Mindfulness Monday: Miscellany

“Who looks outside, dreams;

who looks inside, awakes.”

Carl Jung

 

“You must live in the present,

launch yourself on every wave,

find your eternity in each moment.”

Henry David Thoreau

 

“Writing can be an

incredible mindfulness practice.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

image: © Lorraine (please do not use without permission)

I’d like to thank Lorraine for all her help during my recovery, she’s just the best!  Be sure to jump over to her blog and say hello.  Lorraine’s Frilly Freudian Slip

I wanted to give you all a little update on my surgery.  I’m doing very well, much better than I expected.  I’m able to do much, much more than I thought I would.  (Dr. Google was very wrong on that one)  I’m working on a post giving a proper update, I’m just slow going right now, but wanted to let everyone know that I’m doing very well, and thank you all for your well wishes through this challenge.  I don’t know what I’d do without my blog family.   “See” you soon.    ~ Wendy

 

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Mindfulness Monday: Breathe

image; words Daniell Koepke

“Mindfulness of the breath is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful practices. Our breath is with us always and as we develop our ability to remember to focus on the breath, we can ride the breath  through many waves and storms in our lives. The breath will carry us and help us to be present for what is showing up, whether it is in people, situations or our own hearts and minds.”

Diana Winston and Greater Good Science Center

“Relax. You are enough. You do enough. Breathe extra deep, let go, and just live right now in this moment.”

Shunryu Suzuki

“Mindfulness is when you are truly there, mind and body together. You breathe in and out mindfully, you bring your mind back to your body, and you are there.”

Anonymous

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis in my left wrist/thumb earlier this year (you can read about it here), but you may have missed that I now have it in my right wrist.  The left wrist was treated with a cortisone shot and since then I’ve had no problem.  I’ve had 2 cortisone injections in my right wrist and I’m still in pain. … My surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, the 7th.  It is a minor surgery, I’m not even put under general anesthesia.  They just put a little incision on the inside of my wrist below the thumb (on the side, not the palm) and snip a little to release the tendons.”

But, during the recovery/rehab period, Wendy isn’t sure if she can use her dominant hand to type out wonderous things like Mindfulness Monday. So, I’ve stepped in to give her a “hand” – pardon the pun.

First, of course, I know you will be sending good, healing thoughts Wendy’s way. She may have difficulty communicating by keyboard for up to six weeks; if she doesn’t post or respond to a comment, it doesn’t mean she hasn’t been writing them in her head. 

My Tai Chi instructor has been focusing on co-coordinating our breathes with out movements. Each pose has an inhale and exhale component. As we relearn each pose with breathing, the meditation in motion of Tai Chi is strengthened.

So, today’s post concerns mindfulness breathing. Hope you find the quotes intriguing enough to explore mindfulness breathing. It is the key, the core to mindfulness in many ways.

Mindfulness Monday – Storm

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Monsoons 2018, by W. Holcombe. all rights reserved

 

“You can’t calm the storm,

so stop trying.

What you can do is

calm yourself.

The storm will pass.”

~ Timber Hawkeye

 

“You will not be

the same after the

storms of life;

You will be stronger,

wiser and more alive

than ever before!”

~ Bryant McGill

 

“The great benefit of

practicing mindfulness…

is the presence of mind

within a storm

 of emotions.”

~ Phillip Moffitt

 

*photo was taken in Tucson, AZ , off my front porch, during monsoon season 2018.  It’s am amazing time, I wish I could get better pictures for you.  The monsoons are full of beauty and power, but…another of it’s secret powers is to cause super duper migraines.  Ahh.  Please do not use this image without permission.

 

 

Mindfulness Monday – Kindness

water scene2“Three things in human life are important:

the first is to be kind;

the second is to be kind;

and the third is to be kind.”

~ Henry James

 

What does it mean to be kind?  Often kindness is confused with compassion, but there is a difference.  Kindness is simply being friendly to a person whether they are suffering of not.  Compassion is reaching out to someone who is suffering. 

When I read Toni Bernhard’s book, How to Wake Up, (and later an article she wrote about kindness) I was touched by what she calls “friendliness practice”.

She describes it like this, “As I turn the front doorknob to leave my house, I consciously resolve to maintain an attitude of friendliness toward all the strangers I see…If I’m waiting in line, I look at each person around me and silently say to each one: ‘May you enjoy this day’; or ‘I hope you have fun today.’”

I have tried to do this practice and have found that it lifts my heart, simply sending loving kindness to those around me fills me with joy.  

I find it so fulfilling to see the joy on a stranger’s face when I am nice to them, whether it’s a complement or simply saying having a small conversation, kindness can make your day so much more joyful.

However, there are times when I find myself automatically judging people I don’t even know.  For example, recently we were riding in a “questionable” part of town and were suddenly stuck because someone pulled out in front of everyone, just to go from one convenience store to another on the opposite side of the street.  The man was driving a new Cadillac that was all tricked out, and when he smiled you could see gold teeth.  We both automatically thought, drug dealer. We knew nothing about this man except what we saw on the outside, yet we found ourselves judging him.  This is something most of us do, and I’m sure I’ll do it again, but I’m trying to be kinder.  When I find myself having these judgments I’m trying to follow Toni’s example and silently say something kind to this person anyway.  Just as Toni said, I found that this action normally stops the judgment…but sometimes it doesn’t, it’s at those times I need to be kind to myself and continue to try my best.

 

“Kindness is within our power even when fondness is not.” ~ Samuel Johnson

 

I’m certain that no one is fond of everyone, but being kind to someone doesn’t mean we have to like the person.  In this day of political tensions, prejudice, racism….I know I have never been surrounded by so much hate.  The Buddha taught, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, only by non-hatred.”  We can “not hate” someone without liking them.  When you don’t hate it’s much easier to be kind.

It has pained me to find out that some of my ‘friends’ have such differing views than I have, many of these views are, in my opinion, unethical and morally wrong.  Because of the extreme differences in our views, and often the venom that I hear spoken by others voicing their opinions, I’m finding that I don’t really like many of these people any more, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be kind to them.  I try to find what we have in common, I think we all want to be happy and to stop suffering, when I look at someone in that light, I find it much easier to be kind.  I don’t have to agree with someone to be kind.  That doesn’t mean I’m okay with their views, it means I can be nice to them, that’s a lot more than I sometimes think I can do, but let’s face it, being kind to someone feels a whole lot better than hating them, hatred makes me feel really bad.

 

That brings me to this quote:

 “Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.” ~ Eric Hoffer

The more often you are kind, the more natural it will become.  Kindness becomes a habit and it grows within you, by being kind to others, you are in turn, kind to yourself. 

 

** I hope you enjoyed this different take on Mindfulness Monday, be sure to remember to be kind to yourself.

I highly recommend Toni Bernard’s books, especially “How To Be Sick; A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers”.  This book changed literally my life, and I refer back to it over and over.  If you, or someone you know, is dealing with chronic illness, do yourself a favor and check this book out.  (This is completely my opinion, no one asked me to post this, and I’m not being compensated for it.  I simply love this book.)

 

(image created by Wendy Holcombe using Autodesk Sketchbook, please to not use without permission)

 

Mindfulness Monday – Birth(day)

silly goose

doodle by wendy – silly goose

“May I be easily able to let whatever needs to go, go.

And may whatever wants to come

be radiantly and joyously born.”

~ Tosha Silver

 

“The purpose of our lives

Is to give birth to the best

Which is within us.”

~ Marianne Williamson

 

“Every morning we are born again.

What we do today is what matters most.”

~ Buddha

 

You might be able to tell from the the quotes….Today is my birthday!  I hope you have a wonder filled day, and have a grand un-birthday. (unless of course it is your birthday too, in that case, I hope your celebration is grand!)

Image is “Silly Goose” a silly doodle by me.  It’s one of those doodles that comes from a stray mark on a page in my drawing journal.  Try it, make a swoop on the page and let it be the start of a doodle.  You can even make it silly.  😉

 

 

Mindfulness Monday – Family (Ohana)

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“I don’t care whose DNA had

recombined with whose.

When everything goes to hell,

the people who stand by you

without flinching-

They are your family.”

~Jim Butcher

 

“That’s what people do who love you.

They put their arms around you

and love you when you’re

not so lovable.”

~Deb Caletti

 

“You must remember,

family is often born of blood,

but it doesn’t depend on blood.

Nor is it exclusive of friendship.

Family members can be your best friends, you know.

And best friends, whether or not they are related to you,

Can be your family.”

~Trenton Lee Stewart

 

*photo taken at Wendy and Stuart’s wedding (I’m the one in yellow)

Thank you to all who are members of my Ohana.  I love you.  ( Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana means family (in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional). The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another.’)

“Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” ~Lilo and Stitch

family-1

Just because they are gone, doesn’t mean they will ever be forgotten.  Pets are Ohana too.

Meaningful Monday – Suffering

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“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching,

and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be.

I have been bent and broken, but

—I hope—

Into a better shape.”

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“There is the solitude of suffering,

when you go through darkness that is

lonely, intense, and terrible.

Words become powerless to express your pain;

what others hear from your words is

so distant and different from what you are actually suffering.”

John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

We must look deeply in order to understand

the needs, aspirations, and suffering

of the person we love.

This is the ground of real love”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

*photo by W. Holcombe.  Baby Opuntia (prickly pear) Cactus.  Please do not use without permission.

I did things a little differently this week, the not all of the quotes would be considered “mindful”, but I felt they were more meaningful this week.