Inspiration for the Day, Dec. 26: Family Meditation

 

 

 

Family Meditation

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Meditating in groups is powerful, meditation with your family members is beautiful.

Once we have discovered all that meditation can do for us in our lives, we have the opportunity to share that knowledge with our children. Since a child’s first experiences take place in the home, what they learn there provides a foundation of knowledge and then becomes their basis for comparison as they move out into the world. Even if we may not feel that we are qualified to teach, we can plant the seeds that will give them a basic understanding of the peace and power that lie within them.

There are many ways we can instill the value of meditation. Since children tend to learn just as much, if not more, by observation and imitation, rather than by instruction, we can teach by example. By following our practice, we show them that meditation is part of daily life. Even if they appear to resist, they will come to understand meditation’s importance in maintaining their inner health if you treat it as something that is as important and as essential as eating well and keeping proper hygiene. Little children are not the only ones that can benefit by learning meditation; preteens and teenagers can also benefit from learning the skills necessary to calm their minds and spend quality family time meditating together.

We may be able to introduce them to the concept of closing their eyes and taking inner journeys by listening to visualization CDs/downloads, or you may comfortable enough to guide them through a visualization of your own. Creating a time of quiet listening in the middle of guided imagery helps them know that they can be silent and go within whenever they choose. You might want to sit together and hold hands, creating a deep bonding ritual that may become everyone’s favorite part of the day. By discussing afterward, you can discover how your child experiences his or her inner world. By teaching children how to create with their minds and how to access the stillness within them, you are giving them tools that will help them create the best lives possible.

–The Daily OM

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Inspiration for the Day for Dec 25: Gift of Winter

 

 

 

 

Gift of Winter

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

There is a quiet humility about the earth in the winter months, as animals and people retreat inside to do their deep work.

In fall, the earth begins the process of releasing all the things she has been holding onto throughout spring and summer, and by midwinter she has let everything go. She sits clean and undecorated in her simplicity, free of the frenzy of life that defines her in the warmer seasons. There is a quiet humility about the earth in the winter months, as animals and people retreat inside to escape the wet and sometimes freezing cold that takes hold. Inside our homes we create abundance and warmth in response to being effectively kicked indoors by the dark and cold that permeate the outdoors.

We burn fires in fireplaces and make heavy, hot foods to keep our bodies warm and insulated. We may find ourselves sleeping longer hours and yearning for downtime, just like the animals deep inside their caves and warrens taking a winter-long nap. Even if we live in a warmer climate, the longer nights and shorter days have the same effect on our cycles. If we surrender to this time as nature intended, we allow ourselves to slow down, sleep more, and lower the volumes on our busy minds. At the same time, we crave company in our dwellings, and the insulated warmth of the hearth tends to bring people together, creating more warmth and fostering connections that last through the coming year.

We laugh, eat, and talk, sleep, or catch up on reading, while outside our windows the earth grows dark earlier and stays cold longer, accepting as always of the process of change and her place within it. We might remember to learn from her as she so gracefully surrenders to the emptiness that precedes all form, the peace that precedes activity, the darkness that precedes the light. For everything she gives and teaches, we might offer a blessing, extending a goodly portion of the gratitude of this season her way, holding her in our hearts and thanking her for our very lives.

 

Daily Inspiration for Dec. 19: Feeling Guilty about Being Happy

 

 

 

Feeling Guilty about Being Happy

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Allow yourself to release feeling any guilt about being happy.

Happiness is an experience we all long for and deserve in our lives. We may wish for the happiness that comes with a much-needed vacation or an exciting new love affair, yet when the actual experience of happiness emerges, we may be too overcome with guilt to enjoy it. If guilt is interfering with your ability to feel joy, you may find relief in looking at the beliefs you hold about yourself and what it means for you to be happy.

Guilt about feeling happy can arise for different reasons. Deep down you may believe that you don’t deserve to be happy because you hurt someone in the past, had more than others growing up, or maybe you received a mean comment from someone you admire. Perhaps it once seemed that painful experiences always followed happy ones; now whenever you begin to feel happy, you find yourself waiting for the other shoe to drop. Happiness may even just feel uncomfortable because you’ve gotten so used to feeling down. The truth is that when you feel too guilty to let yourself enjoy positive emotions, you are denying a part of yourself that has a right to exist. By limiting your life experience to just the negative feelings, you are cutting yourself off from the fullness of life – which includes all of the positive emotions as well. Fortunately, you can begin to shift the way you respond to happiness even in this moment.

From now on, when happiness begins to blossom in your heart, try to accept it, relish in it, ask it to stay. It’s okay to feel happy even if you believe you don’t deserve it. Feeling good is an expression of your wholeness and your connection with life. The next time happiness appears for you, try not to feel guilty about it. Instead, welcome your happiness in like a long-awaited friend.

 

–Daily OM

Inspiration of the Day: Existing In Bodies

 

 

Existing In Bodies

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

We inhabit bodies for a reason – experiencing all the range of feelings and emotions that come with being present in a body.

The physical self can seem like an encumbrance at times. We have little control over its demands, we must monitor it consistently, and its relative fragility can be discomfiting. Many people, therefore, unconsciously long to escape the confinement of their bodies, and this longing can manifest itself as physical discomfort, difficulty adjusting to the rigors of day-to-day existence, or a tendency to shy away from all that is associated with the human earthly experience. Yet the lifetime of physical existence we each must endure represents a vital plateau in our progression as enlightened beings. We inhabit our bodies for a reason. There is much we can learn while coping with the challenges, sensations, and sensitivities of the human body that we could not have grasped had we remained in spirit form. When we leave our physical selves behind to return to our original state, we will enjoy a supreme sense of freedom – yet we will always value the time we spent on earth.

Being wholly present in your body can help you better understand how your time as a physical being is contributing to your development. There may be times when you feel that your consciousness is not grounded in your corporeal form. Your thoughts may seem scattered or spacey, or you may sense that your ethereal self is literally floating away. When this occurs, ask Mother Earth to ground you, or draw upon the potent grounding energy of mountains or trees. These powerful natural forces can help you reconnect with the earth by reminding you that living in a physical state can be a wholesome and enlightening experience. Wearing gemstones with grounding properties, bloodstone, for example, is another way to reaffirm your connection to the earthly plane.

Human beings are tied to the earth, but not wholly of the earth. We are each of us, for the time being, poised between the soil underneath our feet and the never-ending ethereal spaces around us. The unease we occasionally feel in our earthly bodies is merely a by-product of our innate understanding of our dual natures. But the time we spend in our physical bodies will not last and should thus be cherished. For one day, when our evolution is complete, we will return to the source of life to become beings of light once more.

 

Daily OM

Inspiration for the Day for December 16: Feeling Fed Up With Humanity

Feeling Fed Up With Humanity

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

It is natural to feel let down when we see our fellow humans behaving badly, return the focus to your own life.

From time to time, we may all feel fed up with humanity, whether it’s from learning about what’s going on around the world, or what’s going on next door. There are always situations that leave us feeling as if people are simply not capable of behaving in a way that is coming from a place of awareness. Often it seems as if people are actually geared to handle things in the worst possible way, repeatedly. At the same time, none of us wants to linger in a judgmental mood about our own species. As a result, we might tend to repress the feelings coming up as we take in the news from the world and the neighborhood.

It is natural to feel let down and disappointed when we see our fellow humans behaving in ways that are greedy, selfish, violent, or uncaring, but there are also ways to process that disappointment without sinking into despondency. As with any emotional response, we honor our feelings by feeling them fully, without judging or acting on them. Once we’ve done that – and we may need to do it every day, as part of our daily self-care – we can begin to consider ways that we might help the situation in which humanity finds itself.

As always, we start with ourselves, utilizing our awareness of the failings of others to renew our own commitment to be more conscious human beings. We are all capable of the best and the worst that humanity has to offer, and remembering this keeps us in check, as well as allowing us to find compassion for others. We may find ourselves feeling compelled to serve people who are suffering injustices at the hands of other people, or we may begin to speak out when we see something that we don’t think is right. Whatever the case, the only thing we can do is pledge to serve the best, rather than the worst, of what humanity has to offer, both in the world, and in ourselves.

Daily OM

Daily Inspiration for Dec. 15: Hard Days

 

 

Hard Days

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

A hard day can sometimes be a great teacher if we stop for reflection.

We all have days that seem endlessly difficult and hard. On these days, it is as if the odds are stacked against us and we just can’t get a break as one challenging situation follows another. We may feel like we’re standing in the ocean getting hit by wave after wave, never able to get a full breath. Sometimes it’s necessary or worth it to stay in the fray and work our way through. Other times, the best idea is to go home and take the breath we need in order to carry on.

If the only choice is to get through it, a hard day can be a great teacher. It will eventually end and we can look back on it, taking pride in the stamina, courage, and ingenuity it took to hold our ground. We may also look back and see how we could have done things differently. This knowledge will be valuable when we face hard days in the future. Trust your gut as you’re deciding whether to work through it, and know that sometimes a timely retreat is the best way to ensure a positive outcome. Getting space can remind us that external circumstances are not the whole picture. Once we catch our breath and re-center ourselves, we will be able to determine our next move. With a little perspective, we may even find the inner resources to change our attitude about what’s happening. We may begin to see that what we saw as hardships are actually opportunities. As our attitude changes for the better, our actions and the circumstances will follow suit.

Sometimes all that’s needed is a good night’s sleep. No one is immune to having a hard day and these are usually the times we can learn the most. If we can find it in our hearts to examine the day, and maybe make one small change in perception, we can ease our pain and greet the next day that much wiser.

The Daily OM

Inspiration for the Day: The Importance Of Seeing The Good In All

The Importance Of Seeing The Good In All

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

There is a perceptible energetic shift that takes place when we choose to see the good in all.

Our perception shapes the lives we lead because the universe adjusts itself almost instantly to our expectations. When we look for negativity, we are bound to come across it in abundance. Conversely, we create positive energy when we endeavor to see the goodness around us. As easy as it is to criticize the people and situations that frustrate or hurt us, we do ourselves a disservice in the process. It is important to see the good in all as there are blessings hiding in every aspect of our outer-world reality, and the potential for grace exists in all human beings. When our lives are flooded with challenges, grief, and pain, we may be tempted to believe that some individuals or incidents are simply bad. But if we look for the good in all, good reveals itself to us, easing our doubts and reminding us that the universe is a place of balance.

There is a perceptible energetic shift that takes place when we choose to see the good in all. The unnecessary tension that came into being when we dwelled on negativity fades away and is replaced by sympathetic tolerance. We can forgive those that have wronged us because we recognize in them traits we admire, and we may even discover that we can bring out the good in one another. Though loss still grieves us, we recognize the beginning of a new phase of existence that abounds with fresh opportunities. Each new challenge becomes another chance to prove ourselves, and we learn to show great patience in the face of difficulty. There are few pleasures greater than gazing outward and seeing beauty, wisdom, and harmony. These are the attributes of the universe that help us to cope when we encounter their opposing forces.

Since you create your reality, you make your world a better place each time you acknowledge the good in your circumstances and in the people you encounter. As you draw attention to the positive aspects of the world around you, your understanding of the affirmative nature of all existence will grow. There are few lessons you will learn in this life that will prove as instrumental to your happiness and satisfaction. In appreciating the all pervasive goodness that exists in the universe, you internalize it, making it a lasting part of your life.

 

Daily OM

Inspiration of the Day: You Never Know Who You’ll Meet

You Never Know Who You’ll Meet

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Everyone is valuable in their own way and capable of expanding our horizons.

Our individual journeys take us into many unexpected situations where we encounter a wide variety of people–some quite like ourselves and some very different. We cannot anticipate these meetings, but we can make the most of them when they take place. When we are courteous as a matter of course and open-minded in our assessment of the individuals whose lives briefly touch our own, we are more apt to stumble upon surprising gems of wisdom that open our eyes to new worlds of possibility. Every person we meet can affect us profoundly, just as every situation we find ourselves in can teach us something new.

To fully embrace this fact, it is essential that we acknowledge that everyone is valuable in their own way and capable of expanding our horizons. Since we never know when we will happen upon those individuals who will unveil truths before us, we should extend to all people the same generous level of kindness, care, compassion, and understanding. When we assume everyone we meet is special and treat them as such, we can develop a strong rapport quickly. By making an effort to adopt a positive attitude toward others at all times, we ensure that our emotions do not blind us to wisdom that may be lurking in difficult or distressing situations. We are accordingly receptive to knowledge that comes to us in the form of examples, advice, and direct teaching.

These brief relationships ultimately have the potential to enrich our lives in a very concrete way. But the wisdom we gain is proportional to the attention we pay to the world around us. The responsibility is on us to maintain a state of awareness that allows us to recognize when we are in the presence of someone consciously or unconsciously in possession of knowledge that will change us significantly. When we are cognizant of the potential for unexpected enlightenment, we make a habit of turning strangers into friends, thus ensuring that we are never without a font of wisdom from which to draw.

Daily OM

 

 

 

Your Daily Inspiration for Dec. 10: The Perfect Holiday

 

 

 

The Perfect Holiday

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Upset feelings about the holiday season can be caused by an unrealistic sense of what the holidays should mean for us.

As the holidays arrive it is easy to become distracted by our desire for perfection. It might be the need to craft a festive environment, always be in an upbeat mood, or simply the desire to find just the right gifts for everyone in our lives. Even though these things can be positive, if we start putting too much pressure on ourselves during this season, we are much more apt to forget what truly is important–celebrating our lives with the people we care about.

For many of us this time of year can stir up a host of mixed emotions. For example, we might feel a tinge of nostalgia for past holiday celebrations, when times were simpler, or a sense of being let down due to the unmet expectations we have for ourselves and others. No matter what our feelings are, they are likely to be caused by an unrealistic sense of what the holidays should mean for us. Rather than thinking of this season as a time for finding the perfect gift or hosting the best party, we can get so much more out of the holidays if we create a personal inventory of the things that matter most to us. With each item we add to our list, we can then set the intention to use this season as a time to consciously rejoice in and express our appreciation for the blessings we have. The more we are able to let go of our traditional expectations for the holidays, the more open we will become to the bounteous spirit that lies within us.

Our true enjoyment of this season will only come from looking within and reflecting on the deeper spiritual significance the holidays have for us. Infusing our holiday activities with a sense of gratitude will bring a greater level of enjoyment to our life and also help us extend loving and kind energy to all we encounter. It is this spirit that will allow us to truly celebrate by sharing our greatest gifts–infinite love, peace, understanding, and joy–with those around us.

 

Inspiration for the Day: Lessons Of Reflection

 

 

Lessons Of Reflection

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

We need to keep in mind that each of us has a unique path, and that we all learn differently.

When we care about people, we want to save them from pain by offering them the benefit of our experience. Sometimes we feel like we know what is best for them. Sometimes, like when their safety is involved, we need to step in, but those times are rare. More often we find ourselves becoming frustrated when our close friends or family members do not use our relationship insights or follow our dietary advice, and this is where we find our challenge. We may even find ourselves becoming angry when they choose another path. This strength of feeling is usually a sign that our motivations go beyond merely helping another to indicate that there is a lesson there for us.

First, we need to keep in mind that each of us is on our own path and that we all learn differently. When we trust the universe, we know that there is a higher power at work that knows what is best for our loved one. Since we don’t want to deny them experiences of deep feeling that are essential steps in the growth of their spirit, we can instead offer them our counsel. After we have given our gift, it is time to release it, along with our expectations of them and their choices, with love.

Once that is done, we can remind ourselves that our relationships are mirrors that allow us to see ourselves more clearly in the reflection. That is why it is easier for us to see solutions to other people’s problems than to see answers for our own. We can also learn from these experiences when we ask ourselves if we ever do the same thing. Maybe we do not share experiences with relationships, but we do with our finances or our food choices. In being willing to look at ourselves and see why we are being irritated by what other people choose to do with their lives, we can be like an oyster and make irritations into pearls. With these pearls of wisdom, we learn to release the desire for control over others and instead enrich their lives as we enrich our own.