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Archive for January, 2011

I’m Right Here

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

When my nephew was about three or four, we would play a game called “Where’s George?”  I would look all around asking, “Where’s George?” I would continue asking, “Where did he go? I know he was right here.” I would walk in circles looking for him and pretend not to see him. He would get closer to me, pull on my sleeve, and say, “I’m here.”  I’d act surprised and say, “There you are!” George was never bored by this game and he would laugh so hard, he sometimes had tears in his eyes (and so would I). After playing for awhile, I would ask, “Where’s George?” George’s answer would change from, “I’m here” to “I’m right here.”

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day, that we can forget what makes us smile or laugh. We run around the world to find ourselves.

As I wrote in my meditation last week:
The most amazing journey is the one within your unexplored heart – there is a treasure awaiting you!

Where are you? I’m right here.

Mary Anne

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Snow Drifting…

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Snow drifting off the roof
Into thin air
Small particles of water
Into sunlight
Wind sweeping winter’s leftovers
Into sky and beyond

Drifting, drifting, drifting…

Mary Anne

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What Are Your Thoughts on Reciprocity?

Friday, January 21st, 2011

“There is an ebb and flow, a giving and receiving inherent in all life forms. When you tap into the cycle of reciprocity you are relating and connecting in a universal exchange that simultaneously occurs within you, with others and with the wider universe.

We choose the words, actions, and beliefs to share with our self and others, creating a constant ripple effect in our world.” ~A Course in the Heart of Life, Judy Kinney

I was reading my course work from an on-line class I am taking, “A Course in the Heart of Life” and the word reciprocity jumped off the page. I have spent the past week sending numerous emails to an organization that was unyielding in their refund policy. Once I got past my rants of anger, I realized it was about reciprocity. The situation was about a fair exchange. Everything in life is an exchange. We flow from a place of giving and receiving and when that comes out of balance, we come out of balance.

Reciprocity is how we create and move forward. It’s an exchange of energy of love with our self and others. It creates community. And when it is out of alignment, it separates us and creates fear (and anger/resentment). And for me, reciprocity puts relationships over results and makes for greater contributions in the world.

What are your thoughts on reciprocity?

Mary Anne

P.S. The outcome of the refund situation is that I have agreed to take a larger refund with the understanding that I will be taken off the organization’s list and not invited to any future events/conferences.

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“Are You Really That Positive?”

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

In a conversation with an acquaintance last week, she said, “I read all your blogs for inspiration. Are you really that positive?” The question threw me for a loop. I actually never thought about whether I am really positive. I only know what gets me through the most difficult experiences is when I just sit, listen, meditate, and allow feelings to flow. When I get out my head and listen to my heart, I have discovered that inspiration and love are abundant.

That’s not to say I don’t have bad moments, depressing days, frustrating situations, and negative attitudes — I do! Just last week I told a close friend and colleague, “I suck.” I couldn’t get out of my own way and all I could see was everything that was not working. I was annoyed at the MTA for their numerous delays (& filthy trains). I was aggravated with a team I was working with on a project who showed up late to a big meeting. I became extremely angry at an organization that wrote they were returning only about a third of my money when I informed them I couldn’t attend their conference in May (despite four months notice). I was so overwhelmed by the amount of work I had to do, I just started crying in my office. I had feelings of stupidity and unworthiness flood through me. At the same time, I still kept working, writing, praying, meditating, resting, calling friends, and laughing. I am all of it.

I write inspiring words, poetry, prayers, and creative ideas because it helps me move through the muck. The words are for myself as much as they are for those that read them.  Am I really that positive? I guess I would answer: I am really that human.

Humbly yours,
Mary Anne

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What Are You Putting Off Until Later?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

I heard myself say, “I’ll get to that writing project at the end of the month.” Somewhere I knew that I didn’t really mean that. I was not going to get to the writing project. I was going to put off the project until “later.” It will get done – someday. In the meantime, I filled my time with other smaller projects that I thought were easier. Perhaps I was missing an opportunity.

In a recent blog by Seth Godin, he wrote about this very idea by using a metaphor of keeping a check in your wallet. In his blog, Cashing the Check, he wrote, “Most of us are carrying around a check, an opportunity to make an impact, to do the work we’re capable of, to ship the art that would make a difference.

No, the world isn’t fair, and most people don’t get all the chances they deserve. There are barriers due to income, to race, to social standing and to education, and they are inexcusable and must fall. But the check remains, now more than ever. The opportunity to step up and to fail (and then to fail again, and to fail again) and to continue failing until we succeed is greater now than it has ever been.”

What are you putting off until later? Let’s cash the check.

Mary Anne

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When Love Leads, Love Follows

Monday, January 17th, 2011

When you invite love in, you are inviting a path of service that has no boundaries. Love gives and is always enough. Invite service as a guide on your path of freedom and love. (Meditation Journal)

In the words of Martin Luther King, “I have decided to stick with love, hate is too great a burden to bear.”

What is your path toward love?

Mary Anne

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“S.O.S.” – Stretch or Starve

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

“Let this be the year you release your fears about what you can achieve. Know for sure what you want and be willing to give yourself what you need to get it.” ~Oprah Winfrey

Whenever we had people come to our house for dinner when I was growing up, my father would tell our guests in his strong (Irish) brogue, “It’s S.O.S. in this house – stretch or starve.” He wanted folks to feel comfortable to take whatever food they wanted from the table and he would say if you left hungry, it would be your own fault. My father taught me an invaluable lesson – that there are times we need to stretch ourselves to get what we want. No one left our house hungry.

What do you really want for yourself in 2011? Are you willing to stretch for it or will you live from a place of scarcity? When you get really clear about what it is you want, just listen for my father’s brogue in your ear – S.O.S. – stretch or starve.

Wishing you a 2011 that is full of moments for you to stretch yourself in big ways!

Mary Anne

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Toning the OM Is Headed to Egypt!

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

I recently announced my amazing invitation to assist  on a spiritual travel adventure to Egypt. I was so overwhelmed  by all the comments, emails, and texts of support. The trip feels surreal and when the invitation came, I started shaking. This has been my dream — to travel and teach meditations & ceremonies — to be on a spiritual adventure. Everyday is a spiritual adventure for me — some days easier than others. I trust that my gifts will far surpass all the fears that have run through my mind. Whatever your journey, share your gifts of love and listen for invitations that will take you to parts of your heart not yet explored — there is a treasure awaiting you!

Toning the OM is heading to Egypt in April!
I will be joining Spirit Journeys as an Assistant Guide on their 17 day journey to the wonders of Egypt. The trip includes:

A private visit to the King’s Chamber inside the Great Pyramid…A private visit to the Sphinx to stand between its paws, to place your hands upon it…A private visit to the Isle of Philae and the Temple of Isis at sunrise…Seven nights/eight days sailing the Nile on our own private dahabiya (a luxury sailing yacht)…Five nights/six days at the world famous Mena House Hotel at the foot of the Pyramids…Two nights at the Movenpick Hotel on Elephantine Island in the middle of the Nile…A small, intimate group of fellow journeyers (a maximum of 16)… and more! This is a very special Spirit Journey indeed, one that can truly be called “a journey of a lifetime.”

April 26, 2011 to May 11, 2011 (Trip is Sold Out)
Guides: Howie Holben and Emil Shaker
Assistant Guide: Mary Anne Flanagan
Contact Spirit Journeys to be put on the waiting list.
For more information about Spirit Journeys, please visit: http://www.spiritjourneys.com

To the best journey of all — life!
Mary Anne

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What Would Love Do?

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Many of us were shocked after watching the news about a 22-year old that went on a shooting spree that killed six people and wounded 14. I am finding that as more information is revealed about both the suspect and the victims, it is difficult to make any sense of the tragedy. All of our thoughts and prayers are with U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and all the other victims and their families.

What have we learned from this tragedy? I know I have learned that blame and violence hold no purpose in all of this. As my sister-in-law wrote, “We all need to stop blaming one another and simply agree that violence and violent metaphors have no place in American political discourse.”

It only takes one to heal. It only takes one to forgive. What would love do if we allowed it to heal our fear of one another?

As more facts get revealed and emotions rise, I invite each of us to keep asking: What would love do?

Mary Anne

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The Secret to Success? Get More Sleep

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

My best friend sent me a video on the “Secret of Success” given at a TEDxWomen event. The video featured Arianna Huffington’s four minute talk: “How to Succeed? Get More Sleep.” Before I even played the video I started laughing. I have had many conversations with my friend about wanting to get more sleep or past troubles with falling asleep. Ever since I could remember, I have required seven to eight hours of sleep in order to feel rested. I was jealous of folks who needed just a few hours of sleep and even tried forcing my body to get less – it didn’t work. I would wake up exhausted or have that late day ‘crash’ feeling.

I have finally come to understand that what keeps me happy, what allows me to stay in the creative zone, and what nurtures me fully, is when I allow myself to get lots of sleep. As Huffington says, “I urge you to shut your eyes and discover the great ideas that lie inside you, to shut your engine, and discover the power of sleep.”

To see the full TED talk: click the link (or watch the video).

To getting more good rest…
Mary Anne

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