Friday’s Focus—Whispers and Shouts

This is something I wrote and posted two years ago and I was reminded of it again in our house hunting. The original piece is about how everyone and everything has a story, whether it’s vocalized or not and houses carry stories too. Each house, each home carries the energy of its occupants. There’s so much you can tell at a glance, but it’s the empty ones….ah, those are the ones whose stories fire up the imagination of what was…and what could be again.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

We all have them.

Even if you say you don’t have a story, that’s still a story.

So tell me a story. Not just a story. Your story. Not just your story. Your truth.

We tell stories to each other to makes each other feel less alone, to feel less afraid. Some of us tell stories because we are proud and we want to share. We are all storytellers on some level—if not with our words, then with our actions or in our being. We are even storytellers by our silence.

Our stories tell us by the way we hold our head high (or low), and the laugh lines and crows feet that map our joys and sorrows. If there is Botox there instead, then I can still see your story in your eyes. Do you meet mine or would you rather gaze to the distance or to the floor?

There is a story in your hair—the length, the color, and whether it covers your face to further conceal your mask or do you wear it swept back daring the world to gaze at your features as you stare back?

Your chin tells me a story. Is it jutted out in defiance and pride or does it tremble in fear or sadness?

Your shoulders tell me a story. Are they rounded as if you try to hide your existence or are they rolled back, your chest and heart open and wide?

The jewelry you wear tells me stories. Do you shine and glitter like a thousand lights in a chandelier, or do you carry bells on your fingers and toes to dance to as you walk into a room?

I’m interested in the stories of your hands and the babies and lovers they held in sickness, health, passion, and love.

Your scars and tattoos even share. They tell me one story while your piercings scream another.

I’m interested in the stories in between your stories; the pauses and the sighs in between your words because they speak just as loudly and sometimes louder. Come closer and whisper to me your secret, whisper to me your story and I’ll tell you mine and then we’ll whisper them into the wind. It doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl or a man or a woman.

The young have stories called dreams and the old have stories they call memories. Let’s use our imaginations and listen to the stories of the trees and birds and the lions and monkeys and then we’ll tell them to the stars and the moon and the sun until we are one big story with a thousand different voices, a thousand different names, a thousand different experiences and yet, somehow, some way, all one.

So take off your mask and let your shadow step forward, because I can already see your story whether you tell me or not but I want to hear it come from you.

#takingitdeeper

IMG_0536

Blogging From A to Z: Stories

S

We all have them. Even if you say you don’t have a story, that’s still a story. So tell me a story. Not just a story. Your story. Not just your story. Your truth.

We tell stories to each other to makes each other feel less alone, to feel less afraid. Some of us tell stories because we are proud and we want to share. We are all storytellers on some level—if not with our words, then with our actions or in our being. We are even storytellers by our silence.

Our stories tell us by the way we hold our head high (or low), and the laugh lines and crows feet that map our joys and sorrows. If there is Botox there instead, then I can still see your story in your eyes. Do you meet mine or would you rather gaze to the distance or to the floor?

There is a story in your hair—the length, the color, and whether it covers your face to further conceal your mask or do you wear it swept back daring the world to gaze at your features as you stare back?

Your chin tells me a story. Is it jutted out in defiance and pride or does it tremble in fear or sadness?

Your shoulders tell me a story. Are they rounded as if you try to hide your existence or are they rolled back, your chest and heart open and wide?

The jewelry you wear tells me stories. Do you shine and glitter like a thousand lights in a chandelier, or do you carry bells on your fingers and toes to dance to as you walk into a room?

I’m interested in the stories of your hands and the babies and lovers that they held in sickness, health, passion, and love.

Your scars and tattoos even share. They tell me one story while your piercings scream another.

I’m interested in the stories in between your stories; the pauses and the sighs in between your words because they speak just as loudly and sometimes louder.

Come closer and whisper to me your secret, whisper to me your story and I’ll tell you mine and then we’ll whisper them into the wind. It doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl or a man or a woman. The young have stories called dreams and the old have stories they call memories. Let’s use our imaginations and listen to the stories of the trees and birds and the lions and monkeys and then we’ll tell them to the stars and the moon and the sun until we are one big story with a thousand different voices, a thousand different names, a thousand different experiences and yet, somehow, some way, all one.

So take off your mask and let your shadow step forward, because I can already see your story whether you tell me or not but I want to hear it come from you. I can see your story already as your lips part slightly and your gaze rises to meet mine. I smile in encouragement and nod my head yes, so we can take it a little deeper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging From A to Z: Laughter

L

Laughter—Who knew there were so many different kinds? There are chortles and chuckles, giggles and titters, even guffaws and snorts. Then there is the silent laugh, the belly laugh, the drink coming through your nose laugh, or in my opinion, the most infectious kind of laugh of all—the carefree, full-on laugh of a child.

I remember when I was little; I would sometimes get into a fit of giggles over absolutely nothing. Oh how fun that was! Nothing that I can recall started me off. I was just happy, I guess, and started to giggle, which then made my parents laugh along. First, they laughed at me laughing, which quickly turned into laughing with me. When they asked me what was so funny I honestly couldn’t tell them. I didn’t know and didn’t care as a new fit of giggles overtook me. It just felt so good to laugh! In no time at all, the three of us would be there looking at each other and laughing over pretty much nothing but having the best time of our lives. Little did we know back then that laughing did a heck of a lot more than just feel good!

Laughing has physical and emotional benefits that include aiding in digestion, releasing stress, regulating breathing, reducing fear and anxiety, and most interestingly has been discovered to be a wonderful cardio workout. Studies have shown a link between laughter and increased vascular health so cardiologists are now recommending their patients watch funny movies or read amusing stories to encourage laughter and help stimulate better and faster healing rates for their cardiovascular health.

These benefits have already been known in India and the Yogic community and are being taught as a type of yoga—Laughing Yoga to be exact and it is a actual Yoga practice. There are several retreats that practice it and schools and teacher trainings available, but since I don’t have the resources to travel to these, I like to watch Mahaguru Ramesh Pandey, a Himalayan Yoga Master, on YouTube, extolling the virtues of Laughing Yoga: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXgdSOxaCGI

No matter what kind of day I have, I only need to watch this once to let go of whatever was getting me down or angry and before I know it, I start to smile, which quickly grows into full-fledged mirth. See for yourself! There are several other Laughing Yoga videos available on YouTube so check them all out and laugh yourself happy and healthy!

Taking Laughter and Yoga a little bit deeper!

Blogging From A to Z: Elderly

E

The other day while I was waiting for my husband at the hospital to finish his tests, I realized that the entire waiting room was filled with elderly people. One by one or two by two they came through the doors as though a bus had just dropped them off. Their spouses accompanied some while others were alone. A couple appearing to be in their late 80s with matching walkers particularly fascinated me. He even had a mini-Velcroed cooler attached under the handle grips of his! Their pristine white sneakers shuffled along in unison as they searched for companion seats. I tried to picture what they were like when they were younger. My imagination ran wild with stories of what they must have seen and heard and experienced in their lifetime. These people lived through some of the most significant historical events in the twentieth century this world has ever seen. To me, they were living history right here waiting to be called in for their endoscopies and colonoscopies.

The elderly are our living ancestors. It seems we stopped paying real attention to and honoring our elders once businesses realized they could make more money by focusing on the new generation then on the old. The elderly have become something we tolerate and have to take care of, rather than endeared and welcomed into the family fold. They may have ceased to be productive members of our working society but they have not ceased to still be members of our society. Their worth should not be determined by how much they contribute but instead, be regarded with respect and how much they have already contributed.

These are the people that helped shape our nation into what it is. They weren’t always 70, 80, 90 years old. Once they were like you and me—they were actively employed, bought first-homes, raised families, fought for our nation, and had weekend summer barbecues. They were us and one day we will be them.

The baby-boomer generation has approached the Medicare age with a better understanding of how we grow older and the need to keep our bodies and minds more active, giving the stigma surrounding aging a much needed identity crisis and revamping. The changes are coming but not for the elders we have right now sitting with their son/daughter in the doctor’s office, caught in between business meetings, answering texts and emails from their Blackberry. They are still the lost ones in our society at the mercy of the “sandwich generation”, who splits their attention and focus conferring with caregivers in between office meetings and a quick drop off of the kids at soccer practice.

Blogging from A to Z: Dirt

D

What could dirt possibly have to do with the little things in life and taking things deeper?  Today I’m bringing the subject of dirt to a whole new level as a way for us to reconnect with Nature and ourselves. It is an incredible tool right underneath our feet for releasing energy. Working on the same principal of grounding as holding rocks, crystals, and embracing trees, working with dirt–really feeling it with our bare hands (and even bare feet) and feeling the tactile sensation of our skin to the soil soothes us in ways science and medicine are just beginning to understand.

Working with dirt engages us on every human levelphysical, sensory, emotional, and cognitive. It works on us as a whole and its benefits are many, which we are just beginning to understand on a therapeutic level. Recent studies are showing that children with autism, and jailed inmates, who work in gardens, have a noticeable drop in violent behavior and feelings of aggravation and an increase in attention and focus. It has also been found to be a great therapeutic tool for those with mental illness. These garden therapies are called horticultural therapy or therapeutic gardens. Of course, they deal with more than just soil but for the sake of today’s post I want to bring the attention and focus to the basis of it all—the dirt and it’s amazing abilities.

A side note for a moment here about the words dirt and soil. Ask any agriculturalist and they will tell you that dirt and soil are not the same. Soil is dirt with nutrients and organic matter that has been broken down over time and from elements, and dirt is well…. the neutered cousin. No nutrient value whatsoever and is basically filler and a maker of great mud pie’s. In terms of its ability to heal and be the recipient of energy and be spiritually transformative, they are equal and so I use the words interchangeably here.

Dirt is a healer; it is a transformer, an absorber of energy, and the giver of it. It is indeed an important part of being mother–Mother Earth. You don’t have to be a gardener or have a garden to receive the benefits of dirt. The next time that you are feeling anxious or find yourself with some extra energy or you just want to become more grounded, get your hands a little dirty in your garden or in a simple potted plant. You can even free your feet from your shoes to the earth and go sole to soul. Let’s take our healing deeper by digging deeper!

 

Blogging from A to Z: Breath

B

Breath

Breath—the whisper of the beginning, the sigh of the end. Everything in between, every thought, every feeling, every passion, and every sorrow is accompanied by the breath. It is not just the backbone of our life but the backbone of our sanity and our even our mental health. Breath sustains our life force. It helps us focus from the mental chatter and can calm us when we’re upset (How often have you heard or said, “Take a deep breath and calm down”?), it does all this without us giving it a second thought. But what if we did? What if, even for just a few minutes, you stopped and noticed how you feel, how your body and emotions change by changing your breath? A deep breath versus a shallow breath. A belly breath versus a lung breath. A fast breath versus a long, slow, inhalation and exhalation.

I tend to be a shallow breather so when I consciously breathe into my diaphragm I become aware of new physical sensations and even a change in my thoughts. Sometimes, all you need to do is to take that one big, deep, bellyful, blissful breath for a change in your mental and emotioal direction. Why don’t you try it now? Sit back, close your eyes, and breathe……..Let’s take it deeper.