Fresh Start

fresh start

Sending a note today to say hello and wish you a fresh start and onward energy into March.

Not onward as in let’s overwork, over-worry or over-anything that doesn’t feel loving and kind to ourselves. 

Onward as in sometimes a new month signals a fresh start and a time to come back to the moment. 

I’ve always loved March for it’s last hurrah of winter, stride into the equinox and hopeful possibilities. 

The latest news cycle, political race, coronavirus, and zillions of world events has made most of us feel knackered. 

Humans are sensitive creatures and we can go and go and go but then eventually we need to go inward and come back to equanimity. 

Last night I went to bed early, slept well and woke grateful. It’s always amazing how a good night of sleep can change things. My grandma used to say, “take a bath, drink a cup of tea, get a good night of sleep and see what tomorrow brings.” 

This week I had to address the virus situation as it relates to Italy and Radiant Jane Italy Retreats. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this world event. It’s hard to know exactly how to react to this sort of thing.

We know that panic spreads quicker than any virus can so we are choosing to maintain peace of mind and calmness. It’s not likely going to help anything to create more fear, watch all the news and think the worst. We’re taking a measured approach. 

We’re in daily contact with all of our Italian friends and business partners. They are telling us the media is making it worse. All is well with our host friends at Fattoria Del Colle, and life is moving as usual in most parts of Italy.

My sense of it is that we don’t yet know how it’s all going to play out but we’ll deal with it as it unfolds. 

Meanwhile I’m planning on leaving for Italy later next month. I have dear friends there that I care about and they have to keep living daily life amidst the media storm and fear. All of this makes me realize that no matter, we’re all in this together. This is a humanitarian moment, not time to hide or separate. At least that’s my view. I’ll take necessary precautions on cleanliness, etc but I won’t hide away in fear. I’m choosing wise action, calm mind and brave heart. 

It’s a great time to check in with our loving kindness practices. 

Be Present.  

It may be one of the most overused mantras of the past twenty years but when you break it down it’s quite lovely. It comes down to noticing and especially noticing what’s happening inside my body.
How do I feel right now?
What’s going on with my breathing?
Is my mind racing all over the place?
Can I just come back to right here right now?

Because I know that when I do, I can handle it.
I can handle whatever is right in front of me.

Be Present.

I can practice being present so that when I feel stronger I can make a bigger wish of attending to what’s happening to my loved ones, my pets, my neighbors, the town I live in, the state, the country, the world and the planet. 

Yet if I can’t start at the beginning of presence within myself then I tend to get a little frazzled by noticing everything outside of me. I have to start small and help it expand. Not through forcing or aggression but through quiet presence. Make sense? 

Right now we can practice deep self-love by practicing being present. We can learn from our most tender heart what we need from the inside out. Being present is offering our most loving attention.

Have you noticed how well it goes when you just sit quietly with a loved one and give each other the gift of your attention? It’s one of the most loving acts there is. 

But first. Our own love for ourselves.

So the instruction is:
We pay attention to our body, and that starts by simply noticing.
We sit down, slow down and pause from within.
We notice our breathing and stay present with it.
We do this for quite awhile from a loving mindset. 
When our confidence grows we expand.
Slowly. 
We keep letting it grow outward.
Slowly. 
This works really well. 
I promise.

Sharing my favorite poem on presence from John O’Donohue. 

xoJane