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Archive for the ‘Wholehearted’ Category

Only Three Spots Open for the Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

What better way to experience transformation than in a beautiful tropical setting in Hawaii?

During our Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat at Kalani Oceanside on the Big Island, you will enjoy the sun and the sea; delicious, nutritious meals; laughter-filled days; exciting Hawaiian adventures; insightful teachings, gentle yoga, and beautiful meditations sessions. You will enjoy long walks by the Pacific Ocean and take time to enjoy the palm trees sitting by the pool. You will experience adventures to waterfalls (Rainbow, Pe’e’p’ee. and Akaka), Hawaiian Botanical Gardens, Warm Ponds, Lava Tree State Park, and more. You will end
your week with an amazing bonfire overlooking the ocean. 

However you arrive, you will return home lighter, relaxed, and ready to re-enter your daily routine with more joy. 

Excluding airfare, the cost of this amazing retreat ranges from $1,400 to $1,700, depending on your level of accommodations chosen. Partial scholarships are available. Payments plans are also available.

If you really want to go on this amazing journey to Hawaii,
please reach out to me.

 Register by August 31 and take $75 off.

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Be Present and Lean In

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Be present. Lean into discomfort.
Bring the light to each experience.
Listen for the open mind – the free mind – the fun mind.
Let go of exaggerations and delusions of the mind.

Ask: What am I saying no to? What am I saying yes to?

Exhale stress. Inhale light.
Be present. Let go of the past. Release the anxiety of the future.
Be present with each experience and lean in.

As Pema Chödrön says, “The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves. This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering—yours, mine, and that of all living beings.”

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Listening as a Path

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

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Showing Compassion

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

The Pali word for lovingkindness, metta, means unconditional friendliness, warmth, love or care, and the Pali word for compassion, karuna, means to “feel with,” to bear suffering with an active sympathy. In his wisdom the Buddha realized that by purposefully awakening lovingkindness and compassion, we invite the alienated hurts and fears into consciousness, and free ourselves into a wholeness of being.
Tara Brach, True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

My books all have the same theme lately —compassion. The word “compassion” seems to be in neon lights. First I read a quote by Pema Chödrön, “Just as nurturing our ability to love is a way of awakening bodhichitta, so also is nurturing our ability to feel compassion. Compassion, however, is more emotionally challenging than loving-kindness because it involves the willingness to feel pain. It definitely requires the training of a warrior.”

Then I came across the book, Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong, by Norman Fisher. There were many sections on empathy and compassion.
Fisher writes, “Remember that compassion literally means to feel passion with. Passion means pain. Compassion is the willingness to feel pain with another, to feel another’s pain as one’s own.” He goes on to write, “And it turns out that it’s impossible to take in the pain of another unless we are able to take in our own pain.”

This gave me the clarity I have been seeking after taking some time off to heal and rest. I noticed how difficult it was for people to show compassion. They wanted to reach out and be kind, but somehow the offerings were more about advice-giving, cheerful words, or awkward silence. I realized that what I really wanted was for people to listen, to feel, and to acknowledge.

By sitting in the pain, we allow it to rise up, be acknowledged, and then bless it. Having a witness – a friend – to do that with makes it all the more holy. Looking at our own pain gives us the ability to sit with others in theirs.

What are your experiences or thoughts on compassion?

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Friday, July 19th, 2013

Noticing the peace
of the lover and
the beloved as One

Noticing the joy
of the inhale and
the exhale as One

Noticing the compassion
of the mind and
the heart as One

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Have You Noticed?

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

You are beautiful. Have you noticed?

You are kind. Have you noticed?

You are generous. Have you noticed?

You are worthy. Have you noticed?

You are loved. Have you noticed?

Have you noticed?

Photo by Mary Anne Flanagan

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What Is the Call of Your Heart?

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

How can we slow down long enough to hear our own heart?

How do we return to our wild, untamed selves?

How do we make plans and stay open to serendipity?

How do we sit in uncertainty and trust that the universe will provide?

These are just some of the questions I sat with during a recent sabbatical. For me it all started with taking conscious breaths. I breathed into my heart center until it expanded more and more. I began each day asking, “What does my Being want today?”

I listened with my whole body. I noticed I took longer pauses and was willing to sit in the quiet. I had to break all my routines in order to deeply connect with my inner self. I stopped my world and I noticed I wasn’t as busy as I once believed. As I sat in the emptiness, emotions rose and connections to mySELF deepened.

My invitation to you is to break some routines. Take a new path to work. Try a new food. Do something unfamiliar. Listen more.

All of this inner work has allowed me to connect, expand, and co-create in new ways. I have emerged from my time of stillness with incredible meditations that I will be sharing at my upcoming Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat in Hawaii at Kalani Oceanside, November 3 – 9, 2013. Take a deep dive into your heart in a magnificent tropical setting!

Only a few spots left so if you are interested, please let me know by July 31. (Partial scholarships available and payment plans accepted.)

Let’s expand together in Hawaii!

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You Are Pure Joy. Have You Noticed?

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

In the book, A Thousand Names for Joy, by Byron Katie she writes about how kind reality is as we inquire our thoughts and experience the awakened min in action. Katie writes:

As you begin to wake yourself up from your dreams of hell or purgatory, heaven dawns on you in a way that the imagination can’t comprehend. And then, as you to continue to question what you believe, you realize that heaven too, is just a beginning. There is something better than heaven. It’s the eternal, meaningless, infinitely creative mind. It can’t stop for time or space or even joy. It’s so brilliant that it will shake what’s left of you into the depths of all-consuming wonder. (Chapter 44)

Have You Noticed You?

As my meditation this morning reminded me, You Are Paradise. Heaven Is Within.

You Are Pure Joy.

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I See You

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~Brené Brown

A sea of red engulfed Facebook on Tuesday as the Supreme Court, the nation’s highest court, began two days of hearings about two same-sex marriage laws.

Facebook profile pictures changed to a red version of the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) logo in support of marriage equality. HRC shared a pink and red version of its navy blue and gold equality symbol logo on Facebook Monday.

As I began to scroll down my Facebook page, I was overwhelmed by the number of people who had changed their profile to a red and white equality symbol. Many of my friends wrote comments of support, changed their profile picture or posted supportive articles about marriage equality.

I felt a deep connection to gay friends, straight allies, and even folks I have never met. I was in awe of the unyielding support.  

Having spent many years of my life hiding who I am and who I love, I was flooded with emotion from the visible support of feeling “seen.”  

I wept. I wept because I felt deeply seen, heard, and valued. I wept tears of gratitude. I wept tears of support. I wept tears of connection.

We are hard wired to connect.

We are all connected – I see you.

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Leaning into Joy

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

“…But every time we allow ourselves to lean into joy and give into those moments, we build resilience and we cultivate joy.” ~Brene Brown

During the month of March, I have been teaching a teleseminar on Cultivating Joy. During the course I shared with participants, “How wonderful to know that we cultivate joy moment by moment. Breath by breath.”

Leaning into joy means recognizing the gifts of ordinary moments. It means accepting joy when it comes. If you can experience a little joy, then you can experience a lot of joy. It means seeing joy in ordinary moments.

As the course emerged, I heard folks share their “fear of joy” or foreboding joy – the feelings that joy will go away and something worse is just lurking around the corner. I name it the voice in our head that says, “This is too good to be true.” Yet, when I asked participants to share about their experiences of joy, here is some of what people shared. 

Sitting down with my family for dinner. Taking long walks. Hearing laughter from my children. Having my Starbucks coffee in the morning. Watching a movie with my husband and dogs. Falling in love. Spending time with my parents. Shopping with my friends.

Joy comes in ordinary moments. Joy means being willing to be vulnerable. Rather than crave more joy, perhaps we can recognize when we are feeling joy.

How can we cultivate joy more? We can stay in the present moment. We can breathe in joy and exhale joy. We can be grateful and celebrate what we have – everyday.

Yes, joy will shift in moments of sorrow and loss. We can lean into joy and learn from our heartbreak and build resilience and hope and more joy. When we appreciate the ordinary moments then joy becomes part of who we are.

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