Possessed | Touchstones Of The Sacred | Touchstones of the Sacred - Part 2

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Possessed

January 14, 2010 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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Socrates considered it a gift, an inner voice he adhered to without question in all matters. It never directed him, but merely warned of unforeseen danger and poor judgment. Plato understood there existed a spirit separate from man but assigned to him throughout his lifetime, rather like a guardian angel. Some psychology purports that in our individuation –a development toward wholeness– this power assists us in overcoming obstacles. Ironically, this protective force may also summon stumbling blocks –job downsizing or illness– that rouse us to the edge of our known, adhered to convictions and routines. As individuation matures, we witness a truer identity of personal strength, passion and vision for life’s purpose which often involves risk, a drive toward the untaken path and trust that soul’s life work is in process. Who or what orchestrates this destiny? Could it be what the ancients described as our daimon, an invisible numinous presence, divine urge, deep intuition?

I recently encountered Christopher in a social group at a local eatery. His quiet nature belied his daring story of leaving behind work as a successful attorney in the east for a more enriching experience in the northwest. Not only did he brave a significant life change, but discovered he also needed time for personal exploration every two years. Without excuses or apologies and offering thoughtful warning to his employers, he readies for departures to whichever destination calls him. I imagine this is how he soothes his soul, governs his artistic expression and allows universal intelligence to play itself through him. Remarkably, I was in touch that night with three other people who were living and loving what they do, pursuing what moved them with less heed toward making big dollars.

My youngest son personifies the phrase “living out loud.” His personal strength is robust, his passion luminous. Boarding a helicopter with several other courageous thrill seekers he landed (more than once) atop a peak in the Purcell mountain range of British Columbia, with a plan to ride –as in snowboard– the summit. Imagine “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” invoking a scene of sparkling “blower” snow, azure skies, scalloped downhill tracks, speed, and exhilaration. Sacred, untouched nature. I didn’t need to board that chopper -nor would I have the guts- to feel stirred by the magic of those moments. Watching his video journal generated tears of amazement and a constant verbalization of “oh my god; oh my god.” Colin’s divine urge to really be in this world through epic adventure and subsequent artistic portrayal of it, incites my spirit. He models a life led by daimon.

Thomas Moore describes the daimon as a primal, creative urge, perhaps directing our character, style and destiny. Living with this principle often requires whimsy, risk-taking, mysterious spontaneity. Some even call it crazy. English novelist, Margaret Drabble, declares “when nothing is sure, everything is possible.” Stepping outside our “box” isn’t easy for many people; others consider this their norm. When the daimon pounces on the psyche and opens a gateway to the soul rousing and cajoling, “something incredible is waiting to be known.” I imagine the scientific brilliance of Carl Sagan spurred on by his daimon’s impulses. In my more modest and less systematic life, I simply remain alert to signs, be true to my intuitive creative impulses and ready myself for changing course when directed . After all, possession could well be nine tenths of who we are.


Exercise as Meditation

November 25, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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Exercise is my most important daily touchstone. Without moving, stretching, challenging and invigorating my physical being on a regular basis I quickly sense my spirit stagnating, negative thoughts try to invade and I am disconnected from my true essence, from the sacred. Often I like to exercise alone, as it’s my time to recharge, daydream, or let go of something troubling. When immersed in physical activity I reach a meditative zone – where everything suddenly shifts into perspective, the chatter of thoughts, worries and apprehensions fade away. More than just a “runner’s high”, I find a sense of both cosmic and earthly unity as my muscles, heart, and lungs find their rhythm.

Today was a gorgeous late autumn day and I took full advantage by biking out to Cathedral Park to see a community garden plot I may be leasing. Not knowing where exactly the garden was, I set out for an adventure along Willamette Boulevard, which winds along a great ridge on the west bank of the Willamette River. The view was glorious – evergreen blanketed hills to the west, lovely historic homes to my right, and behind me snowy Mt. Hood, resplendent without the usual cloud cover.  As I pedaled I noticed the sky, filled with sunlight filtered down to me through gauzy clouds and a lacy curtain of brilliant red and yellow leaves still clinging haphazardly to gnarled branches. I  also noticed I’d been smiling ever since my ride began.

When I arrived at the majestic St. John’s Bridge I knew I was close to my destination. The garden plot was sure to be down the steep hill leading to the water and Cathedral Park.  I rode through the park, down toward the river, still not finding the garden. I now faced a steep hill to climb. Empowered and exhilarated from the ride out here and the beauty of my surroundings, I trusted my body to get me up the hill. And not only were my muscles focused solely on climbing the hill, my mind was laser-focused as well. Lingering frustration from a phone call this morning, doubts about making it up the hill, the never-ending To-Do list evaporated, and there to my right, down a quiet street was the garden.


The Space We Occupy

November 23, 2009 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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Five people in my immediate world have died in the last two months. They slipped away during the night; they left when 911 was called and responded. Bodies weary, worn, weathered and no longer wondrous with life, let go of earthly hold. Spirits tireless, bright, dignified and elegant uttered their final messages — silent words of release and love.  Somewhere in the years of then and now these five people lived. Through inspiration, objective, focus, responsibility and trust, each of these men and women were constant to their role as human being. Clearly without perfection they sought to live nobly, a testament to the grace rooted at their core.

“Maturing is not just aging. It’s taking responsibility for the time you take up and the space you occupy,”  Maya Angelou affirms.  Within the bounds and limits of expanding ourselves, we as conscious individuals attempt — and often fail– to express our soul’s aspirations. We become mired in doubt, believing we are less-than. Ego driven, we are afraid to look, act or BE older. Media reports to us unceasingly, the countless ways to remain beautiful, youthful and ageless.  We have forgotten we are not these bodies.  We live in fear of wrinkles, flawed countenance and loss of sex drive. Instead of taking stock of how we give back to the world, we fixate on how we appear to the world. By doing so, are we not misusing the space we occupy?

I believe aging is — in part– about discovering our purpose, uncovering the picture of a bigger story.  This enterprise is no small task.  It requires presence and deep consideration.  Some days I struggle with my attempts at soul’s work. Some days, I’m not even sure I know what that work is! Caught up in my own human fears of aging — physical limitations more apparent, dreams unfulfilled, making sense of the reasons for my existence — I let ego steer me away from the knowing I AM spirit. I live in the past of regret and the future of what-if-only.

During these times, corralling my attention to the moment is imperative.  I don’t ignore my fears; I move through them. I strive to age with dignity and grace.  The five residents that passed away at the care facility where I work, have been an example to me. They have reflected it is through our imperfection in aging, that we grace this world. Though we cannot always be benevolent of heart and less driven by ego’s insecurities, we can prompt ourselves to live responsibly. We can wake up every day and in our finer moments, get close to our soul.


Intention

November 10, 2009 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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Gratitude is a magnificent word. Daily, it appears on the breeze of my dreams’ finales like a gentle alarm alerting me to the waking hour. Taking a few moments to silently list what I am thankful for is the origin of my day. The inventory is extensive naturally, but mainly the beneficiaries of my grateful register are family and friends. Gratitude has immense power. Similar to the motion of a bird’s wings in flight, it lifts the energy of thanks to realms we cannot touch with our human hands.

While some claim pseudoscience at work, Masaru Emoto’s studies of positive intention on the structure of water are compelling. His work reveals that music, prayer and the words — love and gratitude — produce beautifully shaped water crystals. While emphasizing he is not a scientist, nor the studies “double blind,” Emoto has nevertheless opened our eyes to the possibility we can have profound effect — in this case on water, one of humans? most essential needs. The notion that basic H20 can be appreciated enough to form symmetrical, snowflake-like shapes when frozen is extraordinary. Imagine the myriad other possibilities! Read more »


Giving Birth

November 04, 2009 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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I’m stripping – one fear at a time, one feeling at a time, one label, one tear. I’m stripped of each element of my person. Who is doing the stripping I can’t really say. Am I the perpetrator? Is this stripping societal, accidental, an act of God? All I know is it is happening whether I like it or not, regardless if I’m ready or not.

Sara Davidson writes in her latest bestseller Leap! What Will We Do With the Rest of Our Lives? that this act – the “s” word – is “when the supports that prop up your identity are kicked away.” Now I understand intellectually that my identity is not truly who I AM. I know on a deeper level of being alive, I am not this body that isn’t as perfect as I may want or a mother who desperately loves her three children -the youngest having returned to college today. I don?t want to believe I am unemployed or worse, unemployable. Read more »


Values, Principles, and Living with Intention

October 09, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my values and principles, and how consciousness of them is essential to living with intention. Several things have sparked and sustained this extended meditation and I know all originate with now being the right time for me to explore this. I’m reveling in the synchronicity of thoughts and experiences coming into my life, which give me regular opportunities to explore this theme. One sparking event was a comment from one of our blog readers. Writing about her participation in the ME2 Challenge, she says “it is an opportunity for me to see my principles in action“. I absolutely love how she put that!

As we grow and change throughout our lifetimes, our values may shift yet our principles tend to be more fixed, as they are fundamental truths that serve as the foundation for our beliefs, behavior and chain of reasoning. You might even say they are the fundamental qualities of our true selves or manifestations of our very essence. This then brings me back to our readers? comment and the idea that our principles are a direct connection to the sacred. And this connection is the ultimate aim of the ME2 Challenge: by taking care of your body, mind and spirit, you affirm the sacredness of your being, which is the source of generosity, love and compassion. Read more »


Count Your Blessings: Cultivating a Practice of Gratitude

October 06, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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With each sunrise comes an opportunity to start afresh; whether it is renewing our commitment to daily practice or another chance to leave behind an old habit. Adding a daily gratitude practice to your morning ritual is a wonderful way to acknowledge the blessings in your life.

Many recent studies suggest that people who are more grateful experience higher levels of well-being and are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. Studies also indicate that people characterized as grateful are more in control of their environments, personal growth, purpose in life, and have greater self acceptance. Sounds like living with intention to me! Gratitude seems to be an overall tonic for body, mind and spirit and grateful people are known to sleep better, perhaps because they tend to have pleasant thoughts before sleeping, rather than ruminating on the days’ disappointments. Read more »


Finding your own path to the sacred in a busy life

September 30, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit, Teachers, Video

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I love this conversation between Celedra and Tai Chi, Yiquan and Qigong master teacher Fong Ha. They discuss enlightenment, eternity and finding your own path to sacred connection in the midst of a busy life. Their discussion of the desire to change really resonated with me. I’m sure that desire for change, for something more, is what brings many readers to our blog. We’d love to hear your comments!

Watch the video


Fong Ha – Touching the Sacred in Everyday Life

September 23, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Mind Body Spirit, Teachers, Video

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Watch the video


Autumn, A Season of Gratitude

September 23, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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Throughout each year there are many days that serve as special markers of time, experience and hope for the future. Birthdays, the new year and other seasonal or religious holidays all help us celebrate our lives and can also serve as a powerful point in time to pause, reflect and then move forward with renewed intention.

Yesterday marked the Autumnal Equinox or the first day of fall, and today begins the ever faster approach of shorter days and longer nights. The Autumnal Equinox is also a time associated with balance and gratitude. Read more »




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