Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Flowing Through Winter, Practicing Dancing

By Karen Steinbrecher
Welcome to winter.   You may groan when you read this.   Smile. I write this on a rainy day. QiGong practice resonates with Traditional Chinese Medicine practice (TCM).   The TCM system recognizes 5 Seasons throughout the Year. 
We have moved through the Winter Solstice into the season called the WATER Element.
During the Winter Season, we send our energies into our roots, just as the trees do in nature. 
It is normal to sleep a bit more, to eat heavier warming food, and to build energy that can be released in Spring (the Wood element). 
Winter is a time to seek the warmth of love and friendship. 
It is a time for assessment and reflection. 
It is time to recognize the rhythm of nature and follow along.
QiGong is a tool for us to move and flow, to navigate around those obstacles.
To go with the flow of life. 
When our Qi (life energy) is blocked or stagnant, that is when we may dwell upon stress, pain and encounter problems. 
Our Qi helps us to weave through chaos (hundun) to find, even for a few minutes, that peaceful place within. 
Qi dao, Yi dao is my mantra. 
Where the Qi goes and flows, the mind goes.
Let us recognize Water as a great teacher. 
It shows us how to move through the world with grace, ease, determination and humility. 
As it flows upon the earth, the water’s journey can be a mirror of our path through life. 
Water can inspire us to not become rigid with fear or cling to what is familiar. 
Water doesn’t cling to its past, it is brave, and flows onward without looking back. 
When there is a hole to be filled, water doesn’t run away from its fear of the dark; instead water bravely, humbly fills the empty space. 
In the same way we can face the dark moments of our own life bravely, and not run from them.
Qi dao Yi dao. 
We move through life encountering many twists, turns and obstacles along the way just as a river flows.  

Karen invites you to dance and flow through a QiGong practice at the Resiliency Center, Thursdays @ 2P.M. and @ 6:20 P.M.   $10.00 for a one hour class.  Bring socks or slippers.  To register go to:  http://www.meetup.com/Resiliency-Gatherings-for-Movement-Inner-Strength-Joy/ or contact Karen at karensteinbrecher@msn.com.

Embracing the Quiet (But First...)

Embracing the Quiet (But First…)
by John Muraco

I invite you to take a look around, or better yet, take a listen. . . .What is the landscape of your SOUND environment?  Are you at work?  Are you at home or in a waiting room?  Perhaps you are reading this somewhere in nature!  Regardless of where you are, listen.  Try closing your eyes, and ‘seeing’ if you can ‘tune’ in to a new sound arrangement as your sense of hearing becomes sharper.  What sounds do you hear?  How are they entering your body? 

I have found recently, that to really ‘embrace the quiet’ it can be helpful to take inventory of our own SOUND ENVIRONMENT by becoming aware of what is generating sound around us. 
Embracing the quiet doesn’t necessarily mean finding total quiet (is that even possible?).  You can invite some quiet and stillness into your body and mind simply by altering the type of sound you are taking in.  For example, specific forms of music can help to facilitate relaxation such as listening to acoustic guitar, Himalayan singing bowls, Native American flute, or trickling water.  Try this sample and see what you think:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrx1vyvtRLY.

We all live in a dynamic sound atmosphere.  Notice your current background sounds.  Do you hear a TV, the radio, the internet, a phone ringing, kids talking (or screaming), birds chirping, cars bustling by, a kettle sounding letting you know that it’s time to be taken off the burner, the hum of a dishwasher, or something completely different?  All of these sounds enter the ears and affect the body in different ways.  As such, some of us might have to work EXTRA hard to embrace the quiet – to challenge ourselves first to reduce our noise intake in our environment, and then to bask in this new quiet!  Not an easy task when there is so little quiet to draw from in our day and age.  This makes it even more important to delegate at least a few minutes at the beginning and end of the day for stillness, and quiet.  This will allow your nervous system to calm and relax, while supporting your overall immunity and good health. If you build a solid inner foundation, you will be better able to thrive in a sometimes chaotic and noisy soundscape.  Let us know what works for you!

John Muraco, ATR, RYT, is an art therapist, registered yoga teacher, and holistic lifestyle and wellness counselor.  His work since 2000 has integrated diverse approaches to creative expression and wellness to support clients in regaining personal power and reducing stress.  John's approach to individual and group therapy for teens and adults is person-centered and customized. His holistic wellness consultation includes herbal remedies, tea blends, relaxation techniques and nutritional education. Contact John at john@heartwellhouse.com or 315-256-7767.  For more information go to www.heartwellhouse.com.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

12-13-15 by Dean Solon

the back story is...in the early sunday morning, i am dreaming---
i am with a community, am speaking in the community:  "how do i live?
                                                                                                                     how do i sit?
                                                                                                                     how do i move?"
the words seem to be meaningful to the others, and to me.
awaking from the dreaming, am chanting inside:  how do i live?
                                                                                                     how do i sit?
                                                                                                     how do i move?
at 4 a.m., i am writing...

i spoke my despair.
i shared my despair.
by expressing, i walk the path,
walk through the door,
as always i have done,
crying and laughing.
how do i live?
as spirit, as body, as mystery,
as receiver and as transmitter,
as witness,
as companion,
lying on the killing floor,
born again
and again
                                           and again

how do i sit?
as wandering jew,
as one whose name is bliss,
as one whose bliss is God.
i sit in the darkness,
touching the earth, touching the sky,
radiant, luminous,

how do i move?
how do i rise from the killing floor?
washed ashore,
am crawling on the sand,
                               and                                as phoenix
as survivor,
as spiritwalker, as shapeshifter,
as shaman-self.

how do i live...
how do i sit...
how do i move?
blown open
with no direction home
whereabouts known