Friday, April 12, 2013

Where is Your "Happy Place?" - Reconnecting through Nature

We come to the yoga mat to "reconnect." We do this because much of the time we obviously feel "disconnected." After a good yoga practice, all that felt off before class suddenly feels more aligned. We feel a sense of peace - inner and outer. The Yoga practice surely is a blessing for many people.

Have you wondered why you feel this constant disconnection from your own self - from Spirit? Is it because all the electronic devises we use cause disturbances in our own electromagnetic field? Is it because we walk or drive on pavements that have been placed over the Earth, blocking our ability to truly be grounded? Is it these things and more? Probably.

This week I took a day off and drove to upper Bucks County, PA. Even though I was in the car, just
driving through the wooded area gave me a feeling of inner peace that I had not felt in some time. It got me thinking about how I feel when I take a hike in a park or walk in the forrest. Those are my happy places - the places that allow me to reconnect with myself (as well as disconnect from the outside world) and rejuvenate my soul.

Why do I not make more time to be in nature? If I feel so good after being there, why do I not remember to go to those places when I am in need of being picked up? Why are the stretches in being there so few and far apart?

I know I am not alone. I know that most people feel that same replenishment after a walk on the beach or a trip to the mountains. The problem is that our lives: work, family, school, etc. all exist away from these places, and so they become our retreats in time of need instead of a constant nourishment.

Now that the weather is finally turning warmer, it is a perfect time to make a commitment to being in nature. Ideally once a day is needed, but this may not be available to many people. So make a commitment to once a week, or at the very least, once a month being in a natural setting and turning off the cell phones for a time.

There truly is nothing more fulfilling than sitting in stillness in nature. Listen to the sounds. Sniff the natural smells. Feel the moss, the sand, the rocks. Lie down and watch the leaves or clouds move slowly overhead or the waves slowly cascade up the shore and back. Allow yourself to truly taste nature in all the ways that you can.

For all of the smack that people talk about New Jersey, we are perfectly placed for almost any of your needs. In one hour we can be at the shore or in the mountains. In minutes we can be at a park or field. There is so much to experience close-by that all we need to do is make the time. Trust me, if you make the time, you will have more energy and will be more aligned so that you can go back to family, work and other commitments with a renewed vigor and excitement.

I guess the only question that remains is: Where is Your "Happy Place?"

Please share your special natural place with us by commenting!

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Good to Be The Fool

Ah, April 1st - April Fool's Day. A day of practical jokes and pranks. Maybe you look forward to pranking people each year, but if you are the prankee you need not worry because it's actually good to be the fool.

I recently watched an interview with Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Wayne Dwyer about "Being Extraordinary. They both talk about "being" - a state where we are universally connected with our divine Self and Universal Consciousness. In this state, they both discuss writing or lecturing without a plan - where they are a vessel that allows Spirit this Consciousness to work through them.

The difference between this Universal Consciousness and conscious thinking is being and doing - or the difference between being at oneness (connected) and doing out of ego (separated) - which is saying that you are working from a state of divine awareness vs. separate thought.

This made me think of the ancient Tarot deck with the card representing “0” is The Fool. It is commonly agreed that The Fool is not the lowest card in the Tarot Deck, as a thinking mind may define. Instead it is positioned uniquely as it could be the beginning or end of the Major Arcana. I have also heard it described as the exact middle between all positive and negative numbers, and by some also as the highest card in the deck.

When you look at the card, you see a figure with his arms held out wide, looking up toward Spirit, ready to embrace whatever is to come to him just as he appears about to step off a cliff - without a care in the world. While at first glance this may seem foolish, upon deeper reflection we realize that The Fool’s journey is one of pure, innocent Faith in Spirit and in a complete state of being.

Zen teachings say that you cannot learn anything new if you are already full. The Fool represents the ability to empty one’s mind - in order to find everything. Trust, Faith and Love are The Fool’s tools. While the thinking mind may feel that this is, well, "foolish," I believe that I'll trust our Spiritual Leaders on this one.

So, "Happy April Fool’s Day!"