Seasons of Change

Print This Post Print This Post January 14, 2012 on 12:55 pm | In Integrity, Intent, Physical, Purpose | Comments Off on Seasons of Change

Over the past week I have be sitting with my 2012 intent, which I have distilled down to a single word: Integrity.  As a result of those ruminations I have decided to take a seasonal approach the the life changes I intend to implement, with each season bringing a new focus.  Not coincidentally, this seasonal focus has been a part of my path for the past several years, despite the fact that I have never explicitly brought it to the forefront of my focus.  This year each season will have its own distinctive focus area so that my annual goals will essentially be divided into more manageable quarterly goals.  The specific seasons and the corresponding months that I have decided to assign to them are:

  • Winter       January through March
  • Spring       April through June
  • Summer    July through September
  • Fall           October through December

In my studies with various mentors, but most especially with HeatherAsh Amara and Raven Smith (see, for example, their books The Four Elements of Change and Stop Seeking, Start Being!), these seasons have the following associations and correspondences:

 

 

 

 

So for the first three months of this year my focus will be on honing my Physical Integrity, with specific emphasis on nourishing my physical being – that is, my body – in terms of overall health, vibrancy, strength, stamina, flexibility, and energy.  This focus resonates well with my immediate goals following various indulgences over the holidays, and will also serve as an excellent foundation for my personal growth efforts going forward.

In terms of spiritual practices to support this focus, grounding will be at the forefront as a tool to keep me connected with my physical dimension while still striving to integrate this aspect of my life into the whole of who I am.  It has been quite some time since I have consciously set aside time to connect with Earth and Sky – indeed, this morning was the first time I have done so for many, many months.  Boy did it feel good!  Why I ever dropped this practice is beyond me (laziness, too busy, lack of focus?), but whatever the reason I am very glad that I have picked it back up as I am certain it will serve me well as I move forward with the intent to embody the best that I have to offer in terms of Physical Integrity.

During the coming week I am going to start planning and implementing specific strategies that will support achieving my health and fitness goals for the year, with the aim of making this my primary focus over the next three months:

  • Achieve 12% total body fat
  • Improve upper body strength
  • Improve flexibility, especially lower body (legs and hips)
  • Improve structural alignment of my body, thereby improving both posture and range of motion

A Lesson in Faith

Print This Post Print This Post November 20, 2009 on 7:49 pm | In Intent, Love, Spiritual, Truth | Comments Off on A Lesson in Faith
Amy and Poppy
Amy and Poppy – Christmas 2006

Christmas 2006 was a celebration that my youngest daughter, Amy, will never forget.  That was the year that I finally capitulated and decided to get her what she had begging for over the past several years: a kitten of her own to take care of.  One week before Christmas my middle daughter, Lindsay, went with me to the Houston SPCA shelter to pick out a kitten, only to find that all of the kittens had already been adopted.  What to do?  Lindsay and I went from cage to cage, and each time we seemed to be drawn to a young gray Tabby named “Gladys”.  Although she wasn’t really a kitten (I believe she was about 8 months old at that time) Lindsay and I asked to see her and after a few minutes alone with her we were hooked – she was extremely affectionate and had a sweet but also mischievous and playful disposition.  We had to leave her at the shelter to get her shots and have her neutered, so on Christmas Day Amy was very perplexed when one of her gifts was a big bag of cat food.  “What’s this for?” she queried as she continued to paw through the wrapping paper to see if there was a real present hidden within.  “Read the card”, I said.  I can still remember the tears that came to Amy’s eyes when she realized that we had adopted a young cat for her and that she would soon have a new furry companion . . .

When we brought our new cat home after Christmas, the girls immediately renamed her “Poppy” and she soon became an indispensable part of the family.  Not only was she warm and affectionate, but she was also extremely clever and more than a little devious.  She always delighted in hiding in our cupboards and springing out to frighten us at the most unexpected moments.  On top of that she eventually learned how to open a closed door and was notorious for sneaking out of our apartment whenever the door was not double locked.  When we moved into a house earlier this summer, her playful ways continued, but we did grow concerned that on occasion she would stay away from home for a day or two before returning home.

Then on October 2nd of this year Poppy dashed out the front door and did not return the following morning.  Nor did she return the following day.  Nor the following.  Nor the following week, nor the week after that, nor . . . well, you get the idea.  The entire family realized that with each passing week the chances of her returning dwindled and by the beginning of this month our hope was really starting to fade.

During our church service last Sunday, I noticed that Amy was filling out a prayer request form and although I didn’t read the entire form I couldn’t help noticing that she was asking for the church to pray for Poppy’s safe return.  At the end of the service she asked me where to deposit the request, and as I was not 100% sure I told her to place it in the offering box, where I was sure it would be appropriately routed.  To be honest, by this point I did not hold out much hope of Poppy ever returning.

Yesterday evening, we were calling our other cat (Mindy) inside after dinner without much success.  After I tried a couple of times I asked Amy to try, but she didn’t have any more success than I did, so we went about our chores – clearing up the dinner table, putting away dishes, and cleaning the kitchen.  Just as I was finishing picking up, I heard a familiar “meow” in the back yard so I opened the back door to let Mindy in and in strolled . . . Poppy!

At first I could not believe my eyes.  She was incredibly emaciated, but even in her skin-and-bones state there was no mistaking that this was Poppy.  I called to Amy who was equally dumbfounded.  All that either of us could do for a few moments was hug each other and cry for joy as we witnessed a miracle in our own kitchen: our cat that had been missing for almost 7 weeks had returned!  Her collar had somehow gotten wrapped around her neck and her left forepaw, and it was clear that it had been stuck like that for quite some time: so much so that the buckle had abraded into her skin and made a fairly deep wound.  I cut her collar off and gave her some food: then Amy and I held hands and stared in a disbelief at the ghost in front of us.  I am certain that some of Lazarus’ friends and relatives felt the same way as he emerged from the tomb: Can this be?

Poppy is still very fragile, but the vet has checked her out and although she was suffering from massive dehydration and weight loss (she went from 11 pounds to 7 pounds), her abrasion seems to be healing well and we are hopeful that she will have a complete recovery.  Most amazing of all in this entire episode was the simple lesson of faith that my 11 year old daughter taught me:

Never give up hope.  And never, ever underestimate the power of prayer or question the reality of Divine intervention. 

We truly are blessed to live in a world alive with Spirit!  Or as they say at our church: God is good . . . all the time!

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