Rest and Rejoice

After coming out of a planning cycle, here we are over mid-way through December approaching the longest day of the year: Winter Solstice. It’s also a period of time where we can become witness to major developments and shifts on Mother Earth.   Dr. David Frawley explains it well.

As we find ourselves in the busyness of the holiday season, if you can do one thing, out of all of the priorities on your to-do list, I encourage you to rest and connect with your Heart.

Rest. Be quiet. Be still, even if it is for just a few moments.  December and the holiday season is stressful for many. There’s no escaping the energetic frenzy. As soon as you walk out the door, it hits you.

This, combined with the energetic shifts happening on the planet, is all quite intense. We live in intense times. What’s being called of us is to slow down, breathe, ”get grounded,” and get to the heart of who we are and what our purpose here is on Earth.

“We really do need to get right with ourselves before we can be right with anyone else.” And be the best of who you are.”  Eric Frances, Astrologist

Many of my clients are experiencing brave, brilliant and courageous transformations. I admire the dedication to commit to their paths. But what I find interesting when I meet my clients for the first time is a hesitancy to talk about their dreams, soul-calling, matters of the heart. We quickly get there in a safe and nourishing space that allows brilliance to shine.

But here’s the thing: often we get in our way. Why do we hold ourselves back?

Seth Godin’s inspiring and moving interview with Jonathan Fields on The Good Life Project (I was delighted to catch this in my social media stream via Mitch Joel) offers some insight into what stops us from living our dreams and standing fully in our truth. We have been taught to listen to what others tell us. In our education and our jobs we’re told what to do much of the time. So if we buy into this, along with society’s idea of what an ideal life looks like, we get steered off of our path.

The busyness and pace with which we’re living our lives compounds the issue. We’re running on empty.

This is the month to replenish, before heading into the New Year…  what we find ourselves doing is quite the contrary to the natural rhythm or cycles of nature and what’s so needed.

I was delighted to come to my year-long gratitude journey with Angeles Arrien. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I have had a gratitude and journal practice as part of my morning ritual for years, and have been witness to its grounding and transformational gifts.  I coach and advise my clients to do the same – gratitude is a fundamental practice that keeps one grounded. I wanted to give my practice a bit more depth this year.

The gratitude journey has been an incredible guide and my year has been filled with a gratitude that grows stronger by the day, which brings so much Joy to life. This is another post all together which is one I will keep close to my heart.

The December chapter of Angeles’, Living in Gratitude, is called The Mystic Heart. “December is the month of holy days and holy nights, a time to express the spirit of love and generosity. It’s coming back to this remembering of what is good, true and beautiful within the human spirit that infuses this month with meaning.  It’s a time of spiritual renewal and reflection in many world traditions.”

Angeles goes on to say, “It is no coincidence that the root words of whole, health, heal and holy is hale… When we heal, we become whole – we are Holy.”

During the holidays and the days leading up to, it’s so important to open up to the healing forces and natural states of grace that allow us to be hale and hearty.

“We don’t become holy by acquiring merit badges and brownie points. It has nothing to do with virtue or job descriptions or morality.  It is nothing we can do in this do-it-yourself, 7-step approach world. It is a gift, a sheer gift, waiting to be recognized and received. “  Madeleine L’Engle

So instead of getting caught up in the frenetic pace of the season, resolve to take a different approach – one where you can receive the gifts waiting for you and you alone. Be present to it. It’s about coming back to this place of Being, back to Earth, the place we call home, at Peace – after all, it’s our Divine Birthright and it’s all that’s wanted for you.

In the coming days connect with the natural rhythms and welcome openness, generosity, kindness and joy into your heart.

And during the darkest days, take periods of rest for renewal. Here are a few practices for you to try.

One of my most cherished practices is Yoga Nidra, otherwise known as yogic sleep. One hour of Yoga Nidra is equal to three to four hours of rested sleep. So here’s my gift to you – a 21-minute Yoga Nidra practice.

Another practice that I adore is a short breathing practice, from Peace is Every Step:

As you breathe in, say to yourself, “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.” 
As you breathe out, say, “Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.” 
Just that.

You can even just say, “In…” and count to four, then breathe out, counting to four. As you practice, your breath will become peaceful and soft. Allow the breath to flow from the belly all the way up to the crown of your head, eventually feeling the body being breathed, creating space and fluidity. Your mind will also become peaceful and gentle. 
In a few minutes you will realize the benefits of meditation

Or as you breathe in you can repeat five to eight times:

“Breathing in, I calm the body. Breathing out, I smile, dwelling in the present moment. I know this is a wonderful moment.”

Or say the words “Thank you,” to remind yourself of your breath and how lucky you are to be alive.

Practicing gratitude, working with the breath, and caring for oneself through mindful conscious rest are all ingredients that invite the soul to speak. This is an invitation to come back onto the path. Listen and take away the rich bits in these moments.

Find it in your heart to come of our of your shell and do what you are meant to do. When we all find our authentic place, and bring our gifts and innate talents forward, the world becomes a much better place to live. We all have a part to play. If only we get out of our own way…

Looking forward to what lies ahead for everyone and seeing you in the New Year.

May you have a peaceful, calm and restful holiday.

And, May All Beings Be at Peace.

Much love and light,

Paula

 

 

 

 

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