Jill Sand Consulting

Wellness, Yoga, Body, Mind, Spirit, Fitness, Health

Angelic Gatekeepers

"A mother's heartbeat is the first sound that each of us hears, we think. It feels to me that women's bodies are the guardians of life entering this world and it feels right that we would be the guardians of the gate out."

-- Kate Munger

This morning, I am a mother. I don't find myself in that position as much anymore, offering advice only when asked, worrying over the small stuff, getting involved in the kids' daily lives.

But today, I woke up a mother. I discovered that Robbie was not home in the morning, and I went into a panic. I hadn't talked to him. Jeff hadn't said that he talked to him. I started thinking, I haven't seen or heard from him since Tuesday morning as he headed out to work! Where is he?? If he doesn't come home, he will always call and check in with me.

So I worried myself into a tizzy. I tried calling Jeff at work, but his phone is off while he works. I sent him an email, but I doubt he'll check it. I checked my phone - no calls from Robbie. Then I checked the home phone. He called at 6:30 last night. I was teaching a yoga class, so I was unable to answer the phone. What if he was calling to say he was hurt, but no one answered? Worry worry worry!

I went on to Facebook (yes, even in my worry - I recognize my overactive imagination!) and Brenda Vizenor, one of our guest speakers for this weekend's Women's Retreat, had posted: "All is well... All is well... " Boy, I needed that! So I took some deep breaths and started to release my worry. When Robbie called last night, Jeff must have answered the phone and talked with him, since he didn't leave a message. More than likely, he decided to hang out with friends because he didn't have school today. Stop worrying, Jill!

We are the guardians to our children, for as long as we are with them on this Earth (and beyond). What a blessing, and yet a balancing act as they become adults.

If you have a story to share about your relationship with your kids, go over to the Forums - Inspirational Thoughts, and leave the story!

See the World

"Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, and charitable views cannot be acquired by vegetating in one tiny corner of the globe."


-Mark Twain

Anyone who has wandered outside the borders of their own corner of the world understands the wisdom of this statement.Whether you travel from one end of Minnesota to another, or you travel to either of the coasts or any place in between, or you are Blessed to travel outside the country, you begin to realize that your viewpoint for world perspective has been narrowly defined prior to that travel. You move into a paradigm shift in your world view. Learning how others live and work, learning and perhaps even living among others' culture, if only for a week, allows you a window into another's perspective of the world and changes your own perspective, if only by a slight shift.

I've been Blessed in my own travels. From this travel,especially to other countries, I have learned about our own government, history,social programs, cultural beliefs, etc.,but from a foreigner's viewpoint.I have learned that, while America is a great country, perhaps it is not the greatest country. Perhaps there is still work to be done. We can't rest on our laurels, I think we have realized, or other countries will take over the lead. We must reshape our beliefs continually and "evolve" as a nation.

What does Mark Twain''s quote inspire in you? Please go to the Forums and leave your thoughts there!

The Truth

“The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere.”

-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Think about the work it takes to form a lie. First you need to come up with a story that is reasonable for the situation. Then you have to stick to that story. Then you have to keep track of who knows the truth and who knows the lie, and not let those people get together to talk about the event. As time goes by, it seems like details get added to the lie, so you need to keep track of the details. That brings up the fact that you cannot just tell the lie and then be done with it. You have to keep on retelling that lie. All of this adds stress to the event for which we felt the need to tell the lie.

And then there is the physical toll from being untruthful. Because we know in our gut that we are not being truthful, the gut is usually the first place we notice the lie in our physical body. Stomach aches and stomach problems and digestive problems are just a few areas that we feel the manifestation of lies in our physical bodies.

Whew! All that lying gets complicated and troublesome. Meanwhile, in telling the truth, even though it may not make everyone happy, you stay in your own Truth. The story sticks together. Instead of others not trusting your story, they support you. You establish a reputation as someone who speaks the truth.

We can never be True to ourselves if we choose to be insincere to others.

What are your thoughts on being insincere? Do you have a story to share on the topic? Please stop over to the Forums and share your story under the subtopic Inspirational Thoughts!

The Wise Woman

The Wise Woman Tradition is the oldest known healing tradition on our planet. It offers a unique view of health that is woman-centered and deeply empowering to women. This is in starkcontrast to orthodox -- and most alternative -- healing traditions, which are based on male viewpoints which disempower women.

Assuming that a healthy male is the definition of health may not seem like much of a problem, unless you are a woman. This core assumption has hurt, and continues to hurt, women in a multitudeof direct and indirect ways, from the deeply personal to the widely political. This assumption leads to attempts to “correct”-- with drugs and surgery -- physical and emotional states that are normal (and healthy) for women, but not for men.

There is more to medicine than the male perspective. I speak for the woman-centered tradition. It empowers women to take charge of their health and their lives, to honor and respect themselves, and the earth. I call it the Wise Woman Tradition.

The Wise Woman Tradition empowers women to:

• View themselves as healthy, even when they have problems

• Create their own healthy norms

• Honor their natural cycles and changes (puberty, menses, pregnancy, menopause)

• Define themselves from a woman-centered viewpoint

• Connect with other women for personal and planetary healing

 

The Wise Woman Tradition heals by nourishing the wholeness of each unique individual.

~ Susun S. Weed

I would like to think I am a member of the Wise Woman Tradition. I also honor your membership as a Wise Woman. What are your thoughts on the Wise Women Tradition? Please head over to the Forums/ Inspirational Thoughts and leave some comments!

Time

“Time is not a line, but a series of now points.”

-- Taisen Deshimaru

I used to have this posted on my profile at a website forum that I visit. As a teacher of math and history (timeline assignments), I thought it was a great visualization. But even more, it offers us the opportunity to look at time in a different way. On a timeline, important dates are marked with a point on that line. There is space between those dates, to show the passing of time where non-important items reside but are not recorded. However, in our lives, each moment is important, and thus that line becomes a series of points of importance.

Treat each moment as something precious, something that can be recorded on a timeline series of points. If you have comments on this inspirational thought, please go to the Inspirational Thoughts Forums and share your story!

Choosing the Present

 “Dwell not on the past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind. Nothing really matters except what you do now in this instant of time.”

-- Eileen Caddy

How many of us spend a good part of our time in the past? "I wish that I had done (this) differently." "I should have said (this) to him." "Why did I tell her (this)?" "I could have been a better (parent, wife, husband, daughter, son, neighbor, etc)."

All of these past offenses can stay with us and make us unhealthy. It's like a bad potato in a bag full of potatoes. If you don't get rid of the potato, the whole bag can spoil. And that is what can happen to us if we don't get rid of those negative thoughts of what we could have done differently. They can actually ruin our health by increasing our stress level. Stomach aches can lead to ulcers. Headaches can lead to migraines. All sorts of digestive issues can be tied to stress in our lives.

So the big question becomes, "How do I turn it off? How do I stop repeating that record player in my head?" Of course that is much easier said than done. I've found that you can't necessarily turn it off, unless you are great at meditation, which indeed allows you to turn thoughts off. But another option is to replace those thoughts. As soon as the record begins to play, you replace those thoughts with something else. I try not to replace the thought with a projection for my future, because that may lead to worry. In fact it usually does, and that is equally unhealthy and can be saved for another day!

So how do you replace that negative thought but stay in the present? Stop the thought by bringing your attention to the place you are in. Just stop and look around you. NOTICE your environment. Walk your eyes around the space and start naming what you see: tree, leaves, chair,deck railing, ivy plant, etc... And once you have taken your attention to objects, tune in to the environment. What sounds do I hear? What smells are in this space? PAY ATTENTION. And then allow yourself to become part of the environment, not an observer of it. FEEL yourself in the environment. What is your role in the space? If you are outdoors (which I highly recommend), just walk around and feel yourself as connected to this moment in time. Take some deep breaths and notice how, in THIS MOMENT, there are no distractions from the past.

What do you do, to keep yourself from dwelling on the past? Please share your thoughts over in the Forums under the Inspirational Thoughts!

Enlightenment

“Enlightenment is a journey of no distance, to a destination you never left.”

-- Unknown Source

I like this one. To me, it speaks to our being Spiritual Beings, here on Earth to learn the depth of feelings that we cannot experience on the Other Side. That is our Enlightenment. To persevere during the hard times, during those tough emotional times. To walk toward the light, even when we are tempted to give up our faith. We already are whole, experiencing these human emotions makes us complete.

What are your thoughts on Enlightenment? You can comment over in the Forums under "Inspirational Thoughts."

A Magical Potion: Morning Dew

The world awakens each day from its nightly slumber, transformed by a sparkling layer of morning dew on the grass.

I love these fall days! Temperatures can rise into the 60s and 70s during the day, and then plunge into the 40s and 30s overnight. Windows open during the day, and extra blankets go on the bed at night. We get a view of that beautiful Harvest Moon which hangs heavily in the night. There is a busyness of everyone preparing for winter, from the nut-gathering squirrels to the wood-stacking husband! Geese call out during the day, trying to move south as quickly as possible, avoiding the gun shot in the early morning hours.

The morning dew offers its own symbolism to the autumn season. As plants die back, the dew offers the roots of those plants the opportunity to suck in that moisture and store it for another season. Even during drought years, the dew is present, working its magic on the perennials, extending the season for the annuals, where we might have given up on them.

The dew cleanses. It prepares the earth for winter. In our houses, we mimic the dew by cleaning and preparing our homes for winter. We wash the floors, the carpets, the windows, the walls, etc.We prepare our winter home, and we burrow into our "space," just as the critters outdoors will do.

What are your favorite thoughts about autumn and the morning dew? Please comment over in the forums, under "Inspirational Thoughts!"

From Margery Williams (The Velveteen Rabbit)

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real, you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

 

This is one of my favorite stories that I would always take out and share with my boys at Christmas time, when they were younger. And this is my favorite part of the story.

I think about my life at this midpoint. I think about how my body has aged. I look in the mirror and see those lines around my eyes. I actually have to get my readers to see the hairs on my face. I notice how hard it is to roll out of bed on some mornings. That achy back that I inherited from the Reinke side of the family. I have to squint when looking at distances, and I have to pay close attention to the words around me. So much for loud background music!

And yet, I am more real today than at any other time in my life. I feel comfortable in my own skin. I accept that face that is looking more like my mother's with each passing day. I like my politics and my spirituality and my relationship with my husband and my relationship with my boys and my relationship with my friends and my family. I am very satisfied with the amount of money we have on hand, and I am very satisfied with the amount of money we have stashed away. We may never be rich, but we will be fine. I'm content.

I'm real. This is me. No pretenses. Ask me what I think, and you will get my answer. You may not agree with me, and I'm perfectly okay with that. Your real too, and that is all good.

If you'd like to comment on Margery Williams quote above, go over to the Forums, sign in, and leave a comment in the "Inspirational Thoughts" threads. I'd love to hear what you have to say!  

From Audrey Hepburn

"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.  For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.  For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.  As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others."

These are words of truth! I can't help but think of the whining I hear these days, coming from all sorts of people from all walks of life. The overwhelming message is: I want more, but I don't care if you have more. In fact, if you have more, than I have less.Therefore, I want what you have too.

Selfishness and greed seem to be the order of the day.

I'd like to see us all live by the words of Audrey Hepburn: speak with kindness, see the good in others, share what you have with the less fortunate, play with the children, have faith, and use your strengths to assist others.

If you'd like to comment on Audrey Hepburn's quote above, go over to the Forums, sign in, and leave a comment in the "Inspirational Thoughts" threads. I'd love to hear what you have to say!

The Power of Dance

“Every dance is a kind of fever chart, a graph of the heart.”
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”

-- Martha Graham

The other day, I found myself, once again, dancing in my kitchen. By myself. Music cranked. Singing along, of course. I LOVE dancing! I love closing my eyes and feeling the music in my heart. There is nothing fashionable about my dancing. I haven't line-danced for years. My polka and waltz forms are pretty rusty. My rock and roll moves include snapping my fingers. NOT cool, I've learned! However, when I dance these days, I just move. Close my eyes and find the rhythm in my heart. Express my feelings with my moves. If it is a sad song, my body cries. If it is a liberating song, my arms flail around me, absorbing that liberation into my heart. I "act out" the song. (On this one, you would just need to ask my good friends who have seen me singing and dancing to Paradise By the Dashboard Lights!)

So whether you are dancing in a bar or dancing in your kitchen, just close your eyes and let the music sink into your heart. Then MOVE!

If you have a dancing story, or you want to share a similar story about finding your heart through movement, join me over in the forums, under the "Inspirational Thoughts" threads.

Inspirational Thoughts

"Words are not a small thing. Words are the real power... if we create powerful words, we feel love. If we create negative words, we feel hatred.... Let your words be straight, simple, and said with a smile."

- Yogi Bhajan

The above quote is included on my Facebook Profile. It speaks to me a lot when I am debating and discussing issues with others. Especially when talk turns to politics. It seems to me that there are a lot of angry words being tossed around these days. I wonder about that type of energy going out into the world.

I believe that we have the power to change the world, one word at a time. If we chose our words kindly, we can affect those who hear them. In turn, they have the opportunity to decide which words they choose to use. And the ripple effect begins to take place.

Just for today, pledge to use kind words. Just for today, smile at that person who is trying to get a negative reaction from you. And smile from your heart, so that they know you are sincere. Spread the love!

The Power of Women

"The world will be saved by the western woman."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I find it very interesting and a bit inspiring to think that the Dalai Lama would say something as powerful as this. What does it mean for us? Perhaps it is the influence that women have in our Western world? Perhaps it is the rights we have gained in the past 100 years, even more so during the past 50 years?

So what do we DO with this power? Do we replicate the power of man, figuring it is "our turn?" Do we make that power feminine? There is much to be said about yin and yang, male and female, masculine and feminine. Should we bring in that feminine energy? That Goddess Power? Or do we balance the energies?

I have offered Goddess classes in the past, and may do so again in the future, if people want it. In these classes, we discuss the power of that Goddess energy. For instance, are most people aware that we were not always a patriarchal society? Thousands of years ago, we were matriarchal societies, living off the land as hunters and gatherers. Our needs were sustained. Only when our societies grew, and we needed to expand our lands, did we become first nomadic and later fighters for the land. Then the energy and strength of our men were necessary for our living needs.

Do we need that masculine energy to keep us alive today? Is that still necessary, or is it time for society to reevaluate its needs?

The Habit of Being You

"Change and evolution are all about breaking the habit of being 'you.'"

-- Joe Dispenza

Let's think about this one... our entire identity is wrapped around our habits. Our habits define our identity. So if we want to change something about ourselves, our identity, that means we have to break a habit of ours. That actually sounds do-able, doesn't it? Let's think about this in specific terms.

If I want be more physically active, what habit would I need to change? Well, I'd have to stop spending so much time on the couch (or the computer!) and find a new way to spend that time, in the form of exercise. The change in how I spend my time would allow me to become more physical, thus changing who I am. Now my identity includes me being a physically active person.

So if I want to spiritually evolve, it would occur in much the same way. I would need to change a habit. Perhaps I am going to spend less time on the computer and more time in quiet meditation. Perhaps I am going to find a group of friends who are like-minded, also wanting to evolve, so I will spend more time with them and less time with friends whose energy doesn't match up with mine. 

To make a change in who we are, we need to break a habit that we currently practice. Do you have a change you'd like to make? What habit do you need to break to make that change? Please join us for discussion over in the Forums. 

 

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