Learning to Fly

Live life to its fullest

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…

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The agony and the ecstasy August 4, 2008

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 1:30 am
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You have been thinking about your future long enough. You may be sick and tired of going around on the same mental loops as you attempt to create something different from the life you currently have. Instead of fighting against the resistance you feel, try letting go of the attachment that you have to any long-term goals. You may be pleasantly surprised at what happens when your mind is freed from previous expectations.
~Rick Levine, Scorpio horoscope for August 3, 2008

This past week I had a glimpse into the life of a manic depressive, with amazing highs followed closely by horrifying lows. It was a 7-day roller coaster ride, and while the highs were magnificent and I definitely would have rather not had the lows, I can see how both ends of the spectrum are part of the fabric of living life fully.

Our summer adventure was an absolute blast. We had a wonderful road trip up and back, listening to recordings of Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman and Paulo Coelho’s wonderful journey The Alchemist. Crater Lake was breathtakingly beautiful, even for a second visit. We had a lovely “it’s a small world” experience by running into a former co-worker of mine shortly after our arrival at the rim. Our campsite was somewhat exposed, but we ended up not having many neighbors so it felt very private. We were captivated by the geology of the mountain and even ended up going to my first ever campfire circle to learn as much as we could about how the lake was formed. We absolutely fell in love with Ashland and can’t wait to go back when we have plenty of time to dawdle. Our B&B, Morical House Garden Inn, was gorgeous and comfortable with a wonderfully welcoming innkeeper and yummy-smelling breakfast included. We didn’t end up tasting said breakfast as we opted to revisit a wonderful little restaurant we discovered driving home from our honeymoon two years ago, Morning Glory. In addition to having some of the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life, it’s a cozy, comfortable, homey spot that just makes you feel good from the inside out. All in all, a fabulous vacation.

The trouble began when we arrived back home. Normally I’m thrilled to be home, and I was looking forward to an evening with just my cats as my husband had plans to go out that night. But I was antsy, feeling like I’d rather still be on vacation. I fell into some old patterns, which I later recognized was me looking for a way to make myself feel better that felt familiar instead of doing something centering and grounding. The next couple of days were a downward spiral of a pretty severe funk, aggravated by discovering a cockroach in one of our kitchen cabinets and having the hot water heater go kaput. Every time I’d start to think I was pulling out of the funk, something else would happen to send me back down again.

What I recognize now is that my sense of where I was (too small, now dirty-feeling apartment, not enough money coming in, not getting paid to do the work I was born to do, not liking my body or my wardrobe, etc.) compared to my sense of where I want to be (work that enables me to share my gifts with the world, spacious and comfortable home with plenty of room to grow into, large income that supports all of our needs and desires with plenty to share with others, active lifestyle that keeps me lean and full of energy, etc.) was extremely out of alignment. My energy was all stuck in judgment and resistance, the result of which was several days of misery.

Thankfully, today was the day when I got to turn it all around. I’d just had the opportunity to tell a coaching client last weekend that the great thing about a spiritual practice is that you’re building a foundation for your life. While the analogy of building muscles can be useful, the good news here is that unlike your muscles, stopping the spiritual workout does not mean you have to start over from scratch–the muscles don’t deteriorate in your absence. It doesn’t take much–a five minute meditation, a repetition of your mantra, singing a verse of a chant–to get you reconnected to your Source. Pulling a couple of tools out of my toolbox this morning, I was able to move myself into a place of peace and acceptance. Not only to I no longer feel stuck, I feel like I am soaring and free. I’m calling today my New Year’s Day because I feel like I just hit the reset button. It’s a new year, clean and open and full of possibilities. And I’m thrilled to get to live each of its days as fully as I know how. Namaste.

Photo: A shot of our breakfast table at Morning Glory in Ashland, OR

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Throwing out the list May 5, 2008

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 4:55 pm
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You know that feeling when you’re aware of what you probably should be doing but you seem to be incapable of doing it? Suddenly anything and everything else feels super important, whether it’s unloading the dishwasher or picking a piece of lint off your sweater. I suspect that’s something we’ve all experienced at one time or another. For me, anyway, it manifests as a form of beating myself up, as even the presence of the word “should” suggests in my first sentence.

One of the challenges of having the appearance of so much free time in my life is that all of those things that I always wanted to do have now moved to the level of “things I should be doing” in my head. I have a list of “daily goals,” which is really more like a daily task list. I swear, even if all I did was finish off this list everyday I’d probably feel overwhelmed. My morning practice alone has bloomed to the point where it takes a minimum of two hours to finish everything. Then there’s three meals a day to cook and clean up after. I’m training for my Avon Walk, so there’s walking or cross-training to be done, plus stretching and icing. I have a category for “coursework” that includes things like the Prosperity Game from Ask and It Is Given, the Attracting Genuine Abundance course I signed up for from DailyOM, and finishing up my A New Earth reading, watching, and writing. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve started a Chinese medicine regimen, so I need to make sure I allow time to prepare the herbs in the morning and then remember to drink them after each meal, not to mention carving out time for my acupuncture and massage appointments. There is, of course, writing my daily blog post. And oh yeah, I’m also freelancing, so somewhere in there I should find time to both do my work and drum up new business. Phew.

While these are all worthy objectives for any given day, the problem lies in my being overwhelmed from the start. I’m practically already behind schedule when my feet hit the floor in the morning, and there’s a voice at the back of my head that is telling me that if I’m not going to get it all done anyway, I might as well take my time. So instead of having a purposeful, flowing day filled with joy at the prospect of getting to live my life the way I always wanted to, I can end up experiencing a day full of stress, with never enough time to get anything done, and overflowing with distractions that I allow to take up my time instead of recognizing them as the unnecessary derailment that they really are.

So my goal for this week is to throw out the list, but perhaps more importantly to also throw out the distractions. I’ve shut all of my browser windows, streamlined my “to do list” to just those things I need reminders to complete, and shifted my focus to the present moment. Right now is the only moment that matters. And when I live this moment to its fullest, there is always plenty of time to get everything done. Care to join me in this adventure this week? Choose a new practice with me whereby you allow the universe to find its flow in your life, bringing your attention to where it is needed in each moment, allowing those daily tasks to unfold effortlessly. Experience what it is like to live from the place of awareness that is your true self, being truly present where you are, starting right here, right now, in this very moment. Namaste.

Photo: “let’s dance!,” originally uploaded by Tinou Bao

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Drifting February 17, 2008

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 12:20 am
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I have to laugh at myself sometimes. Yesterday, my thinkArete.com Big Idea that comes in a daily email was about “drifting.” It essentially was talking about the patterns we fall into that take us off course, that distance us from our Source, from our goals. Some of the examples he uses of ways we all drift are: “blame, criticize (my personal favorite), judge, lecture, ignore, explain, or withdraw. If, for some odd reason those don’t work, just try these: control, be sarcastic (!), procrastinate, watch TV, complain, get overwhelmed, justify, go shopping, (whatever you do, definitely!) don’t breathe, interrupt, get righteous, space out or worry.”

The reason this makes me laugh is that yesterday, I drifted. Not all day, but for a substantial portion of it. Mostly I was in to withdrawing, procrastinating, and spacing out, but I’m sure there were other things in there as well. While there were several reasons for that drift, at the end of the day, aren’t they all just excuses? Isn’t it all just your ego throwing up resistance to keep you off balance? The funniest part about it all is that I was completely aware of what was happening. I observed myself getting off track and instead of taking steps to rectify the situation, I threw myself into it whole hog. Perhaps that is why I was able to, from time to time, pull myself out of it long enough to clean the kitchen, make the lasagna I’m entertaining with this evening, take a friend to the airport. And perhaps it is also why I was able to get up this morning and get back on track without a massive effort. My home is spotless, I did my 4 mile training walk, went to the farmer’s market, and I still have time to sit down and do a blog post before I get ready for my guests to arrive this evening.

Today’s thinkArete.com Big Idea was about “shifting,” what we do when we want to “get back into Ease and Flow.” The gist is that we have to breathe, and breathe again, and breathe some more, which I take to mean we have to take time for conscious connection to Source, and to ourselves. It certainly feels significantly better than drifting does, you can actually feel the shift taking place in your body. And I suppose that is what life is about, really. While we all strive to be on track 100% of the time, we’re human, and we make mistakes, we drift off course. The trick is not to stay there, to make sure we take the time to shift, to reorient ourselves so that we’re moving in the direction we consciously are choosing to, the direction that feels like it is taking us towards our goals. And be gentle with ourselves in the process. I don’t know about you, but I can always use a reminder of that. Namaste.

 

The grounding, Part I February 6, 2008

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 10:04 pm
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I have made such a mess. As part of my grounding work, I decided it was time to tackle a project I’ve been putting off since I quit my job — the filing cabinet. Now, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if I already had a filing cabinet that just needed reorganizing. Taking something that was once organized and making it organized yet again is right up my alley. This undertaking is much larger, and more daunting, hence the postponement. Since we replaced the furniture in the office last spring, our files, as well as just about everything else that was in some sort of drawer previously, have been living in moving boxes underneath my desk. Add to that the utter chaos created by thoughts like, Oh, I can just figure out where to put this when I organize the filing cabinet, and you’ve got a pretty big mess. And cleaning it up makes an even bigger mess — the floor of my office is now completely full of little piles of stuff that need homes to be found.

My flight responses are kicking in pretty hard. I’m thinking of all the other things I could be doing right now — physical therapy, clothes shopping, applying for jobs — stuff that usually I’m incredibly resistant to that now sounds like the most fun I could possibly be having. I gave myself permission to take a break, to do a quick post, but then I’m diving back in.

The good news is that this is a wonderful exercise in ordering my life and my mind. I had to file some of the easier stuff, just to make room on the floor, and with it came a sense of calm. I can imagine what finishing will feel like, and I feel the beginning inkling of joy with those thoughts, but that can be distracting too. In the meantime, I have to just keep focused on the task at hand, keep plugging away at throwing things out, sorting things into piles of like concepts, seeing the order in the midst of the chaos.

I know that this exercise is part of my grounding process, but it feels like you have to completely unground first in order to find your center, to locate even ground on which you might ultimately find stable footing. It’s a little disorienting, but I trust in the end result, and in my ability to see Truth behind appearances. Glad I honed that skill ages ago — it is definitely coming in handy now! Namaste.

 

Which way is up? February 3, 2008

Filed under: notes — jennsheridan @ 6:59 am
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Such a busy, crazy, wild, roller coaster week. Just got home from “Little Shop of Horrors,” the story come to life as a musical. It was a nice cap to this week full of many ups and downs and lefts and rights. This has been a good experience in LIFE and what happens when we’re asked to just flow with it. One day I can barely tell where I end and the universe begins, and the next my back is out and I’m having to ice and limp around and be gimpy. The day of resistance was followed with a day of such flowering, such beautiful synchronicity. The huge blow up fight with Sean turned into a mega-opportunity for healing for us on many levels. I’ve had more than my average amount of socialness combined with much, much alone time. I’ve had days where I didn’t want to talk to a soul and days where all I wanted to do was reach out and touch the world and the world touched me back. What a week, eh?

So just a short note full of love and light and laughter. I am still here, preparing myself and looking forward to what next week will bring. Namaste.

 

And today I was a bum January 31, 2008

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 1:41 am
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Remember when I asked if you would send a search party into the world of resistance if you didn’t hear from me? Yeah, well, today was that day. Not that you could tell since I only post once a day anyway, but yeah, today was knee-deep-in-resistance mode. Unless, of course, my path includes the occasional day wasted in front of the XBOX playing Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan, which I’m guessing it probably doesn’t.

This is really typical for me — I have a great couple of days with some good aha! moments and then resistance reaches up from its murky depths and claims me. The good news in all of this is that I got myself into such an antsy state that I want to work now. I cleaned the house and I’m even doing some freelance, a strictly morning (or maybe early afternoon) activity. What I’m trying desperately not to do is to berate myself for this, just to recognize it as resistance and move along. That’s probably harder for me than anything else, but again, I’m seeing it and letting it go. Mostly I’m just grateful this resistance phase was short lived.

If you don’t see me tomorrow, fear not — I’ll be moving so fast resistance won’t have time to get a hold of me. I’m following a few calls — getting my hair cut (which is apparently a second chakra balancing activity), reconnecting with a friend from high school that I haven’t seen in over 15 years, meeting up with another friend for a scrumptious dinner at Cafe Gratitude (to give you an idea of how emotional I am these days, I cried when I read the menu), and finally rounding it out with another friend at a metaphysical bookstore where I’ll be doing some affirmative prayer work for her. Phew! All this after freelancing in the morning. Now I just have to remember to breathe! Namaste.