TONE is a magazine for raising consciousness. But what is consciousness and how does one raise it? American Heritage dictionary says that to be conscious one is awake – not asleep and has intentional deliberate responses to one’s existence and environment. This week I’m having an awake response to regular life following an intensive 200-hour yoga-training course. In short, I’m having yoga withdrawal.
It might be lovely to stay in the environment of spiritual growth without the responsibilities of everyday life, however, it is necessary to integrate and balance this new consciousness into my life.
So consciousness is awareness. Awareness of all parts of self: the higher self, the subtle bodies and the physical self. How many are aware that we are more than our bodies? Perhaps when we desperately pray for a loved one or ourselves. Perhaps we have a regular spiritual practice to remind and renew our connection to the divine. But most days we just go about our business working, taking care of family, preparing meals, and cutting the lawn. What time we have for self often begins at 10 p.m. when our day is done and so are we.
This article is in support of raising awareness for women performing this daily juggling act: women in midlife. In September, I will offer a workshop to explore and unbraid the journey through menopause. Women often wonder if menopause information will be of use to them and ponder “am I there yet” “perhaps I can postpone the inevitable or at least my awareness of it”. The journey through midlife often begins with a sensation that things aren’t what they used to be, the body is changing and something just isn’t right. We become aware that our regular rhythm is changing. Menopause really heats up with symptoms such as night or day sweats, heart palpitations, and irregular bleeding. These are only a few of the midlife indicators. Menopause symptoms often begin 5-7 years before the climax of menopause when bleeding stops.
Each woman will choose to accommodate these changes her own way and perhaps look for some assistance and companionship along the way. We might even decide to raise our consciousness to include the symbolic journey of womankind. What has our journey taught us so far? How do we choose to engage with midlife? Where are the resources to walk the gray path of woman and crone? When will we feel graceful in this journey and how will we get there?
I have developed a one-day workshop to support and nurture women aged 35-60 with practical and spiritual guidance. Herbal education and healing arts will be included for those who are interested. Nourishing food wisdom for midlife will be interspersed with laughter and sharing, as well as, the opportunity to meet others on this road.
So how does one raise consciousness? Turn off the TV, close your eyes, listen to your breath, quiet the mind and contemplate something or someone you love. Maybe yourself. This is a good start.
Published in TONE Magazine, September issue 2005