Learning to Fly

Live life to its fullest

Rumi poem May 28, 2009

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There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street
and being the noise.

Drink all your passion,
and be a disgrace.

Close both eyes
to see with the other eye. . . .

Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.

Flow down and down in always
widening rings of being.

~ Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

 

Aaah . . .

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

 

Thaddeus Golas quote May 22, 2009

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No matter what your spiritual condition is, no matter where you find yourself in the universe, your choice is always the same: to expand your awareness or contract it.

~ Thaddeus Golas

 

Feeling expansive March 19, 2009

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 1:34 pm
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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

 

A new kind of love February 13, 2009

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 3:26 pm
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If you were a regular reader in 2008, you may wonder where I’ve been the past couple of months. I am now catching my breath enough (or for a moment) to update you on the transition that is taking place in my life. It seems appropriate with Valentine’s Day tomorrow to talk about the new love that has come into my life — or really, I should say our lives, because this affects my husband, my family, on outward. We are all blossoming with the new love we feel for the baby we’re due to have this summer.

It’s been an interesting journey the past couple of months. I helped my mother move from Connecticut to California, I found out I was pregnant, my body adjusted to being shared with another life (well, I should say is continually adjusting), I started a new job, and now we’re in the process of moving homes. There has been a part of me that has felt I should (ahem) be able to keep doing all of the things I had already been doing and yet still handle all of these new changes with relative ease. The trick has been to let the rest of me take over, the part that knows that I have to take every day as it comes, ask for help more than I ever have before, make taking care of myself my number one priority, stay in the present moment, and remember that it is what it is. While this way of thinking and living was always my goal, it has been elevated to the only way to think and live due to the circumstances. Much like the concussion I experienced last year, it seems like a gift, a way to get a perspective change because you have to, not just because you know it’s the right thing to do.

As much as this feels like a physical journey, I am constantly reminded by how much of a spiritual journey it is. Even before I began walking down the path towards motherhood, I knew that 2009 was going to be the year of the divine feminine for me. Now I see just how true that is as I take on a new facet of that energy, the mother energy. I used to see motherhood as an end to, or at least a temporary derailment from, the spiritual path I have been on, but now I see that it is as much a fabric of that path as anything else I have endeavored in the past 20 years. Not only do I learn more about myself and my relationship to the universe every day, but I am learning about this little soul that is coming into the world. I have been brought in contact with a pure spirit, not yet immersed in the material plane, still aware of the universal big picture, still a being of pure love, still excited about the prospect of exploration and expansion that a life on earth will bring. It leaves me excited about my own exploration and expansion, and how this new experience will only widen my perspective and give me even more opportunity to grow and to learn and to share my gifts.

The world around us appears to be in chaos, but now more than I ever I feel removed from that chaos and connected only to the divine order that is being revealed. I know part of that is because my life is being expanded in so many ways right now that it makes it hard for me to see the limitation that the media is harping on. At the root of all of this is the deep love that I feel for myself, for my husband, for my family, and the new spirit coming into our lives. Love always expands, never contracts, and our universe is built on love. Bask in that feeling of expansion this Valentine’s Day weekend and see if you can bring it into other aspects of your life as well. This is the true reality of our lives, and the more you experience it, the more you see it in your own life, the more this truth will be revealed to the world at large. Namaste.

Photo: “New life is coming,” originally uploaded by marcusrg

 

Shifting gears November 3, 2008

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 5:38 pm
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Since everything is but an apparition perfect in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may as well burst out in laughter.
~Long Chen Pa

I kind of got lost the last few weeks, and I’m guessing I’m not alone. I can certainly point to all of the wonderful things I’ve been doing and the sense of urgency around them as the unbalancing factor, however I suspect that underlying drumbeat that you can practically feel and hear around you everywhere you go would have permeated even my best attempts at staying centered and grounded.

Yes, tomorrow is Election Day. I’m guessing you would have to live in an unplugged bomb shelter somewhere to have missed what promises to be the largest election in America’s history. What started out as an optimistic, hope-filled embrace, however, has turned into a conversation steeped in fear. When I’m not careful, I can feel the country’s anxiety and negativity seeping through into my own consciousness, and don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s all the other side. No matter which candidate you are supporting, in the desperate final days prior to the election the national conversation seems to be centered around all the terrible things that would happen if the other guy won. It’s hardly surprising considering the culture of fear we’ve been living in for at least the last eight years, but my challenge to myself and to the world today is to rise above this fear-based thinking and focus instead on your intention.

What got me excited about this election in the first place was that it represented an opportunity for another voice to be heard — the voice of the optimistic, the spiritual but not religious, those who recognize that every moment represents a choice about how we’re going to live today. In other words, my voice. I want for my country what I want for myself — the opportunity to spread your wings and fly, to live life to its fullest, to experience expansion and freedom. And I recognize for my country what I recognize for myself — the best way to encourage change in another is to begin with yourself.

And so when I got dressed this morning, I pulled out my LIVE MINDFULLY shirt as a reminder to myself to truly stay present and be mindful this week. Because no matter what happens tomorrow, it’s all going to be okay. I’m not going to kid myself and say I won’t be disappointed if my candidate doesn’t win, but I have to remember that life is an unfoldment and an evolution, always moving me in the direction of my highest good. I set my intention, I make my choices, I get out there and do what I can do, but I also allow the unexpected to come in and show me possibilities I might not have thought of on my own. And most of all, what I want to remember is not what I am against, but instead that I am FOR change, I am FOR hope, I am FOR living life fully. Namaste.

Photo: “blown open,” originally uploaded by sookie

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Anais Nin quote July 27, 2008

Filed under: quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 7:00 pm
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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

~Anais Nin