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Keep Life Moving

I had a blast on my birthday. My happiness meter hit a ten with all my birthday wishes, cards, emails and gifts. I was in such joy. I am hanging on to the thrill of it. I want to forever be surrounded by this good feeling.

A wise teacher once shared with me the importance of allowing emotions to keep moving through the body. Emotions come and go – the incredible highs and the devastating lows; the trembling fears and the raging hot floods of anger. Our bodies are vessels to experience all the emotions. I imagine my solar plexus area is an open window. I see panes on the window. I unlock the middle latch and open the window one side and then the other. The spring air lilts in. The curtains move with the light breeze. I smell moistness in the air and sense the blooming of spring. The birds are chirping. I can see and feel it as I stand in front of the window.

Thea and I decided to go for a ride yesterday to get out and do something different for my birthday. On the highway I noticed my joy was gone and the tense ache in my stomach and shoulders, a telltale sign of anxiety. Where did my joy go? As we drove toward the shore, I closed my eyes and felt the emotions I identified. I felt them in my stomach and my shoulders. I imagined the tension and the anxiety, the joy and the excitement all flow out the window. I use my breath to keep it moving.

Emotions are meant to be experienced. For too long I’ve filed them into the ‘keep forever’ file in my mind. I white-knuckle them into the perpetual ache in my body or the furrow in my forehead. I use my breath to keep them moving. Awareness is the first key. We are the artists that design our window and the scenery to receive our emotions.

Desiderata – Words for Life by Max Ehrmann, 1927

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,

they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain and bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals;

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment

it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him/Her to be,

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Participants’ Reflections:

• Feeling grounded and more solid. Appreciating it

• Joined a fun FB page about faces. I’ve been looking at faces and saying I love you. Feeling connection to faces of clouds

• Lovely to meditate with others. Thank you

• Meditation practices change over time

• Hearing the wind in my yurt, felt I was breathing with it. We are in cycles. things rise and fall.

In breath and out breath.

• Like idea of my body being a vessel that emotions flow through

• Being compassionate with self. I am worse on self when tired.

• Use breath to keep emotions flowing. Let sadness of putting cat down flow through me without guilt

• Like idea of 'Gracefully surrender things of youth' instead of trying to hang onto youthful state

• Like 'avoid loud people'. Had negative response thinking of people in my life. but in meditation got message to hold those people up to the light. Started to feel compassion and understanding. Freed me from negative reactions

• Can use this as a recipe for future times

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