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Sunday, June 30 2019

Cultivating Contentment


         It’s easy for us to get caught in habits of discontentment, where our inner world focuses on the negativity of what’s missing, what’s wrong or what could go wrong.


         A couple years ago, knowing he’d been dealing with some physical pain, I asked my friend Rich how his shoulder was feeling.  He said something like:  “It still hurts some.  But then I remind myself of the thousands of other body parts that feel great and are working just fine - and I feel grateful.” 


         I was awed by that response.


         As a psychotherapist, I know the benefits of what we call “cognitive restructuring” – making conscious efforts to alter habits of thinking that don’t serve our highest good.  We can cultivate contentment by deliberately noticing what’s good in our world, appreciating the beauty around and within us.


         Spring Forest QiGong offers another approach.   In that system, contentment and discontentment are associated with the lungs.  Lately, I’ve been breathing the energy of contentment into my lungs and exhaling discontent - picturing butterflies flitting off into the universe, where all energy can be transformed into some aspect of love.  Often, after just a few breaths, I feel contentment as a warmth that begins in my chest and melts into the rest of my body.


         I soften and relax.  My body smiles.  Cultivating contentment opens pathways to peace and love.      


Posted by: AT 11:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, June 16 2019

Unblocking the Flow


         I’ve come to see the flow of life as an unrestricted movement of love-energy within us and between us.  In this flow, we freely receive the loving energy of the universe, and we freely allow it to move unimpeded through us and radiate outward from us. 


         After infancy, few of us continue to flow freely with love as a consistent way of being in the world.  We block the flow by not receiving, by not radiating – or both. 


         For me, old stories of unworthiness and old rules of engagement interfere with receiving.  Old hungers and a tendency toward self-absorption trick me into being stingy and less giving with love.  Self-protection strategies and assumptions of scarcity block the flow at both ends: receiving and giving.   Under those conditions, love’s economy cannot boom – or bloom.


         We tighten, rather than soften – closing instead of opening.  We mistrust ourselves and this natural flow.  We mistrust others.  We mistrust life.  Of course we do.  We’ve all known hurt and disappointment in our attempts to connect in love’s flow. 


         May we approach ourselves with mercy and compassion as we work to free ourselves from the imprisonment of fear, shame and old habits of mistrust.


         For me, one key is to open regularly and receive deeply from the inexhaustible wellspring of love that is this universe - to bask from above and below, from around and within.  Trusting this dependable abundance reassures me that it is safe to love extravagantly – as nature intends.  Trusting this abundance brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart. 


         Healing love radiates like the sun.


Posted by: AT 03:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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