Monday, July 29, 2013

Living in the Moment...

 A new week has begun and my wish for you is that it is off to a great start! All experiences can be used as a springboard for reflection and this weekend reminded me of the importance of living in the moment and prompted the following reflections of living in the moment.... 

Letting go of attachment to outcome is one of the most rewarding qualities to have yet one of the most difficult to achieve. It is a quality that Spiritual Masters hold. And it is the one thing that transcends time and allows one to live life to the fullest! Only when one is in the present moment and not tied to the "what if's" and the "what now's", does time seem to stand still!

I recall listening to the well known anthropologist Jean Houston at a conference several years ago on this topic. She talked about passion, the present moment, and our unique capacity to live life to the fullest and create a space in which time almost stands still. Her message was almost mystical. I was so taken by her style and the calm she projected. She was speaking in the moment. She was amazing!! After her presentation,  I recalled experiences in life in which I felt that way. Times that were deemed special and almost magical. I was prompted further research and reading on the topic and practice more and more.  Work in progress....

In my work, I have proven to clients how being in the moment can ground us and promote clarity regarding our feelings and difficult situations.  At this very moment, are you holding on to feelings from the past? At this very moment, are you focusing on what will be? OR are you being with what IS right now? I usually  invite a 5 minute meditation. The feedback is remarkable....some experience increased awareness, some experience relaxation, but mostly there is a sense of discomfort with sitting for 5 minutes(of course if one is experiencing significant anxiety or other condition, it can be more challenging and this is taken into consideration).  
Usually, thoughts of the past and the future creep into the mind...questions and fears and doubts clutter the space we are trying to clear up for only 5 minutes. Interestingly though, because one is paying attention, those 5 minutes will seem very long proving that when one is present and in the moment...time seems to stand still.  The attachments that are held close associated with what we think outcomes "should" be can ruin the moment. Truth be told, no one knows what is next... but living in the moment and working with what we have in the moment can certainly impact  the "what's next"in a positive way!

It takes practice and willingness to allow ourselves to feel and experience what is and address it based on what is going on now.... I have just posted a meditation on positive thinking recorded by Jon Rhodes on my FB page. Try it! Let me know what you think!

I continue to be a big fan of Jean Houston and her work. I have attached a photo taken with her during that conference.

Be well...Be happy...Be in the moment!

Peace, Light, and Wellbeing be yours....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

And here is my inspiration!!! Jayden, Abuela loves you soooo much!!!

Time.... Transitions.... and New Beginnings! 

Upon reflection, I see how life can sweep us up in its happenings and we can easily neglect that which brings us passion. In my case, writing and sharing experiences, thoughts, and lessons. There have been so many.
The themes of life continue and it goes on no matter what... the themes of life be they career, relationship, health, family, friendships evolve and change. When I saw my last posting was over three years ago, I was surprised.. I could have sworn it was less than that. It was an a-ha moment. Sometimes we simply forget how time flies and we let go of our passions, not because we want to... no. I believe that we get caught up in the pressures and hurried lives and become lulled into a routine and sleepwalk only reacting when something jars us into the present moment.

We are constantly bombarded with how we are "supposed" to be, feel, look and have, by mainstream society and media. Internalizing the labels forced upon us, especially women of a certain age, and particularly being single, is one of the most challenging things to dispel. I believe we all have an idea of what they are. And many times, because of how we feel it is "supposed to" be, we are lulled into UN-fulfilling jobs, grueling work schedules, and pressures to keep going in the rat race toward happiness, ironically enough.  And if somehow, our lives aren't moving in the way it is "supposed to" or an unexpected event such as illness or a job loss arrives, we are immediately awakened! We are forced to take another look; to be in the moment. "The Truth will set you free!"  to which Marianne Williamson added  "but first it will piss you off." What can follow is disconnection and loneliness. A quiet desperation filled with fear and uncertainty. And fear, my friends, can become our greatest enemy. But there is another choice. We can start anew...find new purpose, re-define ourselves and take conscious action to recognize the fluidity of life as something to embrace and welcome.

But truly, it IS about choices. Will we choose to accept defeat and go back to sleepwalking and give out  to fear and forget our dreams, giving in to negative feelings and thoughts that accompany a new lull? Or do we choose re-boot and renew our purpose, refresh our spirit, and nurture our beings and take action  into seizing each moment to find the best in us and others? I am reminded of the Native American story which I will paraphrase... There was once a wise grandfather walking through the woods with his young grandson admiring nature and the grandfather talks to the young child about  the 2 wolves living inside each of a constant battle. One wolf represents the good/trusting  in us and the other wolf represents the fearful/negative in us.  The grandson listens carefully and curiously inquires as to which of the wolves wins the battle.  The wise grandfather calmly responds... the one you choose feed the most. Which do we feed most regularly? Letting go of ego and selfish desires to focus on what really matters.... tranquility, service, and love; with the knowing that we are not alone, and trusting that the blessings will follow, seems like the better choice. Only if we honor our gifts without attachment to outcomes, can we feel true joy!

Thinking "Out of the Box" is not the easiest task in today's world. However, doing our best to make the paradigm shift, working toward the simple and most beautiful aspects of life is so important. Choosing to awaken from the sleepwalk without waiting for the catastrophic event as a catalyst. Choosing to live life with greater consciousness and purpose!! Recognizing our internal strengths and building upon them no matter what society, commercials, statistics, magazines or the negative "wolf" say.  The time is NOW for the present is all we really have!

All this being said, I will acknowledge that challenges will continue...but to see them as opportunities for growth with the certainty that they will pass, is key to overcoming them. I am not immune to challenges. They have visited me over the past three years in great ways. But, I have practiced ( and I emphasize practice)  seeing the beauty of the basic and simple things such as nature, music, reading,  and writing again. One of my greatest inspirations is my grandson, born a little over a year ago!  I cannot describe what a blessing his presence has been. There is definitely something different about being a grandparent. I am older, wiser, and have greater patience to stop, watch, listen and play.  His innocence, curiosity, unconditional love, and trust has served to remind me that there was once the same innocent spirit in me. Re-connecting with that lost aspect of ourselves like being playful, laughing, trusting and simply being with what is... rather than judging and feeling anxiety, can allow us to re-focus on our purpose and take the action necessary to transition and begin again.... I thank the universe, my son and his wife for this amazing gift and reminder!   Some may contend that with all we have on our "plates" this seems so simplistic....but the choice is ultimately yours and simple can be very rewarding.

Stop...wake up... and check- in.... Listen, hug , be compassionate to yourself and others, get involved, play, love, and examine your purpose and be the best you can be!  As I continue to strive to be the best therapist I can be... to serve as best as I can... I must also recognize that I too am subject to the "sleepwalk" and must continue work toward the paradigm shift... and journey to continue to embrace the beauty of life and Being!

New beginnings.....

Peace, Light, and yours!