Our walk is a delightful morning ritual for the dogs and for myself. They get to catch up on all the nightly news by sniffing every leaf and blade of grass, and I get to listen to what Mother Nature has to day about the new day. This morning, she said, “You might want to get back inside where it’s warm. It’s cold and wet out here.”
Not that I mind cold and wet so much. It is par for the course in Kansas in the Fall, and it is Fall. Despite the fact that the solstice is still weeks away, the leaves are all green, and we’re due for summer-like temperatures later in the week. Today I snuggled into a long-sleeved sweater and layered on a quilted vest on top. That makes it officially Fall, at least in my heart.
You might have guessed that I love Fall. Fall is filled with pumpkins, cornstalks, and colorful mums. The trees get dressed up in reds, golds and russet orange. A freshening wind blows surrounds us in a blizzard of fluttering leaves. Cooling temperatures speak of picking apples and making warm, cinnamon-filled apple crisp, stirring up hearty chilis and soul-satisfying stews.
My birthday sneaks in there along about the start of October, shared by my son-in-law, with joint celebration. Then Halloween arrives after several months of anticipation during which our grandchildren vacillate back and forth between delightful possibilities.
“Mima,” says Eden, dark brown eyes framed with long, black eyelashes, serious in his cherubic face. “Should I be a dinosaur or a transformer?”
After deep consideration I say, ”I don’t know, which would you like to be?”
His face lights up in a grin. “How 'bout I be both?”
The big night arrives and the grandchildren are beside themselves with excitement about their costumes. Their imaginations are in overdrive as they get to be anyone they want for one special evening. Then the big event, trick-or-treating. Racing in an excited pack from house to house. They run to ring the doorbell, sing out a happy shout of, “Trick or treat!” and hold out their bags in expectation of candy. Smiling neighbors answer the summons and exclaim over the princesses, ghosties and dino-transformers at their door.
As if all that weren’t enough to make the Fall season glorious, Thanksgiving makes its abundant entrance. Family and friends gather to share the giving of thanks, loving companionship, humorous banter, games and way too much food. Roast turkey, sweet squash, buttery mashed potatoes holding a pool of gravy redolent with sage, crisp topped stuffing, ruby red cranberry sauce and the best for last, pie. Oh my! Pumpkin, chocolate cream, mince, lemon meringue, pecan chocolate chip, all topped with mountains of whipped cream.
OK, I might have gotten a little carried away with my culinary memories of Thanksgiving largesse. It’s all part of the mystique of Fall in my heart… and tastebuds. That’s OK, because this year, Fall of 2020, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to all that brings joy into our hearts, allowing ourselves to relax into the comforts of ritual and Fall celebration.
with appreciation into my back yard, sometimes when I traveled to beautiful locations, or participated in spiritual workshops. It was nothing that I had any control over, it just happened. Yet I sought it out, increasingly hungry for more.
Then, last week, another spiritual explorer, a good friend and soul sister, who delves deep into meditation and inner guidance, recommended a very short video meditation by Gregg Braden. Gregg Braden is an author, well-known in spiritual circles for bridging science and spirituality. The video is about something I’ll call, Heart Coherence, and is a cut of the last few minutes of a longer lecture. He begins with a short explanation of the three-step meditation for Heart Coherence. Then he takes you through the meditation.
OMG! This was what I’d been looking for – a way to create a peaceful, aligned and joyful state intentionally and easily. The state I now had a name for, Heart Coherence or Psychophysiological Coherence. Let’s just call it Coherence for short.
“Coherence is the state when the heart, mind and emotions are in energetic alignment and cooperation.”
-HeartMath Institute Research Director Dr. Rollin McCraty
Lo and behold, I discover that the HeartMath Institute has been studying this state for almost two decades. In that time, they have cataloged the many benefits of Coherence for the body, mind and spirit. The results of the studies conducted at the HeartMath Institute show that Coherence results in sustained positive emotion and increased emotional and mental stability. Of particular interest at this time in our history, is the fact that Coherence allows us to build resiliency to stressful situations. We can recover more quickly without a reduction in energy. This in turn supports the immune system as well as cognitive function, memory, focus and learning. What’s not to love about all that?
The irony is, Spirit has been telling me about Coherence off and on for years, answering my unspoken prayer over and over. I just didn’t listen. I first heard about the HeartMath Institute long ago from another friend. But the sound of all that science put me off. What I didn’t realize was that the actual meditation for Coherence iss short, simple and easy. Over time, I heard about HeartMath from Dr. Wayne Dyer, and others on the forefront of spiritual teaching. But I didn’t tweak to it. I guess I just wasn’t ready to feel that good every day; not until now. Fortunately, Spirit is patient and persistent.
The state of Heart Coherence is entered into with a simple, easily remembered, three step meditation that takes only a few minutes. The benefits last up to six hours, at which time you can repeat the short meditation, for another six hours of benefits. The more you do it, the more you entrain Coherence into your brain and the easier it is to enter and maintain the state of Coherence.
I now love the fact that Coherence is a measurable, much studied state with all the science to confirm it. I love that it has all these benefits for my body, mind and spirit; but I do this meditation several times a day, every day, just because it feels good. I feel happy, aligned and balanced, connected with my spirit and in touch with my inner guidance.
In the video, Gregg Braden discusses the fact that once you enter into this state of Coherence you are in the foundational state for so much more. Do you want to ask for guidance? This is the time to ask, when you will be able to receive with clarity. Do you want to communicate with your body? Do you want to ask your heart anything? Now’s the time. Do you want to manifest something new in your life? This is the fertile ground in which to plant those seeds. Do you want to meditate? Pray? Or do you just want to feel good? You’ve got it.
So, I ask you, got Heart Coherence? If not, it might be worth your while to give it a try. It could change your life.
Life is full of spiritual lessons. Some feel good, some not so good. All support us to grow. This blog is about my life lessons. Perhaps you'll find yourself within these stories.