Day 101 of 365 Consecutive Days of Meditation

It’s kind of amazing how the smallest things can add up to something bigger.

For instance, I recently read about someone who meditated every day for a year. A simple thing, a simple sentence, sparked a thought in me. That thought was, “I would like to meditate every day for a year.”

101 days in and I’ve learned that my mind (as are all minds) is very creative. Time meditating, leads to many varied insights and feelings. The question for me, then became how to manage insights and feelings because they aren’t always pleasant.

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http://ashleyturner.org/v-logs/how-to-meditate-why-meditation-works-introduction-to-meditation/

Thanks to the internet, I read about mind waves yesterday, at the above and below link, this in particular resonated with me:

When you are practicing zazen, do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears as if something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer… In five or at most ten minutes, your mind will be completely serene and calm. At that time your breathing will become quite slow, while your pulse will become a little faster. It will take quite a long time before your find your calm, serene mind in your practice. Many sensations come, many thoughts or images, arise, but they are just waves of your own mind.

https://www.dailyzen.com/journal/zen-mind-beginners-mind

Do you meditate? Are you aware of your mind waves? Are you accepting of them? I think the next 100 days of my practice will be devoted to accepting, not fighting the waves and allowing them space to calm down, I invite you to join me.

If you have a smartphone, a great app is insight timer, I highly recommend it,  it’s free and it has an incredible database of guided meditations and a user friendly timer option as well:

https://insighttimer.com/

 

Peace,

Songbird Sparkle (April Barnhart MDiv)

 

Response: Why Physicians Should Stop Thinking That A Woman’s Choice To Be Childfree Is Up For Debate

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Sometimes in life, you have moments that get your attention. You survive something and you do your best to minimize and/or normalize the experience. The truth is, you’re deeply disappointed by your world and those you thought were there to help you. It’s only years later, when you’re allowed to dust off these memories that you realize that the shame you’ve been carrying around doesn’t belong to you.

When I was in my 20’s, I was married and in seminary. I was quickly realizing that I didn’t want to have biological children. My husband agreed. We had made our decision, after 5 years of research and marriage, 7 years together as a couple, which is more than I can say for many parents but I digress.

When I went to my (female) doctor seeking a more permanent solution I was laughed at and told to wait for menopause or told to have a couple kids and then we could discuss my options.

I switched providers.

My husband had a vasectomy and he was still under scrutiny but not told to wait for old age or to have children first before he could have the procedure.

In the time before and since making our decision permanent, I have cultivated a childfree network online. Recently a person in that network wanted to write about experiences such as mine. I didn’t even realize until I read her work in it’s entirety how ashamed I was, for what had happened to me at that doctor’s office.

I’m not ashamed anymore, I am “A” I am April Barnhart.

Thank you Chanel for the gift of bearing witness to my pain/shame and in so doing, allowing me to place it where it belongs, I now offer my story as a gift, may the internet take it where it may, may it be a mirror, with G-d’s help,  a snapshot, reflecting a moment in our world and our medical industrial complex.

Is this how we want things to be? Don’t we all deserve better?

 

Read more of Chanel’s piece here: 

http://helloflo.com/why-physicians-should-stop-thinking-that-a-womans-choice-to-be-childfree-is-up-for-debate/

Glitter Ash Wednesday

I will definitely be participating, my reasons can best be summed up via scripture and art:

capture

See more of this amazing art here: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/03/light-after-death-mihoko-ogakis-milky-way-figures-project-stars-from-within/

Get involvedhttp://www.queervirtue.com/glitter-ash-wednesday/

glitter

Thank You for Reading.

Peace,

Songbird Sparkle: April Barnhart MDiv

Her Spirit

Was I supposed to know that the last time I ever saw her, would be the last time I ever saw her?

Would I have done anything differently? I hugged her, like so many other times, I let go, like so many other times.

How can you hold onto a cloud? 

Does the cloud ever really go away?

Many would say it transforms.

Transforms into what? I have no idea, but while matter can, energy can’t be created or destroyed.

So, where is she? 

paul-mccartney-linda-mccartney-billboard-650

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6114101/paul-mccartney-wings-beatles-man-on-the-run-book-excerpt

Poem:

Author: Paul McCartney

Title: Her Spirit

(Written after Paul lost his wife, Linda)

Her spirit moves wind chimes
When the air is still
And fills the room
With fragrance of lily

Her eyes blue green
Still seem
Perfectly happy
With nothing

Her spirit sets
The water pipes a-humming
Fat lektronic forces be with ya sound

Her spirit talks to me
Through animals
Beautiful creatures
Lay with me

Bird that calls my name
Insist that she is here
And nothing
Left to fear

Bright white squirrel
Foot of tree
Faces me
With innocent gaze

Her spirit talks to me

Childfree Reflections

Feeling like a Childfree square peg in a round hole? There have been moments when I have felt similarly.

What I would say to you has best been said by That Vegan Couple (on Youtube) In the following video take everything they’re saying and add Childfree when they say Vegan:

For instance:

“One of the most common (comments they receive is) I really want to go vegan (childfree) but I live in a non vegan (child-centric) household (world)”

“Let’s begin with clarifying that every vegan (childfree person) is surrounded by non-vegans (those who have chosen to have children) this is not special this is not unique, this is not, oh, it just happens to one person…this is all of us

It’s not important what anyone thinks or feels about you as a vegan (childfree person) but how you, yourself feel about you as a vegan (childfree person.) In many cases the way someone treats you as a vegan (childfree person) is very much a reflection of your relationship with them and how they treated you before you went vegan (Childfree.)”

MOST IMPORTANTLY:

Each and every family member (and friends and people you will meet) is (are)going to react differently to your choice to be vegan (childfree) and IT’s NEVER REALLY ABOUT YOU but rather about their own insecurities, fears and moral dilemmas regarding everything that veganism (being childfree) represents.”

What I’m reading/watching/playing/listening to

 

Reading:

“God is Disappointed in You” Mark Russell

“Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” Chelsea Handler

“The Soul of It All” Michael Bolton

“The Counselors: Conversations with 18 Courageous Women Who Have Changed the World” Elizabeth Vrato

“The Five Things We Cannot Change…and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them” David Richo

Watching:

Bojack Horseman & Jane the Virgin

Listening to:

 

Studying:
Self Study on Aromatherapy (Essential Oils) the right brain version has a binder, the left brain version can be found here: https://songbirdsparkle.wordpress.com/category/aromatherapy-self-study-left-brain-edition/

What are you reading? Watching? Playing and/or Listening to? In what ways is it enriching or draining you?

Grace, Light and Peace,

Wherever your paths do take you,

Songbird Sparkle: April

What I’m reading/watching/playing/listening to

I always read multiple things at once, are you like that too? Or do you prefer to read one thing at a time? Here’s some of my current lists:

Reading:

“The Case of Anita: An Existential Integrative Inquiry into Death, Anxiety, Groundlessness and the Quest for Meaning and Awe” Kirk J. Schneider PhD

“Awakening to an Awe Based Psychology”  Kirk J. Schneider PhD

“The Female Eunuch” by Germaine Greer

“Original Blessing” Matthew Fox

“St Rita of Cascia” Fr Joseph Sicardo O.S.A.

“No Death, No Fear” Thich Nhat Hanh

“Jaguar Woman” Lynn V. Andrews

“Pocket Prayer Book: Excerpts from Divine Accordance” Holly Burger

Watching:

3rd Rock From the Sun (re-runs)

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Playing (Video Games):

Tokyo Jungle

Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit

Listening to:

What are you reading? Watching? Playing and/or Listening to? In what ways is it enriching or draining you?

Grace, Light and Peace,

Wherever your paths do take you,

Songbird Sparkle: April