Archive for July, 2010
Saturday, July 31st, 2010
As July comes to an end, we have been reminded, especially in the East Coast, of how extreme weather can slow us down. Whether a big heat wave or heavy rains or even a tornado watch in NYC (!), the weather has been our greatest teacher this month. I know the weather has taught me to slow down my pace, drink lots of water, rest, sit quietly (and enjoy ice cream). As we slow down to enjoy some summer vacation, I invite you to spend time with some contemplative thoughts and questions and allow them to enter your heart.
As an invitation, feel free to close your eyes, sit with your spine straight, and take a few soft breaths. Then inhale a little deeper through your nose, and on the exhale, repeat the mantra OM (AUM). Do this three times. Allow yourself to really feel everything and become the observer of your thoughts. Feel free to focus on one question or statement below and just allow your experience to unfold.
In every breath, there is love.
Living in the moment frees us from living in the past.
Create space in your life for what you LOVE to do, rather than fill space with what you are comfortable doing.
What are some of the “waves” in my life you can naturally jump with ease? Where else in your life do you go with the flow? Go with the flow & the rest will follow.
The light in me is a reflection of you.
Who and what am I willing to meet with understanding?
When we choose to live in this moment, we choose a direct path to our heart and the divine. Being present to this moment right now means being home. Welcome home.
Each person will have their own experience so the invitation is to be open for whatever thoughts flow through you. Allow your mind and body to expand into the experience (without judgment). Feel free to start with whatever mantra calls to you.
We are all students and teachers.
Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
looking in or looking out
rested in your rocks
I could not shield myself
from the bitterness
shutting myself down
away from you
Heal me…walk on…
like window shutters
soaring above me
so I could see my God
my faith rebounding
Love me…walk on…
praying to you
gave me unfamiliar faces
encouraging me to climb
up through the path
to the top or
to the beginning
Show me…walk on…
your hoodoos captured
my heart and saved my soul
like the trees burnt
to ashes into the soil
by mighty lightening
Hold me…walk on…
a warming gift
of stories told and retold
the footprints are
a journey through land
a pathway to a healing heart
and an abandoned soul
Carry me…Walk with me…Walk on…
(Written after traveling to Utah and hiking the National Parks)
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Just as I finished my last blog about living in the moment, I came across this topic in the book I am reading, A Thousand Names for Joy, by Byron Katie. In her book, Katie writes, “Where are you going, other than where you are right now? How can you go anywhere else? The direct path means realizing that the beginning and end of every journey is where you always are.”
Then this past weekend, I picked up the book, Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert and started to re-read all the dog-eared pages. As I flipped the pages, I came across the following lines in the book: “The other problem with all this swinging through the vines of thought is that you are never where you are. You are always digging in the past or poking at the future, but rarely do you rest in this moment.
In my meditation, this is what came through about living in the moment:
You are here. Not knowing, never knew. Never needed to and never will. If your thoughts float to the past, you can bring them back with love. If your thoughts wander too far into the future, you can bring them back with love. When we choose to live in this moment, we choose a direct path to our heart and the divine. Being present to this moment right now means being home. Welcome home.
To celebrating now with love,
Monday, July 26th, 2010
“The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.” –Dan Millman
Are you living in the moment? It’s so easy to sway into the past and leap into the future. We are often reminded that gifts are readily available to us if we can stay in the present moment. One of my favorite expressions is, “Love What Is Now.” The only thing that matters is this moment.
There’s a true story that was told in a movie called “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” starring Nick Nolte. In it, Nolte mentors a student in finding his purpose and helps him live in the present moment. At the end of the movie, the two of them have an insightful exchange that goes like this:
Nolte: “Where are you?”
Student: “Right here.”
Nolte: “What time is it?”
Nolte: “What matters most?”
Student: “This moment.”
This is an important and powerful dialogue because it reminds us to choose to be present and live life fully. Why would we choose to be present? Because when we are present, we feel less stress or anxiety about the future and we can release guilt or regret about the past. We feel at ease and peace. Sometimes, we may not like our physical environment or emotional state that we’re in. We can change that by choosing to be present with our thoughts.
How do you choose to be present with yourself? How do you love what is now?
To loving what is now,
PS I highly recommend the book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman.
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
One day my spiritual teacher asked me what I admired most about a new friend I had just met. I said, “She is smart, creative, and funny. She is generous, kind, and heart-centered. I admire her tenacity, her openness, and dedication to spirituality.” My teacher said, “That sounds a lot like you.” With a smile on my face, I thought, “Really?” She went on to say, “What you see in her is what is inside of you. She is simply a mirror looking back at you.”
What positive aspect of another is showing up in your life as a mirror looking back at you?
Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
I took a couple of days off to go see a concert and hang out by the ocean. There’s nothing like being near the ocean to remind me of how powerful and healing water can be. I felt like a little kid again jumping the waves. I would inch out and swim a little farther into the ocean and feel the water at my back. Depending on the current, I would swim back towards shore, swim under some big waves, or get swept up by the waves. There was an enormous rush each time the waves knocked me off my feet.
I began to notice that each time I went with the flow of the current the easier it was. And every time I hesitated or resisted the waves, the harder they would knock me down. Through it all, I did not struggle with the waves. I simply allowed my body to go with the flow and the rest followed. With resistance, my body toppled all around. Without resistance, my body swayed. I found that I could naturally jump the waves and float in the water.
What are some of the other waves in my life I can naturally jump with ease? Where else does my body go with the flow as a natural state?
Today, I am choosing to allow all of me to go with the flow and the rest will follow.
Thursday, July 15th, 2010
In the book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, Marianne Williamson writes, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” Where in your life could you shine your light more? Where are you playing small in the world?
In other words, we can get too comfortable in our day to day activities and allow our fears to get in the way of stepping into our lives more fully. When we think about shining more brightly in the world, we might hear the voice that says, “It’s too hard”, “I can’t”, “Now isn’t a good time for making a change”, “I wouldn’t know where to start”, or “Maybe when the economy gets better.” All of these are the voices of fear that often stop us from living from our heart. Taking a chance on doing something new can seem frightening and consequently we stay in the same place – even if it makes us unhappy.
Staying in the same place, the same job, the same anything even it makes you feel unhappy is what Lisa Haisha refers to as “Comfort Addiction.” In her article, Overcome Your Comfort Addiction, she explains that many people suffer from the addiction of staying in their comfort level even when they feel discontented. It’s the experience of being comfortable in areas of your life that are uncomfortable. We stay at jobs because it is easier than leaving. We don’t start our own companies because we are to scared to risk the security of scheduled work in an office every day. We stay in an unhappy marriage or relationship because we think that’s easier than being alone and starting over.
What would you be doing if you were not playing small? Are you willing to look at your current reality and see where you are and envision where you want to be? Maybe being uncomfortable will give you exactly what you need to create the life, the career, and the changes you have been thinking about.
Create space for what you LOVE to do, rather than fill space with what you are comfortable doing.
Take just one step today and see where it leads you.
Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
The anniversary of my mom’s passing was Monday (July 12) and I can’t believe it has been 10 years. If I close my eyes, I can remember that day like it was yesterday. And yet, so much of my life has changed in the last 10 years. I’ve changed jobs twice, studied shamanism, facilitated drumming circles, traveled to Italy to stay in the Vatican, started my own healing arts company, journeyed to Louisiana to meet Mary Ann, and became a certified life coach. Through all of these transitions and changes, I have had incredible teachers, mentors, therapists, healers, and friends.
The world has changed a lot too. We have seen our first African American President in the United States. We watched the world come together through major tragedies like 9/11, a tsunami in Indonesia, Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, and an earthquake in Haiti to name just a few. We have helped one another through our times of change and turmoil.
What I have learned over the past ten years is that the earth below our feet moves and shakes. How we deal with a shaking and ever-changing earth is up to us. As the writer Dominique Browning says about life, “It never gets easy. But if we are paying attention, it can get simpler.”
For years I experienced my mom’s passing as the worst grief in my life. I have come to realize these past ten years that she never really left because she lives on through my memories of her, in my work, and in my heart. People never really leave our hearts.
The earth will shake again. This time I will pay more attention and I know it will get simpler.
Who lives on in your heart?
In loving memory of my mom,
Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
Summer seemed so exciting as a kid until the day came when I had nothing to do. I became bored on days when none of my friends were around or rainy summer days. I would mope around the house and tell my mom, “I have nothing to do.” Her reply was, “I’ll find something for you to do.”
Translation: house chores. (I was a master with the carpet sweeper.)
In her book, Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put On My Pajamas & Found Happiness, Dominique Browning has a wonderful perspective on the theme of nothing to do:
“Today I am happy to find myself sitting on the ground wanting nothing to do — no, not even wanting it, simply accepting that I am enveloped in nothing to do. I begin to understand how nothing to do is its own state of grace, difficult to find deliberately, near impossible to recognize. Nothing to do means I can sit and look and let my mind wander, then empty, then fill again, with wonder or with grief, with anything or with nothing at all. “Nothing to do” is not the same as “Nothing can be done.” One is hopeless; the other, the place from which hope becomes possible.”
As the summer days start to fill with plans for the beach and weekends away, I long for days filled with nothing to do. I am inviting the adult in me to give myself permission each day to sit and do nothing.
Choose to do nothing and see where it takes you.
Sunday, July 4th, 2010
Liberty is the possibility of doubting, of making a mistake,… of searching and experimenting,… of saying No to any authority – literary, artistic, philosophical, religious, social, and even political. ~Ignazio Silone
For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
No one is free when others are oppressed. ~Author Unknown
Freedom means choosing your burden. ~Hephzibah Menuhin
Freedom is that instant between when someone tells you to do something and when you decide how to respond. ~Jeffrey Borenstein
Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus
Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Happy 4th of July!