Savoring the Moments of Joy and Wonder

As we hurry during this season of holidays, gatherings, and family commitments, it is easy to get caught up in an endless bustle of expectations to fill – people to please; gifts, meals, and visits to make. We stop living in the moment and truly experiencing what we are doing or feeling. I’ve been making it a practice to spend some part of each day this season to relish what is right in front of me and fully immerse myself in that moment. It might be a short blip or a longer period of time but I want to savor that moment and embed its meaning into my heart.

I am sharing a few of these experiences with you in the hopes of encouraging you to also find daily ways to bring meaning into your heart during the holiday season.

Ladybugs

Yesterday I spent 30 minutes looking at the ladybugs that appear on my windows when the sun is just right. In the winter, there are only a few. Yesterday my 2 ½ year old grandson was with me. This was the first time he had examined these harbingers of good luck. We watched them crawl along; move towards and away from each other; and then hide in the sides of the window frame. They love finding warm cozy spaces to hibernate over the winter. My grandson and I had a joyous half an hour focusing on these spotted red bugs. We coaxed a few to come crawl on our bare feet and rejoiced when they spread their wings and flew onto our legs or arms. We admired their unique spots, each different but still entrancing. By the end of this shared interlude, “lady bug” had become a favorite word for my grandson.

Birch Stand

I love walking outside in the colder weather. Over the years I have collected the perfect combination of pants, sweaters, jackets, headbands, and gloves so I can stay warm enough. I love seeing the bare branches of the trees as much as I love the seasonal changes of the leaves. What gives me a sense of wonder during winter forest walks is being able to clearly observe the structure of the trunks and branches of the trees.

My particular favorite is a stand of birches. They are so sturdy looking, but also flexible and able to flow with the shifting winds. Their bark shimmers in the sunlight in places, yet holds sections of darker shadows so that the trunk surfaces appear deeply textured. I notice how they group together and I imagine their intermingled roots communicating underground. Then I envision all that is surrounding the roots – the mycelium that spreads out even farther than the birch roots, connecting up disparate parts of the forest to each other. It makes me reflect on the networks that abound throughout nature. I remember that I am part of that networking of nature and also in my human relationships.

Eyes

Gazing into the eyes of a new born, I am prone to becoming hypnotized. I remember that my own newly born children seemed to be emanating such wisdom when they stared at my own eyes or just beyond the edge of my face. What were they thinking? They seemed unshielded, allowing me to truly see who they were. They had yet to learn to hide part of themselves and I was given an honest and deep glimpse into their souls.

Nowadays we are wearing masks and can’t see half of our faces when we meet out in public. The eyes must take the place of our facial expressions in order to communicate basic emotional responses. Because of this, are we learning to disarm the barriers we have erected? So that we can communicate more clearly with our eyes? Are we being forced to really look into the eyes of others in a way that we have habitually not as we became socialized? I’m enjoying observing the eyes of others more deeply these days. They have so much to say.

The Fleece

As I put on my claret-colored fleece and zip it up, I instantly feel warm and comforted. I appreciate this article of clothing for its beauty, durability, and symbolism. I have no other clothing quite the color of it, so it feels unique. I bought it many years ago when it felt like an extremely extravagant purchase. I was in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho on a hiking trip with my best friend. I saw it in a small coffee shop with a sideline of hiking apparel and instantly wanted it. But I didn’t think I could spare the money nor did I think I deserved it. I was a single mom with little extra cash and the hiking trip was already a stretch for my budget.

How dare I buy this beautiful fleece for myself? My friend, who understand my predicament and knew how hard it was for me to do so, urged me, in the most loving way, to consider making this a gift for myself. Thankfully I was convinced and this fleece has accompanied me on many other adventures through the years. There is still a moment when I remember the loving kindness from my friend, each time I slip it on.

Wishing you the very best holiday season!

Sheila Peters helps clients and students regain their natural flow of energy and increase wellness through techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine, shamanic practices, reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, intuition/channeling and movement. For more information, email Sheila at: sheilapetersdance@gmail.com, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.

© 2021 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.

Listen More

Listen more…..

2 words, 3 syllables. This is what came to me last night as I fell asleep. What could it mean?

As I sat drinking my tea this morning, these were my reflections on the message.

We need to be listened to; we need to be heard; we need to be witnessed as human beings going through challenging times amidst multiple changes in our world. We need a chance to voice our thoughts as a way to work out our reactions to what is occurring around us. We might feel differently the next day or week or month but, in this moment, it helps to be listened to.

I finally saw my granddaughters the day after Thanksgiving – outside, masked, and distanced. Their exuberance and energy were a balm for the difficult day before, when I saw no one in person. These young beautiful girls are filled with the wonder and joy of life but they too need to be listened to. Their world has changed enormously in terms of friends, school, and seeing loved ones. It took patience on my part for them to begin to open up. As a listener, I had to get beyond the ennui of the older granddaughter who cloaks herself with disinterest and boredom to protect herself from some of the fears and worries that surround her. Finally, a challenge to climb a large boulder on the path broke through her façade, just after her shout about how everyone is treating her like a baby! Her truth came out, she was heard, and a smile broke out on her face.

Others find it easy to talk. They spill out everything they are thinking and feeling in an uncontrolled rush of verbiage. As a listener, it can feel overwhelming and off putting. I usually find myself breathing deeply to resist the urge to stop the flow of words coming at me. This is how these people need to express what is happening to them. The rampage will eventually wind down and clearer thoughts will emerge once the flood has subsided. Am I capable of waiting?

Sometimes, the listener also needs to speak, needs to be heard. When a dear friend let me cry out my woes recently, I felt less alone. I felt acknowledged and valued. I felt cared for. We are, after all, social animals. Communicating our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, fears, and dreams are part of the common experience. It helps us make sense of our lives.

Occasionally, we are both the listener and the speaker. We receive an insight or perception that explains a situation or creates an unexpected solution. It is a message from ourselves to ourselves. Intuition can be difficult to pay attention to or even hear at times. We must be patient and give the understanding a chance to make itself known. We can breathe deeply and resist the temptation to ignore what is trying to emerge.

Listening is a gift. A gift for those around us and a gift for ourselves. In this season of giving, perhaps listening more is the gift that is most needed.

Listen more…

Sheila Peters helps clients and students regain their natural flow of energy and increase wellness through techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine, shamanic practices, reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, intuition/channeling and movement. For more information, email Sheila at: sheilapetersdance@gmail.com, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.

© 2020 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.