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Archive for July, 2012

I had my bridal shower this weekend (surprise!) and received this beautiful and delicious tea from one of my bridesmaids. It is called Wedding: A Tea for Marriage by Harney and Sons. It is a white tea with a lemon-vanilla flavor and rosebuds. The tea tastes sweet and light. It is perfect for the summer and makes a beautiful wedding or shower gift.

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On Friday night I attended a Labyrinth meditation at my local yoga studio with my fiance. It was by donation to benefit a woman who has Multiple Sclerosis. It was a beautiful experience. They formed the labyrinth with stones and candles. In the center was a giant rose quartz crystal and rose petals, although it is hard to see in the picture.

 

When we first arrived, we were smudged with sage. Then we went to sit down on bolsters surrounding the labyrinth. We were led in a chant: La ilaha illa Allah, which means “there is no god/deity but the One Divine Force that encompasses All.” As we read on the card, “This statement brings Divine Light for health, warmth, and healing to the heart. It is the essence (and practice) of the annihilation of falsehood. It is both a statement of Divine Truth and that there IS One Divine Force flowing through each sentient being and all of creation.”

Each person took a turn walking the labyrinth. I was nervous at first because I thought that everyone would be watching me as I walked. I quickly realized that each person was involved in his or her own meditation, and that I should not feel self conscious. As I began to walk, I pictured myself stepping toward the next chapter of my life. When I turned to walk out of the labyrinth, I imagined myself walking away from the past. It was an extremely cleansing experience, and I am so glad I went!

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Recently I was reading the Journal of Poetry Therapy for my new biblio/poetry therapy program. I wanted to share an excerpt from the article “The Mundane, the Existential, and the Poetic” by Rich Furman:

“Life, for the most part, is a series of mundane tasks that each individual engages in before their ultimate death, with episodic experiences that appear to have currency and intensity. Appear in the sense that the event just is, it has no inherent meaning other than that which we derive from our own personal and cultural experience. Again, life is meaningless. One person may become depressed upon losing a job while another becomes ecstatic. The meaning that the individual ascribes to the event predicates how it will be defined.

While many would read this and wonder if the author has one leg tied to a large stone that he is ready to hurl into deep water, this realization is intensely liberating. Since life has no inherent meaning, we each have the capacity to create a sense of meaning within the moment. Since the most prevalent aspect of life is the mundane, the goal is to learn to cherish that which is mundane. Since the mundane is everywhere there is much to cherish! Frankl (1963) observed the capacity to create meaning within the context of the Nazi death camp. Small acts, mundane acts, became powerful, became important.”

While reading this, I immediately recoiled at the words “life is meaningless.” Yet, I realized as I continued reading that in fact I do believe this, though I prefer Furman’s phrasing: “inherently meaningless.” I believe that we assign importance and meaning to events in our lives, from the most “mundane” to the greatest milestones. This meaning is unique for each person. Life does seem to be a gigantic blank canvas upon which we project different creative thoughts. I also recoiled against the word “mundane,” because I have such affection for the simplicities of life, and the word “mundane,” in my opinion, has a negative connotation. I do believe that these “mundane” moments are the ones we can cherish most. I feel that strongly right now with an upcoming milestone in my life: my wedding. Although the event of the wedding is a very intensely emotional even upon which I ascribe much meaning, it is the smaller, more mundane moments in my relationship that give me the greatest joy, and which I cherish the most.

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I just finished reading The Nature of Personal Reality: A Seth Book, and truly enjoyed it. One of the main messages I received is to truly experience each of your feelings without trying to negate them in any way. Many people try to suppress “negative” emotions and apply positivity like a bandaid. The wound remains underneath, unhealed and raw. Instead, you must examine your personal beliefs that cause your emotional states. Identify what you are feeling when you experience sadness, anger, or fear. When you honestly get to the core of your belief system, and face all aspects of yourself head on, you can start to make a change.

I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes from the book with you:

“You, being yourself, helps others to be themselves.”

“You must begin to trust yourself sometime. I suggest you do it now.”

“You cannot fear your own being and expect to travel through it, to explore its dimensions.”

“It is very important that you understand the true innocence of all feelings, for each of them, if left alone and followed, will lead you back to the reality of love.”

I especially like the last one; it is beautifully said. It has been challenging to examine my beliefs, because I find myself hiding some of the more painful ones from view. One of my personal beliefs has been that I think that I am unworthy and undeserving. I hid this from myself for the last month while reading this book, because I thought that I had gotten over it a while ago. Apparently I hadn’t. When I held this belief in front of me, I felt all of the corresponding emotions: pain, fear, sadness, humiliation, powerlessness, and emptiness. I immediately saw in my mind’s eye a puzzle, and each piece represented an accomplishment in my life. However, one puzzle piece was missing from the center of the puzzle. It was the belief in my self-worth, and I immediately knew that I could accomplish many wonderful things in my life, but without self worth, it would always feel like something was missing. It was so hard to face this, because I felt that my accomplishments would create my self-worth. I realize now that it is actually the other way around, and I am practicing changing my belief in my unworthiness.

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On Tuesday morning, which happened to be my birthday, I woke up with a swollen upper lip and some slight irritation around my mouth. By Wednesday I could actually see my upper lip out of the corner of my eye, and by that evening I had a spread of hives along my left leg. Fortunately, my lip has recovered, but my hives continued to worsen today. Why has this come about? Are allergies just physical reactions to different things in our food or in the air? I had to ask myself exactly what in my life I am allergic to. Was it just the ripe mango I enjoyed on Sunday night that caused this fairly intense allergic reaction, or was it something deeper?

Louise Hay, writer and expert in the field of health and wellness, says that allergic reactions occur when we feel that power has been taken away from us. This week I started teaching summer school after enjoying three weeks of uninterrupted time to read and write. My schedule changed drastically practically over night, as did my health. My birthday was also this week. While I was happy to celebrate, I also felt the weight of change. The next five years are sure to bring lots of change, much of it quite good, but change nonetheless. My usual reaction to change is to flee, and my body seems to be reacting just as strongly physically.

If you, too, experience allergies, investigate your emotional climate. What were you feeling when the first outbreak occurred? What can you do to remedy the situation? Although I do need to continue teaching summer school, and I can’t ignore the fact that another year in my life has passed, I can find peace in the simplicity of each day.

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