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Posts Tagged ‘Present’

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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All We Have Is This Moment (Part II)

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Just as I finished my last blog about living in the moment, I came across this topic in the book I am reading, A Thousand Names for Joy, by Byron Katie. In her book, Katie writes, “Where are you going, other than where you are right now? How can you go anywhere else? The direct path means realizing that the beginning and end of every journey is where you always are.”

Then this past weekend, I picked up the book, Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert and started to re-read all the dog-eared pages. As I flipped the pages, I came across the following lines in the book: “The other problem with all this swinging through the vines of thought is that you are never where you are. You are always digging in the past or poking at the future, but rarely do you rest in this moment.

In my meditation, this is what came through about living in the moment:

You are here. Not knowing, never knew. Never needed to and never will. If your thoughts float to the past, you can bring them back with love. If your thoughts wander too far into the future, you can bring them back with love. When we choose to live in this moment, we choose a direct path to our heart and the divine. Being present to this moment right now means being home. Welcome home.

 

To celebrating now with love,
Mary Anne

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All We Have Is This Moment

Monday, July 26th, 2010

The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.” –Dan Millman

Are you living in the moment? It’s so easy to sway into the past and leap into the future. We are often reminded that gifts are readily available to us if we can stay in the present moment. One of my favorite expressions is, “Love What Is Now.” The only thing that matters is this moment.

There’s a true story that was told in a movie called “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” starring Nick Nolte. In it, Nolte mentors a student in finding his purpose and helps him live in the present moment. At the end of the movie, the two of them have an insightful exchange that goes like this:
Nolte: “Where are you?”
Student: “Right here.”
Nolte: “What time is it?”
Student: “Now.”
Nolte: “What matters most?”
Student: “This moment.”

This is an important and powerful dialogue because it reminds us to choose to be present and live life fully. Why would we choose to be present? Because when we are present, we feel less stress or anxiety about the future and we can release guilt or regret about the past. We feel at ease and peace. Sometimes, we may not like our physical environment or emotional state that we’re in. We can change that by choosing to be present with our thoughts.

How do you choose to be present with yourself? How do you love what is now?

To loving what is now,
Mary Anne

PS I highly recommend the book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman.

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From Grief to Grace

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Two years ago I wrote an article about grief that was published on-line. I was feeling the emotions of grief that revisited my heart. I wrote that when grief inhabits my heart it hits like the wave at the ocean. For a long-time I had an annual grief “visit” and the whole world would become silent and motionless.

I wrote in the article, “For some time, I push away the grief like a fly in my ear. But the grief begins to fill my entire body, each cell becoming morphed with endless emptiness. I search my mind for a cause.  I look for the basic needs of the season; I need more sun! There is more than sunshine needed to replenish the parts of me lost and forgotten. I dig deeper and find that I have become disconnected to the necessary life cycles. I am distracted by what’s around me and not connected with who is around me. When there is deep grief, I believe there is often great loneliness. I am a sojourner on the grief path.

It’s the annual visit by grief that consumes my heart and opens the void. I know allowing grief to come and go freely, without judging or blaming, is the key. For me, grief reminds me of how many things I no longer remember and how I long to connect with loved ones that have crossed. I long to pick up the phone and tell my mom about my day, my new project, or a class I am teaching. But my mom passed away, and all I have is the belief that she will hear my voice when I tell her out loud.

There is a crossover between beginnings and endings. I am overwhelmed by the notions of life and death. I wonder if the word “breath” is really just a combination of birth and death.”

It’s been almost ten years since my mom’s passing and I am reminded again of grief as I watch a loved one learn about the return of malignant tumors.  I am reminded of how precious each moment of life is. The gift of grief is that you are completely present to it.

Whether we know how much time we have with a loved one or not, it’s the lesson of “showing up”, even when it’s not easy. 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.

Mary Anne

This is dedicated to Lorene and her mom.

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Monthly OM Meditations – January

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

OMIn my last post, I shared about my Happiness Project and offered some ideas on how to start your own. One of my happiness project themes included “self-care” and that meant setting aside time daily to meditate, even if it is for 10 minutes. These meditations have been so powerful and sweet that I have decided that every month I will post some of the questions and thoughts that have flowed from these contemplations.

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.

What is your love poem to God/Spirit? Speak it, share it, sing it.

What is the spring from which everything flows?

Supplies of the heart are abundant.

Be love. The rest is just details.

I will wait for you – always. In your time, I am here.

Go with what is and the rest will take care of itself.

I am aware of what my breath is teaching me in this moment.
I am present to my breath.

There is a sunburst of light waiting to glow in the sky of each heart.

Each person will have their own experience so the invitation is to be open for whatever thoughts flow through you. Allow your mind and body to expand into the meditation (without judgment).  Feel free to start with a mantra that calls to you. 

My experience of the mantra OM is beyond language–it’s a powerful vibration–the sound before sound.

See what makes you feel happy and follow that rhythm. I would love to hear about your meditation experiences – drop me a line anytime!

OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,
Mary Anne

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