“Silence is a source of great strength.” ~Lao Tzu
For over two years I spent one out of every four weeks in silence. At the time I was living at a Zen Monastery and every month we would have a week-long silent retreat.
During this retreat we sat meditation in silence, ate in silence, worked in silence, and only communicated through hand gestures and written notes.… 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
“The reality is that tomorrow is most certainly uncertain and no matter how many expectations we form, tomorrow will come, tomorrow will go and it will all be what it will be.” ~Lori Deschene
I have never known how to surrender to just about anything. Surrendering is giving up control, and this is something I have never been good at doing.… Read More
“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.” ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
In my late thirties, I attended a workshop that was led by a group of coaches. One of the exercises we did was called the “future self-exercise,” a visualization that took me twenty years into my future.… Read More
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” ~Jack Kornfield
I never wanted to see a therapist. I imagined settling onto the storied couch and seeing dollar signs appear in concerned eyes as I listed the family history of mental illness, addiction, and abuse. I feared I’d be labeled before I’d ever been heard.… Read More
“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” ~Marianne Williamson
I always had a hard time accepting all of me. As early as I can remember others defined me by saying “You are so weird.” Not in a malicious way but more in a “you don’t fit into our familiar box” sort of way.… Read More
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” ~William S. Burroughs
Patience can be a struggle.
I know this firsthand. My experience with impatience used to be confined to overusing the microwave or skipping to the end of a long novel.
Back then, when waiting at a traffic light for more than two minutes seemed like an eternity, I didn’t know that life would teach me several advanced lessons in patience.… Read More
“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” ~Pema Chodron
I’ve never been much of a sun worshipper. I’m a pale blend of Irish, Scottish, and English, so my skin goes from alabaster to boiled lobster in about 20 minutes.… Read More
“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” ~Buddha
Growing up, I was one of those people much more concerned about what you thought of me than what I thought of me.
With my focus being on how I was being perceived by those around me, it left me feeling extremely unsettled.… Read More
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama
Several years ago, a colleague and I were invited to give a presentation on mindfulness at our State Mental Health Conference. I was a novice and flattered to be asked.
Singing bowls, which are metal and look like a mortar and pestle, are useful tools in mindfulness practice.… Read More
“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” ~Alice Duer Miller
As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a relative, I had become accustomed to keeping secrets. Silence, I was taught, was a good thing. It protected people that I loved.
So for over a decade, I carried the dark and overbearing weight of my past in secrecy and in silence, believing I was the only one in the world who’d ever experienced such abuse—until I learned from a college workshop that one in four women and one in five men fall victim to sexual abuse by the time they are eighteen.… 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
“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.” ~Marcus Aurelius
How can I find peace of mind? It’s a question often asked, but rarely answered in a satisfying way.
Some say peace of mind lies in security. Some say it’s about de-cluttering, and finding stillness and calm in life.… Read More
“Make the best use of what is in your power and take the rest as it happens.” ~Epictetus
I am in an unfamiliar place and I find myself waiting. It is not clear who or what I am waiting for. I then hear a gentle tapping at the door. I approach the door, but stand before it in silence.… Read More
“The whole life of a man is but a point in time; let us enjoy it.” ~ Plutarch
Take a moment to think about the last time you stared up into a clear night sky, one that was gorged with stars and seemed to go on forever—one where the longer you stared, the more depth appeared.… Read More
“Letting go give us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
I stood alone in what had been my childhood bedroom, staring at the dresser with a familiar discomfort. My fingers clutched at the handle of the second drawer from the top and pulled hard, straining from the weight of its contents.… Read More
“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” ~Dr. Anthony Robins
I used to be an angry person. And I was happy about that. In fact, I prided myself on that identity during high school.
So devoted to the young and vapid demographic, I would stand in front of the bathroom mirror and practice the eighties version of the mad dog stare.… Read More