Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Power of Open Heart Living

Nash featured lying down at center

The quite space that is created when I meditate is an awakening and an opening to lovely, subtle gifts.  My morning practice begins before the sun rises.  I find my way in the dark to my pillow, clear my mind with cleansing breaths, and silently repeat whatever mantra is in my spirit on that day.  When I open my eyes everything is brighter.  That awakening has created a space for my 11 year old son, Nash, and I to share sunset walks, walks I wish I had shared with my older two children who are now in college.  I had not created that quiet space inside of me when they were younger and sometimes feel a bit of sadness for that loss.   But for Nash and me, those walks have become a staple in our daily living.  Even when he is tired and questioning Mommy's silly practice as I coax him away from computer time, or Lego time, the miracle of the sun coloring the evening sky gold, purple and fuchsia lights us both up inside and we are better when we return.   

I always thought of that quiet space that has opened my heart as an unseen, private gift, but yesterday that gift was reflected back to me.  A surprise birthday party at New York City's Carmine's restaurant that my lovely daughter orchestrated with my best friend, Karen, was a million sunsets, and a million brilliant colors lighting up the evening sky.  In that moment, my two older children along with friends I love and cherish joined me and Nash on our sunset walk. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Playing Big

Learn more about Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

When the man of my dreams showed me another side of himself, I ignored it.  I had yet to marry.  We had been living together for several months when, to my surprise, the man who had been sensitive, attentive and generous was suddenly cold, unavailable, and even cruel with his words when I questioned him.  I chose to dismiss his behavior.  He doesn't mean it, I told myself.  He's just nervous about his future, I reasoned.  But his words were clear:

"I am going to be a great artist," he told me.  "You just have let me do my work because that is the most important thing to me.  Can you do that?" he asked.  Without hesitation, I said yes and fell into his embrace. 

We all choose our experiences.  Yes, while my marriage was often miserable, there was something in that experience that served me.  Experiences that we define as negative serve us in some way.  It served me to hide behind my ex husband's ambition because of my sense of unworthiness and fear. I now know that my marriage served as a protective cocoon while I worked on my fears from childhood.  That cocoon kept me playing it small in the role of helper, too afraid to embrace my light, my gifts and the beautiful song I had within me.
I found my larger self and broke through my fears on my meditation pillow.  Growth during meditation is spiritual but also can be a physical sensation.  I actually feel my body expanding during meditation.  That expanded feeling of self-love and self-acceptance dissolved my fears and helped me to step out of my small role and into my divine light.  That limitless, boundless sensation is inside of all of us for a reason.  It is the promise and the right of our God, Spirit, or however we define our divine selves.  To step up and play big in the world is not only our right, it is our duty.    

What gifts have you discovered in meditation?