Posted on 18 Sep 21:58
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Do you like to plan ahead? Many of life’s transitions can be made more smoothly with planning. When I had my babies, knowing that there is a part of labor and delivery called “transition” that is particularly intense helped me be prepared. Expecting what was coming, and having a plan to deal with it, made it less scary and more possible to ride it through.
There are transitions, however that come unbidden and unexpected. How do you ride through those times? In much the same way that the relaxation and breathing skills I practiced while I was pregnant helped me through transition during childbirth, practicing when it’s easy helps you get prepared for what’s ahead, no matter what surprises life delivers.
Practice when it’s easy! How do you stay centered, well-fed in body, mind, and heart? For me, I practice when it’s easy with regular time for meditation, time in nature, and frequent pauses during my day to take a few deep breaths and remember that aspect of myself that is connected to source. It doesn’t keep some life events from rocking my world and driving me to my knees, but it does provide a well of strength I can draw on in rough times.
At Twirl, we make gifts that carry a message, a reminder that we are connected. My Twirl throw is a calming weight on my lap as I sit in meditation in the morning, or a warm wrap around my shoulders if the morning is cool. Yesterday, my little bracelet with the Twirl logo on it reminded me multiple times each hour to breathe in and breathe out, returning again and again to an experience of balance and ease. We could all use a little reminder to practice when it’s easy. Whether you want a daily reminder for yourself, or you are looking for a special gift for someone else, visit www.twirlconnect.com.
Posted on 25 Mar 09:13
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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.
Have you heard the joke about the farmer who won an award? He was always out standing in his field! Do you feel like you are outstanding in your field? Like the farmer, when we allow ourselves to simply be, to stand with the earth under our feet and the sky above us, we find a prize awaiting us. That award-winning farmer teaches us that when we participate in an ever-present flow of energy, allowing cycles of growth and decay without judging one or the other to be “bad” or “less than”, we rise toward excellence. The farmer reminds us we are participants in something greater than ourselves.
We are all part of a field of energy. Do you have pets? Have you observed their sensitivity? Dogs are frequently observed anticipating the arrival of their owners, even when that arrival time is random. Dogs are "out standing” in the field. They can’t help themselves. They exist in a connected world. It seems that humans alone have the ability to experience ourselves as separate.
The amazing intellect we possess as humans is a double edged sword. We are fantastic creators. Looking around the world, I marvel at the seemingly endless array of creative expression! But we also can create a sense of separation that may leave us feeling alone, scared, and adrift without a sense of meaning and purpose. The idea behind our products at Twirl is to remember that we are connected. Not only are we connected to loved ones who may be far away, we are also connected to inspiration. The field that connects us allows us to send strength and love to others and to experience the fortification that comes from others’ love flowing to us. And, much as a pinwheel is powered by the wind, we have access to inspiration and insight when we open up our minds and hearts and allow ourselves to notice that we are a part of something vast and powerful.
I use our Twirl symbol to remind me throughout my day to breathe, and through my breath return again and again to awareness in present time. It is ONLY in present time we can experience our connection to a greater whole. It is in present time we feel the support, inspiration, and strength available to us always. When I allow an inflow of inspiration to fortify and uplift my mind and heart, I feel outstanding in my field. In my work as a teacher, as a mother/grandmother, or as a partner, I am connected. My work is relevant and impactful. Treat yourself to a gift from Twirl, and remember you are connected! You are important. You can be outstanding in your field today!
Trust and Allow
Posted on 16 Oct 10:31
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Do you ever struggle with the pace of change in your life? Sometimes things slip away all too quickly. Other times it feels like things will NEVER change!
Pam and I have a mixed relationship with what we call “Divine Time”. This is a concept that reflects our belief that when we live from a connected, heart-centered experience, events unfold in ways that are mysterious and surprising. Often in a way we would not have consciously chosen, but always in a way that seems just right in hind sight. What may appear to be a wrong turn, or a process that takes months instead of weeks, turns out to be exactly right. It places us at the right time and place for finding the next step of our adventure. As we have worked to develop new products for our Twirl™ line, we find this happening again and again. What an adventure! In our process right now, we are heading to production on a Twirl™ journal for recording all the things you love and appreciate. (The more you focus on what you love and appreciate, the more you notice all that you love and appreciate!) We experienced a hiccup along the way, but now have a local source and a lovely product!
Why a mixed relationship, if “Divine Time” proves again and again to be a real thing? We are part of a great fabric, woven with grace and beauty! But from my admittedly limited perspective, the dips in the weave, the spaces between the threads, can feel like dead ends, cliffs overhanging a great chasm. A need for discernment challenges me to evaluate those moments – what am I supposed to learn here? What am I supposed to hear? Sometimes the answer is “persevere”. Sometimes the answer is “walk away”! But each time, if I am in a space that is filled with trust and a willingness to allow “Divine Time”, I ride through to the other side of whatever barrier seems to be in my way. If, however, I allow fear to be my response, I block my ability to move. I’d like to share a meditation with you that may help you experience how “fight, flight, or freeze” can be trumped by “trust and allow”. Fight, flight, freeze is restrictive and contractive in nature. Trust and allow is open and expansive. Listen here if you would like to enjoy an experience of expansion.
When you want a reminder to stay focused on Love and Appreciation, please visit us a twirlconnect.com. You can shop for yourself and loved ones, watch as we grow our new business and offer new products, and see the archived blog posts on mindfulness and meditation. Also, we would love to hear from you. How have you noticed “Divine Time” working in your life? Where would you like to feel more support from our Twirl community? Our threads are woven together for many reasons; we’d like to think one of those reasons is to bring more love and joy into our world!
Change is in the air. You feel it. Everywhere you look, things are twirling. Today, my message is one of hope, love, and joy. The winds of October are blowing, and headlines aren’t telling you everything. The mirror is not reflecting all of who you are. Each day I’m waking up more and more to the story beyond the story, and I want you to join me.
You are more than what you see in the mirror! You are part of the fabric of energy that both holds you and IS you. Sometimes it is easier to see this with your eyes closed. When you close your eyes, a large percentage of your brain function that is normally used up by visual processing becomes available. This allows you to sense in other ways. Someone said to me last week, “Math is. Mathematics is just our attempt to describe what is.” As an old yoga student who studies subtle energy and also loves science, I’ve always thought, “Metaphysics is. Physics is our attempt to describe what is.” The energy and vibrations that compose us and connect us can be experienced, and we can share that experience with each other - that is a fundamental part of our message here at Twirl.
Last week, my partner Pam and I had a chance to slip our Twirl™ eyepillows into the goodie bags of the 1,500 people attending the Living in Vitality conference. I led some of them in a breakout session on mindfulness, where they took a few minutes to relax and, with the lightweight eyepillow gently soothing their nervous system, experience being fully present. When we unplug from distractions, we actually find that we are plugged in and connected; we are plugged into a shared flow of life energy, most obvious in the simple flow of breath into and from our body. As we feel that flow more fully, we may notice the web of love and support woven into the world around us.
So whatever your days and nights hold, I encourage you to give yourself time to recharge and refocus. When you take time to practice with your eyes closed, it becomes easier to hold this focus when your eyes are open. By choosing to take time to unplug from news and negativity and instead plug into feelings of love and connection, you strengthen your immune system and bring healthier function to your internal systems such as digestion and heart function. Scientists are beginning to observe and describe what spiritual teachers have told us for ages! While you might experience yourself as isolated and alone, you are part of a complex circle and cycle of life. The more deeply you settle your attention on the present, the more deeply you feel the support of the Love inherent in your connectedness as part of the fabric of creation.
When you want a physical reminder for yourself or to send a loved one, something that reminds you that you are part of something infinite and powerful and amazing, I hope you’ll visit us at Twirlconnect.com.
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!
Today, I'm sharing with you a simple exercise I use to maintain an open, clear and positive space around me. Listen here.
When you think “twirl” do you feel yourself caught up in a whirlwind? As a young mother, I relied on an innate ability to ride near the eye of the storm. Navigating teaching, running a studio, and keeping my household filled with love was a 3-ring circus. Twirling, indeed! I was aware enough to notice that when I was centered and peaceful, my children reflected that. Even if someone was off-kilter, I could hold the ship steady. Many other times, my children’s irritability pointed to my being off center. But always, at the center of my deepest heart’s desire was love. Love is a compass that points to the eye of the storm.
Now, newly empty-nested and with my oldest daughter’s children playing at my feet, I have a new and deeper perspective about the eye of the storm. Caught up in the whirling storm less frequently, with more time to sit quietly, I am able to look back and see how love is a strength that carries us, and does so most powerfully when we consciously bring it into every moment. I watch my grandson get ready for school, with his little Twirl bag on his back. Knowing the storm blows around a deep calm, I trust he is safe in this calm as he goes out into the world with the wide open, curious and joy-filled eyes of a child.
Now that I have more time for myself, I am curious about how much more deeply into that eye I can settle. Will you join me?
Movement is circular and, around the rhythmic beating of your heart and the in and out cycle of your breath, the world spins. Waves and spirals! Returning to your own rhythms allows you to return to the part of you that is already connected to inner knowing. We find the presence of our center always within our own beating hearts. So find your breath. Listen to your heartbeat. Watch life twirl around you! As you notice your breath and your heartbeat, you are watching from a seat near the eye of the storm. Near the I AM.
Want to move more deeply into that center? In the stillness between the rise and fall of your breath, be open. Then breathe in Love. State I AM LOVE.
Pause and try this exercise:
As you breathe, breathe in a feeling of Love.
State I AM LOVE.
Close your eyes for a minute while you practice for 3 breaths.
* * * * * * * *
How does that feel?
Whatever your life holds – busy family life, work drama, the world at large – join me in spending more time watching life from the centered stillness between the beats of your heart. As often as possible, return your attention to the place just behind your heart. As you look out on the world, see everything through the lens of your compassionate heart. See yourself through the lens of your compassionate heart. Unplug from the fray and plug in to the power of being present. If you are looking for a way to help you to stay focused, or are looking for a gift to remind a loved one you are holding them in the center of their storm, visit our website. As I sit in the center of the storm, and you sit in the center of the storm, we are together.
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!