Stories

Mindful

Mindful Facilitation As I was standing in the check out lane at the local grocery store, I noticed how prevalent the word Mindful has become. From Oprah's glossy cover "Tips for Mindful Living, to tabloid headlines that promise a "Mindful Romance", it seems as though Mindfulness, like gluten free, has found footing in the consciousness of American pop culture.

The Essence of Elder Hood

Throughout human history elders have played an integral and influential role in the wellbeing of our families and our communities. Elders have been the keepers of traditions and knowledge, passing their often hard earned life skills from one generation to the next. Their life experience, in and of itself, was sufficient enough to elevate them to a place of honor and respect. Their life wisdom became an appreciated sanctuary for counsel and support.

Taking Inventory aka Breath, Ground, Relax

In a mindful life there is a strong correlation between expanding our awareness and becoming empowered. In navigating the terrain of relationships, expanding the awareness in regards to how we interface with otheres becomes an exceptionally handy tool.

This useful bit of awareness arises from consciously knowing, distinguishing, and then choosing to move from a reactive state to a responsive state. A reactive state, or reaction, occurs when we feel threatened. When we are in a reaction certain physiological events occur. We get tense, our breathing changes, and we become ungrounded. This is the classic fight/flight/freeze experience. On the other hand, when we are in a response, our physiology demonstrates that we are fully present, un-tense in our physical body, relaxed in our breath, and deeply grounded in our energy. There is a balance between our mental process, our emotional world and our physical body. Our cellular system is not in ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ mode. We have not donned the mask of “I’m OK” as our cellular body tenses up and our breathing stops. Our behavior is true to who we are in the present authentic moment

. The American scholar Joseph Campbell states it well. “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”

In our mindful efforts to deepen relational contact, it is vitally important to distinguish a reaction from a response. Quite simply, when we are in a reaction, we are not in contact. We can use our physical body as an instrument to help us decipher a reaction from a response.

As we do this, we bring greater awareness into our relationships and we can consciously take the steps necessary to move from one to the other. This is exceptionally useful and very empowering. ........

Karma, Kindness, & Courage 2016

KARMA

“The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast.”

Bob Dylan

 

“My mother had polio”, she said, her voice rueful and resigned. A slow exhale revealed that her experience had been long and suffering. “It was her karma”, she continued. Followed by the question that always hovers around the topic of karma, “I wonder what she did in her previous life to warrant such a painful experience in this life?”

The Experience of Life

A disturbing but prevalent perception in our society is that once people stop working or volunteering or being active, they have no value. Elder Speak is the forum to challenge that story. In truth, Elders are a valuable thread in our society. They are the binding in the cloth that keeps our communities resilient. Their value is in their lived experience, and Elder Speak gives them the freedom to express it. Elder Speak is the forum where our community is reminded of the foundation of leadership provided by the wisdom of our elders.

Perspectives on Rebirth from a Bat

Today I went outside and opened my eyes, my nose, ears and all of my senses to this miraculous change of seasons that somehow happens, just happens.  Other things seem to just happen.  In this day I have known; massive pieces of Earth moving, snow sliding, illnesses claiming those full of youth and women and men mourning the loss of new life that never left the womb.  All of this circling, cycling in the midst of green grass growing, leaves unfurling, wings opening to sunny skies and babies being held for the first time and breathing in life.  The abruptness is almost as shocking as the con

Spring Reflections submitted by Heather Butler

Spring is in the air…the earth is shaking off it’s winter coat and slowly waking up through cleansing rains and blossoming flowers. This is the constant reminder of the continuous movement of the earth…it’s consistency, it’s reawakening. However, sometimes it seems so odd…the earth continues in the way that is so familiar to us, but our lives don’t always continue to move the way we think or expect them to.

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