Learning to Fly

Live life to its fullest

Agnus Dei June 19, 2009

Filed under: inspiration,music — jennsheridan @ 1:02 pm
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I’ve been listening to this piece of transcendent music over and over again for a week now. In the midst of some major changes at the office on top of preparing for maternity leave and having an incredibly exhausting third trimester, it has been a bit of a crazy week. But every morning when I first open up my web browser, this piece opens up and fills the room. My brain may already be buzzing with all the things I have to do today, but this music almost instantly brings me to a place of deep peace, a place of true grace. I feel open, connected to source, and incredibly alive, all at once. And all those thoughts just slip away, leaving me refreshed and ready to take things one at a time. This is the kind of music I am passionate about — the kind of music that moves you, that transforms you, even if just for a moment. Aaaah . . .

Song: Choral version of Agnus Dei sung to Samuel Barber‘s Adagio for strings (Op. 11)
Performed by: The Choir of Trinity College
Album: Barber’s Adagio
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkObnNQCMtM

Photo: “Coral,” originally uploaded by Fran Villena


Growing pains August 12, 2008

Filed under: inspiration — jennsheridan @ 8:38 pm
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A mentor of mine recently reminded me that just because the road looks like it is dipping, does not mean you’ve gotten off course. The path of spiritual and personal growth can look bumpy from time to time, but think of it as driving on a mountain road–it may go up for a little while, it may go down for a little while, but the whole way you are moving in the direction of your destination. This very simple piece of wisdom helped me shift from beating myself up for not always living in the light to accepting that every step takes me forward along my path with plenty to be learned from the experience.

I loved this recent DailyOM posting that had some additional insight on what might look like a challenging time. I know that I, for one, am looking forward to a slightly less bumpy road, but I also know that when it comes I will be all the stronger for what I am going through today. Namaste.

Growing Pains
Difficult Times

It can be very challenging to maintain a positive attitude and a measure of faith when you are in the midst of difficult times. This is partly because we tend to think that if the universe loves us we will experience that love in the form of positive circumstances. However, we are like children, and the universe is our wise mother who knows what our souls need to thrive better than we do. Just as a young child does not benefit from getting everything she wants, we also benefit from times of constriction and difficulty to help us grow and learn. If we keep this in mind, and continue to trust that we are loved even when things are hard, it helps us bear the difficult time with grace.

This period of time in history is full of difficulty for a lot of human beings, and you may feel less alone knowing you are not being singled out. There are extreme energy changes pulsing through the universe at every level and, of course, we are all part of the growing process and the growing pains. It helps if we remember that life is one phase after another and that this difficult time will inevitably give way to something new and different. When we feel overwhelmed we can comfort ourselves with the wise saying: This too shall pass.

At the same time, if you truly feel that nothing is going right for you, it’s never a bad idea to examine your life and see if there are some changes you can make to alleviate some of the difficulty. Gently and compassionately exploring the areas giving you the most trouble may reveal things you are holding onto and need to release: unprocessed emotions, unresolved transitions, or negative ways of looking at yourself or reality. As you take responsibility for the things you can change, you can more easily surrender to the things you can’t, remembering all the while that this phase will, without doubt, give way to another.

Photo: “Sapa – Mountain Road,” originally uploaded by j.fisher

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Emerson quote August 11, 2008

Filed under: quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 7:00 pm
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Nothing is secure but life, transition, the energizing spirit. . . . People wish to be settled; but only so far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


The glory of emotions January 10, 2008

I’ve been feeling very emotional this week. Like today, for instance, I was watching the last few minutes of Coyote Ugly while I ate my lunch. Not exactly a tearjerker, but I was totally welling up at pretty much any show of love, caring, or kindness the characters gave each other. It is a good sign for me. I am an incredibly emotional person but I was raised to believe showing that emotion was a sign of weakness. I cry when I feel any intense emotion, something that does not serve me when a boss calls me into his office to reprimand me or I’m experiencing deep frustration with a team member on a project. So over the years I learned to repress those emotions, shoving them down under layers of practicality. But it isn’t like they go away. No, they act like volcanic pressure slowly building up until one day they explode with a passion all over some poor, unsuspecting, and most likely undeserving person. They also show up in the form of back pain, knee pain, headaches, stomach aches — uncomfortable ways for them to seep out whatever their form. So experiencing emotion freely and in the moment is a relief, a positive change. Next up is to stop judging myself and feeling silly when the reaction appears to be an overreaction, to listen to what those emotions are telling me and follow their guidance.

I am far from alone in judging people during displays of emotion. Look at what happened to Hillary this week when she had an emotional moment while campaigning. People were talking about how this proves she’s weak and that women won’t make good presidents because they are too emotional. But I had the exact opposite reaction. I was so relieved to see her show her softer side, to have that emotion come to the surface and leak out. It made her more human and it made me like her more. Having a president with a full range of emotions who recognizes them as valuable and doesn’t sweep them under a rug might be exactly what this country needs. Emotions are powerful guidance systems, especially if you are in touch with your intuitive and spiritual nature, and having leaders who are guided by ego and pride hasn’t been working out too well for us. I believe that this new millennium is about transformation, about going to the next level and moving from merely surviving to expansive thriving. The consciousness of the country and the world is making a palpable shift, and I expect we’ll start to see that shift showing up in our government too. I can’t predict what the results of this election year will bring, but I do know that whatever happens, people are waking up, starting to pay attention in different ways, to focus on what they find to be most important and to make choices to bring positive change to their lives and the world. Just thinking about these opportunities brings tears to my eyes, and I am so relieved that I can feel those feelings right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And namaste.


Greetings from Connecticut December 27, 2007

Filed under: notes — jennsheridan @ 1:44 pm
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I feel a little like I’m living in a postcard this week. I’d love to find one of those old fashioned “greetings” cards. I could upload the photo for you. 🙂 Being back in Connecticut is always an experience for me. In some respects, it’s awesome. I get to see places I hung out as a teenager — as much as they’ve been transformed, they still bring back memories. I get to see good friends and family that I just never can connect with enough from 3,000 miles away. But there’s always reminders of the reasons why I left, the obnoxious people on the streets and the attitudes out at restaurants and stores.

But this trip has been different, more positive than negative. I’ve been trying to put my finger on the why of it, and it seems like it’s a matter of attachment (or lack thereof). I’m just not feeling attached to anything. Now, that might not sound like a good thing. It might smack of apathy or indifference. But that’s not it at all. I’m much more present this trip. I’m not experiencing Connecticut through the eyes of the past, I’m actually seeing it as it is now. I’m enjoying its beauty and not being bugged as much by its flaws. I feel more contentment, less agita. I’m focusing on the yummy Chinese and Italian food, the beauty of the snow and the rivers and the trees, the joy of connecting with friends and family. I don’t have a picture in my head of how things should be; instead, I’m just enjoying what is. There’s a lot of power in that kind of detachment. And a lot more happiness.

Wish me luck with the remainder of my travels. Today I am off to New Jersey to continue this journey of contentment. Namaste.

Editor’s Note, 12/30/07: I went back and found one of those postcards — I love those images! I just started re-watching one of my favorite TV series of all times, Wonderfalls, and had forgotten that they use that type of postcard as part of the titles. I’m not sure which came first — my love for the postcards or my love of the show, but the synchronicity is making me smile today.