Gratitude

The small and the large. The significant and the insignificant.   I am thankful to be witness to the little things, and to the big things in life.  The Metta Sutra says, “Wishing: in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease.  Whatever living beings there may be, whether they be weak or strong, omitting none, the great or the mighty, medium, short or small, the seen or the unseen, those living near or far away, those born and to be born-May all beings be at ease…”

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Wildflower, Northern, CA 6/2016 CMG

I started writing just gratitudes, in letter form, to the Divine, in April 2016.  I had a regular writing practice, my Morning Pages, that I had been doing for 5 years.  Morning Pages are Julia Cameron’s invention from her book, The Artist’s Way.  Morning Pages are 3 full pages of spontaneous, flow of thought without too much thinking.  Morning Pages morphed into Gratitude Pages.   They worked really well for me for years and they removed the sludge that had to be auggerd to allow a clean, direct connection to My Creative Self, which is my True Self.  Now that that is relatively cleared (it does need auggering now and again), I have this direct path to the Divine which was and is my birthright.

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Redwoods, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Crescent City, CA 6/2016 CMG

These pages, 2-3 each morning, are in letter form.  “Dear Divine Beloved”, they say… “Thank you for this glorious morning.  Thank you for these eyes that see the rain clouds, the ears that hear the rain fall to the ground, and splash the leaves, my nose that smells the wetness in the air, mingled with the moist grass, dirt, and leaves, my skin that feels the damp and shivers as it takes in the wet wind.  Thank you for another day, a new day, with new choices, new awarenesses, new possibilities.  Thank you for your Divine plan, whatever that may be.  I know only this moment, this is the only moment that I can be in.  Thank you for the grace to let go when I need to let go, to accept when I need to accept, reject when I need to reject.  Thank for love in all of its forms.  I am loved and I am love.  I am forgiven and I forgive.  Thank you for the strength, the intelligence and the humility and the insight to know when I need to use them and which one to use.  Thank you for being a mother.  I am so blessed with two beautiful children who have taught me so much.  Thank you for allowing me to teach them.  Thank you for our deep connection, our ability to be open, honest and accepting of one another. Thank you for the love between us that never goes away.  Thank you for my insight and clarity in all that I do to make good decisions that benefit the highest good of all.  Thank you for the people that I connect with daily.  Thank you for all that I learn in my interactions, all that I give and all that I receive.  Thank you for my talents, skills and abilities that are unique and allow me to do good work, in a good way and for good pay.  I am blessed to always have food in my belly, to have choices about what I want to eat and to be able to make delicious, healthy meals for myself, my family and friends.  I am so grateful for my loving, supportive family .  I am thankful that they believe in me, and that we have healthy ways of communicating our needs.  I am thankful for music in my life.  I am thankful for my healthy, strong, fit and youthful body that enjoys dancing freely to the sounds of music.  Thank you for this body that is able to do all the activities I love doing. Thank you for the woods, the forests, the beaches, the fields, the sidewalks and the country roads that my body moves so freely in and through.  I am blessed with so much abundance in my life!  Thank you.  I release these words into the Universe as Law, let them be so.  With love and gratitude, Carrie”

The idea of the gratitude list first came to me through a 12-Step program.  The letter to the Divine came to me via May McCarthy’s book The Path to Wealth which led me to the book, The Game of Life and How to Play it by Florence Scovel Shinn. Thank you for the path that led me to them and to here, where I am.

Take time to play – celebrate your uniqueness!

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How do you play? What things bring you joy? For you, it may not be grand or outlandish things that fill your spirit but then again, it may be. Think back to when you were a child. What things were you drawn to? How did you fill your days with play?
Carrie, Jessie and Jennie dressed up Oct. 1973
For me, it was dress up and putting on plays (that is me, age 6, on the left). I loved to entertain people, talk with people and pretend. I loved to direct, to lead. If we played school, I was the teacher. I loved to climb trees and run. I danced. I played and listened to music. I rode my bike and explored different places. I loved the coolness of a cave in the summertime. I loved running through a sprinkler on a hot summer day. I loved libraries. I loved the smell of them and the feel of books in my hands. I loved to read.

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These activities are still me. I am a teacher today. I do love to run, ride bike and dance. I love books! If I listen to my child self, I know what fills my soul and what I need to do more of in my career to share my given talents and gifts with others. My gifts are unique to me as yours are to you. There is NO OTHER YOU ON THIS PLANET! You are special!

Today – do something that celebrates your uniqueness!
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Why do people lie, yell or steal?

I am re-reading “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson.  I read it almost 20 years ago and it changed my life!   Years went by, at times living life unconsciously, forgetting that in order to maintain my connection with SELF, my connection to the Divine or All That Is, I have to consciously work at it.

Marianne says, “When someone has behaved unlovingly – when they yell at us, or lie about us, or steal from us – they have lost touch with their essence.  They have forgotten who they are.  But everything that someone does, says the Course (she is referring to The Course in Miracles), is either ‘love or a call for love’.

This resonated with me.  This is ME!  This is my family, the people who I love.  I have behaved in ways I wish I had not.  But that action, that CRY for love, not love from someone outside of myself but for that love INSIDE, was my awakening.  The negative behavior from others was a cry for love.  Now the awakening didn’t happen overnight… but it comes around.  Right now, the awakening for me has come at a price of loss.  It is a struggle with my ego on a daily, no minute by minute basis to choose love and not fear.   To forgive others for wrongful behavior instead of condemning them.  To forgive myself.  Back to Marianne’s words: “When we are shaking a finger at someone, figuratively or literally, we are not more apt to correct their wrongful behavior.  Treating someone with compassion and forgiveness is much more likely to elicit a healed response.”

I choose LOVE. I choose to forgive. I choose to BE the change.

I imagine that this is what Essence/Love looks like.
Photo by: Carrie Garcia- 7/4/13 Circle Pines, MN
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Get SuperBetter!

Get SuperBetter!

I have started to play this game on-line.  It is a way to help me meet my goals, stay in the moment and appreciate life.

I found out about this game by watching a Ted Talk called “Life Hacks”.  The speaker that inspired me the most was American gamer Jane McGonigal. She gave an engaging speech that included research about four core areas that we need in our lives to stay engaged, and feel good about living.  They are: social, emotional, mental and physical.  SuperBetter sends you on quests to use these four areas and employs “allies” (friends that you can count on) to help you fight the bad guys and reach the next level getting closer to your goal every day.   

I highly encourage you to join me and play.  What do you have to loose?

Yamuna-ing in NYC!

The Hudson river as the sun sets.

The Hudson river as the sun sets.

I completed the first phase of the Yamuna Body Rolling training today. I leave NYC in the morning tomorrow, back to the Twin Cities.

When I wasn’t in training which was 10-5 for three days, I was walking the streets of Manhattan, taking the trains below ground, shooting pictures of the images around me and people watching.

The NYC subway

The NYC subway

It is an amazing city, New York. I love to visit but I would find it hard to find my center here. There is so much external energy coming at me all the time, I find it hard to hear my own inner voice. I guess that would be the challenge wouldn’t it? That is the challenge wherever you are, listing to your true self.

Night image of the West Village.

Night image of the West Village.

Learning the basics of Yamuna Body Rolling for the last few days has been such a in depth learning experience plus a healing venture for me. Body Rolling teaches you how to manipulate your muscles with a variety of different sized balls that are placed on one area of your body and then moved by laying on them and moving your body to manipulate and massage your muscles and bones using your own body weight. Yamuna has created this awesome technique that I can now use on myself daily, won’t harm my body, won’t rip my tissues and will keep me in shape for the rest of my life because it is literally a technique that most people can do at any age.

Yamuna Body Rolling instructor, Scott.

Yamuna Body Rolling instructor, Scott.


The instructor of the class was a Brooklyn born steel/construction worker. He has also worked in a variety of fitness places using other types of techniques but has come to Yamuna Body Rolling because he has weight-lifted, taught Pilates and has found that many other types of exercise are hard on your body. They rip, they tear, they pound and eventually, you can’t do them any more. Sure, you can run for twenty years but eventually, most people have injuries. Then, they go to a chiropractor or try to eliminate soreness by getting regular massages or take medication. Yamuna Body Rolling can align your body, can go deep into the tissues like massage and can eliminate the need for some medications.

So, I am taking this back to the Twin Cities, this knowledge and training, going to body roll myself daily and then in March I will return for Phase 2 of the training. I will let you know how it goes. Stay tuned!!

Yamuna's Flagship Studio, The Village, NYC

Yamuna’s Flagship Studio, The Village, NYC

Yamuna Body Rolling

 

I am headed off to New York City tomorrow to the Flagship Studio of Yamuna Body Rolling.  I am so very excited to be adding to my repertoire of healing exercises.

Check out the video and I will post more as I train and learn.

Namaste,

Carrie

Are you PRE-suffering?

“Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

How many times have I anticipated suffering, or created suffering before it happens thus PRE-suffering? Oh…many! I can get myself so wound up over stuff that hasn’t even happened yet thus ruining the present moment…huh, I am not even in the present when I am PRE-suffering, I am somewhere in the non-existent future that I have created in my head!!

I heard someone use this term last night and WOW…it just resonated through my whole being. “PRE-SUFFERING”. This is definitely something I can try and let go of. But how?

This is present moment and breath work. For me, meditation and yoga help with this. Focusing my mind on my breath during yoga, the movement from one posture to the next that aligns with my breath keeps me right there. It keeps me from thinking about thinking or thinking about the things that haven’t even happened yet. I enjoy Vinyasa yoga because it is a yoga practice that allows me to move. One breath to one movement- it seems very natural to me.

Sitting meditation also helps me to remain sane and in the moment but honestly is more difficult for me because I am sitting and not moving. Thoughts come into my head on a regular basis even though I have been meditating for twenty years. The process of letting them go and focusing on my breath is more automatic than it used to be but it is still a work in process.

The most difficult thing for me is getting myself un-stuck and out of the PRE-suffering black hole that once I am there is like space…never ending. I like that I can put a name to it now. It will help me to more easily identify this thinking. It lends me perspective which then guides me through the five other “P’s”- pain, prayer, patience, process and payoff. These are from the book, Paths to Recovery. John Maxwell also has a similar idea that I have spoken about before in his book Today Matters. I recommend both.

Just for today, start to notice your pre-suffering. Are you experiencing pain or anguish about something that hasn’t even happened yet? Are you anticipating bad things happening to you? Take a moment and breathe, connect to your source, go for a walk, do yoga, do what works to bring peace around you. I know you can!

Breathe in Balance #1

Breathe In Balance isa work in progress.   Since I have not had a lot of time to write lately, please check out Breathe In Balance #1 for previous posts and ENJOY!

 

Quote for today:

“An authentically powered person lives in love. Love is the energy of the soul. Love is what heals the personality. There is nothing that cannot be healed by love. There is nothing but love.”
― Gary Zukav

True Love- “Boy and Dog” (CMG original) Port Wing, WI, Lake Superior 2012

Are you ready to really listen?

Port Wing, WI- Lake Superior (CMG original)

I was at an end of the summer gathering on Saturday night.  Lots of people were there.  Many I didn’t know and some I did.  As is usual for most people, I began talking first to the people I knew.

I am an extrovert- let’s get that straight – so, I can talk to almost anyone.  I enjoy finding out details about people.  I enjoy the small exchanges between others and myself.  I would have to say though, in the past, I spoke more than I listened.

Through my meditation, yoga work and spiritual readings I have been working on being quiet more.  I am a person who easily talks aloud, says things without thinking and can tell the wrong people too much information about myself.  My role as a teacher supports this talking and others constantly listening to what I say.  My ego is filled to the brim after a day at work!  Working on being quiet has taken many years.

Back at the party, I sat with some people I thought I knew and realized after listening that I never really knew them all that well.  I found out information that would have been helpful to me years ago but I was not ready to listen.  I truly believe that this was a set-up.  The Universe had set me up, again.  It brought these messages to me in the form of two human beings.  The messages were of the Divine.  And maybe the Universe had tried to give me these messages before but I was not listening.

How can we be quieter inside and out?  That is the question I pose today.  How can we truly listen to one another and hear the powerful voice of the Universe?  Each of us are just messengers designed to carry powerful, needed messages to move one another along.  What message might you have missed by not fully being present?  Of course, it will come up again because that is how this all shakes out.  As humans we enter into this play with many scenes, some scenes repeat themselves maybe with different players but with the same moral lesson until the play comes to an end and maybe, just maybe in some of the scenes we have found resolution.

My hope for you today is that you can find resolution to some of your scenes through listening.  Listen and be open to the people or circumstances that you encounter today.  What messages do they bring?  How might they be bringing you closer to the new scene?  To peace.

Namaste,

Carrie