Learning to Fly

Live life to its fullest

Aaah . . . May 28, 2009

Filed under: inspiration,practice — jennsheridan @ 1:19 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A friend of mine posted a quote from my dear favorite Hāfez this morning: “There are so many gifts still unopened from your birthday.” I realized it doesn’t matter what he’s saying, it just makes my whole being open up, relax, and let go. I was moved to seek out inspiration from another Sufi this morning, Rumi. After a few minutes of surrendering to the perspectives of these beautiful mystics, I felt the challenges of this week fall off of me.

One of the biggest challenges for me this week has been shaking off some of the recent decisions made by this lovely state that I live in, California. First, there was the news that Prop. 8 (banning gay marriage) was being upheld, followed quickly by the governor’s latest budget recommendation that includes, amongst other gems, cutting so much revenue to our state parks that 80% of them would have to close. After moving through my intial feelings of disappointment and frustration, I was able to find peace in the reminder that times of great change are often accompanied by chaos as the smallness and limiting beliefs created by fear are ultimately dissipated by the expansive, creative, loving energy of our ongoing growth. This snippet of Rumi’s wisdom seemed especially appropriate to me this morning:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

From: The Essential Rumi, by Coleman Barks

Here are a couple of other treasures from the realm of Rumi’s wisdom. I hope that they have a similar opening, expansive, releasing feeling for you today, and that your being can relax into the Aaah . . . . Namaste.

Moving Water
~ by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.

When actions come from another section, the feeling
disappears. Don’t let

others lead you. They may be blind or, worse, vultures.
Reach for the rope

of God. And what is that? Putting aside self-will.
Because of willfulness

people sit in jail, the trapped bird’s wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet.

The anger of police is willfulness. You’ve seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment. Now

see the invisible. If you could leave your selfishness, you
would see how you’ve

been torturing your soul. We are born and live inside black water in a well.

How could we know what an open field of sunlight is? Don’t
insist on going where

you think you want to go. Ask the way to the spring. Your
living pieces will form

a harmony. There is a moving palace that floats in the air
with balconies and clear

water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained
under a single tent.

From: The Glance

This We Have Now
~ by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

This we have now
is not imagination.

This is not
grief or joy.

Not a judging state,
or an elation,
or sadness.

Those come and go.
This is the presence that doesn’t.

From: The Essential Rumi

Photo: “Sunset gateway,” originally uploaded by Mirko Macari

Advertisements
 

The way we stand April 24, 2009

Filed under: inspiration — jennsheridan @ 12:19 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I love that Earth Day is celebrated with such vigor these days. Or maybe it just seems like that because so many of my friends on Facebook chose to proclaim their love and gratitude for Mother Earth this week. But it helped create a sense of celebration in me, anyway, and opened me up to that deep connection we all share with each other and with the energy of our beautiful planet. So really, it’s no surprise that this morning I was drawn to that favorite of mine, Earth Prayers. And within this phenomenal collection of “prayers, poems, and invocations for honoring the earth,” I was drawn to one of my favorite pieces of Susan Griffin’s that speaks so eloquently to that connection. Enjoy, and namaste.

The way we stand, you can see we have grown up this way together, out of the same soil, with the same rains, leaning in the same way towards the sun. See how we lean together in the same direction. How the dead limbs of one of us rest in the branches of another. How those branches have grown around the limbs. How the two are inseparable. And if you look, you can see the different ways we have taken this place into us. Magnolia, loblolly bay, sweet gum, Southern bayberry, Pacific bayberry; wherever we grow there are many of us; Monterey pine, sugar pine, white-bark pine, four-leaf pine, single-leaf pine, bristle-cone pine, foxtail pine, Torrey pine, Western red pine, Jeffrey pine, bishop pine.

And we are various, and amazing in our variety, and our differences multiply, so that edge after edge of the endlessness of possibility is exposed. You know we have grown this way for years. And to no purpose you can understand. Yet what you fail to know we know, and the knowing is in us, how we have grown this way, why these years were not one of them heedless, why we are shaped the way we are, not all straight to your purpose, but to ours. And how we are each purpose, how each cell, how light and soil are in us, how we are in the soil, how we are in the air, how we are both infinitesimal and great and how we are infinitely without any purpose you can see, in the way we stand, each alone, yet none of us separable, none of us beautiful when separate but all exquisite as we stand, each moment heeded in this cycle, no detail unlovely.

~ Susan Griffin from Earth Prayers

Photo: “Path Through the Trees,” originally uploaded by Tony

 

Turning your energy around April 17, 2009

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 1:17 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Do not struggle. Go with the flow of things, and you will find yourself at one with the mysterious unity of the Universe.
~Chuang Tzu

This week has been a great opportunity for me to practice turning energy around. Last week was a rough one — my so-called morning sickness reemerged leaving me severely nauseated and exhausted. Things at work have been intense — two new additions to my team is a wonderful thing, but those first few weeks of training while still juggling meetings and the rest of my workload can be a bit challenging. Emotions at the office have been high as part of our ongoing growing pains, affecting my ability to stay centered in the midst of the chaos. And time, both on the work front and on the preparing for baby front, has appeared to be slipping through my fingers, leaving my energy focused on the future and on what isn’t getting done instead of in the present moment.

When I got up Monday morning, I realized that I was the source of much of this anxiety. I had let myself stray off the path to peace. Instead of going with the flow, I was living in resistance, which was, quite literally, making me crazy. I realized I had a choice about this week went, and set my intention to turn my energy around. I even went so far as to write it down: “My intention for the week: turn the energy around — return to a feeling of flow. It’s all good, it’s all getting done.” It may be a small thing, but setting that intention in such a tangible way had immediate effects. Instead of feeling rushed that morning, I took my time, spending even more time on my morning practice than I usually do. At the office, I made a conscious choice to stay as centered as possible, taking small breaks throughout my day to close my eyes and breathe deeply, feeling my connection to Source. And I started delegating tasks, small and large, work and personal, in some ways remembering to ask for help, and in others, remembering that I don’t have to be the one performing the task to ensure it gets done.

This week has still had its rocky points — the challenges that made last week rough did not evaporate overnight. But my anxiety over them has dissipated, and as I’ve stayed much more rooted in the present moment this week, I’ve been able to deal with things as they come up in such a way that enabled me to release and let go, surrendering to the flow and allowing life to unfold. I have three more additions to my team beginning on Monday, and I still have meetings to attend and work to do, but I am remembering to set my intentions, remembering my connection to Source, and most of all, remembering to stay present in the midst of the seeming chaos. It seems like a better choice to me. Namaste.

Photo: “go with the flow…,” originally uploaded by muha…

 

Feeling expansive March 19, 2009

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 1:34 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I find myself unsubscribing from a lot of my mailing lists lately. It’s not that I’ve suddenly changed my mind and don’t believe in the causes, but I’m finding it overwhelming to have my inbox full of the same doom and gloom that you see in the media and hear people talking about in the streets. These days it seems like everybody’s primary or secondary focus is on the negative, with much debate about who to blame and how much worse things will get before they get better and even whose situation sucks the most.

This is all in direct contrast to my own situation. My company is growing rapidly, with the focus on how quickly we can get new people in and trained to support our growth path. My life is constantly getting bigger as we prepare for baby: we just moved into a new home that’s about twice as large as our last apartment, I am literally expanding as every day I discover a new article of clothing that no longer fits comfortably around my belly, and my heart and spirit are inflated with the love and new vision that I have for my life and my purpose. When I look at my friends, I see people taking new steps along their life journeys — exploring new paths, starting new jobs, getting married, finding out more about who they really are.

But the contrast runs even deeper than that. When I close my eyes and listen to the energy of the universe, feeling the truth of what lies beneath the surface experience of what is, all I can feel is expansion. I’ve talked before about the consciousness shift taking place on our planet and how we’re reaching a critical mass that will tip us over into the next phase of our evolutionary journey — that shift has never been more apparent to me. The more chaotic things appear to be on the surface, the more that deep energy underneath feels positive, serene, and definite.

Imagine yourself on a carousel that is spinning really fast — out on the edge things are wild and you have to hang on for dear life or you’ll get thrown off, but at the center you can let go and relax and enjoy the ride. I think the universe is offering us a choice in this moment. Do you want to hold on to old, limiting ideas about how the world works and your place in it? Or are you ready for new way of living and being, one that is full of learning and exploration, but ultimately of expansion? If you choose to hold on to the old, that’s okay, but it will likely be a rough ride. If you choose to explore the new, you may fall down and scrape your knees like a child learning to walk, but you’ll be running before you know it, experiencing this ever-expanding energy that is at the core of your being.

When I close my eyes and listen to the silence, I know there’s only one answer that resonates for me. And so I choose to focus my energy on recognizing the growth and expansion that makes itself more evident every day, and I see the apparent chaos as a temporary piece of the transition we are going through as a society as we adjust to our new way of being. Where do you choose to focus your attention? How do you feel when you close your eyes and feel the truth of what is happening in your life and the world around you? Listen to the truth that resonates within you — that is your guide to growth and expansion, but ultimately to experiencing true peace and joy. Enjoy the ride. Namaste.

Photo: “The last drop,” originally uploaded by Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic

 

Waiting August 18, 2008

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 5:31 pm
Tags: , , , ,

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
~John Lubbock

I did my morning practice out on my deck this morning. We finally did our “spring cleaning” on it this weekend and it’s finally user-friendly again. It felt so good to be experiencing my little world from a slightly different perspective, breathing in the cool, crisp air as the morning fog burned off, feeling the sun warm the back of my neck as it broke through. You know, it’s funny, when I do visioning about what I want my life to look like, there’s always a little sun room or something where I do my morning practice with a cup of hot tea at my elbow. But today was the first day, perhaps ever, that I actually had a cup of hot tea at my elbow while I did my practice. I suppose that’s a gesture of taking it one step at a time. No sun room yet, but I do have a lovely deck and I can always make myself a cup of tea wherever I am.

The past week or so it’s like I’ve been in a waiting mode. I’m sure there’s a better way to describe it–waiting sounds so angsty. But it’s like there’s something coming and all I have to do is make room for its arrival. Doing anything else could be potentially counterproductive. And so here I’ve been, waiting. Of course, I probably could have found better ways to do so–I’m pretty sure playing The Sims is not a critical step along my journey. Then again, it did exactly what I needed it to do–it occupied my Intellect, giving it something to feed off of, someone else’s life to try to control down to the smallest degree, and stopped worrying itself over my life. It’s left me feeling light, free, and ready.

I do not know what my next step is, nor do I know the when and how of the arrival of my knowing. But for today, it’s enough for me to let go of my expectations of what I should be doing and just allow myself to be, and in the meantime, I can soak up all the wonderful energy provided by sitting on my deck with a cup of tea at my elbow. Namaste.

Photo: “Lotus bud 2,” originally uploaded by tanakawho

Enjoying Learning to Fly? Stumble It to share with others looking for inspiration!

 

Growing pains August 12, 2008

Filed under: inspiration — jennsheridan @ 8:38 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

A mentor of mine recently reminded me that just because the road looks like it is dipping, does not mean you’ve gotten off course. The path of spiritual and personal growth can look bumpy from time to time, but think of it as driving on a mountain road–it may go up for a little while, it may go down for a little while, but the whole way you are moving in the direction of your destination. This very simple piece of wisdom helped me shift from beating myself up for not always living in the light to accepting that every step takes me forward along my path with plenty to be learned from the experience.

I loved this recent DailyOM posting that had some additional insight on what might look like a challenging time. I know that I, for one, am looking forward to a slightly less bumpy road, but I also know that when it comes I will be all the stronger for what I am going through today. Namaste.

Growing Pains
Difficult Times

It can be very challenging to maintain a positive attitude and a measure of faith when you are in the midst of difficult times. This is partly because we tend to think that if the universe loves us we will experience that love in the form of positive circumstances. However, we are like children, and the universe is our wise mother who knows what our souls need to thrive better than we do. Just as a young child does not benefit from getting everything she wants, we also benefit from times of constriction and difficulty to help us grow and learn. If we keep this in mind, and continue to trust that we are loved even when things are hard, it helps us bear the difficult time with grace.

This period of time in history is full of difficulty for a lot of human beings, and you may feel less alone knowing you are not being singled out. There are extreme energy changes pulsing through the universe at every level and, of course, we are all part of the growing process and the growing pains. It helps if we remember that life is one phase after another and that this difficult time will inevitably give way to something new and different. When we feel overwhelmed we can comfort ourselves with the wise saying: This too shall pass.

At the same time, if you truly feel that nothing is going right for you, it’s never a bad idea to examine your life and see if there are some changes you can make to alleviate some of the difficulty. Gently and compassionately exploring the areas giving you the most trouble may reveal things you are holding onto and need to release: unprocessed emotions, unresolved transitions, or negative ways of looking at yourself or reality. As you take responsibility for the things you can change, you can more easily surrender to the things you can’t, remembering all the while that this phase will, without doubt, give way to another.

Photo: “Sapa – Mountain Road,” originally uploaded by j.fisher

Enjoying Learning to Fly? Stumble It to share with others looking for inspiration!

 

A life worth living June 5, 2008

Filed under: shift — jennsheridan @ 10:26 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements in life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”
~Charles Kingsley

What an absolutely amazing week. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s like the clouds parted and the light came through, shifting my energy from hazy, listless, chaotic to clear, enthusiastic, on purpose. There are many aspects to that breakthrough in energy, but I would have to put people at the top of my list. This week has been chock full of incredible conversation with a variety of people. The common theme? How to live life more fully.

Whether you’re spiritually oriented or not, you have probably become aware of the energy shift happening around “work.” A friend I was speaking with this morning considers it a generational shift — although I have seen it happening with people of all ages, there is definitely a higher concentration within the late 20’s to early 30’s age bracket. It seems as though more and more people are shifting away from the more traditional perspective where work was something that took up the vast majority of your time, wasn’t necessarily something you enjoyed but it paid the bills and felt secure, and someday you would get to retire and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do.

The new concept of work has more to do with creating a life worth living. People are beginning to recognize the value of building a life that includes doing what you’re passionate about, placing the priority on living and not working. It doesn’t mean that work isn’t valuable, but work for these people often isn’t just a job. They’re doing what they love and getting paid to do it. If it doesn’t pay very much then they might pick up a side job to help make ends meet, but not at the sacrifice of living their lives. It may seem as though the mid-life crisis is just starting younger and younger, but interestingly enough, it doesn’t hit crisis point for most of these people. When you wake up at 50 and ask yourself what you’ve done with your life, discovering that you haven’t been really living is a true crisis. When you have that realization at 28, the transition is a lot more painless.

To me, it’s just so exciting to have people popping up all over my life who have recognized they have a choice about how they live and are exercising that choice to bring them greater joy. How about you — what choices are you making in your life today? Do you feel as though you’re living your life or are you on a roller coaster spiraling completely out of control? What small changes can you make today to shift that energy and make living more of a priority? The first step may be challenging, but once you begin to shift that energy, you’ll be amazed at where it can lead you. Namaste.

Photo: “Light Wave…,” originally uploaded by Kıvanç

Enjoying Learning to Fly? Stumble It to share with others looking for inspiration!