Sharing a Blessing by John O’Donohue

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For One Who Is EXHAUSTED by John O’Donohue

Today in class at Think Head First, where I teach resting, relaxing, while staying alert and awake to yourself. I read the following poem, which describes so well the feeling many people suffer when they hit their head and are diagnosed with TBS, which stands for Traumatic Brain Injury. Besides the physical symptoms of dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, slow understanding, often called brain fog, no sleep, loss of balance etc., many people also experience extreme anxiety “Weariness invades your spirit”. The advice from doctors is take it easy and rest. Yet what I see, Concussions are hard to manage in our fast times, and most people lack the skills to slow down and rest. What commonly is known as relaxing is watching TV, but that is a big NO,NO.  So what can you do? An hour of slow, mindful movement linked to the breath all done with full awareness in your body and with your inner life is often a valued gift of being allowed to just be with what is, your body as it is, moving it gently, caring, deeply listening, while acknowledging any emotions, thoughts and sensations which might be arising. What does it take to be a caring presence to yourself, your best friend of your inner life? Gentle deep breathing helps to switch from the Flight & Fight mode, to a resting mode, yet the body can still move, unfreeze from the trauma and therefore sending signals to the brain, you are ok, so the brain can start relaxing the emergency brakes and flash lights and start healing, while the well-being in the body can be explored in a caring way.

Maybe a friend will read it to you while you are laying comfortably on the floor, or maybe you are the reader, the friend? Send me a note, how it resonates.

John O’Donohue, For One Who Is Exhausted

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,

Time takes on the strain until it breaks;

Then all the unattended stress falls in

On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

 

The light in the mind becomes dim.

Things you could take in your stride before

Now become laborsome events of will.

 

Weariness invades your spirit.

Gravity begins falling inside you,

Dragging down every bone.

 

The tide you never valued has gone out.

And you are marooned on unsure ground.

Something within you has closed down;

And you cannot push yourself back to life.

 

You have been forced to enter empty time.

The desire that drove you has relinquished.

There is nothing else to do now but rest

And patiently learn to receive the self

You have forsaken in the race of days.

 

At first your thinking will darken

And sadness take over like listless weather.

The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

 

You have travelled too fast over false ground;

Now your soul has come to take you back.

 

Take refuge in your senses, open up

To all the small miracles you rushed through.

 

Become inclined to watch the way of rain

When it falls slow and free

 

Imitate the habit of twilight,

Taking time to open the well of color

That fostered the brightness of day.

 

Draw alongside the silence of stone

Until its calmness can claim you.

Be excessively gentle with yourself.

 

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.

Learn to linger around someone of ease

Who feels they all the time in the world.

 

Gradually, you will return to yourself,

Having learned a new respect for your heart

And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

 

Fell free to contact me if you have any questions on anxiety!

Elisabeth@RestoreBalanceToday.com

435-64

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“THE EYES ARE THE WINDOWS OF THE SOUL”

The eyes are the window to the soul! (2)

Felt-Sensing and the preciousness of an ordinary touching moment

This popular saying, “the eyes are the windows of the soul” came spontaneously to mind, when I saw a photo, which a dear friend of mine took. We had just finished an unexpected powder run, when we came upon a stash of light, fluffy snow, untracked hidden in the trees. Weaving with ease and flow through the woods, the sense of playfulness took me by surprise. My attention focused and I became curious, what I would find next. I experienced this moment, like I was riding on a mountain creek, flowing over rocks and roots, being touched gently by branches and here another opening to write my signature “S” with elegance and strength. Light sparkling on the snow crystals ever so briefly, while shadows of the trees absorbed me and released me. Treading lightly on these precious grounds, relating and playing with the terrain, a little hump receiving my weight and responding with a light lift only to sink into the next turn. The touch of the ground flowing through me, supporting me and receiving me at the same time. Dancing with the trees, giving me just enough space to feel free, yet setting limits which I gratefully accepted. Gravity becoming my best friend pulling me gently down, the snow deep enough to soften my my weight. It felt like an eternity and then again it felt like the blink of an eye. Eventually I am coming to my final turn out in the open next to my friend. She must have seen, the magic reflected in my goggles. Clearly, the window to my soul had been blown wide open, mirroring the depth of what was flowing through me.
Now a day later, while looking at the photograph, I couldn’t help but being deeply touched of being truly seen by my friend. At this very moment, I was the mountain, the air, the blue sky, the trees, the light streaming through the trees, the shadow. The mountains were me, radiating strength, caringly supporting my play and I was the mountains. The breath moving through me, my eyes guiding the way through this playground. I was a pure feeling of joy, oneness with nature, I was the sun and the sun was me. There was an indescribable simplicity at this very moment, a glimpse of belonging and an openness captured in that instant, all at one with existence.
I am convinced, if I would have taken off the goggles, my eyes would have shined the same way as I felt on the inside. Honestly sharing the inner experience of a fully lived moment with creation and with a very attuned and loving friend. Thanks to her photograph, I remembered. Instantly, my body got flushed with well-being. This glimpse of the goggles reflecting the mountains, made it possible for me to return to this precious moment of wonder, while I was sitting at my desk, feeding back to me how alive I felt. A wave of gratitude arose spontaneously, spreading throughout my body, expanding my chest like trying to make space. Here sitting at my desk, I am able to taste this gratitude and all I want to do is, to send it out to the greater existence, the plant world, the animal world, to all humans, to the mystery and the gift of being alive. Maybe you got touched by it too.
Now, I invite and encourage you, to take a breath and allow yourself to remember a moment, where you felt touched, but you didn’t really have the time to stop and indulge in it. Take a minute right now and feel deeply back into that moment, it can be something very small and ordinary, like drinking a cup of tea, seeing the light coming through the window, a look of loved one, a smile in the grocery store, etc. Bring back one memory, exhale and just be with it. See and sense it with your inner eyes. Feeling the sounds, the smells, the temperature, trying and finding words for its deliciousness, letting your whole organism consciously relive the well-being and wholeness, in all its simplicity and complexity. Sense its preciousness, while giving it its deserved time and acknowledgements. This is what life is, ordinary moments experienced and being expressed to the world through windows of your soul freely. Maybe touching and creating a moment in someone else’s life.
Maybe this could be called true sharing, bringing light and love into the world.

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Reflection on the Fall 2015 Meditative Hiking Tout in the Bavarian Alps -Pilgrimage to Yourself-

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Gratefulness

The first word which came to mind after the group of eight pilgrim women left on Sunday October 18, 2015 was, GRATEFULNESS

Grateful, that I had the courage to trust my inner wisdom, that a meditative hike, as I experienced it with my husband, wasn’t just transforming for myself and our relationship, on contrary, it actually could be a trans-formative experience for others.

Grateful, as I shared this insight with some of my students, that I received a response of curiosity, excitement and a demand to offer it to others.

Grateful that I was able to listen and hear that there is a wanting, need and willingness for this kind of inner adventure.

Grateful that I was able to say Yes, I am going to give it all I have. As one of my teacher’s said once, when you say yes, go for it 110%.

Grateful for all the response and financial commitment I received early in the year, so I was able to plan, organize, book and research the inner and outer journey.

Grateful to all the people who supported my effort, in hosting, accommodating and feeding us.

Grateful to share my culture honestly, with all its pro and cons.

Grateful for the openness and receptivity of my teachings in kindness and compassion towards the body, mind and spirit.

Grateful to the opportunities we received, through people, weather, elements etc. to practice what we learned. Basically seeing what we learned when the rubber hits the road and there was another day without sunshine. Yet, explored how we could let our inner light show even warmer, always knowing that the sun was just behind the clouds and the majestic mountains behind the clouds were still emanating their strength to us.

Grateful to how our bodies responded to that disciplined yet kind care and how they performed for us and carried us and our belongings from one place to the another.

Grateful for the flexibility of the women, exploring and expanding, sometimes reaching their limits of not knowing. Yet always trying again, getting up, moving forward.

Grateful that we all remained un-injured, despite not so easy trail conditions.

Grateful that the mindfulness practices and movements translated onto the trail and we were able to manifest our insights, through conscious walking, listening, feeling, hearing and talking, seeing and being present for what is.

Grateful for the presence of each individual and their gifts they brought to the group.

Grateful for mother nature and the presence of all the sentient beings we were touched by and which taught us so much, things we are not even aware yet.

 

Yes, GRATEFULNESS is the most fitting word, yet not in the sense, as you say “thank you” in a habitual and customary way.  No, I experienced this feeling of gratefulness as a deep opening. It was a truly physically felt as an expansion in the heart and chest space, close to becoming painful. I noticed temperature changes, moving through me sometimes as heat, sometimes like a shiver; there was a softness and strength to it. Of course many thoughts, images, sounds, smells and tastes flooded me. Some from the trip, some from my childhood and some new insights and ideas. Fortunately, I gave myself some time to be alone and still, having learned over the years that I need space and time to integrate, to be with, to really pay attention to the shifts within me after a retreat or in this case a 14-day walk. I was able to sense and allow myself to be touched by the greater context of this kind of journey, the support from the greater existence in an undertaking like that. I was amazed how much easier it was when I was able to let go of control, and just being open and present to what is. Although I have read it in many books, but never so clearly experienced the truth of such presence.  I seemed to have received the response to what was need in the moment. Whether it was to take another trail, or to slow down, to walk with someone at the back, or when to act, to speak, to be silent, all it needed was being there as myself, being present, open and not-knowing, vulnerable as a “leader”.

UPCOMING Pilgrimage to Yourself will be this September 2016, contact Elisabeth Lentz for details! 435-640-4885.


https://restorebalancetoday.com/contact/

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Mindful Hiking Tour in the Bavarian Alps 4 -18 Oct, 2015

Wettersteingebirge

Guided Mindful Hiking Tour in the Bavarian Alps Wettersteingebirge

This 2 week pilgrimage begins with 2 nights in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, my hometown, with guided meditations and walks to help you arrive and settle.  Then we hike up to the foot of the Alpspitze; spend 3 nights at a simple mountain lodge exploring the surrounding nature as well as your true nature within.  Coming off the mountain we shall transfer to the Ammergauertal, where we will walk daily from village to village, taking our time for reflection. Continue reading

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Do you dare to live YOUR life?

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What would happen if you allowed life to move through you?   Moving with versus resisting. Not getting trapped in thoughts and beliefs, judgments and plans.  Just going along with what is. Period!

Sunday morning.  I am waking up.  No agenda, no one to meet..  I move under the covers like a cat, stretching and lengthening .  There is special quality in witnessing the sun rising, while waking up to a new day.  The sun seems to enter me, meeting me where I am.  The fiery ball is inching over the ridgeline, I realize, another year has passed.  Leaves have come and gone, babies been born, -dear friends have died.  Life is given, life is taken.  I sense the depth of that realization, the sun rising and setting whether I watch it or not.  I just happen to notice.   I am so grateful!  Safe and cozy under my down blanket I watch this miracle.  Touched by the simple fact, I am alive right now, moving and breathing.  Please, take a moment and allow yourself to feel your breath… moving in and out, the simple fact of your aliveness.  How does life move through you?

Pause ~ Listen

I treasure this morning.  I am curious. I quietly decide to consciously move with, with what moves me, being,  with what is.  I roll out of bed, it is cold in the house.  I like it that way.  I sleep better.  I switch on the heat,  let the cat in; put the kettle on,  measure 3 spoons of rich, black, whole leaf organic Ceylon Kenilworth tea and add a little extra.  Today I like my tea strong, really dark, black.  My glass teapot allows me to see when it is just the right strength.  The sunrays, pouring through the kitchen window are turning the pot and its content into a piece of art.  “Abstract Illumination“ sounds fitting  I poor the tea,  just enough cream to create a golden brown hue, I love this rich, nurturing color.  I follow the call of the window seat, filled with streaming brilliant sunlight.  It is Sunday.  I am giving myself permission, to move with whatever moves me.  The cat already found the perfect spot.  Is she doing the same experiment?  Moving before thought, noticing how the mind is trying to gain control by making plans. I join Lila on the window seat.  A steaming mug of tea warming my cupped hands, the warmth of the sunrays penetrating my body down to my cold bones.  I lean back, a sip of hot tea making its way down my throat, comforting me from the inside out.  How perfect ! There isn’t a place I would rather be.  There isn’t a person I would rather be.  How simple! Right here, right now.

The cat starts stirring and stretching.  Who gives her instructions in gracefulness, ease and enjoyment? I drop myself on the carpet and start moving in this cat like fashion.  I listen and feel, I move and bend,  playfully attentive.  Nobody watching, but the cat. She doesn’t care.  I let her out.  I follow, my bare feet touching the frosty grass, leaving dark green foot prints.  What voice is yelling at me:  You are catching a cold, put shoes on,  are you crazy!   Yes, maybe!  I feel so alive, energized, the little girl in me starts running,  outrunning the cold.  The trampoline calls me,  it has been lonely since the boys left for college.  I bounce, the black surface feels heavenly to my frozen toes.  A physical therapist told me  once that jumping on the tramp is good for your lymph system.  Who cares?  I am experimenting.  The cat appears at the front door with a mouse.  I decide to check the refrigerator to see what feeds my body.

Where does this contentment come from?  This joy, playfulness and ease?  I like this experiment!  Being I am curious. What would my life be like, if I allowed myself  to move with what is?  Do I dare? What would your life be like, if no one is looking?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

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Consciously Roaming The Past

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Consciously Roaming the Places of my Upbringing

Gruess Gott my friends, 
 
I am back in Park City!  After having a memorable time in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and its surroundings, I am home and inviting you all to take part in some conscious movement courses.  What a wonderful experience I had, reconnecting with the roots of my birthplace. The weather gods allowed us to climb the majestic peaks, which have always been my sanctuary when life’s challenges became to overwhelming. We enjoyed delicious foods and the company of family and childhood friends. They are just as young as myself and still playful and up for anything. 
I visited mountain huts and dreamed to bring you all back there. Who knows it might happen?
Robb and I went on a week-long meditation trail, through small villages, down to the river, through a gorge and over the mountains walking without a goal or destination, taking in the hospitality of the people and the peaceful country side one step at a time. On rainy days the plentiful churches and chapels gave us refuge for silent sittings, on sunny days the many benches with the perfect view would allow us to reflect and restore. A pilgrimage off the beaten path, yet so immersed in everyday life. Maybe some of you would like to accompany me sometimes. Remind me if I forget!
 
Well, I am back and ready to teach again, if you want me to. Some of you have signed up for the courses on line, some had difficulties, some might have totally missed that I have a website. It doesn’t really matter. The weekly Thursday classes are starting this coming week at 8:15 am, I have planned 7 sessions till the end of the year and I am asking for a commitment ahead of time. Contact me for more information or just to check in, Elisabeth
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Food for Thought

Lila and Zen

Lila and Zen

 Lila and Zen

” If you are basing your happiness on things that will change or go away, like your home, your job, money, relationships, even your body, you are in for a lot of suffering.”

by Pujari Keays

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Mark Nepo

“At the pace of creation, all things breathe the same way. So, when we slow and open and center ourselves, we breathe in unison with all of life, and breathing this way we draw strength from all life.”

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Generative Coaching asks for Intention and Courage

Whether our intention is to change ourselves or some element of the world around us, we cannot simply wish for transformation or hope that our lives will be altered through circumstance. If our patterns of thought and behavior remain unchanged, our lives will continue to unfold much as they have previously. Patterns in which fruitless efforts prevail can be overcome with self examination and courage. It is our bravery that allows us to question the choices we have made thus far and to channel our effort into innovation.

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Flow to Ski

I use yoga to jump into the outdoors and enjoy the Utah backcountry. Playing in the snow, soaking up the sun and taking in the vistas makes me come alive!

Flow to Ski from Martin Lentz on Vimeo.

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