I open my heart and welcome opportunities to practice balance in the midst of suffering. I embrace all emotions and know I am steady and strong. I find comfort knowing each moment passes and a new emotion emerges. As I set my intention for calm, I breathe in positivity and release negative thinking. That is where my balanced soul resides. That is where I find peace.
My friend Laurel created a 90 day meditation challenge. Every night for 17 years I have listened to a guided mediation. I lay in bed, I listen, I learn, I relax, I fall asleep. I have cervical dystonia so this helps me relax my neck. How different could sitting meditation be? I’ve done it. I got this!
Day 1 as I sat for my mindfulness, awareness practice, I gently folded my legs under me, laying my palms gently open on my knees; chest open, (for openheartedness,) and I breathed in deeply as my legs screamed uncross me! Since this particular practice is about “unconditional friendliness towards oneself,” (Pema Chodron) I immediately complied, stretching my legs out slightly to ease the discomfort.
Day 3 I sat on the living room floor slightly more comfortable but too focused on noise downstairs, other sounds around me, and discomfort within me. I was unable to totally focus. This is called monkey mind. My thoughts were jumping all around.
But today the magic happened. I closed my eyes, breathed in and out with ease, relaxing my body, labeling my wandering thoughts “thinking” and my dystonia spasms as “feeling.” When my mind wandered, I simply brought myself back to the present. I was lost within myself in that precious space of inner peace where I could welcome and accept all that I felt and heard.
I am so grateful to be reminded of the value of sitting meditation as a daily discipline. My goal is to complete the challenge. However, my greater hope is to access that precious space of inner peace inside of me whenever I need it. What a powerful resource and an incredible gift.
At times I hear something that is so familiar – and I‘m sure I have never heard it before, yet I know it.
At times I meet someone, and I’m sure I have never met that person before, yet I know them.
At times I go somewhere that I have truly never been, yet I know that place; it’s so familiar.
When this happens, I am not surprised. I know it by the inner light that guides me. I am simply awakened by my knowing heart.
I whisper a prayer of gratitude.
To believe we are born with a conscious soul, an inner light, hidden wisdom or an angel’s touch is a blessing. To know we are all connected through this earth, each other, and G-d’s grace is a gift.
When I feel the abundance of good that surrounds me, I know I am choosing to live a life of insight and positivity. I acknowledge fear, anger and insecurity that seek to find a home. But, I choose the light, practice faith and love, catch myself when I slip, and remember my purpose. I trust in what I cannot see and know that this is what true faith means.
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice” Steve Jobs
Caring about what others think is an age-old pattern originating in primitive social communities where acceptance meant survival. The innate practice of valuing others opinions easily transforms into valuing other’s opinions more than one’s own, causing stress, shame, self-doubt and insecurity. This damages self-esteem, drains precious energy and can strain relationships.
Choosing to live in conscious awareness of our authentic self, strengthens self- acceptance, self-appreciation, self-love and increases a greater sense of overall well-being. Caring less about what others think, allows us to have more confidence, resiliency and flexibility. The courage to express thoughts freely creates a life of joy and an increased sense of contentment.
When the head and heart are open … anything is possible.
“I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.” – Byron Katie
I feel empowered having a choice in how I want to feel and respond to my reality. Fighting “what is” doesn’t ever change the outcome; it only creates blame, suffering, disappointment and sadness. Even if I wish that things were different, I can choose to accept life for the way it is now.
Developing the habit of accepting whatever comes my way and embracing it creates a much more positive and happy life. Practicing acceptance helps me to live in a changing world, where I never know what’s going to happen next. When I shift my attitude to accepting what is, I can live with faith, love, and trust. Things have a way of working out just the way they are supposed to be!