In the Flow of Vitality

In my exploration of Vitality, my February word, I am learning that Vitality is living in the flow of our creative spirit within, as it unfolds.

I have let this be my life’s practice for years, but I never understood that in this, is my Vitality, until the dots connected for me in my “listening time” this morning, as I continued to contemplate Vitality.

Then I remembered a Martha Graham quote that I have always loved. When I pulled it out, I noticed that she uses the word vitality to describe the flow of creative spirit within:

“There is a vitality, a Life Force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action.

And because there is only one of you, for all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.

The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep the channel open. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that activate you.

Keep the channel open.”

 By Martha Graham

Written to Agnes de Mille

Graham is specifically referring to the creative artist expression of dance, but I believe – I know – that our lives can be an expression of the creative spirit within us, unfolding and coming to life. And this process certainly isn’t limited to what we may think of as the more traditional forms of art or artistic expression.

I have seen this for over 20 years, in my profession as a life coach, when clients release into the knowing – the direction – of just the next step that is arising from within them, and they respect that deep knowing. They know the truth of it; they can feel the “rightness” of it from deep within.

Then, by paying attention to that deep inner wisdom, and honoring it, there is a creative unfolding, called their life, that’s very unique and completely authentic to them, that begins to be revealed.

What connected for me this morning was that this is Vitality, this “being” the creative unfolding of our life force or life energy, that which arises authentically from deep within us.

This is Vitality, this full engagement or fusion with the flow of our own unique creative energy.

It is very active and alive. It is empowered. It is real.

How do you keep your channel open? How do you live as the fullness of your own Vitality?

Vitality is Waking Up

Vitality is waking up to:

  • the generosity and stunning abundance in my life
  • the wholeness that is already present, not what I think needs fixing or changing
  • the infinite stream of opportunities to flow love from within, to others, myself, nature, conditions
  • love the journey, regardless of how foggy or messy it gets

What brings you alive to the vitality within?

The Real Harbinger of Spring

This morning a male cardinal was singing from the top of a big old oak in our woods, about 15 minutes before sunrise.

This, for me, is the real harbinger of Spring. He starts singing a few weeks before the robins get here. Robins are considered by many to be a harbinger of Spring, also.

This cardinal lifted my spirits. His song represents an inevitability, evidence of the certainty of life’s rhythms, nature’s turning of the wheel of the seasons.

There is still over 2 feet of snow in our woods. The cardinals have been silent all winter, and this morning, the song rang out.

I give thanks for the grace to be aware of these signs, and of the predictable force of nature moving forward.

As the wheel of life turns, so do my own rhythms and energies. I am ready for a new beginning.

 

The Pursuit of Vitality

Throughout my day, I find myself thinking about my February word, Vitality. I pursue Vitality, and it peeks its head around the corner, teasing me, only to disappear again, like a wisp from an elusive dream.

It’s as if I don’t know Vitality yet, but my mind is a portal through which I can pass, to begin to understand Vitality in my heart’s nature.

So, Vitality, for me right now, is a concept. It’s a compelling concept. I long to live with a strong sense of animated, radiating, alive energy, and a Yes to life, quite apart from any current physical condition that I may be experiencing in the moment. This idea excites and intrigues me. I want to live eagerly.

Vitality seems like a choice, but what are we choosing, and how do we choose?

For me, Vitality seems to be an energy that originates from deep within.

So, then, it isn’t that I find a Thing that is my “passion,” and then as I do that Thing, and it animates and awakens me, and then I am living and being Vitality. I feel like it is an essence that stands apart from conditions.

It’s an enlivening, animating energy that is already there. It’s my birthright, our birthright.

The questions for me now are: how do I invite this animating energy to be fully present, in and through me? How do I awaken fully to it, deep in my heart? How do I allow it to awaken me?

What is Vitality to you?

 

 

Meeting Vitality

The first question for me, when I meet a new word, of the 12 Words, is: What is it?

February’s word is Vitality.

I have the sense that I know more about what Vitality isn’t, than what it is:

  • Going through life distracted and preoccupied
  • Just putting one foot in front of the other
  • Walking through the day with a sense of obligation rather than purpose
  • Stoic forebearance

But, what is it?

I know it when I see it.

We have all seen people who are very challenged physically, or quite elderly, and who light up a room with their sense of radiating energy of aliveness and Yes to life. What is that quality of being that they are tapped into, radiating, choosing, or allowing?

Having seen and known people like that, I believe that Vitality is different than being an outstanding specimen of physical health. It is a quality of being.

And, I know it’s an inside job.

What is that quality or essence?

How do we “be” Vitality?

 

12 Words Now

Yesterday, I wrote about what curiosity, my January Word of the Month, has taught me.

I am a month into my 2018 12 Words adventure of holding a word a month in my awareness, exploring what it means to me, embodying it in the way that I live, and learning what it has to teach me.

What has it meant so far, to live with a word for the month?

I have loved living with a word for a month, and I’m already looking forward to my adventure with embodying Vitality, in February.

For me, it was like having an amiable companion in my walk through life.

When I was feeling good, curiosity felt like a playmate, showing me things that I would have otherwise missed. I saw things as if for the first time. I discovered many surprises.

When I was feeling a bit of a wobble, curiosity nudged its way in, as if to say “What if?”:

  • What if I’m not seeing the whole picture?
  • What if something else is also possible?
  • What if I look at this another way?
  • What might also be true?
  • What is my deeper truth?

When I remembered my commitment to curiosity, these questions emerged quite naturally and spontaneously, as if to ask them was to show respect to curiosity.

When I forgot about my word, I felt like I missed some of the richness and depth of my world.

I love having a word to companion me, and to inform me in my journey.

I’m very much looking forward to what I discover with vitality as my new companion, in February.

Curiosity is Awakening

This post is part of a series on 12 Words. Curiosity is my word for January.

I am understanding now that to me, Curiosity is awakening:

  • to things in a different way
  • to my senses, in a fuller way
  • to new possibilities
  • to things I haven’t seen before
  • to things I didn’t know about
  • to new perspectives and new paths

Curiosity is being with the unknown, with positive expectation.

What Curiosity Has Taught Me

My January Word for the Month, Curiosity, has taught me:

  • To embrace what is and to be curious about it, rather than fighting it.
  • That life is way more fun and interesting when I am actively curious, and when I see life as an adventure.
  • To use “What if?” even more often.
  • That getting curious about something immediately causes me to be more playful and light, around circumstances and beliefs. For me, this is a good thing.

To embrace curiosity, for me, is to embrace living with an expectant spirit, eager to discover.

It is an invitation to see even the most challenging circumstances in life as an adventure, and an opportunity, to express my creativity and love, from the deepest levels of my being. I won’t always “be there”, but to live with curiosity is something I want to aspire to.

I definitely want to be more curious, more of the time.

Curiosity is a wise and playful companion to have in my life.

 

 

Intentional Curiosity

This post is part of a series on 12 Words. Curiosity is my word for January.

As a coach, I’m very familiar with Curiosity. Curiosity is a hallmark of being a coach. As a coach, I know that the client has their own wisdom and perspective, and that it is not helpful for me to come to our coaching conversation with an overlay of my own perspectives and assumptions.

A whole chapter is devoted to Curiosity in the book “Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and Life.”

What is it to intentionally bring the energy of Curiosity into the living of my life?

It means being not only open and receptive but free – as much as humanly possible – of assumptions and preconceived perspectives, for myself, not just for my clients.

Additionally, to me, it means showing up to my life with a spirit of possibility, rather than limitation.

And, it always means that I’m committed to presence, being like a fertile field of awareness and “awake-ness.”

Fresh seems to be the sister of Curiosity. Being Curious is like standing at the edge of an unknown territory. This, I am committed to practice in my life. It seeing with news eyes.

How do you live with a Curious nature in your life?

What is it to be Curious?

This post is part of a series on 12 Words. Curiosity is my word for January.

How do I start to explore the word for the month?

A logical place to start seems to be the dictionary.

The first dictionary definition of Curious that I came across surprised me, in its negative connotation: “Interested in what is not one’s own business.” That was enough to make me give up dictionaries as a starting place in this process.

Curiosity has always been a very positive concept for me.

There we other definitions of course, but I realized that what matters with the 12 Words is that I cultivate my own understanding of the word, and what it means to “be” that energy in the world.

So I thanked the dictionary and went on my way, committed to discovering my own personal meaning and value of Curiosity.

For me, Curiosity is opening myself to wonder. It is an invitation to clear decks and look at something in a completely new way.

It’s also with a positive expectation that I look at something with Curiosity. I’m expecting to find something surprising and wonderful.

Curiosity is about being alive and awake, so there’s a vitality about it, a new-ness of life.

But most of all it is about presence: attention and eager anticipation. It is welcoming of life.

What is Curiosity for you?

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