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.
Do you feel the changing season? Twirling requires us to be balanced within our center point, and to maintain equilibrium while spinning. How do YOU maintain stability in the midst of inevitable change? I use our motto, “wrap yourself in the power of words” to create a stable focus for myself. Try it and let me know what you experience:
Take a few deep breaths. Allow yourself to settle in to a quiet space within your heart center. Now choose a feeling you want to embody. (Today, I choose peace.) Give yourself a minute to really feel that feeling. Claim it as if it were a garment you can put on. As you breathe, let yourself weave that feeling throughout your physical, mental and emotional bodies. Now do this process again with another word. (Today, I choose joy.) Now, a third. (Today, I choose love.) Visualize these 3 words as if they were the 3 corners of a magic carpet that carries you safely through wild and beautiful landscapes.
Focus your intention and your attention and 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. The natural world holds inspiration that sustains and uplifts me, and night skies deep with stars tell a story of a vast and connected universe. Remember you are a beautiful and important part of this magnificent and interconnected universe. The world is blessed by having you in it!
This holiday season, I'm treating myself to a hip replacement. I'm so glad our flannel nightshirt, made by our partners at Contour MD right here in the Kansas City metro area, is in production! I'm planning to make the best dressed list in the hospital's physical therapy room. Not only is this nightshirt soft, beautiful, snuggly, and impeccably crafted, but the words "Love and Appreciation" printed on the shirt will help me stay focused and present through my healing process.
I hope your holiday plans are a bit more festive, maybe involving some dancing and twirling, but when you're ready to settle down by the fire with a nice cup of something warm, I hope you're wrapped up in one of these. When you hold an energy of love and appreciation, and I hold an energy of love and appreciation, we're together in a shared vibration!
No matter what this season holds for you, may you bring your most creative self forward, and choose for yourself a vibration that uplifts you and those around you. If you happen to find your holiday schedule trampling you like Santa's reindeers, I've recorded a little meditation for you to use as a re-set. Listen to it here.
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.
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!
This month’s theme is freedom. Freedom from. Freedom to. It is the month in which I send my youngest off to college. The smiling potential of new adventures awaiting overshadows the inevitable sadness of separation.
Driving together this morning, my daughter and I talked about life, as we often do in the car (when we’re not singing along with the Hamilton soundtrack). Today the conversation was about nerves, excitement, and anxiety. We talked about ways to manage the stress those place on the body. She said she uses meditation at bedtime to create a restful night’s sleep, but that didn’t seem to help her during the day. So we talked about mindfulness. Mindfulness is where I really get traction with rewiring my brain!
I love meditation. I love the feeling of expansion. I love the freedom that comes when I allow my concerns about the day to day management of my little corner of paradise to be set aside for a time. In meditation, I can take time to feel connected to all that is. Or, at the very least, I let my little-self connect to my big-Self where I find access to a greater peace and often to a deeper sense of knowing. Meditation lets me anchor my heart in deep water; it nourishes and refreshes me.
Mindfulness is a practice that I use while engaging in the day to day management of my little corner of paradise. Mindfulness is the 700 times during the day (just a rough guess) I remember I have a choice about this moment. Do I feel stress, anxiety, fear? Yes, indeed. They are a regular part of life. But here’s the beauty of mindful choosing. I may notice I’m feeling afraid, yet I might also notice something I appreciate. Now, with multiple options for my attention, maybe I choose to place my focus on what I appreciate. Ah, that might feel good! When, however, I choose to focus on feeling afraid – well, then I am paying attention to my feelings and can experience my fear from a responsive mind instead of a reactive one! Either way is a win.
Mindfulness can be fun. Do you have a favorite “interrupter”? Something like a secret code word that reminds you to wake up to the NOW? For some time, I used the word “really”. It was my way of saying, look around! Be in the present moment! Notice!
My daughter walked in tonight wearing her Twirl Tee. I’ll make sure that it’s tucked into her bag when she leaves home. The shirt says “Love and Appreciation”. It is both a call to action and a reminder. It is a call to action – be mindful! Love! Appreciate! It is a reminder – meditate on the vibrations (feelings) of appreciation and love. Feel your precious heart filled to overflowing. Feel the love that connects us even if time and space separate us.
I feel great about sending her out into the world, her bags packed with the tools of meditation and mindfulness. New freedom for her. New freedom for me.
I use the image “the wind at my back” to help me feel support and movement. I’m a body person. A movement person. When I take time to notice my posture (200 times on a good day!), simply feeling the sail-like rectangle of my torso lifted by a gentle breeze behind my heart brings me a smile, relaxes me, and straightens my alignment. Try it for yourself right now…. feel the wind at your back.
My sister is more of a feeling person. She imagines this breeze behind her when she has a difficult task in front of her, and she sails along with strength and grace.
Recently I have had the pleasure of seeing several women wearing our TWIRL t-shirts. The TWIRL logo is embroidered on the back between the shoulder blades. It reminds me of the wind at our back. Energy is flowing into us at every moment. Like the breath, we take it in and send it out, most of the time not paying much attention to it. Also like the breath, we can use it to build strength and vitality, or to create an experience of calm and peace when we desire that.
The wind may bring fresh insight. Perhaps, like a kite, we can allow the breeze to lift us to a higher perspective. Perhaps we simply leave heavier things behind for the moment.
Pause. Breathe. Close your eyes and open your heart. What do you imagine when you feel the wind at your back?