“Step out into the night air. Look at the stars. See how they shine. Know that it is okay for you to shine too. Who told you you had to hold back? Who told you your gifts, your talents, your beauty—your natural, beautiful, loving, delightful self—was wrong? Who told you not to be all you could be? Maybe, as some suggest, we’ve gotten too comfortable focusing on our flaws, our errors, our dark side. Perhaps it’s not our dark side we fear. Perhaps we’re really afraid of our gifts, our brilliance, our light.Now is a time of light.It’s time forus to shine.We’ve worked hard on ourselves, dealt with our issues, gone back to the past. We’ve learned our lessons well. The reasons to hold back and hide away are no longer there. Enjoy the fruits of your labors. Be all you…
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! ❤️ Urbantrekking, desert hiking, and downward dog-ing are all amazing ways to tune into Spirit, discern truth, heed wisdom…
Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning circle or spirit. The mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community. “Each person’s life is like a mandala, a vast limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life. Everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening. From this point of view, awakening is right at your fingertips continually. But it’s up to you whether your life is a mandala of neurosis or a mandala of sanity.” ~Pema Chodran
Our intention for this week is to invite more interconnectedness, compassion and wholeness into our lives. Yoga Sutra lll.24 (maitryadisu balani) teaches the cultivation of friendliness creates inner strength. Experiencing healthy compassion and lovingkindness toward ourselves and others strengthens our interconnectedness and sense of well-being. I love this passage from The Message, “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:12-14, MSG)
“We typically think of our emotional range as something that is fixed and unchanging, a reflection of the personality we’re born with. But research is revealing the possibility that we may be able to cultivate and increase our ability to feel the emotional state of compassion. Researchers have found that feeling connected to others is as learnable as any other skill.” ~ Kelly McGonigal
Karuna in Sanskrit means compassion or compassionate action. “In Karuna mudra, the left palm is directed toward our own heart as a symbol of self-compassion while the right palm is turned outward toward others, symbolizing universal compassion. This gesture brings breath, awareness and energy to the center of the chest, gently massaging the physical heart and the thymus gland. Karuna mudra focuses the breath into the left nostril and left side of the chest, making this gesture slightly calming, which supports the opening of the heart and the cultivation of compassion.” ~ Mudras for Healing and Transformation by Joseph and Lilian Le Page
💮 Where and with whom in your life can you experience more interconnectedness and wholeness, lovingkindness and compassion?
💮 Personal transformation occurs in circles, not rows. Who’s in your inner circle, supporting you, yet challenging you to grow?
Awakening Compassion Guided Meditation
Gently close your eyes. Roll the shoulders up, back and down. Take 3 deep breaths. Place your hands in a comfortable position or in Karuna mudra. Settle in.
Imagine the horizon spanning through your chest with a radiant sun rising in your innermost center—your heart. As though being melted by the solar warmth, release tension in your shoulders and across your throat. Soften your forehead and rest your attention inward on the light deep within. Take 3 smooth, even breaths. As you inhale, invite the glow from your heart to expand toward the inner surface of the body. With each exhale, let the light recede. Take another 3 peaceful breaths.
Attuning deeply to your heart center, offer compassion to yourself, honoring your journey wholeheartedly, dissolving all self-judgment, shame and guilt naturally.
As you embrace yourself compassionately, you enhance your ability to offer lovingkindness to those you care for deeply, embracing both their positive and challenging qualities.
Bring into your heart the image of someone you care for deeply, releasing any expectation of how they should be, creating a space of openness in which their transformation, and yours, can occur more easily. Take a full, deep breath.
As you offer compassion to yourself and to those you care for deeply, you gradually develop the ability to offer compassion to those with whom you experience separation or difficulty.
Bring into your heart the image of someone you find challenging, perceiving their authentic being rather than focusing on their actions and beliefs. Take a full, deep breath.
As you hold this person within your heart of compassion, clearly see that all of their actions are based on a need for love, support and security, even if those needs are expressed inappropriately.
By seeing this person compassionately, your feelings of judgment, anger and resentment are released more easily, allowing you to see this person and yourself more objectively, while creating safe and appropriate boundaries. Take a deep, cleansing breath.
Now, open your heart of compassion to all beings, honoring each person’s journey, recognizing that all of us are moving, within the limits our our understanding, toward a vision of love, peace, freedom and joy.
Affirm your growing compassion, repeating the following intention 3 times, aloud or silently: With a heart of compassion, I clearly see that we all share a journey toward love, peace, freedom and joy.
Take a full, deep breath. When you are ready, open your eyes, returning slowly and gently, sensing your heart of compassion guiding your journey.
~ Adapted from Mudras for Healing and Transformation by Joseph and Lilian Le Page
💮 Continue to radiate love and compassion, expanding your life mandala. 💮
Life is a constant ebb and flow. Challenges attempt to disrupt our ease and peace, but as we intentionally cultivate joy, our energy steadies and positively shifts.
JOY = A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something exceptionally festive or satisfying.
What brings you joy in this moment?
What are you looking forward to that makes you smile? 😊
Take a minute to daydream and plan for joy. Allow yourself to be light and free.
“Let go of heaviness. Seek that which is light. Gravitate toward joy. Your soul and body will lead you, if only you will listen. Walk lightly. Speak and laugh lightly, as much as possible. Go lightly along your way.” ~ Melody Beattie
“…when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 New Living Translation
I ______ to cultivate more joy into my life. No matter my circumstances, I choose to be joyful. Divine joy fills my soul.
Think of a time you experienced COMPLETE JOY. It may be a recent happening, or from the past. Picture it clearly in your heart and mind.
Feel all the emotions.
What sensations do you feel in the body?
Where do you feel these sensations?
Label your emotions with one word.
Label the sensations felt with one word.
Tuck these words deep into your memory account of joy.
May the peace of your being leap from heart to heart and mind to mind like a wildfire in dry grass. Through the simple act of being present here and now, may the peace that passes all understanding be fanned from spark to flame to true illumination.
“Wait quietly in my presence while My thoughts form silently in the depths of your being. Do not rush this process, because hurry keeps your heart earthbound. I am the Creator of the entire universe, yet I choose to make my humble home in your heart. It is there where you know me most intimately; it is there where I speak to you in holy whispers. Ask My Spirit to quiet your mind so that you can hear my still small voice within you. I am speaking to you continually. . . words of JOY. Tune your heart to receive these messages of abundant blessing. Lay your requests before Me, and wait in expectation.”
(Adapted from Jesus Calling, September 21, by Sarah Young)