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Archive for the ‘Vital Health & Well Being’ Category

Arbitrary Moments of Nearly Painful Happiness

“…..This is my true religion; arbitrary moments of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead.  Think of the way you sometimes see a tiny shaft of sunlight burst through a gap between rocks, the way it then expands to illuminate a much larger space – it’s like that.  And it’s like quilting, a thread surfacing and then disappearing into the fabric of ordinary days.  It’s not always visible but it’s what holds everything together.”  From The Art of Mending,by Elizabeth Berg, page 148

I was taken by these few sentences in the novel I just finished reading.  As the summer stretches out before us it gives us time to consider those “arbitrary moments of nearly painful happiness” where we are touched deeply and often irrevocably changed.  These moments are within everything that we do, even those seemingly endless tasks that we set before us.

Isn’t it these experiences that wake us up……. pausing to take a  breath and simply becoming quiet enough to appreciate the moments of pure art, magic and beauty that pour themselves in and through our lives every single day.

What would you miss if you weren’t here?   Transformational coach Cheryl Richardson lists a few of her things below.

…..”I thought about the little things that bring me joy that I’d miss – the things that often go unnamed as important.  Things like a bird’s nest under construction that captures my attention each morning while I enjoy a cup of tea.  The way my cat Poupon covers his eyes with his paw when he naps, making me smile every time, regardless of how many times I see him do it.  Or, trees billowing in my backyard like soft sheets on a clothesline when a strong breeze blows.  And, of course, the beautiful, nuanced moments that occur when I connect with others. ” Cheryl Richardson

Now is the time to pay attention….sometimes they sneak up on you when you are least expecting it!  Embrace….they are woven into the fabric of your life…

WEBSITE www.ResonanceWithLife.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath

ANNOUNCEMENT!!  I invite you to go to the Natural Wealth website to see a Sneak Preview of my upcoming book: Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath expected out in e-book and soft cover by 12/1/11!!  Go to the page Be Breathed – Our Daily Breath.

Would love your feedback as the book is not quite finished yet…and your comments would be most welcome!  Also check out the video that took me so many takes….and laugh along with me.

REMEMBER –  Laughter is a series of exhales expressed with uninhibited joy!

Thank you for taking the time to take a peak at the Sneak!

Gaye Abbott           Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath

Breathe Soul Into Your Life

“The breath is a love song from your Soul to you”.  Jennifer Grace King

…and I would add, the breath is a vehicle for celebrating your life!  When is it that we feel most alive?  Most probably when we are embodied in an activity where every single fiber of our being is present and accounted for.  From this state of aliveness it is clear that we are here to play, create, connect and  love in all of its myriad forms.

It is times such as this that we let go of inhibitions and enter the realm of the art of being….being present to the moment in which we are in. Just preceding this moment there may have been fear, anxiety, sadness, expectation,  or any other of the array of human emotions and physical sensations that we feel.

The breath carries you out
of the games and drama of your mind and brings you deep
down into stillness. “                                      From:  Breathe Soul Into Your Life

Most probably it was not your mind that took you into this moment.  It was a leap of trust and a deep letting go that paved the way for an extraordinary-ordinary moment to be felt fully and embraced.  And, before that moment you most probably took a very deep breath….

RESOURCES:  There are two resources that come with this post.  One is a link to the new book Breathe Soul Into Your Life by Jennifer Grace King who lives in Australia.   Jennifer and I resonate deeply on our feelings about the importance of the breath and connected via one of my other blogs – BreathingSpaces.  This little book is just out and would be a great gift for the holidays (oh yes, they are sneaking up on us!)

LINK:
 http://www.mailermailer.com/x?function=view&c=00000f-e6d0b9bf%2a846305c-cd9c7dbe

The other resource is a video done by Sonia Choquette which I wanted to share with you.  I have unofficially titled this video Breathe Into Your Voice – Be Alive!  There is a great segment of a woman putting her heart and soul into Mary Sings A Little Lamb after the song is completed.   This happens to have been filmed in  Sidney, Australia.   Celebrating our connection with the “down under” folks today!  Enjoy!

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net      Recent post:  Breathing Compassion In The Pitch Dark
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com   Recent post:  Handing Over to the Divine Design

REMINDER!  Today is the last day to register for Bring 3 Friends and Attend for FREE! for the Women’s Empowerment Workshop  September 15-18 in Vail Colorado.  This is a nature adventure retreat that empowers women to nourish mind, body and spirit by connecting to the natural world in a profoundly enriching, compelling, and transformational way.   Go to:  http://www.womensempowerment.us/

Embodying Your Power Within Nature

The impetus for this post came about from an e-mail I wrote to Susie Kincade, co-creator of  Women’s Empowerment Workshop slated for 9/15-9/18/2011 in Vail, Colorado.  Coming on the heals of the last post on being powerful and in your feminine presence, I somehow received the link for this upcoming workshop.

My excitement about this amazing workshop lead to a request by e-mail to be involved somehow (and hopefuly attending!) , which then lead to a conversation that Susie and I had today in which I realized that nature has been an incredible ally for me throughout my life.

How many workshops, self help books, courses, retreats etc has each of us gone to (or read) in which there is an incredible experience, but that very experience stayed just that?  It did not integrate within our being….or as I like to say, it was not embodied to be tapped into purposefully over time.

This took me back to a pivotal point in my life when I was really ready to shift from being somewhat of a victim in my life to co-creating a life that would tap into my powerful and unique creative expression.  I had no idea how to do that, but my intention was strong to somehow find the pieces that went into that.

When intention is strong the vehicle for change appears.  My vehicle came in the form of a professional photographer and wilderness survival expert that invited me to go with him to Kauai, Hawaii to backpack along the Na Pali coast – the very old original Hawaiian trial which leads to an isolated beach at the end of this particular trail.

I said yes and then proceeded to prepare by reading every single thing I could get my hands on to learn more about the trail and what I might experience…..but there was no book that could prepare me for what I was to be confronted with.

Now you must understand that I wasn’t in the best of shape to go on this adventure (even though I was 30 years younger than I am today!), and I had never been backpacking before this.  But there was something larger than my mind that was guiding me to commit to this trek…and I thankfully listened.

Many things happened on this 11-mile several day journey to and from Kalalau to test me….. and to absolutely entrance me and take my breath away with the beauty, the wildness, and the wisdom of the natural world.

There were moments going in when I thought I couldn’t go any further, and staying in back of the 3 other people that I had gone with I almost stopped many times, especially after falling in the first couple of miles and injuring my hand!  Yet there was always a nature ally that presented to soothe the pain or calm the fear allowing me to move forward. In this case it was a very cold stream rushing down the mountain that took my hand in an embrace and soothed the swelling and pain until it was completely gone.

The pivotal point for me started on that very first day as we prepared our camp to rest overnight before going the rest of the way the next day.  I had read in my handy travel book that this next section of trail was a difficult one.  In fact, it scared the living daylights out of me!  After starting out on the next day we would very shortly reach a place where there was an incredibly narrow trail, with no handholds, 100’s of feet drop off to our right down onto the jagged rocks and ocean below, and a 90 degree turn with wind blowing.  (and we had heavy backpacks on!)

By the morning of the second day I had worked myself up so much that tears were flowing down my face.  I had told everyone the night before that I wasn’t certain that I would be going any further with them.  Now why was I here??

In a very pivotal moment I was guided to start ahead of everyone else sensing somehow in between the bursts of fear that I was to do this by myself -and before everyone else.  My heart must have been audible to all the wildlife as I came closer to this drop off point, yet in an instant guidance came through that very clearly said to me – take one step at a time, breathe, and be in the moment (and don’t look down).

I followed the wise guidance and when everyone else came around the end they found me huddled to a safe rock on the other side crying my eyes out…not just with relief that I made it, but with gratitude and joy that I had the courage to face a very large fear and get to the other side of it!  My steps along the trail after that experience were quite different than the day prior.

My reward once we got to the beach at the end of the trail?  Prawns in the stream, a beautiful beach with a waterfall for a shower, sunsets that were painted by an artist that definitely knew how to experiment with color, every inch of sky holding a star at night, and about 8 other people who ran the gamut from chiropractor to readjust our spines from the trek, Hawaiian mythology story tellers, and astronomy experts to point out the constellations at night….. all going through life transition.

My biggest reward?  The gift of courage to keep taking one step at a time and be reminded of my deeply interconnected vital life force – a metaphor for my entire life….provided free of charge mind you from natural elements that co-conspired to hold me captive until I got it!  I also felt so deeply aligned within my body once completing that 22 mile journey that I was never quite the same again.  I had come home!

This experience still is embodied within me even though it was over 30 years ago now.  I fully believe that it has assisted me immensely in my current leap from Oregon to Austin, Texas and into a life that holds the gift of deep trust and acting from my fullest creative expression.  This cannot be “learned” through a book or course!

I tell you this story because I would like to see every woman go to a Women’s Empowerment Workshop (or something similar) at least once in her life to embody the “way home” to the next steps she is being asked to take.

Below you will find links and information.  I will see you there!

*********************

Vail, CO – Rock climbing, rafting, hiking, photography and working with horses may sound like summer camp activities, but Women’s Empowerment Workshop in Vail, September 15-18, uses these activities to guide women to new depths of self-awareness and personal power. It’s all part of a unique four-day retreat that includes life coaching, yoga and meditation, six webinars, five women authors and two internationally-known women activists.

“There really is nothing else quite like this. Consider it a spa for the soul, and an adventure camp combined,” offered co-founder Susie Kincade. “The key is the experiential aspect. We’ll take women outward into nature to guide them deeply inward. The natural world connects us to everything and to our own wisdom, creativity and power. We’ll teach skills to access that wisdom and power, and anchor them solidly in the body experience; then women can use them anytime, anywhere, from the family room to the boardroom.”

Women’s Empowerment Workshop delivers this empowering experience with a cadre of world-class outdoor guides from Colorado, along with wilderness therapists, authors and teachers of women’s inner wisdom, including life coach Dr. Joan King and nationally-known equine Gestalt specialist Melisa Pearce. And to top it all off, the workshop presents two inspiring, global visionary speakers.

Keynote speaker, Lynne Twist, author of Soul of Money, founder of Pachamama Alliance and Four Years Go, will help women ignite their inner fire and bring their highest self to the world. Shannon Galpin, founder of Mountain2Mountain, will inspire women with her story as a single mother who overcame her own challenges to create opportunities for girls and women in war-torn parts of the world.

The workshop is designed for women of all ages and physical abilities. It is for women who are in transition, or maybe questioning how to meet their full potential in life. And women who are nurturers and want to be rejuvenated; or who are in a position of authority and want to learn how to wield that power for best results. Women who seek to raise their own self-awareness, cultivate creativity and communicate emotional authenticity. Women who want to engage in nature and learn from it. In short, Women’s Empowerment Workshop is a retreat for any woman who wants to be her absolute best — for herself, her family, community and world.

The outdoor explorations will meet each woman where she is in her life, and then nudge her to look deeper and push her edges. For instance, women will learn river skills and how to apply them to life, such as when and how to “eddy out,” and how to scout rapids and navigate turbulent waters. Rock climbing will teach skills for overcoming obstacles in life, how to problem solve, teamwork and communication. Healing through horses helps participants discover how to trust their authentic emotions, and nature photography will teach perspective, patience and how to listen to oneself.

“These activities have plenty to teach, both metaphorically and practically, but a person can’t really get the full benefit of it without getting out there and embodying the experience,” Kincade said.

The workshop also includes Women’s Inner Wisdom seminars that offer valuable self-nurturing and emotional discernment techniques. Daily meditation and yoga, healthy, organic meals, and networking with other amazing women in the spectacular autumn setting of the Vail Racquet Club will round out the retreat.

To register or learn more, visit www.womenempower.us, or call toll-free, 877-595-8622.

SPECIAL OFFER!:  Bring 3 And Attend FREE!  4 friends can share a 2 bdr/2 bath condo for 47.50/night/person! Nice rates.  This also means that you have 3 other women to share with and to support each other once you return home.  It keeps the process moving that was embodied in the workshop!

FREE Webinar! Journeying to the Soul of Nature:
How are we deeply connected to nature and what does this reveal to us as we explore the outdoors?  August 11th, 7-8:30p.m.

Susie Kincade, co-founder of Women’s Empowerment Workshop, Holly Bryson, Wilderness Therapist with Healing Quest, and Melisa Pearce of Touched by a Horse talk about nature as both medium and metaphor for exploring our life’s journey. Listening to nature as opposed to “conquering” it offers some surprising insights into our most

"Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world." ~John Muir

authentic self. Learn tools that help you integrate the peace and freedom of the outdoors into your daily life to feel rejuvenated and grounded. Understand the actual physical processes that occur within the body when nature does its healing and revealing work within you. Discover horses as healing agents who reflect our emotions in a most authentic way.

Sign up  for the webinar today at http://www.instantpresenter.com/AccountManager/RegEv.aspx?PIID=E957DB82864B

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

Stop Hiding – Women Stepping UP!

With the most recent devastation in Japan (and New Zealand not long ago) showing us how small our global village is, and the deep interconnectedness that pervades everything – we as women have before us a task that is of the utmost importance.

We MUST step up and into our knowing, be willing to learn new skills, and not be afraid to speak our truth and follow that with action.  This will often “upset the apple cart” of traditions and what has gone before (mindsets), yet we all know that many of the structures across the board that have been laid down are not sustainable, and haven’t been for a long time.

For example, our home -the earth – in no uncertain terms, is letting us know that new sustainable working solutions need to be created, implemented, and honored as the way that will connect our global village in peaceful and creative relationship/partnership.  We all want to survive…but even more to thrive.

I believe that everyone holds a key to creating the shift that is presently sweeping our planet to a more sustainable, socially and culturally just, and empowering world.  We can either fight against the changes, hide our face under the covers,  or we can ride the wave with determination, purpose, and surrender.

It takes both you see, for it is in the determination and purpose that we commit to – whatever our passion and free expression is –  and it is in the surrender or deep letting go, that we find the paths and solutions/resolutions that have been right before us all along.  It is here that our most ingenious and committed creations happen.  However, this also means that we first have to take the best care of our own beings in order to be sustainable ourselves.

As a long time supporter for Women For Women International I have been aware for a long time that women are at the forefront of global change by first empowering themselves and each other, then their families and communities.  Here is another example I came across recently reflecting this stepping up.

In the far away village of Tilonia in Rajasthan, India, where few tourists ever wander, an experiment has begun to bear fruit globally. Established in 1972, the Barefoot College is a non-government organization that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable.

This village is situated in arid land where water is scarce and poverty rampant.  Here is what  Sathya Saran says about women in this village:

“The women of the village work together with their menfolk towards sustainable development, and also help educate and inspire those in nearby villages to rise above the vagaries of nature and their hardships by effort and education.

Tolonia’s most famous export is the solar engineer concept.  Making the most of the abundant sunshine, the Barefoot College has trained its women to set up solar electrified systems that can provide light and power to entire villages.  In fact, the 80,000 square foot campus of the Barefoot College is electrified and maintained by the women solar engineers, most of whom have little or no formal education and live within the broad dictates of a rural, feudal, chauvinistic, male-dominated social milieu.

The women engineers are trained to create everything such a unit needs, to help install and run it, and to train the villagers of the receiving village to maintain and run the units themselves.

Going a step further, the Barefoot College also trains women from many other parts of the world to create this cheap, endurable and sustainable source of alternate energy, and how to take it in working condition to their respective villages.

Language and regional differences are forgotten in the giving and taking of knowledge so vital to better living. Women’s empowerment finds new meaning, as Tilonia’s solar-energy-giving-women help light lives across the world. “

These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorized into solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development.

So far, the Barefoot approach has been replicated in 17 states of India, 15 countries in Africa, 2 countries in Asia and 1 country in South America.

Barefoot Approach and its objectives:
*Provide sustainable solutions to improve the quality of life in poor, rural communities
*Reduce migration by generating employment within villages
*Provide vocational training to semi-literate and illiterate men and women through the process of learning-by-doing
*Reduce drudgery of rural women and girls by providing them access to education, vocational training, health care etc.
*Empower rural women socially, economically and politically
*Encourage community based, owned and managed initiatives
*Demystify technologies and decentralize their uses to improve their quality of living
*Use and promote traditional knowledge and skills that have been passed on through generations

Dr. Bunker Roy, the creator of Barefoot College, answers this question in an interview on Empowering Rural Women:

What do you think needs to be done by the Indian government to make the environment more enabling for enterprises such as yours?
Between 2004 and 2009, the Barefoot approach of training illiterate rural women to solar electrify their villages was extended to Africa. By this year, more than 100 semi-literate and illiterate grandmothers from 21 countries in Africa will have solar electrified their own villages. Under a unique scheme called ITEC, the Indian government has covered the air tickets and six months’ training costs to each of these grandmothers to come to India.
What the Barefoot College has effectively demonstrated is how sustainable the combination of traditional knowledge and demystified modern skills can be when the tools are in the hands of the rural poor. Our message has reached the far corners of the globe. The respect our community has for the Sun (solar electrification) is really a simple message which is easily replicable in inaccessible, neglected and backward communities all over the world.
For more of this interview go to:  http://gulfnews.com/news/world/india/empowering-rural-women-1.635403
This is just one of 1,000’s of efforts across the globe in which women hold a pivotal and vital role.  This is also where men and women can come together in equality and work on behalf of the betterment for all.

In one of my favorite stories, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz stepped up over and over again in spite of her fears, and at the very end found that the bucket of water right in front of her was the key to melting her biggest fear embodied in the “Wicked Witch”.

Curiosity, willingness to engage and collaborate, and perceiving ourselves as an active participant with something to offer will pave the way.  I wonder what is right in front of us that will potentiate our coming out of hiding and stepping up??  Don’t forget, it can be simple….

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net

www.DivineWealthJournal.com

SALSA DANCING AT 75? – YOU BETCHA!!

Sarah "Paddy" Jones

There is a extremely contracted template for aging in our Western culture…and I, for one,  am here to expand and redefine it – or possibly not to define it at all, but to say let us live our days/our years in a celebratory way! After all, if we weren’t aging, we would be dead!

 

When I come across examples of women who are living their passion well into their later years, I pay attention. These women are inspirations for us.  They awaken possibility within our hearts, minds and bodies, and remind us that each moment of this precious life is here for exploring and living with all the passion we can possibly express and create.  These possibilities are actually unlimited.

There is a lot of “press” these days about “letting go” of the constructs and habitual patterns that have kept us locked into an oftentimes “deadly” repetitive replay of a safe way of living,  while resisting the changes that are mounting around us and the whispers of our heart and soul that beckon us to “please come out and play!”  Sometimes this work seems daunting and we struggle with the back and forth between an assumed “safety” (most often conjured up by our rational minds) –  and heart and soul freedom.  In fact this is my passage and that of many others right now.

What if it was easier?  What if we just merely accepted that we hold within us the Divine spark already and that we were meant to be full expressions of our deepest creative, sensual,  and soulful natures.  In that case all we would need to do is say YES!  This is a YES! with no rational mind limitations.   This is a YES! that says I am deeply interconnected and an important part of the whole.  This is a YES! that says NOW is my time….and the next moment, and the next, and the next.   The path may be strewn with unusual and sometimes challenging experiences…but they all can be seen and accepted as an invitation to live and breathe with the fullest expression that we are capable of in the moment.

Growing up I loved to watch the passion and art of dancing, and still love it…as well as dancing myself whenever I can.  A couple of years ago now I took Cuban Salsa lessons for a year and even though I found myself going the wrong direction in the rueda (circle) at times under the Spanish verbal and hand sign direction of the teacher – my body, heart and soul sang with pleasure in every step and shake of my body.

When this video came to me I knew that it must be shared with you.  Here is Sarah “Paddy” Jones, a 75 year old British lady who is still living her passion!  Wonder if you will shed tears as I did witnessing her come to radical aliveness on stage??!  Is this how alive you would like to be at this age – any age?? I know that I would!!!!  If not NOW, when???

The video below is misnamed on top, so please disregard the title of Ginger Rogers who died when she was 83.  Sarah “Paddy” Jones is British and living in Spain. She took up dancing 5 years ago after the death of her husband. She has seven grandchildren.

This second video is less performance oriented and more into the heart and soul of “Paddy”!

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.DivineWealthJournal.com

Make Love To Life!

In a world where everything is sexualized instead of humanized, I worry that we’ve lost touch with the sweet eroticism in life. To me, being human, life itself is erotic. It’s a being alive to the magical, pulsating, ecstatic body and universe we live and experience through. It’s a way of being in the world in a sensory and tactile way, leading and relating to others with your energy awareness and senses.

…in its highest sense, our sexuality is a gateway to spirit, to the place where humanity meets divinity, and as such it is sacred. It offers us a readily available opportunity to experience the ecstatic union we all long for.  If… that is… we dare surrender so deeply to the erotic dance, with ourselves, with each other.”

Lone Morch www.divinelyfurious.com

Starting off with this quote sets the stage for the focus of this post, as the Divine Feminine is coming full force into our awareness across the globe.  There is a reason for that.  Our planet needs us to re-balance – and quickly!  Yet, what exactly is the Divine Feminine or the Feminine Principle to you?

For women and men this is where humanity meets Divinity – the ecstatic union of the
interconnection that plays out constantly – seen and unseen, felt and not felt.  It is about collaboration, connection, listening, and flow.  There is an immense intelligence in life that is begging us to pay attention.  It can be seen and felt all around us if we will only pay attention.  A friend of mine in the UK found this in nature on one of his daily walks.  This spiral serpent encased in ice can also be seen as this erotic dance that is being played out in a very elemental way.

Bringing the Shakti energy back to the drawing table of life in our present time means that each of us as women (and men) are being invited to step up to the plate of our lives, heal whatever needs healing within ourselves, and be sensuously present to life as an “erotic sacred dance”.

Someone who invited this dance to play out in her life was Georgia O’Keefe, and it wasn’t always an easy path for her to take.  Her statement, “I have been absolutely terrified my entire life, and I have never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do”, challenges us to live our lives from the inner urgings, that if not heeded leave us living half of a life instead of the whole one we were meant to play out.

As women, when we walk into a room, into a new situation, or launch an innovative creation we can embody this energy by being fully in our belly – our pelvis – and of course do this with grounded passionate presence.  This sensory way of being in the deepest feminine parts of ourselves creates an opportunity to confidently stride into the moments of our lives because we courageously trust that we will always have the wholeness of who we are – and no one can take that away from us.

When we understand that we no longer need to puff up our chests and be “strong” in a masculine energy sort of way, make prose more important than poetic, or come from logic and rational left brained thinking to be taken seriously….. leaving our deepest feminine parts behind on the shelf in a dark room….then we will be heard, seen, and acknowledged for the gifts that we bring – and the Earth that gives us life will breathe a huge sigh of relief!

Shiva/Shakti

It is the Divine erotic dance between masculine and feminine energy inside and outside each of us (we are literally surrounded by it!) that keeps life juicy, creative, and leads to a gateway of embodied sensual living from body, mind, heart and soul.

Discover the pathways of erotic living this week that you are already embodying, or can surrender into more, and ignite in your body, heart and soul.  Make love to life….your life!

Here is a link for a video by Rachel Jayne Groover from The Yin Project -Feminine Spirituality and Leadership Program : http://femininespiritualityandleadership.com/FSL/Tr93hF17Vid2/

on How to Increase your Personal Presence, Financial Flow, and Make a Greater Impact on those around you with the Power of your “Feminine.”. This is #2 in a series of 4 – Great!

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTTwww.BreathingSpaces.net

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