spirituality

MAGICOWSKI

I felt drained.   I felt lifeless and heavy.   The heat of my coming night in Rome felt like a daunting task on my to-do list. I couldn’t wait to run a line through it – a thick, black line symbolizing completion and riddance. I felt full, no desire to experience. There’s something to be said about the weight carried when your soul is filled full, but not fulfilled. The girls in my apartment were dolled up, already intoxicated and yelling abrupt, drunken woos in a Morse code I couldn’t crack. A futile attempt to fight back against the bubbling irritation in my system left me with a glass or two of bottom-shelf red wine in my hand. I didn’t travel to Rome to endlessly dwell in my room, after all. With lip-gloss applied, negative attitudes momentarily displaced and messy bun secured, I unkno...

A YEAR OF RECOVERY, DISCOVERY AND VULNERABILITY: COPING WITH AN EATING DISORDER & ANXIETY AS A MEDICAL STUDENT

I sat down today to write my 277th entry in my “2016 Mindfulness Journal” after revisiting the other 276 entries this past week. My intention is to reflect on how I learned to love myself by articulating the complexity of my emotions from my story, the tools I used to help me get to where I am today, and the lessons I have learned along the way. There were some entries that I wondered, “did I actually write that? I don’t even know who that chick is anymore!”  There were some entries that evoked strong emotional responses both sorrow and joy.  When I finished, I felt liberated from that incessant voice that constantly shouts, “Do more, you are not enough. Once you reach x, you will be your happiest.”   Tool #1: Journaling: Take a moment to reflect, invest...

LAST ROW ON A MINI PLANE

I was sitting a few rows behind a woman not much younger than me. She was dressed in a trendy brown skirt with a complimentary cream blouse. Her hair was dark brown and it looked blown out in a hurry. I admired her outfit and the fact she was wearing her hair down, because the thought of travelling in an airport exhausted me. I couldn’t imagine wearing anything other than jeans, a warm pullover and tennis shoes. My hair thrown up in a blonde bun. The brown haired woman looked so relaxed on the plane. This was definitely routine for her. She must travel for work I concluded. As the flight attendant was making her rounds through the cabin before lift-off, the brown-haired beauty whipped out her iPhone Plus and threw in some earplugs. Some of you may judge me for eavesdropping. Well judge rig...

BLIND WALKING

It feels as if I am walking, walking blindly into unknown territory; as if a cloth is over my eyes, and a gentle wind at my back forcing me to move forward. But I’m stuck. Is it fear? I think so. I feel as if I am being gently pushed off a cliff, a cliff I have walked patiently on for many moons – years maybe – pacing back and forth from the edge, afraid to get too close, afraid to peer over to see a hint of what could be there. But now there is a gentle wind behind me, forcing me to make tiny, awkward, clumsy steps forward. I have one foot on the edge of the cliff, steady and securely on the rocky ground, and one foot over the edge. I feel gravity pulling my foot out further, so that my leg becomes outstretched. My foot begins to lower, slowly giving into the gravity pull, slowly I begin ...

WAVES OF WANDERING FEET

Riding in the back of a truck where gypsy music soothes in the background Wind blows strings of hair across my face covering my sight and so I close my eyes as I feel the breeze smell the scents of grassy roots hear the Sea, waves crashing Carried by blistered feet due to two days of barefoot walks across the land town, garden, lava, pavement, tile and wooden floors I wait for the strengthened callouses to form   The soles of my feet have wandered streets homes of magical Spirits   We arrive to the sweet wooden Medicine cabin where air flows smoothly through our lungs At night, the lights around the bed light our dreamy state oh and when we wake, it is to the morning rays shining through the leaves of the fruity trees or to the raining sky pouring love onto the land!   Autho...

DEFINING YOUR HAPPINESS

Do you remember having to look up vocabulary words in English class? For me, it involved the use of a large hardcover dictionary; for some of you Dictionary.com or a similar website may have been your source. No matter what source was used, you found that most words were not limited to one definition, but often there were multiple meanings. Happiness is a trending term. It is a broad word that many try to define narrowly. Many self-help books have been written on it, public speakers hold seminars and conferences about it, life coaches offer their services to help guide you to it…. What does it mean? Just like many other words, happiness has more than one definition. Dictionary.com gives two: the quality or state of being happy is the first and most basic meaning, and the second is good for...

#SUPERWOMAN JOSIE SCHWEITZER | FOUNDER OF THANK YOGA TALKS TO HARNESS

Josie Schweitzer talks to us about finding her calling, letting go of her business and the transformative power of yoga In the early 2000s, Josie Schweitzer took her first yoga class in a basement in the beautiful city of Columbus, Ohio. She was intrigued, but scared because the practice was not approachable. A few years later, in her 20s, she was introduced to a more challenging practice – and that’s when the art of yoga stuck. “The fact that I could go and sweat and feel like I’ve been worked in a lot of ways, kept me coming back to it,” Schweitzer said, who is also a runner and an adrenaline junkie. Yet, she knew there was more to yoga than just the physical benefits. “Once I started practicing, it only took a few months for me to get really, really curious as to why I was feeling...

ALL THAT YOU ARE

Getting up early on a freezing cloudy morning for work is extremely challenging, and the snooze button looks like the most tempting thing that exists… And then we have Mr. Benjamin Franklin, who solemnly affirms: “The early morning has gold in its mouth.” Who would disagree, but imagine waking up early on a Sunday morning? It’s nothing short of an unintentional irony…is it not the case? 7 a.m. reflections: I cocooned myself under the warm quilt and screwed my eyes shut, adamant to grab another hour of sleep, but a little over five seconds and it had me gasping for air! You know the momentary drop of oxygen levels in enclosed dark spaces?! So, I had to toss the covers to the side… Sometimes sleep can be like happiness, you know…The more you chase it, the more it eludes you...

WHISTLE OF THE WIND

I have always been fascinated with the wind; how it appears to whistle, or moan, between the branches of trees or other objects where air can pass through at will. I always imagine a hidden message in the wind; something said, and heard, only if and when we are listening. Like the wind, a soft whisper can be carried inside you, and heard only when you choose to hear it. Like the wind, the sound or whistle may appear imaginary, and you can easily be misguided by the voice inside you, only if your ego persona gets in the way. I feel art flows in us all, and through expression it is created, for art is in everything. To me, Art is creation and expression, and we all have a form of art we cling to, we use, to express what we want expressed, verbally or non. Maybe you express art through verbal...

PASTEL SUNSETS

Deep inside I know that I long for transcendence; I desire to be part of something larger that myself and out of the ordinary. I think about my life and I agree… only two things had pierced my heart: beauty and affliction. Sometimes I feel that there’s nowhere I really belong or even want to belong, and this brings loneliness, an emptiness, a kind of ache and longing for something and someone I cannot quite define. Then I realize that instead of a love affair with God, my life feels more like a series of repetitive behaviors, like reading the same chapter of a book or writing the same novel over and over… dividing my heart in two parts. One invites me to trust and the other on self-reliance. A voice whispers that I was made for something special and for someone good – I smile –...

WHISPERS OF A SHADOW WORKER

Shadows creep and they linger. They are always in the background, hiding, lurking. Like dark little spirits, they attack When least expected. They leech onto our souls, Spirits, Hearts; and, Minds. They twist our thoughts, our feelings, our every word, Until they come pouring out in a vault of tears, cries, and aches. And let us not forget the regrets. Too often they seep out and cause regret. We think we have the upper hand; That we have recognized our womanly cycles, And that we have come prepared for their shadowy attack. Yet still, we are caught off guard. We are taken asunder, despite all our efforts. And we weep. Oh, how we weep. But somewhere in our weeping we find space, To rebuild boundaries. By acknowledging them and working with them rather than against, We once more begin to ta...

HOW TO CREATE A LIFE THAT YOU DESIRE WITH THE POWER OF YOUR MIND

Do you ever dream about your goals and desires and hear the voice in your head saying “You can’t do this!” or “You’re not good enough!” or even “Who do you think you are?!” Do you wonder if you’ll ever be able to escape these thoughts? I’ve been there. I’ve been what felt like a prison of my own mind. A prison from which I couldn’t escape, ever! But did you know that you have complete power and control over your thoughts? Did you know that you can in fact change the way you think? You can make your mind and thoughts work for you, rather than against you. This is so important because if you think negative and disempowering thoughts, you will in turn feel completely down. And from that state what kind of actions will you take? Now imagine how would it feel like and everything you would actua...

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