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Rachel Freed talks about having ‘aspirations’ as we age. Here is a guided meditation by guest Ron Pevny who specializes in Elder Consciousness that can assist you to envision your aspirations. Althoug Pevny is speaking to elders, I think this meditation can benefit any age.

Envisioning Your Ideal Elderhood
An Inner Journey Toward Wholeness
By Ron Pevny

I invite you to use this guided meditative journey in whatever ways work best for you. You can have a friend slowly lead you through the process. Or you can record yourself slowly reading the script, and then periodically set aside time to take the journey and see what arises. Or you can use the sections as prompts, slowly reading each one and then in a relaxed state seeing what images arise. However you use this evocative imagery, I encourage you to pay special attention to images and feelings that evoke a strong inner sense they are showing you something important about the wholeness that is possible for you in the elder stages of your unique and precious life’s journey.

A magnificent life stage characterized by your commitment to wholeness awaits you. These next moments are a time to let your spirit soar, to ask your most authentic inner knowing however you understand and name it, for glimpses of what this wholeness can look like for you. As you choose to let go of doubt and attachment to your younger self, you have the opportunity to co-create with the divine spirit within you the fulfillment and fruition of your growth in this precious lifetime. You live in a unique time in known human history, have unique resources at your disposal, and have precious opportunity to embrace an elderhood of growth and fulfillment beyond what you have been able to imagine. So I invite you to allow yourself to get in touch with your soul’s dream for you as you look toward your future.

Begin this journey with several deep in-breaths and exhalations. Breathe in the energy of life and possibility, and exhale stress and limitation that keep the eagle in you grounded. It’s time to rise up and gain your soul’s-eye view of your next chapters. Imagine yourself soaring on the warm air currents, relaxed, free, joyous—and looking down at the elder you can become.

As you soar, focus your attention on the elder you doing all you can to enjoy health of body and mind. See and feel yourself gratefully supporting the best health possible for you in that elder body that has served you so well and enabled you to experience so much of life for so many years. Envision yourself thriving in your elder body, and feel how important it is for you to do all you can to make such thriving possible. Solidify your vision by making mental notes of this experience.

Now it’s time for a shift in focus. As you soar through the sky of possibility, see the elder you living a life enriched by meaningful relationships. See and feel yourself thriving, as you find the right balance for you between truly supportive relationships and private, quiet reflective time. See what having true community in your life looks like. Feel how important it is for your wellbeing to do all you can to make such life-enhancing relationships possible. And make mental notes of this experience.

Now another shift. As you savor the freedom of seeing your life as your soul sees it, see and feel how beautiful is the life of the elder you can be as you live unburdened by emotional baggage which distorts and saps life energy and keeps you bound to your past. See and feel the elder you enlivened by freely flowing life energy pulsing through you in each present moment and guiding you toward your future. Feel how important it is for your well-being to do all you can to make such healing possible. Make some mental notes of this experience.

It’s time for another shift in perspective. See your elder self waking each morning with eager anticipation of a day lived with commitment to service. There are so many possibilities each day to be of service. So many needs that you can help meet. So many ways to serve the community as elders have done throughout human history. Many of these will come in delightfully unexpected ways, and while others may be reflections of your abiding sense of an ongoing contribution that is uniquely yours. See and feel how important purpose and meaning are to your elder wellbeing. Feel how important it is for you to do all you can to make such a life of purpose possible. Make some mental notes of this experience.

Now, with only a slight shift in focus, you look down and see yourself as an elder whose days are brightened with laughter, joy, pleasure, excitement. You see yourself doing things that exhilarate you, that give your body and mind exciting, enlivening, and sometimes new, experiences. At a time in life that becomes bland and dull for many people, you add rich spices with your commitment to feeding yourself experiences and emotions that help you to feel alive in your body, mind and emotions. See and feel how important laughter, joy, pleasure and excitement are to your elder wellbeing. Feel how important it is for you to do all you can to bring such qualities and experiences into your life as you grow older. Make some mental notes of this experience.

Take a moment to allow yourself to feel the joy of soaring in the realm of possibility. And now see your elder self experiencing the satisfaction and challenge of learning new things and developing new talents. Can you identify what you are committed to learning? Can you see what talents you are striving to develop. Can you feel the satisfaction of knowing that you are stretching beyond your perceived limits—that you are growing and not allowing limiting, disempowering ideas about age to stop you? See and feel how important continual learning and stretching are to your elder well-being. Feel how important it is for you to do all you can to continue growing in knowledge and talent throughout your elderhood. Make some mental notes of this experience.

As you soar on the updrafts, you become aware of the incredible beauty, power, diversity and interconnectedness of life in the world in which the elder you is privileged to live. And you see how the wellbeing—in fact the very existence of yourself and the generation to follow you—is threatened by your fellow humans not realizing how vital is a strong, mutually supportive relationship with the natural world which is truly our earth mother. See and feel how important it is to you to regularly be enlivened and healed by the energies of the natural world, and to find your ways of helping to support the health of our mother. Make some mental notes of this experience.

As you continue to soar, reflect on the reality that the currents that allow you to rise above the limitations of your personality self are the currents of the spirit in you expanding your vision and amplifying the life force that flows through you. Look down and see your elder self embracing that spiritual dimension that is your source and your essence. See and feel the elder you continually deepening your relationship with your spiritual essence as other aspects of your younger self are gradually shed. And then look ahead to the time of your death and see your inner self alive with the peace of knowing that, as your body and personality end your life’s journey, the spirit in you is shining brightly as you fulfill the ultimate purpose of your life. See and feel how important your spiritual deepening is to your elder wellbeing. Feel how important it is for you to do all you can to support your spiritual growth. Make some mental notes of this experience.

And now this experience of soul-soaring is coming to an end. There will be others if you allow them, because soaring is part of what you are built for. As you gently make your way back to the earth, and this room in this time, you have been blessed with glimpses of what your inner self knows to be your ideal elderhood. Now your task is to remember these glimpses, and to begin to transform them into the goals and commitments out of which wholeness in your elderhood can be shaped. So take one last minute to remember the joys of soaring. And then take three deep breaths and feel the privilege of having a body and personality, here on this beautiful planet with so much support for enjoying the wholeness that can be your elder destiny.

You can find Ron Pevny at http://www.newsite.centerforconsciouseldering.com/

Thanks to Ron for this lovely and insightful “soul-soaring” meditation

Peacefully, Jane

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Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

Graduate of IONS Conscious Aging Facilitator

USUI Reiki Master, Natural Sound Healing

Author, In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

 

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For eons, people have searched for the answers of who were are and why are we here. They have looked to religions that have provided these answers. But for others, there seems to be something beyond religious dogma and rules for living that keeps them seeking for a greater Divine connection.

This Divine connection is called spirituality, a pathway to an intimate relationship with our Creator or Source whom many may call God or Goddess. For this article, I will simply refer to our Divine connection. We experience this relationship deeply within our heart as we meditate, pray, commune in nature, or listen to one another, in our daily lives.

In spirituality, we see this Divine connection in all life and within each person. I remember my minister at the United church, when I was a teenager, saying to me “All you need to remember, Jane, is that God is love.”  Those words have stayed with me my whole life.

But how do we really experience spirituality?

I believe daily meditation leads us to living deeply, to connect with all life through an open and accessible heart. With your open heart, you let go of your fears and allow miracles to occur in your life. You transform in so many wondrous ways. Get to know your spiritual self and experience the holistic union of your body, mind and spirit. A spiritual life is exciting as it encourages us to be creative, take risks, and live passionately.

 How spirituality helps

Spirituality can assist you in many ways:

  •  to honour all religious thought and teachings. Each religion holds the codes, rituals, symbols and ancient wisdom that helps us to ascend into greater light and love.
  •  to see is not a matter of right or wrong in spirituality. It is about each person’s heart opening to embrace love and reflecting that love in our daily lives.
  •  to honour one another’s path and allowing each person to grow and prosper. If we care deeply about one another, we will not allow anyone to suffer or to live in poverty.
  •  to envision a world where we are free to be who we are and where we know our life purpose…to serve and love one another…to create the life we want in radiant peace.
  • to live in harmony with the natural rhythms of the universe as we commune and care for our earth and nature.
  •  to ascend into a greater remembrance of who we are.

Life is always a great mystery for each of us to embrace.  The unknown leads us forward to greater discoveries.  Once you have experienced an intimate Divine connection, you feel connected in every moment. You have a knowing that you are never alone. When things are upsetting in your life, you know that it has greater meaning and that you can pass through these times and survive them with grace instead of depression and panic. Spirituality embraces all moments of our human existence and reveals to us our true being that we long to know and remember.

Peacefully,

Jane

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Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW,  USUI Reiki Master

Graduate IONS Conscious Aging Facilitator

Author of In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

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I welcome Rachael Freed, guest article today. Rachael facilitates workshops on Legacy Letters and how to leave meaningful legacy for our families and beloveds.

The Legacy of Aspiration April, 2018
Reflection: _________________________________
Have you ever peeked to see what’s beneath your bucket list? Is there something deeper driving you? You may not be aware of it, but maybe there’s something your deeper self – your soul – wants you to do.

We aren’t just our past (genetics/ ancestors/ personal history) or our present (who we are today/our actions and lived values). We are also our future (our vision of who we will become/our aspirations of how we will make ourselves and the world better/our evolving personal purpose or mission).

Fifty years ago I left home with my then husband to serve in the US Peace Corps (Tunisia) for two years. Five years ago, I went on a ten day journey to Israel, with a group and my rabbi. Nine weeks ago, I left my habitual home, routines, language, family, friends, and set out alone to live in Jaffa, Israel, for two months. I chose Jaffa because it is an ancient city with a history and today a rare place where Jews and Arabs live together as neighbors and in harmony.

In part I went to support my oldest granddaughter, who was in Basic Training with the Israeli Defense Forces where she’d chosen to serve for two years.

But there were other reasons for my journey, although I didn’t have words nor did I really understand what was driving me. As I neared the end of my stay, my understanding of motives and learnings remained vague. Yet I knew that I’d left home curious, open to adventure and learning . . . but what?

This morning I randomly read something on my desktop my rabbi wrote in 2015. It was about the difference between who we are and who we aspire to be. He described our habitual lives: “how we tend to associate most readily with people who are just like us – same color skin, same neighborhoods, same socio-economic status – if we stay on this walkway, we continue to be carried along and become further polarized and indifferent to a world filled with a variety of people . . . . in order to change our most basic selves we have to give ourselves missions and challenges in real time, with real people that are not part of our mono-cultural circle. . . .taking opportunities to have personal interactions with members of other groups, to travel, but not in a bubble like when you visit a foreign city but wind up eating at Applebee’s.”

I’ve had “aha” moments almost every day, made mistakes, gotten lost, taken a bus North when I meant to go South, witnessed people’s sad and triumphant stories of how their families got to Israel, enjoyed incredible natural beauty, carefully preserved antiquities, and been part of hilarious and incongruous scenes.

One of my experiences was to volunteer as an assistant teacher at The SchoolHouse, a non-profit evening school, teaching English and computer skills to refugees. The students, most men in their 20s – from Eritrea, Sudan, and Somalia, (some possibly in danger of being deported!) – are earnest about their study of English, and very appreciative of their teacher and me. They each introduced themselves to me, and I to them; I told them I was from Minneapo-lis, and that we are home to the largest number of Somalis in all of the U.S.

One of the Somali students approached me after class. Wearing a broad smile, he told me his brother, Dahir, lives in Minneapolis and is studying to become an electrical engineer! We exchanged contacts, and I plan to call Dahir (to give greetings from his brother Daoud), and to ask him if he knows Somali women who would like an English tutor. Who’d have thought that a “small world” includes a 79 year old Jewish woman from Minneapolis and a 25 year old man from Somalia meeting in a Tel Aviv classroom?

And what has any of this to do with legacy – my eternal question?

As you know, I’m committed to the idea that we all are responsible to discover, preserve, and communicate our legacies in writing to future generations. I also deeply believe that we leave legacies by our acts, our interests, our lived values, and our aspirations for ourselves and the world. It’s not that I haven’t been a good example for my children and grandchildren, but my life was feeling habitual and a bit stale.

Today I feel like a refurbished house: full of good stories to tell, refreshed, relaxed and open – both empty and full – in a way I can’t yet describe. I feel fortunate to be alive, and filled with love in a very difficult world. If I pass some of that on, I’ll feel that I’ve left a worthwhile legacy to those I love.

“Messenger” [excerpt]

My work is loving the world. . . . Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on
what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished . . . .

– Mary Oliver

.

Practice: _________________________________

1. Reflect about what’s on your bucket list, and what’s inside or beneath it. Questions you might consider include: Am I bored with my life? Am I stuck in a rut that is comfortable, even pleasant, but stuck never the less. Am I becoming all I want to be in my life? Are there things my heart and soul are dreaming for me that I’ve not been aware of but they’re calling to me now?

2. Write about your state of “astonishment,” that quality so apparent in young children, but often lost by the time we’re grown, that Mary Oliver writes she’s learning about at the age of eighty.

3. Write a legacy to someone you trust (and love) about who you are today, and who you aspire to be tomorrow. Share the excitement and trepidation inherent in hearing a call from deep inside to be “more”. Write about deciding on your response to the aspiration, not just for yourself, but as a significant component of your legacy.

“May all your legacies
be blessings,
Rachael Freed

CONNECT WITH US
Visit our site

Send legacy tips to a friend

Email Rachael Freed,
Founder of Life-legacies

Thank you Rachael Freed

Peacefully, Jane Rosalea Brown

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I recently learned about a longer form of Japanese Haiku (lines of 5, 7, 5, syllables)that is called Tanka(lines of 5,7,5,7, 7 syllables). It is followed by  Haibun, thoughts about the Tanka.   Here is a poem I wrote after seeing a young boy walk by my home, written in a poem, then Haiki…Tanka and Haibun.

Young Boy’s Conversation

Young fair haired boy walks by
On his way home from school
Head bent, watching each step
I notice something
He is talking aloud to himself

I smile from my window seat
In conversations with myself
I am always assured
Someone is listening to me!
Wonder if he feels the same way?

Haiku 5-7-5
Young boy walks down street
Talking aloud to himself
In his carefree way

Tanka 5-7-5-7-7
Young boy walks down street
Talking aloud to himself
In his carefree way
Knows someone is listening
I smile from my window seat

Haibun about the Tanka

Walking home from school

I saw a young fair hair young boy, about ten years old, walking pass my house as I sat at the window. I smiled. At first I thought he must be talking to a dog that was behind a bush, but then I saw him clearly. He was alone, deep in thought.

The best thing about talking to oneself when you are alone is you can be assured that some is listening to you! Especially, if you speak out loud. This young fellow looked like he was having a quiet, kind of mumbling conversation. Perhaps, he was unaware his lips were moving. Nevertheless, his mind listened to him and his heart felt his words.

I realized that he was not so different from me…the elder and the young…both enjoy conversations with Self. I remember being young and wanting to share inner imaginative thoughts, but afraid of how people would respond. I still hold close my mystical thoughts and experiences. Not because of how people will respond, but simply because they are beyond words most of the time.
People lose their voices when they are older if they do not talk. I am used to talking and chanting to myself in silence and aloud, so hopefully my voice muscles will stay strong. The young fellow must have lots of thoughts, fresh and new. I hope he will be courageous and share them with others and not bury them in a cloak of silence that only he hears. I would love to listen to him.

May we have courage to voice our creative ideas and inner wisdom,
May we keep our children safe by teaching them street smarts,

Peacefully, Jane Rosalea Brown

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D.H.Lawrence ~

“Novelist Lawrence’s sanctuary for self-exploration and connection to nature was the forest and deep woods.  In his Studies in Classic American Literature, he honored what he consistently found there:

“This is what I believe

That I am I.

That my soul is a dark forest.

That my known self will never be more than a little

clearing in the forest.

That gods, strange gods come forth into the clearing of

my known self, and then go back

That I must have the courage to let them come and go.

That I will never let mankind put anything over me but

that I will try always to recognize and submit to the

gods in me and the gods in other men and women.”

Lawrence recognized the importance of ‘strange gods’ coming forth to reshape and renew us and help us attain growth and liberation. The desire to replenish, rebalance and come into inner harmony and natural rhythm is a universal longing that spans time and traditions. We can nourish our souls and move and care for our bodies in natural ways as we take part in the awakening of springtime. We can allow our fears to release and bring in the hopes and the promises of new growth, new ways of being that bring us renewed vigor and inspiration.

Lawrence thought about his beliefs as he spent time in nature. Our beliefs come from what we value and he valued the knowledge and depth of wisdom he found in nature.  Think about your values and your beliefs.  Where do they come from?  How do they influence your life and your world view.  Lawrence inspired me to finish these words…

“This is what I believe……. ”  Give it a try. Think or write what you believe in this moment.  As we grow and evolve our beliefs and knowledge grow and change as what we ‘value’ continues to be defined…hopefully, by our heart instead of our head.  Spend time in nature to replenish your thoughts, ease your worries and become aware of the magical essences in nature that are wonderful teachers!!

May the harmony of nature guide you in your self-exploration,

May the light of love fill you with peace,

Peacefully, Jane

 

 

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Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master, Natural Sound Sessions

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

 

 

 

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What is truth? Philosophers and religious teachers have been trying to answer this question for thousands of years. I certainly cannot tell you what it is true or what is reality or how life began, but truth, to me, seems to be an individual thing. It is the idea of what is real to you and it comes from your personal experiences throughout your lives. Ultimately there can be only one truth and it is the one truth that we seek to understand so our life has meaning and purpose, so we can have some concept of who we are.

We can find ‘truth’ as we live our daily lives through our relationships with others and nature and by our never ending quest for knowledge and expansion. However, when we take time to quiet our minds and to move deeply within our consciousness as we meditate, something exciting occurs. We move into a new space that is our own private sanctuary that is beyond words. Once we discover this peaceful, serene place within, the magic begins… our view of ourselves transforms and transforms… ever evolving.

Now we have an opportunity t0 share our new version of our self by bringing into our outer world all the good ‘stuff’ that we’ve discover within. Then our outer world transforms. People notice that you have changed. Some will like this change, this happier you and others who are living in shadows or darkness will not, but you can be sure that all life benefits by your transformation into a positive, loving and peaceful person. Each of us has the opportunity of discovering a ‘truth’ that makes our life meaningful, happy and peaceful. Each of has a right to our own truth and it is not about having others agree with you, but simply to live in your truth in a new way to create a better life for yourself and others.

Peacefully, Jane

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Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master, Natural Sound Sessions

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

 

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I always feel excited about the first day of Spring. Perhaps it is because I know that the Vernal Equinox brings with it the balance of light and dark.  It is the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator, making day and night approximately equal length all over the earth. It means our days will be warming and our earth will soon be ready for planting.

Yesterday, March 20th, the first day of Spring, was a sunny day here. After many months of winter in Canada, the first snow drops are popping through my garden in spite of the -8C temperature in the mornings.  The robins have returned as have our Canada geese.  As I walk along Georgian Bay in the mornings, the birds are singing.  Yet we still have some snow on our lawn and in the woods.

Following the inspiration of creating balance by the Spring Equinox, I am thinking of ways that I can bring more ‘balance’ into my life.  About 15 years ago, the word ‘balance’ was used by lots of holistic healers and spiritual teachers.  It was used so much that I think many now tend to ignore its significance.

It is difficult to have complete balance in our life…balance between work…home life…recreation…rest…contemplation…study…spirituality and so on.  But it helps us with our stress levels if we can attempt to find balance as it creates harmony in our lives.

We want to strive to move with the rhythms of the seasons, of the universe, and then we can flow and evolve in a way that does not restrict us but allows us to trust in our spirit, in our soul’s guidance that we will be guided to make good choices and opportunities for us to create the life we want.

So wherever you live, as spring renews your plants and foliage, think about some new steps you can take.  We all have a powerful creative consciousness that can evolve our entire lives.  Tap into your inner wisdom through meditation, quiet walks, listening to music.  Look for inspiration in small things in your life.  Simplicity is the key to finding new ideas, space and balance.

Each first day of spring, a dance called Paneurhythmy is danced at sunrise.  The first part of the dance is called “The First Day of Spring”.  The spiritual teacher who created it is Peter Duenov who lived in Bulgaria.  He wrote music and songs for Paneurhythmy, a spiritual dance.  I love this dance as it is a rhythmic dance that teaches us to awaken and find sacred balance and harmony. You can find lots of videos on youtube.  Here is a little poem by him.

In the earliest of dawn

Come to the rays

Rise to the early morn

Be one with all

Listen to the sweetness

Breaking at dawn

Dance with the cosmos

(Peter Duenov-Paneurthymy)

So dance, feel the joy of  spring.  Allow its energies to fill you!  We all need to be open to the gifts of spring.  Each season brings its own energies, but I love spring as it brings hope that there is always new life and new opportunities birthing!

May the blessings of new growth, warming days, gentle rains, awaken our hearts and souls to move with the natural rhythms of spring.

Peacefully, Jane

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Jane Rosalea Brown, BA, CSW

USUI Reiki Master, Natural Sound Sessions

Author In Silence, Discovering Self through Meditation

Author name: Jane Rosalea Booth

 

 

 

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