Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lesson 2: More Doodle Dog Wisdom

Muncie Relaxed

Lesson 2: Relaxed Awareness. When dogs nap (which is a huge proportion of the day and night) they rest deeply, and yet the moment they hear or smell anything out of the ordinary their ear's perk up their noses twitch, their eyes open brightly. They are immediately awake to any shift in their immediate experience. As soon as the "perceived danger" has passed, they go right back to sleep. As a meditator, this is the balance I am cultivating; the art of relaxing into the moment, into my body, into my breath AND consistent, curious awareness. In other words; relaxed awareness.

Ellie Suddenly Alert

Now that the last two MS exacerbations are finally settling down, I am free to explore the world beyond the gnome mound a bit more each day and I must employ this very same technique. To drive a car it is important to be relaxed...anxious drivers are not particularly safe drivers. At the same time I have to maintain awareness; noticing many things without becoming distracted. Sounds a lot like meditation right?

For example: How much pressure am I putting on the gas? How fast am I going? Is that guy really going to switch into my lane, even though his blinker isn't on? Yikes-that's startling! Why is that truck blowing his air horn? My heart is beating so fast. Focus, pay attention. I can do this. I'm doing this. Relax. My right foot is doing that hot/cold thing and getting really tired, but I have to keep it on the break until this #%&$* red light turns to green. OMG I wish I could pull over right now and take a picture of the way the sun is illuminating the branches on that tree! Both hands on the steering wheel, even if the left one feels tingly and wants to drop to my lap. Why is this woman practically kissing my rear bumper with her car? The sun is in my eyes. Focus, pay attention, breathe, relax. My cell phone's ringing. I'm ignoring it. Paying attention, focusing on driving. Uh Oh I forgot to call so and so to tell her such and such. The cars in front of me slowing down...relax, pay attention, breathe, focus...and on and on my busy mind goes.

Ok you get the picture. And I'd bet similar kinds of thoughts and distractions arise when you are driving too. Driving is one of the most complex tasks that most adults do on a daily basis. It requires tremendous focus. Resting well in the present moment And being alert...all at the same time. Relaxed Awareness.

Thank you dear doodle dog teachers for this valuable lesson for my meditation practice and living life off my zafu.

Part of my spiritual practice is to do what I can in small ways to help others in need. In light of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, please hold the people of Haiti in your heart if you meditate, pray or practice absent reiki and consider making a donation to help ease the suffering there:
American Jewish World Service


  1. Greetings Laura,

    I love your writing style and the tension you were able to convey, when it comes to driving.

    Driving is a difficult task with so many things to watch out for and I have to admit that I too see things I just wish i could suddenly stop and take a picture.

    What bothers me is when a car behind me comes to close and I am unable to see their license plate.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts with us,

  2. oh man, your mind sounds like mine, hee heee heeeeee

  3. Hi Egmont,
    I think part of not stopping (not only because it's impossible) is that it is yet another lesson in letting go. Tail-gating is so foolish/dangerous and unnecessary! Kind of related to the concept of letting go...people who drive this way are hooked on the idea that they have to get some place (obtain something) more rapidly than is safely possible or reasonable. Stopping for every picture and rushing to get where one is going could both be looked at as forms of greed...if you see what I mean. Interesting.

    Shadow my dear,
    I believe I am in good company knowing that your creative mind dances in this way too!

  4. Beautiful observations. My cat is the same - when I watch him sleep and the way he can lie and relax, completely oblivious to the world, I am forced to relax too. It is contagious.;)

  5. I immediately sent a contribution to help in Haiti as soon as I learned of the devastation there. I am certainly holding that whole country in my prayers.

  6. Relaxed awareness is a goal I have set for myself, although I didn't call it exactly that. I startle easily and have wondered why. I have been observing my reactions lately and would like to feel more even, still aware of my surroundings even while I am focused on something specific. My cat would be a good example, too, so maybe I can follow his example.

  7. So good Debbie. I just added a link from the office of President Obama that can but added to blogs to raise even more awareness and give folks ideas about ways to help, I'll forward the html code to you in case it is something you want to add to your blog.

    dog and cat wisdom is a seriously untapped resource!!! Keep on, keepin' on with your observations...I encourage you to continue with your meditation long past the 28 days of Jan's is a life time of lessons to be learned...and the practice will support you all the days of your life.
    gentle steps my friend,

  8. There is a lot involved to driving I had forgotten about. Luckily Laura, I'll never be one kissing your bumper. Tailgating is so dangerous and completely unnecessary.

    Sometimes I wish our dogs weren't quite so alert at night! Silly little things. But they are doing they're jobs guarding us (all 15lbs of one and 18lbs of the other.) :)

    So nice of you to share your Haiti caring, Laura. Thank you.

  9. Hi Jannie,
    I was just talking on the phone with a friend about the whole barking protection system that feels over the top at times...Something to explore perhaps in my next doggie wisdom post!

  10. That could very well be the best illustration of Relaxed Awareness I've ever read. I'll definitely remember that.

    Thank you for stopping by my place and leaving such lovely note on my doorstep. You're welcome to visit any time.

  11. So funny, I call our dog "doodle dog", too!!
    This reminds me of biofeedback training I did at Duke a number of years ago. In it I learned a lot about completely relaxing my body, while still functioning with full awareness. I was hooked up to the *feed back* machine while I drew, and learned how to train my body to only use the necessary muscles needed for the function of drawing, rather than holding tension all the way across my shoulders, down my arms and in my hands. I didn't think I would have enough control to draw as well, and at first I didn't, but in little time I trained my body to use only what was necessary to achieve the work I was doing. Very cool!
    I was given a sheet of orange dot stickers to put in places where I would notice them, like on my bathroom mirror... or the car dashboard. When the dot caught my eye I would take that deep breath and remember to let go - releasing all unnecessary tension, muscles, gripping, becoming relaxed while alert, tension eased while fully aware. It sure takes the stress out of driving for me!

    hugs to you and your fluffy sweet doodle dog!
    love, Karin

  12. Thanks Carolynn,
    I'm glad this post resonated for you. I will be sure to stop by your blog again too!

    That is so cool! What a great way to use biofeedback! I love the orange dot reminders too, I often suggest hand written sticky notes to clients with affirmations...but I love the simplicity of a dot...bright orange...breathe, you are Divine, relax, you are safe, let go. Orange says all of that to me. It is one of my favorite colors.

    Doodles and poodles rock my world! (also cups of juice or tea as happy tails swish past the coffee table-notice there isn't any coffee on the coffee table. LOL)

  13. Hi Laura! Thanks for coming to my blog and introducing your soul-sister self to me! I love your blog and your message. It resonates with authenticity throughout. I laughed loudly while reading your driving adventure of the mind here, it was exactly like driving!

    Love to know more about Kaizen-Muse certification. I've never heard of that, but I am loving the idea. The world needs more of THAT! :-)

  14. Hello Laura,
    Thank you for your visit to my blog.
    As I read this post it reminds me of the one I just put up. Perhaps similar insight flows into many of us at the same time. Ageless truths, eternal. Your post is full of insight. thank you.

  15. Hi Cat,
    I'll forward you info about might be a very good fit for you!

    Tammie...I think there are certain synchronistic "vibes" that people pick up on...this must be the case with you and I right now. I love when that happens!


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