Rhythm is at the center of humanity. One who knows rhythm knows the world.
— Read on cdnapisec.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/preview/partner_id/2503451/uiconf_id/43914941/entry_id/1_6x54fv0u/embed/dynamic
May the spirit of the drum
Awaken your Heart with new Hope and Love for our Mother Earth and all her inhabitants!￼￼
I recently read an essay from MysticMama.com that was exactly what I needed to hear and to have articulated. Like every one of you I’ve been wondering if things are past the point of return, and what to do while we figure it out it. Riding in the waves of change that are sweeping through our souls and our societies means choosing equanimity over fear. This is, like it or not, what is happening. Fear weakens our system at the very moment we need our strength. Precautions should include taking time everyday to Presence your whole body and mind with breath and light.
Listen to beautiful music and to the birds sing. Chant and dance. Read favorite poems. Tap. If you can, go outside at night to see the stars and the moon, to breathe the crisp dark night air and give thanks. Thanks for your safety and the safety of those you love; for the good life that you have right now. In the midst of chaos you are cultivating calm and inviting Beauty into your heart and mind.
Now is the time to unwind into the goodness of being alive -the simplest things like hot showers, soft sheets, and a warm cozy bed, the love of and for a partner, a child, a pet. These are all small joys in themselves, independent of pandemonium, and all the more important now, as we let go of life as we knew it and discover what lies ahead with love in our hearts and courage in our souls. As my mother said, this too shall pass and the best is yet to come.
Namaste to you, each & every One.
One love. One heart.
May all beings be at Peace. xo* Sabrina Louise
What a journey we are on!
There is so much stirring our planetary awakening for healing and change.
More and more through peak experiences of collective crisis, we are being awakened to our interdependence as a planetary family.
The Sabian symbols for this Moon speak of us coming together in cooperative effort as we “venture in faith meeting some challenge” and leave the past behind to cooperate in an “adventure in consciousness.”
Our collective cultural agreements and the dominant dogma of “what Reality is” are crumbling day by day. There’s a crack in the firmament and the Light is shinning through.
There are new sprouts bursting through the cement, reaching for the Sun and ready to turn our world green again. We are these sprouts!
We must water the Holy Seeds within. Great change is seeded by conscious dreamers.
We have healing light inside us. We have the ability to bring healing to ourselves and nourish and feed our Souls with the pure manna of Creation.
It is a free resource available to each and everyone of us directly from Source.
As the tides continue to ebb and flow, the landscape will continue to change. We are about to enter a new cycle of momentum where the trajectory of our lives could be taking a turn.
The key with all of this is to really anchor into our Soul’s wisdom.
These changes are propelling us to step up into our Higher Knowing, to trust the wisdom inside us that guides us on each of our Soul’s unique and evolutionary journey.
We might find ourselves grasping, trying to make sense of it all, but as truth rises to the surface, as new realities emerge from the Dreamtime, we are encouraged to surrender to the flow of Life moving through us.
We are on the edge of time, and our Soul is wanting us to experience embodiment in a way that we have not previously experienced.
Like Mark Borax says right now, “we must harvest magic out of chaos.”
Blessed FULL MOON!
It isn’t very often that I endorse something, when I do it is because I have personal knowledge and direct experience of its value. I wanted to get this out a few days ago, but got sick instead. Now with a day left I am posting. To that end, I am writing this morning as fast as I can because I don’t want you to miss the opportunity to save $100 off Sounds True’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction online course.
“Mindfulness is a basic human quality, a way of learning to pay attention to whatever is happening in your life that allows you a greater sense of connection to your life inwardly and outwardly.”
More than three decades of scientific research at medical centers all over the world suggests that training in mindfulness and MBSR can positively and often profoundly effect participants’ ability to reduce stress, pain, illness, and medical symptoms while also learning to live life more fully.
These participants have been strongly motivated to do something for themselves—something no one else can do for them—by learning to draw upon their inner resources and natural capacity for greater health as well as balance, ease, and peace of mind.
Learn How to Reduce Stress, Relieve Anxiety and Enhance Your Focus and claim the special offer go here.
Even if the offer is expired, 🙁 I know you will still find much of value-all at no cost to you! Woo hoo!
Blissfully yours, Sabrina
I made this for my father when he was very ill but still well enough to take solace from having it next to his bed. He died in 2012 and hardly a week goes past without thinking of him. Love never dies.
How have you been weathering the changing seasons? I’ve been starting my mornings with tea temperature hot water, a teaspoon of local honey, a small slice of peeled ginger and big squeeze of fresh lime. I like lime more than lemon for this sweet, slightly tart and warming drink that helps to get you and everything else moving in the morning. Another nice way I’ve been keeping up my hydration by making making my own spa-inspired waters. You can do this too by combining 8-16oz filtered cold water, honey, a small slice or cube of ginger or lemongrass, a small slice of cucumber, a sprig of fresh mint or basil, and a small strawberry in a clear water bottle. So good for the senses and as pretty as it is refreshing!
After a slow start and a bumpy middle, I have finally found my writing flow. Some of you may remember that I’ve been working on this one for a while. It is a long held dream and I am so excited to be ready to share a small but sweet sample from the first chapter from my almost finished book, Two Minutes to Bliss: How to Reclaim the Power of your Attention and Create a Joy based Life!
Starting Where You Are and the Art of Kind Attention
Now that we have established the necessity of reclaiming the power of your attention by starting where with your thoughts about yourself and others (charity and peace really do begin at home), I want to share some of my real life experiences where this comes in really handy. One thing I know for sure is that there are no shortage of everyday ordinary and sometimes very trying opportunities to practice!
One of them that comes up frequently in my life and in the lives of anyone dealing with chronic illness, theirs or on behalf of a loved one, is dealing with medical bureaucracy. So to those of you who have survived your own gulag-like trials, and like me have spent hour after increasingly Kafkaesqe hour pinballing back and forth between long stretches of time on hold and those spent repeating the same answers to the same questions from a succession of different representatives who may or may not have amnesia and who then transfer you to a new department where you start all over again while you are still unfed and un-showered and wondering about your day job and how it can take 1/2 a day just to get a prescription that has already been authorized released to the pharmacy near the doctor’s office in time for your appointment, I bow in recognition and empathy! And I offer a few Bliss tips for dealing with the very human feelings of anxiety, frustration, and fear that can arise when you aren’t sure you’ll be able to receive the medical care or medicine you need. You can use these as well whenever you feel the natural anxieties that come up in your day-to-day.
Stand up and plant yourself. Literally bring all of your attention to the feeling of your feet on the ground beneath you. This is even better if you can do it with bare feet and have access to grass, sand, bamboo, or other natural ground cover. (If all you’ve got is concrete, laminate or carpet, of course it still works!) Next, pay attention to your posture. This is the most important thing you can do besides breathing to minimize tension in your body and mind.
Pay extra special attention to the area of your heart. Is it contracted and protected by forward slumping shoulders? Is it in a collapsed posture of defeat? Or is it lifted like a Sunflower to the Light? If your heart isn’t above the horizon, imagine there’s a string gently lifting you at your heart’s center. As you chest lifts and your shoulders naturally relax down and back imagine your heart being flooded with warm golden-pink light.
What about your breath? You might be unconsciously holding it. Is your jaw clenched and your neck tight? Let them soften. This begins naturally and instantaneously when we stop thinking and start feeling the sensations in our throat, jaw, face and hands, belly and brow, when we pay kind attention and simply sense what is already there, allowing our minds to let go of thinking, and our nervous systems to relax and release a soothing stream of healing hormones like oxytocin and dopamine and Gaba. .
Walk your talk. You don’t have to take things sitting down. You can use your time on hold to practice mindful walking just by paying attention to the feeling and sound of your feet rolling heel-to-toe in concert with your breath.Let some of the stress roll off your back with gentle neck stretches and breathing in as you turn left or right, and out as you move back slowly to center. Or find strength by putting your hands on your hips in Wonder Woman pose while you wait on hold. You can also practice chair and standing mountain with warrior arms to increase your stamina and patience.
Reassure yourself by putting a hand on your heart or your chest and then silently or out loud tell yourself that you’re doing a good job. Remember that you and everyone else are actually doing their best, and that you can’t control everything, let alone other people. Appeal to the person’s sense of humanity by being polite and expressing appreciation for their part in helping you get your needs met. Consider that their life may be even more difficult than yours. Praise yourself for taking charge of your attention and for applying it kindly when the inevitable challenges arise.
Above all, keep in your mind and heart what my mother (and maybe yours!) always said: this too shall pass, this too shall pass. And remember you really do have the power to find peace even in the midst of chaos by following any and all of the tips above.
Hello again my lovely Readers and Creatives,
As more than a few of you know, I’ve been facing a couple of chronically challenging circumstances for quite a while now. As isolating as this can feel, the truth is I am far from alone. Too many of you beautiful hearts are also facing painful conditions that drain your life force energies, and make it that much harder to connect with the place of peace and joy that is our birthright and true nature.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes.” That includes you.” Anne Lamott
I know that when the going is tough it’s terribly tempting to dwell on the downside. Hell some days it’s almost impossible to get out up and get going. Goddess knows I’ve tried burrowing and bringing and imbibing. Everything from ocd to tv, tabloids, take away, home shopping, chocolate, cheese its, and chocolate martini’s to medical and non-medical marijuana to help me feel better. Or at least forget my sorrows for as long as the episode and chips hold out. Sound familiar?
We human beings are hard-wired to try to avoid pain so there is no use beating our selves up when we choose the news or the double scotch or the double cheese burger with fries. It won’t make things better. It might make them worse. Because pain does not heal pain. Only Love heals pain. That is one thing I know for sure, and another is that Beauty in all its forms is as necessary as food and shelter to our well-being!
Such as this talk by the wonderful writer and teacher Anne Lamott. And this episode of HeartWisdom- mindfulness meditation teacher and author, Jack Kornfield’s podcast, about the awakening and healing quality of poetry and the arts.
He quotes some of my favorite poets, like Mary Oliver, and Rilke, and reminds us that sometimes the greatest political act is to turn off the news and turn on your favorite song, or take a walk and watch the sunset instead.
Another way I’ve been nourishing myself (and a few lucky taste testing others), is by putting the finishing touches on my “Soul Food for the Senses” recipes in preparation for publishing them along with a guide to mindful eating!!
Yes, this is a legit meditation practice! It is about being present with the flavors and textures and tastes on the tongue as well as the feeling of chewing and swallowing and appreciating each bite instead of inhaling or zoning out when we eat. For me, baking is made all the more sweet by the graditude and appreciation I feel at being able (literally) to develop these soul satisfying heart healthy and still lushcious snacks and desserts.
The crumbly moist caramelized pineapple. banana, blueberry, low carb, low sugar, gluten-free, quick bread pictured above-which I’ve taken to calling believe in your dreams pineapple banana surprise- is a satisfying sweet but not too sweet loaf. The tart-sweet pineapple and carmelized banana on top mean you only need a 1/2 cup of honey and a 1/4 cup of coconut or palm sugar for the whole loaf! While the coconut flour along with the almond flour keep it low carb and add a rich sponge cake like texture to the moistness of the almond flour and the bananas.
Now just let me be clear. I’m not suggesting that all your meals be mindful from beginning to end. Some days mindful eating is going to be remembering to pack some almonds and rice crackers so I’m not tempted to get a latte at 4pm.
What I am saying is that scheduling time to slow down and create a simple, peaceful, environment in which to taste and savor and engage our senses in the pleasures of eating, instead of grabbing and going and gulping down our lives, along with the food on our plates, is as important as what we eat.
It has been raining cats and dogs and mud for more than a week while the sun takes it annual winter break. Satine Bunny and I are toasty warm and inside. The rhythm of the rain is a quiet all its own and takes up the whole sky. All this weather and a chest cold have made me even more aware of my senses. And made it all the more important to use their intelligence to guide me in making the most nourishing and healing choices as I go about allowing this cold to move through me.Because as the extraordinary, Jean Houston, teaches, our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to unlocking the meaning and the wellspring of creativity.
At times like these, I am intuitively drawn to soothing things that open my chest and heart and clear my nasal passages. Such as the steamy sweet smell of my hot honey orange and lime water. I have it in my favorite cup and cradle it between my breasts. Warming myself inside and out. Chasing away the raw cold place in the middle of my chest and uplifting my senses.
And the ahhhh ooooh soo good feeling of letting the work of opening happen passively and naturally as I inhale deeply and to receive the life-giving essence of my breath move freely through my (once cold and crumpled) ribcage while resting on a yoga bolster my arms open like wings.
All around me people are complaining about the weather. Wishing winter wasn’t so damn cold. lol. I am definitely a summer baby. Much rather be too hot than too cold. Still I am also content to let winter be winter with all it’s chilly, bossy, bluster and adapt and respect accordingly.
It wasn’t always this way. In fact I am sure I have spent at least half my life wishing things were other than they actually are instead of meeting reality on its own terms.
If you are looking for a prescription for suffering look no farther. ” If you keep telling the same sad small story. You will keep living the same sad small life.” If you prefer to be happy try a little gratitude wrapped in tenderness or a little tenderness garnished with gratitude instead. Either way you slice it you come up whole.
So how grateful am I to be able to take time off from work and to have the time and money to spend on taking care of lit ol me. Molto molto, mui, tres!!!
This is a new thing. I used to despair at needing to rest. Secretly I judged myself. Called myself names. Delicate, weak. Had genes to boot. My sensitive intelligent father was also branded with “delicate” constitution.
Biology is not destiny. Belief is. “Change the story and you change perception:change perception and you change the world.”
The old story: That I was not good enough and that I needed to prove my worthiness through doing. And while I did a lot, truth be told, not a lot of what I did truly needed to be done. And a lot of what I didn’t do really did need me to do it. At the time I wouldn’t have admitted that because I wasn’t in touch with my own needs or innate value. I now know that this belief did not help me get more done, faster, sooner or better. More the opposite. Like with a child or a horse. Eventually, the whipping stopped working the way I wanted it too and started to work against me. Somewhere along the way I had picked up false information and taken it as fact. So to that, I say
time to turn the page! We are not “encapsulated bags of skin dragging around a dreary little ego. We are an evolutionary wonder” The same air that moves the clouds and makes the rain and grows the flowers waters my imagination and feeds my dreams. I am whale song, and star-dust and palm frond. I am marrow becoming molecules of light, I am rainbow and mud becoming lotus flower and lichen, I am air flowing through rivers and through the silver gills of flat headed fishes, I am the song the whales sing, I am phosphorous and sand, hermit crab and shell, nautilus of possibility becoming possible. I am breath breathing myself into being, “a trillion cells singing together in a vast chorale, an organism-environment, a symbiosis of cell and soul.” A holy child of an Intelligent Universe and That Is more than Enough.
Beginning and end of story!!!
I couldn’t wait any longer to write. I kept thinking i would wait until things settled down after the shootings, and the fire’s and the firing on of children and mothers at the southern border and my friend’s chemo and the first anniversary of my daughter’s father’s death and Thanksgiving which always makes me long for my parents born 4 days apart Dec 26th and Dec 1st, but I finally realized that if I waited until things settled down again it might be several years…. So here I am on what in my deck of the woods is a windy crisp cold bright day with hawks soaring in the pale blue sky along with occasional small plane on its way to Burbank. Speaking of being in the Valley and why I couldn’t wait any longer to write is that I have good things to share with you. Starting with our recent visit to the Iliad Bookshop in North Hollywood after a delicious breakfast at Bea Bea’s in Toluca Lake.
I am in love with the house coffee
which is made with local honey and cinnamon and highly reccomend the pancakes. So light and yummy.
I am also in love with Iliad- one of the coolest bookshops in town all up according to yours truly, as well as numerous other edified sources. Get you fill of almost everything arty here from graphic novels to art and poetry and cooking books, not to mention fiction, film and rock roll. They are featured in numerous movies, short films, and television shows, and are happy to answer any questions you have on buying or selling books. They are also, as far as I know, the only bookstore to have a mural and to be named after an epic poem!The mural (which extends down two sides of Iliad) includes not just literary scenes, but the portraits of more than 50 authors (and musicians who have been the subject of various books) and was painted by the seriously skilled artist Paul Dilworth. You can check out the gallery below for a key to who’s who and have fun take finding your favorites when you visit in person!
Personally I like that they have easy parking, a friendly helpful staff, good prices, couches, music, water, 150,000 books, and welcome visiting dogs on leashes. Sweet!
“Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.”
-Clarissa pinkola Estes
While our freedoms’ fate hangs in wait I’ve been preparing to lead a mindfulness meditation this Saturday, Oct 6th, at California’s first gathering of poet laureates and taking solace in the words of author, thought leader and Jungian analyst, Clarissa Estes. Her passionate and wise response to despairing friends could have been written today and yet its wisdom is timeless.
She begins, “My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people” and goes on to say “In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.” She ends by writing, “ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.”
Now more than ever, with so much to be addressed, it is very good to be reminded:
What we can do is as important, if not more important than what we can’t.
To that end, I am so proud that on October 6th, Engaging the Senses Foundation (ETSF), in partnership with the California Arts Council, and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs/McGroarty Arts Center is sponsoring a coming-together event of current and former California local poets laureate in a celebration of the power of poetry on and off the page to nourish our deepest humanity.
The gathering is the brainchild of current CA state Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, who is featured in our documentary-in-production Be the Beauty. Dana is an award-winning poet, author of the seminal critique Can Poetry Matter?, and a recipient of the 2014 Aiken-Taylor Award for lifetime achievement in American poetry. He was also the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from 2003-2008, where he created enduring art programs such as Poetry Out Loud.
Dana’s desire to serve the underserved has informed all of the programs he has created on the federal and state level, which are consistently inclusive, with a focused yet broad outreach (for instance, as CA Poet Laureate he has visited every single district over the last two years, the first laureate ever to do so). His dedication to this vision mirrors ETSF’s commitment to vibrant inclusivity. We believe that the difference these kinds of programs make to communities — and to the individuals within these communities who have the opportunity through them to being seen, heard, and valued — cannot be overstated. This is why we will be filming the event, so that its impact can reach as far as possible.
It’s our hope that this gathering of creatives can become a model for other state’s partnerships. We are proud to continue fulfilling our mandate by honoring the dedicated men and women who have committed their time and energy to championing literacy in their communities. After the working sessions, poets, teachers, and all poetry lovers are invited to attend on Saturday afternoon for what will surely prove to be a powerful and historic group reading.
We urge you to come so you can listen to, meet, and celebrate California’s vital public poets laureate! To register for this free public event.
“The beauty of “Me Too” is the sense of not aloneness, of solidarity, truth and community”
Well hello again Beautiful Readers,
This isn’t the way I thought I would return to the page. However, if you like me are one of the one in six Americans whose life has been forever changed by rape attempted or enacted, you know that today is not the same old same old.
If fact, if you are one of the one in six, or simply one of the many people who know someone whose life has been forever affected by sexual assault, it feels like the world as we have known it is skittering on the brink of extinction. An extinction upon which the our species depends in order to survive. And from which ultimately we can evolve and create a new just way of relating, rooted in compassion instead of competition.
I narrowly escaped being raped in Westwood after a date in the 1980s with “a nice boy from a good family.” He was good-looking, strong and tall, a UClA football player on his way to med school whose father was a doctor. I was as I am now petite and slender of frame. After he pinned me to the floor of my apartment he began trying to both remove my underpants and force his erect penis into my dry vagina. Only by begging him to look into my eyes so he wouldn’t be able to deny that I didn’t want to be forced to have sex in this painful way did I get him to stop.
The only person I ever told was my ex-boyfriend. It never even occurred to me to reported to the police. But this assault was one of the reasons I left Los Angeles.
Living here again in the midst of the Harvey Weinstein and much-needed “me too” movement, I am encouraged by a sense of recognition, solidarity and of hope. Those of us who came of age in the 80’s and 90’s and 00’s, and especially those who came of age pre-Oprah and Tyler Perry, would not have been able to believe that the topic of sexual assault can now be openly discussed. And that centuries worth of shame and blame are beginning to be healed.
When I was in my mid-to late twenties and fumbling my way through the lava field of trauma from being the victim of multiple episodes of childhood and adult sexual abuse and assault, I found solace in a remarkable book co-authored by the poet, Ellen Bass, called The Courage to Heal.
Cherished by survivors, and recommended by therapists and institutions everywhere, The Courage to Heal has often been called the bible of healing from child sexual abuse. For years, I passed it on to other women who, like me, sought to be free from the effects of this heinous and shattering form of violence on body, mind, and soul.
To go from being a survivor to thriving is as much a state of mind as a state of mindfulness. It is possible to heal. I am living proof of that hard-won and still delicate peace. As someone with a sensitive nature and a background involving trauma, it is easy for me to become overstimulated and feel overwhelmed.
Working with my senses to create healthy adrenal, cortisol, blood sugar and pressure levels is key to being able to respond to challenges from a place of balance and strength. This means engaging mindfully and regularly with simple practices that nourish the senses and allow for complete and total relaxation of the flight or fight response. The use of imagery, meditation, and body-centered practices such as tapping are particularly helpful.
What I like is that it can literally be as easy as breathing in and out through my nose to a count of four while consciously relaxing the muscles of my face right down to the root of my tongue. Doing this engages the vagus nerve* which might just be the most important nerve you may not know you have.
I thought I’d leave you today with this poem by Ellen Bass, performed by fellow poet and friend of Engaging the Senses Foundation, the extraordinary Kim Rosen. It’s a poem about learning to stop and engage with the mindful moment in the midst of whatever is happening, no matter how dire it seems.
Sending you all so much strength and love.
*”The management and processing of emotions happens via the vagal nerve between the heart, brain and gut, which is why we have a strong gut reaction to intense mental and emotional states.It is related to the parasympathetic nervous system—and controls unconscious body functions, as well as very important things like keeping heart rate constant and aiding in the digestion of food to breathing and sweating. It also helps regulate blood pressure and blood glucose balance, promotes general kidney function, helps release bile and testosterone, stimulates the secretion of saliva, assists in controlling taste and releasing tears, and plays a major role in fertility issues and orgasms in women.”
“By being well-rested, we are better able to respond to the demands of our lives with intelligence and kindness, resilience and grace.”
Hello again lovely Ones,
I started organizing a library of sensory resources that take effect in twenty minutes of less to include in my new book Two Minutes to Bliss and am really excited to share in advance one of tried and true guided meditations populating the virtual shelves. It is from my favorite mindfulness meditation teacher and psychologist, Tara Brach.
I use her basic guided sensory scans regularly to enter into states of stillness, optimism and peace.
I love how easy it is to use this guided meditation to “cultivate access to relaxed attentiveness and a pathway to ease-filled sleep.” Since many adults and teens and kids in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep it is good to find that studies have shown that mindfulness can make a positive difference.”When we effectively quiet the mind and relax the body, sleep comes naturally.”
I would love to hear how they work for you if You are inclined to share.