Mindfulness

Are You Filled With What You Want to Spill?

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Years ago, somewhere in the rooms of recovery, I heard the question, “Are you filled with what you want to spill if you tip over?”

(If anyone knows the origin of this ditty, please share!)

The question came to mind yesterday as I pondered my finances. It’s the holiday season (which I love!) so there’s extra money going out. In addition to family gifting, I always get a charge out of anonymous and charitable giving and in doing the unexpected.

It was right about then that my mind had a bit of a seizure. Holy smokes! How can I possibly do it all? Clients are shifting, pulling back, others on the horizon but probably won’t make a decision until the new year . . . OMG!

What’s up with the limiting beliefs?

Instead of hyperventilating, I paused (as in, when agitated, we paused). Telling myself there might not be enough money is nothing more than a story. Since I love a good story, why not make it a story of abundance rather than one of lack?

Julia Cameron became my rock star hero in 1992 when she published The Artist’s Way. I learned to write morning pages and to do good things for myself on a weekly basis.

Twenty years later, she wrote another game-changer called The Prosperous Heart, Creating a Life of Enough. I swear I will kiss her ring if we ever meet.

This book is really a 12-week course in learning about abundance. It’s meant to change my attitudes and beliefs around money and when I bought it a month ago, I couldn’t wait to jump in.

The first week in my new journal dedicated to The Prosperous Heart exercises is dated November 23. Nothing since.

The point here is there is something comfortable about misery. My old friend John used to say we sit in our own s**t because it’s warm.

Dumping out those thoughts of lack

Say I’m walking the dogs, stub my toe and take a header onto the sidewalk. What will spill out of me? You guessed it. “Not enough. Won’t be enough. It’s always going to be like this. Why can’t I catch a break?”

Well, that’s not good. And certainly not something I’m proud of, human though it may be.

Okay, so what’s the next step?

I have to dump the ideas of not enough. Then I have to really, really wrap my arms around faith in prosperity.

Tweet: Without dumping my limiting ideas, there’s a block against creativity, which in my business, is highly detrimental. @bheretoday

How to begin?

“Prosperity at its root is a belief in a benevolent something–and a belief that that ‘something’ will guide us and guard us, ” Julia writes in the introduction to The Prosperous Heart.

“In my personal history, I have had tight fiscal times and times of greater abundance,” she continues. “I have learned to have a sense of safety based on my conviction that God will provide.

“Looking back, always, when a demand for cash has appeared, the supply of cash has appeared also,” Julia concludes.

Alrighty then. Now I know what I want to be filled with for the next time I spill my insides all over the sidewalk.

Photo courtesy of JEOMYEOL

31 Christmas Quotes to Keep You Mindful

o-CHRISTMAS-QUOTES-facebookHappy December! For those of you who love Christmas like I do, welcome to the 2014 season. It is this time of year, more than any other, that helps me know that hope does spring eternal and love is the greatest reason to live.

However, for all the sparkling lights, boughs of pine scents and piped in mall music, many of you struggle through the holidays. You may even wake up every day in December grateful that you’re one day closer to January 2 because you’re worn out by family drama and/or exhibitions of addiction.

Regardless of your circumstances, know that you’ll survive. You’re tough and resilient. But when things get tough, turn to these 31 Christmas quotes–one for each day of December–and allow yourself to take a breath and mindfully remember the season is about love. And in the words of Dr. Seuss, “Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”

2. Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.  ~ Calvin Coolidge

3. Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

4. It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. ~ W. T. Ellis

6087e53d8a293c77740cda01943252f35. If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~ Bob Hope

6. A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. ~ Garrison Keillor

7. I love the excitement, the childlike spirit of innocence and just about everything that goes along with Christmas. ~ Hillary Scott

8. Christmas makes me happy no matter what time of year it comes around. ~ Bryan White

9. There are a lot of Grinches out there that would like nothing better than to take any references to religion out of the holiday season. ~ Ernest Istook

10. To perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year. ~ E. B. White

11. Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeer, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas. ~ Ronald Reagan

12. Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone. ~ Charles M. Schulz

13. This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone. ~ Taylor Caldwell

14. Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves. ~ Eric Sevareid

15. Christmas, my child, is love in action. ~ Dale Evans

16. Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day. ~ Helen Steiner Rice

17. I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

christmas-is-a-precious-reminder-christmas-quotes18. Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree. ~ Charlotte Carpenter

19. Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence. ~ Joan Mills

20. With this in mind, Ava tells herself to be present and celebrate the holiday instead of wishing it was over. After all, one is given only a certain number of Christmases in one’s life. ~ Elin Hilderbrand in Winter Street.

21. The month of December isn’t magical because it sparkles. It’s magical because it changes people’s hearts … at least momentarily. ~ Toni Sorenson

22. Christmas is best pondered, not with logic, but with imagination. ~ Max Lucado

23. Christmas is a whisper of peace and a sigh of hope on the lips of love.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

24. If my Valentine you won’t be, I’ll hang myself on your Christmas tree. ~ Ernest Hemingway, 88 Poems

25. Why not share with the world the way it is and tell them my feelings about my cat, and how I played with my kids, and how addicted to Christmas time I am, and the smell of pine needles and hearing my kids laugh. ~ Steven Tyler

26. You have to remind kids to stay connected to the meaning of Christmas. Sometimes it takes a little bit of effort, but it’s so worth it. ~ Caroline Kennedy

27. I think it’s important not to grow up too fast. I’m 26 now, and I still can’t wait for Christmas Day. The inner seven-year-old isn’t buried too deeply in me. ~ Laura Haddock

28. It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one’s fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit. ~ Isabel Currier

29. Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you. ~ Steve Maraboli, Unimagesapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

30. One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly. ~ Andy Rooney

31. For the spirit of Christmas fulfils the greatest hunger of mankind.  ~ Loring A. Schuler

Please share these mindful Christmas quotes on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks much!

(Cover photo courtesy of The Huffington Post)

7 Ways to Grow an Attitude of Appreciation

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Ah, the week of Thanksgiving in the United States. Turkey, pumpkin pies, family gatherings (blood kin and the ones we create) and yesterday’s leftover sermons about gratitude.

Gratitude is incredibly easy to discuss and personalizes so well. “I am grateful for the sun warming my neck, the roof over my head, my family’s health and work that feeds my soul.”

The words swiftly roll off the tongue like a baseball released from a pitcher’s hand.

Not too long ago, one of my blogging colleagues posted an article about substituting the word appreciation for gratitude. I like Angela’s suggestion.

Angela Artemis believes that the words grateful and even thankful have a smidge of desperation and obligation to them. They can also invite feelings of guilt if you don’t repay your debt of gratitude. “The more I think about it, the more I feel that appreciation is a better word to ‘expand what we focus on,'” Angela explains.

What is an Attitude of Appreciation?

There is a spiritual axiom that says what we think about expands. If I’m thinking unkind things about myself, the chances are good that I will attract not-so-good things, and worse, behave with all the verve of someone wounded by her thoughts.

Earlier this year, I wrote a post called “Bringing Guilt to Forgiveness.” One of the things I wrote about was how past instances involving feelings of guilt can completely wreck a perfectly fine day today.

“When you think about it, any present guilt you feel is a byproduct of something that has happened in the past.  My ego loves guilt because it can keep a toe-hold on my past supposedly for my benefit.”

What does guilt have to do with appreciation? It’s a rotten juju attitude and it completely blocks the sunlight of appreciation!

An attitude of appreciation generates awe for the expected and unexpected details of your life. Done right and each day becomes one that cultivates hope and gladness no matter outward appearances.

People in my world talk about doing the right thing even if your ass is falling off. That comes from growing an attitude of appreciation.

Shall we move on?

7 Ways to Grow

1. Learn how to dig deep. Fran Sorin’s bestseller, Digging Deepturns acts of gardening into glorious moments of appreciation. “You tap into the flow of a garden by being fully present and completely immersing yourself to the act of tending. You don’t create flow; your surrender to it.”

2. Learn how to count. I’m reading Julia Cameron’s The Prosperous Heart, Creating a Life of Enough and one of her tenants to retraining the mind to believe in abundance is to count. Money in. Money out. Simple, effective and proven to grow appreciative powers.

3. Learn to lean in. We have a tendency to straighten our shoulders and pull back from challenging situations. People with an attitude of appreciation lean in as if to say, “Bring it on.”

4. Learn to see everything as an opportunity. I’ve heard my friend Tess Marshall say, after something goes wrong or simply doesn’t turn out the way she planned, “Oh well. Who cares? Next?”

5. Learn to let go of any fear you may have about money, or more specifically, not having enough. Yes, most of us are taught at a young age that we have to fight others for a very small portion of “IT,” whatever it is. Let that stuff go! We live in a universe of absolute abundance and if you believe nothing else, believe that truth.

6. Learn to respond with positivity. I just interviewed Justin Luke Riley, president and CEO of Young People in Recovery. When I asked how he was, you know what he said with complete conviction? Justin said, “I’m living the dream.”

7. Learn to be of service to others. Doesn’t matter who you serve or how. Just make sure, as Justin said when we talked, that you never think you’re too good to stack chairs (or empty trash or run a vacuum cleaner).

What are some other ways that you use to grow an attitude of appreciation? Please share in the comments below and if you like this article, I’d love it if you’d tell your Facebook and Twitter fans.

Photo courtesy of pippalou

Mindful People in Recovery Manifesto: Free!

People are writing all kinds of manifestos these days. Lifehack.org even published a cool post called “10 Insanely Awesome Inspirational Manifestos” that includes several worthy of emulation. But please finish reading here before you click away . . .

By definition, a manifesto is a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.

I’ve held a vision for this blog since its inception in May of 2010–to share and explore how mindfulness and presence lead to a happier life. It’s a pretty simple mission.

Somewhere along the line I began to incorporate a recovery theme too and for a while split the posts between the two themes. But I soon began to feel like a house divided because I thought I was writing for two different audiences.

Wait. Don’t mindfulness and recovery naturally go together?

This past summer, a spiritual two-by-four smacked against my head. GUS (God-Universe-Spirit) had my attention. Ow.

Anybody who lives on a successful recovery path is mindful and anyone who is mindful has the ability to recover from anything.

Oreo cookie, anyone?

I began to watch people in recovery and easily noticed that people who were mostly happy, joyous and free from worry and fear had some sort of mindful practice.

Conversely, people with a well-developed sense of mindful presence tended to rather easily bounce back from life’s more shitty moments. They recovered from a mental, spiritual or physical deficiency with grace and dignity. I’ve witnessed that too.

Getting back to the Manifesto

Then I made another observation. Mindful people tend to intuitively know how to bounce back. Their faith is instinctual so they have at least an idea of where to turn for help or who to consult to start the process.

But with people new to recovery, the concept of mindfulness is foreign; therefore practicing presence is like teaching a rescued stray greyhound who’s only known homelessness how to play with dog toys. So what if the hedgehog squeaks?

The Mindful People in Recovery Manifesto is that squeaky hedgehog toy.

The MPR Manifesto is a terrific summarized reminder of the truths of recovery for those in long-term recovery as well.

If it resonates with you, I’d love it if you’d tell your friends, your colleagues, and anyone you know in recovery about the MPR Manifesto. Post it on your bathroom mirror, next to your computer or on your refrigerator. Share please with your social media connections.

Let’s start a Mindful People in Recovery Revolution. Let’s advocate for the continued Oreo-cookie connection between mindfulness and recovery. But please don’t dunk the Manifesto. It’s not milk proof.

The MPR Manifesto

Here is your free copy to download. And don’t forget to share on social media!

Photo courtesy of Penywise