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The past weeks in our March Mindful Tuesday Series we have addressed breath and physical levels of our Being. Today let’s understand more about the subtleties of mind and spirit. 

It used to trouble me when people said, ”Just calm down, relax, calm down, take it easy, slow down.”, without any direction on how to do this.  In our fast paced world, it doesn't make sense sometimes, does it? 

However, as we hear more, feel more, see more, the truth is, slowing down and calming down is where awareness and real life happens. 

When we calm down, we're not rushing by the flowers. We can see them. 

We have the time to really hear what somebody is saying, beyond the words. We look more slowly, and deeply and see things differently.

An example of seeing things differently: Michelle Butt, facial awareness expert, sees many things differently. I said to her the lines around my nose and mouth were getting deeper. Michelle told me from her study and knowledge of face, they mean, “You have found your life purpose.” My whole perspective shifted to see the beauty and my purpose expressed in my face.

So how to slow down? 

Many times we say, take a deep breath to slow down. 

In addition to helping you slow down when you pay attention to the breath, pay attention to its qualities. 

Is it long? Is it short? 

Is it hot? Is it cold? 

Is it choppy? Is it smooth? 

Is it deep? Is it shallow? 

There's no right or wrong answer. It's the growing awareness that is important.  With awareness, we enter more into the subtle and in the subtle, it is more about the mind and the spirit. 

When we're in the gross physical world, we're very much involved with objects of our five senses. When we smell, when we touch, taste, hear and see they all involve use of specific organs of the body.  There is an effort required and involved. We're doing something or responding physically to external stimuli in the physical world. 

In the subtle worlds of the mind and the spirit, effortlessness is the requirement. There is nothing to do. The less we do, the more happens or rises there. 

Often when I have a problem and go to sleep, in the morning I have the answer or a strategy. Why is that? Because I just let go of the whole process. In effortless rest, subtle energies come together in a way that bring them to the gross action world.

There are two things that go on simultaneously in this life - we need awareness of them both. There's the physical action world and the subtle world where intentions are and desires arise. To want to do something about these interferes with the world of manifestation. Bst is to let it be with awareness. Meditation does this.

To meditate we relax the mind. Let go and recognize…

  • I am nothing. I'm not a mother. I'm not a sister. I'm not a professional. I'm not a Canadian.  or from whatever country I just am nothing.I am as innocent as when I was born - no labels or identities
  • I do nothing. I don't fidget with my papers. I don't fix my hair. I don't want a drink of water. I do nothing for the time that I sit here.
  • I want nothing.  I don't need or want anything except what this abundant present moment brings to my awareness. 

Thinking these three things helps reduce stress and bring us to complete presence, here and now. Then we can access the subtle energies, which are bigger than the gross physical world. 

Different rules apply to the subtle and the physical worlds. In the physical world of action, effort is needed.  In the subtle realms, effortlessness is needed to manifest. 

So let’s take a few minutes to experience what is here, to align and strengthen for whatever comes our way today. 

Yoga Nidra is an awareness scan of the body, to relax and be present. 

Settle into your chair or lying or sitting on the floor. 

As you feel comfortable you can close your eyes.

Take a breath in and breathing out, let it go. 

Another breath in, and as you let go become aware of the right foot.

Right calf, right knee, right hip and thigh.

Awareness of the whole right leg. 

Keep relaxing, now take a breath and become aware of the left foot, left calf, left knee, left thigh and hip. The whole left leg.

Become aware of the pelvis, groin, abdomen and stomach. 

Awareness of the lower back, middle back, the upper back.

Awareness of the chest.

Become aware of the right shoulder, right arm and hand.

Move awareness to the left shoulder, left arm, left hand.

Awareness to the neck, chin, cheeks, back of the head, ears, forehead and the top of the head. 

The whole body. The whole body without trying to change anything. If there is any place that's uncomfortable just let it be for a minute. Just let the sensation be, with no judgment.

Rest a while. 

Take a breath in and smile. Smile breathing in and smile breathing out. 

When you feel ready, slowly, very slowly, open the eyes. Bring this awareness and greater calmness to all you do today, and this week.

Illusions:  When we slow down and pay attention we notice things we have not noticed before. We see what is really going on, and the illusions created with speed.

Maybe you have been to a circus or seen a busker who does fire tricks. They light up a baton or stick and then whirl it around to make a circle of fire. It is the speed that makes the stick circle of fire. We know it is an illusion, and enjoy it. 

Where do you enjoy or get frustrated by illusions?

Please add some ideas in the comments below.

Slow down, enjoy, keep calm, keep smiling. Have a great week. 

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