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Archive for November, 2012

November Lessons: Heart and Health

Friday, November 30th, 2012

I like that in the month of November lots of folks (in the US) pay attention to gratitude. People acknowledge their thankfulness for so much goodness. This year there seemed to be a heightened sense of gratitude on the East Coast after a huge storm destroyed so many homes and lives. I watched as people pulled together and helped out in many communities.

I, too, have so much to be grateful for. November started out with a retreat in Hawaii for a week. The retreat focused on listening to our heart. The more I invited folks to delve deep into exploration, uncovering, playing and opening to our wild, untamed heart, the more I allowed myself to do the same. I received clarity about relationships and areas I want to focus on moving forward. My heart was open, receptive, vulnerable, playful, silly, reflective, and grateful.

After returning home from Hawaii, I had a scheduled medical test for mid-November. I wasn’t looking forward to it. Luckily my partner came with me and was with me afterwards when I had an adverse reaction to it. I ended up in the emergency room and had to take time off to rest. I became so aware of my health and all the support I have in my life.

I know many more lessons await me and I am grateful for all of them. For now, I know my heart is open and my health is good and for that I am beyond grateful.

What are the lessons in your life showing you?

(Photo courtesy of L. McMahon taken in Hawaii)

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I Am Ready and Willing…

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

… to go to my growing edge 
…to leap forward
…to speak out
…to speak up
…to listen deeply
…to be bold
…to follow my heart
…to go with my gut
…to breathe peace
…to create a spark
…to light a fire of change …to spread a vision of love

Join me?

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Cultivating Compassion

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

“Compassion is our capacity to love – without the story attached to it. It’s the acts of doing and the heart of being. It’s being our own best friend & having the capacity to befriend others.” Mary Anne Flanagan

My meditations this week have all been about compassion. I have listened and read various writings on compassion. One of my favorites came from Pema Chodron. She wrote, “In cultivating compassion we draw from the wholeness of our experience – our suffering, our empathy, as well as our cruelty and terror. It has to be this way. Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

I have found that compassion might bring me to the places still in need of healing. Cultivating compassion takes practice. I have experienced situations where people have moved quickly to blame and judgment before gently looking within. The biggest lesson I have learned about compassion is that it means showing up with vulnerability and at times, gently moving towards what scares us.

Mantra: I am open to making friends with myself in new and loving ways.

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Breathing Gratitude

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

I am grateful for… 

my breath

my heartbeat 

my partner

the sun on my face

wonderful friends

amazing colleagues/co-workers

Toning the OM

being of service

traveling to Peru 

giving a retreat in Hawaii

meeting heart-centered people

making a difference

big hugs

lots of laughter

my health

celebrating LIFE.

And you?

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What Is the Fire of Your Heart Saying to You?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Have you  listened to the fire in your heart?

Mantra: I listen to the fire in my heart

{Photo taken at a Fire Ceremony from the Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat in Hawaii by TK}

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Lessons of My Heart

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Over a year ago I began planning a retreat that would take place on the Big Island of Hawaii. I wanted to spend a week having participants explore their wild cosmic heart. I had no idea that a week before the retreat that a hurricane would sweep the East Coast. I had no idea that three weeks before the retreat I would be diagnosed with a medical condition and have tests scheduled before and after the retreat. I had no idea that my heart would feel so heavy and raw.

As I prepared to leave for my flight, I thought of canceling – of staying home to help family and friends affected by the storm. I thought about staying home and rescheduling my medical appointments that were canceled due to the power outages from the hurricane. I thought of canceling the retreat and volunteering somewhere to help hurricane victims who lost everything.

When I asked friends if I should still lead the retreat, they all gave the same answer – YES. I listened and took an 11-hour flight to Hawaii. I arrived exhausted and anxious. When I arrived at my room, a large gecko was awaiting me (more on the geckos on another reflection). I barley slept my first night and in the morning I met with the Group Manager, Cat. She greeted me with a big hug and my eyes filled with tears. 

As the week continued I knew I was in the right place (not only because it was Hawaii). I met so many people willing to explore their hearts. I met people who were open to being seen and heard. I met people who were willing to let go of judgment, expectation, and willing to be accepting and vulnerable. As I sat and listened to folks I met, I became more in awe of the many people who live their life celebrating and tending to their wild cosmic heart.

I met Louie whose husband was dying of brain cancer. I met Yolanda who celebrated her 75th birthday with friends and a group of strangers. I watched Tina snorkel with joy as she swam in the warm ponds. I smiled as Angela took her first hula class. I listened to Francine remember that she can drum and sing. I took a picture of Susan sit in her mandala, which she made in a huge tree. I laughed with Lisa in the water, like a teenager with the giggles. 

Most of all I remembered that my heart is open and grateful. So many lessons of my heart became available. And I loved it so much that I will be back in November 2013 to give another retreat at Kalani Oceanside.

This is dedicated to all the retreat participants, Kalani staff and volunteers who made the retreat a miracle – thank you!

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What Is Your Wild Cosmic Heart Saying to You?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Have you listened to your wild cosmic heart?

What happens when you sit in your quiet center?

What is your wild cosmic heart asking of you?

What is the heartbeat of the earth sharing with you?

What is the fire of your heart telling you?

What gifts of your heart are you open to sharing?

How would like to celebrate your wild cosmic heart?

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Meditation: Paying Attention

Monday, November 12th, 2012

We will take a few moments to pay attention to our attention.

Take a moment to become comfortable.

Physically realign yourself and just notice your body.

Notice how your body breathes.

You are invited to pay attention to your body.

What is your body saying to you?

All you need to do is listen.

Readjust your body if that feels good.

Bring mindfulness to your breath by
breathing in your nose and out your mouth.

Ask yourself to pay attention to your breath.

Mantra: I pay attention.

And take a deeper, fuller breath in and out.

And I pay attention – inhale.

And I pay attention – exhale.

I let go and release. I pay attention again.

I pay attention as my hand comes to my heart
and makes a divine connection.

I pay attention. Breathe.

What is your heart saying to you?

I pay attention.

And take a deeper, more conscious breath in and out.

You are invited to pay attention to what (who) has
your attention today and just be.

Breathe in and out your attention.

Thank yourself for showing up, always.

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Shine Your Light

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

I have noticed the sunrises lately – even get up early to watch them to begin my day. I noticed that I smile at sunrises. I smile at the light. I breathe deeper and calmer as the sky brightens. I notice the parts of myself that are the light. And I end each meditation with an invitation to be the light and to shine my light.

How do you shine your light in the world?

{Photo taken in Goshen, NY by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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