Jane Arie Baldwin

Personal Tools and Techniques for Unwinding

Month: September, 2017

Trying too hard to make things happen? It’s time to soul surf.


These days it can be awfully easy to get caught up in the headlines or bogged down by the intensity with which life is moving. When my brain needs a rest, I let my cats take the lead. Gingerberry and Jiji remind me not to take life too seriously and by life I mean — that which I have no control over. Instead, seeing Gingerberry curl up on her favorite cushion after lunch reminds me to focus on what’s really important to me and set intentions accordingly. For Gingerberry and Jiji intentions are clear — eating and sleeping. Beauty in simplicity. Lightness in being.

It’s dark because you are trying too hard. 
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.   

— Aldous Huxley

Intentions focus our thoughts like stepping stones that shape our reality. Intentions, different from goals, is about focusing on the present. Setting goals is about planning for the future. The art is in the subtle movement between holding fast to the notion of the goal while creating routine and habit around the intention. In this way, focus fluctuates between the detail found in the intention and the goal of the big picture, molding our reality to match our desires and our purpose.

The question often comes down to how to do things lightly.

Intentions made from the head put reason before feeling – you know, the old “this is what’s best for you,” line of reasoning that often results in overthinking, which leads to trying to force things happen, which requires lots of personal energy (the ego’s investment) and also takes an extraordinary amount of will power.

It is the intentions made from the heart that align with the soul’s purpose. Heartfelt intentions result in synchronicity and a sense of effortlessness. They require faith in a wholeness that trusts that we are all connected and when we acknowledge this connection we are automatically living our higher purpose, our soul’s purpose.

Carolyn Myss says that the solar plexus in the body is the place where personal will meets divine will. This is the place in our body from which we expand and contract the breath in the diaphragm. When we can trust our connection between personal will and divine will, the solar plexus and diaphragm combine with the breath creating a bridge that connects our head to our heart. The soul, then, lightly surfs on the waves of our deepest most heartfelt intentions.

It is a process and we’re all in this together.  ♥ Jane

Let the Breath Breathe You

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Frigate Birds. Galapagos Islands. 2012

The energy of will is an electric force, where the power of love is a magnetic force. — Dr. Christine Page, Frontiers of Health


I have been finding lately that my old ways of responding and reacting to situations leaves me feeling like a battered flag after heavy winds. That sitting in silence for a few minutes every day and just listening to the sound of my breath, tracing its movement in and out, has had an anchoring affect.

Consistent practice has helped me to notice when I am responding to others from a place of action or falling into old patterns of reaction. Even if I take a day or two off here and there from meditation, the mat or the chair always welcome me back without judgment.

The ease of returning to practice after a stint away has been, for me, about connecting with the comfort and enjoyment of sitting alone, seated in the Self. There’s an interesting magnetic field effect at work when it comes to any practice that has the potential to be beneficial — like the magnet drawn to its opposite and repelled by its likeness. We want to go sit for 15 minutes WE KNOW that it would be good for us, yet somehow the moments get gobbled up by the day. Big deal. There is always this moment. And this one. And then this one.

The key to adapting to constant change is in discovering new ways to relate. Allowing each moment to be fresh and new requires almost constant reminding. That’s why it takes a village, a community of us, working together, reminding each other which way the magnets go to cling together. As with the magnet, the transformation of resistance into benefit comes when the guilt and judgment of NOT DOING become part of the past moment. Bygones become bygones. The slate is clean. The air is clear. Then the breath breathes you.

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