Learning to Fly

Live life to its fullest

Rumi poem May 28, 2009

Filed under: quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 7:00 pm
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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

 

Turning your energy around April 17, 2009

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 1:17 pm
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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…

 

Rilke quote February 27, 2009

Filed under: quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 8:00 pm
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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.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

 

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

 

Returning to myself September 3, 2008

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 10:10 pm
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The best things in life are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties in your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

So I took my own advice from yesterday–not that I realized I was giving advice–and went for a walk at the beach today. “Happily I recover. . . . / Happily I go forth. . . . / With lovely feelings may I walk. / As it used to be long ago, may I walk.” I had woken up this morning feeling off my game. After a week of being a bit under the weather, I was finally feeling better . . . so my Intellect gifted me with a flurry of thoughts that supposedly needed urgent attention. I realized that this tension I’ve been feeling in my neck and shoulders is a direct result of stress, which always surprises me. A year ago, I was working a crazy schedule plus a hellish commute for a job that I hated. What do I have to be stressed out about now?, I ask myself.

But that’s not really how it works. Whatever is going on your life is always the largest thing you’ve ever had to deal with. Not true, I know, but especially as time passes and you adjust to life as it has become, the things that happened in the past lose their full color and whatever is up for you right now feels HUGE. You can hear about starving children and domestic violence and rights abuses and whatever else makes the news today and think, how do my worries compare to that? Well, they don’t. But not because your challenges are inherently less important–it’s really that life isn’t relative. Sure, you can always do more for those other folks you’re hearing about it, and they may or may not receive relief from it or appreciate it. But none of that will make what’s going on for you go away. You are living your life in this moment, the present moment, the only moment there is, and therefore this moment is the most important moment in your life, in your world.

Which is how I came to be at the beach today. I realized that I’d allowed all the relativity, the shoulds, the external stresses to become more important that this moment. None of it really matters. Sure, I could use a larger income. Sure, very little would make me happier right now than being able to move. Sure, I have work to do around my house, for my clients, for myself. But when I stop experiencing the present moment, stop recognizing its importance, stop taking care of myself in this moment, then I have completely missed the point of living.

Now that I am back home again, those issues that felt oh-so-important this morning are still there, lingering in the back of my mind, but they no longer feel urgent, no longer feel larger than life. Because now I remember the smell of the ocean, the majesty of the seagulls and the pelicans, the feel of cypress bark on my skin. The work flows easily now, the stresses roll off me like water, and I am grounded, present, centered, and truly alive. Order has been restored to my small corner of the Universe, and all is well again. Life truly is good. Namaste.

Photo: “Old tree branch on a sandy beach, ” originally uploaded by René Ehrhardt

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Standing in the place you were born for June 30, 2008

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 9:26 pm
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You are the music while the music lasts.
~T. S. Eliot

Have you ever had that feeling where you know that what you’re doing right now, in this moment, is exactly what you need to be doing, absolutely necessary for you to be doing, an integral part of the cosmic dance? Everything just flows, you open your mouth and the right words come out, you feel content from head to toe, completely plugged in and radiant.

Of course, we all know what it feels like not to be in that place, doing work that feels like a drudgery, that feels disconnected and kludgey and just plain not fun. It’s the subject of countless happy hours with co-workers, phone calls with friends, and journal entries. But when you have the good feeling, the absolutely right-on feeling, what do you do with it? Do you talk about it with the same passion, give it the same amount of energy all that negative feeling was allotted? Or do you hold it in, feeling for whatever reason that it is something to be kept to yourself, maybe protected, maybe savored, but shared with only a few and glossed over at best? It’s as if as a society we really just can’t get enough of that icky feeling. We use it as part of our bonding with friends and co-workers, and have an uncomfortable feeling when we’re around people who are happy, genuinely content with their work.

I feel blessed to have experienced being in the place I was born for just yesterday, and I’m still a little high from it. Man, oh, man, I genuinely believe if more people were doing their work, feeling that feeling, a paradigm shift would take place. I can feel that shift taking place within me around the other pieces of the pie that make up the bigger picture of my work. I was gifted with an experience this morning where I had the opposite sense the work I was doing, where everything was a struggle and I could feel discontentment radiating out from my core. The timing was perfect as coming off of that high from yesterday made me much more conscious of it. I now know that I have some work to do there to ascertain whether it was just resistance being thrown up or if it was genuine discord. If it’s the former, then it’s time for me to clear my channel and pave the way for the work to flow through me. If it’s the latter, then I will need to find a way to extricate myself from that work gently yet expediently.

It’s a gift, really, to be able to recognize in the moment what isn’t working for you so that you can take the steps to shift the situation. Some of those steps may be relatively small, dealing with your approach to the work or the people involved with a project. And some of those steps will be relatively large, requiring a career change or a leap of faith into the unknown. But whatever it takes to get you on the track towards doing your life’s work, the work you were truly born to be doing, is well worth it. What steps can you take this week or even today to help bring you into alignment with your true calling? Even if it’s the teeniest baby step you can image, give yourself the gift of taking one this week. Let me know how it goes! Namaste.

Photo: “shining through,” originally uploaded by jim simonson

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The Sonnets to Orpheus May 27, 2008

Filed under: inspiration,quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 7:00 pm
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The Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XII

by Ranier Maria Rilke


Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines as it disappears.
The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much
as the curve of the body as it turns away.

What locks itself in sameness has congealed.
Is it safer to be gray and numb?
What turns hard becomes rigid
and is easily shattered.

Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming a laurel,
dares you to become the wind.