Have you caught on yet that I like the Zen Habits blog?
Well, if not here was a cool recent guest-post! It’s on “Finding Quiet and Mindfulness Through Food“.
One of the best experiences I had in ‘aloneness’s was dining just yards from my office, but being just with me. Hard, cool, and rewarding!
In this busy season, can you find the quiet?
The guiding force of this blog is to “say yes”. To me, that is a whole host of things: improv ideas, spiritual notions, life experiences, lessons learned. Hence the wide variety of topics covered in this creative space. However, there are some easy ways to challenge yourself and let “yes” become your default.
- Make a statement, don’t ask a question. By asking a question, you are easing towards yes, but making a statement says “I declare this!”
- Support others: If you don’t know where to start, start with those around you. Can you yes something that they are doing, can you help them build and heighten that? If so, start there!
- Fake it til you make it: just try saying yes each time until you don’t need to think about it.
I’m no expert, heck I’m learning as we go through life too! But these are just a few keys I have found to embracing the freedom of yes and.
Sometime in September….
The other day was tough with my Mom. My Dad and sis were feeling ill, and my plan to visit was a good thing.
I went over and we decided to go on a walk, so she could get out of the house for a bit. I took Mom to one of my favorite places, this path along a lake in the reservation. It’s fairly flat, just a few bumps and pebbles.
We did well the first half, but when we turned around to come back, it was different. I had been holding Mom’s hand so ensure no trips or falls. Turning direction always is confusing, and I understand. Mom had been asking me to walk longer, but I knew she might tire out and didn’t want to be too far from the car.
When we started back, she felt we had been walking too long. She took up a high speed, which made me nervous for those trips and falls. I kept asking to slow down, then it became imperative! I was frustrated, so was she. She kept pulling me along, meandering on our path.
Through the frustration, I did see the irony. Mom is leading me. While I’m not ready for the moments of role reversal that have happened, they are here.
But Mom leads me. Even in these moments. The ones of frustration, doubt, sadness, and confusion.
And shouldn’t that be so? This is her journey, and her path.
So lead on, Mom. We are right there with you.
Change is scary…but it is also good. Take it from my friend, Ellen. This woman is fiercely brave, passionate and loving. Among her many talents, she is a phenomenal story teller. We met a few years ago and I love reading her blog posts and following her adventures.
On this recent post, Ellen opens us up to a time of great transition in her life. By drawing in lessons from the past (through her Columbus Day revelations) she shares:
My new meaning of Columbus Day is not only about embracing failure, but embracing the journey. It is about the unknown. Trusting the unknown in this moment however it may be unfolding, knowing all will be well.
Yes, change is scary. Its the unknown, the risks that feel bigger than life itself.
But somewhere, we find the courage, the rational (or irrational) thought that it will all be ok. And we go forward.
Who’s ready to take that leap?
7:42 am: Watching on my favorite TV sitcom/drama and I realized “I’m grateful for these challenges”.
I was awake, at 6:30 am on a Saturday. Watching TV to wake up my brain for a 2 hour practice midterm test, seeing these fictional character’s problems and wishing they were mine: fighting about their ‘perfect’ families, stressing about new adventures, etc.
And then I remembered my own, and thought I’m so grateful. For my challenges, for the supportive friends and families in my life, for this opportunity to learn, for this chance to grow, for this chance to strech myself beyond what I thought capable or would like.
And don’t we need moments of serene gratefulness, like these?
Sometimes I think too much into the future- will this happen, what will life look like, what do I need to do now to make the future happen? But today’s thought reminded me to stay here. In this moment: hard, challenging, wonderful, or not.
So this great big ,beautiful mess that is oh-so-the-current-moment-of-my-life? I’m grateful today. It’s making me grow. It’s making me find strength.
Where it all (hopefully) comes together!
(Wow, grateful, even for a minute, for the challenges in life? If that’s not growth, I don’t know what is!)
A few days ago, my post went live on Mary’s site, Finding Joy in All Things. Mary and I met when we were year long volunteers in Syracuse. Her posts are brilliant- so spend some time reading and be filled.
I signed onto Facebook (while avoiding the current moment….and homework) and my favorite author had posted this:
I love it. Being in the moment is one of the central themes of improv. Be here, don’t plan, don’t force creation, let what is going to unfold, unfold!
This past week was again a bit stressful- this time it was about planning the next 18 months with school and what specialization I will chose. BF said to me, “Why not just take the improv approach? Jump fully in, commit, and see what happens”.
I fought back- saying I don’t want to mess this up, it’s too expensive of a ‘mistake’ yadda yadda yadda.
I still don’t have an answer to that
problem opportunity, but you know what? For today, I’m going to practice the mindfully being in the moment. Being here, not wherever I’m supposed to be in two hours, two days or two years from now. Here.
Because here is where it counts.
And if I “fail” at this? Well, I’ll pull out a box of cookies to bring me back to savoring the moment.
“Don’t forget to be grateful” said a mentor of mine just days ago. Now, I find these thoughts swirling around with a mess of stress.
But granted, have we all not become some focused in our corner of the world, that we momentarily forget what riches we have? We can quickly move through life, from one transition to another, or one requirement/to-do list/ or task.
Yet, if we forget to pause and find gratitude for whatever blessings have arisen in those moments, we are missing out. Plus, this is not just conventional wisdom, but also has been documented in recent studies.
So, what are your grateful for in this moment?
For me, its my most important mentor- my amazingly compassionate and giving father. I am so grateful for him and all he does for me.
“I don’t know what I’m doing” has found its way into my daily life.
I have decided to go back to school, and began a full time graduate program less than two weeks ago. It’s exciting, thrilling, slightly tedious, overwhelming, and most of all…NEW.
I have opened myself up to a different experience, taken a gamble with my life that I hope turns out for the best. Indeed, there is that small beacon, voices of friends and my own navigating force that say “this is a good thing”. But doubt? Yah, she’s gonna come along for the ride.
And that’s ok.
So I breathe. I find moments, activities that bring back your center of gravity, of purpose, of passion. And I also allow the moments of “crap, what am I doing?” rise up. Then, its time to put on your big girl pants/hat/ or in my case, backpack, and truck on.
Because I can still breathe (even with doubt). I can still find my way (with doubt). And I can still succeed (even with doubts).
And that’s ok.