Going through old files from my office, I came across an article from 1972 which described a process created by Yvonne Martine and taught to me by my mother and grandmother when I was a young person. It’s about a process of “breathing color” to create healing, physical and emotional vitality, and other outcomes. When I reread the article, I decided to begin to use the process more regularly as a form of “energy hygiene” for personal use, as well as a form of subtle activism for collective healing.
Reading the article reminded me that various colors relate to healing and nourishing different aspects of the body and psyche. My limited understanding of working with color is that each color represents a particular frequency and I know from my experience that shifting frequencies/qualities can shift a mood, a physical symptom, the quality in a room, and more. My first recent experience with breathing pink, which is the most fundamental of Yvonne’s color breathing exercises, arose recently when I woke up two mornings in a row feeling discouraged and in a funk over our collective situation. It’s very unusual for me to go into a funk, so I was glad to have a practice I could engage that might make a difference. After two days of breathing pink, I awoke on the third day and was back to my usual self. I could only imagine that breathing pink shifted the frequency with which I was resonating and allowed me to return to my more normal way of being.
My experience is that this particular color—rosy pink, specifically—naturally stimulates and orients itself to our heart intelligence and perceptions. As I’ve explored the heart’s perception and intelligence over recent years, it’s become clear to me that the heart sees and interprets experience quite differently than does the head brain. I sense that rosy pink supports cultivating the heart’s perspective and I feel that’s one of the most important things any of us can do at this time. The more I have spent time breathing and imagining rosy pink, the more at ease I have become, even in the presence of challenges. The effect is tangible and noticeable and I can’t shake the feeling that it has to do with having an even more open heart as a result of resonating with the frequency of the rosy pink.Read More “809th Week: Energy Hygiene and Subtle Activism”
Over recent months, I have found myself painfully aware of everything I throw in the trash in the course of my everyday life. Being a long-time recycler, I’ve always been mindful of my use of paper, bottles, cans, and other recyclables. Lately, I’ve been aware of all the plastic that lands in my trashcan, with new additions just about every day. About a year ago, I started shopping with canvas bags and stopped using small plastic bags for produce at the grocery store. While these steps won’t save the planet, they do cut down on the amount of plastic that moves through and from my home.
This deepened awareness of plastic, and all the photos we now see of what plastics are doing to the inhabitants of our oceans and other waterways, got me to thinking about the natural capacity we humans have to generate options when confronted by circumstances that demand change.
Confronted as we are by mounting evidence that our current lifestyle cannot continue unchanged, I got to thinking about the importance of our innate curiosity, flexibility, and ability to generate options when circumstances require change. Drawing on these skills as part of everyday living is like engaging in exercise each day. It builds a kind of “psychological muscle” that allows curiosity, flexibility, and an ability to generate options to become more readily and spontaneously available as part of how we engage the world around us.Read More “752nd Week: Cultivating Flexibility”
Each morning, I post an inspirational quotation and a nature photo to the Devadana Sanctuary website and also to the Devadana Sanctuary page on Facebook. This morning, as I looked through all the photos I have available to post, I again felt so deeply moved by the beauty of our earth. This got me to thinking about all the various quotations I find that have to do with loving our earth as our mother, as our true home.
As I looked through prior posts, I became aware of how important it has become to me to take in something inspiring at the beginning of each day. For me, looking at images of our beautiful planet touches an important place in my being and helps me orient to the love I have for our earth and all the life within and on it. For me, taking time to love our planet, to love the nature that gives us life, automatically invites us to shift into heart awareness. The perception and intelligence of the heart (the heart-brain, actually), tends to naturally offer a different perspective than does the brain we carry around in our heads.
I am also moved by beautiful music or by the sound of birdsong, stories about acts of kindness, encountering a fur-friend, and more. Sources of inspiration might be different for you. For this week’s experiment, I invite you to pay even more attention to what brings you inspiration and deepens your heart awareness. Also, notice what happens when you remember to shift to something inspiring if you begin to feel overloaded by the challenges, suffering, and hardships you either experience personally or see happening in your world. If you don’t already start your day with inspiring input, notice what may be different about your experience of entering the day if you include something in your morning routine that offers you inspiration.
It’s helpful to remember that finding inspiration needn’t require anything special. There may be a plant in your living room that gives you pleasure and it may be inspiring to see new growth there. Or, you may have a piece of artwork or an object that brings a smile each time you look at it. It’s a matter of orienting to the quality of inspiration and then to noticing how you feel in your heart space when you engage this quality.
As with all these practices, there is no right way to engage this one. It is one more opportunity to become more deeply aware of how the quality of your consciousness, of where you orient your attention, affects the quality of your inner life. Bringing along curiosity as your constant companion supports discovering new sources of inspiration along the way. And, remembering to pat judgments on the head as they arise, move through, and move on, letting them go without having to engage them, can support an ever-deepening connection with whatever inspiration may offer itself to you.
Given the conflicted state of our human family, a state we’re more aware of than ever with our globally interconnected network on the web, practices that support a sense of relatedness are needed for all of us. I’ve written many times about how we are kin not only with every other human being on the planet but also with every other lifeform. All of us are born of this planet, which makes all of us part of one earth family.
I started to write a practice on lovingkindness, which I’ve written about many times, and then found myself shifting into thinking about a practice more focused on recognizing our kinship with one another from a particular perspective—from what Thich Nhat Hanh has described: we interare. He has coined a word, a verb, which is also a concept: interbeing. Charles Eisenstein uses this concept in his work, as well, and I recommend watching videos of his on YouTube. Interbeingmeans that we are inescapably interconnected and interdependent, that there is no way for us to be separate from one another nor from the ecological framework of our source of physical life—from Nature, from every functioning aspect of our planet and all the lifeforms on it.Read More “777th Week: Revisiting the Reality of Interbeing”
When I woke up this morning, I noticed that I was feeling a sense of hopelessness around the edges and this is an unusual response in me. Rather than make up any stories about what it meant—above and beyond the obvious challenges we currently face collectively as well as individually, I found myself turning to my tried and true sources of grounding, practices that help me return to a steady sense of presence.
There are two reasons I stay on top of this. First is my belief in collective consciousness and I don’t want to add extra distress to what is already a powerful experience happening to many people in our human family. The second reason is that I know how easy it is to inadvertently add activation to an already-distressing internal state and I have spent many years learning how not to do that. Adding activation to activation doesn’t help me or anyone and, when it leads to a sense of overwhelm and potential shutdown, can keep many of us from engaging in those actions that really could make a difference.
I’ve written about two practices I use all the time and I think they can’t be described often enough, especially these days. So, I offer them below, as I have a number of times before, and again invite you to experiment with them to find out if there are ways these approaches may also be useful to you.Read More “808th Week: Easing Distress”