reflection

2016 highlights

 

I’m moving into a new year with a spacious heart. My 2016 gratitude haiku is still relevant to me.

 

A dream coming true A Sweet home for family All love surrounds me #2016gratitudehaiku

A photo posted by kris_moon (@_krismoon_) on

 

Here are a few of my favorite memories and take-aways from this past year:

  • I wrote and sent out a newsletter for 18 weeks in a row, 26 in total. My consistent efforts created closer connections with many of you. And it was a personal win to stay committed to writing for so many weeks.
  • I fell off the horse and got back on a number of times, metaphorically. And many of you showed up for me during the times I wasn’t riding all that skillfully. This year was a big year of team efforts and deep remembering of our inherent connection to each other and something greater than us – that Great Mystery.
  • We found the real deal Moon Mountain, went under-contract and struggled with securing financing. Changing closing dates meant we moved out of the tiny house and left summer farm camp just a wee too soon. 6 weeks of couch surfing meant impromptu Chicago visit. Which meant saying goodbye to beloved Busia. Hands down the biggest gift of the whole year.

 


Late September we moved into our home sweet farmhouse. We’ve called this place Moon Mountain years before it was ever an actual place. It’s more enchanting and otherworldly than we could have envisioned. It feels safe and exciting to have found ourselves a slice of something special. A place to retreat, to regenerate, to reunite and to heal. We enter 2017 with a clear vision, open to observe and listen. To love, protect and share this 28-acre mountain sanctuary is an intention very much alive in our hearts.

 

 

Many of you followed along during our time experimenting as farmers. Adventures in tiny house living showed us how living with less can be more fulfilling. The season of planting and growing and working together at summer farm camp is one that will shape me for many years to come. Now here are a couple last experiences that shaped me in this final season of the year:

 

  • I officiated my first marriage ceremony in early October and it was a definite highlight. My buddy Murf got married to the absolute kindest, loveliest of souls. I got to guide all the guests inward and remind us all of the richness that awaits us when we allow our attention to settle on a singular point in the presence. Take away: Be here now & feel the love that surrounds you.
  • Finally, most recent news is that we got pregnant right after we closed on the property. Life was overflowing. What lay ahead gave us great heights of happiness, and we were feeling deep gratitude for all of the abundance. Then we miscarried. The scales shifted as they do. Reading this poem daily became a ritual for us healing.

 

Then a woman said, “speak to us of Joy
and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your
laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your
tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your
being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very
cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothe’s your
spririt, the very wood that was hollowed
out with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into
your heart and you shall find it is only that
which has given you sorrow that is giving
you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in
your heart, and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been
your delight.
Some of you say, ” Joy is greather than
sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is
the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable,
Together they come, and when one sits
alone with you at your board, remember
that the other is alseep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales, be-
tween your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at
standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you up to
weigh his gold and silver, needs must
your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

 

Take away: My joys and sorrows shape me. Also, I am naturally drawn to poetry, since I was a child, and it seems to support my healing (stay awake to this observation and offer it more energy).

 

 

The biggest take-away from the past year is how much strength a loving, high vibrating, plugged-in community is to my personal healing & development. The sister/brotherhood is strong and I’m deeply grateful for your presence on the path with me.

 

Thanks so much for holding space for me to honor the highlights of 2016, and for envisioning what taking action would look like for even one person who may be suffering, including ourselves.

 

The vision is bright my friends, and keeps revealing itself as we watch and listen. I am planning for a future, remembering that nothing is ever certain. My biggest priority is still the same: to be here now the best I can with an open heart mind. I enjoy exploring the vastness and depths of what it is to be a living thing and diving deeper as curiosity and wonder lead me. At times, maybe you’ll travel with me.

 

 

Wishing us all well with the final blessing below:

May we all engage in a daily practice that promotes peace within ourselves / May our peace drop into the ocean of everyone’s peace and effect it / May we move forward together with clear vision and hopeful hearts / May we remember that peace is possible / And so it is. 

 

loving myself
loving you,
kris moon

Kindness is critical

What do we do when it appears we’ve lost our way?

 

This past weekend, in a conscious effort to slow down, Mi Amor and I attended a silent work meditation retreat. The retreat took place at Southern Dharma, a lovely retreat center about an hour north of us here in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. The weekend was a combination of sitting and working meditation to prepare for the upcoming retreat season. There were about 20 of us who were split into various task teams, and I was assigned to the outdoor landscaping crew.

 

Even though we had specific tasks to do, the priority was placed on maintaining our meditative focus over getting the job done. We were encouraged to slow down, to be with our breath, to notice what we were doing, and to enjoy the work. And believe you me, this was much easier said than done. (even when I had just sent out an email practice all about how to do this!)

 

Within 5 minutes, yes, 5 minutes, of raking leaves I had already mapped out in my head the entire area that I would tackle in the first 3-hour work session. Once I had the plan in place, I started to attach myself to the outcome of accomplishing what I had set out to do, quickly forgetting the meditative focus.

 

About 20 minutes in I felt a sharp sensation in my left hand. I stopped, wiped the sweat that at this point covered my forehead and the back of my neck, and removed my working gloves. In between my pointer finger and thumb was a huge blister that in this short time managed to not only form but had also popped, leaving behind a large flap of skin.

 

In the absence of noticing my breath and staying present for what I was doing, I had become so focused on completing the task before me, that I was death gripping the rake, literally causing myself harm. Now in that moment of awareness, I had a choice. I could do what I tend to do, beat myself up for losing my way….

 

“Ugggghhhh…I’ve only been out here for half an hour and I’ve already failed. Ugggghhhh…I’m a professional for goodness sake, and I can’t even get it right. Ugggghhhh…all this practice and for what? I should just quit right now. What’s the point? I suck.” 

 

OR….in this moment, I could choose to offer myself kindness. I could let go of the story in my head about not being good enough or being a failure, and I could simply come back to noticing my breath in the body, feeling the sensation of the sun touching my skin, seeing the red buds against the blue sky and the yellow daffodils emerge from the green grass, hearing the sound of the birds singing their songs….

 

I could return to right now. I could remember that I am a human being and that being human isn’t about being right or wrong.

 

That the so-called success of the meditation practice is in making the choice to come back over and over and over again, no matter how many times we stray. And that the critical element for ensuring that we are able to start anew without losing hope or getting lost in our story is kindness.

 

As we approach the vernal equinox on Sunday, it’s a great time of year to come back to our center, without judgment of if and how we might have strayed. To remember our True Nature is already whole and complete. To realize that our worth isn’t tied to what we “get done.” That in any given moment, even when it may not feel like it, we are more than enough.

 

This week, the invitation is to practice coming back to your breath…. the sensations in the body…the sounds around you…the beauty you see as Nature wakes up from her winter slumber… to choose to come back to the experience of right now, with kindness.

 

Now sometimes we need outside support in helping us remember our innate ability to begin again. Mother Nature continues to be one of my most helpful teachers. Spring offers us the reminder that new growth is possible. Sometimes support comes in the form of a trusted friend who reminds us to be gentle and kind to ourselves when we are stuck in a pattern of despair or when our inner bully is on the pounce. And sometimes we just need some guidance as we practice.

 

Lately, I’ve found it quite challenging to exercise my kindness muscle, and therefore I’ve included a loving kindness meditation practice that has served me well in hopes that it may support you, too.

 

As always, if you have questions or comments, or are in need of a friend, I love hearing from you. And if you feel called to invite another to join this online practice community, please do.

 

May we all be happy, may we all be healthy, and may we all love and accept ourselves just as we are…

 

Wishing you all a supportive Spring Equinox, full of kindness and reflection.

 

W/love,
Kris Moon