In the Now

Art work by Carina Francioso

In the Now _ L' oggi

In the Now

What keeps us from living in the now?

Perhaps it is nostalgia that binds us to yesterday

or hope that leads us to tomorrow.

And yet there was a time in which the present

belonged to us, remember?

As a child there was no space for the past

Everything was a game, a discovery, a passion

Until we moved further away from ourselves.

– from the Italian poem “L’oggi” by Anna Ciardullo Villapiana,

English Translation by Carina Francioso

 

A sweet friend of mine sent me a book with Italian poems as something to pass my time while my fractures are healing. As I am reading the poem above, I am listening to the sounds of spring that enter through the open window. There is the humming of a lawn mower, birds chirping, a few children playing outside, and I am involuntarily transported back to my childhood.

Afternoons felt long, Sundays back then seemed endless. There was this feeling of a whole wonderful day stretching in front of me. Time for leisure, for play, for stillness… rolling down the hill or just sitting on the lawn, feeling the earth underneath and the lush grass, picking daisies, connecting them to a reef to place on my head; looking for four leafed clovers, and feeling so lucky when I found one, knowing that I just had to look long enough; dandelions weren’t weeds back then, they were marvellous wonders in their white costume to be blown all over the back yard.

As children the present really belonged to us, our mind could so easily just be in the now. Today, I need my daily meditation or a vacation—or two broken legs—to be in the same way, to be completely in the now. Sometimes I long to be five years old again to feel like time is standing still, like I have nowhere to go, nowhere to be but here.

That longing inside comes from our soul, which needs to stop to contemplate our humanness and the journey that we are on. It needs to feel gratitude and joy. It needs to slow down at times, right down to almost stand-still, to feel our true essence.

 

True-Essence

“True Essence”  by Carina Francioso

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Angelika, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca, 905-286-9466

Just Let It Be – Easy Meditation Mantras

There are many different forms of meditations. There are silent meditations, chanting meditations, guided meditations using imagery, and many other traditions of meditation. When we are in a deep meditation—similar to when we go into a hypnotic state—we lose track of time. We experience a wonderful right brain state of “connectedness” with all there is.

We usually make getting into a meditative state more complicated than it needs to be. As mentioned in my blog “I Just Can’t Meditate”, meditation means bringing and keeping your attention on what is right now in this very moment in time, letting past and future go, being present with whatever shows up, being mindful.

We live in a fast paced world. Everybody and everything around us is always “go, go, go”. In order to fit in and to survive in this reality, we adapt to the fast pace. Slowing down in this time of constant doing and rushing can seem like an enormous task of mindfulness. How can we outwardly move with everybody else, and inwardly find this place of stillness, a slower pace?

Mantras can be very helpful when meditating. Close your eyes and become aware of your breathing. Allow each breath to be full, deep and complete. Make sure your belly rises on each inhale and falls on each exhale. When we are anxious we take very shallow breaths. Just shifting to deep belly breathing is like pushing a relaxation button.

When you have taken a few deep belly breaths, begin to say silently to yourself with each inhale “I slow down”. On each exhale think “I let go”. And become a non-judgmental observer. Notice—without judgment—what or where you are holding on to.

Sometimes we have resistance to letting things go, or we don’t know how to let go. Continue to say “I slow down” on your in-breath and experiment with “I release. It doesn’t matter anymore” on your exhale. Notice how the second mantra feels in your body.

I release

One way of letting go is to let things be. What if we stopped trying to make things different? Or what if we stopped wishing things were different? What if we just accepted them as neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong, but just as they are?

Continue to say “I slow down” as you breathe in and say to yourself “I let it be” on your exhale. Notice how it feels in your body to let things be.

I let it be

Letting it be is the ability and willingness to see a situation for what it is, without judgements. Having the willingness to see what really is, increases our ability to respond, our response-ability. And we can then take action steps from a place of calm and love, rather than from a place of resistance and upset.

Most of us have a longing to go home, to be relaxed, at peace, to feel absolutely loved. Another very effective meditation mantra is “I am arriving” on your inhale, “I am home” on your exhale. Focus on your heart as you use this mantra and allow yourself to feel at home in your heart, supported, protected and loved by Mother Earth and the Universe.

I am home

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