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FRIDAY’S POEM FROM “RHYTHMS AND CYCLES” – The Fall

October 17, 2014 Leave a comment

We’ve had some gloomy days lately here in Maryland and the warm weather continues into our deepening fall. How much longer can winter hold off? Everyone is talking about a hard winter and the signs for one are there. Yet we wait. Today’s poem has this same mood about it:

The Fall

The predicted rain
Remains suspended.
A light breeze plays
In the mostly green trees
Just beginning to show signs
Of age.

There is a waiting quality to
This Presence.
It’s as if something momentous
Is about to happen,
Yet it holds, a bit longer
Building anticipation
For the Fall.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Are You the Director or the Actor in the Play that is Your Life? – Richard’s Commentary

October 16, 2014 Leave a comment

This is such a wonderful question Rosemary asks. It’s one of those questions that makes you go “hmmm”! It stops me and makes me think. And, it’s another one of those questions that take me inside, to examine, to evaluate, and maybe, just maybe to shift!

Here’s the key to Rosemary’s Exploration:

What did you used to believe about yourself, life, the world around you that might be holding you back today? Is it your unconscious mind that is the Director while you and your conscious mind are merely the Actors on the stage?

It’s those old beliefs, those old programs that run on automatic when our attention strays, when “unforeseen situations arise,” or when we simply get caught off guard in a moment of weakness.

Here’s a simple example that is trite but true, a cliché of our times: driving in traffic I still find myself getting upset by unconscious drivers who are in some way impeding my progress! Then I realize I am being unconscious myself in my angry reactions. I take a breath, go briefly inside to remember my impatience is getting in my own way, release frustration and then move along more smoothly – until the next inattentive driver annoys me!

This is a life-long habit. I probably learned it from my father, even though in rural Wisconsin he did not face the driving difficulties we have here in the East! I know I am being the Actor in my little stage play about driving in traffic and my unconscious mind is the Director in this play. It is a hard habit to break and I get plenty of opportunities to practice!

I find my breath work, as part of my Qigong and Yoga practices help me overcome, or at least recover from habits of a lifetime. As long as I remember to breathe intentionally I can short-circuit the old programming and my conscious mind can recover control and direct my life.

Here’s how that works: one of my practices is to employ the Hamsa mantra as taught by Swami Muktananda (ref: I Am That The Science of HAMSA from the Vignana Bhairava). This is probably the simplest yet most profound mantra in the Yogic tradition. “Ham” means “I am” and Sa means “that.” It may also be seen and pronounced or read as So’ham “that I am” depending on personal preference and breath flow.

Ham is the sound of the breath as you inhale. Sa or So is the sound of the breath as you exhale. My natural breath includes a more lengthy pause after exhaling so I use Hamsa as my breath mantra; in other words it seems more natural for me to inhale before I exhale. Practice both ways; if it seems more natural for you to exhale first then So’ham may be the better way for you to use this key mantra.

For that matter you can even use English here inhaling on the “I Am” and exhaling on the “That.” The real key is to become aware of the breath and then become intentional about breathing through the recovery from habitual action and reaction you are working to reprogram. As Rosemary writes:

You can’t just decide to do things differently and have your unconscious mind let go of those old beliefs. They are programs that are running all the time. They are beliefs that trump conscious decisions many times. 

The work is to go inside and uncover the programs and reprogram your mind.

Breath work is an excellent tool to aid you in the reprogramming effort.

MONDAY’S POEM: Cool Autumn Mist

October 13, 2014 Leave a comment

I have always enjoyed Haiku. I haven’t written any for a long while but need to dust off an old volume I have floating somewhere in the house. Here’s a new one for today:

Cool autumn mist
Drips from the leaden sky
Becomes real rain.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Haiku are fun to write. Write your own and send it to me as a comment!

FRIDAY’S POEM FROM “RHYTHMS AND CYCLES” – All our Relations

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

I dug in the archives for this one – back to 2010. I think the Full Moon and eclipse Wednesday morning (I got a good glimpse of it as the Moon was setting) shifted a few things. I am feeling more connected. And this poem is about that. When the Native Americans use this expression, “and All our Relations” they are offering prayers for everyone and everything; they feel connected because they are. And whether we feel it or not we are!

All our Relations

Connections, Relations,
There is a difference.

Sure, we are all connected.
The air you breathe, I breathe.

The atoms of Adam’s body
Are in your body, my body.

We are of the Earth;
These are connections.

We are all connected.

And your DNA is my DNA.

Your Mother is my Mother
A thousand generations back.

Your Father is my Father’s cousin
Not so long ago.

The blood of the Buddha,
Blood of Christ

Flows in your veins, my veins,
And all our Relations’.

©2010 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Hostage Situation – Inside Yourself? – Richard’s Commentary

October 9, 2014 Leave a comment

I can certainly relate to Rosemary’s Exploration this week. And it’s not any one or big fear that holds me back from “living my richest life.” It’s usually little things. And when I move beyond the fear and look back I think: “what was I ever afraid of?”

Most of my little fears come from my childhood. I was an only child for a long time – my next brother came along when I was already eight. I was protected and even revered within my extend and large family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. And because family was always there I didn’t have to venture out much into greater society.

So, when Rosemary asks: What part of you is holding another part hostage? I can usually point to my inner child – that protected and easy living six year-old.

Rosemary is exactly right when she says:

But most of the fears that I see with clients represent a conflict between a part that wants to step forward and a part that is afraid to do that.

It can be around any issue: a relationship, a job, money, family, taking a risk, making a decision. There is a feeling of wanting to move and yet, at the same time, a sense of paralysis.

My adult self always wants to step forward; I am usually energetic, decisive and know what I want. But sometimes that six year-old digs in his heals and sets up a block out of some weird sense of protectiveness.

Does this ever happen to you? Do you ever feel paralysis as you work toward an important goal? When this happens to me I usually have to go inside to work through the issue. Sometimes I even have a talk with the six year-old to calm any fears he may be experiencing. I remind him of several factors in the situation:

  1. I am in charge and I know what I am doing; I’m the adult, after all!
  2. We have done things like this before and it always comes out well!
  3. Look to the end result, the success. Doesn’t that make you happy?
  4. Let’s just move forward and see what happens; you’ll be OK.

This inner dialogue can take several forms: meditation, writing, even sometimes a shamanic journey (for me this is similar to an inner guided meditation) to visit my places of safety and my power animals. I can even take my six year-old into the future to see the positive outcome and allay any further fear.

Of course using a coach or counselor is always an option. Inner child work can be very powerful and productive. The tools and help are there for all of us to “live our richest lives!”

MONDAY’S POEM: Conflicted Poet

October 6, 2014 Leave a comment

There is a Full Moon coming up this week on Wednesday, 6:51 AM Eastern time. As the moon swells it is good to tune into her energy and all the energies around and within. Just notice how you feel. Go out and view the moon and tune in. Observe everyone around you, the driving (also Mercury is retrograde now), the attention span of the people you encounter. This is a good “noticing” time.

It can also be a time of conflict, inner and outer. Here’s a poem for this time:

Conflicted Poet

What does a conflicted poet write?
What bubbles up from below?
What trickles down from above?

Love. A poet writes of love
For all the world to read
And understand this Queen.

Low. A poet sinks so low
To find the deepest part
And understand this King.

Light. A poet merges with Light
To sing of the highest peaks
And understand this God.

A poet writes of highs and lows.
He writes of light and sings above.
And most of all he writes of Love!

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

FRIDAY’S POEM FROM “RHYTHMS AND CYCLES” – Love, Forgiveness, Gratitude

October 3, 2014 Leave a comment

I wrote today’s poem in early 2013 as a way to live that year, life. There is a cycling about this poem of circles, hinges and turnings. And with faith there is a spiraling that powers the evolution of consciousness. There may be other acts that we, as humans, need to live by, but for me these are three of the most important ones:

Love, Forgiveness, Gratitude

Three acts to live by:

Love, where it all begins
And ends.
The circle of everything
Turns with the tides
As the Moon loves down.

Forgiveness, in the middle,
The hinge.
It all turns on this act,
Swinging ‘round and ‘round
As a gateless gate for passage.

Gratitude, the end,
No end.
Turning about the center
Where it All rests
As we give thanks and praise.

Love, Forgiveness, Gratitude:
Grace.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

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