Living a Spirited Life

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    The sweet sounds of nature wake me from my slumber, as the dreams from the night before roll swiftly through my consciousness. Moving slowly, I reach over to my nightstand to write my thoughts, feelings and pictures from my dreaming mind into my journal nearby. Moving into a place of more wakefulness and awareness, I feel my dog, Java, pressed firmly against me under the covers-still sound asleep, yet her tail begins to thump, thump, thump with joy and anticipation once she realizes my eyes are open and there’s movement.

    The tiny white teacup that sits on my nightstand is upside down from the prayer session the night before, and as I move to get out of bed, I think about what it is that I want to bring into my day. I pray, and I turn the cup right side up, so as to signify the empty vessel of the new day and all that is available. By this time, Java has usually slithered off the bed and is wagging joyfully-looking at me with her trademark "corner of the eye" look. She’s ready to bounce into a new day. So am I.

    As I move on to the "drinking tea, feeding the dog, and checking e-mail" stage of my morning, my intention is to move slowly and consciously. There’s a rhythm that I have each morning and it feels like easing into things rather than an avalanche. It wasn’t always that way. Looking at my calendar for the day, I make sure that I have time to focus on my business, time to have fun, time to spend with Java and friends, and flexible time to decide how I want to spend the rest of my day. Creating a calendar that is balanced has helped me immensely, and at the end of the day, I have an incredible sense of accomplishment when I cross things off my list. I often listen to some sort of new age music while I’m at my computer and sometimes have a candle lit-just to remind me to engage all of my senses in a beautiful way-even when I’m staring at a computer screen.

    After I set my calendar, I begin my morning meditation. In just 15 minutes, I come to yet a quieter, more centered place within myself. And once the day is off and running, I don’t feel like I have to run to keep up with it. I’ve learned to stay in the moment so much more-to appreciate the incredible taste (and feeling!) of eating organic blueberries and granola with soymilk in my home, instead of the past when I slammed down a cold piece of toast while I was racing in my car to my next destination.

    Throughout my day, I stop to remember how blessed I am to be alive, and that I have choices to make in every moment. What I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older and wiser is that life slows down to a blissful state when you are in the moment. Many of my days are filled with phone calls, animal training and healing sessions, sitting at the computer, or promoting my work, but what’s always consistent is that I’m as grounded as I can be, because I take the time to get there and stay there when I wake up. Small things remind me throughout the day-usually it’s my dog who grabs a toy so we can play, or asks to go outside-those subtle reminders to stop, take a break, play and exhale.

    I can’t remember a morning in a really long time where I didn’t wake up with joy and gratitude in my heart and a big smile on my face. And that smile usually stays there until I turn my prayer cup over at the end of the day-giving thanks for all of the glorious moments throughout my day, and snuggling up with Java to head into dreamland once again.

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