And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of god.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."
So I went forth, and finding the hand of god, trod gladly into the night.
And she led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East."
MInnie Louise Haskins
Having faith is stepping onto to the staircase when you can't see the next stair.
Sometimes it is better to be kind than right...anonymous
What is there was no problem to fix? What if you were perfect just as you are and there was nothing to change? How would things be different?
What is mindfulness? It’s being aware of your own baggage so that you don’t dump it off for other people to carry. It is being aware of why do what you do, so that you can observe how you react and learn not to react unconsciously anymore, but to be aware of why you do what you do and how you feel and where it comes from…
Mindfulness is being able to identify your own baggage on the carousel, claiming it and knowing what is inside the suitcases. It is then about figuring out when you open those suitcases and take out your clothes of anger, depression or anxiety and put them on. It is not asking other people to carry your bags for you. It is learning to observe yourself, having a sense of humor about yourself and learning that you are not your thoughts. Once you get to the place where you are no longer reacting in an unconscious way, you can start leaving those empty bags behind, knowing that you will have whatever you need wherever you go.
Crazy people can only drive you crazy if you give them the keys...I have no idea who said this, but I try to remember it each and every day...whether it is the person that cut me off in traffic, the unhelpful person at the other end of the phone or a friend or family member who is not acting in a way I would like. You are the only one you have any control over...don't hand those keys to anyone else!!
Meditation, even the idea of it, was something I used to loathe. When I first started going to yoga classes, I would dread the end of class when we were supposed to meditate or do a collective "om" chant. I felt inadequate and stupid because I could not keep shopping lists, kid problems,my to do list or any number of things from crowding into my head. I have now learned to still my mind and focus. I am not perfect at it by any means, some days are better than others and some days it seems useless to even try. But when I do get it there is nothing else like it and it is a worthy goal, this ability to be still and "just be". A lot of people don't like the idea of sitting still...I say fine! Take a meditative walk...there is no reason you cannot practice the stillness in your mind while your body is moving. At the very least it is a great way to start the process. First, you have to unplug...take your walk without your phone or music, your dog is fine! Then try being exactly where you are on the walk. Use all your senses...do you smell anything? How do your feet feel hitting the ground as you stride along? How does your body feel as you move? Is there a breeze? Is it cloudy? Is the sun shining? What noises do you hear? Are you warm, cold, sweating? Simply pay attention to everything around you and your reaction to all the stimuli you encounter. This is a form of meditation...as you find your focus wavering from the here and now, gently bring yourself back to moment, to where you are right now. It is a great way to start what can be a daunting exercise AND you get the benefits of a walk too!
My fabulous girlfriend Tanya told me recently that fear and excitement are the same emotion. Your body reacts in the same way...your blood pressure rises, your breathing quickens, your eyes dilate, adrenaline rushes in. Fear has often threatened to keep me from doing things I want to do, even things I am passionate about (like starting a counselling business!). The idea of choosing to be excited about something instead of fearing it changes the game entirely. I always have a choice about how I feel regarding anything...so when I am scared of doing something, I am going to try to remember to choose excitement instead of fear!
"What is essential is invisible to the eye, it is only with the heart that one can see clearly . . ." - Antoine de St. Exupery, “The Little Prince”
“Perfection is defined by others. Balance is defined by me.” - Unknown
"Sometimes all it takes is one kind person to change someone's day. Be that person." - Aine Belton
“I have decided to embrace my crazy, pretending to be normal just sucks all the fun out of life.” - Unknown
If you are interested in achieving better balance in your life, then contact Exuberance NOLA via the provided form. Services are available onsite in New Orleans, Louisiana or anywhere via Skype.