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Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

How Are You Spending Your Time Today?

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Every so often I pick up Robert Grudin’s book, Time and the Art of Living, and read a passage that becomes my focus for the week (or longer).  When I flipped open the book, here is the paragraph I opened to:

“When building a nest of time, be certain of its dimensions. Its duration should not depend on something unpredictable — a homecoming, a phone call, or your own whim — for then its outer fringes, beginning and/or end, will be weakened by uncertainty. It should be long enough for the activity it includes, not so short as to be rushed or so long as to be oppressive. If possible it should look out, like a room in a country house, toward some pleasant prospect of future time — a meal, a meeting, a rest. Protect these periods also from within. A telephone or television set or radio, for example, can ruin time as thoroughly as a hole in the roof or a missing door can ruin interior space. A confused schedule, conflicting obligations or habitual distraction all crack the walls of time, leaving us defenseless against an infringing environment.”

How will you spend today?

Mary Anne

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National Yoga Month!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

September is National Yoga Month! It’s a great way to celebrate mind, body, & spirit connections. I only started taking yoga classes this past January. It has been an amazing journey. Most of the poses still confuse me and it takes great effort to do a should stand, but I find that I can push myself just a little bit more each class. And what has really inspired me more than the poses is the ability to create a heart-centered practice that deepens my relationship with the Divine.

My yoga teachers start our class by asking us to dedicate our practice or our day to someone we love. ‘May each pose be an offering to a loved one or the Divine.’ What a beautiful way to start each day! When I look around the room at other folks doing yoga poses, I often think, “Will my body ever bend like that?” I am reminded to always come back to my breath. I breathe deeper and watch how my body is able to expand, and yet, I can clearly recognize the limits of how far my body will push itself — how much pain feels good and tolerable.

For me, yoga has been more than a trendy exercise. It’s been an experience of self-awareness and self-acceptance. I am perfect exactly as I am in this very moment.

I invite you to stretch yourself this month (in mind, body, spirit). Offer your practices or day to someone you love.

Namaste,
Mary Anne

To find out more information about National Yoga Month click the link: http://www.yogamonth.org/

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OM Meditations & Contemplations

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Let’s celebrate the summer with some sweet thoughts and questions and allow them to enter your heart. Gift yourself a few moments of going inside and listening to stillness. Watch your thoughts flow and become waves in the ocean. Just be.

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.

The kinder I am to myself, the more kindness I attract.

If it is not love, then it is an illusion.

How much am I carrying around with me as a form of comfort or because I want to hold onto it to feel more secure? What am I willing to let go of?

What is something that teaches you to hurry up and wait?

The answers appear as the question of the heart.

How are you growing the garden of you?

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 experience (without judgment).  Feel free to start with whatever mantra calls to you.

We are all one.
Mary Anne

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Welcome Home

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

While attending a Journal Writing class at the New York Open Center, we were asked to do a guided visualization. The teacher invited us to think about having a conversation with someone who had passed away even if we had not met them before and ask them for a message that would be meaningful to hear. I sat with my eyes closed, breathing softly, and my Uncle Edmond from Ireland came to mind. I had never met him, but I had memories of how much my father loved him and was so upset after he passed away in 1983 at a young age.

I asked Uncle Edmond for a message. I listened intently and wrote the following:
You are the way; once you believe that and claim that, the way will be open for you. The past is always available, the present is always free, and the future is always open. Listen to yourself, honor yourself, remember yourself, love yourself. That is the way. You are home.

As the teacher, Catherine Ann Jones, said, “It’s not the past events, but the way we remember them.” And in the end, it’s about coming home to ourselves.

Welcome home.
Mary Anne

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What Is Your New Story Behind the Rainbow?

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Recently, a friend posted a video of the song The Never Ending Story by Limahl. I had not heard that song in years, but have a vivid memory of singing to my 45-inch record.

“Dream a dream and what you will see will be
Rhymes that keep their secrets will unfold behind the clouds
And there upon the rainbow is the answer
To a never ending story”

How many times have I told a never ending story? Could there be a new way of telling a story – behind the clouds and upon the rainbow?

Just last week I was telling “the story” of how I started my company, Toning the OM™. I went right into the “never ending story” of how my mom passed away and I needed to find an outlet for my grief. For the past four years, I have told the story of my mom’s death as the reason I started Toning the OM™. In reality, it was my mom’s life that inspired me. It was her dedication to her faith, her friends, and her never-ending belief in me to do anything I put my mind to.

My new story is about how I created Toning the OM™ not because my mom died, but because she lived.

Mary Anne

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Acorns for Sale – for a Penny!

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

When I think about how easy it is to market my business and speak about what I do, I remember the story of selling acorns for a penny. Back when I was around seven years old my sister, Dawn, and I filled an old blue baby carriage with acorns from our street. We went door to door and asked people if they wanted to buy an acorn for a penny. I have a vivid memory of seeing the smiles on the adults’ faces when they looked at the two of us selling acorns. No one turned us away. They all bought acorns from us – many even bought five or ten acorns.

I don’t imagine anyone needed acorns in their homes. They bought them because they knew the Flanagan girls, because it was a unique idea, and because it was a reasonable price. Years later, when I think about my coaching and healing business, I think of selling acorns for a penny. My business is based on building relationships, sharing unique ideas, and pricing my courses/sessions that allow for accessibility.

When people feel good about paying for something and want more, then you’ve done something far better than selling – you’ve made an impact, created a change, and built sustaining relationships.

I have more acorns for a penny if you want some.
Mary Anne

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What Is Today Asking of You?

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

What is this day asking of you? It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily routines of life. We can mindlessly go about our business – getting our children dressed, having breakfast, commuting to work, running errands, or driving our car – that we forget about all the little moments in between that show us the miracles all around us. Are we willing to listen?


What’s new about today? What would you like to see change and are willing to do one thing to make that happen?

I have often heard people say, “It’s the way it is.” Yes, it is the way it is, until it’s not.

How will you listen to this day and all it brings you?

Mary Anne

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Only Carry What Is Necessary

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

My office is going through major renovations. We have spent the past week packing up everything in our offices and can only take with us what is necessary. What a wonderful practice—to only carry what is necessary. It made me look at what I need vs. what I want.

How much am I carrying around with me as a form of comfort or because I want to hold onto it to feel more secure? What am I willing to let go of? Throwing things away or giving them away is such a practice in freedom. The emptier my office, the lighter I feel.

As I was packing my last box, I looked at my desk and saw my favorite pen, my coffee mug, a couple of books, and a Margaret Wheatley poster. The poster was rolled up and looking down I read, “Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.” What a great reminder that stuff will come and go, but what remains are the relationships built and sustained. Meaningful conversations are necessary and are coming with me on my move.

Next week the walls are coming down—that’s a whole other lesson!

Mary Anne

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How Do You Make Decisions?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

I realized recently that most of my decisions happen effortlessly. If I have to think too much or too long, then I know that the time is not right to make a decision. Or as Seth Godin says about the ‘Decision Before the Decision’: “This is the one that was made before you even showed up.”

When was the last time I made a decision? Probably when I was hungry and decided what food to eat. Other than that, decisions just happen when the time is right

Byron Katie talks about decisions in this way: “You can’t make a decision. You can only experience a story about how you made it. Decisions make themselves; they’re happenings; they come when the time is right.”

What a relief!
Mary Anne

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Create Space for What You Love Doing

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Create space for what you LOVE to do, rather than fill space with what you are ‘comfortable’ doing.

I hope you have been able to spend time doing what you LOVE this summer. I decided to take a little more time off this summer from what was becoming a hectic schedule (that I created). I would often hear people “admire” me for my busy schedule, all the programs and workshops I gave, my growing business, all while working full-time. The truth is I became very “comfortable” filling my schedule. What I really needed to do was become comfortable being uncomfortable with less to do.

After emptying my calendar and saying “no” to a lot of invitations, I began to create space in my schedule. I was able to spend time seeing what it was I really LOVE to do. I didn’t need a sabbatical from work; I needed a sabbatical from myself! I spent a lot of time going to the beach, connecting with friends, taking long walks, and reading lots of good books. This gave me the respite I needed to relax. I spent many mornings and evenings sitting quietly, watching sunrises and sunsets, and listening to the birds sing. I came to a place where I finally acknowledged how much I love to write meditations, poetry, and blogs. The quieter I became, the more ideas for my business flowed effortlessly.

Create space for what you LOVE to do! How could being uncomfortable give you the space you need to show you what is you LOVE?

Mary Anne

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