Learning to Fly

Live life to its fullest

Recalibrating October 12, 2009

My little boy is 10 weeks old. It’s hard for me to imagine it sometimes, even though I’ve been living and breathing his development for the past year. It feels like he has always been with me, yet he is brand new. Motherhood is a natural progression for me, yet a huge shift in the way I live my life. This adventure is a daily experience of the divine dichotomy.

It’s as if I’m having to relearn how to ride a bicycle. There is definitely a part of me that has never forgotten how, that flows effortlessly, that rises to any and all occasions, that is connected to Source and grounded in Gaia and in sync with my son and my center and the Universe. But there is also a large part of me that is tongue-tied, lost in the woods, feeling my way around in the dark.

Someone recently described parenthood as the hardest best thing they have ever done, and I have to agree. It is at its hardest when it is three o’clock in the morning and I can’t figure out what my baby needs and I feel completely alone and like the world’s biggest failure; and it is at its best when (sometimes five minutes later) the right thing clicks and his face lights up and he smiles up at me with such pure joy and my heart just sings.

Everyday I feel more surefooted, more self-confident, and those hardest moments become fewer and farther between. But those joyous moments, where it’s as if I have wings, are getting closer and closer together as he learns a little more each day about this human he has come here to be, and I learn more about myself in this new role as his mother, his guide, and his student. He is such a divine gift, such a divine teacher, showing me the ways of love and life and laughter and light in ways I never even dreamed possible.

I thought I was prepared for this journey, but I have to say, I am living the idea that life is what happens when you’re making other plans. And that’s okay. I am excited to see where this journey will lead. I may not always have time to write about it, but I am learning to be okay with that too, and I will share what I can when I can. Balance is coming, of that I am certain! Namaste.

Photo: “Apple Blossom,” originally uploaded by Jonathan Gill

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Eleonora Duse quote June 19, 2009

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If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive . . .

~ Eleonora Duse

 

Saint Augustine quote June 4, 2009

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Imagine if all the tumult of the body were to quiet down, along with all our busy thoughts . . . Imagine if all things that are perishable grew still . . . And imagine if that moment were to go on and on, leaving behind all other sights and sounds but this one vision which ravishes and absorbs and fixes the beholder in joy, so that the rest of eternal life were like that moment of illumination which leaves us breathless.

~ Saint Augustine

 

Notes from Jenn’s World September 15, 2008

Filed under: notes — jennsheridan @ 9:19 pm
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I’m sorry for going a week without posting anything. There was definitely a lot going on–one of these days I’ll find that balance where I can be busy and active and still write blog posts. But in the meantime, let’s catch back up with a quick check-in about what’s going on in my world . . .

Reiki
I was very excited to receive my first degree Reiki attunement last weekend. I’ve been loving playing with the Divine in a new way through the Reiki healing energies. After learning how to give a table session, it occurred to me that I’ve been using a form of Reiki energy on myself and loved ones for a while now, I just didn’t know that’s what it was. But it was wonderful to learn how to channel the energy in new and more concrete ways, and I’m having fun practicing with both the standard forms and following my intuition.

Rock Band
Have you felt the pull of the game Rock Band? It’s a game sort of in the same vein as Guitar Hero, where you wield a guitar-shaped controller and play a Simon-like game of hitting the right button and strumming at the right time to make the right note play on the screen. Rock Band takes this genre one step farther by introducing the drums and a vocal track. I have a “band” with my husband and two friends of ours (I’m the singer), so Saturday we tackled the Endless Set List–58 songs in a row. It was an absolute blast–exhausting, but the kind of serious fun that could be bottled and sold for big bucks. I suspect it’s because it appeals to several aspects of you at once: my inner child loves it because it’s playing, my creative self loves it because it feels like creative expression even as you’re mimicking the original song, my body loves it because it can dance a little as I go. Fun for the whole family. Next up–a real band. It may take us a while to get it together, but we plan to start pulling out real instruments and seeing if we can’t make some music together. Or at the very least, continue to just have a really good time.

Chihuly exhibit
After spending the day in San Francisco yesterday exploring the Chihuly exhibit at the deYoung Museum and enjoying hanging out with a new friend I met while training for the Avon Walk, I feel absolutely full. Chihuly’s work is so full of joy and creative expression that it makes me feel like I am full of joy and creative expression. I totally want to learn how to do what I’m thinking of now as “fire art,” i.e. anything that uses fire in order to come into being, like blowing glass or making pottery or what have you. I’ve always loved to draw and paint, but I like the idea of having a 3-D, very tangible presence at the end of your creative expression. I’ll let you know if anything come of this urge.

Guinea pigs
So I am currently looking for “guinea pigs,” people I can practice energy work on (or with). I am opening myself up to do more and more with energy, both on the giving end, like with Reiki, and on the reading end, like with the way I do tarot readings. I’m learning a new way of doing energy readings related to the chakras and suspect that about the time I’m getting a handle on that, a new way of reading energy will be given to me. So please do let me know if you’d be willing to let me practice and experiment by giving you an energy reading. At this moment in time, I am looking for Bay Area guinea pigs only, but I will definitely let you know when I am ready to expand to long-distance!

So what’s new in your world? How have you been entertaining yourself? Are all of your different aspects feeling involved in your life? What kinds of new and exciting things have you been learning? I’d love to hear all about the growth and fun happening in your life right now. Namaste.

Photo: “Chihuly glass at the Bellagio,” originally uploaded by Joe Flood

 

A life worth living June 5, 2008

Filed under: shift — jennsheridan @ 10:26 pm
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“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

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A New Earth — A New Earth May 22, 2008

Jenn’s thoughts and learnings from the tenth and final week of A New Earth: The Oprah Web Event.

“I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through–listen to this music.”
~Hafiz, as translated by Daniel Ladinsky

For whatever reason–resistance, the timing of the Universe is perfect, etc.–it has taken me over a week (two, if you count my trying to watch it on the plane to Georgia) to watch the final week of the A New Earth web event. And I’m kind of glad it did. It’s given me time to really soak this one up, to savor it, linger over it, which seems appropriate for a finale. Eckhart was his usual jovial self but Oprah seemed a little sad to have it all come to an end. I look forward to watching her continue to grow and unfold, to see where life continues to lead her.

My favorite part
I loved the way Oprah put the “what to call God” problem. She said something to the effect of, Spirit doesn’t have an ego so it doesn’t get hung up on what it’s called. Yes!

How to stay present
At one point Oprah shared that her mantra (my word, not hers) is, “Be here, be now.” She repeats it to herself as a reminder to be present. Mine is very similar, “Be Here Now.” I’m not sure why it needs to be capitalized, but that is how it shows up in my head. It’s almost like the words get dropped into my mind one by one, each word their own reminder. Be. Here. Now.

Growing older, growing wiser
One of the most striking concepts in this chapter for me was how all of this applies to growing old. As I’m sure we all do, I know many people who have so identified with what they DO that growing old has been a tragedy for them. Each responsibility they can no longer manage, each task they can no longer perform, is like an arrow through their heart. The process is nothing but pain, nothing but regret, and they spend their time either complaining, focusing solely on what’s wrong, or lost in nostalgia. However for others, they begin to recognize that there is so much more to life than just the doing. It is through having the doing reduced in their life that they recognize the presence and importance of being. They grow lighter, freer, and end up with a luminescent quality. These individuals have been rarer in my life, but are such lights when you come across them. I know which way I’d rather be, but I don’t want to wait until I’m old–I want to start today! (See the poem I posted this morning for further exploration of this subject.)

What you do is always secondary
There was just something about the way this concept was reiterated in this webcast that got me. What you do is always secondary; how you do it is primary. You want to know how to fulfill your destiny? Do whatever it is you are doing, no matter how seemingly large or small, completely and utterly consciously, full of presence. No what where you are, whether you’re mailing a package at the post office, waiting tables at a restaurant, washing up after breakfast, bring your Presence with you. That’s what showing up and fulfilling your destiny looks like. Placing the plate down on the table in front of your customer with full awareness, consciousness, presence, affects everyone around you. It doesn’t matter what it is you are doing–if you are doing it consciously, you are bringing more Presence into the world and playing your role in the greater awakening of the planet.

Goals and visions
This is one of those concepts I’ve been working with for over 15 years, but I feel like it was presented to me brand new. Your goal, your vision, is not something “out there” that is in the future. It lives within you as if it were already a reality, because on some level it already is. It isn’t a goal you are projecting yourself into, something you will reach someday. It isn’t something coming from a place of neediness or scarcity, it is coming from a place of fullness, the way it would feel if you already had it. Because it is something that already exists within you, ready to be born into form in your life. Eckhart talked about writing The Power of Now in this fashion. He sensed that there was a book within him that had already been written. His job, then, was just to allow this already completed construct to come out of him, to manifest itself. This is where true power lies, because all power exists in the present moment. It is about always focusing on this step, just this step. Whatever this moment is, it is a step on the journey.

Acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm
The key point to this chapter (to me, anyway) is that it is time to choose to do everything with acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm. If you cannot operate from one of these three modalities, you are not in alignment with the present moment, with yourself, with life, and you are causing yourself and/or those around you suffering. So the question to always ask yourself is, what is my relationship with the present moment? Am I okay with this moment, friendly with it? If yes, then you are empowered. If no, then ask yourself what you can do to move towards acceptance. It may be that you need to stop doing whatever it is you’re doing, step aside and into something that you can accept. Or you may be able to find acceptance just through becoming aware of where you are, consciously shifting your attention towards recognizing that this moment is what it is. You don’t have to enjoy changing a tire, but when you accept that the tire is flat and changing it is what needs to be done, as opposed to resisting it, cursing it, getting upset with it, etc., then you will be able to find peace in the experience.

I loved what Eckhart had to say about enjoyment, that it will replace wanting. Wanting comes from a place of lack, and when you get whatever it is you were wanting, you feel empty and unfulfilled. Enjoyment, however, leaves you feeling full. It brings empowerment to what you do, flowing through you and allowing creativity to be born in what you are doing. Joy does not come from what you do, from another person, from outside of you in any way–it comes from within, flowing out of you into the world around you.

So my exercise for this week, and yours too, if you so choose, is to pay attention to where I am and see if I can shift the energy. If I feel like I’m in resistance, fighting the moment, then it is time for me to move into acceptance. If it’s something I’m already able to accept, then I can make a game out of it, find a way to turn that acceptance into enjoyment. And if it’s something I’m already able to enjoy, then I can look for that extra something that reminds me this moment is a step towards manifesting my vision and allow enthusiasm to come into play. The new earth already exists within us. Our job now is to allow it to come through us, to be made manifest in form in our lives. Namaste.

Photo: “Dream,” originally uploaded by Jan McLaughlin

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I am Life’s Anchor May 16, 2008

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“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are powerful beyond measure, and as Marianne Williamson says, it is our greatest fear. There is safety and comfort in conformity, in staying small, however there is no truth, no passion, no divinity. To find these things we must expand into Who We Really Are, stand up and be seen for the unique, individualized expressions of Life that each of us is at the core of our being.

This morning I was told of an exercise that August Gold has been using lately in her classes at Sacred Center New York. I’ve been playing with it today and I love how powerful it is and yet how playful it is. The truth I’ve recently come to know about myself is that I am Peaceful, Powerful, and Playful, so it isn’t surprising that this exercise speaks to me. I find that it connects me with that larger truth of my being that I am only just beginning to let myself see, let alone the rest of the world. There is no place to hide within this exercise, but because it is fun, I am able to get out of my own way and let it flow. Here’s how it works:

You take the alphabet and create an affirmation around each of the 26 letters. Begin each affirmation with “I am Life’s . . .” and then insert a word the begins with that letter of the alphabet. You can use any word that feels good in place of Life–Source, God, the Universe, Divine Intelligence, etc. If something unusual comes up that doesn’t instantly make sense, play with it for a bit and see where it leads you. For example, “I am Life’s Dandelion,” might not be immediately clear, but if you let it unfold you might get, “I am Life’s Dandelion, spreading the seeds of truth wherever I go.”

You might be surprised at what comes up for you, which concepts make you uncomfortable and which ones resonate immediately. But remember, the truth of Who You Are is powerful beyond measure. Let go, have a little fun with it, and see where it leads you. Namaste.

My first set:

I am Life’s Anchor, connecting the divine to the earth.
I am Life’s Basin, collecting all wisdom that flows my way.
I am Life’s Caterpillar, about to become a beautiful butterfly.
I am Life’s Dancing Queen.
I am Life’s Expanding consciousness.
I am Life’s Friend, opening my heart to all who cross my path.
I am Life’s Guide, sharing what I’ve learned through my life’s exploration.
I am Life’s Hymn, expressing my joy through song.
I am Life’s Imagination.
I am Life’s Jenny Boo Boo, bringing joy and playfulness wherever I go.
I am Life’s Kick-ass Slickrock Woman, capable of doing anything or going anywhere I so choose.
I am Life’s Looking glass, reflecting Love and Light back into the world.
I am Life’s Magic carpet ride, transporting myself and others into the magic of the world around us.
I am Life’s Nowhere (now here).
I am Life’s Open book, showing up as 100% myself with nothing to hide.
I am Life’s Piecrust, ready to be filled with all the yummy goodness life has to offer.
I am Life’s Qi, allowing the energy of the universe to flow through me.
I am Life’s Revealer, healing through revealing the truth of the divinity within.
I am Life’s Superball, always bouncing back.
I am Life’s Tulip, blossoming beautifully.
I am Life’s Umbrella, finding joy even in the hardest rain.
I am Life’s Vibrant vitality.
I am Life’s Well-being.
I am Life’s X ray, seeing through the appearances to find the gift in every situation.
I am Life’s Yin and yang, balancing my masculine and feminine energies.
I am Life’s Zigzag–my path may not always be straight, but I know that life’s a journey not a destination.

Photo: “joy,” originally uploaded by Martin Talbot

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