Tag Archive | Soul

Let Your Soul Giggle

* This post is dedicated to a new friend, a new reader of LBB.~   ** Please See Below

I like being mindful of all the wonders in the universe.
Maybe I have been whittling down risks lately because of some misguided fear of taking a risk with my heart. The safety factor in place. 
Safety in not venturing beyond or outside of my comfort zone.
No risks taking involved there.
While reading another blog about the blogger’s adventures on his weekend meanders. It woke me up. 
Hello.
Summer is over here in North America.
But also means my favorite season of the year is coming upon us.
 
I have been forgetting..
By being so caught up in just living I have forgotten that when we look upon the Universe with an open heart we allow our inner wanderer…. well…to wander.
The adventurer within us awakens, we make choices of which paths to follow.  
Making the most wide awake choices for our lives while watching to be mindful that we are not whittling down the choices out of fears just so that we are living without risk.
This cannot be loving the living of life to its maximum potential. 
 
Admittedly, there are times when living life isn’t about loving life quite so much. 
Thankfully for me these times have been few and short-lived enough that seeing the light in the storm again was fast & forth coming. I know this is not necessarily true for everyone. And I certainly do not mean to minimize this is any way.
Finding that light sometimes takes practice, which I mean in terms of utilizing skills and tools on a regular routine so that if and when that light starts to dim you can find the candles you need. In the dark. Quickly.
It absolutely is about finding those things that will allow your soul to giggle again and bring you back into the full brilliance of your life. 
 
When this happens in my life I hear my spirit calling me out. 
I feel my spirit almost screaming within my soul, typically its that call out for a revival. 
For a ‘revival’ in my world I pull out all the stops. I lift the lid completely off my tool box that over the years I created, it holds the tools I need that help soothe my soul, heal my heatbreaks, and repair my mental wounds.
Candles included at no charge.
I start looking for the right tool, for the right job. 
 
,My Spirit
Takes Flight
I am hopeful
and I am free;
To express
To Explore
To begin
To be Me

( from my journal  12 February 1999- Seattle Washington )
 
Having a tool box filled with skills that can saw right through shadows that tend to try to diminish living in brilliant light can lessen the impact of those shadows. 
The shadow might still will be there, but you will have found that favorite set of candles, and you can begin lighting your way back to where the light shines again, without assistance. 
 
Tools & skills are the necessary component for any job, and lets face it, living is a full-time job. Why not have a tool box full of life skills and tools? 
 
 I have had this list in a journal since the mid 1990’s when my health took a nose dive into a shadow that took me out of the equation of loving living life for four years. I began to fight my way back without any toolbox created initially…. Building as I learned.
I had to start collecting tools on the fly. 
 Lessons were learned, and looking back at old journal writing in recent days I have been reminded so beautifully that said tool box of mine that I gave moved with me twice is still filled to the brim with expensive & customized tools. I paid a lot in my life to earn them. I should use them.
Filled with the life lessons that became my mental tool box that help me stay grounded.
 
I thought since I was in obvious need of the gentle reminders lately that sharing them out loud would help create a permanent mind-set for me. A mind-set that when I see the light flickering warning of a pending storm that I recognize it right away. Before all the brilliance is dimmed completely. 
I do well to remember and go directly for my tool box. 
So I am sharing. 
  • Pace Yourself:
The first and most important thing to be mindful of is relaxing all muscle tension; taking deep and slow cleansing breathes. Let go of all body tension by practicing relaxation techniques (the Internet has a plethora to choose from)
Re-examine and reflect on any stressful circumstances with a relaxed body so your choices are clear. 
Let go of any stress you have no control over. Change how you think about it, maybe change your expectations. 

 

  • Create & Strengthen your mental muscle. 
Be real about your personal needs and wants for yourself, while also expressing them to those important in your life-where applicable.  Don’t settle for less.
 Turn your limitations into your dreams and hopes.assets.
Get outside of your own head. 
Look at life through some one else’s eyes and their perspective.
 Have empathy for others, so you may empathize with yourself.
Remember there is never just one way to do something. We have the choice to choose from many. 
 
  • Make Work & Pleasure a balance. 
Have a GOOD time loving your life.
Be active in your days, doing what feels good to move your body.
Make your work enjoyable, not dreaded.
Reflect on what things you know will bring you pleasure,
 And Do them.
Eat & sleep well. Don’t sweat it when you cannot. 
Keep connected with people you enjoy. And/or animals.(domestic or otherwise)
 Make an effort to open yourself to new friendships. 
I have said it before and it’s worth repeating; I am meeting the most amazing people these days.
Finding and making new friendships is the quite possibly the most priceless of tools to have inside that tool box. It might even be said it is a skill. 
 
* * I recently became friends with a woman whose name is Donna. I want to share here how this “amazing” woman blew me away. Her kindness of friendship in reaching out to me by taking a moment to share what she was thinks about my writing still leaves a smile in my heart today. This friend knows the skill & art of making friends, and nurturing friendships. I have a sense she knows how important this is.
She made my soul giggle with delight,
This post is for her.  Thank you so much Donna (from FB)
 
Open yourself to new friends. New possibilities. 
 
  • Make a personal plan of action.

Take time to be alone with your reflective thoughts. Think, examine, summarize, and discover all your options before you decide. 

Then plan. Then execute. 
If your light in your loving life begins to dim, have that tool box at the ready. Know without much thought the candle needs to be lit, and tbat know where exactly you have your candles stashed for emergencies. 
 
Remember this gem my grandmother use to say ” every storm runs out of rain.”
Do something every day that feeds your spirit.
Make that something be what puts a giggle in your soul today.
©tjtaylor
 

On Mindfulness: This Moment In Time.


Through all these times 

I wondered about:

 the wounds of my soul,

all the mistakes, 

and all of the miracles.

~

Through the tears,

through the laughter,

along the side.

I obsessed.

I sighed.

~

And then

I begin 

to let go. 

~

Sighing,

 finally

letting go,

 always returning 

to the silence.

Over and over.

It heals my soul.

 

I am certain this is not news to anyone that trying to live a philosophy or concept you believe in 100% can still be trying. 

For instance just the day to day logistics can try to get in the way, and old habits are hard to break even when you want to. 

 

Some say Being Mindful of the Moment is just an expression, I disagree. “No surprise there” I hear someone saying. 

it’s true I believe mindful is a verb.

 

I often use to find myself feeling needy of knowing what tomorrow would bring. Today I know this is a feeling I do not have to react to, it is not my need to know what tomorrow will bring. 

Because in all honesty my future is not where I want to be. I want to be mindful of just this moment. I want to be fully present in the here and now.

But because often with that needing to know I could also make myself wicked crazy waiting for the answers.

 

I could. 

I did.

For some time. 

 

It has only been in the last decade of my life that the realization and wisdom come to me that fretting over what tomorrow or even hours from now will bring serves no rational purpose. Least of all it does not serves me.  

I’ve researched, studied, observed, absorbed, and experimented with ways to help myself remain mindful of Staying in the Moment. I needed some lessons, teachings, or maybe some magic tricks that would help me remember to be mindful.

It is too easy to fall back into old habits, old ways of thinking, even when we are trying to change our thinking to grow and enhance our life’s journey

 

Once I had some logistics in place, some ‘teachings’ I could grasp, that which allow now to be gently reminded to remain in this moment by practicing these lessons daily. 

 

First three teachings:

1. Practice Self-Love.  (Another verb.)

2. Practice Self-Compassion 

        &

3 Practice Self-Forgiveness

 

Practicing even one of these teachings helped me remain grounded, to retain a balance in my small world in the beginning. I say go slow..

It was quite remarkable how when I chose just one teaching that seemed like magic in that it helped decrease my level of predilection for wanting (read need) to know what the future is going to bring. 

 

How do we remain in the moment, to stay mindful of the here and the now? It’s the only space of time that matters. This time.. right no.w

In the spirit of this blog I’d like to share the teachings that work for me. My wish is that you are able to take something away, and please be welcome to leave something behind in your comment.

  • I wear or carry “totems” (an Native North American term) sometimes also referred to as prayer beads, worry stones, or even amulets. My affinity for doing so came from my youth. I found great comfort in a “smoothed by time” river rock in the shape of a flat heart.  I found beautiful comfort in holding its warm stone between my forefinger and thumb, or in the closed palm of my hand. I loved the connection with earth as a girl, I treasure it now as an adult woman.

  • *On Mediation: I prefer to mediate regularly; typically it is once every day for at least 15-20 minutes. I found it is that regular practice of meditation that really starts to shape my mind and the way it works. I have heard that this has been backed up by the latest brain studies. I find it easier to maintain focus, have that stillness of mind I am looking for. Being mindful is becoming my norm.

 

  • Journaling: This is probably not a surprise to those of you who know a bit about me. Keeping a daily journal of my goals and my accomplishments while articulating (what I like to think are wise thoughts) into my way of living can be remarkably effective. Absolutely it’s a habit that requires practice. A lot of practice. Journaling at night when I can’t sleep and reviewing in the morning helps keep these teachings alive throughout the day.

  • Reminder Notes: By placing inspirational/motivational notes, and self-affirmations around my small world (as done even on this post) these become helpful reminders for staying grounded and not getting distracted. This can be favorite quote, important concept, notes from loved ones,  or even a short narrative or a poem. A personal favorite are two prayers sent from a very good friend who is one of my spiritual mentors.

 

  • Mind-fullness Alarms:  I loved this teaching especially when I began my quest of mindfulness. Although I don’t do this as a norm anymore; setting alarms to go off at regular intervals throughout the day can be a very effective teaching to help kick-start good mindful habits. This is especially helpful when marathon writing by the way. Having that reminder alarm helps me to get out of my head for a time with regularity.  


It is also important I believe to note of what to be mindful of. Buddhists refer to this as the Right Thought and Right View. 

 Things that consume us during the day, like anger, fear, worry, or frustration, comes from unwise or misguided perspectives. Having a wider & more open mind to other perspectives than our own is a big help. I heard once about a very effective practice of referring to the issues of certain circumstances in our life as “third-world problems”. This is short-hand for a reminder that while dealing with issues we think are monumental, we might instead be mindful that there are people in our world who don’t have access to enough to eat.

It is all about perspectives.

And how we think.

 Can this kind of daily practice of mindfulness achieve a state of bliss In The Moment? 

For thousands of years, practitioners have reported greater happiness and tranquility when we are able to stay In The Moment’ 

 

 So….I think… I shall stay right here in this moment….this here and now – and absorb it for all its worth. 

And this moment in time? 

Priceless!

 

 

Signature 2013

Humble Butterfly

Humble  Butterfly

Butterfly Meaning and Animal Symbolism of the Butterfly

Symbolic Butterfly

  Soul

* Grace  *  Growth *

Time

* Elegance * Expansion * Lightness * Surrender * Transition * Expression * Celebration* Resurrection *

  * Vulnerability *

All these  *attributes the humble Butterfly represents.

In soul-searching and growing through my own journey I often find myself crossing paths with these attributes. It has been a long year;  one which I have not always been cognizant of the changes taking place, changes  that have been allowing  me to honor the me I have always been meant to be.

I have during this time struggled with being the kind of friend, person, the human being, who I have always been proud of. I have let people down during my metamorphosis. I have been neglectful. Yet I have also come to understand that like for the caterpillar’s transformation into the butterfly this is all part of life’s transitions. In the resurrection of the authentic me I will find I have only been migrating, and that metamorphous  will not be as difficult as it once seemed. If only I let go and surrender to Mother Nature.       

I have always found  Symbolic connections with  Mother Nature’s critters & animals and see it as  a powerful way to connect with Mother Nature and learn life lessons from her. – lessons that apply to my own life.

Years ago I was doing the same in consideration of my children’s lives.  At different points throughout my life I have found certain associations with life’s lessons and natures wild life.  When my two daughters were children I often would use the associations with animals and emotions to explain life to them.  Some would be as silly as an expression we used in my youngest daughter’s Montessori school;  which was simply the expression “Silly Coyote” – referring to someone being a “silly coyote” in the classroom. the children could all easily relate, they understood.

Or it could be something with great significance to me like I am sharing here – about the butterfly.

Observing the butterfly and learning her symbolic meanings offers me an opportunity to apply her movements to my life. For example, I relate the butterfly’s stages of life to my own life-phases…growing pains, times of ravenous hunger, times of vulnerability, moments of miraculous expansion, periods of vulnerabilities.

The more I look for symbolism in nature, the more I realize we as humans have a lot in common with animals, insects, and life in the wild.  Indeed, we are intimately connected with the animal [queen] kingdom. I don’t believe we can be separated from nature and her movements, nor should we want to be.

I am fascinated that cultural myth and folklore that seem to honor the butterfly as a symbol of transformation because of her impressive process of metamorphosis. From caterpillar to cocoon, and from the cocoon the butterfly emerges with her wings soaring.

“Soaring Free” painting by Joan Marie @ fineartamerica.com

There are life lessons we can learn from her. She represents life changes and transformations necessary to navigate the metamorphoses of own lives.

She who changes from what she began as, to what she becomes, in a months time. Because this is for her a complete life span.

The Butterfly asks us to accept our growth, and our changes as casually as she does her own. She embraces the changes to her body, and to her environment.

Her unwavering acceptance  to these changes are also a symbol of Faith. The Butterfly asks us to keep the Faith as we undergo transitions in our lives, and in our world. She understands that our worrying, stressing, frustration, and even anger are useless against the turning tides of nature – she asks us to recognize the same.

I believe that tapping into a kind of animal symbolism is closely related  to tapping into our own souls;  because frankly we are inseparable from nature and her creatures.

butterflies free  edited x1

In fact,  I found interestingly enough that in many cultures the butterfly is associated with the soul connecting our animal symbolism of faith with the butterfly.

Let me add that in my research about the bond between the butterfly symbol and human nature  I discovered that in Greek mythology  the psyche (which literally translates to mean “soul) is represented in the form of a butterfly. I think I knew that once, but it never had the connections it holds for me today.

Today I can relate & even bond with the traits of a butterfly that so deeply resonate within myself. Within those even closest to me.

So, tell me if you will please, just where do you find yourself in your own metamorphosis?

Giver_ProudWBN_forFB

2013-Participant-Campfire-Square-Button

Signature 2013