Think of Your Heart First

As you get into your week, some food for thought:

Think of your heart first.

In the tradition of Chinese Medicine, the heart is the emperor of the body, so when we take care of the heart, the body is able to relax and tend to other things.

I'm talking about LOVE baby!

So, as you try to prepare healthy meals ahead of time, cleanse or ponder increased exercise, be sure to FIRST feel, smile, and give your heart a lift.

Do something you love, something beautiful.

Hug someone you love with everything you've got.

Then, get on with eating some kale and that bike ride you've been meaning to do...  but do it will a smile; you're already there.

The World Offers Itself

"The world offers itself to your imagination," the great poet Mary Oliver says. To me, this is truth.

The imagination is not something trivial, or something we left behind in childhood.  It is always with us. It lives in the NOW.

Our imagination is our beautiful inner space; its contents define our inner life and most of our outer. The world around us is full of food for this place - both healthy and junk. What you pay attention to, this becomes the content of your mind, your imagination. 

Most of our minds need a good cleaning at some point. Memories and old stories are littered there like newspapers and boxes in a house in disrepair. This is one of the reasons that therapy is helpful. Together, we move through the house room by room. 

I recently had a client come to end her work with me. She had explored and faced the rooms in her mental house, cleaned them, and made plans for their continued use. Now, she has the tools to maintain this space, and to fill it with life.

How about a mind filled with life instead of anxiety?

Spring is a time for imagining. The cherry blossoms reflect back to us the sweetness of our true nature. Take it in.  Breathe deeply into your life. Imagine.

 

40

I turned 40 last Thursday.  40. 4. 0.

The big 40 was big for me, big in love, luxury, surprises, satisfactions, and, of course, ruminations.

What does it mean to become a 40-year old woman? A woman who is no longer in her 30's?

If my celebrations are any indication, it is quite a wonderful thing.  Turning 40 gave all these people who love me (and they do, they really do!) a chance to really show it (and they did, they really did!)  And it was incredible.  Life-changing.

One of my best friends has been pushing me since last year about what I was going to do for my birthday.  I am so grateful to her now because by claiming it and planning it, "it" happened.

And "it" was the simple experience of being around people I love, who support me and make me feel at ease.

And maybe that's what 40 is all about, making those kinds of choices.

So hello 40 and (hmmm... let's see, 1,2,3,4) 5 days! I'm glad to see you. The rest of life awaits.

Coasting

Sometimes life surprises you, and when you think it's going to rain, you end up seeing the moon and stars over the sea...

Or when you least expect it, you make some new friends and are invited to have a fun and satisfying weekend out at the Coast.

Foggy, rainy, no matter. What's shines through is the shared experience of being close, and being glad to be in a big house with a bunch of other folks who also want to be there.

We need each other in this life.  Not just to listen and care, but to challenge, share, and be. The older I get, the more I appreciate the diversity of our shared experience of being human.

No one can argue with certain types of beauty, we all know what Spring feels like...

But we are also all different, and going along in life in our own way, making it easy to forget that we are part of the same tribe.

It's nice to be reminded.

Happy Spring!

Shivertime

Winter came to Portland this week, did it arrive where you are?  For us, it is here, that special movement of inward longing and reflecting that I both love and fear; a movement that involves preparing, evaluating, waiting, hoping.




As it is suddenly (seemingly) dark before 5 pm, and the cold settles in on the ground, I find it takes work to allow the movement that is Winter to permeate my being and do its work.  It asks me to close my eyes and just be...




This asking can be difficult. We long for color and light, things to whisk us away from darker feelings, thoughts, and dreams. But it is only by appreciating our inner depths that we can truly scale the heights. So Winter offers a time to go soul-spelunking, if you will.




I find that the deeper I go, the more I am rewarded by the light that reveals itself to be within the darkness. This is the diamond in the coal: the fiery heart of our own nature, full of light we cannot even begin to comprehend.



As the light leaves and the leaves fall, we see the nature of reality.

Life comes from seemingly nowhere, bursts forth in beauty, blows in the breeze and turns its face to the sun.

When it is time, it turns golden and releases, falling and dancing free before finding rest, and what will be its next beginning.

Winter is for rest and the nurture of what is to come. Winter invites us towards growth and whispers one of nature's great secrets: face the darkness and be rewarded with light.