Friday, December 12, 2014

Rushing water

Take a deep breath. Exhale. Breathe in again. Breathe out.

Breathe normally throughout this exercise. 

Imagine you walk into a bathroom. You turn around. You close the door. Imagine a tub across from you. Walk to it. Feel your hand turning the faucet clockwise. Hear the rush of water streaming out. The sound overwhelms the small space. The sounds of the day swirl in in your mind. The minutes pass, noisily. You sit in the tub, in the center of the rising water, of the cacophony hurrying out of the faucet. Your heart is racing. You are just as hurried. Your mind is just as loud. 

Your hand turns the faucet in the other direction, stopping the flow. Everything ceases in one moment.

Feel the difference.

Feel your mind slow down.

Focus on the space between your thoughts and the silence. Focus on the now still water. Breathe.

Focus on your breath. Be still. Let the water hold you. Breathe.

Be still. Be the stillness.

Feel the shift into the calm, your heart soothing down. Breathe.

Stay here for a few moments. Breathe a few more restful breaths. Smile a little bit. 

Take this quiet, still moment with you today. Whenever you feel the tensions of the day rush in, come back to this feeling, to this moment, to release, refocus and to return to center. 

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wonder Woman

I am not Wonder Woman. He tells me that every now and then. I have a tendency to commit to causes, projects and people, keeping my schedule full and my body and mind in continuous motion. I refuse to say that I am stressed, ask for help, admit that I am overwhelmed or quit anything or anyone that I have made a commitment to. He sees what I put myself through and lovingly warns me that, at some point, something will give. It does and, when it does, it is usually my health, my personal projects or my writing.

We try to be Wonder People trying to help everyone and every cause. I am not alone. Why do we do this? Why do we spread ourselves too thin? Maybe we are afraid. Maybe we don't want to disappoint.    Sometimes I get so excited about an idea being presented to me that I just can't say no when asked to be a part of it. It all comes from a place of eagerness, yet also from a lack of faith and from a place of fear. We forget that we don't have to prove what we can do or what we know. We say yes fearing that another opportunity will not come around. It is also arrogance stemming from that fearfulness. We think that no one else can or will carry the idea through. We forget that sometimes our meeting with an idea begs of us to simply encourage and enjoy it.

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Today came full of complications that affected most of my plans for the day and, consequently, the projects I am involved in. Rather than giving in in frustration, or struggling against every obstacle, I surrendered to the flow. "I am not Wonder Woman," I chanted as my mantra. I have many gifts, many talents, a path and a purpose. As long as I stay true to those and to my deepest desires I am able to make commitments that I can keep without difficulty, constant striving and struggle. "You are wonderful...a wonderful woman," he says, even if I am not an amazonian warrior princess. He is right.

We are wonderful when we make decisions from our True Selves rather than from our anxious egos. When we commit to causes, projects and people from our wellspring of clarity, spiritual power, knowing, belief...from our essential nature, Universal forces join to give us direction, strength, awareness, knowledge, stamina, time, the ways and the means to do what are meant to do. To know what we are meant to do, we need to tune out and tune in. True heroism involves authenticity and the courage to commit to what we are really passionate about, forgoing all other great ideas. We tune in to our heroic selves in silence and stillness, asking ourselves over and over what we want, what we are meant to do, what is our purpose. Without a doubt, we begin to know, understand and move in that direction. We start rising to our best selves, doing wonderful things, joyfully, and becoming the wonderful beings we are deep inside.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Gap

Piperlime, Banana Republic, Old Navy and The Gap are all part of one corporate family. I have known The Gap longer than the others. I remember saving money I earned babysitting to buy my first pair of Gap cords. When I was a teenager, I used to go to The Gap about once a month. As an adult, I don't go as often. By now, you may be surprised that I am writing about The Gap store. You probably reasoned from the title of this piece that I was going to write about the gap between thoughts in meditation. Oh, who are we kidding? Of course I am.

I now go to the gap daily. In the gap between thoughts I find nothing and I find everything. There are many ways to get there and none is better than any other. What helps one person get into the gap may not help another. Guided meditation followed by meditation music helps me. I also get to the gap by sitting quietly, following the sound of my exhale until I can catch the space between thoughts, until I can fall into that gap.

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In the gap there's an absence of nonsense, worry, fear, impatience, confusion, anger, anxiety and doubt. Time is not an issue in the gap and in it what we really want becomes clear and possible. Every time I go into the gap I am strengthened for when I am not in it. I bring out the clarity I gain to help me prioritize, understand what matters, keep my emotions in check, live purposefully, act with intention, recognize guidance, stay centered and balanced and have an openness of mind and heart. And though I can't wear my Gap cords any longer, I can always go into the gap and enjoy all of its benefits.

Today is a good day to take a few minutes to meditate and get into the gap between thoughts. Join me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A watched pot never boils

This phrase reminds me of a summer many, many years ago when three of my cousins came to visit us. We were little girls then. My mom was teaching us how to make cream of wheat on the stove. My cousin Angie was so excited. She stood in front of the stove asking "When is it ready?" My mom replied, "A watched pot never boils". It was the firts time I heard the phrase. It has since stuck with me.

A watched pot never boils. This is not about water boiling or not boiling. We trust the laws of physics. Heated at 212 degrees, water will boil. Our watching over it will not make it boil or make it boil any quicker. Yet we ask ourselves, If I don't watch it, how do I know when it is warming up to a boil? Is it hot enough? Is it actually going to boil? Is it boiling? We stir ourselves up. We must have patience and trust.

Once we have made our intentions clear and taken the right steps in that direction, we let go trusting that the Universe is taking care of the details. We will know what to do next, in its time. There is no need to watch the process. This will not speed anything up. Watching over the process keeps us away from living and closes us up to inspiration, guidance and enjoying the present.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Money is never enough

I have learned from personal experience that abundance is a belief. It is. I have learned that any money I have received was mine to receive. Jobs, gifts and people are just the medium through which I get it. I have also learned that the amount of money I make is irrelevant to my prosperity, abundance and well-being. I have released my fears about money. I believe we live in an abundant universe and I have enough...always.

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Money is a sensitive subject that can keep us up at night, in arguments with loved ones, self-conscious if we use it as an indicator of our success and worried. So I don't talk about it. I have a different point of view, I know. Actually, it's more than a different point of view. It's a deep belief and I live my life in harmony with it. I get, I give, I trust and I am thankful–everyday. I don't question it. I assume it. I live it. I don't begrudge those who have more or judge those who have less. I love money. I am not ashamed of it, ever. I love sharing it. I don't attach any morality to it. It just is. It is a tool, a resource, another thing to be grateful for.

Money is not the measure of an abundant life. Money itself will never be enough. My life is abundant in many ways. I enjoy great experiences, material things, opportunities, friendships and relationships, health, fun, creativity and love. I am abundantly rich because I don't worry about my finances. I take practical steps, am responsible, plan and then I let go. More importantly, I believe that it is not what I have but what I am that makes my life abundant.

Today is a good day to be thankful for what you already have, to set an intention to tap into the abundance that is already yours, to vibrate at a higher level of thought–up from thoughts of lack to thoughts of abundance and, in so, attract more of it to yourself. Choose not to focus on what is missing in your life and stop measuring your worth based on what you have or your income. Believe you are abundant. Soon you will feel it, then you will know it and, finally, you will live it.