The Importance of Stretching

I’m writing that title knowing that it has (at least) a double meaning. The importance of stretching in life is also related to the importance of stretching out our bodies every day, and to remembering to take breaks to stretch our minds when doing desk work (like I am now).

I am a Certified Yoga Instructor but these days I am enjoying just keeping it simple. The important thing is to be regular and consistent in your stretches. Simple neck stretches, chin tucked, back of the neck lengthened, and feeling my spine stretch up from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet is a good basis to start from. Paying attention to what feels out of whack and listening for what will help. Following your body’s cues for what feels better when you do it. The simple remembering to tune into your body’s wisdom and act on it can make a huge difference. A recent client was so stressed out that it was greatly affecting her relationship with her horse and their ability to compete well together. One aspect we often neglect in looking at why our animal friends are not going well, is our ability and willingness to care for ourselves. This will then affect our ability to relate to our animal partners and color the world in a corresponding way. Our animals are extremely empathetic to our feelings and our physical state, and this affects everyday interactions. If you want the best from your animal friends, start by taking good care of all aspects of your health. Being present is the first step in Animal Communication.

For a start, while your reading this right now, stop and take a moment. Tune into your physical body. Ask, “what do I need, right now”? Wait for the answer, and don’t rush or predict what it will be. It may very well be something as simple as “take a breath” “slow down, sit down and look around to enjoy this place” or “I need a drink of water, I”m really feeling thirsty and didn’t even notice”, or something simple like that. Do it! Don’t wait for your body to have to scream at you. (It might also be something for your emotional body.) More examples are “I need to write in my journal to get these stuck feelings out” “I need to have a good cry so I can move on” I need to be silly and express how happy I’m feeling inside” or ” I need to mark this good feeling so I will remember it tomorrow” or so many more.

The point is, to listen to the still, small voice. It is a peaceful powerful voice that always points you to greater health and contentment. Whatever you do, feel better in the doing of it. And in feeling better yourself, you inadvertently, or directly, help your animal friends feel better and be better able to do their jobs. Whether that’s sitting purring on your lap, walking through the park helping you to get some exercise, or carrying you around a Grand Prix course with finesse and style.

Good luck! And have fun!

Photo by Laila Klinsmann on Pexels.com

Cocoon

As I typed this title thinking of one idea, instead the movie by the same name came to mind. One of my old favorites. A vision of a life where old age becomes full of joy and contentment, with a new adventure to boot. That’s my vision for Old Age.

However, the reason I originally wrote this title was because of something I saw yesterday.

“What is this?”, you might ask. When I first saw it yesterday, it was  a mere net, a gossamer sheet of threads over a florescent green, bulbous and  huge caterpillar.  There were ants busily moving in, through and around the space being created as this net was spun, seemingly a happy part of the green worm’s creation.

I didn’t take a picture then because I wasn’t sure which way it was going. Somehow it appeared that perhaps this worm was on its way out. I remember thinking – how does a caterpillar come out of the cocoon, as a caterpillar? Am I missing something?

Yes, I was. When I approached the area I found it in this morning, I realized it was almost done building a very firm abode to rest in while it transformed into its next stage.

Wow.

Talk about creating your own safety. It seems like a perfect metaphor for the necessary times of introspection, meditation, rest, retreat and inner nourishment. Winter always seems like a natural time for this, but I realize that perhaps we need mini-cocoons – shorter periods of withdrawal, more frequently. Momentary retreats where we nourish and transform ourselves. Take an unkind word and change it in our heart into a more thoughtful one so that it doesn’t fester and burn. Keeping our inner Self clear and full of Light to support this vision of an old age filled with Joy and Contentment. I love that thought.

I looked again at the safety net and saw how common, ordinary bits of the surrounding environment had been utilized to form this shining gossamer fortress. A tiny piece of leather, a withering leaf, stems of leaves long gone. This is part of the way of thinking that permaculture comes out of.  To use whatever surrounds us naturally, is already present in our local surroundings, and utilize it to help create or reinforce the cycle of  life and make it better. Or in the case of this one, protect us from the environment while we sense and change and meld with our deepest desires.  There is a sense of completeness that comes from noticing local availability, and what is literally in our own back yard,  before having something shipped across the country or the world.

I am watching this Cocoon each day to see what miraculous creature will unfold from its time of introspection, or perhaps it’s just resting and nourishing its Self with beautiful thoughts and visions of radiant mirth. More to come.