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In praise of who we are

In the accumulated papers in my study, I came across a poem titled “Hymn, with Birds and Cats” by Francine Marie Tolf. Much of the poem applies to her particular living situation, but within the poem are several pearls of wisdom about praising the reality of who we are. . . loving and accepting ourselves, with all our flaws, because it leads to happiness, and makes us more able to love and accept others, with all their flaws. This unconditional love is what we as individuals, as a society and as part of the community of life on this precious planet need to truly heal.

Here are the excerpts from this lovely poem that spoke to me:

I will praise my failures. I will praise
What I have not accomplished and do not possess  
Because it has led to this moment.

I will praise my body whose middle-aged belly
Protrudes and whose knees have gown knobby,
This foolish animal shape who guilelessly
Stares back at me from the full-length mirror.
Because it is still rain- and sun-loving matter,
The same that splashed  lake water as a child
And rolled like a colt in June grass.
And I am never more satisfied than when I am
Walking or pushing or lifting with it,
Loving even the ache that follows,
That assurance I am rooted with earth. 

And I will praise my accumulation of failed
And abandoned poems, stories and musings,
Poems that will never be
Published or read by anyone except me.
Because not one was not perfect when first
Budding, not one did not leave the fragrance
Of possibility between these walls
Or deepen what decency I share
With damp soil and oak trees and the geese
Honking high above clouds just now,
Esteemed messengers I can hear but not see
As I sit drinking tea, amazed
The ungainliness of my life should coalesce
Into something so sleek, so elegant
As this sudden happiness.

                               
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Himalayan Bowl Sound Healing

In early November, 2019, while in Nepal, I had the privilege of attending a class in using Himalayan healing bowls for Chakra Balancing sound healing sessions, doing hot bowl massage and sound massage using bowls. Our instructor, Grand Master Shree Krishna Shahi, is a 3rd generation master healer who teaches, gives singing bowl concerts and group healing sessions all over the world.

This Chakra Balancing treatment is so soothing and healing that I came home with a set of 7 lovely singing bowls, and have been giving sound healing sessions to many friends and clients. It is a delight to add this healing modality to my toolbox!

Student doing chakra balancing in class.
My harmonic healing chakra bowls
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More on Gratitude

With the start of this new year, I am filled with deep gratitude for all the beauty, bounties and blessings of life on this precious planet.

Gratitude has been defined as a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness and appreciation for all of life. Spending a few minutes each evening contemplating the things for which I am grateful brings a sense of peace and joy, balancing out life’s frustrations, sorrows and worries.

Comfort and strength come from appreciation of the myriad people, places, events and living beings who have enriched our days and our lives. Gratitude makes us stronger, more buoyant when facing the rough waters in our lives. With a focus on gratitude, we become happier and more satisfied, able to be more mindful of all our interactions.

If you are thinking. . .How can I feel gratitude when there is so much wrong in my life and in our world? . . . here are a few suggestions that may help:

Find a jar, bowl, vase or other container with a color, shape or design that appeal to you. Be sure the top is wide enough to fit your hand, or at least a few fingers, inside. Cut up small strips of colorful paper, maybe 1″ X 3″. Each evening, take a strip of paper and write on it 1 thing that day that you appreciated, enjoyed, or felt happy to have in your life. Be creative – it can be a person, animal, plants, scenery, song, or something as simple as having vision to see, hearing to enjoy music, or any of your other senses.

Gratitude jar

Start a gratitude journal – it can be any sort of notebook . Each evening, contemplate the day, then write down 3 things/people/animals/places/events/encounters/conversations/whatever that you appreciated or were pleased about. You may be surprised how soon you start wanting to write down even more – indulge yourself – write a whole page of gratitude if you wish!

Gratitude journal

If you don’t want to take on a writing project, try relaxing at bedtime, sitting or lying down, then taking a few slow, deep breaths. Contemplate the bounties of the day, then speak aloud about those things that made you smile, laugh with joy, or warmed your heart. You will sleep so much better for having done so.

Sweet dreams