Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shivers & yawns = Growth!

Photo courtesy
of Bing images
I was revisiting my childhood a couple of days ago, prompted by a recent post, Mandala Memories.  In that blog, I recalled countless hours spent drawing what I now recognize to be Mandalas - beautiful, intricate wheels of color that seem to exist in many religions around the world.  If you're interested in learning more of the fascinating history of these beautiful creations, you'll find some helpful links on the aforementioned blog post.  The reason for this blog is to focus on the byproduct of creating something pleasing to the human eye, being mindful of my own reactions to this experience and another that I will relate as I go along in the body of this post.

In the midst of my busy day today, I could feel this inner urge to engage my hands, heart and mind in an artistic application.  The childhood past time of drawing Mandalas popped into my mind and I sat down to quickly create one of these designs.  By the time I was finished, my heart and Spirit were both lighter and I could tell I had reached a pivotal moment.  That exercise of paying attention to that unspoken urge to be creative in a different medium than writing was such a joy!  I felt so light and happy inside.

I was taken back to what I call Comfort Memories from childhood, yes, but I was paying very clear attention to how I felt today as I drew, filled in with color, defined with shading and lines.  I sat and reflected on the finished design and was entranced.  This process of creating, to anyone who has an artistic nature, becomes a form of meditation.  The finished mandala itself, although dashed off quickly to satisfy that sudden creative urge, suprised me.  I could see that if I set aside more time and invested more attention and care, I could produce something worthy of being framed or reproduced. It reminded me that I don't give enough voice to this side of my artistic nature.  Beyond these absentminded musings, what truly captured my attention were the resultant chills that I felt while gazing at my finished sketch.

Photo courtesy
of flickr.com
As I looked at this intricate wheel of shapes, gradations of color and texture, I found it extremely pleasing to my eye and shivers danced along my arms and legsThis is key!  Have you ever noticed when you experience a moment of pure inspiration, pure beauty, music, pure love or anything else that is crystalline in purity....you're assailed by chills?  This is your Soul recognizing a Divine moment, I believe.  I suggest that these shivers are the result of our physical bodies being bathed in a higher, more pure energy and it is a blissful experience that can be extended and amplified if we take time to recognize it for what it is.  Quite often, it doesn't even occur to us that we can actually extend that wonderful feeling.

Once that first shard of Light is recognized, the rest is a much easier walk for us.  Focusing on those happy moments invites more of the same energy to be attracted to us, and we begin to pay more attention to those moments that evoke chills.

Photo courtesy
of ehow.com
Are you familiar with the concept of speaking and/or writing affirmations?  These are simple statements that are positive in content.  They don't have to be long and involved; indeed, the shorter and more concise, the easier the whole process becomes.  There are endless books on the market that teach what I am talking about, so I will not take time to list endless references.  If you are interested in learning more, the concept of daily affirmations can be typed into any online search engine.  I have incorporated this practice into my life for years, but admit that I'm as guilty as the next person about becoming lazy here and there.  When I do get serious about this process, it is astonishing how powerful a method it can be.  I recently ran across a suggestion from a friend to repeat a positive affirmation aloud ten times, and repeat this process at least twice a day for several days.  Okay, I thought, that's pretty simple. 

Photo courtesy
of Bing Images
I began to do this, choosing one simple statement that was easy to remember and that wasn't necessary to write down.  I could recall it with ease and speak it those ten times throughout the day with no trouble.  What I found intriguing was that usually by the fifth utterance, I would feel the need to yawn.  Another key point!  Bear with me, because I have an unusual correlation to offer.  Yawning seems to also be a sign of unusual demand on our mind/spirit.  If you take a moment to reflect, at a simple glance, we yawn when we're tired.  Scientists can't completely explain the reasons for yawning, although I've read many suggestions that it is a primal response triggered by our adrenal system.  Stay with me...I'm weaving this together!

Photo courtesy
of http://www.thebrainwizard.com/
Have you ever noticed when you're in the gym, lifting free weights and really challenging your body, you'll get hit with the urge to yawn?  Exercise physiologists, like scientists and medical researchers, haven't figured out the true reason behind this reaction, but suggest it is a primal reflex within the pineal gland to pull in more oxygen as the physical body is subjected to new demands.  It took me a while to correlate these two thoughts, but the fact that I kept yawning right slap in the midst of ten utterances of a single positive affirmation struck me as clear evidence that my spiritual self was being subjected to a new energetic demand.  The pineal gland also governs a great deal of spiritual energy, so I find it plausible that this yawning reflex was telling me I was consciously lifting my own energy field.

This makes sense to me.  It might not to anyone else, and that's okay.  I've said many times before that the world would be a very boring place if we were all cookie cutter images of one another, with no new thoughts to be shared.  Feeling happy is of primary importance every single day of our respective lives.  We each deserve happiness, and it is up to us as individuals to pursue actions that will manifest that happiness.  What I recognized by the simple act of sketching a mandala, and speaking affirmations aloud, was that I was smiling as a result!  My Spirit was responding to these loving acts I was giving myself and I felt a tangible lightness affecting my physical body and my emotional state of being.  It was moments of bright happiness that I could feel washing over me.

Photo courtesy
of Bing Images
Recognizing the hints from God/Universe that we're on the right path is so important!  Don't discount those moments when shivers hit you.  Don't ignore those moments when yawning punctuates a thought of clarity.  Don't overlook simple joyfulness - embrace it greedily and with both hands!  I was reminded by these two experiences that I should relearn the process of being good to myself, exclusively.  The unspoken message I was feeling was along the lines of finally paying as much attention to myself as I dole out without hesitation to others.  It was, in essence, a very clear mirror that was held up to my face.  It was a gentle reminder to embrace and claim personal happiness.  And the result was that I was hit with shivers.  I paid attention!!! 

Yesterday, a dear friend sent me a song that he has sent before to lift my spirits.  I was assailed, this time, not just with shivers, but with tears.  It was such a sweet, thoughtful gesture from a very manly man, made more precious for the fact that he extended himself in what we both now call 'an awkward tender moment'.  In so doing, he also made me laugh out loud.  Each time I watched the video attached to the song, shivers continue to hit....the lyrics of the song were so apropo to what I've been going through. And the message inherent in the song was that I am loved and cared for.

Tonight, before tapping out this blog article, I ran through a couple of my spoken affirmations, counting to ten with each string of them uttered....and smiling as each time I reached the fifth repetition, the urge to yawn would become irresistible.  Shivers, yawns, the lyrics of a song, and true friendship all culminate to show me that I'm doing okay.  All is well; friendships and family ties are solid in my life, showering me with blessings.  As I write these words, more shivers dance along my arms and legs.

Photo courtesy of
It is now that I close with the simple equation that:

  Shivers + Yawns = Growth!

 It is a simple, yet complex equation that I doubt mathematical minds such as Pythagoras and Archimedes would spend precious time and ink to quantify.  It is my own peculiar equation and it makes complete spiritual sense to me.  A Dawnesian equation that lets me know that life is good; positive energy is flowing and the Light is blazing brightly.  As you go forward in your day, pay attention to those shivers and yawns...and remember...they could very well be a small, quiet voice telling you that you, also, are doing okay....and you're growing!


  1. Such wisdom stirs within you. I am still scratching the surface of understanding my thoughts or emotions or my reason for being!
    Will take your advice on trying out the exercise.

  2. Hello dear friend! I am right there with, delving through the myriad layers of self - it's a fascinating journey, yes?! Even more enjoyable when we have beautiful friendships to keep us company along the way. You humble me with the compliment of 'wisdom', and I thank you for that thought. In fact, not kidding, when I read it, guess what happened? Yep, shivers hit! I LOVE when that happens. Thank you for visiting & sharing your own thoughts.


  3. Dear friend,
    You blend words like I blend paint. I am so lucky to call you friend. Keep writing please. Your quill curves deeper with each post. I am humbled by your art. The best is your heart. It's gold. May the angels shine light on your path.

    Every time I hear from you It's like a burst of sunshine!!

    Sri Nabuji

  4. Oh my goodness...Sri, my dear friend, what a wonderful thing to see your comment here! And yes, shivers are hitting in abundance as a result. I cannot tell you what it means to read your words. "You blend words like I blend paint." I have witnessed your art and consider this the utmost praise. One artistic nod to another, yes? If you cast your mind back to the overflowing joy we felt as children when the emotions were so high, we had to spin and dance to express the happiness inside us...this would be my reaction to your visit and comment. My heart is just bubbling!

    Namaste' to you, my friend. Speed forward the day when we finally greet one another in person.

    ~ Dawn

  5. Hi Sweetie,

    I love daily affirmations I do at least 3 of them in the morning email Heidi & I share. They are a wonderful way to set the day in motion. It's interesting the practice of repeating them 10 times, I believe that to move something from short term memory to long term memory the number is 7 times....always good to remember when wanting someone to learn something....10 is probably even better!!!

    Interesting about the yawning & pineal gland...never thought about it. I know yawning is as you note a way to get more O2 in your system so it makes sense to me.

    Hugs to you & thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate them as always.



  6. Hi Bill, thanks for stopping by and sharing a bit of your day with me! I know, I rarely think along the lines that most people do - I almost always look at the world from a completely different perspective than most. The correlation between shivers, yawning & the pineal gland are based a great deal on many of the healing modalities that I used daily years ago when I was a licensed massage therapist. I no longer practice in that field, but the knowledge and love of healing is retained. Occasionally those sparks of "Aha!" moments all come together with diamond sharp clarity, and you know the result...a blog must be born! Those are the articles that I enjoy writing the most, especially when they spark new perspectives in other who read them.

    Hugs back to you,

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    My little voice told me to visit your blog today and low and behold, you spoke to me again.

    I needed a pep talk; a reminder that I'm on the right path; that I'm not alone in hearing those little voices and feeling those things that others never sense. I love affirmations and need to get back to doing them on a daily basis..you were the kick in the backside that I needed.

    I find myself in tears, once again, after reading one of your posts. Your message is so strong and loud, hitting the nail on the head just when my psyche yearns for assistance.

    Love to you,

  8. I love pickles. Yes, I know that was a random thought and I needed to get it out there because this comment is going to turn incredibly serious.

    I teared up reading this. Not because you mentioned the song I sent, but because I've recently been soooo tired... so ready to just give up. I doubt you've seen this on me... I hide it really well. But the truth is, I need to find a few more "shivers" and a few "yawns" in my life. I need to find this inspiration you are talking about.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. The way you approach life is so peaceful. I crave it.

    I'm tired. Physically tired. But right now, I don't want a nap. I want to run through the grass... I want to learn to paint... I want to find this creative outlet you are talking about. Divine Inspiration. I am determined to find it.

    You are such an incredible friend.

    Praying for you... loving you....


    -Duane Scott

  9. Marie, how nice to have you visit! I was thinking about you earlier today, so perhaps I felt you reading my words. I don't doubt that's possible and I know you'll 'get' what I'm saying here. I'm happy that reading this post helped to give you a bit of a spiritual nudge. We all have those moments where we get off track and require a wee reminder of things that help us refocus. I'm glad to know that I can occasionally be that spiritual nudge for you! No, dear one, you're never alone in being slightly different - I'll always be close by on a similar path! It makes me smile that this particular blog post resonated so well for you. When you leave me this type of comment, it gives ME an affirmation that I'm still walking a straight path of my own. Thank you, sweetie, for that loving nod of friendship!

    Much love to you in return.

    ~ Dawn

  10. M.D., my goodness, what a wonderful comment you've written! Let me first say that I love pickles back - and I'm smiling as I write these words.

    Second thing, I know you've been struggling a bit. I could sense it, and I've been praying for you, sending you all the positive energy & care that I can muster daily. Life can be challenging on the best of days, yes? We all camouflage turmoil & uncertainties and put a good face on for the world to see. That's just part of putting one foot in front of the other to keep moving forward. The important thing is that we recognize when we're out of balance, and that we take steps to realign.

    Take time to do that, my friend. You have so much opportunity in your life and so much freedom - use it all to your advantage! Writing is a creative outlet, true, but the more forms of expression that you embrace on a creative level, the more rich a person you will be. In fact, your writing will benefit greatly from exploring new facets of your creativity!

    I know you've mentioned my peaceful approach to live more than once, but let me say that it humbles me each time you say it. That is something I strive for, but never am sure if I'm reaching that goal. Your words tell me, along w/ those shivers & yawns, that I'm doing okay. Even though I know you're wrestling with Life at the moment, I am confident that you'll be okay as well. That's not lip service - I have firm belief that you will be well.

    I'm praying for you, and I am loving you in return. This friendship is one of the blessings in my life and I cherish it.

    Thank you for visiting, reading, and leaving such a caring, warm, beautiful comment.

    ~ Dawn

  11. This is a very differently toned blog than what I have been visiting recently. I like the way you think ~ outside the box, experiential and real. Spirituality is personal and what we learn about ourselves, isn't it? Spirituality, if we seek it, steps outside of dogma, doesn't it? At least for me, this is true. Going inward for our own truths is authentic. I like the quote from Jesus in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas: 'If you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you.'
    Thanks for your wonderful blog. I love the insight, shivers + yawns = growth! I will be seeing you again in collective conscious!
    Pronams, Elle

  12. Elle, thank you for visiting and leaving such a thoughtful comment! First, let me say that your very first sentence touched me deeply. When I started this blog, it was to give myself a forum to express my own unique thoughts, and I knew that that meant putting myself out there in the world in a very transparent manner. Not everyone thinks along the same lines that I do; indeed, many times people simply do not 'get' me or my writing. That's okay - I know that my writing will resonate & attract the right people in perfect accord. It is still a joyful moment when someone finds me, reads my content and nods in recognition. I loved the quote you posted from Scripture - how pure and self-evident a statement! I will visit your blog in return & say to you now, Well Met, my new friend!

    Namaste' & Pronams in return,

  13. Dearest Dawn, Your wisdom and humanity shine in this post. When we find that quiet place and evoke the creative and loving child within, the answers just unfold. Affirmations are wonderful, but our default feelings, words and thoughts tend to dictate our actions until we go within. Thank you for sharing your moments of wholeness as well as your moments of shadow. This is the beautiful journey of life on earth.

    Warmth and Light,

    Mary Margaret

  14. Mary Margaret, thank you for taking time to read this post and leave me such a thoughtful comment! I am nodding my head in complete agreement about those default feelings being what requires our conscious attention. Living consciously - I strive to do so every day. Thank you, dear one, for walking along with me on the journey!

    ~ Dawn

  15. Hi,

    i am yawning when I enter devotional places or heard any devotional words and tears are shed from the ears.

    1. Pandian, it's fascinating how this strikes each of us differently. I love how you expressed yourself regarding this concept. Thanks for visiting!

      - Dawn

  16. Hi Dawn

    Very glad to read your blog on Yawning. For quite some time I had these questions on why I was yawning , whenever I was doing my affirmations and why my eyes are filled with tears.


  17. Hello Chaks,

    Your visit and comment took me back in time & I have enjoyed visiting this post and re-reading it along with all the past comments.

    Your new comment gave my heart a lift for several reasons. First, that you found me and this specific post from years ago in the vast world of the blog-o-sphere is pretty incredible! I haven't been very active here for a good stretch of time.

    Second, that you took time to share your thoughts and appreciation reminds me how much sheer and simple fun it can be to connect with other bloggers. Thank you for all of this! I look forward to visiting your blog in return. :)

    - Dawn

  18. Wow,

    Sometimes, you read something and you are blown away.

    I am from India and I moved towards spirituality 6 months ago.My experience connect to yours entirely.

    I get these shivers every now and then when something good gets connected to me.Now the strange part that I am still finding answer for is I do not Yawn entire day except when sleepy.But whenever I enter a temple or consciously chant the lords name, I am overwhelmed my Yawns one after another and it goes on till the moment I stop chanting the name(Can last for 1 hour).Imagine yourself yawning repeatedly for 1 hour.

    It's not just yawns but buckets of water flowing down the eyes as well.

    The moment I am done with long and repeated Yawns, I am peaceful, happy, joyful & relaxed.Feels like an entire rock has been removed from my body & is one of the best things that happens to me.

    I have read 100's of blogs but could not find an answer to - "Why do I yawn ONLY when I am praying/chanting."

    Now, I read an Islamic blog and according to "The great Quran" (Every Holy Book is GREAT to me) Yawns are a reflection on Satan.

    As a matter of fact, I feel happy and at peace after these sessions.Satan can't make a person happy, it's satan afterall.

    Your's blog is the best answer that has connected to me ever in a wonderful way & this is the only one I am sharing my experience out of 100's of blogs.

    I am still looking for ways God or Universe could answer to me.But yes God connected me to you.

    Secret says - "the Universe answers, You need to ask" and bang - I got a person like you today :)

    May GOD bestow lots & lots of happiness and peace over you.

    Warm regards,
    Sumit Arora

  19. Oh my God! I found your blog because I was getting more and more curious whyyyyy am I always yawning throughout my affirmations and when I try to visualize what I want to manifest! I was curious if it happens to someone else and if it’s a good or a bad sign!
    I definitely don’t feel bored of what I’m saying and I don’t feel sleepy either, but I keep having this strong urge to yawn and it’s not like a regular yawn. I do get the shivers too! To be honest, I deeply resonate with what you’ve explained here! 🤍🤍🤍 much love!