Buddhist researchers seek to reveal link between heart, mind – Lion’s Roar

There’s proof that mindfulness is good for us! Have a read:

Researchers at the Hong Kong’s Center for Buddhist Studies have published findings that point to a connection between the heart and the mind.

“Activities of the brain and heart became more coordinated during MBSR training,” reported the authors. “Mindfulness training may increase the entrainment between mind and body.”

Source: Buddhist researchers seek to reveal link between heart, mind – Lion’s Roar

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A 60 Second Meditation Tool

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I found this meditation tool in an email from Jane Friedman. I tried it and LOVED it. I think you will too. Short, sweet, and to the point! ❤

A 60-second meditation tool to clear your mind

Mindful Monday – Mindfulness, Mantras, & Haiku ❤️

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Welcome to Mindful Monday

Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Happy May Day! This week I wish for everyone to really get in touch with their own mindfulness. Choose something that you want to change or something you want to work on as it applies to your own life. Go ahead… write it down. Let your mind wander.

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Then, write your own mantra as I have done below:

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Put your mantra somewhere where you will see it every day.

http://isha.sadhguru.org explains why mantras work:

Mantras Explained: How a Mantra Can Lead to Transformation

Sadhguru speaks about the science of mantras, and how a mantra can be a key to access deeper dimensions of existence. He also speaks about “Vairagya,” a set of five sacred chants, and how one can benefit from them.

“So, a mantra is not something that you utter. It is something that you strive to become because unless you become the key, existence will not open up for you. Becoming the mantra means you are becoming the key. Only if you are the key can you open the lock. Otherwise, someone else has to open it for you, and you have to listen to him.

Mantras could be an extremely good preparatory step. Just one mantra can do such tremendous things to people. They can be an effective force in creating something but only if they come from that kind of a source where there is a complete understanding of all that is sound. When we say, “all that is sound,” we are talking about the creation itself. If a mantra comes from that kind of source, with that level of understanding and when the transmission is pure, then mantras can be an effective force.

Approaching Mantras with Awareness

There are different types of mantras. Every mantra activates a particular kind of energy in a different part of the body. Without that necessary awareness, just repeating the sound only brings dullness to the mind. Any repetition of the sound always makes your mind dull. But when it is done with proper awareness, with exact understanding of what it is, a mantra could be a very powerful means. As a science, it is a very powerful dimension, but if it is imparted without the necessary basis and without creating the necessary situations, it can cause lots of damage because this is a subjective science. We know of people who have caused damage to themselves by the improper utterance of something as common as Gayatri mantra.”

Be Happy

To change your thinking –

mindfulness is awareness,

live in the moment.

© 2017 Colleen M. Chesebro

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Gratitude

010117_2204_MindfulMond7.pngI wish you much peace and joy this week. Namaste!

Mindful Monday – Reflections on the Passing of Time

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Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Celebrating

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

The past month has been busy and filled with all the ups and downs that life brings. Sometimes I ponder over how quickly time disappears. How can I manage to accomplish everything I want to do – and write? The years are advancing and time simply dissolves.

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April 16th is our 32nd wedding anniversary. On April 18th I will be 59 years old. I have no idea how I have reached that age other than that I am healthy and happy. My mother passed away at 38 years old when I was three. My sister passed away at 55 years old. My father passed away at 68 years. The older you get the more you learn to value each passing year.

Celebrate

I usually become reflective at this time of year because the advancing years prompt a look back at all I’ve been and done. So, to celebrate the inevitability of the passage of time here are:

FIVE THINGS TO REFLECT ON WHEN ITS YOUR BIRTHDAY

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What did you accomplish in the past year?

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Last year was a whirlwind that passed in months of writing. I lived in my brain for much of the time penning my debut novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy. I spent time researching fairy nymphs and learning how to write a novel. I am proud that I set out to write a novel and did it. Now, I did not do this alone. I had plenty of help and you know who you are if you are reading this. Thanks for being there when I needed you most.

Where did the time go?

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You know the old saying that time flies when you’re having fun? It fits my life perfectly. I am blessed to have the love of my best friend and husband. Ron has always encouraged me to do the things that bring me joy and fulfillment. How many husbands do that? I feel like I have lived a couple different lives all in these 59 years. That is what propels me to keep moving forward and enjoying life – there is more to come and these years of retirement are the best yet.

What did you learn this year?

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I feel like a sponge when it comes to learning. In fact, one of the best things I have learned is to accept the things that I can’t change. Life is never easy and when you have a blended family you just have to let some things go. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that some my children and my grandchildren would not communicate with me. Most of the circumstances behind this dysfunction was beyond my control. Even so, I struggle with the feelings of rejection and still do.  Some things you just can’t fix if the other people involved don’t feel the same way. Yet, somehow I’m able to funnel some of that pain and pour it into creative pursuits. Writing and poetry give me a solace I never had before. It’s a mindful journey – accept the feelings and move on.

I could go on and on about what I learned in the past year when it came to writing, self-publishing, blogging, etc. What I really love is that when you learn, you continue to grow and experience life to the fullest. That my friends is the best message of all! Don’t be afraid to grow.

Are you living up to your potential?

Did you get my text

I push myself hard. Sometimes, too hard. I have a drive inside of me that pushes me to be the best I can be at all times. It’s that Aries thing, you know. Besides, I have many projects in the works for this year. Planning is my middle name. I like to set goals and aim for the stars!

Are you ready for another year?

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Of course! Examine whether your glass is half full or half empty. Optimism (click the link to find ways to raise your optimism) is the key. View each day like a gift and live it to the fullest you can.

I have a dear friend that has been diagnosed with a debilitating disease. You know what she said when she found out? She said it was a relief and suddenly each day took on a golden glow filled with promise. Her words hit me like a ton of bricks had fallen on my heart. I heard these words resonate in my head: Don’t waste time on trivial drama and things that bring you pain. Live!


WW Weekly Update

I keep working on my weight loss journey. It is slow but I have lost 6 pounds! I weigh on Wednesday so we will see how I do. My doctor did increase my thyroid medication and that has been a great help.

Ron bought me a Fitbit for my birthday. I really love the ease of counting steps and logging miles. I have the Fitbit synced to my Weight Watchers app. In one week I walked 26 miles! All those daily steps really add up!

Exercise

Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.

Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!

READ MORE ON COLLEEN’S FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find new reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love and mindfulness, each month. Just fly over to my SIGN UP PAGE and enter your email. ❤

CONNECT WITH ME – I love hearing from you!

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Mindful Monday – P. S. I Forgive You, by D. G. Kaye

Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

I have something different for you this week. It’s a book review of a novel that touched me deeply. The subject matter had to do with a journey and a liberation of pent up emotions that enabled the author to find peace. If that is not a mindful journey, I don’t know what is.

Mindfulness is about change, understanding, and acceptance of who we are and who we want to become. We all have a journey, and who we are as children changes through the years into adulthood. Perhaps it has to do with maturity, but we all get to a certain age where reflection leads to deeper understanding and forgiveness of the things we simply cannot change.

Please let me introduce:

  • Title:  P. S. I Forgive You – A Broken Legacy
  • Author: D.G. Kaye
  • File Size: 358 KB
  • Print Length: 107 Pages
  • Publisher: Self-Published by Author
  • Publication Date: 9/26/2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01LWOYPRP
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Parenting and Relationships, Family Literature, Biography, Memoirs

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

“Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling, heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.”

MY RECOMMENDATION:

How many of us come from dysfunctional families? I know I certainly came from one. However, when you are the child of a narcissistic mother, those wounds fester and bleed well into adulthood becoming baggage that hangs around your heart. Almost certainly, these feelings are accompanied by guilt and a desire to understand why a mother could treat her own flesh and blood in such a demeaning way. Especially, when you would never think of treating your own children with such disdain.

This is the author’s journey to redemption. She sets out to explain the reasons why her mother treated her and her siblings in such a derogatory manner. What she discovers is her own strength and determination to come to grips with the revelations that none of this treatment was her fault. The final realizations pivot the reader to experience the liberation of a survivor, first hand, with empathy and compassion for the author and her family.

I followed D. G. Kaye’s path into a state of mindfulness, where she focuses on the present while acknowledging and accepting her feelings and thoughts from the past. At times, I cried right along with the family, feeling old emotions of my own boil to the surface. Ultimately, the story ends when understanding is achieved and the only avenue left is that of forgiveness.

This is a poignant novel filled with inspiration and strength. By the end of the story, I felt like D. G. Kaye, and I had become close friends, and she was telling me that my hunt to dispell my own childhood demons was going to be all right. If you have a narcissistic family member, this is the book for you. Believe me, you will never feel alone again.

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars



Author, D.G. Kaye

About the Author

“D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, and Words We Carry. D.G. is a nonfiction/memoir writer. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcomes some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues. When she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, Kaye brings her natural sense of humor into her other works.

D.G. began writing when pen and paper became tools to express her pent-up emotions during a turbulent childhood. Her writing began as notes and cards she wrote for the people she loved and admired when she was afraid to use her voice.

Through the years, Kaye journaled about life, writing about her opinions on people and events and later began writing poetry and health articles for a Canadian magazine as her interest grew in natural healthcare. Kaye became interested in natural healing and remedies after encountering a few serious health issues. Against many odds, D.G. has overcome adversity several times throughout her life.

D.G. began writing books to share her stories and inspiration. Her compassion and life experiences inspire her to write from the heart. She looks for the good and the positive in everything and believes in paying it forward.

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return, Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

D.G.’s Favourite Saying: “Live. Laugh. Love …and don’t forget to breathe!”

When D.G. is not writing, she’s reading. Her favourite genres of reading are biographies, memoirs, writing and natural health. Kaye loves to read about people who overcome adversity, victories, and redemption and believes we have to keep learning–there is always room for improvement! She loves to cook, travel, and play poker (when she gets the chance).”

You can find D.G. on social media and her author and blog pages:
www.dgkayewriter.com
www.goodreads.com/dgkaye
www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7
www.twitter.com/@pokercubster
www.facebook.com/dgkaye
www.about.me/d.g.kaye.writer
www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7

Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.

Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!

Until next week. Don’t forget to let me know how your week is going. 

Mindful Monday – Change & Renewal

Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more mindful. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to live in the present.

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

We’ve covered quite a few things this January, such as spiritual growth, goal setting, defining our exercise and eating goals, and even recognizing our personality types. This week I want to talk about our body’s capacity for change and renewal.

Deepak Chopra on the Daily Om shares:

“…”the forgotten miracle”–the body’s infinite capacity for change and renewal. “You cannot take advantage of this miracle,” Chopra says, “unless you are willing to completely reinvent your body, transforming it from a material object to a dynamic, flowing process. Your physical body is a fiction. Every cell is made up of two invisible ingredients: awareness and energy.”

Chopra offers a course which details five recent breakthroughs of the body that lead to self-transformation by changing the distorted energy patterns that are the root cause of aging, infirmity, and disease. Daily Om. You can find the price of the course at the Daily Om link.

Image credit: Facebook: Wild Woman Sisterhood

Thinking about change and renewal is something that has become crucial to me this year. Actually, my transformation began last year while I was writing The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy.

My idea for the story was that in unusual places around the earth one could find large calcite stones weathered by the wind and rain into the shape of a heart. The calcite heart stones were fairy Raths which formed a dome of protection around a certain artifact that humanity could not do without.

Of course, my research led me to calcite and the meaning of the stone. Calcite is a fairy stone that assists in the channeling process when it is grounded and practical, but not when the work is ungrounded or not for the good of others. Also, the stones offer protection from evil spirits, offers psychic security, and protects the wearer by helping them to stay connected to the Earth’s center. Fairy stones often adopt the people they wish to help, giving the adoptees the nickname of “little helpers.” Meanings.crystalsandjewelry.com

The more I discovered about calcite, the more interested I became. I had stumbled upon information that became transformational to me. Just like the heroine in my story, Abby Forester, I too needed to become grounded and in sync with mother earth. So, I dove into finding out how calcite could help me move forward in my mindful journey.

I started out reading Healing Crystals for you.com:

“Calcite Crystals come in quite a few colors all of which are most helpful… as they are powerful amplifiers and cleansers, particularly of the emotions.


Pink Calcite

Pink Mangano Calcite… is opaque, and there is also a pink transparent variety. Both are strong heart chakra stones.

The transparent stones encourage compassion so resonate strongly within the thymus or higher heart chakra.


Green Calcite

Green Calcite also works at the heart chakra.

These crystal stones will cool your emotions, especially on the mental plane, and will aid you to let go of things and circumstances that no longer serve you.

Orange Calcite is highly cleansing for both the sacral chakra and the base chakra.

It will balance the emotions, overcome depression, release fear and enhance creativity.

Use clear Optical Calcite for insight and clarity.


Blue Calcite

Blue Calcite is for the throat chakra, and can assist clear communication and helps to soothe the emotional body.

The lighter Yellow or Honey Calcite is a strong solar plexus chakra stone that gives you clarity and insight.

Gold Calcite works at the third eye chakra and the crown chakra.

Red Calcite is strong base chakra stone that will link the base and crown chakras.


Calcite Fairy Stone

Calcite Fairy Stones are unusual shaped stones that were created when calcite filled the areas with glacial clay.

They are gorgeous stones that have an attractive, supportive and harmonious quality that may draw you to them.

This Calcite variety is helpful to have in your life, as it seems to safeguard and support you when required.

These crystals resonate out into the area where they are located, and they are known to aid Earth healing.

Use them in meditation if you do channeling, as they can help you to bring information back from the spirit realm more accurately.”

The Seven Chakras

What is a Chakra? A chakra is a word taken from the Sanskrit language which means “wheel,” as in the wheel of life. It is believed that our chakras are like wheels, tiny rotating vortexes of energy which are located in specific areas of the body as shown above. The chakras start from the bottom of the spine and extend to the top of our head. Each chakra embodies a particular organ, endocrine system, or part of the body which directs our energy flow.

All organic life gives off faint intangible energies and electromagnetic frequencies. Life experiences, our health, thoughts, and emotions, all can change the frequency and vibrations that emanate from our bodies. Chakras can be open or closed as they relate to our mental or physical and spiritual states. When our chakras are healthy, they will spin in a clockwise direction.

Negative experiences can drain our energy stores which then causes our chakras to become imbalanced. This is why a person will feel emotionally drained, both physically and emotionally, when something upsets them. Chakra re-balancing helps to release the blockage which are manifestations of a lifetime of physical and mental trauma. Junebugmemphis.com

Explanation of the chakras, the colors, the gems, the planets, and the energies:

Image credit: Junebugmemphis.com

As you can see, the fourth chakra is the heart chakra, and it is balanced with a green stone… as in green calcite. Now you know how I came up with the name of my YA fantasy series: “The Heart Stone Chronicles.”

My friend, Irene, from IreneDesign2011, created calcite necklaces for my readers so they could have a copy of their own which you can check out for yourself below.

The large piece of calcite in the photo above (in the middle) was a gift from Irene. I have been sleeping with it next to my bed. My sleeping has grown deeper, and I find that I don’t wake up tired in the morning. I’ve also noticed that my dreams are more grounded and have become even more meaningful to me. As an empathic writer, the calcite has brought clarity to what my dreams are trying to tell me.

I can’t think of a better way to begin a journey of change and renewal than by learning how to take care of my body and the seven chakras that power our energy sources. ❤

Here is how to open your heart chakra:

Venture outside in nature. Become green by imagining the first tiny shoots of spring breaking forth from the soil.

See green everywhere you look. Close your eyes and imagine a brilliant green light exploding from your heart center which is located at the center of your sternum and below your shoulder blades.

Breathe in the green of the summer grasses.

Think and become love.

Give love freely to others.

Remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Start learning about and practicing yoga.

Forgive others and yourself daily.

*Ideas were taken from Mindbodygreen.com

Read more at Mindbodygreen.com for more information on balancing your heart chakra. You will want to visit this page because I found the information to be most illuminating.

Here’s how to get your own calcite pendants:

The small calcite heart stone pendant is at the left near the hummingbird on the cover. Here is the link to Irene’s Etsy site where you can buy your own pendant: https://www.etsy.com/listing/480852170/black-silk-necklace-with-silver-wrapped

The large calcite heart stone pendant is pictured at the right just above my name. Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/480852682/black-silk-necklace-with-silver-wrapped

Here’s who joined us last week when we discussed The Benefits of Daily Walking:

Bernadette from Haddon Musings

Terri from Second Wind Leisure.com

Barbara from Create With Barb

If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday post. I’m happy to have you along for the ride!

Namaste. I wish you much peace and joy this week. ❤

A Mindful Journey is on Facebook

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A Mindful Journey has a Facebook page. Colleen Chesebro – My Mindful Journey: https://www.facebook.com/mymindfuljourney/!  (I had to use “my” mindful journey because “a” mindful journey was taken).

Come and join us! I also set up a widget on the blog so you can find me there too.This will be another spot that we can connect. I hope to see you there!

gratitudemantras

I will be listing the five things that I am grateful for as a post each evening. If you want to join in please do. ❤

I will share Weight Watchers tips and recipes, exercise for beginners, yoga, mindfulness posts, and more empathic connections!

Feel free to join in and share your own tips and tricks. This is our community to share our goals and frustrations and to boost each other up. Together we can achieve our goals!

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heart-you

Namaste! I’m wishing you peace and joy this week! ❤

 

Mindful Monday – “Have Yourself a Mindful Little Christmas”

In my weekly feature called, “Mindful Monday,” I like to share my journey on the road to becoming more ‘mindful.’  This encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to.

Welcome to Mindful Monday. I’m happy to see you.

Hello, and welcome to another week on Mindful Monday. Are you busy with the holiday season? Are you running around frazzled trying to have the “perfect” holiday for you and your family?

christmas-shopping

As many of you know, as a Buddhist, I don’t celebrate Christmas, even though I was raised with the tradition. However, Christmas was a strange event in the home I was raised in. For me, Christmas was, and still is a Christian tradition. As a child, the holiday I knew, was about attending church services, singing in the choir, and having dinner with my stepmother’s grandmother and her father in law from her first marriage. I did not grow up with my siblings who were many years older than me, and I did not see them until I was a teenager. It was an unusual existence.

My step mother did not have children, and she did not like them – myself included. One year, after the novelty of having a stepdaughter wore off, my stepmother changed my perception of the holidays which has colored my entire life’s attitudes about Christmas.

One year, there simply was no Christmas. The tree was decorated (only by my stepmother) and stood at its place of honor in front of the living room window. Yes, there were presents wrapped and placed under the tree. Instead of a holiday celebration, my father and stepmother had a terrible fight. I hid in my bedroom, as usual, eavesdropping as children usually do. I believe I was ten years old at the time.

The fight raged for hours, and I knew once they started, it would not quit anytime soon. Eventually, I remember going to bed and falling asleep. When I awakened in the morning nothing was said about Christmas. The presents were gone, having vanished into the night. I never did find out what happened to them and never asked. Children were seen and not heard at my stepmother’s house.

I remember returning to school after the holiday and listening to everyone talk about what they got for Christmas. I never said a word. Instead, I buried that pain deep inside, never wanting to deal with those feelings of rejection from my parents. From then on, Christmas was stressful. I always waited for the same thing to happen again. It didn’t, but for holiday seasons for years to come; I tip-toed around afraid to know if there would be a Christmas or not.

Years later, when I had my children, the memory of that one Christmas still haunted me. I celebrated Christmas with my kids the best I could, but I was always uncomfortable with the custom. I did succeed in making Christmas a joyful event for them. We didn’t have much, but we had many fun traditions, like baking and decorating cookies, playing games together, and just living in the moment of that time together. We always had a Christmas tree and as many presents as we could afford. In fact, I don’t know that any of our five children even know this story from my past. Maybe I should have told them. Our blended family lives all over the United States, and we haven’t celebrated a holiday together in many years…

Here is the crux of my story. Christmas is not about presents or the things you get from friends and family. It is not about sacrificing your peace of mind while trying to make the perfect day for your family. It is not about Christmas trees, decorations, or any of the countless other ways we have of spending money to celebrate this day.

Christmas is about living in the moment and enjoying each other’s company. It is about traditions and the celebration of family. It is also about reflecting on the year that you and your family just soldiered your way through. It is a celebration of your triumphs and the acknowledgment of gratitude for your life.

It is also about letting go of old traditions and starting anew…

So, Ron and I have decided to start a new tradition. Instead of Christmas, we are going to celebrate the Winter Solstice (The Yule, or wheel) on December 21st, much like our ancestors of old, where fires were lit to represent the life-giving forces of the returning sun. The imagery of “the wheel” fits perfectly with the precept of the Buddhist Wheel of Life and our beliefs.

We will honor the new solar year with light, candles to be exact. My plan is to do a Solstice Eve ceremony where I meditate in darkness followed by the lighting of a single candle to represent the birth of the new sun, expressing our hope in the future. We don’t have an indoor or outdoor fireplace where we can burn a Yule log, but I am going to improvise with pine scented incense.

Image credit: Pixabay.com

My thoughts will center on letting go of that old pain from that Christmas long ago. It is time to cut those threads that have bound me to that bit of suffering I couldn’t seem to let go of. In my meditation, I want to visualize that pain tied up in a knot. Slowly, my plan is to mentally unravel those tangled threads so they can float away into the nothingness, and be gone. It is time to start anew. Ron and I have each other, and we are our family.

After my meditation and later in the day, we plan on celebrating by feasting on a fabulous dinner of baked bread and a delicious and wholesome beef stew. I am making a celebratory red velvet cake with peppermint frosting for dessert. There will be many toasts to the new solar year. This is a time of renewal and for recognizing the blessings of the new year to come. It will be about us spending time together and enjoying the fact we are alive and together.

Yet, I don’t want to lose sight of what Christmas means for everyone else. So here are my suggestions for living mindfully on Christmas day:

Relax and slow down. Pay attention to your breath. Focus on your conversations and put your cell phones, tablets, and computers away. When it comes time to enjoy your dinner, sit together as a family. Take your time as you eat and savor each moment. Think about what is vital to you on this day. Stop worrying about things out of your control. Live in the moment and enjoy. Let the love of your family wrap you in a joyful embrace.

Remember, this is not a challenge.  This is an offering of support.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals, you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary.  My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of the things I take for granted in my life. Thank you for taking this journey with me.

Namaste. What are your mindful goals for this week?


Peace and joy to you all during this holiday season. ❤

Mindful Monday – Living in the Moment

Welcome to Mindful Monday. I’m happy to see you here. I had some issues with the first blog in that I could not change the address. This is the correct blog to follow: https://amindfuljourneysite.wordpress.com/. Thanks for your patience. ❤

In my weekly feature called, “Mindful Monday,” I like to share my views on becoming more ‘mindful.’  This encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to.

balance-in-your-life

This week my focus is on living “in the moment.” It should come as no great surprise when I tell you that I expect too much of myself.  I push too hard, and then tire myself out. My creativity stalls and I am just… stuck, immobile. That was my reaction to NaNoWritMo. I had my doubts, to begin with, but still felt compelled to try and push through the month.

What I found was that I was forcing myself to keep measuring up to standards I knew I could not meet. If we are always trying to measure up and not sure if we are measuring up, discouragement sets in. There seemed to be many things that discouraged me in November – the election results, NaNoWritMo, getting sick, the way my kids treat me…

The holiday season is upon us and even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I feel everyone else’s anxiety. I thought this was the perfect time to practice a little self-love by pausing and living in the moment. I call this my empathic response to the world. Are you an empath? Go to empathtest.com to find out more about this unique ability that many introverted people possess. Take the test and explore the site. I did a post about my results you can find here. I learned quite a bit about myself that I didn’t know.

As a Buddhist, I like to embrace change. Stepping on the scale Saturday morning most certainly drove me to make a change. My weight triggered a revelation I had been pushing away for the last few months. I had given in to my cravings and once again these cravings became a source of suffering. I knew that I had to take control even though I felt the events of the world around me had pushed me to lose control. After all, I could not change many of the things that were bothering me so why was I letting them control me? It was time to let go.

let-go

Image Credit: Quotesgram.com

Today, I practiced taking deep breaths and slowing myself down. I collaborated on some good old-fashioned brainstorming and wrote down many new ideas. I realized there are no time constraints on my thoughts or in my writing. I took my time and moved forward slowly. I don’t have to respond to stimuli that I disagree with. Instead, it is a signal to slow down and live in the current moment knowing that this time will pass, and things will change once again. I did not push those thoughts away, instead, I looked at them and then let them go.

Gratitude

Image credit: Gratitude Habitat.com)

My mindful plan for this week is to pace myself and live within each moment and take it for what it is… only an instant that passes quickly. I plan on taking care of me this week with compassion, love, expanding my ideas and taking a breath! I will slow down and appreciate my self-worth!

Do you find yourself in similar circumstances?

My mantra for this week is:  Enjoy the pleasant and unpleasant because each will soon change.

Self care

(Image credit: Seek Your Course)

This is not a challenge.  This is an offering of support.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals, you can do so in the comments or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary.  My primary objective here is to give and get support to become more mindful of the things I take for granted in life.

heart-you

Thanks for stopping by to visit. What are your mindful goals for this week?

~Colleen~