The Search for Happiness

"Our egos want to be light that shine happiness but we're lights that shine everything."                                                                  ~ Richard Moss

When we are children...we do not search for happiness. Happiness just is. Then unhappiness is.  Then happiness again. We are fluid in our states of being.  Then we become acculturated.  We learn to define our preferences. We start to say things like "I'm unhappy and I won't be happy until..." (fill in the blank)  

So we go on the search for happiness. Ever elusive and always out of reach. We get temporarily happy when we are in love or get the job, the house, the vacation, the baby, the money, the retirement, the.... You get the idea. Because as soon as we have the 'desired' thing, the object of our never ending search, we are nearly instantly unhappy because happiness is not something that you can grasp. You cannot hold on to it. Each time you seem to have it in your hand...away it slips and you feel back where you started; looking for the happiness you are certain you deserve!

What if the secret to 'Happiness' is not outside of us?

What if the secret to being "Happy" is something that is in us every microsecond of every day?

What if "Happy" is something deeper than Facebook memes, puppies and a glass of wine?

What if "Happy" is actually feeling at ease in your own skin? ....trusting your existence to be 'enough'? ....being at ease with whatever shows up...even the thoughts, the feelings, the situations and circumstances that we want to push away, deny and avoid....Yes, even the really difficult ones like betrayal, loss, pain and all the rest? 

Now, I am not saying that you won't have moments when the feelings, thoughts and situations have you singin' the blues.  The joy is that we are MEANT to be 'full-spectrum' beings. 

Let me tell you a little story:

Almost three years ago I had a deep betrayal pop up in my life. The details are not important. I was feeling very hurt and angry and sad to the point of despair. I wanted to lash out, return the pain and there were certain a couple of times I did say what I was thinking and feeling. A good friend asked me what I wanted to do and even suggested some possible actions I could take. They were humorous suggestions. They were meant to bring me out of the depths and give me something to hold to whilst I got my bearings. What I realized quickly was that in spite of the sense of loss and all the reactivity that I was hurtled into by my mind, I was actually just fine. I was breathing and feeling and eating and sleeping and going to work and spending time doing things that made me feel creative. I felt the anger - but I was NOT the anger.  I felt the fear - but I was NOT the fear. I was NONE of the feelings or thoughts. They passed through me. Some quickly, some came back around for more passes. Through it all I had a witness who watched me and held me safe. That witness was the one who sits at the seat of my heart and soul. She would stop me when I would get caught in a story. She would say things like: "You want to strike out. What will happen if you do? What outcome do you hope for? Is there a way you can get that without doing what you are thinking about doing?"  She kept me questioning my own values and integrity. Happy became a choice. The choice was clear: Feel, think, do...and allow the Witness to help you question what no longer serves your deepest Self. 

Is this easy? No....and YES!

Try this:

Next time some feeling or thought threatens to sweep you away.....ask your Witness to hold you safe while the storm passes. Seriously. Ask....you are always held safe by your own wise soul.

And remember: We are lights that shine everything!

Till next time - Blessings

Patti

 

What's with this 'Zentangle®' Thingee??

original tile .jpg

So tell me what you would do if you actually took time to slow down in your life?  What if you left Facebook and Twitter and Pintrest and all the rest for a while?  What if you abandoned the 'Hamster on the Wheel of Life' that your mind is for long enough to have everything come into sharp focus in the Present Moment?  What would happen?  What would you be doing? Could you do it? Could you do nothing?

Unlikely 

We are creatures living in a culture that demands that every single moment of everyday be filled to overflowing with activity and responsibility and on and on and on..........

Well....I would like to propose that you consider that you could 'DO' something and at the same time be intentional and creative and focused on ONE thing.

Zentangle® is a method of moving meditation that was developed by founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. The method is NOT doodling! The method is intentional and designed to provide a 'One stroke at a time' way to slow down, focus, breathe and create a beautiful piece of art in the process.

NO PERCEIVED ARTISITIC TALENT IS REQUIRED!  

If you can hold a pen....draw an: I S C O and a 'dot'....then you can Zentangle®.

Zentangle is a total "NO Mistake' zone. We don't use erasers, just a pen, pencil and paper. (official Zentangle® paper is called a 'tile' and is 3.5"x3.5" and made from a fine Italian paper by Fabriano)

I personally found this method when circumstances in my life were completely chaotic and out of my immediate control.  One night I sat with my journal and intended to write to relieve some of the tension I was feeling. I ended up doodling. All my doodles look the same....little boxes and spirals. I felt there must be some other options but my mind could not find any so I 'Googled' for 'Doodle Patterns'.  Up popped Zentangle® and the images I saw made my eyes pop with joy! Intricate, delicate, enchanting drawings appeared and I was willing to follow them down whatever rabbit hole they lead me!  I attempted to duplicate what I saw, but my early efforts left me frustrated, since I did not understand the method. I searched for a teacher in my area without success and in October of 2013 I flew to Providence, R.I. and learned from Rick and Maria. At the end of the course I became a CZT (certified Zentangle® teacher) and though I had not intended to, I began teaching.  I thought, "If this helped me so much, then there must certainly benefits for others."  

Since its beginning, Zentangle has been recognized as being of benefit to children with ADHD and anger management issues. It helps those with Parkinson's improve their fine motor skills. It has helped those with depression and anxiety. Countless stories pour into the Zentangle® Headquarters. A recent article in Psychology Today, addresses the benefits of Zentangle® Method. Google 'creative trends in America' and the fifth hit down says, "Get A 'Zentangle': Shutterstock's 2015 Creative Trends Data Released".  

It has become a Global Trend....CZTs are teaching around the world....

It is for children, but it is for adults.   My youngest student has been 8 years old and the oldest was 93...so far.  Let me teach you!

Give Zentangle® a try and challenge your ideas about whether you are creative or not....slow yourself down...have some fun, give yourself some 'Me Time' and embrace the opportunity to create beauty.  

"Anything is possible one stroke at a time!"

Patti

Contact me to schedule a class for yourself and your friends

 

 


 

It's a Brand New Day!

So here I am.... creating something new in my life. 

One of my many teachers told me that I am a 'Seeker'.  That feels accurate to me.  I am a seeker in the way that the Sufis perceive that word. It is a journey that symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth, and arrives at connection with the Divine and endeavors to use that wisdom to be of service to the Whole of creation.

What I want to offer to you is a chance to reach in and find your own truth. 

I'm offering Zentangle® classes (of ALL sorts) for creative expression, stress relief, meditation.  I can tell you that it was better for me than the anti anxiety drugs I was tempted to take when life turned up the fire AND I ended up with a great sense of accomplishment.   

Also, Improvisation in Voice/Voice Mentoring

Now I know that voice is an area that elicits fear from many people.  In fact, I think I could make a business just helping people get in touch with their voices on a deeper level to improve basic communication skills. Our speaking voices are a reflection of the stressors that are affecting us. With vocal mentoring and singing improv (spontaneous, textless, created in the moment), you can free parts of yourself that are otherwise hidden. You can learn to trust your voice and express yourself with more confidence and personal power. 

Guided Meditation....

Guided Meditation is a tool of great power.  Gentle guidance allows you to sink deeply into a meditative state and quite the noisy Monkey Mind that wants our attention always.   I can create a guided meditation that is personalized to your needs, giving you back your calm and leaving you deeply relaxed.

Finally - I have created a 9 month program that I call Creative Journeying. 

Using tools from Shamanic Journey methods, Zentangle®, Guided Meditation, Movement Exercises and Art Journaling I can guide you through a process that will leave you in touch with the deeper desires for connection and sense of purpose giving you ways to make "Me Time" into a meaningful and satisfying experience. 

In the program you will meet with me face to face (Skype options also available) once a month and we will have weekly check in via email, phone or Skype to present new questions and have time to process.  

So that's the bare bones.... 

Come take a journey inward with me. 

Patti

Next time: "Interviews with Patti"