Nearly two decades of teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and continuing to deeply explore its tenets has brought me to a place where I find myself living from a definition of love that is at once contemplative practice and beautiful revelation… a generous and unexpected gift springing from the discipline of NVC which, without a doubt, can profoundly impact our personal and collective lives if we apply ourselves to learning it.
By Constance Kellough, who will be presenting Innerbody Meditation at Hollyhock on July 12-16, 2017.
There are many different meditation practices originating from various spiritual and secular traditions. Most, however, stress the importance of quieting the compulsive thinking mind, which wanders on average 50 times in 5 minutes. This on-going thinking (which is often unsettling, non- productive and not related to what we are experiencing in the present moment) usually emanates from some level of egoic fear and pulls us into the past or into the future.
So instead, we may crave to experience blessed stillness. Why? Because stillness is our natural state; it’s our essential self.
Stillness rises on its own when there is no thought. Eckhart Tolle has said, “Stillness is the language God speaks.”
So how does stillness relate to love? It has been said, “Be still and know that I am God.” Because God is love, one could also say, “Be still and know that I am love.”
When two people are authentically themselves in a state of stillness (some call it “presence”) with one another, they are in a state of love.
Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames. – Jalaluddin Rumi
Wherever you are, please take a few slow, deep breaths into your
belly. Feel your whole body, from your feet all the way up to the
crown of your head, and then down to your fingertips. Please relax any tension you feel and let yourself be. Using each inhalation to open your body and create inner space, welcome everything you’re thinking, feeling and experiencing here in this moment. Please be present to your body and your breath.
Before any form of external commitment can begin or remain healthy, we have to commit to being true to ourselves completely. Until we commit to ourselves – to saying our deeper feelings, values, needs and aspirations matter now – our personal and professional commitments will always result in stress, confusion, struggle or heartache, especially our intimate relationships. If you’re currently having trouble committing to an intimate relationship, it’s important to be kind to yourself as you navigate your next steps. You are feeling this way for a reason. No one wants to feel insecure, fearful, owned, controlled or limited in a partnership. However, it is equally important to become aware of why you feel as you do. For this reason, it’s empowering to know that the main reason we struggle with commitment, whether we’re starting a new relationship or questioning an existing one, is because we still have not fully committed to ourselves, which ultimately entails learning to value and be true to ourselves in all our interactions. This is a major
challenge for all of us, but it’s the only road to lasting peace,
happiness and freedom – whether we’re seeking lasting
true love or not. Continue reading Healthy Commitment to Self and Other→
Bran muffins shouldn’t be something you eat just because they’re good for you. The addition of ground hazelnuts adds a subtle nutty taste, but more than anything, they help create a moistness that is lacking in most bran muffins. A perfect vehicle for a slathering of butter and a smear of homemade blackberry or banana jam.
Ingredients – Makes 12
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1-1/2 cups wheat bran
1/2 cup ground roasted hazelnuts*
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cane sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup dried fruit or 1 cup fresh or frozen berries, optional
Love is something we all want to experience, to enjoy and rest into. Yet it often seems elusive, disappointing and full of hurt and confusion.
We tend to think of love as a noun –something we need, try to get, something we have or don’t have enough of. We search outside ourselves for someone to give us the love we think we’re missing. Most of us have tried to get others to fill the place inside us that feels unloved and un-loveable. This simply doesn’t work.
Here are two ways of contemplating the mystery that we call Love.