Can You Appreciate All That Shows Up?

Welcome Spring and all that is new.

I’ve been reading and contemplating a beautiful passage about arrivals from Rumi this week (as interpreted by Coleman Barks).

It helped me see a challenging situation in new light…and a door opened.

Perhaps it will open a door for you, too.

 

“This being human is a guest

house. Every morning

a new arrival.

 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

 

Welcome and attend them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of all its furniture, still,

treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

For some new delight.

 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

 

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

 

Welcome difficulty.

Learn the alchemy True Human

Beings know:

the moment you accept what troubles

you’ve been given, the door opens.

 

Welcome difficulty as a familiar

comrade. Joke with torment

brought by the Friend.

 

Sorrows are the rags of old clothes

and jackets that serve to cover,

and then are taken off.

That undressing,

and the beautiful

naked body underneath,

is the sweetness

that comes

after grief.”

 

~ Rumi, as interpreted by Coleman Barks, in The Illuminated Rumi, ©1997 Coleman Barks & Mich

 

What doors open for you as you contemplate this passage? Let us know.

 

To Your Wellth,

Erica

 

Spring Wellness – Time Out for Pondering

contemplation-photo.jpgOnly We Know What’s Best for Us
The best wellness advice I ever received came in the form of questions for me to ponder…questions that helped me uncover my own truths.

As a wellness coach, there is no input I can provide here for you that is more appropriate than the wisdom you’ll receive by checking in with your own body, mind, and spirit. Ultimately, you must decide what is best for you. I believe this is true regardless of the source of any external advice.

Take Time to Go Within
In the spirit of quiet contemplation that the peaceful image above inspires, take some time out to look at your current level of wellness. Explore what you really need in each area mentioned below and let that information gently direct you to take appropriate action or non-action. Allow your body, mind, spirit and heart to speak to you.

I like to go through this gentle process of self-exploration each spring and let the natural healing forces and wisdom within go to work. Enjoy!

SPRING WELLNESS INVENTORY
PONDER THIS…

1. ASK YOUR BODY:

What areas of you need my attention?
Which foods would nourish you?
What forms of rest, recreation or replenishment do you want today, this week, this month, this year?
Do you need additional tools for rest and relaxation?
What activities would you enjoy at this time?
Are there any new healing/wellness modalities you want to experience?

2. ASK YOUR MIND:

What is intellectually stimulating and engaging for you?
Do you get enough of this?
How can I give you more of what you need?
Do I need to provide you with more rest?

3. ASK YOUR SPIRIT:

What helps me feel connected with my source?
What is my spiritual anchor, compass or rudder in life?
What daily/weekly practices serve my spiritual life?
What things make my soul sing with appreciation for Life?

4. ASK YOUR HEART?

Who do I consider to be my “tribe”?
Who is in my closest inner circle?
Who do I love?
Who do I count on?
Who knows my heart?
Where am I expressing love?

5. ASK YOUR SELF OVERALL:

What can I do to further your greatest expression?
Where have I abandoned you?
What am I pretending not to know about you?
How can I love you?

Hope the pondering leads you to new layers of awareness. Love to hear what you discover!

“Open Your Heart, Change Your World”: A Meditation from Spring Forest QiGong

open-your-heart-stretch.jpgI was in the midst of writing the last post of my 2008’s Cornucopia of Resources Series today. I was stressing out to get the post up and give you the list of books I’ve found inspirational this year.

Somewhere along the way, I caught myself tensed up, hunched over the keyboard, with shallow breathing and a furrowed brow (familiar at all?). Noticing this, I stopped. I took a deep breath, pushed back from the computer and went to get a glass of water. A few more deep breaths and that glass of water later, and I vowed to re-enter my office with another mindset..or rather, another “heart-set.” I reminded myself to slow down and write from my heart.

When I returned to my desk, I took another minute out to check my email in-box. And there it was. An email from my friends at Spring Forest QiGong (SFQ), containing a special gift – a 15 minute meditation form SFQ founder, Chunyi Lin called, “Open Your Heart, Change Your World.”  I had just affirmed I’d go about my writing with and open heart, and so I took 15 minutes out right then and there to close my eyes and listen to the meditation.

Chunyi Lin’s meditation did indeed help me to Open my Heart and Change my World.

I’d like to pass the message and the meditation on to you.

Click this underlined phrase here to listen.

And be sure to read the note below that came from Chunyi Lin along with his gift.

Enjoy!

Hello Friends:

Many of us are impacted by the troubles in our world as this year draws to a close and are looking for better ways to cope with the challenges in the coming year – be they economic, emotional, physical or spiritual.

At Spring Forest Qigong, we wondered what we could do to help. We decided to create a special healing meditation by Master Chunyi Lin as our gift to you and to others this holiday season. It’s our hope that this free 15 minute meditation might be useful to many.

This podcast is our gift to everyone. All you need do is download and listen. After listening we hope you will want to share it with everyone you know.

Imagine what would happen if 1,000, or 1 million, or 1 billion people practiced this simple, openhearted exercise every day. We would change our world!

In peace,

Your Spring Forest Friends
http://www.springforestqigong.com/

On my end, I’ll get back to working on the inspirational books post and have it for you soon. For now though, I hope you take time out to enjoy this meditation. There’s no better resource I know at this moment, to help you open your heart and change your world.

p.s. I am not an affiliate or in any way compensated by SFQ. I am simply an advocate of their wonderful work in the world.

———–
Call me to set up a 30-minute wellness coaching session during the holidays. You’ll be sure to find the peaceful oasis within your own heart. 925-933-7445

 

A Cornucopia of Wellness Resources – Part 1

cornucopia.jpgThose of us committed to deepening ourselves and learning all we can from our life journeys, are using this passage of time right now to say “Yes we can.” Yes, we can focus on all we have in our lives, all we aspire to, and all we have to share and give.

In this spirit of abundance and plenty, I’ll be sharing some of my 2008 harvest in the next few posts. I’ve gathered together some resources that have contributed to my own Well-Being this year. So feel free to dig around in the next few posts. Find just the right something within the bounty of quotes, websites, blogs, stories and snippets of thought I’ll share, that will contribute to your own sense of abundance, appreciation, delight and Well-Being this season.

I give thanks for your readership, your comments, your inspiring progress you’ve made through our coaching sessions and teleclasses and wish you a meaningful Thanksgiving…

Today’s Harvest brings this Snippet of Thought that meandered through my mind just the other day:

Simply Enough

I sat at my desk, facing my computer, navigating around the internet in total physical tension and mental overwhelm. With lightening speed, thoughts racing through my head screamed, “So much to do. So much information coming at me. So many email messages to read. So many new e-books to read, CDs to listen to, tele-events to attend, marketing actions to take. Other people are out there making giant headway…will I ever get enough new and useful information and get it fast enough?”

I did what I know to do when I hit this stage. I pushed away from my desk, took a breath, left the room, got a glass of water, and went outside.

The crisp autumn air greeted me. A sudden glimpse of a hummingbird, dancing in our red-flowering bushes, helped me forget my tension and brought an ear-to-ear grin to my face. I took a deep breath, looked up at the wide blue sky, grabbed another deep breath and stood there just Being.

Gently, a thought floated into the space of my refreshed mind…

“Wait a minute, Erica. What is the rush at your computer? You take a deep lung-filling breath of air here, not worrying about whether you grabbed enough, or worrying if there won’t be enough air for you, or that someone else will get to it first, or hurrying to grab the next breath. All the air you need is right here. All around you. Why not approach the internet and information the same way. In fact, why not approach life this way?”

I stood still and appreciated this short but life-altering moment. I had a deep visceral understanding that, in this age of information, our job is to discern what we need, take it in, use it, and gently let the rest go. And just like it’s not ours to worry if we get the right bite of air, or worry if we’ll run out of air, or fret that someone else is getting better or more air than we are, it’s not ours to try to take in every drop of information. Ahh.

I took another deep lung-full of air, stretched toward the sun, and headed back inside…forever touched by what I’d breathed in.

Are you “taking in all the air you need?” My friend, Gremlin-Tamer, and coach, Rick Carson, is fond of asking this question. When I’m not breathing, or I’ve squelched my breath in a moment of worry , he reminds me to take in all the air I need. How is your breath at this moment? Are you taking in all the air you need? Are you remembering that there is plenty of it available?

—–
Grab a bite of holiday coaching with Erica this holiday season. Call for an individual session or join others for the December Teleclasses, “Why Weight?” and “Sacred Attitudes for Stress-Free Holidays“. Space is limited. Offices: 925-933-7445

Fitness at 50 and Beyond – Seven Sacred Attitudes® for Baby Boomers

Immediately after publishing my post, Fitness at 50 and Beyond, I was interviewed on her BlogTalkRadio show by FeistySideofFifty™’s powerhouse, Eileen Williams. In 15 minutes we covered everything from the highlights of this blog to Seven Sacred Attitudes for Baby Boomers. Take a wellness break, have some soothing tea, and listen in. Enjoy!

The Heart of the Matter: YOUR Well-Being First

human-body-drawing.jpgDuring the emergency safety procedure rap on airplanes, we hear flight attendants tell parents: “…put on your oxygen mask first, then place masks on your children.” Sure, you can use this statement to remember that you can serve others better when you take care of yourself first…but you don’t have to frequent the skies more often to get a daily dose of the same message. You’ve got a “built in” reminder much closer to home.

Did you know that your heart already gets the idea? Yup. Your heart is a more intelligent pump than you may realize. When your nice bright-red oxygenated blood returns to your heart from your lungs, your heart bathes ITSELF first with that newly oxygenated blood, before pumping it out again to the rest of your body. This is no small matter. Your heart takes care of its own well-being first. It “knows” how important it is to do so.

I invite you to use this information as a metaphor this week. Stop often during the day and place your hand on your heart. Breathe deeply. Imagine the newly oxygenated blood nourishing your heart first and then the rest of your body. Take a moment to think about the metaphor and take care of yourself. Whether it’s stopping for a glass of water, getting some fresh air, or stretching your limbs, YOUR well-being must come first. It’s written in your heart.

Thinking About Joy, Abundance & Well-Being

resting-at-apple-tree.jpgThere’s nothing new here. Truly. You’ve heard all of what’s in this post before. You already know the information, the concepts, and the ideas. So do I. But there are just times when I need a reminder. So I really wrote this one for me.

Joy. It’s not outside of you. Before my husband and I reached the millionaire mark, I thought doing so would make me happy. It did for a while, but the novelty wore off after a bit. I thought that when my health returned after an accident, that I would be happy. Again, it did for a while, but that joy was also temporary. And after years of inner work, meditation, therapy, and studies with world-known experts in the field of spiritual growth, I continually returned to that familiar statement “joy is within you, not in things outside you.” But did I really get it? I thought so. But maybe not…

Thinking I knew what to expect. For the past month or so, in preparation for a teleclass I’m teaching soon, I’ve been doing the abundance exercise presented in the Abraham-Hicks book, Money & The Law of Attraction. It’s the one where you get a check register and some checks that you aren’t using, and post “money” (imagined) into the checking account each day, increasing by $1000 each day. Then you “spend” that amount daily and actually write the check for things you will buy. To up the ante, and make myself “stretch” a bit, I began with $10,000, then “spent” that, added $20,000 the next day, and so on, increasing the amount added each day by $10,000.

At first, doing the exercise and “shopping” for stuff I wanted was fun and joyful. I actually felt like I had already purchased and ordered those things and they’d be coming in the mail any day. And I wrote the checks with no hesitancy, knowing that the next day there would be more money in the account, as if by magic, without my having to do anything. It was a feeling of freedom. And, after a few weeks of this, whenever I went to write “real” checks, from home or business accounts, I had a visceral experience of feeling the same freedom as I paid bills or bought things – no worries about investing right, the economy, or my businesses —  just knowing there would be more money in the account the next day. So far, so good.

Much more to learn. As I said, I’ve been doing this for a little more than a month now. So today in the exercise, I put the $400,000 amount I was up to into the account and chose to “buy” a condo on Maui. As I wrote the check for the condo, I had an odd feeling. A rather sad feeling actually. I couldn’t pinpoint it. So I stopped, took a breath, and sorted things out. What was the source of the sadness? What thoughts were present? Why wasn’t buying this condo bring me joy?

Ah. There it was. I wasn’t in a state of joy to begin with this morning. I wasn’t “buying” the condo from a place of joy. As I wrote the “check”, I realized that no matter what I bought, it wasn’t going to make me happy.

Now I’ve known this intellectually my whole life. But I didn’t know it as deeply as I do today. The money is just not going to make me happy. A new anything won’t make me happy. Perfect health, my spouse, the perfect career, or the perfect friends won’t either. Only I am going to make me happy.

This was sobering. I thought I knew this. I truly am a human in process, learning each day. I am sitting with today’s learning for now.

Just thought I’d share.

p.s. if you decide to give the exercise a whirl, let us know what happens…
p.p.s. “Most of you do not believe that it is your natural state of being to be well.”
— Abraham
Excerpted from the Abraham-Hicks workshop in Boston, MA on Sunday, October 20th, 1996

“Modify Your Thinking to Handle New Situations”: Wisdom from a Fortune Cookie

fortune-cookie.jpgI was all set to sit and write this post, but hunger knocked on the office door, told me to call it quits for the day and took me out to my favorite Chinese restaurant. Good thing, because until the fortune cookie came, I didn‘t have a title.

Snap. I opened the cookie and out popped the title you see above. Perfect for what I have to say. Which is:

I’m back. The blog is once again in motion.

Yup. A month without a newsletter or blog and this writer at heart has been starving. Not for food. For creative expression.

All that I wrote about in the last post was right from the heart and remains true. I’ve pared back and focused. I’ve created more space in my life.

I thought that space would lead me to write a more personal blog, just for fun. But just as the fortune cookie says, I’ve modified my thinking since that post.

How?

THIS will become the blog I mentioned in the last post as being one I write “just for fun.” I won’t start another blog. THIS will be where I give myself permission to write when I want to write, make the posts as short as want, add a rant or two if the spirit moves me, pose questions I’d love to hear you comment about, let a week or more go by if I need to, or write ten posts in an afternoon if I’m having fun.

So there you have it. I’m breathing a sigh of relief and creative satisfaction at this new approach. It’s amazing what a shift in thinking will do for the soul.

I’ve left the former post up so you can see the thread of my process from last month to this. I now see it’s important to do so. I didn’t at first. I was going to delete that post and just jump right back in again. I’d like to thank my new Twitter-teammate, blogger “GeekMommy”, for helping me see the wisdom of keeping that last post in tact, building from it and sharing the process I went through. There’s nothing like a team mate to help you modify your thinking now and again:)

thinking.jpgSo, welcome back. To all of us. With modified thinking, we’re all back in the WellnessCoach blog saddle.

How ‘bout you? Modified any of your thinking lately?

“Honorable Closure”, Gremlin-Taming® and How to Say Goodbye with an Open Heart

whale-breach-bowing.jpgCultural Anthropologist Angeles Arrien would call the subject of this blog post “Honorable Closure.” I’ll add that it is also my way of saying goodbye with an open heart.

As I write this post I notice my shoulders are tense, my brow is furrowed and my breathing is a bit shallow. I also notice I have many mixed emotions about writing my last post on this blog. So excuse me while I take a minute out to center myself and come back to the page.

—————

Okay, I’m back. I’ve taken the last five minutes and employed Rick Carson’s Gremlin-Taming® Method and find myself much more aware of “home base” as Rick says, and breathing more deeply.

Having said that, I need now to say Good-bye and Thank you.

It has been my joy and my pleasure to write the posts for this blog over the past six months. It has been an honor to receive your comments. And it has been very fulfilling to learn from many of you that the information you’ve read here has contributed to your overall Wellness and made a positive difference in your lives.

By bringing “Honorable Closure” to this blog, I’m in process myself of minding my own Wellness advice — I’m practicing the Sacred Attitude called Do Less. I’ve pared back. I’m focused on opening new Salad Creations franchises in the Bay Area and will be limiting my role as Life Coach to one day a week. That should give me more time for reading, swimming, Qi Gong, and longer walks with my husband. It may even give me time to write a more personal blog for fun. (I’ll let you know if I do so, over at my main Coaching website.)

If this is your first visit here, let me add a Welcome to the Goodbye. I welcome you to what will now be a Wellness Library of posts for you to read at your leisure. My e-book, Seven Sacred Attitudes®, continues to be available for purchase here, and I hope you’ll find it to be a Wellness resource for a lifetime.

If you have been a reader for a while now, feel free to re-visit the information – posts filed under the Nutrition, General Wellness tips,Wellness Coaching and other boy-bowing.jpgcategories are timeless. May the material continue to serve you.

To all of you, a deep bow of gratitude for stopping by.

May you be well.

Namaste,
Erica

The 20th Tip for Happy and Stress-Free Holidays

look-closely.jpgThe first 19 tips for a Relaxing Holiday Season were wonderfully presented today by Edward Mills, in the Evolving Times Blog. I’d like to add the 20th tip here.

Just Notice
Yes, this is the tip I offer you this season…Just Notice. Simple words, challenging to remember. The method? Glad you asked…

Try this:

Throughout the day, take time to be present to the moment before you.

First, ask yourself: “What do I notice here?”

Then check within yourself and with all that’s around you by asking:

How is my breathing?
Are my shoulders tensed?
Am I grinding my teeth?
What is literally right in front of me?

And the big question:

What about this haven’t I noticed before? (I was instructed in a workshop once to ask myself this question while looking at a $1 bill for 15 solid minutes, where all we did was to notice something on the bill that we hadn’t noticed before. It was quite illuminating.)

Make no judgments about what you notice, just notice it. Examples: “I see a desktop with 10 stacks of paper, an over-flowing in-box, I don’t think I’m breathing, there is a holiday card from a dear colleague and my clock says 3pm.” or “I see a table of gift wrap, a sink full of dishes, my breathing is shallow, my shoulders are hunched and tight, I see small flecks of glitter on the card my niece made, and I never noticed the way the light comes in through the shutters in the afternoon.”

Then take a deep breath and continue with what you are doing.

I can guarantee that if you “just notice” and omit the judgments (“Oh, this place is a mess and I am way behind”), and simply answer the questions above, the “just noticing” will go a long way toward keeping you focused on the heart-centered present…which is all the holiday present you might really need:)

What tips do you have for stress-free holidays? Let us know!