Sunday, October 30, 2011

Connecting With Our World & Honoring That Connection

This post comes out of two made on a social network for moms I am a part of (CafeMom).  I liked what I had to say and thought it was relevant enough to include it on this blog.

In 2009 I attended a sweat lodge for the Winter Solstice and another one during the Autumn Equinox in 2010.  It was my first one and it was a fantastic experience which I blogged about here.  What was mentioned was the fact that many people are "out of sync" with the world and Nature.  Being plugged into the modern has caused us to keep going constantly and often despite what is going on around us.  During the Winter life slows down, animals have migrated or are hibernating, many plants die, and the world in general takes a rest.  But look at yourself, your lifestyle and the pattern of your year.  Many people throughout the year, with some industries having slower portions dependent on the season (like the tourist season & Summer around coastal and resort areas), but in general you're still working.  You may luck out and get a holiday off, or opt to take a vacation for family time or just a break from work and schools let out during this time for similar reasons but you don't really slow down.  What you do is replace work and school with busy family events as the largest holiday gatherings are around this time - funny how that works out.  So you trade one form of busy-ness for another.

In my two posts on CafeMom I mention my issue with insomnia.  While it has many factors that contribute to it the bottom line is that it indicates that I am out of touch with the world just as much as anyone else.  Yes, the healer needs to heal too.  I find that during the Winter it gets even worse.  I believe that part of what is going on in my own situation is a general restlessness (which seems to make my insomnia worse) and a desire to be active due to my "monkey mind" - or as I call it the "jack rabbit".  I am so used to filling my days up with doing something that I cannot seem to embrace the quiet of the Winter time.  In fact it disquiets me.  With the Winter also comes the cold or at least cooler weather, neither of which I am a big fan of.  This drives me to stay inside more making the cabin fever even worse.  (And did I forget to mention I've also been a SAHM during my pregnancy due to having a hard time with it and since I gave birth from being out of work.)  It's a bit of a vicious cycle.

So this year, during this time of Nature's quiet I challenge you to connect with the energies around you in whatever way resonates most with your own personal beliefs.  Even if it's setting aside a few minutes a day for a week or just a few days to have some true quiet time.  Consider taking up a meditation practice or some form of soothing exercise that focuses on gentle movement - like yoga or T'ai Ch'i.  Then think about how it feels to work with the energy versus what you might have been doing before.  I'd love to hear about your experiences!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Contemplating Our Frustration

When we see something we don't like, or that is offensive to us, like the spider I just noted near my desk as I was sitting there reading through emails and holding my four month old; or experience something unpleasant and moving and knocking over something onto the floor just to have to stop what we're rushing to do to fix it our natural inclination is to become irritated or annoyed.  While this may be an "insta-reaction" it's not often helpful and can put a sour note into an otherwise harmonious day.

What I have found helpful in this is stopping to take the event for what it is.  A small, seemingly innocuous sign meant to re-direct one's attention to something other than what it is on.  A reminder of some undone task we may have been avoiding.  Sure, in words that are attributed to Sigmund Freud, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".  Sometimes a spider in the house because it's Winter is merely that...a member of the arachnid family entering a seemingly warm and safe refuge from the exposure of the outside.  And with my thoughts I do not discount this reality.  However I do add that when one notices something, there is generally special import.  In this case Spider reminds me of many things:  1) putting off de-cluttering around the desk just issues Spider, and various insects, an invitation, 2) be more mindful, as it was purely chance that caused me to notice the decently large (by my standards) Wolf Spider, of how close my bare feet may be to something less than savory; and of course 3) that it is time to consider the meaning of such a totem coming to my attention.

With my artistic side coming out I find that clutter seems to gravitate towards me.  With this also comes the piling of things merely to clear them from my way, rather than putting them away.  After awhile however such precarious stacking leads to the inevitability that they will fall.  When this happens I often instantaneously find myself annoyed, but as of late I have taken note to realize that had said pile not been stack in such a manner - or at all - it would not have fallen.  Therefore, it's a signal that I have too many things around where I am working and should rectify this.

So next time you see something as inconvenient, annoying, etc take a moment to step back and consider what other meaning you may draw from it - you may be surprised.