What Do You Want To Learn Next?
Living Our Deeper Song
The Creative in me honors the Creative in you!
I’m beginning to think about the year ahead. What do I want to learn next?
There are some physical things I want to accomplish. I will have both hips replaced and that will certainly affect my mobility which I then need to cultivate and improve upon. I am now on restorative physical therapy and get to ride a recumbent bike three times a week and do some stretching exercises at a counter. I love it and it is making many encouraging differences. What circumstance is improving for you that will open new doorways of opportunity?
I have to get creative about working around the dry macular degeneration which is affecting my eyes. That means cultivating the use of more podcasts as a major learning tool for one. What doorway seems to be closing for you that you have to seek out new avenues of opportunity to explore?
What new in-service goals are you setting for yourself? I have this entire population of very kind supportive staff that I wish to support in return. The form that will take seems to be unfolding over time. My sense is that it will be in one-on-one interactions. Even as I write that I know it is so much more than that. I am already setting a new tone, a new expectation for myself. My role is unfolding and making itself known.
What do I want to learn? I want to keep practicing Qigong. As my body improves, I want to establish that as a thoughtfully done daily practice standing up the way it should be done. The hip surgery will make that possible.
I’m not sure what my spiritual goals are yet but I want to both expand and deepen them. I have choosen to leave the door to the hall open during the day and there is a lot of traffic going in and out between vitamins and temperature and other things so I’m still working on how I am to be in service. I’m really working out learning everyone’s name and have certainly established some friendships already. I have not met any other residents except my suite mate.
It’s not like it was when I was alone in my own living room. But I do get to sit by a big window and observe the seasons and the movement of the morning sun. That’s a good place to begin one’s spiritual practice each day.
What changes will you make in your spiritual life? You might consider a new form of meditation or ceremony or move your spiritual practice to a different time of the day. Perhaps you experiment for a month to see what resonates.
Spend some time looking closely for what needs have emerged and how you can creatively meet them. Explore and experiment and make some creative plans to meet your needs in the coming year.
DEEPER SONG AFFIRMATION
I am willing and ready to make the changes that will deepen my daily life experience.
DEEPER SONG PROCESS
- Identify the areas of your life that need improvement.
- Look at the areas of your life that are working and see what elements make them successful.
- Look for any new needs. Examine what you are doing now, explore different ways to explore new avenues and create a new plan for the coming year.
Deepen Your Inner Awareness
What Is Missing From Your Life?
Ask yourself, “What is missing from my life and what step will I take to correct that.”
Now that I have spent nearly six weeks here in long-term care I can look more closely at the rhythm of my life and identify what is missing, what I want to add, and how I will do that.
One thing I have learned is that I had grown more and more isolated before I moved and having this much daily interaction with really kind people is making a huge difference in my emotional well-being. Notice how your life changes when you redirect your attention.
I already have plans for after my hip replacements to walk in the garden here and sit out in the gazebo in the sunshine. I also know that the staff is going to be a source of personal growth and mental stimulation for me. It will not come from other residents. That helps me plan and focus my attention and my activities.
I love to learn and I’m going to explore more podcasts as one of my resources. And I have yet to try audiobooks.
What new venues will you explore in order to expand your life experience? Do you need to join a group that shares your interests? Are there some causes that you care about? Do you need a friend who shares your interests? Are there classes that you want to take, a new activity to undertake? It’s good to always keep learning. At least I find that to be so.
Notice how you spend your time and be more selective. For instance, I was watching way too many television reruns and playing way too much Spider Solitaire. With this new environment and these new friends, I have stopped that and there’s a very large space left to rethink how I want to experience those hours, not simply make them pass by. So far it’s taken the form of a gradual increase in my writing.
Rethink your choices, go exploring, and expand your experiences. Life will be more fun that way.
Celebrate Your Uniqueness
There is only one you and that’s a good thing. One you to be in the world, only one you to be a friend to your friends, and only one you to do the work you do. There are certain things only you can do so do them with love and pleasure and skill. Celebrate your uniqueness every moment of your life. Be the best “you” you can be. It will make the world a better place.
How will you be a better you today?
How Do You View Change?
I’ve been in my new home in long-term care for six weeks and I realized that the experience of change stems directly from how you view the opportunities that open up because of that change.
For instance, there are a whole lot of physical things I no longer have to be concerned about. I am well fed. I am well cared for. I am well nursed. My laundry is done and my vitamins are brought to me. And I have nursing available 24/7. I have new opportunities and access to things like physical therapy that I did not have before. I have a whole lot of new friends among the staff, for that is the group that I identify with. They are the movers and shakers here and I am still a mover and shaker.
If you focus in the wrong direction, you can make yourself pretty miserable. Instead of the smallness of my space I focus on the feeling of being tucked in. I sit in the morning sun by my nearly floor-to-ceiling windows to watch the birds at the feeder start their day. And I am safe.
I really do celebrate this return to socialization with people who are interesting to know. I was spending huge amounts of time alone at Ridgeview and relied only on my wonderful friends online who are all in the vicinity of age 60 and are actively pursuing the next unfolding phase of their lives. I had very few in-person interactions. Now I have daily interactions with caring people and that has lifted my spirits tremendously.
When you find yourself in a new situation, don’t mourn what you left, celebrate what you are in the process of discovering.
Take Responsibility for Healing Yourself
Degrees of Discomfort
The nursing aides will give me a Tylenol when I ask but they always ask what degree of pain it is. I’ve been having some discomfort after I do the recumbent bike. So I have created a new level of so-called pain. A whimpering one. A cranky one. And a whiny one. Got to find your chuckles where you will.
What Is Missing From Your Life and What Steps Will You Take To Correct That?
Several times a year it is really important to pause to see what is missing from your life and what steps you are willing to take to correct that. Maybe one big correction is staring you in the face or maybe you see a series of more subtle changes that need to be made. It’s a good idea to contemplate what changes you want to make and create plans around how to do that.
The hip replacements are going to change things for me for the better so that is a major focus for my year. This new environment has offered me a new service project and I have to figure out other ways to enrich my time. Each one of those is a really big project and the physical change will show me the most apparent steps to take.
My new place of service has been identified and has a lot of unfolding to do.
I don’t know where my love of learning will take me. I will just let that one unfold. I don’t have money for online classes anymore but there are many free ways to learn online.
Leave room for the unexpected and be willing to go exploring. What is missing from your life and what steps will you take to create that?
Take Time For Self-Healing and Regeneration
Everything we are experiencing outside of ourselves is a reflection of our inner state. How are you doing? How is your life unfolding? You are the one who gets to make the changes. You are the one who will cause the shift. As within, so without. Do the work.
We are like a tree. We are in one place, this planet, with everything we need.
Trees can’t receive help from outside sources for healing since they stand in one place. So they have everything within they need to heal while they are standing. A plant can grow a stem longer reaching for the sun or send its roots deeper into the earth. All kinds of inner movements are done to survive and thrive. We have all we need within us. We just have to do the work.
As this world goes through such traumatic changes this will be a good time to spend some time in solitude and go within for answers. We need silence and inner work to do this. It is time to go within to repair and replace and strengthen on all levels.
What steps will you take to renew yourself? On the physical plane, the emotional plane, the mental plane and the spiritual plane? Or is it an interesting eclectic mix?
Work with the powerful vibration of colors and see where it leads you. Imagining feeling the space around you changing slowly and see how it affects your inner experience.
How will you set about meeting your current needs?
Do the inner work, keep it simple it and pay attention to the guidance you are given both within and without.
Explore New Potential and Possibilities
How We Interpret Things
We make decisions in many moments in our lives based or how we interpret what has shown up. We may interpret based on a mood we are in. We may interpret from partial information. We may interpret from incorrect information. We may interpret from our feelings and needs in that particular moment. And all of those places and interpretations will change from day to day and even from moment to moment. So when you make a decision also look at where you’re coming from in order to make that decision. What beliefs? What information? What limitations and who is involved in the project itself? And be aware of those as influencing factors in your choice. Your mood will change, your circumstances will change, the opportunities to be flexible will change as you make decisions and move through your life. Be aware of the basis for the interpretations you make and adjust accordingly.
In Pursuit of Peace
“Power is influence over external events.
Peace is influence over internal events.”
Cultivating inner peace is one of the most important and impactful things we can learn to do. We do it through introspection and we do it through listening to the multitude of messages from the universe. You attain peace by cultivating an awareness of the impact of your choices and the results that you are having and adjust accordingly. From that inner perspective comes great power over the external aspects of your life.
Actively cultivate inner peace through your meditation and spiritual practice. Live your life with an ever-deepening awareness of your inner resources.
The View From The Other Person’s Side
Why is the other person responding the way she/he is? What is going on with their lives and their beliefs that creates that particular response? This is a particularly helpful awareness when someone is doing something that is totally opposite from what you choose to do. It doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them but if you can extend your awareness and even your empathy to the person with whom you are in conflict, it helps you understand them from a different viewpoint. Take time to understand where the other person is coming from and begin to build your relationship from there.
Keep Doing The Work
Use it or lose it, particularly as you get older and a little less agile. This no-doing on any plane sneaks up on you.
There is so much encouragement and so much help in this long-term care facility and I have to be certain to do the work.
No one is going to do the work except you. No one is going to challenge you but yourself. No one is going to create the change accept you.
Yes, there is lots of help here. All I have to do is follow their advice. That’s my role. That’s my responsibility. Do the work.
I had given up while living alone in my apartment. If it was hard, I stopped doing it. My life really changed as my walking capacity diminished. I couldn’t take out my trash. I couldn’t walk to do my laundry and I did not like walking the halls for exercise because it hurt my body and was not particularly fun to do. I had no encouragement or support. I was on my own to provide my motivation and I was not doing a very good job of it.
So what changed? I got access to help. I now have a restorative physical therapy person who comes to get me three times a week. I have access to a recumbent bike that I love to use as well as loving the results I am getting. And I have encouragement.
If you are stuck in a downward spiral, whether it’s physical or emotional, get some support to move through that and change directions so that you are motivated to help yourself again. It can be professional help, it can be help from a friend, it can be a change to a whole new venue. Perhaps you can be the friend offering encouragement and support to another.
Here’s another thing I noticed. The more help I got in my independent living apartment, the less I began to do for myself. And that may be the trap that we all need to look out for. It became easier and easier to leave things for my homemaker to do. And I kept doing less and less.
My spirits have lifted by being around these incredibly loving and supportive people who encourage me at every turn and help me with the things that are no longer possible for me to do.
So what is the difference here? I had help in my apartment and I did less. I have a lot more help here and I’m doing more and want to keep doing more. What shifted within to make me want to do the work to get myself back on track?
I think the answer is hope. The recumbent bike helped me turn the corner. I love doing it, I can do it and it’s making a tangible difference. The prospect of the hip replacements opens up a whole new world of possibilities for change for me – and hope. So is part of this shift about hope? The whole idea that I may be able to walk in the garden again is a very stimulating prospect and goal. We can plant things in a garden here but my goal is to simply walk in it.
I have gone from subconsciously giving up, to actively pursuing change with great positive expectations. In one sense I had given up because I didn’t know how to create the change for myself. I needed the insights and encouragement and skill that I have found here.
My hopes were raised with access to physical therapy and they have skyrocketed with a prospect of hip replacement.
What kind of spiral are you in regarding the circumstance in which you find yourself? Look for answers and find the ones that simulate and motivate you into action. And do that.
===DEEPEN YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE===
Self-Healing Spiritual Practice and Deepening Awareness of Our Cosmic Oneness
How Well Does Your Spiritual Practice Nurture You?
Is your spiritual practice designed in the best possible way to deeply nurture you in body, mind and spirit? Perhaps you would like to rearrange some of the elements you have placed in your spiritual practice and add new ones.
Your spiritual practice is meant to nurture you in all aspects of your life. It should be a source of serenity and comfort, a source of well-being and ever-expanding spiritual awareness.
Our spiritual practice should nurture our body. Physical practices like Qigong and Yoga have a spiritual base as they nurture and strengthen your body temple, but all exercise when done mindfully is spiritual.
A balanced spiritual practice both strengthens and calms your mind so that you move through your life with clarity of purpose and awareness of the nudges and insights the universe is constantly offering you.
And of course, a spiritual practice is designed to deepen your awareness of your oneness with all – your far-reaching interconnectedness in the Web of Life. It teaches you to listen to the voice within. It teaches you to become aware of the support and insights the universe constantly provides. It feeds your soul so that all you can be always comes from that place of oneness.
Perhaps take time to examine the gifts your spiritual practice gives and see how you would like to alter it. Perhaps strengthen the physical element you pursue in order to quiet your mind and body to prepare to move into the deeper levels. Perhaps add drumming or singing to honor nature, the directions and the unfolding day. There might be some words of wisdom that you choose to contemplate. I have a box full of quotes that I like and I can pull one out each day to contemplate. Of course there is meditation. There are rattles. There are bells. There are crystals. How are you expanding and deepening your spiritual practice to nurture yourself on all levels – body, mind, and spirit? Do that.
On Being Different
Although I am the only vegetarian resident here in Evergreen Long Term Care, I have met at least one vegetarian on staff. My suite mate has crosses hanging all over her walls and her daughter brought her a small Christmas tree. I celebrate Winter Solstice and am trying to figure out where to get a pine cone for decoration. I’m the only resident who has dream catchers and sun catchers in the window. But then I have been joyfully a tad different all my life.
When you find yourself in a situation in which you find you are quite different, what do you do?
I just do my own thing in my own space. I already know my friends are all going to be staff members. Follow your own path and encourage others to follow theirs.
We can learn from different cultural traditions. I remember a Jewish friend of mine in New York City who prepared a Passover supper for a few of her non-Jewish friends and explained its meaning and symbolism.
Celebrating Winter Solstice is perhaps a time to strengthen some facets of your spiritual practice.
Perhaps add a few simple elements that you use to celebrate. I have added paper that is dissolvable in water to help me release things. Experiment and thoughtfully add a few elements to your ceremony and find new ways to celebrate your own spiritual version of Winter Solstice.
===GUIDANCE FROM OUR COSMIC COUNSELORS ===
Listen Beyond the Voice Within
Speak to me of releasing.
I go to my Secret Garden and am invited to cross the reflecting pond to join the three Cosmic Counselors in a circle. In the center of our circle is a fire. “Speak to me of releasing,” I say.
The first Cosmic Counselor says, “Releasing is about letting go and you can do that in many ways.” The fire in the center of our circle flares up and smoke rises to the sky. The smoke escapes and disappears in the darkness. The second Cosmic Counselor drops a piece of dissolvable paper with writing on it into water of the reflecting pool. She watches her words dissolve and disappear. The third Cosmic Counselor joins her at the reflecting pool and thoughtfully tosses a small pebble into the pond and watches the ripples disappear against the opposite shore.
“Find a form that seems to resonate with your feelings about releasing and create your own ceremonial words and manner of releasing.”
Maybe you find a different form for what needs to be released. When you prepare to let something go, pay attention to the images that you release and the feelings they evoke and any messages that come in. It can be a simple ceremony or a complex one. Set an intention to release whatever you want to release and set about doing just that. Look to be sure you release it all. Experiment with another form for the ceremony or repeat the one you did.
Create your own ceremony for different purposes. Clear yourself with a Releasing Ceremony. Bless your day. Offer gratitude in general or for something specific. Create a ceremony of Blessing.
Be conscious of what needs to be released. See if you can find a core belief that is stuck. Or an underlying fear that is holding you back. You may want to experiment in order to create the most effective releasing ceremony for you.
Once you feel you have released whatever you have chosen, notice how you feel. Is it lighter? Is it clear of pain? You might be tired from finally letting it go. And all of those responses might change with each releasing ceremony. It depends on you. And how often you do a releasing ceremony depends on you and what you have allowed to build up and how completely released you feel around whatever it is you have chosen to release. You might use a cycle of the moon as a time to have a releasing ceremony or the ending of a month. You decide when to create a releasing ceremony. If you choose to do one on a regular basis, that allows you to look over your life to see what needs to be released and create a ceremony that allows you to do so.”
I find myself across the reflecting pond sitting on the bench into my Secret Garden. Ancestor rabbit is there holding a bottle of soap bubbles and I sit in the shade of my worries and blow them away.
End of journey.
===HOW TO BE A STRONG CONTRIBUTING MEMBER OF THE CIRCLE OF LIGHT BEARERS===
Expand Your Role in the Rapidly Evolving Universe
What Is A Light Bearer?
What is a Light Bearer and what do we do? I believe we are a group of humans with Guides from the Unseen World who are here to not only hold High Watch for the planet but to be its protectors. That means we are to live our best lives in service to the highest good for all. We do that with our focused energy and our mindful actions. It will take new forms but being a Light Bearer means that our heart is focused on the well-being of the whole earth and all that it encompasses.
As Individual Harps we must play our sweetest song and at the same time stay in harmony with this grand diverse orchestra of Light Bearers. Stay aware in your own heart that you are being called and continue to elevate your role and perform with your participation. As Light Bearers we play a higher role in the evolution and well-being of our planet. You will be led to the work you are to further, the work you are to lead. That work is evolving as is your role. As an individual light bearer, make sure your daily light falls softly on the world around you and is uplifted and nurturing to whomever see it. Because a Light Bearer is an adventurer, it is our obligation to continue to expand our knowledge and our beliefs and our role and bring that awareness into our daily life expression. Have an open heart and focus on the highest good for all. That is the role of a Light Bearer.
We are each individual harps in this Orchestra of Light Bearers. We must play our individual instruments well. And at the same time, we must keep our individual harp in harmony with the whole. We can do that. Raise your light and see where and how you are to expand your role in the world.
===BROADEN YOUR HORIZON – EXPAND YOUR VIEW===
Raise Your Sights and Your Expectations
The People You Are Around
I am finding very interesting, intelligent people to talk to among the staff. I talked to the head of maintenance about the 3-D printing of homes, recharging solar cars and artificial intelligence. Can you see why I love the mental stimulation here?
I have met a fellow writer and a fellow metaphysician and fellow vegetarian and the only other Cara I have met to date. This is the most in-person mental simulation I’ve had in the 13 years I’ve been in Kansas. I’m loving it.
People are good at their jobs. They like their work, and they like helping people and it shows.
Does your joy and appreciation for life show in how you express yourself? I bet it does.
=== OLD WOMAN HUMOR ===
I was getting ready for my shower. We are wheeled down in a wheelchair to the shower room, helped to undress, hang on to grab bar and are positioned in a shower stool with a back and are given a shower by a Med Aide. I mentioned to my 82-year-old wheelchair-bound suite-mate that I had only been given showers by men so far and she said, “Aren’t you lucky!”
Who says we’re too old.
=== DEEPER SONG PHILOSOPHIES ===
Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,
where something might be planted,
a seed, possibly, from the Absolute.
Imagine you are an open field. You can plant whatever crop you choose in this field. It is as a spot of ground from the Absolute. What do you plant? What do you grow? What do you harvest? Keep cultivating the space where you are planted and make sure you are living your best life and are offering your best gifts to the world. Plant your field of life carefully and harvest it with love.
===REFLECTIONS OF A DEEPER SONG PODCAST===
An Unexpected Kindness
I received an unexpected gift. Unexpected Blooms is a company that takes flowers from weddings and other occasions and recycles them into lovely bouquets to give away. Mine is a lovely arrangement of mauve roses and white snapdragons among other beautiful flowers. It was totally unexpected. I wrote a thank-you note on my computer to be sent to them. Not only because I was happy and surprised to receive it but I want to encourage them to keep doing this really thoughtful act of kindness. What perfectly good something can you re-purpose to give to those who have less than you do? We have a place called Savers that is a thrift store that supports the Boys and Girls Club. I used to like to shop there a lot too but my kids gave away a whole lot of my stuff when I moved to the smaller place.
Look around and notice how much you have that you really don’t need to see how you can pass it forward and put it in a box and give some of it away. Maybe in the summertime pass along a few extra vegetables or flowers from your garden. But most of all look at the possessions that you have that you don’t need anymore and don’t care about anymore and see what you can pass forward to grace someone else’s home. Share the wealth.
===SING A DEEPER SONG ===
I let go of things. I let go of worries. I let go of what is not working. I clear my space and I make room for new insights and understanding.
I let go of things .I let go of worries. I let go of what is not working. I clear my space and I make room for new insights and understanding. What do I want to invite in? What do I want to learn? What experiences do I want to have? What deepening understanding?
I let go of things. I let go of worries. I let go of what is not working. I clear my space and I make room for new insights and understanding. What do I want to invite in? What do I want to learn? What experiences do I want to have? What deepening understanding? I clear my space. I declutter my life and throw open the doors to new adventures.
-Cara Lumen, December 2022
We create our future with every thought we think, every action we take. Move forward mindfully as you sing your Deeper Song.
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I help adventurers who are ready to explore the new possibilities in the emerging energy of the Divine Feminine to align their dreams and choices with what is emerging as possible today so that they go beyond their own expectations.
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