Mindfulness in America

Mindfulness in America

I am still soaking in the wisdom of the conference I attended this week “Mindfulness in America”. I have studied mindfulness, I practice it daily and I teach it whenever I get a chance.  I couldn’t wait to hear from the experts in the field. I am thrilled that this powerful practice is becoming more commonplace in the western world. My concern about the “mindfulness movement” is the potential for it to be reduced to a sound bite for a t-shirt. It is so much more than a buzzword. Mindfulness, when not diluted, is about freedom from suffering, transmuting pain into resilience, and being fully present for our lives. As Anderson Cooper stated, “Mindfulness may not help me live longer, but it will help me live more fully in my life”. Mindfulness is about creating space for more possibilities, not being an expert but approaching everything as a beginner, even if you are a so-called expert. Mindfulness is about curiosity. Mindfulness is about connecting to the observer that is in all of us, the greater part of us. We are more than just our thoughts. There is that part of us that is the observer of our thoughts. Getting in touch with that Observer is like experiencing the depth of the ocean underneath the waves. That is where the peace can be found. If I don’t take time to connect with the deeper part of ME, I cannot be my best self.

The biggest obstacle to meditating for most people is the time it takes. Taking the time to meditate is a radical act of love. Do you have 15 minutes to sit and meditate? Our society places a huge emphasis on physical fitness. What about mental fitness? The biggest time thief for many of us is the time we spend lost on our devices. My intention is to start taking back my time that I spend in the wasteland of the internet. What if we shaved off 15 minutes of social media time to meditate.  And for those that find sitting on a cushion is unfathomable, I invite you to practice mindfulness walking, eating and doing almost any other task. If you would like more information on practicing mindfulness, go to my website and sign up for the monthly newsletters. There you will find free downloadable meditations and mindfulness practices. https://westchestercenterformindfulnessandwellbeing.com.

I loved playing truth or dare when I was younger. Today it still carries a thrill and a promise.  Here is the Truth of the day: We can change our future by changing our relationship to the present.  Here is the Dare: I dare you join the “Mindfulness Movement”and see for yourself the results of incorporating mindfulness in your own life.

Wishing you harmony in all areas of your life!

 

No One Would Know

No One Would Know

As we walk around through our day, there are times that NO ONE WOULD KNOW what we are dealing with, our inner turmoil. How do I know this so well? I lived it. I was the master of the “Mask”, the cloaked look that all is well, that I AM FINE when in fact, all was not well and I was in pain. How many people are walking around with demons of addiction, financial insecurity, feeling inadequate, feeling worried about their health, their children, their job or any myriad of other things? How many are anxious or even panicky and don’t want to admit it? How many are depressed and the idea of facing a beautiful day when the birds are chirping is so, so hard? I think it would be safe to say that we ALL have our demons. That is our shared humanity.  However, for many of us the demons are not shared; they are experienced in isolation, which magnifies the problem.

I started taking off my own mask when I joined a circle of people who were willing to honestly admit their darkness, their shortcomings, and their fears. I then was able to admit my own and accept that I was not unique. The reason I love doing group workshops is that when we create a circle of trust and non-judgment accepting whatever “visitor” enters, whether it be despair, anger, or grief, it is powerful indeed. We share in our common humanity and at the same time see the other person’s divine nature. It is being “seen” that heals. The mask comes off when we are seen in our wholeness. When we isolate, this is not possible. We have created an online community of shared humanity and compassionate solutions. Mindful and Compassionate Communities has a mission to create community, to educate individuals, families and communities in mindfulness and self-compassion and to empower others to face what is under the mask and share in the story “No One Would Know”.  We want to hear your story about your inner struggles that have yet to be shared openly and exist under the mask of “I AM FINE!” Join our community and share YOUR story! Use the hashtag #noonewouldknow when posting your story.

https://www.facebook.com/mindfulcompassionatecommunities/

https://westchestercenterformindfulnessandwellbeing.com

 

 

Being the Change you wish to see in the World: The Vision and Mission of Mindful and Compassionate Communities.

I started this blog years ago to write about Law of Attraction which is the basis for my life coaching.  I love studying Universal Laws, watching how things play out in this time-space reality we call Life. Basically, everything we see around us is a manifestation that started with thought. This post is about a thought that a colleague, Jan Fielder, and I have been discussing: how to bring about positive change: one person at a time, one family at a time and one community at a time.  I do believe that we are the creators of our own reality. I believe that our life is a result of what we focus on. I believe meaning comes from living authentically. I believe that each person that walks this earth has a purpose that only they can fill. I believe that radical acceptance is what relieves suffering. I have a vision where diversity is not just tolerated, but embraced, individuals are supported to live meaningful and purpose-driven lives, the basic human rights of  people are respected: freedom, honor and dignity is accessible to all, suffering is met with compassion and the earth is nurtured and cared for. That is some vision, huh?  When I wrote down my vision, my first thought was that it may be too grand! But hey, we are not meant to live quietly and small; we are meant to live OUR unique greatness. As Marianne Williamson reminds us,  Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?…We are all meant to shine, as children do.”

If Marianne Williamson is right, why are so many people not “shining” in this life?  Why are they hurting others, dumping on the environment, being racist, and just plain cruel? Humans live based on their conditioning, unless they choose to be deliberate. We are all conditioned by our parents, teachers, society, neighbors, workplace, etc. If we are functioning on auto-pilot, the thoughts and actions are going to be the ones that we were conditioned with and not ones we are deliberately choosing. Each of us have an inner light that we can live from instead of living from our conditioned selves and it is the mission of Mindful and Compassionate Communities to help individuals connect with their inner light. This in turn affects the families and communities that the individuals live in. When we live from a mindful, compassionate and deliberate place, we have more choices, choices about the kind of life we want to live, and choices about the kind of world we want to live in.

Every day that I see a news clip or snippet of the most current political decision, I could cry. There is much going on currently that seems broken. I believe we need a Mindful and Compassionate Movement. The movement I am referring to does not include protests. It is first and foremost an inner movement. From this inner work, outer change is manifested. Personally, I do not participate in protests. I do not focus my energy fighting things I do NOT want. As a Law of Attraction practitioner, I believe I create by focusing on what I WANT to manifest, not by focusing on what I DO NOT WANT. So how can I achieve the vision of a Mindful and Compassionate Communities? I have started by being Mindful and Compassionate myself. This change ripples out to my family and my community. The more individuals that participate in the “Mindful and Compassionate Communities” movement, the more of a ripple it will make out into the world. If you are interested in this movement and in learning more, please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mindfulcompassionatecommunities/.  “BE the change you want to see.”  Help us to deliberately create a Mindful and Compassionate world.