One of my daily practices is to post an inspirational quotation and nature photograph to the Facebook page of Devadana Sanctuary and to the Devadana Sanctuary website at www.portaltomdl.com each morning. A surprising gift that comes to me as part of this practice is to be able to look at our beautiful planet at the beginning of each day as I choose the photograph of the day. As I review the library of inspirational quotations that I collect along the way, each morning also offers an immersion in the wisdom of so many inspiring people.
As I prepared the posting for today, I came across a couple of quotations that stuck with me and I want to share them here. They touched me because they speak to the ways in which our moment-to-moment, day-to-day choices make a difference in how we move through our world and in what we contribute—or don’t—to our collective well-being. Here are the quotations that caught my attention: Read More “723rd Week: Making A Difference, Choice by Choice”
Sitting in my living room on a Sunday morning, I’m filled with the gift of silence. No city noises disturb the quiet this morning and that is a great gift. It has gotten me to thinking about the brain research I’ve mentioned before that reflects the benefits of silence in fundamental and literal ways.
One of the benefits of having quiet time, time spent in silence, is that we gain access to our default mode network. This is the aspect of brain activity where we allow our minds to wander, to think deeply, to listen to our internal experience. All it requires is for us to move away from distractions and give ourselves quiet time to simply be present to our awareness.
Another reason to seek out times of silence is that research has shown that two hours of silence daily can lead “…to the development of new cells in the hippocampus, a key brain region associated with learning, memory and emotion.” In addition to this, we know that noise pollution raises blood pressure and creates stress for both body and mind. According to researchers, “Just as too much noise can cause stress and tension, research has found that silence has the opposite effect, releasing tension in the brain and body.” These findings were reported in the Huffington Post by Carolyn Gregoire and shared by Daily Good a while back.Read More “816th Week: Return to Silence”
Often as I walk through Central Park, I thank workers along the way for the help they offer in keeping the park a wonderful place to spend time. Yesterday I thanked a worker and he said, “We love this park, so we love this work.” This morning I thanked a garbage man for helping to make our city more livable. I always thank the postal carriers at both my office and at home when I see them, along with people from all the various delivery services that bring packages filled with things that make my life work. Without these people, life would be very different.
As I move through New York City, I pay attention to people whose job it is to support the rest of us, people who help make our lives easier to navigate. For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to do the same and, if you are already someone who thanks people along the way, ramp it up a bit and see how that feels. Gratitude brings its gifts not only to those we thank but to us, as well. It has the power to lift our spirits, as well as those who receive gratitude from us.
Our sense of well-being is nourished when we engage in expressing gratitude to the people around us. We are more likely to remember that we are part of a community and that, without the whole community, we wouldn’t be able to live our lives in the ways we do. This awareness of community can also remind us of the underlying interdependence that is fundamental to human existence. We depend on one another for just about every aspect of our lives and taking the time to thank people we don’t know and may never see again helps to reinforce an awareness of just how much we need one another.Read More “744th Week: Expressing Gratitude”
I’ve written quite a bit lately about frequencies and the foreground/background dynamics of our underlying wholeness. One of the practices that, for me, is an effective and useful tool in affecting the quality of both my inner and outer life experience is taking time to choose the frequencies with which I want to resonate.
As I’ve described a number of times, what I mean by “frequency” is the tone and quality of what we experience and embody, and what we radiate into the world around us in every moment. For example, think of people you meet who seem to exude a sense of curiosity, delight, kindness, friendliness, etc. And, also, think of people you meet who seem to exude a quality of anger, fear, harshness, etc. These are all frequencies, and they are the tangible expressions of the qualities with which we resonate and which we radiate into our environment—both consciously and unconsciously. Most of the time, many of us—if not most—are unconscious of the these qualities, and we aren’t taught about how they tangibly affect our internal and external experiences.
Another aspect of our relationship to frequencies is the fact of our wholeness. Everything we have experienced and are is ever-present as part of our underlying and inescapable wholeness. When I teach about wholeness, I emphasize the fact that there’s nothing about us we can “get rid of” or “erase”. Instead, our wholeness is always with us, with some aspects of self expressing in the foreground of our experience and others sliding into the background. In this work with frequencies, we aren’t being asked to get rid of negative or troublesome aspects of ourselves. Instead, we are invited to choose a frequency that we want to experience in the foreground of our experience even as we allow our awareness to enfold all of what constitutes our wholeness.
This is where I call on the metaphor of a kaleidoscope, which I’ve shared many times. When we turn the tube of a kaleidoscope, all the pieces shift into a new pattern. Sometimes, a color we haven’t seen for quite a while may pop into view while another drops away. This is the way I think of the dynamics of wholeness: aspects of ourselves slide into the foreground while others drop into the background.Read More “854th week: Choose Your Frequency”
As we know, the one thing we can depend on in life is change. What I’ve learned in my years as a psychotherapist who specializes in treating trauma is that it makes a big difference if we have time to prepare for change. When life brings unexpected changes, it’s often much more difficult to meet and adapt to those kinds of change in a relatively comfortable way. In my years of teaching Somatic Experiencing, one of the many important things I have learned is that readiness allows our nervous system to meet and move through change in ways that tend to be less traumatic compared to what we experience when something unexpected jumps into our experience. Read More “705th Week: Preparing for Change”