Mind Fullness

It’s weird, the word mindfulness. Mindfulness is a relaxation practice of focus but it’s opposite is multitasking and juggling several different thoughts at a time. In other words, the opposite of mindfulness and mind fullness.

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I felt that mind fullness this morning. Planning out the day, thinking about the chores to do, the appointments to keep, all while walking and praying with my husband and our dogs. Where was my attention? Everywhere, interiorly, buzzing away a million miles an hour. My chest felt tight, my vision narrowed, my shoulders tense. Then I noticed and took a breath.

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Slowly everything came back into focus. I noticed the sunlight streaming through the trees, the beauty of purple flowers this time of year, the green leaves and grass barely one month out of winter snow.

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Then I lost it. The racetrack in my mind sped up again. But I noticed and I relaxed the muscles in my neck, jaw, and head and noticed how good that opening expanded feeling felt.

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And I again noticed the little things. The interplay of the sun and shadows on the flowers and on the barn.

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I still have a long ways to go and the path ahead of me isn’t always clear but my body now feels better focusing on the here and now and not like I’m trying to catch up with myself, breathlessly feeling one step behind.

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We’ve heard we are a human “being” vs. a human “doing” and I think that is the difference between mindfulness and mind fullness. Mindfulness is being in the present moment. Mind fullness is the mental chatter of what we should be doing. I’m a planner and it’s hard to stay in the moment but if I really listen to my body, it prefers mindfulness. And practicing mindfulness, I do seem to still get done what needs to be completed, along with a lot more happiness too. Slowly but surely I’ll conquer mind fullness; I don’t mind getting older but I mind getting older and living with the regrets of missing out of the simple pleasures in life!

 

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Joy

Joy is being out of the strangle hold of the chronic stress response.

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Joy is feeling pain free and beyond any time constraints.

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Joy is effervescent but yet peaceful at the same time.

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Joy is a very connected feeling and yet a feeling of having no boundaries at all.

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Joy is a very very very expanded sensation and feeling at one with the world around.

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Joy is feeling like you really know and accept every inch of yourself.

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Joy is a very powerful feeling, like there is nothing wrong in this sphere of the world.

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Joy feels like a higher vibration than love, awe, appreciation, caring, happy, content, calm, centered, peace, purpose, or self-acceptance. It’s like all of those wrapped into one with more lightness and effervescence on top.

How do I know about joy?

Because I haven’t felt joy in a long time. I felt it in my childhood after my mom made me a new pair of cotton pajamas with little purple flowers on them and I ran out onto the grass in the morning summer sun and danced around my grandfather. But in these midlife years stress and chronic pain have kept it hidden in a straightjacket.

You know something when you haven’t had it and then you do have it.

I feel joy now. It’s wonderful, I’m spinning cartwheels and staying grounded. I’m floating and yet totally connected. I feel like a child totally safe and totally loved dancing in my new pajamas.

How did joy get released from the prison it was held in?

I drove my hippotherapy equipment from Michigan to Indiana and gave it away to an Occupational Therapist who recently graduated from college putting more closure on that part of my life.

And I had an amazing pain relief treatment a couple of days ago that incorporated the use of natural quartz crystals. It was subtle, it was gentle, and it was the use of nature – rocks actually.

Quartz rocks have been used in electronics for years. Our body is electrical (think heart beat, brain waves, the zing of hitting your funny bone). Why not try natural quartz crystals with the electrical energy system of the human body? I was open to it and I’m sure glad – actually joyful!

I’m a 0 out of 10 on the pain scale and have been a few days. For someone who has had chronic pain daily for the past 10 years or more, that’s amazing.

What changed to reduce the pain? It feels like my body is able to relax, like it’s been released from a twisted straightjacket. And with the new freedom of movement and relaxation the pain is gone!

I have identified myself as a person who proudly carries on despite the pain. But maybe it’s time for a new identity? Maybe I’ll have to redefine myself apart from chronic pain. I would never have believed that chronic pain could be something in my past. It’s too soon to say this was a miracle cure, but I’m hoping and I’ll keep you informed!

 

 

Change is Hard

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Incorporating Games In Hippotherapy is complete and now on Amazon.

Some of you know from my earlier posts that in February of 2013 the business I created, loved and ran for over 20 years came crashing down … I lost use of the hippotherapy barns I worked out of (and my friends and colleagues from those barns), one of my own personal therapy horses died suddenly from colic, and my business computer crashed losing many documents.

The physical strain from the work of hippotherapy had been adding up over the years but the emotional stress pushed me over the edge into a downward spiral of chronic pain ending with a visit to the emergency room.

 
The universe was calling me to a change that I was resisting but could no longer not look at. My life was hippotherapy – my business, the research I was doing, the people I was mentoring – I was at the top of my game. To lose my business and what I thought was my life calling was a huge grief process. Change is hard and this kind of crash and burn change was really hard.

 
But part of grieving is also pulling something good from the ashes. I decided to bring closure to that part of my life by writing a book to pass along all the information I had gleaned through the years. One book turned into four and then into eight and the Brown Pony Series was born. The first book titled “Introduction to Hippotherapy” was published in November 2013. This week, May 2016, the last book “Incorporating Games In Hippotherapy” has been completed.

 
I’m very proud of these books and believe they will help many people. The grieving process feels complete and I just feel the joy and celebration of a job well done. And the energy to move on.

Change is hard but slowly I’ve been moving through it. It’s three years later and I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Merging Into A Storm

Merging Into The Storm

Last year I told you I would no longer be there.

The road we traveled together was reaching a dead end.

I knew you were worried. You hated the details.

But you’re brave, you recruited help.

I’m getting more excited as the end approaches.

I just want to move on to the next chapter.

It’s time to wrap it up.

File the taxes, get the paperwork in order.

Since this is the end, the “i’s” need to be dotted and the “t’s” crossed.

I’m good with details, I thrive in structure and closure.

I don’t like things undone or open ended.

The details on my end of this business are good to go.

But crap, the details on your end are not.

Should I be surprised? I’m not, but it makes me weary.

I know I’ll figure out the figures that aren’t adding up, you’re as honest as the day is long.

But now I’ve put hours and hours of time into something I shouldn’t have had to put time into.

I’m frustrated. And I think you are too.

We have to go back into five years of records to decode the problem.

But this is how business gets wrapped up.

Finally, it’s done.

The files are filed, the figures add up, bank accounts are closed.

I breathe a sigh of relief.

I hand it all over to you with a list of what needs to happen in the next year.

I want you to be successful.

So I hand it to you all organized on a “silver platter”as the saying goes.

All you need to do is sign off that I’ve handed it over to you.

Day 1, I feel proud of this. A sense of accomplishment. A light at the end of the tunnel.

Day 5, what can be taking you so long, I’m starting to get antsy.

Day 7, now I’m feeling forgotten, a storm is brewing inside of me, and I begin to wonder if you’ll ever let me go. Don’t you know it feels like I’m at the door of freedom and yet still chained to the room and you hold the key. Please give this some attention.

Day 10, I explain to you how I’m feeling and ask you to please sign off. You’ve been busy, there’s drama in your life right now, etc. I get the feeling that you think I’m rude for asking for this. All I feel is anger now, all you have to do is look over what I sent and sign a paper. None of this is new info. I organized my stuff, I organized our stuff, I organized your stuff. I shouldn’t have had to do all that but I did because I’m good at it. I put hours and hours into it so it’s there at your fingertips. The least you can do is have the respect to spend 5 minutes and review it. I hate having to escalate into drama to get your attention.

Rainy Night Drive

Everything feels dark now. Broken somewhat. You’re mad at me and I’m mad at you. Yes, you did sign the paper that night, I got what I was asking for, but now you’re not talking to me. It shouldn’t have been this way. How did this storm erupt?

I guess I felt you weren’t letting me go and I pushed it. I had to, I felt backed in a corner. If I hadn’t created a “drama” would this have ever gotten your attention? I felt trapped. Now I’m angry at you for forcing me to have to go that route. I hate drama and I hate stormy relationships but I hate being a doormat and being ignored even more than I hate those other things. I just want to let go of the hate, let go of the anger. I want peace.

I forgive you. I hope you’ll forgive me for my part.

Perspective and the act of choosing forgiveness does create peace. Something has shifted.

It’s unbelievable how good the freedom feels. Not freedom from you, I’d welcome you back in my life as a friend. But freedom to move forward in life and onto the next dream. Creativity is flowing freely again. The liberation is almost intoxicating. I knew it would be. And I have no regrets. This business was a blessing for a time and moving on is a new blessing. Not unlike the morning after a storm, all things refreshed, all things new. It feels good to have unburdened my heart.

Even though it felt like we were merging into a storm for a while, there is now closure. A new morning dawns.

 

Mindfulness

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My mind can run a million miles an hour. Time (and the world) goes by in a blur. I’m going through life on “auto pilot.”

Mindfulness is a relaxation practice that’s like coming up for air after being under water. Only instead of water, it’s getting relief from stress. Mindfulness is taking a moment and noticing the world around. Noticing the details, being thankful, slowing down, and smelling the flowers.

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Spring can be such a short season, with winter coming and going in fits, and then summer melting away spring’s delicate flowers.

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Did you ever notice that the peach blossoms come before the tree’s leaves? And the apple tree leaves come before it blossoms?

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Have you ever appreciated all the types of tulips there are?

Spring is the season where we start our warm weather activities …

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And when the animals have their babies …

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Mindfulness is taking the time to slow down and appreciate this time of renewal.

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Mindfulness is taking the time to appreciate being alive. To notice the beauty in the world around us.

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When is the last time you’ve allowed yourself a moment of mindfulness?