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Showing posts from 2020

Simplicity

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Being in silence refills the well which gets depleted in times of stress, anxiety, and tension leading to imbalance.  Silence quiets the busy mind, releases tension and relaxes the body, mind and spirit.  Silence is important to establish balance.  Silence is often associated with simplicity which, is fundamental to mindfulness. Mindfulness practice is grounded in simplicity.  The practice does not require special clothing, equipment or a particular location.  Nor does the practice require specific incantations, words or mantras.  Mindfulness is simply quiet, stillness and focusing on your breath to help create better balance.  Indeed, the simplicity of mindfulness returns you to calm, clarity and helps move you towards awareness and awakening appreciation of the here, now, present moment.   The intent, purpose, direction is forward as we create better balance on the path of progress and peace.   Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a

Breath

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Breath is the energy of life engaging and encouraging body, mind and spirit.  Every time you breathe, you embrace life anew.  Its an opportunity to center. Mindfulness is quiet, stillness, focusing on your breath you invite calm and empty your mind for clarity.  You open awareness, move towards better balance and the awakening appreciation of the here, now, p resent moment.   The intent, purpose, direction is forward as we create better balance on the path of progress and peace. “We too should make ourselves empty, that the great soul of the universe may fill us with its breath.” Lawrence Binyon

Possibilities

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"The stars invite what is impossible to comprehend..."   is a quote from a wonderful book I've been reading created by Elizabeth Murray.   Indeed, "Life in Full Bloom" is a beautiful blend of picturesque photography, gardens, art and poetic wisdom.  In perusing the book I'm reminded of the passion, courage and love that brings authenticity and truth to art.  In these creativity there is an almost indefinable joy, faith and peace. So for most artists, and in particular speaking for myself, it's no small nightmare to lose this creative balance.  Mindfulness practice can be a way back to center. The steps of mindfulness practice are simple: get quiet, be still and focus on breathing to release tension and move towards awareness. This technique allows the mind to let go of angst, blocks and creative disruptions that cause imbalance.  Mindfulness invites possibilities with the awakening appreciation of the here, now, present moment.   The intent, purpose,

Fantasy

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I 'm not a fan of fantasy in any genre; not books, not movies, not in online alternate worlds, and not (some might say sadly) even in my dreams.  Fantasy has been around for as long as people have been able to dream and communicate.     Some of the oldest recorded  fantasy may be with the Greek tales of   Aphrodite, Zeus   and Titans   moving on   to Shakespeare,  later Jules Verne Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.  Much farther on fantasy leaps to Superman, then further to Star Trek, and beyond with Star Wars.  In recent years the fantasy genre has taken on a whole new life with the magical mechanisms of technology to produce Buffy the Vampire, Avatar, Games of Thrones and much more.  However, even with the out-of-this-world bells, whistles, and bangs that technology produces, I don't find the purposefulness of fantasy.  Yet, I am coming to appreciate the appeal of fantasy through insights with mindfulness.   Mindfulness practice is an opportunity to come away from the es

Reminder

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Mindfulness is an opportunity to remember the things we sometimes forget. We sometimes forget, we are not alone. We sometimes forget, we are loved. We sometimes forget, we are born to goodness. We sometimes forget, we are each unique. We sometimes forget, to let go, to release and to come to center. Mindfulness practice is an opportunity to release the tension of those things we forget, so that we remember and come to balance. In the practice of quiet, stillness and focus on breathing you move towards mindfulness and into the openness of awareness. Here is the awakening appreciation of the here, now, present moment. The intent, purpose, direction is forward as we create better balance on the path of progress and peace. The snow, the wind, the sun and the sounds of nature, can all be reminders to you that you're an integral part of the natural world. Wayne W. Dyer

Community

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Community implies at least more than one person and more accurately a group of many people. What draws these people together can vary, such as birth, birthplace, culture and sometimes its a common goal.  However, because its more than one person, it doesn't seem a likely topic for a discourse about mindfulness practice which is primarily an  individual practice.  Yet, it's not too far to see that without individuals, there can be no community.  Therefore, it ' s worth the benefit of the community that each individual practice mindfulness to help create and keep better balance for the whole.   From a practical perspective we can look at individual monks "being community" who practice mindfulness as a way of life for self and the greater good of the community.   Indeed, as an individual participant your mindfulness in quiet, stillness and focusing on your breath brings you to center.  The practice moves you towards awareness and connection with the greater community

Celebrate

To celebrate is to engage appreciation, in the moment with a happy, joyful, energetic approach. Indeed, there's something about being "in-the-moment" that adds intensity, purpose and intention to any celebration. Similarly, mindfulness practice has elements of intensity, purpose and of course intention to help move you towards better balance.  Moreover, 'in-the-moment" is vital to the quiet, stillness, and focus on breathing that invites awareness.     Obviously, celebration and mindfulness are at different ends of a spectrum.  Yet, you will discover there is much to celebrate as mindfulness moves you towards center and your awakening appreciation of the here, now, present moment.   The intent, purpose, direction is forward as we create better balance on the path of progress and peace.   I would like my work to be thought of as a celebration of life and nature. Henry Moore

Sync

Synchronicity, synchronize, synchronization are words that have been around for a while. In fact, according to one dictionary these originate in 1615–25; <Greek  synchron√≠zein   with various changes taking place throughout history. One of those changes is the term "sync" which is used so often today in conjunction with any kind of technology application, update or replacement be it the computer, tablet, smartphone, camera, etc. Most people are familiar with the term, even if they don't use or know much about technology, which refers to bring things together to establish or re-establish balance.  For example, with a new cell phone customers are saved an enormous amount of work, headache and technological confusion when they "sync" all their information from the old phone to the  new phone. Of course, there are steps one must practice in order to ensure the balance can be achieved. And rest assured most people pay attention fully to those steps, no less than de

Exclusive

The capacity to enjoy comes so easily, naturally to children. They enjoy whatever they are doing at that moment without regard for anything else. And when done with those things in that present moment, children move on to the next opportunity to enjoy whatever they are doing in the present moment. You see, although it can be said that it’s hard to hold a child’s attention; once children are engaged in for example an alternate-world-fantasy cartoon, a superhero movie, a video-game, Xbox, YouTube script, etc, he/she is truly engaged. Children have a fantastic ability to pay attention, exclusively to what is going on in the right now, present moment. However, as adults we learn, we are taught to diversify our attention in so many different directions. We lose touch with our capacity to pay attention, to make our focus exclusive when eating a meal, driving, talking with someone, even walking and in practice of mindfulness. I refer to children because the skill set needed to practice

Wait

The wait can be frustrating. The wait for a bus, train, doctor, a diagnosis, a wedding, a birth, a job and even being in line at the grocery store can be a frustrating wait. Some say it's a western culture defect. It may be more pronounced in the west, however I'd wager many people in many places prefer not to wait. Nevertheless, we all wait. Each of us will be required to wait at some time for something. Best we find a way to wait with a benefit like mindfulness. Mindfulness is both a good approach and a good application for the wait. With the practice of quiet, stillness and focusing on breath the wait becomes less a burden. Moreover, you open to the benefits of becoming better balanced as you practice mindfulness in the wait. In mindfulness the wait is an opportunity to release, relieve and experience light as you move towards awareness. This awareness through mindfulness brings balance to the wait as you embrace benefits of an awakening appreciation of the here, now, presen

Light

Light is one of the transformative benefits that come with mindfulness practice.  The prospects that come with light are literal and figurative.  Some who practice mindfulness share that the process brings clarity in the form of light (as a beam).  Others share about the light as enlightenment (as insights) that come with mindfulness practice.  Likewise, others express the feeling of light (as fewer burdens) of the mind.  Chances are with continued, consistent, and committed practice, one may have the benefit of all of these transformative experiences of mindfulness. Certainly one of the intended benefits of mindfulness practice is to bring light by helping release tension and stress. Through the practice of getting quiet, being still and focusing on breath, mindfulness offers light to relieve and lessen burdensome thoughts.  Mindfulness helps to move you towards awareness; a realm of light that opens to better balance in the awakening of the here, now, present moment.  The intent, pur

Transformative

Light, insight, awareness are some of the elements of mindfulness that make the practice transformative. Mindfulness is transformative not because the practice has the ability to make your life perfect, mindfulness is transformative because it can help you create better balance in living your life. I believe it’s more meaningful, purposeful, and helpful to highlight the benefits of mindfulness instead of what the practice isn’t. However, it’s just as purposeful to note that although mindfulness is transformative, it is not magic: practice is the benefit. Although the groundbreaking mind, thought, brain work of Sigmund Freud is well over half century into the making, there is still brain, mind and neuro-scientist are still in their infancy with understanding the mind. However, what they have discovered and what has become big news in those fields in the last several years, is the transformative power of mindfulness practice. Much research, many papers and lots of intellectual dis

Grateful

Being grateful is something that most of us are taught when we're young. Actually, in retrospect most of us are taught to say, "thank you" which makes us good children. This tradition of "thank you" stays with us quite some time from grade school, to high school and even into college. Then, maybe some time after college, maybe after the first real job and then the first real apartment, some of us start to note the difference between saying "thank you" to be good people and being grateful. If we're fortunate, as we mature in age and consciousness we start to realize that being grateful is less about being good people, and more about appreciating all the good in our life. The balance that comes with mindfulness practice can open awareness to this insight. Mindfulness invites awareness through quiet, stillness and focusing on breath. The practice is not about concentrating any specific thought, idea or visualization. There are other beneficial approac

Invigorating

Mindfulness is so integrated into my daily life that I may unwittingly take for granted the various dimensions of benefit the practice offers.  Truth be told, for me mindfulness simply helps release tension, calm and center, restoring balance.  It is the quiet, stillness and focusing on breathing that greatly improves my balance daily (sometimes moment by moment). However, there is an invigorating dimension to mindfulness.  In practice, the process of letting thoughts pass allows calm, cleansing and clarity moving you closer to center. This restoration of balance you have more energy.  Invigorated you invite awareness and the awakening appreciation of the here, now, present moment. The intent, purpose, direction is forward as we create better balance on the path of progress and peace. This is the feeling for syllable and rhythm, penetrating far below the conscious levels of thought and feeling, invigorating every word.   T. S. Eliot

Tolerant

I can’t recall the last time I used the word “tolerant” in conversation. More than likely I’ve used the word “tolerate” but I can’t say I remember that either. But I found myself thinking “You can should be more tolerant” while watching an online series that was supposed to be funny, but actually appeared offensive (to me).” I watched one episode and thought, “Hmmmp! I don’t care for this...but I’ll give another try.” Then I watched the second episode and thought, “Ugggh! This is really not for good (for me).” And by the time I started to watch the third episode, I knew, “Not! This is not for me.” I wanted to be tolerant, and yet I know better than to tolerate what’s not for me. It was only an online show and not a life-altering real-life episode that got me to thinking about the difference in being “tolerant” and having to “tolerate'' something unacceptable. Even after I closed the show and proceeded to get on with my life, I felt a tinge that questioned my ability to

Light

Light is one of the transformative benefits that come with mindfulness practice.  The prospects that come with light are literal and figurative.  Some who practice mindfulness share that the process brings clarity in the form of light (as a beam).  Others share about the light as enlightenment (as insights) that come with mindfulness practice.  Likewise, others express the feeling of light (as fewer burdens) of the mind.  Chances are with continued, consistent, and committed practice, one may have the benefit of all of these transformative experiences of mindfulness. Certainly one of the intended benefits of mindfulness practice is to bring light by helping release tension and stress. Through the practice of getting quiet, being still and focusing on breath, mindfulness offers light to relieve and lessen burdensome thoughts.  Mindfulness helps move you towards the awareness; a realm of light that opens to better balance in the awakening of the here, now, present moment.  The intent, pu

Turtle

You may remember Aesop's Fables, specifically the one about The Hare and The Tortoise. I remember these fables from childhood based on stories from Aesop, a slave who reportedly lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE. With a wide variety of subjects touching on various aspects of human experience, Aesop's Fables usually tell stories with lessons. Similar to folktales, stories like the Hare and the Tortoise employ animals to allow humans to step back and learn lessons about fair play, perseverance, and patience. I don't know how many stories are among the collection however, I do recall that most of Aesop's Fables offered perspectives on balance. Aesop's story of the Hare and the Tortoise comes to mind when people ask "How long does it take before the mindfulness practice starts to work?" It's one of those tricky answers that people don't particularly care for, yet, the fact is "It depends..." yet "What matters is that you pr

Process

“Trust ‘The Process’” Whether it was a new age guru, a self-help healer, a meditation master or Spock of Star Trek, I can’t be sure who made this now popular declaration. Too recent to be cliche, “Trust the Process” is being applied to everything from clothing and computer design, to healthcare and hotels, to film and physics. However, I think it's certain it was initially concerned with some approach to consciousness-raising. Even within the realm of consciousness “Trust The Process” can refer to prayer, meditation, yoga, Tai chi, Chakra traditions and certainly mindfulness. Indeed, “Trust The Process” is a perfect declaration for mindfulness practice. Unlike Tai chi, yoga, or even prayer, the process of mindfulness asks that you do less to get more. For example, in prayer may engage the process of affirmation and supplication through words. With yoga the process engages body movement. Chakra traditions may engage visualizations for the process. Alternatively, it is the pro

Energy

There is energy in mind. You've likely heard there is energy in thoughts, which of course is also true. However, there is a subtle, yet significant difference how our understanding can affect and determine how we process these concepts. Thoughts are what happens inside the mind and the mind is where thoughts are housed. The discussion about the differences can be complex and become complicated to the point it makes little sense or nonsense. Instead, it's enough to know that what goes on inside our head carries energy and we need to be mindful to balance that energy. Mindfulness practice is an approach that helps to balance the energy of the mind. In practice, the mind is quiet, still and focused on breath. In doing so, we are encouraged not to fight our thoughts; basically that requires energy we are seeking to balance. Instead, mindfulness encourages us to let pass, let go of thoughts to embrace the benefits of the practice. Ultimately, it is this practice that helps create be

Best

Who doesn't want the best? Certainly parents want the best school for their children. Families want the best care for ailing loved ones. Couples want the best neighbor for their first home. In general, everyone wants the best car, job, vacation. It's rhetorical in thought, yet we've all had to deal with not always getting the best. So that means making other choices. This "other" can cause angst for many. However, making the choice for something "other" than best doesn't mean the worst. It's all about balance. What if you're given a choice between "best and "better"? If you're paying attention you will give the options some thought. Several years ago I was fortunate to be introduced to a prayer, affirmation, mantra which says, "I affirm best or better" which can be applied to any situation. I love this affirmation because it's grounded in faith, gratitude and appreciation from the viewpoint of balance. I think

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is a nice great word to be attached to. People say she/he is so enthusiastic and the description brings to mind a good energy when spoken or heard. Enthusiasm is encouraging and empowering. The image of enthusiasm conjures clapping symbols, a marching band and a cheering crowd. Being enthusiastic practically implies noise, movement and shifts of energy. Given this perspective, it may seem unlikely that enthusiasm and mindfulness could share a space. Indeed mindfulness is quiet, still and focused on breathing. For best benefits mindfulness is practiced in a place, a space of quiet which helps to focus, embrace calm and release tension. The practice invites a different kind of good energy ushered in by a different kind of enthusiasm. With mindfulness enthusiasm is defined by attention and intention as you focus your breathing to invite awareness and appreciation of here, now, present moment. The intent, purpose, direction is forward as we create better balance on the p

Stretch

I t comes to us all at one time or another. That's life. Some say it doesn't have to be ... a life with stress. I'm not so sure about that and arguing the point in heated debates can in itself cause stress. From my point of view stress can be a call to "stretch" because all muscles need to stretch to be strong in order to support life/living. Speaking metaphorically stress can be a process that helps us grow, be better and stronger. True the brain, the mind isn't a true muscle, however, in function, complexity and purposefulness, the mind (brain) is essential to living life. Stress can be a message to stretch beyond our anxiety. If not, we begin to lose muscle balance and our abilities begin atrophy. Even the simple things like sleeping, remembering, and releasing tension become hard to do with stress. This happens when we become over-stressed and we need to find a way to stretch back into balance. Mindfulness is a technique that can help stretch, moving away

Illusions

Sometimes I’ll hear a word during the day and it will stay with me all day. I pay attention to when that happens because I'm that kind of person who believes life gives us answers in many forms along the way. Only you have to take note, pay attention. I have no idea what context “illusions” was supposed to take in my consciousness today or how it was supposed to guide my path. I may never realize what I was “supposed” to get from paying attention to “illusions” today. Nevertheless, thinking about illusions gave me pause to be in the moment. Of course, mindfulness practice is grounded in appreciation of the moment. It’s the pause, stillness and focus on breathing that helps bring balance by centering you in the moment. However, the relevant difference is that in mindfulness you let thoughts pass. Unlike thinking, contemplating, ruminating about the significance of the many thoughts we have during the day, the practice is an opportunity to pause and let go of thoughts. Mindful

Philosophy

Epictetus was a Greek philosopher who lived thousands of years ago. How many thousands of years ago, his field of philosophy, his life experiences are specifics I'll leave you to discover. However, what I discovered while reading up on the teachings of Epictetus were lessons about calm, acceptance and the benefit of creating balance in your life. Indeed, one tenet of Epictetus philosophy is to teach what leads (you) towards better. In reading this, I thought, "That sounds like mindfulness" - at least as I experience the practice. Though not a philosophy in the literal sense, mindfulness is a practice that can help move you towards better. Mindfulness through focused breathing techniques provide an opportunity to relax, relieve tension and restore balance. Adopting a specific philosophy provides a set of theory to help guide you through life. Mindfulness is a specific practice guide towards center through awareness, awakening and appreciation of the here, now, present mome

Yes!

Why do babies learn to say "No!" before they learn to say "Yes!" I contemplated this while trying to teach my little nephew this very lesson. Is it easier to form the word "No" for babies? Is it the way the brain (innately) works for learning to speak? Or is it a lesson about our society, which seemingly prefers "no" over "yes" in everyday life. You've probably had that experience: Ask a clerk at the Post Office, and the answer is "no", or ask a clerk at the grocery store, the answer is "no", or a teller at the bank or ask a passerby for directions, the answers too often a "no" - sometimes before the question has been asked. Why no much negative response? "What's on people's mind, they prefer "no" or "yes" ? Apparently, someone else was wondering about the "no" vs. "yes" out there in the general society and decided to start a movement. As a r

Grounded

Chi, meridian, and chakra are among some of the more familiar eastern techniques for creating balance in your life. Each technique offers a different approach and a particular philosophy. Indeed, you may find the same or similar language associated with the different techniques. One of those terms is “grounded” and usually connects to images of a tree being rooted to the ground. The image demonstrates that no matter which technique you practice, you will need to establish a solid foundation to build upon. This might seem obvious, however, sometimes we may be so ready to create better balance, we disregard that we need to get “grounded” before we can grow. Mindfulness practice can help us get “grounded” to be able to grow, move towards better balance. Mindfulness practice through an approach of quiet, stillness and focus on breathing helps establish the foundation to aid our ability to let thoughts pass, allowing us to move towards awareness. Awareness is stability that helps us c

Expectations

Ostensibly, when there’s talk of the future, it usually in a positive light. As the saying goes, we “look forward to the future” and have expectations of better. The thing about expectations is you can almost guarantee it's not going to be what you have in mind - not exactly. This happens because expectations are primarily about the future. Indeed, focusing on expectations, like focusing on the future can be futile. Moreover, too much energy spent forecasting for the future can turn in to worry. Similarly, too much focus on expectations can lead to much disappointment. Of course, the best balance is to be mindful of your focus on the future and expectations. Without expectations we would have little to work towards; no goals to guide us. Without hope for the future, we would have little to motivate improvements; creating better. Part of life is growing and balancing, growing and balancing and growing and balancing - continuously. Mindfulness can help with this process with da

Fear

Even on the face of it, the word "fear" brings discomfort to many. When I make statements like that, I immediately think back to the time when there was no word for "it" - whatever "it" might be for a particular discussion. Thinking of this helps me to realize "the word'' in this case "fear" has no power other than the power we give it. This is not saying that the word doesn't provoke, move, or stir feelings, thoughts and emotions in us. However, it does give me a minute to remember it's a "word" - innate , unlike an wild animal that acts on its own (some passionate linguists may argue that words have a life of their own). Whereas, we give words power with us, within us, and sometimes over us. Certainly, the point is made with the well used quote "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself" from long ago. This famous 1933 inaugural address was a history-making phrase intended to calm, bring solace to a

Ok

Look it up in the dictionary. It may or may not be there. It may or may not be spelled the same way. Nevertheless, you know - very well what “OK” means. You’ve said, heard, read it and understand the simple sound, meaning and purpose of “OK” when you experience it. Indeed, “OK” speaks to the here, now, present moment. Say it out loud - to yourself (I do it often) - and you will see how “now” it feels. Without realizing it, “OK” has become a kind of mantra for when I need to bring myself to center. The understanding of this came one day when I was getting ready to do something, but couldn’t remember what. My mind had scattered and when I stopped, got quiet and said, “OK” (out loud - as I do), I got focused. I remembered and smiled at how simple and helpful “OK” was in that moment. Mindfulness practice is all about the experience, power and benefit of awareness, appreciation and awakening of the here, now, present moment. The intent, purpose, direction is forward as we create better bala

Sleep

Sometimes I just want to sleep. I sleep to forget about everything that bothers me. I want to sleep snug as a bug, comfortable as a baby. Sleep it's the rest, relaxation and perhaps the forgetful state that makes all problems go away. Lovely sleep. We all need sleep. We could not live long without sleep. Sleep is necessary, calming and restorative. And yet, we all know to get on with life, we must wake from sleep. I would not say mindfulness is like sleep, although there are some similarities. Obviously, the ideal environment for both is quiet and stillness (even if you toss in your sleep, you remain still in the same place, your bed). Both sleep and mindfulness can move us to relax and release tension and stress. Both sleep and mindfulness offer an opportunity to alter your state of consciousness to create better balance. However, one of the very significant differences is that you can practice mindfulness almost anywhere at any time. No need for pillows, bed, blanket

Movement

When I was a kid I loved movement; still do. I loved being in my grandmother’s old fashioned farmer-style rocking chair on the porch. I loved when my uncle would just stop by and take us for a ride in his big car. I loved swinging, and I didn't need to swing high, I just love the movement. I loved dancing (although to this day my rhythm hasn’t improved much), still I love movement. I was thinking about this the other day and realized maybe that’s one of the reasons mindfulness practice works for me: movement. I’m not talking about literal movement with mindfulness practice. However, it is a good visual to understand the benefits of the practice. Mindfulness, through focusing on your breathing produces movement of mind from tension to release, from anxiety to calm and from cloudy to awareness. Moreover, it's a subtle movement that happens within the embrace of quiet and stillness. The movement of mindfulness takes you from imbalance over there, to center and the awakening

Practice

Take a deep breath in, let a gentle breath out. Take a deep breath in, let a gentle breath out. Take a deep breath in, let a gentle breath out. This is the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a method that helps bring you to peace. It's a simple process, and yet it requires practice to be beneficial. The technique can be examined in a few words, and easily demonstrated. However, simple as it sounds there's no getting around making the practice of mindfulness meaningful to you. And as rhetorical as it may sound, it's the daily practice that unfolds its meaning to and for you. Mystical, perhaps. Magical, not. Mindfulness is mystical to and for me simple because although I know how it works, breathing is the breath of life, I don't know why it works. Ancients, Buddhists, teachers, practitioners, medical and technical scientists have studied the practice of mindfulness and none can say exactly "why" it works. Indeed, in discussions like these, I question wheth

Power

The power to navigate our life is natural to everyone. We exercise that power when we choose which shoes to wear, choose our friends, choose what to eat. Of course, we don’t usually cognitively take note of these decisions as use of our power. We use the same power to vote, choose a career or a life partner. However, we usually pay more attention to our power to navigate these “life-defining” situations than deciding whether to have a pizza or a salad. Likewise, we use the same power to choose how we navigate stress that can cause disruption that can cause imbalance in our life. I choose the power of mindfulness. Mindfulness has a power of its own. It too is natural. It’s the power to use our breath to help create better balance. At the core, the power of mindfulness is also “life-defining” because being centered benefits our ability to navigate life in a healthy way. In the quiet, stillness, focusing breathing you move into the power mindfulness to experience the awarene

Proximity

There. Right close... ,,,by and near is peace of mind. In times of stress, disruption, anxiety or feelings of imbalance mindfulness practice is a close as your own breath. Of course, that's exactly what mindfulness calls for, focusing on your breathing can calm, relieve and release tension. You don't have to drive to the store for those cigarettes, or walk down the hall to the office vending machine for that coke or walk down to the neighborhood bar for a drink. Although getting in your car, or a step away from your office or a walk down the block may be options to get you to a quiet space so you breath-in and breath-out with less distraction. Yes, we often overlook (or take for granted) what's near and in close proximity. You know how it goes, one partner takes the other partner for granted, one friend takes the other's friendship for granted, or a boss takes a right-hand employee for granted. These are cliche circumstances, and yet cliches are cliches for the truth th

Principles

We can all get set in our ways. Bound by principles, doctrine, canon we may not even remember why we adopted in the first place. It can become a kind of tunnel vision that can block, bind and ban growth. There is of course, a reason for rules in all society, ostensibly in place to help keep balance. However, all of us have seen and/or experienced local, worldwide and personal circumstances when dogma - for the sake of dogma - can incite imbalance. Certainly, no doctrine, canon, no principle can disturb balance without the cooperation of the mind(s) of those who ascribe such principles. This is why it's important to practice mindfulness. Everyday, no matter the political affiliation, your culture, your religion or heritage roots we all make choices, decisions and interact with others based on our principles. In most cases our principles guide us well and we are able to live without stressing over every little decision. Still there are times our principles do cause us to ques

PLEASANT

It can be quite difficult to understand, grasp, to wrap your head around the concept that most of what we are is "mind"  - that means “what is” we create - good and bad. Perhaps because the idea is so powerful and empowering we resist this fact: "We create with mind" our world. From toothpaste, Twinkies to the top of the Eiffel Tower, it was created in mind first. This is an essential idea to grasp in terms of appreciating the wonders of the world and extremely important for appreciating wonders of your personal world. Even though most of us won't become Rocket Scientist, we each still have the incredible power and responsibility for what we create in our daily life from the time we wake, until the time we go to sleep (and some will say even our sleep we create). It's as simple as "What you put your mind to, is what you create" and send out into the world. Mindfulness is an opportunity to help create better balance in the world. My little niece lov