Tag Archives: Energy

Day 13 ~ May Is For Metta 2015: Loving-kindness For A Neutral Being

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“My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness.”

~ H.H. Dalai Lama

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Today, we will move our practice of Metta to the category of a Neutral being.  This category is the beginning of expanding our practice from our circle of connection to the broader field of all beings.  Here, with the Neutral person, we begin to practice for those we don’t have a personal relationship with, knowing that they, too, deserve happiness as all beings do.

In this stage, we cultivate loving-kindness for a Neutral being; this is someone we have no strong feelings towards.  This person is not a friend, nor are we in conflict with them.  We simply feel neutral towards them.  Most likely, the majority of people we encounter in life fall into this category.  As we walk along the streets or go shopping, we encounter so many people that there is a tendency to put our emotions in neutral and in a sense ignore those who are around us.  It is not always possible to have a real emotional relationship or connection with everyone we meet, particularly when we live in high population areas.  In this part of the practice, we learn to focus our attention on those beings that we tend to have no specific feelings for and may not even notice.

Living a large portion of my life in New York City, I learned to tune out a lot of what was going on around me.  In many ways, it was a necessary life skill to function on a daily basis and not feel overwhelmed by so much energy and activity.  It was also a great place to cultivate a practice of Metta as it afforded me the opportunity to connect inwardly and offer loving-kindness when I could not connect outwardly.  Practicing Metta offers a powerful way to create connection with what is going around us in a more energetic way, within the container of our own experience.

Working with the category of a Neutral person opens a doorway to relating more to the world and the people who are around us on a daily basis.  It helps to bring us into greater awareness in those spaces where we may tend to check out or become less conscious. This is one of the great gifts of this part of the practice.  On one level we are practicing offering loving-kindness for the neutral person; on another, we are accessing a place where we often move into “neutrality” and instead are becoming more conscious and awake.

Daily Practice: 

Do your foundational practices. Once again, we begin by cultivating loving-kindness and compassion for our own self as the foundation for offering it to others.  Get comfortable and settle into your breath.  Spend a few moments centering on your heart.  Imagine yourself sitting in a circle surrounded by loving beings.  They may be ones you actually know or those who you imagine are loving.  Allow yourself to feel enveloped in this love.  Begin to send Metta to yourself by using the phrases you have been working with:

  • May I be happy.
  • May I be peaceful.
  • May I be free of suffering.
  • May I have ease of well-being.

When you feel immersed in the energy of loving-kindness and compassion, invite the image of a Neutral being into your mind.  Pick someone you just happened to notice as you went about your day today or yesterday, perhaps the cashier at the supermarket, someone you passed on the street, or the person sitting across from you on the subway or bus.  The neutral person is not someone you like or dislike; you have no specific feelings for this person.  Once you have called this person to mind, begin by saying inwardly, “Just as I wish to be happy and free from suffering, may you be happy and free from suffering.”  Then, begin repeating the phrases for this Neutral person:

  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be free of suffering.
  • May you have ease of well-being.

Notice what arises as you practice.  If your mind wanders or thoughts arise, just bring your awareness back to the Neutral person and continue repeating the phrases.  As always, if difficult emotions dominate your attention, re-center yourself in loving-kindness and repeat the phrases for yourself until you feel clearer and calmer.  Then, return your practice to the Neutral person.

Practice as long as you feel to or have committed to for today.  When you feel complete, return to your heart center.  Spend a few moments reflecting on your practice.  Notice how it felt to connect with a Neutral person.  For some, this category is more difficult.  This category is one that can easily be applied to our daily life.  I hope you will explore working with it in your sitting practice and as you go about your day.

Take a few moments to dedicate the merit of your practice asking that it benefit your self, others and all beings without exception.

Daily Journal Reflection:  

Take some time to reflect and journal about any experiences, feelings or awareness that arose during your practice or throughout the day today.   How did it feel to practice Metta for a Neutral person?  Was it different from practicing for your self, a benefactor or a Beloved?  How is your practice going?  Are you able to continue making some time everyday to sit or practice in some way?  If not, what is stopping you?  What is your commitment to yourself right now in terms of making time to bring more loving-kindness into your life?   Take some time to reflect on your experience so far.  Jot down anything you have noticed and any insight you have gained.

Wishing you a day filled with peace, happiness and ease of well-being.

Namaste.

Beth

Join Me For A Free Teleseminar ~ Actualizing The Power Of Intention on 2/2 at 7 PM ET

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I am excited to be offering a free teleseminar on one of my favorite topics, Actualizing The Power Of Intention, on Monday, 2/2 at 7 PM ET.  This is a something I’ve shared on in prior posts here on HOA, through workshops and at other events.  Although most folks have defined their resolutions for this year, I find taking time during the winter months to go within is very important for creating intentions from a place of stillness and inner wisdom.  Also, we will be in a period of Mercury retrograde in Aquarius from Jan. 21st to Feb. 11th.  This is a wonderful time to explore our visions and dreams; and reflect on the life we would like to create for ourselves and our world.  I hope you will join me to explore what’s possible!

Actualizing The Power Of Intention

Free Teleseminar With Beth Terrence
Monday, 2/2 at 7 PM
As we bring our intentions into the forefront of our experience and work more actively with them, we begin to create changes in our consciousness, our energetic field and in the world. In a sense, we become a beacon carrying that energy both inwardly and outwardly into all of our experiences. We all have our own personal intentions that we can work with and we also have the opportunity to carry intentions that support ourselves, others and the world.  Embodying qualities such as peace, happiness, respect and serenity can become a part our active intentions thus assisting in our own personal transformation and shifting our world into a new paradigm.  
Join me for an exploration on actualizing the power of intention.  Together we will explore:
  • Exciting research on the power of intention
  • How to create intentions that come from our deepest essence
  • Ways to work with intention to create alignment in your life
  • Utilizing the power of intention to become a catalyst for change in the world
This is one of my favorite topics to explore.  I hope you’ll join me for this creative exploration.

Eventbrite - Actualizing The Power Of Intention Free Teleseminar With Beth Terrence

 

Discover The Healer Within

 

Also, if you haven’t signed up for my Discover The Healer Within E-News, take a peak at the January issue to see if it’s something you’d like to explore.  I share monthly on a variety of holistic and transformational topics, upcoming events and special offers.  Usually you’ll receive about 4 – 5 emails per month, not more.  If you like to sign up to receive it, click here

Autumn Tips For Happy And Healthy Living

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Happy Autumn

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky,
which through the summer is not heard or seen,
as if it could not be, as if it had not been! ”
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Each season moves us through a period of transformation.  Autumn and spring tend to be the times of more intense change and it is a powerful time to harmonize with the energy of the season for happy living and healthy well-being. Traditionally, autumn is the harvest season.  It is the time for our bodies to harvest and gather energy for the colder months ahead. The yang/outer energy of summer gives into the growing yin/inner energy of the approaching winter.

The days are getting shorter and cooler and as we are transitioning we may find that we are more tired, emotions are surfacing such as loss and grief and we may even feel a sense of overwhelm.  Although it may not seem so on the surface, there is an intense shift happening as we are clearing the excess heat from summer and then, we quickly need to begin warming the body the against extremes we will experience in Winter.  The strong, drying winds of autumn and the falling temperatures help the leaves to fall to earth and also, begin to push our own energies in and down as well.

In Chinese Medicine, the organs most active in this season are those of the Metal element – Lung and Large Intestine, both of which have strong functions of absorption and elimination.  With the Lungs this has to do with respiration and with the Large Intestine, it has to do with digestion.  The emotions associated with this season are grief and loss and it is not uncommon to experience a lot of sadness bubbling up this time of year.  By moving into harmony with what is natural arising in our being and nurturing these parts of ourselves, we can support ourselves in creating greater joy and ease of well-being now and as we move into the stillness of Winter.

Here are some tips to help you harmonize with the season:

  1. Rest & Renewal – It is natural to feel a sense of tiredness or fatigue as the seasons are changing.  This shift affects us in many ways and living in a modern world with electricity and technology can make it easy to override our natural rhythms.  The feelings of the yin energy coming in can be a heavy feeling, like we are being pulled down and it can be one we want to resist in order to get things done.  Be sure to listen to your body, mind, emotion and spirit and follow the messages you receive in terms of getting adequate rest.  You may be feeling to go to bed earlier or sleep in later in the mornings.  You may feel like taking nap in the middle of the day.  Your body is telling you what it needs; all you need to do is listen.  Getting adequate rest now is a precursor to having strong immune function during coming the winter months.
  2. Letting Go Of Clutter: In & Out – Autumn is the season of letting go and releasing.  We see this in nature as the leaves turn and begin to fall back to earth.  We see this with the Lung & Large Intestines as well.  We can use the energy of the season to support us in letting go of things that are no longer serving us.  This may be the clutter in our office or home and it may be beliefs we are holding that no longer serve us.  You may find that things you’ve wanted to clear or de-clutter and felt stuck on move more easily as you attend to them this time of year.  Taking time to create clearer space, both inner and outer, supports you in preparing for the stillness of winter.  Think about what you are ready to let go of.  Where can you focus your energies to create more space in your life?  What are you ready to let go of today?
  3. Connecting With Nature – Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are a part of nature.  Taking time to be present and connect with the natural world can help us to connect more deeply with our own essence.  Spend some time in nature just being.  Perhaps a walk in the woods or even just around your neighborhood.  Take some time to notice the changes that are abounding this time of year – the leaves turning color and falling, the squirrels busily preparing for winter, and the roots vegetables peaking that can support us through Winter.
  4. Warming Your Body & Soul – As the weather begins to cool and the air becomes drier, we need to find ways to warm and soothe our body and our soul.  In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is a powerful time to strengthen our Lung & Large Intestine function.  Drinking hot beverages can help to keep your body hydrated and warm.  Teas such as Rooibos, Green Tea, Fenugreek, Chamomile and Licorice can be beneficial.  Also, warming herbs such as Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves or Cardamom can help warm our whole system.  Honey can be helpful as it supports yin function making it the perfect sweetener for this time of year; it can be used in tea or just in warm water to soothe a sore throat.  Try this simple ginger tea is incredibly warming and supports digestion as well:  Wash ginger root. Slice thumb sized pieces of ginger and place in 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes and drink while warm.  Add honey if you need a sweetener.  Also, taking hots baths can help to keep the body warm and release toxins that are ready to be let go.  Try infusing your bath with some herbs such as lavender, chamomile, calendula, comfrey, clary sage or create your own blend.  Make a hot water infusion with 10 ounces of dried herbs in cups of water, steep for 15 – 20 minutes, strain and add to your bath; or you may wish to put the herbs directly into in a cheesecloth bundle.
  5. Honoring Our Ancestors –  In many cultures around the world, Autumn is seen as a time when we turn our thoughts turn to those who have left us; we think about their legacy and what they have left behind.  Often this “remembrance” arises naturally as feelings of sadness, loss and grief come to the surface.  It said that the “veils” are thinner this time of year and that our ancestors often come home to visit their loved ones.  This is a powerful time to honor our ancestors through ceremony & ritual.  It can also be a good time to allow ourselves to release feelings of loss and grief that we have been carrying that is ready to be released.  Sometimes we need to come to greater completion with our ancestors or loved ones.  Take some time to think of your ancestors.  Is there someone who has passed that you need to work with to move to a place of greater peace in your life?  Perhaps there are feelings you need to share or work through that are unresolved.  Now it the perfect time to do this type of soul work.  Is there is a pattern or belief you have become aware of in your ancestral lineage?  What can you do to begin to transform that pattern?  Perhaps simply asking your ancestors for help is the place to begin!

I hope you will take some time in the coming weeks to harmonize with the energy of the season.  As always, feel free to stop by to share your experiences and reflections.

Happy Autumn!

Visionary Voices: Dr. Edward Bach

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I thought I’d share this post again today in honor of Dr. Bach’s birthday tomorrow, 9/24. Dr. Bach’s writings, teachings on healing and the Bach Flower Remedies themselves have been a powerful gift in my own life and in my work with clients over the last 15 years.  I am excited to be sharing more about this on my Free Teleseminar today at 12 PM ET ~ “Discover Emotional Balance & Well-Being With The Bach Flower Remedies“. In celebration of Dr. Bach’s birthday, I will be sharing more about the Bach Flowers all week long. If you’d like to join today’s teleseminar or receive an audio replay, visit https://discoverbachflowerremedies.eventbrite.com/ to register or email me to receive a link.

The Heart of Awakening

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, when we realise that Love and Unity are the great foundations of our Creation, that we in ourselves are children of the Divine Love, and that the eternal conquest of all wrong and suffering will be accomplished by means of gentleness and love…” – Dr. Edward Bach

One of my intentions in writing The Heart of Awakening is to share information on the teachings and philosophies which have inspired my life and influenced my work as well as to offer practical resources which support transformation and healing both individually and collectively. I have found both in my own personal journey and in working with others for over 16 years that it is vital to find tools and resources, which resonate with the individual. Each person is different, unique and there is no single formula for healing and change. Even in accepting that there are…

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Bach Flower Of The Month: Walnut (The Remedy Of Change & Transition)

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WalnutI have been utilizing the Bach Flower Remedies since the late 1990’s when I began working with a practitioner to help in my healing of Fibromyalgia and emotional pain.  I had been on a near decade long  journey in healing through Fibromyalgia.  With little help from conventional medicine, I began an exploratory journey into alternative and holistic treatments.  After making many changes including diet, supplements, exercise as well as spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation, I found tremendous relief from my symptoms.  I would say by the point I came to work with Bach Flowers I was about 70% symptom free.

I had some life events happen around that time that really raised my awareness of the need to address the emotional body as part of the healing process.  I had done therapy at that point, but hadn’t really addressed emotional healing in an energetic or integrated way.  The Bach Flowers really opened the door to a whole new understanding of emotions and their role in healing; and, also offered me a foundation to do some deeper emotional healing work.

After one year of treatment focused on emotional healing, which included ongoing work with the Bach Flower remedies, emotional release work and some deep inner child work, I found myself symptom free of Fibromyalgia for the first time in over a decade.  I had already been working in the field of holistic healing doing bodywork, energy work and teaching meditation.  This experience really expanded my understanding of dis-ease and the effects that emotions play in how we experience health and well-being.

I share this because this month’s remedy is one that I feel was highly beneficial in my own healing process. It continues to be one that I use personally and is one of the most frequently used remedies in my work with clients.  It supports both adjusting to existing life changes as well as moving out of old patterns, feelings and beliefs, which are keeping us from creating the changes we desire.  Although all flower essences assist with change, I consider Walnut to be the official remedy of change and transition.

Dr. Bach shared the following words about the Walnut remedy:

“For those who have definite ideals and ambitions in life and are fulfilling them, but on rare occasion are temped to be led astray from their own ideas, aim, and work by the enthusiasm, convictions, or strong opinions of others.  This remedy gives constancy and protections from outside influences.

Walnut is the remedy of advancing stages, teething, puberty, change of life.  For the big decisions made during life, such as change of religion, change of occupation, change of country.  The Remedy for those who have decided to take a great step forward in life, to break old conventions, to leave old limits and restrictions and start on a new way.  This often brings with it physical suffering because of slight regrets, heart-breakings, at the severance of old ties, old associations and old thoughts.  A great spell-breaker, both of things of the past commonly called heredity, and circumstances of the present.”

Just as the shell of the walnut is very hard and protects it’s softer center, the Walnut essence helps to strengthen and stabilize our energy field so that we are more able to hold our center and engage in the world with clarity, focus and intention.  In a sense, Walnut offers a shielding quality that helps us in holding center, maintaining our choices and flowing with changes that are occurring both inwardly and outwardly.

Walnut has many benefits that support our ability to move through change and transitions.  Some of the benefits include:

  • Provides a shielding quality that supports creating & maintaining our boundaries and borders
  • Helps protects us from the effects of outside influences
  • Eases emotional and energetic sensitivity
  • Helps to adapt to periods of change and transition including life changes and development phases
  • Helps to let go of or break old patterns, limiting beliefs and core issues which no longer serve us
  • Aids in resolving dysfunction stemming from family of origin
  • Helps acclimate to new ways of being, such as new phases of life, work, family, etc.
  • Supports spiritual transformation and growth
  • Protects from the influence of suppressive energies or parasitic infestations (including physical, mental, emotional & spiritual)
  • Supports finding and holding our center and connecting more fully to our soul purpose

Here are some questions to see if Walnut may be beneficial for you at this time:

  • Do you find it difficult to adjust to change and transition?
  • Are you feeling disoriented, out of balance or having difficulty adjusting to change?
  • Are you currently experiencing changes in life or environment such as work, school, moving, etc?
  • Are developmental changes a factor such as puberty, menopause, aging, etc?
  • Do you feel drained by other people?  Are you aware that you take on other people’s energy or emotions?
  • Are you overly sensitive to ideas and influences of others?
  • Are you moving through a time of spiritual growth and transformation?
  • Are you committed to breaking old patterns or let go of beliefs, which no longer serve you?
  • Are you actively working on healing dysfunctional family or ancestral patterns?

Working with the Walnut remedy can greatly help to ease periods of change and transition, whether we initiate them through personal work or are going through a period of life change that arises on it’s own.  Whether you choose to work with Walnut or not, I hope you will take some time to explore current transitions in your life or consider changes you might like to make.

  • Do you need to change your self-care based on recent transitions?
  • Do you need to take time to connect with nature?
  • Do you need to spend more time going within?
  • Is it time to find new tools to support transformation and healing in your life?
  • Do you have a clear sense of your soul purpose at this time?
  • What choices you are making or would you like to be making to engage in the world in a more intentional way?

Walnut reminds us that one of the ways that we can move more easily through change is to be present with it in a conscious and loving way; and, that by returning to our center, again and again, we are able to allow our deeper essence to emerge.

I’d love to hear your experiences with Walnut or any thoughts and reflections that arise as you explore change and transition in your life at this time.

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For additional information on the Bach Flower Remedies and Dr. Edward Bach, visit http://www.bachcentre.com.

If you are interested in a Bach Flower Remedy Consultation & Treatment, I offer these sessions in Annapolis, MD, by phone or by Skype.  I have found the Bach Flower Remedies to be one of the most beneficial transformational and healing tools that I utilize both personally and in my holistic healing practice.   I have worked with the Bach Flowers for over 15 years and I am a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner through the Bach Centre, home of Dr. Edward Bach.  Please feel free to visit my website or contact me if you would like to explore how the Bach Flower Remedies and an Integrative Transformational Approach may benefit your own process of transformation and healing.  (www.bethterrence.com)

Also, you might like to explore the following posts on the Bach Flower Remedies:

The Bach Flower Remedies: A Tool For Transformation

Visionary Voices: Dr. Edward Bach

Bach Flower Remedies For 2012 Transitions: Walnut

Bach Flower Of The Month: Agrimony

Bach Flower Of The Month: Pine

Bach Flower Of The Month: Rockwater

Bach Flower Remedy Of The Month: Rock Water

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I am sure some of you may be wondering how the Bach Flower Remedies fit into the vision of The Heart Of Awakening Blog.  The mission of The Heart Of Awakening Blog is to support:

Living from the Heart

Embodying Awareness, Authenticity and Purpose

Integrating a Holistic Approach to Being

Embracing the Interconnectedness of All Things

Honoring and Respecting the Sacredness of Life

The actualization of this is done through sharing explorations, ideas, and tools that support this vision.  I have found the Bach Flower Remedies to be one of the most powerful tools for transformation.  I use them personally in an ongoing way and also in my sessions with clients.  I see the benefit of the remedies as essentially being three-fold:

1)   The Bach Flower Remedies provide vibrational and energetic support that facilitates a strengthening of our overall energy field; this is the case with all flower essences, which in some ways work similarly to homeopathic medicine.  This type of support is critical in the world we live in today where we encounter toxic, unbalanced and chaotic energies often on a moment by moment basis.  Finding ways that stabilize our energy fields is necessary for us to move into a place of greater authenticity, wholeness and soul purpose.

2)   The Bach Flower Remedies in particular are one of the best tools I have found, both personally and professionally, to support balance in the emotions and the emotional energy body.  Each specific remedy addresses an emotional state or personality trait that is out of balance or is taking us out of alignment with our soul purpose.  The remedies bring in a positive energy or vibration to help transmute a negative feeling or state.  For example, if we are experiencing fear, a remedy that would address that might bring in the quality of peacefulness or calm to our energy field and begin to transmute our feelings of fear.  In a sense, this is very similar to working with affirmations, except we are benefitting from the vibrationally energy of the flowers and mother earth’s vibrational force.

3)   One of the other reasons I feel so strongly about the Bach Flower Remedies as a tool for transformation is the process of self-reflection and deepening in a self-awareness that arises as one works with the remedies.  I often utilize a Bach Flower assessment as the primary discovery process in my work with clients as it provides a clear, workable framework for identifying patterns, feelings and beliefs an individual is carrying.  Also, this is a very collaborative process and it gives an individual the opportunity to self-reflect and self-identify areas of imbalance or disharmony in their lives.  Both through assessment and actually working with the remedies as a treatment, individuals deepen in self-awareness and begin to cultivate their own process of transformation and healing.

Last month we focused on Pine, which is the remedy of the inner critic.  This month’s remedy is Rock Water, which can have some overlap with Pine; many of the remedies do have crossover properties and subtle variations, as we do as human beings.  Interestingly, Rock Water is the only one of the Bach Flower Remedies that is not actually a flower but rather is water from a natural spring that is protected by nature and unaffected by our modern world; it is often known as a healing source.

According to Dr. Bach, Rock Water is indicated for:

“Those who are very strict in their way of living.  They deny themselves many of the joys and pleasures in life because they consider it may interfere with their work.  They are hard masters to themselves.  They wish to be well and strong and active, and will do anything, which they believe will keep them so.  They hope to be examples which will appeal to others who then may follow their ideas and be better as a result.” (The Twelve Healers, p.23)

In a previous post, From Comparison To Compassion, I compared Larch, Pine and Rock Water, in relation to patterns of perfectionism, which is clearly a key component of the Rock Water type that is evident from Dr. Bach’s description above.  It is these very high standards and ideals that drive someone with a Rock Water personality or pattern to push so very hard.  One of the biggest patterns someone needing this remedy exhibits is a feeling that there is always pressure that something needs to be done.  This is so strong, to the degree that a person is really never feel able to relax fully.

In addition to perfectionism is another aspect, which is actually the pattern of “Drive” itself.  There are several remedies, which we might include in a category of drive remedies; this includes Rock Water, Vine, Vervain and Impatiens.  Being driven is something that can be an asset and is certainly viewed as a strong point is our society.  However, just like everything else, our “drive” needs to be in balance.  If we are too driven, we can easily deplete our energy and may not be able to achieve our goals and even if we do, we may not be able to enjoy them as we proceed on to the next task.  For this reason, Rock Water types may be known as “harsh taskmasters unto themselves.”

As I shared in the overview of the remedies above, balance is a key component in transformation, healing and living a life of joy and ease.  Rock Water is highly beneficial in returning a person who is over-driven, steeped in perfectionism, high standards and rigidity to a place of balance and ease.

Here are some questions to help consider if Rock Water may be beneficial for you:

  • Are you extremely hard on yourself?
  • Do you push yourself really hard?
  • Do you have enough fun?
  • Do you always feels pressure that something needs to be done?
  • Are you strict in your way of living, denying yourself many of the joys and pleasures of life?
  • Do you have very high ideals, standards and expectations?
  • Are you a perfectionist?
  • Do you experience mental rigidity?
  • Do you believe that worldly desires inhibit spiritual development?
  • Do you experience a lot of tension and stress in your physical body?
  • Do you tend to adhere to a particular dogma or discipline even when it is not really working for you or causing considerable distress?

Some of the positive qualities that the Rock Water remedy may bring include:

  • Adaptability
  • Open-mindedness
  • Realistic expectations
  • Balanced self-discipline
  • Ability to relax and enjoy life more fully
  • Becoming kinder and gentler with oneself
  • Learning to have fun

It’s funny that I felt to bring this remedy in just as summer begins.  It feels like the perfect time to let go a little and if this remedy seems beneficial, it could be a great exploration to see what “fun” Summer might be like with a little less pressure to get it all done.  Also, it is often in heat of summer that we go into the water to cool off and refresh.  The Rock Water remedy offers us a way to let go on an inner level, to relax and refresh, and become more fluid with the flow of life, like water itself.

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For additional information on the Bach Flower Remedies and Dr. Edward Bach, visit http://www.bachcentre.com.

If you are interested in a Bach Flower Remedy Consultation & Treatment, I offer these sessions in Annapolis, MD, by phone or by Skype.  I have found the Bach Flower Remedies to be one of the most beneficial transformational and healing tools that I utilize both personally and in my holistic healing practice.   I have worked with the Bach Flowers for over 15 years and I am a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner through the Bach Centre, home of Dr. Edward Bach.  Please feel free to visit my website if you would like to explore how the Bach Flower Remedies and an Integrative Transformational Approach may benefit your own process of transformation and healing.

If you’d like to learn more about the Bach Flower Remedies or find an index of previous Bach Flower Remedy Of The Month posts, visit www.bethterrence.com/bachflowerremedies.

Also, you may enjoy these posts:

Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Cheerleader

7 Ways To Cultivate Love & Compassion For Yourself

Bach Flower Of The Month: Pine

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 “One trace of condemnation against ourselves, or others, is a trace of condemnation against the Universal Creation of Love, and restricts us, limits our power to allow the Universal Love to flow through us to others.” – Dr. Edward Bach

One of the areas of focus on The Heart Of Awakening Blog this year is Transforming The Inner Critic.  Our inner critic or negative voices can keep us from accessing our true essence and allowing our authentic selves to emerge.  As we work with May Is For Metta 2013 and particularly in cultivating loving-kindness and compassion for ourselves, it is not uncommon to unearth or come face to face with our critical voices.  There are many practices and techniques that can support the transformation of our inner critic including meditation, affirmations, self-reflection, creative explorations and additionally, the Bach Flower Remedy Pine can be helpful in this area.

It is interesting that essentially the Bach Flower Remedies work similarly to our practice in that they are helping to bring a positive quality or vibration into our energy field.  In Metta, we are doing this with the energy of loving-kindness and compassion.  In working with other affirmations, we may be choosing a particularly quality such as love, peace or joy.  The Pine remedy brings in the qualities of Self-Esteem, Self-Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, and Self-Love.  By flooding our energy field with these positive vibrations we are thereby transmuting the negative or imbalanced aspect self connected to this remedy.

As someone who has tended to have very strong Pine tendencies, I can attest that this remedy is incredibly beneficial in transforming our inner critic.  It is a journey I continue to work on and that is part of the inspiration for our theme of Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Cheerleader.  I have also seen Pine to be of great help to others in this area through my holistic healing practice.  Although this remedy can be beneficial for anyone, I have found that in working with individuals recovering from trauma, abuse and addictions it seems to be a core pattern and one that needs to be addressed to support healing and transformation.

Pine is indicated for people who feel full of guilt and self-reproach; they blame themselves for everything that goes wrong, including other people’s mistakes.  They feel undeserving and unworthy.  Often, their guilt complex and feelings of shame are not necessarily based on any actual wrongdoing but the power of these feelings literally destroys any possibility of joy in living.

“Pine” people appear humble and apologetic; they will apologize for being ill and may feel they deserve their illness of pain.  They are the folks who say, “I’m sorry”, all the time, even when they haven’t done anything wrong.  In some way they seem to be apologizing just for being.

This weekend I participated in an author panel for Inspired Voices: True Stories Of Visionary Women, a collaborative book that I am a contributor in.  When Andrea Hylen, founder of the Heal My Voice project, read the Introduction to the book aloud, I was struck at how her words seem to sum up the Pine pattern and how it can be transformed.  The piece is about her experience living in community with a roommate.  Here is what she read:

“One funny thing was how we both had a habit of saying “I’m Sorry”.  I even said it to a piece of furniture one day when I bumped into it. Our time together shone a spotlight on “the nice girl” syndrome.  Constantly saying “I’m Sorry,” is a way we diminish ourselves and hold onto perfectionism.  “I’m sorry I am breathing and talking up so much space in here.” “I am sorry I did something and you may not like me.” I am sorry I am human, imperfect, and have lessons to learn.”  By the end of our four months together we could laugh and joke about it and discover when to say it FOR REAL and when there was nothing to be sorry about.  All is well.” 

Working with Pine can help us become aware of this “I’m Sorry” pattern and begin to shift into the experience that “all is well” and  that however we are and whatever we do, we are still deserving of love and acceptance.  It becomes clear that the only one holding us to these unrealistically high standards and expectations is our own self.

One of the indicators for a remedy is that the pattern or issues are present or as we say in Bach talk, “at the surface” on a daily basis.  There may be times when one remedy is indicated more than another and this is a way to assess.  We also have 1 or 2 type remedies, which tend to be ones we work with throughout our lifetime.  Either way, as we become more conscious and aware of our patterns, we deepen in our process of healing and transformation.   Here are some questions that may help to indicate if Pine is beneficial:

  • Are you a harsh judge of yourself?
  • Do you tend to be extremely self-critical?
  • Are you never content with your efforts or the results of what you do?
  • Even when you are successful, do you feel you could have done better?
  • Do you carry strong feelings of guilt and shame even when you have done no wrong?
  • Do you tend to blame yourself even when others make mistakes?
  • Do you have high ideals or expectations for yourself?
  • Do you feel you deserved to be punished?
  • Do you tend to pick on yourself with negative or critical voices?
  • Does your incessant effort to improve yourself lead to fatigue or despondency?
  • Do you feel undeserving of love?

The Pine remedy brings in the vibrational quality of Pine, which allows people to accept and love themselves, to release negative judgment or self-criticism and be open to living life in a more joyful way, free of unrealistic standards and expectations.

Some of the potential for transformation that emerges with the use of the Pine remedy can include:

  • An ability to forgive oneself.
  • Being able to feel regret rather than guilt.
  • A deeper understanding of human nature and what it is to be human.
  • Greater patience.
  • Self-Acceptance.
  • Owning and accepting one’s faults without judgment or harsh criticism.
  • A release of feelings of shame.
  • Increased energy.
  • Becoming able to set reasonable expectations.
  • Deepening in Self-Love.

Affirming, “I love myself, just as I am” or “I forgive myself, for I have long since been forgiven” is the essence of Pine.

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For additional information on the Bach Flower Remedies and Dr. Edward Bach, visit http://www.bachcentre.com.

If you are interested in a Bach Flower Remedy Consultation & Treatment, I offer these sessions in Annapolis, MD, by phone or by Skype.  I have found the Bach Flower Remedies to be one of the most beneficial transformational and healing tools that I utilize both personally and in my holistic healing practice.   I have worked with the Bach Flowers for over 15 years and I am a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner through the Bach Centre in the UK, home of Dr. Edward Bach.  Please feel free to visit my website or contact me if you would like to explore how the Bach Flower Remedies and an Integrative Transformational Approach may benefit your own process of transformation and healing.

Also, you might like to explore the following posts on the Bach Flower Remedies:

The Bach Flower Remedies: A Tool For Transformation

Visionary Voices: Dr. Edward Bach

Bach Flower Remedies For 2012 Transitions: Walnut

Bach Flower Of The Month: Agrimony

Also, these posts may be helpful:

Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Cheerleader

7 Ways To Cultivate Love & Compassion For Yourself

Day 3 ~ May Is For Metta 2013: The Foundational Practice

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“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of our love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”Buddha

Listen To Day 3 ~ May Is For Metta 2013 Audio

Our relationship with ourselves is the foundation for all of our relationships – with others, with nature and with the world.  Our cultivation of love, acceptance and good- heartedness towards ourselves will facilitate our ability to offer Metta to others in a genuine way.  It is essential that we do not neglect this aspect of practice and it is why we are moving gradually as we develop our Metta practice.

For many of us, our nature is to move fast and to get to the point of it all.  Often, in moving that way, we miss the essence of what we are working to cultivate and the awareness that arises from being present to the moment.   One of the major lessons of the heart, which I have learned from many of my teachers, is the need to slow down to move into the heart space.  The mind moves quickly, the heart moves slowly and is accessed through entering into the still space within.

Today, we will begin using the Metta phrases in our practice with a continued focus on loving ourselves.  Some of us may not be used to spending so much time on ourselves in this way.  We may come up against our resistance, our judgments, and all of the ways we hold our mistakes and shortcomings against us.  We may even doubt the value of dedicating time and effort to this practice.  We may feel we don’t deserve love and compassion.  And yet, our goal is to love ourselves completely, which includes all the things we may not like about ourselves.

At this time, it is important to remember to be gentle and loving with yourself.  When a new shoot emerges from the ground, it needs to break through; there is effort involved.  You are creating a new way of being; it requires effort and even some discomfort.  Consider this practice as if you are starting a new workout program – wouldn’t you expect to feel sore or out of shape at the beginning?  Wouldn’t you have some resistance and not really want to show up?   I am hoping you will show up in some way and just notice what is arising.  Even a short workout, can be beneficial in building your “muscles” of loving-kindness and compassion.

You may like to take some time today to consider your commitment to practice – where, when, how long, etc.  We have been creating a foundation that will be used throughout our month of practice and possibly beyond.  Coming to your place of practice, moving into your meditation posture, working with your breath, beginning to connect with the heart center and connecting with your circle of loving beings will be what we will refer to going forward as the “foundational practice”.

So, you can explore how you wish to begin your Metta practice and also, this may become your foundation for all of your meditation practice.  It is up to you which aspects are most important; it is about finding ways to begin that bring you into the moment and help to center you in the energy of loving-kindness.  It can be beneficial if you come to your practice the same way each day, but there is room to take time and explore what works for you.  Review the practices for Day 1 and Day 2 if you feel to, especially if you are just joining in.  Today we will begin to incorporate the Metta phrases into our practice.

There are a variety of Metta phrases and you will see different ones as you begin to explore.  It is good to find 3 – 4 phrases that you feel resonant with.  Feel free to explore with different phrases, especially during the first week of practice to find what feels best for you.  Here are some suggestions. I have grouped them together but you can mix and match 3 or 4, as you feel called to.

  • May I be free from danger.
  • May I have physical happiness.
  • May I have mental happiness.
  • May I have ease of well-being.
  • May I be happy.
  • May I be peaceful.
  • May I be free of suffering.
  • May I have ease of well-being.
  • May I be happy and peaceful.
  • May I be healthy and strong.
  • May I care for myself, joyfully.
  • May I be safe from inner and outer harm.
  • May I be safe from internal and external harm.
  • May I have a calm, clear mind and a peaceful loving heart.
  • May I be physically strong, healthy and vital.
  • May I experience love, joy, wonder and wisdom in this life just as it is.
  • May I be happy.
  • May I be at peace.
  • May I live with ease.
  • May I be free from suffering.

The purpose of the phrases is two-fold.  One, they are the catalyst for cultivating loving-kindness and compassion and for showering ourselves with those qualities.  Two, they are the anchor for this practice.  They are the center that we come back to when our mind wanders or as we notice we have become distracted.  So, when the mind wanders, as it will, as it is the nature of the mind, we just gently and lovingly bring ourselves back to the next phrase.  If we find we have totally wandered off, we begin with the next set of phrases.

The phrases are repeated silently to oneself.  Sometimes, they are repeated aloud and we will explore this later on, but for now, let’s repeat them silently.  You can repeat one phrase per breath, alternate one on the inhale and one on the exhale, or find a rhythm that feels good to you.  Also, you don’t necessarily have to focus on the breath at all; you can just focus on the phrases, especially for now.

Let the meaning of the phrase gently wash over you. You are affirming to yourself and to the universe that you desire to be safe, happy and peaceful.  If at any point you feel disconnected from the energy of loving-kindness, you can always go back to your heart center and your circle of loving beings.  This is the foundation of your practice; the phrases symbolize Metta but generating the essence of loving-kindness is the true practice.  Spend as much as time as you have dedicated to your practice.

Journal Notes:  How did it feel to work with the phrases?  Were they a good anchor for your practice?  Did you notice your mind was less busy using the phrases?  Were you able to stay connected to the energy of loving-kindness as you repeated the phrases?  Did you practice in the way you intended to today?  If you did not practice in the way you intended to, are you still being gentle and loving with yourself?  How does it feel to be cultivating loving-kindness and compassion for your self?  Did you notice any ways your resist loving yourself?

Wishing you all a wonderful practice and a happy day!

Happy Earth Day 2013!

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I so fondly remember attending my first Earth Day Celebration in 1978.  I was 12 and my middle school went to an Earth Day Celebration at a local community college.  It was the first time I felt an awareness of the environment and our impact on it.  It is amazing to see how much has changed and how much hasn’t changed since that time in terms of our relationship with Mother Earth.  One of the things that has helped me most is my foundation in shamanism, which really supports the interconnectedness of all beings through the web of life.  I believe this foundation and awareness is a necessary piece to transformation on a global level and it takes each person making this change for a broader transformation to occur.  We need to work on this both inwardly and outwardly, so I have included two sharings in the post.  One is a guided meditation I offered at a visit today on Positive About Change Blog Talk Radio and the other is a list of 10 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day.  Remember not just to celebrate today, but hopefully, everyday in some way!  Happy Earth Day!

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Click Here To Listen To Earth Day Meditation

10 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day

1) Join A Nature Conservancy’s Picnic For Earth or plan your own. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe…it all comes from nature. I just learned about this project and love the idea.  Join people around the world in a global picnic to celebrate our planet and the bounty it provides.  With population and food demand on the rise, The Nature Conservancy is working with others to find smarter and more efficient ways to use our lands and waters. Learn more at http://earthday.nature.org/.

2) Donate or Volunteer for an environmental organization that resonates with you.  There are so many organizations and issues related to the environment and supporting Mother Earth.  Find one that really speaks to you and support it through monetary or in-kind donations or by volunteering your time and energy.  Also, just sharing and raising awareness about an organization can be a great way to support it.

3)  Commit to making some type of change in your life and home that will support the environment and Mother Earth.  Consider things like using less water, reducing electrical usage, recycling more, composting, etc.  Even a few small changes can make a difference and by being more conscious we are creating change on many levels.

4) Plant trees, flowers or vegetables that are appropriate for your area.  Planting is a wonderful way to connect with and support Mother Earth.  It is key to plant species are indigenous to your area. You may like to join with a local tree-planting group or just do so with your family or friends.

5) Participate in or organize a household hazardous waste collection in your community.  Collect paint, used auto products like motor oil and batteries, solvents, etc. This will require city or county coordination and participation; they may have certain dates scheduled but you can help to organize or gather items that may be overlooked or improperly discarded.  Get in touch with your local government to see what you can do.

6) Spend time in nature on your own or with friends and family. Spending time in nature and just being with Mother Earth and all of her children – the trees, rocks, animals, etc. is a wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day.  You may like to go on your own or organize a hike with friends or family.

7) Hold an Earth Day Council Of All Beings.  By now you know I love the practice of council as a tool for transformation and celebration.  Coming together in council is a wonderful way to speak from our hearts and honor Mother Earth.  In a Council Of All Beings, participants choose something in nature that speaks to them and they make a mask to represent their creature, tree, rock, or other “being.”  Sharing is then done with everyone wearing their masks and representing their chosen “being.”   Sharing includescontributions your chosen being makes to life on Earth, and how it makes you feel for people to respond to you the way they do.  This is a wonderful way to give voice to all of Mother Earth’s children and to honor the web of life.

8) Attend an Earth Day Event or Festival.  There are many Earth Day events and festivals happening all during the month of April.  Attending is a great way to support local organizations, community and learn more about resources to support and connect with Mother Earth.

9) Help clean up and restore your environment and communities.  There is so much pollution and trash littering our communities and our world.  There are also many projects to help clean up “our mess”.  Find a project near where you live that works to clean up rivers, lakes, streams, beaches, trails, communities, and graffiti.  Also, there are many projects that help to restore our environment, such as reforesting.  Joining in this way is a great way to help renew and replenish Mother Earth.

10) Be creative.  Explore nature crafts at school or home. Get together with your family and friends and explore creating which is something Mother Earth does everyday.  Build a bird house or feeder to encourage local bird population, which plays an important role in our ecosystem. Or, just make some creative works of art from found objects that might get thrown away otherwise.

Please feel free to share your ideas and reflections.  Happy Earth Day Everyone!

P.S. Stay tuned for details for May Is For Metta 2013 coming later this week.

Discover The Healer Within – Connecting With Sacred Space

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                           “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.”                                                                                                                            – Joseph Campbell

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In many of the traditions I have studied, illness or disease have been defined as being out of balance or harmony; some say with our soul, some say with our different aspects of self, such as body, mind, emotion and spirit.  Historically, this has been a foundation for healing and yet, in our current medical model, we tend to be hyper-focused on specific conditions or symptoms without looking at the whole person.  This is hopefully beginning to change as we are seeing more focus on the whole person, but it is is slow process.  What I have learned in my own journey and in working with others for over 17 years in the field of holistic healing is that a key to transformation and healing is to take responsibility for one’s own healing process.

For this purpose, the definition of “responsibility” is the ability to respond.  This is a choice we can make for ourselves.   Often, I hear folks say “I know what I need to do, I just can’t seem to make those changes” or “I know I need to do something, but I just don’t know what”.   And, we often need to get support or guidance, particularly when we are working to change long-held patterns, conditions or beliefs.  Yet, ultimately, only we can truly know our own selves.  Getting to know ourselves and our inner guidance system is a major step toward healing and transformation.

It is also important to learn to experience that change is possible.  I find this is best done experientially through what I refer to as a “state change”.  As we begin to have the experiences of feeling differently, hopefully better, we begin to learn how to create our own shifts and then, the possibilities for change become wide open.  It is often in this space, which is usually one where we begin to create greater presence, clarity and awareness, that we can begin to know ourselves more deeply and learn to access the healer within.

There is no set formula and there is no magic formula that works for all people.  It is important to learn what works for us as individuals, to learn what doesn’t work and to learn how to be in tune with ourselves in an ongoing way.  Life is a journey and although we may heal from one condition or transform a pattern or belief, we are multidimensional beings.  As long as we are journeying in this life, there will be more work to do and another layer to explore.  So, learning to access the healer within and take responsibility for our own process is a vehicle that supports our evolution as human beings.

Learning to connect with Sacred Space is something that is a part of every culture and religion of the world.  It is something we can do in community and it is something we can cultivate on our own, both inwardly and outwardly.  When we enter into Sacred Space, we change energetically.  We step more fully into the present moment, our hearts open and we become more fully engaged in our experience.  Whatever our background or beliefs, finding ways to cultivate and connect with Sacred Space opens the doorway for knowing ourselves more deeply and accessing our inner wisdom.  This can be a powerful component in discovering the healer within.

At its most basic, Sacred Space is a place that invites the contemplation of divine mystery and encourages an attitude of spiritual openness.  We can consider this somewhere where we open our hearts and find support from spirit, in whatever way we define or believe that to be.  A Sacred Space may be a physical location where we go to search for meaning or truth such as a temple, church or even a place in nature.  It is not necessarily a place where answers are grasped or understood but more so it is where questions may be asked.  It can be a place or state where divine inspiration mixes with practices such as ritual, song, dance or prayer that help us to feel a sense of connection with our spirituality.

The origin of the word “Sacred” stems from Latin, sacer, which means “to make holy”.  In a sense, sacred refers to something that is set apart from the ordinary perhaps with intention, feeling or conviction.   Stepping out of the ordinary, out of the busyness or affairs of daily life is a foundational aspect of connecting with the healer within.  There are many ways to step out of the ordinary.  Many think of going to outer places such as temple, cathedral, space in nature, but we also have the ability to connect with and cultivate that sacred space within our own selves.

As we learn to connect with Sacred Space, both inwardly & outwardly, we begin to come into greater alignment with our own essence and the energies around us.  This helps to create a container for intention, connection and healing.  Although I refer to inner and outer ways of creating Sacred Space, this is really all the same.  “Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.”  The outer is important as it reveals to us where our work lies by what is emerging in our lives.   When we become our own healer – we move inner to outer and outer to inner interchangeably knowing that energetically they are the same.

The following are some ways to explore connecting with Sacred Space:

Calling The Directions – In many cultures, including Native American, Buddhist, Asian, Celtic and other indigenous groups, there is a strong connection with the directions, which carry energy and meaning.  Calling in the directions can be done as a ritual to start the day or open Sacred Space; also, one can work with the energy or quality of a certain direction.  This can be a way to connect with specific energies as well as the greater whole.  This type of practice supports moving out of the limited construct of our individual self into the collective energy of creation.  Prayer For A New Day is an example of this practice.  Associations and meanings will vary based on culture or tradition; this is an example of how one might explore and find what meaning or method of practice is most resonant for them.

Shamanic Journey Work – From the shamanic viewpoint, everything is alive, has spirit, and all things/creation are interconnected through what we call the web of life.  There is an understanding that we need to respect and honor all things and all beings as we are a part of a greater whole.  In a shamanic journey process, there is an opportunity to connect with the Sacred Space within and explore one’s own inner guidance system.  Learn more about Shamanic Healing: A Journey Of Reconnection

Ceremony & Ritual – This is a wonderful way to access and create Sacred Space.  This is something one can do according to their own personal belief system or culture.  It can be as simple as stating an intention and lighting a candle or an as elaborate at a medicine wheel gathering or ceremony.  The important thing, once again, is to find what resonates with you and begin to bring more of this into your daily life.  Learn more about Finding Connection Through Ceremony & Ritual.

Meditation – Meditation practice, in and of itself, is a way to enter the sacredness within.  Also, moving into a place of stillness creates a gateway to our divinity.  The practice of meditation and creating a space to practice can be wonderful way to cultivate Sacred Space.  Having a clear space, coming to the cushion or seat in an intentional way, perhaps lighting a candle or incense, etc. is a way to shift our energy more fully into the present moment.  Each time we practice, we are fostering our experience and ability to access in any moment.  If you’d like to explore a 31 Day Guided Practice, try May Is For Metta.

Mind/Body Practices – Finding a practice that supports body, mind, emotion and spirit such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and coming to it in an intentional way offers an opportunity to consciously move into Sacred Space.  Working with this type of practice helps to develop awareness of one’s own energy system as well as our interrelationship to the greater whole.

Sound Healing – In many cultures and shamanic practice, sounds such as drumming or rattling are used to facilitate a natural altered state of consciousness.  For many people, simply listening to music is a way to shift their energy and awareness.  Using sound or music is a powerful way to create a state change and can be utilized to connect with Sacred Space.  Using a certain sound or piece of music can be part of a ritual practice or ceremony as well.

Spending Time In Nature – The natural world is the original sacred space.  When we enter into the natural world or consciously connect with nature, our energy automatically shifts.  This can be as simple as going for a walk in the woods, hugging a tree, or laying on the earth.  We may wish to bring natural elements into our home such as rocks, plants or a waterfall.  We can connect with nature physically but also can do so energetically through meditation, visualization or shamanic journey work.  Mother Nature is one of the most powerful gateways to cultivating Sacred Space.  Also, as we love, honor and respect nature, we begin to access more of our own sacredness as part of a greater whole.

Stepping into Sacred Space facilitates a shift in our energy and our consciousness.  This affects us on all levels – body, mind, emotion & spirit.  We may not see changes right away as it may take time to manifest but this is creating a foundation for change.  As we enter into the stillness and begin to shift our energy from the busyness and chaos of the world and of our own mind, we can begin to hear our inner wisdom more strongly.

Again, everyone is different.  There is not one blueprint for healing and transformation.  What works for me may not work for you.  But, there are many tools, resources and practices to explore and see what is resonant for you.  Ask yourself these questions:

“Where do I feel a shift?”

“Where do I feel a sense of connection?”

“Where do I feel more at ease?”

“What practice or experience helps me to access my deeper essence or my inner wisdom?”

Always be asking and observing as life is a great exploration.  This is why journaling can be a great practice to support the process of transformation and healing.  Even if you are not into writing, it can be a great way to track your experiences and begin to build a toolbox or resource list for your own personal journey of discovering the healer within.

I hope you’ll take some time to reflect and explore connecting with sacred space as a way to discover the healer within.  Just 10 minutes a day of entering sacred space can be a powerful practice.  You may wish to try different practices each day for a while or choose one to work with for 10 – 30 Days to explore what’s possible.

As always, I’d love to hear your experiences, thoughts and reflections…

Are you ready to go deeper in your process of transformational and healing?  I’d love to support you in your journey to discover the healer within.  Learn more at www.bethterrence.com/Individuals.

 

Harmonizing With The Season

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“O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

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As I was writing my e-newsletter today, I found myself sharing about the change of seasons and the importance of being in tune with the rhythms of nature.  I have found that this time of year can be particularly challenging energetically as we make the shift from late Winter to early Spring.  I thought I’d share that piece here and if you would like to explore my e-newsletter which usually includes an introductory post, a transformational or holistic health tip, and the latest news on upcoming events and special offers on individual sessions, you can take a peek by clicking here.  Also, I wanted to share one of my favorite books on seasonal health and wellness – Staying Healthy With The Season by Elson Haas.  Dr. Haas is a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine and his site offers wonderful resources on health and wellness.  I’d love to hear your thoughts about this time of year and staying in tune with the energy of nature and the seasons.
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One of the wonderful things about life is the beauty that unfolds with the change of seasons.  Everyone seems to have their favorite season or time of year.  As we watch the natural world, it is easy to see the changes that occur throughout the year.  As humans, we are affected by these changes, but often, we are less aware of the energetic shifts that occur in our own being.  

Learning to connect with seasonal shifts happening in nature is a part of traditional healing practices.  This can be seen in many indigenous cultures, Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.  Also, if we were to consider the origin of many of our holidays, most likely they would be linked to some seasonal celebration.   Living in a modern world with the ability to control our environment, our temperatures and limit our exposure to the elements can easily create a sense of disconnection from the seasonal flow of energy.

From this place of disconnection with nature and our own natural rhythms we may tend to experience discomfort and disease.  Learning to connect with and harmonize with the energy of the seasons can support us in feeling a greater sense of ease and well-being.  Making simple shifts in our seasonal routines through diet and self-care can make a big difference in our overall health.

I have found this time of year from late winter into early spring to be one that can be most challenging.  It is time of year when many people experience depression or a sense of lethargy.  Perhaps this is due to the darkness of winter but this is also a time of shifting energy.  We are moving from a more yin/inner energy to a more yang/outer energy and that shift is increasing at this time.  Although spring is not yet ready to show itself, there is a lot going on under the surface, both in nature and in our consciousness.

This can be a time people experience a sense of dis-ease which many manifest physically through sinus issues or colds or as a feeling of discontentment with life as it is.  Often, lots of emotions which may have been more dormant during the winter months as our body, mind and spirit was drawn inward are beginning to percolate under the surface.  It is not uncommon to feel a sense of unsettledness, edginess or impatience.

Just acknowledging that we are in a place of shifting energy is important as well as finding ways to create greater harmony for ourselves through this current transition.  Also, recognizing that there’s no hurry – Spring will come in its own time and we can choose a rhythm that supports us in finding greater balance and ease, too.

Here are some ways to align with the seasonal shift as we move through late Winter and into early Spring:

1. Be gentle with yourself as you make changes and explore aligning with the natural energy around you.  Be willing to go slow.  As Spring approaches, we start to feel ready to jump forward but right now, our energy is not ready to move too fast.  Be willing to honor what your body tells you in terms of rest and renewal.  There will be plenty of time to play in Spring & Summer.

2. Stimulate your energy by moving your body first thing in the morning.  Our bodies are still in a Winter mode and we want to wake up as Spring is almost here!  Start with a few minutes of stretching, tai chi or yoga – sun salutations are great.  Also, try a brisk walk or simply dance around you bedroom to get your energy moving.  This literally awakens the body’s energy channels.

3. Try getting to bed earlier so you can wake up refreshed and ready for your day.  Create an evening ritual to help you wind down such as a taking a hot bath, drinking a relaxing tea or doing an evening meditation to shift your energy toward sleep.  Remember that this is still late Winter and we do need more rest.

4. Start spending more time outdoors.  Even though the temperatures may still be cold, we are already experiencing noticeably longer days.  The sun is rising earlier and setting later.  The sun is also higher in the sky and beginning to warm up the atmosphere.  Take a moment to close your eyes and feel the sunshine on your face.  Take a midday walk directly in the sunshine between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Walk toward the south, directly into the sunshine for the greatest benefits.

5. Begin to add more greens to your diet.  This is important all year round, but especially as the seasons shift into early spring.  Nature provides us with spring shoots and leafy green vegetables.  The bitter taste of the greens is nature’s way of helping us to lighten up and cleanse our system after the cold winter and the denser foods we’ve been eating.  A great way to do this is to start your day with a green smoothie.  Use parsley, swiss chard, dandelion greens, spinach or kale, blended with some fruit and almond milk.  Add some soaked chia or flax seeds for healthy fat.  Enjoying a smoothie at room temperature is best as ice-cold temperatures can be depleting to your digestion.  As Spring sets in, it may be time to focus on a liver cleanse or detox, but for now just beginning to bring that green energy into your diet can give your energy a boost.

6. Take some time to journal.  Reflect on feelings that arising and how you experience shifts in energy.  Consider the coming of Spring and explore where you feel called to place your increased energy as the season arrives.  Spring is a time of growth and rebirth; it is a wonderful time to start new things.  Now is the perfect time to consider what new things you want to do come Spring.

I hope you’ll take some time this week to harmonize with nature’s energy and to explore creating greater balance and ease in your life.


 

Musical Interlude – Give Me Love By George Harrison

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When life feels heavy, when I feel kind of stuck or when I feel to move some energy or emotion, I know it’s time for a musical interlude.   One of my friends asked me today to share one of my favorite George Harrison songs and this one came to mind – Give Me Love.   I forgot how perfect it is for a musical interlude as it’s message is so uplifting.  It really is a prayer and meditation set to music.  Here are the lyrics, which are inspiration on their own and below is a beautiful animated bhakti~art slideshow which is set to “Give Me Love”.   I hope you’ll take some time today for a musical interlude! And, don’t be afraid to dance and sing along.  There’s so much healing that comes from that.  Sending much love and light your way today and always!

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
Heart and soul

Om m m m m m m m m m m m m m
M m m my lord . . .

Please take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you

Won’t you please
Oh won’t you

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
Heart and soul

Om m m m m m m m m m m m m m
M m m my lord . . .

Please take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you

Lessons from Salmon: A New View On Struggle

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Some days
I flow with the river
Surging
Like a rainbow trout
Others days I thrash and flail
Like a salmon
Desperately trying to get back upstream
Not even knowing what I struggle for

I wrote this poem many years ago at a time when I had a very strong sense of struggle in my life.  The other night I had a dream that I was walking beside a large river.  As I looked into the river, I saw a salmon, then another and then suddenly the river was filled with salmon of all different sizes swimming upstream.  What I noticed was that the salmon were not struggling to get upstream, they were moving with ease, riding the currents below the surface.  It was beautiful to watch the way they were carried with grace and ease as they connected to the currents and just allowed themselves to be carried upstream.

When I awoke, I remembered my poem; it had been a bit of an anthem for me in my 20’s.  I often performed it when I did poetry readings; it seemed to represent the sense of struggle I felt about life.  Now, I notice that even then was able to acknowledge the times when I felt the flow of life although back then I was much more focused on struggle.  Over the years, my sense of flow has definitely increased and now I can see it relates as much to the salmon as to the rainbow trout.

I realize that I mistook the energy of the salmon as struggling when in reality the salmon only appears to be struggling as it moves upstream.  The salmon are not really fighting the currents but jumping to go deeper so that they can ride the reverse currents below the surface that carry them gracefully upstream.   What a beautiful metaphor for life.  At the surface, there is much that appears to be a struggle – there are a plethora of issues we deal with daily such as work, family, finances, health etc.  When we allow ourselves to delve deeper and to go below the surface, the energy and wisdom we need to flow through life is uncovered.  It was there all along but as we jump and dive deeper, we connect with those energies.

For some reason as I am writing this post the title of one of  Zen teacher Cheri Huber’s books comes to mind.  It’s called “When Your Are Taking a Fall – Dive”.   The salmon jumps upstream and is carried by the currents below the surface.  When we allow ourselves to go deeper,  to go within,  all of the support and energy that is an innate part of ourselves becomes accessible.  When we are willing to move with our resistance, there is spaciousness for great changes to occur.  We can learn from the Salmon who jumps out of water, it’s native element, essentially trusting that is will make the connection it needs to be carried upstream.  As we allow ourselves to move out of our comfort zones and be vulnerable, we are able to connect with those energies that can carry us and bring us into greater harmony with life.

I’d like to really honor the wisdom of the Salmon as a Power Animal or Totem.  It is often said that a Power Animal comes to you through a dream, journey or vision quest.  Power Animals can also be animals that we encounter in physical reality and have a strong connection with.   In a sense, they are  a reflection of our innermost essence; they represent our own talents and abilities and the qualities we need to thrive in the world.  When we connect with a Power Animal, we are gifted with a greater awareness as the Totem offers its power, medicine, protection and wisdom unique to its being; this can  help us to learn and grow. The term Totem is derived from the an Ojibwa word ototeman, meaning “one’s brother-sister kin.”  Through cultivating this sacred connection and spiritual support, we are able to become more in touch with our own self and the web of life.

There can be wisdom to learn from all animals whether or not they are our personal Power Animal.  In more traditional cultures, a relationship with animals is innate and reflects a sense of connection to the greater whole.  In many ways, we have lost this connection in modern societies.  Through exploring the energies and qualities of animals and the wisdom they bring, we are honoring our true nature and allowing more of our own essence to emerge.

The Salmon is a major totem for the Eskimo and other cultures along the North Pacific Rim.   For thousands of years, the rhythm of daily life has been ordered in accord with the Salmon population.  The Salmon are thought to inform the humans of their connection with the natural world and attune them to the natural rhythms of life.   Additionally, the Salmon is considered an animal totem in Celtic myth.  According to their mythology, there was a sacred well situated under the sea where the sacred Salmon acquired their wisdom and shared it with the Celtic people.

Some of the medicine or wisdom that Salmon brings includes the awareness that we have the strength within to:

  • Overcome obstacles that present themselves
  • Move steadily on our spiritual journey
  • Find meaning and purpose in our life
  • Swim upstream through emotional waters to gain insight
  • Roll with resistance and fear of change
  • Explore our bonds with the past and gain understanding from of our history
  • Connect with natural rhythms of life
  • Allow ourselves to be childlike, playful, spontaneous and inquisitive
  • Develop awareness of the currents and energies beneath the surface
  • Learn to go deeper to find those energies that support our movement
  • Persevere
  • Find fulfillment within ourselves and harmony with our world
  • Find satisfaction and self-expression through creativity
  • Connect with our source
  • Find strength from within
  • Know we are always home, wherever we may be

There are many books on Power Animals and resources online that can help to gain insight in animal totems.  One of my favorite books is Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.  It can also be beneficial to study, meditate or journey to a Power Animal or animals we feel drawn to and see what specific messages and wisdom they have to offer us.

I’d like to conclude with a new poem honoring Salmon and the deeper understanding I have of it today:

Jumping upstream
Diving deep
Finding currents
Being carried
We grow
We flow
We know
We are always home

The Bach Flower Remedies: A Tool for Transformation

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One of the most transformational tools that I have benefited from personally, and as a result have become a practitioner of, are the Bach Flower Remedies.  I was first introduced to the Bach Flower Remedies when I was in the process of recovering from the effects of Fibromyalgia.  I had been on a journey of exploring holistic modalities and nutritional support, as I had not found traditional medicine to be helpful in dealing with this condition.  I would say I was about 70% symptom free at the time that I began to take the Bach Flowers.  It became clear to me at that time that although I had addressed my body and physical symptoms in a variety of ways, the key to healing really lay in dealing with emotional body and the unresolved emotional pain that I was holding.

Around that time, I really dedicated my personal practice to working on healing my emotions and learning to let go.  I found three key patterns that were related to Fibromyalgia.  It has been my experience in my own recovery and in working with individuals dealing with Fibromyalgia over the last decade that these patterns need to be addressed:

1) An inability to let go.  This includes an inability to relax and a tendency to hold onto to difficult feelings and stresses, which then leads to severe tension and rigidity being stored in the physical body.

2) Push, push, crash.  This is a tendency to push so hard, beyond one’s abilities and then become depleted.  It tends to happen in those moments when one feels better or stronger but I have found this to be an overall energetic pattern of Fibromyalgia.  I believe the crux of this pattern tends to stem from perfectionism and a powerful inner critic which continues to drive a person despite physical limitations.

3) Sponginess. This refers to one’s energy field to be depleted, and like a sponge, to have the tendency to absorb others energy and emotions.  Without developing a more stable energy field, it is very difficult to strengthen and heal.

As I was working on these issues, I began to work with a Bach Flower Practitioner, who helped to determine remedies that would support the changes I was trying to create in my life.  I found that within a short time I felt tremendous relief, and within a period of six months, I had profound life changes, ones I never thought were possible.  The remaining physical symptoms I was dealing with were resolved; my overall health and well-being improved dramatically.  Additionally, I felt the greatest sense of serenity, balance and hope that I had ever experienced.  That was 15 years ago.  Since that time I have become a practitioner of the Bach Flowers, working with individuals as well as giving talks and workshops on the subject.  I continue to take the remedies myself as I find them a tool for the times we are in.  They support being more  balanced, grounded and energetically stable.

I will be sharing more about the Bach Flowers in upcoming posts.  I find the remedies themselves are a beneficial tool and the teachings of Dr. Bach, the creator of the Bach Flowers, are inspirational and insightful.  To learn more about Dr. Bach, you can read a previous post, Visionary Voices: Dr. Edward Bach or visit The Bach Centre, the home and workplace of Dr. Bach.  I will also be including a Bach Flower of the Month post to help bring to light the benefits of specific remedies.  Dr. Bach intended the remedies to be accessible to all and used by individuals for themselves and their families.  It can be helpful to work with a practitioner for a period of time as the process is subjective but it is possible to learn to work with the remedies on one’s own.

The Bach Flower Remedies: A Tool for Transformation

The Bach Flower Remedies are a tool for transformation that can assist in moving forward and creating change in one’s life.  They can help to heal old wounds and to assist with new ways of being.  The remedies can facilitate a strengthening of one’s ability move more easily in the world, to have healthier relationships, and to experience greater joy and ease of well-being.

The visionary physician Dr. Edward Bach discovered the thirty-eight remedies, which comprise the Bach Flowers, in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Dr. Bach was well-known in England for his work in the areas of bacteriology and homeopathy.  It was through this work that he began to see a connection between state of mind and the disease process.  He found that if he treated the person’s state of mind, all physical symptoms would disappear, and if he treated early enough, may prevent illness from arising.  He recognized that long-term stress from emotions such as anger, fear or worry can lower a person’s resistance to disease.

Additionally, by studying vibrational medicine and native British flowers, Dr. Bach discovered that certain plant essences have a profound healing effect on the mind.  He observed that the remedies affected a deep personal transformation in his patients’ character and behavior patterns, which not only prevented disease but also left the patient happier and more integrated.  According to Dr. Bach, certain flowers are of a higher order.  He believed that these healing plants addressed disharmony within the mental and spiritual aspects of our being by flooding our energy field with higher frequencies and thereby aligning our whole being.  The remedies actually transmute negative energies into positive ones.  They do not mask the effects of the emotions, but provide a catalyst for change to occur from within us.  He saw this change as necessary for our spiritual growth, and said:

“The action of these essences is to raise our vibrations and open up our channels for the reception of our Spiritual Self, to flood our natures with a particular virtue we need, and wash out from us that fault which is causing harm.  They are able, like beautiful music to raise our very natures, to bring us peace and relieve our sufferings.”

Dr. Bach defined seven main moods, which prevent us from being our true selves and thereby, contribute to disease and suffering in an individual.  These moods include:  Fear, Uncertainty, Insufficient Interest in Present Circumstances, Loneliness, Over-Sensitivity to Influences and Ideas, Despondency or Despair, and Over-care for the Welfare of Others.  Dr. Bach also defines the seven beautiful stages in the healing of disease: Peace, Hope, Joy, Faith, Certainty, Wisdom, and Love.  Treatment with the Bach Flower Remedies essentially floods ones being with these positive qualities, transforming all energies, which limit or restrict one’s true self from being fully expressed.

A Bach Flower Remedy Consultation is done though an interview and detailed questionnaire.  This helps the practitioner to determine core issues and treatment remedies.  It is a collaborative process; the role of the practitioner is to support individuals in learning about themselves and determining remedies can support their process of change.  Most often a combination of five to seven remedies is recommended.  The remedies are taken orally;  2 drops of each core remedy are added to a 1 oz. dropper bottle filled with spring water.  The remedies work vibrationally rather than medicinally and as such are gentle and effective; they can do no harm. They are so gentle that pregnant women, children and even animals can use them.

As the remedies assist in deep transformation and healing, it is important for the individual to be open and willing to address the issues, which may come up for them.  The remedies teach us how to resolve issues and heal, but we must be willing to listen to the voice of our own soul.  It is important to remember that the Bach Flower Remedies, like any alternative modality, assist in our transformation.  It is up to the individual to be responsible for and to direct his or her own healing process.

The Bach Flower Remedies are a powerful catalyst for healing and change.  In addition to supporting change and transition, they have been beneficial in relieving chronic pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue and grief.  Whether you are already in a period of transition or wish to create changes but are feeling stuck, the Bach Flowers can support your movement into new ways of being.  Although determined by the emotions, the remedies support transformation and growth on all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, the Bach Flower Remedies may have something to offer you:

  • Are you going through a major or minor life transition?
  • Do you feel tired and exhausted?
  • Are you looking for direction in your life?
  • Are you feeling stuck?
  • Do you have pain that won’t go away no matter what you do?
  • Are you sensitive emotionally and energetically?
  • Are you aware that other people or situations drain your energy?
  • Are you ready to step forward in you healing process?

One of the major benefits of the Bach Flower Remedies for our current times is the effect they have on the energy field.  In addition to supporting transmutation of specific emotions and personality traits, the remedies also help to strengthen and stabilize our energy fields.  In order to maneuver in the world in 2012, it is critical to find tools and practices that support our inner stability.  The Bach Flowers Remedies offer such tool and can be a valuable transformational resource.

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To learn more about Beth’s work with the Bach Flower Remedies, visit www.bethterrence.com.  Bach Flower Consultations are offered in person in the MD/DC area, by phone and by Skype.  Bach Flower Consultations are available as an individual modality or as part of an Integrative Transformational Session, which is a customized session based on individual intentions, combining transformational resources such as Shamanic Healing, Bach Flowers, Body/Energy Healing, and Meditation.

Upcoming Bach Flower Talks in the Maryland/DC Area:

July 11th– Introduction to the Bach Flowers, Wholefoods, Annapolis, MD

August 8th – Bach Flower Q & A, Wholefoods, Annapolis, MD

Meditation On Actualizing Intention

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I hope you had a chance to read my last post, Actualizing The Power of Intention.  Today’s post offers a guided meditation to support actualizing intention.  It is the first of a series of audio posts I will be offering.  A main intention of The Heart of Awakening blog is to offer inspiration and resources to support the shift into a new paradigm.  My vision is include practical tools that can support transformation.  This meditation is a heart centered practice for actualizing intentions that emerge from deep within ourselves.  It supports moving into greater alignment energetically with our essence and our intentions.  Explore what’s possible!

Click Here to Listen to Meditation on Actualizing Intention.mp3


Prayer For A New Day

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Grandfather Sun
We wake to see your shining face
Honoring the spirit of the new day

Spirit of the East
We welcome you
The path of the rising sun
The way of Eagle
Bringing new beginnings, soaring vision and hope

Spirit of the South
We welcome you
The path of the noonday sun
The way of Coyote
Illuminating our hearts, minds and spirits
With clarity and purpose

Spirit of the West
We welcome you
The path of the setting sun
The way of Bear
Bringing strength, courage and trust
Taking us deeper into spirit with each breath we take

Spirit of the North
We welcome you
The place of sacredness within
The way of Owl
Helping us to find the light within the dark
Uncovering those places in ourselves which need transformation

O Great Spirit.  Creator of All Things
We welcome you
Gifting us all of the support of spirit in each moment
The path of Angels, Archangels, Ancestors, Mentors, Guides and Spirits
Help us to walk in the way of spirit today
Remembering our connection to the energies of creation

Mother Earth. Sustainer, Nurturer and Provider
We welcome you
Honoring all of your children
The Two-Leggeds, Four-Leggeds, Winged Ones, Elementals
Plant Beings, Stone People, Insects and Spider Beings
Hungry Ghosts and all who walk in the earthly realm
Great Mother Earth carry us into the day
So we may walk together in harmony and peace

Sacred Center
Connecting earth and heaven, heaven and earth
The place where all directions merge and where all beings meet
The way of Oneness, Love and Light
Help us to walk together in Oneness, Love and Light on this day and always.

Day 18 of May is for Metta 2012: Explorations in Loving-kindness Practice

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Day 18

“I am larger and better than I thought, I did not think I had so much goodness.” – Walt Whitman

Today, we will continue our practice of Metta by working with all of the categories we have worked with so far or by choosing a few we feel to work with today.  It’s your practice, so it’s up to you.  As we proceed over the rest of our month-long practice of Metta we will explore working in various ways including the full practice.  Some days you may feel to do the full practice; others you may feel to do just a few of the categories.  There may be some days when you feel to return your practice solely to yourself to deepen your experience of loving-kindness and compassion.  We will continue to explore together and I encourage you to explore on your own as well.

The practice of Metta is about opening one’s heart and inviting loving-kindness and compassion to become a guiding force in life.  We cannot control what happens in the world, in our day-to-day experiences or in our relationships.  The only thing that we can do is create change in ourselves and in our attitude toward life.  Instead of responding from a place of reaction, we can arrive with tenderness and an open heart.  When we have uncomfortable feelings arise, we can embrace them with loving-kindness and compassion or we can just be with them.  Either way, we can do so in a way that is gentle and loving to ourselves.

Many of us have been taught to put up walls, sometimes fortresses, around ourselves as a mechanism for survival and protection.  Creating this type of container may have afforded us some basic protection when we had no other tools but it also limited our ability to experience love on a deeper level.  In practicing Metta, we begin by cultivating loving-kindness and compassion for ourselves.  As we do this, we begin to melt away some of those walls.  Then, we extend the energy of loving-kindness out to others and the world.  We recognize that all beings wish to be happy as we wish to be happy. We begin to not only sense, but also experience that we are all the same, that we are one.

As you practice today, I encourage you to allow yourself to feel that sense of connection and oneness.  Also, as you go about your day, if you encounter a person or situation which triggers you to put up walls or to feel you are separate or different, explore practicing Metta in that moment – first, for yourself and then, for the others involved.  Remind yourself that just as you wish to be happy, all other beings wish to be happy.

Daily Practice: Do your foundational practices.  Once again, find a comfortable position.  Imagine yourself in the center of a circle of loving beings or just enveloped in the feeling of loving-kindness. Begin your practice by offering the Metta phrases for yourself:

  • May I have mental happiness.
  • May I have physical happiness.
  • May I be free of suffering.
  • May I have ease of well-being.

When you feel ready, move on to practicing for all of the categories we have worked with or the ones you have chosen for today using the phrases that feel best to you.  Here is a list of the categories we have worked with:

  • Self
  • Benefactor/Mentor
  • Beloved – Family Member or Good Friend
  • Neutral Being
  • Difficult Person

As you begin each category, acknowledge that just as you wish to be happy and peaceful, so does this being whom you are practicing for as do all beings.  Then, generate the feelings of loving-kindness for the person or being in that category.  Offer the phrases you have been working with:

  • May you have mental happiness.
  • May you have physical happiness.
  • May you be free of suffering.
  • May you have ease of well-being.

If you become distracted at any point or difficult feelings arise, use the Switchback, returning your practice to yourself until a sense of calm returns.  Then, return your practice to the category where you left off.  When you feel complete with a category, come back to your own heart center for a moment and reconnect with the energy of loving-kindness and compassion.  When you are ready, call on the image of the being or person you will offer Metta for in the next category of your practice.  Each time you complete a category, come back to your heart center for a few moments and then move onto the next category.

As I indicated, you can work with all of the categories above or just choose a few for today.  We will add the category of All Beings tomorrow.  Also, if you don’t feel to do all the categories as part of your sitting practice, you can work with them during the day as you are out and about in the world.  And remember, if you don’t have the time or space for a sitting practice right now, you can always do your whole Metta practice out in the world – Anytime, Anywhere!

When you are ready to complete your practice, return to your circle of loving beings or see yourself enveloped in the energy of loving-kindness and compassion that you have been cultivating.  Really allow that feeling to sink into you.  Let every atom and cell of your being absorb loving-kindness and compassion.  Take a few moments to dedicate the merit of your practice for the benefit of your self, others and all beings.

Journal Notes:  Are you noticing more openness or resistance to certain categories?  Have you found phrases that feel good to you?  How does it feel to do a more expanded practice?  Are you able to make the time and space to practice? Are you exploring Metta in your daily life?  Are you remembering to be gentle and loving with yourself?

May you all have happy and fun-filled day.