Stories

Finding Grace in Challenge Part 4: Finding Grace in Wisdom

By Theresa D-Litzenberger

 

In any challenging life experience, I seek relief through some kind of comfort. Often, the best comfort comes from the wisdom of another person or from an inner wisdom of my own gained from previous life experience.

 

Finding Grace in Challenge Part 2: Vulnerability

Have you ever avoided someone you know and like because you don’t know what to say?  Or gone down the opposite grocery aisle because you don’t remember a friend or acquaintances name?  This is the common, every day vulnerability that challenges me so often.  Sometimes I imagine that there are perfect people out there who always know what to say and never forget names.  Actually, I don’t think they exist other than in my imagination.   So, this is for all of us who are real, who make mistakes, forget things, and get embarrassed.

Finding Grace in Challenge Part 1: Healthy Boundaries

I don’t have a lot in common with my neighbor.  He likes to rebuild cars and go hunting- I like to work in my garden and have summer bar-b-cues.  But there is one thing that we share, and that is the boundary line between our properties.  Usually when we think of boundaries, we think of something that separates us from someone else. 

Aging With Wisdom by Theresa D-Litzenberger

Aging is something we do every day without really giving it much thought until the moment we realize, oh my gosh, where have the years gone? We have this uncanny human ability to put aging outside of ourselves as though it only happens to other people. And then one day we realize we are older than we ever imagined we would be.

The Ripple Effect of Kindness

I work for A Book for All Seasons, a small, independent bookstore in downtown Leavenworth, Washington. Over the holidays, I noticed that despite the busyness, the crowds, and the moments when people could barely move until one person inched forward so another person could inch to the right and thus clear the way for more movement from one place to another, people acted with courtesy, respect and kindness.

A New Year's Revolution: Loving Ourselves Just as We Are

Happy New Year!

My wish for 2018 is to accept and love the strange places in myself. I send this wish to all of you as well. I wish you love and acceptance in even the strangest of places in yourselves. It is the beauty of being human, that we all have these gems of strangeness.

Dear friends.

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. ........

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