Allow nature to teach you stillness.
connection we have with each other, and our connection to
Full disclosure: I started writing this blog at the end of 2020. As
sometimes happens, I just wasn't ready to finish writing even
though I had a lighthearted newsletter sketched in my mind
about welcoming 2021 with purpose and intention. Which, BTW,
I believe is a wonderful way to begin each moment, day, week,
month, or year.
But, an unseen--yet felt--force held me back. As the first days of
the New Year slipped by, the reason for my hesitation revealed
itself. January 6th happened. I wondered how I could possibly
not address what occurred on that day in our nation’s capitol?
Maybe like you, I felt it before it happened and now I'm still
processing it – cognitively and emotionally and spiritually – and I
imagine that I will be for some time to come.
Frankly, I'm walking a tightrope. In the past, I've made best
efforts at writing about ways we can remember our wholeness
by intentionally putting our attention on our inner life (including
ALL of our feelings), cultivating love and compassion for
ourselves and others, and appreciating the ways that the
natural cycles support our evolution of consciousness. At the
same time, I understand that everything and everyone is
connected and collective consciousness impacts our lives in
seen and unseen ways. I've done my best to live my intention
to be loving, tolerant, and compassionate--toward myself and
Lately, I've noticed how challenging that is.
That's when I lean into practices that are so crucial for my self
I have both "formal" practices (meditation and chanting) that I
do twice a day. And, "informal" techniques (EFT/Tapping,
HeartMath, and Metta Meditation) that I use when I forget
love's presence and experience the difficult emotions when "life
When I do any of these practices I notice in the midst of all that's
happening, and while I'm experiencing "those" feelings (and the
"shoulds" and "shouldn'ts"), just how quickly the critical voice
softens. When I accept the feelings (and myself for having
them), I feel more stable, feel less volatile, my mood improves,
and I'm more willing to accept others and to accept what is. If
there's ever been a time when loving and accepting ourselves
and others is needed, it's now.
What practices are you discovering or re-discovering for
remembering that you are safe, whole, complete, loving and
There may be many difficult weeks and months ahead, but I can
see the light at the end of the tunnel--and it's not the train
coming toward me. I can’t help but feel the New Year is
vibrating with the potential for individual and collective change.
I recently read the following and felt comforted by the reminders
3 Timeless Truths For The New Year
1. Every challenge can be an opportunity for growth and self-
discovery. Stay curious.
2. Sometimes, it’s necessary to release what one has to make
way for something better and brighter. Use your creative
force for relishing the experience of softening and letting go.
3. No matter what’s going on around us, we are always
in charge of what’s going on inside us. Align with truth and
re-imagine the world and yourself from a space beyond fear
and separation. You can't move forward if you're in fear. In
many cultures the peacock is a symbol of fearlessness,
openness and acceptance. When threatened, a peacock
responds by showing its most marvelous beauty. Find and
extend your most marvelous beauty.
part of you excited and ready to move forward with your
intentions for 2021? Does part of you want to crawl into a
cave and hibernate? All of the above? You're not alone!
This is the thing about the winter season and the New
Year (and particularly this year): We begin the year
(some of us), in the coldest, darkest time when
everything in nature is quietly resting. And, yet, we're
pulled toward getting on with our resolutions, our goals,
our intentions for the New Year (because we're SO OVER
Meanwhile...The feminine aspect of us is
saying….wait….sit down… close your eyes….connect
inward. Nature is quietly preparing every living thing
(including us) for the months ahead. This is the time to
create through your heart and receive.
This is the rhythm of the universe: Day, night. In-breath,
out-breath. Wake and sleep. Traditional cultures honor
this rhythm. They set aside time to rest, time to pray, time
Our society tends to put a premium on action, at the
expense of rest.
This is the time to rest. To rejuvenate. To invest the time
and space that you REALLY need to be still, to listen,
and appreciate Silence. Like seeds planted in nourishing
soil, your vision gathers energy from inner and outer
Silence. This is the time to trust nature's process
working through you.
photographs of flowers and plants we grow or see in nature.
Every year as we're co-creating the cover for the mandala
calendar a theme emerges. Each monthly mandala reflects the
cycle of nature, and is a pathway that culminates in the "great
mandala" for the year. The theme for each year supports the
feeling AND the intention for each month. For 2020 we were
guided toward "Luminosity"--as a pathway for honoring
our inner light and the Source of everything. Luminosity is both
our inner Light and the source of Light that uplifts and amplifies
everyone's unique path toward more joy, well-being, and peace.
The same process is true for the 2021 theme: "Oneness".
Before the inspiration revealed itself, we hadn't thought
specifically about Oneness. As the months since that inspiration
surfaced, I've come to realize that never before in my lifetime
has it been more important to focus attention on Oneness.
Oneness is at the heart of many spiritual traditions. One of the
most common experiences of the evolution of consciousness is
the feeling of Oneness. This state of being can be experienced
as a feeling that everything, everyone is part of a whole, we all
come from one common source. I've experienced Oneness
when enjoying a sunset over the ocean and felt the infinite
vastness of the universe, or while tending to flowers in the
garden and "time stood still". Others experience it when they
see their newborn child for the first time. Those glimpses of
Oneness are hard to describe and sustain because we live in
duality. Oneness is both an inner experience and the source of
We are individual life forms each seeking our individual
expressions. Behind this appearance of separation is the
essential nature that exists in all beings. The concept of
tapping into Oneness is a powerful tool for transforming
ourselves and our world because we remember goodness, love
and compassion--for ourselves and each other. This is like
each cell taking care of itself, but also working in cooperation
with others, having the health of the whole system as its goal.
It is a pathway that honors individual and collective Oneness,
our Wholeness. From this perspective--we want for each other
what we want for ourselves.
It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied together into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality... Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from his last Christmas sermon
sounds but is, itself silent. In every moment of existence, the
whole of creation is constantly emerging from the silence of
Oneness...When we slip into the spaces between our thoughts,
we experience Oneness". When you meditate you access the
Silence at the source, the experience of Oneness. This is a path
by which our awareness settles to quieter levels of thinking, into
the Silence of Oneness.
Tapping into Silence is one of the keys to sustaining the clarity
and focus necessary for realizing your dreams and goals.
During meditation, you quiet your mind. Afterwards, you take
action to realize your dreams. One of my teachers described
this process as "rest and activity"--deep rest and Silence during
meditation that relieves stress from the mind, body and spirit so
that when we emerge we live our full potential. Of course this
In his blog post, "What is Oneness", Roger Gabriel offers eight
simple, practical, and profound suggestions for living life in
the Silence of Oneness.
Throughout 2021, I'll be following the pathway of coming home
to Oneness that is found in our Co-Creative Mandala calendar.
Each month offers a new mandala that expresses a quality
which supports your journey toward remembering Oneness. The
mandalas in this blog may be the same as the ones found in the
calendar. Or, like this month, I've co-created a different mandala
that expresses the quality of "Silence".
This Co-Creative Mandala--"Silence" is from a photograph of
pine, which symbolizes focus and loving kindness, and snow,
which symbolizes peace and gentleness. It reminds us of the
importance of resting, silence, being gentle and loving toward
ourselves, and allowing our vision for the year to come into
focus. It's associated with the heart, throat, and crown chakras.
It's a reminder to pause and listen and invite Divine wisdom in. It
can help you stay in touch with your inner wisdom and check in
with your higher self.
Silence is essential.
We need silence,
just as much as we need air,
just as much as plants need light.
If our minds are crowded
with words and thoughts,
there is no space for us.
Thich Nhat Hanh
In this simple, yet powerful exercise, I invite you to celebrate
Silence and feel supported by your inner and outer
resources. Honor this powerful time of rest, rejuvenation, and
This is a special opportunity to connect with the stillness, the
Silence, within you, to reflect on the year just passed and
imagine what the light of the New Year holds in store. We can
dream peacefully knowing that deep within the Earth and within
our hearts, something beautiful rests and is nurtured... waiting to
be born in the Spring.
Give yourself plenty of time without interruptions to dive
deeply into this exercise. Meditate, journal, create and bless
your sacred space.
Make this exercise your own. Invest your time and attention.
As you sit quietly in your space, light a candle that welcomes
In a moment, when you are done reading through the
instructions, write everything that the Co-Creative
Mandala--"Silence" makes you think of. Write how you feel
when you look at it. Write about what the associated chakras
represent and how that might be applicable to your journey
toward Oneness this year.
Close your eyes. Bring your awareness to your breath; just be
with your breath. Take a deep breath in. Breathe out. Take
another deep breath in. Breathe out. Notice the sensations as
you exhale—without judgement. Feel the body breathing. Bring
your body into stillness.
Open your eyes and bring your attention to the Silence
mandala; allow the mandala energy to fill your heart; be with
whatever is there.
Invest a few minutes toward allowing the Silence energy to
flow to and through your body. Imagine that energy bursting
through your crown chakra and extending far into the heavens.
Imagine the Silence energy flowing through you and down
deep into the earth. Imagine it radiating from your heart and
extending out in front of you and behind you. Imagine the
Silence energy is a radiant ball that encircles you.
Now, sit with this energy for a few minutes.
What about the Silence mandala captures your attention?
Notice and Wonder--Something in me is feeling...
I wonder what it wants me to know?
Relax into your body and its quietness. Be with the energy, be
Here's the ritual:
1. Take out a piece of paper and write a list of everything that
you want to let go of from 2020. These can include habits,
behaviors, limiting beliefs, fears, physical conditions, feelings
of resentment, conflicts, or thoughts that don't serve you.
2. Then thank all the items on the list for having been with
you and for all the lessons learned and ways you grew from
3. Next make a clear statement of letting go such as: "I now let
go of all these things and anything else that no longer serves
me and my vision and intention and they ways I want to feel
4. If you have a fireplace, wood stove, etc. throw the paper in
to be burned. If you don't have a fireplace, CAREFULLY burn
the list in a large stainless steel bowl or in a sink.
5. Write down and then speak out loud everything you're
grateful for from the past year -- the joys, celebrations,
accomplishments, lessons learned, and "growth" experiences.
6. And now it's time to call in what you'd like to bring forward
in 2021—First, write down how you want to FEEL throughout
this upcoming year. It's the FEELING of it all that will take you
far. Then acknowledge everything you welcome into your
vision of the New Year--the intentions, beliefs, behaviors,
relationships, and everything you will embrace. Finally, speak
out loud what you've written down.
As we reflect on 2020 and continue into the New Year,
appreciate of the cycles of nature. This is the time for a pause,
a time for rest and renewal, and then we get to start anew
wherever our paths lead us. Please take some time now to take
care of yourself. You deserve it. Your presence is needed to
keep transforming your life and the lives of all beings.
Thank you for being on this journey. And for continuing to give
the world the gift of your best self.
Wishing you a year of health, abundance, joy, Oneness, and
remembering the light that you truly are.
Peace and joy to your seeking heart,