Friday, July 31

Moving Mountains #47

Faith is spiritualized imagination. ~Henry Ward Beecher

This is one of my favorite quotes. I'm amazed when four little words can come together so succinctly and bam! This one says it all. I'm off to Denver for the weekend.

Thursday, July 30

Moving Mountains # 46

“I no longer seek any perfection from my own efforts…but only the perfection that comes from faith and is from God…We who are called perfect must all think in this way” (Philippians 3:9,15).

This is one of those quotes that makes me go, "Oh yeah! I forgot again. Thanks for the reminder." One of my teachers Tashi Nyima says, "Relax into your natural perfection." He says it in a baritone voice with a Puerto Rican accent and tinge of South India as he spent many years there. It is one of the most beautiful and relaxing voices I have ever heard. "Clear the windshield of your mind and relax into your natural perfection."

Natural perfection, faith, means we don't have to do anything. Like telling the fastidious housewife to put down her dishtowel, that she has the day off, that she must trust that the work will get done or at least will still be there when she gets back. Because natural perfection is about being at peace in every moment, releasing attachment from feeling like, "I have to get this done now!" This is one of the hardest areas for me. It's an old pattern, it jolts me back into the victim mentality of, "if I don't do this who will?"

Success for me when I am in a moment where I forget my natural perfection, is when I do break the chains of my own making and put the proverbial dish towel. If I can release from the grip of the victim, lie down on the floor for 5 minutes and breathe, then I can remember my natural perfection. For me, most of the time, it's about finding humor in whatever I thought was so serious a few moments ago. That's where keeping the faith is for me. It's in the recharge.

Wednesday, July 29

Moving Mountains #45

Walking from my house to the ranch house the other day I almost tripped over a snake on the sidewalk in front of me. I never realized before how I walk looking straight down. I'm not sure if I do it all the time. I don't think I do it when I walk in the city. Here, though, I look straight down.

He was big, about four feet long, four and half, and thick, round. Jimmy and Ruby were there too. It was a water moccasin, a pit viper, a fat, lethargic (thank God) pit viper. Jimmy sent him back to his maker after saying a prayer over him. I covered Ruby's eyes. Such is the life of a farm girl.

What the snake taught me in the days since, is to keep my head up, to look out over the yard, the grass, past the trees. To not be so myopic, to see the bigger picture, to soak it all in.

Thank you scary snake.

I noticed that when my blinders are on and my vision is as small as a pea, I have a hard time mustering anything of myself for faith, there is just not enough room in my brain, my body does not have enough energy to support it. Yet, when I have the big view, it come in naturally. The big view welcomes faith automatically. I am very grateful to the snake for this lovely reminder.

Tuesday, July 28

Moving Mountains #44

Did I say spa day? It's spa week. Women are coming in for the rest of the week for these wonderful treatments. Tonight Dr. Gonzales gave a talk on all of the clinical aromatherapy products she makes. She explained a little bit about the autonomic nervous system. It has two parts: the sympathetic nervous system which operates on "fight or flight" it's what we use during the day to make decisions and live in our busy lives. After work, though, when the day is done, it is our parasympathetic nervous system that needs to take over. The parasympathetic systems job is, "rest and digest." So often we don't shift into rest and digest after work and then we just lie there in bed staring up at the ceiling and wondering why we have insomnia.

The clinical aromatherapy products are oils gathered from the first pressing of the flower. You only need one drop of oil - to smell it and then put it on your body - adrenal oil over your kidneys, immune oil on your throat and so on. These oils are different from the tinctures you buy at the grocery store which smell good but are the second or third pressing and do not have the medicinal qualities. I have been using her regime of flower oil blends for a couple of years now through Barbara the facialist, even though I just met Maria. Since I started my routine two years ago with the oils I have not gotten a sinus infection. I used to get them at the start of every season and then usually in the middle of the season too.

These oils address the parasympathetic nervous system, sending little messages to our bodies that they are supported, that they can rest and be ready and rejuvenated for tomorrow. That it can have faith in us, that we will take care of it, that when we push it into overdrive during the day, we will bring it back in the evening and tuck it in tight and kiss it goodnight.

Monday, July 27

Moving Mountains #43

It's spa day at the ranch. My dream of having facials and bodywork here on a consistent basis is coming to fruition. Barbara gives amazing clinical grade aromatherapy facials. Dr. Gonzales is here too. She makes all the products that Barbara uses in her facials so they are fresh and seasonal. Dr. Gonzales also does an energetic chiropractic adjustment that releases stuck emotions in the body. I'm receiving this treatment in less than an hour so I'll report back. It's all coming to fruition. My faith in myself, in the ranch, and in our dream grows stronger every day. Now, off to the spa!

Sunday, July 26

Moving Mountains #42

Prana is the life force that moves through the body on the breath. Prana literally means, first movement. It is the most subtle form of movement. Love is the first form. Thus, prana is the physical movement of love in the body. That's right! Love moves on prana.

Prana moves into the heart carrying love on its breath. It then distributes love to the rest of the cells in the body. When we are breathing smoothly without constriction the power of love is feeding every cell of our being.

It's just another beautiful example of faith at work every day.

Saturday, July 25

Moving Mountains #41

Prana Karma is one of the most beautiful rituals I have ever experienced. I spent the whole day in a group with my Suddha Ayurveda teacher Tashi Nymai. We learned to perform this beautiful meditation on ourselves and to offer it to others. It reminded me that many times when we get too IN this world, rather than OF it, we get constricted. This is when doubt sets in, when faith is difficult to grasp.

Prana Karma restores the prana of one's body into balance. In the session that was performed on me I fell down the rabbit hole into a deep delta-level sleep for 10 minutes and woke up completely rejuvenated. It's not much different than a pranayama breathing session in that they both create openings in the nadis or energy points in the body. Both are prana regulating therapies (I do not like to use the word therapies but will use it just this once as it is late and I am sleepy.) So if anyone out there has a better word than therapy please let me know. The word is old and outdated. I no longer desire to use the term "yoga therapist," or "healing therapies." There must be some other word to describe it.

Friday, July 24

Moving Mountains #40

Bumblebees remind me that all it ever takes is faith. I found a big fat bumblebee on my doorstep (no longer moving). She had the portliest body and the most gossamer wings - a true miracle of aerospace engineering.

Thursday, July 23

Moving Mountains #39

I'm holding on. My body's doing a really good job of holding on to some old, old, memories and resentments. Forgiveness takes patience in my case. I'm holding on to my faith today but must sit in this human skin that still desires to feel pain and suffering for another day until I get the relief I seek.

Wednesday, July 22

Moving Mountains #38

There was a time when faith conjured up for me a shot of hope followed by a swill of anticipated dread and despair. The hope was an attempt to grasp the present moment. The dread and despair byproducts of grasping the negative memories of the past and projecting them into the future. As a result my mind often disconnected from my body. I eventually identified the feeling -- it was like a balloon that has been let go and was floating away into space.

Faith can still be illusive. In those moments of feeling overwhelmed I fall into old patterns of being the victim and not being good enough. A foggy haze creeps around my head and body, intoxicating that part of me that longs for the familiar, no matter how painful.

That's where grounding becomes so important. There are healthy, conscious ways of grounding. Many of them can also become comforting to the point of addiction. Food can be very grounding, a bath, sex, a massage, exercise, yoga -- anything that plugs you into your "real world", the one that you are consciously making for yourself that is comforting and supportive of your freedom. Just remember the golden rule -- Everything in moderation...including moderation.

I left Mineral Wells last Friday with a sore throat. While in Austin, most of my time was spent in my pj's laying around -- when I was not in circle with the breath. It was one of the most relaxing weekends in a while -- not my normal way of being. I usually have the mind set of, "it's summer, shouldn't we be outside!" Just because it's 100 degrees outside does not mean I need to go outside, to go swimming. With the sore throat I opted out of all outside activity. Staying inside gave me a different perspective and brought me back into a more relaxed and refreshed place. It was a very grounding weekend and it made me more present with my faith around many aspects of my life.

Find the activities that ground you, that give you comfort, that feed your soul. Use them wisely and they will reward you with a strong sense of security and well being.

Tuesday, July 21

Moving Moutains #37

Here's an excerpt from The Reluctant Healer on faith:

"Faith comes from a support system of prior action and results, and it can be a recognition that the moment of change is upon you and you have the fortitude to take the leap. I believe in '20/20 vision' faith, rather than in blind faith. If you do the work, faith will not only follow, but it will lead you and be rock solid."
David Elliott

Monday, July 20

Moving Mountains #36

What does reality mean for you? Does your idea of reality support your faith?

When you say, "Well, back to reality!" Does that mean you are turning off your computer and setting up your meditation space for some down time? Does it mean you are telling the person you are on the phone with that it's your scheduled daily time for painting or water coloring?

I can still get stuck in my made-up world of being a mom, a wife, a business owner, a healer, and all those other labels that define me to others. It's a great life, one I created through the choices I made one brick at a time. The deal with it, though, is that it is transient and telling myself that this is my reality is looking at my life with tunnel vision.

The real world is that one that is never changing. It's the well I must go to for source, for rejuvenation. It is the moments in-between, when my mind is in neutral and my breath is feeding my soul. This is the power of meditation.

Whether God is your co-pilot or Dog is your co-pilot, what does your reality look like? Is it in the world that is of your making, your choices, the ever-changing daily routine, chores, and todos? If so, can you see a relationship between the ever changing nature of this world and any feelings of being overwhelmed that you have or any chaotic energies that you may be unconsciously taking on?

So the next time you say, "back to the real world," and you say it in a tone that automatically has the word "damnit" at the end without even saying it, quickly switch your image of "real world," to something you enjoy -- and then have a big old laugh at yourself for being so serious and pretending to have so little faith.

Sunday, July 19

Moving Mountains #35

Easing into Sunday.
Here's a beautiful quote for the day:

Faith certainly tells us what the senses do not, but not the contrary of what they see; it is above, not against them. BLAISE PASCAL

Saturday, July 18

Moving Mountains #34

Is there a place within you that could use a little faith today?

Why is faith so hard to grasp?
Faith takes imagination. Expanding into that playful place within us that dares to dream big. Ruby's five-year-old imagination sings with the wind and dreams with the whales. As she sheds her early childhood years and gains language skills, I can see her mind grasping more and more concepts as concrete. As this happens I watch little Ruby morph into a whole new girl with a whole new sense of imagination and I pray she holds on to it.

For any kid, socialization through school also plays a big role in detachment from childhood imagination. As this happens it's easy for children who later become adults to poo-poo imagination for "reality." Thus, cultivating imagination can be a delicate balance with a five or six year old.

Trusting our imagination as adults is hard at first. For many of us, it seems so childish to let our mind wander and roam. Yet wandering and roaming are key elements in becoming stress free. When our mind relaxes our bodies relax. Give yourself five minutes with your imagination today and see where it takes you.

Friday, July 17

Moving Mountains #33

Here's a short and sweet mnemonic for faith on this lovely Friday night. This poem by Emily Dickinson sums up volumes written on the subject. Enjoy!

Faith -- is the Pierless Bridge
Supporting what We see
Unto the Scene that We do not --
Too slender for the eye

It bears the Soul as bold
As it were rocked in Steel
With Arms of Steel at either side --
It joins -- behind the Veil

To what, could We presume
The Bridge would cease to be
To Our far, vacillating Feet
A first Necessity.

Thursday, July 16

Moving Mountains #32

One of my favorite things about living in a small town is live music in the garden. Everybody comes out for it. It's the one time in the summer where you can catch up with other small town denizens - who's been to Disneyland, who's been to Colorado, who's on leave, who's going on a cruise - the outdoor live music venue, be it the Famous Water Company like tonight or Clark Gardens Botanical Park earlier in the summer, is the heartbeat of our small town.

Where Clark Gardens has their snow cones, the Famous Water Company has its ice cream. Mint chocolate chip in a cup is the first thing Ruby asked for when we got there. She finished it before we got outside and claimed our table and chairs on the patio lit by strands of white light.

About an hour and a cold beer into the music Ruby came up to me and said, "I just saw the most awesome thing ever! It was a cone with one scoop of mint chocolate chip and ANOTHER scoop of chocolate, one the same cone! Can I have one please?" She said as she looked sideways and batted her eyelashes.

I didn't say yes, and I didn't say no. I told her to go inside and ask if she could have a sample, a taste, of it. "Describe it to them exactly as you did to me," I told her. I was pretty confident she would not get it because she had no money. Mother's can be so naive.

Five year-olds can be extremely persuasive as evidenced by my next sight. She walked out the door with a full two scoops, the biggest ice cream that I've ever seen her with, and she even shared it.

The point is that she knew all along she was going to get it. She had that air about her. She knew what she wanted, she visualized it, then she materialized it. The whole scene was a beautiful example of faith and the confidence of inner knowing. Because when it comes to ice cream and children we're talking about two things that seem meant for each other.

Wednesday, July 15

Moving Mountains #31

Recent medical research has shown that believing in a cure leads to real bodily changes. When the body is given a placebo the brain opens opiate receptors and releases pain-reducing chemicals. Thus, it is the act of believing, not what you believe that puts the wheels in motion for you affecting your own change. All you have to do is believe.

For years I refused to believe. It sounded so sappy and unreal. What was I believing in? A white-robed man in the sky? Believing in good over bad just out of sheer hope that it was true? Believing in happily ever after? I felt I had to protect my heart by not believing.

Through the breathing meditation I have shed much armor from my heart, it continues to shed, though I never know exactly when that is going to happen. I just keep breathing and opening to my abundance, to the gratitude I have in my life for my family and my gifts and experiences. I hold space for my body so that when it is ready to release old memories and emotions I am there to assist in its moving. As I clear space in my mind through the meditation and weed out the untruths, there is more space for believing, for faith.

The more I practice believing from the inside out -- in myself, and also in Christ, Mary, the angels, saints, and a myriad of other healers -- believing in them working through me, the stronger my immune system becomes, the stronger my faith becomes.

Tuesday, July 14

Moving Mountains #30

Today is day 30 of my 60 Days of Faith. Yay! I made it to the half way mark. Consistency feels good. The value in doing this every day is that I'm to the point when I sit down that I think, "I've done this every day, what else could I possibly have to say about it?" Then, just like when I set out on a long walk, the steps get easier and my heart speaks out as I deepen into it.

This summer I am watching my work with the breathing circles unfold. Every time I put effort into stepping more into my faith and my passion -- and I love the breathing circles -- my faith expands and my work expands. It's not only about teaching others the work with the breath and with moving energy through their bodies. It is also about understanding my own, about recognizing negative and positive energies in my body, understanding what reactions cause them, and choosing which reactions to engage with. Understanding these subtleties leads to a better understanding of how different actions and reactions (a.k.a. karma) are going to make me feel. I like feeling good, joyful, powerful, and worthy so I'm training myself to listen to my body first instead of my mind. My mind will say, "your body's fine, it's just being a little lazy today." While my body is saying, "I need rest. I'm filled with stress and anxiety. I need some down time."

It's a tall order. Understanding this process a little bit every day is what I love. The fact that all of this information begins with the seed of feeling my own breath in my body through a simple breathing meditation is the beauty.

Faith is very much a part of this as we are conditioned to feel fear and anxiety and to expect the worst. Faith has us do just the opposite. It's not about being shiny happy people all the time, it's about seeing the darkness as a temporary state and moving beyond least today.

Monday, July 13

Moving Mountains #29

What is it about getting cancer or some other potentially fatal illness that causes us to invest more in our faith?

Is it fear of death? Or a primal desire to believe in something greater than ourselves?

Cancer, over 10 years ago, gave me permission to try something different, to explore the possibilities that this life has to offer. In the faith department, the seed of my change was to see cancer as my gift. Then I took the steps to build it as such.

If cancer was my gift, my healing would show me my faith. I took up yoga, took steps to make healthy boundaries with the people around me, started breathing with David Elliott, took steps to improve my view of myself, and began the arduous task of not trying to do everything and asking others for help.

All of these elements can be found in the tiny seed of my faith. I wanted to believe in something greater than myself but I wanted empirical evidence of God. Yet I believed in anger, jealousy, anxiety, and a myriad of other unhealthy emotions that get stuck in the body and cause stasis and illness - I can't see them either.

It all started with changing my perspective. With seeing a gift where there was once only illness.

Sunday, July 12

Moving Mountains #28

Sunday morning! It's still early enough to feel a light breeze, the sun has not even popped fully over the west side of the hacienda into my window. I love the morning, it's newness and hope for the day, the busy birds, the plants getting ready for the throng of heat on its way.

Sundays have a special lilt, a sobering, grounding feel of peace and rest. I'm thinking about the garden. To be there now, with maybe a little dew drop or two left on the tomato plant, a ripe yellow pear tomato ready to pop into my mouth.

Faith is cultivated here. In the spaces in between the busy part of the day. In the work of keeping the soil moist and the plants happy. And it's so much easier now at this time of morning than when the sun is higher in the sky.

Saturday, July 11

Moving Mountains #27

I'm sitting here watching a myriad of birds outside my window. Hummingbirds fighting over the nectar, buzzing each other at the speed of light. The medium-sized birds eating seeds from the feeder. I can only identify a few, the painted bunting, the male and female cardinals. They pop on and off the feeder as if through a revolving door at a lunchtime bistro. Off the cliff there have been many hawks circling today and soaring buzzards. I am amazed at how they can get such traction off the air with so little wind.

I am an earthbound human. I love the ground and the dirt. I have no desire to jump out of plane or reach outer space in a ship. Cyber space is good enough for me. Yet these birds call out to a space deep within me to trust in an unseen rhythm of nature and to make that the focal point of relationship with nature. Thus, instead of focusing on the scary things that I know about that bring up my fears -- the snakes, little fish that nibble the skin, ants, wasps, bees, other insects and spiders -- to focus on my reaction to these things as something that keeps me in a state of tension and fear.

Birds. Yes, birds. Their freedom and their connection to the wind and the life force of nature are an understated inspiration to behold.

Friday, July 10

Moving Mountains #26

I went swimming in the river this afternoon.
It's easy to get overcome with fears, especially with
things like water moccasins, stickers, heat stroke, and dehydration looming in the analytical and logical part of the mind.
The hurdles to having a good time in the water -- to just letting go and
swimming a few laps with abandon -- are many and they are tall. The hurdles fall away, though, when the heated temperature outside gives way to the refreshing river water, even if the water is the temperature of a tepid bath.

I've been practicing in the river and will continue this summer to use the river as a tool to connecting to my faith. I have very rarely seen snakes on the river. When I do is it a coincidence or a message, even and omen? What about with stickers? Heat stroke? and dehydration?

It is true that certain precautions must be taken. For the snakes I take my 75 pound Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Jack, who swims along the edge of the water. He's not only a water dog, he also loves to chase down snakes so I feel very safe with him there. The same goes with stickers. I always wear shoes. Still one may grab hold of a shoe or a piece of clothing so I'm not completely immune. Even still, shoes are a good buffer and decrease my chances of the pain of those little seed balls with spikes. For heat stroke and dehydration I always take a small cooler with ice water.

As much as I prepare myself before I get in the wilds of the river there is still a piece of me that feels like I am supposed to be scared, that I am supposed to fear the part of the river I can't see, the part of nature I don't understand. This is the point where it is important for me to connect to my inner wisdom, the place that senses or even smells the snake before it gets close enough to bite me. It's the same inner wisdom that says, "sticker next to left foot," and I hear it if I'm not engrossed in senseless mind chatter that's pulling me out of the present moment.

For the rest of the summer, when I swim in the river, I am going to challenge my current levels of fear and faith and open to new possibilities of discovery in nature, it's beauty and it's unknown.

Thursday, July 9

Moving Mountains #25

Here's a poem I wrote a few years ago before I ever knew I would blog about faith.
I found it today going through an old file.


A sock with divine purpose
To warm the frozen foot?

A watch that reminds the masses
It's time to zip their boot?

A mosquito stuck in amber
That holds clues to early life?

A blanket statement rendered true
By a believer of only lies?

A hawk
An owl
An eagle
The soaring portly bumble bee

My faith can show you nothing more
Than my belief in me

Wednesday, July 8

Moving Mountains #24

"Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn." William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)

I love this quote. It is such a simple reminder of all the support we have for our growth. I'm going to sit with this one a while and see what I can visualize for myself with this poem as a template and see what comes up. Please feel free to do the same. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 7

Moving Mountains #23

There here! They finally made it through the dirt. My mind has been occupied with Tulsi Holy Basil. Yes. I'm a total dirt geek at heart coming into my own greenthumbness. I've been waiting and praying for the Holy Basil to rise up after feeling so guilty for letting it die last year without making one glass of tea, drying one leaf for tea, or planting one seed for the next year. Today I was reminded that its not about me. That the seed will rise again.

Last year I bought a Tulsi Holy Basil plant with great dreams of making my own tea and cultivating my own plants. I kept it in a large pot and watered it a few times a week. I always remembered I was going to make tea out of my plants in the garden at the precise moment I was drinking the healing Tulsi Basil Tea from a box I bought at the store. So I've carried this guilt since last September when the potted plant finally DIED (I thought). In fact it had gone to seed.

I'm still learning the flow of the seasons. I'm still learning the rhythm of the bursting life the spring, the seed pods that grow in the summer, the abundant harvest of the fall and the silent restful time of nature in winter. This rhythmic flow never stops, like a carousel without a timer. My job is to jump on and enjoy.

So when the Tulsi Holy Basil popped up in my garden in droves this week, I didn't believe it at first. I thought all those little plants were weeds. I picked them all and headed for the trashcan until I smelled that familiar intoxicating smell of the healing basil that is called Holy Basil. My faith was restored when I was reminded of nature's transcendent rhythm.

Monday, July 6

Moving Mountains #22

Walked outside today expecting the usual heat wave and instead experienced an almost cool breeze. For a moment I thought I was in New Mexico -- crisp breeze, very dry, the earth felt like it had expanded, taken a deep full breath.

Lately I've cooled off too. The struggle has always been so easy, feeling like I am alone and I have to get that almighty EVERYTHING done all by myself. That addiction is really all about control. We have been conditioned that if it's not hard it's not worth doing. As the ranch has been getting more publicity I fell into an old pattern - thinking that my work - the healing work - needed to take a backseat to "getting the ranch going."

As I let go of the reigns and look around me, I see that most of my needs that I struggle so hard to achieve are already taken care of. Take food for example. I'll struggle with the fact that I don't want to go to our only grocery store in town, Wal-Mart. Then someone from afar shows up with a bounty from Whole Foods or Central Market ready to share. And these days there is always something to eat from the garden. I'm still getting used to the miracle that food comes out of the ground if you water and care for it. Also,I've got two wonderful women who take care of the daily chores - and for these things among the many others I am so grateful.

Yet I still have an underlying feeling that I am not doing enough, that I need to work harder, send one more email. That feeling is the one that I am talking about that is the seed of the addiction, the seed that causes the reaction of STRUGGLE.

With Ruby home for the summer, I have a wonderful 5 year old that reminds me to step away from my computer and my list making and just play. It always takes me about 10 minutes...about as long as with the disengage from the commander mind and enjoy my surroundings. This is what I'm talking about when I say I've "cooled off" and "let go of the reigns." Spending more time enjoying life - the blessings of a 5 year old...and a cool morning breeze in the middle of summer.

Sunday, July 5

Moving Mountains #21

It's been a great day to begin my new perspective with faith - to trust that I am guided by a force much greater than me. We know it's true for plants. In the way the sun guides each plant to defy gravity and move to greater heights. In the way the water gives nourishment and the clouds that bring it feel like a blanket of serenity.

For many days the sun has burned down on the garden. Watering twice a day has done little to assuage the dryness and brittleness, the burn on the leaves. I awoke with a smile on my face at 2am. and listened to the rain for a few minutes before drifting back to sleep. The rain continued for hours, until mid-morning.

Today with the deep grey clouds and light drizzle the plants seemed to enjoy the respite of the pounding sun. Their leaves appeared relaxed, not shriveled in the afternoon as on days of intense heat. Late afternoon the humidity gave way to an easy breeze, bringing lesser temperatures that we have not felt in weeks.

I too have felt relaxed -- lazing about around the house most of the day and enjoying the overcast shade while cleaning the dead leaves off the parsley in the garden. Feeling supported by an unseen force that has an investment in me.

Saturday, July 4

Moving Mountains #20


My ideas about faith have changed in the last twenty days. I started this blog to report on every day instances of faith as proof that it exists. Well, it does exist. I got that part. Let's move on.

At the beginning of my 60 days I said that I would be relying on my own accounts of faith and not use anyone's quotes or ideas about it. Then I read M. Gandhi's quote, "Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into." This quote broadened my view of it as more than something to trust when I'm feeling needy or wanting. This quote raises the bar on my faith.

Faith, like merit, is collected over time. My little instances of faith add up and connect to each other. They have been magnetizing over time. The more I focus on where it is in my life the stronger the feeling I have that I am supported by faith. It's a little picture vs. big picture thing and I'm beginning to see the big picture.

Friday, July 3

Moving Mountains Day #19

Faith is a lot like water. Consider all the metaphors that have to do with water that can also be said about faith and let that seep into the sponge of your mind.

Here's an example:
I'm in my third year of gardening. Each season I feel more connected to the process. This year it's been about the water. Standing outside my garden in March I noticed for the first time the garden's steep gradient and how it sloped in one direction. My veggies were in raised boxes. It looked like the boxes had been set on a steep slope. At that point I understood why miniature carrots and beets had not grown to full size. The water did not go DOWN into the soil but rather splashed over the veggies as it rushed down-slope.

This year's garden has been all about working with the water. It's not a coincidence that as I cultivate my ojas -- or the nurturing water element of my body from yesterday's blog -- I'm also learning how to cultivate the water in my garden. Indeed, it's all connected.

This morning I noticed that in the plants that I planted earlier in the spring season the water wets the surface soil and then flows away from the plant. Many of these plants are struggling with shallow roots and light-colored leaves. Later in the season, I spent more time working with the soil to help it hold more water and send it downward. These plants seem to be thriving better in the extreme heat of the summer. Just as the plants need a slow and steady stream of water to go deep into it's roots to bear fruit in the summer, a steady stream of faith deepens our roots and helps us to thrive.

Thursday, July 2

Moving Mountains #18

Today faith is telling me to SLOW DOWN.

There's this familiar little, old tick somewhere deep inside that's telling me I have to have EVERYTHING done before the holiday. What is everything? When I ask, it disappears. Like a trickster, the phantom of the mind seduces me into believing I need to be in a frenzy about all the things on my to do list.

I know that it's faith telling me to slow down because listening to it requires that I trust it. The more I trust it I notice that the trusting is not the hard part. The hard part is my addiction to the feeling that I have to get such and such done, get as many suches and suches done as I can possibly fit into today.

Well guess what? Faith is telling me to slow down, my body is craving a breathing meditation session with the accoutrement of all the aromatherapy oils, set to music with lots of ocean sounds. My craving today is not for the feeling of completing tasks but of the healing nature of self-nurture - a swim in the depths of an ice blue surf on an extremely hot day.

Wednesday, July 1

Moving Mountains Day #17

Have you ever stopped to think about the saying, "Hit the ground running"?
It used to be a big favorite of mine. The saying itself suggests, "Right now, I'm not at full throttle but get ready because I'm about to really go at it without any brakes."

We are not machines. When we live in the mindset that we must be on full-charge at all times our bodies wear down, our parasympathetic nervous system stays on constant guard - ready to react and perform, we drain the juice from our bodies and offer very little means of recharge. Then we wonder why we cannot sleep at night. We cannot expect our bodies to go like clockwork -from "hit the ground running," into a delta state of sleep -- unless we offer it some recharge. Cat naps, meditation, and breathing practices are just some of the ways to recharge. When recharge becomes routine, "hitting the ground running," becomes less important.

There is a concept in Ayurveda called ojas. Ojas is the water, the juice of our bodies that exists in a metaphorical well. Recharge and self care practices help keep the well full. Thus when we have a stressful day we can draw nourishment and healing from it.

Even though it is metaphorical, the idea of the well has saved my life. Before I knew about the well I was always sick with sinus infections and other minor illnesses that forced me to STOP running when I had hit the ground one too many times. Indeed, my well had dried up. When I began to picture the well inside me, I wanted to fill it. Yoga and breathing practices came easier. Also, I began an evening bedtime routine of oils and aromatherapy on my face and body which improved my sleeping and my overall well being.

Trusting faith is a very important aspect of ojas -- as the depth of ones faith effects the quality of ones well. Choosing to align with faith in any process or predicament reminds me that I am not alone, that I am supported. Faith reminds me that I no longer have to hit the ground running, that is the old way of being - survival mode. When I allow for recharge, the well is full, and I am thriving.