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Archive for January, 2013

Liberating Path

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

One of the ways I have learned to walk a more liberating path is by welcoming my thoughts without being attached to them and by listening to my heart. My Buddha Nature is always available with each breath.

What thought am I listening to? What feeling am I attaching to as my identity? What can I let go of so as to make room for more joy, more peace, more love? That is my liberating path – breathing in light and letting go suffering.

I like that liberation is a path – an on-going journey of mind and heart. I welcome the journey. And with that mindset, more liberation shows up.

Geshe Kelsang wrote a beautiful praise to Buddha Shakyamuni called Liberating Prayer, which includes these words:

Please nourish me with your goodness,
That I in turn may nourish all beings
With an unceasing banquet of delight.

May your liberating path be filled with an unceasing banquet of delight!

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Expansion from Within

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

When you inhabit peace, you create more peace in the world.

When you listen to your heart, you create more love in the world.

When you live a joyful life, you create a more joyful world.

When you invest in yourself, you create a wealthier world.

When you shine your light, you create a brighter world.

{Photo taken by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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Cultivating Joy

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

For about four years I taught a course on forgiveness. The course gave participants and me insight about understanding radical forgiveness. Over the past few months I have taken the lessons learned from the forgiveness classes and developed a new course on joy! My deep work with meditation, mindfulness, and sitting practices has led me to great awareness and a desire to share what I have learned about cultivating joy in everyday moments. I would love to have you join me and experience more joy, peace, and clarity.

Cultivating Joy & Living Mindfully – 3-Week Teleseminar
Within each of us lies a deep reservoir of limitless peace, joy, and profound connection. This teleseminar is designed to learn and experience contemplative practices and perspectives. Through meditations, guided exercises, and discussions, you will learn how to cultivate more mindfulness and joyful presence into your everyday activities.

Discover how to:
~Cultivate everyday joy
~Develop conscious listening techniques
~Be present to deeper clarity and wisdom
~Awaken mindfulness in heart, mind, and body

Dates: Tuesdays, March 5, 12, and 19, 2013, 8PM – 9PM (ET)

Tuition: $95
Registration: Send an email to maflanagan@toningtheom.com or text/call 917.238.9726.

Note: The conference number will be given upon receipt of payment. Program participants should have a notebook, pen, water, and a quiet space to take the class.

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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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Fear as an Ally

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Fear doesn’t have to rule your life. You can do it, even if you have to do it afraid. ~Joyce Meyer

One of my favorite Joyce Meyer’s quotes is “Do it afraid.”  That is exactly what came to mind as I was reading the new book by Jaimal Yogis, The Fear Project: What Our Most Primal Emotion Taught Me About Survival, Success, Surfing…and Love. The book explores both his personal experience as well as interviewing leading neuroscientists and other experts about the most primal emotion – fear.

Is fear something we overcome or simply an ally that pushes us forward in the world? Can you deep dive into fear so as to befriend it and allow fear to push personal limits?

Through amazing stories such as swimming in the wild currents of the San Francisco Bay to surfing 40+ foot waves in the winter, Yogis touches upon our innate fears – the fear of not trusting, the fear of losing someone we love, and our own internal fears of not being enough.

The book will give you insight as to why fear can dominate your life and ways to use fear as an ally.  His personal stories have universal themes and you will find yourself laughing out loud. As Yogis says, “Much as we like to make it into the villain, fear isn’t bad. In fact, as we’ll learn, it’s often our fear of fear – our aversion to accepting and understanding this very natural emotion – that can cause fear to spin into unhelpful panic and anxiety disorders.”

The Fear Project will give you a better understanding of “good and bad fear”  and how to push through what gets in our way to fulfilling our potential – doing it afraid.

Yogis connects his personal stories to scientific research in real and fun ways. It combines what I love best – storytelling and neuroscience. I was a huge fan of his previous book, Saltwater Buddha. This book took me to the depths of my fears – the current one of uncertainty – and gave me insight to relate to it in new and emerging ways.

When you are ready to explore fear as an ally, go read this book. Do it afraid.

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Posted in Vulnerability | No Comments »

I Dare You

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  ~Mark Twain

Remember when you were a kid and heard your friends say, “I dare you. I double dare you.” Usually the dares were pretty benign and silly. I can remember friends pushing limits and challenging one another. Somewhere along the way, I realized that my own dares had become more conservative, safe, and easy. It wasn’t until 2005 when I started Toning the OM™ that I began to really dare to put myself out into the world knowing I could fail greatly and achieve greatly.

For me, daring greatly is about putting my work out into the world in bigger ways, following a heart-centered path, and being of service. It means taking risks in my business and my life even when I am scared. Daring greatly is showing up vulnerable and being seen. 

“How dare you?” people might ask. Who are you not to dare? Dare deeply. Dare greatly. Go ahead and dare yourself to do something in the world that brings more art, more creativity, more humor, more change, more exploration, more bliss – more whatever good you choose. Make something happen. Dare others to make something happen too.

Dare to show up to life. Dare to be seen. Dare to be in the arena. Dare greatly.

Now is the time. Now is your time.

Go ahead – be daring! I dare you.

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Posted in Vulnerability | 2 Comments »

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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