Learning to Fly

Live life to its fullest

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

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Moving February 27, 2009

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 2:09 pm
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Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
~Albert Einstein

I love to move. Okay, so maybe the act of packing up all my belongings and actually locating them from one home to another isn’t my favorite activity ever, but still, at the end of the day, I love to move. For me, moving is, like most things in my life, more of a spiritual exercise than a physical one. I love the way changes to my physical environment change the flow of energy–even when I’m not moving from one place to another, I periodically rearrange my furniture, shifting the things that fill the space and seeing how the new arrangement feels. I love the way moving gives you an opportunity to sort through the things accumulated on this journey through life, purging what is no longer needed and celebrating where you come from with the memories uncovered through the process. And I love how a new home represents a new era of your life–the good and the not-so-good, the new challenges and victories, the new experiences that will shape the next stage of your life, just the way your past experiences helped shape where you are today.

Like any transition, there’s a sense of nostalgia involved. Whatever your reasons for wanting to be in a new place, whether it’s a home, job, or relationship, the old place had it’s good times. Our current home saw us moving from an era of financial difficulties to times of prosperity. This is where we lived when we got engaged, when we got married, and when we found out we were having a baby. This is the home where I spent the 15 months of my self-discovery and exploration, the place where my days began with the question of “What do I *want* to do today?” This is the home where I trained for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, walking up and down the incredibly steep hill that we’re perched on. And this is the home where my breath never ceases to get taken away every time I drive down that hill to my apartment, and every time I step out onto the balcony, with its spectacular views of the bay, the bridges, and San Francisco.

At the same time, I am ready to begin creating the new memories that this next phase of our life will bring. As Christy Snow sings, “There is always change / And change is good.” Life is always unfolding in new and wonderful ways. What transition are you in the midst of? How can you both savor where you’re coming from and enjoy the movement into the new? We are living in exciting, change-filled times. And I, for one, am enjoying the ride. Namaste.

Photo: “Moving Day,” originally uploaded by Osbornb

 

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

 

Notes from Jenn’s World April 27, 2008

Filed under: notes — jennsheridan @ 2:01 pm
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Just a quick check-in about what’s going on in my world . . .

Happy Anniversary!

Sean and I are celebrating our second anniversary this weekend with a mini escape to Point Reyes. We have a little cottage on Tomales Bay–it’s wee, but so peaceful and beautiful. We had dinner at a wonderful spot in Point Reyes Station last night, The Station House Cafe, which I would highly recommend the next time you’re in the area. This morning, I woke up early and went for a walk on the little beach off of our deck, watching the sun rise up over the hills across the bay. While I was out there I meditated and did a little Qigong, experiencing such a deep feeling of connection and sense that all is right with the world. Today, we’ll probably head over to Point Reyes National Seashore and do a little exploring on their trails. We spent a weekend up here back in 2000, but it was during the rainy season, gray and damp and cold. It feels good to see it in a different light this time.

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

I feel so blessed to be participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this year. Yesterday I did my first “official” Training Walk, joining the Urban Dog Walkers team for one of their two 9-mile loops through Redwood City. I parked a mile and a half away from the starting point so I would completely my full 12 miles in one fell swoop. The energy of that training walk was so motivating–a large group of friendly, welcoming, and kind people, joining together to support each other and the cause. There was pink everywhere you looked, and I realized it’s time for me to start unfurling my inner pink! While I will continue to savor my 3- and 4-mile walks by myself, I am looking forward to continuing to train with people for these longer walks. In the meantime, I continue to be blown away by everyone’s generosity–I am up to 41% of my personal goal and 82% of my required donations with 11 weeks to go. Thank you!

Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

We return home tomorrow afternoon. For Sean, that means going back to work on Tuesday after a much needed 2-day break. Working weekends has been taking its toll, so it’s especially good that we’ve been able to unwind for a few days. For me, it means that I will return to my regular blogging schedule. Look for me to post on weeks 8 & 9 of A New Earth this week. I am also looking forward to a busy freelancing week. I’ve had to postpone the Spiritual Fitness class, but I know that just means the timing wasn’t right. I’m shifting my focus now towards a monthly Abraham / Law of Attraction group as well as fleshing out a book idea that I’m working on with a friend. I already feel rejuvenated and look forward to getting to work!

So what’s going on with you? What are you working on these days? How are you taking time to unwind and reconnect? I’d love to hear about all the flow and synchronicity that is happening for you. Namaste.

 

Hugging back April 10, 2008

Something I was reading this week recommended hugging a tree, saying that if you get still and pay attention you should feel the tree hugging back. Somewhat by accident, I ended up participating in a tree hug fest yesterday, and I am so glad that I did. What a magnificent way to connect with nature and the universe. Booyah!

I’ve been feeling the pull towards the beach this week–it takes about 30 minutes to get over to Half Moon Bay and I tend to fill my days with so much busyness that I don’t feel I have time to make the journey. Every time I go I think, wow, it’s so close, why don’t I do this more often? The intellect can be so silly sometimes. Turning it off and letting the greater wisdom within me do the thinking always nets better results.

So while I was there I had two goals: to walk my 3-mile walk for my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer training, and to soak up as much beauty and peace and, well, beach as I could. It was absolutely gorgeous when I arrived–a deep blue sky reflecting into the sparkling blue ocean, relatively warm (I’m thinking mid-60s), a handful of fluffy, white clouds. I set off in a northerly direction along a path that ran along the top of the cliff. At some point I reached an easy access point to head down to the beach and I did, walking along the water and just enjoying the smell, the way the clouds dancing across the sun cast shadows on the sand, the feeling of the sand giving way beneath my feet.

When I turned around to head back the other way I realized that dark, heavy clouds were coming in, slowly obscuring the sun, but it was an almost tangible blanket with distinct edges–when you looked out to the horizon you could see the sun reflecting off the water on the other side a few miles out. It was absolutely breathtaking in its own way. On the way back I made a game out of walking in my own footsteps, half running in the sand and laughing at my own silliness. At the car, I knew I was having too much fun to go home, so I just kept walking past it towards a clump of trees I saw hanging on the edge of the cliff.

And man, as much fun as I had walking on the beach, exploring these trees was definitely the highlight of my day. It’s only Thursday and I don’t want to squelch any upcoming joy, otherwise I’d claim it as the highlight of my week! I had to cross a little bridge to reach this grove of cypresses and it was like crossing into another world. A deep peace fell over me and I felt as though I’d walked into a large cathedral with the kind of deep energy that collects over many years of reverence. My steps got very slow and I could feel my energy shift in response to the trees, keeping the playfulness but almost mutating it into a sense of celebration, a joie de vivre, that resonated all the way to my core.

There was a single cypress hanging off the edge of the cliff, completely bent so that its top ran almost parallel to the ground. I walked up to it and wrapped my arms around it, resting my chin on its bark and looking out over its vista. I’d been soaking up the beauty of the beach for almost an hour, but it was like I was seeing it for the first time, I was seeing it from the tree’s vantage point. I stood there for a few minutes, soaking up the energy of the tree, not even really conscious of the fact that my toes were just a couple of inches from the edge of a cliff. I just felt so safe, so centered, so grounded, so connected.

The next tree I came to was sticking out of the earth at about a 45 degree angle. It wasn’t one I could really hug, so instead I ran my hands along it, really seeing it through my palms and fingers, feeling the intricacies of its bark. There were a couple of knots that looked a bit like the deep, soulful eyes of a horse or a whale or something, and I looked deeply into them, feeling like I was looking into the tree’s soul. The tree emanated such a sense of grace, and I felt honored to have it share its presence with me.

After that, I ran through the clumps of trees I found and explored them like I was a little kid, seeing them as great places to play games, making different rooms out of the trees’ canopies, seeing how many I could walk between along the edge of the cliff without going back out to the path. These trees brought me to a place of such joy and gratitude. I felt childlike in their presence, totally in awe of them, yet having so much fun with them.

I am so grateful to have had this experience yesterday. I needed this connection, this reminder of the magnificence of the universe and my place in it. And now I know exactly where I can go if I ever need help reaching a place of peace and serenity. The grace of these trees will always show me the way. Namaste.

Photo: “the lone cypress as seen from the 17 mile drive,” originally uploaded by Vaidyanathan Krishnan

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Notes from Jenn’s World April 3, 2008

Filed under: notes — jennsheridan @ 10:41 pm
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Just a quick check-in about what’s going on in my world . . .

Friends abound!

I had lunch with former colleagues of mine, Mary and Maria, I’m heading out shortly for coffee with Annelene, a buddy from the Hoffman Process, and then Jerry, a friend from my former spiritual community, is in town so a bunch of us are joining him for dinner this evening. Considering how much time I spend by myself most days, it feels good to be reconnecting with so many wise and wonderful people today. Life is good!

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

It is so much fun to be training for this walk coming up in July–I just love watching my body and mind get stronger as the weeks progress. I am moving up to 8 miles Saturday, 5 miles Sunday in my training program this weekend. I went for a wonderful 3-mile walk today up at the reservoir–it was so warm and sunny and the air smelled so sweet. Aaaah . . . And, of course, everyone’s generous donations keep coming in. I’m up to 37% of my personal goal and 74% of my requirement. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Spiritual Fitness

It’s official! I’m kicking off my first class in a few weeks, based on the book Spiritual Fitness by the wonderful Caroline Reynolds. Preparing for this class is already so much fun–I can’t wait to get into the material with everyone! If you’re interested, you can check out my new website jennsheridan.wordpress.com and click on the Classes tab for more information. Yes, it’s true, I am in the process of creating a new website for myself, which means ultimately I will be moving away from this one. As wonderful as this platform has been for blogging, as I branch out into new arenas, I need greater flexibility from my website. I’m still working out the kinks over there and would love feedback as I go, so please check it out and let me know what you think!

Gratitude

I am just feeling so grateful to life and to this path today. I received my first tithe from a friend who has been enjoying Learning to Fly. This experiencing in exploring life and then getting to share it has been such an amazing ride for me that sometimes I forget that folks are out there reading as well, and it is inspiring to me that they find inspiration in what I write. So it’s just a big tumble of gratitude happening here all the way around. I love all the feedback I get in all its myriad forms–it’s such an affirmation of the work I’m doing. Thank you!

So, what’s going on with you? What are you grateful for? I’d love to hear all about any flow and synchronicity you are experiencing in your life. It truly is a wonderful world we live in. Namaste.

 

Robert Maclean Quote March 9, 2008

Filed under: quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 7:00 pm
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Tent tethered among jackpine and bluebells. Lacewings rise from rock incubators. Wild geese flying north. And I can’t remember who I’m supposed to be.

I want to learn how to purr. Abandon myself, have mistresses in maidenhair fern, own no tomorrow nor yesterday: a blank shimmering space forward and back. I want to think with my belly. I want to name all the stars animals flowers birds rock in order to forget them, start over again. I want to wear the seasons, harlequin, become ancient and etched by weather. I want to be snow pulse, ruminating ungulate, pebble at the bottom of the abyss, candle burning darkness rather than flame. I want to peer at things shameless, observe the unfastening, that stripping of shape by dusk. I want to sit in the meadow a rotten stump pungent with slimemold, home for pupae and grubs, concentric rings collapsing into the passacaglia of time. I want to crawl inside someone and hibernate one entire night with no clocks to wake me, thighs fragrant loam. I want to melt. I want to swim naked with an otter. I want to turn insideout, exchange nuclei with the Sun. Toward the mythic kingdom of summer I want to make blind motion, using my ribs as a raft, following the spiders as they set sail on their tasselled shining silk. Sometimes even a single feather’s enough to fly.

~Robert Maclean