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<Drums Rattle Djembe Doumbek>

Brave and Vulnerable at the Same Time

April 17th, 2014

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” -Brené Brown

We can play it safe. Really safe. Do the little things. We can be predicable. We can follow our routine and live in a sheltered world.  

But that may find us feeling completely uninspiring.

Why? Because we are meant to shine and step into the arena of LIFE.

I was living in that safe zone once, as I went about my day-to-day, planning programs, writing proposals, and meeting with organizations. Things got done and progress was made.

And finally, I realized how exhausted I had become. I was spinning my wheels to complete things. The essence in me was afraid to come out.

I still remember the day when I was sitting on an airplane planning a drumming circle and realized I needed to dream bigger. It was time to shine my light and step into the arena.

I decided to step into the arena and I’ve never looked back.  I’ve created, designed, played, and lived in my heart-center arena. And I can happily share that’s it’s been an amazing journey.

All of my experiences these past few years have taught me that I can be brave and vulnerable at the same time. And I wouldn’t have any other way.

It takes courage to step into your arena. We are each called to show up – fully.

When you are ready to take the armor off and play in the arena of life, let me know.

Enjoy the journey of your infinite power of light.

Brene Brown Quote (2)

 

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Posted in Vulnerability | Toning the Om

AHA Moments and Ideas

April 14th, 2014

Where Good Ideas Come From:

 

Posted in Learning | Toning the Om

Meditation of the Heart

April 9th, 2014

Let’s take a few moments to sit in and meditate on the heart center. Place one hand on your heart. Soft gaze or close your eyes. Breathe in gently and exhale slowly. Feel your palm melt in your heart and your heart melt into your hand. Feel whatever feelings arise. As you breathe, feel your heart.

This is a direct way to meditate on your heart. You can feel and just allow the feelings to show you your heart. You can be in your heart center. Relate your mind and heart. Notice your rhythm and thoughts. Feel your mind and body connection. This is your refuge. Your heart center is where peace resides. Go for refuge in the peace that is always available.

When you are ready, take another breath and ease into your day ─ with a peaceful mind.

Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

Do One Thing Afraid ─ Every Day

April 2nd, 2014

As I work with coaching (and healing) clients, I am often asked how to create powerful visions for work and life. Over the years, I have used the following steps to help me move from vision to action. I have put a lot of my work out into the world. Some of it has landed with success and some of it has flopped. I always learn from each experience.

Isn’t it better to look back years from now and not have regret for what we didn’t do? There will always be an excuse of why we didn’t start something. There will always be an excuse: the lack of time, the lack of experience, and the lack of money. Even if we had all of these, there is still no guarantee that our idea/dream will work. How liberating to just go ahead and live out our idea.

Here is how I move from imagining, to designing, into living my dreams:

1. Visualize the dream as already happening (i.e. creating your business, making art, writing a book, having a loving partner or whatever the goal is)

2. Name any thoughts or beliefs that might be getting in the way (These are the old stories/tapes we carry around with us)

3. Reframe any thoughts or beliefs by writing your intention in the positive with a timeline (i.e. I see myself having my paintings in 2-3 galleries by July, drafting my book in 2014, and being with a loving kind person this month)

4. Ask for support. Seek out people for ideas. Bounce your thoughts with those you trust and ask for any specific support to help keep you focused

5. Take 1 action daily towards your goal. Do one thing every day. As I like to say, “Do it afraid. Make change despite yourself.”

6. And finally, celebrate yourself! Treat yourself to a cup of tea, buy flowers, or something sweet. And celebrations can happen at every step along the way.

Now, go do one thing afraid today!

Posted in Coaching | Toning the Om

Tranquility of the Mind

March 19th, 2014

SavorMeditation is the space deep in the ocean. When we meditate, we can experience the beauty of the bottom of the sea, where everything is calm and tranquil. On the surface there may be a strong current or many large waves, but the sea is not affected below. In its deepest depths, the sea is profound silence. When we start meditating, we try to reach our own the inner silence by staying on top of the water with our thoughts as a lifeline. However, if we can drop in a little deeper (into our heart center), we will notice that when the waves come from the outside world, we are not affected. Fear, doubt, worry and all the turmoil will just wash away, because inside us is absolute peace. Thoughts cannot trouble us, because our mind is all peace, all silence, and all oneness. Like fish in the sea, our thoughts jump and swim and go with the current of the water. So when we meditate, we can feel like the sea ─ going beneath the surface of agitation and into the place of tranquility.  We are that tranquility. Our mind is the top layer of the water and our heart is the infinite sea. Take a deep dive into the ocean of your mind.

Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

Hang Out With Peace

March 14th, 2014

Still PointMy Buddhist teacher often says, “If we can feel a little bit of peace, then we can feel a lot of peace.” He invites us to hang out with peace. “When you feel a little bit of peace, hang out there.” Peace arises naturally in our own mind. When we are quiet and pause, peace arises.

It is finding the still point within. The still point resides within and is always available. The question I have come ask myself daily is, “Am I listening to peace or am I listening to agitation?”

Ask yourself, are you hanging out with peace or agitation?

Take a moment and notice ─ at the still point, there is peace.

Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

Drop the Worry

March 11th, 2014

We worry about fitting in

We worry about being liked

We worry about people being us angry at us

We worry that something tragic might happen

We worry about death, ours, theirs, everyone’s

We worry about life, ours, theirs, everyone’s

We worry ─ until we make a decision to not worry

Until we remember we are inter-beings

Until we believe we are connected

Until we feel the love that always resides within

Until we “drop it”

Then we remember

To be, to breathe, to exhale

We drop the worry

And then we remember ─ we belong

 

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Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

What Kind of World Are You Creating?

March 7th, 2014

When you inhabit peace, you create more peace in the world.

When you listen to your heart, you create more quiet in the world.

When you live a joyful life, you create more joy in the world world.

When you invest in yourself, you create a trust fund in the world.

When you shine your light, you create a brighter world.

When you give love, you create a more loving world.

What kind of world are you creating?

Posted in Peaceful Actions | Toning the Om

Sitting in Stillness ─ Engaging With Peace

March 5th, 2014

The more I sit in meditation, the more I am reminded how much I want to stay fully engaged in my efforts to build a more just, equitable, and compassionate world while maintaining a sense of peace.

B&W Buddha QuoteI know I’m not alone in this view. All over the world there are movements underway in an effort to address inequalities and injustices. Is it possible to be fully engaged and peaceful?

Yes, it is. And the very simple practice of sitting each day for five minutes can help us with that. We can come to a place of inner peace before engaging in a movement to address the issue that moves us into action.

I also recommend a simple practice of bringing the attention to the breath. And then gently bringing our attention back to the breath, over and over, and over again. This practice  grounds us into our center ─ a place of inner peace that always resides within us.

I also came across the fourteen precepts of ‘Engaged Buddhism’ as set out by  Thich Nhat Hanh – here is a simplified version, but you can read the full version here.

1. Do not be bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones.

2 . Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.

3. Do not force others to adopt your views.

4. Do not avoid suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Find ways to be with those who are suffering.

5 . Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.

6 . Do not maintain anger or hatredAs soon as they arise, turn your attention to your breath in order to see and understand the nature of your hatred.

7. Do not lose yourself in your surroundings. Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing both inside and around you.

8 . Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

9 . Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.

10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party.

11 . Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.

12 . Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.

13 . Possess nothing that should belong to others.

14 . Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. 

It is easy to feel overwhelmed or defeated  or get caught up in the energy of anger without having any way to process it.

Return to the breath. Practice mindful breathing.

It was the only way I found to maintain a sense of grounding amidst a chaotic world. The world needs more peacefully engaged warriors of compassion.

Sit down. Sit still. Pay attention. And come back to your breath, again and again.

And as my teacher once told me, “When you don’t know what to do, have a cup of tea.”

Posted in Peaceful Actions | Toning the Om

Bridging Heart and Mind with Our Breath

February 26th, 2014

BridgeBreathe gently in and out. Allow the exhale to be a little longer.

Release any tension, worry, or anxiety with each out breath.

Allow light in any form to arrive with each in breath.

Notice how your body feels while breathing.

Just notice, be aware, be the inner note-taker.

Welcome all the thoughts, know the exhale will take them.

Greet the critic and the judge ─ embrace them.

Breathe slower and deeper.

Relax into the fullness of the inhale and exhale.

Breathe all the way down to your feet. This breath will anchor you.

Breathe all the way up to the top of your head (your crown chakra).
This breath will open you to your divine connection.

Take a fuller breath. Tune into the wisdom of your heart-center.

With each breath, bridge your heart and mind.

Be the observer, the anchor, the wisdom, and the breath.

Rest in your breath.

Your breath takes you where you need to be ─ right here in this moment.

Welcome home.

Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om