Monday, June 1, 2020

The Ocean Sky

by Dean Solon


am looking upon the ocean's steadfast magnificence

a poem allowing itself to be surfacing
and to be known

the ocean is awash with waves

the white capped waters leaping
upon the rocks piled high
whose siren calls are singing
"wash over us
  wash over us..."

a passing of white pillowing clouds across the ocean sky

the human sign reads "fishing getty only"

yes
and there is far more

a continuing conversation
between heaven and earth
whose sounds we may hear
and whose meaning we may understand
if we listen closely

Friday, May 22, 2020

Breath Giving Moves during Breath Taking Times

by Brittiney George

Do you feel like you’re in a weird time warp right now? I know I do.  It is as if 
time is both simultaneously standing still and flying by.  I noticed that many of 
my clients are also experiencing the resurgence of old wounds and injuries as 
the distractions of day-to-day living have changed.   When you combine the 
lack of transitional time and space throughout the day with mixed information 
about how to move safely in the world, it makes perfect sense that many people 
are feeling disoriented, disempowered, or even disembodied (like a walking 
head, not an embodied being).
 
“These are breath taking times, so give yourself a breath”.
 
As the adrenaline of immediate change wears off, you may be feeling burnt 
out or burnt up.  You may be feeling “off”.  If you are, trust it.  It is your body 
letting you know, “I’m feeling out of sync”, and it is the perfect time to check in 
with a direct link to your nervous system-your breath.  
 
Are you doing a lot of yawning?
Do you feel disconnected from your body or energetically depleted?
Are you making a lot of out moves- giving all day long but taking little in?
These are great indicators that your body may want to take “in” a breath.  
 
Often with trauma or in times of stress, we reverse our natural breathing pattern. 
Instead of inhaling down into our core, hips, and pelvis (our root), we inhale up.   
Up into our chest and shoulders.  Up into the front of our body.  Our back body 
and sides, the backs of the ribs, get locked in place without the lungs finding 
their full expansion.  
 
Maybe you find yourself sighing often?
Or holding a lot in as tension in your torso, chest, jaw or face?
Do your shoulders feel as if they’re carrying the weight 
and responsibility of the world?
These are great indicators that your body may want to let “out” a breath.  
 
A system that is in overwhelm is looking to release, get out from under, to take 
less on or in.  Think of your exhale as your body’s natural gift of detoxification.  
It’s your body’s way of moving out stale air, pent up energy, and unwanted 
emotional residue.  During times of stress we are often told to “take a breath”, 
but it is the out breath, the exhale, that has the most impact in nervous system 
regulation.  
 
Breath taking times require breath giving moves.  Give yourself space. 
Gift yourself Breath.
 
Brittiney George, BS, CST-PRO, ICI, CEIM, is a Movement Practitioner and Somatic Therapist specializing in Transformative Touch.  She is also a faculty trainer and mentor for The Somatic Therapy Center.  Her areas of specialty include working with highly sensitive persons (HSP’s), and supporting nervous system reregulation by resourcing through the body.  For a free 55 min. introductory Somatic Therapy session contact Brittiney at 610-389-7866 or movebackintolife@gmail.com.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Emblazoned (The Inner Ocean #4)

by Dean Solon


i rise. i come up for air.
i hear no evil, i see no evil, i am no evil.
there is no problem, You have said.
there is no problem, You are saying now.
i feel the sea breeze,
i taste the salty air,
and i am as always i have been:
free.
free again
of the ties that bind.

all shortcomings,
just the imagination---
my imagination---your imagination---
running wild.

emblazoned in my memory
is the notion---
a deepest of memories---
that we human beings are noble,
blessed with divine gifts,
destined for goodness.

i awaken from a long dreaming
and as if awake
i state sincerely, oh so sincerely,
i shall not sleep again
---and saying this,
i laugh, as i will laugh
until the end of time.


Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Benefits of Awe

by Jen Perry, MS.Ed. MA, LPC

Awe has long been lauded by philosophers and spiritual teachers for its self-transcendent qualities that can reduce negative thinking and self-occupation.  Research on awe by psychologists has been increasing exponentially over the last 20 years.  A study at Berkeley found the benefits similar to healthy changes in diet and exercise, including a lowered risk of Type 2 Diabetes, clinical depression, heart disease, and arthritis. Research published in the journal Psychological Science found that awe leads to feelings of more available time, reduces impatience, and increases pro-social behaviors and life satisfaction. Psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania interviewed astronauts after viewing Earth from space, and they  report "an expanded sense of perspective on their lives, an increased sense of connection to others, and a renewed sense of purpose." For those of us not venturing into space, research suggests that similar effects can be evoked by watching awesome videos. 

I hope that I have inspired you to try cultivating awe as a process and practice to help you live life to its most awesome-filled fullest. 

Jen Perry, MSEd, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Mindfulness Teacher and Peaceful Parenting Coach. Her passion is helping Highly Sensitive People thrive in life, love, and parenting. She has been in the field for twenty years and is devoted to studying the human psyche or soul and is often in awe in her studies of human compassion, strength, resilience, and consciousness. In addition to seeing clients individually, she offers mindfulness classes and self-compassion groups via video. Learn more about Jen and her practice at www.HeartfulnessConsulting.com [insert link to: https://heartfulnessconsulting.com

Cultivating The Process of Awe

by Jen Perry, MA, MSEd, LPC

One of the best ways I’ve found to cultivate awe in my life is to bow to the Great Mystery of All. That’s what I started calling it when my kids were little. Instead of giving them answers to their countless questions, I frequently would ask them what they thought or felt about something first. I encouraged them to wonder. As I joined them in the energy of this delicious wondering (why is the sky blue? Do turtles like chocolate ice cream? What’s the highest number anyone has counted to?) I found it so much more enjoyable than knowing a bunch of applicable facts. And the truth is, anytime we study things at a high level, we are left with more questions than answers. It’s the process of wondering that leaves us open to awe, creativity, and discovery.

Bringing a fresh perspective can bring out the process of awe in even the most ordinary things ~ the flowers in your yard, your family member's faces, every night's sky. It is this perspective that I invite into each meeting with each client in my practice. It keeps our work fresh and often, surprising and spontaneous. I encourage clients to meet themselves and their experiences with the process of awe and reverence, and in doing so, magic can happen. Creativity in problem-solving and working through limiting beliefs, while still hard work, becomes joyful. Wondering about problematic behavior and how it may be adaptive (either now or in the past) becomes an exercise in being curious and appreciative of who we are and why we do what we do. Therapy then becomes a process of getting to know yourself better and deepening in love with who you are as you grow instead of a painful endeavor of fixing what was never broken in the first place.

In addition to seeking out awe-inspiring peak experiences, it is possible to live a more awe-filled life. Nurturing curiosity by learning to question (or at least identify) your underlying assumptions about yourself, others, and the world allows a spaciousness that is fertile ground for awe. Allow yourself to wonder actively about everything as an exercise. And lastly, noticing beauty in the ordinary. 

Quiz on Awe
Take this quiz by researcher Paul Piff to see how much awe is a process in your life:

Ask yourself these questions. Score each item from 1 to 5. If your total reaches 30, then you must be pretty enchanted by the world.

I often feel awe.
I see beauty all around me.
I feel wonder almost every day.
I often look for patterns in the objects around me.
I have many opportunities to see the beauty of nature.
I seek our experiences that challenge my understanding of the world.

Source: Paul Piff, clipped from Psychology Today Magazine, and hung on my bulletin board for the last few years.  

Engaging Awe as a Transformational Process

by Jen Perry, MA, MSEd, LPC

I wrote this article in February 2020, weeks before COVID-19 would turn our worlds upside down. As I reread it now as it is about to be sent out I wonder what utility awe may have as a transformational practice during these unprecedented and scary times for so many of us. Awe and wonder are beautiful states of awareness that are born out of not-knowingness. I have found, over and over, that a willingness to let go of what we think we know and allow ourselves to not know is a tremendously healthy psychological stance towards life if we can make friends with fear and uncertainty. I invite you to consider the ways in which allowing a not-knowing with regard to these uncertain times can help steady us and allow us to be present, creative, and resilient.  

One example that comes to mind is the not knowing when things will open up again. I know that for me, surrendering to not knowing, surrendering to let’s-wait-and-see-how-this-goes has been much better for my overall well-being than expecting and hanging any certainty on any date such as April 12 and then having that date come and go. The date itself is meaningless devoid of the important factors that go into such a decision as when to reopen. I know that all of us at The Resiliency Center cannot wait to reopen our doors. We are also balancing that desire with safety. The truth is that no one knows and each day more information is revealed. As Rilke says, if we can just learn to love the questions we will live our way into the answers. 

When was the last time you felt awe? The exquisite rush of expansive delight or reverence tinged slightly with fear. Awe can be found in nature ~ witnessing a breathtaking vista, or a night sky full of stars, or encountering a wild animal. Awe can be human-made ~ seeing a famous painting or hearing live music. Awe can also be found in particular moments in life ~ holding a newborn baby, or meeting your hero. But what we could invoke awe more frequently and on purpose, is this even possible?

Awe signals us to stretch ourselves out in wonder. It beckons us to be curious. It brings us to the brink of our understanding and stands before us as an appeal to become intimate with mystery.  Awe is not only a thrilling experience in and of itself, but it also stays with us, transforms us, demands of us that we grow inside to accommodate a new perspective, and to find a home for more questions, deeper wonderings. In this way, engaging awe is as much a process as it is an event. As a process, it makes us aware of the boundaries of our hearts and minds. It asks us to be mindful that there is always MORE just outside of our awareness. It invites us to stay open to the possibilities of shifting our paradigms, opening deeper into our experiences, and understanding more. As a practice and process, awe goes beyond momentary feelings and experiences and can be transformational. If you want to experience strong growth in your life, it makes sense to learn to cultivate awe.


Monday, May 4, 2020

The Inner Ocean #3

by Dean Solon

here it comes:
the sound of rolling thunder.
the deep sound---the quiet---
of thunder roaring to me, rolling through me.
is much like the roaring and rolling thunder of the ocean,
the ocean across the street,
the ocean in me.
the inner ocean.

OM...the Lion's Roar of the Cosmos,
around me, moving through me.
the Lion's Roar of all Creation
inside me and all around me.
the Unease
(the shadow, the portal)
allowing and making space for Intuition,
giving way to Clarity.

i entangling with IT,
immersing with IT and in IT.

a Stillpoint.

the Stillpoint.