One of the most delightful parts of creating this website has been the opportunity to write the weekly practices in conscious living.
To be able to come into the present moment with greater awareness offers the gift of choice - once we know we are here, and know what we're doing, we have the option to choose how we want to respond.
While we can't control what life brings our way, awareness offers the gift of a greater possibility of deciding how we want to move through what emerges in our daily experience. I hope you enjoy exploring and playing with these weekly practices - taking what works for you and leaving the rest behind. It helps to bring curiosity along as your constant companion and allow it to expand your awareness of sources of support all around you. - Nancy
One of my favorite dynamics when working with clients or managing my own internal process is to notice what’s in the foreground of awareness and what’s in the background. For me, there are certain qualities that are always in the background of my being, whether I’m aware of them or not.
One of these that is also always present in my body, within the core presence that is always inside me even when I’m not aware of it, is the quality of steadiness. Whenever I work with myself or anyone else, I inevitably invite bringing awareness to this ever-present steadiness before jumping into anything else. Also, related to the reference I made in last week’s practice about tapping into universal archetypes, I hold the belief in, and experience of, what I call the Spirit of Steadiness—what you might think of as the Archetype of Steadiness, the embodying presence that radiates this quality as its primary expression.
For this week’s practice, I’d like to share with you a “foreground/background” practice of bringing the steadiness that is always there in the background into the foreground of awareness as well as your embodied felt-sense. I’ll share it the way I’m used to doing, but I hope you’ll adapt what’s below to match what works best for you:Continue Reading
A friend of mine has been pretty consistently putting posts on Facebook that ask people to focus on what they are forrather than what they are against. These posts have been very helpful in reminding all of us that what we feed grows and that, when we spend our internal time fighting against something, we actually feed the very thing to which we object. From an energy perspective, it’s as though we’re actually turning up the volume on things we’d rather not hear at all.
One example that comes to mind at this time is the pervasive presence of expressions of lack of empathy for each other. Decisions by some lawmakers, treatment of neighbors by other neighbors, seeming lack of concern for one another’s well-being if we aren’t “part of the tribe” are found on every side these days. Rather than spending time expressing helpless rage at these conditions, I want to invite us to explore some alternatives.
First, there are approaches that convey the message, “What you fight, you feed.” This doesn’t mean not to take action when action is needed to change things or to intervene. Instead, it speaks to the habits of mind and self-talk we carry around with us internally every day, all day. From a Solution-Focused perspective (solution-focused therapy is a more modern branch of psychology), we are invited to look at, and to look for, what’s going right. For our practice here, I would add that we can ask ourselves to pay attention to the qualities we would like to see expressed more generously in ourselves and in the world around us.Continue Reading
One of the practices I’ve taken on even more actively these days is imagining that I am an open and always-available channel for the energy of universal love to flow through me as I move around in the course of my daily life activities. When I use the word “love”, I’m not referring to the personal kind but, instead, to my sense that the most potent healing energy in the universe is Love with a capital “L”.
It seems to me that this particular kind of “subtle activism” can be an addition to whatever else I, or we, may do to help heal our distressed world, our human family, and all our other earth kin. Imagining the energy of love flowing through me throughout the day doesn’t ask anything of me other than to bring my awareness to the process as often as I choose to do so. And, I feel somewhat confident in saying that choosing to be a channel for the healing quality of love probably doesn’t have a downside when we don’t personalize it…when we realize that we are, indeed, simply open channels for this universal energy to flow through us and into our world.
For years, I’ve had a practice of blessing everything around me. This particular practice became much more an ongoing part of my life when I went through seminary and was ordained as an Interfaith (now called Interspiritual) Minister back in 2003. In recent years, I’ve found that taking classes with David Spangler through his Lorian Association has helped me focus even more fully on these ways of moving through the world.Continue Reading