Kindness Trumps Efficiency

Kindness Trumps Efficiency

I am grateful to my new mindfulness teacher, Julia, a customer service representative who I will probably never meet, for the loving reminder that we are connected. Thank you, Julia, for the renewed certainty that in every act we take (even when online shopping), we have the power to be more than polite. We can be thoughtful and kind. And that matters greatly.

A Case for Paying Attention

A Case for Paying Attention

Mindfulness makes us better at what whatever we are doing (reading, gardening, being with a friend, and so on). When we pay attention, we are exponentially more competent than when we do not. But mindfulness offers more. When we are mindfully engaged with or paying attention to whatever is happening, we feel better – calm, comfortable and confident. Feeling this good motivates us to keep us practicing!

Gathering Stillness in the New Year

Gathering Stillness in the New Year

“The purpose of gathering stillness is not to enrich the sanctuary or mountaintop but to bring that calm into the motion, the commotion of the world.”
My New Year’s intention is to create a sense of stillness in my life. In my imagination (after all, it’s only January 3 as I write this, so I’m still exploring and might be for years) the stillness I seek is a slower, more mindful pace. It is a sense of spaciousness in my days. It is an ability to prioritize. It is a freedom from compulsive, anxiety-driven doing. While the stillness I’m describing might manifest more as a mindset, a perspective, and an attitude than anything else, it is quite real. It is tangible. I have felt it and I want more of it.
If my quest for stillness resonates with you, read on for some ideas on how I hope to create a little of it every day.

Allow Yourself to be Undone

Allow Yourself to be Undone

Advent can be a hectic season filled with to-do’s lists needing to get done. As we reach the end of Advent, it is good to remember that one of the season’s themes – “expectant waiting” – is meaningful all year round. When read through this lens, Advent stories teach us that the un-done in life is as good and valuable as that which is done. You might even say the un-done is the “whole point” as it holds the potential of life yet to be lived and savored.

Pay Attention! It Makes You Happier.

Pay Attention! It Makes You Happier.

Practicing mindfulness while Christmas shopping? YES. A day spent among crowds, with little likelihood of a parking spot, and crazy, mid-December drivers with whom we share the roads reveal that the only thing we control in life is ourselves. Paying attention to how we’re approaching these “obstacles” is a surefire way to have a happier day.

The Beauty That Comes Asking for Help

The Beauty That Comes Asking for Help

Asking for help can be surprisingly hard for us to do. It requires us to relinquish control and risk of being seen as needy. But asking for help yoke ourselves to a whole that is far greater than ourselves. This whole is filled with incomprehensible possibilities. Asking for help is a way to tap into the potential of the whole. By doing so, we allow the power of the whole to infuse anything we are doing with more creativity, energy and light than we could ever provide on our own.

The Beauty of Life When Lived Moment by Moment

The Beauty of Life When Lived Moment by Moment

At the end of a very full holiday weekend, I had an odd, almost out-of-body experience of remembering discrete, individual moments of my holidays. This was a tremendous gift. Had it not happened, these tiny treasures could easily have been lost in the sweep of busy-ness and resulting exhaustion of a happy Thanksgiving. This experience made sweetly personal yoga philosophy’s invitation to experience life as a succession of NOWs to be embraced.

A Thanksgiving Way of Living

A Thanksgiving Way of Living

When you mix Thanksgiving’s abundance with the holiday’s emphasis on gratitude, a certain alchemy occurs – thankfulness morphs into generosity. Our trust in the plentifulness of life – knowing that we have everything we need – creates a shift in our outlook. Instead of looking around the world and craving more, we look around us and feel full, sated, cared for. Rather than needy, we feel ready and able to meet the needs of others. This Thanksgiving, and all the days that follow, I wish for you a sense of abundance that comes most beautifully from a grateful heart.

Gratitude Arises from Paying Attention

Gratitude Arises from Paying Attention

No matter how you choose to practice paying attention, with persistence and patience you will notice that almost everything you do all day is infused with a new richness and depth. Your whole life will take on a glow of gratitude as you recognize and absorb the wonder of your everyday life. Presence, like gratitude, will not be contained. They both splash abundantly into every corner of your existence – each enhancing the other as they do.