Letting Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.  She let go of the judgments.  She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.  She let go of the committee of indecision within her.  She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go.  She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go.  She let go of all of the memories that held her back.  She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.  She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.  She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

Poem by  Rev. Safire Rose

Let your Feet Kiss the Earth

 

Photography by Tracy Sheppard
Photography by Tracy Sheppard

 

Let your Feet Kiss the Earth
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
What a privilege it is to be able to spend time breathing in the beauty of our natural surroundings. Taking our exercise outdoors provides extra health benefits in addition to physical well-being.
  • Exercising outdoors provides a mental boost. Research shows that spending time outdoors increases energy and decreases stress.
  • Research shows exercising outdoors increases self-esteem. There is no self-comparison among the trees! Often, a gym setting brings about feelings of inadequacy, especially when ‘new’. Exercise in general increases self-esteem. Taking outdoors has even more positive effects.
  • Outdoor fitness is easier to stick with. When we enjoy an exercise program, we are more likely to stay with it. Take a friend along, and you double the benefits.
  • Soaking up the sun provides added benefits. When the sun kisses our skin, Vitamin D3 is created. This is essential for bone health, metabolic function, improved sleep, increased immune function, and endorphin production.
  • More cost effective than gym membership. While resistance training (weights) are important to keep age related muscle loss at bay; cardiovascular exercise is also essential for keeping our bodies healthy. For those on a limited budget, investing in quality walking shoes and weather friendly workout gear, is all that is needed to get out and enjoy nature.
An exercise program, thoughtfully designed, provides enjoyment and depth to life. It provides a rich and multi-layered experience that provides many health benefits, in addition to quality to life.
Photography by Tracy Madigan-Sheppard

5 Lessons from Trees

Take a stroll with me and immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility nature has to offer.  Listen, if you will, to the wisdom of the trees.  

Photography by Tracy Sheppard
Photography by Tracy Sheppard

“When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
– Ram Dass

 

Photography by Tracy Sheppard
Photography by Tracy Sheppard

 

“In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same path are alike.”
Paulo Coelho

Photography by Tracy Sheppard
Photography by Tracy Sheppard

Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of old trees.

Author Unknown

Photography by Tracy Sheppard
Photography by Tracy Sheppard

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

Bruce Lee

 

Photography by Tracy Sheppard
Photography by Tracy Sheppard

“If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.”

–Matthew Fox