Monday, March 18, 2013

Weeds Help Us Flower

We're verging on the Vernal Equinox, which means the Rite of Spring that one friend dubbed The Mowing is about to begin in earnest. Not a blade of grass — certainly not a weed — is safe.

I understand this obsession. Growing up in suburban America, I observed a rampant homeowner disgust with the "lowly dandelion," scourge of suburbia's well-manicured lawns. Much later, I discovered that dandelion is one of the most healing herbs available to humanity, offering itself in abundance wherever we dwell. It's a supreme liver tonic, known to help detoxify the body's "processing plant." In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver equates to the emotion of anger. If you want to release that pent-up rage in a healthy way, the remedy is probably available, free and easy, in your own backyard.

Dandelion can act as de facto compost, gently surrounding and helping to decompose back into rich loam that which no longer serves. Yet we curse the weed and uproot it, spray poison to keep the green carpet unsullied. "Living for the lawn" keeps us focused predominantly on the external.

When we can make the subtle shift from ego mind to Universal Mind, we see with such great clarity the incredible gifts all around us! Our teammates are everywhere, in the animal, plant and mineral kingdoms — if we have eyes to see.

As we move deeper into our collective rebirth process, we'll be releasing people and places that no longer resonate with our lives now. Doing this with what the Buddhists call lovingkindness is our mandate. It's a ripe moment to ask yourself, Who or what in my life seems like an outsider? Am I willing to look again, to become inclusive rather than exclusive, to see beyond imaginary borders?

Below are seven practical steps to enlarge the lens this Spring: to slow down and look with the eyes of wonder, like a child. You'll find many more on my CD, What You Need to Know Now: A Road Map for Personal Transformation:

  • Keep a journal. Buy a beautiful blank book and a pen that feels comfortable in your hand. Then allow yourself to write whatever and whenever you want. No one else need ever read it unless you choose to share, so send the censor packing! Journaling is like ingesting dandelion leaves with your pen — a great way to purge emotions and discover what really matters to you. And writing by hand is very different from blogging online.
  • Dance your evolutionary process. Do you instinctively sway as you talk, or dance around the room when you get excited? Express your change process as flowing movement. Maybe it's yoga, or tai chi, or free-form dance, such as Contact Improv.
  • Make art. Are you a natural with a paintbrush or clay? Splash your emotions onto canvas, pour them into a mold, sketch them into being. Remember, this is art from the heart: done for the sole/soul purpose of enlarging your own vision.
  • Sing! Is your voice your most powerful expressive tool? If you love to sing but don't know any songs, make up nonsense words to tunes you like, and sing them — in public. This is also a fabulous way to break free of the "What will people think?" trap.
  • Be in Nature. Sit by moving water. Sit in moving water. Sing while sitting in a stream!
  • Prepare a meal that is as aesthetic as it is nutritious. As you combine ingredients, imagine that you are cooking up a grander vision for your life.
  • Hush. Spend a day, alone or with others, in total silence.

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