I've been thinking about grace a lot lately. It really got my attention the other day when I was working hard outside with my husband, preparing a section of land to fence in as pasture for my horses. It was good, hard work, and I could see my dreams becoming reality before me.
Dreaming out loud I told my husband, "So, I'm thinking we'll put the fence out this direction," motioning with my hands to show where the fencing would go across the field.
He invited me to walk with him as he showed me how he envisioned it would all come together."The fence will come out this way and go around the raised beds..." As I followed and listened to him I began to feel bewildered. This was not how I had imagined it would be, or what I thought we had agreed on. I began to pepper him with questions, my cadence shortened, and I felt my throat tense up.
Before my eyes I saw him shut down - and for the life of me I couldn't understand why! "Are you angry?" I asked him with...
Have you taken in a blue sky with puffy white clouds on a warm summer’s day lately - or in the past? Can you bring to your mind and body what that felt like to experience? As you remember can you slow down your inner experience to notice any sensations in your heart space, your face, your belly, or any images in your mind’s eye? I, personally, have found this can seem very stretching to pull off, especially in the face of stress or anxiety when I had been anticipating pleasure instead.
Several years ago after spending the morning connecting and working with my horses, I was looking forward to going with my son to visit one of the local Horse Rescue centers together. As I went into the house, I heard my son express with intensity, “It hurts! It hurts! Get off of me!”
I felt my belly clench and face tighten, as I quickly moved to his side to offer my support only to be met with, “Don’t touch me!” as he began...
After walking up the stairs early one morning, I heard my lungs begin to wheeze, and as a rattling stirred deep in my chest, my mind screamed, "I'm not getting enough air - I can't breathe!" instantaneously my whole body tightened into resistance with such an intensity that blind panic coursed through me.
My eyes desperately scanned my outer environment for some means of help, and in that moment, I recognized this inner-state of being on a cellular level; learned helplessness. As I stopped, frozen in the ever-present-past, another layer of implicit belief emerged; “even if there was someone there - they couldn't help me - it'd make it worse.”
When that was not instantly made wrong by my inner critic, I felt a slight inner-shift as a tender aspect of my inner self emerged, which seemed very vulnerable and all alone. So completely and utterly alone there was no one else to reach out to, no one to see me, to hear me, or to help me.
I resisted the inner...
What’s it like for you when you feel disappointment? What have you noticed it’s like for your child? In my experience, disappointment can feel crushing to them. Especially when it’s around something they’ve been looking forward to for awhile.
I remember homeschooling my youngest son when we’d arranged a time for him to hang out with his friends. He didn’t get to do this as often as my older children had, because they had attended public schools. When the arrangements fell through he felt crushed.
He ran to his room and lay crying on his bed "But we planned it in advance! It's not fair!”
At the time I paused a moment to acknowledge my own visceral response, I noticed my heart was racing and my breathing was shallow. I placed my hand on my heart, and closed my eyes to focus inward, I focused on my breath and tracked my body sensations. My gut and shoulders had clenched tight, and the flavor of emotion was near panic and despair.
How do you foster relationship within yourself and with others? What is your first thought upon waking or before falling asleep at the end of the day? Do you greet yourself with kindness upon waking, taking the time to imagine your upcoming day with curiosity? At the end of the day, do you take time to reflect and celebrate the moments that went well and to mourn and repair those moments that were difficult? How do you greet your loved ones "Good morning" and say "Good night" before they go to bed?
I have been intentional to take time every morning and night to reflect and ponder these questions surrounding relationships and discovered with some delight and fascination how this practice unfolded in my relationship with my youngest son.
I remember waking up as a child hearing my Dad downstairs singing, "Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day..." and as I came down the stairs he would greet me with a cheerful smile, "Good morning,...
I personally love the holiday season, all the different varieties of them. What I really enjoy is “window shopping" to see what will inspire me to think of a loved one while browsing about. However, there is one year I remember when my husband was working out of town and Rylan was much smaller. I would think about going shopping and it would just feel overwhelming. Just to get out of the house and go out in public, let alone doing any actual shopping. Especially during holidays, I’m wondering if you have noticed, just how much commercialism is out there. There is so much less relaxation and ease, and I feel so much more stress and pressure from the environment. My system thinks it’s just a little bit too much.
There are so many more items on display, and they just seem to tempt you to impulsively pick them up - and they beg to be purchased. Especially for kids, the visuals, smells, and sounds can be overwhelming the sensory circuits to navigate, so they get...