Just Breathe

plant reaches for the sun
Photo by Poppy Thomas-Hill (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkpoppyimages/)

The New Year is upon us! Are your resolutions and goals bringing you life, love, and purpose? Or are you swamped by self-imposed obligations that feel more like chores? However you are feeling today, the most important thing you can do is remember to breathe.

This week Lisa Tunney and I co-taught the first class in a new series called Inviting Change. The first session focused on Breathing in Life. It was inspired by the message I received from Spirit last summer: “If you will just breathe, it will come to you. You don’t need to pull it toward you … that’s working too hard. This is a time when you must embrace the grace of every moment and express your gratitude for what is now.”

That simple download from Spirit had a profound effect on me. It got me thinking about my breath, and the power of breathing, in a whole new way. As Lisa noted in the class, we breathe automatically, and so we are not paying attention to our breath. If we want to take full advantage of our alignment with the Earth and the Universe, she said, we have to breathe consciously.

I’ll definitely be practicing my conscious breathing tonight on “Out of the Fog” … it’s an open lines show on Transformation Talk Radio! We’re live at 6 pm Eastern / 3 pm Pacific, and you can call 800-930-2819 or 401-322-9091 to get a reading. I’ll also be taking questions from the Instant Feedback chat box at TransformationTalkRadio.com.

If you’d like to guarantee yourself a reading, grab the last spot in this Saturday’s Out of the Fog Salon. You can also sign up for the next Salon on 2/23.

Here’s a resolution for today: Stop what you’re doing. Take three mindful breaths. Better now?

Prepare for Your New Year: Darkness

In this five-minute guided meditation (the second in a series of four), we’ll take a moment to focus on our relationship with darkness. I’m not talking about negative energy, or bad things. What I mean is that our lives are a mixture of light and dark … we can’t perceive light without darkness, and there is no darkness without light. This is the darkness of creation, of sanctuary.

Darkness

Giving Thanks

A year ago this week, I was gearing up to have what should have been a simple knee surgery. It turned out to be a life-changing experience. I got an infection, had the surgery a second time, was treated with antibiotics I turned out to be allergic to, and ended up back in the hospital again at the end of last year. One month, two surgeries, eleven days in the hospital, one lost holiday season.

Last Thursday, watching my two-year-old great-niece toddle around my sister-in-law’s house, I felt truly thankful to be alive, to be able to see and experience life and love around me. This week, instead of rushing out headlong into the next holiday frenzy, take some time to connect with the Source of Light and Life, and remember what makes you truly thankful. Maybe it will change the way you spend your winter holidays.

Starting December 1, I’ll be posting a new audio message here each week for four weeks called Prepare for Your New Year: Giving Thanks. These messages will be focused on opening yourself to Source and your guides, remembering and reconnecting with the gifts you have already been given. As we head toward the darkest time of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least!), let’s prepare to greet the New Year by sharing our gifts and our Light with the world.

Frost on the Rooftops

Photo by ahisgett

There’s no denying that winter is coming … it’s already here. When I wake up in the morning and take that first bleary-eyed look out the window, I can see frost glittering on the roofs of neighboring houses.

I’m beginning my third winter in Michigan, and although I prefer a California “winter” (when you have to put on a sweatshirt before you go to the beach), I’m learning to appreciate the beauty of snow and ice, the crisp clean air, the silent fluttering snowflakes.

Soon after I moved to Michigan, I was complaining to one of my friends about how I missed San Francisco and wanted to go home. He gently reminded me that when I could be grateful for the place I lived, when I could see the beauty of it, then … and only then … would I be free to choose whether or not to stay here.

When I looked out my window this morning, safe in my warm house, and saw the glittering frost, I was reminded of what he said. When I’m feeling resentful, nothing is beautiful. When I’m feeling grateful and open, I’m free to see the beauty that’s all around me.

On tonight’s radio show, my guest will be Lisa Tunney. We’ll talk about the power of gratitude, and she’ll teach us about how gratitude can be the key that unlocks our true abundance.

I invite you to call in tonight (646-929-2947) with your stories of gratitude … or post them below as a comment. Whether you’re struggling or are in the flow, what are you grateful for today?

Not Winnable, Part II

Okay, remember that solitaire game? I now find that, in spite of the helpful “not winnable” message the game gives, nudging me to give up, I have an overwhelming desire to see how far I can go.

“Well, it says ‘not winnable,’” I think. “But maybe it’s wrong. Is it truly ‘not winnable’ right now? Maybe I can trick it into changing its mind. How un-winnable is it really? How many more moves do I have? How many cards will be left?”

And the amount of effort I’ve already put in makes a big difference. If the “not winnable” sign comes up within the first flip through the deck, it’s a lot easier to hit “new game” than if I’ve stacked all the suits up to six or seven.

I think this compulsion to see how far we can go is simply part of our nature. “If I go a little farther, maybe I will learn something I didn’t know before, even if the end result is not going to be what I want.” We are encouraged from our youth to stick to things, to see them through.

Maybe the advice of “if it’s hopeless, give it up,” is a little too simplistic. Examining your motives in hanging on is important. Why don’t you want to let go? Is hanging on harming you in some way, or are you still learning something new about yourself?

Not Winnable

I recently downloaded a free solitaire game. It only lets you play classic solitaire (with the three-card flip of the deck), nothing fancy. It does have one great feature, however… as soon as you pass the point of no return, this message pops up in red: NOT WINNABLE.

Now there’s a feature I’d love to have in everyday life… a light-up sign from the Universe telling me that no matter how much passion, energy, intention I pour into a situation or relationship, I won’t get the results I seek if I approach it with the tools I have at hand. To know that it would serve my Highest and Best Good to direct my intention elsewhere, to look for new tools. Shuffle the cards and deal again.

What are your “not winnable” situations? Is there any more you can do with the hand you’ve been dealt? Or is it time to shake things up a bit, to reshuffle, to try something new?