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Archive for July, 2012

I’m Listening

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

{Photo taken by Mary Anne Flanagan} 

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Arousing Our Hearts to Life

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

I have been reading a lot of David Whyte’s poetry as I prepare for my upcoming retreat in Hawaii, The Wild Cosmic Heart. I have been reading about what arouses, awakens, opens, shifts, transforms, and lifts the heart. What would it take to listen to our wild, cosmic heart? As Whyte wrote, “Sometimes everything has to be inscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you.”

In his book, Crossing the Unknown Sea, there is a poem that speaks to becoming more visible, to risking everything to becoming alive.

There is a lovely root to the word humiliation – from the latin word humus, meaning soil or ground. When we are humiliated, we are in effect returning to the ground of our being.

Shedding the carapace we have been building so assiduously on the surface, we must by definition give up exactly what we thought was necessary to protect us from further harm. The outlaw is the radical, the one close to the roots of existence. The one who refuses to forget their humanity and in remembering, helps everyone else remember too.

To die inside, is to rob our outside life of any sense of arrival from that interior. Our work is to make ourselves visible in the world. This is the soul’s individual journey, and the soul would much rather fail at its own life than succeed at someone else’s.

 If you want to explore your untamed heart and risk becoming more alive, then join me in Hawaii November 4-10, 2012 where we will explore the vast sea of our hearts.

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Opening to Life

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

These few words are enough, if not these words, this breath…
If not this breath, this sitting
This opening to the life we have refused
again and again until now. Until now.
In this moment of epiphany
This opening to the life we have refused
again and again
until NOW”
{By David Whyte}

What opening have you refused? Are you ready to open to your life?

Now is the time to open to life, again, and again, and again.

{Photo taken by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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Sitting With What Is

Friday, July 20th, 2012

“Meditation is just the practice of sitting with what actually is until we learn how not to ignore what actually is.” ~Brad Warner


Mantra: I sit on Mother Earth and see that Mother Earth takes amazing care of me. 

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What Is Radiating in You?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

What’s your growing in the garden of your heart?

What garden are you watering?

What flower inside will you share today?

We are growing love in every seed you plant.

Mantra: I water the garden of my heart.

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“Rest in Peace”

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

It poured rain. It teemed rain. Even Noah wouldn’t have been able to get through the rain in his Ark. The church filled with people longing to say good-bye, to support our family, and most of all to honor my mother.

People traveled in the pouring rain to attend my mother’s funeral. The mass was at the church where my mom had served as a Catechist Teacher, a Eucharistic Minister, and many other church positions. It was the Parrish my mom taught as a kindergarten aide.

I was overcome with grief, overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, and hoped it was all just a nightmare that I could wake up from. Then the organist played a high key and my eyes filled with tears. I realized it was not a dream as I touched my partner’s hand.

Following a casket felt very unusual. Was I following death or following life? Was my mom at peace? Many people had shared with me that my mom wasn’t suffering anymore. “She’s at peace” was a line I heard frequently, along with, “I’m so sorry.” Actually, a lot of words of comfort were expressed the week of her wake and funeral, but I couldn’t hear much of anything though my grief.

My family sat in the front pew and listened to a priest friend say the mass. He gave a beautiful tribute to my mother in words and in song. He belted out the Ave Maria like I have never heard sung before.  People still speak about that Ave Maria.

Somehow I stayed composed enough to walk to the lectern to give one of the readings. I looked out and saw a crowded church as I opened the Bible. “Love is patient. Love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8) Those are the only words I remember reading – love is patient, love is kind.

I finished the reading, walked past the casket and placed my hand on it, and whispered, “Rest in peace, mom. Rest in peace.”

I have come to realize while she has been resting in peace, I haven’t. My life changed after her funeral; my sleeping habits changed; my memory changed.

Maybe the words “Rest in Peace” don’t need to go to those who have passed away, but to those who have been left behind.

I am learning how to rest in peace. I am learning how to rest and learning peace (12 years later). The rains cleared the day after her funeral and yet they still poured within. May my mom teach me to rest in peace. Amen.

Mary Anne

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Embracing Our Creative Messiness

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

“Embrace the messy imperfect genius. Seek to be misunderstood by creative minds.” ~Ross Martin

One thing I have learned over the years as an entrepreneur is that when I am in my most creative space, I have to release being a perfectionist and jump into my creative messiness. I need to create space that allows me to explore crazy ideas, play with projects in messy ways, and be willing to be incomprehensible to others. Some will so understand me and my process and others will walk away, poke fun, or misunderstand. It is that moment I know I am ion the right track – the track of embracing my creative messiness. In this space I can be judged and critiqued and it makes me a better business owner.

Go ahead – embrace your creative messiness!

Mantra: I embrace the creative messy genius in me. I thrive in my genius.

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Pummeled by Love

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Happy Summer! I hope everyone is having an amazing summer. I am looking forward to my annual Pummel Day. Every summer, my dear friend and I go to the beach for the day to enjoy jumping and getting knocked over by the waves. Or as my friend said to me the first time she realized I loved big waves at the beach, “You mean you love to get pummeled by the waves?” Yes! 

The day deepens my connection with my dear friend, my connection to Mother Ocean, and my connection to surrendering to everything that is beyond my control. I can fight the waves and get turned upside down or I can go with the waves and feel a pure sense of surrender. I can go against or with the current. That is always my choice.

Pummel Day is about connection, friendship, nature, and love – the totality of life. As I reflect upon it deeper, I find myself asking:

What if I allowed myself to be pummeled by love? By gratitude? By peace? By grace?

When that wave knocks me over later this month, I will rise from the ocean with a smile on my face – pummeled by love.

Feel free to share your summer story with me to post.

Thanks & peace! Mary Anne

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Life’s Pace

Friday, July 6th, 2012

We decide life’s pace. We decide whether we have to get someplace at 50 miles per hour or 20 miles per hour. We decide how fast or how slow we go. We decide the pace the pace of our life and the pace of our breath. What is your pace?

Can we slow down long enough to feel life, to feel our heart, and to feel our breath?

Mantra: I allow the pace of my heart to show me the way.

What is your suggested speed limit?

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Thursday, July 5th, 2012

I am the peace I seek.

I am peace.

I am.

Mary Anne

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