February 2015

My Saving Grace

There’s one thing that I can count on to shift my energy when I’m upset or feeling unwell. It’s my garden.

I can’t claim to be a great gardener. Most of the time, I don’t even do anything when I’m outside in the yard. I have great ambitions to plant seeds and grow more veggies for the spring, and add new flowers in the side yard. But even when I have no energy to do anything, my garden is my saving grace.

When I’m inside, working at my computer, or rushing off to appointments or errands, there is a smug sort of pride – I’m doing something! I’m being productive. But often, I’m not. I’m frazzled, multi-tasking, and I might be checking things off a list, but as soon as one task is done, another usually replaces it. It’s deceptive to think that “getting things done” really satisfies the soul or provides more than a fleeting moment of relief.

But when I sit out in my garden, without an agenda, I shift into another experience – one of Being. I become present, with my attention on exactly what is. Today, with my daughter, I spread a towel on the grass and lay down on my back, looking up at the large oak tree in our back yard. A chickadee was pecking at the curled leaves high in the branches. To my left, some small sparrows timidly entered the edge of the lawn to search for seeds. A jay suddenly flew by with an alarm call, and over my neighbor’s fence I heard the clicking sound of a hummingbird. I turned on my side and ran my fingers over the soft, thick grass.

The warm sun bathed my belly and legs while my head rested in the shade, and I could feel a slight cool breeze. All my senses come alive, just being a few feet outside my backdoor. As I rested by my daughter’s side, we both slowly unwound from the distractions of computer and TV and became quiet and still. It was relieving and renewing.

The Earth knows what I need – and what I don’t need – and takes away the frustration, fatigue, worry, and anger. It drains out my thoughts and agitations into the soft grass and moist soil, being recycled into something more useful for the planet. When all of that is let go of, Presence remains.

Nature brings our attention into the present moment and awakens what we long for – the sense of Being, valued just as we are. As I listen to the birds and the breeze, nature sings with appreciation for all that is.

This is my focus for next month’s Awakening Heart Spiritual Community – Attention and Intention. Our intention shapes how we focus our attention. Nature is the best teacher of how to awaken our attention, and reveal our intention. Information on Awakening Heart is below in the Announcements, or on my website. Join us, too, on the Awakening Heart Facebook page for announcements and community.

If your intention is someday to share yoga with others (or to deepen your yoga practice), see also my announcement below of the 2015 Yoga Teacher Training at Mind-Body Zone in Fremont, CA, which begins in May. Sign up for a free informational evening in March!

Your saving grace – what brings you back to your heart and spirit – could be right outside your door, too. Step outside, be present with the earth, and feel what it awakens in you.





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Awakening Heart Spiritual Community

2nd Sunday of every month

A new Spiritual Community, based in yoga philosophy and universal principles, for seekers of all ages

NEW - KID'S PROGRAM FOR AGES 6-12 (Inquire about younger children)!  Pre-register by responding to this email with the name and age of your child(ren).

Including an inspirational talk and readings on the month’s theme, community discussion and sharing, and 15-20 minute guided meditation. 

Get involved! Join the Awakening Heart Facebook Page for announcements, upcoming events, and community.

When: 2nd Sunday of every month

Time: 10-11:30am

Place: Subud House, Palo Alto – 330 Melville Ave., Palo Alto, CA

Topics for early 2015:

  • March 8th – Attention and Intention
  • April 12th – The Body of Light
  • May 10th – Self-Surrender
  • June 14th – Living in the Flow

Offered by heartfelt donation

Join us for inner peace, inspiration, connection, and community!  See the Awakening Heart webpage for details.


Seeking leader of children's program for Awakening Heart Spiritual Community

We are still looking for a permanent leader of our children's program.   If you know of someone who is qualified to lead kids on an inner journey of connecting to Spirit and nature on the 2nd Sunday of every month, please contact me or reply to this newsletter!

Yoga Teacher Training at Mind-Body Zone

The next Mind-Body Zone Yoga Teacher Training is coming in May!

A free information session will be held on Monday, March 2nd from 7:30-8:30pm at MBZ.  Early bird deadline (savings of $200) is March 15th.  Find out more at the Mind-Body Zone website or email teachertraining@mindbody-zone.com

Monthly Column in Sibyl Magazine

Sibyl Magazine: for the Soul and Spirit of Woman is an online publication servicing over 24,000 women around the world.  I've been selected to write a monthly column, "Awakening Through the Seasons", for the 2015 publication year. February's article is "Beneath the Surface." Check out Sibyl Magazine on their Facebook Page.


Counseling via Skype

Yes, I can do Counseling and Psychotherapy with you via Skype (or another online video conferencing tool) from anywhere in California.  (appointments in my office in Menlo Park are currently waitlisted)

Also, I can do Spiritual Mentoring with you via Skype from anywhere in the world!

Interested?  Contact me and begin the exploration.


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Have a look at my fan page, Awakening Self, where I post inspiration all week long.  If you like what you see, please click the "Like" button... and share with your friends! 


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Event Calendar

Every month, you can click this link to view my Calendar to see what is coming up!


Awakening Self Radio Show Archives

See my Radio Show page for over 40 archived shows dedicated to your spiritual awakening!


Spiritual Quotes

"Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment within."

~ Chinese Proverb


"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us." 

~ Iris Murdoch


"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

~ Lao Tzu



Rev. Connie L. Habash, MA, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Yoga and Meditation Teacher

Interfaith Minister - Spiritual Mentorship

Menlo Park, CA