questions to ponder for a meaningful life

Questions for Unveiling the Essence of a Meaningful Life

In the labyrinth of life, there are questions that summon us to dive deep into the core of our being, illuminating the profound and transformative aspects that shape our existence. These questions not only prompt introspection but also guide us towards a richer, more purposeful journey. I invite you to take some time as you start the New Year to ponder your own thoughts around these questions to help you begin to unveil the essence of a meaningful life.

What Makes You Come Alive?

Unraveling the mysteries of our passions is an exploration of the self. What activities, endeavors, or pursuits breathe life into your spirit? Recognizing and nurturing these sources of vitality connects us with our authentic selves, unveiling the vibrant threads that weave the tapestry of our true essence. For me it’s the harmony and interconnectedness of being of service to others and in sync with nature. And also unexpected experiences that turn out to be magical!

Pivotal Turning Point in Your Life?

Life is a series of junctures that redefine our path. Reflecting on the pivotal moments that steered you in a new direction provides insight into your resilience and adaptability. This might be a career shift, a relationship milestone, personal revelation, or a dark period of your life. These turning points contribute to the intricate mosaic of your life story. Some of my pivotal moments have been marked by a loss or ending that caused me to rethink the path I was on—thus opening me up to new possibilities.

Acts of kindnessAn Act of Kindness You’ll Never Forget?

Kindness, a beacon of light in the human experience, leaves an indelible imprint on our hearts. Contemplate the acts of kindness that have touched your life—moments when compassion transcended barriers. These memories serve as a testament to the profound impact small gestures can have, fostering empathy and a sense of interconnectedness. There have been so very many in my life. One that comes to mind was when we had a celebration of my mother’s life after she had passed—and seeing all the people sharing memories of her as we sat in a circle.

One Thing On Your Bucket List?

A bucket list is a manifestation of our dreams and aspirations. What is that one thing you long to experience or achieve? Whether it’s an adventurous escapade, a skill to master, or a connection to forge, contemplating your bucket list instigates a sense of purpose, pushing you to embrace life’s possibilities. I consider myself a lifelong learner. At present I continue to learn and grow in my somatic and meditation teaching skills

One-line Message for the World?

If you had the chance to distill your wisdom into a single line for the world, what would it be? Crafting a concise message requires introspection into your values and beliefs. This exercise prompts a commitment to leaving a positive mark on the world, fostering a collective consciousness of empathy, understanding, and unity. My message is best captured in words I live by–Peace and Harmony.

Essence of a Meaningful Life

As we grapple with these questions, we embark on a journey of self-discovery, weaving together the threads of our passions, resilience, and kindness. In contemplating the essence of a meaningful life, we uncover the profound beauty that lies in the thoughtful exploration of our own existence.

Enjoy the journey!

Following is a recent guided meditation I recorded that may help you get started.

iRest Courses

 

Soaking in Being: Nurturing Well-being

In our fast-paced world, where busyness is often mistaken for productivity, the concept of “soaking in being” has emerged as a powerful antidote. It encapsulates the essence of nurturing well-being and cultivating a heightened state of awareness. This practice invites us to pause, reflect, and connect with our inner self, which in turn promotes a deeper sense of fulfillment and purpose in life.Continue reading

I am enough

I Am Enough

Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW wrote in “Rising Strong,” “To embrace and love who we are we have to reclaim and reconnect with the parts of ourselves we’ve orphaned over the years.” Those orphaned parts are stored in the library of our false beliefs of lack and limitation, feeling separate. Judging and comparing ourselves, our bodies and the lives we live to others all have the common root of “I’m not good enough.”

In this meditation we will select books from this library of not enoughness and open to deep inquiry and the opportunity for integration into the authentic being and wholeness of “I am enough.”Continue reading

Sleep better, Sleep deeper

Sleep Better—Sleep Deeper

Sleep is essential for all aspects of health, according to neuroscientist Mathew Walker, author of NYT best seller Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. Sleep is vital for maintaining immune system, cardiovascular and reproductive function. It helps improve memory, psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative decline and prevent cancer. Yet, according to a National Sleep Foundation survey (in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Japan) at least 50% of people don’t get sufficient sleep (7 hours or more) on weekdays. If you routinely get 5 to 6 hours of sleep your body, mind and well-being are paying the price. Sleeping longer on weekends doesn’t replenish your sleep deficit.Continue reading

Keeping Love alive in the darkness

Questions to Consider in a New Year

Beginning a new year, it’s customary to reflect on our desires and create intentions and resolutions we wish to fulfill in the coming year. For some of us a new chapter of our life is eager to unfold and goals are being called for to charter the course. I rather believe this process can be likened to waking up out of a deep sleep as we do each morning. For each day offers us new possibilities, hew horizons and opportunities to restart anew.

Whatever deep desires we may hold for our lives, we are not alone in this world. Everything we do affects the world around us, as it does us. We are not separate from one another, but interdependent. This interdependent nature calls for cooperation with one another. As you form your intentions, I invite you to consider your impact on the world around you. The following poem may offer some guidance in the process.

At the top of this post, you are welcome to be guided into a live recorded meditation to help you with this process.
Continue reading

New Year's Blessing - 2023 - Larry Robinson

New Year’s Blessing

May this poem and blessing enlighten and inspire you as you venture into a new year. With wisdom and grace, Larry Robinson’s poem holds many contractions and heartaches of our world with wisdom and grace.

At the end I offer you a guided year-end meditation from a recent live group session for you to gather your own year-end reflections.

New Year’s Blessing

A year of loss and chaos draws to a close.

Stories from a thousand cultures remind us that the cosmos is born – and reborn again and again – from chaos.

We have passed the darkest night of the year but the light only returns slowly.

The old order has passed as well but the new is not yet apparent.

Life does renew itself and new forms emerge as old ones pass away.

It has always been this way.

For all the misery of the past year, we have also seen astounding acts of beauty and courage and generosity.

This liminal space we inhabit is a time to dream, to imagine and to plan.

There are times when seemingly small acts can have out-size impacts.

I believe that we are in one of these times – actually a hopeful time, a time of possibilities.

Cynicism is as perilous a path as naïveté.

Hope is a choice, not a feeling; we create it through our actions and through our words.

At this turning of the wheel I invite and challenge you to dream grandly of the world you wish to bequeath, to proclaim it proudly and boldly and to join with your brothers and sisters to take the practical steps to make it real.

Remember that every act of kindness bends the arc of our shared life toward love.

Unhurried mornings, greeted with gratitude;

good work for the hand, the heart and the mind;

the smile of a friend, the laughter of children;

kind words from a neighbor, a home dry and warm.

Food on the table, with a place for the stranger;

a glimpse of the mystery behind every breath;

some time of ease in the arms of your lover;

then sleep with a prayer of thanks on your lips;

May all this and more be yours this year

and every year after to the end of your days.

Larry Robinson

One more poem to reflect on from Angela Farmer, a gifted yoga teacher who lives on an island in Greece.

              The Necklace

 

She gathers up the shattered pieces 

From those dark and dusty corners   

              of her past.

 

She strings them on a thread-

            as long as her life

And touches each one in the soft moon light . . . 

 

All the pains and fears,

           All the loss and failures

She arranges amongst the pearls of her beauty,

    the diamonds of her friendships

    and the sparkling gems of her success in life.

 

Yet in her woman’s heart,

She notices . . . 

        those broken pieces glow more deeply-

        those broken pieces glow more deeply.

 

Lovingly she ties the string around her neck. 

Loving the Whole Enchilada

Loving the Whole Enchilada

Enjoy this iRest guided meditation

Loving the Whole Enchilada

A colleague went to a Mexican restaurant and on the menu, he found what he thought was the perfect meal. It was called “The Whole Enchilada.” When the server took his order he said, “I would like the whole enchilada, but could you hold the cilantro, pico de gallo and red chili peppers?” Her response was, “Sure I can, but then you won’t be getting the “Whole Enchilada, will you?” This for him was really a teachable moment as he reflected on how judgmental we tend to be about what we want in life.

Most of us are seeking to experience the whole of life with nothing missing—that is except for what we don’t like. After all, who really has the desire for conflicts, problems, pain or illness? Surely peace, love, light, blue skies and green lights are what we long for. Yet, whether we like it or not, the menu of life offers us the whole enchilada—both the good and bad. When we try to eliminate what we don’t like, we are missing the parts that help link us to innate wholeness. How can we then be loving the whole enchilada?

A life  hat is perfect, whole and complete requires us to love the totality of whatever life serves us—without judgements. 

Join us Sundays and Thursdays for live zoom meditations. 

Culativating an Attitude of Gratitude

Cultivating An Attitude of Gratitude

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude Meditation 
Scroll to bottom 

n positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Why? Because gratitude can help us experience more positive emotions and better able us to relish good experiences and even reduce symptoms of depression. It also can improve our overall health, help us better deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. While this research is relatively new, the principles have been a part of human being’s traditions for eons. This is particularly true in many of the world’s faith traditions, as well as indigenous peoples, such as our own Native Americans who truly practice an attitude of gratitude as daily practice.

Learning from past traditions

I write this in the week of Thanksgiving, which is traditionally the time we take pause to give thanks for all we have harvested during the year – goals accomplished opportunities ensued and people who made a difference in our lives. Yet going back in time the first Thanksgiving was celebrated after the first harvest and attended by 90 Wampanoag Native American people and 53 Pilgrims (survivors of the Mayflower). Having always lived close to the Earth, Native peoples must have understood the great hardships the Pilgrims had endured. They could teach the newcomers how to live with the land and the changing environment.

I recently read of how Native Americans have always had a tradition of expressing gratitude in all their gatherings. Unlike most of us, I am very intrigued with how broad they cast their gratitude. Whether for a council gathering or of family they always begin with a ritual of giving thanks. They believe they have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things.

Bringing minds together as one

They start by bringing their minds together as one as they give greetings and thanks to each other—so their “minds are one.” Then they proceed to thank what they refer to as their “Mother the Earth” for all it’s bounty. Thanks for the waters to quench their thirst and nurturing life to all beings. Thanks for the fish, plants and animals, and for medicinal herbs for health and healing. They give thanks for the trees and beautiful songs of birds. Each day without fail the sun travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day providing the source of life and the moon that governs the movement of tides. Finally, they thank their ancestors and the very source of creation itself.

Author Daniel Defoe’s famous 300-year-old novel, “Robinson Crusoe,” provides a portrait of how gratitude can enhance one’s life. Crusoe is the sole survivor of a shipwreck in which he finds himself alone on an unknown island. Rather than falling into despair and focusing on loss and regret, Crusoe begins to count his blessings. He’s alive and has been able to salvage many useful items from the wreckage. Thus. thanksgiving becomes a part of his daily life.

Ways to cultivate gratitude

Gratitude is a way for us to appreciate what we have instead of always reaching for something we lack. As we learn from native peoples, there is a whole world—much of which we take for granted—to  be thankful for. Some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis include writing a thank-you note and keeping a gratitude journal. Meditation and prayer produce positive healthful hormones. Even thanking someone mentally produces can do the same.

Whether we are inspired by fiction, native peoples or our faith or family traditions, gratitude is an essential ingredient for living a healthful  and engaging life. It involves both receiving and giving. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is like a growing a currency from which we can never be bankrupt. The more we feel it and express it, the more deposits in our master gratitude account, canceling out facing “notes” of regret at the end of our life.

Join me now as we cultivate an attitude of gratitude

Check our my free classes:

iRest Meditation and Hanna Somatic Movement–a gentle movement practice to release pain and enhance mobility.

Your passions

iRest: Loving Kindness

iRest Loving Kindness Meditation.

Listen or Download

The attitude of Loving Kindness is oLoving Kindnessne of the pillars of the Yoga Sutras and Buddhist teachings. I invite you to rest back and experience this heart-based iRest meditation focused on connection, communion and tenderness towards all sentient Beings. This includes ourselves! Enjoy being guided in this 35-minute iRest practice into your loving spacious essence.

 

Feel free to listen, download and share these imperfect, unedited, live iRest practices recorded during my weekly group sessions.  I trust they will benefit all of us as we navigate times of uncertainty and change. 

DONATIONS WELCOMED

stress-relief with iRest meditation

Post-Election – Pre-Holiday Stress-Relief

Have you felt overly stressed during the recent election season? Do you feel disheartened with opposing ideologies and uncertainty about the future?

I offer you this short 6-minute stress-relief restorative iRest meditation. May this help you to de-stress, re-harmonize, and access an inner resource to help you restore resilience to meet whatever shows up during the coming times ahead.

I invite you to attend my free iRest meditations on Sunday morning or Thursday afternoon.