Innumerable tools and activities (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) can help us tap to the rich resources within us. On the physical level alone, using each of the body’s senses, there are multitudes of ways to stir and nurture our inborn strength, beauty, courage, compassion, hope, joy, talent, imagination, reverence, wisdom, love, and faith.
Here’s one example:
Holistic nurse and aromatherapist Lorraine Santos Rimando made a “Twelve Gifts Spritzer” for a workshop she conducted which was based on my book, The Twelve Gifts for Healing.
Like me, Loraine loves to collect and share ways that we can release stress and refresh ourselves.
Among her favorite tools are essential oils. From her studies and work, Lorraine offers these suggested oils associated with nurturing and tapping into each of The Twelve Gifts:
Strength – Atlas Cedar
Beauty – Jasmine
Courage – Thyme
Compassion – Sweet Marjoram
Hope – Tea Tree
Joy – Sweet Orange
Talent – Rosemary
Imagination – Geranium
Wisdom – Cypress
Reverence – Frankencense
Love – Rose
Faith – Frankencense
These can each be used alone or combined into a spritzer, as Lorraine did. Thanks for sharing, Lorraine!
“I love you when you’re happy. I love you when your sad. I love your when your silly. I love you when your mad. I love you when your grumpy. I love you when your glad. I love you all the time. I love you just the way you are.”
~ C. C.
Who is C. C.? Me. These are the words of a song I made up to sing to my grandchildren. When I do, they always smile or giggle and take in the loving like little flowers opening to the sun. And they ask for “more.” More ways that they can “be” and be completely loved. Like when they are scared, surprised, goofy, stinky, burpy…etc. They are three years old, by the way; so, in addition to being loved unconditionally, they love silliness.
Today I realized that I could sing this song to myself. Sometimes I need to sing or, at least, say words like this to me. I need to truly let myself know that I am lovable and loved just the way I am, in the midst of anger, frustration, exasperation, sadness, feeling not good enough…
Do you love yourself when you’re feeling frazzled? Angry? Sad? Worried? All the time, no matter what? Or do you tend to love yourself only when you’re feeling great?
I think we can all benefit every time we pause and give ourselves a dose of unconditional love… when we love ourselves the way we love a small child… the way I love my twin grandchildren.
You can’t hear me but right now I’m singing this song to you.
May we love ourselves through thick and thin and all the ups and downs today.
May we aim to do this everyday.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day,” wrote A.A. Milne.
As I rush toward leaving home to go on a personal retreat, I’m holding these quotes in mind. Wise advice, both of them. Lately my pace has been more like a hurricane wind than a tree growing or a river flowing or the swimming turtle I saw in the pond near my home this morning.
How has your pace been this summer? Whatever your pace, I invite you to practice “unconditional friendliness” toward yourself and what is in your life right now.
Unconditional friendliness. Like the quotes above, I’m holding this expression like a touchstone as I aim to be compassionate and not judge myself for once again letting things get out of balance and swing wildly like a conch shell hanging from a string on tree during high winds.
I hope you enjoy the playful lightness of this “Official Weather Conch” photo, taken on a vacation a few years ago, and feel the love with which this post is written.
What are some ways that you experience beauty? Perhaps by listening to music? Arranging flowers? Volunteering?
In what places do you see beauty?
Do you sense your own beauty? Both inner and outer?
Recall a time when you acted with beauty. How did you feel?
Into what situations and areas of your life would like to bring more beauty?
I met Peggy on the grounds of The Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Also known as “The Casa,” the Center is considered by many people to be a sacred place that offers strength from the site itself as well as through its programs and retreats.
After strolling along the meditation trails and the path of the labyrinth, Peggy and I sat in the shade of a ramada. There, we got to talking about forms of strength, such as stamina, fortitude, determination, and willpower.
Then we opened up and shared stories about times we needed to call upon strength.
“This is the form of strength I most appreciate,” said Peggy. “We Strength.“
“We Strength…what’s that?” I asked.
“Every time I allow myself to be vulnerable and completely honest with someone I trust, I am enormously strengthened,” said Peggy. “And it seems that the other person is filled with strength also. It’s a ‘we’ kind of strength. We Strength.“
Feeling empowered and expansive myself as well as connected with Peggy in shared strength, I understood Peggy’s perspective.
We Strength. Seemingly so unlike robustness, toughness, hardiness, resoluteness, firmness, spunk, grit, persistence, endurance, force, ruggedness, and many other words that name an aspect of strength. But a form of true strength indeed.
I find it fun and somewhat funny to read what was (obviously now) limiting thinking in the past. After chuckling about them, limiting beliefs from the past can help us realize that they are not funny when we are being limited by them. Here are a few examples:
“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” ~ Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872
“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” ~ a Western Union internal memo, 1876
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” ~ Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943
“There is no reason why anyone would want a home computer.” ~ Ken Olson, President, Chairman, and Founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
“It will be years — not in my time — before a woman will become Prime Minister.” ~ Margaret Thatcher, 1974
As we all know, germs are real, telephones and computers are everywhere, and Margaret Thatcher was able to release her limiting thinking and become Prime Minister.
Let’s uncover and release our own limiting beliefs, such as “I’m not enough,” and see what we become.
Isn’t it amazing how wisdom speaks to us in so many ways?
Have you ever had a song suddenly start playing in your mind? I’m pretty sure we’ve all had this experience sometime. It happened to me this morning with Peter, Paul, and Mary’s folk version of Rock My Soul.
Oh rock my soul…
So high can’t get over it
So low can’t get under it
So wide can’t get round it
Oh rock my soul…
I hadn’t heard this song since 1969, when a hundred or so other St. Bonaventure students and I sang along with The Wooden Nickel performances on Saturday nights at the O.H. in Olean, New York.
Back then, I didn’t know what the “it” was in
“can’t get over it…under it…or round it.”
And I still don’t know for sure.
But this morning I got a clue–at least about what “it” meant to me in the moment.
I was feeling a deep hurt.
When the song started “playing,” it felt like wisdom, gently guiding.
“Don’t try to ignore, deny, or stifle the hurting,” it said.
“You can’t climb over it, sneak under it, or run around it.
And it’s best not to.”
Upon hearing the inner music, I got it.
It is what it is and I need to let it be… as another song goes, speaking words of wisdom.
Let it be. Let it be, sang the Beatles.
Yes. Let it be.
When hurt fills you, what do you do?
Perhaps these songs sound true for you too.
Instead of trying to escape or suppress pain,
we can breathe, let it be,
and let ourselves be cradled in compassion and rocked by Love Itself.
Wishing you all of life’s gifts and wonders, today and every day.
And, may your soul be gently rocked.
In the Oscar-winning film, Titanic, steerage-class character Jack Dawson dines in first-class with some of the world’s wealthiest movers and shakers. When he is asked about how he makes his way in the world, in light of his poor social and financial standing, he makes it clear that he sees his life as rich. He explains that he has all that he needs within himself and with what is at hand, namely: his art supplies and the surroundings of each moment.
“I figure life’s a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it,” says Dawson, and he commits to making each day count.
Dawson’s perspective reminds me of my brother, Keith, and his particular way of “making each day count.”
About 5 years ago, Keith started what he calls his “photo of the day” practice. It began when Keith had an epiphany experience–one that we all have when we realize that much time has passed in our lives.
That wake-up experience led Keith to take one photo each day, in a certain way. His intention was to pause, savor a moment, and honor it by recording it. While some of his photos capture sunsets, record his garden in bloom, and show his dogs at play, many are reminders of seemingly mundane moments: a sunny-side egg frying in a pan, a just-poured glass of beer, water flowing from the shower head.
“It’s not about waiting for peak experiences or the high-points each day,” says Keith. “I just want to stop and appreciate ordinary moments.”
He explains that, now and then, he really “gets it” that there are no ordinary moments. They’re all magnificent. Deep down we all know this. But we forget.
May we become better and better at remembering.