Archives for posts with tag: silence
Starkingly
Sinnisterly
Seductively
Silence Swells
Filling Mouth
Then Lungs
Caught
Shelved
Taking My Breath Away
Sadistically
Stunningly
Sharply
Causing Pain
And Pleasure
Pregnant Belly
Vacuous Womb
Undigested Feeling
Surfaced Toxins
Shatteringly
Scythingly
Until Surrendering
Sweetly Asunder
Dividing Into Wholeness
With my compass pointing due North
I feel confident that I have found my way
With one gigantic step, I took the leap
Emerging into the light, out from the gray
 
On this other side, the sun shines brightly
Something I have never noticed before
Your rays dancing alongside me
Leading me to what’s in store
 
At times feeling calm and reassured
I take each step forward with confidence
While sometimes shaken with nerves and fret
My footing starts to lose its sure stance
 
So I stop and pause for a moment or two
To regain my faith and composure
Filling my lungs with your breath
It is invigorating and light, life-giving and pure
 
Then I feel the light shining down through me
Filling my every space with your wisdom
Giving me the strength to know without a doubt
That I am running to, not from
 
It can be so hard to hear the whispers
I need you to speak up please
Shout it out loud, write it in the sky
Make it drop from the trees
 
Everyday, I ask for your guidance
Then keep silence and space
So that you can respond
And grant me your loving grace
 
Now you surprise me with a test
You want to see if my resistance
Is strong enough to withstand the pressure
If all will collapse from my hesitance
 
I reassure you that I will not falter
For nothing can keep me from coming home
It is my strength and courage that you have gifted me
So that I no longer have to roam
 
KEEP THE FAITH.
 
With Love,
theDesignLife
 
With bags packed, its time to say goodbye
To the past and all its blunders, all its glory
Her heart knows no boundaries
And so she walks forward
 
With only the flickering of a light
Far off into the distance
She dusts off her courage
And summons her faith
 
Angels hark while guides whisper
Remain in silence
Be still in the darkness
To find your path
 
Still, fear of the unknown persists
Yet, with all her trust she places
In the hands of those unseen
She surrenders all that shes been
 
Steps taken forward
Make the light seem closer
Yet still far enough away
That prayers are her only guide
 
Her soul continues along this journey
Only knowing to grow toward the light
For the fire within is growing bright
 
GROW TOWARD THE LIGHT.
 
With Love,
theDesignLife

Day 8 – Thanksgiving Thankfulness – Pause: I spend most of my life putting one foot in front of the other, trying to take a few steps forward to further what I believe is progress – create new relationships, make more money, experience new things. Yet, every now and then, I take pause in order to reflect, reassess and recalibrate. I made a decision last June to take pause. I needed to quiet the… incessant chatter that was telling me what I should be doing; I needed to confirm whether or not I was walking down the right path. The silence revealed a hidden truth – that I was not being absolutely true to myself, to my greatest gifts, to my life’s purpose. To quote Meredith Grey in Grey’s Anatomy: “We may not like it, but it really is important to stop every once in a while, get out of your own head and see the bigger picture. Actually, finding out you’ve been looking at things all wrong can be sort of liberating. And suddenly you see new potential, new possibilities where you’d never seen them before.” In this light, I am finding a different path – one that speaks more from my heart than from my head, is focused more on quality over quantity and wants to tap more into my creative powers than my critical thinking skills. I know, without a doubt, that I have found the path that was meant for me, and I am loving the things I discover as I traverse it. Thank you. Xx

universality
the quality of being universal; existing everywhere
 
u·ni·ver·sal
of, affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases.
 
I love running along the West Side Highway.  Its paved paths, scenic views and fellow runners provide the perfect mix of utilitarianism, inspiration and motivation to keep me going.   
 
The path closest to the West Side Highway serves bikers while the waterfront one serves runners.  I typically opt to run on the biker path, prudently sticking to the far edge of the narrow lane so that I minimize my nuisance to the bikers racing by me.  I like it because it is the path of least resistance.  It is the first path I encounter of the two.  Since getting me out to run in the first place requires a strong dose of willpower, I am overly eager to start running the millisecond my heel hits the black pavement of the biker’s path.  The bliss of starting so that I am that much closer to stopping outweighs the desire for full frontal waterfront views. 
 
Today, for whatever reason, I decided to cross over to the runner’s path.  Most of the path has uninterrupted views of the Hudson River and our neighboring New Jersey cities.   I was imbued with a sense of Godliness, which, to me, means nothing more than feeling humility, connection, gratitude and joy.  I felt honored to be spending my present moments in a city I feel so connected to; I felt energized by the surrounding stream of people whizzing, pedaling, pacing trying to get up and get out, just as I was; I felt a connectedness to the energy pulsating abuzz, knowing that we were breathing one universal breath; I felt grateful for the support, love and kindness that is gifted to me everyday by my family and friends.  At the sound of my alarm, indicating when my one-way 10 minute trek was up, I pivoted into my run homebound. 
 
Toward 14th Street, there is a break in the path that directs runners inward in order to pass in front of the large sports complex that makes up part of Chelsea Piers.  Runners are disconnected from the waterfront for a few short minutes, yet in that timespan, the scenery changes drastically.  At the point where the path starts to break off, I entered a small crooked curve partly enclosed by several wooden boards.  It created a tiny enclave.  In that enclave, I saw bags of trash, which caught me by surprise given how well the rest of the path is maintained.  My eyes probed furthered.  I caught sight of a homeless man crouched behind the wall of trash bags.  For at least that very moment in time, this enclave acted as this man’s home. 
 
After a quick left turn, I excited the enclave and resumed direct forward motion.  A man passed me in the other direction, and I wondered if he would see the homeless man sitting there.  I wondered how many people pass through that enclave and see him… or not.   
 
At first, my mind entertained thoughts of responsibility and ownership.  Then, thoughts of my own life interrupted me abruptly.  I was asked to recall all of my moments in need during my past and present, and most importantly, the generosity and kindness bestowed upon me by family and friends alike in order in order to provide help.  There are no questions.  There is no judgment.  There is only a helping hand when I need one.  In this moment, I was reminded that I should do the same for others.  He is me.  I am him.  We are one. 
 
If we are to create better for ourselves, we must create better for everyone. 
 
My ego-driven self has been very focused on my wants and needs as of late, as I examine my purpose, search for a career path and plan for my financial security.  However, there is always space to do more for others.  I remind myself that giving does not always have to be quantifiable.  It is a way of thinking, living and being. 
 
In the meantime, I am finding my own way to serve the needs of those around me.  Below are some of the ways that I am learning to give.
 
Remember Our Universality
Our judging minds play an active role in everyday life as we sort and sift through immense amounts of incoming data.  It serves to categorize and qualify so that we can understand and make decisions.  However, these judgments can also act as a disservice to us.  When we start to live life as an us vs. them model, we fail to see our interconnection.  Yet, we are all born of the same energy, of the same love, of the same creative force.  We breathe the same air.  We drink from the same water.  We walk the same Earth.  We wish on the same constellation of stars.  Within us resonates and resides all of us.  
 
Love Unconditionally
When we can start to truly accept that we are all one, compassion comes much more easily.  When I faced my own truths about my life and the times of my need, I saw myself in that homeless man.  I could understand what it was like to face challenge after challenge and to need help.  Circumstances don’t always arouse compassion, especially when personality and behavioral differences are magnified, but beyond that, there is still an essence to which we can connect – the intent, the embrace, the empathy.  Just the other day, a jarring voice spoke abruptly: Just do it!  I was trying to read my book, so it felt disruptive and annoying.  Then, I connected.  I heard a girl trying to motivate her girlfriend into action.  At that point, I couldn’t help but smile.  I have been on the giving and receiving ends of the same type of encouragement, so could relate completely to her spirit.  It was that easy.  I just had to turn my thoughts around.
 
Become An Observer
Over time, as we start to disassociate ourselves from our judgments, we can become detached observers of the world around us.  The world becomes this marvelous study of human interaction, behavior, motivation and emotion.  When we see objectively from a third party perspective, we can understand ourselves through others, helping us to become more empathetic, more compassionate and more loving. 
 
Start In Silence
No doubt feeling connected and loving at all times is a huge challenge when we are running late, feeling bad or getting stuck.  So, start in silence.  Start meditating on the universality and interconnection of all things when you have space, can be alone and feel good.  With practice, meditation will increase and expand.  Over time, just like with gratitude, or other practices, feel the connectedness spillover into all areas of your life.
 
These are my first steps to giving back to myself and to the universe at large.  I am reverberating as much love and compassion out there as I can, or as I remember to do.  This is the person I want to become – love. 
 
GROW YOUR HEART.
 
With Love,
theDesignLife
 
si·lence
complete absence of sound.
 
Sometimes we have to do the thing that seems the least intuitive to get what we want.  We have a problem to solve, a missing link to find, a solution to figure out, an idea to generate, so we sleep less, eat worse, think more.  We don’t even bother to consider their opposites.  What we need to realize is that doing these things can hurt, not help in the creative process.
 
The mind needs a break.  The mind needs time to synthesize, understand and derive meaning from the constant stream of incoming data and information we receive.  This is why deep sleep is so crucial for us to get every night.  Sleep is restorative.  It is the way our mind replenishes itself and gives us new insights.
 
For me, I needed that break the past week or so.  Hints of guilt cropped up every now and then because I felt neglectful of those duties of which I thought I should be taking care.  However, I also knew that the silence, the distraction, the break was necessary.  The silence served a purpose.
 
Scientists have shown that creativity (e.g. idea generation, problem-solving, etc.) is conducted in stages.  I don’t outline all of them here but will give you the gist.  The initial phase includes collecting various data inputs.  The next phase involves organizing the data into meaningful information.  Most of us try to continue pushing through these stages into actualization – finding the missing link, figuring out the solution, seeing the pattern, etc.  While sheer will can provide the means to the end, an easier more creative approach is silence. 
 
Oftentimes, breakthroughs come in visions or dreams.  Or else, in the most random moments, while brushing our teeth or going grocery shopping, we get struck with that AH-HA! moment.  Our mind is at rest.  We aren’t trying to figure anything out.  Instead, we are allowing the things we have been feeding our conscious mind sink into the subconscious where our inputs mix and mingle with memories, associations, intuition and much more fabulosity to get you exactly what you need.  Then, the subconscious will instruct the conscious on how to proceed.  Et voila.  Ideas, breakthroughs, dreams, solutions come bursting forth. 
 
Below are a few ways that I have learned to embrace the silence in hopes to make it work for me, not against me:
 
Let Go Of Guilt
Oftentimes, weeks will go by where I am in full-blown execution mode filled with agendas, plans, tactics, calls, lists, to-dos.  In order to go silent, I drop them all, making me feel like I am not being ‘productive.’  In my opinion, this is the biggest myth of all time.  Productivity does not always equate to doing.  Productivity includes engaging in any activity that contributes to a desired outcome – watching artistic movies to get inspired, being one with nature to soak in some good vibrations, falling into some deep sleep to get some restoration.  So, I remind myself of the importance of everything that I am doing.  When I run errands, I am freeing myself from the incessant background noise reminding me that I need to get them done.  When I sleep in, I give my subconscious permission to do its job.   When I spend quality time outside with my dog, I fill myself with gratitude and joy.  On top of this, I believe wholeheartedly that everything I do is working for me – helping me achieve my dreams (even if indirectly related to a specific goal).  
 
Make It Yours. Make It Yummy
I haven’t said this in a while, but it’s sure to always come around.  If you’re going to give yourself a break, do it right!  Absorb, soak up and revel in the wonderfulness of that deep slumber, soothing salt bath, sumptuous massage, invigorating run and sappy romantic comedy.  You gave yourself permission to take the break.  You are giving your subconscious permission to do its job.  So give yourself permission to truly be in every moment of your silence.  Enjoy it.  Appreciate it.  Feel the yumminess.  Don’t muddy it up with interference.  Otherwise, you will only be creating opposition in your body and mind, which is the opposite of your intention and desired outcome. 
 
Stop Willing. Start Wanting.
There is absolutely no formula or equation that tells you how long of a break you need.  Some need to return from a break because we have deadlines, bosses and milestones.  So, we don’t always have the luxury to take as much time as we may want or think we need.  Nonetheless, try to take as much time as you can.  You want to give your thoughts a really good soak in your subconscious.  If you don’t have to, don’t force yourself to return to the brain hammering because you think you should.  Should is another form of opposition.  If you can, wait for the moment to come to you – for the feeling of wanting to return, for the feeling of inspiration that motivates you back into your problem-solving, analytical mode to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.  Don’t worry.  That moment will come, and it doesn’t have to require the use of will 😉 (at least not all of the time!)  It’s just so much more yummy when you are ready, willing and able to rev things back up. 
 
We live in the kind of times where we feel pushed and pulled in so many directions.  We don’t ever think we have enough time to do everything, let alone time to take a break.  Yet, sometimes that break is exactly what we need in order to help us get everything done.  It provides the restorative energy that helps calm the mind, soothe the soul and bestow us with the kind of perspective, clarity and wisdom needed to make life feel yummy again.
 
TAKE A BREAK.
 
With Love,
theDesignLife
space

a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied.

 
I am a decent sized Type A, former New Yorker (even if for 2 years ;)) who is notorious for an on-the-go lifestyle.  If I am not meeting someone for lunch, I am on a plane to go somewhere for work or pleasure.  Typically, I am running to back-to-back appointments with hardly enough time for a bathroom break in between!  By day’s end, heels turn into flats, my new-do turns into an up-do (aka, ponytail) and day has turned into night. 
 
I definitely love the vivacity associated with seeing lots of people, going to lots of places, but I also recognized that I was expending more energy on watching the clock to make sure I made it to my next appointment on time than on being part of the conversation with the person in front of me.  My life was becoming counter-productive.  With three-blisters-popping, two-eyes-a-twitching and one big frazzled nervous me, I knew that something was about to give, and I didn’t want it to be my sanity!
 
Therefore, I decided to make space.  As my yoga instructor said: ‘When you make space, you find yummy!’  I couldn’t agree more.  Below are some of the ways I have made space in my life for all of the yumminess:
 
Morning Space
I love time for ME in the morning – a bath with essential oils, a meditation or prayer to give thanks for the day ahead, a filling and nutritious breakfast to carry me into the next hour (I like to eat a lot :)).  I may not have time for all three, so I definitely make time for the latter two, as those are my most important ones.  I wake up 1 hour earlier than I usually do to make room for these things.  They provide a perfect way to fill body, mind and spirit all at once to help me get my day started on the right foot.  A day that begins at peace usually helps me navigate the day’s ebbs and flows much easier.
 
Meeting Space
Whenever I am meeting with someone for lunch, dinner or drinks, I have started to build in as much contingency as I can.  Between running late and running over, I realize that I like the free space surrounding it so that: 1/ no one feels rushed, 2/ we can meander a bit with our conversation, not trying to jam pack it with the highlights and 3/ we can go deep if there’s an opportunity for further emotional connection or support.  I think this is why I opt for evening and weekend meet-ups over workday lunches and coffees.  There’s just less pressure to hurry up and so much more fun to get to know each other.
 
Prep Space
I don’t like being unprepared.  I know that I cannot think of everything in advance, and in a world where time truly is a precious asset for most of us, I like to ensure that time is being used effectively when someone is making space for me.  Therefore, whenever I have a ‘professional’ meeting, I make sure to make room either the day prior or that same day to get a grip on what it is we are trying to accomplish, how I can contribute to that end goal and what questions I may have.  For me, this prep work can be used as a springboard for other ideas or as the template for the meeting.  Either way, I like coming to the drawing board with some colors and shapes in mind, even if we need to erase and start over.
 
Night Space
I also love ME time at night.  I love winding down from a long day, but in the past, I was mostly just collapsing into bed.  Now, I really make the effort to snuggle in with the introverted part of myself so that I can decompress fully with a bath, a book and my gratitude journal.  The biggest distractions from my nighttime ritual comes from the TV in my bedroom, my phone on my nightstand and my laptop still open on my bed.  Therefore, I have to practice a lot of self-control to shut off and shut down – ignore the phone call or text coming in, turn off the Friends marathon and shut down my computer.  When I do live in my nighttime routine, I find nothing but sweet slumber and serenity.
 
These are a just few of my favorite things.  They became very important priorities to feel a lot more calm, cool and collected, so I made space for them and all their yumminess. 
 
Most of us claim that there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done.  When you stop and evaluate how you are using your time, I reassure you that you will find that there is time – it’s just how you choose and want to use it.  Figure out what’s the most important in your life, and then make room for it.
 
CREATE SPACE!
  
With Love
theDesignLife