Learning to Fly

Live life to its fullest

Rumi quote January 29, 2010

Filed under: quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 3:00 pm
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Don’t go off sightseeing.

The real journey is right here.
The great excursion starts

from exactly where you are.
You are the world.

You have everything you need.
You are the secret.

You are the wide opened.
Don’t look for the remedy for your troubles
outside yourself.

You are the medicine.
You are the cure for your own sorrow.

~Rumi

 

The love of Hāfez May 15, 2009

Filed under: inspiration — jennsheridan @ 1:36 pm
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This morning I’m feeling oddly peaceful. This week has been a gentler roller coaster, full of subtle ups and downs. I’ve woken up most mornings after semi-sleepless nights feeling angsty with my mind on overload, but even after another rough night of sleep, I woke up this morning feeling mostly empty and peaceful. It seemed like a good morning to fill up the empty vessel that is me with the love and connection that Hāfez offers. He is, as always, a breath of fresh air that sings to my soul. Enjoy.

The Only One
by Hāfez, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

From man’s perspective
In this intricate game of love,

It is so easy to become confused
And think you are the do-er.

But from God’s Infinite Certainty,
He always Knows

That He is the only One
Who should ever be put on trial.

From: I Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz

In a Handful of God
by Hāfez, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Poetry reveals that there is no empty space.

When your truth forsakes its shyness,
When your fears surrender to your strengths,
You will begin to experience

That all existence
Is a teeming sea of infinite life.

In a handful of ocean water
You could not count all the finely tuned
Musicians

Who are acting stoned
For very intelligent and sane reasons

And of course are becoming extremely sweet
And wild.

In a handful of the sky and earth,
In a handful of God,

We cannot count
All the ecstatic lovers who are dancing there
Behind the mysterious veil.

True art reveals there is no void
Or darkness.

There is no loneliness to the clear-eyed mystic
In this luminous, brimming
Playful world.

From: The Subject Tonight is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz

My Brilliant Image
by Hāfez, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

One day the sun admitted,

I am just a shadow.
I wish I could show you
The Infinite Incandescence (Tej)

That has cast my brilliant image!

I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,

The astonishing Light

Of your own Being!

From: I Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz

Photo: “Dancing on a volcano,” originally uploaded by Amir Kuckovic

 

Birthing May 6, 2009

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 5:26 am
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Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers — strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.
~Barbara Katz Rothman

I suppose it is natural for me to have the concept of “birthing” on my mind these days. In 12 weeks, give or take depending on when the baby wants to arrive, I will be participating in a literal birthing of the new addition to our family. I’m shifting into a “preparing for baby” phase — we started registering and figuring out what kinds of things we’ll need before the baby arrives, and we start childbirth classes next week. My body is continuing to change in new and unexpected ways, and baby’s movements are getting more consistent and pronounced.

But birthing has always been about more than the literal to me. One of my favorite songs is Far Far by Yael Naim, in which she talks about giving birth to yourself. For those of us who are walking the path of spiritual growth, the process of giving birth to ourselves is somewhat constant. There is always something “new” we’re uncovering within and learning to show the world. This year that “newness” within that I’m uncovering is mostly about how the divine feminine shows up in me, and how I can share that powerful feminine side of myself with those around me. I am giving birth to myself as a mother, to myself as someone who truly loves her body (perhaps for the first time in her life) now that it is home to her child, to myself as I embrace being a member of the community of woman in ways that my masculine-focused energy used to reject.

We all have both masculine and feminine energy, and it balances (or imbalances) within us differently depending on many factors, like how we were raised, what we value now, what phase of life we are in, etc. I was severely out of balance on the masculine side of the spectrum for the first 30+ years of my life. While the pendulum has been swinging quite a bit towards the feminine, I have often felt that masculine energy still in dominance. This year is really the first time I’ve felt the balance shift towards the feminine. It doesn’t mean that I’m rejecting the masculine energy within me, but it does mean I’m finally finding a way to balance those energies and to embrace my femininity as part of what makes me powerful, as part of what makes me Who I Am.

Mother’s Day is this weekend, which is always a wonderful time not only to celebrate the women who gave us birth and the mothers we are close to, but also the feminine energy that lives within us. It is time to let go of the doing energy–we’ve already planted plenty of seeds– and instead to celebrate our BEINGness, our unconditional love, our connection to Source, our connection to each other, our ability to allow things to open up and unfold. What are you in the process of birthing? “There’s a beautiful mess inside . . . Take a deep breath and dive . . . I guess I’ll have to give it birth . . . There’s a beautiful mess inside and it’s everywhere . . . Deeper than you ever dared . . .” Namaste.

Photo: “Viceroy on the Butterfly Bush,” originally uploaded by Benny Mazur

 

St. Augustine quote April 24, 2009

Filed under: quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 12:00 pm
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People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.

~ St. Augustine

 

I want to free what waits within me October 20, 2008

Filed under: inspiration — jennsheridan @ 3:26 pm
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Once again, life is good. My shamanism workshop this weekend was even better than I could have imagined, I’m (mostly) caught up with my work, and I’m off to Connecticut tomorrow to help with the final stage of my mother’s move to California. I don’t know how much time I’ll have over the next couple of weeks to post anything, but let me leave you with these beautiful words of Rilke’s in the interim. Namaste.

from Rilke’s Book of Hours
by Rainer Maria Rilke; translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

Photo: “Welsh stream,” originally uploaded by Mark Robinson

 

SARK quote October 17, 2008

Filed under: quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 7:00 pm
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You are enough. You have enough. You do enough.

~SARK

 

Living with uncertainty May 20, 2008

This past week has been such a good reminder for me that life is what happens when you’re making other plans. My overdeveloped intellectual, masculine, left-brain side of me has been absolutely writhing with impatience as I’ve essentially accomplished nothing that I set out to accomplish. I had all these plans for how I was going to get back on track, or even better, how I wasn’t going to get thrown off track in the first place by my trip to Georgia. My intellect was already expressing disappointment with me that I hadn’t been blogging regularly and so I downloaded the 10th A New Earth webinar to watch on the plane with the intention that I would even post my comments from Georgia without missing a beat. The universe must have been laughing at me, for when I turned on my laptop at 30,000 feet the file was gone. All attempts to watch the webinar since I’ve been home have been derailed by everything from computer failure to 100 degree heat.

I’ve had similar experiences with most of the rest of my too long to-do list to the point where I just have to relax, laugh, and say, Okay, what do you want from me? When I sit still and listen, I receive a gentle response that comes from the spiritual, feminine, right-brain side of me reminding me just to be, to let go, to take care of myself, to be myself, and all the rest of it will fall into place. I’m reminded that now is the time for me to relax into the mystery of life, to learn to live with uncertainty, to focus on BEING instead of doing. This is my gift both to myself and to the world, because through being I can become what I came here to be, which really is just simply ME.

My life has always been fairly well planned. I didn’t have a sense of what I’d be doing 5 or 10 or 30 years from now, but I had a feel for the rhythm of it, for the texture of it. My ambitions would take me far in my work and I would be very successful. I believed in the common wisdom of climbing the corporate ladder, using my current job to get a better job, working hard so that I would be well rewarded. This was my DOINGness, my masculine energy, my left-brain intellect at play. But I was never happy in my work, never happy with the rewards, never happy with the success. It all felt empty and without purpose. I knew there was more to life than what I came to think of as “making other people rich.” I knew that my true purpose lay in a different direction, but this energy was so strong in me that I couldn’t escape it.

I left that world a little over 7 months ago, and it feels like I’ve been in a retraining mode all these months. It’s almost like I’ve been in physical therapy, strengthening my right-brain so that it can at least find a balance with my left-brain. In some ways, I’ve had to swing the pendulum pretty far in the opposite direction to get the energy shaken up enough that a balance can occur, and I may need to live from a place of BEING for a while yet before a balance is possible. I’m learning how to live my life without a plan. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a vision–in fact if anything my vision is much clearer, much stronger than it ever was before. But I’m not caught up in “how” I’m going to get there. My focus is on allowing a little bit more of the mystery to unfold each day, enjoying the ride, having fun with the process, finding peace in the present moment.

Are you at peace with the mystery? Can you find peace in the uncertainty? No matter how much we plan, how little uncertainty we think there is in our lives, life really is what happens when we are making other plans. Just like the present moment is the only one that is, life is nothing but uncertainty. We do not know what the next minute or hour or day or month will bring. When we learn to be at peace with this truth, we can truly appreciate where we are in this moment, and we can make room for BEING in our lives and begin to pave the way for what is truly important in our lives, begin to live our lives as fully and richly as possible, begin to be Who We Really Are. Namaste.

Photo: “What does this picture mean to you?,” originally uploaded by chema.foces

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