Relaxation

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.

Drawn to Drawing

I love to draw. And I love to paint even a little more.

There’s something so amazing about becoming immersed in an imaginary world – to create something inspired out of thin air.

Well, it’s really not something out of thin air in my experience, but rather playing with someone or something larger than me. You could call it higher self, God, or the Muse, but there is something there that I am working with -- no, playing with.

Someone once said that half of creating is just showing up. Every Sunday afternoon I either draw or paint. I show up.

I Like Quiet Time

I like the quiet times.

When there is a lull in the day.

And the hectic pace stops.

I like the clock that I can hear tick-tock. It beats at one herz – what an interesting number – one cycle per second, the rate of a heart beating.

I like to take a walk, with no thoughts, no agenda, nothing to solve.

I like to stare out into space and see what appears.

I am open and willing to receive.

I see the morning dew on the grass, sparkling and twinkling, and find it hard to look away.

I like the quiet time smelling hot apple pie baking.

The Littlest Poems

I love to read Haiku. The idea is to capture the essence, actually the feeling, of something in just a few words.

Some of them are timeless, as is this one by the Japanese poet Gomei:

One chestnut, only one,
Is all his tiny hands can hold,
My little baby son.
(Gomei)

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