It's been a very fun week, getting to spend time with dear friends before making the trek back east.
During one particular conversation, we got on to the topic of astronomy.
Now, this subject is very near to my heart, as my dad totally geeked out on stars, and planets, the sky in general. I fondly remember getting to stay up late as a kid during our "stargazing" camping trips. And, I was so jazzed about the subject that I even did a science fair project on it. Oh yeah!! Check out that awesome haircut from the 80's! Yeow!
Nevertheless, we started chatting about some amazing facts of the universe, such as:
- Stars twinkle in the sky, and planets don't.
- The milky way alone is made up of about 100 BILLION stars!
- It takes a photon anywhere from a few thousand to a few million years to move from the core of the sun out into space
- 98.8% of the mass in our solar system is taken up by the sun.
It's hard to wrap my brain around these stats, but the last one just gets me entirely! That means that the rest of the planets and moons and Earth and us as people on earth only comprise 1.2% of the mass in our solar system. That's so small!!! I know that our bodies are comprised of cells that are simply vibrating... and we are interacting with other vibrations in the world to make up our experience, but just thinking of the size of the sun in relation to us (as far as mass goes) is absolutely incredible!
I picture myself saying the "absolutely incredible" line like Mel B from America's got Talent. Their Christmas special is coming up next week. Is anyone else watching besides me?
But I digress.
The conversation about the ginormous size of the Universe sparked a few thoughts for me:
1. Life is about Balance
Yes, I've been going through this mastery course for a few months now, and even decided to refrain from alcohol to enhance clarity and focus on this journey. In this process, I learned that I was using alcohol as not only a creative endeavor to make the perfect cocktail, but as a way to diffuse unwanted stress. Now that I feel more internally balanced, and it's the time of year to celebrate with friends and family, I'm giving myself a few weeks to indulge.
I enjoyed a glass of wine with some friends at dinner, and had a margarita at my office lunch party.
Did my world fall apart? No.
Do I feel less committed to living the life of my dreams? Not in the least.
Do I feel inspired to continue my journey with less alcohol after Christmas? Most definitely.
However, being reminded of my place in this world, and the incredible power I have despite my size, makes me want to experience life to the max.
That often includes having fun, going with the flow, and making the most of my time on Earth with balance and joy.
Another good thing that came out of this week of balance is my twist on the classic Greyhound. It's my new favorite go-to for the holidays (see my recipe below).
2. Celebrate the body for it's own amazing capabilities
While the body may be small in comparison to the scope of the Universe, it's an incredible, intuitive tool that can be used to enhance our overall life experience.
In fact, that's the focus this week in the Awaken your Purpose Mastery Course: Tapping into the wisdom of the body.
I know I just said that our body is comprised of vibrations, but we do perceive ourselves as a solid mass.
The body -- which is like an intelligent Universe in-and-of itself -- is constantly sending signals to the mind through the senses. How we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel the world around us determines what responses occur in the mind... and then relay back to changes in the body.
Essentially, the body is a great feedback device to reflect the state of our mind in any instant. If your shoulders are tense, and your jaw is clenched, how are you feeling? Most likely stressed, upset, uneasy. If you feel relaxed and playful? Your thoughts and emotions are probably on a similar wavelength.
All it takes is a little shift in attention to see what's going on in the body throughout each day to stay on track. Or, more importantly, to stay in the most centered place possible despite the surroundings.
I use the following tools to keep my body healthy, mind clear, and energy levels high throughout each day:
- Set aside five to ten minutes each morning to scan my body head to toe. I use it in conjunction with a seated meditation, but you might want to do this in bed (where it's still warm) before starting the day.
- Schedule an alarm on my phone to go off every two hours at work. This reminds me to take a break, pause for five minutes, stretch, and clear my head. I then check out how my body feels in those moments.
- Take three conscious breaths any time during the day when my mood gets funky. This helps me hit the restart button.
- Scan the body again just before bed, letting go of the stress of the day. This can be visualizing my head getting heavier on my pillow, appreciating the support of my bed, or even doing some light stretching before bed to put my body at ease.
Download this form for more a more structured approach to tapping in to the body wisdom this week.
3. Focus on the fun
Our lifespan in short in comparison to, say, that of photon traveling from the core of the sun. With three people in close proximity to my family making their transition into non-physical this week, it's a reminder to focus on the important things while I am able to thrive in this body.
Today, I choose to take action on what brings my heart joy -- like playing with puppies, writing, and baking. For those things on my to-do list, I'm going to make a game out of them, so I can play as much as possible throughout the day.
And who knows?
I might even make my Grapefruit cocktail below, bundle up, and go watch the stars tonight. If I do, I'll raise my glass to my dad, Scott, Bea, and Billy who lived their lives fully, and have encouraged me to do the same.
Naughty, but Nice Grapefruit Martini
- 2 ounces gin
- 3/4 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 1 ounce grapefruit juice
- 1 tsp lime juice
- splash of club soda
Place all ingredients in a shaker, and shake until cold. Double strain into a martini glass of choice, and enjoy!