Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Katelyn Oshashi - Undiluted Joy

I am in awe of this athlete, Katelyn Oshashi. This gymnastic floor routine has gone viral and I admit have also watched it at least a dozen times. Each time I watch it, I am captivated by the fun and joy in her face with each movement. She exudes a beaming type of pure wonder and energy. As Sally Hu called it - "undiluted joy"!

What a wonderful achievement to find that spark of wonder within, and then ENJOY being immersed in that dance, matching yourself with its flow. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Early Motivation

The 5 year old grandkid read a story about Charles Atlas, the strongest man in the world. The bedtime story ignited a desire within him and in the morning, saying he also wanted to be a strong man. The next morning he got out the book to follow the exercises. He then reported he was going to continue doing these exercises each day, just like Charles Atlas had done.

I am in awe.
First a thought, that then created a budding desire, that was then followed by an action, and then a long-term plan. This is rather remarkable for someone so young. For us to be able to witness and observe this process of motivation in its infancy is rather incredible.

Climbing El Capitan without a Rope

"Free Solo" is a documentary film following rock climber Alex Honnold on his experience to prepare and then climb El Capitan at Yosemite, without a rope and without gear.

If you want to be amazed or have a proxy-type experience of rock climbing go see the movie "Free Solo", especially at an IMAX theater. It will either thrill you or scare the living crap out of you.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

When you are old and starting to get a bit crusty, many will start to consider the choices of what to do with our things after we croak; including our body. Cremation is one of those options to review and consider. Few of us really know what to expect, however.

But enter Caitlin Doughty. She is the person who who has become the 'go-to gal' to find out all the nuances regarding cremation and death. She has several books available, a YouTube channel (with over 600K followers), a TED talk, and has been featured on CBS Morning news.  If you want to know about what happens to the body when it dies and what to do with that body, she is the one with the answers.

Her book, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" is a rather fun romp in how she got into the biz and her experiences in learning how to cremate the dead. She has a rather tongue-in-cheek way of communicating about things we usually don't talk about, but really WANT to know.

Death is usually our very final frontier, so we ought to learn and prepare for the journey. There is no better way that to learn the ins and outs of this pending adventure than with a big dose of humor and charm.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Balancing the Inner Yin and Yang

In Chinese philosophy, the Taiji symbol of yin and yang is composed of two different energetic forces - yin energy, which is symbolized as black, and yang energy, symbolized by white. Yin is the calm, female energy of stillness and support. Yang is the more male energy of action, movement. and change.

Recently I introduced some changes in my daily meditation to see what would happen, such as sitting outside in the dirt to do a meditation rather than in my comfy living room chair. This method improved my 'grounding' process.

Another time. I visualized connecting with the trees in my yard in a meditation to see how this change in energy source would impact the meditation. This seemed to stretch and connect me with energy sources waaaaaay beyond my little area of comfort in my living room.

Next I tried holding a different I had gathered from different 'earth energy sites' I had visited, and the outcome of the meditation experience changed with many of those different rocks. Each of these different meditation methods lead me to different outcomes and experiences in my meditation.

But then, I did something that REALLY made a huge difference in my meditation. I took one of my black, shiny stones and placed it in my left hand. The left side of the body, according to Chinese Medicine, is the male side of the body, and I was holding a "female stone" in that "male territory".

I then took one of my white crystal tubular stones and placed it in my right hand. The right side of the body is considered the female side of the body, so I was now holding a "male stone" in the "female territory" of my body. It was as if I was creating a type of modified Taiji in and around my body.

I then started my normal and usual meditation while holding onto my black and white/clear stone in each hand.

What happened next was rather amazing to me. I could feel the subtle energies within me change from a kind of erratic and chaotic flow of movement to one that started to be a more unified and calming flow.

I then felt my entire self become calm and balanced with a very gentle steady movement of flow. The transformation I felt was very amazing. It was if my entire body was at peace. I was "at one".

There are many different types of meditation and they will provide different types of experiences and outcomes. If you stick with just one type of meditation you become really good at that one method and the outcomes you have will usually become very deep experiences. But when you add some variety or different types of meditation, new doors and experiences may open. This was a nice reminder to be open to new types of meditation experiences. New outcomes and adventures may await.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Costco Trip 2

I received a Costco membership for Christmas, mostly so I could get a hot dog whenever I had a mood swing for a dog. But THIS time, I ventured back into the store to check out the rest of the warehouse. My plan was to get some fruits and vegies. But low and behold there were isles and isles of WINE!  This was not like the Costco I went to in Utah at all! In California, they have alcohol at this store!

I now need a wine cellar. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Earth Energy Points Can Relocate

This is one of my favorite spots in Northern California - the Avenue of the Giants. There is one grove I particular like,  the Thomas Greig trail in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park because the life force energy has been particularly strong at that location. We call this an "earth energy site" because of the intense concentration of life force energy. These types of locations are great places to meditate, ponder, get creative solutions, ideas, and have experiences of complete wonder and awe.
Location of Thomas Greig Trail
What the trail head looks like

There is a bench along the trail where I often go and just sit,  ponder, think, listen, or meditate. The clarity of information and insight at this spot has been intense has been a place I easily obtain answers, insight, or get clarity on what to do. This is what "my spot" looks like in years past.
What the middle of the trail looked like in years past
But during a recent visit to this grove, things felt VERY different - empty, in fact. I was rather stunned to feel NOTHING when I arrived at the grove. I then began my walk towards "my spot" but this time it felt like a big fat void of nothing. In fact, the bench used to face East but now was facing South! The big redwood tree that had been behind the bench was now toppled over, laying exposed and uprooted. The ferns and fauna now seemed stunned and withered as if in shock.

This is what "my spot' looked like during this visit.

I sat on the bench and began a meditation, trying to connect to the subtle energy in this area, but I felt nothing. Nada. That pocket of blissful life force energy had packed up and left town. 

Subtle energy can and does relocate, and this is what happened here. I was surprised, however, and rather unprepared for this dramatic shift in energy. I was rather bummed-out and feeling a bit heart broken over this loss. One of my favorite energy spots now felt dead. 

Later on, as I continued my drive northward and was now at the Prairie Creek Redwood State Park,  I suddenly could "hear"something shouting at me to stop. I pulled over, parked the car, and was suddenly overwhelmed with that familiar feeling of bliss and happiness, just like I used to feel at "my spot" along the Thomas Greig trail. That pocket of life force energy was now HERE! 
Along the road at Prairie Creek Redwood State Park
This energy pocket had moved about 2 hours north of where it used to be, and was now at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. 
Route from Ave of Giants to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
This time I was easily able connect with that life force energy and obtain the clarity of information I had been seeking. 

I have no idea if this energy spot will remain at this locale or not. However, it was a nice reminder how subtle energy can relocate and change. It felt like a gift to be able to once again reconnect with this energy source and get what I needed. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

What Really Matters in the End by BJ Miller

Most are not really afraid of death. Most are afraid of the process, like the loss of comfort, independence, respect, love, or being a burden on someone else. These are the things we wish to avoid if we can, on our journey to death.

BJ Miller is a palliative care physician who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. His insight into the senses as a means to open that door into being human with it's sensorial delights is a way of helping us feel more human alive, even at the closing chapters of our life. Smells, such as the smell of baking cookies, or the cold nose of your loving dog in your bed, or the freezing cold of a melting snow ball in your hand.

"As long as we have our senses, even if it is just one, we have the ability to act human" he says. He is so right. Our ability to sense and feel opens that door of awes and oh's, no matter where you are in your life journey.

The Thrill is Gone

You know how things that are forbidden will feel special, and even thrilling?

I admit I used to get excited when someone with a Costco membership invited me to dine with them at the warehouse and grab one of their famous $1.50 hotdogs. The desire to have my own membership cards grew and finally, I GOT ONE! I now can go to Costco anytime. I'm one of "them".

Now that I can go anytime it has become common. Normal. No longer special.

Marketers know that if you put up barriers or limit supplies, people's desires will increase. When things become commonplace, the anticipation decreases. This is why being able to only get eggnog during Christmas will make you more excited for that drink when you see it on the shelves. Or even fruitcake. It is also why most mistresses lose their pizzaz if they become the mrs.

The excitement and anticipation that comes with a forbidden or limited adventure can change when it becomes always standard-issue. My Costco meals are no longer unusual. The thrill is gone.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Ski Lessons for Tikes

Ski lessons for kids have improved a lot since I was a parent. Our 3 and 5 year old grandkids had their first ski lessons in sunny Colorado. I chuckled to see how the ski instructors now deal with children who fall during these lessons. It is kind of like watching a mother cat get her kitten out of harms way by lifting the skin and pulling it up to safety. Here is the 3 year old munchkin taking a little tumble and being rescued by one of her teachers.