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Posts Tagged ‘Possibility’

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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Daring Deeply on a Path of the Heart

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

I came across this poem by Carlos Castaneda that reminded me of living a path of vulnerability with heart.

You must always keep in mind that a path is only a path.
Each path is only one of a million paths.
If you feel that you must now follow it,
you need not stay with it under any circumstances.
Any path is only a path.
There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping a path
if that is what your heart tells you to do.
But your decision to keep on a path or to leave it
must be free of fear and ambition.
I caution you: look at every path closely and deliberately.
Try it as many times as you think necessary.
Then ask yourself and yourself alone this one question.
Does this path have a heart?
All paths are the same. They lead nowhere.
They are paths going through the brush or into the brush
or under the brush of the Universe.
The only question is: Does this path have a heart?
If it does, then it is a good path.
If it doesn’t, then it is of no use.

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A Universe of Possibility!

Monday, October 25th, 2010

A show factory sends two marketing scouts to a region in Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends back a telegram saying,

The other writes back triumphantly,

Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility

Which kind of ‘scout’ are you? Can you move beyond ‘hopeless’ and into possibility? There is a universe of possibility available!

Enjoy this TEDtalk by Benjamin Zander on music and passion.

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Believing in Your Potential

Monday, September 27th, 2010

I just came home from a Coaching in Medicine and Leadership Intensive with Harvard Medical School. In another blog, I will post some amazing quotes and ideas. I wanted to dedicate this one to sharing why it meant so much to me to go to this Harvard Intensive.

Back in grade school, I was never the best or brightest in class. Teachers often based my grades on my hard work, my creativity, and my enthusiasm. My report cards had remarks like, “Mary Anne is a joy to have in class.” While I may not have understood everything happening in the classroom, I had an insatiable curiosity and loved asking questions.

By the time I went to high school, I felt like I had to work so hard just to keep up. I started to feel very lost and struggled with many classes. By the end of my junior year, I prayed to get through one more year. Not knowing what I would do after high school, I met with my guidance counselor, who after looking at my transcript, told me not to apply to college. My counselor thought I ought to go to a trade school or find a job. She told me I wouldn’t make it through college.

As a Life Coach, I can look back now and see that this counselor didn’t see or believe in my potential. She never asked me what I wanted to do after high school or ask if I wanted to attend college. Fortunately, I had a religion teacher who told me I had a lot of gifts to share with the world. She encouraged me (along with my parents) to attend college and explore classes until I found something that brought me joy.

This teacher saw in me more than I could at 17 and encouraged me to explore and dream — she saw potential and possibility. I graduated college with honors and have gone on to do amazing work with non-profits as well as successfully start my own company.

Going to Harvard Medical school this weekend was symbolic for me. It reminded me that anything is possible and I have even more potential to celebrate.

Who believes in your potential? As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.”

Mary Anne

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How Are You Spending Your Time Today?

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Every so often I pick up Robert Grudin’s book, Time and the Art of Living, and read a passage that becomes my focus for the week (or longer).  When I flipped open the book, here is the paragraph I opened to:

“When building a nest of time, be certain of its dimensions. Its duration should not depend on something unpredictable — a homecoming, a phone call, or your own whim — for then its outer fringes, beginning and/or end, will be weakened by uncertainty. It should be long enough for the activity it includes, not so short as to be rushed or so long as to be oppressive. If possible it should look out, like a room in a country house, toward some pleasant prospect of future time — a meal, a meeting, a rest. Protect these periods also from within. A telephone or television set or radio, for example, can ruin time as thoroughly as a hole in the roof or a missing door can ruin interior space. A confused schedule, conflicting obligations or habitual distraction all crack the walls of time, leaving us defenseless against an infringing environment.”

How will you spend today?

Mary Anne

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Love or Illusion?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

When I look through the eyes of love, the world seems so open with possibility. I wrote in my journal,”If it is not love, then it is an illusion.” So much of life and what we tell ourselves is an illusion. I was meditating on illusions and when I finished, I turned on my iPod and Melissa Etheridge’s song, Only Love, was playing.

As I started singing along, I heard her lyrics:
“Only love is real
Everything is love
Everything you feel
That’s what your world is made of

And when I took a good look around I see
My thoughts are coming back to me
So look around
We are in charge of our own dreams
We have more power than it seems
So look around”

I’m looking around with love.
Mary Anne

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Jump the Waves

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I took a couple of days off to go see a concert and hang out by the ocean. There’s nothing like being near the ocean to remind me of how powerful and healing water can be. I felt like a little kid again jumping the waves. I would inch out and swim a little farther into the ocean and feel the water at my back. Depending on the current, I would swim back towards shore, swim under some big waves, or get swept up by the waves. There was an enormous rush each time the waves knocked me off my feet.

I began to notice that each time I went with the flow of the current the easier it was. And every time I hesitated or resisted the waves, the harder they would knock me down. Through it all, I did not struggle with the waves. I simply allowed my body to go with the flow and the rest followed. With resistance, my body toppled all around. Without resistance, my body swayed. I found that I could naturally jump the waves and float in the water.

What are some of the other waves in my life I can naturally jump with ease? Where else does my body go with the flow as a natural state?

Today, I am choosing to allow all of me to go with the flow and the rest will follow.

Mary Anne

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“Turning to One Another”

Monday, April 26th, 2010

I just finished facilitating a weekend about energy healing, community building, and sacred ceremonies. Every six months, folks from all over the North East (and beyond) gather for a weekend to share in shamanic practices, mystical teachings, and fire ceremonies. As participants arrive on Friday, their anxiety is high and so too is their curiosity. By the end of the weekend, folks step into scared love and power in ways that are so full of liberation – singing songs and chants for all to share, playing drums, flutes, and rattles, sharing heart-centered struggles and insights, sitting on the grass and allowing the earth to teach them.

Throughout the weekend, the group turned to one another for support, for laughter, and for love. As I thought about how we turn to one another each day, I was reminded of the words of Margaret Wheatley.

Ask, “What’s Possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.

Notice what you care about.
Assume that many others share your dreams.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear.
Expect to be surprised.
Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite everyone who cares to work on what’s possible.
Acknowledge that everyone is expert on something.
Know that creative solutions come from new connections.

Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.
Real listening always brings us closer together.

Trust that meaningful conversations can change the world.

Rely on human goodness. Stay together.
(Turning to One Another, Margaret Wheatley)

Let’s keep turning to one another.
Mary Anne

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