As Twenty-Nineteen orders one last round before she heads out the door, I’m drawn to reflect on the blessings and challenges she brought this year. In the challenging column was a melanoma operation on my cheek, my husband getting an extremely bad case of shingles, our home flooding (twice!), the passing of a very dear friend and a favorite uncle. My number one blessing is that I’m going to be a first-time grandma next year! A fabulous vacation to Europe, spending quality time with friends & family and time at our beach home were all special blessings too. Highs, lows and in-between is how life flows. Maintaining inner peace through the ups is easy, the downs can be a bit more tricky.
One door closes, another opens…
Serious life challenges can bring us to our knees, and yet, can also open doors to deep reflection and re-evaluation. When my life fell apart five years ago (discussed in earlier posts) another door opened, ever so slowly, and I began a spiritual journey. Little by little light seeped back into the cracks of my heart and I knew, as well as healing, I was also evolving. I learned inner peace was possible through study, meditation and yoga, as well as a few other tools (see Resources).
A spiritual journey is deeply personal for most of us. My belief is that we are all connected by God, the Holy Spirit. You may call your God by a different name or pray in a different way than I do, but we all gaze at the same moon, bleed when cut and smile when we’re happy. I might be wrong, but I think there is a version of the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” in most religious text.
I absolutely love a cartoon I saw the other day reminding me that…Jesus wasn’t Christian, Buddha wasn’t Buddhist and Mohammad wasn’t Muslim. Noah Rasheta hits the mark with his comment about Buddhism at the beginning of his wonderful Secular Buddhism Podcasts: “You don’t need to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist, learn to be a better whatever you already are.”
A New Adventure!
In October I went to the Chopra Center Infinite Possibilities retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The conference was just what I needed and chocked full of great classes, information, amazing speakers, with lots of yoga and meditation. Two of the incredible presenters were, Gabrielle Bernstein, author of numerous books including The Universe Has Your Back, and Roger Gabriel a Master Educator at the Chopra Center. And it was such a privilege to hear Dr. Deepak Chopra share his vast knowledge and experience for 4 1/2 hours over two days. Pretty cool!
Roger Gabriel and Tara Brach, Ph.d, are two of my favorite guided meditation instructors. You can check out Roger’s meditations at: Rogergabriel.com. His relaxing, soothing meditations run from 3 to 34 minutes depending on what you need or how much time you have. Tara can be found at Tarabrach.com and her beautiful meditations usually run 20 minutes plus or minus.
Speaking of meditation instructors….I am studying to be a Certified Primordial Sound Meditation Instructor through the Chopra Institute. I’m currently in the middle of part one of a two part program. If all goes as planned I hope to be certified in May 2020. Primordial sound meditation uses mantras while meditating. Your personal mantra is based on the date, time and location of your birth. Your primordial mantra is said to be the sound the universe was making when you were born. The sounds of waves crashing, raindrops falling, wind, laughter, trees creaking and most sounds of nature are examples of primordial sounds. The classes are fascinating and I’m learning tons which I’ll try to share. If you take classes from me after I’m certified, I’ll be able to give you your own personal Primordial Sound Mantra!
The eye of the storm…
We are connected to the earth, nature, the universe and each other. Just a little kindness, empathy and patience can go a long way to live a calm life. And of course meditation! Last week, during flood number #2, meditation helped keep my sanity to deal with all that goes with having your home torn apart. We were also leaving to sit for our grand-pups while my son and his wife went on a long overdue vacation. Meditation kept me calm while gratitude put the chaos in perspective by remembering my many blessings.
I wish you all peace, love and happiness during this Christmas, Hanukkah, Bodhi and Kwanzaa holiday season. Oh and…please remember to SMILE…
Till next time…
Peace & Love ♥