Category Archives: women’s health

Today's Lessons

Get up and do something first thing in the day.

Be active.

Be motivated by love.

Don’t be silent anymore.

Simplify life — remove whatever and whoever does not inspire, inform, add personal value and friendship, or provide a needed service

Clean it up, and make it easy to keep clean.

There will always be more things to learn and do as the day progresses, but you have to start somewhere.

Open

Keep your Heart Open

Keep your heart open even when you can’t have what you want. It’s easy to keep our heart open to life’s magic and all its possibilities when we have what we want. It’s more of a challenge, and more necessary than ever, to keep our hearts open when we can’t have what we want.

Even on the best journey, things happen. Plans change. Things shift and move around. This shifting and moving causes doors to close, relationships to end, blocks and frustrations to appear on our path. For now, that is what we see. For now, what we know is disappointment. We can’t have what we want, and it hurts. When that happens, our tendency may be to shut down, close our hearts, forget all we’ve learned.

Keep your heart open anyway. Consciously choose to do that. Yes, you can go away, you can leave, you can shut down, but you don’t need to. Now is a turning point. If you choose to open your heart, even when you can’t have you want, miracles will unfold.

For now, remember this. Even though you don’t have what want you right now, keep your heart open anyway. Later, you’ll see more. You’ll see how it worked out. How it needed to be just so.

– Melody Beattie,  Journey to the Heart


Powerful

See how Powerful You Are

Although we know there is much in life we can’t control, we also know we have the power to think, to feel, to choose, and to take responsibility for ourselves and our lives. We’re discovering our creative powers, and our power to love, including our power to love ourselves. We’ve embraced our power to grow, to change, to move forward. We know we have the power to claim our lives and take responsibility for ourselves in any situation life brings. Although life may deal us certain hard blows, we’ve learned to see beyond that. We see life’s beauty, gifts, and lessons, and its mysterious and sometimes magical nature.

Now, our journey has led us someplace else. We know we have powers; we know we have choices. And we no longer need to be right. Just free.

See how powerful you are!

– Melody Beattie,  Journey to the Heart

Resistance

We sometimes resist new lessons. And what we resist the most is likely to be what we most need to learn.

Our lessons usually come with inner conflict. The action we should be taking, the idea we should be learning is sometimes hidden behind a wall of resistance. There’s a border, a barrier we need to cross to get into the heart of the lesson. Most times, that barrier is within us. Lessons require us to let go of old feelings, old beliefs. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be lessons. We’d already know them. Sometimes, the very thing we feel guiltiest about doing, the place we’re most resistant to visiting, the person we’re most convinced we shouldn’t contact, or the behavior we’re tormenting ourselves most about is exactly what we need to be doing.

And more often than not, the lesson we’re learning is not what we think it is. We need to embrace the surprise element of life —  embrace the mystery of life as it unfolds, as the lessons appear, as we grow and change.

Do what you need to do to break through your
resistance. Often that means simply seeing your
resistance for what it is. Remember that the point
of greatest resistance is often the place of greatest
learning.

— Melody Beattie,  Journey to the Heart

Cherish

Cherish Today’s Lessons

“I’m brokenhearted about my divorce”, the man said. “I’ve spent four years searching for a new wife, trying to recreate my family, trying to jam the pieces of the picture back in place. All I’ve gotten from my desperate search is more pain and anguish. It’s hurt other people. It’s hurt me. I’m tired of trying to manipulate other people to meet my own needs, to postpone my own grief.”

Some of us may be desperately trying to recreate the life we once had. Desperation attracts desperation. Pain attracts pain. And so the downward spiral goes. Yes, loss hurts. Sometimes life hurts, too. But loss can’t be negotiated. Becoming obsessed with putting the pieces back in place is an understandable reaction, but it won’t work. Yesterday cannot be superimposed on today. We need to go one step further.

Feel the obsession, and let it go. Feel the desperation, then release that. Come back to the lessons of today. They’re different from the lessons of yesterday, but just as valuable.

We face many losses along the way. People we love disappear from our lives; we may lose a career, money, or something else we valued. We can lose our dreams, too. But looking for quick replacements as a way to avoid feeling pain about the loss won’t work. And we’ll miss the lessons. Before we can go on, we must feel our sadness about what we lost. Losses demand acceptance.

Eventually life will send you new people and
new dreams. Cherish this time to grow and learn.
Cherish what the universe is teaching you now.

— Melody Beattie,  Journey to the Heart

Transcend Your Limitations

Transcend Your Limitations

You’re free now, free to take the journey of a lifetime. Free to experience life, in its newness, its freshness, its magic– in a way you never have before.

The only limitations on you are the ones you’ve placed on yourself. Your prison has been of your own making. Don’t blame or chastise yourself. Life has created certain challenges for you. The purpose has been to set you free, to provide you with lessons, experiences, circumstances that would trigger growth and healing. Life has been provoking, promoting, urging you to grow, stretch, learn, heal. Life has been trying to break you out of your prison.

Set yourself free. Let yourself go on a journey of love. Take notes. Be present. Experience. Learn. Love and laugh, and cry when you need to. Rest when you’re tired. Take a flashlight to help you see in the dark. But most of all, take yourself and go.

Go on your journey of joy.

— Melody Beattie, Journey to the Heart

Meditation Garden — Inspirations

meditation garden from http://www.talesoftheearth.com/

Because of their abilities to heal, sacred landscapes provide inspiration for the design of gardens in therapeutic health-care environments. Gardens designed for contemplation and healing are likely to be most effective and responsive to the needs of its users when the elements of the sacred landscape are applied. The following design elements constitute such a landscape:


Being of favorable context –
it is sited to take advantage of positive attributes,
and mitigate negative effects
receiving auspicious life-forces
given by the earth, sun and moon;
It is contained – a distinctive form in space,
a distinct space surrounded by form;
It is coherent – clearly defined and ordered
to help things make sense;
It is composed – enabling one to pay attention;
It has clarity – made simple in format
to help develop concentration and insight.
It is an artistic expression of contemplation –
quiet and light inside,
enabling one to listen to the heart sing.

Being of favorable context, the sacred landscape is located in an auspicious setting. It mitigates potentially negative effects, and takes advantage of the environmental attributes of its location, gifts offered by the earth, waters and skies, the sun, moon and stars.


“At a true site…there is a touch of magic and light.
How so, magic?
Here the breath gathers and the essence collects.
Light shines in the middle and magic goes out on all sides.
Try to understand!
It is hard to describe!”

So, I’m thinking of turning an available space in my back yard into a meditation garden… anyone have interesting inspirations, ideas for what should go into a meditation garden space, etc? I’m thinking California natives for the plants, and looking for good ideas for seating, lighting, arranging the space, etc… all thoughts, ideas, comments, photos of nice spaces, etc welcome!

You Learn

You Learn

You learn.

After a while you learn the subtle difference

between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

and company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts

and presents aren’t promises,

and you begin to accept your defeats

with your head up and your eyes open

with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

and you learn to build all your roads on today

because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans

and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn

that even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,

instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure.

That you really are strong.

And you really do have worth.

And you learn. And learn.

With every good-bye you learn.

– Jorge Luis Borges

via whiskey river.

Soul Connection

A soul connection is a resonance between two people who respond to the essential beauty of each other’s individual natures, behind their facades, and who connect on this deeper level. This kind of mutual recognition provides the catalyst for a potent alchemy. It is a sacred alliance whose purpose is to help both partners discover and realize their deepest potentials. While a heart connection lets us appreciate those we love just as they are, a soul connection opens up a further dimension — seeing and loving them for who they could be, and for who we could become under their influence. This means recognizing that we both have an important part to play in helping each other become more fully who we are.

Someone who loves us can often see our soul potential more clearly than we can ourselves. When this happens, it has a catalytic effect; it invites and encourages dormant, undeveloped parts of us to come forth and find expression. Indeed, we are often most strongly attracted to those who we sense “will make us live — and die — more intensely… Sister souls recognize each other.”, as the French writer Suzanne Lilar points out. A soul connection not only inspires us to expand, but also forces us to confront whatever stands in the way of that expansion.

— John Welwood, “Love and Awakening”

I’ve known two men who I loved deeply who both told me that they did not have souls. Yet there I sat, watching their souls shining brightly within them while they denied their very presence. It mystified me, that they were unable to even see what shone so brilliantly and obviously before me. Both of these friendships ended badly, with neither one able to acknowledge that they loved me, or at least that they cared for me as anything more than a friend. But both have gone on to have deep loving relationships with others somehow after my experiences with them, after struggling to attain any intensity or intimacy in their lives for many years.

This is a fairly common theme in my life, enabling other people to find their own depths and be able to begin to pull them out and into loving relationships. I’m going through another one of these periods with a good friend now, which is why I haven’t been blogging as much here.

I can only think of a few past boyfriends who didn’t go on in their very next relationship or one shortly after to find a deep love. It seems that even if someone can’t quite connect to my soul, I can often allow them to find their own. I used to think of myself as a sort of mirror, that acknowledges deeply what is within other people, and sometimes allows them to catch a glimpse of themselves. It is something I strive for now in friendships and other relationships, often not caring what they might think of me as a person, but only caring that they are able to, or sometimes forced to, acknowledge what is within themselves.

The more we bring forth and manifest our deeper potentials, the richer our soul — our responsiveness to our own experience, to other people, and to life — becomes. And the more we can serve as a channel for expressing the larger life of the spirit. The evolving soul is like a jewel that is continually shedding its impurities and growing more lustrous as it becomes even more translucent to the sun.

Although a whole range of larger human capacities is potentially available to everyone, each of us has special access to certain qualities, as well as unique aptitudes for combining and expressing them. Every soul has its own individual, jewel-like character, its own “suchness”. And we each have our own unique path of soulwork — how we need to develop in order to manifest this deeper potential. Two lovers with a soul connection recognize that they can help each other move forward along this path.

— John Welwood, “Love and Awakening”

Solitude (repost and updated from 2005)

There are no ancients before me,
No followers behind:
Only the vastness of heaven and earth
On this mountain terrace.
Though heaven may know the ultimate,
Joy or sorrow is our own will.

We stand alone in this life. No one lives our life for us. Neither drug nor sorcery can remove us, even for a moment, from our own life. We can deny it, but it is useless : We are here alone, to engage every precious moment according to our wills.

The precedents of the ancients may be helpful, but in the end they are only references. The thought of those who will follow after us is likewise merely a consideration. What matters is being, pure being. Accept who you are. Be who you are.

If there are gods in the heavens, maybe they know the future. As a human being, I can only say that the future is yet to be made. Let us go forth and make it, but let us make it as beautifully as we can. The degree of elegance is determined by our will and the perfection of our own personalities. Therefore, do not sigh over misfortune or adversity. Whether you are happy or sad is entirely up to you.

Deng Ming Tao, 365 Tao

The Tao cannot be sought from others; it is attained in oneself. If you abandon yourself to seek from others, you are far from the Tao.
— Huainan-tzi

The experience of solitude, of the trembling beauty of a swaying pine or twinkling star, or a bird call, is our self reflecting the infinite Tao and becoming, in that moment, conscious of being part of it and not apart from it. — Hermitary and Meng-Hu

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after one’s own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

We must reserve a back shop all our own, entirely free, in which to establish our real liberty and our principal retreat and solitude. –Michel de Montaigne

I am tired of frivolous society, in which silence is forever the most natural and the best manners. I would fain walk on the deep waters, but my companions will only walk on shallows and puddles. — Henry David Thoreau, Journal

Solitude and nature are absolutely necessary for the proper development of a human being. It is an admixture of natural life, lived in solitude, amid beautiful surroundings of nature and what we call an arboreal life, which is absolutely necessary for the poise and harmony of the human mind. –Gopi Krishna

Never less idle than when wholly idle, nor less alone than when wholly alone.
–Cicero, De officius

I need time and space, and solitude, but it keeps being denied to me. Retreating into inner stillness is the only answer today.