New Ways of Knowing

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS!

My wish for you is PEACE of mind, JOY of heart, HEALTH of body, GRATITUDE for blessings, KINDNESS both given and received, INSPIRATION that fuels CREATIVITY, and GRACE—the immediate presence of Spirit.

I auto-scheduled this holiday greeting to publish today because I’m currently at the New Ways of Knowing: Meditation and Writing Retreat in California.

I’ve turned off comments as I won’t be able to respond, and look forward to being back online next Tuesday.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Spiritual Practice of Play

During lunch with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in April 2012, one of the things he shared was that he learns best when he laughs.

Our spirits need celebration! What feels joyful to us encourages us along the path of personal growth and expansion.

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.” — Michael Pritchard

Play is the exuberant expression of our being, it fuels our joy and wonder. Play provides the energetic space we need to feel alive; it taps into unlimited possibility, inspiring us; it resides at the heart of our creativity and our most carefree moments of devotion. Play is a powerful way to feed our soul.

When was the last time you stepped into the transformational space of play?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

Box Schmox!

Meet the Box
You’re familiar with the term, “Think outside the box.” The box refers to conventional understanding or traditional thinking. In the business world, this might include organizational constraints. Regardless, the box is typically a comfort zone.

Meet its Residents
There’s a tendency for those who think (or live) inside the box to ignore things that don’t fit into its confines. In-the-box thinking (or living) typically stems from a need to control anxiety—trepidation that occurs when something doesn’t fit in the box.

“Instead of thinking outside of the box, get rid of the box.” — Deepak Chopra

“Instead of thinking outside of the box, get rid of the box.” — Deepak Chopra

Beyond the Box
There’s nothing wrong with conventional wisdom as long as it’s not stale or limiting. But exploration—which requires leaving the box, or at least opening the flaps—leads to the discovery of original thoughts, creative ideas, and innovation.

When was the last time you rendezvoused, flirted, or hung out with inspiration?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

I is for Inspiration

Writing Space at Home

Writing Space at Home

Inspiration is an influence; it’s something that has the power to affect.

When a person is inspired by another person, place, or thing, they experience an “aha” moment, or an epiphany that can result in change or action—something that wasn’t planned before the inspiration occurred; it was unforeseen up until the point of inspiration.

Every artist (writer, photographer, sculptor, painter, musician, dancer, gardener, potter, chef, and so forth), has a “muse”—their source of inspiration. Each week I set aside protected time for writing at my home office. My muse—my source of artistic inspiration—is space. Unencumbered space.

I clear my desk so that nothing’s on it except for my laptop. I mark time with a lit tealight candle (they usually burn about 6 hours), and I work in solitude with the exception of the 200-year-old oak tree in our front yard who stands sentinel in front of the window where I write.

This past Monday evening I attended a color therapy presentation in Chicago and the speaker said, “If we give ourself space, we find our direction.” Zing—that statement resonated right to my core!

The following day when I was looking at their website I clicked on the first color combination that attracted me, and a pop-up appeared that read: “SPACE in connection with transition and change. The clarity to find the SPACE within. Enlightenment of the heart.”

The next color combination that attracted me read, “Helps to make decisions. Harmony with nature, a new SPACE and a new place. SPACE. Direction. Truth. The SPACE giver.

The final color combination that I clicked on read, “A transformed heart. SPACE to find spirituality within. The healing heart.”

Just to see if all of the color combinations had something relating to SPACE, I clicked on several. Not another one said anything about it.

What is your source of inspiration?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com.

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

My Bodhrán – Love at First Sound

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I learned to play the guitar when I young. Self-taught, it was an instrument I played on a regular basis until I began healing work. When a person plays the guitar regularly, they build a wonderful set of calluses on the tips of their fingers—wonderful, because they prevent the sensation of pain from either nylon or steel strings. If you’re like me, however, and use your hands and fingers to “read” people’s energy, calluses get in the way.

That’s why I love my bodhrán (pronounced bough-rawn)—a Celtic frame drum that’s held close to the body, resting on my left thigh and tucked snug into my left armpit. In addition to the rich and vibrant sounds that it makes, its curved rosewood frame, ornate brass tacking, and tightly stretched head, all make for a rewarding sensory experience.

The texture comes alive as my left hand inside the open-end moves to control the pitch and timber, while my right hand uses a smooth wood tipper to cast a spell—creating the jovial beat of a celebratory jig or reel, or a deep, insistent, menacing boom that calls to mind ancient warfare.

For thousands of years, rhythm has been a carrier of intention and information; an expression of vibration. Like a pebble thrown into a pond creates ripples that travel outward, so does our personal rhythm. The vibration of everything we think, say, and do affects the people in our lives. Their reaction, in turn, affects others. Our personal rhythm is powerful. With it we have the capacity to change the world in a variety of ways for better or worse.

What’s the ripple effect of your personal rhythm?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.holessence.com

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights ReservedNo part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.

The Color of Wellness – It Takes a Rainbow

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Over the last nine posts we’ve laid the groundwork for this course—The Color of Wellness and looked at the therapeutic properties of several colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

We learned that color is energy made visible; that every color has a different and distinct wavelength; and that we can be influenced by it. By incorporating a few easy-to-implement suggestions on how to weave color into the tapestry of our lives we’ve learned to enhance our sense of groundedness with red, increase our sense of delight with orange, cultivate our inner-landscape with yellow, develop our emotional empowerment with green, unleash our creative flair with blue, boost our insight with indigo, and strengthen the connection with our higher self with violet.

The photos in the slideshow are from our kitchen. As you can see, we enjoy a lot of color. We don’t set the table with every person receiving matching plates and dishes. Rather, we mix them up in bold fashion and have a lot of fun doing it! Our napkins are wild and crazy—no two are alike.

Every wall in our home is soft yellow (like the inside of a banana) with the exception of a very large sage green wall in the living room. We have liberal accents of chili pepper red throughout the house, with bold splashes of emerald green and cobalt blue here and there.

A few months ago one of my Gaia friends, a regular reader of this blog, asked me a question. My answer was to sit down and write a color meditation for her. With a little extra polish since that time, this is the result:

Rainbow Meditation

For this meditation, you may want to light a candle, dim the lights, and play music softly in the background. Each exhalation is designed to offload emotional baggage and to create space for unleashed, unlimited, potential and possibility— for joy!

Sit with your feet flat on floor, back upright and supported against a chair, hands resting comfortably on your thighs, eyes gently closed. Take a few deep, letting go breaths, directing attention to your body’s still point where in-breath becomes out-breath. In your mind’s eye, picture roots growing from the soles of your feet down through the floor, deep into the earth, grounding and centering you like an ancient, wise tree.

Bring your attention to your base chakra—the tip of your tailbone, your foundation, where self-preservation, survival, and physical wellness reside. In your mind’s eye, inhale the color red—slow, deep, and steady—through your nostrils, drawing the breath past your chest and all the way down into your belly.

Now exhale the “waste”—any toxic thoughts, emotional baggage—through your mouth. Using the power of intent say: “The energy of Divine Love fills my self-preservation. I invite the healing energy of Divine Love to flow.”

Shift your attention to your sacral chakra—the area just below your belly button, where self-gratification, pleasure, and occupational wellness reside. In your mind’s eye, inhale the color orange—slow, deep, and steady—through your nostrils, drawing the breath past your chest and all the way down into your belly.

Now exhale the “waste”—any toxic thoughts, emotional baggage—through your mouth. Using the power of intent say: “The energy of Divine Love fills my self-gratification. I make choices that are for my highest good.”

Direct your attention to your solar plexus chakra, the area just below the point on your chest where your rib cage meets, where self-definition, personal power, and social wellness reside. In your mind’s eye, inhale the color yellow—slow, deep, and steady—through your nostrils, drawing the breath past your chest and all the way down into your belly.

Now exhale the “waste”—any toxic thoughts, emotional baggage—through your mouth. Using the power of intent say: “The energy of Divine Love fills my self-definition. I choose to fill my world with joy.”

Bring your attention to your heart chakra at the center of your chest, where self-acceptance, love, and emotional wellness reside. In your mind’s eye, inhale the color green—slow, deep, and steady—through your nostrils, drawing the breath past your chest and all the way down into your belly.

Now exhale the “waste”—any toxic thoughts, emotional baggage—through your mouth. Using the power of intent say: “The energy of Divine Love fills my self-acceptance. I lovingly forgive and release the past.”

Move your attention to your throat chakra, the divot in your throat, where self-expression, creativity, and emotional wellness reside. In your mind’s eye, inhale the color blue—slow, deep, and steady—through your nostrils, drawing the breath past your chest and all the way down into your belly.

Now exhale the “waste”—any toxic thoughts, emotional baggage—through your mouth. Using the power of intent say: “The energy of Divine Love fills my self-expression. I speak my truth with ease and grace.”

Direct your attention to your brow chakra, the point between and slightly above your eyebrows, where self-reflection, intuition, and intellectual wellness reside. In your mind’s eye, inhale the color indigo—slow, deep, and steady—through your nostrils, drawing the breath past your chest and all the way down into your belly.

Now exhale the “waste”—any toxic thoughts, emotional baggage—through your mouth. Using the power of intent say: “The energy of Divine Love fills my self-reflection. It see all things with insight and inspiration.”

Bring your attention to your crown chakra, the top of your head, where self-knowledge, divine connection, and spiritual wellness reside. In your mind’s eye, inhale the color violet—slow, deep, and steady—through your nostrils, drawing the breath past your chest and all the way down into your belly.

Now exhale the “waste”—any toxic thoughts, emotional baggage—through your mouth. Using the power of intent say: “The energy of Divine Love fills my self-knowledge. “I am divinely inspired to live as I am meant to be. Thank you. And so it is.”

Below you will see a chakra necklace that I designed in April. I call it The Seven Selves as it goes hand-in-glove with my manuscript. The green stone (heart chakra) is perched neatly in the middle with three stones sitting in attendance on either side. You can’t see them all in this photo as they wrap around my neck, but from left to right as you look at the photo:

The red garnet reminds me to live courageously.
The orange amber reminds me of the importance of personal respect.
The yellow citrine reminds me to walk in dignity.
The green aventurine reminds me to drink from the well of calm and joy.
The blue lace agate reminds me to speak my truth.
The indigo lapis lazuli reminds me dive into endless possibilities.
The purple amethyst reminds me to live in the present moment.

The Seven Selves necklace by Laurie Buchanan

 I hope you had as much fun receiving this “class” as I did delivering it. We’ll take a break from “coursework” through the rest of October and then jump into “Alphabetically Speaking” in the month of November. You may remember back in June (the day after my hard drive crashed) I took a reader survey and received lots of great topics that you’re interested in learning more about. I’m looking forward to delivering that “course.” In the meantime, I’ll post a bit of this and a dash of that …

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights ReservedNo part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.

BLUE – Unleash Your Creative Flair!

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For those of you who are just joining us, welcome to the University of Life. In the previous “classes” we laid the groundwork for this course—The Color of Wellness, and looked at the therapeutic properties of the colors red, orange, yellow, and green. Today’s palette features the color Blue.

Blue is associated with self-expression, creativity, and environmental wellness. It enhances knowledge, relaxation, and health. It’s the color of a cloudless summer sky. Think of your favorite faded denim jacket, robin’s eggs in a nest, an exquisite piece of turquoise, or the inviting water of a swimming pool on a hot day.

The positive properties of blue are expressed as peaceful, calming, tactful, sincere, trustworthy, fluent, introspective, and responsible.

The negative properties of blue are described as tongue-tied, cold, withdrawn, manipulative, and disloyal.

The healing properties of blue are cooling and protective and can address physical symptoms such as high blood pressure, migraine, fever, cuts, stings/burns, and negatives states of mind such as timidity, fatigue, distrust, indecision, fear of speaking up, and confrontation. Blue decreases respiration and is ideal for sleep and over-activity.

When you need a boost in the areas of creativity and self-expression, indulge yourself with this color. The frequency of blue resonates with the throat chakra. It creates a calm throat center from which to speak our truth. Blue stimulates calm, open, and clear communication, ingredients that are vital to working with others peacefully.

Are you drawn to clear blue? That’s a cool color that calms. Or maybe you enjoy the muted hues that recall a spring sky after the rain; while the shaded tones exude comfort and rest.

What we do with our physical environment—our personal space—speaks to our heart and helps us to flourish. Buy a piece of blue clothing. Add a splash of blue to your décor with flowers, pillows, a candle or a throw. Buy blue sheets that will gently encourage you to sleep at night. Or take advantage of the healing frequency of blue crystals such as aquamarine, turquoise, chrysocolla, or blue topaz.

[Lisa Krupp will recognize many of these photos from her home island, Eleuthera, in the Bahamas. Arch Rock was taken on Mackinac Island, and the pendant is one of my favorites, Blue Kyanite and Pearl].

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights ReservedNo part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.