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Posts Tagged ‘Show Up’

From Grief to Grace

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Two years ago I wrote an article about grief that was published on-line. I was feeling the emotions of grief that revisited my heart. I wrote that when grief inhabits my heart it hits like the wave at the ocean. For a long-time I had an annual grief “visit” and the whole world would become silent and motionless.

I wrote in the article, “For some time, I push away the grief like a fly in my ear. But the grief begins to fill my entire body, each cell becoming morphed with endless emptiness. I search my mind for a cause.  I look for the basic needs of the season; I need more sun! There is more than sunshine needed to replenish the parts of me lost and forgotten. I dig deeper and find that I have become disconnected to the necessary life cycles. I am distracted by what’s around me and not connected with who is around me. When there is deep grief, I believe there is often great loneliness. I am a sojourner on the grief path.

It’s the annual visit by grief that consumes my heart and opens the void. I know allowing grief to come and go freely, without judging or blaming, is the key. For me, grief reminds me of how many things I no longer remember and how I long to connect with loved ones that have crossed. I long to pick up the phone and tell my mom about my day, my new project, or a class I am teaching. But my mom passed away, and all I have is the belief that she will hear my voice when I tell her out loud.

There is a crossover between beginnings and endings. I am overwhelmed by the notions of life and death. I wonder if the word “breath” is really just a combination of birth and death.”

It’s been almost ten years since my mom’s passing and I am reminded again of grief as I watch a loved one learn about the return of malignant tumors.  I am reminded of how precious each moment of life is. The gift of grief is that you are completely present to it.

Whether we know how much time we have with a loved one or not, it’s the lesson of “showing up”, even when it’s not easy. We show up with love and that is all grief needs to flow into grace. We show up with love because in the end that’s all we really need.

Mary Anne

This is dedicated to Lorene and her mom.

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Do You Stumble Into Happiness?

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Stumbling into happinessAfter posting a blog about my Happiness Project, I received many responses from folks who wanted to join in on creating their own project. People wrote about doing art, taking walks, committing to their health, journaling, and creating a vision board. The buzz was on for ‘happiness’. I realized this is more than just a flavor of the month—it is an all out commitment to creating meaningful happiness.

If people are asking me to listen to their Happiness Projects, I had to be sure I was keeping up with paying attention to my own project. I had already committed to my three themes: self-care, connections, and taking sabbaticals. I have paid attention to my sleep habits, taking care of my body with yoga classes, and my spiritual practices with meditating everyday for a minimum of 10 minutes. I also have taken time with friends to share experiences and deeper conversations. Finally, I have practiced stillness and silence. Am I happier? I am definitely more peaceful and calm. Perhaps, I am stumbling into happiness.

Taking the Happiness Project to a new level, I am declaring my ‘Mantras’. It’s not random acts to create happiness, but rather intentional living to be happy. Here are examples of some mantras I have drafted:
Do It Anyway/Do It Afraid
Express Myself
Show Up
Be Still
Honor my Healing Journey
Follow the Compass of My Heart
Rest in Forgiveness
Show Gratitude

Samuel Johnson wrote, “It’s by studying the little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery, and as much happiness as possible.” By paying attention to our happiness, perhaps we can ignite it in others. We can awaken to what creates more joy.

Are you aware of what makes you happy or are you stumbling into happiness?

To creating your happiness mantras,
Mary Anne

Special thanks to all those who sent in their Happiness Project ideas—keep them coming.

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