Encouraging people to evolve and create new opportunities at any age.

About Sacred Spaces

and the Relationship Between Schedules and Freedom

One of my New Year's goals is to incorporate what I'm calling "sacred spaces" into my everyday life.  Even as I was writing it down, I realized this will be difficult for me.  It's like another of my perennial goals:  "practice piano more regularly."  I want to do it and I mean to do it.  But, all too frequently, I don’t get around to it.  On my days off, I regularly find all kinds of activities calling for my attention (wipe off the kitchen counters; re-arrange the shoes in my closet).  At the day's end, I discover (to my surprise!) that I don't have time left to practice piano. 
O.K., I admit that I love to "drift" about the house on my days off, with nothing significant that I must do. The quite intelligent and natural solution for this is, of course, to schedule those activities that always seem to fall from consciousness.  The problem with this intelligent solution is – emotionally, I associate schedules with lost opportunities to be free and unencumbered.  If you are familiar with the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory, my preferences are for spontaneity.  Julie Andrews reportedly said she likes discipline and that by embracing it, she has more freedom!  I’ve pondered this statement numerous times since I read it.  My first response was negative -"Well, good for her!" 
As I was recording my resolutions, I drew some boxes on the page.  These boxes were my versions of "sacred spaces."  I was going to write in various goals for these spaces.  All at once, I realized that before I drew the boxes, the page was simply open space - nothing planned - no must do's – which should have felt satisfying to me.   But it wasn't.  The result of too much open space - with no separate sacred spaces - is that nothing is "special."
I will need to re-frame "scheduling" as a positive activity - one I can do to make sacred spaces special.  My viewing â€œscheduling” as a negative has kept me stuck in a battle with myself - the yearly dilemma.  
I received a lovely gift from my daughter-in-law, Sophie:  Why Can’t I Meditate?  by Nigel Wellings, a psychotherapist in Bath, England. I’m starting to read it, in the hopes that it will facilitate my personal meditation – one of those sacred spaces I’ve delineated in my journal.
Wellings suggests making a ritual for meditation by trying the following:
  • Create a set time and place
  • Make the place special; e.g., have a candle or other special objects on a nearby table
  • Have a special chair – or cushion
  • Start meditating – and then pause.  Focus on where you are and your intentions for the time.
  • Make a wish inspired by what motivates you; e.g., “May I be more accepting of myself and others.”
He ends his suggestions with this: 
“And then practice with kindness.”  (Page 62 of the book)

Sisters Me

Terry Gray
Hi- this is my little corner of input for Kendra’s Newsletter. I’m calling it: Sisters Me because I have many wise sisters both related and acquired. (I am fortunate to have many bothers too- also related and acquired.) I rely on their wisdom, experiences, insights and love. In this corner of the newsletter- I will share some on those benefits.

Negative Space

I love this term learned years ago in a design workshop.

Negative space, in art, is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. (Wikipedia)
Since life is art- this term comes in very handy when too much is swirling around on my current canvas- week, day, hour.  Sometimes negative space presents itself as a lovely gift in the midst of the busiest of times.  I travel by train at least once a week for business.  The commute is about 45 minutes each way.  I use this time to prepare documents for work, read, enjoy the scenery or listen to an audio book or TED Talk.

Last week, I listened to a talk given by Robin Morgan: 4 Powerful Poems about Parkinson’s and Growing Older.  I have listened and watched the talk several more times since. The poems are rich with many though provoking phases- I’d like to share a few: paraphrased:
Not diminished- but distilled-the person distilling into
You bring to the cause the person you already are
Growing small requires enormity of will
In an emptying space- space glimmers
Understated power- quiet beauty
I hope you have time to listen or view Robin Morgan’s TED Talk. Enjoy your negative spaces, the person you are and person you are distilling into.
Join the conversation….

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The Dr. is in…the Graden:
Hypertufa Workshops at various locations including McKee and Heathcote Botanical Gardens 

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