If Not Now, Then When?

“…There is no tomorrow, only a string of todays.”
Mark Nepo, Poet, Philosopher, Author, Cancer Survivor

It’s easy to get caught up in the future. We’re taught to dream and plan…always going somewhere, searching for happiness, setting goals, living the “have, do, be life”- if I have more, I can do more and then I’ll be more. We have to work out our problems, finish our to-do lists, fix ourselves, pay the bills, save for retirement, realize our potential…and of course, we’re never done! It’s the idea that the future holds everything that matters; it’s where happiness lies… Some day I’ll be happy and free…but not yet, not here, not now.

So we race and rush and we fix and strive and we wait… We wait for those ‘better’ moments, the next thing to happen, we keep dreaming forward… And in the waiting we overlook the fact that our life is happening, now…moment by moment…too often passing us by only half noticed.

When we’re always striving to get somewhere and have something else, we never fully arrive where we are, right here, right now, in this present moment…It’s as if we forget that life is not the future, or past, but now.

Dancing With The Flow…
How can we live each day as if it really matters?

Melli O’Brien says we should practice “Non-waiting” which doesn’t mean we should give up our dreams but rather bring our primary focus to how we meet each moment as it occurs and engage fully in the journey instead of waiting to arrive at our destination.

She says, “When we learn to stop leaning into the next experience – wanting and waiting for a particular outcome, we are finally free to know and experience life and this moment fully…Non-waiting allows us to show up and participate fully in the unfolding of our precious lives while we have them to live.”

Life happens…there will always be problems to solve, things to do, people to help; there’s always more to do! Mark Nepo says, “How often do we all rehearse this moment, putting off love, truth, joy, and even God, citing our many “Yes, buts” to ourselves, when all we have to do – hard and simple as it is – is to drop everything and Come Now.”

If we can dance with the flow, be present in each moment, not get stuck in what might be, and just enjoy the ride…then hopefully we’ll see the life we’re living, reap the rewards each day brings, and be grateful to be living in the Now.

Invitation to If Not Now, When? Meditation

If you’d like to practice meditating on If Not Now, When?, please join me Friday, June 14 Noon-1pm.
Click Here For Details

What’s Good For You?

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the need for more self-compassion, notably Brene Brown’s, The Gifts of Imperfection, and what I’ve been noticing is how often we tend to self-criticize.  Whether it’s calling ourselves “banana brain” when we forget something, or “stupid woman” when we make a mistake, negative self-talk, even seemingly funny, has a detrimental effect on our overall self-worth.  Putting ourselves down and criticizing ourselves under our breath can create tension, feed anxiety and fear, and make us feel miserable.  That critical inner voice is our subconscious talking and if we let it, it can diminish our motivation and energy.  Even if our conscious brain is saying, “you’re not stupid, you’re an intelligent talented woman”,  if we’re beating ourselves up inside, it’s our subconscious thoughts that rule.

We need to learn to treat ourselves with kindness and self-compassion!  This will boost our energy and motivation and reinforce our belief in ourselves. We’ll be more resilient to stress, able to do more of what we want, and we’ll just be happier in general.

Here are 3 tips to practice being kinder to yourself:

  1. Say calm, soothing words to yourself like, “Nobody’s perfect.  We all make mistakes sometimes,”  or “I’m me, and that’s a good thing!
  2. Do something every day that’s good for you, feeds your soul, nurtures you…it can be anything that makes you happy- taking a yoga class, going for a walk, baking for someone, or listening to music.  Take a break your way and enjoy it!
  3. Practice self-care and compassion…if you’re stressed or suffering about something, pause and notice what you’re feeling, and maybe where you’re feeling it in your body. And then, ask yourself, “what do I need to feel better?”  Maybe it’s calling a trusted friend, or getting a massage, or maybe trying a loving kindness meditation.

Here’s one of my favorites…I start my day with this meditation:

May I be happy, may I be healthy in body and mind, may I be safe and protected from inner and outer harm, and may I be free from fear, the fear that keeps me stuck.

After you say it to yourself, you can say it to anyone you love, friends, and to everyone in the world.

Kindness is contagious- embrace who you are, believe in yourself, and share your gifts with the world!

 

Free Meditation Session

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Free Meditation Session on Friday, July 13, Noon-1:30pm!

If you want to find out how meditation and mindfulness can help you feel a sense of well being and peace, wherever you are in your life, whatever you’re dealing with, then join me Friday July 13.  All are welcome…

To register, send me an email with Free Meditation in the subject line and I’ll send you the logistics…or call me.  I look forward to meditating with you…

Practicing Loving Kindness

HeartflowersBrene Brown says, “Love is not something we give or get; it is something we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them- we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.”

I woke up this morning remembering these words from Bob Dylan’s timeless “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “How many deaths will it take ’til we know that too many people have died?”

In the wake of yet another tragedy, I continue to hope for a kinder world where we all live in peace. I believe this is what we all want…and to that end, I invite you to join me by starting each day with this loving kindness meditation. This has become a daily ritual, along with writing my 5 gratitude statements each night. It only takes 6 minutes, so I hope you’ll try it.

  • May we all be happy…
  • May we all be healthy in body and mind…
  • May we all be safe and protected from inner and outer harm…
  • May we all be free from fear, the fear that keeps us stuck…

Love makes the world go round…Let the practice of loving begin within your own beautiful heart. Give yourself what you wish to receive and give others what you wish to receive from them.

With hope in my heart,

Clare

Love, Kindness and Compassion

f5fd6fb1-3fe5-46a8-ad94-aad8e2482a3dLast weekend, I attended Joy of Living Level II Meditation Training, based on the teachings of Mingyur Rinpoche.  Rooted in Buddhist teachings of Tibet, this session focused on how to open our hearts to others, while recognizing our own challenges as well.  When we understand that loving kindness and compassion are with us always, we can then connect with and nurture them by meditating on the four immeasurables: love, compassion, joy, and equanimity.  Key principles are Basic Goodness, the Desire to be Happy and Free from Suffering, and the Four Immeasurables.

Basic Goodness

We explored recognizing that the fundamental nature of awareness is good and pure through meditation practice. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but once we recognize our basic inherent goodness, we can see it as the desire to be happy and free from suffering, shared by all beings. And we can see that love and compassion are innate qualities that we possess and can find in the present moment.

The Four Immeasurables

Here, we discover love, compassion, joy and equanimity and nurture them, in a progressive manner, one step at a time.  First we meditated on finding love and compassion within ourselves, then for loved ones, next for neutral people, then for those we find challenging or difficult, and finally we meditated on the four immeasurables for all beings universally.

I found parts of the practice challenging and yet so rewarding.  And I left feeling full and complete, knowing there is so much to learn.  This meditation weekend was a gift of joy.

My Gift For You

*Free Meditation Info Session on Friday, March 31, 12:15-1:30 pm!

If you want to learn more about how meditation can help you feel more love, compassion, and joy in your life, then join me Friday, March 31.  we’ll try a few different types of meditation so you can experience what it’s like.  Ideal for newcomers, but all who are interested in meditation are welcome…

To register, send me an email with FREE MEDITATION in the subject line and I’ll send you the logistics.  I look forward to hearing from you!

To Your Joy of Life!