At Twirl, we bring you beautiful gifts and apparel from America's Heartland with messages that uplift and inspire. One of our gift lines is "Love and Appreciation". Today, I'm sharing a bit about why I love apprecation!
My heart is like a tuning fork, and I get to decide in each moment my vibrational frequency. On a typical day, I run a wide range of frequencies (think “emotions”) through my system. My amazing heart is sometimes giddy with the beauty of nature, sometimes fearful with the unknown looming before me, angry, sad, and many feelings on the spectrum. A practice of mindfulness allows me to partner my mind with my heart, and offers more opportunity to choose perspective and adjust my frequency to the preference I have in the moment.
Experiencing a range of emotions is healthy and human! Sometimes when I am sad or angry, I ride deeply into those feelings and allow them their space and time. In my day to day life, though, I have a strong preference for experiencing joy, peace, love and appreciation; of these, appreciation is the easiest to get to no matter where I find myself on the vibration dial. Finding joy when I’m really mad about something is a great big giant step for me. In my experience, however, there is ALWAYS something I can appreciate. Often something in my environment captures my attention. Wind, water, fire, air, earth, light all make up the world around me, and often the smallest thing is large enough to bring on full body appreciation and, voila, vibrational shift.
How do I feel when I am in appreciation? I feel open and full at the same time. In addition, I find that when feeling appreciation there are often dimensions of joy, and peace and love. Appreciation has a one-ness feel to me, as if I am breathing in an essence of something beautiful and wonderful – whether that’s an oldie but a goodie on the radio, the color of a scarf, or a bite of cookie. Appreciation is not a snob. What captures my attention in a delightful way right now? A crunchy pickle?! Good enough!
Ah…. This is where I feel the vibrational difference between appreciation and gratitude. When I am grateful for this pickle, I feel thankful that it has been provided for me, for the vegetable that gives its life to me, for the folks that picked it, pickled it, packed it and shipped it. Yet it is an “I and Thou” relationship. I am grateful FOR all of that. Not a bad feeling. Gratitude is important to me because it is both comforting and humbling to remember how many people have a hand in the life I enjoy. But appreciation, the taking in of pickleness and feeling my joy and love of pickle crunch, somehow makes me feel one-with. Are you with me?
Appreciation is so equal opportunity that it invites me to open up and feel inclusive of experiences beyond my own – like maybe you don’t feel appreciation for the pickle. Maybe you appreciate the onion. But when I am in appreciation of pickle and you are in appreciation of onion, we are one in the vibration of appreciation. Namaste.
Posted on 25 Mar 09:13
, 1 comment
Do you know someone who is giving so much you wonder how they continue to sustain the giving? Maybe you have been that person. Maybe you are that person now.
The human spirit is able to endure incredible challenges and continue to shine. I have seen career and family caregivers sustained by their faith, hope, love and joy. Faith that they will have the strength to do what they need to do. Faith that there is a bigger picture than they can see right now. Faith, and hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, a better day ahead. And love, the energy and motivation that allows selfless service. Love allows people to go beyond themselves. When that love is flowing out more than in, selfless service quickly results in caregiver fatigue. The work depletes the giver, and loss of joy is often the cost for this depletion.
Do you know a person who is tireless, joyful, gentle, and kind? A person that makes everyone around them feel better. They have a special glow. Yes, they are human and have low moments, but most days they light up a room with their presence. These people are balm that heals body, mind and heart of those around them. These special people live in flow, and they work with joy. Joy is one feeling that springs up from feeling love flowing in, coming from a source beyond the individual self. They know the secret of participating in receiving a stream that flows through them, not from them. They move through their days feeling blessed. They look around their world and see things to appreciate everywhere.
If you or a loved one is giving to the point of fatigue, there is good news! By shifting focus from giving to receiving, we tap into something much bigger than ourselves. We remember we are not alone. It may be something as simple as remembering a friend cares about us. That seemingly small act of focus is like an in-breath. I am loved. Suddenly my fatigue seems lighter. Do this experiment to see how you respond when you feel “I am loved”. Take quick stock of how you are feeling – body, mind and heart. Then spend a minute or two imagining a feeling of being loved. Feel it with as much detail and intensity as you are able to bring to the experiment. Then do another quick inventory and see how you feel in your body, mind and heart. Did you move the dial up a notch on your overall sense of well-being? As simple as an in-breath, remembering we are loved feeds us. We have more energy, move vitality, and come into better balance as caregivers.
At Twirl, we remember the comfort received from a casserole lovingly delivered, or cookies taken to a new neighbor to welcome them. These gestures carry value greater than the physical gift offered. Involved in the exchange is a heartfelt giving that lets the recipient know they are cared for and thought about. When you send someone a gift from Twirl, send them a reminder of this little secret: the love you send with the gift flows through you, to them. The love (or well-wishes) nourishes you as you feel it, and them as they receive it. Then each moment spent in mindful focus increases the value of the gift received! The more we participate in the flow – both in and out - the more strength and ease we experience.
Take time each day to feel the flow of love and grace that is present each moment. It awaits your attention. Open your eyes to the beauty in nature. Open your heart to the energy that flows in when you remember that you are loved. As a caregiver, nourish first yourself. It is a simple as breathing in.
This thanksgiving week, I am thankful for the light that you shine into the world! You can’t help yourself. Simply walking through the world, you leave in your wake people impacted by your thoughts, words, and actions. Can you sense your thoughts and feelings like threads, or strands of spider-web-like light, connecting you to your goals, to people, to places? Can you feel across the miles and across time the love you have shared and the pain you have eased?
Our thoughts and feelings are like filaments of light. We are tendrils of energy weaving a tapestry more complex and magnificent than we can imagine from our up-close and personal perspective. By choosing our thoughts and words with care and consciousness, we develop our ability to co-create this fabric of our lives and share our strength with each other. Gifts from Twirl not only send a message that you are thinking of someone, but remind you that you are connected every time you think of each other. The love you send out is received, amplified, and sent back to you, so shining your light benefits others AND yourself.
I gave a Twirl t-shirt to my daughter when she left for school last fall. She texted me recently and said “wearing my Twirl shirt today and it is making me feel like a radiant goddess”.
Just so happened that day I was wearing one of my Twirl shirts. I sent her a picture of me in my studio Twirling, and for the rest of the day we were strengthened by our shared energy of love and joy. If the threads of our connection were visible, the web of love and light connecting us must have looked like a super-highway with all the car lights on high beam!
Want to take a few minutes to re-charge your battery. Listen here. Imagine all the love and kindness you’ve ever received flowing into you on beautiful threads of light. Soak it all in. Then thank all those people in your life and release all the threads (as easily as a dandelion releases its seeds in the wind). Now sit in your own light, feel love for yourself FROM yourself. You are precious. You are loved. I am thankful you are shining! Namaste.
Posted on 1 Nov 20:57
, 3 comments
This past month, I've been writing about maintaining stability in times of change and uncertainty. Today, my message is one of hope. Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world". Today, I'm asking you to be the hope you want to see in the world.
I've always been an optimist. Not a glass-half-full optimist. I'm a "if we drink that 1/2 glass and are still thirsty, more will be provided in abundance" kind of optimist. I look around the world and see that life and love are stronger than fear and hate. I see more than enough evidence of the pain and suffering we inflict on ourselves and each other, but I see the power of love and kindness every day, too. Let's stay focused on what we want, not what we're afraid of. Let's join together to keep hope alive in times that often look dark.
At Twirl, when we invite you to "wrap yourself in the power of words" we mean it! State your hope out loud. Share your hope with friends and loved ones. Feel how each time we share our hope, the light of hope gets stronger. If you'd like to listen to a 5 minute meditation on hope, listen here.
I shared one of our Twirl healing wraps with a friend today. When she warms it and drapes it around her neck, she will think of me and remember how much I love her, but beyond that, the simple gesture of the gift brought a little hope into her heart.
Will you share with us a story about how you keep hope alive in the world? Each of your stories is a thread in the tapestry that we weave together. Each time you share, our threads are spun together and become stronger. Thank you for being a part of the Twirl story.
Hope and Healing
Posted on 23 Oct 18:27
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Do you feel the changing season? Do you feel the spin of the turning of the planet? How do YOU maintain stability in the midst of inevitable change? The natural world holds clues that sustain and uplift me. October’s remarkably blue sky painted with exquisite cloud formations, magical fall days with multi-colored leaves swirling in winds, and night skies deep with stars, all tell a story of a vast and connected universe. Noticing this invites me to both focus my awareness more deeply within and expand my attention to our interconnections. As we say in yoga: namaste. The Light within me greets the Light within you. Or, as we say here at Twirl: Twirl…Connect.
As change sweeps around me, I use our motto, “wrap yourself in the power of words” to create a stable focus for myself. “Love and Appreciation”, the message we share in our premiere collection, establishes our foundation. I’ve written briefly about the choice of those words in an earlier blog that you can read here.
This month, we’re bringing out a new design, created in partnership with Turning Point, a Kansas City organization that provides “Hope and Healing”. These are powerful words! Use the message of hope and healing to create more joy and peace in your world. How do you ride through the changing seasons in your life? Are you buffeted by media barrage? Dealing with illness or loss? Busy with the ever-changing demands of a young family? Making a mindful choice to keep a feeling of hope alive within yourself is one possibility! Holding the vibrations of hope and healing create more joy and peace not only in your own life but, through your presence and practice, in the world at large.
What does hope feel like to you? A flickering flame within your heart? A light shining in the darkness? A willingness to believe that our path twists and turns in ways unexpected? And where do you find hope? In the sunrise? In the eyes of a child? In the warmth of a stranger’s smile? Sit for a moment and find a feeling of hope. Bookmark it for yourself! Add it to your favorites! Revisit it often. Imagine hope is a precious seedling that you will water, provide light for, and foster through the coming winter.
Last week I wrote about the power of allowing. For me, healing is tied to allowing. The systems within our body and on our planet are self-renewing. Regeneration is built into the design. Transformation, change, and the passing of old to allow new are also parts of the process of living. For me, healing is intricately interwoven into the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of my life. Healing on any of these levels is reflected across my entire experience. Recently, I’ve been using a mantra my sister taught me. As she walks every day, she says to herself “Happy cells! Healthy cells!” Cooperating consciously in this way with the body’s programming to renew and heal optimizes the brain’s capacity to release its healing power.
Use your ability to focus your intention and your attention to choose with awareness how you will hold yourself stable in times of change. Keep hope in your heart! Invite healing within yourself, for your loved ones, and for our planet. If you want a reminder to stay focused on hope and healing, order one of our healing wraps here. A portion of each purchase will benefit the programs at Turning Point, a center for hope and healing. Remember you are a beautiful and important part of a magnificent and interconnected universe. The world is blessed by having you in it!
I marvel frequently. Marveling goes well with appreciation! Everywhere in the world, I see patterns and flow (physics!) that bring me moments of awe. It is simply a question of focus – selecting the appropriate lens, finding a new viewing angle. Yes, I see the same road I drive every day. I pass many of the same people as I patter along my daily route. I like my routine! That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of room for wonder and marvel. A small shift of focus unmasks the mundane and shows the magic of the moment. One way I shift focus is by sending my attention inward to notice my body. Recognizing the body’s fluid nature helps me move out of mundane and straight toward magnificent!
This past week, I shared a beautiful video showing, in slow motion, vibration patterns emerging in water. Commenting on the video, I shared that some of the early inspiration for Twirl was the idea that our bodies are largely fluid in nature and, like water, responsive to vibration. My friend Pam told me about an experience she had. She imagined the vibration of words like “love” and “joy” and “peace” flowing into and through her body as she drifted toward sleep. She felt herself “becoming” love and joy and peace.
Today, I’m going to share a movement practice that I use to help me create greater sensitivity to the fluid nature of my body, and through that sensitivity bring more marvel into my mundane. As you read this, take time to do the exercise. Or, if you prefer, listen here to an audio recording and I’ll guide you through the experience.
To bring your attention to your body, reflect on some things you know about it. You know your mouth waters when you see something that looks delicious or smell something enticing. You know that blood flows through your veins and carries nutrients to all parts of the body, as well as carrying waste products away for recycling. Perhaps you know about the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes our brain and spinal cord.
Settle in. Feel the outflow of your breath and the intake of your breath. Even breath has a wavelike flow. Imagine the nourishment of the breath being picked up by the bloodstream and flowing through your body. From the lungs, the blood goes to the heart and nourishes that organ. This is a lovely reminder of the importance of nourishing our hearts! As the blood flows through the body it delivers energy to all parts of you. Take a minute to feel every part of your body receiving that flow of energy.
Now move your attention deep within your body. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows in a sac called the dura mater (which means “tough mother”!). This CSF is like clear, pure water surrounding your brain and spinal cord. It, too, flows with a wavelike rhythm. Imagine is it like an inner mountain stream that sparkles in pristine beauty. Or, like a lazy river in a water park, imagine it as it circulates up and down around the central nervous system in an endless stream.
Bring your attention to your spine. Allow the spine to move in wavelike undulations. Soften effort, and feel where the body moves easily. Focus on where you feel fluid movement. You may imagine your body like seaweed, or like a sea creature. Take several minutes to enjoy gentle undulating movements of the spine.
Now allow a word like “peace” or “love” to drop into the clear, cool water of your body/mind. As if you are able to feel the vibration of the words, let them resonate through you. If you discover any areas of your body that feel tight or resistant, simply invite gentle fluid movement to move a bit more fully into these places. Be gentle with tight places, as if opening up to receive a soft rain.
Observe the impact this exercise has on your sense of well-being. I find even spending a minute or two with this practice wakes me up out of my ordinary life and reminds me of the extraordinary within and around me.
Tonight when I lay my head on my pillow, I’ll feel the softness of my Twirl pillowcase. I’ll allow my eyes to move toward the words “love and appreciation” embroidered there. I’ll close my eyes and smile. Nothing mundane about that. Marvelous!
Posted on 4 Sep 16:55
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A body scan is a great way to bring our attention to the here and now. We can learn a lot by taking a minute or two and checking in with our body. Noticing things like sensation in the chest, belly, head and extremities is a practice so simple even very young children can benefit from this practice.
Practice with the curiosity of a child! Your body deserves and desires your attention!
At Twirl, vibration is an important consideration in the creation of our products. The world all around us is vibration. Movement, color, and sound are some ways we perceive these vibrations. This week, as you practice mindfulness day-to-day, choose with intention and notice vibration. What does that mean? Today, for instance, I chose to put on a durable cotton shift of soft green, with whimsical flowers offering small splashes of coral and lavender. I took time to feel (vibration is sensed) how these colors feel to me. Made me smile! I chose my eggs gently scrambled. The soft, fluffy firmness suited me just right. My eyes, my mouth and my tummy all enjoying the moment. Today, ask yourself, “What do I see? Smell? Taste? How does this feel or resonate?
Everything is vibration. We learn to read its language - frequency - through practicing focused attention. Since our experience is filtered through our unique and personal biology and biography, we are the only ones with the capacity to discern what brings us more joy and makes us twirl. Living ever more fully in the NOW, we find little presents hiding in plain sight. Portals into Presence. I’ve called them “Dime Store Moments”. Choice of clothing and food are only two examples of ways we create each day. Our focus, dancing on a platform of attention and intention, has the power to make the mundane magnificent. The light shining around the edges of the cloud or the clerk’s smile behind the counter may pass by unnoticed or may change us forever.
Mindful selection in everyday decisions lets me find more joy, ease, and comfort. Music is one of my favorite ways to find support in setting my vibration. A piece of music can instantly shift me, grab me, and carry me on it. When I allow that assistance, my work becomes a dance of celebration and effortless grace. What lightens your load? Is it music? Color? Light? Texture? Aroma? Notice what brings you deep and expansive feelings of love and appreciation. What makes you twirl? Do more of that! This week, will you join me in the practice? Let’s nourish and nurture ourselves by paying closer attention to our choices.
Twirl’s gift line was created to provide you ways to share feelings of love and appreciation in a real and tangible way with loved ones who are sometimes far away. This demands we tune in to the frequency of love and appreciation for ourselves first. Through mindful choice during the day and focused intention/attention during rest, we can feel more enriched and energized. This is the feeling I refer to as “twirling”. Will you give yourself this gift? Lay your head down on your pillow at night and feel LOVE. Feel APPRECIATION. Soak it in. Begin with this and notice where it leads you.
This coming weekend is Labor Day. You work hard. How will you celebrate? If you want to treat yourself like royalty, unplug and rest on one of our luxurious pillow cases
. (These also make great gifts for house guests and hosts!) Even if you find yourself working instead of vacationing, use the reliable tool of mindfulness to experience more of the joy, love, and delight that awaits you. Each time you consciously choose you are one step closer to living in vibrations that resonate with your highest joys
Posted on 24 Jul 08:22
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Do you have 3 minutes to create a more mindful and centered experience for yourself? This very simple exercise guides you to appreciate the breath.
Posted on 17 Jul 10:10
, 1 comment
According to Webster’s dictionary, to appreciate is “to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of” and appreciation is “sensitive awareness”. Appreciation requires us to slow down, notice and feel. Imagine the different experiences of two people eating a meal. One is in a hurry and distracted, getting ready with the next bite before the current bite is even chewed. Like a sleepwalker awakening, they suddenly notice their plate is empty. Perhaps at the end of the meal they are still unsatisfied. The other diner takes the time to enjoy the visual presentation, the aroma, the textures and the tastes. Each bite is taken with a discernment that might be seen as reverent and sacred. Which diner do you think gets more value from their meal?
Our lives are busy, and our brains are naturally wired to make quick judgements and be on the lookout for the next new thing. Appreciation is one pleasurable way to engage the mind and heart in grasping “the nature, worth, quality, or significance of” the things that surround us every day. This morning, I awoke with my cheek on one of Twirl’s soft, Egyptian cotton pillow cases. I used my breath to draw me more deeply into appreciation, allowing a delicate inhalation to increase my “sensitive awareness” to the softness. What a beautiful way to start the day! I noticed the hem embroidered with “Love and Appreciation”. I allowed those words to inspire me and set the mood for my day.
Another definition of appreciate is “to increase the value of”. Each of us is unique in what appeals to our preferences and sensitivities. It is easy to notice what irritates us, but when we take time to notice what brings us joy and delight we can bring more value to each moment. I don’t know about you, but I have a strong preference for that!