practice mindfulness

What Are You Practicing?

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Have you seen that viral video going around with the little kid asking, “what do you practice?”?
Omg. It is so. Good.

So good that I set a couple reminders on my phone to pop up periodically throughout the asking the question, “what are you practicing?”

The idea is this.. what we practice we get very good at. When we practice worry, we’ll be great worriers. When we practice being suspicious of events, people, places, things, we’ll be very good at being suspicious. Etc, etc.


So the lesson I’m getting from this is: to stop throughout the day, check in with myself, & realize consciously what I am practicing at that moment.

Am I practicing being frantic? 
Am I practicing seeing the bad? 
Am I practicing judgment? 
Am I practicing being in fear?

What if I was willing to practice allowance? 
Peace? 
Compassion? 
Being in love?

Not just when I’m in meditation, but always throughout the day.. noticing what I am practicing.

This morning I was trying to “get through” all the emails I’ve been putting off all week. The energy was really “I hate this,” “hurry up” and generally just tight and frantic.

Then the reminder; “what are you practicing?” popped up on my phone, and I realized it. I get the tightness. I felt the resistance. I was literally ‘practicing’ tightness, judgment, & resistance. Whoa!

And because of this little reminder, I was able to ask myself, “how can I practice joy right now?” “How can I practice how I would like to feel, right now?” So that I get really good at it.

I felt my shoulders drop. 
I felt my lips curve up. 
I heard a mantra of mine reverberate in my head, “I am peaceful.” 
And just that like that a miracle happened. 
I was practicing what I want to practice.

So this post is asking you, right now, what are you practicing? And would you rather be practicing something different?

Here’s your chance to shift it. 
I’m with you.

 

 

What to Do When You Feel Out of Control

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I’ve been having one of those weeks where I’m feeling a little lost, a little out of control. I've been traveling for so long and now that I've finally got a significant amount of time in one place everything feels like it's going slow motion. Personally, there's been a slowing down. A refocusing. It's the feeling of a season change. Turning inward. It's melancholy, in a comforting way. 

In the greater world, there are so many things happening right now that feel out of control too. The flooding in Texas and the path of hurricane Irma. The earthquake centered in Mexico, of which the aftershocks woke me up in my bed in Guatemala last night (the date I’m writing this is 9/8/2017, just in case you're reading this later). The last two weeks I was visiting family in Montana and the wild fires left my clothes and hair smelling like a campfire for days. The smoke burning my lungs and darkening the sky.

To say all this in a way that lacks description but also encompasses the entirety I'm feeling is: It's a lot. A very easy time to fall into fear and depression. And when we feel like this, lost, overwhelmed and hopeless it can be really easy and comfortable to fall into the known mindsets of worry, scarcity, distrust, and lack. 

But, I made a decision a long time ago that I wanted to live a life from the other side of those constricting thought patterns.

I live a life that leaves room for the melancholy, hopelessness, and sadness but isn’t defined by them. I made a decision to be a person who Trusts. Even when it feels like I’m floating off into space without any anchor, I Trust that it’s what I need. To feel alone. To feel sad. All feelings are gifts, little guides, brining me home. 

Even when I feel like I’m spinning out of control, I am committed to releasing my grip even further, because who says spinning is bad anyway? Self-love is allowing the feelings, no judgment because we respect ourselves enough to know have feelings for a reason, to guide us towards what we need.  

I want to live in a world where qualities like trust, acceptance, joy, space, allowance, are the default. Where challenges are seen as learning experiences that sharpen our minds, strengthen our characters, and stretch our hearts. Where we see difficult emotions as a sign that we need to do the difficult work of slowing down, turning inward, and giving ourselves space. And how to do we make changes in the world? We “be the change we would like to see,” as Ghandi says.  

So in the midst of a challenge of feeling out of control, let’s not harden our shells, or tighten our grip, but let the change come. Let’s focus on what we CAN do, not what feels impossible. Let’s focus on what is being washed away and let go. Let’s realize that for all new seeds to germinate and bloom there must a period of sowing. 

So let the change come. 

Let the falling away happen. 

Hold the change that's happening like a delicate flower in the palm of your hand, with tenderness, with respect, with love, until it's ready to be released. 

You are always more than enough. I believe you. You can let whatever difficult change is happening to you right now, happen. You can let the world hold you. Soften into it. Blur around the edges. Be swept away. 

As we meet our challenges with love, allowance, and tenderness, we meet ourselves with the same qualities, and self-love changes our lives and we change the world. 

Service and Joy: An Intro

I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I awoke and saw that life was service.

I acted and behold...

.... service was joy.

My friends, may you experience the joy of service today and all days.