The Body As It Is

Photo by Oksana Zub

We come into this world with a myriad of sensations calling our attention. Throughout our lives we will discover many bodily experiences, some pleasant….and some definitely not. Often the latter is where we dwell.

Yet underneath all of those sensations and experiences lies a miracle of finely tuned and interconnected systems that literally keep us alive and breathing every single moment.

Our vessels of clay are birthed from sparks of creative energy combined and woven together by a divine artist who has a unique form in mind for every living being. How astounding is that?!

Yet, I know I forget, when experiencing something in the body that is either concerning, painful or unpleasant, that there are “quiet miracles going on in every moment” as Kristi Nelson, the Executive Director of A Network For Grateful Living says in the post below.

Though I have found there can be great wisdom in diving down into the particular distressful bodily experience that one is experiencing and navigating the territory with full awareness instead of resisting, it is common to get lost there and identify ourselves by our current concerns.

The post below offers a mindful practice. A way to open into compassion, appreciation and gratitude in the midst of pain, changes and distress. At the end of the post is an inspirational video link for Nick Vujicic who, born without arms and legs, teaches from his experience with honesty, clarity and compassion.


Being Grateful for the Body As It Is

By Kristi Nelson

Practices

This short practice attunes you to your body in its present state, shifts your attention to all of the quiet miracles taking place in your body in every moment, and invites you to express appreciation towards your body as it is.

Clay vessels in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes arranged outdoors

Stop whatever you are doing and devote your full attention to being still or slowing down in this moment. Become conscious of your breath breathing itself. Follow a complete inhale-exhale cycle with your full awareness.

Allow your body to soften, wherever it is, exactly as it is. Open to the possibility of greater spaciousness, appreciation, and/or ease in relationship to your body. Commit to feeling everything gently.

You may want to take a few moments to sit or lie down, allowing your body to rest comfortably, feeling supported. You can experiment with putting your hand, or both hands, gently on your chest as you read. Let yourself notice – really notice – your heart beating and your lungs breathing.

No matter what may feel/be “wrong” with your body, there is an overwhelming amount that is perfectly right about your body at all times. Your body is, indeed, nothing short of an absolute miracle.

Look: Allow your attention to focus on how incredibly much is happening in your body every moment without your effort, without your having to try to make anything happen.

It can be difficult to take our attention off of physical pain, changes, or distress. The nature of distress is that it seems to want every last morsel of our attention. But it is important for us to experience the fact that with attention, challenging sensations and experiences in the body can be dwarfed by the larger context of all that is working.

No matter what may feel/be “wrong” with your body, there is an overwhelming amount that is perfectly right about your body at all times. Your body is, indeed, nothing short of an absolute miracle. Allow yourself to consider these extraordinary facts:

  • Your body produces approximately 2.5 million new red blood cells each second
  • Your heart beats around 100,000 times each and every day
  • Your lungs can take in more than 3,000 gallons of air each day
  • Your brain uses 20% of your body’s oxygen and caloric intake, even though it is only about 2% of your body mass.

Is there one fact that stands out to you – that makes you really appreciate the gift of your body and how much it is offering you? Allow yourself to focus on this one thing about your body and practice holding it in your awareness.

Your body is the precious vessel for who you are. You are alive right now, and it is a gift.

Go: Move throughout the next moments carrying the idea that, no matter what else might feel true, your body is nothing short of miraculous. You are more than any part. You are even more than the sum of all your parts. Your body is the precious vessel for who you are. You are alive right now, and it is a gift.

Write down three things about your body that are working and for which you feel grateful. Whenever your mind slips into negative thoughts about your body, interrupt the pattern by reminding yourself of these three things, and/or saying to yourself, or writing, “I am grateful for my body.” Focus on what is working.

Feeling compassion for ourselves can open us to greater compassion for others who are suffering, and empathetic engagement with others can help us to re-frame our own experience.

Find a physical gesture of tenderness and care – such as placing your hand on your heart – that you can offer to yourself when you get stuck in judgments about your body. This type of gesture can be filled with meaning and association. When you find yourself getting caught in all that feels wrong, let this gesture be a healing reminder to your body that it is appreciated.

It can also offer us perspective to focus on others whose physical challenges are even greater than ours – no matter our situation. Feeling compassion for ourselves can open us to greater compassion for others who are suffering, and empathetic engagement with others can help us to re-frame our own experience. Other people need our compassion, understanding, and support – just as we need theirs.

Be inspired by Nick Vujicic who, born without arms and legs, teaches from his experience, and invites us to “be thankful, dream big and never give up.”

For more inspiration, explore the guiding Grateful Living practice of Stop.Look.Go.

Kristi Nelson

Kristi Nelson

Executive Director

About the author

Kristi Nelson is Executive Director of A Network for Grateful Living and the author of Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted. Her life’s work in the non-profit sector has focused on leading, inspiring, and strengthening organizations committed to progressive social and spiritual change. Being a long-time stage IV cancer survivor moves her every day to support others in living and loving with great fullness of heart. Learn more about Kristi here.

See more content by Kristi Nelson


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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 01/27/23

Passing By

When I read something that has rooted heart resonance I am drawn to share it with others.

The author of this true story is a dear friend of mine who lives in eastern Canada near to Toronto. He is in his early 60’s, and says about himself, “Brian Alger is a musician, writer, educator, and retired entrepreneur passionate about creativity”.

We have shared life’s ups and downs together via Skype, Zoom and email for several years now, yet have never met in person. I have no doubt that some day that will change.

It is with great pleasure that I share a vignette from a recent post of his….Thank You Brian!

Passing By

Posted on by Brian

You could see him in the distance. A familiar person dressed for warmth on a cold winter’s day. Walking the other way. The sky and your mind had been grey for days. But today is sunny. Blue sky. A gentle breeze. A radiant day for a walk.

He is closer now. Your pace does not slow. You prepare the usual bland niceties. But this time, something unexpected moves in you. And you hear a gentle whisper… Do not pass them by. But the routine exchange is already underway. Words said with mechanized precision. Good-natured and polite. But empty. And unconscious. Another mindless ritual. The whisper is already forgotten.

They are behind you now. And you can’t walk anymore. Another gentle whisper… Why didn’t you stop? You find yourself standing there on the road. You look back and he has already moved away. Out of reach.

You remain standing in the same place. He is further behind you now. Your heart leans into you with poignant feelings of loss. You see a few clouds passing by, and you notice that they have seen you. A cold January breeze touches you. More feelings of loss. Somehow, you feel the wound is necessary.

So, you start walking again now wondering why you feel so strange. Your steps are more tentative now. And uncertain. Your heart is heavier, but your mind is mercifully quiet. Something within refuses to leave you alone. And you say out loud… Why didn’t you stop?

As you turn and head toward your house in the distance, you are walking in a different way. A way that encourages openness to living rather than closure to life. A way that cultivates creative communion rather than routine contact. Moreover, a way in which life never passes you by.

You look up and hear the clouds chuckle as they follow the winds. They are moving on now. But riding on the winds, even they refused to pass you by. There was communion.

I’m closer to home now.

Posted in Vignettes Tagged nature, presence, spirit


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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 01/19/23

Living Life in Black and White…or Color?

Photography: Gaye Abbott, 1/11/23

“Knowing that our lives are incomprehensibly precious, fragile, and fleeting reminds us to stop in our tracks and take stock, every moment, of what matters, how much is enough, and where wisdom would direct our attention. Yet, facing and befriending our mortality seems to be the one thing that so many of us most heartily avoid. What a conundrum…”

~Kristi Nelson, Executive Director of a Network For Grateful Living

It was necessary to begin the year with surrendering into a body that had been injured and lacked the mobility and freedom from discomfort I was used to, due to three injuries over an 8 month period of time. A time to disconnect from anything external that would take my attention except for the solace of the natural world.

The intention of silence and solitude for six days was entered into with a great letting go on January 1, 2023. Little did I know it was to be taken apart. Until then the seeming lengthening of available time in the day, coupled with the freedom to simply be present to each moment, was enhanced by a personal decision to ban all digital or electronic means of connecting or communication.

And then everything changed 2 days later when I happened to check my email. Not to respond or open it, but to make certain there wasn’t something that needed my attention. One did.

A beloved friend in Australia had died suddenly and I knew that a response to her best friend who had sent the email was absolutely necessary, tears flowing down my face.

So many thoughts and emotions vying for attention all at the same time. So this was what this time of silence and solitude was to transform into. The devastating loss of her embodied presence in my life and the inescapable truth that we were the exact same age – only a month apart.

A deeply felt sense of fragility, vulnerability, loss and grief flooded in.

This friend lived “out loud” colorfully and fully in my experience of her over the 16 years we had known each other. The question of whether I was living a life fully or was unconsciously in the black and white “safe and comfortable” zone came bubbling up to the surface.

Though I hold my own death as an integral part of this human journey and am not afraid of it, I realized in the moment I heard about her sudden death that I could also be taken from embodiment in this way. At any time.

In the ten days since she died I have been questioning my own life and how I am living it. Is it in the patterned reality of black and white patterns….or more generously impregnated with color, texture and light. Perhaps a combination of both woven together in a unique tapestry. One not exclusively better than the other, but instead an integral part of being alive.

“In sacred geometry every living organism is made up of precise, numerical, repetitive patterns. Our lives are designed to enhance nature’s patterns with our own creativity. This creates harmony and beauty.”

~Mary Reynolds, The Garden Awakening

Dawn in Western N. Carolina, 1/11/23, Photo Gaye Abbott

How can we appreciate the color and beauty of our lives if we have not become familiar with the other landscapes and patterns. The contrast and the myriad of experiences within each.

Black holds all of the colors hidden from sight. Through the touch of light each one is revealed through a blank canvas of exploration – the unique artistry of our own lives intimately interconnected with the whole.

This morning, for a few moments in time, I was washed in the beauty of color and light of this dawning day. Yet, if I hadn’t looked up and gazed out the window I would have missed it all. In a few moments in time it faded and was replaced by a seemingly colorless gray sky without texture, followed by the rising of the sun which once again changed the canvas above.

A reminder of the absoluteness of change and the certainty of never fully knowing what may unfold in any given moment.

Living “in color” for me evokes passion, desires, and unpredictability laced with courage and surrender where I accept that everything is always changing and transforming.

It takes a solid trust and self love to live in color. To not be concerned about what others feel or think of you. To live from the fullness of who you are becoming. Courageous enough to visit the challenges and pain life brings and dive down into them. The black and white reality of embodied life woven with color.

To acknowledge when it is time for silence and solitude, retreating within the rich interior color of our being. To celebrate the artistry of life, love, relationships and beauty….as well as hold with loving attention the grieving, pain and sadness we all carry.

For God’s sake to breathe fully. No holding back. To emerge from the stone holding back the expression that is bubbling underneath like magma so ready to flow. No longer willing to be contained.

Am I able to be that?

In this moment it is enough to be grateful for the next breath….


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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 01/12/23

Walking Each Other Home – Tribute to Ankya Klay

We no longer need to walk this journey alone. We are each ‘walking sticks’ for each other – walking each other home….

~Ankya Klay

ANKYA KLAY, 1948-2023

When the Wildly Free Elder website and community was being born in June, 2020 a long time friend of mine, Ankya Klay, was one of the first people I thought of to be Spotlighted and so I extended an invitation.

What transpired after that initial invitation was a deep dive into what elderhood and aging was for her. I know she wouldn’t mind my saying that she wasn’t too fond of it at that time and was “hiding her age” as she tells it. Several months after that she was ready to sit down and write about her journey. I invite you to read about it here: https://wildlyfreeelder.com/one-earth-one-step-at-a-time-with-ankya-klay

Ankya wrote about our first meeting with the short story below the image. We were roommates matched through synchronicity in a San Francisco hotel attending a workshop for initiation into “The Order of Pink Velvet Ear Greeters”.

Once initiated we walked the streets of San Francisco handing out roses and offering hugs. It was a heart opening and joyous day that will always live within me. We went on to be Greeters in other areas as well and when Donny and Kirk came up to Oregon, where I was then living, we suited up in our pink fur once again!

Ankya Klay, Blue Bear & Gaye Abbott – Corvallis, Oregon

One of the most fun and freeing times of experiencing Oneness in my life was when I first met Gaye Abbott through mutual friends, to celebrate our 60th birthdays! Meeting Gaye happened because of following my ‘wildly free’ heart’s calling at that time. We became proud members of The Order of The Pink Velvet Ear Greeters, an ‘Order’ founded by the same mutual friends who introduced us, and our intention was to go out on the streets and bring people joy by making them smile. Our Motto, “All it takes is an undefended heart and lots of pink fur and smiles.” 

Donny Lobree & Kirk Prine

Since that first meeting and our heart opening initiation into “The Order of The Pink Velvet Ear Greeters” we stayed connected even though living on the other side of the planet from each other. When she was in the U.S. we made a point of meeting in person….and when she wasn’t we used other means to stay connected.

She was a global traveler, phenomenal photographer and artist, with an intense love for nature and this planet. Everything she did spoke to what she called “Round Love”.

As we walked our life path together and apart, we knew that we would always stay connected and travel down similar paths as well as very diverse ones. What we both knew in our heart of hearts is that we were “walking sticks” for each other – walking each other home.

Photography: Ankya Klay

Yesterday Ankya suddenly left her embodiment leaving so many of us whom she deeply touched with her love, joy, magic, artistry and humor, grieving her loss. You will be deeply missed soul and heart sister…..but I know I will find you in the sunrises, sunsets, birdsong, trees and ocean waves…..and always Blue Bear.

As I wrote a response early this morning to a long time friend of Ankya in Australia, I looked up and this is what I saw out my bedroom window. You are simply gorgeous beloved Ankya…I LOVE YOU!


Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 01/03/2023

Day 31: Elder Muse – Into the Silence

Photography By: Gaye Abbott, 2022

It had been seven days of no talking at a guided silent retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in the gorgeous natural surroundings of the Berkshires region of Massachusetts. During those seven days we had to find other ways of communication other than speaking out loud, or even in a whisper. There were many that found this incredibly challenging, not able to live with all the unexpressed thoughts there were cavorting in their minds without verbal expression.

I was not one of those. For me the silence was not only welcomed but savored. This is why when the silence was lifted that 7th day and a cacophony of sound broke out in the large room we were in I immediately left the room for the nearby lake and nature’s quiet embrace.

I do understand why silence is challenging for many people. We are surrounded by the tumult of sounds, mostly man made, that are constantly around us or that we choose to have around us. What would happen if all that was gone?

We might suddenly be confronted with ourselves amidst the vacuum of no stimulation. A space where you may be asked to let go, accept, befriend yourself and forgive.

Silence for me has always been a space of deep solace and restoration. A space where I find nurturing and healing. Thus on this last day of 31 Days from Elder Muse posts I enter into a personal at home silent retreat for the next 7 days.

No plans or practices – just silence, good food, great quantities of rest, no electronic or digital access, experimenting with painting and collage, an abundance of time spent meandering in nature….. filled with curiosity and wonder for what unfolds each day.

I am filled with gratitude and appreciation for you, my global community, who have read these posts and helped me to sustain a re-entry back into my creative heart, mind, and soul. It has been an easy journey of waking up each morning and trusting that what wants to be expressed will show up….and that I get to share it with you!

Though this 31-days is complete you will continue to receive posts from me, but certainly not daily. Your inbox can rest. Feel free to contact me or become a part of the Wildly Free Elder community.

In 2023 may you laugh often, love abundantly, tap into creativity, and cherish the preciousness of this lifetime you have been gifted with……Gaye Abbott

(This film is repeated from Day 2 – Elder Muse as it feels like a good way to end these 31 days. GA)

Aug 21, 2021 “What does silence mean to you? Is it something you fear and fill up with distractions? Or is it something you actively seek as an antidote to a stressful life?

Visiting silence can be an adventure, a life changing journey into peace and quiet. In silence we can hear our own thoughts. Silence speaks for the part of life that is beyond words. There is space, inner freedom and creativity. We find a place within us that is centered, a place of trust. As the noisy demands of daily life make us shrink inside, in silence we expand. Don’t underestimate the power of silence. “

Filmed in Springbok, South Africa. Featuring Nicky Morris. All of our films are made possible through the generous support of our patrons. To be part of this journey : https://www.patreon.com/greenrenaissance If you’d prefer to make once off contribution, our PayPal details are : paypal.me/greenrenaissance Who is Green Renaissance?

We are Michael and Justine – passionate filmmakers, living off-grid and dedicating our time to making films that we hope will inspire and share positivity out into the world. Editing – by Jackie Viviers Sound mix – by Tamryn Breakey


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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 12/31/22

Day 30: Elder Muse – “Death Walker”

I find ecstasy in living — the mere sense of living is joy enough.”

~Emily Dickinson

“If I am not conscious that I am going to die, then I am not fully alive.”

~Aralyn Doiron

On this next to last post for 2022 what appeared, and insisted on being the focus, was something we don’t usually talk about with others except with medical directives, wills, estate planning and so forth. Something that we are closer to than we have ever been as elders even though it can come at any time in our lives. Death.

Death has been stalking me recently and asking me to pay attention to living fully NOW in this moment. Perhaps because of my age and it is Winter where so much has died off. We hear more often of friends “passing away”. If our parents are still living they ride the edge between life in one moment and death in the next…and we promise ourselves we will be there for the dying moment.

My life has been filled with the reality of death. First as a young teenager of 14 when I lost my mother suddenly, followed by others close to me, including my youngest son’s father when he was 7, and my father who lived to be 89 and died in his sleep. Beloved friends caught up in cancer which took their lives and others that have touched my life along the way are no longer here to connect with.

Working as a hospice volunteer, and nurse/integrative health practitioner for over 30 years had me standing at many bedsides when the last breath was taken. Some were ready and others fought for that last breath not willing to let go….and die.

It is a sacred moment in time and a reminder that some day it will be ours.

As Aralyn Doiron says in the film below – death teaches us about impermanence and valuing what we have in this moment. She wants to be remembered as a trail of light…..

What do you leave behind? How do you want to be remembered?

May 8, 2019 ‘Death Walker. I love the name, it sounds like a heavy metal band…’ – Aralyn Doiron

“Aralyn trained to be a Death Walker, which is someone who values death, and who values life. We have become so separated from death. Yet it is only when we recognise that we’re going to die, that we can truly start to live! “

To follow our filmmaking journey, visit https://www.patreon.com/greenrenaissance

Who is Green Renaissance? We are a tiny collective of 3 passionate filmmakers (Michael, Justine and Jackie). We live off-grid and dedicate our time to making films that we hope will inspire and share ideas.


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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 12/30/22

Day 29: Elder Muse – Starlings in Winter

Photo: Starlings on Telephone Wire

Starlings in Winter

by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

From: Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays

Copyright ©: Mary Oliver


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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 12/29/22

Day 28: Elder Muse – Dare To Be Wild

Blue Ridge Mountain Range, Western N. Carolina, Photo: Gaye Abbott

Hiking up 1400 feet of elevation on part of the Appalachian Trail we came around a bend in the trail taking in the fresh air gifted by the surrounding trees and plants. Then there it was, Nature’s artistry. Spread out before us was a carpet of Trillium on both sides of the trail.

Truly a magical place where I thought at any moment a faerie would come out among the flowers and whisper nature’s wisdom into my ear. It was silent of man made noise and only nature present to awaken our senses. An almost mystical experience where connection with the wild evolved moment by moment.

Appalachian Trail Near Hot Springs, Western N. Carolina. Photo: Gaye Abbott

The Blue Ridge Mountains are ancient at over 1 billion years of age created by the uplifting of the Earth’s tectonic plates. They are second in age to South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt. If you can believe it, in comparison with the Blue Ridge, the Rockies and Himalayas are young “upstarts.”

Divided into Northern and Southern sections by the Roanoke River gap, the Blue Ridge traverses 8 states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia, with the longest portion slicing a great crescent through all of western Virginia. Starting as a narrow ridge, the range widens as it goes south, stretching 70 miles across at its widest point in North Carolina.

Humans arrived in the Blue Ridge perhaps as early as 12,000 years ago. The Siouxan Manhouacs, Iroquois, and Shawnee all hunted and fished the Blue Ridge in Virginia, and the Cherokee lived in the Blue Ridge in what is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park in N. Carolina.

These ancient mountains speak the wisdom of wildness into the ear of anyone that is fortunate enough to live close by or embraced by the rounded peaks. For those that listen to the voices of nature – and yes faeries are a possibility – you may notice a transformation taking place within.

Blue Ridge Mountain Range, Western N. Carolina. Photo: Gaye Abbott

A fresh expanded perception of how you fit into the wildness of nature. That you are indeed so intimately connected that you lose all sense of nature as “other”. That you are that and nature is you.

Daring to be wild is connecting deeply with the ancient natural wisdom and rhythms within you. Remembering what it is to be at one with your senses wide awake.

Be wild now and then. You’ll find connection again.

Filmed Mar 20, 2021 by Green Renaissance
The concrete jungle and the rat race suck up our time and energy. Our lives revolve around paying bills and staring at a computer screen. We feel stressed and anxious, and we don’t know what’s wrong. What we are truly lacking is a connection with the wild world and its rhythms. Grant takes us out into the Cape Floral Kingdom, where we kick off our shoes and walk barefoot on the earth, touch the bark of a tree, watch a spider spin a web, listen to the birds singing in the branches above. We reawaken our senses. So no matter where you live, get out there and be wild every now and then. You’ll find connection again. Filmed in the Cape Floral Kingdom, South Africa. Featuring Grant Hine – Ecotherapist and Guide (www.zenguiding.com)

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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 12/28/22

Day 27: Elder Muse – What Is Life Without Beauty?

“The earth is full of thresholds where beauty awaits the wonder of our gaze.”
― John O’Donohue, Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

What of beauty? It is as unique as each one of us. Nature’s landscapes and creatures, a beautiful human face, art that expands our perceptions, colors, light and form, the poetry of music – so much beauty in this world.

Yet, there is a different landscape for beauty to create within. The inner landscape within us. Most often we don’t even think about it, or look for beauty there. It is subtle but it is there in our continual journey of becoming as we cross thresholds leaving old patterns of thinking and being behind.

A space of being within where we feel more alive!

At times, as elders, we may experience the vulnerability and fragility of being at this latter stage of embodied life. It may not seem as easy to explore new territory or cross over thresholds – edges of life – leaving our “normal” ways of being behind.

We could all of a sudden be in a body compromised by painful and restricted mobility, have a precarious financial situation appear, or be in the depths of deeply grieving the lack or loss of a devoted friend or companion in life.

Where can we find beauty then to remind us of how it feels to be more alive?

Beauty isn’t about all nice loveliness. Beauty is about a more rounded, substantial becoming. When we cross a new threshold what we do is we heal the patterns of repetition that were in us that had us caught somewhere. In that sense beauty is about emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding life.”

~John O’Donohue

John O’Donohue has always been a favorite of mine and I was fortunate to find his eloquent embodied writings when he was still alive. I thought I would love to travel to his part of Ireland and be with him on his own turf. Unfortunately that never happened as he passed away before I could make that journey. However, he lives on in his numerous writings and recordings.

Below you will find a very brief 6 minute portion of a two hour interview with John by Krista Tippett of On Being. I still feel his presence…..

Beauty Is An Edge of Becoming – Portion of an Interview/John O’Donohue with Krista Tippett


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Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 12/27/22

Day 26: Elder Muse – Live Life Fully – Dancing With Bread!

Photo: Living life as if the experiences you have matter. Are you?

As we come very close to ending this year of 2022 it is a time to reflect on whether we are living our lives fully. Not only having a positive impact on others lives and the natural world, but more importantly to living a free life on our own terms.

Having been a person who always thought of others first it has been a challenging journey to recognize that claiming the freedom to live my life as I am called to can at times disappoint others, but more often can inspire and impact them to do the same.

An ever changing opportunity each day to reclaim and share who we are fully without holding back by loving the life that is within us.

Meraai, in the video below, brings humor, dancing the tango with the bread she is making, appreciating the moments of simple pleasures, and a wisdom gained from many years of deeper inner reflection and experience..

What life within wants to express now?

Right now I want to have a taste of her yummy looking bread with a good coating of fresh butter on it!

Making other people happy makes many of us feel good. It’s great to know that you made a positive impact, however small, on someone’s life. But there’s a difference between being kind, and being a people pleaser. Being someone who pleases people sounds like a good idea. But you should never change who you are to please them.

You mold yourself to fit the idea of what other people think you should be. Running around trying to please everyone with every decision – never tuning into your own needs. And you stop trusting your own judgment because you assume that other people know better!

You have infinite opportunities to do what makes you radiant in a world of dreary times. And the people that matter, will stick around and love you the most when you are true to yourself. It’s never too late to live a free life — one that is on your own terms.

“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you don’t say ‘no’ to yourself.” ~Paolo Coehlo

Filmed in Swellendam, South Africa. Featuring Meraai van Wyk. All of our films are made possible through the generous support of our patrons. To be part of this journey : https://www.patreon.com/greenrenaissance

Who is Green Renaissance? We are Michael and Justine – passionate filmmakers, living off-grid and dedicating our time to making films that we hope will inspire and share positivity out into the world.

Editing – by Jackie Viviers Sound mix – by Tamryn Breakey Music sourced from ArtList – https://bit.ly/2KfrAt2 Vals – by Biba Dupont Border Town – by Ben Mcelroy La Boca Fiesta – by Maya Belsitzman and Matan Ephrat Approaching Distance – by We Dream of Eden Limbo – by Enzalla Stay – by Mattia Vlad Morleo Leave – by Mattia Vlad Morleo


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You can find ALL of the 31-Days Elder Muse posts in the archives here: https://wildlyfreeelder.com/2022/12/

Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 12/26/22