Four Ways to Cope in the In-Between Times

Four Ways to Cope in the In-Between Times

Life is always lived between then and soon, right here and now, in the beautiful not yet. – Carrie Newcomer

Not quiet winter. No longer autumn. Not yet.

This is my first November in Minnesota in twelve years. I am finding the changes so interesting. The changes of the light, the changes in my daily pace, the changes seen and unseen.  Yes, this is all novel today and I may not be quite as intrigued in January but for now I find this fascinating. There is a deep sense of not yet, of restlessness, of waiting, of becoming. This in-between feels awkward at times and I find myself impatient. The grass is still green yet the garden has been put to bed for the season. Not yet. A seasonal pause.

Do you feel it too?  Continue reading “Four Ways to Cope in the In-Between Times”

Advertisements

Seed to Harvest

…the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

As she handed me the book, my mind whooshed back to the moment it all began….

picking-up-the-proof-10-19-2016-cropped

When I began, I did not know how I would get here but I knew I was embarking on a quest to reclaim my authentic self. I could not have foreseen all I would learn, how much I would grow, the people I would meet, the challenges I would have to overcome or the changes to my inner landscape. I simply took the first step. Then, with the help of many, took each individual step thereafter. Yoga Expression Spirit – Tools for Authentic Living is the result.

As I felt the weight of the book, twenty months and many experiences played on the screen of my mind. I am not the person I was when I began. This is a good thing for which I am grateful.

In the weeks to come, I will be sharing more about Yoga Expression Spirit – Tools for Authentic Living, which will be available on Amazon November 22nd. Many of you have asked me to speak at your book club events, Friends of the Library events, Women’s group meetings, yoga studios, church groups and the like. I can’t wait to meet you and I am grateful for the invitations. Hearing your stories is what makes me tick. While the calendar is filling, I would love to hear from you and will work hard to accommodate each request.

What about your dreams? Are you ready to begin? Take one step today and see where it takes you.

Yoga Expression Spirit – Tools for Authentic Living available on Amazon November 22nd, 2016 in print and on Kindle. 

Patience, Persistence and the Power of Time

“The only person who really likes change is a wet baby. “- Mark Twain

I recently visited Minnehaha Falls and learned that the location of the falls has moved over the past one hundred years. Moved. A waterfall. And not just a little. There was a time when the falls moved nearly four feet per year. I find this most interesting and also surprising but obvious. Continue reading “Patience, Persistence and the Power of Time”

Available on Amazon November 22, 2016

Yoga Expression Spirit – Tools for Authentic Living by Elizabeth Cabalka.

“Elizabeth Cabalka has created a process so needed in these distracted and fractured times. These words offer wholeness and healing and a sense of a companion for the ups and downs of life’s journey.”

– Sally Howell Johnson, author of The Practicing Life: Simple Acts, Sacred Living, and Barefoot Zone: Walking the Sacred Path

Available in Print and Kindle.

book-cover-as-png

 

Three Lessons From a Morning Walk

“How can you take the same route day after day after day?” he asked. 

“I don’t,” I replied. “The view changes daily and so do I.”

My four legged companion and I have shared a morning walk nearly every day for over ten years. In foul and fair weather, out the door we go to greet the day. I convinced myself for several years that this for her benefit but I know that this ritual is my gift to myself in equal measure, setting my day in order and clearing the lingering cobwebs. Our morning walk is a daily thirty-minute moving meditation and an exercise in self care.

This morning I found my need for self care was greater than usual. The recap of the recent political display left me with swirling unkind thoughts and my shoulders slightly slumped as the dog and I set out. As I reached the end of the driveway and turned to face the lake, I was taken by the stunning view and golden morning light. Why, my word, I was absolutely swimming in beauty! I immediately realized it was my decision to see this beauty or not. I could certainly spend the next thirty minutes marching around town, bunched up in my crowded head with my swirling thoughts, noticing nothing but my angst. I could also set all of that aside for a few minutes and receive the gift of this new day. I looked at the dog and chose to embrace the day just as she did – noticing everything, nose in overdrive, and pausing periodically to investigate more closely.

As we began our route, my swirling thoughts knocked loudly on the door of my mind trying to encroach, but I kept my attention in my body and focused on my senses as I swung my arms and hummed a tune. I was resolved to remain present to the beautiful morning. As the sunlight illuminated red and orange autumn splendor, some of the heaviness fell away and I began to notice the gifts of the day.

Thirty minutes later, as  the dog and I completed our route, these three thoughts lingered as I hung up my coat:

Alive! The world around us is alive with activity. The birds bring forth their industriousness with song and chatter. The squirrels circle the tree and constantly scamper here and there, preparing for winter and periodically stopping to play. Nothing is done half-way or with resistance. What energy do I bring to my daily activities?

Pause and behold – Beauty is everywhere but do we really see it? When was the last time you stood still and simply beheld your surroundings? No need to photograph, capture and share, just gazing and breathing, receiving with gratitude.  Try it sometime. Be still, look closely, be patient and breathe. Let the value of the vista be as it is. No outside confirmation of its value is required.

Bloom Anyway – Several years ago, a friend gave me a bag of Dahlia bulbs which I plant each year then dig them up again in the fall. The crimson flowers this year are stunning and prolific especially in a small flower bed at the end of my driveway.  I admire the tenacity of these deep red symmetrical gems, blooming mightily despite the fact that nearly every dog that passes pauses to piddles on them. They bloom anyway. I needed this lesson, especially today.

Did I solve the world’s problems on my morning promenade? Of course not. But I got to experience beauty, I took care of my body, I was part of the bigger world and I carved a bit of joy into my mental landscape where only a few moments before joy felt illusive.  This was no small task and it somehow felt important. I reclaimed my inner landscape after nearly surrendering it to the lingering residue of political fatigue. This purposeful and determined gladness felt deliciously defiant and deeply empowering.

I am not naive to the enormous and troubling challenges ahead. But I have decided that each morning I shall put on my sneakers, step outside with the dog, and wander a bit to see what the day has to offer. That is my declaration of resolute gladness, a lesson I learned from the dog.

my-little-monkey

Change Your Mind: How Meditation Strengthens the Brain

Then again, … 

On the other hand, …

On second thought, …

Hang on a minute, …

I confess, I have changed my mind about various things throughout the years. Some minor changes and some pretty big. New information and new perspectives often shine a light on a situation and – voila – I see it differently and change my mind.

That is certainly not uncommon. But what if you could do more than simply change your point of view?  What if you could consciously change your brain, in fact strengthening it to make it work better? Continue reading “Change Your Mind: How Meditation Strengthens the Brain”

Inhale. Ask. Exhale. Allow.

Does this sound familiar?

“It feels so big, this idea that calls to me. Enormous really and, at times, utterly overwhelming. It needs me so, and I need it. But the risks, oh the risks, take my breath away. I don’t know if I can do this and yet I simply must, trying to hold lightly to this something in me.”

Continue reading “Inhale. Ask. Exhale. Allow.”