Well, hello there 2018!

Happy New Year! Thank you to both my old and newer subscribers.  I really enjoy my time connecting with you all.

Whilst I thoroughly enjoy reading about mindfulness and Buddhism as it pushes me in my own practice, I equally enjoy reading your personal stories. The stories of triumph, despair, and my favorite stories of all, ones related to the heart. So, thank you for being you and sharing part of your journey with me. I look forward to reading your coming posts.

I will be going live with my new website this year. I have been collating mindful jewelry, some of which I designed and I can’t wait to share it with you. They will be pieces that may help you on your journey to live a more mindful and peaceful existence. The process of getting the website live has been much longer and much more challenging than I had ever imagined. :S  However, the finishing line in is sight.

May we embrace all that comes our way in 2018.  May we accept all that arrives and treat it as if it were a gift, for none of us know what’s installed, but one thing is certain, resistance to what is creates conflict. So let’s accept what is. Be present. Be mindful. For that is the path to peace.

May you be well.

May you be happy.

May you be free from suffering.

Namaste!

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Bridey

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Living With The Wound -Mark Nepo

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‘There is a need to be specific
if we are to survive,
which requires being honest,
the way seeing requires
the eyes to stay open.

It means I can tell you
when you hurt me
and still count on your love.

It means being honest
with myself, knowing
the ugly things are not
always someone else’s.

I’ve been thinking how
practical people cut the cord
to those who’ve broken hope,
the way breeders shoot horses
with broken legs, as if
there’s nothing to be done.

Now I know they do this
for themselves, not wanting
to care for a horse that cannot run,
not wanting to sit with a friend
who can’t find tomorrow, not wanting
to be saddled with anything
that will slow them down.

I used to think it bad timing.
When I was up, you were down.
When you were ready,
I was scared. But since
we’ve never given up on each other,
it’s clear that drinking wonder
when we’re sad is how we shed
the things we love about pain.

I have a right to joy
even when lonely,
even when in pain,
and you never need
to cover your wounds
when entering my house.

If your voice breaks, I’ll be a cup.
If your heart sweats, I’ll be a pillow
on which you’ll chance to dream
that weeping is singing
through an instrument
that’s hard to reach,
though it lands us like lightning
in the grasp of each other
where giving is a mirror
of all we cannot teach.’

 

-Mark Nepo

Emotional Intelligence: Mindful Parenting

 

 

 

 

This two-minute video is everything I aspire to be as a parent. If you haven’t already seen it, it’s a powerful video secretly recorded by a wife of her husband as he mindfully speaks to their daughter who is clearly very upset. It’s a great example of how we can help instill emotional intelligence into our children. When we respect and acknowledge our children’s emotions, we give them the tools to mindfully process and manage them more effectively. Little wonder it went viral.

I so admire how calm, compassionate and understanding the father is to his child’s feelings. He is talking to her but he is also mindfully listening to and respecting her feelings. He’s teaching her to acknowledge emotions rather than trying to hide or chase them away, observe them, label them if you like, and then try to let them go. As he explains, holding onto them for too long is when you find yourself in trouble.

It’s brilliant and such a tangible example of mindfulness. The video was posted on the Facebook page Love What Matters. You can go here and read the story in its entirety. Teachablemoment

I’ve already started teaching emotional intelligence to my two-year-old and it’s been interesting to see her positive reaction to it. Even at two years of age she finds comfort in being told that she’s allowed to have her current mood or feelings and that I will give her a safe place to have these feelings as well as strategies for moving past them.

Last night for example, she yelled at me and got in my face because I wouldn’t get on the floor and color-in with her. In my defense, I was 90% completed on another task and I really needed to get it done. And I’m also not going to simply give into a two-year old’s demands. I did however go down to her level, wipe her runny nose and tell her that I understood that she is angry with me and feeling disappointed. I explained that she’s allowed to feel that and that I still love her and if she wants a hug she can come and get one if and when she’s ready. She sat with arms folded and head down, eyes on the floor. I then moved away and let her be and within a minute she came over, hugged my arm and said “I love you mummy”. It was really beautiful. I validated her feelings, gave her space to feel it, and helped her release it. And when I had finished by task, I did get on the floor and draw with her. It ended well for all.

 

 

The Joy of Impermanence

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“Nothing lasts forever, nothing stays the same, the fall is our reminder that everything must change. In life, you either learn how to adapt to change or suffer because you expect it to always be as it once was. New things are born, and old things die, either way you have to adjust to survive.”

– Sylvester McNutt III

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“We are in this together. None of us truly walk in isolation, even when we cannot sense the presence of another for miles upon miles. Even in the worst of our desolation. Even during our coldest 3am breakdown. Even when we shut out the world and spin in circles until we collapse. Even then the light still gets in. Even then the heart still opens and reaches, tendrils of hope curling and bending toward slivers of light. Upward, outward, in all directions – seeking light at all cost. One way or another, we all grow toward the light.” – Jeanette LeBlanc

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Image  from n9nlinear.tumblr.com

‘When a feeling of sadness, despair, or anger arises, we should stop what we are doing in order to go home to ourselves and take care. We can sit or lie down and begin to practice mindful breathing. The daily practice of breathing can be very helpful. A strong emotion is like a storm, and when a storm is about to arrive, we should prepare so we can cope with it. We should not dwell on the level of our head and our thinking but bring all our attention down to the level of our abdomen. We may practice mindful breathing and become aware of the rise and fall of our abdomen. Breathing in, rising; breathing out, falling. Rising, falling. We stop all the thinking because thinking can make the emotion stronger.

We should be aware that an emotion is only an emotion; it arrives, stays for some time, and then passes, just like a storm. We should not die just because of one emotion. We should remind young people about this. We are much more than our emotions, and we can take care of them whether we are feeling anger or despair. We don’t think anymore, we just focus 100 percent of our attention on the rise and fall of the abdomen and in that moment we are safe. Our emotion may last five or ten minutes but if we continue to breathe in and out, we will be safe, because mindfulness is protecting us. Mindfulness is the Buddha in us, helping us practice belly breathing…

We are like a tree during a storm. If you look at the top of a tree, you may have the impression that the tree can be blown away or that the branches can be broken anytime, but if you direct your attention to the trunk of the tree and become aware that the tree is deeply rooted in the soil, then you see the solidity of the tree. The mind is the top of the tree, so don’t dwell there; bring your mind down to the trunk. The abdomen is the trunk, so stick to it, practice mindful, deep breathing, and after that the emotion will pass. When you have survived one emotion, you know that next time a strong emotion arises, you will survive again. But don’t wait for the next strong emotion to practice. It is important that you practice deep, mindful breathing every day.’

– Thich Nhat Hanh

THE RUPTURE AND THE REPAIR by Jeff Foster

c33ca758d3ed9f6506a3ae404d079f62‘First there is the rupture. Old pain resurfaces, erupting from the depths of the unconscious.

The status quo is shattered. You feel disoriented, groundless, not knowing where to turn. An old world has crumbled, a new world has not yet formed.

You encounter the strange space of Now, pure presence, raw, unprotected by old dreams, nothing to cling to. Even your outdated concepts of God crumble.

And then you remember to breathe, and feel your feet on the ground, and observe the spinning mind rather than losing yourself in it.

The world is out of control but you are not.

You feel what you feel. Afraid. Angry. Numb. Sad. Lonely. Unsafe. Whatever. You commit to feeling it fully today, to not dissociating this time. A feeling is just a feeling, not a fact, and presence can hold it.

You wail, you weep, you scream, but you are repairing. You have broken to heal, ruptured to mend. Old energies have emerged only to be blessed with love, acceptance, tenderness.

You can’t go back to the way things were. You can’t un-see what you have seen. But you can be present, today. And take each step consciously now, not automatically, habitually, but mindfully, with care. Finding gratitude for each extra moment you are alive.

And staying close to yourself now, as you walk this unknown path with courage, and a new conviction.’

– Jeff Foster

Image from http://www.fromupnorth.com/illustration-inspiration-715/

For Bentley. You left paw prints on my heart.

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‘This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.’

Thich Nhat Hanh, No Death, No Fear

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Be Brave Little One

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“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired. Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision. Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy.  Trust, even when your heart begs you not to.  Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see. Frolick, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring. Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more.
And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience—you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.”
-Alysha Speer

There is Hope

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“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”

 Rumi

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