A Season For Everything

My boys at Skunk Hollow

My boys at Skunk Hollow

Summer 2013 is officially over. I know, I know, it is not technically over as the solstice is later this month, but “summer” in the Page household is O-V-E-R. I say that with both nostalgia and joy. The nostalgia is that this season of my boys’ lives is speeding by. This summer they all started wearing deodorant; only one of them needs it. Have you ever seen a 7-year-old put on deodorant-it is very funny! This summer was magical; we spent A LOT of time together, we surfed, rainbow loomed, hiked, went on long trips, danced, made up rap songs, got annoyed at each other-then tried to worked it out. I am keenly aware that all of this time and togetherness is fleeting. My joy for this change of season comes from having a little more personal space and time while my boys are at school. I am ready for more structure with meals and bedtime and school work. And, as much as my boys think they would love to be foot-loose and fancy- free forever and ever, what they actually need is this change of season. We all do!

This song by the Byrds has been floating in my head this week:

To Everything There Is a Season, by The Byrds

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it’s not too late!

New blog post at MindBodyGreen

Have you ever seen the website MindbodyGreen? It is one of my favorites, and not only because they publish my stuff! Check out my new blog post on their site or below!

6 Ways To Cultivate Wisdom And Presence

Sometimes we are not able to "touch" deeper levels of wisdom and presence until we're ready. The spiritual path has no finish line or destination; it's a singular journey onto ourselves. Mostly we need to get out of our own way and simply ALLOW. 

I have found that allowing requires practice, just like coming onto our yoga mats and practicing breathing and foot placement, or going to soccer practice and doing the touches over and over again. It's through this precise practice that we're able to set the stage and allow ourselves to "touch-in" to a deeper knowing and to show up in each moment with presence.

I have found several ways to practice this throughout a typical day:

1. Practice gratitude. 

Every morning, really every new moment, is a chance to count our blessings. Gratitude practice makes exactly what you have in this moment enough.

2. Practice kindness. 

In this culture of busy-ness where we all do so much and move at such a fast pace, sometimes kindness can get lost. Rushing around is a kindness killer. If we can just stop, breath and offer a kind smile to ourselves, or someone else, we begin to stop the cycle of frenetic behavior that dehumanizes all of us.

3. Practice patience. 

Patience is like the twin to kindness. When we practice patience we are able to be more kind. Usually it only takes a breath and a moment to remember that we all deserve patience. The key to patience is that it begins with yourself, exactly where you are.

4. Practice love. 

"All we need is Love...." The Beatles go it right. Just like patience, love must begin with ourselves. This is not an ego filled, stand in front of the mirror admire ourselves type of love fest. This requires you to shift your awareness to your heart and give your self the love that you would give an adorable dog, cat, kid, etc. When we cultivate Loving-kindness within ourselves, we are able to spread that love more freely.

5. Remember to breathe. 

Just breathe, it really is that simple. Breath is the gift of life. As children we breathe deep into our belly’s and generally live more freely. As we get older, our breath moves up to our chests and shoulders. We begin to lose the connection to our breath and bodies and live in a state of constant fight or flight. When we reconnect with our breath, we can begin to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and cultivate a state of rest and digest. This is no small thing and takes lots of practice!

6. Allow stillness. 

It is in the stillness that all of this integrates. When we allow ourselves time to be still and quiet, we begin to draw a road map of sorts. This road map is like a road map to sanity. We begin to let-go more and touch into that deeper place where all of our wisdom lies. From this place we can be fully present.

I have a Secret and it is Silence

In an article I wrote for MindModyGreen I share 12 observations about a weekend of Silence.

I recently spent 62 hours in silence at a meditation retreat at Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. Here’s what I learned.

  1. Silence is not always quiet
  2. Food tastes infinitely better, or worse, when you eat slowly, quietly and mindfully.
  3. Silence let me see that I was tired and I require more sleep than I have been allowing myself.
  4. Being alone and quiet is just as important in my life as being with loved ones, eating well and exercising. For it is in the silence that I can hear God whisper in my heart.
  5. Silence allows me to pay attention precisely to the chatter in my mind and then I can choose to let the noise go and rest in being.
  6. Silence showed me that I attach stories to my feelings and that makes the feelings heavier. If I allow myself to just feel the feelings without the cloak of stories, I am lighter and more free.
  7. Silence allowed me to listen to my body closely and hear that my body needs to move. Both slow mindful movement and fast heart pounding mindful movement.
  8. Being silent and paying attention in a mindful way with 100 other people reminded me that we are all Divine beings who have more in common than we do different.
  9. Being silent reminded me that I feel connected to the outdoors. That it is important for me to go outside and listen to the wind, look up in the sky, feel the rain, hear the trees sing.
  10. I learned that stillness is ever-present regardless of the situation. This stillness is Divine. To attune to it,  all we have to do is pay attention to our breath and drop into our body to see what is already and always present.
  11. In my silence, I remembered how important it is to take time every day to be still, quiet and reconnect.
  12. Silence is strong but soft.

Many people have asked me if this was a fun or awesome or a horrible experience. Some people have looked at me like I am weird. Others asked how could I bear to be away from my three precious children for that long and …. all for some silence?!

My response is that it was a profound experience. I came home more grounded, clear and free of the burdens I thought I had.

It’s like taking out the trash or cleaning out that junk drawer. I now have more space to be present. And, YES, I will go away again and be SILENT. But probably not next weekend.