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Archive for May, 2010

May OM Meditations

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

As we prepare ourselves for a long holiday weekend, let us remember all those who have given their life to serve our country. As one of my teachers, Sri Dharma Mittra, says, “With my sincere wishes and devout prayers to all that you will become lost in constant remembrance.”

As we bring that sense of remembrance into our heart and mind, let us take time sit in meditation and experience contemplative questions as a way to open up to remember our original self with love.

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.

In the end it is the love that we already are that brings us home.

Light will shine your path. Love will be your guide.

What allows each of us to remember that light within that is always there?

How do you honor the sacred?

What value do you want to offer others – even when it is difficult – even when your voice is the opposite one of what is being said?

Every breath is a miracle. Every day is a gift. Everyone is love.

There are times when hiding our gifts is more painful than sharing them with others. What will it take for you to open up & risk sharing the blossom of you?

How do you want to create more silence in your life?

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 use.

May you experience the beauty of remembrance.
Mary Anne

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Experiencing Glee

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

My life is filled with so much joy. I have a job that I love, a business that is expanding, amazing friendships and global connections that keep me inspired. I even joked last week that I feel like a bottle of Holy Water because I am so blessed. This past weekend I experienced another feeling – glee.

I had the opportunity to watch my seven-year-old nephew at his Irish Step Dancing Show. He stood on stage in a black shirt and pants with a black and gold cummerbund. With a big grin on his face, he held hands with six other girls dancing on stage. Each child had a chance to dance a solo Irish Step and as it came closer to his turn, my nephew started shaking and smiling. He even looked out to see if he could find the table of his family and waved. He went last and when he finished dancing, he took a bow. His face lit up and all I could see and feel was glee.

Glee is about opening yourself up to joy. Seeing a seven year old filled with glee only reminded me of how all of us have the chance to open ourselves up to joy. Share your joy.

When do you experience glee?

Mary Anne

Congratulations to my nephew, George, on his amazing dancing.

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“Lost” Taught Me About Remembering

Monday, May 24th, 2010

The final episode of “Lost” aired this weekend and for anyone who has been watching the show for six years it was a typical ending in that it left viewers asking more questions. I think what the show did best over the last six years was allow for amazing discussion around time, faith, redemption, light, darkness, and interconnectedness. For me, I became deeply invested in the relationships of the characters, and of course, wanted a happy ending.

The show’s brilliance was its ability to move us through time and connect the past, present, and future. It felt very shamanic as people called forth their emerging self while releasing their past. Characters were often asked to “let go.” I felt like the show asked us to remember our original selves. It gave us the big questions: Who am I? Who am I now? And who was/am I to you? And as Charlie asked on the last episode of the first season, “Guys, where are we?”

The highlight of the last episode was watching the characters in the flash side-ways remember who they were on ‘the Island’ in relation to one another. Our ability to remember is often what connects us. Even small glimpses, like remembering a smile, can keep people alive in our hearts. After my mom passed away, I told my spiritual teacher, “I’m not afraid I will forget her. I am afraid I will not remember.”

If the show did nothing else, it reminded us that we are all related and connected. It’s about finding one another and remembering one another. It’s about the journey of life (and death). It’s about choice and acceptance. It’s heaven on earth and earth on heaven and everything in between. Each character’s transformation through the multi-universes showed us a journey through self-awareness and ultimately personal enlightenment.

What is our state of remembering? What allows each of us to remember that light within that is always there?

To remembering,
Mary Anne

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What Question Shifts Your Thinking?

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

I woke up one morning this week to the sound of pouring rain. It’s the kind of rain that makes you think it might come right through the roof. My first thoughts were of my commute and ‘worrying’ that the trains would be delayed. Trudging through many puddles, I made my way into my office. I unfolded my umbrella and realized that my pants were soaking wet from my knees down. I made a hot cup of tea to warm up as I listened to the cold rain drops hitting my office window.

Later in day, I felt like I wanted to stay cocooned in my office. I looked outside and all I saw was a dark, dreary sky and heavy rain, still pouring down. I wondered what I could do to shift my thinking about the rain. I decided I would ask myself what I loved about rainy days and make a list. I posed a question on Facebook: “What do you love about rainy days?” Within minutes a number of responses came in. People shared they loved spending rainy days “sleeping, reading, napping, going to the movies, smelling the air, noticing how the gray wet brings out bright colors elsewhere, having the opportunity to curl up with a good book or meditating to sounds.”

There it was – all I needed to know about the best part of rainy days. I asked a question that would shift my thinking and with that the whole day changed. I was no longer dreading my commute home. Now, all I could think about was a cup of chocolate mint tea, a good book, and a quiet night.

What questions do you ask to shift your thinking?

To celebrating rainy days,
Mary Anne

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Honoring the Sacred

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Honor the sacred.
Honor the earth, our mother.
Honor the elders.
Honor all whom we share the earth.
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.

—Native American Elder

How do you honor the sacred?

In beauty,
Mary Anne

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Are You Taking Up a Seat?

Monday, May 17th, 2010

I have noticed more and more people sitting and taking up two seats on the subway. Most seem oblivious to the fact that they are stretched out while others are crammed into a subway car. I, like many others, have approached these folks to politely ask to sit down.  There are folks who take up only one seat and are just as oblivious. While sitting at baseball games I have seen a lot of folks in very expensive seats who are busy texting, emailing, and some even leaving for two innings or more.

These experiences led me to start thinking about all the times we take up a seat in life. What we do while in our seat, how we offer others our seat, and what we contribute while in that seat is what really matters. What will you do with your chance to sit in that seat? What value do you want to offer others – even when it is difficult – even when your voice is the opposite one of what is being said? How many meetings, conventions, or events do you want to attend and not offer anything to the conversation?

How many times have I taken up a seat and have not been present to the conversation or what is happening around me? Next time I take up a seat, what will my contribution be?

Is that seat taken?
Mary Anne

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Shifting Into Joy

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Every breath is a miracle. Every day is a gift. Everyone is love. (My Meditation)

As I flipped through my notebook to find a blank page to write down my meditation, I saw a few quotes that had captured my heart over the past two weeks. I sat and read each one like a poem, letting them flow. I took a deep breath and with my exhale read a quote. I became calmer, softer, and quieter. The noises that were once disturbing – dogs barking, sirens blaring, cars screeching now seemed like background sounds in the far distance. All I could hear was my breath and my voice. I invite you to do the same and see what shifts in you.

“Be kind whenever possissble…it is always possible.”  Dalai Lama

“Our joy in the beautiful is as native to us as breath, a lyrical act where we surrender but to awaken.” John O’Donohue

“Being the shift means that you claim your responsibility and your power for creating and experiencing the world you desire. Being the shift is about being fully present, sovereign of heart and intimate with all life.”  Judy Kinney

“So, that cracking, breaking, shattering…that’s the husk surrounding the blossom of your heart. Let it go.” Mariel Hemingway

“Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person. If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare…” Anne Lamont

If want to learn about making space for more joy and peace, please join me for an upcoming Resting in Radical Forgiveness 4-Week Course (starts May 26 at 8p ET). http://www.toningtheom.com/events/?event_id=96

May light shine your path and love be your guide.
Mary Anne

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Listening to My Father’s Wisdom

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Growing up, my father had many expressions: “Take your time, but don’t be long”; “You can always replace money, but you can’t replace a person”; “It takes a lot longer to fill out an accident report than it does to take your time on the road” and on and on. He also had his way of imparting values of how his daughters ought to be in the world. If I had to sum up the four cornerstones of how to live life through my father’s expressions, it would be this:

Tell the Truth.
It’s a lot easier to remember the truth and own up if you have done something. It’s a lot harder to remember the lies or stories and the truth always gets revealed.

Say Please/Thank You.
Manners say a lot about a person. There is such respect in an exchange that includes a please or thank you. In the end, people feel connected and want to help when they hear polite words.

Never Hate (Disliking Is OK).
You don’t have to like everybody, but hating serves no purpose and is only draining. Plus, the cost to hate is more hurtful to the one hating. Do we really need more enemies?

Quiet Please Rather Than Shut Up.
There is nothing worse than being stifled or put down. We can be kinder and gentler with one another. Asking for quiet brings peace back to us.

Think about the wisdom your family has shared with you and how it has shown up in your life and the values you teach others. I am grateful that my parents demonstrated generosity, service, and strong work values.

Thank you, Dad.
Mary Anne

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What Is Blossoming in Your Life?

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

“And the day came when the risk to remain in a tight bud was more painful than the risk that it took to blossom.”
~Anais Nin

As we celebrate the month of May, let us open ourselves up to all that is blossoming around us and inside us. Is it time for you to open the bud inside and allow yourself to shine?

There are times when hiding our gifts is more painful than sharing them with others. What will it take for you to open up and risk sharing the blossom of you?


Let’s celebrate “blossoming” in the month of May!

“Blossoms are scattered by the wind and the wind cares nothing, but the blossoms of the heart no wind can touch.”  Yoshida Kenko

Happy Blossoming ~ Mary Anne

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The Power of Silence

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

George Prochnik wrote an editorial in the New York Times entitled Now Don’t Hear This. The editorial shared that last Wednesday was International Noise Awareness Day and that in New York a grass roots organization has been educating people about the harmful effects of noise for more than 15 years. The author said that perhaps it’s not noise awareness we need, but silence awareness. We already know the consequences of constant noise to our health – physically, emotionally and psychologically.

Rather than just talk about the negative effects of noise, we can spend time educating people on the positive effects of silence. Many meditation practitioners have shared that silent meditation increases their ability to concentrate. The editorial reveals that teachers who introduce silence into their classrooms said it fosters learning. And even hospitals that have “quiet zones” received validation in recent studies linking silence and healing.

What would happen if we would take time out in our day to be quiet? Perhaps we would discover more quiet within. We might even discover some powerful listening techniques we never had before. In a society filled with loud sounds of cars, sirens, planes or even the constant hum and buzz of computers, we could think about how to experience more silence. As Prochnik says, “Even a little bit of silence can create a sense of connection with our environment that diminishes alienation, and prompts a desire to discover more quiet.”

How do you want to create more silence in your life?

Here is to connecting through silence,
Mary Anne

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