“Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” ~Chuang Tzu
Being an empty nester (the kids have grown up and left home), I noticed recently that I have fallen in love with little kids again.
After going through all the kid stages, and surviving them (most notably the teenage years), I took a long kid moratorium.… Read More
“Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” ~Chuang Tzu
At an early age I learned that nothing in life is guaranteed. When I was eleven years old, a close friend and classmate lost his battle with cancer. After that, I had several more instances of losing loved ones, some expected, others not so much.… Read More
“When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you just need to relax, breathe, let go and live in the moment.” ~Unknown
Recently I went to an annual fall retreat for my graduate program. This was exactly what my heart was longing for up until this point. I felt overworked by school and overwhelmed by the busyness of the city and suburban life.… Read More
“Your daily life is your temple and your religion. Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.” ~Kahlil Gibran
I had to learn the hard way that you don’t have to walk across hot coals or move to the desert and eat locusts and honey in order to have a mystical, life-changing experience.… Read More
“Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke
When I was twelve years old, I figured out how to get out of things.
It was a rainy Saturday morning and I was supposed to be getting ready for choir practice—an eight-hour rehearsal before a big concert.… Read More
“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you” ~John De Paula
Remember the Tasmanian Devil?
That crazed Loony Tunes cartoon character spinning out of control, crashing into everything in his path? Arriving in a blur. Leaving chaos in its wake.
That was pretty much me and my approach to “living my passion.”
This is hard to write but here goes (deep breath)…
Not too long ago I was seriously trying to accomplish all of these things at the same time:
Play in a rock and roll band of middle aged men living in New York City, rehearse regularly, play live shows, tour, and still play dad to a family of four.… Read More
“Our way to practice is one step at a time, one breath at a time.” ~Shunryu Suzuki
I blinked my eyes, wiggled my toes, and carefully heaved my right foot out from under me. It had gone completely numb after twenty minutes of meditation. I prodded it tentatively.
“The idea is to be able to meditate wherever you are,” our teacher said, pouring out some green tea as we stretched, “to be really present in whatever it is you are doing—cutting the lawn, doing the dishes, whatever it is.… Read More
“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
It’s Sunday night. A steaming plate of spaghetti is set in front of me. Salivating with wide eyes I grab my fork and prepare to dive in. We know how this will end. I will say to my husband while patting my tummy and undoing my top button, “Tomorrow we will start our healthy eating plans.”
This scene raises a number of questions:
Why can’t I resist the urge to inhale my meal like an out of control Scooby Doo bingeing on Scooby snacks?… Read More
“Children see magic because they look for it.” ~Christopher Moore
Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a beautiful, warm, sunny Sunday afternoon. Where could you possibly be—at home, on a beach, or waiting at a bus stop?
Which of these three scenarios is the most appealing? Most of us would probably choose the beach.… Read More
“Never underestimate the desire to bolt.” ~ Pema Chodron
So I have been trying this present moment awareness thing for a while now, about two years, and I have to say, it’s not going quite like I expected.
Somehow I got it in to my silly little head that after a while I would stop bolting from reality and I would just be present all the time, with complete effortlessness.… Read More
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes.… Read More
“Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take the action. Take the action and your feelings will change.” ~Barbara Baron
I own a series of CDs called “Classical Music for People Who Hate Classical Music.” We know we should like and listen to classical music—they’re the classics, after all! But when I actually find time to listen to music, I reach for Mumford & Sons, not Mozart.… Read More
“To be alive is to totally and openly participate in the simplicity and elegance of here and now.” ~Donald Altman
Embodied presence probably sounds superfluous. How else would we be present but in the body? If we leave our bodies, then we are by definition deceased. No longer present.
The simplicity of this embodied presence idea belies its depth though.… Read More
“If you learn from a loss you have not lost.” ~Austin O’Malley
Every experience, including every loss, has something to teach us even when we are not up for a lesson.
Losing one of my pets has been a chance for me to reflect on the value of the present, and has strengthened my commitment to engaging in each moment and not letting my worries and anticipation erode the possibilities of the now.… Read More
“I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” ~Thich Nhat Han
My dad had been ill, in and out of the hospital for a couple of weeks, when my mother called with news that he had been airlifted from their local hospital to a larger regional medical center.… Read More
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” ~Dalai Lama
“I wish I could do it all over again,” said my grandmother on her 60th wedding anniversary.
“Really?” I asked.
A small smile crossed her face as she replied, “Yes. Because when you enjoy your life—when you really enjoy your life—it just goes by so fast.… Read More
“Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.” ~Iyanla Vanzant
Have you ever had an experience that took you to emotional rock bottom? One that left you drained, broken, and totally numb?… Read More
“Nothing reduces the odds against you like ignoring them.” ~Robert Brault
Do you ever wake up feeling like you’re battling yourself?
What’s worse is waking up in that battle and feeling like you’ve already lost before you’ve even started the day.
But think about that for a second: isn’t living this way crazy?… Read More
“Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.” ~Richard Bach
There are times when nothing seems to move in the right direction. It is either stuck or goes from chaos to confusion. Days follow nights as pages on the calendar turn into months, but you remain at the same place.… Read More