Live What You Know

Learn, Grow, Accept, Appreciate, Realize, Love…Truly Live It All! Make Every Day A Masterpiece and Live Each Moment In Joy! —or— You are Divine. You are All. We are One. Let us Be still. Let us Listen with an open heart. Let us Live what we hear. Let us Love with All of our heart. BE. YOU. I AM. —or— wherever you're at and growing from now.

Tag: staying peaceful no matter what

I Am My Breath

Smile, breathe and go slowly. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh

Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life. ~Giovanni Papini

Good morning!  Today I wake up feeling utterly blessed and grateful.  There are infinite things to be grateful for in Life, but today, and I sincerely hope, for each and every day for the rest of my days, I am in awe and complete wonder of my breath and it fills me with absolute joy.  As always, I have been trying to stay more present, feel more of my moments and live more of my life through all that I have learned.  Lately, something has clicked with my breathing; of course, it was right there under my nose all the time :-).  For quite some time, I have known the power of adding more breath, taking a deep breath before reacting, focusing on the breath during meditation, etc., but something even more profound has taken hold for me lately.  Perhaps the practice of it, reading about it, writing about it, etc. has finally allowed the path for me to live it more consciously and consistently.  The idea that the path to live what I know has presented itself makes me smile in peace.

As I shared previously, I have been exhausted lately and my body has been in a bit of a broken down state.  I knew relief would come and that all would be and already was well.  I was able to feel peaceful even in the midst of my worn out state.  I was allowing my circumstances to be as they were and see what Life was trying to show me.  That felt like progress to me for sure, considering that I used to only feel “happy” if I was doing everything “well.”  That path leads to a lot of stress, pressure and wasted moments trying to arrange things on the outside in order to feel good on the inside — a never-ending circle that doesn’t allow the true joy that lives inside us all to come forth.  In my allowing things to be as they were recently, I noticed my breath silencing my thoughts often throughout the day.  I noticed that I was, in fact, leaning back and allowing my breath to ease everything that wanted to bring anxiety or tighten my grip on life.  My breath was the gateway to joy and the force that was grounding me deeply in the true gift found in every present moment.

After a few days of truly enjoying the breath that was at the forefront of my interactions, the thought popped into my head, “I Am my breath.”  I heard it and I felt it deeply.  I smiled.  My daughter appeared by my side to tell me something and I noticed my breath as I enjoyed her lovely soul face and heard her sweet voice more clearly.  My breath allowed me to truly be there so much more fully.  I Am my breath much more than I am my body or my choices or my reactions.  My breath feels good, no matter what and it allows me to BE my true self.  It helps me choose well, speak kindly and Love deeply.  Our breath animates this form we have.  We are more our breath than any other thought, action, reaction or emotion we could ever have or feel.  Our breath is more of our essential self than we can ever know.  Someday, when our breath leaves, we will go with it.  We can live with our breath more fully now and bring joy to everything around us.  The deep pleasure that comes from our breath is truly amazing.  There really aren’t the proper words to describe it.  Just breathe and you can feel it.

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh

What we call ’I’ is just a swinging door, which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. ~Shunryu Suzuki

Today, I am wishing you the joy of realizing the pleasure, peace and astounding gift of your breath.  Sending you joy and love!

 

Becoming The Ocean

If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.  –Leonard Cohen

This quote is such a great realization.  I came across it in my reading this week and it put all I was feeling into clear, loving and true perspective.  To live on the surface of life, where we allow our inner state to depend on our outer circumstances is rocky, stormy and sickening.  It does feel like navigating during fluctuating storms that just keep rolling in.  It is possible to live from down deep in calm waters and to be fluid as we flow through life with the understanding that the moment is all we have and things are happening just as they should.  How do we do it?  We use every experience we encounter to build more presence in us, to ground us in our true essence of love and connectedness to all things…which can only be found in the present moment.

As we grow our presence and ability to live from the quiet place inside us, we still have to navigate the circumstances and people around us.  As we get better at this, the opportunities to practice it seem to mount.  We all have loved ones we hold dear and often those very relationships are the ones that allow us to grow the most.  I spend a lot of time with my two precious little ones.  They bring so much joy, laughter and moments of love, but, they also bring many many opportunities to practice all of the things I have learned about presence and consciousness.  If I didn’t have the day-to-day challenges with the kids, I would probably have myself convinced that I have evolved to a much higher level of consciousness.  I have little encounters with them all the time that remind me of what I can work on and just where I am at.  It is a gift to have these two to work with as I try to stay in the deep waters for longer periods of time and teach them to do the same.

Here’s the thing, the kids are constantly trying to pull me into feeling whatever they are feeling and as they grow and encounter new challenges and responsibilities, their emotions are all over the place.  Sometimes it feels like living with little emotional bandits, taking me on a ride over getting their jacket, tackling a math problem, clearing the table or tying their shoes, etc.  They are little, vulnerable and highly identified with me.  If they are stressed or upset about something, they want me in the same state.  I think they feel that if I am feeling the same stress, they will feel better or get help; its like they feel that if I’m upset too, they won’t be alone in it.  I can feel the pull between the three of us of how they want company in their emotions.  I am always trying to live from a place of non-reaction by putting more space around my choices.  It is kind of funny to hang out with people who really really want to get a reaction out of you when you so badly want to stop reacting to everything that comes your way.  There is a kind of perfection in it that allows me to feel just how connected I am to everything and how God/Life lines up the perfect circumstances to grow you to be more of your essential self.

You can be sure that whatever circumstances you are working with, they are the exact, perfect ones made just for you that will deliver you to all that you are meant to experience on the path leading in the direction of becoming more of who you really are.  Whenever I hit a bump or fall flat on my face by forgetting everything I know, I can feel the meaning in the experience and be grateful for whatever the details looked like.  Me and my little emotional bandits get up and forgive each other pretty quickly and jump back into the joy of life.  We talk openly about all these things, so they are learning right alongside me.  They teach me so much in such a pure way.

Let’s have a moment of get-real perspective here; perception is always a great teacher, it is usually a good idea to flip things around and see how they look from the other side.  As I was thinking about the “emotional bandits” part of things, I realized that I am an emotional bandit as well.  I have heard myself say, “Why can’t we just be in the moment?”, “Let’s get into the flow of life.”, “Joy is waiting for you whenever you’re ready.”, and many more such statements.  It would seem that I, too, am guilty of resisting the emotions others are experiencing and trying to get them to feel something I want to feel.  Even if I am trying to get them to feel “good” things, it is still me trying to get those around me to feel and act the way I want them to, so that it can come more easily to me as well.  To be honest, I have seen myself in bad times trying to get others to feel bad with me too.  It is a hard thing to admit, but as I look at things from this perspective, I cringe at some of the times I was down, stressed or overwhelmed and my husband was happily buzzing around and I dragged him through my emotions just to have some company.  Fear makes us do all kinds of weird things.  Thank goodness we have always come out of it pretty quickly and we know where it all comes from.  The yuckie stuff is always fear and the lovely stuff is love…no exception.

So, we all do it…we all try to bring our loved ones with us on our little emotional trips.  As we ride the waves in a storm, it is lonely to do it alone…we seek company and we drag them into our boat because we are afraid of making the trip alone.  Once we can learn to live from a more spacious place that allows others to have their feelings and express what they’re going through without it affecting our state of mind, we can be free of the seasickness and truly taste the freedom of acceptance, present moment living and inner peace.  Next time you notice an emotional bandit trying to take you for a ride, just give them love and let it pass through you.  Try comforting them by intense listening that allows them to be heard without resistance from you that would cause them to try to convince you and pull you into their emotional boat.  If you notice yourself trying to take others for your emotional ride, turn towards love and remember that everything passes, things are always as they should be and even though it feels like it would be lonely to go it alone…it isn’t.  Sometimes we just need to feel our feelings deeply and pass through them alone to let them lose their power over us.  We can grow and become more of who we really are by swimming deeper, feeling more stillness and realizing that we aren’t ever truly alone…we are connected to all that is around us…what we can see and what we cannot.

Picture it, if you are living at the surface of life, riding the waves, you need that little boat and you constantly seek company in there to endure all the seasickness and storms.  If you are the ocean, you don’t need the boat.  You don’t need to get in the boat with others and you don’t need to drag others into yours.  You can just be the ocean and heal yourself and others as you spread love and stay calm and peaceful in the moment.

Sending you love, calm, peace, joy and presence.

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