Cultivate Best Practices

IMG_20200308_124432205_BURST000_COVER_TOP‘We need to prepare for a marathon’ one of my clients, who works in public health, shared with me thinking about the months ahead.

It already feels like we have been enduring, as Seattle and it’s residents lived 90 days without sun over the winter.  The pattern finally started to break only in mid-February.

Today’s presidential declaration of a national emergency will be very beneficial and assist us and the rest of the US during the weeks to come.  My concern is that we need to have the stamina to go the distance this is going to require.

So, how to do that?  I’ve been telling my clients for the past week they have to find ways to lower the stress levels in their everyday lives.  Lowering stress increases resilience.  Resilience is needed for the endurance required to go this distance.  I recorded a guided meditation album to assist in cultivating these qualities.

This is the time to practice Reiki, meditation, yoga, go for walks, read books, journal, do puzzles, binge watch programs and movies, do arts and crafts, etc.

If you are an extrovert and like to be around people, this is time to get more comfortable with online platforms that permit virtual meetings.

There are places where you can volunteer to organize and distribute breakfasts and lunches for the kids who are now staying home from school.

One client said she was considering getting  an additional pet.  Another said she was going to do some solo camping.  Another said she was supporting local businesses by purchasing gift certificates and ordering delivery.

Do what you can do to fill your well.  Tune out the news and/or your internet connection for a period of time.  Stay informed but not to the detriment of your mental health.

Some ski resorts said they are still open.  Check and see what is feasible for you, your budget and also your own risk.

This is the time to cultivate good sleeping, eating and exercising habits.

And please reach out to friends, family and neighbors, by phone or email.  Having social support will be the net to hold you in the coming weeks.

Keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst and Photo

 

 

Calm in the storm

IMG_20200220_133021246Tonight the Reiki Fellowship connected around the shared experience that is the ‘new normal’ in the Seattle area.

We talked about ways to maintain good health, including exercising at home or going for walks/runs/biking vs. going to the very public gym.  We commiserated over the mob mentality at Costco and other stores and how public transit, despite best efforts, didn’t seem like a great idea.

I have lead in-person healing circles for many decades, but this was my first online version.  It felt rich and supportive to connect to others who have meditative and healing practices to help ground and center despite times of crisis and uncertainty.  Connecting in this way is the key to prevent feeling isolated in such times.

Below is the meditation I wrote and read followed by sending healing energy to the health care and frontline workers, patients, families, friends, loved ones, co-workers and all those effected in our area.

We also sent healing energy out in the future into the next day and days ahead as more is revealed.

We’ll be back online next week, 3/11 7:30-8:30pm.  If you care to join, please do so here.  Password 010470

Calming Meditation (read to  the music of Shamanic Dream)

Take this time to center yourself and receive the calming benefits of working with your breath.

Inhale deeply and exhale all the way down and through your body to the tips of your toes.

Now, let’s do that again.  Deep inhale and then exhale all the way through.

Feel the strength of that breath.  It is always with you and supports you in all that you do.  Day in and day out.

The changes of the world happen around you and yet here, in this moment is your breath.  Even and flowing.  Feel it now.

Your are sustained and held by the breath.  Give yourself permission to receive this time to be refreshed, rejuvenated and restored in the abundance of ki now flowing through your system.

Ki, prana, chi flows through the breath.  As we take this journey, we receive the benefit of this healing energy through every molecule of our being.

So, let’s get comfortable and settle in as we imagine ourselves taking a walk on a beautiful sunny spring day, like today through a wooded park.

The air has a slight chill to it, but the sun makes your skin feel warm and your body relaxed.  As you approach the trees lining the edge of the park you feel yourself take a deeper breath and feel the support of mother nature all around you.

As you walk onto the earthen path,   you feel the forest ground underneath your feet and you enjoy the sounds of birds chirping in the distance.  Inhale the serenity you are starting to invite into all of your being.

In gratitude, you take a moment and pause,  perhaps envisioning yourself opening your arms all the way and taking a deep inhale as you enjoy the comfort of being.

You feel all the thoughts and worries you had melt away and in it’s place is the calm, cool quiet of this shaded wood.

As you continue to walk through the park you notice distant sounds of the city, passing cars, maybe even a lawn mower.  But you are not disturbed.  You are part of this city and it is part of you.  You find yourself acclimating to the background noise.

Take another deep breath, return to the sensation of being in the forest.  You feel the connection to both nature and to the community you are part of.  In this moment, you are healthy, well and grounded and can even take a deep breath further into your own sense of well being.

Through each breath, you bring healing ki into your cells and the systems of your body:  cardiovascular, respiratory, skeletal, nervous, lymph, reproductive and endocrine.

Each system responds by shining a different color with each breath you take.  Notice the various colors and textures with each breath.

Spend a few moments here inhaling healing ki into each system and notice what you notice.  Honor the pause here and be grateful for the effortless functioning of your body.

Now, in the next inhalation, take a full body scan from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and notice how you feel now within body and mind.

What’s different, what’s new, what’s still taking it’s time.

From this place you are now at, feel the centerdness within you and how present you are in the moment.

Remember this place when you need to feel the support and abundance of the healing energy all around you.  Take a few moments and inhale deeply.

Now, when you are ready, begin the process of returning back through the woods along the path.

When you reach the edge and are ready to return back from where you started, give thanks for taking this time.

You are healthy and well and full of light and the refreshing natural energy.

Give yourself time coming back at your own pace.  Perhaps first feeling your feet on the ground and your body in the chair you are seated in.

Next, take each arm and rub the tops of your arms and legs and slowly, slowly, come back to this space now.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst (includes photo)

 

 

 

 

Labyrinth Insight Walk

3936424358cd1c8321e73eccfbe97c50The light from each candle defined the dark perimeter of the nearly thirty foot labyrinth painted on the floors of Arcadia studios.  On this rainy and very soggy night of Winter Solstice weekend, it seemed a fitting ritual to partake in such a contemplative walk and reflect inward on the turning of this season toward the light.

I’ve walked many a labyrinth in my life, Chartes Cathedral in France, Findhorn in Scotland, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and numerous retreat centers across the country.  But this experience, like every sojourn, was unique in it’s perspective.

When I first arrived, there were only a few participants, mainly staff, taking their turn through the maze.  The music playing in the background was hypnotic, so I closed my eyes and meditated on being present in this special evening.  When I opened my eyes several minutes later, there were seven people walking through the labyrinth.  Watching each person twist and turn, some walking faster than the other was a fascinating observation in itself.  A metaphor of how some of us rush through life, some take their time, some don’t seem to look like they know where they are going, and so forth.

When the next person exited the path, I made my way toward the entrance and soon I was a part of this dance we all were doing, walking, twisting, turning, walking some more, twisting again, and so forth.

Because there were so many of us, I never felt ‘alone’ because we would be walking next to each other at every turn.  When the people who had reached the center began walking back, they often entered the same path I was on, so we both made space, like two cars trying to pass each other on a narrow road.

At some points, it all felt very confusing, like, who was going where, and who was right, who was wrong, and then I just had to laugh internally at noticing my judgements.  We ALL were on the path, and really, it doesn’t lead anywhere in particular.  As the saying goes, ‘it’s the journey, not the destination’.

When I finally walked the whole maze, and came out the other end, I took a few minutes and just sat with those thoughts.

I closed my eyes again and meditated for awhile.  When I opened them, all those people had left and there was no one now in the labyrinth.  It was just quietly being outlined by all those candles defining it.

I went up to the entrance for the second time and began walking it slowly, having it all to myself.  But that entitled sense was soon overwhelmed by the feeling of loneliness on walking the path without anyone around.

Such a stark contrast to the walk just minutes before.  I realized that the people who were walking with me actually helped define the experience.  When they were to my right,  I had to be to the left.  When they were in front of me, I was in back.  When I was walking fast, they were walking slow, and so forth.

Just like the lines on the floor defined the shape of the maze, without them, there would only be an open, bare floor.  These polarities, the contrast of the other people and myself, or their opposite behaviors are necessary to actually make sense of the experience.

Walking the labyrinth alone allowed this insight to surface, but it was walking it with others that yielded the idea of needing polarity to define experience.

I look forward to the other contemplative classes and events I have planned for this solstice weekend and will continue to share the discoveries.

Copyright 2019 Eileen Dey Wurst

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Flourish in Life!

Here is the audio and below, is the written essay of my talk at Everett Unity church a few weekends back.  Enjoy!

20190614_142940Flourish in Life!  I used the word ‘flourish’ because it implies that regardless of what is going on in your life, you can learn how to come through it with grace and ease and with a sense of lightness.

I feel, as both a counselor and Reiki teacher, there are several tools I have worked with that can help one flourish in life.

In my last talk a few months back I discussed cultivating the quality of being able to surrender and let go.  Today, the focus will be on developing ways to cultivate resilience, endurance and patience.  These 3 qualities contribute to a flourishing life.

So let’s begin.  Resilience is the quality of being able to bounce back from the disappointments that may accompany you.   Resilience implies flexibility and a certain amount of stamina to keep going.

We develop this quality over time.  Positive and encouraging people in our lives often help us cultivate resilience.  I’m one of those positive and encouraging people, so if you are ready, let’s strengthen these inner tools.

First, I want you to visualize what I call your existing Resilience Rucksack.  You all have one.   It is a metaphor for the tools you already have to help you when things get tough.  You can even close your eyes for a moment.  Pause.  Take a mental inventory of this inner equipment.  See what your resilience rucksack is made of.  What color is it?  How big is it?  Is it new or well worn?

Let’s work on making that rucksack even stronger.

Feel within yourself the tenacity and strength you already possess.  Think of a time in your life you had to go the distance.  Perhaps you were involved in a complicated work or school project.  Perhaps it was having to rebuild a  relationship, or you had to deal with your own or a family member’s health crisis.

Whatever that past challenge was, I’m sure you can reflect and remember that it was a hard time, but somehow you got through it. Something within you and perhaps others around you encouraged you to go on.  You wouldn’t be here now if you didn’t find a way through it.

I’m going to encourage you to tap into that strength now, and I’m going to send some Reiki your way to assist the process.  So let’s take a few moments again to go within and give ourselves permission to feel that strength now.  Pause.

See it infusing every molecule of your being.  Breathe it in deeply.  Pause  Receive that strength download.

Also, perhaps with that strength is the community of friends and family that you have that also have helped you in the past.  Give gratitude for their assistance and realize they also are a source of support when you need them.

Now, pause, notice what you notice?  Check back in with your Resilience Rucksack, how is it doing?  What’s changed, what’s new?  Do you feel you have some shiny new tools of ‘strength’ and ‘gratitude’ to add to your rucksack?

We’ll add some more tools in the workshop after the service.

Now, moving to the next topic, another great quality to cultivate that allows you to flourish in life, is developing the quality of endurance.

This is different than resilience.  Endurance is the power, strength and stamina that lets you be resilient.

I recently went for a hike up near Paradise at Mount Rainier.  At a lookout point around 6000 feet in elevation, there was a lone pine tree growing tall against the stark rock background of the mountain.  It’s trunk was well weathered but sturdy.  One side had more branches than the other due to how the wind flowed over the lookout.  And yet, this tree was healthy and thriving.  It had been growing there for many years.  This tree reminded me of what image of endurance can look like.

Cultivating endurance requires you to go deeper into the present moment of your current challenge.

Endurance is the opposite of what I call ‘future tripping’.  You know what that it is, right?  Tripping ourselves into the future.  Worrying, over-planning, basically doing anything other than being present.  It’s difficult to endure anything if you are worried about what or how something is going to happen.

Cultivating mindfulness and being in the now are tools to work with developing endurance.  When the situation you are in gets challenging, and there isn’t much for you to do but just endure it, see what happens if you just drop into it.

Getting stuck in traffic is a good example.  Can’t do anything about it, not right now, sure, you could have left earlier, but in the moment of being stuck in traffic, you are stuck.  What might happen if you just accept that fact.  Just acknowledge to yourself, ‘I am stuck in traffic’.  When you do that, you aren’t fighting against ‘being stuck’ or fighting with yourself for the situation.  There is nothing to ‘endure’.  You just are in a circumstance.

This way of being, is one way to cultivate endurance.  To be very present releases attachment to result and to the struggle.

So, again shifting to your powerful inner world, I invite you now to be with what is. Feel free to close your eyes again. Pause.  Take a moment and breathe all the way through your body.

Perhaps in doing so you notice tension in your body.  Thinking about traffic can do that.  So, take a few breathes into these tight areas.  Notice what you notice.  Scan your body from head to toe.  When your mind is distracted, gently bring it back to your body and awareness of breath.  Let go, let it flow.  Stay present in your breath.  Taking one, then two, then a nice long exhalation.

Take your time coming back.  Notice where you are now in body and mind, what’s shifted, what’s changed.  Perhaps you sense a greater awareness of inner strength and tolerance.  Over time, cultivating mindfulness permits even the most unbearable circumstance to be dealt with grace and ease.  And being at ease allows one to flourish.

And finally, a gentle and easy way to conclude our journey today will be jumping into the Pool of Patience.

Many times in life, there are no known answers in sight.  Not knowing is the step before manifestation.  It is necessary, it is part of the process.  You can’t force knowing in not knowing.

Patience requires inner listening.  What is your mind and your body saying right now?  Perhaps you sense you are tired or hungry. Maybe you are frustrated.  Maybe you are more at peace.  Whatever the inner state is, honor what you notice.

Honoring the pause, practicing gratitude and noticing what you notice are hallmarks of patience.  They are the cornerstones of your practice and what we teach in working with Reiki.

Reiki energy naturally flows through you.  It’s all around us.  We all have the ability to be channels for this healing energy.  As you connect to this infinite universal life force energy, you can’t ‘make’ it happen.  You allow it to.  You let your ego step out of the way and you let the healing light effortlessly flow.  It’s not about you, it’s greater than you.

This is patience.  The quality is yielding, witnessing, observing.

For this final meditation, I invite you now to incorporate these qualities of yielding, witnessing, and observing into your being.  Think of times in the past where you were simply observing.  Perhaps you were on a trip or out in nature and you were taking in the view.

You don’t ask anything of the view, you take it in.  You give yourself permission to receive.

Patience is like that.  You give yourself permission to be patient.  You allow yourself.  It is a choice.

And the more that you permit patience, the greater your own capacity for the other attributes of resilience and endurance.

Take a breath now.  Close your eyes.  Bell

Witness your breathing

Witness your mind

Witness your body

You are taking this time now to swim in the Pool of Patience.  Lay back as if floating in a calm warm pool on a lazy summer afternoon.  The pool contains your waves of reassurance.

Feel the rays of the sun on your face as you effortlessly float in this pool of patience.  This place is exactly what it is.  Nothing more and nothing less.

There is nowhere you need to be right now except right here.  You are in the flow.

Any concerns or worries you have dissolve into the gentle currents of the pool.

Take another breath now

Witness your breathing

Witness your mind

Witness your body

Take several breaths and see the worries floating away.  You are supported here as you float in this place of non-effort.

Honor this pause.

Release the urge to fill this place with anything else.

Make Space for the Potential that is Emerging..

I am going to go quiet so you can deepen your own connection to patience and be with the healing energy of Reiki through the sound of the drum.  Bell

Pause

Take your time coming back.  Move your fingers and toes, open your eyes, take a stretch as you need to.

As you come back, take several deep breaths and feel yourself now in your body and mind, patience as well as resilience and endurance integrated within.

Copyright 2019 Eileen Dey Wurst

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the right gear to navigate the week

This is inner gear and strength that is needed and today it seems a little ambivalent.

I just don’t want to do it.  It feels like Monday morning sludge.  I’m digging my boots into it.  Maybe I do need some gear, imaginative gear.  What if I had skis that could easily slide over the sludge of tasks and situations that have presented themselves, how would that perspective be?

A lot easier than getting stuck in mud.  So I’m going to try that visualization, skiing over and along the path this week, if it gets sticky and challenging, I’m going to see if the skis have the ability to levitate above the dark matter, still moving forward but not being weighed down.

I’m throwing in some imaginary ice axes too, if I do get stuck, maybe I can ‘see’ myself lifted out of the situation.

Just that shift in perspective makes Monday morning a little more bearable.  I’m also imagining a whole group of porters to help me on this expedition through life.  I mean, who would trek the Himalayas without help?

Not that my world is that intense, it’s not a mountaineering expedition, but it feels like it right now, so I’m calling on my guides and allies for assistance.

I think meditating and praying will also be my anchors this week, along with some other fun activities I am infusing into my schedule, in between the things that need attending to, absolutely have to get done and those things that well, can wait and be put off.

This is how I’m shifting perspective today so that the weight of the week can be dispersed and I can glide easily through it looking at it as more an adventure than adversary.

Thriving in ordinary reality.

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Becoming clearer with your intuition

Clear intuition is elegant, efficient, effortless, and effective.  Intuition illuminates and electrifies you from within; your personal passion, purpose, and power are awakened.  If you are lacking in these latter experiences, wait.  Don’t act on the information.  The guidance you are receiving may be wishful thinking or projections from the past.  Intuition always serves the good of the whole, yourself and others.

Ways of experiencing intuition:  (1st 3 are the most common):

  1. Instinctive intuition:  gut knowledge; natural—animals rely this
  2. Emotional intuition:  feeling knowledge; sensitive, psychic
  3. Creative intuition:  innovative knowledge; silent partner in creativity
  4. Systems intuition:  pattern knowledge; connective-marketing, public relations, investments, imbedded in patterns everywhere
  5. Visionary intuition:  precognitive knowledge; see how the future is
  6. Collaborative intuition:  unitive knowledge; all life is related, our actions effect each other deeply
  7. Universal intuition:  beyond knowledge;enlightened state of being

All energy comes from the infinite universe.  There are 7 levels through which energy passes from infinity to mankind.  The Spiral of Creation shows the course of physical and material manifestation.  All chi comes from infinity and passes through various stages of physicalization.  Infinity changes into positive and negative, yang and yin, which continue in an inward spiral movement toward material manifestation.  From infinity, chi continuously transforms from the world of vibration, to the states of pre-atomic particles, elements, the vegetable kingdom and the animal kingdom, of which human beings are the last creation.  From humankind, energy moves back outward on an expanding course, returning to one infinity.

Intuition comes from infinity.  It functions when resistance in the individual is absent.  Remove rigidity, which is a product of lifestyle, and naturally the openness necessary for intuition to flow is there.  Your investigation into your physical and psychological inflexibilities will naturally bring about the receptive state necessary for intuition to function.

Exercise in Intuition by Nancy Rosanoff

The first exercise is designed to build a bridge from your everyday, normal awareness to your intuitive, introspective mind. For this exercise, it is best not to read ahead, but to complete each step before moving on to the next.

Step 1: Clarify a particular question, situation, or decision you need more information about. Write it down.

Step 2: Give yourself a few moments to sit quietly, undisturbed while you reflect on your question.

Step 3: Walk around your home or office and pick up three objects (large or small) that grab your attention. Lay the objects out in a row, starting with the object that feels the most significant.

Step 4: Take a moment to breathe deeply, reminding yourself as you breathe that there is wisdom in your toes. With the next breath, remind yourself that there is wisdom in your legs, wisdom in your belly, and so on until you have gone through your whole body.

Step 5: Look at the first object and let this object symbolize the overview of your question or situation. This object is familiar; you know how and why it is used. How does this knowledge apply symbolically to your situation?

Now pretend this object is something you’ve never seen before. Look at its shape, color, size, and texture. What could it be used for? How does this relate symbolically to your question? Be sure to record all of your impressions.

Step 6: Take a few more deep breaths, reminding yourself again that all parts of you have wisdom, and look at the second object. Let this thing represent what may block you, what fear or resistance may emerge as you begin to follow your intuition.

Let the intuitive information emerge from within you as you look at the object, asking the question, “What can you tell me about my fear and resistance?” Intuitive information floats to the top of your consciousness from deep within you. Write down all of your impressions.

Step 7: Breathe again, tapping into the wisdom within and look at the third object. This item will represent the possible action you could take. Let the object communicate to you symbolically. Imagine yourself as this object. How would you like to move? What is the most appropriate action to take?

Biography

Dr. Marcia Emery’s Intuition Workbook : An Expert’s Guide to Unlocking the Wisdom of Your Subconscious Mind, Maria Emery

Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman

Owning Your Own Shadow:  Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche, Robert A. Johnson (from Chapter 3, The Mandorla)

The Intuitive Healer : Accessing Your Inner Physician by Marcia, Ph.D. Emery, Caroline Myss

The Beckoning Song of Your Soul : A Guidebook for Developing Your Intuition by Nancy Marie

Intuition Workout : A Practical Guide to Discovering and Developing Your Inner Knowing by Nancy, Rosanoff, Ira Harmon (Illustrator)

The Hidden Intelligence : Innovation Through Intuition by Sandra Weintraub

Intuition Magazine, IntuitMag@aol.com   PO Box 460773, San Francisco, CA  94146

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