Monthly Archives: February 2013

Stillness Speaks

Mindfulness and meditation is often a topic in my sessions. Many clients feel intimidated by the thought of meditating because they’ve never tried. Most of us have an unrealistic concept of what it means to meditate, thinking we must reach some unnatural level of consciousness and insight – and that we have to clear our minds of all thoughts.

There is no way to clear all thoughts – our thoughts are a natural part of each of us. We simply need to learn to slow them down and let them go. I’ve heard several people who are considered to be expert at meditation say that even they have difficulty quieting their minds at times.

There are many ways to meditate. None are the “right” way. Sometimes I use a guided meditation, other times I’ve visualized a scene that I find peaceful and use all my senses to make it feel as if I’m right there, enjoying it. I’ve learned that if I start my meditation by trying to achieve something in particular, I’ll be disappointed and frustrated. If I just close my eyes and try to sink into my surroundings, without any expectations, I usually have a much better experience. It serves to slow my life down for the rest of the day, and helps me feel peaceful, regardless of what is going on around me.

It also helps me to listen to or read something that inspires me just prior to meditating. Here are some excerpts from Eckhart Tolle’s book, STILLNESS SPEAKS that might help some understand what mindfulness is:

Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness.

When you look at a tree and perceive its stillness, you become still yourself. You connect with it at a very deep level. You feel a oneness with whatever you perceive in and through stillness. Feeling the oneness of yourself with all things is true love.

Any disturbing noise can be as helpful as silence. How? By dropping your inner resistance to the noise, by allowing it to be as it is, this acceptance also takes you into that realm of inner peace that is stillness.

Pay attention to the gap — the gap between two thoughts, the brief, silent space between words in a conversation, between the notes of a piano or flute, or the gap between the in-breath and out-breath.

When you pay attention to those gaps, awareness of “something” becomes — just awareness. . . .

True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.

I’m on the Highway

This is a repost of a blog from a couple of years ago.  I’m about to have another birthday.  It’s not a big milestone birthday (nothing in my life will change BECAUSE of this birthday).  I’ve been a senior citizen for a few years now, and I’m not ready for retirement, social security – and Medicare is still a couple of years away.  But I’m happy that I’ve made it this far and still feel this good.

Any more, I use birthdays to reflect briefly on what I’ve accomplished and set my focus again on where I want to go. I no longer beat myself up over things I should have done, or thought I would have done by this time in my life. I recognize that I’m doing what I’m led to do. It’s one of the things I ask every day as I meditate – “Guide me today as I move along this path and bring the people to me that need my help”.

My husband teases me that I think I’m going to live forever. Yes, I do – the real me will live forever. My body is already deteriorating some. That’s just the reality of our physical beings. But I made the decision years ago that I was not going to let an old person move into my body.

I was discussing this with a friend a couple of weeks ago, and she shared a cute comment one of her daughters made: “Mom, you’re on the highway and your exit is coming up!”

While I hope my exit isn’t coming for a little while yet, none of us knows when that’s going to be. Which is the point of this blog!

I don’t want to have any regrets when I come upon that exit. As long as I keep my vehicle on the highway, and don’t spend too much time looking in the rear view mirror or go off on too many detours, I’ll be OK.  In fact, I’ve come to understand more and more that I’m not even driving this rig!   I just have a seat on the bus and trust that it will take me where I need to go.

 

Valentines Day

Valentines Day is a day to honor our spouse, girlfriend / boyfriend or anyone we are romantically involved with in the present. Sometimes the past can represent a hole in your heart where your loved one used to be – if you’ve lost that loved one to death, divorce/breakup or if you just have bad memories of past holidays with someone.

Here are a few ideas of how you can deal with this pain.

  • Write a love letter
  • Smile a smile for them
  • Light a red candle
  • Tell someone about them
  • Do something that the two of you enjoyed together
  • Spend time with other friends who knew and loved that person
  • Write a gratitude list of all the things you loved about that person or a list of the things you learned from that relationship (even if the relationship ended poorly, you have learned what NOT to look for in a future partner

Be creative.  I’m sure there are things not on this list that you feel might help you more.  Always remember to STAY IN THE MOMENT.  You can get through anything for one minute, being conscious of your surroundings, noticing the “now”.

 

 

I Love You Enough To . . .

I love you enough to become so serene and at peace that I don’t “need” you.

Needing you is different than loving you. Needing is confining, while loving is freeing.

We each have everything we need to live fully – no one else can give it to us. So if I “need” you, it means that I am not taking care of myself, and it really has nothing to do with you.

My strength and serenity come from within and not “out there somewhere.”

-from I LOVE YOU ENOUGH . . . TO LET YOU GO by Tim McGregor