Fall is not about letting go, rather it's about witnessing what is already passing. Perhaps it’s a question of semantics, but I find the nuanced difference absolutely crucial in supporting us to move through autumn with greater ease.
The ancient Chinese scholars who studied the fall element must have seen much of what we’re seeing now: trees shedding leaves, migratory birds departing, flowers dying. Underneath the surface is an energetic impulse to draw in, to conserve, to release what no longer serves in preparation for the cold months ahead. No wonder it’s been characterized as the season of letting go!
While the mind might think that we can let go at will, we never actually make a decision to let go, do we? We don’t wake up one morning next to a partner whom we love and get along with perfectly and decide, “I want a divorce!” We don’t wake up to a fulfilling and truly rewarding job and decide, “I’m gonna quit!” No, we wake up to the realization that the relationship or job is no longer serving. There’s no decision making, there’s witnessing.
Witnessing means an honest look at the way things are, the natural cycle of life, how all things begin and all things end. When we witness rather than attempt to let go, a space opens up for us to tend to ourselves with great care. It’s an opportunity to see what’s departing and how it has acted in our lives, thank it for what it has given us, mourn its departure, and bid it farewell.
Painful? Very likely. But as recent news or events in life push our grievances up to the surface, the focus on witnessing keeps us in the seat of the observer. When we sit, as a friend, with the discomfort, agony, nostalgia, deep sorrow, and any other emotion that arises, deep healing takes place because we are meeting our experience from the warmth of our never-born, never-dying infinite presence. And that is key to finding greater ease in autumn, and in life.
Need support this season? Experiencing an ending? Want to sit together and tend to the emotions, sensations, and thoughts that are arising? I'm here. Email, call, or book a session @ schedulicity.com/scheduling/SORJJM/services. The next couple of days are fully booked, but there are a bunch of openings next week. See link to schedule.
May witnessing what's being released reveal to you the precious gem that you are,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
P.S. Please leave a comment and tell me how autumn is showing up for you!
Last time I wrote about breaking in wholeness, about how our hearts break but who we are is not broken (read it here). Now let me tell you about another kind of breaking in wholeness. This wholeness that we are, it's our birthright. It's not something we achieve. It's not a goal we attain. There isn't anything we need to do to get it. It simply is.
I imagine wholeness like a gift in a neat and shiny wrapper that we receive upon being born. This gift holds within it the promise of true harmony and access to our own unconditional love. This gift is so new. So special. So precious. So precious, in fact, that it gets put up on a shelf and admired every now and again from afar. "Oh, remember that wholeness?" we may ponder as we walk by. "Isn't it beautiful?"Two seconds later, we've forgotten all about this beautiful gift that we are, and we're swept up again by the never-ending, always-changing waves of life.
But wholeness isn't some pretty little gift to be kept in its shiny wrapper up on a shelf. This wholeness that we are needs to be broken in. Used. Utilized. Exercised!
We want to know our own wholeness intimately. We want to know its contours, its shape, how it feels from the inside. We want to detect its delicate fragrance among all other scents. To know its particular exquisite taste. We want to return to the felt-sense of wholeness again and again with such frequency that it begins to feel like it's always here (because it is).
We don't want to forget about wholeness for long and then remember it for a fleeting moment. We don't want to live a lifetime and only remember it towards the end. We don't want a rare blissful meditation to be our one time encounter with it. And we definitely don't want hardship and challenges to push us so low, so far, that we reach for wholeness as a last resort. Nope, that simply won't do.
Like a favorite chair or old jeans, we want wholeness to be broken in just right, just so, that it feels like a return home. Yes, like a pair of the coziest worn-in slippers waiting by the door. So familiar, so welcoming, so safe that everything in life--the good, the bad, the ugly--feels manageable. More than manageable, actually. We want wholeness so broken in that it feels like we're always home. Always loved. Always belong. Always ok. Always.
While I'm off on a summer break (Aug 4 to Aug 26), I invite you to inquire into your wholeness. Take this precious gift off the shelf and feel it. Not sure how? I (re)offer you this FREE MEDITATION on the abundant wholeness that you are @ shiraozsinai.com/blog/just-being-abundance-free-meditation.
And if you want more support, I encourage you to go ahead and book a private acupressure session for when I return (the first few weeks are quickly filling up) @ schedulicity.com/scheduling/SORJJM/services.
May we all know the wholeness that we are, intimately.
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
When our hearts break, when our hopes and dreams shatter, we feel devastated. Crushed. Lost. There’s likely no one among us who has not experienced this. Perhaps a father who was emotionally unavailable. A mother too hurt to tend. A favorite pet disappearing into the night. A wanted job given to another. A 100-year-old tree cut off by the whip of a storm.
Our hearts break and break again from birth to the last of our days, from sunrise to sunset, from one moment to the next. Our hearts break and break again over big dreams and small hopes, over small connections and big loves, over big arguments and small silent retreats.
How do we live? How do we survive this? How do we find the courage to rise for another day, face potential heartaches, and keep on going? Howwwwwww?
Because our hearts break and break again in the wholeness that we are. Our hearts break but who we are is not broken. Our hearts break and break again but wholeness remains. Because. Because we are breaking in wholeness.
May every heartbreak be embraced in wholeness,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
The summer solstice is upon us!
Traditional celebrations focus on cultivating a sense of connection and community with the shared warmth of gatherings, bonfires, merry-making, feasts, and picnics.
These events honor the life-giving force of the sun and the bounty it produces. They're a great reminder for how the warmth of connection heals our wounds of separation--both from ourselves and others. This is a gateway to feeling our always-present bountiful joy.
Our hearts know this time well. Moved by the rhythms of the nature that we are, our hearts are naturally drawn to (re)connecting with others and ourselves, to unstructured play time, and that embodied fiery experience of being alive, open, and an integral part of the interconnected web of life.
I find summertime in general, and the week of the solstice in particular, to be especially potent for healing wounds of heartbreak, for easing the rapid heat of anxiety, and for soothing the parts of ourselves that have felt alone for far too long. The way is paved by the gentle warmth of compassion and the safe fire of our presence. This is what guides us back to feeling love(d).
If you're called to it, I suggest taking a moment to connect with your heart of hearts. Imagine yourself holding it delicately in the palms of your hands and nourishing it with the warmth of your attention, compassion, and love.
May the peak of sunlight teach us about the peak of love that we are,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
P.S. Still got my old address in your contact list? Please be sure to delete firstname.lastname@example.org as I can no longer receive any emails sent to that address. Please replace it with email@example.com.
Summer's expansiveness and heat can bring up all kinds of feelings. Many of us vacillate between wanting to be on permanent vacation, not wanting to leave the house (ever!), and feeling consumed by anxiety of what exactly to do with our time and really, our lives.
Chinese medicine points us to the connection between the summer season and the heart. This is not a reference to the physical heart but rather the energetic center in the middle of the chest. It is said that our energetic heart's "job" is to be at peace. Imagine if it were your job, your actual job, to be at peace. What would you do from 9 to 5? What would you need? How would you feel?
When our hearts are at peace, not only do we feel serenity but also joy. Why? Because it's simply so joyful to feel at ease, safe, and secure in your own heart.
We are actually quite lucky in that peacefulness and joy are not just fleeting experiences but innate aspects of being. They do, however, become veiled. We lose sight of our peace. We lose touch with our joy. We forget that we are ok, and we begin to believe that we are not.
Meditative practices, like Chakra Tai Chi, offer us a place, a gentle way, to remember. Register now @ shiraozsinai.com/summer-chakra.
Can't join me for the class? Please let me know of your interest! It helps inform my future offerings. Also, I'm happy to offer Chakra Tai Chi private sessions and/or acupressure for cultivating joy this summer! So contact me and let me know what you think.
May all beings experience the joy and peacefulness that they are,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
I'm happy to announce that I have just added Thursday evenings to my acupressure schedule, starting May 24!
If you've been unable to come in for acupressure because our schedules haven't matched, I'm hoping these Thursday evening hours will give you much more flexibility. As a special invitation, if it's been 6 months since your last visit, or if you are wanting to try acupressure for the very first time, please enjoy 25% off when you schedule for Thursday, May 24, 4-9pm. Book now @ shiraozsinai.com/acupressure!
If you're already a recipient of acupressure, then you know how much it supports you in meeting challenging thoughts and emotions as well as releasing physical tension. Regular sessions, whether once a week or once a month, give us an opportunity to work on the root cause of any symptom and invite ease into your body, mind, and heart. Now that's something we all need!
To assist you in making acupressure sessions part of your regular self-care routine, I offer package deals of 3 or 4 sessions with great savings. Purchase yours now @ shiraozsinai.com/store/c9/Acupressure_Sessions!
"I have personally seen Shira during times of difficult life transitions and I’m able to enter each session with complete trust in the partnership we create to help me heal from my physical and emotional pain." -- Natalie
Learn more and schedule yours @ shiraozsinai.com/acupressure.
May all beings experience the healing of tender touch,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
At the recent Befriending Yourself: Spring Meditation Retreat (pictures here), I shared with participants that to me the characteristic sensation of the spring element in Chinese medicine is discomfort.
It’s not the discomfort of hurt exactly. Nor that of an ache per se. It’s more the discomfort of having outgrown where you’ve been without quite being ready for what’s next. Not yet.
Many of us are experiencing such discomfort right now. The temperature goes up, then down. The winter coat comes on, then off. When is spring coming? Have we outgrown winter yet? When can I go out and play? This is so uncomfortable!!!
Perhaps when the decision has to do with whether or not to grab that winter coat, the stakes are fairly low. But when you’re pondering leaving your job, going back to school, having another child, taking on some new role, starting a relationship, moving to a new home, making a career leap… well, the gains and losses feel quite significant then.
How do we know when is the right time to make a move? To grow in a new direction? To leave what we have come to know and spring into the next… unknown… uncharted… big big step?
When discomfort arises, I like to remind myself that it's natural. It's natural to feel agitated, restless, and uncomfortable. This is a feeling tone that pulsates with a desire for change, for growth, to blossom!
So next time you notice discomfort, sit with it for a moment if you can. Tell the feeling you wish to know what it’s about. Ask it, “What vision would you like to share with me? What decision do you wish for me to make? What action are you pointing me to?” Listen intently and together you may find exactly when and how you grow.
May discomfort reveal to you the unfolding of your greatness,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
Last week's email about how we replenish ended with this: "As we care for the water element in us, as we rest and repair on all layers of our being, we nourish the next element in the cycle--wood." In addition to giving our brains a chance to recuperate and our bodies a chance to destress, rest fundamentally nourishes our life force.
This is the vitality you feel after a good night's sleep. The pulsating sense of aliveness after a deep breath. The spring in your step after seeing a beautiful flower. It's also the renewed desire to grow, to express who you are to the fullest, and THRIVE!
As we make the transition from winter to spring, we still need plenty of rest and we may feel quite raw and vulnerable. At the very same time, that urgency to grow is beginning to thrum in our cells. What does your own power feel like? How are you wishing to grow? What do you need in order to stand fully in who you are and unabashedly proclaim to the world "I am ME!"? This is our springtime meditation, and here are two perfect places to explore these questions and more:
May rest transform your wildest dreams into reality,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
When our storehouses of energy have been overdrawn and depleted, how do we replenish? This is a quintessential Chinese medicine winter element question, one that shows up throughout all seasons of our life. Maybe we’ve gone through a bout of the flu or a nasty cold. Maybe we’ve had to tend to an ailing parent. Maybe work has been taxing and we’ve had to put in longer hours. Life does occasionally demand that we tap into our reserves. So, what do we do to replenish?
The answer is rest. But I don’t just mean sleep because sometimes sleep is inaccessible. Rest is a moment of reflection and a deep breath in the midst of a hectic day. It’s gazing at a beautiful flower or candle after hours of staring at the screen. It's listening to a Yoga Nidra recording at bedtime whether it puts you to sleep or not (downloadable here). We cannot survive without sleep. We cannot live without rest. We cannot succeed without reflection.
As we care for the water element in us, as we rest and repair on all layers of our being, we nourish the next element in the cycle--wood. And we all know what happens when a tree is watered... It grows, and so do we!
Consider joining me for the Spring Meditation Retreat one and the all new Spring Meditative Card Night!
May deep rest refill your reserves,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
how do you replenish?
Shira Oz-Sinai is a spiritual teacher trained in iRest® Yoga Nidra meditation and Soul Lightening Acupressure®, two modalities that share the common principle of noticing what arises in awareness as the foundation to living life with ease and in deep and loving friendship with yourself. These are her musings.