What do do when you don't know what to do: Part 2

Photo by Josh Boot

Photo by Josh Boot

"Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action."
~ Mahatma Gandhi


Dear ones,

I’ve just come home from seeing a dear friend who has been suddenly thrown into an impossible situation, one that they must live through. I want to help as much as I can, but the circumstances are complicated and there is very little I can do to help except to reach out, love, be willing and able to act and to pray.

I wrote this poem when I got home. My hope is that if you find yourself in a difficult situation, or if one of your loved ones is also going through a hard time and you don’t know how you can help or you can’t help, that these words bring some comfort.

 

 

When you don’t know what to do,

you can pray.

And even if you do know what to do,

you can pray.

 

You can pray to god or goddess,

the universe, your higher self,

wisdom, the Light

or even just the goodness that exists in the world

no matter how hidden it seems.

 

You can pray for yourself, for another

or for all sentient beings.

 

You can pray on your knees, on the train, driving the car,

sitting on the toilet, in the shower, walking down the street,

in a church, in a forest, in the office,

wherever it is that you are.

Even if you don’t believe in prayer,

you can pray.

Prayer is a request, a statement of longing, desire or intention.

It can be a plea for help or guidance.

Often it is a gesture of gratitude.

 

Whatever your circumstances right now,

whether it be heartbreak, hopelessness, despair,

uncertainty, confusion, depression,

fear or shock in the aftermath of a bombshell,

joy, contentment, gratitude,

seeking, longing, or dreaming,

you can pray.

 

You can pray to bless or be blessed.

You can pray to uplift or be uplifted.

You can pray to heal or be haled.

How the world, needs so much of this right now.

 

You can pray with your own words,

or you can borrow the words of others,

or even use an ancient prayer.

 

Maybe you won’t notice any immediate change,

but there will be change

starting with you

because you won’t be the same person

as before you prayed.

Peace, connection, alignment and divine support will be yours.

The positive intentions that flow through your body

will ripple out into the world

and touch others

even if they don’t know it.

You will be strengthened.

You will contain more light.

And while you still may not know what to do,

your being present, willing and able,

and the pure intention of your heart

will be enough.

 

If you need to borrow some words to get started in prayer, the Shantideva prayer might be a good place to start.

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With love and courage,

Kym xx

How to effortlessly find the motivation to take action especially when it is hard, uncomfortable or unpleasant

Photo by @helloimnik via unsplash

Photo by @helloimnik via unsplash

A few weeks ago, to my surprise, my spirit urged me to start a running training program.

I’ve never been much of a fan of running. It can be pretty punishing on the body, boring and create a lot of discomfort mostly of the mental kind, where you want to quit because it feels hard but you keep pushing yourself to keep going, unless of course you do quit because you don’t win the mental battle and either walk, go home and/or never go for a run again.

Why running?

Well I’m not a fan of the gym, and while I love boxing (I trained in boxing for many years and was even going to try some amateur bouts until I sprained my ankle then suffered hip and back problems for a couple of years) I’m not feeling the call to go back to boxing right now.

My main goal is to move my body, get fit and feel good. My secondary goal is to work up to running 5 kilometres, just because it feels good to have to something to aim towards that will extend myself.

So I googled and found a simple training program that combines walking and running that builds up to only running over a number of weeks so that I can ease into it, build up strength and stamina and reduce the risk of injury by going too hard too soon.

It’s not been the best time of year to start training here in Melbourne. It’s winter. They days are short and cold, sometimes windy, and we’ve had a lot of rain. So you know what’s coming next….

Common excuses not to take action

Being winter gives me at least 4 reasons not to go outside and run:

  • It’s too dark.

  • It’s too cold.

  • It’s too wet.

  • It might rain.

 The other excuses I can come up with include:

  • I’m still sore from the last run.

  • I’m too tired.

  • It’s too hard.

  • I’ll go tomorrow.

My favourite and most consistent excuse is:

I don’t feel like it.

As humans, we’re pretty wired for comfort and safety. I think it’s a rare person who wakes up and says to them self…

“Gee I feel like getting out of my comfort zone today!”

Well at least I don’t wake up thinking that or saying to myself that I really feel like going for a run, although maybe one day I will. 

So far, three weeks into my training I haven’t missed a training session and I’ve managed pretty easily not to give into my excuses and allow them to stop me and this is why…

My secret motivation booster…

Last year, my teacher/coach introduced me to Kundalini meditation and yoga by prescribing some short meditative practices to help with anger and negativity, heart protection and self-love.  I’ve tried different styles of yoga over the years but never clicked with them the way I clicked with Kundalini yoga. I felt completely different after the first short 3-minute practice I was given.  Since then, I’ve been practicing almost every day.

One of the things that I love about the kundalini practice is that often there is time allowed to sit, breathe, notice the body and it’s energy and integrate the medicine of the practice. The energy in and around my body may feel different depending on the practice but there are usually very delicious feelings to feel.

I’ve transferred this practice of awareness and integration into my running training.

When I arrive home from a run, I sit for a few minutes and feel the energy that is around my body. Yes, my legs or feet or knees might feel a bit sore or achy, but the energy in and around my body feels light, vibrant, alive, vital, joyful and sometimes blissful.

It is by paying attention to how I feel after I’ve done the hard work i.e. the fruits of my labour that motivates me to go back and run again, to put myself through discomfort.

The running might be hard at times but the more I do it, the more I start to experience pockets of joy as I run. The more I pay attention to how I feel after running, the more I want to go back and do it again.

Bask in the goodness. Soak in all the delicious sensations.

Photo by Melissa Askew

Photo by Melissa Askew

It’s that simple. And it’s something we can apply to almost any difficult task we have to accomplish whether it be a university assignment, cleaning up a very messy house, making a difficult phone call we’ve been putting off.

Try it…

So I offer you this short practice to try:

  1. Drift back in time and remember something you accomplished that felt good to accomplish.

  2. Remember how you felt.

  3. Notice where the feeling is located in your body and what the sensations are like. It might not be in your body but just around your body in your energy field or aura.

  4. Name the feelings or sensations.

  5. Bask in the feeling and sensations.

Doing this will effortlessly build your motivation to take action because…

  1. You will more deeply map the feeling to your body and energy system.

  2. The next time you have to do something hard or uncomfortable, your body will remember the good feelings .

  3. Those good feelings will help you move through the uncomfortable part.

  4. It will become easier to take action and consistent action towards your goals because those good feelings are going to pull you towards them.

Try it and let me know how you go.

Oh and if you’re one of those people who does wake up in the morning looking forward to getting out of their comfort zone, I’d love to hear from you too. Let me in on your secret.

 With love and courage,

Kym xx

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PS This is me on my way back home from a run, rugged up for the cold and rain jacket on because it was possibly going to rain but it didn’t…


The wisdom of your younger self

photo by J R Korpa

photo by J R Korpa

When you were a kid, did you ever write a story about what you would be or what your life would be like when you grew up?

I did. And I found mine yesterday as I was tidying up and organising our cupboards.

I pulled out my storage box of cards, letters and other papers and started poking through the contents and there it was among some old schoolwork that my dad had kept for me and that I had put away and forgotten: a typed up and illustrated story that I wrote when I was 7 or 8 years old, titled When I’m grown up.

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 Here’s what I wrote:

When I’m grown up.

When I’m grown up I will be a nurse. I will also be bigger. And instead of being a nurse, I might be an artist. If I am an artist I shall draw wild birds and wild flowers. When I’m grown up I shall get married and have children. I shall buy a house and get a pool, I shall have fun with the children too. I shall take them to the circus. We shall go on holidays. When I have finished being an artist, I shall be a ballerina. I shall go over the world as a ballerina. When I am a bit older I shall quit being a ballerina and go back to my own country.

                        THE END

(because when you’re young all stories must formally end this way.)

I giggled joyfully when I read it and studied the pictures which include a red-framed painting of the wild flowers I would draw when I was an artist, a self-portrait of me as a very happy pink-crowned, purple tutu wearing ballerina, and a picture of me and my future husband with orange hair surrounded by colourful confetti.

It wasn’t just the pictures that delighted me but the innocence of the story and although I never became a nurse or ballerina, and haven’t had children or bought a house with a pool there is still a very sweet truth that lives within those words that has played out in my life.

I didn’t know then but I would help to care for my mum from the time I was age 11 as her muscular dystrophy deteriorated her physical condition and she became bed bound.

I also used the qualities of the nursing in my financial planning career by trying to improve systems and cultures, to care for what is sick or ill or not functioning well and finding ways to bring ease and joy.

I am a writer and a poet. I also dabble in painting and pastels for fun. Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally), my last two paintings were of an owl and tulips.

I have always loved being in water, from dad taking us to the swimming pool to beach holidays at my nana and papa’s house in Rosebud West.  Swimming, scuba diving, being in or near water is like oxygen for my soul.

My younger self used to love putting on her leotards and choreographing her own dance routines, especially to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I’ve never studied ballet or taken any other type of dance class for that matter except for line dancing and ballroom dancing that was part of compulsory physical education classes at school, but I have actually danced my way around the world: I’ve danced in Thailand, India, Bali, on boats in Indonesia, and I dance-walked parts of the Via Francigena in France and Italy —I dance-walked into St Peter’s Square when I arrived in Rome and completed my pilgrimage.

And yes I have come back to my own country. I’m living in Melbourne and not dancing all over the world at the moment but I don’t think I’m done being my version of a world-travelling ballerina just yet.

When I re-read my story of When I’m Grown Up, I can’t help but marvel at how my younger self easily and innocently dreamed up her life. She knew what she liked and what mattered to her and easily declared her willingness to follow her curiousity without second guessing herself.

Of course this was before all the seriousness of growing up and being an adult and having responsibilities and taking on ideas about what it means to be an adult and live a meaningful life took over.

Often we look to our older or future selves and even our higher selves for advice on how to live our lives and which direction to go, but I think that our younger selves have their own wisdom to offer that was gained before we unlearned our innocent ways and were taught how to succeed and fit into this world.

What wisdom does your younger self hold for you?
Is there something you forgot along the way to being an adult that you could pick up again that would bring you joy?

With love and courage,

Kym xx

Letting go of what you think life should look like

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For years, I leaned forward into a life I never arrived at.

I was preoccupied with everything I thought would make me happy and that would eventually make my life mean something important – like a successful career, financial security, overseas holidays, a home, a husband and family.

Then one day, during a prolonged period of extreme unhappiness, I quit.

I left a long-term relationship that I had over-stayed.

I quit my job without another job to go to.

Eventually I packed up my belongings to travel and be free for a while.

Unshackled from routine and my never-ending planning and doing, I found myself in wonder at this life and what it truly means to be alive.

Free of ties and blindfolds, free of commitment and expectation, I sank into the invitation to move the way my spirit moved me instead of the way I thought I should move through my life.

I began to see the magic all around:
in the blossoming of flowers,
in the setting of the sun,
in the kind and gentle touch of a lover,
in the sting of being misunderstood,
in the flow of following my intuition and the surprising terrain it guided me through.

I let go of what I thought life should look like and how it should unfold by becoming open and free and willing to see what could be possible.

I became a blank canvas for the universe to write on and through.

I began to experience the rapture of living in the aliveness that is only available now and cannot be deferred or chased.

Your life might not look like mine. You may not be called to the same adventure, to quit a job, to leave a relationship, to travel or to change careers. But there will be times during your life that you will be called to adventure in your own unique way.

You may resist or deny the call. Making life changes can be thrilling for some but scary for others. Resisting that step for too long can lead to pain and suffering or even a dulling of vitality or complete loss of joy.

My wish for you is that you don’t stay stuck in the resistance for too long.

May you gather your courage and your allies and supporters who really want the best for you and can hold space for your change.

May you find your way to let go of whatever may be holding your back, or find the energy of your tipping point to move you forward.

There is no formula for letting go and moving forward and it’s usually never as simple as just letting go as some people may tell you, although they may mean well.

There can also be a lot to learn from our resistance if we unpack and explore it, but staying stuck for too long can be unnecessary and unhelpful.

If you find yourself stuck and need some support to help you move forward, send me an email to kym@kymwilson.com.au. I’m here and ready to help.

With love and courage,

Kym xx

Medicine for the heart and soul

Photo by Harli Marten

Photo by Harli Marten

A few days ago I came across this most divinely beautiful youtube video recording of the Gayatri Mantra performed by Norwegian duo, Radical Devotion.

I have been listening and singing along to it several times each day and it has had such a profound effect on my body, heart and soul that I wanted to share it with you here. I feel more loving, kind, gentle, peaceful, compassionate, strong, centred and committed to helping others find their way.

I invite you to make yourself comfortable, close your eyes, and just listen to this song, which is a prayer to the divine asking for illumination of the mind or enlightenment.

Breathe in and rest here for a short time, soaking in the sweetness of this music, allowing it to touch your heart and move your soul and bring you home. It is medicine for all suffering.

If you can’t see the embedded image, click on the following link to take you to the Youtube video.:

https://youtu.be/PpLrJBNIoKU

Notice the quality of the silence at the end of the recording, how pristine it is, how still and unified the audience are.

Rest here for a while before you go on with the busyness of your day.

Perhaps you can take the qualities of love, compassion, peace and that stillness into your day so that this prayer may benefit you and all you come into contact with all day long.

What is the Gayatri mantra?

The Gayatri Mantra is a very ancient prayer; some say it is more than 5,000 years old and that is an unbroken chain, always being chanted by someone somewhere in the world.

The words of the mantra are:

Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ
Tat-savitur Vareñyaṃ
Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi
Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt

 There are many translations, but the one I am familiar with from Chameli Ardagh and Awakening Women is:

Throughout all existence
“That” essential nature illuminating existence
is the Adorable One.
May all beings perceive with subtle intellect
the magnificent brilliance of enlightened awareness.

Life can be endlessly busy.  There are important things we must do in this world, but for a moment I invite you to rest here in your heart. Many people and beings on this planet are hurting. Send yourself and them love.

From rest and love, a new world may grow.

With love and courage

Kym xx

A prayer and poem for earth day

Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner

Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner

Dear ones,

Today is Earth Day. All over the world events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. My dreaming is that one day we won’t need an annual Earth Day because we will live with reverence for Mother Earth and in harmony with her and each other every single day.

Today, may we give great thanks for all that the earth provides us:
Air to breathe.
Water to hydrate and cleanse us.
Food to nourish us.
Ground to support us.
Places of shelter.
Beauty and wonder to inspire us.
Creatures to walk beside us.

As I sat down to write this post, I hoped I would be inspired to write something my mind deemed as profound, but instead, I found myself returning to a simple gratitude poem I wrote some years ago when I was living in Phuket. I felt reluctant to share it at first, because it is steeped in a child-like innocence but it is because of its essence of innocence that I feel compelled to share it. Innocence is our true nature from which wonder and pure love arises.

 


Thank you for the sunsets

Thank you for the sea

Thank you for scuba diving

and all it has taught me.

Thank you for the stars

and the beautiful crescent moon.

Thank you for the sunrise

although sometimes it comes too soon.

Thank you for my family.

Thank you for my friends —

for all the support and love I receive,

I hope it never ends.

Thank you for my street dogs,

they remind me how to love.

Thank you for the aeroplanes

and the view they give me from above.

Thank you for this planet

I love it more than I can say.

Thank you for each breath I take,

and for each and every day.

Thank you for this freedom,

I’m grateful for so much choice.

Thank you for this life I live

I’ve so much to rejoice.

What are you grateful for today?

With love and courage,

Kym xx

To receive the day

Photo by Angelo Pantazis

Photo by Angelo Pantazis

 

Mid way through this warm autumn,

I sit and watch,

listen and breathe,

feel and appreciate

all the beauty of this season:

The softness of the daylight,

the cool breeze,

clumps of bronze seed pods

waiting to helicopter-fall

from the ash tree,

the thin pale blue sky,

birds chirping, magpies carolling,

shimmering strands of spider webs,

the sun gently warming my skin.

The earth endlessly offers us

so much beauty and nourishment

for free,

yet we rush on with our days,

with the busyness

of the consuming world

we were born into.

Change begins within each of us.

To receive the day

is different than to take.

To appreciate fully

what is freely and generously offered

fills the endless void of lack.

Wants fade away. Needs are fulfilled.

Joy, contentment and peace

are here

in front of us.


 

Dear ones,

Wherever you are in the world, whether it is spring or autumn, monsoon or dry season, I hope that you find many moments each day to be still and enjoy the beauty of this earth in the changing seasons.
May your problems dissipate or even go away.
May you find fulfilment in simplicity and just being here.
May you be inspired to create and to celebrate life and our beautiful mother earth.
May you be kind unto her, unto yourself and to each other.
May kindness become our prime currency now. We need it more than ever.

With love and courage,

Kym xx