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 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→
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 bottom of this post, you are welcome to be guided into a live recorded meditation to help you with this process. Continue reading→
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 aguided year-end meditation from a recent live group session.
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.
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