peace

Practicing Silence in a Noisy World

Practicing Silence in a Noisy World

I’m being tested.

Earlier this week I listened to an online class that I signed up for to help me deepen my skills as a SoulCollage® facilitator.

This role is so different from when I did presentations for kids with my dachshund, Frankie. Kids are so open for the most part, and haven’t yet been conditioned into how they should think. While I saw myself doing workshops for women someday even when doing my work with Frankie, I didn’t know at the time exactly how that would play out.

It’s a whole new experience for me even though I’ve done quite a few workshops now. But I continue to learn, and most of all I continue to wish to be the very best I can be as a facilitator so that I’m providing a safe container for which others can explore their creative consciousness.

Listening to the instructor, Selene, a psycotherapist and fellow SoulCollage® facilitator, she talked about how everyone is different when it comes to tapping into their creative consciousness.  While some need silence, some need to be chattering to distract their cognitive mind.

She went on to say that this then becomes a practice for those who wish to be in silence because the fact is there is always noise in our world. I’d never really thought of that before, but it made sense. To be in silence within when there is noise around you and not let it distract or bother you is certainly a practice.

I’ve really been thinking about that and of course, as it usually goes when one begins to give something deep thought, it seems you are presented with situations to put this into practice.

This morning as I moved through my yoga routine, listening to a soothing, instrumental, meditative station on Pandora. all of a sudden I was yanked out of my calm and serene space when a commercial interrupted – and it was so jarring. I silently cursed Pandora for not having sent me an email letting me know my subscription had run out so I could have perhaps prevented this intrusion from happening (a subscription means you avoid the commercials).

But then I remembered what Selene said and I realized I was being called to practice being in silence among the blaring commercial ads as if they weren’t there – a conscious shift to not be annoyed or let that shake me from my calm and quiet foundation.

And then I was tested again. After returning from an errand, I came home to find a crew of landscapers working in the neighbor’s yard. They are still here. And with them they brought loud machinery. I began to feel my insides tense up and feelings of being annoyed begin to surface again, along with feeling like my personal space was being invaded as they are right outside my writing cottage.

And then I remembered again….to go within to that silent place of my own even with all the workers and noise right outside my window. This is going to take practice I must say. But I’ll bet that if one can truly do this then that is, ah, yes, the ultimate peace. I’m working on it!

Namaste.

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Wisdom of Healing from Mourning Dove

By embracing love, instead of fear, we become an example of the compassion and strength needed to help change the world. Peace was never won with violence and faith has never been met with darkness. Let us share hope with others through our intention to make the world a better place, one moment and one action at a time. ~Louise Hay

I woke with a heavy heart today. As an empath, I have to be careful that I don’t surround myself with too much anger or negativity. It does not mean that I’m ignorant to what is transpiring in our world, but in order for me to be my best self and serve the greater good in what I believe can add to the world in a positive way, I have to not get caught in a downward spiral of anger or fear.

And this means sometimes separating myself from the anger and fear, and doing the work I need to do to keep myself in balance. I don’t always remember to do this and can get caught up in the fear of which I found myself beginning to spiral down into this morning.

Lost is this whirl of emotions I was feeling, I glanced out onto my deck to see two mourning doves. To me, they represent love and peace – and my heart lightened realizing this powerful message that I needed to be reminded of in that moment.

Researching further into their symbolism I found this:  But far from representing death, the symbolism of mourning doves gives us optimism with its spirituality. Beyond their sorrowful song is a message of life, hope, renewal and peace.

While there is so much poison of fear being spread wide and far these days, I still hold onto hope, even when it’s hard, and I feel it quite heavy in my heart, and all I want to do is not function.

I had a choice this morning – I could let my heavy heart lead for the day – or I could work through my feelings to help them to begin to shift. The mourning doves were that needed symbol for me.

Taking a moment to expand on this, I sat down and picked two oracle cards for the day, plus one of my SoulCollage® cards. They were further confirmation of what I needed in working through all my feelings.

From The Nature-Speak Oracle – Rose – Love & Healing:  The appearance of rose, indicates an opening of the heart and the ability to touch the hearts of others. Your ability to express love now has great healing potentials – for yourself and others.

From Wisdom for Healing – Observe Your Conversations: Observe the conversations you engage in today. Are they productive or mean-spirited? Are they filled with gossip or stimulating information? Your goal: to recognize the quality of information you feed your mind each day.

My SoulCollage® card: This card represents peace and honor to me. Striving for peace and honoring that in myself and helping others to find that within themselves, which means I have to (and want to) be that example.

While I kept gradually shifting back into the space of my own truth and what I believe, yet another sign appeared from a friend who posted this image this morning saying: This is the month of love. I’m tired of all the anger and I think the we need more love!

And so it is.

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Finding a Soft Place to Land

Finding a Soft Place to Land

Something came even more fully into my awareness this past weekend with all that is happening in our world right now.

While I knew this in many ways about myself, it has in one sense caused me great inner angst the past three days, it has also challenged me to dig even deeper into what my values are – and how I can use my gifts to instill change, and do my part in helping create more lasting peace.

I didn’t join the women’s march in my local area. Instead, I listened to the coverage. I also tuned into the inauguration, and with both, I did so with an open mind. And honestly, I had so many emotions watching both, some feelings whirling quite wildly, some confused, some saddened, some worried, some frightened, some concerned, some angry, and even among all those emotions, I still felt hope.

And I’m still feeling hope, but also many of the mixed feelings remain too – and I’m striving for a soft place to land in my heart. This, I know, I’m not alone in. I’ve struggled with how to share my feelings here on my blog, or if I even wanted to. Afraid of confrontation, but yet, feeling called to express myself in a way that feels right for me.

I applaud each and every person on this planet that exercises their right to speak their truth with respect and honor. This – respect and honor – kept coming up for me time and time again over the weekend – how these two values, so important to me, were present in many passionate speeches on Saturday with the coverage of the women’s march, but sadly in some cases, weren’t – well, at least, I should say, from my point of view. In part, I was disappointed with myself for thinking how could I be so naïve?  We are all human – and we are all deeply flawed – and I absolutely include myself in this.

I find myself struggling with not wanting to fall into judgement because for the truth that we indeed are all flawed. The great angst for me, and what has come more fully into view, is how very sensitive I really am to all that is coming undone, which for me means that tears come easily and often.

I realized that I had, and will continue to, process all of these emotions. And this is key I believe that we each have to do what feels right for each of us in helping us move through this unsettling time.

The call – more urgent now than ever for each of us to dig in and go within, find our voice, and express it in a way in which we feel most confident….and finding a way in which we can find that soft place to land within our hearts for reflection, renewal, and moving back out into the world again each day.

One thing I did after watching the inauguration was to tune into a prayer vigil offered by a fellow SoulCollage® facilitator.

She, a spiritual mentor, gathered together a reverend, another who practices Native American tradition, and another open to many views of faith – plus anyone else on the call who wished to offer up thoughts, prayers, or meditation—all with different backgrounds and of all colors. It was so soothing to my soul, and helped me to release much negative and worried energy that was feeling stuck, and was pulling me downward, draining me.

And it’s my hope that others will find a way in which to go inward, whether in prayer, or meditation, or walking in nature, or whatever it may be – but something to bring you back to center – to ground you – so that we move forward, and continue to, in conscious, passionate, helpful, positive thought and not anger, blame or shame.

I also found solace in shamanic teacher and visionary Sandra Ingerman thoughts:

“We must experience all the feelings coming up for us and then we must do our spiritual work to hold the light. Otherwise we have no power to create positive change. Let us stand together and shine.
I know what I am asking is not easy.
But we cannot feed the anger, hate, and separation. What we feed grows!

This was, at that moment when I read this, a soft place for me to land and simmer in for a moment, but I know it isn’t going to remain – it will ebb and flow —and that is where I believe the real work is – to revisit it often and find a way to work through our own inner turmoil.

There should be no judgement on whether one marched or did not, or that it makes one less than or not…though that is the dark side of what comes up as I’ve, and many others, have been witnessing in some of the news outlets and social media. Though to be fair, there is so much good being expressed too and those are the places and people I find solace and solidarity with to keep moving forward in a positive direction.

This is our chance to practice true peace – true humanity – in that we each have something of value to offer — whether you marched or not, agree or disagree with our current president — but to practice kindness and peace with each and every person you come in contact with — and to do our very best to really open, become aware, and really listen to each other.

Whether we stand together as so many on Saturday did, or we stand within our own sacred space as one, holding the collective energy of wanting true and lasting peace for all, it all matters, and makes a difference. And I really do believe we all truly want the same thing.

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