Tag Archives: mindful living

We’re Just Passin’ Through


Unexpected Loss

My two oldest children lost their father to cancer this weekend. He was 61. Divorced over 30 years, we’d come to a peaceful place with each other. To the point where we could sit and have a conversation about our lives, the kids and the state of the world. You know, everyday stuff.

He didn’t know he was sick until about two months ago. So this was an unexpected leaving. The kids visited with him, and he was happy in his last hours. As happy as one can be in a dying state, I suppose. I grieve him. I grieve that he lived with illness and pain and that there was nothing that could be done for him. I am very sad that our children are grieving the loss of this gentle soul. Because that is what he was above all else. Gentleness in a world that is not often seen, or offered. No matter the differences that eventually pushed and pulled us apart in those early years, that gentleness was the reason I married him. He was the reason I am gifted with the presence of two amazing people on the life path. Thank you for that gentle soul.

My son and I made arrangements with the funeral home. I wrote his obituary. I wish now that I had said more about the gentle-man who had attempted to live and thrive in such a harsh world, but I didn’t. Seriously… he was almost too innocent for this world.

We Are More Than This…

My own esoteric experiences have taught me that this reality is meant to be a place of experiences, where lives can be lived well. Or not. It’s really up to each one of us to decide. Me? I’ve made some incredibly naive and not so great choices, pushing myself and this body through events and drama I would tell my dearest friends to run from, to steer way, way clear of. And the results? I wore out my vehicle. My body crashed.

Hey, but you know what? The crash that came with being the overachiever, the fixer, the mommy, the best wife I could possibly be, the one everyone could count on? It forced me to sit. Well, lay down at first. For months. Chronic illness is a bitch.

Some time has passed and an early form of recovery is happening, albeit snail’s pace slow. I sit in awareness. In beauty, in breezy, sunny days, or listening to the rain, or playing with Frankie, the long-haired chihuahua trusty side-kick, and appreciating my adult children who pop in and gab, or bring me a surprise bunch of sunflowers. I sit doing work I love, writing or editing novels or articles on finance and travel. Lots of super-present moments, mindful awareness, moments I had not experienced before the crash. I was lost, running on autopilot. Despite all of the meditative knowings, lucid dreams, despite knowing we are more than this… I fell.

Conscious Connection With All That Is

The crash brought me back into conscious connection with Spirit, to the soul Collective. And my ex’s transition from this world to the next reminded me yet again that this is not our home. He is gone home. He’s left the vehicle behind. Individual expressions of Spirit, we are graced with experiencing incredible, vibrant life, exploding into diversity and life-paths filled with cosmopolitan personal stories that ignite passion, hardship, sorrow, joy, and love, shooting off, weaving through and into the canvas of time.

So now? What. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to sit for a moment and watch the sun sparkles come through the rustling leaves blowing in the trees behind your house. Or close your eyes and listen to the cricket song as the sun falls away past the rooftops and the trees become shadows against the last flash of red light. Maybe watch the woodpeckers dig into the trees for bugs, or the blue jays fight over their territory. Listen to the squirrels complain because you’re too close to their stash. Smell the fresh-cut grass. Hug your loved one and breathe. Just stop. Be now. Feel the connection.

We are more than this…

Adventurer on the edge of the cliff by loutpany

Dedicated to HWT. Save me a seat at the edge, we’ll dangle our feet for a while before the next adventure.



Conscious Decision Making


Life By Design nl


In February 2013, I had a lucid dream experience where I was consciously creating in the fabric of space and time. I was present before the canvas of matter creating images with thoughts and gestures. Since 2013, there have been many mornings when I’ve actually awakened with my arms and hands up in the air gesturing as if I am still creating from the “other” side of the fabric, spirit body on that side, physical body on this side. I know that with regular practice through meditation, lucid dreaming and conscious awareness, I can change day-to-day physical reality creating a more desirable, joy-filled life-path. As a mystic, I know that we are, we live, simultaneously as both source-self (spiritual being) and the physical manifested self, experiencing life. One might look at the physical self as an avatar of sorts, a vehicle that allows us to experience living out all sorts of adventures through a physical body! In short, we live between two worlds.

Naturally and unconsciously through choice, we have created daily experiences using thought and action. However, many of us are thinking, acting, and creating experiences running on “autopilot,” allowing life to occur, to just happen… and as a result, often left wondering why things aren’t quite the way we’d prefer. How do we create change?

The simple answer is to turn off the autopilot. To be mindful of thoughts and consequent actions. To take responsibility for, and examine the choices made… and then choose differently where possible. We can create a new reality, with conscious mindful thought, conscious mindful decisions, conscious mindful planning, and conscious mindful action.

Will daily life then be picture perfect? I can say from experience that it will not because some of the choices made up until now have resulted in the experiences each of us are currently living through. However, I can say it will be better and that circumstances can be changed. Life is better because you will have become fully engaged. Daily life events are no longer just happening to you because you will have become a conscious, mindful, active, participant in its creation.

How to start? Over the next couple of months, each week I will introduce a set of self-exploration exercises to assist in becoming mindful of current life situations, where your focus has been, where it’s at today, how to make time for self-nurturing, and how to manage time and plan mindfully. These simple no-nonsense self-discovery activities are meant to be used over and over as you cycle through decisions, discover new facets of self, choose goals and take steps toward change. These activities have been used in workshops for over twenty years, basic, tried and true.  They are focused, personal, and will nudge you toward self-nurturing, as well as personal and spiritual growth. Next week: Module One – “Primary Caretakers.”

Great Day to Start



Driving in this morning I found myself thinking about, well about everything. I had the ole’ “monkey mind” thing going on, jumping from one thought to the next not really stopping to ponder any one of them in particular. Good thing is, I caught myself.

So I went back through a few of those thought-topics-things in my life that need attention and picked out a couple of them deciding today would be a great day to start just targeting one to two thoughts, one project at time for a few days until completed, and then move onto what’s next on the list.

Now you know I talk about being mindful all the time, being observant, paying attention to what’s in front of you. And I do, but I move quickly. I think it’s time to slow the pace a little. Over the last six months I’ve slowed it considerably from frantic to fast, now I think  in-the-middle  might be kinda cool. So I’m going to give it a try.

That means monkey-mind thoughts like this morning, “Wow that garage is really a mess, the shredding needs to be done. It really bothers me that those boxes are right smack in front of my face on the shelves when I get in the car every morning. Maybe I should fix the recycling can too, it’s not labeled properly. I wonder if my daughter ever got a winter coat. I better check. What time am I going out for dinner? Better pick something up for the boy. What groceries do I need? When will I shop? Eggs. Soy milk. Pancake stuff. Better get some yogurt butter. I’d like to get to Whole Foods. I wonder if my boss looked at the survey I left on her desk. 7:20 almost there, maybe I can get it edited before the event today. My sister just sent me a text, darn! I forgot to look for those gifts she wanted.”  Oh…shoot. Whoa, I think I have monkey mind. Ahhh…STOP!

Caught myself. Breathe in, breathe out. Slow fast down to…in-the-middle. Pick a couple of things and do those this weekend and blog it. So here it is. There you have it. I know you do it too. Find an in-the-middle pace that works for you until you can experience what it means to go slower and then hey maybe you, and for that matter I, can get to slow. Slow is probably a reasonable pace that we haven’t done for so long it feels awkward. But maybe something we can all get used to. We are more than this…

“And so taking the long way home through the market I slow my pace down. It doesn’t come naturally. My legs are programmed to trot briskly and my arms to pump up and down like pistons, but I force myself to stroll past the stalls and pavement cafes. To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself….For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.” ~ Alexandra Potter, The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather

Mindful Moments


photo by Michal Malinowski


I practice meditation regularly throughout the day, first thing in the morning, during a mid-morning break, at lunch and in the evening. Three years ago when I first started this daily practice, it was once every couple of days. When I saw the difference in my attitude and manifesting life, I decided to step it up. There have been tremendous changes in how I approach making decisions, how I listen to others, how I dream, as well as how I live each day. I share the following article with you from the Science of Mind magazine, which validates my own experience:

“[Dr. Jon] Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness operationally as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” Yet staying in the present moment is difficult. “To do that,” he says, “you have to cultivate the awareness that you’re not in the present moment a good deal of the time. We’re usually in the future or the past. We fall readily into afflictive …emotional states, like anger, judgment, and depression, and then tend to blame everything else without seeing our own active participation in it. Sustaining attention in the present moment is just about the hardest thing in the world for us humans to do—and the most necessary.”

He explains that “meditation is training the mind to be less reactive and judgmental.” This means that when we can be mindful and stay focused on the present moment, without judging our body sensations, thoughts, and emotions, the mind calms and our suffering eases. Our physical selves also respond positively. Research suggests that mindfulness improves mood, boosts immune function, decreases stress, and promotes healing in people….“Recent studies have shown that just eight weeks of mindfulness training in the form of MBSR results in changes in the thickness of particular regions of the cortex and limbic system,” he says.

Experiencing anger and fear repeatedly can actually change the neural structure of the brain, damaging the anterior cingulate and overly stimulating the amygdala, which then reinforces those unhealthy emotional states.

Just as it responds to anger and fear with physical changes, the brain also changes when our thoughts center on compassion and mindfulness, with a strengthening of the anterior insula. As [Dr. Richard] Davidson says, the act of meditation is “literally the brain changing the brain. There are direct changes in the structure of the brain that appear to be beneficial. Compassion meditation strengthens the circuits that increase empathy.”

From “Changing the World, One Brain at a Time” by Barbara Stahura, SOM May 2012. You can visit scienceofmind.com to read the rest of this article.