Elemental Flow

Flow with Life

You are elemental flowing energy. No particle in the Universe stays static for long – and you are no exception! Your body is constantly flowing and vibrating at the elemental level. Your tissues are created from elemental carbon, hydrogen, magnesium, oxygen, potassium, nitrogen, etc. You are actually made from billions of tiny elemental forms dancing and oscillating in space. 

Each atomic element has a signature vibration. And each type of tissue within your body has its own unique vibrational pattern: lung tissue vibrates in a distinct way. And the vibrational dance of liver is also unique. Bone vibration is different from brain vibration. And blood and lymph each create a unique dance of their own. Each tissue has its own dance. And when a tissue is hurt, diseased or in some way unhealthy, its vibrational dance shifts into an out of balance dissonant state. True healing is all about coaxing your diseased,  injured tissues to shift back into a balanced vibratory state where your physical body can dance and flow again.

“You are a watery creature living on a watery planet.
Your optimal state of being is flow.” 

~Nancy Lankston

☾ ☽

Pause   Open   Flow


Use What You’re Given

Soup’s On

“Every situation, no matter how challenging, is conspiring
to bring you home to you.” ~Panache Desai

A nasty February blizzard is cooking outside – the wind is blowing so hard that the snow is not falling to the ground so much as blowing south horizontally.  I watch it blow like stink and Thank God for indoor plumbing… Can you imagine having to wade out to an outhouse in this??!

So, what goes best with a blizzard? It’s definitely den time with the family.  And I find myself craving soup. Yes, soup sounds yummy. But I hadn’t really planned on making soup this weekend. I didn’t buy soup fixin’s… what to do? what to do?  Hmmm, maybe I can use what I’ve been given and rustle up some soup anyway. I love a challenge.   🙂

After rummaging through the refrigerator, here’s what went into the soup this morning:

1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup fresh spinach leaves     I live on greens – my nickname around here is Popeye, so I always have spinach or kale or something green in the fridge

1/2 roast chicken, bones removed, skin tossed in to make broth     This is leftover roast chicken from 5 nights ago. I bought it when I didn’t feel like cooking
1/2 lime, juiced     I’ve never put this in soup before, so it’s purely experimental
1 Clove garlic     Required – my hubby LOVES pretty much anything with garlic in it
Salt and Pepper

In an hour I’ll pull out the chicken skin, add water and toss in 1 cup rice, 1 tsp. dried lemongrass and let it simmer a few minutes longer. The smell is already filling the house and making my mouth water!

 Use what you’re given is an idea from a little book, Instructions to the Cook, written by Glassman & Fields. These two Zen practitioners ran charities that provided food and housing for the homeless on a shoestring budget for years. So they know all about creating something special from whatever you’re given. And their little book has inspired me on many occasions to stop, take a deep breath and figure out how to happily use whatever life is giving me in this moment.

“Life always gives us 
exactly the teacher we need 
at every moment. 
This includes every mosquito, 
every misfortune, 
every red light, 
every traffic jam, 
every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), 
every illness, every loss, 
every moment of joy or depression, 
every addiction, 
every piece of garbage, 
every breath. 

Every moment is the guru.”

 ~Charlotte Joko Beck
Use what you’re given.
Every moment can be bliss or shit – you choose.

Tiny Trim Tab Ripples

Tiny Tree in Vast Sky

When I look around me, the world appears to be quite a mess; news of fiscal cliffs, disasters and every kind of human and planetary suffering abound.  I see a world teeming with negativity and fear. And many people seem to wallow in fear day after day with no way out.

If I allow myself to spiral into fear and worry, I can end up wallowing in pain and pessimism all day long. And when I get stuck in worry and fear, I can’t help myself  or anyone else; my personal angst only adds more pain to the world.

I am reminded of Buckminster Fuller’s story.  In his 30’s, Buckminster became quite depressed about how his life was going. He felt guilty about how much he drank and how he had neglected his family. He felt like a complete failure and thought about killing himself. But one day, he asked himself if he had truly tried.  And he decided to turn the rest of his life into an experiment.

“Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary — the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab. It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. 

So I said that the little individual can be a trim tab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go. So I said, call me Trim Tab.”
~Buckminster Fuller 

 Buckminster went on to become an internationally renowned designer. He decided that he could be a little trim tab and change the course of the world. And he made a huge difference. Little ripples matter.

Yes, much of this world is a complete and utter mess. How do we stay calm and  keep our equilibrium when faced with such horrible news day after day? And how can one person possibly make a difference in a world that is so messed up?  What is the point in even trying?

But in every moment that we wriggle free of all that energy of worry and fear – every moment free of that tangled web, is a moment to celebrate. Every moment that  we can be peaceful is a little ripple of yummy energy  sent out into the world. And every little ripple of love and joy and peace that we create matters.

Remember the power of the trim tab and the little ripples it makes that turn the Queen Mary around. Little ripples of peace and joy and love and calmness matter whether we consciously realize it or not. Every little yummy ripple we create matters.

Advice to myself today: Breathe. And breathe again. Relax.  And whenever possible, send a few ripples of peace or love or joy out into the world.  Be a trim tab!

Resistance is Futile

Flame Tree
Flame Tree in Snow

Change is inevitable. Nothing stays the same for very long.

I take the same trail beside the St. Vrain river almost every day, and yet it is never quite the same path two days in a row. One morning last week on the trail, I was surrounded by tree branches filled with fiery autumn leaves. A few mornings later, snow completely blanketed the flaming trees and the sights and sounds of winter engulfed me.

Life is filled with cycles and shifts. From the passing of seasons to the aging of my body, change surrounds and engulfs me. And life continues to shift and change every day, every month, every year. Grasping at the old form, resisting change, makes today hurtful rather than joyful. I learned this lesson the hard way;  years ago I owned a property south of Kansas City that I loved.  I adored every inch of those 3 acres – every tree, every bush, every blade of grass was special to me.  The property was so significant and special that I wrote an entire book about the place (my first book, A Still Place).

And there was nothing bad or wrong about my love of that little parcel of land. The only problem was I clung to it and vowed to live in that spot until I died.  Silly, silly woman!  Well, life happened; I got divorced from one man and married another. I had a second baby and still I held onto that property. I refused to even think about moving. Then my husband’s job dried up and we faced a move cross-country to Chicago. And I had trouble letting go; I resisted leaving my lovely little property. But we needed to move!  The only thing my resistance caused was a slow, slow house sale and a ton of pain and angst.

We eventually sold the property and moved to Chicago. I was so sad, missing my little plot of land, wishing things were different, wanting to roll back the clock and undo the move.  But gradually, I let go. And when I finally stopped holding onto my past, I “woke up” and discovered that I was living in an amazing spot.  I found myself LOVING this new place and my new life.  All it took was letting go of the old life.

That experience left me knowing that my life is WAY less painful when I allow things to change and shift without resisting or pushing against the change. Resistance is futile! Resisting change only leads to pain and misery. 

I seem to periodically have to revisit this lesson in letting go and allowing life to unfold organically.  I can still make myself miserable trying to force today to look like some “perfect” day long past – or some fantasy day that I’ve never even experienced.  I can be so stubborn!  But when I remember that little piece of land that I adored so many years ago, I remember the value of letting go.

It’s odd; I have so many fond memories of that land south of Kansas City. 🙂 But now, I also remember all the amazing and wonderful stuff that happened to me when I let it go and moved on with my life.  And you know what? Today, I live in a space that is even more amazing!  And I would have never ended up here, if I hadn’t let go of that old place.

Life is a river; it keeps flowing and changing and moving. And in every moment I have a choice;  I can cling to the riverbank and wear myself out trying to stay right here in this spot. I can fight and resist moving downstream. Or I can let go and allow the flow of life to take me. I can let go and trust that  life can be even better around the next bend.


Can I stop resisting and be grateful for change?

Can I let go of my urge to control and push and grasp?

Can I allow life to unfold and shift organically?

Can I just breathe and allow today to be?


Do Conscious Beings Get Triggered?

Hideous Swamp, Beautiful Swamp

Emotion is as natural for humans as breathing.  
I don’t make my breathing right or wrong, so why do it with my emotions?

It’s been an interesting week; I have spent more time than I care to remember in my swamp.  By swamp I mean a sticky, tangled, mess of uncomfortable emotions within myself. I don’t like my emotional swamp much – a lot of what I experience in the swamp sucks – it hurts. And then I add to my pain by judging myself for feeling this sticky, yucky crap in the first place. I would love to avoid my swamp.

Isn’t life supposed to turn into bliss and pure joy when I open up to more consciousness?  Have I failed because I still get triggered after all these years of mindful awareness training?  Am I doing this consciousness thing wrong if I still get pissed and sad and scared?

But, wait a minute!  All humans emote about their experiences – even beings as aware as Gandhi and Jesus felt emotions. Our bodies are wired to flow with emotion.  Emotion is as natural for humans as breathing.  I don’t make my breathing right or wrong, so why do it with my emotions?

Every experience I have can trigger emotional reactions, not just the yummy experiences.  Where did I get the idea that becoming conscious meant never being triggered, never feeling “yucky” emotions?  Isn’t that just a really sneaky way to judge myself and find myself lacking?  Just what I need – another way to beat myself up and make myself bad or wrong. NOT!

And what if being more aware in each moment elicits even more emotion within me?   All those sensations about this moment that I used to block or ignore are now available to me in my new state of awareness. What if those sensations trigger MORE emotions as I respond to all the new information I am now aware of? Is that somehow wrong?

And isn’t it just another form of judgment to label emotions  good or bad, acceptable or repulsive?  How is it going to help me to label my emotions as OK and not OK?  Can I let go of the idea that some human emotions are a sign of unconsciousness or inferiority?

We are emotional creatures. Trying to stop emotion is like trying to halt the flow of water. Can I allow my emotions to flow without stuffing them?  And can I stop judging myself right or wrong for feeling the way I feel in each moment?

What happens if I embrace it all – my grief, my anger, my fear?  Can I allow my emotions to be waves washing through me? What happens if I embrace ALL of me – even the parts I don’t like – in every moment?

“It’s not that you won’t be triggered anymore.
It’s that you won’t have a problem being triggered anymore.”
–Panache Desai

New Moon in Leo

Image from Lunaf.com

New Moon in Leo today; one cycle completes and another begins. 

What is ready to begin or renew in my life today?

What is trying to birth that I can contribute
my energy and consciousness to ?

Where can I begin to  generate and create something potent and magical?

What lunar wisdom does the Leo moon have to share
with me, if only I will listen?


Learn more about natural rhythms and the energy of a Leo moon here:

 Lisa Michael’s Web Site