Monday, January 22, 2018

Movement: Be Present, Be Mindful, Live

It occurred to me after writing last week's blog, that I have written a poem for almost all of the meditation images in my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. I'm posting that ones that I have written for images that I posted last week - I suppose in an effort to round out last week's post about movement. Also because I realized I haven't posted much poetry lately. 

Call to Action

Breathing is not
the angels said. 
Action is the
         counterpart to breath.
One must be in the world,
making the dreams, hopes, wishes
          solid, real.

Question: how do you breathe and act
         in the same moment?

© 2018 Kathryn L. Samuelson

Live in Your Blood and Bones

Feet connecting
to the ground,
bones stacking
up on top of 
bones. Creating
a lattice work
for blood, muscle
to exist.

Blood courses 
through bones, muscles,
organs, and skin.
Blood brings life 
and sustenance, making
it possible to stand, 
to connect

Be present.
Be mindful. 

© 2018 Kathryn L. Samuelson

The Song of Life

Pythagoras supposedly
theorized on the harmony of 
the spheres: the mathematical 
equations by which planets 
move creating a symphony. 
What if Pythagoras had it

What if all the electrons,
protons, and all other bits of atoms
orbiting the nucleus create
harmony, frequency, music?

Is it possible then, to find
our harmony, that harmony
made up of all the harmonies
of our too numerous to think about 

© 2018 Kathryn L. Samuelson

Dance Your Body through Life


Be connected.

© 2018 Kathryn L. Samuelson

Be Playful

Be playful 
the angels said.
Have fun, moments
of joy. Laugh. Dance.

Let the energy swirl
and carry you merrily 

© 2018 Kathryn L. Samuelson

May we all find the movement that helps us change, transform, and well, move onward.

The first image is again by Ahmad Odeh and found on All the other images are from my book (here).

Monday, January 15, 2018


English is such a funny language. One word can mean diverse things. Or one word can be pronounced differently and mean similar things, such as I read (red) vs. I will read (reed) the book. Or words spelled differently but sounding the same thing can mean different things, such as reed and read. Yet, grammatically it is often much simpler than other languages. There is only one "the" in English. I believe that are at least 4 in German, and which one you use depends on gender.

So, what is movement. It is derived both from French and Latin according to Wiktionary. Wiktionary lists 9 meanings as a noun. Looking up the definition generally on the Internet, I came across this: 

noun: movement; plural noun: movements
  1. 1.
    an act of changing physical location or position or of having this changed.

    "a slight movement of the upper body"
    • an arrival or departure of an aircraft.
    • an act of defecation.
      noun: bowel movement; plural noun: bowel movements
    • the activities and whereabouts of someone, especially during a particular period of time.

      "your movements and telephone conversations are recorded"
    • the general activity or bustle of people or things in a particular place.

      "the scene was almost devoid of movement"
    • the progressive development of a poem or story.

      "the novel shows minimal concern for narrative movement"
    • a change or development in something.

      "movements in the underlying financial markets"
      synonyms:developmentchangefluctuationvariation More
  2. 2.
    a group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas.

    "the labor movement"
    synonyms:political group, partyfactionwinglobbycamp
    "the labor movement"
    • a campaign undertaken by a group of people working together.

      "a movement to declare war on poverty"
      "a movement to declare war on poverty"
  3. 3.
    a principal division of a longer musical work, self-sufficient in terms of key, tempo, and structure.

    "the slow movement of his violin concerto"
    "a symphony in three movements"
  4. 4.
    the moving parts of a mechanism, especially a clock or watch.

Merriam-Webster defines things similarly. 

Movement, to me, also implies (or rather should I say that I infer from the word) shift, change, transition. Some of which can be movement in the heart, mind and soul. Movement does not necessarily mean to me that it is only a physical shift, change or transition. And, when we change ourselves, can we change the world around us, just as a stone thrown in a pond creates a ripple effect?  

There are at least several mediation images in my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be (here) that address, at least obliquely, movement, both physical and non-physical. I'm including the first one as action is movement. You act, something moves or changes.

Next is this one, which says to me, on at least one level, the if you are living in your blood and bones that you are moving. After all, you blood and bones support you in moving your body through your day and your life.

Singing is the action of the mouth, teeth, tongue, lungs, and diaphragm. It is the movement of air. Singing can change our mood. 

Well, dancing is purely and simply movement on one level. But, can dancing bring about not just physical change but also a change of heart, soul and mind? It certainly can lift spirits.

Being playful is having fun, finding joy. Being playful is shifting from the serious to the not serious. Children, puppies and kittens learn through play. They grow and change through play. Maybe we as adults should play more so that we can keep learning. 

My body is no longer happy to move with the abandon of the dancer in the first picture, but I keep exploring how to move my body so that it and I stay active and healthy. Moving helps my mind and brain as well. It's most likely not so good for me to spend the time I do in front of this computer. 

Shall we all move?

The first photograph is by Ahmad Odeh and was found on All the other images are from my book, cited above. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Fierce Opposition Rather than Anger

I was struck by something one of Krista Tippet's guests on On Being said. The guest said something to the effect that anger just gets in the way while fierce opposition can help us accomplish things. At least that's the import of what I remember being said. 

Yes, I can remember at times being so angry that I couldn't speak, couldn't act. It was as if a fog had moved in and seized my brain, my mind. And, if I could act, it wasn't what I would call good action, good speech. I can remember making things worse. Staying calm and focused, however, allows me to be thoughtful in action and speech. I can make better decisions about what to do and what to say. Or, in some cases, the best thing might be to say nothing and do nothing because it's not my place. 

We may feel, by standing firm, that we are the sole person facing off the mountain. But facing the mountain begins with one person who may very well soon be joined by others. The story that's told is that people say why vote, one vote won't make a difference. My question for them is, if everyone who thinks this actually voted wouldn't it make a collective difference? Isn't standing firm in fierce opposition a way to show love for your country? For the world? 

I receive lots of emails every day asking me to sign petitions, to send money. I chose which ones to respond to, and frankly, more often sign petitions than send money. I sign the petitions with the hope that a lot of people signing them might very well make a difference. If no one signs, then no hope that a petition might make a difference. 

So, in my own way, I want to stand in fierce opposition, to do what I feel I can do. Which is not the way that you may choose to stand in fierce opposition. I just hope that we can all act together to create the world that we want to come into being.  

The first photograph is by Paul Gilmore and the third is by Mpumelelo Macu. Both were found on The second image is from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be (here).

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Resolutions

My massage therapist recently asked me if I had any New Year's Resolutions. I told her that that last one I made, which was a number of years ago, was to be nice to cashier's, clerks, wait staff. You know, all those people who are in the service industry and have to put up cranky if not downright rude people. 

I try to keep this up. I try to be at least polite and understanding if I'm not feeling in the friendliest of moods.

An interesting thing that I've noticed is that it makes my life nicer as well. By staying calm and being friendly, I can laugh with people, smile at their stories, and, best of all, not spend my mental, emotional, and yes psychic, energy being irate or angry. 

Other than that, I try not to make New Year's resolutions. They are sooooo easy to break which, of course, can make me feel soooo bad about not keeping them. And that's not very compassionate to myself. Who knows, maybe breaking them might make me grumpy which would spill over to other people.

And, why is the start of a calendar year so special for making resolutions or trying to create new disciplines in our lives? Isn't this something that can be done at any time? Maybe it is because it is the start of a new calendar year with all the hope that that can bring us. It will be different this year. I will do ____ this year - fill in the blank for yourself.

Does waiting to the start of a new year just put off doing something that maybe we should be doing now? Does waiting make it harder to do? I wish I had the answers to these questions, as well as the answer on how to actually follow through on my good intentions. 

What is actually the most compassionate thing I can do for myself? What do you think?

The first photograph by Annie Pratt was found on The other two images are from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be (here).