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Archive for December, 2012

What Does Being Mindful Mean?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

I felt much more mindful on my birthday yesterday. I felt mindful of all the beauty, joy, love, and laughter in my life. I celebrated every moment and every breath. I dedicated my birthday meditation to being mindful.

My meditation on being mindful:

Being mindful is breathing, noticing, and being present.
Listen to what is in front of you and what is inside you. Right here. Right now. Being mindful is listening to your heart rhythm or the wind swaying or the people in your life sharing their day. Being mindful is deeply listening to your feelings and noticing the places of joy and the causes of suffering. Being mindful is living from your heart center (your heart/mind connection). Let go of the busyness. Free your mind and there is nothing to escape from. Open your heart and feel the peace that you already are.

Breathe. Notice. Be present. Mindful.

How will you take time to deeply notice what is happening inside and outside?

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Leaving My Nest

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

I’d rather live my dreams scared than look back and say I did nothing afraid. ~Mary Anne Flanagan

In Pema Chödrön’s book, The Places That Scare You, she writes about the experience of leaving the nest. In an excerpt from the book Pema Chödrön’s writes, “All too frequently we relate like timid birds who don’t dare to leave the nest. Here we sit in a nest that’s getting pretty smelly and that hasn’t served its function for a very long time. No one is arriving to feed us. No one is protecting us and keeping us warm. And yet we keep hoping mother bird will arrive.

We could do ourselves the ultimate favor and finally get out of that nest. That this takes courage is obvious. That we could use some helpful hints is also clear. We may doubt that we’re up to being a warrior-in-training. But we can ask ourselves this question: “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?”

I sat in meditation to listen to the message of leaving the nest. This is what came:

Leave the nest of the past. Continue to remove the covering around your heart and fly farther out into the world. You have experienced tremendous heart expansion and have gifted it to others as well. You have chosen a path of self-love and awareness. Spread your wings to more people. Soar higher and trust that you have everything you need. Leave the nest – it’s time to leave the comfortable and fly into uncertainty. Continue to fly with vulnerability and engage the world with your whole heart – your wild, cosmic heart.


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Learning Hope

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

I woke up thinking about hope. I thought about areas of my life I am feeling hopeful. I was inspired by Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. In one of the chapters, Cultivating a Resilient Spirit, she writes about hopeful self-talk and the importance of remembering that even when things are difficult, it is important to remind ourselves that we can keep going. Brown writes, “We develop a hopeful mind-set when we understand that some worthy endeavors will be difficult and time consuming and not enjoyable at all. If we want to cultivate hopefulness, we have to be willing to be flexible and demonstrate perseverance.”

I looked up some of my favorite quotes on hope as a reminder of what is possible.

“Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all.” ~Emily Dickinson

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.”  ~Anne Lamott

“Without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope.” ~Harvey Milk

I am still learning and cultivating hope with each new personal and professional endeavor. What are your thoughts about hope?

{Photo taken by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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