Saturday Mindfulness

Saturday is a good day to practice mindfulness. For many of us it is a day of relaxation and respite from the hectic weeks that are behind and ahead of us.

But, just like the past and future can consume or thoughts and usurp our awareness in the present, so the previous and future work weeks can sneak into our Saturdays. Today, let yourself practice mindfulness in the small moments. Taking a shower, preparing a meal, doing the dishes, driving with the kids. These activities pass by unnoticed as we rush about but they make up a majority of our time. Notice the sensations that you experience and appreciate the small details during these seemingly mundane tasks. Even just pick one to practice with. Be aware of how much you are thinking about Monday or last Friday versus thinking about the present instant that is happening.

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I just began a new chapter in Living in the Moment by Anna Black. The chapter is titled, Cultivating Well-Being. Here is an excerpt for you to think about…

“Oftentimes we are on automatic pilot to the degree that we look back and have no recollection of the process of getting up and going out of the door. In this way we lose the moments that make up our life and once lost, they are gone forever. By paying close attention to these regular activities we can reclaim the lost minutes of our day, and by connecting with our experience during these activities, we can connect more deeply with our life.”

Have a wonderful weekend, Waves! May you be alive and vibrant in your NOWs.

Month 4: Rise & Whine Becomes Rise & Shine

“The alarm in the morning? Well, I have an old tape of Carlo Maria Giulini conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in a perfectly transcendent version in Shubert’s seventh symphony. And I’ve rigged it up so that at exactly 7:30 every morning it falls from the ceiling onto my face.”
― Stephen Fry

I asked a friend who is searching for a passion-producing career the obvious question, “Well what do you love doing?” One of the first things on his list was: Sleeping.

Fair enough.

I love sleeping too! I wish I could get 9 hours of sleep a night while also being able to be a night owl since I’m so productive in the evenings and be able to rise early to enjoy the dawning of a new day without the pressure to rush into it. Alas, that hasn’t worked out for me. I inevitable and invariably snooze and burrow under the covers until the very last minute possible.

So, dear readers, this new month brings me to a new intention on my Here I Am journey. I don’t believe in the myth of the early bird, but I do know that I will be closer to my best me if I begin my day with some calm, centering activities instead of rushing off to work. And don’t forget, approaching your best you means the betterment of your life, of the lives of those in your sphere, and of the world at large. That is not hyperbole! It is true! After this past month of amazing spiritual growth and elevation which continues and will remain, I am eager to bring healing and balance to every part of my life where malaise or imbalance exist. I want to get in there and get it worked out!  So for this month I’m letting “rise and whine” become “rise and shine!”

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Getting out of bed earlier than I have to…this is a monumental feat of will and focus!! That is also not hyperbole! Okay, maybe a little. It is HARD for me though. Like my friend, I LOVE sleep. But let’s not be naive…it isn’t just that I love sleep. There are other reasons I have a hard time getting up. Most of them related to stress, anxiety, and worry that I allow to live in me. It takes me a while to fall asleep because of thinking about the next day. I have very vivid and VERY stressful dreams that leave me feeling like I’ve been working overtime by the time I wake up. Then I arise and almost instantly feel stressed about something awaiting me in my day. That all sounds awful doesn’t it?! It’s hard for me to even believe that is me when I see it written.

The good news is that for the last month, I have politely escorted stress and worry out of my mind and soul one room at a time. It feels amazing to fall asleep soundly and to wake up with more joy and excitement for the day than I am used to. I still have very stressful dreams and I’m not sure what to do about that yet, but two out of three isn’t bad!

Despite these great changes, I STILL have a hard time opening my eyes when that alarm goes off. I still feel like I need a nap after all those frenetic dreams. So, knowing how hard this month would be, I decided that I better make a calendar for myself to help me along. Remember, there is no guilt in Here I Am…just curiosity, compassion, attention, and intention. This is NOT a calendar for gold stars; it IS a “calendar of perspective” to help me see and grasp how few days really make up a month, how far I’ve come, and that the world won’t end if one day passes without a perfect performance. The next day and its fresh start will dawn.

April Calendar

I won’t lie. The first two days of the month I slept right through that snooze button and right through my intention to get up early to have Me time. But yesterday came, April the 3rd, and TA-DA! I was up. I was meditating. I was stretching out. I was sipping a cup of coffee. It felt marvelous. (Interestingly, the night before I did an energy clearing meditation with mudras which is supposed to help you sleep.) Now I’m looking forward to discovering what lies ahead for me in these morning hours. I feel like I’ve discovered a whole new part of the day that I had forgotten even existed. Good morning, sunshine!

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I don’t know if any of you are still doing your Here I Am intentions, but if you are then I connect with you now…from my heart to yours…and send you positivity and energy to propel you onward.

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Finding Grace of the World

My family recently held a service to remember and celebrate a loved on who had passed. Although I couldn’t attend, I found out that this poem was read that day. I wanted to share it with our wordpress community as a reminder to stop, to breathe, to give thanks, and to find grace and peace in the world around you.

~~~S Wave~~~

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THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.