Meditation: Presence

You’re invited to join us – in person – Thursday, September 7, 2017
6-7pm ET
RSVP via Meetup.com

Meditation is being fully present to one’s self and what arises out of the spontaneous flow of life.

In September we will gather and talk for a while to determine what kind of practice would best serve the people who show up to practice.  Part of the gift of presence is to be willing to act on what is happening RIGHT NOW, without a plan or a need to force an outcome.

Once we decide on a practice, Vicy will lead the group in ~20-30 minutes of meditation.

Afterwards, we’ll have a short sharing circle to honor each other’s experiences, progress, and discoveries, as each individual likes. This leads to excellent questions and interesting dialogue. We love to have new minds join us! We like to engage in what is REAL for everyone when we all show up together.

Donations of $5-15 appreciated greatly to help us continue to grow and serve, but is entirely optional.  Come as you are.  Let it be.

If you have questions about this meetup, please call (864) 660-3132 or text Vicy at (864) 918-2914.

*Namaste.

*For anyone who isn’t familiar with Namaste as a greeting or valediction, it simply means that the Divine in me bows and recognizes the Divine in you. May we all experience the Divine in each other, as often as possible. Namaste.

Meditation: Presence

Thursday, Sep 7, 2017, 6:00 PM

Location details are available to members only.

8 Awesome People Attending

Meditation is being fully present to one’s self and what arises out of the spontaneous flow of life.In September we will gather and talk for a while to determine what kind of practice would best serve the people who show up to practice.  Part of the gift of presence is to be willing to act on what is happening RIGHT NOW, without a plan or a need t…

Check out this Meetup →

Definition of worry, OED

Are You a Worrier?

by Vicy Wilkinson, MA, BCC

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about worry and worrying. Many people close to me are definitely professional worriers, including family, a couple of close friends, and some clients. On bad days, I can certainly fall down a rabbit hole of worry.

All this thinking about worry made me want to dig deeper into the word itself.  Worry, to worry, it sounds so harmless.  I looked it up in my prized possession – The Oxford English Dictionary.  It’s in Volume XX, Wave – Zyxt, and its roots take up almost 3 full pages, tracing worry backwards to its very first usage circa 725 (yes, that’s 1,312 years ago) when our language’s first verb worry meant “to kill (a person or animal) by compressing the throat; the strangle.” It took until 1804 for the verb to morph into a more metaphorical verb meaning “a troubled state of mind arising from the frets and cares of life; harassing anxiety or solicitude.”  Worry’s various definitions all have to do with choking, suffocating, or otherwise constricting the throat (voice, perhaps?) of something until it is no longer living. [OED, pp570-572, Oxford University Press, ©1884-1991, Oxford, England]

I find these worrisome roots to be incredibly disturbing and also enlightening.

Worrying IS like strangling the life out of each and every moment spent worrying. How much life is lost to worry? How much of YOUR life have YOU lost to worry?

Or if it’s not lost completely, how much is strangled, choked back, made to so thoroughly struggle so as to ruin the experience of being fully alive and human?

When we worry, our attention is split on the inside. Our attention is focused on “what ifs” instead of “what is.”

I have a vivid childhood memory that illustrates this split attention and what if focus. When I was in middle school, the movie Top Gun came out and I became obsessed with the Navy fighter jets featured in those famous “dog fighting” scenes.  Since my dad loved all things engineered, he totally embraced my obsession and began adding trips to the Pensacola Naval Air Station to our family beach trips to visit family who lived in Florida. Pensacola is the home of the Navy’s elite flying squadron The Blue Angels. In Pensacola, it’s pretty easy to get to see them in action because they practice over those wide open Gulf shore waters.

Blue Angels - US NavyOne gorgeous, sunny day during a beach trip, we were just hanging out on the beach and enjoying bobbing in the emerald water when one – two – three – then all 6 F-18 Hornets clearly painted in the Blue Angel’s signature blue & gold appeared on the horizon ahead of us.  They were SO close to us!  And practicing their amazing tricks!  We could see them, and then hear the sonic BOOM as they would disappear and reappear a split second later in an entirely different spot and doing something else that you just wouldn’t believe was possible! Over and over they practiced their maneuvers and I stood in the water mesmerized, absolutely excited out of my 13 year old mind. (Even as I write this story, I get giddy and excited and feel it coursing through my body as my heart rate speeds up a bit.  Excitement that LOUD and large and rare is STRONG, even almost 30 years later.]

Then I turned back and looked at my mom, clapping wildly, delighted, and asked, “Isn’t this AH-MAZING, Mom?”

To which she flatly replied, her face crinkled in worry, “I just hope they don’t make a mistake and crash and kill us all.”

Really.

That’s what she said.

She wasn’t kidding.

Suddenly, that moment of exhilaration was gone.  Deflated.  [Again, as I write the story, the open expansiveness of excited caved to the tone and abrupt end of itself, choked off by the fear and worry.]

The full impact of this moment of grateful, excited surprise was completely strangled by my mother’s worry about a highly unlikely scenario of horror that was, for some reason, the only thing she could think about in that moment. Her worry was an abrupt shift in energies. Instead of this being a story of pure, wide-open, unhindered joy and excitement, it’s a story about worry. Instead of this moment being 100% great, it’s a 100% great moment whose life was cut short, worried to death. Now 30 years later, this moment in my memory is NOT pure enthusiasm and excitement (though, thankfully, it does begin with that and is totally worth remember every time), as it’s tainted by my mom’s worry and abrupt expression of it. Moments can never be completely un-strangled, as it turns out.

Neuroscience and psychology research agree that we are wired to be biased towards “negatives,” which is part of our survival circuitry. Our nervous system wants and needs to make sure we remember which things are dangerous so that we choose “safe” options in the future when confronted with similar stimuli. That’s great! And it clearly helps in our survival as a species and as individuals. Learning is good!

However, this negative bias can be detrimental when over-used as it can strangle our ability to take reasonable risks and to seek both new and novel experiences that expand our lives, our minds, and our consciousness to fuel conscious growth and development.  Brain and nervous system health is stimulated through growth, not stagnancy and fearful worry.

So what can we do to stop worrying and do something more productive with our concerns?

We can take action to shift our thinking because we have a big, fancy, adaptable brain.

As with any habit, the first step is becoming aware that worry is indeed a habit, just like biting your nails or smoking or stopping at the grocery store on Tuesdays.  Habits are routine, so we just don’t think about them much, if any. When you make yourself aware of worry as a habit, you can start shining an airplane landing light onto it to illuminate it thoroughly.  Get to know when and how and why you worry by observing yourself.  By observing more and reacting less, you’ll be able to make more choices about how long you let worry strangle your energies.

Step two is that you can ask yourself questions about what you’re observing, like:

  • Is what I’m worried about actually happening right now?
  • How likely is my worry to happen this week? At all?
  • What could I do for myself right now to feel more at ease – physically, mentally, or emotionally?
  • How do I feel (like, in my body) right now? Where am I tense?  Could I take deeper breaths?
  • Will this worry matter a year from now?
  • Is my worrying helping to solve a problem for anyone?

You get the idea.  Treat that habitual worry like a teenager who came home past curfew, but play nice and no guilt trips. Shift your focus onto observable aspects of your actual here and now: inside your body, with others in the room, the physical space around you.

Most worry and anxiety is like a lost time traveler – if you take stock of the actual here and now, most of the time you are just fine and nothing is *actually* wrong. Over time, your worry habit will become more flexible so that its grip will loosen and your mind can become more positive and solution-oriented.

Don’t worry. 

Take action.

Don’t worry, take action now.

Call 864-660-3132 us to schedule a free coaching consultation.  

Practice Makes Most Nearly Perfect

Very First Painting! ~ Art is lifeWhat do a medical doctor, an attorney, a yoga teacher, a life coach have in common?  They all practice their profession and their professional sphere is known as a “practice.” Doctors practice medicine, lawyers practice representing clients’ interests around the law, yoga teachers practice yoga (and recommend that you do too), and life coaches practice helping others through coaching, and using their own tools and techniques (and coaches) to enhance their own lives. A doctor who finished medical school but has no medical practice is only a doctor by name.  It is not the completion of an education in a certain field that makes one a professional in the field; practice, as it turns out, is what transforms a person from being a student to being a master professional. That transition can be challenging and is sure to make the practitioner very (even, excruciatingly) uncomfortable at times.

I remember the first time I coached a client who was a complete stranger to me.  I was terrified that I’d do it wrong, and that she would just KNOW I wasn’t *really* a coach yet.  I had all kinds of “practice hours” under my belt, having studied a LOT, written a LOT, and coached for hours back and forth with my student partner and with a variety of friends, family, and acquaintances who were gracious enough to help me by showing up for coaching while I chose which tools and specific methods I needed to hone and work on for myself.  But when that first cold call came in and she set an appointment and I had to show up at my office and PRACTICE FOR REAL, it felt like I was walking into a comprehensive exam unprepared.  Naked.  Just like those dreams that show up in silly Hollywood movies.  Every doubt in myself I had ever had showed up to greet me like old “frenemies”.

But we sat down together and I helped her (and myself) clear the space by taking a few long, slow deep breaths.  I asked her how she was doing and what brought her to coaching.  She began to tell me her story, and we were off!  After a few minutes of listening deeply to her experience, I was able to focus on my client and her story and needs, and completely disconnect from all that internal anxiety and doubt I was feeling about my “wet behind the ears” self.  I realized that using the most basic of coaching skills, full-bodied listening and empathetic understanding, was helping me focus on her and allowed my own insecurity to fade for a while.  My client would pause for a moment, and I would carefully summarize what I’d understood her to say, which she would either agree I’d understood correctly or she’d explain a little more or even correct her own narrative, realizing that what she said and what she’d meant were a little different.  The coaching dance continued, and the next thing I knew, the session was over, my client felt a great deal of relief made possible by my staying deeply connected to her and helping her feel completely HEARD, ACKNOWLEDGED, and UNDERSTOOD, and my anxiety about messing it all up faded away as it became clear to me that all of the tools and methods are important, but none more important than staying 100% present, focused, and attuned to the person who is there for coaching.

That was my first real practice.  That is when I realized why professionals practice their profession.

Perfectionism impedes learningI ended up working with that first client for several months around a specific set of troublesome things happening in her life at that time.  I helped her define the full content and scope of the problem.  I helped her learn a handful of tools that decreased her daily mental and emotional stress load so that she could better manage both herself and her family’s needs and desires.  I helped her create a specific goal, and we worked together to create a realistic plan of action to get her from where she was to where she wanted to be with that goal.  And she continued coaching along the way to help re-frame her own thinking and discover new strategies to get over, under, around, and through the various obstacles that kept cropping up in her path towards the goal.  Coaching became a practice in and of itself for me through this first “stranger” client, and soon I was working with more and more “strangers” with greater ease, less doubt about myself and my role, and more confidence in both coaching itself and myself as a coach.

That first client was nearly a decade ago, and I’ve now had the honor of helping hundreds of strangers coast to coast in the USA, and around the world as far away as China, the UK, and Australia.  My practice has become stronger, and I have become stronger because of my practice.  The academic learning element continues as I am always taking on new challenges in terms of continuing education and reading the latest news and texts on topics like neuroscience research, attachment theory, healing from trauma, and recovering from grief and loss.  As I learn new methods, and try them out with clients for the first time, I still feel a little of that initial hesitation and doubt, and am humbled to realize that no matter how much I practice, there is always more to learn and ways to improve.  I now have to actively cultivate a beginner’s mind as it’s easy to fall into the “comfortable” patterns of practice, which may or may not be of highest service to the specific client in front of me.

Perfect is an illusion, but practice absolutely makes most nearly perfect.

And we all probably remember how painful the process can be in transitioning from learning something in theory to practicing it in reality, whether that something is what one might do as a career or just as a hobby.  There are steps, both conscious and unconscious, involved in moving from student to novice practitioner to master practitioner.

So next time you embark on a learning adventure or start doing something that you KNOW you KNOW, but haven’t had a lot of “real world” practice with, just remember:  all that doubt and anxiety is part of the process.  Just start practicing, and stay open to both successes and mistakes from which you can learn, adjust, and grow.  And trust that the more you practice, the more nearly perfect you’ll be!  Perfection itself *is* an illusion, but we can all strive towards confidence coupled with the humility of being a human.  If we were perfect, we wouldn’t be human.

Namaste.

Summertime and the Living is Easy – Sometimes

Orchids in bloomIf someone asked me what my favorite thing about summertime is, I would have a hard time narrowing my answer down to just ONE thing.  I absolutely love to swim, so swimming ranks high on the list.  I truly enjoy eating fresh vegetables from the garden and farmer’s markets, and summertime food prep on the grill is pretty sweet too.  And then there are the vacations:  my own annual scalloping vacation is in the heat of the summer, lots of friends and family come to visit to take advantage of the outdoor fun times in the Appalachian Mountains, and I get to hear excitement and joy from clients as they look forward to their own breaks from the day-to-day. Summer also just feels like it’s teeming with life and energy runs high and the long days yield a lot of productivity, but still leave time for some rest and a nap in a hammock. The only thing about summertime, especially in the American southland, that gets a thumbs down from me is the bugs that are just incessant. (But that’s what lemon, rosemary, and eucalyptus essential oils are for!)

Summertime is so sweet that it’s got its own anthem sung by the one and only Nina Simone, who reminds us in the soulfulness of her voice that life is long and complicated and filled with a full spectrum of emotions all the time, even in the summertime when the grass is high and the living is easy. And it is emotion, really, that’s on my mind this morning as I’m enjoying mist on the mountain over a rich cup of coffee.  I’ve been doing a lot of self-inquiry into my own emotional world while doing a lot of reading and listening to lectures and podcasts on the latest developments in the neuroscientific world around emotions, the brain, and the nervous system. There are a multitude of things I’d like to write about over the next few months, but today I am simply thinking about just how IMPORTANT emotions are and therefore how even more important it is that we all learn to discern what emotions we are feeling, especially when we dislike or disapprove of our own behavior or reaction to another person.

I went to bed far later than I meant to last night, as I got distracted with screens.  (Shocking, I know.  Who does that?) I was tired long before I stopped doing “just one more thing,” and turned everything off and got in bed, and by the time I did actually stop and get in bed, I was totally exhausted.  How many of you do this on the regular and find yourself feeling totally drained?  And how do you feel when you wake up after a too late night of distractions?

I realized last night that my emotions had gone flat because my “executive functions,” i.e., all that decision-making and task tracking and over-riding biological urges that tell you to go to sleep were zapped out entirely and my actions were absolutely on auto-pilot. This also meant that when I got in bed and my two sweet cats came into my bedroom to do their nightly power struggle ritual as to which one sleeps at my feet and which one sleeps near my head, I was at first mildly irritated.  After about 2 minutes, I was annoyed and my heart rate was increasing. After about 3 more minutes, I was angry and exhausted and weepy and I made both cats leave the room and sort themselves out somewhere else.  I had to just be still in savasana (yoga corpse pose) and do some calming meditation to ratchet my EMOTIONS back down to just tired and ready for bed.

So, it’s not that my emotions were flat beforehand, it’s that my brain and nervous system were both over-tired and over-stimulated, and my emotions were on a hair-trigger just waiting for some stimulus.  My response to that stimulus, which was from fuzzy creatures that I love dearly, was NOT loving.  Because when our nervous system is over-tired and over-stimulated, the emotions that tend to be triggered are not the sweet ones.

I had the luxury this morning of sleeping in without worries of an alarm clock disrupting the perfect sleep cycle, and was able to sleep soundly, for the most part.  When I woke up today, I immediately felt refreshed, happy to greet a Friday morning before a holiday, grateful for the rain that made sleep so blissful, and then super guilty for being so mean to my kitty cats. Thankfully, cats are more forgiving than people thanks to their smooth brains and infinite superiority complex.  But how often do our hair-trigger emotions lash out in ways that are way more destructive than my mild example above?  And just how much control do we have over such outbursts?

The answer is that most of us have precious little control over our emotions and lightning fast behavioral responses by the time we reach the end of a full day.

Earlier in the day, we have a lot more control, as long as we’ve had enough sleep and fuel for the most expensive part of our nervous system:  the big fancy brain and its prefrontal cortex. When we are feeling well rested, well fed, and in relatively low stress and positive mood, everything about our emotional world and the behavior it triggers is way more conducive to positive outcomes in our relationships and interactions with other people (and cats).

None of this is a revelation, nor is it revolutionary.  However, what I propose we all make time to do during the course of our overflowing days might be.  The world would be a much calmer, safer, happier place if we all took time outs for some restoration DURING our busy days instead of always running ourselves down to the cell phone battery equivalent of that 2% red line and then it just dies and the screen goes dark.

How do you do that?  Here’s a few things that I use, when I’m not trying to be super-overachiever-do-all-the-things-at-once woman and forget to take good care of my brain during busy days:

  1. Schedule a short nap or at least a “resting your eyes” time during your day (21 minutes is perfect and can leave you feeling refreshed without feeling “groggy” and this method works best on a day when you really did get enough sleep the night before.)
  2. Take short walks (inside or outside, though outside is best when possible) about every 2-3 hours throughout your day.  Just getting up and moving briskly for 5-10 minutes can really help re-set your brain.
  3. Do “cross crawls” for 30-60 seconds 5-6 times a day to clear out stress or frustration and give your brain a little break.
  4. Stretch and release your eye muscles by doing what I call the “clock” exercise.  You close your eyes for 10-15 seconds, and then open them and stretch them up (without moving your head up) to the 12 o’clock position and take a full, deep breath in and then out.  Move your eyes to 3 o’clock and repeat the full, deep breath.  Then to 6, 9, and back to 12.  And then reverse the cycle and repeat it moving your eyes counter-clockwise.  It takes about 2 minutes and is helpful to physically let go of eye strain, helps reduce headaches, and reduces stress in the nervous system because the eye circuits are really key circuitry in the brain.
  5. Listen to music, especially while doing tasks that require concentration and focus. Instrumental music is the most effective.
  6. Occasionally, when you are so overwhelmed and pressured that it seems totally impossible to do so, just don’t do all the things.  Or even better, don’t do any of the things.  Just don’t DO for a day on occasion.  Your body, mind, spirit – and relationships – will thank you.

To summarize, how you FEEL is what matters.  If you FEEL flat, watch out!  The trigger is hair sensitive.  But if you’re feelin’ good, then by all means, keep doing what you’re doing!

And if you’re struggling in creating the life you REALLY want, please reach out for help.  We are here to assist.  864-918-2914

Silence is Golden is Not a Metaphor

SunflowerThe human world is very noisy: cars, big public spaces, meetings, gadgets that need our attention and therefore make sounds and flash lights to get it, kids laughing, playing, or even screaming, adults (sometimes screaming) moving clumsily through the world with their attention spans split between tiny screens and the real world.  We could take the rest of the day to name all the noise we hear on the regular. But let’s not, we all know that would just take more talking and a lot of us need less of that too, sometimes.

My point is that in order to experience silence – at all – one must CHOOSE to be silent and make space and time for silence in one’s life.  I assume at some point in human evolution it was quieter, but then we learned to talk and make tools and ever since it’s like we’ve been trying to magnify the sounds and make the world a louder place.  But all this noise is interference.  It’s interference between our souls and selves; it’s interference between the quiet voice of our highest self inside and the maddening cries of our lowest common denominator self that gets more and more insistent under stress and eventually becomes the only voice of ourselves we can hear.  If we do not learn to STOP and cultivate silence:  around us and inside us.

So in the quiet of early mornings, it has become a sacred practice for me to cultivate some silence.  Some days that may mean 5 minutes of simple meditation practice focused on breathing while also doing some mundane task like tidying up the kitchen and making coffee. That morning silent contemplative time will mean I can better navigate any stresses during the day, like people running late to appointments or unexpected traffic on the way to the office. On days that I have even a little protracted silence in the morning (twenty minutes or so), the whole day unfolds with more grace and ease.  It’s like the stresses don’t happen at all or if they do, they seem so minor compared to the vast chasm of inner calm that I hardly notice. And then on the days when I have a lot of silence in the mornings (an hour or so), the days seem to be practically enchanted with wonders, like the silence itself cast a golden spell on the rest of the day. Those days, it’s not just that stresses don’t stress me.  It’s that there are no stresses. It’s like those days are filled with good news, lots of little moments of joy and pleasure, a sense of satisfaction and completion after encounters with clients, colleagues, and friends, and usually some unexpected next step happens on the way to a larger goal I’m working with.

StarfishThat is how I know that “silence is golden” is not actually a metaphor.  Although it is 100% counter to the very Western (read: American) “work ethic” around working hard all the time, and productivity being the number one goal, and “downtime” being a mythological beast that everyone schedules in between the important things, silence is a crucible of productivity. Silence is actually where magic can happen in one’s life.  Silence is the connection between us and all our noise to our Source (God, Goddess, the Universe, the Spirit, our higher selves, or whatever other label may suit your particular beliefs).  Silence is our energetic connection to Source, of which each of us is a part.  We are like holograms, unaware we are holograms until we get silent and begin to sense that “all is one” is equally real and non-metaphorical.

The next time you’re feeling stressed, especially if it’s about what seem to be “hard” material matters like money or a hard conversation or finding a job or whatever it is that has you so stressed that a way out is starting to feel impossible to you, please just stop.  Please just sit down.  Please just stay calm with yourself and be completely silent until you are able to also silence your MIND.  Using a simple mantra (a phrase that you repeat to yourself or whisper aloud to help you focus) like “I am safe,” or “I am calm,” or “I am ok,” or just simply “I am” can be of valuable service to generating silence inside.  Your breath, inhaling and exhaling, and a simple mantra can replace the stressed out chatter of a mind on the brink.  It takes practice, but every time you choose to stop and sit and be silent, you are literally building circuitry in your brain that will help you connect more deeply and allow the inspired answers you need to come into your conscious mind.  You are infinitely more powerful that you’ve been taught to think you are.  Silence is how you begin to access your power.

Go be golden!

Namaste.

PS – Though silence is the most helpful, it can be intimidating to start with silent meditation practice all alone.  So check out some of our audio meditation help to get you started. And if that’s not enough, call us 864-918-2914 or email to schedule some coaching.  We are here to serve.

 

 

Mimosa Magic on the Summer Solstice

Mimosa in full bloom

Mimosa Magic on the Summer Solstice

The energy on the solstice has been building over the past week, and I’ve certainly felt its expansive nature, feeling compelled to just keep going, even when tired, along with the daylight and its abundant offerings of enjoyment! Summertime means swimming, hiking, hammocking in the wilds, rowing, gardening, eating salads, and being with friends and family for me, and I feel all those sorts of urges towards fun and living easy even when I’m working, or cleaning, or doing the things that life requires of us to continue getting to enjoy ourselves.  You know, adulting.

Ah, but this awesome summer solstice energy invites us to luxuriate in summer’s cauldron, enjoying the abundance of life all around us. (All work and no play makes us all dull boys and girls.) So it invites things like a spontaneous pre-sunset mountain lake swim after a long day of working with clients. Because sometimes “a long day” includes a lot of heavy lifting, literally or metaphorically.  Sometimes long days include helping to relieve suffering around grief and learning to live life more fully even with a life-changing long-term mental health diagnosis.  So when you receive such an invitation for fun from your impulse of spirit, please do yourself a favor and answer that call!  Go ENJOY a spontaneous urge to do something FUN for yourself when you can, as often as you can!

When I followed last night’s spontaneous swim urge, it led to me seeing lots of rabbits and blooming mimosa trees everywhere I looked as I drove to and from the lake.  I was just delighted, like a small child, really, because bunnies are cute, of course, and mimosa trees, especially when blooming, make the whole world start to look like Dr. Seuss drew it, which just makes my heart smile.  Mimosa is also called the “silk tree,” and the “trash tree,” which I feel like actually increases its Dr. Seussian street creds.  I mean, mimosa is the real tree most like his famous Truffula Trees from The Lorax, and it’s often used in such environmental *clean-up efforts as landfill soil remediation, having been discovered to do an excellent job cleaning up damaged soil due to its nitrogen affixing properties. Therefore, I was really attuned to the mimosas and how gorgeous they were so that when I turned into my driveway, I immediately saw a bunny and noticed the mimosas along the creek and near the cottage were absolutely in full bloom.  I was overwhelmed by the volume of their sweet smelling pink tufty blossoms, bursting out on tree after tree everywhere along the creek side and base of the mountain.  I knew that it was time to make time to harvest some mimosa and capture its magical medicinal properties of helping to relieve depression, specifically depression related to grief.

Mimosa in honey to relieve sadness from griefKnown in Traditional Chinese Medicine as He Huan Pi or collective happiness flower, mimosa is said to “calm disturbed shen” to relieve symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, and bad dreams.  Mimosa is also a very effective mood elevator, and is used to treat irritability, depression, mood swings, poor memory, and anger in TCM. In addition to these traditional uses, a simple mimosa flower and honey mix helps relieve the deep pain of grief. Mimosa also has a long history in traditional Appalachian folk medicine, which is where I first encountered using it for grief.

My personal journey through the stormy seas of grief, again and again through the loss of so many loved ones, and my professional journey of helping others keep moving through the never-ending waves of grief that accompany losing those we love deeply, has left me acutely aware of grief’s signature sadness. Grief’s sadness shows up sometimes years after we think we’re okay, and some days it just sits, heavy on our chests, like a weight pressing down over which you have no control. On some of those days, I am comforted with thoughts of days like yesterday, when I can think of the mimosa trees and their magical, silky flowers, and their honeysuckle-like sweetness, and how they heal our hearts.

Mimosa blossoms floating in water - living summer potpourri Summertime begins on this longest day of the year, offering easy living as the old song says.  May we all find some peace and joy on the solstice breeze, and if you see some mimosas, go ahead and pick those fuzzy looking flowers and make yourself a nice flower powered drink with some honey. Your heart may lift and your mood may follow it up, into a sense of ease and relief from the deep sadness that accompanies grief, often long after a loss. It is my wish that this solstice and this summer bring you magical, healing experiences with nature and your own abundance.

Namaste.

Practical bits:  Mimosa is easy to harvest and easy to use. But it is also an invasive species and shouldn’t be introduced to new areas without special consideration. For more about mimosa and its  uses, I suggest these sites as starting places. Also, be smart with any plants you may use, and do your research before ingesting anything you read about on the internet. J

http://www.davidwinston.org/formulas/griefrelief_trad.html

https://southernherbalist.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/mimosa/

http://www.hearthsidehealing.com/mimosa-the-happiness-tree/

*NOTE:  Please do not ever consider harvesting mimosa from any used for land remediation due to high levels of toxins, including mimosas alongside highways.

Meditation: Be Here Now

Healing the Mother WoundMeditation is a tool to help us train our minds.  Left untamed, our minds are like a wild horse: beautiful, full of movement, totally unpredictable, and can easily cause a great deal of harm without really meaning to do so.

Through meditation, we learn to tame the wild horse, so that our minds can become beautiful stallion companions that assist us through our daily journeys in life.  The wildness transforms into freedom of thought and expression which allows us to be more fully present to ourselves and to others.

Next Group Meditation at CLC:
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
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Almost every month, Vicy teaches a different meditation practice.  We clarify understanding of the technique we will practice, and then we practice ~20-30 minutes. Afterwards, we share in each other’s experiences, progress, and discoveries, as each individual likes. This leads to excellent questions and interesting dialogue. We love to have new minds join us! We like to engage in what is REAL for everyone when we all show up together.

Because our group falls on the summer solstice in June 2017, we will make an effort to be outside if the weather is hospitable. Come as you are. 

If you have questions about this meetup, please call or text Vicy at 864-918-2914.

*Namaste.

*For anyone who isn’t familiar with Namaste as a greeting or valediction, it simply means that the Divine in me bows and recognizes the Divine in you. May we all experience the Divine in each other, as often as possible. Namaste.

 

Start SMART: Creating Empowered Goals & Being Accountable for Your BEST self

SMART Goals & Adventures ~ Complete Life CoachingGoals are good. Goals with a meaningful purpose, a powerful plan for taking action(s) to accomplish them, and an empowered state of mind are waaay better! Please join us for this 2 hour 30 minute intensive group coaching experience. You’ll discover how to better tap into your calm, abiding inner-wisdom in daily life to support your goals and help you take action with confidence, in yourself and in your dreams.

Become empowered to reach goals, and be accountable for your Best self and your Best Life using simple steps that we will teach you and walk you through. You’ll walk away from this coaching meetup with a plan that will help you navigate  your life with grace & self-compassion. You’ll also get a taste of the power of your own mind’s ability to be intentional and attentive to YOU in relationship to the rest of your life.  We can’t wait to see you there!

Details and registration info:
Saturday, May 20, 2017
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We will provide water, coffee, and tea to drink as well as snacks. Please let us know in advance if we need to be aware of any food sensitivities or special needs.