Lately, all kinds of old-me, former-life stuff has been breaching my thoughts.
Those who know me know how radically different my “now” life is from my “then” life a little less than three years ago. I chose to make major changes that certainly impacted me and a whole bunch of other people in the process.
I’ve been thinking a lot about all that stuff lately and my internal critic is telling me I shouldn’t be having the thoughts. It’s all over and done, after all. I keep telling myself that I need to let it all go and then judging myself because I’m not.
Maybe letting go isn’t the issue.
Maybe I need to let things be instead.
My friend Tom Catton says, “If I can’t let it go, maybe I should let it be.”
Such wise words and ones that I’ve taken to heart in the last couple of days.
I don’t know about you but I am a processor. I love to process, in fact. I thrive on extricating the details–the whys and wherefores–from situations. I like to question. It’s almost as if I have an urgent need to understand a situation or conversation or even a person before I can accept them.
Can you relate?
All this digging and scraping for underlying messages and meaning is part of what makes me good at my job. However, I am discovering there are also heavy burdens that accompany the seemingly good character qualities.
First, my mind is always “on.” I find myself constantly nibbling at the edges of whatever I’m hyper-focused on, not satisfied until I’ve thoroughly chewed through all the possibilities and ramifications.
I’m also an angler, continually re-positioning to eye-ball the scene in my mind from a different vantage point.
Plus, I am an ace practitioner of the “yeah buts,” as in “yeah, but what if . . . (fill in the blank).”
When I am in the throes of one of my obsessive mental processes, it is extremely difficult to just stop and let it go.
For reasons I do not understand, however, it does seem easier to let “it” be.
I’ve been practicing. When I find myself starting the familiar patterns, I stop, take a deep breath and as I exhale, breathe the two-syllable word, “o-kay.”
That one word does a couple of things. One, I become focused on right here, right now, and two, I realize that everything, absolutely everything, IS okay in the instant I utter the word.
That is the gentle, simple process of mindfulness that is working for me today. Today is as far as I choose to see with any degree of intensity. I can make plans for tomorrow but today is the only capsule of time that requires a laser-focus.
I have noticed a third benefit to my new mindful practice.
Breathing the word o-kay feels very loving and generally brings at least a slight smile–always good for this overly intense mind of mine.
What are some simple mindful practices that you use to keep you grounded in the here and now?
Today, the day that begins the second week of 2012 finds me in a totally differet place than on the first day of last week.
Today I choose to be easy with myself and with each person and situation I encounter.
Today, I release, I let go, I let Spirit run my life (to quote one of my favorite Unity songs). I am now free to hop and skip and have fun with my day.
My early morning dreams started the ball rolling. I was with Oprah at a huge party/event she hosted to help women learn to nurture and honor themselves. Not a big stretch, right? Here’s the cool part–Oprah had a zillion people pulling her in several directions but before she did any of those things, she grabbed a nice paper shopping bag and excused herself. She was gone for several moments and when she returned, she handed the bag to me and said, “Please enjoy and please take good care of yourself. You are the most important person in your life.” Inside the bag were beautifully wrapped pampering goodies.
Do you think there are messages in dreams? I do! My Oprah dream tells me that taking care of myself is Priority One.
Are you your Priority One today?
As we begin this second work week of 2012, please savor these five quotes about self-care. Yes, we all have our goals and ambitions for the year, but let’s remember to balance the outer with the inner.
B Well & Present,
The name of the game is taking care of yourself, because you’re going to live long enough to wish you had.
People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.
–Thomas S. Szasz
We need to find the courage to say ‘NO’ to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to
rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.
–Barbara De Angelis
Ninety per cent of the world’s woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves — so how can we know anyone else?
–Sidney J. Harris
I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.
Rawhide treats make our 10-year-old Greyhound, Baylor, really happy.
He made that point with gusto following a recent early morning walk. As I watched him devour the Christmas-decorated bone, I pondered the state of happy and what it means.
Pretty broad–and deep–subject for 7 a.m., wouldn’t you say?
Happy is a slippery word, I think, and is hard to define yet most of us are quick to respond to the question, Are you happy?
For me, at least at first blush, the word happy seems superficial. Who says, No, I’m not happy when asked?
Personally, I would rather someone ask me if I’m at peace, than whether I’m happy. The peace question seems a little easier to answer.
Maybe I’m just uncomfortable with the word Happy. I mean, think about how easily it gets tossed around. People are always throwing out Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary or Happy New Year.
Have a Happy Day, a Happy Life.
But what does that mean?
Maybe we need to think about what causes happiness. Is it the source of satisfaction? Comfort? The ease with which we move through our days?
Maybe happy is a summation of being kind and gentle, thoughtful and charitable.
Perhaps the state of happiness is the absence of tension and envy. Sometimes I realize I’m empty of certain emotions, so is it at that point that other emotions–like Happy–can enter my consciousness?
Maybe I need to drain first, fill second.
All this really makes no sense, and truthfully, I’m started to remind myself of the late Andy Rooney delivering his closing comments on 60 Minutes.
Except . . .
Maybe the purpose of contemplating the meaning of Happy is merely to point out my incessant need to define my feelings.
There it is. The crux of discomfort. That old ugly urge to harness my state of mind.
Well, I say phooey to that today. I have only one need that can make me happy.
I just need to be; be in this moment because in this minute space of time, I am everything and anything and fine.
I may even go so far as to say I’m happy. Happy as a dog with a rawhide bone.
My sweetie and I are just back from our fun-in-the-sun Christmas beach vacation.
Our five days of toes dipped in sand, fresh seafood and Atlantic sunrises filled us to overflow with gratitude and delight. We arrived home last night wrapped in bubbles of peace.
Have you ever experienced that super-cool feeling of complete inside-out peace? I’m pretty excited that on this 29th day of December, my personal 2011 is easing–not hurtling–toward completion. For me, the year is not expiring in a big blob of trauma drama, as it has in the past. Instead, I’m blessed that these remaining days are alive with love.
Love is All That is Within Me.
My prayerful wish for you is the same.
I know that we each have the ability to let go of anything that doesn’t serve our highest good. A wise man on the beach taught me a simple surrender process (more to come on both the man and the process) that allows me to control not only how I choose to feel but also how I share those feelings.
We each have the ability to choose love in any circumstance.
You too can say, Love is All That is Within Me.
Choosing love takes preparation. I began to prepare on Christmas Eve by focusing on a simultaneous new birth within me as a part of the Christmas story.
I prayed this simple prayer, “Dear God, may Christmas Day be the first of all days that I live with conscious poise. May I focus on honoring God-thoughts and forgive myself those thoughts that are less than honorable. May my growth be deliberate and authentic and focused on love. Thank you, God. Amen.”
When I woke on Christmas morning, in my bed perfectly positioned to view the colorful palette of a breathtaking sunrise, I knew I was different. I felt a sense of mindful connection and today, four days later, I remain plugged in to love and peace.
The probability is high that God and I can take this sense of mindful ease into the first hours, and perhaps days, of 2012.
With All That is Within Me, I make that my intention.
There will be no resolutions and no goal-setting for 2012. Instead, I resolve to be as fully present to each day as I can knowing that how I approach my day is a conscious decision.
If you’ve chosen that Love is All That is Within You, I’d love to hear about your preparation process and about your intentional resolve. Please leave a comment here.
In this, my last B Here Today post of 2011, I leave you with a gift and a promise:
My gift to you is a new and improved B Here Today, a 2.0 version, if you will. The re-tooling is underway and will unveil in mid to late January.
My promise is to lovingly devote more peace, passion and presence to you in the new year. I read recently that discipline + passion = magic. 2012 will be our year to make magic happen together.
Until then, my mindful friends, B WELL and B LOVE.
BIG Holiday Hugs!
I read some pretty incredible stuff each morning.
The writers of this morning’s serving of reflective readings all seemed to have entered my thought stream before sending their words to me.
Or as a dear friend says, “they’ve been reading my mail again!”
Alex Blackwell, a fellow blogger who’s work I thoroughly admire, describes how, “like a box of 64 Crayola Crayons, the year was colored with bright, happy colors and with somber, unfamiliar ones, too.” (http://thebridgemaker.com)
And on The Daily Love, Robin Lee suggests we ask ourselves this question, “If I believed my presence in life really mattered, would I show up and express myself differently in my life?” (http://thedailylove.com)
Both Alex and Robin address issues that capture my attention because the end of the year is a time when I usually inventory the past 12 months to determine where and how I can improve in the coming 12 months.
Alex writes about the process of acceptance and surrender that must occur if we are to weather the highs and lows of daily living.
He believes, as I do, that while the bright colors of life create our fun and excitement, it is the duller colors that determine how we show up in life and this is where Robin’s question comes into play.
In order to address the second half of her question, I need to truly believe that my individual contributions to life really matter. I need to understand that the sum of the whole would be less without my presence.
Do I believe?
To go back to Alex’s 64-count box of colors, do you consider yourself a part of the grand palette? It’s okay for your hue to change with your circumstances, but please know that there is always a place for your within the box.
How will I then show up and color our world?
That’s a question that may take some time to answer; I know it will for me. As we go through this season of joyous holiday celebrations, I encourage you to take an assessment of how you’ve colored your 2011 and how you will strive to paint your 2012.
Go gently and easily. Let your interactions with others be filled with grace. And believe within the heart of Christmas, that love is all there is.
P.S. Mindful Monday will be vacationing on the Southeastern Florida beaches on Christmas Day and wishes you an incredible Mindful Christmas!