Meditation With The Owl

4K-Owls-Wallpaper-For-AndroidMeditation With The Owl 

Get comfortable in a place where you won’t be disturbed. Find a quiet place outside, or put on nature sounds if either of these options are available and make you feel more connected to owl energy.  Do whatever you feel guided to do.

Imagine you are in a wooded area, perhaps sitting safely upon a tree limb as you watch the owls soar from tree to tree. Imagine the feeling of the air around you, hear the wings of the owls as they fly near. Feel the branches you’re sitting on, feel the wood beneath your fingertips, smell the tree sap and the woods all around you.

As you watch the owls, speak to them, state what it is you would like owl wisdom on. You could simply think,  “Owl Energy. I look for your wisdom” Or you could say, “Owl Energy. I feel that I am stuck in (name your personal situation). Help me see through the darkness. Help me see with wisdom and direction.” 

Continue to become a part of the woods you’re in as you grow more comfortable sitting in the tree as you feel the flap of an owls wings in the air brush against you as it sits next to you on the branch. Note any observance you have; any feeling, words that are spoken or come to mind, symbols, etc.. Stay in this moment with the owl for as long as you feel guided to. Feel your heart fill with gratitude for this moment.

When you feel you are ready open your eyes and feel the lightness in your spirit.

I can’t emphasize this enough, journal your meditation. Write down any information you received. If you received any symbols, google them. You may even be revisited by an owl in a dream. In meditations like these that essentially search for your own inner wisdom to shine through, often clarity of the message isn’t completely understood at first glance. Give it time. 

©S.Halloran-runningtozen.org

In This Present Moment

MEDITATE | JOURNAL
Being present is really about focused awareness of what you are feeling and experiencing in the present moment. Meditation is a great way to become aware of your inner thoughts and emotions that are bubbling to the surface. You can use meditation to quiet your thoughts that are taking you out of the present moment. Thoughts like worrying about something that’s in the future. As time passes that “thing” you are focused on in the future could alter anyway due to all sorts of variables, so why are you worrying in the NOW? Use candles and either some sandalwood or palo santo incense to help you relax and refocus.  I write, journal and blog as a way to release thoughts and emotions. It releases stress and also allows me, once I’ve written it out, to bring myself back to the present moment.

 

MOVEMENT | BODYFLOW
Some times we all need to get out of our own head. Stop thinking and move! Go to a yoga class or pick any from YouTube for free to do. They have them for every level and you can even find short 15 minute Vinyasas. Take your meditation outside and do a walking meditation. Put some music on and dance like no one’s watching. If you’re at the office, take a short break and use the stairs! Or stand up right there by your desk and shake it out, move your shoulders and neck. Workout, hike, go for a swim, something to release pent up energy. Pent up energy can cause things like writers block and can get your mind stuck on something, release that block with some movement. This will help your energy to become fluid and can be like a breath of fresh air!

 

NATURE | GROUNDING
Nature never stops, it may move slowly but it keeps flowing. Connect to the earth’s natural energy, it will ground you. Earthing can diminish fatigue, so put your bare feet to the ground, the sand and soak up those free electrons!

FEEL IT | RELEASE IT
We have a bad habit of compartmentalizing things and minimizing the feeling of negative emotions by not focusing on what specifically we are feeling or wanting. We have to honor ourselves by facing our feelings. Only then, can we either release it our find forward momentum and flow down a path to fixing it or getting whatever it is. We aren’t robots. We have emotions that we need to share with ourselves and others with honesty and grace. 

UNPLUG| JUST BE
Step away from the phone. Step away from the computer. Put down the laptop. Turn off the TV. How long has it been since you’ve just spent time with yourself in a moment without all the constant input visually and audibly from the constant hum of, at it’s basic, electricity? We have a constant barrage of sensory input every minute of the day. And most of that isn’t related to nature or even meditative or relaxing music. Take a sensory moment to just stop inputting data and just be. 

Tree Talk

Trees can talk to each other – Suzanne Simard

“A forest is much more than what you see,” says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.

D943_73_095_1200.jpg

ECOLOGIST SAYS TREES TALK TO EACH OTHER IN A LANGUAGE WE CAN LEARN

 

DLbt_8OW0AEdaDz.jpg

 

Pine Barrens Forest Fire 03/30/2019

Screen-Shot-2019-03-30-at-6.10.46-PM.png
Patch News Photo – Pine Barrens Fire

We live very close to the Pine Barrens Forest in New Jersey, about 15 minutes away. On March 30th there was a forest fire in the Barrens. The fire took 2 days to contain and burned more than 11, 000 acres of land. The firefighters used a technique called “blowhole firing” to slow the flames down. It requires firefighters to get ahead of the blaze and use handheld torches to set smaller fires in its path. It burns up some what’s fueling the fire to slow it down. Officials said the investigation was ongoing and asked for the public to contact the New Jersey State Police with confidential tips as it seems this fire was caused in some way by humans. The area is a known area for illegal bonfires.

The photo’s below we took from our front yard on the night of March 31st. And from across the street you can see the fire ablaze and how close we were. We even prepared that evening by filling up our gas tank in case they called for an evacuation.

Homes in the photo’s were blurred out to protect the privacy of home owners.

56191405_10219461827436184_8983819505775935488_os
Photo ©runningtozen@gmail.com
55708893_10219461827556187_4374923828816510976_ot
Photo ©runningtozen@gmail.com

 

The video below is of drone footage of the destruction left in the wake of the fire.

 

Learn Wildfire Safety Tips

Wildfires are usually preventable because many originate from human error.

the-bear-clipart-19.jpg

 

Tree Meditation

transparent-divider-leaves (1)

Imagine the type of tree that you want to be, and then begin to find your roots in the floor or ground while standing up, straight and tall. Imagine that you are becoming really grounded by your feet, like roots of a tree spreading through the ground. 

silhouette-3600409_960_720

As you close your eyes, imagine that you are growing taller becoming stronger, rising up into the sky, reaching for the rays of the sun. Move your attention from your feet, up through your legs, and pay notice to how it feels Then, let the feeling spread into your arms. Notice how your body is feeling.  Imagine your arms are like branches spreading wide, strong, healthy. Feel your connection to the other trees that stand tall with you in the forest. Look up and around and see the canopy. Where all the branches touch other trees and animals find safety and shelter within. Imagine the animals filling their belly’s and laying down to rest full and content in your the shelter of your branches. See the butterflies fluttering playfully as they wind in and out of your outstretch limbs. Hear the birds chirping and calling to one another as they set up to nest in your protective canopy of green. What else do you see within the shelter of your leaves and branches?

 

images.png

 

A Green Forest Landscape with TreesNow begin traveling up your trunk, moving your attention up out of your limbs and to the top of your head. Travel all the way up to the  top of your tree-self, beyond the branches. Take a moment here, what do you see? What does your surrounding forest look like? Is it tropical, do you feel sun drenched?? Or are you in the mountain ranges, able to see far and wide? Are you in a rain forest with rain beginning to gently fall upon your leaves? Is it sunny outside? Are you somewhere you’ve been before or wanted to be? Now stand tall and feel the strength of your being. You are rooted. You are healthy. Your roots can extend as far as you want them to go gaining nourishment and knowledge along the way. Stay in your forest as long as you wish exploring the feelings.

 

istockphoto-508321278-612x612.jpg

 

71QHr4tBQeL._SX425_.jpgWhen you’re ready, think of what you need to let go of, what’s draining your energies, your vitality. Allow all that to slowly move through your limbs and extend out to your leaves. The leaves begin to turn brown and fragile.  Then, when you’re ready, allow the leaves to gently fall off you to the ground. Knowing they now no longer cling to you but instead lay at the ground near you to nourish you and only bring forth new seedlings of growth, upon your branches. Linger here as you feel this new energy of growth fill your senses. 

yoga-tree-silhouette-vector-clipart

Slowly come back to you. Feel the sunshine and air surround you like a hug. 

You feel lighter

You feel renewed

You feel refreshed

You feel grounded

 

Tree Meditation © 03/27/2019 Susan (Suzen) Halloran

Benefits Of Exercising In Nature (and why it’s better than at home workouts)

18557369_1906675046214805_4413315077051368218_n.jpg

I still do some at home workouts. But I really feel too strongly about getting out in nature and just moving. You can walk, hike, run, swim, etc… But the added benefits to getting outside and away from technology for a hot minute is well worth it. At home and gym workouts are awesome for changing up your routine, getting out of the rain and snow, or just meeting other people and that energy vibe you get from working out around other people. But stepping away from the TV, the computers and the tablets can change your entire mental outlook for the day. So get outside and take a walk!

Yoga and a long beautiful walk through the Botanical Gardens…

18195053_1191395234322393_143483914845910155_n.jpg

Saturday the hubby and I had a morning yoga session at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. The gardens host quite a few different community projects as well as certificate programs in Floral Design. It was a gorgeous cool spring day and a perfect way to spend Saturday morning together! The class was very beginner friendly and the instructor, Charlotte was amazing! She also teaches Yin Yoga at the The Space Above Yoga Center

18301200_10213216845715544_605226207880805431_n

After yoga, we received free admission with the cost of the yoga class. What a beautiful way to spend a Saturday morning, yoga to restore surrounded with nature’s beauty. It was a magical day! 

 

It was peaceful and kind of meditative at times. Even though we’ve live in this area nearly 9 years, my hubby’s never been to the Botanical Gardens before. So this made the day extra special.

 

 

I’ve been to the Gardens with visiting friends during the height of tourist season and it was beautiful. But it was hot and can get crowded. I’ve always recommended people travel here during off season. No lines, hotels are less expensive, and events are less crowded. So plan two trips to the area. One for relaxing and one to take in all the tourist vibe events! 

 

So now come take a walk with us as we explore the

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

 

“There is unspeakable beauty and potential to be found in nature. It entices me and is an invitation I just have to accept.”  ~Jil Ashton-Leigh 

 

 

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
~Albert Einstein

18402695_10213216839115379_3617407975981959602_n

 

18222209_10213216837235332_3232349942470088060_n

“It is no longer sufficient to describe the world of nature. The point is to defend it.” ~Edward Abbey

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”
~George Gordon Byron

18222056_10213216845115529_8923510398310199031_n.jpg

18402809_10213216835635292_7996503412189111168_n

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“‘Is the spring coming?’ he said. ‘What is it like?’ …

‘It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under the earth.'”

~Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

18274730_10213216833395236_7275090365755125590_n.jpg

18222241_10213216832995226_712665460191745938_n

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

18222068_10213216828635117_7266567713427537108_n

18301076_10213216825595041_7413969825111346432_n

“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

~John Muir, Our National Parks

18222430_10213216823154980_3537024347663315744_n

 

18402897_10213216823914999_1917186116477046989_n.jpg

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”

~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

18275237_10213216824555015_2944314866872792930_n

 

18301502_10213216821754945_5711584266350747114_n.jpg

 

18301542_10213216816794821_6682197845480580808_n.jpg

18268218_10213216816674818_727644518760766534_n

18268141_10213216795834297_6123291836477845425_n.jpg

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”  

~Henry David Thoreau

18301103_10213216816354810_3769747821950952790_n.jpg

 

 

 

“Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment within.”

~Chinese proverb

 

18221746_10213216813794746_4228158697876966019_n.jpg

18274705_10213216813594741_6112772380168651680_n.jpg

 

As we walked through the Enchanted Forest, the birds became hyper aware and greeted us as we passed by! It was magical!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

18402949_10213216811514689_7237601143141497492_n

 

18341646_10213216809914649_6608870324212806129_n

 

 

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

~ Lao Tzu

18301438_10213216808114604_4162116430661985744_n.jpg
Sadly it was closed, the Butterfly House is a summer event.

18221969_10213216805714544_1469303281182201981_n.jpg

But the Butterfly Garden was blooming!

18300879_10213216803834497_7024103573821972792_n

18342146_10213216806434562_6767471648320720400_n.jpg

In a field of roses, she is a wildflower.

~Unknown

18222470_10213216806914574_3793901851480068363_n.jpg

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” ~William Shakespeare

18268419_10213216796514314_7845094843351235801_n

18342767_10213216795594291_8606768053051856956_n.jpg

18222109_10213216795074278_4746020402383599025_n

“The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.”

~Claude Monet

18274811_10213216787514089_1931760365385264229_n.jpg

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

18301536_10213216786634067_7886682719454401190_n.jpg

The Rose Garden

18222665_10213216785194031_5194885961265547389_n.jpg

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”

~Dale Carnegie

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

18300912_10213216781953950_3985570768085990334_n.jpg

18301438_10213216781793946_827017600115864718_n.jpg

“Take time to smell the roses.”

~Proverb

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. We highly recommend it for a low key, long walk kind of day filled with beauty. 

💚

Susan & Keith

18301334_10213216804874523_9166619419223864085_n.jpg

Bare Feet Touching The Earth

Barefoot-On-The-Grass

Have you ever thought about how disconnected we are from the natural environment? We sleep in shelters above the flooring even upon beds. We work under fluorescent fixtures with climate controlled air ventilated through our offices. We sit on decks and porches when we go outside and find picnic shelters when we decide to eat surrounded by mother nature. We wear shoes of all sizes, shapes, and materials and even in the summer flip flops and sandals shield our precious paws from the earth we stand upon.

Our feet alone are far removed from the feeling of the earth beneath our feet and the grass between our toes. I am very much a barefoot person. And when I have to wear shoes they are usually flip flops or as minimal a running shoes as my legs/shins/ankles will withstand. I have always loved the energy of the earth. And at some point the rest of the world seemed to catch up as I see websites telling the virtue of earthing, books written about earthing, and see more and more people transitioning into Vibrams for everything from running to hiking, running, camping and paddle boarding. I’ve seen them on the tv show Survivor!

I know I enjoy being barefoot but apparently there are many possible benefits from your bare feet touching the earth. It’s kind of amazing. And our feet are just one part of us which most of the time stays far removed from the earth and all it’s wonder. With earth day approaching (April,22) take off your shoes and find some earth to stand on and just embrace the moment of re-connect to the earth 💚

preview

Earth-Day-Wallpaper-Backgrounds-5.png

Earth