During the holiday season, many people experience deep sadness, disconnection and feelings of unworthiness. You might be one of those people. While it’s important to feel our feelings, we also benefit from staying centered in the power of connection.
I’d like to share a visualization that is meant to help you own whatever feelings are coming up for you, and acknowledge your power to affect others in positive ways.
This visualization connects with what I call my Sustaining Story blessing:
Honor your life story.
no matter what it has been,
because your story has sustained you up to this day.
And who knows what untold good you may have done?
Or what kindness, compassion and beauty
you can still create,
and share generously with the world,
before your story is ended.
The Sustaining Story blessing is a restorative pause that can help you to remember your own goodness.
In this visualization, (which you can listen to me lead here), we go a step further by celebrating the mystery of your unseen connection to the soul journey of life on earth.
Allow this visualization to help you feel the role you play in sustaining goodness in the world. Honor yourself. Know that without the blessing of your presence, love, and energy, goodness would be diminished. You are important.
To begin the visualization, find a space where you can be comfortable, and relax into your seat.
Notice your breathing, and let it settle into its own natural rhythm. No need to change it
Feel your body relaxing, and let it sink into your seat.
Begin to connect with your people or other beings on this planet, who need your light, your wisdom, your humor, kindness, love, or your particular essence. You can also connect with people or pets that are no longer here.
You are a beacon, whether you are conscious of it not. The people who need you, want to experience your energy, your presence. You can help do so through this visualization.
All you need to do is activate your own goodness. We can shut off our beacon of positive energy, and we can also turn it on.
For the new few minutes or moments, turn on your positive energy, and imagine it reaching all of the people and other life that need to experience your energy.
Some of these people, you will never meet. Others have yet to meet you. Your beacon of positive qualities and presence empowers others. For today, choose a quality you want to send. Maybe you want to send love or kindness. Perhaps respect or courage. Or you can just send positive energy.
With each breath, in and out, send out more of the energy others need to experience from you.
For as long as you are able, feel your energy empowering others.
And feel their appreciation for you, just as you are, coming back to you.
Allow this flow of positive energy to keep extending out. You might see faces of people or just energy, or you may see or feel nothing in this experience. Know that your presence on this earth is restorative to others.
Perhaps, you are here to be part of an Earth Renaissance, as so many of us are. Your energy and presence heal others.
Practice being a beacon of positive energy for about a minute.
When you feel complete, release the visualization.
This simple visualization helps you connect with your power. You can choose to send different kinds of positive energy to those who need you. You can do this very quickly, even when you’re standing in line at a check-out counter, or between activities during your day.
There’s something very powerful that happens when we choose to be a beacon of healing energy. You allow yourself to be powerful and this gives you a transformation in you as you try to uplift others.
This is not meant to be a spiritual by-pass where you ignore your reality or any challenges you face. It’s simply a way of acknowledging your connection to the rest of life, and your ability to have a positive impact in a very simple and profound way.
If you would like to hear this visualization with my friend Joe Malambri playing a lovely Bach accompaniment in the background, just click on this link.
A few weeks ago, my mom asked me: Would you like a vacuum cleaner for Christmas this year? Normally, a vacuum cleaner is not high on my list of Christmas must have gifts. I tend to like frivolous, sentimental or romantic gifts. Not a tool for Christmas.
If you’re someone who loves tools, you are probably ahead of me in terms of practicality and curiosity. I went ahead to the store with my mom and we picked up a better vacuum cleaner than normally would for our house. The reason is our two dogs: Olivia and Zeus.
With one son in college, and another one starting next year, I have been making do with most things. It didn’t really bother me to use the old vacuum cleaner and lug it up the stairs.
However, after purchasing my Christmas gift with my Mom, I decided to see how this new tool works. To my surprise the vacuum cleaner was so much better than what we had. It almost made vacuuming fun. My new vacuum took so much less time to do what I needed to accomplish.
It got me to thinking about how much we need better tools, even when we think that we don’t.
If you’re venturing out shopping today on Black Friday or doing some online holiday shopping, you might want to consider tools. And not just the mundane kind for maintenance or hobbies. Do you need better software? Do you need a better version of a tool for something you love to do? Is there an area of your life that you have been settling for tools that don’t really work well at all? Or maybe you need a better service provider.
This holiday be mindful of how you live and work, and notice if there are any tools that you’re using, that just aren’t good enough. Give yourself the gift of a better tool!
Thank you so much for being part of the Restorers Corner community of friends and supporters. I am so grateful for your attention and all the good you are, and the beautiful, healing, creative actions you take in our shared world.
With the help of my friend, pianist and composer Joe Malambri, I created a healthy holiday collection with free meditations and beautiful music. This collection includes what Joe calls Music to Work By. It’s music that helps you to be more creative and inspired while you work.
You can find this special holiday music here.
Joe and I appreciate it when you take the time out of your busy schedule to listen to our creative endeavors. If you’re inspired to purchase the $12 collection or even one song, you help support Joe and I to create our music and meditations. We are so grateful for all of your past and ongoing support.
With all my heart, even if you don’t live in the U.S. where we celebrate this holiday, I wish you the most wonderful Thanksgiving and upcoming holiday season.
May all best things come to you, and bring you joy and delight in the days ahead!
Undoubtedly, you have your own rituals and traditions for approaching the upcoming holiday season. If you’re anything like me, you love this time of year.
I first started working with my friend Joe Malambri many years ago because I wanted to learn how to play Christmas carols on the piano. Somehow, we shifted into writing songs and eventually creating meditation music.
I’m so delighted to be able to share some of this music with you, as well as a guide to approaching the holiday season in a restorative and mindful way possible this year.
You can listen to the meditations and music for free. If you choose to support our work by purchasing the collection, you will also receive the mindful holiday guide.
If you have the time, click here and I’d love to hear your feedback about the music, and if you have any holiday favorites we missed. I particularly love Rose, which is a version of Lo Ere a Rose is Blooming. We’re still looking to record a few pieces in the next few weeks. We’re open to suggestions.
We are in that time of year when our resolve to stay mindful, can fall off, and sometimes disappear. This is a good to remind ourselves, why we have chosen practices that allow us to keep our focus centered on what matters most.
Your reasons to follow any type of mindfulness practice may vary.
Maybe you want to improve or maintain your health, or you have a spiritual calling to expand your consciousness. You might have “fallen into” mindfulness practices because some of your friends practice them. Or maybe you like the way mindfulness practices make you feel, and how they help you to think more clearly and make better decisions.
Mindful living means that you pay attention to your life as it is happening, and avoid spending too much of your mental and emotional energy in the past or future.
It’s natural to be pulled into nostalgia during busy times, so let’s consider the benefits of staying mindful when the desire to forget about every mindfulness practice happens.
These benefits of mindfulness may not be the ones you care about.
Take some time this week to understand what benefits mindfulness practices offer you, and lean into your reasons as we approach the holiday season and the end of this year.
In a week from today, on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 2pm CST I will be offering a free mindfulness retreat as part of the Aqua-Terra Gratitude Festival in Eureka Springs. The Festival is the annual fundraiser for the National Water Center, and I encourage you to donate to their innovative work involving water mindfulness, low-cost sustainable communities and permaculture workshops.
I had hoped to be at the Festival in person, but persistent bronchitis is unfortunately keeping me from traveling.
The good news is that the Tis the Season to Be Mindful retreat is going to be virtual, through the power of Zoom. I will be leading a relaxing mindfulness practice to help you honor your life story, particularly anything you need to honor now. We will be discussing how to live more mindfully to close out this year in the most prosperous and restorative ways.
It’s a mini-retreat to prepare you for the holidays ahead.
All you need to do to gain access the retreat is sign up here.
Once you sign up for the retreat, I will be sending instructions on how to make the most of this brief retreat, and materials for the retreat. Hope to see some of you next Saturday!
Too many of us think that the life we have created through luck, accident and choice, is not a story worthy of being celebrated and written for someone else to read.
Yet, when you think about the people in your life who are no longer alive to share their story with you, don’t you wish that they had taken the time to share more about their feelings, thoughts and perspectives?
This year, I would like to suggest that you take the time to celebrate your life, maybe by writing a mini-memoir.
Make it easier for your significant others, children, family and friends by contemplating your life in a bigger way than you maybe have ever allowed yourself to do before.
You may have read about Swedish death cleaning, where men and women in Sweden during their middle age clean out their homes so that they don’t leave junk behind for their family to have to handle when they die.
A Celebrate Your Life mini- book is another idea to consider as you grow older.
Have you shared your wisdom, your perspective, and your love with the people that matter most to you? There are many people who would love to know more about your challenges, your joys, triumphs and what you learned from failure.
My suggestion is that you write a short 20 to 30 page “book” with photos, drawings, sayings, and the story of your life highlighted in an easy to read format.
If you had to summarize your life experience in a few pages, what are your big themes? Who are the people that made your life worth living?
When you think about it, your life has been incredible, and maybe it’s time to share your story with others.
So, I wanted to share some insights from some of the books that I was reading. Today, I’d like to discuss the insights I received from On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King.
This an older book, and a somewhat odd book for me to read. I don’t like the horror genre much. I tried to read The Stand and it scared me too much. However, I very much felt inspired by King’s book on writing.
If you’re looking for a book to encourage you to take a long view of your writing career, this is a good one. He also gives some recommendations on how to get started and perhaps to get an agent. I also liked that Stephen King doesn’t use outlines. I probably need outlines, but I somehow like that Stephen King proves that you don’t need to use an outline to write best-selling novels.
The funny thing about this book is that the way it helped the most, was that it inspired me to start exercising every day.
Not only does King write and read every day, at least according to this book he walks 4 miles every day. I decided to try a 4 mile plan. I’ve been walking or cycling 4 miles a day for a month and I have so much more energy for writing and the rest of my life.
Have you read any books lately that have helped you with your writing or life?
Long ago, a dear friend of mine gave me a book called Wrestling with Your Angels by Janet O. Hagberg. I’m not sure if this book ever was a best-seller when it was published back in 1995, but I liked it.
I might not have looked at this book today, if I wasn’t packing it now for the move to our new house. So, that’s one of the benefits of moving things around a bit.
Today, I opened this book to a bookmarked page about using rituals to start our writing. Often, I have found that rituals strengthen my writing, whether personal or business.
This Native American prayer is featured in that book, is one of my favorite prayers that still inspires me after so many years:
O Great Spirit
whose voice I hear in the wind,
and whose breath gives life to all the earth
Open me to your will, your grace and your gifts,
Lead me to the peace of your spirit and
the strength of your soul.
I now allow all that is mine by divine right
to be released into the world.
This also happens to be the perfect prayer of gratitude for today’s events. After many months of waiting, we finally closed on our new house today. It’s such a happy day for us!
This prayer reminds me to dedicate our house to something greater than shelter, and to use our hand-made smudge sticks to bless the rooms tomorrow.