Now that the warmer weather has hit Long Island, I have awoken from hibernation and I am having a hard time taming my spring fever. I cannot get enough of being outside in nature feeling the warm sun beat down on my skin. At times, I often cannot decide what I want to do first. There are so many options. Do I want to go to the beach, take out my paddle board, or hit up one of my favorite outdoor restaurants? Decisions decision! Honestly, my favorite outdoor activity lately has been hiking.
The kids and I discovered a great set of trails nearby in a little town called Cold Spring Harbor. We stumbled upon this hidden gem walking through this quaint village. As we began our journey up a steep incline my 5-year-old was so intrigued. He was filled with wonder as to what awaited him at the top of the steps. Would there be fairies, owls, a magic tree? We had a blast discovering nature together. The best part was, no one was asking for an I-pad or smart phone. We were engaged in conversation and connecting to the world around us. The beauty that we discovered filled us with positive vibes and paved the way for meaningful conversations and laughs. It also provided an opportunity for me to teach my children the importance of being mindful. That’s when you allow your mind to shut out the noise from daily life. It’s so important for me to teach my babies how to tune into their inner-self and use mother nature to guide them through the process.
Hiking isn’t just good for your mind it’s good for your body. Hiking is a powerful cardio work out that can:
*Lower the risk for heart disease
*Improve blood pressure
*Strengthen your core
*Build strength throughout the rest of your body
*Help control weight
*Most importantly boost your mood. “Research has showed that hiking has a positive impact on fighting the symptoms of stress and anxiety,” says Gregory A. Miller, PhD, president of the American Hiking Society.
No matter where you are in your life, single, married, or dating hiking offers you the same benefits. If you haven’t done so lately, get out and find some hiking trails. Discover something while being engulfed by trees and the sounds of mother nature whispering in your ear. Trust me your body and mind will thank you.
Are you expecting? I was.
Several blog posts ago I focused on perfect love and to date I continue to work on my ability to give and receive love effortlessly.
These last 40 days provided me with the opportunity to travel further on my love quest. After much soul searching and peace searching, I found the root of my love challenge. I was expecting! What an enlightenment! My discovery allowed me to walk on, and I confess the road was rocky in my pursuit of peaceful, effortless love.
My extended journey led me to a trinity of sources and each one provided me with the clarity I was looking for. The first person was (is), Jesus Christ. The compassion of Jesus and His ability to love in the face of adversity, continues to astound me. Saint Paul describes the emptiness of action without love in 1 CORINTHIANS, CHAPTER13 . Although I know I will never reach Jesus’s level of perfection, His model of love pushed me to conduct a short but meaningful activity that I developed for myself. I divided a sheet of paper down the middle. On one side of the paper I listed five words that I felt defined the qualities of love.
5. Indulgence (which is different from understanding and/or sympathy)
On the other side of the paper I listed five words that I felt defined the qualities of compassion.
Suddenly I realized my definition of love was exhausting me in my efforts to show love and in my husband’s efforts to meet my expectation of love. In that moment compassionate love blazed genuine. Didn’t it make more sense to look at love as a soothing value rather than a responsibility that most of the time causes angst?
In my search to fully comprehend my new discovery, I stumbled upon my second source,
Jaggi Vasudev Sadhguru in his talk on how expectations ruin love. I listened intently as Guru explained, “love, most people go into relationships to give love and to get love.” He additional shared, “however, expectations ruin the relationship.” An aha moment! Guru went on to say “not even a god or a goddess can meet the expectations of another and in time the relationship will sour, and why does an individual feel unfilled when each piece of the life is complete by itself?” As I listened the tension of my idea of love began to ease. The calculations of who did what and how many times, and whose turn is it, and if you loved me you would do it began to fade away and be replaced by the peace that comes with compassion.
Wanting to learn more I traveled further down the road where I met my third source, Aruna Shields, on the free meditation app InsightTimer. Aruna guided a six-minute meditative interpretation of the Tao Te Ching. Basically, the Tao enforces the human spiritual perfection and the art of ruling through applying the Tao principles. Personally, I took the “art of ruling” as applied to myself, meaning that by meditating on the principles I can preside over or govern the improvement of my spiritual being. Each of the Tao principles unlocks a mystery. The first principle, “the you who can be discussed is not the eternal you,” shook me to my very core and detonated a fury of feelings I had never before recognized. I realized that my ability to give and receive love hinged on the expectations of others and if me and my choices caused disappointment it would result in judgement and gossip. Crippling! How could I love and give love if I was not true to myself? Here is where the real work began, and in the words of Guru, “when we devoid ourselves of expectations, we set ourselves free.” ❤
To journey is to discover…. I’ll see you there.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything else you do flows from it.” That’s Proverbs 4:23 and it’s the bullseye.
I am now more vociferously taking this a step further. I’m guarding the eyes and ears of my heart. What am I watching? Do I really want that image in my memory? What am I giving my attention to both internally & externally? Is it challenging me in a good way? Am I running a rut in a well-worn track? What am I listening to? Do the words of this song uplift me? Am I singing along to what I want to feel? How much negative news does anyone need to listen to on a daily basis? The media wants us to believe it’s 24/7; as if we could possibly miss something.
A long time ago a dear friend said to me “Garbage in – garbage out.” How true those words ring. I’ve decided the scales of my environment need to weigh heavily on the side of positivity including lighthearted, encouraging and hopeful. Who am I surrounding myself with? What is their attitude? Do we lift each other up to braver, lighter more joyful places?
Time is our most precious commodity; Time is wealth; so how am I choosing to invest my heart? What do I want my heart to hold since out it flows the issues of life?
Time to detoxify; recalibrate and set my focus on things that are lovely, kind and of good report.
Sea & Skye
People say change “can” be hard to accept, well I’m here to say IT IS along with being frightening & exhausting.
Leaving behind what we know and are familiar with can be stressful to say the least. I speak from experience – this will be the 3rd time my family has moved in the last 9 months. Now I realize I’m painting with a dark palette but there are streaks of light.
I’ve learned to travel lighter. There is only so much household accoutrement one really needs and it’s a good time to share the wealth. A dear friend suggested I look at objects and ask myself “Does this bring me joy?” and allow it to fare accordingly.
I discovered there’s no such thing as perfect and even if there is, contentment beats it by a mile. Change brings plenty of decisions to be made and I’ve found “Let peace be your umpire” the best advice yet, courtesy of Saint Paul.
We are still in the throes of this latest change and quite honestly stress has ruled more days than I care to admit. But it’s okay to be emotional. No one emotion is more valid than another and each deserves its own particular attention. Self-sufficiency is an admirable attribute but it’s also good to ask for help because it gives family and friends an opportunity to give of themselves.
So, in the midst of upheaval I’m also navigating a change of heart. More to come.
Sea & Skye
Perfection is such a subjective term. One woman’s hell is another’s heaven.
Society pressures us to push toward “perfection” in both subtle & obvious ways. Every magazine cover model is an airbrushed size two. The food displayed in cooking shows takes a team to prepare not the single host we see throw it together in 15 minutes. Traditional home to Boho chic branding calls out to us daily. Have we climbed our chosen career ladder in a timely manner? Celebrities decry 50 is the new 30 & 60 the new 40! Are we still trying to “bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan & never let him forget he’s a man?”
Is anyone else exhausted besides me??
I assert we were meant to be perfectly imperfect. What if all this striving for an illusory perfection is just stealing the contentment we could luxuriate in right now? If we took the time to be grateful for what is, I would dare say we might have more energy for change that produces lasting results.
No one & I mean no one was made to be a cookie cutter replica of another person. We are gloriously individual in body, mind & spirit. We are called to be a symphony of different ideas, sizes, styles & beliefs harmonizing in community. Let’s support each other’s so called “imperfections” heck let’s celebrate them! Let’s begin to see them for the gifts that they are.
If you have unwittingly moved in to the “Stepford” idea of who, how or what you should be, lean in…the gate is open & freedom awaits. Let’s be radically perfectly imperfect & unabashedly laugh out loud.
Sea & Skye