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Archive for November, 2010

Rest in Love

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Love is the antidote to what ails us.

I have been thinking about love — being in love, letting love in, giving love. As I prepared for the final yoga resting pose, Savasana, I heard the teacher say that this is the position that gets rid of all impurities and allows the body to process all the poses. “Dharma (Mittra) says that Savasana is the antidote to all impurities.” I closed my eyes, relaxed my body, took long and slow breaths and rested.

As I felt myself rest in love, I could feel the whole room fill with love. And when it came time to open my eyes, all I could hear from my meditation was, “Love is antidote to what ails us.”

May we rest in love, always.
Mary Anne

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Make Gratitude a Lasting Experience

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

As we sit down with family or friends this week, to share Thanksgiving I invite each of us to remember the experience of gratitude long after our meal. Allow gratitude to be a lasting experience.

How will you allow gratitude to last longer than your meal?

“My gratitude lights up the sun inside my heart.” ~Rumi

Mary Anne

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Being “Grate-Full”

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” ~Meister Eckhart

As we make plans for a big meal with family or friends, for volunteering to serve others in need, and for expressing our thanks, let us remember all we are “grate-full” for. How are you full of gratitude?

By expressing gratitude as a daily practice, I have discovered that gratitude is an attitude and that once you have it, you can make it a regular practice. There are many gratitude attitude practices that can be incorporated into everyday life.

Be “grate-full”:

I’m grateful for…

My life would be dull if it weren’t for…

The following people make my life richer…because they… (these could be people your personally know or people who simply inspire you)

I appreciate the following things about myself…

This year I’ve been blessed with….

When I am grateful, the world is grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Mary Anne

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What Scares You More – Failure or Success?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

“I’ve been terrified every day of my life but that’s never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do.” -Georgia O’Keefe

There is something so freeing and exhilarating when we can challenge and transcend our fears. Dr. Susan Jeffers has a book called, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, that talks about facing and walking through our fears. What’s amazing is that when we walk through our fears, we not only find the fear to be an illusion, but often we find our greatest passion is on the other side of it.

Every time I have a new project, create a new program, post a blog, send a proposal of a workshop, I have a stream of fearful thoughts run through me. Sometimes the fear of success is even bigger than the fear of failure. It is in those moments I think of my friend Fr. Bob who twenty years ago said, “Anytime you do ‘God’s’ work, you ought to be a little afraid.” Work that is meaningful and influential allows me to transcend my fears.

As Joyce Meyers says, “Do It Afraid.” Do one thing this week that scares you – it is a great starting point.

Do something despite your fear and see where it leads you.
Mary Anne

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It’s OK to Use the Bumpers

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to bowl with my seven year old nephew. He had an advantage as he is in a bowling league and I had not bowled in more than 15 years. Luckily, everyone agree to keep the bumpers up. Bumper bowling is played on a regular bowling lane and the gutters are covered or protected by rails to keep the ball in the game. With the bumpers up, I was able to get a few pins down. We had many good laughs as the bowling ball would ricochet off the bumper rail, in more than one place, and then hit most of the pins. I even had a couple of strikes and spares.

I asked if I could use the bumpers so I would not have all gutter balls. It made the game fun, manageable, and a learning opportunity. I began to wonder in what other areas of my life I could “use the bumpers.” Are there other opportunities that could be easier with support?

Bumper bowling taught me I can ask for what I need and for help and support will follow. Sometimes we need to start out with some bumpers up to stay in the game.

How can you “use the bumpers” to keep yourself going?

It’s OK to use the bumpers.
Mary Anne

This is dedicated to George, Kathleen, & Martin who let me keep the bumpers up and for the good bowling tips.

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Peace Within

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

As I sat in a coffee shop the other day, I overheard two folks discussing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They had different points of view on the topic. Towards the end of the discussion, one of the men asked the other, “What do you think will bring peace to the people and to the countries suffering?” The other person responded, “Nothing will ever bring peace to people and places that don’t want it. I want someone to bring me peace.”

This conversation started me thinking about wanting peace. How can we expect people living in other countries to experience peace if we don’t feel peace? Maybe the wars we need to stop are the ones within our own minds and hearts.

Make peace with yourself and you will make peace with everyone around you.

Peace within,
Mary Anne

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Love Is the Way In; Forgiveness Is the Way Out

Monday, November 15th, 2010

What power has love but forgiveness? –William Carlos Williams

As I sat in meditation, the words love and forgiveness kept coming up. I kept repeating both words and at the end of the meditation, I wrote the following:

Love is the way in; Forgiveness is the way out.

How will you allow love and forgiveness to flow through you?

Mary Anne

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Thank a Veteran

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

For all those who selflessly serve our great nation — thank you.

For all those who gave their life for our country — thank you.

For those that give their hearts — thank you.

To all our Veterans — we salute you and thank you.

Mary Anne

This is dedicated to Donald Tapellini and to all Veterans.

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With Each Breath

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Each breath lets one thought go and invites a new one in.

What thought do you want to let go? What thought do you want to invite in? Breath by breath.

Breathing love,
Mary Anne

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Life Is Speaking, Are You Listening?

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” –M. Scott Peck

As I stood in the subway car, a lady started talking to me and I realized after a few moments I had stopped listening. She was complaining about the delays and it seemed like she would never stop talking. By the time I reached my office, I realized I heard what she was saying, but not really listening to what she was saying.

There are days when listening seems more difficult – due to the noises outside and all the chatter going on inside. Some of my best listening happens when I am using my whole body – when I can let go of any response of what I need to say and just listen.

As Peter Senge says, “To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the ‘music,’ but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning.”

When we are truly listening, we become present to all that is around us. Noise can transform into sounds. Listening requires us to pay attention and gives us the ability to have greater focus. Are you willing to listen below the noises?

Practice: Close your eyes and listen to the sounds surrounding you. Can you hear the leaves, the birds, or a sunrise? What is your heart saying?

And remember the advice of Native American seers: speak only half as much as you listen.

Life is speaking, are you listening?

Mary Anne

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