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Archive for January, 2013

You Are the Sunrise

Monday, January 28th, 2013

I sit on the bus and watch the sun rise.

I walk on the beach and I see the sun rise.

I drive on the highway and notice the sun rise. 

I pass you on the street and welcome your sunrise.

{Photo by Mary Anne Flanagan} 

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Unthought Known

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Move into doing the impossible and notice how much your heart expands.

Move into doing the uncertain and notice how much your mind expands.

Move into doing the unattainable and watch how much your body expands.

Move into doing the unknown and watch how much your life expands.

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Savor the Moment…

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

My meditation this morning was about savoring. My message was clear:
Our path is not so much to find things to savor as it is to savor all of life, and all people.

My focus of savor came to mind because I spent the weekend going for long walks and took delight in the exploration of new trails, beautiful sunsets, and serene surroundings. I appreciated taking paths that were unknown to me. As I walked around a beach trail on Saturday afternoon, the sky changed colors and I could tell the light was going to be beautiful and I wanted to savor the day. As the sun started to descend, I began to follow the cars towards the west point of the trail. As I sat on the rocks, I looked deep into the horizon and watched an incredible sunset over the Long Island Sound. I gazed in awe as the light changed, the colors in the sky expanded, and an entire cloud turned pink. I knew I had to savor the moment. I quietly meditated, took photos, and smiled at the brilliant sky.

By the time Monday came, all I could think about were the trails and the sunsets. I felt a sense of renewed spirit. I was even furthered inspired by watching hours of the Inauguration. I was struck not only by the power and energy of President Barack Obama’s speech, but by his ability to savor the moment. As the President re-entered the Capital after the ceremony, he took a moment to pause and reflect. “I want to take a look, one more time,” the President said. “I’m not going to see this again.”

Whether stopping to look at the sky, walking slower on a trail, or watching a few hours of the Inauguration, each day offered me an opportunity to savor the moment.

What are you savoring?

Surround yourself with people who know what brings you joy and want to celebrate it. Savor the moment. Savor your moment.

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Lead with Heart

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Lead your wildest dream. 

Lead with vulnerability.

Lead with generosity. 

Lead with service.

Lead with your growing edge. 

Lead with a smile. 

Lead with expansiveness.

Lead with kindness. 

Lead beyond your reach.

Lead with your heart.

{Photo by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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The Heart of Nature

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Always remember that Nature refuses to be rushed. She can only be made to evolve and that takes time… Take heart! ~Sri Dharma Mittra

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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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Harrowing Haircuts

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Get out of the chair. Get out of the chair. That was what the voice in my head was saying as I was sitting getting a haircut. I had already asked the hairdresser more than once to be gentle with my head. She had jerked my head from side to side as she was cutting it. Finally, as she started blow-drying my hair, I saw she had not listened to me about the style of cut I had stated I wanted. After taking a deep breath, I said, “Stop.” I stood up with the towel around my neck draped in the robe and said I wanted the assistant manager to fix my haircut. The hairdresser looked at me and said, “What’s your problem?” I walked away and sat in the waiting area and asked for the assistant manager and explained that I was unhappy and needed her to fix the haircut.

My voice was shaking, my hands were shaking, and I just wanted to run out of the salon. I knew I needed to speak up. I knew I needed to get out of the chair. I knew I needed to have someone more gentle and aware of what they were doing and how they were treating a client.

In general, I hate getting my haircut. I usually dread getting it. I feel so vulnerable in the chair while someone with scissors ultimately decides how long or short or how straight or wavy they make my hair. There is something unnerving about getting haircuts.

As I have declared 2013 my year of Daring Deeply, it took all my courage to get out of the chair and advocate for myself. I am learning to trust that inner voice more and more and take action. Life is about opening our hearts and listening to the calling of wisdom that beckons us forward.

Here is what that experience taught me: Get out of the chair. Speak up. Take peaceful actions.

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Nature as Teacher

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

What is the wind telling you?

What is the ocean sharing with you?

What is the wind whispering to you?

What are the clouds teaching you?

What are the rocks revealing to you?

What is the rain gifting you?

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Laundry as Meditation

Monday, January 14th, 2013

I love doing laundry. Seriously, I have found laundry to be a form of meditation. I have made the commitment to sit 5-15 minutes every day to meditate. This seemed doable and a way to connect with my breath, mind, heart, and spirit. When the weekend came, I found myself trying to squeeze in time to meditate. I had the thought that after I did my laundry I would make time to sit quietly. I knew I had two loads of laundry waiting for me. To do laundry, I have to walk a little over a block to the laundry mat to put in a wash. Then I walk back to pick up the wet clothes, place in my basket, and bring them home to hang on a drying rack.

As I hung each piece of clothing meticulously and lovingly, I found myself smiling. I realized how much joy I get by doing the laundry. I discovered in that moment that by slowly hanging each shirt, sock, pants etc…, I was breathing mindfully. I recognized that I was paying attention to each movement. I appreciated that this “chore” became my meditation.

Now, I am hoping that cooking will someday become a meditation for me as well!

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No Expectations

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Even after all this time

The sun never says to the earth,

‘You owe Me.’

Look what happens

With a love like that,

It lights the whole sky.

-from The Gift by Hafiz of Shiraz

{Photo by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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