What I'm Writing About
© Copyright 2011-2014
All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Bobbi Jean Ewing.
reflections and insight into my healing, transformation, and journey of the heart
The calendar tells us that today is a day for love, a day to celebrate love, specifically romantic love. Instead of celebrating romantic love, I am choosing to celebrate self love because I truly believe that loving others starts with loving ourselves. The more love we give to ourselves, the more love we have to give to others and the more we love from a place of abundance.
I have been conceptualizing self love through symbols. Last weekend I was immersed in a yoga teacher training weekend. We were discussing The Yogic Life and one of my teachers, Bianca, drew this diagram for the group to illustrate this concept.
I was feeling a wee bit troubled that that top triangle was so small in relation to the whole, that in this diagram, the life affirming practices one does to cultivate a positive relationship with oneself was small in comparison. Sure, our relationship with ourselves is foundational and informs how our lives unfold, but if we wish to grow positive feelings toward ourselves, I think many would agree that we certainly improve how we feel about ourselves and have a better relationship with ourselves when we increase our life affirming practices.
What do life affirming practices look like? Yoga. Meditation. Mindfulness. Time in Nature. Sacred Ritual. Connection and Communion with others who share our values/passions/beliefs. Therapy (mental health, physical, massage). A slow, leisurely walk. Gazing at the Stars. Enjoying a cup of tea. Lighting a candle. Playing with kids. Volunteering. Gardening. Cooking. Sharing a meal with loved ones. Singing. Dancing. Retreat. . .
I was turning Bianca’s diagram around in my mind and re-conceptualizing it when this wave of geometrical inspiration/insight flowed through me.
I continued to play from this place of balance. What I discovered in shifting and re-framing the diagram was a symbol for sattvic love.
Sattva, the “highest” of the three gunas (strands of existence, primordial energy), is one of my favorite Sanskrit words and its meanings include tranquility, peace, and happiness. Energetically, sattva is luminous light. Here I have to pause and marvel at my own “genius” / intuitive wisdom. Luminous light and love…this is *exactly* what I wrote about in “Maui Magic = LOVE.” In my symbol, I saw an energetic play of sattva; I saw balance, harmony, love.
My contemplation of symbols representing love continued throughout the weekend. I began to think about love through the symbol for infinity. What I saw taking shape is something I call the rebound of love, the idea that the energy we send out travels back to us.
I believe our inner dynamic shapes the outer dynamics of our lives. Do we treat ourselves with kindness and compassion? If we have difficulty offering ourselves kindness and compassion, how can we offer this to others genuinely and from a place of authenticity? If we are impatient and irritable with ourselves, those we interact with are likely to be met with impatience and irritability. The laws of attraction illuminate that “like attracts like.” If we are angry and irritable inside and out, we are likely to attract angry and irritable people into ourselves. However, if we are kind, loving, giving, and caring toward ourselves (and others), we are more likely to attract kind, loving, giving, and caring people into our lives. This is one way we experience an energetic rebound, by attracting someone into our life that mirrors our inner and outer being.
Another way we experience an energetic rebound is to use the loving energy we have cultivated within to shift an interpersonal dynamic without. I have seen this play out in several relationships in my life. Over time I have cultivated love and warmth in relationships that were previously difficult and because of this difficulty I suffered. In places where I might have acted impatiently, I slowed down inside and breathed space into the moment and moved from a place of patience and equanimity. I began to bring lightness and humor into our interactions. I began to sprinkle expressions of care and affection, even if these expressions were as simple as “hey, I like your orange shirt.” I began to infuse more love into these relationships in various forms, shades, and colors. I showed up and continue to show up differently in relationships – from a place of loving presence. I have begun to feel the changes. More love and warmth and care is flowing back to me which affirms for me that we have the power to shape our lives and our relationships by first loving ourselves.
This 14th day of February, I invite you give yourself some love, to do something for yourself that is life affirming, to continue loving yourself throughout the year, and allow the love to flow / bounce back to you.
I am shining like the Maui sun. I am on a high. I am in love with Maui, with my Maui pod, with life, with the stars in the sky.
I returned late Sunday night from an ePic 13 day adventure on the magical island paradise of Maui. I spent the first week on my own and had a lot of time to contemplate the night sky and the stars. I became curious about the stars and asked myself, “what’s a star?” While we were watching a sunset together I asked my pod mate, Wayne, and he gave me his PhD answer which I’ll synthesize: stars are made up of gases and the gases are drawn together by gravity. These gases undergo an elemental transformation which produces a burst of luminous light and BAM – stars!
Last night after yoga I was sharing with my one of my favorite teachers, Denise, about my adventure in Maui. Her theme for our classes for January and February is Heaven and Earth. I was connecting to her theme by sharing what I had learned about the stars and BAM, a wave of insight flowed through me.
The synergy and synchronization in my Maui pod was absolutely amazing. More than once, we’d find ourselves saying the exact same thing at the exact same time in the exact same rhythm. I remember this happened with me and Rosh a couple of times; I remember one time we said, “I think so” in response to a query from Shayna. We’d anticipate each other’s thoughts or after one of us shared the other would say, “I was just thinking that exact same thought!” This happened with me and Shayna a LOT. Talk about cosmic synchronization and subtle energy exchanges (synergy).
Chatting with Denise, I was reflecting back how stunned I was and am at the laws of attraction that were at play with our group in Maui. I remember having this conversation with Rosh one night, expressing, “did I attract YOU or did you attract ME??” I think he had the same answer as my teacher, Denise, “probably a bit of both.”
The whole chemistry and alchemy of the group was incredible. I saw in each of us a reflection of each other. Each of us is at a different place on the same spectrum of light, but clearly living in the same light. Each of us transmits light from amazingly beautiful qualities and some of these qualities shine more brightly in some of us, but we all shine with the same light and we are all moving toward the fullness of the light and the fullness of ourselves. That light is what brought us together, the six of us – 3 men, 3 women – just like the forces in the sky that pull the gases together to create luminous light. The light that brought us together is LOVE <3.
Rosh… I love you for your larger than life personality and I am admittedly star-struck. I love your playfulness, your ePic sense of adventure, your ballsiness, your upbeat spirit, your self-awareness, your presence, your openness, your honesty, your creativity, your passion, your hopes, your dreams, especially your dream to be a father. I love you for the Hope you gave me. I love you for your good vibes. I love the cuddle bug in you and the shy, sweet guy – he’s adorable (love that guy!). And…I love you for your fist bump! :-) I love you Rosh.
Wayne… I love the man behind the mask and veils, the guy that lets his hair down and lets loose, who has fun and smiles and laughs, the guy that allows his feelings to come to the surface and permeate his being. I connect with that guy. I love that you are becoming that guy more fully. And…I love you for your generosity, your thoughtfulness, your intention, your bright mind, and for being Wayne. I love you Wayne.
Kyra… I love you for your smile, your grace and ease, your boundless energy, and your giving and loving spirit. I love you for your strength and for your vulnerability. I love your maturity and self-awareness. I love the natural, gifted teacher in you. I admire her very much. I love you for the love you give to others, especially in the food you cook and whip up. I love you Kyra.
Josh… I love you for your sweet, innocent nature, for your thoughtfulness, for your kindness, for your care for others. I love you for your brazen courage, for your curiosity, for your desire to learn and explore, for your sense of discovery, for your vivid imagination, and most of all, for the boldness and mindfulness and freedom you are cultivating in your life. I love you Josh.
Shayna…You are soooo beautiful, inside and out. I love you for your spaciousness, for your flexibility, for your burgeoning health, for the nourishment you give to others with your loving, affirming, and encouraging words. I love you for your appreciation of nature, for your humility, for your mindfulness, for your openness, and for your willingness and desire to learn from others. I love you for your love of all beings, just as they are, for your ability to meet them right where they are and your gift to help them blossom and grow into their fullest, brightest selves. I love you Shayna.
I love you Bobbi Jean, Bright Joy, for your laugh, your courage, your tenacity, your fire, your strength, your thoughtfulness, your presence, your sensitivity, your playfulness, and your child-like spirit. I love you for your devotion, loyalty, humility, and integrity. I love you for your insatiable curiosity and desire to learn and grow, for your willingness and eagerness to go deep, to explore the depths of your self and the depths of relationship. I love you for your insight, for your bright spirit. I love you most of all for your open-heartedness. You have been through so much and yet you stand strong, heart open. You are an amazing being, a bright, JOYful light. You are a gift to this world and I love you.
Peace enjoys long, leisurely walks. She feels the pulse of the wind, the texture of the air. She listens to the chatter of a hummingbird and mimics the sound with her own tongue, imagining she is energetically synchronizing with the little bird. In the still air, she hears a train’s horn miles away. She stops and takes in a winter rose, frozen and suspended in time. With curiosity, she notices droplets of water clinging to the bare branches of a tree. She stands completely rapt, drinking in the shapes and sizes of the multitudinous drops. Just as she begins to wonder how long each drop will cling to its branch, one releases and lets go, falling to the ground in a silent splash. She feels both sorrow and joy. She pauses and remembers her good friend, Joy. Because of Joy, she feels peace.
Joy laughs until she cries. Joy loves surprises, but only happy surprises. Joy dances with sunflowers. Joy throws her feet up in the air into a cartwheel. Joy recently discovered that at age 37, she can still do a somer sault. She laughed out loud and said to herself several times, “UNBELIEVABLE,” awash in ecstasy. The other day Joy woke up to fresh snow on the ground. With a huge smile on her face, she clapped her hands in glee. Joy loves snow. She loves to make snow men. She loves to throw snow balls. (shh! don’t tell anyone, but she loves a snow ball ambush!) Though always a teensy bit scared, she loves to sled down big hills. Joy is pretty excited that she is going snow shoeing for Christmas Eve day – she can’t wait to experience the magic of a winter wonderland. Joy has discovered that the big kids, the adults, are just little kids in grown up bodies. She knows this because she is still a kid inside.
Inspired by “The Book of Qualities” by J. Ruth Gendler.
Peace & Joy would like to wish you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
May you feel peace and joy this holiday season.
The wind is an actor. The wind acts. The wind performs actions. The wind also talks, if you listen.The wind brushes through blades of grass. The wind stirs the boughs of the cedar tree. The wind claps the fan of the palm tree.
I wonder if the wind can clear our energy fields of the “dust” and “debris” that gets stuck in our auras? I like to imagine so. Sometimes I stand in a strong wind, arms wide open, and let it clear my field.I let the wind wash over me and around me. I let it hold me. I let it refresh me.
I am sitting in my office having my Monday morning cup of coffee and two apple-carrot-bran muffins that I made over the weekend. The sun is filtering through colorful fall leaves and shining through the window. I glance at my calendar – October 14, 2017. Today is the official publication date for my collection of personal essays. Hooray! I am filled with gratitude and joy as I reflect back on the last few very rich and nourishing years of my life.
I finished my master’s degree in counseling at the end of 2016. At the start of this year, I started a therapy practice with my friend and colleague, Jo. I met Jo through NVC (non-violent communication) and we went through the master’s program together. We co-facilitate a grief group. We also co-facilitate a community group for those who long to deepen connection with others. We model this group after the NVC learning community led by our revered mentor and teacher, Karl. I also meet one on one with clients who are going through life transitions, who are healing from emotional trauma and childhood wounds, and families who are working through discord. I am so grateful to have a partner in this work and the support of many dear friends.
I received my yoga teacher certification at the end of 2014. I was invited by my friend and peer, Erin, to teach classes at Awakened Heart Yoga. I have taught weekly yoga classes for nearly three years now. My favorite class to teach is a youth yoga class. I also teach free youth yoga classes at community centers around Seattle. I LOVE teaching youth – I am so passionate about inspiring youth to discover their power and access their well of strength.
As I gaze out the window on the sun filled landscape, my mind travels to the sunny island paradise of Maui where, along with dear friends and fellow yoga teachers, I have co-hosted three New Year’s yoga retreats. Maui is such a magical place. Each New Year we dance under rainbows, we swim in the sacred waters of the re-birthing pools, we moonbathe on the beach, we practice yoga in an open air pavilion, we meditate under a wise looking banyan tree. I send yet another thank you note via cosmic messenger to my beautiful friend Jessica for co-hosting with me that first year. We were so blessed by the outpouring of support from our community of friends and many of our dearest friends retreated with us.
I remain grateful for the cosmic unfolding that led me to my first retreat in Maui where, for the 2014 New Year I reconnected with the beautiful Shayna, a dear soul I met in Costa Rica during my 2012 New Year’s retreat. For seven years now a New Year’s yoga retreat has been a yearly tradition that grew out of my new life. You see, I had been in a long term committed relationship for nearly 10 years that ended in a giant “ka-boom” in 2009. I was devastated, hurt to my very core. Creating new traditions was an important part of my healing.
At my first New Year’s retreat in 2011 (also in Costa Rica), I discovered a new family, my yoga family. At this retreat and so many others, I have made a network of friends and some of my most cherished friendships. I also discovered how meaningful it is to start the year with intention, to plant seeds for qualities I wish to cultivate in my life, to plant seeds for things I long for and desire to grow in my life. Each year I come away with momentum that moves me forward along my path. Each year I see flowers blossom and fruit bearing trees sprout up from the seeds I plant in my heart.
I remember New Year’s Day, 2014. I planted a seed under the new moon for the family I longed for in my life. At 37, I had a strong desire and calling to be a mom, to create life with someone I loved, and to share the joy of raising a little being together. At the time I didn’t know what would happen, I didn’t know when someone who wore sturdy shoes, who gazed at the new moon, and who had an open heart would skip into my life. But he did. He showed up in my life and he gave me the powerful gift of his presence. Remembering the moment he skipped into my life brings a smile to my face and my heart fills with warmth as I hold him in my awareness. I feel love permeate my being. We had small ceremony in the woods. My sweet friend Katy wrote and read a poem. I remember so very clearly these words: “such bravery to hold out your hand to another person, one Life Line traced by another.”
I feel a kick that brings me out of my reverie and back to the present moment. I put my hand on my belly and feel the movement inside. I am pregnant. In just a few short months, I will give birth to a little bundle of joy, a bundle that I have a feeling is going to crack my heart wide open and out will pour love. I wonder if this baby will be a New Year’s baby. What a lovely thought. I will have to wait and see how the stars in the sky line up. However the stars line up, I already know I am incredibly blessed.