The light is returning to our world here in Alaska, the new year beckons change on the horizon (we are gaining 5 minutes of light per day). I cannot readily see the sun on the horizon, mind you, as our home is nestled in the Eagle River valley between rising mountains but the meandering river below is frozen, and ready for ice skating! I have been reading about how to induce a meander, letting water do it's work of chiseling new paths and like a river, there is a grander purpose in our lives than simply reaching the final outlet. I've explored mine a bit and it continues to evolve. But for the new year, here is the intention I'd like to share with you.
1). For one year, I will become aware of my breathing, starting with moments in every single day where my mind goes to my breath, feeling, sensing, becoming aware of my breath, and lengthening the inhale and exhale. Why? Because awareness of breath takes one out of the constant bombardment of thoughts, slows down your actions, brings you into the present moment, creates spaciousness in your body, and is a VERY HEALTHY practice. Voila!
2). I will memorize a new poem every month. Even before creating poetry, it is taught by many teachers to copy works of art you love; there is great value in memorizing; it makes you "embody" the words and fills you with the intent and meaning of the poet and/or your own interpretation. It may make you laugh, or cry, or feel happy or sad...in other words, emote. Good for the soul. Click poetryfoundation.org for more.
January 2011 Poem: Wanting Sumptuous Heavens, by Robert Bly
No one grumbles among the oyster clans,
And lobsters play their bone guitars all summer.
Only we, with our opposable thumbs, want
Heaven to be, and God, to come again.
There is no end to our grumbling,
we want comfortable earth and sumptuous Heaven.
But the heron standing
on one leg in the bog
Drinks his dark rum
and is content.