Vortex …a swirl of activity.

Vortext swirl

Polar vortex-and you could be under 7 feet of snow.
Emotional Vortex-and you could be under the covers.

The plurals of vortex are vortices and vortexes, those words even sounds like powerful forces. Extreme….Turbulent…The absence of external forces….That’s what makes a vortex.  “Once formed, vortices can move, stretch, twist, and interact in complex ways. A moving vortex carries with it some angular and linear momentum, energy, and mass…” –http:// en.wikipedia.org/? title=Vortex

As the N. American world revs up for the beginnings of this “Holiday Season”-it feels as if a very large vortex is forming. Advertisements continually, the weather folks love to tell us how cold it is somewhere, money can seem to fly out the door, expectations (many unrealistic and many self imposed) and everything begins to feels like it’s spinning at warp speed…and yet it is all in slow motion simultaneously. How can that be? As winter approaches we should be slowing down, going inward, as I have said repeatedly before, by now our “internal” work should be close to compleat for this year – not accelerating up!

So where does this spinning vortex come from? External forces are strong! So much goes “extreme” this time of year – overindulging, over abundance, over whelming, over the river and through the woods…just where is it you want to go?

As this Thanksgiving week begins, and so “The Holiday Season” – I wish all my readers a holiday season of peace, safe passages, joy, love, happiness and whatever else you hope for your own self as these days stream through to the end of this year. Remember to try to be content, happy would be great, and keep those vortices at bay as best you can. Breath deep and keep on trucking.

Gordy, his pumkin and a few neighborhood turkeys.
Gordy, his pumkin and a few neighborhood turkeys.

 

Yin and Yang, Good and Bad, Happy and Sad.

” I admire how open your heart is to the happy and sad moments that life brings us,”   – K.S

I am taken back by the clarity of those words. We all have those moments, those days, even months. But if we don’t try to take in BOTH the good, and the bad, it really does get a bit overwhelming at times. The good may feel like, or in reality be, only tiny snippets at times—and that does indeed stink and makes it more difficult, but the better, and the good, is there somewhere. It just has to be. It may be buried very deep, and it may be very simple, but it’s important to seek it out. Like all of us, I have experienced harsh realities and adversity at times. At certain points in my life I was amazed, and almost embarrassed, as horrible things were surrounding me that I could smile, or laugh at all. I could have tears instantly followed by laughter. I still can’t make sense of those extreme jumbles of highs and lows. Laughter and tears. However, I am glad it was, and is, still true.

I looked up Yin/Yang and this is what I found. Somehow, it all seems fitting and right to post this here, now, today….

Four Main Aspects of Yin and Yang Relationship

Yin-Yang are opposites
They are either on the opposite ends of a cycle, like the seasons of the year, or, opposites on a continuum of energy or matter. This opposition is relative, and can only be spoken of in relationships. For example: Water is Yin relative to steam but Yang relative to ice. Yin and Yang are never static but in a constantly changing balance.

Interdependent: Can not exist without each other
The Tai Ji (Supreme Ultimate) diagram shows the relationship of Yin & Yang and illustrates interdependence on Yin & Yang. Nothing is totally Yin or totally Yang. Just as a state of total Yin is reached, Yang begins to grow. Yin contains seed of Yang and vise versa. They constantly transform into each other. For Example: no energy without matter, no day without night. The classics state: “Yin creates Yang and Yang activates Yin”.

Mutual consumption of Yin and Yang
Relative levels of Yin Yang are continuously changing. Normally this is a harmonious change, but when Yin or Yang are out of balance they affect each other, and too much of one can eventually weaken (consume) the other.

Four (4) possible states of imbalance:
Preponderance (Excess) of Yin
Preponderance (Excess) of Yang
Weakness (Deficiency) of Yin
Weakness (Deficiency) of Yang

Inter-transformation of Yin and Yang.
One can change into the other, but it is not a random event, happening only when the time is right. For example: Spring only comes when winter is finished.

Taken from— http://www.sacredlotus.com/theory/yinyang.cfm


…And to finish up this post, I found this some time ago on Facebook. There is no name with the image, so I have no idea who is supposed to get the credit for the image or the words…but I like it…and again…it seems to fit.

Your mission for the day — remember to laugh at least once. Bulldog and laughter

Falling leaves, Slippery leaves.

Ollie in the fall
Image from the BBB3 archives

 

Here in my little corner of New England the leaves are close to peak, and indeed it is beautiful to see. Fall is in full swing with all its transformations. I have been thinking about the change of seasons and all that entails, both externally in the natural world and internally to us as human beings. In the ancient Taoism/Daoism seasons, we are in the season of Gathering and these three months of autumn are about Containment and Balance. It’s the time to draw our energies inward. Now (not January 1st) is the time to start laying down the paths for a healthy and happy new/next year. “It is time to still our hearts and minds and to gather and collect the spirit and the qi 氣 (energy).” (further reading) … so, how does this fit into my mind, to our everyday lives?

Are you ready? Ready for change? Ready for a new season/year that is quickly approaching? Ready for an open mind? Ready for a new whatever it may that you might be seeking? Look around yourself NOW. Temps are falling. Light is dwindling. Flowers are fading. Trees are having one last glorious blast and then letting their grandeur drop to the ground. Nature is preparing to go dormant for a winters rest. It is a time of gathering nutrients and strength for a rejuvenation that pops in the spring. The ever so obvious natural message to us is:  We too need to let go, drop our leaves, let go of what ever we have been carrying/holding that is no longer of use, or beneficial, to ourselves. (So we are back to one of my recurring themes of letting go.) In the above referenced article it reminds me that “BREATHING is a very powerful way to let go of our tension, whether it is physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. It is one of the primary cycles of yin and yang in the body. Having inhaled we must let go of it before we can take any more in.” I like that, it resonates with me. If your lungs, mind, bodies, heart, are filled with the “unneeded,”  maybe its old dusty air, or “bad”/ugly/painful/sad thoughts, or maybe it’s just plain old unhealthy air/thoughts/actions/patterns, how can that possible be good to hold inside? Mind you, I am not saying it is a piece of cake and all you have to do is breath deep and exhale all the “crap” we all collect right out of our cells. If only it were that easy!

However, all this does tie into another topic I often think about these days that is called “mindfulness.” To me mindfulness is much like awareness but with an extra dose of consciousness. It seems that with awareness you notice, and hopefully make a note of whatever “it” is. With mindfulness you have awareness combined with additional thinking, and hopefully acting upon the thoughts, from your awareness. Make sense?  The yin and yang of life….Let in (how about WELCOME IN) the good, breath out the unneeded, the painful parts that are holding you back. Gather yourself up, let go of the frenetic (although often full of fun) summer energies, unfortunately we lose that summer warmth as well (now we have to recreate that artificially.) Calm down those long list of “things I should do” that pop up so often in the fall. Start gathering that which nourishes you and strengthens you. Small moves in perceptions, actions, can make for enormous changes later. Do it now, while they are tiny, this keeps some of the drastic melodramatic changes away and so a smoother road ahead. And really, do you want those big rough bumps on your road?  Most of us do not. “Chart the difficult when it is easy, act on the great when it is tiny.”  … “Act when something has not yet come to be, regulate when it is not yet disordered.” (Laozi chapter 63 and Chapter 64.) Again, as I sit here writing, I think, if only all, or even part, of this all was easy!

You may be thinking, wondering why the title of this posting? Falling leaves—it’s about letting go. Slippery Leaves—that one makes me smile. It’s a phrase that came to be a gazillion moons ago with a group of very good friends. We were doing our usual hanging out. It was in the fall season with indeed slippery wet leaves all around us. Someone stating the obvious said, “Watch out for the slippery leaves” (I think we were walking?) The response was something like, “Hmm, think so? I think I had figured that out all by myself!” It was not snide, mean, or an unfriendly response. I think we all burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of stating the ever so clear fact. It has become a phrase in my personal lexicon that has transpired a bit and come to mean generically, watch out for the obvious. It can be physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, it doesn’t matter, we often do see, and know the obvious BUT, we also sometimes MISS the obvious—and occasionally our friends do have to help…mindfulness is key.

So, in this season of transformations, let go of what you don’t need and be mindful of all those slippery leaves!

Are they all Beauties? Is their a Beast?

Beauty and the Beast?
Beauty and the Beast?

I have been thinking about water, waves, the sounds of the waves, the oceans roar, and then back to the stillness that water can have. The ebb and flow of it all. It’s almost magical how the water flows in and out of the sea onto the sand, continually restoring itself, and laps up on the shore again. Continual replenishment!  If only it were that easy for us. Maybe it is? The other two big topics on my mind lately are happiness and friendships. The connection to all this is I actually got to go to the beach/ocean, and share three days with three wonderful friends. We laughed a lot, and a few tears were shed as well. Some were caused because we were laughing so hard, and some were of sadness – all were water!  All good. All cleansing. All replenishing to the soul. It was truly a respite for us all- the ocean, the warmth, the love of such close friends, the good times, the sounds, the sunshine, even the rain, the whole “ball of wax.” It took us almost 2 years to finally make that weekend happen- it was worth the wait. (Thanks to- you know who you are! ) The above large Horseshoe Crab had washed up to the shore along with about 15 others- I have never seen anything quite like it? All within about 50 feet of each other, and only in that one spot? We were wondering if they were all coming ashore to lay eggs? Again, the cycles of the water, the ocean. How odd that these animals had to bump, jostle and wait for the next wave to make their way to the beach sand. I’m sure their is a life analogy in that somewhere!

Added to the top layer of the above image is another image- this one of a 17th century piece/fountain head- spouting water. The face made me smile for the expression of the eyes, and eyebrows are most amazing. And yet, it fits- it somehow all ties into the fluidity of life, the water that we all need to sustain ourselves. The flow, the rhythm, the cold, the hot, the ocean, the water glass, the shower, the cup of tea/coffee, the waves, the sounds-and back to the oceans roar. An amazing face, a spiky crab, and Moe (Minister of Clean Water in my magical land of Botaniumaus.) All beauties to me…but as we know-Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! I am pretty sure the same is true for sounds.  Crashing, jumping, or gentle waves-sounds that truly soothe my soul. What’s your soul soothing sound?

Potential, the number 4 – and the connection to Earth Day is?

Wellie and the full of potential number 4.
Wellie and the full of potential number 4.

Wellie is all about health, mental and physical health….it therefor seems right that he is the “featured” Botanical Beautie this week, with the letter 4, and ready to take off! He’s off to reach some new potential! Least not forget- HAPPY EARTH DAY!

The number 4:

  • Earth, Air, Fire, Water
  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
  • Native Americans Medicinal Wheel embodies 4 directions
  • Stages of our lives – birth, youth, adult and elder
  • East, West, North, South
  • 4 Phases of the Moon (new, half-moon waxing, full, half-moon waning)
  • …And a few more I just taught myself in doing a little reading for this post.
    The Four Noble Truths epitomize Buddhism. ***
  • To the Pythagoreans 4 was the source of the tetractys 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10, the most perfect number. ***
  • In medieval times there were thought to be four humours (phlegm, blood, choler, and black bile—hence the adjectives phlegmaticsanguinecholeric, and melancholic), and the body was bled at various places to bring these humours into balance. ***
  • Four types of animal (ground movers, flyers, four-legged, and two-legged.)***http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1086220/number-symbolism/248161/4

Four is todays topic, the 4 seasons, and specifically SPRING! The season that’s full of potential. The ground is exploding with new grass, flowers and multitudes of all sorts of “burst” of life. For many of us we have been less energetic for the past season, the skies have often been grey, and the temps were cold. All that is gently and beautifully changing. I love the spring-that amazing willow light green on the trees as the buds and leaves appear, the wonderful joyous visions of flowers peeping out and blooming again, the SUN with the longer days and warmer temps. It’s all so yummy!  A friend, in the last year or so, made me aware of the Taoist Seasons and it fascinates me. Spring is the season of WOOD. OK, makes sense on some logical levels to me, wood, trees, branches become covered again, roots coming alive, and all those other woodland flora and fauna coming to life with wood involved in so many ways…. But here’s closer to what it really means.

The Wood Elements: The power of Wood is gentle, persistent, and filled with creative potential. It has the power of both being and becoming—of being true to your own nature and becoming more yourself by clearly expressing your inner needs and desires. Wood gently penetrates the earth to bring forth water, the source of all life.  Drawing from our roots, we find the energy to push forward with strength and firmness of purpose, always remaining supple, yielding, and true to our nature.

The Wood element’s climate is windy; its direction is East (“Beginning and creation arise in the East”); and its power is experienced most intensely between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am.

The color associated with Wood is green; its odor is rancid; and its sound is shouting.

http://fiveelementhealing.net/spring-the-season-of-renewal-the-element-of-wood/

 

It’s often said, Spring is a time of new beginnings, or maybe of renewals. April also brings us EARTH DAY tomorrow, so, lets combine to two. Reclaim, Reduce, Recycle, ReThink, if needed-ReDo.

Reclaim – in this case your muscles! Get out and up and MOVE. It’s bad enough to be a slug in the winter, but it’s worse in the spring!
ReDuce– ever heard of Spring Cleaning…ha ha; of course you have. Now, the trick is to sort and reduce not just move the stuff around. That would be in your home. In your Mind. And don’t forget, in your Body too!
ReUse/Recycle: repurpose what you can – toss the rest…again- literal and psychologically. (Remember all those posting about “letting go“- practice! )
Rethink: Grudges and resentments are indigestible and cause stress. Practice forgiveness.
ReDO. Take a risk, rethink and do something new! Remember a small seed can turn into a mighty tree! Go of it! Feel the potential and RUN with it (not walk but RUN, well at least skip!)

Connections – and what does that have to do with cause and effect?

Every day is made up of our stories…some days are more mundane, some are wildly exciting- but all are parts of the weave of the day/week/month/year/life. What makes up the stories? Well there are the obvious things like your work, immediate family, and the daily task of your path. That’s all good stuff. To me, the really fascinating threads are the human interactions, the unexpected words, and experiences that fly all around us continually. I heard a great line recently that goes something like this – “You never know whom you will meet, and what influence/imprint they will have on your life and you on theirs.” Powerful. Amazing. Wonderful. Do you ever wonder why you meet (or met) someone? I have been examining some of the personal relationships in my life lately. Thinking about what is the give and take of these interactions, these friendships, and sometimes these brief and fleeting “moments in time.” (Moments in time are a whole other subject! The big question being how is time really marked and measured – why does it creep at points and fly at others?) Anyhow…..back to connections…Why are some of your friends, I say friends for they are chosen into your life, there? What do you add to their life and they to yours? Some may come and go, but I am pretty sure the ones that are here right NOW are for a reason, big or small.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves the awareness of a human encounter designated “Wow-now I get it.” You may select any other two world members, but it is essential that the first member of your team is yourself! It is also essential that the third member of your team is Yum (Yes, you have to imagine and pretend here! I’m sure you remember how! If you don’t then that too is part of your mission!  Yum is the “fairy of goodness,” she makes sure everyone is “behaving” as we would hope intelligent and kind humans should in the world.) She is a magical force as well as masquerading as a civilian, and she is a highly capable professional maker of self awareness. You have forty-eight hours to recruit Yum and meet me in the comments section to report on your mission. As always, should any member of your team be caught or become extra grumpy, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. (Thanks to Mission Impossible for the inspiration of format!)

Zoie, The Monster, Yum
What do these characters have to do with each other? What IMPACT do they have on each other? ( Left to right, Zoie, Introducing The Monster, and Yum)

Spring, consciousness and attitudes.

Attitude is everything
See below for more about Attitude.

Today is finally warm again…alas the sun seems to have gone, and its raining, but at least the temps are 1/2 decent. Just asking– is this continuing of winter claws getting under your skin? It is mine! I could use some sun and warmth together! Just saying…Therefore, today we will chat about ways to try to help yourself get out of your own way. I am having a wee bit of trouble with this of late, it’s a tough one for many, at various times I am sure it is tough for everyone. Remember that’s it’s all about attitude, and if we are lucky maybe we can ‘adjust’ our own as needed ~ There are lots of great sayings about this…

  • Show up…
  • Park in front….
  • Everyday starts with a blank canvas….
  • Don’t give up. Normally it’s the last key on the ring which opens the door.
  • You don’t need to change places, you just see where you are with new eyes.

…and on an on. I must take you back to my yoga class. As usual, I find inspiration from the words of my teacher, Suzie. On Tuesday night she was saying, put your consciences in the palm of your hands. Of course, since it was yoga class I thought, ok…good idea Suzie I will do that. As the week progressed I have thought about it. Just what indeed does that really mean-especially to me? I realized I really didn’t have clue, so I sat down and thought about. Since I like, to share my favorite things with you all, I will share my thoughts.

Remember the blog post(s) on open palm living? They are still some of my favorite thoughts. Well, if you are living your life open; i.e.,open to: new experiences, people, things, thoughts, and your heart is open to the world around you then you are living in an open palm way. That also means you are possibly less ‘protected’ and therefor probably more ‘venerable.’ This is where consciousness helps. This is also where ATTITUDE helps. It may mean you have a sort of “self directed” path, you have awareness, and although most of us don’t understand much what goes on in our daily paths we know it is OUR path, and hope with all our might, wishes, crossed fingers, and a birthday candle blows, that it is the path we are supposed to be on!  (Can’t resist, another few sayings – Life is a journey not a destination, Your life is what you create in it). Now, lets take that one step further… Lets assume we are all trying to live our lives as ‘open beings’ with the added bonus of open palm consciousness.  You are now alive, open, and aware. Pretty amazing in itself if we can do that. Now, imagine you can touch it with your hands, that you indeed have ‘the power’ of consciousness in your palms, you can touch it at will. What will that bring? Does it mean you can mold it/shape it as you desire?  Can you adjust it with grace and ease for you can now touch it? Is it a burden or a pleasure to have this power? I hope you think it is a good thing, a pleaseure. Yes, I know I did not directly answer the question of “What it means to put your consciences in the palm of your hands?”  Well, what do you think it means? I hope, at least, I got you to think about it over the course of the next few days. Would love to hear from you in comments!

 Want a little more info on attitude? Click below. http://www.frenchbydesignblog.com/2013/12/wednesday-quote.html  https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/267482-the-longer-i-live-the-more-i-realize-the-impact (I was a little surprised when I followed through and found out who the author was) https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5139.Charles_R_Swindoll

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you enjoyed this post, and you are not already a subscriber, please add your yourself to our list. (Top right corner of the blog page http://botanicalbeautiesbeasties.com.) You will receive these “Botanical Wisdoms” about 1x every 7-10 days. As I hope you would expect, your name will never be sold or used outside our site. Thanks- The BBB3 gang and me, Liz.