Satsang – Sacred Listening

During a Life Harmony session one of my clients shared that she’s contemplating starting her practice of Satsang as a business. Satsang is sacred listening.


Listening is a creative force that transforms relationships.

Listening to yourself elicits full self-expression—speaking from your soul.

Listening is being fully present—to Source, to Self, to Others.

Listening beyond words is a sacred act.

How often do you engage in the practice of Satsang?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Downshifting Into Autumn

Mornings are crisp and the evergreens flanking our front porch steps have donned festive red berries.

Goldenrod shows off its honey-colored mane as it beckons with a come-hither sway in the late afternoon sun.

All signs that autumn—a time of harvest, a time of reflection—is on its way. Len and I have played hard (and I do mean hard) all summer. Now is the season we intentionally downshift and live gently—we reflect, and we recharge our personal batteries.

Autumn’s the mellow time.” – William Allingham, poet

What’s your autumn strategy?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Untethered!

In early September as I drove across a small portion of the Mojave Desert—the dashboard indicating 106-degrees outside—I spotted a hot air balloon dancing gracefully across the cloud-dotted sky. Finding a safe spot, I stopped the truck and hopped out, camera in hand.


After being body-slammed by the heat—the breath sucked out of my lungs—my first thought was, “Heat rises, the people in that balloon must be miserable,” (unless those were grimaces on their faces instead of smiles, and they were waving for help instead of a friendly hello. Oh geez, you don’t suppose?!)…

My second thought was “Untethered! Those people aren’t “tied down” to anything.” There’s “no strings attached,” so to speak.

When was the last time you didn’t have any “strings attached?”

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Diggin’ Up Bones

I’m diggin’ up bones, I’m diggin’ up bones
Exhuming things thats better left alone
I’m resurrecting memories of a love that’s dead and gone
Yeah tonight I’m sittin’ alone diggin’ up bones

Vastly different from Randy Travis’ popular “Diggin Up Bones,” was the scene in our back yard during the last rainy day… 

Walking by the kitchen window we looked and saw the rear view of our once-white poodle, Lexi—now almost black—with mud flying in earnest between her back legs. We went outside and discovered that she’d started to uncover a previously buried bone. We left her to her treasure.

Several hours later there’s a reverse performance. Having licked the bone clean, she’s now bent on re-burying it—this time by the railroad tie. Perhaps a better landmark?

When was the last time you dug up bones, or as Randy Travis would say, “exhumed things better left alone?” 

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Slow Burn

“Angry people want you to see how powerful they are…loving people want you to see how powerful you are.”
        — Chief Red Eagle 

 

Recently I donated my hands to a “Ladies Night Out” event. My “station” was positioned across the aisle from a table of lovely scented candles. The name of the company was Slow Burn. That name—clever for a candle company—got me thinking about anger, which just so happened to be the number two topic of most women on my table that evening, second only to stress. 

Anger is a natural response, a warning bell that lets us know something’s wrong. Physically, it triggers the release of adrenaline which typically increases muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure. Anger only becomes a problem when we don’t manage it in a healthy way. We have two choices: 

Expression
This can range from a rational conversation to a violent outburst. When we choose the latter—a violent outburst—it equates to an emotional explosion

Suppression
This is an attempt to hold it in, or ignore it. When we choose to hold it in—sweep it under the carpet—it equates to an emotional implosion.

Note: Suppression includes passive-aggressive responses where we don’t express our anger constructively; rather we scheme to retaliate instead. 

Ideally we choose constructive expression—stating our concerns in a cool, calm, and collected manner—without hurting or manipulating others. 

One of my favorite books on this topic is, “Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames” by Thich Nhat Hanh

How do you cool the flames? 

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

I Was Minding My Own Business…

…reading a suspense novel—The Night Before by Lisa Jackson—while enjoying a beautiful afternoon at Veteran’s Acres Park. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the leaves were dancing lightly in the breeze.

Enjoying a beautiful afternoon at Veteran's Acres Park

Enjoying a beautiful afternoon at Veteran's Acres Park

You know how when you’re watching a movie and the music score changes to let you know that something scary is about to happen?

All of a sudden I hear a “whomp, whomp, whomp” noise and turn my head to look. Rising from the lush green tree line I see a helicopter. The “whomping” sound is the tell-tale noise of the helicopter’s rotary blades.

Rising from the lush green tree line I see a helicopter

Rising from the lush green tree line I see a helicopter

I turned to see if anyone else heard or saw the helicopter. The closest people—guys on the basketball court—are engrossed in their game, oblivious to everything else.

The helicopter hovered in that same position for several minutes. Through my zoom lens I could see that it wasn’t “Life Flight,” the police, or a news helicopter. Then it took off—practically over my head.

Then it took off -- practically over my head

Then it took off -- practically over my head

The following day I checked the online edition of the Northwest Herald local newspaper to see if there was any mention of it—not a word.

When was the last time you saw something out of the ordinary in broad daylight that nobody else seemed to see, or care about?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Spit It Out

Summer is drawing to a close. At the Buchanan household this means that “spitting season”—a time for fresh, juicy red watermelons—is ending.

On many a summer evenings you can find us in the back yard with our toes lined up with the railroad tie that divides our driveway from our lawn. It’s the official “spit from” mark. Standing in the grass—toes to tie—we take turns seeing who can spit watermelon seeds the farthest. Len will tell you that I usually win because I’m so full of hot air!


When I was in elementary school there was a fellow classmate who stuttered. Our third-grade teacher would oftentimes say, “Spit it out!” in frustration when my friend had difficulty speaking. I found myself in Mr. Fleck’s office—the principal—on more than one occasion for being the “mouthpiece” for my friend. A small price to pay for a big lesson learned in advocacy.

There are other occasions when “Spit it out!” is a phrase used in an effort to get a person who’s merely reluctant to say something, to say it.

When was the last time you were hesitant to spit it out—to say something?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

I Kid You Not!

By most people’s standards Len and I are considered casual—even amateur—gardeners.

But even we know that when you plant marigold you shouldn’t get cantaloupe!

Mariloupe or Cantigold? You decide!

 What’s been your most recent surprise? 

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

The Sky is Falling!

You remember Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Foxy Loxy, Turkey Lurkey, and Goosey Loosey. Well…

Monday afternoon I shared with Terrill Welch over at Creative Potager:

Acorns are falling—thump, thump, thump—and the chipmunks are packing their cheeks as fast as they can and “squirreling” them away. Their faces are so fat it looks like we’ve got a mumps epidemic on our hands!

I thought it would be fun to try to capture a photograph of an acorn-laden chipmunk face so I laid down under the oak tree in our front yard—camera at the ready.

Just as I got the feeling that I was being watched, a load of acorns rained down on me. Looking up into the tree, here’s what I saw looking back (click on the photo and it will enlarge):

Look in the dead-center, and slightly to the right

Shortly after that, I received an email notifying me that my friend Jeff Stroud of The Reluctant Blogger, had tagged me in a comment on Facebook. So I toggled over there to view a wonderful 8-minute video clip of Zen Master John Daido Loori, author of Zen Photography. Not quite halfway into the clip he said:

“The moment is where our life takes place. We miss the moment—we miss life.”

Hearing that made me doubly glad that I’d taken the time—the moments—to try to see the world from a chipmunk’s point of view, and was instead rewarded with a raccoon smile.

What was the last moment you truly savored?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Pimp My Ride – Micro Car Style

Have you heard this story of the Hod Rod Race
When Fords and Lincons were settin’ the pace
That story is true, I’m here to say
I was drivin’ that Model A…

Hot Rod Lincoln by Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen

This past weekend we attended the annual Weger Barn Party hosted by none other than Ken and Sylvia Weger.

As you enter the gates to their bit of paradise, you’re immediately greeted by Sylvia’s lush garden.

 

Rounding the bend and climbing the hill, we took the opportunity to stop and unload the food we brought onto the flatbed trailer. Ken and Sylvia collect these donations and then deliver them to the local food pantry.

Ken’s a micro car enthusiast—he collects itty-bitty cars from all over the world. Here’s one of his newest additions:
 

This 15,000 square foot, state of the art, two-story building is the car museum where the majority of his collection resides. If you’d like to take a peek, simply follow this LINK.

 

Once we’re parked, we follow our noses — the Weger’s Barn Party is catered by Kief’s Reef. Utterly, completely, and totally delicious!

 

After filling our plates, we find a table, enjoy the food, listen to the excellent musician, and people-watch while we eat. Did I mention that the food was incredible?!

 
Time to burn off those calories, so we start checking out what some of the other guests arrived in. Take a look:

 

 

There’s a variety of streets and lanes on the Weger’s property with signs to guide the way. A Mini Cooper was parked by the mailboxes. As you can see, the lower one is for regular mail; the one up high is obviously for air mail!

As dusk painted the sky behind the Weger’s windmill, we could see that a great time was had by all!

If the Car Faerie were to gift you with any car of your choice, what would it be?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved