Seeking calm

are-you-an-authentic-empath-watch-for-these-12-strange-behaviors-2I am tired. I have realized that the tiredness is coming from the emotional roller coaster I have been on lately. When we have done physical work or completed a project we can be tired but it is a satisfying tired. It feels good. This is not that. This tired is totally enervating. It has drained me to my core.

When we are truly empathetic we experience the feelings and aura of those around us.  Recently the strain that my friends have been under and the energy I have expended has taken all the oomph out of me. However I hope we are now on the upswing and that things are getting better.

Tomorrow I will be able to work in the yard. Although this is tiring it is the good kind of tired. It will produce a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. I have complained about the yard work but you can actually see the progress and that is something.

Lately I have taken little time for myself and I will address that in the coming week. I would like to see some “normal” but you never know when you will have to adjust to a “new normal.”

calmFinding things that bring us peace and calm are so important. Reading help me and just sitting on the porch and enjoying the outdoors. Each of us needs to find what can help when things get overwhelming. Not caring for ourselves will bring on anxiety, panic and depression. Not something we want to do.

What helps to bring you some peace and calm?

And it was good

front lawn shadowsToday I decided to eat breakfast on the porch. It is frequently too hot but today is milder and there is a breeze. We live on a tidal marsh. We have an 8 ft tide change. When tide is low you can smell the marsh. Some people don’t like that smell but I love it. When I was a child and visited my aunt and uncle here that smell meant we were on the way to the beach… on the way to a fun day so that smell has wonderful memories for me. It is interesting that smell can stimulate such strong memories.

I love the play of light and shadow made by the giant oak trees that we have here. There are ferns that grow on the trees (along with Spanish moss). They are called resurrection ferns. When there is no rain they are brown and look totally dead. Then it will rain and behold they are beautiful and green. I love the name and the connection.

resurrection fern

Today sitting on the deck I just reveled in the beauty of the day…how green everything is…the beautiful oaks..everything in God’s world. God is in the midst of it all. Creation continuing in the world.

I am blessed to be able to sit and absorb the beauty. I don’t do it enough. It soothes my soul and reduces anxious thoughts. It is part of my journey that I have committed to see the world around me each day and immerse myself in it.

That inexplicable moment

Today I shared, on my other blog, a song by Khris Khristopherson that has always meant a lot to me. Below is the video of the song with the story of how it was written. The song itself may not be your cup of tea but the lyrics are powerful and so is the story. Please read on after the video.

It is possible for each of us to have an experience so powerful that it can change us. It doesn’t matter how we connect with God/supreme being/universal One. What matters is that it is possible to do so.

We may be moved by music, nature, love, poetry, art or community…anything that can take us to that place where we are held by that breathtaking sense of oneness with everything. I have had that experience in my life. It can’t be grasped and held on to. It is just there and then gone. We remember it but can’t fully experience that moment again.

We can intentionally seek that place by letting go of ourselves through meditation, silence or whatever works for you. There is still no guarantee that it will find us but by striving for connection we open ourselves to the experience.

Holy moments are beyond explanation and something I have never forgotten. May you find and be embraced by them in your life. I believe in more.

 

A day out of time

moment-in-time-imageToday felt like a day out of time. My husband had tests scheduled and left our hotel at 9:30 and came back at 2:30. He says the day was organized and fairly simple. For me it felt like a day out of time. I spent most of the day in the room and re-read a book that I loved (When Breath Becomes Air). It is the journey of a remarkable neurosurgeon, scientist, PHD in English as he receives a terminal diagnosis. It has some sad parts but some amazing quotes. He was an amazing writer and thinker.

For me it was a day to think and just be. I did some knitting…also think time…and a little TV. I think it was the first day in a long time where I had nothing planned and no agenda at all. In my case this would normally be stressful but today it was so calm. What a joy.

I am not sure why the calm settled in since tomorrow we (hopefully) will have a plan in place and normally I would have been anxious about that. The calm was a blessing.

awesome momentsHow often are we blessed enough to feel calm? For me that is not often. I let myself dive into it. Thanks to God for the moment out of time!

Touch heals

There has been a lot of research about touch and how healing it can be. Over the years, while visiting people at home and in the hospital, I have always used touch to draw closer. I truly believe that touch can be therapeutic if used with intent to heal. Recent studies have shown that just holding the hand of a loved one can reduce pain.

healing touch

When visiting a member of the congregation in the hospital I found her in pain. Unfortunately, he pain medicine was not due for some time and she was very uncomfortable. She responded well to my touch and using both touch, a soothing voice, and a meditative talk (like a mantra….”just rest, just rest..close your eyes and just rest) over and over she relaxed into a calm and peaceful state and was able to wait for her next dose of medicine.

I don’t know how many times I used this technique on my children and never thought about it but with my job as parish nurse it was very helpful. Having someone focus your thoughts soothes us and along with gentle touch can bring us to a state of calm.

The problem is it is hard to do this for yourself. I have done it on occasion when I found myself in a situation when I was about to lose either my temper or my mind. Just stepping back, breathing and focusing my mind….I sometimes repeat “be calm, be calm”…does help me get past that moment. I had a Tai Chi instructor who said when faced with her kids waiting in an airport she had to keep saying “lower your chi” over and over.

Sometimes when I am alone I like to sing a piece of Taize music. These pieces from the Taize community in France are soothing chants that can calm your mind and soothe your soul. If you have never heard these look it up.

This link will take you to one of my favorites on YouTube.

A spiritual connection to the earth

We have had our friend, Harold Littlebird, here for the last few days. Harold’s heritage is Pueblo (I’m sorry I don’t remember more specifics) and he is an amazing potter, poet, storyteller, songwriter and singer. He is amazingly talented.

This is one of his pieces. Each piece has a story attached to it.

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He is also deeply spiritual and an amazing Christian. He sees God as both infinite and immanent. God is present with him at all times and when you are with him you can feel that presence. It is a joy to be with him.

Having him in our home is such a reminder of the things I fail to do each day to connect me with God. Silence is his friend but he can also be fun and funny.

We have other friends who are native Americans (First Nations) and I am always awed by their connection with God and the earth. We all need to learn from them. We are so often careless with our use of the resources of the earth that God has blessed us with. We are supposed to be stewards but we have so often raped the earth. Our total disregard of the fact that things are not limitless has made the decline of the earth almost inevitable. I really hope that it can be turned around and that the earth can be sustained. I worry about my grandchildren and now my great grandchild. What kind of a world have we left for them?

earthhelpdesktop1

I see on the web young people who are finding solutions to the problems that we have created and it gives me hope. Maybe it will take the next generations to reverse the trend. I hope so. I really hope so!

Seeing the destruction we have done makes me anxious for the future. Will we ever learn to care/

Compassion

Many of us have the gift or burden of sharing in other people’s feelings. This can be overwhelming. If we are sharing with someone who is in pain the results can be hard. It is so easy to take on their burdens as your own.It is a wonderful gift to understand the struggle that others are having but if we let it take over our lives it can be more than we can handle.

Compassion is truly a gift but we have to learn to back away when it sends us into depression and anxiety. Helping others to find a way through their burdens will help to bring peace to us as well.We can’t do that if we are so caught up in the situation that we also need help.We have to learn how to be compassionate without losing ourselves.