Posted in 40-Day Challenge, Air, Change, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Home, In these strange times, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering


Beethoven, enjoying a sunny day.

In spite of its plain appearance, the beauty of the mockingbird is recognized by all.  This beauty lies in its song.  It has one of the best singing voices of all birds, equal to that of the nightingale.  It also has a talent for mimicry.  Mockingbirds can imitate other birds, cats, and even dogs.

… The mockingbird can teach you about the power of song and voice.  It can help you to learn new languages and sing them just as naturally as one born to them.  Anytime the mockingbird shows up as a totem, it is a time to learn to sing out your talents.  Regardless of how others may see you, expect people to notice your actions — not your appearance.

The mockingbird can help you to realize your inner talents and sing them forth.  It can help you to find your own sacred song in life.  By singing that sacred song, you will find your life more rewarding and more significant.  Most people, even if they know their inner sacred song (life purpose), are afraid to act upon it.  The mockingbird can assist with this.

… The ability to stimulate responses in others is part of what the mockingbird can teach you.  It can help you to flush out injurious insects around you in your life and see where and who they are.  The mockingbird will help you to recognize subtle clues that others may miss.  You hear the true song of others.

Whenever the mockingbird arrives, look for opportunities to sing forth your own song.  Follow your own path.  Learn to take what you can and apply your own creative imagination and intuition to it, so that you sing it forth in the manner and tone that is most harmonious for you and your life.

~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak

Turkey trot.

Time has been doing its weird thing lately, of stretching out forever and speeding by in the blink of an eye.  I don’t know how time does that, but there is much in this life and this universe I don’t know, including the explanations for life’s variety of paradoxes and contradictions.  For some reason (probably yoga class), I am reminded of the concepts of sthira and sukha in yoga.  Sthira is strong, steady, alert.  It’s what supports you in a yoga pose.  Sukha is relaxed, at ease, comfortable.  It’s what allows movement and flexibility.  We need both in life, too.  Strength with openhearted softness and suppleness, support with ease.  It’s how we stay resilient and able to adapt to changing conditions.  (And it’s all changing conditions, isn’t it?)

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably already seen this image. For those that don’t, we had quite a crowd show up for breakfast one morning. Five turkeys and at least eight deer.

Today while I was out on a walk, I thought about heartfulness.  The thought was there because of some of the recent teachings in yoga class about heartfulness (vs. mindfulness) and hridaya.  According to Yogapedia, hridaya:

“…is a Sanskrit word that can be interpreted as “spiritual heart.” It more literally translates from its root words as hri, which means “to give,” da, which means “to take,” and ya from yam, which means “balance.” Therefore, hridaya is “that which gives and takes in perfect balance.” In the same way as the physical heart does this with blood flow, hridaya is the center for giving and taking on a spiritual level.

Hridaya is sometimes used in connection with Hridaya yoga, a type of yoga that focuses on awakening the spiritual heart.”

They all got along without any fights breaking out.

Instead of mindfulness, what if we practiced heartfulness?

Habitually we are caught between the play of mind and heart: mindfulness versus heartfulness! We create this polarity within. Is it possible to reconcile?

When the heart is right, there will always be an unquestioning agreement between the mind and the heart. In fact, a perfect synchronicity exists between them and they function as one. Integrating these two principal players in our life eases our burden of existence. By ignoring either one, we cannot move ahead purposefully in life.

~ Daaji

They do keep an eye on each other.

Today is day 27 of the 40-day self-care challenge.  How are you?

I’ve had a good day and mostly a good week, walking, exercising in other ways (HIIT, for instance), and doing my yoga and meditation practices.  Yesterday was a little hard because we had to go out and do some grocery shopping.  This new world is making me somewhat germophobic.  I was already a little there before the virus arrived.  I was very good about washing my hands when we’d go out even in the best of times.  In this strange new world, we will be required to wear masks in public beginning at 7 AM tomorrow, but M and I have already been doing that.  If you wear glasses and you’ve ever put on a mask, you know how difficult it can be.  Glasses steam up from breath arising out of the top of the mask, no matter how you secure the mask.  I also found it hard to breathe in the mask, and came home with a slight rash and a lot of itchiness.  We have some masks that we use around here (M has to wear one when he mows because of his allergies and I use them when chopping and processing a lot of jalapenos or other hot peppers to keep from choking on the heat that gets in the air).  I will try a different kind of mask next time.

At any rate, being out and about right now is not exactly where I wish to be.  Quite a few folks here have not gotten the message about physical distancing.  Even the grocery store employees didn’t seem too concerned about it.  Our cashier was not wearing gloves or mask, and she didn’t seem to be too concerned about distancing.  The other thing that makes shopping such a chore is having to wash pretty much everything when we get home.  M and I have a pretty good system going for that now, even though we’ve only done it twice.  Our mud room is also our laundry room so there’s a sink and soap readily available as we come in the door.  I grab a bucket of soapy water and a rag, and take them outside where I wipe almost everything down before bringing it inside.  I wash, dry, and hand the stuff over to M who takes it inside and puts it away.  When we finish with all that, our outer clothing goes in the washer.  Yes, even our jackets.  Everything gets washed and dried and ready for wearing again.  Overkill?  Perhaps.  But even the experts can’t seem to agree on much (I can point you to articles that say you should wash your groceries and others that say you don’t need to), and I tend to practice the rule of “better safe than sorry.”

Nestled in the crook of the tree.

I have seen a number of really ingenious, no-sew, masks out here in cyberspace.  I especially like the one made with a sock because it’s just a matter of snipping a couple of the right places.  If you know of someone who is making masks that is in need of support, let me know.  I don’t have a sewing machine and my sewing skills are pretty minimal, and I’m in the market for a good washable mask.  All the better if it’s something funky and original.

Flipping the reflection.

Thank you so much for visiting with me today.  I hope you and your loved ones are all well.  After a clear and sunny morning, the clouds have taken over again, with rain in the forecast for tonight.  I don’t think we’ll see much in the way of a sunset, but it’s always good to go and have a look.  Did you know that, according to some neuroscientists, viewing the sunrise (for 2-10 minutes) and the sunset (for 2-10 minutes) helps set your circadian clock and promotes good mental and physical health?  It won’t cure all that ails you, but might help with the rhythm of the day.  Today’s sunset, by the way, is scheduled for 7:41 PM.  I’ll see you out there, somewhere.

Stay safe, stay well, and let’s all take a few deep breaths for those who can’t right now.  ♥

The hostas are looking good right now.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,366)  Beethoven (the mockingbird) and his beautiful songs.  He’s been teaching me to sing and find my voice.  1,367)  Switching perspective between mindfulness and heartfulness, and noticing the difference.  1,368)  Watching as the peonies, hostas, and irises all begin their journey towards summer.  1,369)  One more trip to the grocery store marked off the to-do list.  There were things we were unable to get (rice and toilet paper) that might mean another trip out next week, but we mostly got what we needed.  1,370)  Hanging the laundry out on the clothesline to dry.  


Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

16 thoughts on “Heartfulness

  1. Yes, better safe than sorry is right. So far, we haven’t had to go out into the world. But I am sure that day will come, and I am not looking forward to it. Feels good to safe in my home in the woods. That was quite a crew you had feeding in your yard. Stay safe, be well!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I imagine that’s true. We don’t stay in (we spend a lot of time outdoors, fixing things, mowing, planting, etc.), but the animals seem to be getting used to us all of a sudden.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. A mask out of a sock? That seems almost like a SNL skit. We’ve been washing our groceries as we bring them into the house, too. Safe? Crazy? Who knows but it does make me feel productive so that’s good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robin, I’m enjoying the beautiful photos of your local creatures…and I appreciate the references in Andrews’ book. All of these powerful messages from nature…what a wonderful chorus of hope! If I could reach out to you via email, I would have shared an article that I read this morning. In the absence of that, I am going to offer the link here and hope it works. Take very good care of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the idea of heartfulness even more than mindfulness, probably because the heart is where where Source comes through, IMO.
    I bet the deer like the turkeys because they eat ticks – ha! 😉
    I’ve been working with my crew for my gardening clients this week and even though we are out in the air and trying to maintain distance, we still wear masks. I dug out an older pair of ‘skinny’ eyeglasses (remember the style a few years back?)– those are much easier with a mask.
    Matthew McConaughey has a great easy mask formula: So easy on the eyes he is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the ‘they get along’ photo! And your hostas too. We had snow the last two days, though none stuck. Further south of us, in Detroit and at the state line they got more snow. You definitely do more than I did when I went shopping last week. I wore the mask, didn’t have gloves (do now), did keep the 6 feet distance thing at the store, but didn’t wash the groceries when I got home. So far we are OK, I have more fear that husband will bring it home as he goes out every day to his brother’s house to work on projects there, some of which require a trip to home depot. The brother’s house is a mess, but I don’t know that these projects are essential. He’s redoing wiring and replacing rotted floors (under water heater) and patching places mice get in. Brother is not in good health, so the whole thing is a mess. We wash his clothes when he gets home, and he is constantly washing his hands and wiping the car steering wheel down with wipes, but still. Anyway…I don’t know how long this can continue until we run out of luck here. We’ll see. Katie and I are staying in other than the grocery trip every 2 weeks. We’re content here at home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope your luck holds, Dawn. It’s hard to know lately what is essential and what is not. Like you and Katie, I mostly stay at home except for grocery shopping which I put off as long as possible. Even though we went out last week, we might have to go again this week in search of toilet paper and a few other things we couldn’t get last week. I’ve read that TP shortage is partly due to not being able to get the industrial/business stuff out on the shelves. If that’s the case, I wish those businesses would open it up for online ordering. I sometimes feel like the idiots are running the show. This is not rocket science. There are so many better ways to get things out to the people who need them.


      1. I had to go out after only a week too, for fresh stuff. And there was toilet paper on the shelf! If you can’t find any let me know, we have plenty now, I can mail you a box! I know that sounds ridiculous. I have a friend in Montana who mailed her sister, here in Michigan a box filled with toilet paper. Apparently there was never a shortage in Montana! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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