On the Importance of Sleepenings

On the Importance of Sleepenings

By

Joseph Anthony

 

Awakenings
are the spring of all things. Awakenings breathe out rebirth and entire fields
are covered with flowers.  Awakenings can
be sudden, like lightning cleaving a tree. 
They can be gradual, like an iceberg melting slowly over decades into a
roiling sea.

When we have
them we sometimes cheer, laugh, weep for joy, or melt into an embrace.  We are unloosened and free to move.  

Sometimes
however, things need to rest. We need to put things to bed.  We need to rest our minds, bodies, and even
hearts and souls. 

Let us call
these rests: Sleepenings. 

When we are
tangled in a skein of fear and doubt, let us try not to fight them.  Be still, rest.  Have a sleepening.  When we do, our breath slows, we relax, and
so when we do eventually awaken, the fear and doubt will be at our feet and we can
walk unencumbered.  In fact, we can pick
up the muddle and wind it into a ball and then weave hope and wisdom out of
those fears and doubts. 

While working
towards our dreams, fairly obsessed with the joy and excitement of the torrent
of creativity or the steady stream of ideas and inspirations, if we do not take
moments to pause, then that self-same torrent will slow to a trickle, the
stream will dry. 

We need a
sleepening.  Literally and
figuratively.  A rest for our bodies and our
minds.  Let the torrent naturally slow;
let the stream flow without us always splashing in it and muddying it up.  When we awaken, the torrent will be waiting,
and somehow refreshed with clear water. 
The stream will be there, a crystal blue ribbon guiding us through the
forest of possibilities.  We needn’t view
the sleepening as if it’s something wrong. 
Winter isn’t wrong.  It gives
spring its juice.

Try putting
some old fear to bed.  If you try to
fight it, it will grow.  Let it
rest.  Give it some time alone.  Give it some space. Turn your attention to
something else.  Consciously move your
gaze, your hands, your inner and outer attention towards something that gives you
strength and courage.  Consciously
breathe yourself into calm. And not just for two minutes.  Sometimes the sleepening needs to last for
days or weeks.   Sometimes it needs to
last forever.  However long it lasts, if
you can turn your heart towards hope, towards big and little steps in another
direction, then when the awakening happens, when the fear eventually rises from
its cold, dusty bed, it will be changed into courage, faith, a being of
light.  And if it still looks like fear, you
will be able to see through it, like a ghost, and keep moving.

What things
need to be put to bed in your life?  An
old idea that no longer makes sense?  An
old, limited belief (or a new one?) holding you back from sharing a talent,
interest, or wild idea? What worries or fears need a good wintering?  What shames tucked away in the dark folds of
your memories need to be laid to rest once and for all?  Try having a sleepening for each of
them.  Honor them with sleep.  Give them the grace of hibernation.  When they awaken, they will be transformed
into gifts for yourself and others.  They
will be winged things or stories, songs, dances of healing and light, paintings
full of vibrant color, hymns dripping with gratitude.  Whatever they become, they will no longer own or
terrorize you.  They will be harvests of
grace meant to be shared.

And in the
same way that we do all sorts of wonderful, ritualistic things to help us have
awakenings, let us discover creative and healthy ways to have sleepenings.  We can sing our shame lullabies of
affirmations, rock our fears in the steady arms of faith, hand our worries over
to someone else, let them rock them to sleep while we find a place to curl up
and dream.  Light a candle in honor of a
long held limited belief, say a prayer that it find its way home and when it
arrives, pray that it is a new creature in God. Let your grief cry itself to
sleep in your arms.  Bear witness to its
pain.  Tell your doubts a story of
hope.  Prepare a room for your financial
stress with the open windows of amends and restitutions and with the clean
sheets of thoughts of giving, sharing, and of abundance. Take some old unhelpful
idea about your body or sexuality and make a bed for it–a grand, welcoming bed
of satin and silk, dappled with roses and candle light.  Ravish that old idea with the kisses of
acknowledgement, awareness, and conscious presence, and then let it fall back exhausted,
changed, breathing the deep breaths of blissful acceptance.  Not the acceptance of surrendering to it.  Let the old idea surrender to you, to the
touch of your passion and desire, and tender openness to exploring new ways of
being alive.  Let it awaken in your
hands, and blossom before you as a new possibility shoot through and through
with warm, luxurious amazement.

The more
ways we can learn how and when to put something to bed, to let things have
their sleepenings, the more our awakenings can be full of light and gratitude,
creativity, and clear, fresh energy.  And
often we need other people to help us know when we need to put something to
bed.  So often we are like children so
frazzled with the activity of the moment that we forget what exactly we are
doing and how to stop.  I’ve been
there.  Many times.  And were it not for mentors saying: “Put it
to bed, slow down,” I would not be here today.

The paths of
sleep and of awakening were not meant to be traveled alone.

Of course, I
am not talking about procrastination, avoidance, delusion or denial.  I am talking about releasing the tight grip
we sometimes have on things that are actually unhealthy or unhelpful.  When we loosen our hold, allow ourselves to
be held in the hands of another—a mentor, for example, we can put those old
things to bed so other things can wake up and smell the roses.

For all
sleepenings are really reawakenings and all awakenings are really
resleepenings.  With every awakening
something is laid to rest.  With every
sleepening something is woken within in us that says: “Breathe.”


Thank you for your contributions to the Wonder Child Blog





Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


I Am Not a Computer, by Joseph Anthony

I Am Not a Computer

By

Joseph Anthony

 

“You must
unlearn what you have been programmed to believe since birth.  That software no longer serves you if you
want to live in a world where all things are possible.”

–Jacqueline
Purcell

Someone
posted this on my timeline recently and with no disrespect intended to its author, I was immediately struck with antipathy
towards it.  As I reflected on why, my
feelings became clearer, as I have had similar thoughts and feelings in the
past about such ideas.  I think I have
them clear enough to share. At least, I’ll try.

I am not a
machine.  My mind is not a computer.  I much prefer to imagine my mind as a garden,
a vast network of soil, herbs and flowers, whose roots mingle with yours and
with the Divine’s.  A place of beauty and
mystery, wonder and creativity, a rich tapestry of land with golden harvests of
possibilities where the fruits of meditation, discipline, and prayer blossom to
be shared and enjoyed by all.

And that’s
just the beginning, the poetic beginning. 
Every time we compare our minds with a computer we distance ourselves
from ourselves and the natural world around us.  And the space that occupies this distance
devolves into fears, superstitions, and apathy.

My mind is
not a hard drive.  My beliefs are not
software.  My mind is not
programmable.  To keep such analogies in
our mind’s eye makes us look at the world more impersonally, less human, less
feeling.  We are no longer responsible for ourselves.  After all, someone “programmed” us. And since computers can’t program themselves then we wait, victims, until someone solves our bugs.

As a garden,
any unwanted crops may be removed. 
Sometimes weeds need removal. 
Cultivating an inner garden stirs more of a sense of devotion and life
than having to defragment your mind to remove limited beliefs.  Cultivate the flowers you want.  Graft the trees of your imagination’s orchard
with those of like-minded friends.  Grow entirely
new fruits.  The flavors and nutrients of shared ideas are limitless. 

Some might
argue that I am being nitpicky.  Perhaps
I am.  However, I believe we believe what
we say to ourselves all day long.  I
understand computers mean so much to us in today’s world.  I am very grateful for them.  I am not anti-technology.  It’s just that metaphors and analogies are
made up of words and images and these are both living things.  What images and words do you want living in
your head, your heart, and your body?  Are
you a robot?  An automaton?

You might
not think this matters, but look around you. 
Look at people as they walk the streets, ride the bus, sit around tables
at restaurants.  We rarely look at each
other nowadays. We rarely listen.  Our
ears hold ear buds, our gaze is turned downwards at little screens.  This is all due, in part, to identifying
ourselves with these machines.  We always
want to be one with ourselves and those around us.  We instinctively seek union.  And we do that with what we feel drawn, close to,
like.  And if we identify with our minds
as being portable programmable computers and hard drives, then, of course, we
would look away from one another and towards the objects of our imaginations.  

Lastly, these mechanistic images lead us away
from intimacy with the earth.  They
depersonalize us and separate us further from the planet.  And that’s the last thing our dear Mother
Gaia needs.  She needs us touching her,
believing in her, healing her, nurturing her, helping her breathe.

This moment and
this earth are not virtual reality.  This moment
and this earth carry the essence of all that we are.  They are alive.  They are ever pregnant, ever giving birth, ever absorbing the seeds of new
ideas and inspirations. If we think of them as mechanized or computerized, we
will not want to touch them or become intimate with them.  We will move further and further away and
wonder why we are lonely.

So the next
time someone says your mind is like a computer, imagine it instead like a
garden, or an ocean, a lake, a field, or a forest.  Let these images draw you closer to yourself,
to the earth, and to others.  You will be
surprised at the beauty, the fragrance, and the infinite possibilities of
oneness that bloom and spread from such active, living imaginations.

PS: Not
everything we learned as children needs to be unlearned.  The majority of our lessons still benefit us,
even the painful ones.  Plant new
beliefs, cultivate new desires, weed out any that you no longer want, but if
you uprooted them all, well, you’d have an empty garden. 


“Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give birth to love.” 

–Milan Kundera






Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


Dancing Through the Storm: Some Thoughts on Anger

Dancing Through the
Storm:

Some Thoughts on Anger


 

 

Don’t let
spiritual traditions or religions shame you. 
Some traditions do this subtly and not so subtly.  They hold frighteningly high perfectionistic
standards for both our thoughts and behaviors. 
One of the things many spiritual traditions preach and teach is “bad,”
is anger.  It is often considered a
destructive emotion, a weakness, a fire from the hells.  Of course there are spiritual traditions that honor this force and give it names and transformative powers (think Kali).  However, if the Divine gets to feel it (which he/she does in all major religious sacred texts), why not us?

We may not like experiencing anger, but to
deny its existence, or to work against it, or to label it as bad, is to believe
we are somehow bad for getting mad.  This
is like believing that thunderstorms have no value or are inherently bad.  Yet lightening nourishes the earth with
nitrogen.  And thunder can be one of the
most magical, comforting sounds the summer has to offer.  So too anger, when used constructively to
empower a commitment to a dream, or to help some injustice, can feed the soil
of our hearts.  And listening to someone
who has learned to transform anger into passion (like Martin Luther King Jr.)
is like listening to verbal thunder that shakes the very foundations of our
paradigms.  It is the sound of someone
who cares deeply.

Every
emotion can be destructive, just as every emotion can be healing.  No emotion is bad in and of itself.  They are just like weather over a pond.  They come and they go.  The pond remains.  Your heart is the pond.  Of course, storms can be quite destructive,
and scary, but in the Divine scheme, they have their place, else they wouldn’t
exist.  And of course, undisciplined
anger expressed in any impulsive ways one feels like expressing it can also be
destructive. Transform and channel anger from pure selfish (fear-based) rage to
powerful passion for a purpose.  (Rage,
by the way, is the experience most people think of when they think of
anger.  Most people stuff their anger
until it becomes rage, or have, sadly been the victims of someone else’s
untransformed anger.)   There is nothing
wrong with going out into the woods and smashing up a pile of sticks, or
swatting your bed with a tennis racket, or twisting a towel, writing (or
singing) a punk-rock song or a long, rambling poem, or going for a run, and so
on.  Use the energy instead of denying
it’s there and trying to stuff it away.  Learn
to talk about it with people who will be able to hear you. 

The end
result of trying to deny some part of myself is shame and a judging spirit for
those I believe act in ways they shouldn’t. 
In addition, the more I believe I shouldn’t be feeling something and
keep labeling that feeling as “bad” the more I stuff it down and trap it
within.  The more this happens the more
likely I am to unleash a tantrum when something trivial doesn’t go my way; the
more likely I am to be passive aggressive, or to rage in my car while driving,
or to be sarcastic and demand perfection from others. The other result of
stuffing anger is that it teaches the children around us that part of their
human-make-up is somehow wrong.  And then,
because most of us stumble our way through and end up getting angry from time
to time, we sometimes give the message to children that they’re not allowed to
feel angry—only adults can feel angry. 
But that’s another post. 

Lastly there
are physical ramifications for stuffing our anger.  We suffer a myriad of chronic aches and pains
and indeed even serious illnesses that can at least partially be attributed to
repressed/suppressed/unexpressed anger, resentment, and rage.  Many people in the medical fields even link
some forms of cancer with the holding of deep resentments.  You know what happens when you don’t let the
steam off when cooking something—it burns, bursts, and froths.  Same with the body.  It must have healthy, constructive, and
creative ways of expressing intense emotions like anger.  I have found EFT and music to be my best
transformers of my anger.  The EFT helps
me move through it and accept it on a physical level thus transforming it into
passion.  This, in turn, is translated
into my music, my teaching, my writing—a fiery passion for life.

To sum this
one up:  Anger is a part of life, just
like storms are a part of the weather. 
If we can simply learn to feel
anger, to breathe through and with anger, to channel anger; to learn healthy ways of expressing it, then we can
walk just a little more freely as human beings, created in the image and
likeness of the Divine.






Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


You Are Not the Enemy, A Little Memoir, by Joseph Anthony

You Are Not the Enemy

A Little Memoir

By

Joseph Anthony


 

In the path
I was initiated in 25 years ago you were considered the enemy.  You and everyone else I loved or who loved
me.  You were part of the reason I was
stuck in this wheel of creation, and the more intertwined our connections, the
closer our relationships, the more destructive you were to my spiritual walk.  This world was an evil place.  This body just a bag carrying a soul.  Everything and everyone was a piece of Kal’s
(their word for devil) handiwork meant to keep me trapped in this world of
endless suffering and rebirth.

When I first
began studying this path I was 15.  Back
then it made perfect sense.  The world
was a horrible place.  I had already lived
through abuse.  I felt no love for
anyone. Everything only and always and everywhere ended up in misery and death,
so why not take active steps to get out of here?  I applied for early initiation and was
refused with a personal letter from the guru. 
“You are too young, but take heart, the Lord never forsakes his sheep.”  Disappointed as I was, I had hope that when I
turned 21 (the appointed time one could be initiated) I would be accepted into
the fold.

My hopes proved
true as I mentioned above.  I drove to a
YMCA in Chicago where one of the Master’s North American representatives was to
appear, and I learned the secret form of meditation.  I learned the secret mantra and the secret
meditation position.  I also learned
meditation was a rehearsal for death.  “Die
daily,” they said, “so when you really do die, it will be just like removing a
jacket and putting on another.”  Every time
I sat in meditation, I was readying myself to die.  In fact, not only was I like a spiritual
end-of-the-world-prepper, every time I settled into meditation, I was hoping
the chord to this earthly body would be severed as I repeated the holy
words.  I literally hoped I would die.  My meditation was a sanctioned form of suicide.

I did this
for years.  For years I consciously
decided I could not get close to people. 
The closer I got the worse our karmic entanglements, the more lifetimes
I would have to suffer.  So I stayed
distant.  I fulfilled my worldly
obligations with as much grace as I could muster.  That’s what you were: you were a karmic
obligation of which I should remain as unattached to as possible.  You were my duty.  And if I became too involved with you and our
relationship began to interfere with my meditation, the Master would take you
away.  I was assured one satsang that
Master would “destroy my life to get me to meditate.”

That’s the
way it was.  And yet somewhere inside I
rebelled against their beliefs.  I loved
the Master with a deep and unexplainable sense of devotion, but their system of
beliefs began to make less and less sense to me, and I strayed farther and
farther away from them.

So here I am
today—kirtan leader, EFT practitioner, writer, teacher.  I have many wonderful connections with many
wonderful people all over the world, including you.  I love my family and friends.  I love my body and I love this life.  And yet when the darkness comes—the depression
and the doubts creep in about my dreams, I feel a sickening pull to pick up
those old books from that old religion and lose myself in them.  I find the mantra swimming around in my head
and on my lips.  “They were right,” I
sigh, and prepare to meditate.  There is
a perverse comfort there, like an old, worn out drug that I know will still
work if I just tried it one last time. 

Then I
remember you.  I remember the songs that
flow through me.  I remember the joy I
receive from singing, writing, teaching, helping others, and damned if I don’t
sell my soul again.  I jump freely into
the web and with wild abandon allow myself to get all tangled up in you, in the
beauty, in the hope, in the desire to sing for millions.

Over the
years I have needed therapy to get the hooks of that old path out of my system,
and I see today, that it hasn’t fully been removed.  Its oppressive weight has been lifted, as
evidenced by how I live my life, but inside, it lurks in the shadows, as the
grief and torment from the childhood abuse does, like a hungry animal.   

People
sometimes chuckle when they hear I do all this music, EFT, self-helpy,
inspirational stuff to keep myself going, to help myself heal.  But that’s the truth.  My depression and psycho-emotional DNA are
steeped in darkness and a gnawing compulsion to be alone.  Yet I have found ways that I love to keep
myself going that also inspire, entertain, and uplift others.  As I heal, you heal.  As you heal, I heal.  It is not so much a web as a tapestry woven
with golden threads, a song knitted together with notes of silver harmony, a
vast network of hands all joined to help carry the other.

So here I
am, fresh off a bout of the flu and a bout of the darkness.  And I will not, no matter how strong the doubts
or how great the pain, stop singing. 

 





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Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


On the Building and Tearing Down of Walls, Part Two of Two, By Joseph Anthony

On the Building and Tearing Down of Walls

Part Two of Two

By

Joseph Anthony

 

 

We talked
last time on building and tearing down inner walls.  We spoke of these walls as stemming from the
wisdom and creativity of children.  What
happens though when we feel like we’re too cramped or need to make some sort of
change?  Here is one way of transforming,
coming out of, and inviting others into your inner paradise.

Gradually.  Begin by clearing out the space of unwanted
and unhealthy clutter: thoughts of self-hatred, shame, arrogance; and start
bringing in thoughts you want to live with: joy, gratitude, generosity,
love.  Add a window or two.  Open them. 
Let the fresh air and light in from mentors and friends.  Build a door—a beautiful, hand carved,
wood-hewn door—perhaps a non-traditional—round-Hobbit door; maybe a triangular
door, or one shaped like a star.  You
pick.  Whatever shape you pick, remember
this: these door opens from the inside. 

Begin adding
art work—beautiful visions and pictures of your dreams and aspirations; vision boards; scenes
of nature, mornings, mountains, trees.  Keep
happy memories tucked away in special places. 
Add a few knick-knack—curious, quirky things that will become your
unique personality traits.  Have a few,
well-chosen books (everyone has at least one book in them).  Bring in some candles or beautiful lamps,
soft blankets, clean bed sheets, flowers, healthy food, clean water.  You decide what these symbolize for you.  I like to think of the healthy food as
positive affirmations, the clean water as living and bathing in the truth, and
so on.

When you’re
ready, open the windows and let the light in; or open the windows at night and
let the fireflies in and the soft gaze of the moon.  Either way, let the fresh air of new ideas in.
Lean on the sill and breathe, gazing at the beauty—imagining the possibilities. 

And when you’re
ready, open the door.  Stand at the
threshold for as long as you need to, and then step out.  When you’re ready invite safe, friendly
people inside to talk with (living or dead), host dinner parties, sing-alongs, or
reading groups.  You get to decide who
and when and how.  You might even invite
people in to make love with.

And yes, you
might get hurt.  You might open the door,
come dancing out, and stub your toe on something someone left lying around
outside—a worn-out  limited belief or a
rusty, old idea.  Some one might say
something mean, break a promise, and so on. 
It is difficult to shield ourselves from all pain. 

When we get
hurt however, we have a safe, healthy, clean, and holy place to go.  We will have a well-stocked medicine cabinet
filled with the healing balms of mantras, prayers, and songs; we will have
ready the elixirs of positive affirmations and creative pursuits; we will have
the healing cures of physical movement—tapping, walking, drumming.  We will have the secret remedies of the prayers
of other people—keep a stash of these treasured somewhere in your space and
replenish them often.  Keep a supply of
the antidote for fear: actions.  Feel the fear and keep moving.  Feel all of your feelings, honor the pain and
its messages of healing; honor your feelings by simply knowing them to be what
they are—feelings—neither mysterious
nor the end all and be all of who you are.

So build
your walls, create fragrant, holy, beautiful spaces—temples of wisdom and love.  Tend the gardens of your body, mind, heart,
and soul.  Know that you can use any of
these as safe places.  Each is inherently
and irrevocably a paradise.  Know too
that you get to choose who comes in.  You
get to open the door.  Lots of people
might come knocking, but only you have the power of opening the door.  And you can stay outside or inside for as
long as you like.

One last
thing: remember to honor your inner child for starting the process of building
a wall in the first place—a process
inspired by play
.  All wisdom is
play, and all play is wisdom.  Connect
with that child with gratitude, express that appreciation by affirming him or
her; and you can express that appreciation for your inner child (or children)
too by appreciating and honoring the children you see around you—your own
children, your students, your nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or the children
in your neighborhood or on the train.  Take
a cue from these children: learn to have fun inside and out, and come out and
go in when you see fit.  Learn that
whatever else this wild, complicated life is, it is play—serious sometimes
perhaps, tragic, but it is play.  It is a
dance of wonder and of discovery.  It is
the play of becoming who you are.

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Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


On the Building and Tearing Down of Walls, Part One of Two, By Joseph Anthony

On the Building and Tearing Down of Walls

Part One of Two

By

Joseph Anthony

 

People build
walls when they need a safe place to live. 
Animals build shelters for the same reason.  Some say we build psychological/spiritual
walls after we’ve been hurt or betrayed. 
Some say the thing to do once we’re emotionally and spiritually mature
is to tear down these walls.  Some people
believe they build walls and never come out, they’re too afraid; they always
stay in. 

My take on
walls is different.  I believe building
walls is wisdom in action.  I believe we
build walls when we’re children not because we’ve been hurt, we build them
before we’re hurt—we build them out of play
Give a child a cloth, a bed sheet, a large piece of silk and watch them almost
instantly build a fort or wrap it around themselves.  Watch them transform the space underneath a
table or in a closet, in a tree—almost anywhere—into a safe, magical
place.  Teens even love their own
space. 

In other
words I believe building walls is natural, creative, holy, and necessary.  Inner stress comes when we go inside and have
trouble coming back out, or when we are unable to invite people in, or when we
outgrow the space and don’t make proper renovations, or we don’t tend the space
and it becomes cramped, isolated, filled with shadows.  As this happens over time, our inner space can become unhealthy and we in fact do need to come out
or let people in to help us clean. 
Perhaps we sense our inner space has become too confining, restricted, or
narrow.  It’s now that someone might
suggest to us that it’s time to tear the walls down.  And there are some of us who need that type
of violent gesture to free ourselves and feel empowered.  That’s OK. The walls came tumbling down in
Jericho after all (with the power of commitment and music, no less).

And if you
find yourself telling yourself (and others) that you never come out or you
always stay in your wall and that you can’t come out, know that words like always, never, and can’t, are
simply not true.  If you had never come
out of your wall you wouldn’t know to even want to.  Anytime you genuinely laughed—you were
outside the wall.  Any time you wept in
front of someone you were outside the wall (or you had invited them inside).  So you can
come out.  The way might be cluttered,
but you can, if you choose.

I suggest a
gentle approach to walls—in building and transforming them, and choosing when
to come out or let others in.  It is an
approach infused with the overarching idea that the wall was built in the first
place for a reason, a holy, and healthy reason. 
It was built out of the spirit of play and to keep ourselves safe. Know
that the word paradise means a walled
garden—a safe, beautiful place surrounded by a wall.  Did we use our paradise as a place to hide
and to withdrawal from painful people and situations?  I hope so. 
Did some of us become addicted to the inner space, the isolation?  Did some of us neglect our inner gardens and
let them become over grown with weeds?  Yes.
We all do to one degree or another and at one time or another. But when we know
it’s time to move out or let others in, there is a way to do so that honors
both your wisdom for building it in the first place and the wall itself.  And I will share my thoughts on this process on
Wednesday. 

For now, be
with the idea that inside of you is a paradise.  That’s a wonderful idea indeed.

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Breathing Lessons 3

Breathing
Lessons 3

 

Imagine
breathing

With your
mind.

Imagine
cool, clean air

Circulating
through your thoughts.

Imagine
healing oxygen

Filling
your mind

With peace.

Now
imagine breathing

With your
heart.

Let your
heart be soothed

With calm,
gentle breaths.

Let your
heart be held

By hands
of breath and Light.

Let it
beat easy, nestled

In fresh,
vanilla-scented air.

Lastly,
imagine breathing

With your
soul.

Let the
open space

Of the
blue sky

Illuminate
your soul,

Letting
it breathe creativity,

Insight,
intuition

In and
out

With certainty
and grace.

Now
that you can

Imagine
breathing with your mind,

Heart,
and soul,

Do it
for real,

Let it
be so.

Let your
whole being

Be filled
with Life

And with
the laughter

Of pure
joy.

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


Breathing Lessons 2

Breathing
Lessons 2

 

Try
This:

Imagine
breathing in Light.

Imagine
the air

Being Light.

Imagine
drawing Light

Into you,

Into the
cells

Of your
cells,

Allowing
it to gradually

Illuminate
your mind,

Your heart,

Your whole
body,

Like the
dawn of a new day.

Let
each breath of Light

Bathe and
cleanse you.

Let the
Light breathe

Into the
shadows,

And let
it be

Like a
cool, summer wind.

Let
the Light

Breathe
into any tension

You may
be feeling,

Any darkness,
any worry.

Imbue them
all

With a
calm, gentle

Healing
breath

Of
Light.

Try
breathing this way

Every day,

All the
time.

Breathe
in Light

And radiate

Wisdom

Wherever

You go.

 

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


I Am a Star: A Creative Visualization for Children of All Ages

I Am a
Star:

A
Creative Visualization

For Children

Of All
Ages

 

I originally
wrote this for my first graders but it can easily be applied to any age
children—even grown-ups.  It was
originally written as a song, which you’ll see (hear) in a minute.  I am presenting the visualization here as if you
are going to do it.  That way, you can
get to know it before you share it with any children in your care.  Once you have learned it and want to share it
with say, children aged 5-7, you can dovetail it with a little arithmetic study
and look at the number 5 as a living thing—it’s a star (pentagon), 

and it lives
in the center of an apple cut in half width-wise, 

and in the form of a human
being with their arms and legs outstretched.

That said,
the visualization is short yet profound, especially for those children already
carrying the idea that they aren’t good enough, or that they’re bad, stupid, or
dumb.  This little visualization, when done
regularly, will help such children (and all children) touch their innate
goodness and light.

You can do
this visualization anywhere and anytime you need to feel yourself filled with
Light.
J

OK, let’s
get started.

Watch this
video beginning at 4:13 so you can learn the song.  
Let yourself sing it and freely move the gestures
(or make up your own).
  Young children
especially learn with their whole body, so definitely encourage them to do the
gestures, and you can do that best by doing the gestures first and then with
the children.

The words to
the song are as follows:

I am
star with a Light in my body,

I am a
star with a Light in my mind,

I am a
star with a Light in my heart,

I shine
my Light all of the time.

I shine
for myself and I shine for you,

I
shine my Light in all that I think, say, and do.


*

Find
a comfy place to sit or stand.

Close
your eyes.

Breathe
in slowly and deeply

Filling
your belly.

Hold
that breath a second or two.

Then
slowly let that breath go.

Do
that 3 or 4 times.

Now
look inside your mind.

Find
your star.

Find
the star that lives in you.

Everyone
has a star living in them.

Find
your star.  See your star.

See
your star shining within you.

It’s
there, just behind your eyes,

Right
there in your mind.

You
can feel it

Shining
in your heart.

Be
with your star.

Let
its Light shine in you.

And
today

Let
your star shine

In
your thoughts.

Let
your star shine

In
your deeds.

Let
your star shine

In
the words you speak.

Let
your star shine

In
all that you do.

Hold
that star.

It
is always with you.

Forever
more.

That
star IS you.

Now
be in silence for a few moments

Seeing
your star shining within you.

Now
open your eyes.

Know
that you shine.

Know
that YOU

Are
a star.

*

As you go
through the day with the young children (or yourself) you’ve shared this visualization
with, you can point out times when they share star-thoughts, star-actions, and star-words.  Praise your children as they shine.  Praise yourself as you shine. 

Have fun,
and keep shining.
J

“This
little light of mine….”


 

 

 

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


Breathing Lessons

Breathing
Lessons 1

 

Try
this:

Imagine
breathing

With your
whole body.

Imagine
receiving your next breath

With every
cell and every muscle.

Imagine
them all

Inhaling
and relaxing.

As you
visualize this,

Focus
your attention

On inhaling
peace and light.

Keep
doing this and the image

Of your
whole body breathing

Will blossom
into reality.

You will
actually feel your body tingling,

You will
feel more alive,

More alert,
more awake,

More full
of praise.

So try
it,

Breathe,

Breathe
with your whole body.

 

 

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog