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Archive for March, 2013

Love Endures

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Love asks.

Love expands.

Love invites.

Love creates.

Love celebrates.

Love welcomes.

Love dreams.

Love joins with more love.

Love endures.

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Shared Humanity

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

“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.”

― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

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I See You

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~Brené Brown

A sea of red engulfed Facebook on Tuesday as the Supreme Court, the nation’s highest court, began two days of hearings about two same-sex marriage laws.

Facebook profile pictures changed to a red version of the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) logo in support of marriage equality. HRC shared a pink and red version of its navy blue and gold equality symbol logo on Facebook Monday.

As I began to scroll down my Facebook page, I was overwhelmed by the number of people who had changed their profile to a red and white equality symbol. Many of my friends wrote comments of support, changed their profile picture or posted supportive articles about marriage equality.

I felt a deep connection to gay friends, straight allies, and even folks I have never met. I was in awe of the unyielding support.  

Having spent many years of my life hiding who I am and who I love, I was flooded with emotion from the visible support of feeling “seen.”  

I wept. I wept because I felt deeply seen, heard, and valued. I wept tears of gratitude. I wept tears of support. I wept tears of connection.

We are hard wired to connect.

We are all connected – I see you.

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Seeing Through Your Lens

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

As I walked through the NY Botanical Garden I overheard, “Can I see what you are seeing through your lens?” The question was from a woman speaking to her husband as he was taking pictures with his zoom lens. It stopped me in my tracks.

What happens when we look at the world through the lens of another person? Would we show more empathy, kindness, forgiveness, generosity, and love for one another?

What are we seeing and being that influences our actions in our daily lives? Everything starts with stillness. We thrive and become alive when we can sit, listen, be, and then act from that place and space – our heart. It’s more than taking actions; it is accepting ourselves for who we are deep inside.

Can we look through the lens of each other with more mindfulness?

Can I/we see what you are seeing through your lens?

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Life as Our Meditation Practice

Monday, March 25th, 2013

It is easy to find peace in the quiet uninterrupted moments.

Seeking peace in the chaotic noisy moments is where our practice comes in.

Our daily meditation practice – Life.

Daily living is our meditation practice.

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Book Review: Be a Free Range Human

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

For those seeking to escape the corporate cage and the constraints of a 9 – 5 job, there is a book you might enjoy reading: Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills by Marianne Cantwell.

Many people wonder what they’d do if they won the lottery and didn’t have to commute every day to a job that is barely keeping them going. What if living your dream was possible and you could do what really brings you meaning? Cantwell’s book gives you some practical knowledge and tips of living a “free range life.”

For Marianne Cantwell, “Be Free Range Human is not a regular business or careers book. This isn’t just about making a living without a job… it’s about discovering a world where daring to be yourself, throwing out the old rules, doing things your way (no one else’s) and creating a life that suits you down to the ground is not only encouraged but essential to make this work.” Cantwell writes about people that have figured out what they want to do with their lives and are doing living it, right now.

This book is a great introduction for people who are considering moving away from the corporate world, the traditional career ladder and aiming to make a living doing something they love. It is written in a lighthearted in style with practical exercise to guide the reader. Be a Free Range Human is for those new to personal growth and struggling with work-life balance.

The book is encouraging and useful as a way to consider your next steps towards your future.

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Luminous Light – Spring

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Bronze light entering my heart. Sunrise.

What light shines through you?

Happy Spring!

(Bronx, New York sunrise photo taken by Mary Anne Flanagan)

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“Pay” Attention

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Meditation on the cost of our attention:

Notice the price we pay for our negative thoughts. When we focus on the negative, the cost is quite expensive to our minds and bodies. We become mentally and physically exhausted. We stir up delusions about situations and people. We exaggerate bad qualities and can even make ourselves sick.

Notice how we feel when we pay attention to the blessings in our life. We are rewarded with more goodness and more blessings. We feel lighter and are thoughts are more joyful. We are mentally clear and more at ease in our bodies. We feel connected and purposeful.

What price are we paying with our thoughts? How much is our attention costing us?

Peaceful Contemplation:

Where would you like to put your attention today?

Notice how much you are “paying” you attention.

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Jump on the Peace Train

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Where are your thoughts taking you? Is the place one of serenity, peace, joy, gratitude, compassion, and generosity? If not, is it time to change your train of thoughts?

If a thought is taking you down that never ending spiral staircase or the inner rabbit hole, take a moment to notice your breath. Tell yourself, “I am breathing in. I am breathing out.” Take a few breaths. Breathe slower breaths – intentionally breathing peace in and out.

Is it time to take the peace train?

Slow down. Listen. Change trains if need be.

Next stop – Peace.

(Photo by Mary Anne Flanagan)

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Coloring Outside the Lines

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Sunrises and sunsets color outside the lines in the sky everyday.

What would it take for you to color outside the lines?

(Photo by Mary Anne Flanagan)

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