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Archive for June, 2011

Guest blog by Daily OM-Ahhhh, nature!

In the Open Air
Spending Time in Nature

Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it’s not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it.
In this modern age, we spend so much time indoors, focused on the busyness of our lives and disconnected from the earth. But much of what we truly need can only be found under the naked sky, alongside tall trees, on open plains, or in the sound of running water. Spending time in nature allows us to commune with other living beings and to find comfort in the nurturing embrace of Mother Earth. You can’t help but experience a different sense of self while walking in a wood or traversing a mountainside. Being in nature connects us to the earth, grounding us as we walk, unhindered by concrete, upon her. Surrounded by other living beings, both bigger and smaller than we are, we remember that human beings are simply one form of life in this vast universe.
Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it’s not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it. Even if you live in a city or find it difficult to travel to a forest or the countryside, there are a myriad ways to reconnect with nature. When you step out of your door each morning, pause for a minute and close your eyes long enough to let your senses absorb your surroundings. Listen and breathe deeply, until you hear the wind rustling through branches, smell rain on damp grass, and see the reflection of leaves brushing up against windowpanes. If you have time, crouch down and closely examine any nearby grass and soil. The sights, sounds, smells, and sensations we experience that are part of nature can remind us of all the gifts Mother Earth grants us each day.
Spending time connecting with nature nourishes the soul, reminds you that you are never truly alone, and renews you by attuning you to the earth’s natural rhythms. Taking a walk under the stars or feeling the wind on your face may be all it takes for you to reconnect with nature. Remember, you are as much a part of nature as are the leaves on a tree or water bubbling in a brook.

 

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Do you hear the whisper?

writing coach relaxesInside each of us within our consciousness deep within our soul is a longing to be more of our essential self.  Inside each of us is a divine treasure full of joy, creativity, peace, compassion and unconditional love.  Dr. Ernest Holmes wrote in The Science of Mind “Mever was there a cosmic famine.  we may stumble, but always there is that Eternal Voice, forever whispering within our ear, that thing which causes the eternal quest, that thing which forever sings and sings.”

To hear the whisper we need to quiet the outside noises.  We also need to quiet our mind.  Go to the stillness and listen to the whispering.

Today in your journal what is that voice saying to you?  what do you need to write about today?  Maybe that story you have been afraid to get too close to is ready to be written.  Breathe deep and go within, you can do it.

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What are your priorities?

A great exercise is to write down all the things in your life that are important to you. What are the things you love, but could live without?  Those of you who have taken my classes know that three years ago when I decided to move out to Palm Springs I sold or gave away most of my possessions.  Knowing that it is very easy to rent furnished homes here in the desert I decided to get rid of my “stuff”.  I went through my pictures and divided most of them up between my children, and kept a few.  I packed my clothes and brought my dog out to the desert, and not much else.  What that did for me was show me that I was not attached to “stuff”.  Sure, I love good “stuff”, but I don’t need it.  My priorities at this time in my life is people, not “stuff” or “things”.  I want to go to sleep at night knowing I have made a difference in the life of another person.  How does the person feel after an encounter with me?  I love the women (and now men!) that come to my workshops.  I want them to know that I genuinely care and that they are not just a client, or a student, but a friend.  As I have said many times in these blogs, my students have become my friends and most are like a family to me.  So many times in our lives we get sucked into what we perceive as the urgency of the moment, putting out the fires of our daily affairs, that we lose track of where we have intended our lives to go.  As Deepak Chopra would say, we have forgotten to pay attention to our intention.  This is why taking time to examine our priorities should be a priority.  Is your life moving towards the intention you set?  (If we were to put this in line with your memoir writing, how is that going for you?  Are you still writing or do you need a little jumpstart to inspire you?).  Have you become enmeshed in the minutia of the moment and been driven off course?  One way to know is just to check in with your heart, you will know in a heartbeat.  Or you can always ask yourself this question: Ten years from now, will what’s going on in this moment really matter to me?

Spend some time in your journal writing about your intentions from days gone by and your priorities of today.

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Guest blog by Daily OM- Perceptions

Reversed Perceptions
Being Projected Upon

When we take ownership of our thoughts we are less likely to project our issues or disowned qualities onto others.

We all have issues, as well as undesirable qualities or traits that we don’t like about ourselves. Most of us realize that we are not perfect and that it is natural to have unpleasant thoughts, motivations, desires, or feelings. However, when a person does not acknowledge these, they may ascribe those characteristics to someone else, deeming other people instead as angry, jealous, or insecure. In psychological terms, such blaming and fault finding is called projection.
When we are the target of projections, it can be confusing and frustrating, not to mention maddening, particularly when we know that we are not the cause of another person’s distress. Even people who are well aware of their issues may find that sensitive subjects can bring up unexpected projections. They may feel insecure about a lack of funds and thus view a friend as extravagant. Or, if they really want to get in shape, they may preach the benefits of exercise to anyone and everyone.

While we can try to avoid people we know who engage in projecting their “stuff” onto others, we can’t always steer clear of such encounters. We can, however, deflect some projections through mindfulness and meditation. A useful visualization tool is to imagine wrapping ourselves in a protective light everyday. At other times, we may have to put up a protective shield when we feel a projection coming our way, reminding ourselves that someone else’s issues are not ours. Although it’s difficult not to react when we are the recipient of a projection, it is a good idea to try to remain calm and let the other person know if they are being unreasonable and disrespectful. We all know that it’s not fun to be dumped on. Likewise, we should be mindful that we don’t take our own frustrations out on others. When we take ownership of our thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings, we are less likely to project our issues or disowned qualities onto others.

Today in your writing explore ways in which you have projected onto others and also maybe see where others have projected their “stuff” onto you.  What are some ways you can take ownership of your thoughts?

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Who do you go to?

Human beings look to other human beings for hints on how their own lives might turn out; that’s why we read books and watch TV and keep tabs with old friends on facebook and cry during romantic comedies.

“We can never know what to want,” Milan Kundera writes in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. “because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come… we live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold.” It’s that terror, perhaps, that endears us to observe and compare our lives to the lives of others (rather than to our untouchable past lives) in search of a cue, or a line, or at long last; a curtain call.

Who do you look to when you don’t know where to turn?  As human beings we have examples all around us, some good, some not so good.  Why do you seek out friendships with others?  It is in the company of my friends that I can most be who I am.  I am so very, very blessed to have the friends that I do.  In this one life that you are living how do you know you are growing?  I think one of the best tools for me are my journals.  My journals take the shape of many forms.  I have a computer journal, I have leather bound journals, I have spiral notebooks and even scraps of paper tucked here and there.  It is as I look through the movement of my life I can see the changes and growth, and yet I can also see the periods of stagnation.  Sometimes living life as it comes can be scary, but where do you choose to focus?  See how others are doing it and get some good role models and live the best life you possibly can!  Start with journaling about your thoughts about where you are right now in this life.

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.


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