Monday, June 21, 2010

Shivers + Yawns = Growth!

Photo courtesy
of Bing Images
I was revisiting my childhood a couple of days ago, prompted by a recent post, Mandala Memories. In that blog, I recalled countless hours spent drawing what I now recognize to be Mandalas - beautiful, intricate wheels of color that seem to exist in many religions around the world. If you're interested in learning more of the fascinating history of these beautiful creations, you'll find some helpful links on the aforementioned blog post. The reason for this blog is to focus on the byproduct of creating something pleasing to the human eye, being mindful of my own reactions to this experience and another that I will relate as I go along in the body of this post.

In the midst of my busy day today, I could feel this inner urge to engage my hands, heart and mind in an artistic application. The childhood past time of drawing Mandalas popped into my mind and I sat down to quickly create one of these designs. By the time I was finished, my heart and Spirit were both lighter and I could tell I had reached a pivotal moment. That exercise of paying attention to that unspoken urge to be creative in a different medium than writing was such a joy! I felt so light and happy inside.

I was taken back to what I call Comfort Memories from childhood, yes, but I was paying very clear attention to how I felt today as I drew, filled in with color, defined with shading and lines. I sat and reflected on the finished design and was entranced. This process of creating, to anyone who has an artistic nature, becomes a form of meditation. The finished mandala itself, although dashed off quickly to satisfy that sudden creative urge, suprised me. I could see that if I set aside more time and invested more attention and care, I could produce something worthy of being framed or reproduced. It reminded me that I don't give enough voice to this side of my artistic nature. Beyond these absentminded musings, what truly captured my attention were the resultant chills that I felt while gazing at my finished sketch.

Photo courtesy
As I looked at this intricate wheel of shapes, gradations of color and texture, I found it extremely pleasing to my eye and shivers danced along my arms and legs. This is key! Have you ever noticed when you experience a moment of pure inspiration, pure beauty, music, pure love or anything else that is crystalline in're assailed by chills? This is your Soul recognizing a Divine moment, I believe. I suggest that these shivers are the result of our physical bodies being bathed in a higher, more pure energy and it is a blissful experience that can be extended and amplified if we take time to recognize it for what it is. Quite often, it doesn't even occur to us that we can actually extend that wonderful feeling.

Once that first shard of Light is recognized, the rest is a much easier walk for us. Focusing on those happy moments invites more of the same energy to be attracted to us, and we begin to pay more attention to those moments that evoke chills.

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Are you familiar with the concept of speaking and/or writing affirmations? These are simple statements that are positive in content. They don't have to be long and involved; indeed, the shorter and more concise, the easier the whole process becomes. There are endless books on the market that teach what I am talking about, so I will not take time to list endless references. If you are interested in learning more, the concept of daily affirmations can be typed into any online search engine. I have incorporated this practice into my life for years, but admit that I'm as guilty as the next person about becoming lazy here and there. When I do get serious about this process, it is astonishing how powerful a method it can be. I recently ran across a suggestion from a friend to repeat a positive affirmation aloud ten times, and repeat this process at least twice a day for several days. Okay, I thought, that's pretty simple.

Photo courtesy
of Bing images
I began to do this, choosing one simple statement that was easy to remember and that wasn't necessary to write down. I could recall it with ease and speak it those ten times throughout the day with no trouble. What I found intriguing was that usually by the fifth utterance, I would feel the need to yawn. Another key point! Bear with me, because I have an unusual correlation to offer. Yawning seems to also be a sign of unusual demand on our mind/spirit. If you take a moment to reflect, at a simple glance, we yawn when we're tired. Scientists can't completely explain the reasons for yawning, although I've read many suggestions that it is a primal response triggered by our adrenal system. Stay with me...I'm weaving this together!

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Have you ever noticed when you're in the gym, lifting free weights and really challenging your body, you'll get hit with the urge to yawn? Exercise physiologists, like scientists and medical researchers, haven't figured out the true reason behind this reaction, but suggest it is a primal reflex within the pineal gland to pull in more oxygen as the physical body is subjected to new demands. It took me a while to correlate these two thoughts, but the fact that I kept yawning right slap in the midst of ten utterances of a single positive affirmation struck me as clear evidence that my spiritual self was being subjected to a new energetic demand. The pineal gland also governs a great deal of spiritual energy, so I find it plausible that this yawning reflex was telling me I was consciously lifting my own energy field.

This makes sense to me. It might not to anyone else, and that's okay. I've said many times before that the world would be a very boring place if we were all cookie cutter images of one another, with no new thoughts to be shared. Feeling happy is of primary importance every single day of our respective lives. We each deserve happiness, and it is up to us as individuals to pursue actions that will manifest that happiness. What I recognized by the simple act of sketching a mandala, and speaking affirmations aloud, was that I was smiling as a result! My Spirit was responding to these loving acts I was giving myself and I felt a tangible lightness affecting my physical body and my emotional state of being. It was moments of bright happiness that I could feel washing over me.

Photo courtesy of
Bing images
Recognizing the hints from God/Universe that we're on the right path is so important! Don't discount those moments when shivers hit you. Don't ignore those moments when yawning punctuates a thought of clarity. Don't overlook simple joyfulness - embrace it greedily and with both hands! I was reminded by these two experiences that I should relearn the process of being good to myself, exclusively. The unspoken message I was feeling was along the lines of finally paying as much attention to myself as I dole out without hesitation to others. It was, in essence, a very clear mirror that was held up to my face. It was a gentle reminder to embrace and claim personal happiness. And the result was that I was hit with shivers. I paid attention!!!

Yesterday, a dear friend sent me a song that he has sent before to lift my spirits. I was assailed, this time, not just with shivers, but with tears. It was such a sweet, thoughtful gesture from a very manly man, made more precious for the fact that he extended himself in what we both now call 'an awkward tender moment'. In so doing, he also made me laugh out loud. Each time I watched the video attached to the song, shivers continue to hit....the lyrics of the song were so apropo to what I've been going through. And the message inherent in the song was that I am loved and cared for.

Tonight, before tapping out this blog article, I ran through a couple of my spoken affirmations, counting to ten with each string of them uttered....and smiling as each time I reached the fifth repetition, the urge to yawn would become irresistible. Shivers, yawns, the lyrics of a song, and true friendship all culminate to show me that I'm doing okay. All is well; friendships and family ties are solid in my life, showering me with blessings. As I write these words, more shivers dance along my arms and legs.

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It is now that I close with the simple equation that:

Shivers + Yawns = Growth!

It is a simple, yet complex equation that I doubt mathematical minds such as Pythagoras and Archimedes would spend precious time and ink to quantify. It is my own peculiar equation and it makes complete spiritual sense to me. A Dawnesian equation that lets me know that life is good; positive energy is flowing and the Light is blazing brightly. As you go forward in your day, pay attention to those shivers and yawns...and remember...they could very well be a small, quiet voice telling you that you, also, are doing okay....and you're growing!
If you enjoyed this blog and would like to read more, you can find me at Healing Morning blog.


Heather Conroy said...

Wow so much to contemplate here! Thanks for the link to the Madela post- I will check that out.

Your post made me yawn! In a good way :)

Katherine Jenkins said...

Hi Dawn, I love your thoughts and posts. So much I relate to and share on my own blog. We recently had a Mandala workshop at my husband's yoga school with an art therapist. I honestly believe this puts people in touch with an often hidden part of our psyche; the creative part with hints of where we are headed or what the state of our life is. I've always been one for writing things down and positive affirmations which often become mantras at times. Thanks for sharing this and yes, it is important to take care of ourselves because we are all we've got! Cheers, Katherine

Healing Morning said...

Heather, I'm glad this post resonated with you. I've received such positive response to it thus far and it's always fun when something I've written gets the mental wheels turning for someone else. I love that! I hope you equally enjoy Mandala Memories when you get a chance to read it. I laughed at your final comment, that this one made you yawn in a good way. I did the same thing while writing it! Namaste'!

Katherine, I wish I lived in your town so that I could have taken part in that lovely Mandala Workshop! What a wonderful idea! I just know that when I sit down and create a mandala, it is an almost hypnotic and euphoric process that I experience. I do not doubt that something about it opens up our Third Eye and lets us communicate more clearly with our Higher Self and The One.

I find equal recognition quite often in your blog posts, so you honor me with your comment that we share similar approaches in writing! Writers Rising remains one of my sparkling happy moments as a writer.

Namaste' to you, dear one!

~ Dawn