a “right answer,” the ability to change is near impossible because we were seeking the perfection of that one right answer.

Now, as this missive comes to a close, consider better in an open curious way. Consider how better might be best. Consider what possibilities might emerge in decisions when we soften the grip of “right” in service of … restorative, rejuvenating, replenishing, revitalizing, revolutionary, reverent.

My repaired ceramic mishap does not appear perfect, but it is definitely better than broken or discarded. And I love it!

                     

Bettering life,

 

 

 

 

Five-Minute Try-It: Feel Truth in the Body

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PURPOSE: To build a more intimate and honest relationship with your body. Practice learning what truth feels like for simple statements, building muscles to be applied to more complex matters such as money.

PREPARATION: You need five minutes, space to put your body in, and the willingness to listen closely to your body.

Minute one: Name three truths and three falsehoods. Do not fret for the “right statements” – spontaneously allow them to emerge. Write them down if it helps to remember.

Minute two: Stand, feel your feet on the ground, spine elongated, top of the head reaching to the sky. Select the three truths and state them out loud. Note, these do not need to be profound – eye color, favorite food and movie will do. Notice what truth feels like in your body.

Minute three: Remain standing. Speak your falsehoods out loud. State them clearly and loudly one at a time. Notice what a lie feels like in your body. Compare and contrast the feeling to your previous experience. (Hint: notice breath, tension and constriction).

Minute four: Return to your truth statements. State them out loud again. Pay close attention to the distinct and subtle body imprints that signal truth.

Minute five: Recognize and register at least one body feeling of truth and one body feeling of falsehood to build your body-truth relationship.

Complete your practice by abiding in body-truth. Commit to building your body-truth relationship in service of embodying Sufficiency.

 

5-Minute Try It: Straws and Other Plastic

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PURPOSE: To gain awareness of our planet, and in particular marine life that struggles with human plastic use.

PREPARATION: Ask yourself, am I open to learning and seeing a new perspective? If so, watch my rant with an open heart and mind. Then, begin your own practice following these steps.

Minute one: Arrange your posture as described in Belly-Heart-Spine 5 Minute Try-It (click here for audio file.)

Minute two: Centering your body, reflect on this wonder question: hmmm, I wonder how my use of plastic serves me? Hmm, I wonder how my use of plastic serves others?

Minute three: Allow answers to arise. Return to centering, reflect on this wonder question: hmmm, I wonder how my use of plastic harms me? Hmm, I wonder how my use of plastic harms others?

Minute four: Allow answers to arise. What sensations (movement, pressure, temperature) arise in your body offering new information about the use of plastic? Allow new insights to arise.

Minute five: Reflect on this wonder question: hmmm, I wonder what new behavior around plastic would better serve others, the world and me.

Complete your practice by integrating your new insights and committing to a new relationship with plastic.

5-Minute Try It: Connect

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PURPOSE: To practice and gain mastery of connection in the flow of presencing, connect and play. Connection is the immediacy of attention.

PREPARATION: Now. This is it!

Minute one: Begin with presencing for as long as you feel.

Minute two: Connect with what is arising right now. Give attention without judgment, evaluation, or desire.

Minute three: Repeat.

Minute four:  Repeat.

Minute five: Repeat.

Complete your practice by recognizing connection is this moment of giving attention. Simple and profound.

5-Minute Try It: Presence. Connect. Play.

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PURPOSE:  Life begins with presence, the ability to be completely here with whatever is arising. This month we begin a series of practices that align with a vibrant way of orienting to life developed by Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D. We experience a taste of Presence. Connect. Play.- with our hands to become familiar with the practice. In the following weeks, we will unpack each aspect of this practice and bring it all together at the end.

PREPARATION:  Get willing to open and move through the world in a more joyful engaging way.

Minute one: Bring your non-dominant hand in front of you and begin to saturate it with attention. Notice the sensations that arise in your hand as you give curious attention to your hand.

Minute two: Engage your other hand by bringing it up closer to your first hand. Compare and contrast the felt sense of each hand. Allow your hands to move from presence to connecting.

Minute three: Notice how the feelings in your hands shift as they connect and relate to each other. Continue to connect your hands until there is a natural spontaneous arising to play.

Minute four: Allow your hands to move together and “play”. See what arises in spontaneous movement and connection. Notice how your attention retains presence as connection and play continue to spiral deeper.

Minute five: Deepen your practice using your hands with presencing, connecting and playing so that you retain the basic flow of this natural practice.

Complete your practice by presencing your hands, connecting your hands, and committing to engage in this activity for a month to build a basic muscle of presencing, connecting and playing.

 

5-Minute Try It: Appreciation…

PURPOSE: To become familiar with giving appreciation attention and how to practice spontaneous gratitude for others.

PREPARATION: Make a declaration to expand appreciation space. Then, commit to appreciating others when the inspiration arises.

Minute one: Get willing to appreciate with action. Wonder… hmmm, I wonder how I want to appreciate.

Minute two: Bring your attention to your heart and identify where appreciation lives in your body. What are the movements and sensations that accompany appreciation? Hint: usually tingles, sparky nudges, lightness, and smiles.

Minute three: Turn off your “judger” and begin spontaneous appreciation coming from those body nudges. Express out-loud: “I appreciate _________________” (fill in the blank). There is no formula or right/wrong.

Minute four:  Ramp up your appreciation by letting loose and not holding back. Have fun expressing gratitude and notice how it feels in your body to appreciate.

Minute five:  Self-appreciate doing this practice and notice that appreciating yourself or another has similar effects – generating appreciation space.

Complete your practice by committing to expanding your expression of appreciation in thoughts, words and deeds. Think gratitude. Write gratitude. Speak gratitude. Act with gratitude. Do kind deeds.