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On Sunday, May 2nd, I will be a part of a Holistic Seminar, hosted by SOL Pilates FIT. Please join me for a chakra clearing meditation. The event will be held at the Extraordinary Beginnings unit at 5261 Hwy 7 in Markham, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. To register call 416.948.SOUL (7685) or email lynne.stewart@solpilatesyoga.com

Do you live in the Greater Toronto Area? Please join me for a
meditation class at SOL Pilates and Yoga Studio in Markham. The class will be held at 7 p.m. on alternate Fridays. Please contact me for additional details.

Do you long for a relaxing treatment for your mind, body and spirit? I'm now accepting clients for Reiki treatments. To register for a class or to book a treatment, please contact me. I look forward to seeing you!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Reviving Our Happiest Childhood Moments

A note to the reader: At the risk of straying off my usual writing style for this blog, I have a funny and embarrassing personal story to share. I promise that if you follow along with the story, you will find that my rambling has a moral.


Photograph: "Jumping for Joy" by P. Grodecki

I have always loved to dance and sing. If I could get over my shyness, I would dance and sing everywhere and anytime. Last week, on a quiet morning, while sitting in my office, I suddenly felt tired of sitting down at my desk and needed a break. As I walked down the hall toward the public washroom, I started to dance to a song that had started to play in my head. This is a normal occurrence for me, but usually happens when I'm at home, in my private space, and my husband is very used to this behaviour that many others might consider strange or even annoying. I walked into the women's washroom and spun on the tips of my toes, making a pirouette as I walked in through the door, just to turn around and find that another woman whom I had never seen before had walked in behind me. We both stopped and looked at each other, slightly embarrassed. In fact, she looked ready to turn around and leave the room, but all I could do was laugh!


A few years ago, I may have felt mortified to have had such an experience, as I often find myself in situations in which I am expected to act serious and professional. However, since then, I have discovered that my Inner Child longs to express herself through music, song, and dance, and have found that I have been guilty of not expressing myself in such a way as often as I would like to. As children – even shy children such as I was – we often don't have a notion of what it is like to be inhibited and embarrassed. We say what we wish to say and when we wish to say it, we sing at the top of our lungs in public places, and dance because we simply do not care who is watching. That is, until we catch scornful glances from 'grown-up' strangers who are annoyed by our behaviour, and our parents tell us that our acting is considered inappropriate. I find this revelation a little sad, because at that moment, the light of our genuine enthusiasm ceases to shine as brightly as it ought to. With time, most of us lose that enthusiasm and our ability to find beauty in this very moment. We start to ignore what the 'grown-up' world considers unimportant and often go through each day focusing only on what troubles us, forgetting to be grateful for the beauty in our lives.


For just a few minutes, stop and pretend you are five years old again and recall your happiest childhood memories. You may not remember yourself at that age, but if you ask your mind's eye to show you what it felt like, you may surprise yourself with the memories that may return to you. In your meditation, pay attention to how you see the world around you, your family, friends, other people, the nature and animals around you. What did you enjoy doing most? Perhaps you enjoyed drawing or colouring in your room, baking cookies with your mother or grandmother, or fishing with your father or grandfather. You may have enjoyed singing and pretending you are a pop star; you may have enjoyed spending time with your pets; or, you may simply have loved to play outside with your friends. What were your favourite games, as a child? Did you pretend to live in a different, magical world? What were your dreams and aspirations that seemed so very real and possible to you and may have been left behind since? What was your favourite dessert, for which you struggled to finish your dinner? Continue to recall these details. You may wish to write them down in a journal.


Pay attention to how each of these memories makes you feel in your heart and in your Solar Plexus chakra (the navel area). Do you long to return and engage in any of the activities that you loved so much and have left behind in the past? Forget, just for today, about the passing of time. Find an hour in your day and engage in one activity that you enjoyed as a child. Dance like no one is watching… Really! If you can find a time when no one is around, sing at the top of your lungs! Play hide and seek (or another favourite game) with your children or even suggest it to your significant other (yes, even the suggestion of something so 'outrageous' may illicit a strange response, but it's worth a try)! Find time to infuse each day with the beauty that we used to see as children. It is possible to bring this beautiful point of view back into our lives.


This may be a little far-fetched, but maybe the woman whom I met unexpectedly in the public washroom felt inspired when she saw my happiness at that moment, as I turned around after dancing my way into the room. Then again, an entirely different thought may have crossed her mind at the time. All I know is that at that moment, I was truly happy, for no 'apparent' reason, simply because I was grateful for Universal Love, and for the inspiration I felt to get up and dance down the hall while I took a break from working. This is a quality that I admire greatly in every child, and I think we all can learn profound lessons from this simple blissful state that children possess and that we long to achieve in our own 'grown-up' lives.


What do you miss from your childhood that you wish to engage in? Are you willing to take the risk and attempt to bring it back? I would be very grateful if you would like to share with me your own opinions on this topic and your own engagement with what you loved to do as a child. Please share these experiences with me by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post, or by sending an e-mail to naturessecretwhispers@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.


Affirmation: "By taking the time to revive the happiest memories from my childhood, I nurture my Inner Child and bathe in the Universal Love and Light that is all around me. I honour the happy memories of my past and acknowledge that they always remain with me and have made me into who I am today. By bringing these memories to life once again, I raise my vibration and truly enjoy the happiness that surrounds my soul, body, and mind and brightens the light within me."



P. S. You may recall that on February 20th we had a beautiful Lunar Eclipse. I hope you had a chance to admire the natural beauty that we were blessed with. If you haven't, I would like to share a small part of the experience with you:


Photograph: "Lunar Eclipse 2008" by P. Grodecki

Finally, I would like to leave you with an inspirational quote that, I think, suits the photograph of the moon...


"You are a child of the Universe, no less than the moon 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." ~Max Ehrmann~


Monday, February 18, 2008

Waiting Out the Storm

Photograph: "Calm Throughout the Storm" by P. Grodecki

During stormy periods in our lives, we often feel lost, confused, overwhelmed, and unsure of the actions we should take and even how to respond to the difficult experiences. We begin to feel trapped in ourselves, as though we have somehow caged ourselves and feel powerless to respond to the situation outside. This stems from the belief that we are always in control of the situation and that we can take steps to change the situation. This belief, of course, is very valid. Nevertheless, at times, the best thing to do to improve a certain situation is to sit back, clear our minds, and let go of worries, thereby letting the situation work itself out. We can think of this as sitting back in a sheltered place in which we feel comfortable, and waiting out the storm. After all, remaining in control of the situation often means that we need to work with our ability to sit back and do nothing.

The stormy periods to which I am referring can relate to depression, sadness because of the loss of a loved one, or a change in our lifestyles, among other factors. Moreover, although we are spiritual beings, at this time, we are leading a human existence. Therefore, changes in our bodies also often affect our mental processes and our emotions. At times like that, it is often best to take time to rest and attempt to shut off the chaotic brain activity that takes place. I often speak and write of the importance of reflection and emphasize the need to reflect on our thoughts and the situations that we experience. Nevertheless, at times, when we attempt to reflect on our mental activity during times when we feel sad, confused, and frustrated, we draw a blank. This is because sometimes, when we engage in such reflection, the only answer that we find is that we are feeling frustrated, confused, and sad – no surprises there! By attempting to analyze such feelings further at times when we are not yet ready to analyze them, we can become even more aggravated by the conflicting messages from which we attempt to draw conclusions about our state of being.


It is important for us to be honest with ourselves about our feelings and thoughts and to also know when to let them be. If we truly feel that taking action at this time is not the best solution (not due to laziness or lack of will power but because we feel the need to take time to rest and just be), that is when we need to attempt to quiet our minds. It helps to visualize a place in which you feel most comfortable and ‘at home.’ This could be the couch in your living room, your childhood bed, or an imaginary comfortable, warm cabin in the woods, a small and cozy beach house, or any other place you enjoy visualizing and imagining yourself in. Allow your inner child to retreat to this place each time you feel the need to sit calmly and wait out the storm, knowing that you are safe, secure, and comfortable in your place of retreat. Tell yourself that the situation you are experiencing shall pass, and you will move on with your life as before, though having gained further knowledge and wisdom. When you start to move on, after having let yourself experience the situation as it is, without attempting to change it, you will know when the right time is to engage in reflection on the situation that you have just experienced. And sometimes, such reflection needs to occur in retrospect. This is Spirit’s way of protecting us from our own thoughts and emotions, thus allowing us to make sense of the experience and its lessons for us, which rise to the surface only after we have dealt with what was troubling us.


Stormy periods in our lives are inevitable, and to attempt to deny ourselves the negative thoughts and feelings that we may experience is detrimental to our wellbeing. We need to be honest with ourselves about our feelings toward the situation, express our true emotions, and then allow ourselves to just be, without trying to control the present moment, and without pressuring ourselves to keep our thoughts and outlook on the situation positive at all times. Yes, we have the ability to change our thoughts about the situation we are experiencing, but by pushing ourselves to think positively at times when such action feels simply artificial, we would only deny ourselves the fact that we are complex beings and are entitled to feel myriad emotions and to think myriad thoughts, all at once.


Do not attempt to meet someone’s expectations if that someone asks you to be strong, happy and positive at times when you feel that being honest about your sadness is the only thing you can do. However, it is important for us to acknowledge that this, too, shall pass, and we will return, once again, to our normal selves and will then be able to analyze the situation that we have experienced. The ability to bounce back from a difficult situation is just as important as the ability to allow ourselves the comfort of retreating into that safe place for which we long. Do not deny yourself that place. Don’t rush out into the heavy rain and frightening thunder and attempt to continue moving on about your day as though all is as it always is. Wait out the storm, because the sunshine will break through the clouds, and you will, once again, bask in its warmth and happiness, knowing that the storm that passed has made the sunlight that much brighter.


Affirmation: "I remain honest with myself at all times and allow myself to experience all the emotions to which I am entitled as a spiritual being leading a human existence. I sit back and remain calm throughout the storm, allowing the waves of the water to crash around me and the lightning to strike. I know that am safe to experience the present moment in my own way and that the warmth of the sun will surround me once again, when the storm has passed, allowing me to face the world with a new outlook and gained wisdom."


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Conscious Daydreaming

Photograph: "Following the Stream" by P. Grodecki

Our minds are incredibly powerful. Recently, many people have began discussing the concept of the Law of Attraction and the importance of keeping our thoughts focused on positive ideas. We all share the ability to create what we desire in our lives by attracting abundance; this creativity and attraction begin with our thoughts. The Universe has infinite abundance. However, in order for us to obtain this abundance, we need to work with the Universe and ask that the resources or gifts that we desire be delivered to us. We need to work in conjunction with the Universe and assist in this delivery by using our minds and ‘daydreaming’ about what we want. This idea may sound simple, but requires plenty of work and consistent practice. Let me introduce you to the technique of creative meditation.

By making the decision to engage in creative meditation we open ourselves to receiving Universal abundance. Instead of idle daydreaming, try to consciously make time in your day to daydream. If you have only ten minutes a day, or even five minutes, sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and allow your breath to travel all the way down to your navel before slowly exhaling. Continue breathing in this manner, remaining completely relaxed, and begin to imagine yourself either with an enormous magnetic energy field surrounding you, or as a giant magnet. Next, think of what you desire at this time in your life. This could be related to a harmonious relationship with your family members or your partner, success in your career, a new romantic relationship, money, or anything else that comes to mind. In your mind’s eye, create an image of what you desire and next, with your magnetic energy, pull this image toward you. You may replicate this visual image as many times as you wish and when you’re ready, breathe in all the images you have created in your mind into your energy field. Allow yourself to become one with the energy of the images you have created. At the end of your meditation, when you feel ready, prepare yourself to come back to your physical surroundings, and slowly open your eyes. Give yourself time to fully awaken from your meditation. You may record in your journal the images that you have created and the sensations you experienced in your state of meditation, as well as your feelings about the experience as a whole.


Repeat this meditation as often as you need, and do not be discouraged if at first you experience difficulty reaching a relaxed state of mind or visualizing images. By regularly engaging in creative meditation, this activity will begin to feel natural. If you are wondering how you will know whether creative meditation is truly working for you, my answer is that you simply will know, feel, see, or hear it. I find that it helps to watch closely for signs from the Universe that indicate to us what we need to do in order to assist the Universe in bringing to ourselves the gifts for which we asked. These signs may appear in the form of certain words in a book, repetitive numbers or words, repetitive images, or words that other people may say to you several times in one day. Allow yourself to expand your awareness of sounds, sights, feelings, and pay close attention to ideas you may receive, as these will include messages from the Universe and will guide you toward the path that you seek.


If you visualize money during your meditation, do not expect to wake up in the morning to find a new tree in your front yard from the branches of which $100 bills hang like fruit. However, instead, by becoming and staying aware of signs and messages from the Universe, you will further continue to work with the Law of Attraction, following the messages and signs that you receive to the path toward a treasure chest that would provide for you what you desire. This may manifest in the form of a promotion at work, or a new job opportunity. Yes, this manifestation will require work on your part, but the Universe will ensure that opportunities are created for you to bring you closer toward the treasure chest. The same idea applies to all other manifestations that you may work toward creating in your state of meditation. It helps to record your thoughts and experiences that relate to the idea of creative daydreaming in your journal, in order to help yourself to focus your thoughts and make sense of your experiences with the process of creative meditation.


Once again, please do not become discouraged if you find at the first that you cannot concentrate or visualize. You will develop this skill in time, as you continue your meditation practice. Remember that daydreaming is meant to be enjoyable, and I cannot think of many other more pleasant ways of spending a few quiet minutes each day, as not only do we imaging what we desire but also work to attract those visualizations into our energy field, allowing them to manifest.


Affirmation: “I engage in creative meditation by finding time, each day, to daydream and visualize what I desire in my life. I am one with the Universe and know that I can attract Universal abundance by working with the power of my mind and my energy field to allow my wishes to manifest. I am aware of signs and messages from the Universe that guide me toward the answer that I seek, and I find this answer in Divine time.”


Please note that the information I have provided in this post is very basic. If you would like to know more about creative meditation, please send an e-mail to naturessecretwhispers@gmail.com