|Apply Gentleness To Everything|
Struggle can find no foothold when confronted with gentleness, because conflict can only exist when fed by two opposing forces.Throughout life we must cope with blockages that impede our forward momentum. Whether these obstacles are of a personal, professional, or societal nature, our first instinct may be to push against the obstruction. But the simplest way to alleviate resistance is to approach it gently, with a soft manner and kind intentions. Struggle and strife can find no foothold when confronted with gentleness because conflict can only exist when fed by two opposing forces. So many areas of our lives can benefit from the application of gentleness. The beauty of gentleness lies in its multifaceted nature. It is part love, part compassion, part patience, part understanding, and part respect for others. When we move through life gently as a matter of course, we naturally attract these wonderful elements into our lives.
This does not mean that gentle people are by nature passive or meek. Rather, their copious inner power is manifested in their gentleness and their choice to move with the flow of the universe instead of against it. You can make use of gentleness in your own life by applying it in situations where you feel challenged by your circumstances or by people in your environment. As you move forward gently, the energy pervading your life will likely shift and, consequently, the blockages before you will vanish. Cooperation progresses smoothly when approached gently because all parties involved feel confident that their needs will be met. And quarrels are easily quelled with gentleness because the dualistic concepts of losing and winning are made moot by our willingness to exercise infinite patience with those whose values differ from our own.
Gentleness must be practiced, as we are inadvertently encouraged to act competitive in certain phases of our lives. At first, your established habits may make being truly gentle challenging. Yet after a time, if you commit to consciously applying gentleness to all areas of your life, whether by collaborating rather than competing or yielding graciously to the impassable roadblocks in your path in order to seek a new road, you will find that you begin to act gently habitually. Your patterns of thought and behavior become ever more peaceful, and you will discover that you encounter far less impassable resistance on your individual journey.
|Silence Of The Heart|
BY MADISYN TAYLOR
It takes a sensitive ear to tune in to the silence of the heart, but it is there in each one of us.
We spend a lot of time attempting to put the feelings in our hearts into words, to communicate to others our passions, our emotions, and our love. Often we are so busy trying to translate our heart’s roar into language that we miss the most profound experience the heart has to offer, which is silence. Every poem arises from this silence and returns to it. When all the songs have been sung, the soliloquies delivered, the emotions expressed, silence is what remains. As each wave of feeling rises and falls back into the silence, we have an opportunity to connect with the vast, open, powerfully healing wisdom at the soundless center of our hearts.
Our hearts may seem noisy and tumultuous so much of the time that we do not even associate them with silence. It takes a sensitive ear to tune in to the silence of the heart, but it is there in each one of us, so close and so large that we do not even notice it. We can begin to become aware of it in the same way we become aware of the negative space in a still life, the background of a photograph, or the open sky that contains the sun, clouds, moon, and stars. We are accustomed to tuning in to objects and sounds that are one-pointed, solid, and three-dimensional. Seeing and hearing the apparently empty space that contains these sounds and objects takes a little practice.
We can bring our awareness into our hearts by simply breathing into the general area of our heart. The first thing we may notice is feelings like joy or sadness and physical sensations like tightness or tenderness. We acknowledge these as we continue to breathe and focus, listening attentively. We surround these feelings and sensations with breath and recognize that they are contained and held in an immeasurable substance like water or air, intangible, ineffable, but utterly real. This is the silence of the heart, and the more we listen for it, return to it, and accept it, the more we bathe and purify ourselves in the soundless center of our being.
Today’s topic is all about ‘creating our day.’ How do you create your day?
For me – I like to start each day fresh – most days I don’t have set plans – I just ‘go with the flow.’
But then again, I’m retired so every day is Saturday 🙂 🙂 🙂
Today, I will go in the back yard, feed the cats, then walk among the trees – doing wall push ups against many of them. I do that every day – 7 days a week – whether I have someplace to go outside the ‘Park’ or whether I stay here all day.
That keeps me away from watching endless television. I don’t know about the rest of you, but endlessly watching television all day is quite boring.
During February’s Snowmageddon, I only missed one day of this routine. That was because the weather was so horrible even two of the cats refused to go outside, but instead used their indoor box. Of course, I went out briefly to feed the two girls, but quickly came back inside.
Today is a spectacular today, and I am going out to enjoy the beauty of it.
|The First Moments of the Day|
BY MADISYN TAYLOR Each morning when we awake, we have an opportunity to create our day with what inspires us the most. The moment during the day when we very first open our eyes and come into consciousness is a precious opportunity. It sets the tone for all that comes after it, like the opening scene in a film or novel. At this moment, our ability to create the day is at its most powerful, and we can offer ourselves fully to the creative process by filling this moment with whatever inspires us most. It may be that we want to be more generous, or it may be that we want to be more open to beauty in our daily lives. Whatever the case, if we bring this vision into our minds at this very fertile moment, we empower it to be the guiding principle of our day.
Sometimes we wake up with a mood already seemingly in place, and it’s important to give this feeling its due. It can inform us and deepen our awareness to what’s going on inside us, as well as around us. As long as we are conscious, we can honor this feeling and also introduce our new affirmation or vision, our conscious offering to the day. We may want to decide before we go to sleep what we want to bring to the next day of our lives. It could be that we simply want to be more open to whatever comes our way. Or we may want to summon a particular quality such as confidence. Then again, we may simply call up a feeling that perfectly captures the texture we want our day to have.
We can reaffirm our vision or affirmation as we shower and eat breakfast, as well as recalling it at various times throughout the day. We can write it down and carry it with us on a little slip of paper if this helps. Simply by being aware of those first moments, we set the stage for a more conscious, enlivened experience, and we become active participants in the creation of our lives.
Forging ahead on these I am.
This is all about grounding and staying grounded. How do YOU stay grounded?
For me – I have the trees in the back yard. Every day, 7 days a weeks, I go outside and walk around those trees. On some of them I do tree push ups [also called ‘planking’]. As I am planking I talk to them – telling them how beautiful they are – asking them how their life is doing . The largest of them I have named Treebeard . 🙂
I clean up around the trees, also. It’s important to keep the area around them clean of debris and brush.
Realistically, I spend about an hour and a half outdoors each day, talking to the trees, cleaning them up and planking. That is the way I ground myself each day. 🙂
|Staying Grounded in a Big City or Busy World|
BY MADISYN TAYLOR For a more grounded life, choose not to get caught up in the fast-paced world around you. 1. Live simply and live deliberately. By choosing not to get caught up in the details of this fast-paced world, you are doing your part to slow down the rat race and quell consumerism. You will also discover that you have more time to enjoy being alive.
2. Stay in touch with yourself. Soul searching, meditation, and journaling are just a few of the many activities you can take part in to stay aware and learn as much as you can about your emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears. Having a solid sense of self gives you a firm foundation for living in this world.
3. Support or teach others as often as you can. This can help you form connections with people while also giving you an opportunity to make the world a better place.
4. Consciously choose what you will allow into your being. The media bombards us with visions of hate, war, and pain. Be judicious about what you read, watch, and listen to.
5. Acknowledge the beauty that resides around you. Whether you live in a sprawling metropolis or a stereotypical suburb, there are natural and man-made wonders just waiting to be discovered by you.
6. Nurture your ties to your tribe. If you don’t have one, create a community that you can belong to. Modern life can be isolating. When you have a tribe, you have a circle that you are a part of. Its members – loved ones, friends, or neighbors – can be a source of support, caring, guidance, and companionship.
7. See the larger picture. Remember that the way that you choose to live is not the only way to live. Widen your perspective by exploring other modes of being through research, travel, and discussion.
8. Embrace the challenges that life presents to you, and challenge yourself often. After a time, even the most exciting jobs or lifestyles can seem routine. Never stop assimilating new knowledge about whatever you are doing, and your life will never seem dull.
9. Move your body. In this busy world, it can be easy to live a sedentary life. Movement reacquaints us with our bodies and connects us to the earth in a visceral way. It also restores our vitality.
10. Make time for stillness, silence, and solitude. The world can be noisy, and we are subject to all kinds of noises nearly every waking hour. We are also often “on the go” and unable to relax. Being alone in a peaceful place and making time for quiet can help you stay in touch with yourself.
I know – I’m a wee bit behind on this. O well – I use the excuse of being snow bound for most of February here in the Pacific Northwest because of Snowmageddon. I think my brain is still clogged with snow 🙂 🙂 🙂
Self Love – wow – what a concept. How many of us REALLY love ourselves? Let’s be honest. I know I still have days where I wonder if I like myself, let alone LOVE myself. But I push away all those negative cobwebs and forge on.
IMHO loving oneself is quite important. It’s one of the most important in my head each day when I wake up.
Let the Love Shine On!!!!!!!!
|Falling In love With Yourself|
BY MADISYN TAYLOR Once you discover how to fall in love with yourself, you can’t help but treat yourself with respect and thoughtfulness. While seeking love, many people tend to look outward rather than inward. Yet falling in love with yourself can be just as wonderful an experience as falling in love with someone else. While the idea of falling in love with ourselves may be thought of as conceited or selfish, choosing to fall in love with who you are is a powerful act of self-love.
When you fall in love with yourself, you can’t help but experience a wonderful sense of discovery. You begin to look at yourself again through fresh eyes, becoming more attentive to the little details that make you so unique. Once you discover how much there is about you to fall in love with, you can’t help but want to treat yourself as lovingly and respectfully as you would treat anyone who is special to you. You start to give to yourself more because you become more attentive to your own needs and desires.
Choosing to fall in love with yourself is a very personal process that takes time. There is no magic wand you can wave to make this happen. But there is the magic of your intention and the power of your actions, whether you are taking the time to do the activities you like, speaking to and treating yourself with respect, taking inventory of all of your wonderful qualities and accomplishments, or nurturing yourself with plenty of rest and self-care. When you fall in love with yourself, you begin to see yourself more positively, appreciate your unique outlook on life, and treat yourself in a more nurturing way. In loving yourself, you are acknowledging that you are special and deserving of love. Best of all, you are giving yourself one of the greatest gifts you have to give another. You are giving yourself the gift of your love.
I know – I’m really behind on posting to this blog. Real Life takes over some times. My message to all today – LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Don’t be afraid to tell the people in your Life that you LOVE them. We are here on this planet for such a short time. Fill your Life with LOVE.
|Letting People Know You Love Them|
BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Love exists to be expressed, not withheld.
It’s easy to take our feelings for granted and to assume that the people we care about know how we feel about them. But while those we love are often quite cognizant of our feelings, saying “I love you” is a gift we should give to our loved ones whenever we can. Letting people know you love them is an important part of nurturing any kind of loving relationship. Few people tire of being told they are loved, and saying “I love you” can make a world of difference in someone’s life, take a relationship to a new level, or reaffirm and strengthen a steady bond. Everyone needs to hear the words “I love you.” Three simple words I – Love – You. When you declare your love for someone you admit to them that you care for them in the most significant way.
It can be difficult to express your love using words, particularly if you grew up around people that never expressed their affection verbally. But you should never be afraid to say “I love you” or worry that doing so will thrust you into a position of excessive vulnerability. It is important to share your feelings with those that matter to you. Part of the fulfillment that comes with loving someone is telling them that you love them. Besides, love exists to be expressed, not withheld.
If you love someone, let them know. Don’t be afraid of the strength of your emotions or worry that your loved one won’t feel the same way. Besides, the words “I love you” are often best said to another without expectation of a return investment. As each one of us is filled with an abundance of love, there is never any worry that you’ll run out of love if your expression of love isn’t said back to you. Saying “I love you” is a gift of the heart sent directly via words to the heart of a recipient. Even though it may not always look that way, love from the heart is an offering that is always unconditional and given without strings attached. That is the true essence of the gift of “I love you.”
Reading this Daily Om brought visions of Enya’s Orinoco Flow dancing through my brain.
|The Flow of the Universe|
BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Many people live their lives struggling against the current, while others use the flow like a mighty wind.
The flow of the universe moves through everything. It’s in the rocks that form, get pounded into dust, and are blown away, the sprouting of a summer flower born from a seed planted in the spring, the growth cycle that every human being goes through, and the current that takes us down our life’s paths. When we move with the flow, rather than resisting it, we are riding on the universal current that allows us to flow with life.
Many people live their lives struggling against this current. They try to use force or resistance to will their lives into happening the way they think it should. Others move with this flow like a sailor using the wind, trusting that the universe is taking them exactly where they need to be at all times. This flow is accessible to everyone because it moves through and around us. We are always riding this flow. It’s just a matter of whether we are willing to go with it or resist it. Tapping into the flow is often a matter of letting go of the notion that we need to be in control at all times. The flow is always taking you where you need to go. It’s just a matter of deciding whether you plan on taking the ride or dragging your feet.
Learning to step into the flow can help you feel a connection to a force that is greater than you and is always there to support you. The decision to go with the flow can take courage because you are surrendering the notion that you need to do everything by yourself. Riding the flow of the universe can be effortless, exhilarating, and not like anything that you ever expected. When you are open to being in this flow, you open yourself to possibilities that exist beyond the grasp of your control. As a child, you were naturally swept by the flow. Tears of sadness falling down your face could just as quickly turn to tears of laughter. Just the tiniest wave carrying you forward off the shores of the ocean could carry you into peals of delight. Our souls feel good when we go with the flow of the universe. All we have to do is make the choice to ride its currents.
For me, eating healthy is a Lifestyle Choice. Four years ago, I ended up with a very large kidney stone. Having that kidney stone meant I had to change out the foods I consumed on a daily basis.
Out went the cacao – out went the potatoes and sweet potatoes. Out went the black tea.
IN came lots and lots and lots of squashes. Butternut squash has become my new BFF. Ditto for Spaghetti squash.
In came eating lots and lots and lots of lettuce. Fortunately I adore lettuce. I could eat lettuce for 3 meals a day and never grow tired of it.
|Eating Right to Feel Better|
BY MADISYN TAYLOR
What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our mental clarity, focus, mood, and stress levels.
At its simplest, food is fuel. Though our preferences regarding taste and texture can vary widely, we all rely on the foods we eat for energy. Most people are aware that it is vital we consume a diverse assortment of foods if we aspire to maintain a state of physical well-being. However, the intimate connection between diet and our mental well-being is less understood. Just as the nutritional components in food power the body, so too do they power the mind. Some foods can impair cognitive functioning and sap our energy while others heighten our intellectual prowess and make us feel vigorous. What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our ability to focus, mental clarity, mood, and stress levels.
Food allergies, which don’t always manifest themselves in forms we recognize, can also play a significant role in the maintenance of mental health. Thus, for most of us, even a simple change in diet can have a profoundly positive impact on our lives. Taking the time to explore whether anxiety, muddled thoughts, or inexplicable tension can be linked to a food allergy or food sensitivity can empower you to treat your symptoms naturally. The benefits of a healthier, more personalized diet are often felt immediately. Sugar, saturated fats, wheat, and dairy products are frequently allergens and can stress the body. For people that are allergic, consuming them can cause imbalances in the physical self that have a negative effect on the body’s ability to nourish the brain. Water, fiber, nuts, unprocessed seeds, raw fruits and vegetables, and vegetable proteins, on the other hand, support physical and mental functioning by providing those nutrients we do need without additional substances we don’t.
A balanced, natural diet can ease mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, and mild depression. Intellectual clarity and agility is improved when the mind receives proper nourishment. Even those individuals who are blessed with the ability to consume almost any food can benefit from a healthier and simpler diet. Since the mental and physical selves are closely bound to one another, we must feed each the foods upon which they thrive.
My dog died last September – September of 2018. She was a special dog – a Shih Tzu. A Shih Tzu that had been abused in her former location.
A young girl placed a message about her in a Next Door group in September of 2017 that I belong to – I saw that message and my heart went out to that poor unloved dog.
So I contacted the woman – we arranged to meet – Susie liked me instantly as much as I liked her and I agreed to adopt her.
We quickly discovered the abuse issues – at first we couldn’t touch her on her sides [that was because of the poorly healed broken ribs]. We couldn’t touch her face [that was because of the rotten teeth that eventually all got removed].
She was an old dog but a very loved dog. We gave her the best year of her Life. And when she died in my arms in the vet’s office at the beginning of September last year, she died knowing how loved she was.
I still grieve for her. Not a day goes by that I haven’t thought of her. We’ve kept her bed [my one cat loved her and he uses her bed respectfully, like he expects her to come back into his Life one day]. I’ve kept one of her coats and her leash.
I dedicate this Daily Om on grieving to her – Susie – the spectacular Susie. In my mind’s eye I will always see how happy you were when we took walks – your eyes flapping as we walked.
|Grief Is Important|
BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Grieving doesn’t have to be a process that keeps us rooted in our thoughts of fear and sadness.
Change is something that happens each and every moment in our lives. Since nothing is constant, it may sometimes seem as if we are losing something whenever things do change. Understanding that this is part of our daily existence and that there will not only be gains but also losses in our lives can help us more readily accept and deal with whatever happens.
Whenever we lose something or somebody we love, it is important for us to take time out for ourselves and truly feel the weight of what we are experiencing. Although it may seem that doing so will push us into a deeper state of sadness, truly giving ourselves permission to be with whatever arises actually creates space for us to begin the healing process. This is because the act of grieving is a natural process, allowing us to sort through the range of emotions that are present in our everyday existence. Even though it may sometimes seem easier to involve ourselves in activities that take our minds off of our sadness, this will only make the route to healing more difficult. Unless we listen to where we are in the moment, the emotions we experience will only grow in intensity, and our feelings will manifest themselves in more powerful and less comfortable ways. Once we consciously acknowledge that these emotions are present, however, we are more able to soothe the sorrow of the moment. In so doing, we become more open to our natural ability to heal ourselves.
Grieving doesn’t have to be a process that keeps us rooted in our thoughts of fear and sadness. For the moment we might feel despondent, but by expressing and coping with our true feelings, we face the sadness head-on. When we allow ourselves to accept and deal with our loss fully, we will then be able to continue our life’s journey with a much more positive and accepting outlook. This will make it easier for us to see that our grief is ephemeral and, just like our moments of happiness, it will also come to pass.
This is so true. Madisyn says it all. 😦
BY MADISYN TAYLOR To label yourself good or bad is to think too small. There is no such thing as a good person or a bad person. There are choices and actions that lead us in different directions, and it is through those choices and actions that we create our realities. Sometimes we choose or do something that takes us in the opposite direction of the reality we want to create for ourselves. When we do this, we feel bad–uneasy, unhappy, unsure. We might go so far as to label ourselves “bad” when a situation like this arises. Instead of labeling ourselves, though, we could simply acknowledge that we made a choice that led us down a particular path, and then let it go, forgiving ourselves and preparing for our next opportunity to choose, and act, in ways that support our best intentions.
Many of us experienced childhoods in which the words good and bad were used as weapons to control us–you were good if you did what you were told and bad if you didn’t. This kind of discipline undermines a person’s ability to find their own moral center and to trust and be guided by their own inner self. If you were raised this way, you may find yourself feeling shockwaves of badness when you do something you were taught was wrong, even if now you don’t agree that it’s bad. Conversely, you may feel good when you do what you learned was right. Notice how this puts you in something of a straitjacket. An important part of our spiritual unfolding requires that we grow beyond what we learned and take responsibility for our own liberation in our own terms.
You are a human being with every right to be here, learning and exploring. To label yourself good or bad is to think too small. What you are is a decision-maker and every moment provides you the opportunity to move in the direction of your higher self or in the direction of stagnation or degradation. In the end, only you know the difference. If you find yourself going into self-judgment, try to stop yourself as soon as you can and come back to center. Know that you are not good or bad, you are simply you.