Mindfulness Monday – Life as it is

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“What would it be like if I could accept life

– accept this moment –

exactly as it is?”

– Tara Brach

 

“How you look at it is

pretty much how you’ll see it.”

 – Rasheed Ogunlaru

 

“Every experience,

no matter how bad it seems,

holds within it a blessing of some kind.

The goal is to find it.”

– Buddha

 

“Don’t let life harden your heart.”

 – Pema Chödrön

 

Today I searched for quotes to help me simply accept life has it is right now, and change my thought process about it all.  I promised someone recently, “Don’t worry I won’t let her steal my joy”, but by the time I said that, I realize I had already allowed that to happen.

The serenity prayer states, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”  My biggest problem right now is that I don’t feel I have the wisdom to know the difference.   I’m spinning my wheels trying to figure out what I can change, and if I can’t change things, how can I just accept that?  What blessing do I find in it?  The greatest comfort I have right now is knowing that everything changes.  This is just a blip in my life, it will change…..right??  Please tell me it will change.  Between the stress in my personal life and the stress of politics right now, I just feel overwhelmed.

The holidays are coming up.  I was really looking forward to having the holidays with family, but it is way too complicated for me.  I’m ready to run away and hide for the next couple of months.  Anyone want to come with?

 

*photo by W. Holcombe, all rights reserved.  October Sunset in Tucson.

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Mindfulness Monday: community

“Returning hate for hate multiples hatred, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

Mother Theresa

“Embrace diversity, promote unity; create a loving and accepting community.”

Estee Levison

“In every community there is work to be done. In every nation there are wounds to heal. In every heart there is the power to do that.”

Marianne Williamson

Wendy usually posts three mindfulness quotes. Given the many events here in the US and in multiple places around our planet where war, imprisonment, starvation, fear and hate abound, I added one more.

These quotes, while not necessarily and strictly mindful in and of themselves, do speak to things we must remain mindful of: human worth, dignity and value; diversity; community; unity and forgiveness. Which leads to much-needed healing and the return of what, in some cases/places, has been lost: hope for the present, hope for the future.
Remember:

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole Earth.”

Baha’i writings

Anger is one letter short of danger.”

Anon.

Mindfulness Monday – Thich Nhat Hanh On Fear

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When I am in need of comfort, and have a desire for knowledge, I often turn to the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.  His words resonate with me and make me feel understood.  I hope you find his words as compelling as I do.  (Thich Nhat Hanh is often referred to as Thầy, meaning Teacher, throughout this post I will also refer to him as Thầy)

Below you will find quotes by Thích Nhất Hạnh, from his book Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm. with comments by me on how these quotes reflect my life right now and help give me peace.

 

“The only way to ease our fear and be truly happy is to acknowledge our fear and look deeply at its source. Instead of trying to escape from our fear, we can invite it up to our awareness and look at it clearly and deeply.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

During the past week I have been having vertigo again, even though I’m feeling much better now, the fear of the possibility that things could get worse has been creeping up.  My first instinct is to run from this fear, or push it down and refuse its validity.   After reading this quote I realized how much I have been trying to escape from my fear, I now understand that I need to investigate it’s cause and think about it rationally.

“When we recognize that we have a habit of replaying old events and reacting to new events as if they were the old ones, we can begin to notice when that habit energy comes up. We can then gently remind ourselves that we have another choice. We can look at the moment as it is, a fresh moment, and leave the past for a time when we can look at it compassionately.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

Thầy really hit the nail on the head with this one.  For the sake of this post I will only talk about what has presently caused me to replay old events – a vertigo attack.  My automatic response to this attack was a flash back to my worst days experiencing vertigo.  The many days where I could do nothing but watch the world spin were suddenly replaying themselves in my mind.  It is refreshing to know that I have another choice.  I can take this attack as it is, a singular event, it is not part of my past  (well it is now…hopefully you get what I’m saying).  What happened this week was new, yes I’ve had thousands of vertigo attacks, but this was a different one, it was not one that I had already experienced, it was new.  It’s time to let the past go, to look at that time with compassion, especially for myself.

“We are very afraid of being powerless. But we have the power to look deeply at our fears, and then fear cannot control us.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

How liberating this quote is!  I often feel that everything in my life is out of my control, that I am powerless.  I lost so much of my independence and then got some back, the vertigo attack brought back all the times that I was so dependent on others for everything.  It’s that loss of control (power) that scares me.  Thầy teaches that we always have power over our fear, yes we will always feel fear, but if we look closely at our fears and really get to the root of it, we can then see that our fear does not control us, we control it.

 

I hope you enjoyed this variation on Mindfulness Monday, if it is well received I may do this type of post more often.  

*photo by W. Holcombe – night sky…yes it really is the moon..in Tucson.  Please do not use without permission.  All rights reserved.  ©

 

Mindfulness Monday: anger

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When you are caught in the heavy rains of anger, open the umbrella of the mind, [and] take refuge under the roof of reason!”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Buddha

As Wendy indicated in her recent post, “Out of Touch”, she is having “technical difficulties.”

I find myself often full of anger, “righteous” or otherwise, thus another self-therapeutic Mindfulness Monday.

And remember:
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

John Milton

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

Mindfulness Monday: gratitude

“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.”

Robert Holden

 “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”

John Milton

 “Gratitude: a process of forgiveness, mindfulness, hope, awe, presence and expanded awareness all rolled into one amazing state of being.”

Kristen Granger

 Lorraine, hosting Mindfulness Monday for October 8, 2018.

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving Day/ Jour de l’action de grâce so I chose quotes dealing with gratitude. And, remember: 

“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings.”

William Arthur Ward

 “I am grateful for what I have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”

Henry David Thoreau

 

Image © Lorraine

Mindfulness Mondays: worry

“Do not lose yourself in the past. Do not lose yourself in the future. Do not get caught in your anger, worries or fears.Come back to the present moment, and touch life deeply. This is mindfulness.”

Thich Njat Hanh

“The day you stop worrying will be the first day of your new life; anxiety takes you in circles, trust in yourself and become free.”

Leon Brown

“Don’t believe every worried thought you have. Worried thoughts are notoriously inaccurate.”

Renee Jain

As Wendy indicated, I will drop by from time to time to do the Mindfulness Monday post.

Finding mindfulness quotes concerning worry was an excellent therapeutic exercise.

As an added bonus because I really like the idea:

Worry is a misuse of your imagination.”

Curiano

Image: © Lorraine (Please do not use without permission)

Mindfulness Monday: depression

“For me mindfulness is like building a house,

so, the next time the tsunami

that depression is comes,

I’ll have a structure to resist it.”

Ruby Wax

 

“Regardless of how dark and downbeat

the places you may find yourself,

there always exists the potential

for another path.”

Richard Gilpin

 

“You don’t have to control

your thoughts.

You just have to let them

stop controlling you.”

David Millman

 

 

 Image: © Lorraine (filling in for Wendy; using the theme she had chosen)

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: “Finding Your Self”

“All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from

not realizing you already are what you are looking for.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

“Healing may not be so much about getting better,

as about letting go of everything that isn’t you –

all of the expectations, all of the beliefs –

and becoming who you are.”

Rachel Naomi Remen

 

“You wait a lifetime to met Someone

who understands you, accepts you as you are.

At the end, you find that the Someone,

all along, has been you.”

Richard Bach

 

image: © Lorraine; close up of installation “Birds Watching”, Jenny Kendler, from “Indicators: Artists on Climate Change,” Storm King Arts Centre, NY.

Wendy is fine; her recovery from surgery continues. She will soon be back to doing her Mindfulness Mondays.

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