Category Archives: Mindfulness

The beauty of not rushing

There will be another.

Another train.

Another phone.

Another computer.

Or iPod. Or Game. Or Thing.

But…

There won’t always be another.

Another day like today.

Another time to connect with that person.

Another chance.

Or Opportunity. Or Challenge. Or Moment.

Sometimes it takes not being in a rush to remember the difference.

I hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving.

Be Grateful

There are things that are in our lives that we are grateful for. Every so often I remember the power of picking one thing and being actively thankful for it. Forget luxury items, I am thankful for simple things– the ability to hear, for example.

Can you imagine what it would be like to wait 29 years until you heard your own voice?

“I was born deaf and 8 weeks ago I received a hearing implant. This is the video of them turning it on and me hearing myself for the first time.”

Many thanks to my brother Mark for the above link.

Long Day

Today I woke up at 4:45, took a cab to Logan, flew to NJ, drove to the campus of a prospective client, made an important presentation, drove to the Amtrak station, took the Acela to Boston, took a cab home, and then went grocery shopping. That’s what I did. And man, let me tell you…..

Long days are hard. They take a lot out of me, they remove me from routine, they have so many more stressful moments.

Long days are fun. They require my A+ game, they take me to new places, they have so many more exciting moments.

Both are true. But I tend to choose the second story.

Attitudes Define Everything

To an extent, we all let situations define us.  Instead, there’s power in letting our minds define us and our situation.

I am a firm believer in the power of thought and the power of thinking a certain way.  If I believe my day is going to suck, there will be significantly greater chances that it will suck.  If I believe my day is going to be great, there are significantly greater chances it will be great.

However new-agey it sounds, we think our experiences into being.  Of course, just thinking doesn’t produce anything.  Action must follow.  But there is a lot of power in the quotation that goes along the lines of “10% of life is what happens to you, 90% of life is your attitude.”

I have found there are simple ways to affect my attitude, even to the extent of starting the day with a simple positive intention: “I am going to be/do ____ today.”  It can make long days that are supposed to be bad, a lot better, and can make the good days simply great.

Yoga

I discovered yoga in February of 2007.

At that point, yoga was like anything else I have never tried: an idea, a concept, something other people did (and something those “other people” did way better than I.)  Plus, my thought process was something along the lines of, “I have experience in martial arts, and yoga is just stretching.”

But I make an effort to be open to new things, and I was intrigued.  So I went.

I not only went to yoga.  I fell in love with yoga.  Here was this whole world that existed, that offered so much, that I only just now discovered!  I had no idea how tight my body was, how active my mind was, or how much physical strength was involved in yoga.  It was most definitely not “just stretching.”  I got a workout, I sweat like whoa, my mind calmed and all sorts of muscles I didn’t realize were tense became so much more flexible.

Lest you think it wasn’t love, know that I couldn’t stop talking about it.  I literally rallied the troops, convincing three friends to give it a shot with two weeks of discovering it.  (Max, Victoria, Sandra, a belated thanks for accommodating my obsession!) In fact, on February 21, 2007, I wrote an email to my Nana and Grampy that contained this:

To balance out my work life, I have taken up yoga, which is amazing.  I find it reminiscent of my other Eastern practice of Karate: centering, physically challenging and mentally calming.  I am more in touch with my mind and body, and am in better shape than I have been in a very long time.  I love it, and can’t stop raving about it to friends and family down here!  

(Thanks Gmail.)

We hold so much tension in our bodies, and it’s hard to stop and be present to it.  Since you’re reading this, perhaps take a moment and pause.  Take a breath in, and then out.  Where’s your tension?  (Mine’s still in my hips, apparently no matter how many times I do half-pigeon.)

But, again, yoga is more than just stretching.  Yoga is being mindful of my breath.  It is me aligning my mind with my body.  It is accepting what I can and cannot do.

Above all, it is me returning to my own heart center, and realizing everything that I am.

If you haven’t, try it.  If you have, namaste.

om.

Let It Be.

“Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.”  

There is power in letting things be.  No matter where you find yourself while reading this, stop.  Take a breath.  (Seriously.  Try it.)

Where you are is where you are. Where I am is where I am.  Physically.  Emotionally.  And it’s all okay.

Simply breathe.  Let it all just be.  Life is this.  Maybe it’s not exactly what you want.  Maybe it’s pretty close.  Let whatever it is be as it is.

Sure, there is also power in questioning what things could be.  If we were to “let it be” all the time, we would always go with the flow and never change.  However, if we question all the time, we would never be present to our world as it currently is.  There are times for both. Whichever one you find harder, make a mindful effort to do that one.  For me, it’s easier to question and harder to be.

But, there is power in being.  There is awareness.  And there may even be resolution to our questions.

“There will be an answer. Let it be.”

Creating Wonder

It is very easy in this world to cut corners at times. People will often give us the benefit of the doubt. We start to think if it is mostly what we said we’d do, it’s good enough.

But consider all the magical, wonderful things that are created in this world. Be it careers, friendships, business relationships, books, technology (and more). And consider that so much of the wonder is in doing exactly what we said we’d do (and more).

There is a quote somewhere that says, “There are always two paths, one hard and one easy. And the only reward of the easy path is that it is easy.”