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Archive for January, 2013

We Have What We Need

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

“This is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always. We are just uncovering them. We are rediscovering them. We’re not inventing them or importing them from somewhere else. They’re here. That’s why when we feel caught in darkness, suddenly the clouds can part. Out of nowhere we cheer up or relax or experience the vastness of our minds. No one else gives this to you. People will support you and help you with teachings and practices, as they have supported and helped me, but you yourself experience your unlimited potential.”

~Pema Chödrön, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears

{Photo by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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Harrowing Haircuts

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Get out of the chair. Get out of the chair. That was what the voice in my head was saying as I was sitting getting a haircut. I had already asked the hairdresser more than once to be gentle with my head. She had jerked my head from side to side as she was cutting it. Finally, as she started blow-drying my hair, I saw she had not listened to me about the style of cut I had stated I wanted. After taking a deep breath, I said, “Stop.” I stood up with the towel around my neck draped in the robe and said I wanted the assistant manager to fix my haircut. The hairdresser looked at me and said, “What’s your problem?” I walked away and sat in the waiting area and asked for the assistant manager and explained that I was unhappy and needed her to fix the haircut.

My voice was shaking, my hands were shaking, and I just wanted to run out of the salon. I knew I needed to speak up. I knew I needed to get out of the chair. I knew I needed to have someone more gentle and aware of what they were doing and how they were treating a client.

In general, I hate getting my haircut. I usually dread getting it. I feel so vulnerable in the chair while someone with scissors ultimately decides how long or short or how straight or wavy they make my hair. There is something unnerving about getting haircuts.

As I have declared 2013 my year of Daring Deeply, it took all my courage to get out of the chair and advocate for myself. I am learning to trust that inner voice more and more and take action. Life is about opening our hearts and listening to the calling of wisdom that beckons us forward.

Here is what that experience taught me: Get out of the chair. Speak up. Take peaceful actions.

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Nature as Teacher

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

What is the wind telling you?

What is the ocean sharing with you?

What is the wind whispering to you?

What are the clouds teaching you?

What are the rocks revealing to you?

What is the rain gifting you?

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Laundry as Meditation

Monday, January 14th, 2013

I love doing laundry. Seriously, I have found laundry to be a form of meditation. I have made the commitment to sit 5-15 minutes every day to meditate. This seemed doable and a way to connect with my breath, mind, heart, and spirit. When the weekend came, I found myself trying to squeeze in time to meditate. I had the thought that after I did my laundry I would make time to sit quietly. I knew I had two loads of laundry waiting for me. To do laundry, I have to walk a little over a block to the laundry mat to put in a wash. Then I walk back to pick up the wet clothes, place in my basket, and bring them home to hang on a drying rack.

As I hung each piece of clothing meticulously and lovingly, I found myself smiling. I realized how much joy I get by doing the laundry. I discovered in that moment that by slowly hanging each shirt, sock, pants etc…, I was breathing mindfully. I recognized that I was paying attention to each movement. I appreciated that this “chore” became my meditation.

Now, I am hoping that cooking will someday become a meditation for me as well!

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No Expectations

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Even after all this time

The sun never says to the earth,

‘You owe Me.’

Look what happens

With a love like that,

It lights the whole sky.

-from The Gift by Hafiz of Shiraz

{Photo by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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What Is Your Heart Saying to You?

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

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Tears of the Heart

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

When the phone rang last week at my office, I looked down to see that the call was from a colleague and friend. While a part of me wanted to pick up the phone and connect, there was another part of me that was feeling very vulnerable and the sound of her kind voice would probably make me cry. In a conversation we had recently I said to my friend, “I knew all you had to do was ask me how I was feeling and I would start crying.” My friend responded, “Crying is the sweat of the heart.” She completely understood the choice to let the call go to voicemail and wait to speak. We had a wonderful conversation about self-care and how sometimes that means reaching out and connecting, while other times it means going inside ourselves and being quiet.

My friend shared that what helps her when she is feeling quiet is reading Louise L. Hay affirmations. When I hung up, I picked up my box of Louise L. Hay affirmations and chose a card to read and meditate on. The card I picked up read:

You are an artist of the spirit.

Find yourself and express yourself in your own particular way. Express your love openly.

Life is nothing but a dream, and if you create your life with love, your dream becomes a masterpiece of art.

My heart sweated and tears came. Thank you Jude.  

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In Every Heart…

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

In every heart there is peace.

In every heart there is compassion.

In every heart there is joy.

In every heart there is bliss.

In every heart there is adventure.

In every heart there is hope.

It’s possible…in every heart…

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On My Nightstand

Monday, January 7th, 2013

These 13 books will make their way to my nightstand in 2013:

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles by Marianne Williamson

The Fear Project: What Our Most Primal Emotion Taught Me About Survival, Success, Surfing . . . and Love by Jaimal Yogis

Open Heart, Open Mind: Awakening the Power of Essence Love
by Tsoknyi Rinpoche

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
by Michael Singer

Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

My Life So Far by Jane Fonda

How to Solve Our Human Problems – The Four Noble Truths by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink

Huna: Ancient Secrets for Modern Living by Serge King

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillipp Dendker

You pick the 13th book. I am always looking for book suggestions so you tell me what book must I read in 2013! 

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

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Breathing Warmth – Meditations for the Soul

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Have you wanted to start a meditation practice? Or do you want to deepen your meditation practice? Start by drawing your breath inward as we prepare for a season of hibernation and going deeper inside ourselves.

In our busy lives, we rarely experience an extended period of quiet. For our meditation session(s), we will enter the quiet within ourselves as a way to deepen our connection to our soul’s journey. You are invited to enter the space of Being, rather than Doing.

The 45-minute meditations will open you to thinking differently about meditation. Meditation is about zoning in, not zoning out. Our session(s) may include looking at where our mind wanders, focusing our gaze, guided visualizations, making movement an integral part of our lives, resonating with a (personal) mantra, and stepping more fully into our thoughts. All levels of students are welcome. You may book as many sessions as you want from January 2 – March 29, 2013. Each session is 45-minutes and will take place on the phone (Monday – Friday only).

What to Bring: A notebook and pen, water
$50 in (No refunds.)
Register: by texting your name and ‘Meditation Session’ to 917.238.9726.

For more information, click the link: Breathing Warmth – Meditations for the Soul.
Happy New Year!

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