Walking Meditation

There goes my crazy wife
With her cinnamon eyes
And her simple life

On a sunny day she’d rather
     walk than ride
With her hair pulled up
And her lengthy stride

The clouds of the north
And the clouds of the south
Are separated by her
     seldom ceasing smile

Her heart beats slow and steady
Pumping praises to her
     Prince of Peace

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Intercede Jesus, Jesus
Plant a seed Jesus”

She tears for the searching souls
     that surround her
She walks on her knees


My husband wrote this sweet poem during our early married years. Walking was my moving meditation and prayer time, connecting me to nature and the Divine. Many years later, yoga opened my heart wide open and became my favorite form of moving meditation and connection! ❤️ Urban trekking, desert hiking, and downward dog-ing are all amazing ways to tune into Spirit, discern truth, heed wisdom, and fully integrate body, mind, and soul.

❤︎ What do YOU need today?

❤︎ Are you seeking wisdom, or direction, or an answer to a deep seeded question? 

❤︎ Is there something you would like to release, creating space for the new?

Walking Meditation Instructions by Tara Brach

Meditation is a practice of presence that you can bring alive in all settings and activities. The formal training in walking meditation can be particularly valuable for helping you to cultivate an awareness of your embodied experience in each moment, allowing you to bring your body, heart, and mind together as you move through life.
Begin by choosing a place – an indoor or outside walking path about 10-30 paces long. Start by standing still and sensing the weight of your body at your feet, feeling your muscles supporting and stabilizing you. Your hands can be in whatever position is most comfortable – resting easily at your sides, folded gently in front of you, or at your back. In the stillness, remain relaxed and alert.
As you begin walking, start at a slower pace than usual, paying particular attention to the sensations in your feet and legs: heaviness, lightness, pressure, tingling, energy, even pain if it’s present. For the walking practice, this play of sensations – rather than the breath or another anchor – is often the home base for our attention.
Be mindful of the sensations of lifting your feet and of placing them back down on the floor or earth. Sense each step fully as you walk in a relaxed and natural way to the end of your chosen path. When you arrive, stop and pause for a moment. Feel your whole body standing, allowing all your senses be awake, then slowly and mindfully – with intention – turn to face in the other direction. Before you begin walking, pause again to collect and center yourself. If it helps, you can even close your eyes during these standing pauses, often called “standing meditation.”
As you’re walking, it’s quite natural for your mind to wander. Whenever it does, you might mentally pause, perhaps noting inwardly the fact of thinking, or even where your mind went: planning, worrying, fantasizing, judging. Then, gently return your attention to the sensations of the next step. No matter how long you’ve spent lost in thought, you can always arrive right here, bringing presence and care to the moment-to-moment sensations of walking.
During the walking period you might alter your pace, seeking a speed that allows you to be most mindful of your experience. In this way, you’ll move back and forth on your pathway, discovering that you are not really going anywhere, but are arriving again and again in the aliveness that is right here.

Reflection & Insight:
How did this experience feel in the body? Sensations? Body temperature? What happened in the mind? Did thoughts arise from the past, present, or future? Were you planning, worrying, fantasizing, or judging? How did this meditation feel in your spirit? Write down any insights, any information received.


“The LABYRINTH is receiving an amazing amount of attention, because walking the calming, circuitous path addresses many psycho-spiritual needs. Whoever you are, walking the labyrinth has something to offer. If a project is challenging you, walking can get your creative juices flowing. When struggling with grief or anger, or a physical challenge or illness, walking the labyrinth can point the way to healing and wholeness. If you’re looking for a way to meditate or pray that engages your body as well as your soul, the labyrinth provides such a path. When you just want reflective time away from a busy life, the labyrinth can offer you time out.” ~ Melissa Gayle West, Exploring The Labyrinth

Find a labyrinth near you! 😊 labyrinthlocator.com

Whenever you are at, be all there. ~ Jim Elliot

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Making A Difference ~ The Power Of One

Today, my paternal grandfather would have been 103 years old. Samuel M. Taylor was such a respected man in his community of Mansfield, Arkansas. I would visit the 200 acre Taylor Farm once or twice a year as a youth, and Sam’s presence would encourage and teach me. I absorbed his authentic spirituality, service, sacrifice, and true love. Filled with overwhelming emotion, I was blessed to share at his memorial service in 2003, with my 11-month old first born daughter watching me from the audience. “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” (Hebrews 13:7-8) MR. SAM INSPIRED ME, and so many others who spoke of his impact and continuing legacy. ❤️


Samuel M. Taylor “Mr. Sam”, 90, of Mansfield passed away Friday, Nov. 21, 2003, in Frisco, Texas. He was born July 22, 1913, in Mansfield, graduated from Mansfield High School in 1931, and went to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University and the University of Arkansas. Sam began his 39-year teaching career in agriculture at Carnegie, Okla., and Okolona and Bismarck, before returning to Mansfield in 1942 where he taught vocational agriculture until retirement in 1975. While director of the Mansfield Future Farmers of America, his students won many district, state, and national awards. Sam was a director of the Bank of Mansfield for 50 years. He was a lifelong member and Sunday school teacher as well as elder of Coop Prairie Church. Sam was proud of the fact that his family helped establish the Mansfield community through receiving a land grant from President James Buchanan in 1858. His family donated land for the Coop Prairie Church and Cemetery. He was Mansfield School board member and president. He and Elmyra were active in the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association and served on many retired teachers’ boards. Sam was also a board member of the Western Arkansas Legal Services. He and Elmyra were selected as the Scott County Farm Family of the Year in 1985. Sam’s life was rewarded with teaching, community service, and church worship in Mansfield. Sam met and married Elmyra Barnett, his best friend and the love of his life in 1936. She preceded him in death in 1989. ~ The Times Record Obituary Archives, Fort Smith, Arkansas


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WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU?

Let’s journey together through a motivating meditation. Take a few deep, centering breaths. Now, reflect upon your ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YEARS and think of your FAVORITE TEACHER. Notice who comes to mind first. Visualize this special person. Did they have a unique voice, smell, distinguishing feature or mannerism? What did they say or do that was memorable and inspiring? How did you feel in their presence? What qualities did/do you respect about this teacher?

And now, fast forward into your HIGH SCHOOL YEARS and choose one YOUTH LEADER, COACH, COUNSELOR or TEACHER who positively influenced your life path. Visualize this individual: their smile, their gaze, their listening ear. What did they say or do that was motivating and encouraging? How did you feel in their presence? What qualities did/do you respect about this leader?

Now dwell upon a CURRENT MENTOR, COACH, TEACHER who challenges and lovingly spurs you on to the next level. Visualize their whole being, their essence—body, mind and spirit. What do they say and do that is heart-felt and wise? How do you feel in their presence? What qualities do you treasure about this respected guide?

Encompass now these three influential people. Are there any common themes or threads in your teachers, coaches, and mentors? Can you choose ONE QUALITY, ONE WORD that describes them all? Notice what arises first.

Looking at your own life, does this ONE QUALITY, ONE WORD represent you and how you desire to inspire and influence others?

WHO DO YOU INSPIRE?

How do others feel in your presence? What do you say and do that is motivating and memorable? Allow yourself to smile in gratitude and joy for those who have inspired you and for those you inspire.

Never underestimate the POWER OF ONE. ONE PERSON. ONE SMILE. ONE WORD. ONE CHALLENGE. ONE INSPIRATION.

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.” ~ Dan Rather

RESPONSE QUESTIONS:

Who am I here to love and serve?
How do I love and serve?
What is shifting, changing and evolving?
What is my unique contribution?
How do I want to make a difference?

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” ❤️ ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Resilience 💓

10% of life is what happens to you, and 90% is how you react or respond to it! ~ Charles R. Swindoll

RESILIENCE is the deep seeded quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among them a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. Even after a misfortune, blessed with such an outlook, resilient people are able to change course and soldier on.

“Resilience may be an art, the ultimate art of living. At the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself — yet also a belief in something larger than oneself. Resilient people do not let adversity define them. They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief by perceiving challenging times as a temporary state.” ~ Hara Estroff Marano, The Art of Resilience, Psychology Today


Autobiography In Five Short Chapters 

Chapter I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V
I walk down another street.

Copyright (c) 1993, by Portia Nelson from the book There’s A Hole in My Sidewalk. 


REFRAMING is at the heart of resilience. It is a way of shifting focus from the cup half empty to the cup half full. Resilient people cultivate insight, the mental habit of asking themselves penetrating questions, and expressing honest answers. They also take the initiative. They take charge of problems, stretching and testing themselves.

RELATIONSHIPS foster resilience. One of the cardinal findings of resilience research is those who lack strong support systems seek and receive help from others. They are not afraid to talk about the hard times they are having to someone who cares for their well-being.

❤︎ Who has carried you on their shoulders, supporting you through this life journey? Send some love and gratitude their way.

❤︎ And, who do YOU want to carry? Support them through their life journey. Send some love and encouragement their way.

❤︎ We are here for each other. Be LOVE.


Pain Meditation & Mantra Visualization:

Think of a time you experienced PAIN. It may be a recent happening, or from the past. Picture it clearly in your body, mind and soul.
Witness the emotions.
Now turn these emotions into a sensation.
Where do you feel this sensation?
Now bring the sensation outside of the body, RELEASE it with the OUT BREATH.
Now witness it outside of your body. BREATHE.
Notice the sensation has weakened. Feel your RESILIENCE.

“As you inhale, think to yourself: I am strong. As you exhale: I am healing. Continue this mantra for another minute. Next, as you say to yourself, I am strong, envision an outer casing shattering off your body. This is the residual buildup of opinions, experiences, hurtful words, or anything that may have added to your duress. See it combust into a million pieces and flutter off into the wind. As you use the statement, I am healing, envision a flowering vine wrapping around the ailment on, or in your body. This gorgeous plant is drawing up healing energy deep from within it’s roots and transporting it toward you. See the plant blossom as it makes contact with your skin, because you are ripe with healing and fertile with potential.” ~ Kathryn Budig, Healing Meditation for Yoga Injuries, Yoga Journal


Be stronger than your pain. Use your pain for your platform — to bring healing and wholeness to yourself, and others. ♡

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Daily Reflection ☀️

Our yoga practice provides the opportunity to draw inward, reflecting upon our lives, our stories, our shining moments, and our shadows. Our “mat” is a safe place to open, acknowledge, observe, learn from, and release tension in our body, mind, and spirit. We want to return to the place where we can be fully present and aware. All of our life experiences help create who we uniquely are, and, if we choose, propel us positively forward. The key is our time of personal, honest reflection.

Try book-ending your day with this simple routine:

1. Every morning when you wake up, deepen your beautiful breath of life and write down three things for which you are grateful.

2. Before going to bed, write down three things that went well, or you accomplished during the day. Ask, “what am I committed to for tomorrow?” Treat yourself to a restorative yoga pose while lengthening out your exhale breath to unwind and relax.

3. Now, visualize someone you love. Who comes to mind first? What do they need? Lift up your concerns, and then release them to the power of the Divine. Express gratitude for them, and wrap them in love right now. Let go of any worry. Trust the process. The mind is calmed in the cradle of the heart. ❤️

This practice encourages us to shift our attention to the positive — to what is working in our lives — and to lift up in love and trust anything that concerns us. We often get caught up in the mundane of the daily grind, in the drama and struggles around us, that we lose sight of all the amazingness present in our lives. We just have to remember to notice and appreciate it! 😊

Yoga’s Reach by Danna Faulds

It is a wonder
how a simple stretch
deepens breath,
and an elegantly held pose
grows to touch the
whole of me.
Like sugar stirred into tea,
the potency
of yoga spreads
from body into mind
and heart, revealing
an ocean of energy
that heals and opens,
holds me close
and sets me free
all in the same moment.

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Share Your Shift.✨

✨ Would YOU like to share your words and inspire others? ❤️ I am so thrilled to share this opportunity for YOU to become a contributing author in the upcoming book 365 Life Shifts: Pivotal Moments That Changed Everything! It’s the third book in the #1 bestselling 365 Book Series, and it will contain 365 personal stories (from over 200 contributing authors) of positive life-changing moments – experiences that inspired, uplifted, shook us to our core, got us back on track (or onto a new track altogether), and led us toward our true selves. I know this book is going to encourage so many people, and I am excited to be one of the contributing authors! 😊 If you’re called to share your own inspiring life shift, be sure to sign up soon to reserve your spot – over 200 days are already reserved! ✨ Click the below image for more information. ❤️

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I am beyond grateful to be a contributing author for the second book in this #1 bestselling 365 Book Series, 365 Moments of Grace, a brand-new release with one inspiring true-life story for each day of the year. My personal pieces include The Illusion of Control and Unimaginable Grace.

I hope each reader is inspired and encouraged to share their own unique story. Every journey matters. Grace beautifully guides. Share your shift. ❤️