messengers

It’s nice to be here

Knowing nothing
And expecting everything
to come of it.
Watching the ravens & magpies
Experiment with each other
Their black and blue feathers
Rebelling against the white-out world
Covered in snow & sympathy
Messengers of Failure’s mascaraed
As they attempt
Their tricks
Vigorously
Endlessly
Until finally
One swoop delivers them to victory.
And just as they did, their failure,
they accept their fortune
No questions
No need to define it as tangible
Just truth
promises to repeat their damning ways, trusting faithfully in their own
persistence
Until they have completed their work in the world.

morning meditation

kenziesnyderman.com

Mountains sit like Deities in the window
Urging stillness, in my peripheral
I’d be wise to let them urge me
Let them show me, let them be me

It’s not common practice
to sit and wait for nothing
and linger in the moment
in fact we have been conditioned, not to, that it’s lazy

My breath is steam, as I clutch my tea,
it melts into the morning

I could travel a thousand miles,
right from where I’m sitting
But I resist
I stay and visit
the moment takes me in like a dear friend

Man, I’m glad I didn’t miss it
It may seem silly, may seem awkward
But I’m glad I finally accept the offer

5 Ways to Wake up Without Caffeine

We all have to get up sometime. Some days it’s easier than others. We wake up we stumble through the house like Zombies to the shrine our coffee pot lives on or the instant water heater and stacks of black tea. The caffeine kiss bringing us back to life like “true-loves “ lips. Then there are those of us that can make it up and out of the house fully functional on just the notion that caffeine is waiting loyally for us in the near future, on the way to class or work , that favorite coffee hut or faithful gas-station energy drink. For some this is a tactic in motivation, to assure that we get up at all and go to that very early destination. I’ve used this tactic myself and it was very effective until that fateful day, that I kept missing my opportunity and my coffee break never came. The coffee hut was robbed and/or burned down, I was too frustrated and indecisive to pick a new coffee hut, “they might not get my cryptic drink order right and then that would really be it” (The only thing worse than no coffee is the wrong coffee!), can’t go to holiday or micky-dees cause I’m too much of a coffee snob.. So I had to face it.. It wasn’t going to happen that day and I felt defeated.. “This is ridiculous, I’m a monster,” I thought. I have to try to quite caffeine..again (Like I have done hundreds of other times.) I am not saying I’ll never enjoy a London Fog or Soy Cappuccino again or slug a cold cup of black coffee desperately after losing track of time. Now I enjoy caffeine but am not depending on it to make or break my day. That’s where the following five ways to wake up without caffeine came into play:
1. Sex. We all know its works. Whether it’s partner-ed or solo, sex spikes our brain full of dopamine and oxytocin which puts us in a good mood, gets the blood flowing and the brain churning. Plus it gives you that happy “gotcha-some glow.”

2. Yoga. Start your day with five minutes of yoga. It calms your nervous system, focuses your mind and revs up your metabolism. You can do this in your bed or on the floor. Here is an easy A.M. Sequence:Seated meditation, seated side reach (each side), seated palm press, standing palm press. This gives you that moment right when you wake up to choose what you want to think about and focus on rather than just throwing yourself out of bed and straight into your racing thoughts and plans for the day. Rebalance, refocus and recharge. Then get out there and own the day!

3. Music. I made myself a Good-Morning Sunshine mix. And sometimes before the clothes even go on that jam is bumping out of the cd player, gets you moving and grooving and screaming the lyrics to the soundtrack of your favorite memories, triumphs and empowering messages!

4. Shower. Drag your stiff body into a nice hot shower first thing and let your body wake up in a gradual, soothing way. Practice self-care, make a gratitude list, or set your intentions for the day, make those shifts in attitude and thinking that will bring you up and feed your passions rather than negative notions that drag you down and stress you out. Start off clean, in body and mind.

5. Aromatherapy . Use aromatherapy in the form of essentials oils, a couple drops at the bottom of the shower, or an aromatic body wash or facial cleanser to awaken your senses and energize your mind. Or if you don’t have time to shower try an essential oils roll on or make your own. Citrus, Eucalyptus and rosemary are all great scents that motivate the nervous system.

These are only a few ways to start your day in a positive non-addictive-assholish way! What are some of your morning routines that make it easy to avoid or live without the caffeine?

 

black tea revelation

Thoughts stare back at me
in a reflection on black tea
Guess you never know when you’ll run into yourself
steam swirls
circles
and curls questions sink and melt
Tea leaves float the surface like tiny boats and striving hopes
that sail right through the harshest storms
shapes and forms reveal themselves
in the midst a revelation is born
One Solid shining notion
Pulled from a pool of liquid black
Sparkles hug the curves of optimism
the way the lunar shadow hugs the edges around the inside of my cup
Reminds me of the tides and all life’s cycles
Roll with the downs
Roll with the ups
You have to be just as brave to finish as you were to start

5 Ways to Enjoy a Red Light

The world is in such a hurry these days.  In a society running on Starbucks and work deadlines it is tough sometimes not to get caught up in the “go, go, go” of every-day-life.  I think that red lights have been the bad guys for too long.  I think red lights and stop signs and traffic jams all deserve a second thought. And that thought is this: Is it really so bad to pause every once in a while?  Is it just awful to have a second to think, to reflect, or to slow down long enough to notice the extraordinary sunset sweeping across the sky?  Don’t you ever find yourself wishing you could just escape for a minute?  Here is what red lights have been trying to tell us for nearly a century now and five ways to fully appreciate their potential.

Number 1:  Take in the stillness. Take a second and look around and feel the world rush past you.  Be a part of the trees or the buildings, the things that are being still, and appreciate life from their perspective. The masters have always told us to go with the flow, but that doesn’t mean lose yourself in it. You deserve to have moments all your own. Be your own flow. Take a deep breath… and then Go.

Number 2:  Be grateful.  It always feels good to remember all the things we are thankful for, especially if we are having a bad day or stressing out.  You can’t help but stop at a red light (well legally), so even if you are in the biggest hurry of them all, whatever it may be you have permission from traffic laws everywhere to slow down and take a breather.  Take advantage of it, relax, name a few reasons you are happy to be doing what you are doing, even if it’s the fact that you are not doing something way worse like suffering genocide in Africa… Think about what you enjoy about your life and what you are fortunate to have.

Number 3: Be friendly.  Notice the people around you.  Smile at a stranger.  Study your fellow beings.  Barge into their lives a little and let them know they are not alone.  Making someone smile is a simple gesture that often takes you further than you could ever imagine.  ” I don’t even know you, I don’t know what you do for a living or what church you go to or whether you’re a Stealers fan or not, but I’m going to smile at you.”  How could that not feel awesome?

Number 4:  Quiet your mind.  This can be extremely rejuvenating and enlightening.  I call it minute meditation.  I’m sure we can all relate to streaming and unyielding thinking marathons that just never seem to stop and yet never seem to get us anywhere. You’re just thinking about nothing and everything at the same time and maybe you feel like you wish you could just turn your brain off.  Your favorite song is on the radio and you can’t even enjoy it ’cause it’s so loud between your ears.  This is when you stop and simply think to yourself “I wonder what my next thought will be?…” (The only way to know if it works is to try it) But I would not suggest doing this while driving, which is why red lights are wonderful!

Number 5:  Red lights are the perfect time to do those little things you should do and always forget to, like you’re Kegel exercises! This is not a joke. Doing your Kegel exercises strengthen the PC muscles, help in treating urinary incontinence and increasing sexual gratification. This is a good exercise for both men and women. And depending on your sex and age may have many other helpful benefits.

So, instead of being impatient and stressed or bored and stuck with nothing to do but read the bumper stickers on the car in front of you. You now have five productive mind, body and soul enriching techniques to practice at your next red light.

Enjoy and rejoice because red lights are part of your life too!