Mindfulness Monday: on being mindful

“Be mindful even if your mind is full.”

James de la Vega

 “Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.”

Sharon Salzberg

 This time of the year can heighten both joy and despair; laughter and tears; friendship and loneliness; comfort and pain. Being present in the moment among the presents and presences can ground us as the season swirls by. Mindfulness can act as anchor, guidepost, tao. Bringing us back inside, to quiet, stillness. Mindfulness can help us do what is so important: breathe, love, live.

 This week is a selection of quotes around the idea of mindfulness, grounding, coping. I hope these resonate with you.

 “Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.”

John Kabat-Zinn

“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”

Amit Ray 

“When you look into a field of dandelions, you can either see a field of weeds or a field of wishes.”

Anon.

 “Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.”

Marcus Aurelius

Wishing everyone all the best of this festive season, and in the new year to come. Charles Dickens wrote, “Christmas would not be Christmas, but for the exchange of our good wishes.”

 Image: google images/pininterest

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Mindfulness Monday: pain

“Healing is an art. It takes time. It takes practice. It takes love.”

Maza Dohta

Being present, being in the moment can be difficult when in physical pain. To transcend that barrier; to be aware of breath and heartbeat over the noise of pain synapses. When the levels of my physical pain increase, as they have of late, I struggle to own my pain, rather than it owning me.

Helping Wendy with Mindfulness Mondays is therapeutic; choosing a topic; searching out the quotes; formulating the post – all help me focus, to remember to breath.

I hope this week’s Mindfulness Monday quotes help you be mindful of the pain and of the moment.

“Some people think that to be strong is to never feel pain. In reality, the strongest people are the ones who feel it, understand it, accept it.”

Anon

“Mindfulness can play a big role in transforming our experience with pain and other difficulties; it allows us to recognize the authenticity of the distress and yet not be overwhelmed by it.”

Susan Salzburg

“Chronic pain or other challenges are invitations; gifts that challenge us to learn how to manage the mind.”

Cheryl Richardson

image: (c) Lorraine

 

Mindfulness Monday: #GivingTuesday

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”

J.M. Barrie

“. . . It’s a beautiful dance, this giving and receiving!”

Heather Powers “Grateful Girl”

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under who shade you do not expect to sit.”

Nelson Henderson

Tomorrow, Tuesday November 27, is #GivingTuesday (Giving Tuesday) — the first Tuesday after American Thanksgiving.

“#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.  . . . One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. . . join the movement and give – whether it’s some of your time, a donation, gift or the power of your voice in your local community.” #GivingTuesday

I am grateful to Wendy for her friendship, compassion, caring, and the chance to participate in Mindfulness Mondays.

Tomorrow, I will give some of myself.

And, just because:

. . . With an open smile and with open doors

I bid you welcome, what is mine is yours

With a glass raised to toast your health

And a promise to share the wealth . . .

Stop and look around you

The glory that you see

Is born again each day

Don’t let it slip away

How precious life can be

With a heart that is wide awake

. . . with a thankful heart

“Thankful Heart,” Paul Williams, A Muppet Christmas Carol

 

Mindfulness Monday: calmness

“Calm the winds of your thoughts, and there will be no waves on the ocean of your mind.”

Remez Sassoon

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet, it is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.”

 Deepak Chopra

“Empty your mind of everything – let the mind become still.”

Lao Tzu

I create personalized “mindfulness” or “grounding” cards. On different coloured index cards, I print out a quote; a saying; a thought gleaned from elsewhere, or sometimes from somewhere inside me.

I carry two with me . . . always.

The first is a grounding exercise to use when I have a panxiety attack, feel like I’m drifting too far from shore, or to help be mindful of my surroundings by using all my senses. *

The other:

“Calm as a koi pond.”

Lorraine

* Borrowed from the “web of thoughts.” Can be modified to suit a person’s abilities and needs; I took the whole.

Look around you and find:

FIVE things you can SEE

FOUR things you can TOUCH

THREE things you can HEAR

TWO things you can SMELL

ONE thing you can TASTE

And, Wendy (who is taking a break from Mindfulness Monday today) gave me a wonderful set of 65 Power Thought Cards, beautifully written and richly, colorfully, and playfully illustrated by Louise Hay.

On one side is a saying; the reverse is a longer meditation on that specific thought/phrase/concept.

I carry around two:

“I am willing to change.”

“I express my creativity.”

Thanks to Wendy, (and Mindfulness Mondays), I am “working” on both!

image: © lorraine

Mindfulness Monday: perception


“Piglet noticed that even thought he had a small heart,

it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.”

A. A. Milne

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Dr. Seuss

“The moment one gives close attention to anything,

even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome,

indescribably magnificent world in itself.”

Henry Miller

Image: Lorraine 2018 (filling in for Wendy)

 

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.

Meaningful Monday: Compassion

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

Dalai Lama

“The compassionate mind is the mind that transforms.”

Paul B. Gilbert

“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but also being moved to help relieve it.”

Daniel Coleman

image:  quotesgram.com

Wendy just needs a break today so rather than her wonderful Mindfulness Monday, I am filling in with some thoughts on compassion.

 

Mindfulness Monday: to be in the moment*

“In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.”

Victoria Moran

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”

Mother Teresa

“Welcome to the present moment. Here. Now. The only moment there ever is.”

Eckhart Tolle

* Wendy is settling into her new life in Tucson and asked me to fill in for her today. When she gets the chance, she’ll post about her adventures.

This week, I’m returning to the simple principal of mindfulness (as Wendy has taught me): be in the moment.

© Lorraine (detail of tile mosaic, Natural History Museum subway station, NYC)