Simple Gifts

Dear readers, many many changes continue to arrive for me in this transformation process. I don’t know how many times I will need to experience the expansions that follow every contracted dark period to truly trust it always goes that way, but it’s starting to seem like a pattern, for sure!

It’s been a rough transition to winter. Darkness. Heaviness. I feel it, and others are saying they feel it too. Not feeling festive. It feels like a time of intense transitions, peppered with fear, hopelessness, and sorrow about the conditions of the world. Some point to planetary events. It’s all shifting continuously, though. Things look different today than they did yesterday. I’ve started lately to question actual darkness out there in the world, and wonder whether it’s more a thing calling my attention to my own unexplored and disowned dark places.

That said, inspiration and support seem to come from the most unusual places! I thought I’d share with you some of those practices and ideas in case you might also benefit from that support.

The first is from William Samuel. I caught a reference to him on FB in some thread, and without knowing why, purchased the book The Child Within Lives. It’s a strange book, and I struggle to keep reading at times, but there have been two incredibly powerful concepts I’ve been practicing. One is recording “Glimpses”. This means journaling about beauty, insights, shifts. I write about nature sightings, like the amazing gray and crimson sky last night, or the gratitude I feel for friends or family interactions, or a new breakthrough in awareness. It seems to open a doorway for more of that to keep entering my life. Continuing the writing keeps the flow going.

The other concept is about giving. Giving in two ways: material and metaphysical. The first is simple – giving to those in material need without any expectation. I really finally got this with Samuel’s explanations of “giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s”. This opens up the flow of abundance at the material level. The other is giving or sharing insight with others. We might share or write of our insights and learnings, without trying to change or convince anyone of anything, or even assuming we know anything. This opens the flow of abundance for the spiritual or metaphysical level of being.

Opening these flows can significantly change the experience of living. It becomes possible to experience gratitude in a way that is unforced, and spontaneously, continuously arising. It may a little some time to establish the habit, and one should be aware one’s internal blocks to receiving may get in the way of moving toward such abundance. The flow seems to open up as little or as much as you do the practices.

Which brings me to the next practice gift I discovered: working to expand space and sensing of the body. There are many ways to approach this, and often people will do one of these, but not the other. Suzanne Durana-Scurlock, for example has resources that support this practice of opening and sensing the body. Any body practice can help with increasing self awareness, if curiosity about sensation and the felt experience is a part of it. Body based meditations by Reggie Ray in books and also video, are another way of building such skills. The reason for doing this is to make more space for experiences. Life wants to flow through us, unresolved feelings want to be finally felt so they can move on and out, and we need enough body container space to hold and tolerate what we experience. Allowing leads to transformation and freedom. The mind cannot conceive of how this is so, but it is what happens, nonetheless. (Sometimes we can need support to shift the patterns of constriction that block this openness. A skilled somatic practitioner can often help.)

Lastly, there is the expansion of attention to the fact of humans being not only a physical body, but also an energy body. Attending to this energy aspect of the body can be done in many ways, from Reiki, to qi qong, polarity practices, and a multitude of other practices. I’ve been trying out this Donna Eden practice.

These practices are opening up for me a different kind of connection to myself, to the season, to generosity and gratitude. It’s a wider space, a neutral orientation, an appreciation for the beauty that is all around. It comes and goes and hits me when I least expect it. To quote my favorite corny holiday movie, I’m finding it’s true that “Love actually IS, all around,” and then the real trick is just to let it in!

I want to express my deep gratitude to all those who have provided support to me last month, and ongoing. xo

About Cynthia M Clingan

Cynthia Clingan is a licensed professional clinical counselor in Columbus, Ohio who offers somatic psychotherapy, spiritual coaching, and meditation and mindfulness instruction.
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