A resource for making midlife and beyond beautiful

Something hearty to talk about around the Thanksgiving table. HeartMath Institute shares research on benefits of gratitude. http://ow.ly/qTdRZ

All we have in the here and now is our love for each other, our willingness to forgive one another, and our willingness to come to each other’s rescue. Edgar Kahn.

I would add love and forgive for ourselves, too. What are three things that make your spirit dance? Put those at the top of your list today.

“Here is the question: Are you willing to be completely at peace with how things are right now in your life? Are you willing for just one moment to let go of all your dissatisfaction, of all your suffering about how things are? Are you willing to let go of all the worry and tension in your body and simply breathe? . . . . I’m not asking if you know how do this. I’m asking if you would be willing to do this if you knew how?”~Oriah Mountain Dreamer from THE DANCE. http://ow.ly/i/3yXEq My friend Sage Lewis beathing and smiling with the horses.

Starting Brene Brown’s wholehearted living course with friend Peg. Love the creative part. Good to be a student now & then. #OLCBreneCourse.

Who would like to join Lynn in taking this fun, interactive 6-week eCourse from Brene Brown and Oprah on Wholehearted Living? I’d love some people to play with! http://ow.ly/pUqNg

Teachers make a difference. Kids care. Watch this. You’ll be inspired. http://ow.ly/pEhAs d

Some couldn’t open the link I posted from NPR on the prevalence of medical mistakes. My daughter’s life was altered by one. This research is worth looking at. http://ow.ly/pC4Zz

My daughter Shannon’s life was altered by a medical mistake. This NPR article has new findings on the the high number. Please have a look.

….if the body were not the Soul, what is the Soul?  Image

-  Walt Whitman, I Sing the Body Electric

One of my favorite things is waking up to a summer breeze caressing my skin, light filtering through gently billowing curtains, my body alive with possibility, open to the divine dance of life.

We all have ways of opening to the divine or, if you prefer, higher consciousness. Some use the mind through study and thinking. This is approach is highly regarded in our culture, and though I, too, love learning, read and write books, study and teach at universities, the more I work with the horses, the more I realize how language can be a buffer between me and the deep knowing of felt experience.

Spiritual exploration is another form of connecting with the divine, a no-brainer, perhaps, in a Judeo-Christian culture like ours. Growing up Catholic gave me a lifelong interest in the mysteries of the spirit. But when heartfelt spiritual exploration gets tangled up in the barbed wire of rigid dogma, it creates divisiveness and restricts access to the soul.

I have always loved, touched, cared for and ridden horses. I revel in their bodies, in my body, in the beauty and lovely functionality of the physical body. I revel in my body’s ability to transport me to deeper dimensions of awareness through the horses and also through physical activities like yoga, dance, sex, martial arts and massage.  As an avid practitioner of all these things at various times in my life, one day I understood. I wasn’t running away from anything in all my physical activity. I was moving toward. The body, I realized, though often relegated to secondary status, admonished as a thing to be monitored and controlled, when allowed, as Mary Oliver says “to love what it loves,” is a gateway—my gateway—to the divine dance of life.

As my body awakens to the breeze on my skin this morning, I feel my mare, Blue Angel, still under me from yesterday’s ride, my blue-jeaned seat on her strong bare back, my legs around her warm sides. I carry in my cells my body and Blue’s, her feet on the ground, my arms to the sky under the warm summer sun. We are one body connected to all that is, an embodied holy moment alive still in this early morning light.

——

In what ways does your physical body open you to the divine dance of life?

From http://www.napowrimo.net/: I challenge you to write a poem in which each line except the last takes the form of a single, declarative sentence. Then, the final line should take the form of a question. With any luck, this will result in poems that have a sort of driving, reportorial tone, but with a powerful rhetorical finish. Let’s hope so, anyway!

 

The bus filled with shoppers leaves for the Portuguese mall.
I cannot make myself board when sea and sky, right here, hold me captive.
The sands of the Algarve demand bare feet.
The sky seduces like a tenor sax.
“Come, come,” it sings.
I carry my sandals, roll up my skirt, ready to dance.
The beach, a sensuous partner, proves warm and substantial.
I leave footprints where the tide went out, head for a café by the water.
That it is close is pure illusion.
I walk and dance, walk and dance.
The sun kisses my shoulders.  My legs ache.
The café looms near now. I made it!
An icy Coke would taste sooo good.
I forgot money.
I rest for a while on a wooden chair, turn back, quiet now.
The tide is coming in.
I walk closer to the cliffs.
Halfway back, a naked man huddles by the rocks, calling for a passer-by to look at him, not at water, not sky.
I am the only passer-by.
My dance, driven forward like a one-way tango, becomes  more dramatic.
The sun slants toward the horizon, brushes my bare ankles on a breath of wind.
Sand, water, my feet, the late afternoon air have my back, giving me a firm lead.
That my hotel is close feels like pure illusion.
Over my shoulder, the man recedes from view, sitting again on the sidelines naked in the shadow of the cliff.
At the hotel, the shoppers are back with their bags and boxes.
I have returned from my date with life.
The sun drops into the ocean like the big orange ball in Times Square.
First it’s there. Then it’s gone.
My balcony juts high above  the beach, the perfect place to watch as the night air cools.
If he had a name would I have known what to do?

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