Friday, March 27, 2020

Free as caged birds

It's Friday. I have been working all week, sitting among my books and all sorts of creature comforts. I have been productive. I have seen all my clients, virtually, so far this week. There's a sense of  peace in such productivity and maintenance of certain aspects of my practice. At home, we are well, we engage with each other, although not as much as I thought we would. Each of us in our little corners minding our to-dos, lovingly supporting each other.

It's Friday and I am craving homekeeping. So I decided to pull out the laundry and wash some clothes between sessions. I find that the day is absolutely beautiful as sunlight flows through the downstairs glass windows. It is a nice contrast from the natural darkness of my sweet cave. As I move about, I can sense a sadness that I had not been aware of. And I get it. I have been working from home for a long time, even if I keep a separate office and teach on-site at the university. Home is still base for me. We are a work-from-home family, as so many others are. Yet, it has been our option. The sense of obligation to stay home takes away from the choice, from the sense of having the freedom to choose to work from home. The feeling hurts even more because the reasons to stay home are so dire. The feeling of uncertainty, lack of control and powerlessness are taking their toll. I get it. I understand.

There's a collective ache that ails us. And the initial freedom some of us felt at being able to stay home and decide over our time and activities is wanning. As quarantine measures expand and get stricter, our states of mind deteriorate, our moods sulk, our hearts sadden, and our souls forsake joy. This affects our mental health, our relationships, our physical health, and our sense of wellbeing. We become dispirited.

It will be to our benefit, to our highest good, to allow these circumstances to be without our insistence on their wrongness. Today is a good day to accept that it is what it is and to find our freedom in our seclusion. We have liberty in what we choose to think, believe and feel. We have freedom in what we choose to share on social media and in our contributions. We can choose what we read, what we write, what we entertain ourselves with. We can tend to our plants, pet our pups, stretch our bodies, learn something new, play, meditate, doodle, finally create that blog, nurture hope, workout, and catch up with long forgotten dreams. And we can sing. We can always sing.

Image found at pinterest.com.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Retreat

They say that time heals all wounds. Time heals. Time is a master, a teacher, a healer, a friend. It is a gift. Time has been gifted to us to commune, to feel and to join soulfully in the collective suffering of this pandemic. This is a time to learn and to cooperate with others and with what is. This is a time to rest, to mend and amend.

We rarely have these opportunities to connect with what matters. We now have a chance to connect more mindfully with others, to enrich our relationships, especially with ourselves. Today is a good day to retreat where we are. Let's take this period to reflect, read, write, play, laugh, dream, and reset our hurried clocks. Let's take this time to fill our bodies with deep and slow breaths. That we may feel fully what we don't regularly take the time to feel. Let's retreat into communal and physically distanced solitude, to be closer than ever in a common ground of experience. Let's draw back and return more conscious, more mindful, more peaceful, and ever-thankful for this gift of time.

Image found at fineartamerica.com.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 23, 2019

The timing of things

My dad has repeated to me over the years, especially when I was younger, before I finally learned the lesson, everything in its time. It took years and life experience for me to learn and appreciate what this really meant. I've been meditating on this thought throughout this summer. Everything in its time.

This summer was my time to disconnect a bit to sort, organize, attend to details, and center myself. We as a family are before the next steps on our individual and shared paths. Through this summertime I understood that it is time to walk my talk, to step in the direction that will lead to my next big goal, to simultaneously and in communion walk with my loved ones. Synchronicities all around me are supporting my decision. Words like wonder and adventure are popping up everywhere for me.

Today is a good day to meditate on the thought everything in its time. What is this time allowing us? What are we ready for? What can we focus on right now? What can we cultivate?

The contemplation during these summer months allowed to make soulful choices. I have decided to stop posting this blog for a while. It's the right timing of things. I'll always write, but, for the time being, I will focus on this wonder-full and adventure-filled time before me. I pray that you as well find the right timing of things and that we meet again, soon. I am so thankful to you for walking this path with me these past few years. In time, we’ll do it again. I send you love and light, always.

Image found at fineartamerica.com.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Do as you wish

I wish to travel. I wish to take whole summers off to write, abroad. I wish to spend more time with my family, to enjoy my husband and my son. There are so many things I wish for.

There are two ways in which I can look at my wish list. I can look at all the ways it's not happening right now or I can look at all the ways I'm making it happen. When I focus on the obstacles, I move further and further away from my dreams. Yet, I can do things that make me feel that I'm on the path.

Though I can't buy airplane tickets just yet, I can forgo the extra latte in the afternoon and put that money towards my travel fund. Though I can't take this summer off to write in Bali, I am working towards the long-term plan. That gives me tremendous joy. I don't feel the possibility, I feel more than that. I feel the probability, I feel the energy, I feel the joy at the thought, I feel how everything I am doing is unfolding according to my wish. Though I have had a bout of long work days, I'm dropping everything to connect with my husband and my son every chance I get. I practice everything that I have learned and teach about productivity and efficiency to be able to do that. I do as I wish.

Today is a good day to do as we wish. When we do as we wish, we invoke our wishes, we break the centrifugal force of the status quo that keeps us stuck in place. Let's not work against our goals, dreams and desires. Let's work towards them. Let's not focus on what we don't like or want, on the impediments, on the naysayers, on negative experiences, or pessimistic views. Let's call on our intentions and infuse everything we think, say and do with them. Let our thoughts, words, attention and actions be in the spirit of what we want. Let's do as we wish and charge our course to make it happen.

Image found at pinterest.com.


© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Incantation

He posted a meme about words and spells and why it's called spelling. Right on! I absolutely love this meme. It's about how we create everyday magic.

For many of us, positivity and optimism may not come so easily. Getting chipper when times are gloomy may not be in our nature. But we don't help ourselves when we use words in ways that bring us or keep us down. Words have power. They are magicians' most powerful tool. Words are our most powerful tool. What we say to ourselves can keep us angry, discouraged, heartbroken, pessimistic, stuck, frustrated, jealous, and low-spirited. Conversely, what we say to ourselves can inspire us, uplift us, free us, enlighten us, soothe us, support and encourage us, and move us forward.

Today is a good day to use the energy of our words for our own good. If we're at a point where being positive is too big a leap, then let's inch forward with words that bring neutrality to our moods. When we can't get there, the thought of this too shall pass can help. Our words can bring alchemy to any situation or relationship. We can bless or curse, respect or blaspheme, lift or burden, learn or victimize ourselves, move on or blame, understand or judge, respond or react, help or drag, raise hopes or cast fear, deepen heartfelt bonds or break us apart. What we say affects us and affects others. Our words can attract or repel, open dialogues or be disagreeable, invite goodwill or damper cooperation, collaboration and empathy, hurt or comfort. What we say to ourselves and others can transcend or bind. What will we say today?

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© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Pain speaks

I know better. I know better! But here I am again, ignoring what I’ve learned, and feeling the pain I tried to numb. Now, what started off as a slight pain in my lower back has become a throbbing, shooting and electricity-throwing pain that makes sitting, walking and laying down an almost impossible feat.

If you’ve ever been to the dentist for a tooth removal, you know what it feels like when the Novocaine finally wears out. If you’ve had a cesarean section, you know what it feels like when the spinal anesthetic wears off. If you’ve had a cold sore, you know how your lip wants to fall off when the numbing gel no longer numbs the soar. Each of these instances requires that we pay attention in different ways to our bodies. That we take care of an issue. Before going to the dentist, the hospital or the pharmacy, pain alerted us that something was not right. We either heed and take care of the underlying issue or we numb it, ignore it, and then finally deal with it. In the end, we must feel the pain, listen to it and take care accordingly.

I should have listened. My back was whispering stop, take care, rest, recharge. I ignored it and now it’s screaming I told you to stop, take care, rest and recharge! 

Today is a good day to, in a similar way, listen to what our pain is telling us. Whether physical, emotional or spiritual, pain is an indicator that something is out of alignment, out of sync. Numbing the pain through substances, food, medication, alcohol, neglectful behavior, binge tv-watching or social media marathon sessions does not deal with it. Numbing the pain does not resolve what is causing it. Sooner or later we have to deal with the cause. Let’s pay attention to our pain. Let’s be aware of where it points to, of what is asking for our attention, of what needs tending to, of what changes we need to make, what patterns we need to break, what new habits we need to form, which emotions we need to deal with, and what consciousness we need to keep. Only then can we relieve the pain and heal.

Image found at fineartamerica.com.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Hungry?

When I'm happy, I eat like it's nobody's business. I don't even mind one bit. I can eat. And I enjoy it so very much. The only thing that ever affects my appetite is anger. It hasn't been a big deal in the last few years. Yet, recently, in dealing with an issue about unneighborly neighbors, I noticed my hands were shaking, I had a headache and my body felt frail and weak. I suddenly realized I had skipped lunch...and dinner. I was not even hungry. I was filled with anger. But that anger was not doing anything good for my body. Nor was it doing anything good for my mind or my spirit. I was frazzled, confused, graceless, unproductive, snippy, and uninspired. I needed to eat.

Our bodies are so affected by our mood states. Temples of our souls, our bodies need more tangible sustenance than mere emotions. With proper nourishment, a sense of healing can make ready the way for us to feel good, to sort things out, to mend. With proper nourishment of our bodies, we can help nurture our souls. When we’re sad, angry, depressed, or anxious, taking care of our bodies is vital to our healing, our clear-thinking and our feeling good.

Today is a good day to check in with our moods and frames of mind. With an awareness of how we are feeling, we can consciously make healthier choices for our bodies and our minds. That awareness can help us get clarity and presence of mind, composure, serenity, and a sense of calm. That awareness can help us choose better thoughts to feed our mind and better actions to sustain our bodies, energizing our general sense of wellness. Once we realize how we are feeling, we can choose, not from that feeling, but from a higher awareness of that feeling, to do something good for both our bodies and minds, and for our souls.

Image found at thephuketnews.com.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 12, 2019

If you must know

Once you know, you know. Once you know, you can't deny it. Once you know, you are shaped by what you know. Choices, perceptions, interactions, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions are under the influence of what you know. But to know, you have to be aware. And to be aware you have to be present. You have to be wholly here, now.

Sometimes we feel something is off. Maybe our stress level is higher than usual, or relationships are in distress, our health is suffering, our jobs are in jeopardy, or our creativity is gone. Maybe we just can't seem to get anything right. Or maybe we just don't have any motivation. Whatever it is, we talk about it, complain about it, judge it, look into it, research it, and consult about it, but we can't seem to figure it out. We just can't seem to know. What if, instead of trying to know, we do nothing?

Today is a good day to do nothing about it. Let's be here right now without a plan, except to be aware. Let's tune in to our bodies, our feelings, our emotions, our moods, and our thought currents. Let's tune in and create no thought about it. Let's just be aware without any conclusions or opinions. Let's pay attention. In this mindful state we become conscious and knowing. What could we learn without our interference and resistance? In practicing mindful awareness, what can we know?

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© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The difference

Nothing changed. No-thing in her life changed. Everything was the same. Her job was just as far away from home, her mother was just as critical, her ex-boyfriend was just as un predicatble, her relationship with her family was just as complicated, and her circumstances were just as difficult. Yet, she was calm, healthy and, even, happy. She finally realized that though she controlled nothing, it was all up to her.

What we experience has less to do with others and external factors and more to do with our perception of others and those external factors. We can accept what is or resist it. In acceptance, we grow and flow. In resistance, we struggle and exhaust ourselves. Our perception can help us deal with what is or can block us. We can see every obstacle or every challenge. We can see every ordeal or every adventure. We can see the annoyance or the opportunity to exercise patience and to grow in understanding.

Today is a good day to change nothing, except the way we see things. Life is full of events. The meaning of those events is up to us. We can see things in ways that are helpful to us or in ways that will hinder our personal evolution. Let us see things as happening for us and not to us. In seeing differently, we give ourselves a break from thoughts that bring us down to thoughts that lift us up and carry us through. Between a life full of meh and a life full of growth and joy is our perception. And that is the difference.




Image found at teleflora.com

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Growing

This is probably the wisest thought I have ever resisted: it is in crisis that we grow. I´m a very pragmatic person. I like to flow. I avoid obstacles. I plan. I organize. I like things to go as expected. I wouldn´t say I like it easy. But I like the flow, uninterrupted. So accepting complications and hurdles was not easy for me. That is until I started to appreciate the challenge, the growth, the evolution, until I started to see what I perceived as difficulties in a new light. I started to see things as happening for me instead of to me. In relaxing my defensiveness and resistance, I gained clarity and openness.

What is your challenge right now? What are you struggling with? What are you resisting? Could you see it without judgment? Could you accept it as it is? What can you learn from this experience? How can you grow as a result of it?

Today is a good day to set our emotions aside, to detach feeling from our thoughts of our present circumstances. We grow when we bust out of our comfort zone. We bust out of our comfort zone only when we accept our situation as it is, not wishing it were different, not opposing it or denying it. If we are able to see things as they are, without judgment, we are able to change them and in changing them we are brave, we are wise and we grow.
Image found at mandalasforthesoul.com

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.