Total Eclipse of the Heart Chakra

We’re in the midst of a powerful spiritual week. Passover began at sundown Friday evening, we experienced a total lunar eclipse following a blood moon in our solar system early today and Easter is this Sunday. Whether you follow the traditions and rituals of  any of these observances or of another faith, commonalities can be found. Each pull strongly on your heart, guiding together along our earthly and spiritual path. Where spirit meets body.

It’s a time to be gentle, kind and to move slow and with intention.

Instead of focusing on the differences between us this time of year, I tried to look to this universal truth and see us as one. Faith, spirituality and the heart are intertwined. The heart is the root of compassion. Compassion is the doorway to understanding – ourselves and others.

One Love. May all beings everywhere be happy and be free.

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Transformation…

It can be hard not to focus on the outcome. The destination. Hard to find the balance between where I am in the multi-faceted external world and where I am within the layers of myself. There is a wave of relief in the surrender to self, the true self that is a guide, brings moments of stillness and peace.

T.S. Eliot

Holy Moly, Mercury Retrograde…

I woke up this morning at 5:00am from a few incredibly vivid dreams. The imprint when I woke was the type of one that lets you know your entire entity was working through many dimensions of thought and being. And then I cried…a lot. It felt like a pressure valve release to whatever my body was healing while I slept. It can be easy to feel completely alone in these moments, but then I remember that there actually is an entire Universe out there playing a roll. We are never alone.

Knowing that we all experience things differently, when retrograde Mercury comes about, it is an amazing reminder to slow down and take stalk. Be patient and honor what comes up. This is when I like to remind myself to acknowledge and respect whats happening around me but to try to keep grounded on my own path. Lessons will be brought up which ignites a natural push-or-pull but all for reasons of urging personal growth. As empathetic beings, we can easily get wrapped up with what comes along in our daily encounters with the tremendous energy during these planetary shifts. We’re all on this green planet together – the gentler we are on ourselves, the gentler we will be with others.

If you have time, flip thru Instagram for the beautiful photos of the blood moon from this morning and the full moon heading into lunar eclipse from last night. It’s a collage-type of reminder that we are all here together, seeing and experiencing the same things from different vantage points. Enjoy the show and the time to meditate, reflect and go with the flow.

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Point of View x Beth Hoeckel

Emotional Abundance

Rarely do I feel that I have no thoughts or emotions towards just about everything in my life, but I strive to let those pass by without attachment. Key word being strive…I try, with all the hours of yoga classes nipping at my heals, I try. It’s easy to get stuck and dwell, run my mind in circles over the topic at hand. With negative thoughts, it can feel more like a rabbit hole with quicksand inside.

A few weeks back, I started a radical acceptance mediation course at home on CD. I love it. There is one gem that I want to share (although I give the whole thing 4 stars!), it is simple but all encompassing. When negative thoughts or experiences are present, try to open up to them from the heart versus constrict and focus on one particular aspect (or for me, known as the rabbit hole). To actually feel our emotions and move through them instead of shoving them down or to the side…which can sometimes later fester in worse or more destructive ways. I’m paraphrasing here but the concept alone has truly expanded my healing.

It is not always easy to sit with uncomfortable emotions but now that I’m more actively practicing to do so, I can feel where I was putting emotional band-aids on before.

I have had the tendency in the past to want to rush to the good stuff, ignore or skip the bad or uncomfortable stuff. Meditation helps to see that the “bad” stuff also serves a purpose and actually helps lead to a deeper and more real connection when its time for the “good” stuff.

Ah, the light (and darkness) of awareness.

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Blog love: Why It’s Good To Feel Alone, Angry and Depressed via MindBodyGreen

Radical Self-Acceptance

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I love meditation. The attention to breathing, the absence of visual stimulation and the feeling after a session. A weight has been lifted off of my brain. This, of course, goes without saying that it can be a process to develop a steady and on-going practice. Good resources are not always easy to find…sometimes the meditation will pull on strings not ready to be worked on just yet or the guide’s voice is reminiscent of a past school teacher who gave a bad grade. These are valid reactions to digging deeper – and a sign there is more there than the initial thought or emotion. When placing myself into a position to open up and work within, comfort and a feeling of nurturance is key.

One resource that I’ve returned to for ideas is the Sounds True catalog – both online and print are available. Last night, I began the guided meditation Radical Self-Acceptance with Tara Brach. Although is had been quite some time since I’d done a complete hour of meditation and guidance, I had no trouble tuning in since I was ready to develop my practice further. Session one on The Suffering of Self Aversion was powerful. It addresses the way we deal with shame and our layered emotions – conscious and subconscious – around our aversions and coping behaviors without judgment on what we perceive to be our own negative qualities. The meditation and talk she gives helps to place building blocks around these qualities to grow in a more positive perceptive.

Sneak peak into the chapters for session one:

  • Relating to the anxiety of imperfection
  • The root of suffering
  • Fleeing from the face of shame
  • Strategies of judgement and conformity
  • Awakening from your substitute life
  • Mindfulness and love
  • A meditation on welcoming the guests (from Rumi)

Each section includes literary and buddhist examples to illuminate Tara Brach’s teachings. This guide could be used for variably anything that is happening in life for anyone looking to grow.

The complete set includes a total of four sessions, I’m greatly looking forward to adding this info my nightly routine this week. If you’re looking for something to dig a little deeper, this might be for you.

The House Guest

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

Breathe to Ease – Lower Anxiety

Quite frankly, 2013 has been the loopiest rollercoaster year of my life. I’ve spoken to many people who have also experienced monumental life changes this year – good and bad – but are all together ready for a (hopefully) calmer 2014. Regardless of an experience being perceived as positive or negative, stress is still present. Reminding myself to breathe has been a cornerstone for any progress. For me, the majority of my past 11 months have fallen into the negative category but I’m hopeful on the mend. Searching everyday for small rays of sunshine truly have given me energy and courage to forage on. Although my recovery will take some time, I’m starting to reconnect with myself in a new and evolving way. This blog will be my journal of the helping-to-find-happy tidbits along my journey.

This link is a wonderful an free audio resource from Melanie St. Ours on breathing to lower anxiety in everyday life. It’s a short recording that offers simple, helpful technique advice.

Breathe to Ease – Lower Anxiety

Enjoy!