Relaxation

Language of the Tree

I really enjoy looking at tree bark - the whorls and swirls of bark as it moves up the trunk of the tree. It overlaps like house shingles. And it eddies around limbs and around the stumps of fallen limbs. You see the tree holes, and the flow of the bark around them.

The patterns are mesmerizing, like watching water that is stopped.

It really seems like something is written on the tree, by the tree, over and over again.

And when a vine climbs the tree, it is even more beautiful, especially in the autumn when the vine turns red.

Fire

Why does fire seem so alive?

That flame on a candle seems so peaceful, so meditative -- like it, itself, is putting out a presence.

A candlelit dinner. How charming.

One of the houses I pass on my walk has a gaslight lamp, that always has a flame burning.

I really like that.

I remember sparklers that we would light on the fourth of July. They’d leave a trail of light in the night air.

Perhaps these things remind us of our own sparkling light.

Sand

One of my earliest memories is playing in a sandbox with my brother. It had a striped awning, green and white.

The sand feels so cool, and has an unusually pleasant sensation. It’s similar to putting your hand into a bin of dried corn kernels, or sunflower seeds, or birdseed.

It feels like it is alive in some way, this easy ability to reshape as you move your hands or your feet through it. And it pours, like water.

Pine Wood

I love the smell of fresh cut pine wood.

Seeing a house being built is always fun. In particular, looking at, or better yet, walking through the framing – when all the workers have gone.

I am not sure why it feels so happy to do this, but it does.

Perhaps it’s seeing the essence of the house coming out of nothing – an empty lot.

Perhaps it’s the smell of the wood.

Or perhaps it’s a sense of adventure – exploring.

Perhaps it’s the figuring out of what room is where.

Or perhaps it’s imagining, for just a few minutes, this is our new home.

Sunflowers

I love sunflowers. I mean, here is a flower that grows bigger than me. It is gigantic. And the seeds are so visible, so wildly bountiful, and so orderly arranged.

I see them growing in the community garden, and I admire their towering, poetic, lilting stance.

There are two local farms that plant thousands of sunflowers – acres and acres - and let you walk among them. It is breath-taking. So many circles of purple-black with a rim of yellow against a backdrop of greens and a light blue sky – like nature is looking with 10,000 eyes upon the world.

Sniffing Spices

When my children were very young, we would play a game. They would smell spices, herbs, and other flavorings. The idea was not necessarily to know their names, but rather to become familiar with them directly, meeting them, letting them talk to the children.

Remarkably, many years later, I learned that this is how indigenous people would learn about healing plants – by meeting them and learning from them, rather than human experts.

The children really had definite opinions about each flavoring.

Trickling Fountain

I love to hear the sound of trickling water.

I go to garden shops and stand in front of trickling fountains.

At the Beardsley Zoo, the greenhouse has Koi fish in a pond with trickling water.

We’d go to Saint Margaret’s Shrine. I was always drawn to the statues, and in particular to a large three tiered fountain with trickling water.

At our nearby park there is a small stream that cascades sparkling water over a small waterfall to a pond.

Balanced

I am balanced.
I am balanced with heaven and earth.
I am centered.
This keeps my balance.

My breath can rebalance me.
I breathe in the outer world,
And I breathe out the inner world.

I purify my surroundings
Just by breathing,
Creating balance.

I am balanced.
I am calm.

My guides and angels are always with me.
Helpers and help are always here,
If I ask.

My inner world is peaceful.
I feel my energy clear and strong.
I know that everything is well,
Everything is working out.

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