No One is Impervious to Pain

No one is impervious to pain—it is part of the human experience. The thing to remember when pain comes knocking at your door, and it will, is it not the challenge but how we respond, that creates the person we will be tomorrow.

The increased homeless situation where I live has been pulling at my heart and brought about a lot of reflection. Why is it that I can’t leave the parking lot of a store without encountering at least one person with a sign asking for help? I don’t remember this being the case 10 or 20 years ago. Are there more people in trouble, or is the situation more transparent now than it used to be?

I can remember my dad talking about people whom he would encounter on the streets of Chicago asking for money for coffee. His solution was to say, “Let me buy you a cup of coffee and a donut,” because he didn’t want any of his money to go to alcohol or drugs. Some would take him up on the offer and some would not.

I am aware, just as my dad was, that some of those begging are scam artists, and some are going to use the money for alcohol or drugs. When I have stopped and talked to those asking for money, I find that many are the product of unfortunate situations or negative beliefs that distorted their perceptions and compromised their ability to respond productively to a crisis.

But what happens when times are really tough and you feel you have run out of options? How do you respond?

Will you blame someone else for the problem, respond with “I can’t deal with this!” or ask “Why me?” Or will you just focus your energy on what needs to happen and handle the situation? Remember, when we are stressed, the subconscious mind, which is where our early childhood beliefs, perceptions, and programmed behavior are stored, will take over.

When our children were very young, my family was broadsided by a very difficult situation that challenged every fiber of my being and brought us to our knees financially. After I got over the initial shock, a force within me rose to the surface. I found myself fighting back and implementing things I wasn’t aware that I was capable of. It was a very difficult time, yet simultaneously, a time of great personal growth. While I certainly would not want to relive that experience, in retrospect, I am very grateful for the insights, inner strength, and growth it provided me with.

I think about that time often when I see someone standing on the corner begging or hear about someone’s hardship. So how do I respond? It depends on the day, the situation, and my gut feeling. I try to be present, honest, non-judgmental, and compassionate. I try to look at their situation as “their path,” and ask myself if there is anything I can offer to make their journey less painful. I try to listen to their stories and see what they are trying to learn or resolve and then reflect it back to them in hopes of helping them move forward. I also try to remember that we create what we believe and when we change those beliefs we can change our whole life.

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program: www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Global Classroom: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/global-classroom/

To schedule an I Create What I Believe! Introductory Presentation in your home or community, contact Nancy Marie at: info@innereyepublishing.com

For more information about the Just Scribble activity: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/icwib-just-scribble/

To sign-up for the FREE I Create What I Believe! Newsletter: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/newsletter/

Labels Limit


More than 2 million American children have been identified by schools as being learning disabled, and approximately 5 to 10 million American adults are similarly affected.

According to Harvard neurologist Norman Geschwind, practically all of us have a significant number of special learning disabilities.  With the large number of tests available today, chances are one of them can detect something wrong with the way just about anyone in our society learns.

With this in mind, I think it would be better to see these as “learning opportunities” rather than “learning disabilities,” because labels limit potential.

Last night on my evening walk, I met two young men. One was in his early twenties and the other was in his late twenties. As we stood in the local historical cemetery talking, both revealed they hadn’t finished high school: a label had crippled both of them. One said he hadn’t finished high school because he had ADHD, while the other announced he hadn’t finished because he had ADD.

Over the last ten years of teaching the I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program, I have met hundreds of children who have shared with me their endless list of crippling and limiting labels. These labels made them feel flawed—less than—and for some, their excuse for not being successful. There is something seriously wrong when our youth feels this way.

According to Daniel Pink, in The Whole New Mind, we need to be cultivating creative, out-of-the-box thinkers. From my own personal experience, and working with many children and adults over the years, I feel learning challenges require you to be a creative, innovative thinker, because the traditional approaches to learning often don’t work. Being unable to learn in the traditional, linear manner doesn’t mean you are stupid or incapable of learning, it just means you have a uniquely wired brain, which often can do unique and wonderful things. It also means you need to explore and discover how your mind works and what helps it work best.

This is why I stress the importance of Just Scribble, the first activity in the ICWIB program. The simple act of scribbling can help a child or adult reduce stress, release bottled-up emotions, and come to know themselves in a deeper way. It can also help them move out of their subconscious or reactive mind and into their conscious mind, which is where learning takes place. Once the child or adult learns how to shift from one brain state to the other, they don’t need the crayons and paper any more. They can accomplish the same result by just drawing the pattern they discovered that works on their leg with their finger, or with their foot under the desk.

I think the information you gain from the Just Scribble activity as a secret code or password that has the capacity to unlock your mind. Once you have learned how to shift from the reactive mind to the conscious mind or the prefrontal cortex, you can then use the same activity to learn how to focus and stabilize your mind.

When I was younger I was plagued with a very long list of learning challenges. When I am stressed or over-tired, these challenges can still rise up and make learning difficult, but they no longer stop me. This is because I now know how to effectively shift brain states and I no longer see myself as “less than” or handicapped.

After only about 20 minutes of conversation last night, these two young men were no longer feeling broken, had a plan of action, and were hopeful about their future.

Now, with the Global Classroom and the ICWIB tools, you too can make a difference in your life or the lives of our youth. The reason I created the Global Classroom is because in a simple Introductory Presentation, you can learn the basic science behind the program and multiple activities to help reduce stress, release bottled-up emotions, and place your mind in a learning-ready state. The ICWIB Introductory DVD, which is downloadable, can also help you easily share some of the life- changing science behind the program with others.

In my last newsletter I shared access to a short video of Version One of Just Scribble. This week I am sharing access to a short video of Version Two of Just Scribble.

In Version One, using individual hands, you can begin to identify what kinds of movements and/or kind of lines relax your mind, or energize and focus it. Version Two of the same activity can help you discover if bi-lateral movement (using both your hands simultaneously) helps you shift your brain states more effectively than individual hand movement.

I invite you to not only explore Just Scribble Version One and Just Scribble Version Two, but to also share them with at least one other person. If I can make a difference in two young men’s lives in just twenty minutes, just think what we can all do together!

If you find these activities to be helpful for you or another person, please share your stories with me.

Reminder: Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 5:00 PM PST is the next FREE ICWIB teleconference. Any individual or group that has purchased an ICWIB kit is invited to attend. Please contact Nancy Marie at: info@innereyepublishing.com for the dial-in number and password. The focus of this event is to review material, answer questions, and help individuals adapt activities for special circumstances.

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program: www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Global Classroom: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/global-classroom/

To schedule an I Create What I Believe! Introductory Presentation in your home or community, contact Nancy Marie at: info@innereyepublishing.com

For more information about the Just Scribble activity: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/icwib-just-scribble/

To sign-up for the FREE I Create What I Believe! Newsletter: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/newsletter/

Where are My Keys?

I have been pondering lately the packages my lessons sometimes arrive in. When I was younger, I rarely looked behind life’s curtain. If I couldn’t find my car keys, I just saw the event as: “I can’t find my car keys.” Now when I can’t find my car keys, I am immediately aware of being over-extended, ungrounded or having lost my center. If I then take this clue from the Universe and immediately slow down and reconnect with myself, the keys will appear—and usually in a very unusual place.

I can’t remember when I began seeing the interconnectedness of everything in this way, but I know that this perception has added a great richness and a lot more humor to my life. It has also helped me reduce my stress, and stay more in touch with myself.

So the next time you can’t locate something, instead of stressing because you can’t find it, stop, slow yourself down, and see if you can look behind the curtain of life. I am sure you will find more than your missing item.

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program: www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com

For more information about the I Create What I Believe Global Classroom: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/global-classroom/

To schedule an I Create What I Believe Introductory Presentations in your home or community contact Nancy Marie at: info@innereyepublishing.com

To view version One of the Just Scribble activity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wURBZHk8jc&feature=youtu.be

For more information about the Just Scribble activity: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/icwib-just-scribble/

To sign-up for the FREE I Create What I Believe! Newsletter: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/newsletter/

For more information about the FREE I Create What I Believe! Teleconferences: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/in-depth-training/

Grew Out of a Need

Research has shown that childhood abuse can damage the brain and reduce it up to 10 percent in size. This in turn can then create functional abnormalities of one’s mood and thinking process. Western science used to believe that by young adulthood the brain had lost its capacity for radical change, which meant that brain damage caused in childhood was no longer curable in adults. This viewpoint left little hope of recovery for individuals who where abused as children.

More recent research has revealed that the brain has the capacity to change at any age, and one of the best ways of doing that is though mindfulness practice. Since childhood adversity is an experience that many people have had, I feel it is important to make easy and effective tools available to as many people as possible to help reduce stress, move out of reactivity, restore balance, and learn to create a healthier life.

The I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program grew out of a need that I saw, and from my own personal experience. I experienced an excessive amount of trauma both in the womb and in the first five years of my life. This subsequently had a negative impact on my developing brain. Since I grew-up in a time where there was little awareness of how trauma and/or abuse could impact brain development, I had to find a way out myself.

Some of the ICWIB activities stem from activities I developed for myself as a child to help restore balance, while other activities are based on movement practices and drawing activities I discovered later in life and used for my own healing. Each of the twelve activities focuses on helping the brain resolve a different kind of imbalance.

The ICWIB program activities helped me let go of the difficult experience and see it with new eyes. This in turn helped me move forward into life in a more peaceful, integrated and joyous way. This is the reason I am so passionate about getting the ICWIB program into the hands of parents, teachers, therapist, and anyone working with children—especially at-risk children or adults.

Over the last ten years of teaching the ICWIB program, I have received letters and e-mails from people all over the world expressing a desire and need to learn more about both the science behind the ICWIB program and the drawing activities. In response to their outreach, I created the new Global Classroom.

The Global Classroom now offers introductory presentations, free teleconferences, in-depth training and a scholarship program.

Today I would like to share with you Version One of Activity One—Just Scribble—from the ICWIB Tutorial DVD. This activity incorporates deep abdominal breathing with movement—two important components for restoring balance and healing in the body and mind. It also introduces the art of self-reflection, which is a very important component of mindfulness training. I hope you enjoy this video clip. Please share it with anyone who might benefit.

Reminder: Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 5:00 PM PST is the first FREE ICWIB teleconference. Any individual or group that has purchased an ICWIB kit is invited to attend. Please contact Nancy Marie at: info@innereyepublishing.com for the dial-in number and password. The focus of this event is to review material, help individuals adapt activities for special circumstances, and answer questions.

For more information about the I Create What I Believe Global Classroom: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/global-classroom/

To schedule an I Create What I Believe Introductory Presentationsin your home or community contact Nancy Marie at: info@innereyepublishing.com

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program: www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com

For more information about the Just Scribble activity: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/icwib-just-scribble/

To sign-up for the FREE I Create What I Believe! Newsletter:

http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/newsletter/

For more information about the FREE I Create What I Believe! Teleconferences: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/in-depth-training/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excited to Announce!

After several months of hard work, I am excited to announce the launching of the new I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) Global Classroom, and my two new websites. The websites addresses are the same: www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com and www.InnerEyePublishing.com, but information is easier to find, and the websites are now mobile friendly. The ICWIB Global Classroom now makes it possible for anyone who is interested in learning more about the ICWIB Program to do so via FREE teleconferences and Skype.

The reason for these changes is simple: I have received numerous e-mails from people around the world who are interested in learning more about the ICWIB program, but lack the funds or ability to attend an in-person workshop. Also, Google now requires all websites to be mobile friendly.

The ICWB Global Classroom format makes it possible for individuals to host ICWIB Introductory Presentations in their homes, schools or communities. These presentations are by donation only and all of the money that is collected goes towards a scholarship fund for individuals and/or groups that would greatly benefit from the ICWIB in-depth training and materials, but lack the financial means. So if you attend or host an event you are giving both yourself and others life-changing information and skills.

The ICWB Global Classroom is also offering FREE monthly teleconferences for any individual or group who purchases a kit or has previously purchased a kit. These teleconferences are a way to work directly with Nancy Marie, get your questions answered, and receive special pointers on how to adapt specific activities to fit you or your students’ unique needs.

My mother used to say, “Peace begins at home.” I feel that the creation of World Peace can find its start within each of us, for when we are clear and in touch with our authentic nature we become part of the solution–not part of the problem.

After teaching the ICWIB program to both young and old for over 10 years , it has been evident that sharing these simple and scientifically sound tools has made a pivotal difference in the lives of many participants. The launching of the ICWB Global Classroom is my way of helping everyone become a local dynamic source for World Peace. Together, I know we can bring about a significant change in our families, communities, and the world.

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Program: www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com

For more information about the ICWIB Global Classroom: www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com/globalclassroom

If you are interested in hosting an ICWIB Introductory Presentation in your home or community please contact Nancy Marie at: info@innereyepublishing.com

 

 

Ripened Like Good Wine

I have been pondering two words lately: congruent and conflict. The reason for the reflection is because I have noticed that if I am unclear or in conflict with myself in any way, that it is more difficult to move forward effectively and/or accomplish things in a timely manner. When I was younger I had lots of energy to burn, which also meant I had the ability to override or ignore any inner conflict, and just push through to make things happen. Sometimes the end result was great, and sometimes the end result was not so great.

As I have matured, or as my father used to say, “…ripened like good wine”, I find I can no longer approach life from that place of raw force and will. That approach is now being replaced with a softer, wiser, and gentler way of approaching life. Sometime I miss the adrenaline high of the old approach, but the new slower approach provides me with a bigger picture, deeper wisdom and often less wreckage.

When I was young I used to spend time in the summer with my mother’s parents. I didn’t get along with my grandmother, but I adored my grandfather and spent many hours just walking by his side. He was a very peaceful, wise, and religious man. It didn’t matter if he was walking to church, puttering in the garden, or going to the store, I always wanted to tag along. As I got older and he got older he moved at a slower more ambling pace.

I can remember him laughing as I would run ahead and back again to him several times on our journey to the store, because his pace was too slow for me then. He found my quick, impulsive, and strong-willed behavior charming and entertaining, but he would also make a point of reminding me how the strong-willed part of me got me in more trouble than most children.

I can now see that he was trying to help me find a way to become more settled in myself, and more harmonious or congruent. I didn’t understand what he was trying to show me then, but his gentle wisdom stayed with me, and it began to serve me when I was older.

Many years later when I was in college, I found myself really upset about a situation. In desperation, I jumped on my bicycle. I didn’t get on my bike and ride as fast as I could, like my friend David would when he was upset, instead I began peddling slowly in a meandering way, very much like my walks with my grandfather many years before. As I peddled in this meandering way I began to feel my frustration dissolve, and clarity begin to rise. I even found myself laughing at my impulsiveness like my grandfather had so many years before. I realize now, I was using movement to shift from conflict to a more potent state of inner peace.

That experience opened a door for a new way for me. Instead of getting crazy when I was upset, I began to use purposeful movement to bring about a calm, clear state inside of myself. Since I couldn’t always jump on my bike to resolve my inner conflicts, I began to find more ways I could use movement to clear mind. Sometimes it was just walking, sometimes drawing or doodling, while other times it was as simple as wiping a counter. The trick, which is very similar to the scribbling activity in the ICWIB program, was to find the right pace, the right amount of resistance and remember to breathe.

When you find the right combination, it is easy to move out of conflict and into harmony or congruency again. The added bonus is that you also activate your conscious problem-solving mind in the process, which means you then have the ability to find a new solution to your problem.

So if you find yourself unable to bring about a change in your life, ask yourself: “Is any part of me in conflict with this action? If the answer is yes, then try pondering other solutions that are more congruent with who you really are.

For more information about the ICWIB program: www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com

Quiet is Different than being Silent

When we quiet ourselves enough to listen deeply we can discover our true nature, and the unique gifts we have to share with the world. Being quiet is very different than being silent. I grew-up in generation when children were taught to be seen and not heard. At an early age I learned to bite my tongue, and not correct, contradict or challenge anyone even if it meant I didn’t get what I needed. As a result I became silent.

In the silence I lost touch of myself, my self-worth and my gifts.

When I look back, I can see that it was movement, and my connection to nature that helped me slowly shift from the debilitating silence to healing quiet. The process was instinctual and natural.

I can remember walking home from school when I was in second or third grade. The distance was about a mile and during the walk I would hum, sing, and drag a stick across the picket fences along the way. I can also remember noticing the changes in people’s gardens and talking to the plants, and animals along the way.

That was many, many years ago, but as an adult I still turn to walking, observing the changes in other people’s gardens as a way to restore my inner quiet. The slow repetitive motion of walking silences the chatter in my mind and brings about a profound sense of stillness. In that stillness life always seems to reorder itself. It is not something I do or have to think about: the insights, and ordering happens spontaneously the minute I become quiet. I can feel my shoulders drop, my breath get fuller and a sense of peace and contentment washes over me. I am home again!

As a child, I didn’t know that my walks home from school were activating my conscious mind or that I was also suspending all of the negative tapes stored in my subconscious mind. I just knew that walking in an ambling pace and connecting with the natural world around me made me feel good and happy inside.

With the weather getting warmer and the days longer I suggest you try taking more walks around your neighborhood or different neighborhoods. Find a pace that feels right—not too fast and not too slow. In the process, you may find yourself cultivating a deeper quiet and gaining a deeper sense of yourself.

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Program: www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com

Making Your Moments Count

In a short, one-minute, film, Elvis de Leon gave me a new perspective on the way I look at every day of my life. He asks the viewer to imagine that every day you wake-up with $84,600.00 in your bank account.  This is not something you need to hold on to and save, but rather something that needs to be spent wisely for at the end of the day, the remaining balance will disappear forever. Now there is no reason to worry, because the next morning you will wake-up to another $84,600.00 in your account again.

Each and every day of our life, we all receive approximately 84600 glorious seconds. How do you spend those moments? Do you use them purposefully to make the world a better place? Do you share them graciously with others? Or do you squander and waste them with mindless activities? You can choose. You always have a choice, but it is important to remember that the choices we make today will determine the person we become tomorrow. I suggest we make every second count!

Spring, the time of rebirth, is right around the corner, or already blooming in some places. Many people can feel themselves bursting at the seams—much like nature is doing right now. Use this natural cycle of rebirth and the awareness that you have 84,600 glorious moments today to make a difference in the world, to help you make a difference. Don’t spend your moments foolishly or come to the end of your day with a pocketful of unused minutes because they won’t be rolled over into your next day.

Instead, run, jump, leap and sprint into each moment with childlike glee full of the awareness that you have the power to make a difference. Your actions in the moment may seem small, but change usually happens one tiny pebble at a time.  Even the “big” amazing changes are actually the accumulation of big piles of those tiny pebbles. It is the commitment to stay focused on how you use your moments that facilitates big changes over time.

Imagine that outside your front door there is a pile of 365 pebbles on one side of the sidewalk. Now imagine that every morning as you step out of your door, you pick up one pebble and place it on the other side of the sidewalk. This seems like an incredibly small and simple task, but over time the pile on the right diminishes and the pile on the left becomes bigger.

So as you step into each day let the pebble that you move from one side of the sidewalk to the other be a marker for your day. Also let it remind you that you have 84,600 wonderful moments to spend that day. Then actively choose to use all of those glorious seconds wisely and purposefully. If you do this every day, then over time one “pile of rocks” will become smaller and the other larger, and you will also begin to see significant changes in your life.

Nancy Marie is leading a three-hour interactive workshop at the Wesak Celebration in Mount Shasta, CA. This is the first year that Wesak (The Celebration of the Birthday of Buddha) has offered an in-depth interactive workshop.  This is also the first time that Nancy has taught both The Beckoning Song of your Soul techniques and the I Create What I Believe! art activities in the same workshop. Participants are in for a real treat!

Title: Restoring Balance and Rekindling Inner Wisdom
Date: Saturday May 2, 2015
Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location: Mount Shasta, CA
For more information or to register for this event: http://wesak.us/index.php?ref=NancyMarie

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program, Nancy Marie or her books: http://www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com or http://www.InnerEyePublishing.com

Your Own Personal Meditation

Wholeness and your connection to your authentic self always exist within you, but when you become stressed that inner clarity can become clouded leaving you feeling unhappy, lost, and unsure of yourself. When this happens it is time to stop, quiet your mind, open your heart and reconnect with your soul and the Divine.

I was reading an article in this morning’s paper about how meditation has gone viral. It is no longer a fringe activity. Even the medical profession and the corporate world are whole-heartedly embracing it. Why? The answer is simple; we are living in extremely stressful times and you don’t have to look too hard to find some research about the short and long term effect of ongoing stress.

With this in mind, should you cultivate some form of meditation practice, or reflective stepping out of the fast lane in your life?  Probably. Do you need to go on a retreat to learn a specific form of meditation? Probably not.

Meditation does not have to be tied to a particular religion, though most religions have practices like prayer or chanting that help can an individual step out of the stress of day-to-day life, quiet their mind, open their heart and listen deeply to their inner guidance.

From my perspective, the aim of meditation is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system—basically move you out of reactivity or fight or flight and into your conscious problem-solving mind. This can be done in many ways, but there are some key components: the slowing and deepening of the breath and the purposefully focusing of the mind.

When my children were very young, like many working mothers, I didn’t have a lot of free time, but I also knew that if I didn’t purposely de-stress my system on a daily basis, I couldn’t be present and I would be more reactive and unconscious in my parenting. So I began converting my daily routines into a meditation practice.

I am a firm believer that most of our daily activities can be turned into a reflective, soul feeding and transformative activities. On the other hand you can change a profoundly transformative activity like yoga into a competitive non-restorative activity. Meditation helps us become present in the moment. This is important, because when we are present in the moment we have the capacity to transform inaccurate beliefs and perceptions and ultimately create a life that is a more accurate reflection of our authentic self. This is why some kind of daily meditation practice is good.

As we come to the final weeks of winter, I suggest you take the time to transform at least one activity each day into your own personal form of mediation—remember it is not what you do, it is how you do it. Vacuuming the rug, washing dishes, folding laundry and even picking up toys off the floor can become a restorative practice. You merely need to focus on your breath and link your breath with your movement. This will get you out of your thinking mind and into the present moment. Inhale as you move the vacuum forward and exhale as you move it back. Inhale as you swirl the sponge over the dish, and exhale as you rinse. Exhale as you lean over to pick up a toy or dirty sock and inhale as you straighten up.

Years ago when I was teaching aerial movement one of the challenges I used to give my students was to move from one side of the studio to the other (a 30 foot distance) in five minutes. From the moment they started they needed to stay in constant motion and they also needed to take the full five minutes getting to the other side. This incredibly simple activity helped them become more aware of their body, quiet their mind, and drove them into the present moment, and into their conscious mind.

Create a simple practice for yourself and you will see how simple it is to shift into the conscious mind and reconnect with yourself and what is really important to you.

Also, if you use an activity like vacuuming, washing the dishes or picking up toys off the floor for your meditation you will have the added benefit of a clean house.

Nancy Marie is leading a three-hour interactive workshop at the Wesak Celebration in Mount Shasta, CA. This is the first year that Wesak (The Celebration of the Birthday of Buddha) has offered an in-depth interactive workshop.  This is also the first time that Nancy has taught both The Beckoning Song of your Soul techniques and the I Create What I Believe! art activities in the same workshop. Participants are in for a real treat!

Title: Restoring Balance and Rekindling Inner Wisdom

Date: Saturday May 2, 2015

Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Location: Mount Shasta, CA

For more information or to register for this event: http://wesak.us/index.php?ref=NancyMarie

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program, Nancy Marie or her books: http://www.ICreateWhatIBelieve.com or http://www.InnerEyePublishing.com

A Time for Self-Reflection, and Change

Winter is the time when all of nature takes a deep breath and goes inward. It is a time for self-reflection, deep healing, changing of perceptions and gaining clarity about who we are and what wants to be born through us in the spring. It is during this winter cycle that many people make News Year’s resolutions. I did this as a teenager, but by the time I was in my mid-twenties I found it was more beneficial for me to practice deep listening to what wanted to be born in the upcoming year.

This was not a quick process in the beginning, rather it required me to learn how to use my breath and subtle movement in my body to still my mind, and become deeply rooted in the present moment. I have talked about in recent newsletters how I accomplished this with my artwork, aerial movement, and sound and movement meditation. I have also mentioned how activities as simple as scribbling or even vacuuming your living room can be used to pull you out of discord and into alignment with yourself and your purpose.

Life is really quite simple, but we are bombarded with so many distractions and such an overwhelming amount of stimulation it is easy to lose our focus and in the process lose track of our chosen path and ourselves. At the same time, if you take the time (and it can be as little as five minutes every hour) to go inward and still yourself you will find that you are far clearer, and more productive throughout your day. You also might find that your life is filled with a deeper richness and sense of purpose.

You don’t have to set aside a special time to meditate. You can just focus on deep abdominal breathing every time your car is stopped at a red light. You can also turn washing the dishes, making the bed or vacuuming the living room into a meditation. You can scribble, doodle, draw, knit, sing, or do a million other things to still your mind. It is not what you do, it is how you do it that decides if you are going to create more stillness in your system or create more internal chaos in your system.

The reason I find stillness so important is that it is in the stillness that I am reminded of my innermost needs. I also become more aware of my tolerance or intolerance for the opposite states of chaos (unpredictability) and order (predictability).  I used to resist and try to override this innate sensitivity, but now I use it as a barometer or gauge to help me stay on course. This awareness is a steady reminder to let go of my agenda, listen deeply, and make appropriate choices for me. When I don’t, my system gets out of balance, I lose my clarity and my health and vitality diminishes.

We only have about nine more weeks of winter. If possible, take the time during this inward season to go deep within yourself and get clear on what wants to be born though you in the spring. This will set a tone and direction for your whole year.

On January 31, 2015 Nancy Marie is leading an all-day I Create What I Believe! workshop for preschool teachers, parents or individuals working with young children at Shasta College in Redding, CA.

For more information and to register: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/i-create-what-i-believe-tickets-14362096417

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Program: http://www.icreatewhatibelieve.com/