Fall has arrived again, although the leaves have yet to change. Rather than focusing solely on this season this time of year, I would like to share how each season may lend itself to a skill, a wisdom, which I find helpful in providing to everyone, which I try and do myself and will be reminding myself of in this post
Take time out for yourself.
This element of living, this necessary way to be healthy and happy in life, I do not think can be underestimated.
Culturally, it is positive and healthy to disconnect, from obligations, responsibilities, pulls towards others, pulls towards any needs one is feeling for oneself.
In short, without escaping from it all, the requisite downtime we all come to miss does not happen.
So, how does this look for each season? How does each season lend itself to this requisite downtime?
In winter, I think it may happen more naturally and be easier than most for finding this time. The weather gets bad and the roads are impassable, the snow plows have yet to make their way through our travel lanes, our thoroughfares, for getting where we normally go.
Not only that, but when the weather gets colder, when the temperatures plummet and drop, we naturally have less motivation to be active and perhaps be so actively around others.
Take these nudges and times to oneself. I think we are naturally made to adapt to the seasons, and winter lends itself certainly to this time away from our regular lives.
What about spring? How does spring lend itself to time away from others and spent with just our own company?
I think wherever you may find nature, I think wherever you may be inspired to see the life of the earth returning to its more colored and vibrant shades and splendors, this is where to go and be alone to enjoy this time, without other distractions from people or life in its regular routines and obligations.
Summer. Summer has many distractions, but it also can let us know the wisdom of staying in, lounging around, whether by pools or other bodies of water, or away from it all, perhaps to get away from the heat, the less than natural flow of our life routines, a time when vacations are to be taken, when perhaps we know culturally about this being the time to get away. But how about for the next time it rolls around, take a day trip or two, or plan a getaway for oneself, to oneself, so one can enjoy the variations of the season unique to summer? A time to be creative and get away for oneself.
Finally fall. Fall almost upon us now in its change of colors for the season.
We cannot help but start to slow down from the summer having just past. We feel the cold coming in, and we feel the adjustment, within our bodies, as our clocks are likely to change, setting time back as we approach this time of year.
The first nudgings and inklings of winter that come when the air first starts to get cold, this may be one of the best times of the season to stop and honor this feeling of slowing down, this change from the summer just past.
Slowing down, this begins the season of fall, and provides an opportunity for us.
Nature comes to present itself in its changing colors, perhaps a time to just walk in this transitioning season of russet splendor.
The dark seems to come in, the night comes up to greet us more readily.
Welcoming the gifts of this slowing, darkening, crispening time of year, this presents a self-gifting way to meet the fall.
Perhaps chilling in more ways than one, we can each come up with ways to be thrilled by the season, in solace or more enlivening ways.
Slowing down, let us be in mind to greet the season.
Wishing you all, in that time to yourself, a happy and self-nurturing fall.
During the cooler months, when the light grows dimmer as suppertime approaches, we might naturally turn towards reflecting on our lives, on ourselves, thinking of maybe where we would like to be, a place different from where we are now, thinking of what may still be of concern in our lives to address, to look at, so we can get to this better place.
If you think of this like a mirror, then imagine the dark and silvery backing to a mirror, the darkness and bit of light that help allow the glass we look into to reflect ourselves back. When we turn the mirror over, we see this kind of backing, which allows us to see ourselves when the mirror faces us.
What if we removed this backing, chipped away at the silvery and dark material on the back of the mirror? We may not be able to see ourselves then, but we would have a clear view at that point, a clear piece of glass to look through, with nothing blocking our view.
I feel that at this time of year, in the cooler months, turning colder and darker as the year progresses, we are given the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and our lives, perhaps seeing what needs to be seen, perhaps looking at what needs to be looked at, within and by ourselves, or, if we are needing help then, with another supporting us on our journey to look at what we are seeing once again.
When we remove this material more and more, by looking at it, chipping it away, our view becomes clearer, the range of vision we have becomes wider in a sense--certainly, we can say we can see farther, further into ourselves with a clearer viewpoint.
Turning the mirror over, what might you see, what gives you cause for reflection?
During this time of year, the mirror turns naturally, so we can see what may be of importance to consider. We make room for more light as we continue to work at it. The darker months approach with the light fading away--but naturally, this light returns, and we may be in alignment with it, clearing our way.
The mirror turns.
What can you see?
Sitting where I usually sit to do a certain meditation every now and then, I spied two cardinals out the back window on a slanted beam of the deck. They seemed to be playfully with one another, one of them seemingly feeding or pecking into the mouth of the other.
Standing up to confirm whether it was a couple, as in mating or mated birds, I did indeed see the colored male cardinal, and the more neutral-colored female cardinal.
In this meditation, I always hope to, and usually do in some way, uncover that sense of connection to what I believe in about life, what I know of it, a spirit of life that nourishes, contains a true peace, feels full of possibility, and has an exchange of love with me in all of these areas.
I did begin to feel this just as the two cardinals alighted on the beam.
I thought this fitting, as I confirmed it was a playful couple, and was smiling as I intuited a sense about this: whenever we are just relaxed and enjoying our connection to life, feeling a love about it, this is not unlike a subtle but present feeling of a give-and-take, a subtle exchange between the universe and ourselves, between life and who we are.
Everything became or was all right in those moments.
That is what I hope from the meditation each time.
That is what I hope for you, for each of us.
We can find our moments of relaxed peace and love.
As summer starts heading into fall, maybe we can start to thoughtfully set some time aside to allow these moments to happen.
Right before the Fourth of July, I am writing this entry. I felt I needed to update posts past the last one, it having mentioned the end of spring.
This year for myself, towards the middle of the summer, it will be ten years of having dedicated my life to more consciously incorporating deeper ways of understanding, doing the practices and setting aside the time to nourish that part of my life.
Wherever you are in your path in life, whether this be for achieving basic or manageable wellness, or for doing that, along with moving deeper into your own precious and unique path of experiencing, for who you are as a person, I am hoping for you more freedom, more ease, more enjoyment, for the enjoyment of your life, and for moments of seeing past your habituated routines, to a truer sense of freedom, where you are not bound by limitations, whether inside or out, past or present, or even those you might be projecting into the future.
I believe in this path, and continue to dedicate myself to walking in it.
May I meet your reaching out, if you wish to walk this path, and what I am offering speaks to you.
I am truly so happy helping in such a way, seeing and watching this path unfold for others.
Everything is so green. That's what I remember thinking about a month ago now, how the winter that did not seem to let go gave way to what perhaps has been a brief spring--summer seemingly here now, although not officially yet.
If you think of experience and the personal perspective of reality to be based on a quality of awareness or consciousness, then seeing the transition from the quietness, perhaps even message of death, of winter, seeing that transition into life again, with almost a vibrancy of lush greenness in the world, from trees and plants of all kinds, this experiencing of reality can be seen to have different flavors, spring and summer being an opening, an inviting, to an understanding of expression, and giving, and a sense of the freedom of experiencing life.
Underneath what may be of concern, what may be psychologically apparent, or seemingly permanent, we all get glimpses of this consciousness, the flavors and different forms of beauty of it, whether that be the inward understandings more readily apparent in winter, or the more connective and expansive natural tendencies we might have as life returns in all its vibrant greenness to the earth during the months where the seasons are warming up.
Grateful for this time of year, may it unlock and allow us to see an expansive consciousness or awareness, opening us to the possibilities of spring, and the all but present experiencing of summer now.
Spring has come and gone, as has summer, and without further hesitation, I feel compelled to catch a bit of fall in my writing. Not only that, I wish to let go of what perhaps needs to be let go of, the imperfections that can imperfectly snag and nag one to the point of preventing the presence of the present from being here.
Why the date as the blog post title, you might be wondering? Well, after having set aside a novel on my shelf, actually my two copies of the one novel, one being a giant-sized special edition of it, I have picked it up again after about a year, this time being the time of year when people most read this author's works. So, perhaps you can see this coming, but within the first two pages of picking up the novel again where I last left off from the previous fall, a novel which I've read numerous times now--the day the novel resumes on is, you guessed it, September 28th:
"That year the first day of fall (real fall as opposed to calendar fall) was September 28 ..."
This happened to be in the mid- to late-seventies when the novel's story takes place, but it seems strikingly dead on for fall this year, in 2017. It is also rather spooky, or synchronistic, that I pick up the novel on the exact day that I read about in the novel. Maybe I've read it so much, I knew that date was coming. Perhaps, but the sentence I quoted above is not one I'm likely to lodge in my memory, except now after blogging about it.
So I thought September 28 an apropos title for this post, and something to write about after months of hiatus.
Why the hiatus?
I think I always try and write when I have something perhaps exceptional, extraordinary, or something illuminating to share, and I am not saying I do not this time, but this is my entire point. Imperfection is a given and a reality and only needs to be said because I think we try and hang our coats on perfection, when the darn hook keeps being dragged down to the floor, not being able to take the weight of our attempts at it, what will always only be imperfection.
I have not blogged since April, until this time now this year, because I was fooled by my own interpretations of others' comments or actions. Maybe I can assess them in a way that casts the shadow on them, when it really has to do with my own self-absorbed interpretations.
This time of year, perhaps it's natural to reflect on our own shadows, seeing them mirrored and shimmying down the lane, through tunnels of trees, in the curves of leaves blowing our way. I can throw out this word, daemon, at perhaps the risk of what some others may think, but I will use the word anyway, it being a Greek idea of an intermediary between the divine and us humans, or perhaps the messenger within ourselves to spur us on to go deeper, to relinquish our cloud covering of light, to let the shadows appear to take a closer look at them, to not flinch, but to see where we might have obscured our own path.
It's not the depth and death of winter yet, but it is time to reflect, to prepare, to let go of the previous suppositions and assumptions of the year thus far.
Be gone! Whatever truths hanging there as falsities, still lingering, be gone!
A leaf here, a leaf there, just let them blow away and realize them as the phantasms that they are, back to the nothingness from whence they come.
No self-absorbed false truths to exist anymore.
A good day to let the shadows dance and come, to freely swing them, and let them fade away, releasing them back into the nothingness from whence they come.
enjoying the warmer
the full feel
Feeling spirited today, with spring coming, and could not help but enjoy this today--
"Do you know that there's still a chance for you, 'cause there's a spark in you? You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine. Just own the night, like the Fourth of July."
"It's always been inside of you, and now it's time to let it through."
Music video by Katy Perry performing Firework (quoted above).
(c) 2010 Capitol Records, LLC
As winter approaches, it may feel good to stretch into this time of year, lean into it, feel its quietness, solitude, and peacefulness, such peace.
I encourage you to find solace in the silence, make that happen for yourself this time of year.
I am including many inspirational quotations about silence below.
True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.
Silence is the true friend that never betrays.
An inability to stay quiet is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind.
Silence is a source of great strength.
Silence is the universal refuge....
~Henry David Thoreau
Accustomed to the veneer of noise ... society is suspicious of those who value silence.
I have often lamented that we cannot close our ears with as much ease as we can our eyes.
In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.
Silence is a fence around wisdom.
Silence is as deep as eternity; speech, shallow as time.
Silence is medication for sorrow.
Silence was never written down.
Silence is exhilarating at first - as noise is - but there is a sweetness to silence outlasting exhilaration, akin to the sweetness of listening and the velvet of sleep.
Nature and silence go better together.
You can hear the footsteps of God when silence reigns in the mind.
~Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Not merely an absence of noise, Real Silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary.
Silence is more musical than any song.
Nothing is more useful than silence.
~Menander of Athens
Silence is a sounding thing, to one who listens hungrily.
Silence is the mother of truth.
Her hearing was keener than his, and she heard silences he was unaware of.
We must have reasons for speech but we need none for silence.
Silence is the secret to sanity.
There are times when silence has the loudest voice.
Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts.
~Margaret Lee Runbeck
Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Into a quieter time of year, the potential is there, where you will not have to do what you think you need to do, where you can simply be, and that is enough.
To this time of year I add and am inspired by the words of author Ursula K. Le Guin, speaking of a feminine way of being, spoken as part of a commencement address she gave over thirty years ago.
See how it shines now:
(Full speech here: A Left-Handed Commencement Address)
"In our society, women have lived, and have been despised for living, the whole side of life that includes and takes responsibility for helplessness, weakness, and illness, for the irrational and the irreparable, for all that is obscure, passive, uncontrolled, animal, unclean — the valley of the shadow, the deep, the depths of life. All that the Warrior denies and refuses is left to us and the men who share it with us and therefore, like us, can’t play doctor, only nurse, can’t be warriors, only civilians, can’t be chiefs, only indians. Well so that is our country. The night side of our country. If there is a day side to it, high sierras, prairies of bright grass, we only know pioneers’ tales about it, we haven’t got there yet. We’re never going to get there by imitating Machoman. We are only going to get there by going our own way, by living there, by living through the night in our own country.
So what I hope for you is that you live there not as prisoners, ashamed of being women, consenting captives of a psychopathic social system, but as natives. That you will be at home there, keep house there, be your own mistress, with a room of your own. That you will do your work there, whatever you’re good at, art or science or tech or running a company or sweeping under the beds, and when they tell you that it’s second-class work because a woman is doing it, I hope you tell them to go to hell and while they’re going, to give you equal pay for equal time. I hope you live without the need to dominate, and without the need to be dominated. I hope you are never victims, but I hope you have no power over other people. And when you fail, and are defeated, and in pain, and in the dark, then I hope you will remember that darkness is your country, where you live, where no wars are fought and no wars are won, but where the future is. Our roots are in the dark; the earth is our country. Why did we look up for blessing — instead of around, and down? What hope we have lies there. Not in the sky full of orbiting spy-eyes and weaponry, but in the earth we have looked down upon. Not from above, but from below. Not in the light that blinds, but in the dark that nourishes, where human beings grow human souls."
With summer approaching soon, I feel an ability to be more at ease, natural and energized as a person this time of year. Obstacles, whether they be of people or situations, can be a challenge and a drain on energy during this otherwise rewarding time. Here are some words of wisdom which speak to my heart, which perhaps can be a source of inspiration for you to live your life past and around any "tigers" this coming summer.
From spiritual teacher Shambhavi Sarasvati:
"Resistance for me has most often meant going around rather than fighting the tigers head on.
I’ve tried not to struggle with other people’s fears, projections or demands that I take up a leading role in their karmic patterns. And I respect that people have the right to be however they are. I sometimes want to fight—to prove something or make people I’ve cared about understand me—but this rarely works. It most often gets me more entangled.
Going around and continuing on my way, or engaging in a softer mode, have worked better. These strategies have been my teachers. They have taught me a lot about aggression and have required developing some serious patience and fortitude. I’m definitely still working on it.
But I’ve learned, through sometimes painful trial and error, that the use of more forceful means is only rarely necessary. In fact, I’ve found that in simply continuing on my path and letting other people be, the intelligent and compassionate patterns of nature are revealed. Nature is generally playing a longer game than us impatient humans."
Mark Newlon, feeling the embrace of the sacred feminine daily!
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