patience. my sons and husband told me today that I am not patient. perhaps this is the next spiritual frontier for me. not only do i need to practice waiting (see last newsletter), i also need to practice patience. particularly with my family. in spite of a world that seems to spiral out of control around me, most of life will happen in its own time, regardless of my impatience.

in this effort to develop more patience, i am recommitting to a sitting meditation practice. daily, even if it is only for 5 minutes, i will sit. sitting still is yoga for my mind. i will slow down, i can slow down, if only for those precious moments.

i can also practice patience when i am eating. i can slow down and consume my food slowly enough to savor each bite. then each meal becomes a meditation. i can eat a single strawberry and find nirvana in its flavor and aroma. i can take the time to cook a meal and enjoy the process of cooking as much as eating.

i can practice patience in my garden. noticing each new blossom as it arises. savoring the abundance without worrying over weeds or pruning. i can feast my eyes on the growth of spring.

i can practice patience as i wait for the unknown future. so many things i anticipate occurring in my life. sometimes i am so anxious for them to occur, that i miss the opportunity to savor what is happening. this too is a meditation, enjoying the process of preparing, of waiting, of being in the time before.

to quote john lennon: life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. our challenge is to enjoy life as it happens. we still need to make our plans, to work toward the future, and while we are on that journey, we stop to smell a flower, eat a strawberry and laugh with a friend. nirvana happens when we stop the grasping and drop into savoring the moment.


Prayer, Mantra, Intention

Prayer is a means of changing our minds. Prayer is a means of getting inside the mind and shifting its focus. It does not matter whom or what you prayer to. God, Goddess, Allah, Buddha, St Francis, Zoraster, Nergal, any one or no one will do the trick. My personal prayers are generic, to an unnamed receiver, or more generically to the universe and all that is. So perhaps the word mantra is a better semantic choice for me. If you don’t like either of those words, think of this as setting your intentions for the day.

My first mantra today was of gratitude. I said thanks to the universe for including me. I was grateful to my body for waking up, to my spouse smiling at me, to the dog thumping her tail at the bedroom door, to the roof over my head, and the delicious warm water that flowed from the shower head.

After bathing I anointed myself, making a tangible and tactile prayer of love and thanks. I rubbed rose-scented cream into my face and invited myself to step into the world with an open mind and willingness to receive what is offered. I rubbed lemon scented shea oil into my arms and hands and I said thank for to them for all the work they do each day. I rubbed shea oil with ‘creativity juice’ into my feet and legs and said thank you for carrying around all day long. And I rubbed ‘mama love’ lotion into my belly and was grateful for my babies (now grown) and my health and the organic functioning of this body. Then I looked in the mirror, smiled at the whole package and said thanks beautiful!

As I walk forward into my day, my ongoing mantra is for willingness. May I continue this morning’s self care ritual with each step of my day. May I be willing to eat healthy, fresh foods that nourish my body. May I be willing to move and exercise in a way that brings joy to my flesh. May this self-care provide the base from which I can help others be happy and at ease in their physical beings. May my small contributions make the world a better place today.

I bow to the miracle of this body. I bow to you and the miracle of you. I bow to this world with awe at the beauty that surrounds me.


Celebrate your body!

Celebrate your body. Your body is your most precious possession. You’ve got this one vehicle to experience life. There are no trade-in’s. These are your feet, your legs, your belly, your chest, your arms, your neck and your head…, your one and only chance to be alive. Love it! Look in the mirror each day and say thank you. Thanks for this opportunity to breath. Thanks for this opportunity to move. Thanks for this opportunity to take in the world.

Look into the mirror and say ‘hello beautiful!’ ‘hello handsome!’ Every time you see your reflection wink and flirt with yourself. Fall in love with your body. Fall so deeply in love with your body that you are willing to give it the best of care.

How to take care of your body: Feed it nourishing, healthy, fresh, delicious food. Eat beautiful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and meats raised as close to your home as possible. Move and exercise your body in a way that you enjoy and that gives you pleasure. Movement should be a joyful celebration of being alive. Find a loving and compatible partner to share intimate touch and pleasure.

Do not abuse your body. Do not self-flagellate. Do not self-injure. Do not self-denigrate. Do not self-chastise. Do not allow others to abuse your body. Do not allow others to poison your mind. Protect your body from abuse, physical, spiritual and emotional. Hold your body up as the sacred and holy vessel that it is. Avoid consuming cultural materials that make you feel inadequate, that is, avoid magazines, television, radio, or any advertising that holds up unhealthy body images as beautiful or normal.

You are worth it. You are worth rejoicing over. You are a miracle, just the way you are!