Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unorthodox Meditation

I've been absent from blogging for a bit longer than is 'normal' for me, although I already exist outside the accepted norm of multiple posts per week.  Usually, my blogging process is to wait for inspiration to strike.  I don't stress over it, or worry that it won't happen because it always does.  People, places, things, moments all come together in a beautiful harmony that will inevitably spark thoughts which lead to a blog article being born in my mind.  It is a pulse of sorts, with a rise and fall aspect to how inspiration and writing occur for me on a personal level.

These past ten days or so have been curiously quiet in that regard.  Again, I haven't worried overly much.  Friends online have begun to email with concerned questions of, "Is your RSS feed messed up?  I'm not getting your blog posts.  What do you mean, you haven't been writing??  You always write!"  That's a composite comment of many.  If nothing else, it was a pleasant thing to know that people who follow my blog do look forward to reading my newest work.  This didn't do anything, however, to spark that next line of thought that would create a blog post.

So, I have remained open and receptive, but somewhat detached.  There are simply times when we all feel the need to retreat.  It is not that there are not words or topics to be written - there are many.  I just haven't felt that sense of rightness that I normally do with blogging, so, although I have been writing, I haven't posted anything.  Tonight, I spent time thinking about this.  It suddenly occurred to me that I have been engaging in what I would call an active state of meditation. 

'Active', in that I have been living the process outwardly, rather than only mentally and emotionally.  I have been writing, quite a lot, yet none of the drafts of posts have resonated as being just the right note for being published on my blog.  So, I have written thoughts in snippets, lines of text to come back to or delete, some fully realized posts that will eventually be posted.  The sudden epiphany that just hit me is that this is the same process we experience with traditional meditation.

When meditating, we usually sit or recline quietly, allowing thoughts to flicker across our consciousness.  We study those thoughts, embrace them enough to honor the thought, then we gently tuck them away and come back to quiet.  It is usually a completely mental, inward exercise.  Occasionally this will manifest in a different manner - through exercise, through creating art, through music, through spending time in nature.  For me, these past 10 days or so have become a physical manifestation of meditation. 

I have been physically processing a great deal of information and experiencing the effects this information, these contacts and these thoughts are all having on my body and immediate surroundings.  I have been discarding some long held behaviors and activities that no longer serve me, while giving deeper thought to some I wouldn't have even contemplated mere weeks earlier. 

I am sure this is nothing new under the sun.  I am positive we all go through these active meditative states occasionally.  For me, it is a bit unorthodox, but a method that I do occasionally feel shifting to the forefront of my attention.  Because it is so completely different to my regular process of meditation, it can be slightly uncomfortable and cause frustration and confusion.  I remind myself that this is another instance of Stackable Energy and breathe deeply as I navigate my way along, casting the occasional assessing gaze upwards at that tower of blocks of energy. 

Generally when this physical type of meditation takes hold, I do tend to retreat a bit.  Sometimes I will become mildly or aggressively ill, depending on the nature of the shifting and meditative energy that I am facing.  Indeed, this past weekend, I came down with an indeterminate stomach bug that further pulled me back from the world.  I have found that this is part of the whole process and seems to be the physical body's way of cleansing old energy, clearing the way for fresh, new energy to flood forward.

Perhaps this all sounds slightly cryptic and muddled.  If so, forgive the indulgence.  It makes perfect sense to me and is part of a concept I have been working on for a while.  So, rather than writing about a specific topic that struck me in that lovely rush of excitement and enthusiasm, I chose to write about the less sparkly, more subtle aspect of inspiration....that of doing constant inner housekeeping and refining of mental discipline, energetic flow and methods of communicating.  Without this slower, more quiet interaction with Self, I would not be able to write the lighter, or, conversely, deeper, more evocative posts.  Yin and yang.  Endless processing and striving for balance is what I chose to write about this time. 

When this type of energy hits my personal horizon, bigger shifts are in the works.  I have come to recognize this particular rhythm and cycle.  What is it bringing my way?  I have thoughts and dreams, but at this moment, I am choosing to not limit the possibilities with labels and words.  I am staying open to the experience with arms open and heart full of expectation.  I am going through a dramatic shifting of energy, which generally occurs in my life every 5-7 years.  This shift has been enveloping me for the past 18+ months and is still in a state of flux.  Some of it is mutable, meaning I have control over the eventual outcome; some of it is immutable, and something that will happen regardless of how I resist or embrace the inevitable outcome. 

No, I don't always immediately embrace it.  Oftentimes, I fight it, resist it, struggle to impose my own will, my own wishes and my own wants.  I have learned over a lifetime, however, that this only postpones the inevitable and puts me through a lot of needless grief.  Knowing this still doesn't always make the process enjoyable, but it does help to adapt and assimilate the new energy patterns.

I have somewhat of an idea and understanding of what is coming towards me.  There are days it feels just right and other days it feels like my shoes are on the wrong feet.  This is when the physical act of outward, active, unorthodox meditation becomes necessary.  I am navigating my way through it all, swimming with and against the currents at various moments.  In a few days, or a few weeks, I will step back into my regular routine, slightly different than it used to be, but better for the changes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Almost there!

Social media, as I've written about quite a lot lately, is an incredible tool to connect with people around the globe.  Occasionally, we get really lucky and connect with someone via social media that happens to be in your own home town.  This very thing happened to me a couple of months ago, with me connecting with a new girlfriend.  We discovered many fun little details and experiences in common and chatted here and there via Facebook for many weeks before we got around to talking on the phone.  Once that occurred, it was that happy spontaneous combustion where both hearts recognize one another and friendship is remembered in a blaze of excitement, common interests and resonating energy.

Fast forward to a recent networking event that was being held at a downtown Knoxville location and we were afforded the opportunity to drive to this event together.  It was during the last few weeks of the truly vicious winter the whole country was dealing with and I have a bad habit of not using a proper winter coat when I really should.  When we left the event late that evening, of course it was dark and the temperature had dropped considerably.  As is common in most downtown areas, the higher buildings create a wind tunnel effect that whips the cold air into a rapier sharp weapon that steals your breath and stiffens your legs to the point that you can barely bend your knees as you hurry along.

That night, this new friendship was solidified by just such a sharp, winter wind.  We were leaving the restaurant we had chosen for dinner after the networking event, and as we walked across Market Square in Knoxville, the wind tore down and slapped into us with enough force to make us both stagger.  The primary objective was to get through the Square and behind some high enough building that might block the wind long enough for us to reach the parking garage.  The photo to the left is of Market Square in the snow.

Me being my southern belle type of self, rather than swearing as viciously as the merciless wind deserved, I was breathlessly uttering my own litany and version of profanity. "Oh my word above!" "Holy conniptions!"  "Sweet merciful petunias!"  My girlfriend was laughing breathlessly at the novel form of swearing, informing me what an absolute rebel I was.  We continued to hurry along, leaving the Square behind, but unfortunately we stepped into an even more brutal wind tunnel effect as we got close to the parking garage.

My girlfriend rushed ahead of me, exclaiming all the way, "Almost there, Dawn!  Almost there!"  This dissolved me into helpless giggles, as we were nowhere near "almost there" by any stretch of the imagination.  Yet she kept declaring this positive statement as she bustled forward, continuing to spark absolute hilarity in her wake.  The wind was tossing her winter scarf over her shoulder to dance and fly up in the air, entertaining me even more.  This resulting laughter had the typical effect of making my knees weak and me even more breathless.  "Almost there, Dawn!" kept trailing behind her, the cheerful words being snatched gleefully by the whipping winds as she outdistanced me, unhampered by helpless laughter as I was. 

In that moment of absolute absurdity, my mind split in two, as it often does, and recognized the sheer power of her statement.  "Almost there!"  Yes, we were approaching the parking garage with varying degrees of success, one of us leading the charge, uttering encouragement and determination, the other straggling behind, giggling and stumbling, yet equally determined and enjoying the journey in a slightly different manner.  It struck me that this moment of silliness and laughter between two girlfriends was a beautiful analogy.  We are all always on the verge of becoming.  Always on the verge of discovering.  Always on the verge of achieving. Always on the  verge of blossoming, lifting our faces to the warm sun.  Always on the verge of breaking through.  Always on the verge of conquering.  Always doing all of the above in our own individual, unique fashion.

Today, several weeks later, our friendship has become so solid that we both have to work at remembering when we didn't know one another.  This is often one of the most precious side benefits of friendship, that the heart realizes and remembers that we have done this many times before, and the love is simply a continuation in this moment, this place, this time.  Now we constantly throw out "almost there!" in relation to practically everything we're discussing or experiencing together, because it is always apropo.  It always applies to every single moment.  And on a purely mundane note, it makes us both laugh.  To me, that is particularly beautiful.

Life is a series of cycles.  Beginnings and endings.  Lessons learned, lessons begun anew.  Experiences achieved, and new dreams explored.  Personally, being in constant pursuit of that next hilltop, that next new vista, that next achievement is what drives me.  It is a personal joy of mine to constantly be growing and changing, learning, discovering and evolving.  The beauty of this process is that "almost there" is the irresistible lure that beckons me forward. 

Sharing this experience with this new, yet old friend is the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the sundae.  Even better, this same premise applies to many of the friends I have reconnected with via social media.  Despite the fact that many of them are in far flung geographical locations from my own home, I have a deep inner knowing that I will see many of them face to face.  I have no idea how this will manifest and am not concerned with the actual mechanics of it all; I simply have that inner certainty that it will occur.  And once again, I am able to smile and throw in a cheerful "almost there!" declaration and enjoy how the entertwining threads create more unique fabric between friends of the heart who will eventually lay eyes on one another for the first time. 

That hopeful stage of becoming is constantly changing, adapting and adjusting when necessary, and most importantly, continually inspiring each of us to reach for more.  Simply....more.  That human desire to expand our minds, and more importantly, our hearts and our Spirit. Journeying forward, sometimes together, other times apart, connecting again at seemingly random moments that are actually an intricate orchestration. Experiencing.  Becoming.  On the verge.  Almost there!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Touch thought, touch Soul

I've talked about this in various blog posts before - I am not a daily blogger.  I know that many are and find a satisfying sense of order and discipline in the practice of writing daily blog posts.  I am not focusing on which is right or wrong, as I feel it is an individual choice from writer to writer.  My personal choice is to write when I am inspired to do so.  That can mean writing daily, but more often my blog articles are published less frequently than most. 

Because I choose to wait for inspiration to spark my writing, I honestly never know what the next blog article will be.  For me, that's part of the enjoyment of being a writer.  I usually have a variety of topics flitting around the edges of my consciousness, and I wait patiently for them to either sharpen and grab my attention or I continue to let them circulate on the periphery of my mind.

My last blog post, Cosmic Symphony, was my own ruminations on how we connect via social media in a very elemental, curiously intimate manner.  I am pleased to be able to say that that blog article was very well received.  The most recent Comment posted was written by a lovely lady named Judy J., whom I have never met face to face.  I have no idea how she was led to discover Healing Morning blog, but find me she did. 

She has been dealing with quite a challenging set of circumstances in her personal life in a manner that not many of us can imagine.  She is located in California and authors the blog Caregiver to Hubby, describing day to day life as the caretaker to a brain injured family member.  I urge all of you to visit her blog and follow her writing.  I am just now working through her archives and am still learning about her journey.   Somehow, she found my blog and it gave her a moment of peace and solace. 

As a writer, I cannot express how important it is to hear that I have touched another person in this manner with my work.  I have been told that on an in person basis, I exude a calming, peaceful energy.  This is one of the reasons that I chose the name of Healing Morning for my blog.  We each have a specific energy, a writing style and personality that projects itself through our writing.  This is our voice.  When I am writing, I honestly am not focusing on making sure that my voice comes through; I just write.  The only way that I know that I am succeeding in my goal is when people leave comments and their thoughts.  Judy J. gave me such a moment with her words the other day.

It is no secret that creative people harbor some degree of insecurity about their talent.  I am no different in that regard.  Although I am extremely confident in my writing ability and am also very centered in the message and concepts that I work to convey, I will not claim that I am always confident that every reader will completely "get" what I am communicating. 

I learned many years ago that this is actually not an issue to wrestle with.  Writing is the goal, plain and simple.  It matters not that each person reading a given article interprets the overall theme exactly as I mean it to be understood.  Indeed, I recognize that there may be many moments that someone comes away with a completely different, diametrically opposite perception of my words.  For me, what matters more is if they were touched in a positive way.  And apparently I am achieving that singular goal.

I am still growing as a writer and will continue that growth until my last breath.  That is the beauty of life, continually growing, changing, learning.  The moments that cast a blanket of deep satisfaction are those that let us know we've made a difference; that we've touched the very Soul of another person out there who may be struggling.  To me, that is the moment where everything stops, hushed and profoundly, brilliantly resonating...and you are given a mirror of sorts.  A noble nod from God/Universe that yes, you are in Divinely vibrating unity with your purpose. 

It is a curious thing to know that you can and do make a difference with the basic need to express yourself with words on paper or computer screen.  In a spiritual manner, you have touched thought, touched Soul with another.  It is a musical exchange, don't you think?  Harmonies melding as one reads the written thoughts of another and that first one is lifted up, heart gladdened or lightened in some small fashion.

In a world where feeling disenfranchised and isolated is encroaching at an alarming rate, it is no small wonder that we find unexpected consolation and moments of community via the internet.  Judy J. may be surprised to learn that her comment on my Cosmic Symphony blog post lifted me up equally.  We all need that encouragement as we fight the daily fight on this Earth School, navigating our way through the morass of experiences. 

On days where I might hesitate to post an article that I feel pushes boundaries or that might confuse readers as I delve into esoteric or complex concepts, I will remember Judy J's comment and click the Publish Post button with confidence.  No, every post will not be a polarizing moment for every reader.  And no, not everyone will automatically fall in love with my work.  But some people will find me out there in the constantly changing, busy, frenetic world and discover a calm oasis where they find respite.  That is my goal for my writing - to touch, to inspire, to soothe, to challenge to view the world in a different manner....and most certainly, to tease the occasional moment of laughter out of you.  This is, perhaps, Part II of Cosmic Symphony, as it discusses those ethereal, yet indelible threads of energy that weave together when we connect through writing.

I believe that when you read my writing, my thoughts and energy are woven into the words and they leave a permanent mark on your heart.  Whether you embrace my thoughts or reject them out of hand, you will still be changed by reading the words here.  I find that to be such a powerful thought that it is what draws me back, irresistibly, to my virtual pen via the computer keyboard, to tap away and fill the screen with my thoughts.  I bare my very soul in the process and am more vulnerable than many would think as a result. 

When you look into a faceted diamond and it sparkles, that is occurring because light is finding its way into the center of the gemstone and is bouncing around, hitting the facets and refracting brilliant light outward.  That is what makes a diamond beautiful, and it is also what makes each person beautiful.  I am opening my inner self up through the process of writing - opening a virtual doorway for light to pour in.  I believe that my life experiences and emotions are the facets where that light refracts, bounces around and shoots back out into the world in a bright, sometimes chaotic, other times peaceful, calm and sure display.  Judy J.'s eyes just happened to be sharp and clear when she read my blog and she caught that light.  She found logic and order in my words in a manner that spoke to her and gave her pleasure.  My very heart sighs at that thought!

Judy J., thank you for your comment on my blog page.  I hope you read this and know that you, also, make a beautiful mark in the world with your Spirit and your writing.  Well met, my newfound friend, well met!