Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘nurturing’ Category

“Your matter matters.” Tantra Maat

You matter!

Why? How do I know?

No matter what you do, who you are to others, where you live, it comes down to one thing:

You matter because you are here. (And you are here, because you matter.)

We are are the frontier extension of source energy that is ever expanding. We are the pioneers, the messengers and the creators.

We matter, you and I. (The emphasis being on and, because it is not about or, or even about more than, less than.)

Maybe, if we allowed ourselves to embody that, everything else would fall into alignment.

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine,

“What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?” This is his answer.

copyright(c) March 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved (except video)

Read Full Post »

This is a post specifically written for  Karen Caterson’s blog (which is always a great read BTW) round robin: Support Stories – Strength from Within. Thanks for inviting me to participate Karen! (Click on the link to see more stories, poems and posts on the topic by other bloggers)


When a tree is a sapling, it may be given some additional and external support. It may need stakes, ties and even deer guard to give it a chance to become the giant it was born to be. Over time, if all goes well, the tree outgrows the stakes. The branches reach high enough to evade foraging deer. Its root system grows deep and wide, bringing it nourishment from the ground. A strong trunk supports the wide canopy that drinks in sunlight. A tree wants to live. That’s an assumption I make. It will do all it can to survive in the densest of shade and the driest of soil. It wants to live.

There was a point in my life, not long ago, (ok, about 6 years ago) when I came to a cross-roads. I wasn’t sure I could go on much longer feeling so much emotional pain. I entertained the notion of suicide without really contemplating it. I was aware that I could let the big wind that entered my life completely uproot me or I could let a branch or two snap off, bend with the winds that blew, send a taproot deeper into a still place and make my stand.   In one inspired moment, I chose the latter.  Despite the pain, the complete uncertainty about my future (especially financially), I wanted to live. I wanted to create something new, find out what I was made of, maybe, eventually, find new love. I had a faint glimmer of hope that I’d make it to a better day.

That’s the thing about hope. It’s like a homeopathic remedy. It only takes the essence of hope, the faintest hint of hope to keep us going.

As I applied the essence of hope daily, I began to develop a relationship with myself, with nature and the Divine. I came to appreciate the gift of Mystery and the way in which we can navigate the unknown with Love. I filled the empty hole of feeling unappreciated and broken with a deep regard for the sacredness of all of life, mine included.

It meant giving up any notion of being rescued. It meant giving up suffering like a martyr.

Victims wait to be rescued.

Martyrs go through all kinds of tap dancing to suffer in silence (with a few deep sighs) and then get angry when no one notices all they have sacrificed for others.

Victims and martyrs are waiting for something outside themselves to support them. They’ve let the stakes, ties and deer fencing become their (illusory) prisons.  I know. I’m an “ex-con.”

Here’s the thing; once we commit to something, all of reality (and that which is unseen) conspires to support us.

If we are playing footsies with victim and martyr, we will be supported there too. We will create relationships with unwritten co-dependent contracts acting out roles of heroes and villains.

We make choices and those choices create our reality. What reality have you created?

What reality will you create now?

Some trees in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Parkgrow at right angles. They were tossed sideways in the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 and then continued their upward growth toward the sun.

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been tossed sideways by some kind of earthquake in their lives. We can live sideways and consider it over or reach for the warmth and light. It’s a choice.

I’m not saying it’s easy.  I’m not saying it’s hard.

I am saying, stop waiting for someone to come to the rescue. Chances are if you are not loving and nurturing  yourself, you won’t have an open enough heart to receive the help when it’s offered anyway.

You are your own hero (and your own villain). It’s an inside job.

Squirrel resting in tree Copyright (C) November 2010, Kathy J Loh

A sturdy tree makes a nice resting place (c) K J Loh

When it feels like all the world’s  got you in a spin and circumstances are chaotic, when you feel lonely and like you don’t belong, what to do? Be still. Breathe. Find your center. Send that taproot even deeper, let your canopy dance in the passing breeze. There’s a lot of space between you and all that is happening. Observe. Rest. Be with your genuine emotions raw and real as they are and pan the story. At least tell a new one.

I’ve created a strong sense of inner support by way of connecting with nature, the Divine, my own heart. Here are some of my practices with some selected resources. They are practices because there is no arrival, simply the daily devotion.

Wow, that’s a lot of external resources for developing inner strength. Like I said before, it’s an inside job and it is the commitment to the inner work that brings the support of a friendly world to your doorstep.

Enjoy dear ones!

If you have something you’d like to add to the list, feel free to leave a comment with your practices for creating strength from within.

Ready to receive some help with that inside job? Email me at kathyloh@coachkathy.com and we can set up a conversation about how I might be able to be of service to you.

If you are ready for radical transformation of your inner world (which will have a delightful impact on your external world) then you are ready for a Sacred Life Walkabout with me. Let’s talk!

Copyright © November 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Read Full Post »

I finally did it. I’ve been threatening to do it for nearly a year, ok longer, but I kept telling myself that my little point and shoot Canon Powershot S500 was good enough. I kept telling myself, “It’s compact, takes a decent macro shot and someday…someday…” Besides, every time I’d begin to research DSLR cameras, I’d get a little spun out in a whirlwind of confusion and decide to check into it “later.”

So yes, you’ve guessed it.  I bought a DSLR camera. I landed upon a great deal with 18 months to pay, no interest, at Best Buy and I had my new Canon EOS Rebel T1i with two lenses delivered directly to my doorstep. I was like a kid on Christmas morning opening the box. I kept saying out loud “Look Dad! Look what I bought for myself!” My father liked to take photographs too. We mostly bonded around photography, windsurfing and computers.  He passed away a couple of years ago. I knew he’d share my joy.

Full Moon Copyright (c) Feb 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Now I can "shoot the moon" (c) K J Loh

But this post is not about cameras or my beloved father. It’s about giving ourselves what we want.

It’s about honoring ourselves with instruments and spaces that allow us to explore and expand our creative outlets, talents and passions, for no reason other than we want it.

Over the years, I’ve wrestled  with  good enough and it works mantras. I’m frugal. I didn’t build a decent retirement fund chasing after every new shiny toy. Sometimes good enough would win and I’d go into toleration mode letting my ego make up stories about how it was a better than ethic to be able to suffer having less. Like my neighbor’s bumper sticker says, “Less is Moral.”

I am not one of the Americans who over consumed and is now attending the church of new found simplicity. I don’t have over-consumption guilt or a heavy yoke of debt around my neck.  I bet many of you can relate despite the headlines in the local rag.

There is another kind of yoke that can make the spirit weary and that is the yoke of tolerating and being stingy with oneself.

I’ve pursued a number of activities in my life. The new tennis racket, the new windsurf board, harness and proper sails, the proper fitting mountain bike with great suspension,  all made an extreme difference in my skill and joy for these sports.

When I was in high school, I took voice lessons and I taught myself guitar. My mother let me have her little nylon string guitar from Mexico. One night, while lying in bed, I was shocked out of my sleep by a loud snap, whap and echoing tone. I turned on the light to find that the bridge had snapped free and tossed itself, with all six strings, at the wall behind the guitar and was left dangling pitifully from the neck. The front of the guitar body was also loosening from the back. My solution?  Duct tape.

One night, at a party, I was playing that taped-up guitar and singing. A guy I’d never met before said to me, “You need a better guitar. I can get you one.” A few days later he called. He had a brand new nylon string guitar that he would sell me (with case) for $50. It was a huge sum for me in those days and well worth the investment. With that new guitar in my arms, I began classical lessons with a neighborhood friend and relished every beautiful sound we made together, that guitar and I.

When I was in college studying music, my parents helped me buy my own piano so that I would have it at my apartment instead of having to go to the dimly lit, dreary, smoke-filled practice rooms. I bought it used from a woman who’d received it on her 16th birthday.  She never played it and was happy that it was finding a good home with me. She gave me an amazing deal. It was still in great shape and when I had it worked on years later, we found a snippet of ribbon inside the piano which I just know was part of the original Sweet Sixteen Birthday wrapping.

As much as I loved that piano, I always dreamed of a beautiful light-filled studio with an Asian carpet and a grand piano. A grand piano is not something you want to move around with a lot. In the earlier years, I told myself I was waiting to know I’d not be moving again in the foreseeable future.  Every move with my “sweet sixteen” piano required  four strong guys, a borrowed truck and cost me a case of beer.

Yet even when I bought my first home, I did not buy the grand piano. I told myself the home was enough and besides, I had not earned it yet. Someday….someday…

When I opened my private music studio, I used the “sweet sixteen” piano for 6 years before I treated myself to the grand. The truth is, I did not count my desire for the piano, my musicianship (because I was a singer and composer more than a pianist) or my worthiness as good enough to give myself such a treasure.

It took one new adult student ‘s words to send me out looking for the grand piano I’d always wanted. She said something like, “I wasn’t sure I should take lessons from someone who didn’t have a better instrument. I wasn’t sure you were a serious musician.” Those words gave me an understanding of the way in which how I value myself creates how others value me.

Within a month of that insight, I had my new Kawai grand piano and I was in heaven. I took jazz and classical lessons from local musician Gini Wilson (The Duchess). My playing improved dramatically. Having the instrument motivated me to play every day and encouraged me to see myself as a real musician, something I’d always had trouble calling myself, M.A. in music notwithstanding.

So now, we hit upon the “good enough – good enough” irony. I did not consider myself good enough, so I sang the good enough song. In other words, I decided that whatever I had was good enough for the not-so- good-enough me. I was the gatekeeper to my own happiness and I was using the ever-elusive goal of being flawlessly good and masterfully skilled as the key to the “promised land.” I had it all backwards.

My Self knows when I’m being stingy with me and it creates an awful rift, a painful disconnection between me and my soul.

The self that feels honored will rise to the occasion.

Who’s responsible for that honoring?

I am.

So, while there may be a hollow kind of consumerism, a need to fill some unspoken void when we chase after bigger, better, newer, there is also an incredible sacred honoring that comes with giving oneself the instruments, the space, the beauty that enable us to open to new landscapes of joy, creativity and serenity.

Yes, there is stretch that is called challenge and there is a stretch that is called receiving.

What is the stretch for which you are longing now?

I take my new camera everywhere. I wear it like an appendage. Not only has it enabled me to take better pictures, it has already stirred my creative juices with some very fun ideas. I have a lot to learn, but I am eager and  I am totally in love. I see the world through a new lens (no pun intended). I notice the smallest of creatures and delight in playing with perspective. I see color and light like never before. As a musician I’ve always heard the world and now, for the first time since I got my first SLR, I am also seeing the world up close and personal.

My inner creative self no longer stands before me all raggedy with an empty bowl pleading “Please sir, may I have some more?” My spirit soars and there is much joy and anticipation over what will happen next.

The earth is the soul’s playground. Give yourself something worth playing with.

And you, my wonderful reader:

What are you tolerating?

What is the one gift you could give yourself today that will inspire and challenge you, taking your skills, your talents to the next level?

What is that you really want?

What will feed your passion?

When will you let yourself to have it; to receive it?

Where there is the will there is a way.

The question is …  are you willing?

Copyright(c) April 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Read Full Post »

The other day, I wrote about the nurturing voice within. I wrote about being amazed at how difficult it is for so many of us to locate that voice. Today, I will give you a nurturance practice.

(Kathy Loh)

Morro Bay (K Loh)

This is one of the simplest and yet, most dreaded homework assignments I give clients. I ask them to say, out loud, “I love you (insert your name here)” to themselves every night before going to bed. It’s a kind of sound healing. I have them say it out loud, because thoughts are registered in a different part of the brain when heard through the ear than when thought in the mind.  Perhaps more importantly, all sound entering the ear hits the vagus nerve, otherwise known as the wandering nerve, which touches nearly every organ in the body.

Sound is vibration and words are a powerful form of energy. Speaking these words out loud to yourself, allows their energy to connect with every organ in your body. When you use a loving, nurturing tone of voice, it is like having a sweet lullaby sung to you. So, when you practice this, let yourself open to receive the energy. Simply be with it in the moment and let your body take it in.  Your brain will be re-wiring at the same time.

You would think this is simple enough, but the resistance to it is high. There is a sense of embarrassment around it. Some people think it’s narcissistic or even immoral to love yourself.

Right….it’s much better to go on saying to yourself, “I’m stupid. What a dolt. Get your act together. You’re lazy. Blah blah blah.”

I had a tough time with this too, when I first started, but I persisted. I’ve been doing it for a little over two years, long enough to improvise on it now and then with things like, “I forgive you,” or “I love everything about you, great and small.” Here’s the power of it: the other week, I actually caught my inner conversation (after making a mistake) go like this, “I love you. I love you too.” (I guess there are two of me in there, but hey, at least they love each other!)

When you try this (and yes, kids, you can try this at home), you may find yourself feeling silly or shy. You may find that your inner critic has a heyday with it. It’s not important that you completely believe it right now. There’s at least one small part of you that does and a very big part of you that longs to know it’s true.

Simply practice.  Say, “I love you (your name here)” lovingly. Cup your hands around your ears and down to your mouth to bring the sound of your voice right up to them. Suspend judgment. Let it resonate.  Do it before you fall asleep. (And yes, there’s double meaning in that) Start tonight.

It doesn’t have to be hard with years of heavy lifting. You’ve tried that already anyway haven’t you? I know I have and it doesn’t work.

Why not let it be easy?

Keep it simple, beautiful one!

Words and photos copyright(c) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

A note on comments: I love receiving your comments and all comments are moderated to deter spammers, so please be patient. It will get posted, generally within 24 hours.

Read Full Post »

photo by Kathy Loh

Unfurl! (Kathy Loh)

Yesterday, I wrote about the nurturing voice within. I’m the first to admit, it’s not always an easy voice to find. I used to be much more familiar with “who do you think you are” “what do you think you are doing” and “you are so selfish.”

My journey of developing my internal nurturing voice began in a Lucid Living weekend seminar six years ago. In Lucid Living terminology, this voice is called the Nurturing Parent. I remember a particular exercise in which I was exploring my adolescent voice and, I might add, doing quite well with it. Once I gave her voice, she was rockin’ and rollin’ and using plenty of colorful language. (Oh yeah! She had plenty to say and if you are good, I may share it with you some day.)

In the exercise, I was being coached to address my adolescent from the perspective of my Nurturing Parent. I stumbled, mumbled and then stalled. I was stunned. I said, “I can’t find that voice. I don’t know what it sounds like.”

I’m not going to make up that I never heard it. My parents are good and loving people, so I’m sure I did. I just didn’t register it. It’s not what I internalized. Luckily the leaders and assistants in the course were well-equipped to model the Nurturing Parent voice for me. They helped me remember.

Six years later, I am partial to that Nurturing Parent voice. It is the one I most listen to now. I mean, let’s face it…it’s not a difficult choice.  Six years later, I am re-taking the entire Lucid Living series of seminars. I’m not the only one. The course is so powerful that half our class is doing what they call a “victory lap,” attending the series for the second or even third time around.  Deep work always bears revisiting.

I can’t recommend it enough, particularly for those of you who are ready to heal the wounded aspects of yourselves. If being a victim or martyr just doesn’t cut it for you anymore (and if it does…good luck with that!); if you want to become a powerful creator in your life, empower yourself and your relationships, then this work is for you. It is deeply and powerfully grounded in love – L O V E.

Bad news is: the series is booked for this year.

Good news is: you have time to save your hard-earned pennies to invest in yourself for the next opening.

Really good news is: you can still enroll in a 4-part tele-class series called

The Path of Wisdom

It starts April 14th  (that’s coming up!). It will give you an in-depth overview of the entire series.

For more information and to enroll click here: The Path of Wisdom (scroll down to the Teleclass section)

Skeptics Disclaimer: I’m not getting paid a dime to plug this. I really believe in it.

Love yourself and your whole world will become love. (you can quote me)

copyright (c) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

Read Full Post »

It’s springtime in the hills of northern California and, today, the weather is perfect. Forget-me-nots wink at me from the shaded portions of the hiking trail. Bright red Indian Paintbrush clings to the cliffs in the sunshine. Bees buzz the California Lilac and my purple jacket. I can’t imagine I smell as good as the lilac. Poison oak is crowding the pathway, drawing my attention to my footsteps. Lupin sends its brilliant purple spikes skyward.

Forget-me-nots

Forget-me-nots (photo:Kathy Loh)

I love this time of year. Billowy clouds invite the imagination to discover transmutable shapes in them. I remember childhood innocence and I’m prone to dawdling. At such a pace, the whole world opens up and time is ineffective. Remember that musical “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off?” Well, today, for me, it is “stop the world I want to get on.”

My first steps on the trail were met with a piercing screech from a nearby pine. I followed it to see two Red-tailed Hawks catch an updraft, circling directly overhead. One was smaller than the other and I made up it was parent and offspring. As I watched them, I came to notice a third hawk way, way up in the sky. “OK,” I said to them. “I get it.” This is more than a message or a nudge. This is a request for my commitment to partner with them.  They are telling me it is time to soar and glide with the currents of life and they will be my willing guides.

A hummingbird darted toward me in a warning posture. I figure it must be protecting young ones in a nearby nest.

Teaching young ones to fly, protecting nests and boundaries, blossoming wildflowers reaching for the sun. ..sounds just like us.  We reach for nurturing and illumination. We are wild. We want to soar and we would like a little guidance and love along the way.

If we are to self-actualize, we need to feather our nests in alignment with our body, mind, spirit and heart. We need to protect that nest with the fierce bravery of the hummingbird; create our boundaries with a firm no when it serves us. We want to re-member our innocence and our wildness; give ourselves plenty of time each day to reach for that warm sun and glide on the current.

We are all familiar with the dreaded voice in our head that drives us all day long and the other one that says we deserve a pint of ice-cream for our efforts. What amazes me is how difficult it is for us to find that loving nurturing voice within.

The voice that cares about what’s really good for us.

The voice of the one who would soar right alongside us as we learn to fly.

The voice of the one who is patient and curious and can agree that this moment and this amazing blue flower with the delicate yellow center is all that matters right now. Everything else can wait.

The dreaded voice drives us out of our minds and out of this world. Hawks, hummingbirds, flowers and clouds go unnoticed.

The nurturing voice lovingly calls our souls home and makes everything about being in this world, including hawks, hummingbirds, flowers, clouds, you and me…a miracle.

What voice will you cultivate today?

copyright (c) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: