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Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

Where is Your Mind?

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Where is the dwelling place of the mind?

Drop out of your head

Drop into your heart

Allow yourself to feel the expansion of your mind

Imagine no thought is a fixed thought

Be certain of uncertainty

Reside in the space in between

Notice the breath between the breaths

Live in an awakened state

Accept grace

Give love

Go to the empty space within

Perhaps your mind lives there, or not

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At Home with My Emotions

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

I’m hyper-sensitive. I have come to discover that means I am an empath.

I feel other peoples’ pain as if it were my own, even if I don’t know them. My face loses all color and I turn “sheet-white” if I watch something devastating or really sad. I cry easily at Hallmark shows, Maxwell House Coffee commercials, or even melancholy song lyrics.

I have known this for many years and have been made fun of for it. People would say, “You’re too sensitive” or “Lighten up.” For a long time, I thought that it was a bad thing until I realized my sensitivity made me a better listener and a better visionary.

It’s been a huge asset as an entrepreneur, writer, leader and artist. I relate to people in ways other people are not able to do so. I often understand what they seek and aspire to. I relate to their emotions. It lets me work with clients on more of an emotional level. I see past the facades and can speak to, create, and offer inspiration for what really matters.

Being an empath has allowed me to take a deeper dive inside my own heart as well as have in-depth conversations with those around me. I am able to question more, probe deeper, and create space for expansion.

It’s also been hugely beneficial in allowing me to connect when I teach, present, and facilitate. My empathetic ways allow me to feel my way through conversations on an intuitive level. It allows me to really “see” people for who they truly are.

Of course, it is not always easy. When someone else is in pain, it can be hard to distance myself from it. I tend to take on too much of what and who is around me. I want to help other people — at times to the detriment of myself.  

So, how do I navigate in the world as an empath? I know I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole when I am feeling overwhelmed and I don’t want to push people away in order to not feel. I need to be able to engage and be present and let go in order to best serve.

For me, I do my best to balance the gifts of feeling deeply with the grace of letting go. I live with vulnerability and also have very clear boundaries.

I wouldn’t change being an empath for the world. I have come to accept that to feel is to be alive.

It’s the raw emotions that allow real meaning and connection to flow into creation and inspiration.

The challenge is to understand when to let it in and when to let go. And the challenge is also when to let in just enough to allow for deep connections, compassionate experiences and extraordinary creativity.

I’ve danced with this process of letting in and letting go for as long as I can remember. It has been a driving force for some intense journal writings, channeling messages, and connections with many mentors and spiritual teachers.

A few years ago when I started Toning the OM™, for an entirely different reason, I found something else that’s helps me process life as an empath — meditation and mindfulness.

It doesn’t mean I still don’t cry easily or close my eyes when something profound is happening. It means I can allow my emotions to flow rather than consume me. What it also does is allow me to understand when I’m being drawn in and then make a more conscious effort about whether I’m going to open to empathy or detach with love. And it reminds me to breathe and not get stuck in the shallowness within my own body.

Honestly, it is not easy and it takes work. There are days I am lousy at it. And I’m still learning just how important it is to stop and take slow, deep breaths. Having awareness of my breath and being mindful has made me more awake and alive in the world.

Being of service is an honor and privilege. Recognizing what emotions bring compassion and what emotions bring exhaustion have been part of my life-long journey. Identifying the waves of emotion as they rise, acknowledging them, and pausing to breathe has empowered me to lead and serve more humbly.

I’d love to know what your experiences have been with this.

What has your journey of the heart revealed about you?

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Venia – Grace & Forgiveness

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I came across the Latin word for forgiveness — “venia.” The direct translation means grace. I experience the gift of grace every week in my work with children who have an incarcerated parent. They write letters of forgiveness to their parents and are able to acknowledge their pain. In his work with prisoners Buddhist teacher Noah Levine writes, “Some actions may not be forgivable, but all actors are.” He goes on to say, “For this actor, the person whose own suffering has spilled onto other people, there is always the possibility of compassion.”

How does my pain spill onto others? My experience of looking at my past or current pain has led me to deepen my meditation practice — to go within and ask how my current actions are showing up based on past suffering. By sitting in stillness, I have become present to my own thoughts and can separate people from their past actions and this has made space for greater understanding and love.

Eckhart Tolle says, “You can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.” By paying attention to the present moment, we allow ourselves the opportunity to release guilt, regret, grievances, and anger. As Tolle says, “Forgiveness happens naturally as soon as you realize that the past cannot prevail against the power of Presence.”

All forgiveness starts inside — by becoming still, by noticing your breath, by expressing gratitude — we expand deeper into our own hearts. By experiencing the present moment, we can release the past and step into the future with greater joy.

How has the pain of others spilled into your heart? What pain in your life is playing out with actions you are taking? If you would like to experience making space for more understanding and peace, please join me starting May 12 for Resting in Radical Forgiveness 4-Week Telecourse. All you need is your phone, pen & paper, and an open heart.

Venia,
Mary Anne

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March OM Meditations

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

In keeping with the rhythm of sharing monthly meditations and the new season of Spring, I invite you to join me in celebrating March with some meditations and contemplative questions as a way to open up to more love.

As an invitation, feel free to close your eyes, sit with your spine straight and take a few soft breaths. Then inhale a little deeper through your nose, and on the exhale, repeat the mantra OM (AUM).  Do this three times. Allow yourself to really feel everything and become the observer of your thoughts. Feel free to focus on one question or statement below and just allow your experience to unfold

Love What Is Now. Love What is Now.

I am open to the rhythms of the world.

Beloved, what do you hear in the silence?

“I love you and you are perfect exactly as you are.”

How do you become an observer of your thoughts? What practices allow you to see things as they are?

We show up with love and that is all grief needs to flow into grace. We show up with love because in the end that’s all we really need.

What seeds (inside yourself) are you watering?

The invitation is to be open for whatever thoughts flow through you. Allow your mind and body to expand into the experience (without judgment).  Feel free to start with whatever mantra calls to you.

May you experience the bursting of seeds within your heart and mind. Take time to water the garden of you!

In every moment, there is grace,
Mary Anne


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What Are You Doing?

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Twenty years ago I traveled to the Bahamas to volunteer for two weeks to help rebuild a library and assist with various clean-up projects.  I joked with friends that if God asks me to do service work in the Bahamas, who am I to deny the call? I traveled with two college staff and seven other students. We were asked to bring extra canned goods with us as we were going to work in a “poor” section of the Bahamas. I filled one duffel bag with peanut butter and jars of grape jelly. When I arrived at the volunteer center, I unpacked my turquoise duffel bag and found that a large glass jar of grape jelly had broken and my clothes were covered in broken glass and jelly. I started to clean the sticky bag and then I just lost it – I started crying. My bag was a mess and I thought the jelly would never come out so I threw the whole bag in the garbage – clothes and all. My friends told me they would help clean it out, but I told them to forget it and just tossed the duffel bag in the garbage. The next morning I woke up early to find my bag by my bed, all clean and saw that my t-shirts and socks had been rinsed out and were drying on a line outside. No one said anything about the jelly jar meltdown and we spent the next two weeks painting, cleaning, and playing with children.

I was reminded of this story last week after making dinner for myself (which is very rare). I began making food and then half of my dinner spilled on the floor. I exhaled exasperated and started to throw the rest of my dinner in the garbage. I stopped and asked myself, “What are you doing?” I slowly cleaned up the spilled food, fixed my plate, and sat quietly eating my dinner.

There are so many moments that I am unconscious of how I am reacting or responding. I realize when I am exhausted and have little reserve that I just give up. There have been hundreds of times throughout the last twenty years when I have had the “broken jelly jar moment” and wonder what other ways I have responded. Am I willing to allow difficult moments to occur and not let them overtake me? Can I pay more attention to what I am doing and how I am being?

What is your broken jelly jar story and how do you respond? I am grateful I spilled my dinner last week and that the MTA had signal problems because it allowed me to dig deeper into my internal resources and ask myself, “What are you doing?”

Mary Anne

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