Friday, May 12, 2017

This too shall pass

This too shall pass.
I only have to get through today.
I'm here. I'm now. Only this matters.

This too shall pass.
I only have to get through today.
I'm here. I'm now. Only this matters.

This too shall pass.
I only have to get through today.
I'm here. I'm now. Only this matters.

This too shall pass.
I only have to get through today.
I'm here. I'm now. Only this matters.

Somedays are harder than others. Today is one of those days. This litany of thoughts is what will help me today. A reminder. A small chain of mantras. Thoughts that will help me flow. Today is a good day to only recite that which will help us. This too shall pass.

This too shall pass.
I only have to get through today.
I'm here. I'm now. Only this matters.

Image found at pinterest.com.

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Language!

I'm no prude when it comes to swearing. Swearing sometimes helps me express how I really feel. Sometimes it makes me funny. Sometimes it relieves tension. Yet, I know there's a right time and place to use profanity. And there's no need to get offensive. So I watch my language.

I'm not alone. I know many people who speak very properly and then we let loose and the swear words come out. We know what to say and when to say it. Yet, we are not so careful with other words and phrases we use.

We speak without watching the weight of our words, the disempowering ways we speak about everyday circumstances. We set ourselves on a course to fail or succeed with what we say. We do so without being conscious about it. We talk about what we lack, what there's not enough of, what is wrong, what can go wrong, what we don't like, and what we don't want. We complain. We criticize. We tell our children what not to forget rather than what to remember. We warn against what we don't like rather than what we do. We talk about what we have to do, which sounds like an obligation, instead of what we get to do, which sounds like a choice we make. We judge others. We bring ourselves and those around us down.

This is not about positivity. This is about alchemy, about changing our experience by changing the way we speak. We can say we are broke, or we can say we have other things on budget right now (empowering ourselves to put what we want on the budget). We can say I have to work out today, or we can say I get to work out today (which is an opportunity we take). We can say Don't talk to me that way, or we can say I appreciate it when you speak calmly. We can say I have to do it this way, or we can say I do this because it helps me. We can speak as victims or we can speak as masters.

Today is a good day to watch our language and experience something different, something better. Let's not complain, let's not judge. Let's reinforce the good, the positive, the possible. Let's use words of abundance, creativity, wellbeing, confidence, and good neighboring. Let's speak mindfully and change the way we identify with the context of our lives. Let's watch our language.

Image found at es.pinterest.com.

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Peace is the way

I'm a pacifist. I don't say that to separate myself from others, to make myself different, or to label myself. I say it as a reminder to myself, a reminder that my power lies in serenity and nonviolence. Being a pacifist means that I draw from inner peace to interact with the world. When I'm at peace, I'm powerful. When I'm at peace, I'm less reactive, more composed and able to make better decisions. I'm centered, grounded, and strong.

As a pacifist, I don't ignore what is going on. With my pacifist mindset, I have participated in and accomplished many changes of things and circumstances that matter to me and that affect the greater good. Some are obvious. Others, not so much. Yet these changes are appreciated by others and contribute to a healthy coexistence, more pragmatism, collective productivity, and communal wellbeing. I may not scream, rant and raise my fist, but I do protest. I protest, make my voice heard and make change happen.

At the moment, we are in turmoil. My country's present is bleak, its future even more so. We are in the midsts of political mayhem. Trust is at an all-time low. Our dignity has been violated. We, as a people, are at our wits end. Our future compromised by governmental corruption. We are suffering injustice after injustice perpetrated by the very people elected to manage our resources, protect and serve, and make decisiones for our country. We have no justice. We have no peace.

To live in peace requires justice, requires action. We as a people are coming together to claim justice. Next Monday, May the 1st, we will march, we will stop commerce, we will stop everything, and we will make our voices heard. I ask for your highest and best thoughts for a peaceful and powerful demonstration. I ask for your highest and best thoughts for a peaceful outcome for the people of Puerto Rico.

Peace requires action. Today is a good day to take action. Sit in meditation for a few minutes. Gather your peace, gather your strength. Meditation is action. It is reaching in for power, strength and guidance. Sustained peace requires this kind of action and action that will garner us justice requires us to be at peace so that our message is heard and not our anger or our rightful indignation.

For those of us who will march on Monday, let's join our minds in silence and stillness before we head out to protest, that we may be imperturbable as we walk. Peace is the way.

Let's gather our peace, let's gather our strength, and let's go and make our voices heard.


Image found at pinterest.com.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.






Friday, April 21, 2017

Breathing Space

Take a deep breath. Open up the space between this moment and the next. Breathe. Create space between your emotion and your reaction, between your reaction and your decision. Create a space between your anger and what you say. Breathe. Make space between your sadness and your view of the world. Breathe space between you and your reaction to others. Breathe. Create space.

It's Friday. Many view this day as the beginning of the weekend. Yet, many others view Friday as the most difficult day of the week. It's the day in which everything that didn't get done during the week must get done. It's the day when we see what balls we dropped, what deadlines we missed, and what gets pushed on to next week's already full to-do list. Friday, for many, is the day that looms longer than others. It's the in which we hold our breath without noticing, in which we react without thinking, in which we bounce from one thing to another seemingly without a beginning or end in a loop of frantic activity and fragmented thoughts.

Today is a good day to create space for inner peace, calmness, and more composed thoughts. It is a good day to breathe and create space between one thing and another, between one task and another, between one thought and another. Let's breathe while we wait for the elevator doors to open, for the page to load, for the light to change. Breathing space between everything that we say, think and do minimizes mistakes and clumsiness, allows us moments of unexpected joy, brings up kindness, reduces anxiety, and let's a better version of us come through. Breathing space consciously improvises a smile on our face, creating a positive neurochemical reaction that makes us feel good. Let's breathe space between one bite and the next. Let's weave space in conversations. Let's be mindful. Let's take conscious breaths throughout this day creating space in our body, our mind, our spirit, and our soul.

Lotus Mandala 2, painting by Judith Shaw found at feminismandreligion.com.

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Now and later

Last Friday a colleague and I sat around a work table and both commented how off we felt. He had not meditated either that morning. Not meditating made him feel out of focus and forgetful. I, on the other hand, was feeling clumsy and disorganized.

Then, yesterday, I had an appointment for my annual pap exam. These things are never pleasant. I was bit more tense than usual because I was visiting a doctor who was new to me. I was unfamiliar with him, his staff and the office. The waiting room was full of people, including many children and babies. The children were running around the room with moms screaming at them. Many of them brought fast food with them. At one point, french fries became toy missiles flying around the room, with more screaming from the moms. Most of the babies were crying loudly, some unconsolably. On top of that, the air conditioning was not working which made the smell of fast food stronger, pungent even. I knew I had to wait, so I had brought a book with me. Would I be able to read in the midsts of all the noise and discomfort? I focused on my breath.

These two stories bear out some of the results of meditation. Meditation has both immediate and cumulative effects. Many times, right after meditation, I feel grounded and focused. I feel as though I can handle whatever comes my way. There are other times throughout my day when I feel the accumulated effects of my meditation practice. Yesterday, for instance, I was able to read in bosom of life around me. Before I knew it, the nurse had called me into the examination room. Moreover, while the doctor was performing the exam, I was relaxed and comfortable. That had never happened to me before.

The focusing and calming effects on meditation have a real impact on our physical and mental health.  A regular meditation practice can help us be productive and efficient, think more clearly and creatively, reduce our blood pressure, and regulate our emotions, among many other benefits. Today is a good day to meditate for both the now and the later effects. Let's take a few minutes to sit in a quiet place, close our eyes and breathe. Let's do this consciously and bring about inner calm, equanimity, better health and our ability to deal better with daily life.

Image found at irinianagnostaki.com.

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Stop. Drop. Roll.

I could feel my head getting hot. We had an internet security breach. After the initial chaos, we had to reconfigure every gateway into our network. This meant a breakdown of every system and a huge interruption of our work. We had to check every online account we own and reset every password. We had to test and retest our new security measures and fix the new issues that popped up. This is not over, I'm sure.

My head was on fire. I felt my brain was going to explode. As I was burning with anxiety and worry, thinking about everything I had to get done and the possible consequences of the hack, I remembered what we were taught as children, when on fire, stop, drop and roll. I was on fire. I thought for a moment. I could burn, almost quite literally, or I could stop, drop and roll.

I stopped what I was doing, which was not productive, anyways. I dropped my negative and pessimistic thoughts–which allowed me to get creative and feel better, and I rolled with the day. I made a few calls to reschedule work, I caught up with some projects I had on the back burner and I flowed.

Life doesn't always go according to our plan. This can be very disruptive and can upset our psyche and our physical health. When this happens, we can take a moment to breathe and center ourselves in what is at the moment, instead of frustrating ourselves with what we want it to be. And so, today is a good day to stop whatever it is we are doing that is unfruitful and ineffective, to drop our worrisome and discouraging thoughts and just roll with what is presented to us. We may be surprised with what we end up accomplishing. When we stop, drop and roll, we flow, enlivened by creativity and unexpected opportunity.

Image found at Ilustra.org.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Meeting the world

There's so much that shocks us, confuses us, annoys us, offends us, angers us, bothers us, warms our heart, inspires us, makes us proud, enlivens us, and makes us smile. On any given day, we go out into the world and encounter so much. We react to it. We are affected by it. We are part of it. We affect it. It reacts to us.

Whatever we meet in the world, we meet in ourselves. Everything that we recognize, that we fear, that we understand, that we get, we do so because it is in us, it is a reflection of something in us, of something we bring wholeheartedly, something we fear in ourselves and have repressed, or of something we don't completely understand. We then behave accordingly. We act in reaction to our perception, and this has an effect on what we receive in return.

As we head out today, let's be aware that we have an effect in and on the world. Let's meet the best of ourselves out there. Let's expect it. Let's receive it. Let's give it. Today is a good day to recognize our one and only nature and know that we meet ourselves everyday in every circumstance, situation and interaction we have with another.

Image found at mandala.world.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Roundabout

I woke up extra early today. I had to go renew my driver's license. Because these things tend to be lengthy and complicated, I headed out early in order to be in line before the doors opened at 8 am. I dropped my son off at school at 7 am and, by my calculations, should have arrived by 7:30 at the driver's license office. Yeah, right. I passed my exit and ended up on a toll road that led me far from where I needed to be. I took the next exit and turned back around, paying the toll again. I then took several wrong turns, all leading me in strange directions. I was in a bad mood and dumbfounded. I had no idea why this happened or what the point was. I'm usually very good with directions and have an excellent sense of orientation, but today, it failed me. At 8 am, I finally parked my car at the driver's license office.

The whole transaction at the driver's license office took less than five minutes. No lines, no hassles. All is well. Of course, I say all is well after I ranted and cursed. I had to take it a couple of notches down, connect to my breath, and remember the old cliché, everything happens for a reason. Even if I don't know or understand them. After all the roundabouts taken, I ended up where I needed to be.

I am back at my desk. I have taken care of several things already and am flowing. I should have known it was going to be this way for it is my prayer each morning, May I flow. I should have trusted. No matter how many roundabouts I take, I end up where I need to be.

Today is a good day to trust that things are working out in our favor, that we have done our part and that the rest will fall into place. Let's not rush, worry or interfere for those thoughts will delay us, either stopping us in our tracks or detouring us altogether. Let's enjoy the path and believe that we are going in the right direction.

Image found at amagicmomandhermandalas.blogspot.com.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The wrap

I had my mind wrapped around an idea. I was set on it. I was bent on it. And it failed. It's alright.

I had my heart wrapped around an idea. I was set on it. I was bent on it. And it failed. It's alright.

I have my mind wrapped around another idea. I have my heart set on it. I'm hopeful for it. I feel good about it. It'll be what it'll be. And it's alright.

Letting go of my need to control the outcome of what my mind and my heart want has allowed me to be alright, to be at peace, to be temperate. I have learned and grown from disappointments and failed attempts. And I have found the gifts in those experiences. I haven't always felt this way. But I do today. And it's alright. I'm alright.

Today is a good day to sit in meditation and wrap our breath around our minds and hearts, around our thoughts and feelings, and let them be. Let's not wish it was different. Let's not struggle. Let's allow the lessons and guidance to come through. Let's wrap our entire being around silence. Let's wrap stillness around our entire being. Let's unfold stronger, better, wiser.

Image found at hermandadblanca.org.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 3, 2017

I give up

I don't feel like writing. I don't feel like doing yoga. I don't feel like meditating. I don't feel like working. I don't feel like reading. I don't feel like socializing. I don't feel like doing anything, except for laying in bed with the curtains drawn closed and the world on mute. I'm sulking. I'm angry. My body is slightly trembling in reaction. My heart has been beating out of my chest for hours. I want to forget everything and just lay in bed.

This is an honest feeling. It is what it is. But it is not productive, I know. It's not healthy, either. Sulking in the dark will only help my rumination, fuel my anger, increase my blood pressure, intensify my negative feelings, and regress me in so many ways. This is a childish reaction. I still don't want to do anything, for me or for anybody else, so I will.

In spite of myself, I will finish my coffee and get ready. I will do it with intention and head out the door. It is an intention of surrender, for I don't want to feel this way. I hate it. I don't want to be angry  and resentful. But I don't feel strong enough to change these feelings, so I surrender them. I know that I have to show up even if I don't want to. So I let it go. I call on what I've learned. This is how we grow. Once we have an awareness, once we know better, we're called to act differently.

Today is a good day to act better in spite of ourselves. When we perceive someone has done us wrong, let us forgive in the moment. When something doesn't work out as planned, let's take a breath and regroup. This allows guidance in. When we become scattered, let's take a few moments to focus on our breath and gather ourselves, recenter. When we lose track and become distracted, let's take a moment to refocus on what matters to us, on what's important. When everything becomes too much, let's surrender. Let's bend our will and give up so that we may be lifted up.

LIGHT mandala by Elspeth McLean found on pinterest.com.

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.