Mindful Living Dispositions: ALLOW

April 12th, 2020

The Dichotomy and the Question

Around the world, millions of individuals are celebrating Passover, Easter, and the rebirth of the spring season – a time of wonder, of miracles, and of possibility. And yet at the same moment, we find ourselves in a world-wide Pandemic.   A time filled with fear, uncertainty, and so many unknowns. I feel these days the glaring dichotomy that is our life here on this planet. Never have moments of joy and comfort been so clearly contrasted against pain and suffering for so many at the same time.  My daughter wrote a text to me last night, “I just really am having such a hard time processing all of this pain in the world.  I just don’t understand it.”   

I do not understand it either.  What I do believe is that inside of Jesse’s question is a demand for us to notice the suffering while being present to who we are in every moment.  I think it is our call to wake up each day, use the tools of self-awareness, and do our very best to not be the creators of more pain; that we notice our own emotions, fears, our thoughts, and our actions to contribute to all that is good in our humanity.

The Practice

The tools of living mindfully, the practices of mindful meditation, help us to cultivate self-awareness and support us to let go of what we BELIEVE SHOULD BE and accept what is with grace and faith.

 I shared the below poem last Friday during our morning online Uniting in Mindfulness session. The poem shares such a beautiful and genuine sentiment that continues to support me through this time.

Take a moment today to read this poem and then sit quietly with yourself. 

SO HUM

There is a wonderful mantra meditation, “SO HUM.”  As you inhale, speak softly to yourself, “SO,” and as you exhale, speak softly to yourself, “HUM.”

The mantra “SO” connects us to our essence, to “I am.” “HUM” joins us to “all that is” or universal consciousness.

This meditation is an opportunity to reflect on the mystery of our individual being amid the absolute interdependent nature of all beings.

Take a moment today to just ALLOW, to just be, observe, contemplate the wonder, and find a moment of grace.

Namaste

ALLOW, A poem by Danna Faulds

There is no controlling life.

Try corralling a lightning bolt,

containing a tornado.  Dam a

stream and it will create a new

channel.  Resist, and the tide

will sweep you off your feet.

Allow, and grace will carry

you to higher ground.  The only

safety lies in letting it all in –

the wild and the weak; fear,

fantasies, failures, and success.

When loss rips off the doors of

the heart, or sadness veils your

vision with despair, practice

becomes simply bearing the truth.

In the choice to let go of your

known way of being, the whole

world is revealed to your new eyes.

Mindful Living Dispositions: Gratitude and Kindness

October 12th, 2019

I realize that life is not all cherries, sunny days, and apple pies. Life is a continuous cycle of highs and lows, times of joy and times of challenges, and then a whole lot of in-between. The emphasis here on positivity is not to suggest that we wear our rose-colored glasses and turn every moment into the most wonderful of events. Brene Brown has this beautiful phrase; “silver lining it.” Positivity is definitely not meant as a tool to silver line every dark cloud; it is not intended to replace our experience of yellow light or the more challenging emotions such as frustration, angst, loneliness, disappointment, hurt, distrust, anger, dissatisfaction, or fear. These emotions, although uncomfortable and not always easy to deal with, have a message

POSITIVITY = A + M + R

What positivity means to me is the ability for us to pause, to not react, to cultivate awareness. Positivity teaches us to look for the lesson and to choose where our attention is directed. We learn to notice who we are being with those around us, the choices we are making, and the actions we are taking. Are we building up or tearing down ourselves, our relations, and our communities? It is a lifestyle of self-awareness, a solution-oriented mindset, and self-responsibility.

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Communication Challenge

September 8th, 2019

How often do you send an email instead of picking up the phone and having a direct conversation? How many times have you experienced conflict or challenge because of a misunderstood text or email? Do you have long talks via text? When was last time you sat down and had a really great conversation with your partner, your best friend, or your colleague without your smart-phone in sight?

I hear so often, “Kids these days! They don’t know how to communicate.”

Do you?

The Challenge

Direct communication can be a very confronting conversation.  We have all, adults, young adults, teens, and even pre-teens become reliant on our smart-phones for communication.  Yes, they are convenient. Yes, they allow us to stay in touch more often, shoot out quick notes to add items to the grocery list or to say hello.  I am afraid, however, that this electronic, smart-phone communication has several devasting effects:

1)   We have many friends we “talk” to and yet we still feel isolated and alone.

2)   Electronic communication misses nuance, tone, and body language and is very often misconstrued or misunderstood.

3)   We avoid the hard conversations and sweep them under the proverbial smart-phone rug.

4)   We are losing the art of face to face, person to person communication, and connection.

Are We Wearing Masks?

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