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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

Most Recent Post: Breathing Globally – Join the Dalai Lama

There Is No Supposed to Be

There is no ’supposed to be’ in bodies. The question is not size of shape or years of age, or even having two of everything, for some do not. But the wild issue is, does this body feel, does it have right connection to pleasure, to heart, to soul, to the wild? Does it have happiness, joy? Can it in its own way move, dance, jiggle, sway, thrust? Nothing else matters. ~ Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

 

 

So much attention has been put on women’s bodies and whether they are “right” or not.  The fall out from that, which has come from our culture, and to which women have bought into, is that almost no woman is happy with the way that she looks.

Let’s face it, aging is wonderful because it means that we are still here to enjoy life’s moments  – but there are changes that come with that naturally and always!  I love Clarissa Pinkola Estes quote above because it reminds us as women that we have these wonderful feminine bodies to enjoy, create life with, have pleasure within, love with, move down our path with, and “move, dance, sway, jiggle, and thrust” into the wildness of our lives.

Here is a video that made me smile – and start moving and swaying myself.  The singer is obviously having a marvelous time in her body with multiple colors adorning it…. and singing her heart out.  I challenge you to stay still on this one and not smile at least once!

La Santa Cecilia – La Negra

EMBRACE YOUR UNIQUENESS!

Other Blogs by Gaye Abbottwww.BreathingSpaces.net

Self Inflicted Random Acts of Kindness and Generosity

This being the last post of the year I decided that I would send you to the post that is on BreathingSpaces (click here) with a little extra added on for women.

My experience as a woman is that women are experts at giving and relating…but receiving, or giving to themselves,  often isn’t quite as easy.  Along with the proposed New Year’s Commitment for 2011 I say let’s remember to perform random acts of kindness and generosity for, and directed towards, ourselves…and receive graciously with full openness and surrender.

How about that for a New Years Resolution?! Women Who Thrive, Change The World!

Joyous, Peaceful and Abundant 2011!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTTwww.BreathingSpaces.net

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Flourishing!

“Imagine a Woman” poem has circled the globe. It has been read by politicians in South Africa and Bermuda, genocide survivors in Rwanda, artists at their showings, graduates at their graduations, friends at cronings and birthdays, ministers at memorials and commitment ceremonies. It is tweeted, blogged, posted, and loved throughout the world! The poem is 15 years old.  Thank you to: Sherryl Frauenglass: A Woman’s True Voice

I started with this poem as it is a great entry for the focus of todays post. A couple of days ago I was at my optometrist listening to him lecture me on the fact that I was seeing, without correction, at 20/70 and that was not good enough to drive without glasses or contacts.

I sat there reflecting on the fact that over the past 10 years or so my vision has improved as I have consciously worked with lowering the correction in my contact lenses….and more importantly seeing my world, my life, and my body as an exciting creative art piece that I have been so lovingly gifted with this lifetime.

For whatever reason I held back from him the information that I used to be tested at having vision without correction at 20/350 in one eye and 20/400 in the other!  I somehow wanted to savor that without any explanations from my very competent optometrist….

Much to my delight Susan Gala’s Inspiring The Whole Radiant You posted a video by Christiane Northrup, M.D. whom I have followed for some time now.  I share this with you as a reminder of who you are….and what you can create with awareness and commitment to your individual thriving and that of the women who’s lives you touch.  Let the words of Christiane inspire you for 2011 to become “the whole radiant you” NOW as you age into beauty and flourishing!

Christiane Northrup, M.D., pioneer and visionary in the field of women’s health, brings her seventh special to PBS, WOMEN’S BODIES, WOMEN’S WISDOM. This program is based on the fourth revision of her classic text, and brings to viewers Dr. Northrup’s newest thinking about how women at all ages can transform their relationships with their bodies, inside and out.

(Oh, and by the way I was told that my contact prescription needed to be changed as I was “over corrected” and cataracts were beginning to form in my eyes too!)

RESOURCES:
Susan Gala's Inspiring the Whole Radiant YouSusan Gala’s Inspiring the Whole Radiant You

Sherryl Frauenglass: A Woman's True VoiceSherryl Frauenglass: A Woman’s True Voice

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:  www.BreathingSpaces.net

It Is Our Imperfection That Connects Us

As the holiday season gets fully underway the stress of attempting to be “perfect” in doing all that “needs to be done”  hits us with full force.  Connection with others becomes foremost in our every day experience as we juggle shopping, working, parties, entertaining, and on and on.  Emotions run their highs and lows, and at times we end up
wishing all of it would just “be over with”.

A couple of weeks ago a video came my way which was a very well done interview by Patricia Gras with Dr. Brene Brown.  Dr. Brown has done extensive qualitative research on the emotion of “shame” and its intimate connection with perfectionism.  She states that shame is a very primitive emotion and that it has to do with fear of disconnection.

Connection is “hard wired” into our being as humans and is a basic need.  Shame is an intensely painful feeling or belief that we are flawed in some way and somehow inadequate or unworthy of connection.

Our culture, through media and advertising, blasts us with perfectionism and ridicules those who are not – claiming that we will be accepted and loved if we are perfect.
We end up struggling and creating the very disconnection that we fear the most.

It is here that we are invited to look at areas of our lives where we struggle with perfectionism, and more importantly to share the stories with others we trust when we experience shame.  It is our imperfection that connects us with each other – our shared humanity.

Thus, in attempting “perfection” we are actually disconnecting from the very connection we long for.  In authentically sharing our experiences and receiving those stories from others with empathy we are connecting on the deep levels that call to us from our primitive instincts.  Dr. Brown states “shame cannot survive empathy”.

(Go to Part 2 for the second half)  (Thank you to Lynn Walker for this video!)

This holiday season let go of the perfection and appreciate your own humanity and that of others.  Tell stories, listen to each other, and connect on real and authentic levels.  Let go.  Might this contribute to a different holiday season?

Now go to this video and see how easy it is to be connected just by being yourself as you are in the moment and simply waiting for the love to be reflected back to you.  Don’t let anything get in the way of living your life in connection!

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT: www.BreathingSpaces.net

This Weeks Post: Vibration – Another Look At Sacred Geometry

In Beauty May I Walk – Leaps Are Optional

Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.
– Carlos Castaneda

 

 

 

Here is the cast for this post, for without each one this awareness would not have been birthed:

Shakti-Samtosha (Peace-Contentment) yoga practice

Carl, representing Health and Wellness coaching

Jan, who is unraveling the grief around the death of her beloved husband after many years of illness

Ron, who is facing an activation of the cancer that he has been living with for the past year

Adam, who is caught in his own world of mental illness, but does not know it

Lea and her personal story on returning to a state of ease

Unexpected income –  who shall henceforth be named “Wealth

Now that the stage is set, the story can be told.  Have you been told that in order to succeed, or get unstuck you need to leap off of the cliff, precipice or ledge and trust that you will fly?  Well I have, and in fact guided others in this free flight as well.   In fact I have done it many times in my life – leaping, flying, and sometimes falling on my face – with great lessons to be learned.  The question is – are you leaping away or towards yourself?

What if it is true that all the events in our life are personally orchestrated by us in order to come “home” …and without each event, each person, each experience we would not understand why we are here, and certainly wouldn’t be able to make those choices that serve our highest well being, and that of everyone and everything we touch.

This awareness may not help when we are in the midst of unbearable grief, full on fear for our lives, intense worry about financial well being, distorted thinking and a feeling of utter abandonment, or uncertainty about what our next step will be.

Yet, it is here in this rich territory of choice and head-on life that we find that it may not be as dramatic as jumping off of a cliff, but instead, like a powerful dream of mine several years ago.  A realization that as you are standing on the edge trying to think your way down to “safety” or the next leap – a path suddenly appears as you turn your head to look at what is around  you.  A path that is uniquely yours and leads in an easeful  and clear (although sometimes not seeming to) way to your next destination.  All you have to do is listen, feel, and start walking…

So, here is the story.  There is an older woman that has done many things in her life that she feels good about.  She has given birth to and nurtured 3 boys into manhood; spent many, many years in the healing professions bringing people into embodiment through touch, breath, energy, listening, guiding, and love; has created 3 businesses on her own and enjoyed the creative process of each one; spent a total of 21 years in living relationships with men who taught her a great deal; owned houses; taught yoga; traveled to far away places, had adventures,  and learned from shamans and healers; called dolphins to her in the wilds of the ocean; continues to act on her passion for writing; and adores the creative and uninhibited joy of dance and art.

This woman feels she is now at a crossroads – a pivotal point.  Many options and possibilities are open to her.  Does she start another business in health and wellness coaching, join a community of evolutionary visionaries, write her book, or stay where she is which is out-of-alignment with who she knows she is and what she has to bring?

In this only two day journey, the beginning is marked by a yoga practice focused on peace and contentment. A yoga practice that she has put on the shelf for a period of time.  Falling into her body, breath, and surrendering her tight and contracted body she cries.  The waking up has begun.

She receives an e-mail from one of her readers, Jan, that shares the fragile place she finds herself in the aftermath of her husbands death, and the knowing that she did everything she could to help him.  The reader reports that she can hardly find her way to reach out to what she may need at this time.  This honesty touches this woman reminding her that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have – including her, and that sometimes it is not right timing to reach out – that each person’s journey can only be chosen by them.

This is emphasized even more by her brother Rons quest for health and life in his journey with cancer, having to deal with some very difficult treatment choices – and her son Adams mental illness that has him locked within his own mind unable to accept the fact, or even be aware, that he needs loving assistance to come back to life – his life.

Waves of energy hit her and clarity begins to filter through.  There doesn’t have to be a leap, free fall, or soaring as the case may be.  It isn’t fear or uncertainty that make the decision not to pursue the health and wellness coaching with the large training company.  An e-mail is written to Carl, the director of marketing.  She now knows that it is alignment with beauty, peace, essential nature, and ease that has been calling for days now – not the path to growing yet another business, no matter how qualified she is.

On the second day of this awakening a friend Lea (www.ReplenishYourSoul.com) writes of her journey back towards ease in her life, having seen the effects of struggle and pushing patterns in body, mind and relationship over this last year. Just a gentle walk to another location inside that says here – here is where you are to be.  Trust and honor what you know.

Guidance is coming in many forms now as the waking up – speeds up.  A letter arrives in the P.O. box which says in the window – Pay To The Order Of – with her name on it.  Unexpected income.  Flow of Wealth. The message – honor your path and the flow returns.

Not making a choice because it might be “good for her to take yet another leap”  – but acknowledging and honoring the place inside that says TRUST – it will be shown to you.  There are many ways to return to and know your path.  Listen in to your bodies messages.  Just turn your head and start walking.  Leaps are sometimes necessary, but always optional…

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
– Henry David Thoreau

P.S  The woman is me. Deep gratitude to the cast!

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTTwww.BreathingSpaces.net

Busting Loose From The Aging Game

72 year old Ernestine tells it like it is in this video!  At this writing I believe that she is now 73 years old and still going strong.  This didn’t happen overnight for her.  What it took was daily commitment to her health and fitness, and an inner faith that she could change her life for the better…and in turn change many other women’s lives as well.

A new friend and I had breakfast this morning and we were discussing the manner in which our generation is aging.  Some of you may have read Busting Loose From The Money Game by Robert Scheinfeld.  Well, my friend Lorraine came up with Busting Loose From the Aging Game. In other words, we get to choose and create how we play the aging game and what kind of “rules” we want to live by.  What fun!!

For example, Ernestine started out when she was 56 years old.  Going shopping for bathing suits with her sister for a pool party they were invited to, both of them realized that they definitely wanted to look a little bit different than what they saw in the mirror.  They were taking on the aging game of their generation, and both decided to invent a new one!

Beginning with an aerobics class, they both started to feel better and look better.  It wasn’t however, until Ernestine’s sister died suddenly of an brain aneurysm, that Ernestine decided to commit to much more than she had been doing to work through the grief over her sister’s passing.  Now 17 years later, at age 73, she runs 80 miles a week, lifts weights most days, can bench press 150 pounds, has completed 8 marathons, and teaches other women how to believe in themselves, find health, vitality and empowerment, and create a different game for aging. 

If we create our reality, and I believe that we do, then what kind of aging game would you like to create?? It will be uniquely your own…so ready, start, GO!!

OTHER BLOGSwww.BreathingSpaces.net

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