A couple weeks ago, I had planned to hike on a Thursday morning with a friend I hadn’t seen in months. We were looking forward to being together and venturing into one of my favorite forests at nearby Huddart Park. The forecast was for rain – not just a little drizzle. Did we want to venture beyond our comfort zone, even if it was pouring?
I was game, and so was she – what an adventure! Going outdoors brings me great joy, but there’s always an element of being uncomfortable. Will I get muddy? Will my new rain pants truly hold up? What if I slip and fall? How about the cold? Being in nature mirrors to us the fact that life is unpredictable and uncomfortable sometimes.
We met up and drove together through the windy road to the park entrance, then on to the grassy field near the trailhead. On with the jackets, hiking books, and mittens (yep, it was chilly!), and off we went into the redwood forest. Continue Reading
Yeah, I know. Valentine’s day is this week. How do you feel about it?
Do you feel loved? Do you have someone that you love? Do you appreciate this day to express that love, or does this day trigger painful emotions?
I think there are as many reactions to Valentine’s day as there are the spectrum of emotions. I personally appreciate the opportunity to express love and care for others. But I also don’t like the expectations and commercial aspect of “Valentine’s Day”.
And I don’t think this is about someone else – I think this day could be turned towards finding love wherever you are, inside of you. Because love isn’t limited to a person, a place, or a thing. Love is infinite, unlimited, and ever present. Love is the Divine, and it’s already within you. Continue Reading
Every morning, shortly after I wake, I do my “sit-spot” practice outside in our front yard. This is a practice of simply sitting and being present with everything in nature. It’s a beautiful way to begin my day with the freshness of the morning air, the sun beginning to peek through the leaves, the squirrels racing up and down the oak trees, and most of all, the birdsong.
I relish hearing the variety of birds in our neighborhood. On those beautiful, bright, sunny mornings it is pure delight to sit by our grassy patch and hear a bird calling from the tall redwood tree 5 houses down to the right, and to hear the high-pitched clicking sound of a hummingbird as it zooms in for a drink from our Mexican sage.
This morning, however, was quite different than the others for the last couple of months. It was dense with cloud-cover, and rain was expected. For California in June, this is rare. With ordinary eyes, one might wake up, see the dismal looking skies, and decide to just pull the covers over the head and go back to sleep. A dreary, cloudy day. Continue Reading