Individuality and Compassionate Connection

Time and conscious experience of spaciousness give us perspective, an opportunity to become observers of our “self”. We tend to think to think our self is unchanging despite the fact that change is the only constant. We deceive ourselves by believing there is a set in stone “me” when that’s not so. Continue reading “Individuality and Compassionate Connection”

The Five Agreements and Netiquette

In The Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz reveals everything we do is based on agreements and provides and inspirational code for living an authentic life. In The Fifth Agreement Ruiz teaches how to discern the truth behind words, especially when we don’t agree what has been said. Continue reading “The Five Agreements and Netiquette”

Friends and Lovers

Ask almost anyone what the ingredients for a happy enduring relationship are and they will put romantic love at the top of the list.  Along with it will come a laundry list of cultural expectations; constraints that distract from perceiving what love is and how to be it. Continue reading “Friends and Lovers”

Practice Gratitude and Experience Joy

1candleI’ve been feeling so good about the way I’ve been taking care of my business and by that I mean my health and happiness.  That’s not to say that making a living isn’t something I’m taking care of too because I am. It is to say that I have my priorities straight so I’m experiencing gratitude and joy.  Are you? Continue reading “Practice Gratitude and Experience Joy”

Heart Rose Meditation Redux

heart rose

It’s a year since the loss of my brother and my friend. When loving-kindness practice matures compassion deepens. This article contains some inspiring quotations and a very simple and beautiful loving kindness meditation focused on letting go of attachment through opening the heart.

 

Continue reading “Heart Rose Meditation Redux”

Mentoring is Making a Difference

mosquitoEvery one of us is able  to contribute and make a difference to the people in our world in our own unique way. How we define success is up to the individual. Whether you want your life to make a difference and what difference you want your life to make is also up to the individual.  Continue reading “Mentoring is Making a Difference”

Half the truth is no truth at all

yoga mudraHere’s a brief gardening analogy I will use to introduce what I’m about to share with my readers.

If we recognize that positively focused people are like fertilizer and rain that helps us blossom and grow in our own lives. And, we also recognize it’s not wise to pull every weed out of our gardens because they provide vital trace elements for growth, then we can likewise choose to summon up enough empathy to become the sun and fertilizer in the lives of negatively focused people. Granted we may limit our time with them, but everyone we meet is our mirror, and if we want love to be reflected back to us then we need to be the light of love in their world. Continue reading “Half the truth is no truth at all”

Children Do What They See Done

Nature is the overbearing factor in our behavior but nurture also has a role that cannot be neglected. Early exposure to violence, combined with poverty and abuse can shape our attitudes and behavior in such a way that the damage to the psyche will contribute to the manifestation of violence in thoughts and actions throughout our lives and can result in mental illness. Continue reading “Children Do What They See Done”

Life Lessons: Aparigraha (non-grasping)

meditation treeI am as far as one can get from being an urban yoga practitioner. My husband and I choose to live a life of voluntary simplicity in a semi remote location. We waste not and want not.  As we chose to drop out of the consumer driven society and are unimpressed with the unrelenting advertising that assails and assaults us when traveling to the city, we are uncomfortable when evidence of misguided yoga connected marketing success shows up on our shore. Continue reading “Life Lessons: Aparigraha (non-grasping)”

Favorite Valentine’s Day Song 2013

love letterMy husband and I are baby boomers who  were young teens when rock and roll was loud and proud. Without doubt we liked rock music but we also liked Bob Dylan and other beat poet types.

When we first heard Leonard Cohen’s Bird on the Wire in 1968 we loved his poetic music and became fans. Most will be acquainted with * Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and we do love it too but … Continue reading “Favorite Valentine’s Day Song 2013″

A Difficult Week in Review

smallLast week was typical week for me.  I was busy and productive and though I had to deal with several difficult people I was happy.

I have resolved not to shun the so-called difficult people in my life for two self serving reasons. They teach me important lessons about myself, and learning from them provides  opportunities for my growth.

I acknowledged that every person in my life is my mirror. By remaining aware that each one was reflecting aspects of my own consciousness back to me,  I was able not to take their negativity personally. Continue reading “A Difficult Week in Review”

Does Solitude Have a Place in Your Life?

meditationcollage

Though it’s technically possible to be connected thousands of people thousands of miles away—anytime, anywhere—too much of a good thing can lead to a bad place. Solitude is a human need and to deny it is unhealthy for both mind and body. Living in a technologically connected 24/7 society that undervalues solitude and overvalues attachment is stressful and stress is a killer.  Continue reading “Does Solitude Have a Place in Your Life?”

Shop Local this Holiday Season

shop localI love some things about this Solstice, Hannukah, Chrismas, Kwaanza season.  It’s truly the season of good cheer and well wishes but times are hard. No one is flush with money. Everyone is reluctant to increase their debt.

Local business people and charities make a significant positive contribution to the quality of life in our communities all year round.  Shopping local is the first step towards ensuring community success and security in a competitive global market and I’m shopping local. How about you? Continue reading “Shop Local this Holiday Season”

An Attitude of Gratitude

gratitude1My program of retaining an attitude of gratitude and enjoying my life every day is going well. I’m living mindfully in the moment and taking small steps to encourage myself to celebrate life.

My life is not less stressful than it was before I began this commitment, but my coping skills are improving as I make attitude adjustments throughout the day. Continue reading “An Attitude of Gratitude”

Time Keeps on Ticking into the Future

paradox clockTime influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships and how we act in the world. Our attitudes to time and the way we use it, reveals much about our personality, attitudes and philosophy.

Do you race to beat the clock? Or do you have too much time on your hands?

Continue reading “Time Keeps on Ticking into the Future”

Lessons Learned Outside the Classroom: Letting Go, Moving On, and Growing

Lessons Learned Outside the Classroom- Letting Go, Moving On, and GrowingCollege and school teach many things. While primary schools is very much about learning facts and figures, college is more about learning who you are and what you’re passionate about. A lot of self-realization and personal growth happens in college—not the least of which being how to become a true adult. These lessons aren’t learned in hushed college lecture halls or busy college lab rooms—they’re learned through experiences and friendships that teach us who we are and who we want to be. One lesson that I learned during my college experience is how to let go and move on after a challenging time. Continue reading “Lessons Learned Outside the Classroom: Letting Go, Moving On, and Growing”

Learn to Include More Humour in your Life

sunflower smile
Anticipation of laughter reduces potentially detrimental stress hormones. Credit: iStockphoto/Nicole S. Young

Learning to include more humour in your life can have a significant effect on your overall health. Being able to see the funny side of things can produce general health benefits, and can also help to build and reinforce relationships. Some ways to boost your humour levels include not taking yourself as seriously, while knowing how to use humour in different situations, and without creating awkward situations or causing offense. By following some of the tips below, it is possible to understand and develop the value of humour for your wellbeing. Continue reading “Learn to Include More Humour in your Life”

Entanglement and its Antidote, Detachment

Mesh of branches
Flickr mesh of branches by cususi

Our ability to enjoy our lives and relationships reflect our habits — habits that reflect our personal history, family and cultural traditions and our entanglements.

Family background plays a key role in shaping future family relationships, as typically, those who are easily entangled come from families that are  chaotic and not skilled at emotional communications, so they tend to repeat the cycle. Continue reading “Entanglement and its Antidote, Detachment”

Super Moon Moments and Memories

Supermoons occur when the moon’s closest approach to the Earth coincides with a full moon, an event known as perigee. The average distance between the Earth and the Moon is about 383,000 kilometres but last night the Moon was about 356,955 kilometres away. My husband and I have viewed the Moon many times before through a spotting scope but have never seen it so big and bright. The coppery colored Moon glowed in the night sky appearing 14 percent larger because it was so close.  Continue reading “Super Moon Moments and Memories”

Flowers, Impermanence and the Grief Cycle

The death of a loved one is a painful event. The loss of a loved one  means the world as we knew it has changed and those changes require that we in turn adjust to a new “normal.” As time passes and more people we know pass away and we are reminded of our own inevitable end.  Yet thanks to impermanence everything is possible.  Life itself is possible. Continue reading “Flowers, Impermanence and the Grief Cycle”

Spring is Cherry Blossom Time

Cherry blossoms
Cherry blossoms (Photo credit: bcostin)

The cherry blossom season from March to mid-April is a relatively short and brilliantly beautiful beginning of  spring.  Cherry blossoms are the quintessential expression of Mono no aware. It’s the Japanese aesthetic concept that highlights awareness of the inherent transience and impermanence of all things.  The custom of hanami dates back many centuries in Japan: the eighth-century chronicle Nihon Shoki (日本書紀) records hanami festivals being held as early as the third century CE — Cherry Blossom And, while we Westerners think about death and rebirth in the fall, the Japanese think about death and rebirth in the spring. Continue reading “Spring is Cherry Blossom Time”

Quiet and society’s extroversion bias

susancainI just finished reading a powerful book, Quiet by Susan Cain.This book spoke to me because I am an introvert and I’ve always been under pressure to become someone I’m not. The book was loaned to me by an introvert and is now in the hands of yet another introvert.  The three of us have been discussing the how this insightful book has made us feel about being exactly who we are.  Continue reading “Quiet and society’s extroversion bias”

Seeking Happiness: Focus on Relationships

The Oxford Happiness Inventory and a battery of personality measures were completed by 171 subjects. The results showed predicted positive correlations for happiness with satisfaction with life, self-esteem, and sociability and negative correlations of happiness with embarrass-ability, loneliness, shyness, and social anxiety. Four predictors (satisfaction with life, shyness, loneliness, and sociability) accounted for 58% of the variance in happiness scores. Continue reading “Seeking Happiness: Focus on Relationships”

Deeper Relationships

small talk As Winter Solstice approached I carefully considered what I wanted to leave behind and what I want to achieve in 2012.  In 2011 I was able to achieve my health and wellness goals. I had an unexpected opportunity to work side-by-side with my husband by traveling down a  path with heart that drew us closer together than we have ever been.  However,  during that time I met new people and re-discovered how very poor I am at making small talk work for me. Continue reading “Deeper Relationships”

Live in Joy, Peace and Love

compassionate lifeCompassion without attachment is possible. Therefore, we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment. True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively. Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the needs of the other. – The Compassionate Life, Ch. 2  How to Develop Compassion p. 21 Continue reading “Live in Joy, Peace and Love”

Summer was Super

kitchenIn the summer months I have far less time to blog and social network in than I do during the other months of the year. This is reflected by the number of posts I publish and the amount to time I invest in blog promotion. Despite the fact the weather was a few degrees cooler than expected August weather did not disappoint.  We had a fabulous month with friends making sweet memories. Continue reading “Summer was Super”

Friends come and friends go

A friend can be someone with whom you are so close with that you share a bond, a bond you may expect to last lifetime.  Friends can be trusted to speak the truth. With friends you can be your authentic, vulnerable self. But what if that if the bond of intimacy no longer exists? What if you feel yourself drawing apart from friends?
Continue reading “Friends come and friends go”

Butterflies and Life Transformations

This week I visited my friend in her garden. There we spoke of the many transformative changes in our lives and in the world around us, as we watched butterflies and hummingbirds lighting on milkweed and on butterfly bushes (Buddleia davidii). Continue reading “Butterflies and Life Transformations”

A Bleak February

February treesSkeletal trees silhouetted against a gray sky scratch the windows as the wind shrills.  The grass and ground below are so saturated that the squelching sound is audible when trod upon.  Dripping downspouts and pervasive dampness that chills the flesh and settles in the bones;  a denial of the onset of spring. My depressed state of mind mirrors the bleakness of February. Continue reading “A Bleak February”

Simple Pleasures: Making Music

make music I was raised in the backcountry  in a family that encouraged vocalization, musicality and improvization.  No one was left out.  Everyone old or young was encouraged to vocalize in any way they wanted to, and to make music on instruments that were available or to create their own. The whole idea was to have a good time. Continue reading “Simple Pleasures: Making Music”

Childlike wonder and wisdom

wee 3Some artists spend their careers trying to recapture the sense of wonder and imagination they had as children.  I was reminded of that this summer while I sketched and watched my friends kids create artwork from flotsam and jetsam on the beach.  Their sand drawings,  sand castles,  driftwood forts, glass and shell and mobiles, and improvised instruments fascinated me. Their sense of awe with every new marine discovery and spontaneous exploration of  its creative possibilities was a wonder to behold. Continue reading “Childlike wonder and wisdom”

Balanced living: Vacations are a necessity

One of the main reasons to take a vacation is to get some rest and recharge.  On vacation people tend to pack in more hours of sleep and exercise, as well as spend more time with family and friends–all of which are good for reducing high blood pressure.  According to a study conducted by  the Psychosomatic Society in Savannah,  men who take vacations every year reduce their overall risk of death by about 20 percent, and their risk of death from heart disease by as much as 30 percent. Continue reading “Balanced living: Vacations are a necessity”

Celebrities: Love ‘em or hate ‘em

The mind-boggling “celebrities – love em – hate em” behavior that afflicts so many idle and easily preoccupied people is the subject of this post.  For the record I don’t “hate” celebrities nor do I “love” them. I don’t know them, or follow them, or give fig about what they do or don’t do. I don’t put them on pedestals and watch them slip and fall and then criticize them when they hit bottom. In fact, I don’t invest any energy into hating anyone. Continue reading “Celebrities: Love ‘em or hate ‘em”

Yoga, Aging, Intimacy & Sexuality

thekissTouching is a vital human need and an essential ingredient for healthy relationships. Studies have shown that without touching, many animals – including humans – will die in childhood. Being caressed also lowers blood pressure and releases natural opiates in the brain, as well as the chemical oxytocin, which is essential for human pair-bonding. Continue reading “Yoga, Aging, Intimacy & Sexuality”

Love is a Rose

woodviolets It was an overcast, cool and breezy morning when Mr T took me out walking today. I have been trying to further the time and distance I established in my spring conditioning program but I’m not making much progress.  I haven’t been sleeping well.  I’m experiencing severe joint pain, and spasms in my legs that ZING! me wide awake every couple of hours. Walking seems to help a little but not as much as I had hoped for, and I found myself sitting in the ditch and resting while the spasms passed. Continue reading “Love is a Rose”

On Awareness, Gratitude and Conscious Living

happy peopleMy friend, Jonathan has published his informative and insightful “how-to”  post Allow Gratitude to Transform Your Life:

We can actually train ourselves to search for, discover, and focus on legitimate reasons to feel grateful and appreciative.

Continue reading “On Awareness, Gratitude and Conscious Living”

Tony Robbins: Invisible Forces that Motivate

Tony Robbins makes it his business to know why we do the things we do. The pioneering life coach has spoken to millions of people through his best-selling books and three-day seminars.  In this TED talk video Tony Robbins discusses the “invisible forces” that motivate everyone’s actions. Continue reading “Tony Robbins: Invisible Forces that Motivate”

Kwanza: 5 Simple Rules for Happiness

kwanzaKwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor of African Studies at California State University, Long Beach, author and scholar-activist, who stresses the indispensable need to preserve, continually revitalize and promote African American culture. Continue reading “Kwanza: 5 Simple Rules for Happiness”

Take Good Care During the Holidays

ornaments.jpg The 2009 holiday season is officially here and while most of us look forward to the excitement of the season, some may be overwhelmed by the stress of shopping, winter travel conditions, office parties,  and family gatherings. Although we all hope that peace will prevail when friends and relatives get together in the season of good cheer, the stress  can trigger difficult behavior  in some people.

Continue reading “Take Good Care During the Holidays”

Men, women, sexuality and jealousy

couple_fighting2Evolutionary psychologists have developed a theory to explain the origins of differences between men and women.  The two sexes developed different strategies to ensure their survival and reproductive success, and that this explains why men and women differ psychologically and tend to occupy different social roles.

Continue reading “Men, women, sexuality and jealousy”

A Lovely Award

Aviary mindtransfer-net Picture 1A backlink is defined as a link from one website pointing back to your site , and what every blog needs is one-way non-reciprocal backlinks. A blog meme is a viral game where you generate links and relationships through asking other bloggers  to participate. The changes Google has made to determining authority and PageRank means obtaining backlinks has become a challenge, and blog memes are legitimate means of securing backlinks. Continue reading “A Lovely Award”

Paternalism, marriage, monogamy aren’t natural

polyamoryMarriages based on couples falling in love and voluntarily choosing to be bound to one another is not an ancient tradition.  In fact, it’s relatively new  and  lifetime marriage is quickly going the way of the dodo. Yet, religious radicals proclaim that paternalism, monogamy and marriage are species norms and part of a noble tradition. No so. Continue reading “Paternalism, marriage, monogamy aren’t natural”

Loons in the Moonlight

commonloonMy friend celticmusiclover has a forum thread we have been contributing to on birdsong and it’s connection to music.

Today he posted a link to a remarkable video that immediately brought tears to my eyes as I remembered my childhood evenings spent on Loon Lake. I know the legend that follows very well and want to share it with you. Continue reading “Loons in the Moonlight”