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One of the major life changes I made was to tap into the vision of the highest possibility for my life and to begin to live that way. For instance, let’s say you aspire to be a spiritual teacher or leader, you can begin to live that way as a way of stepping into embodying your aspiration.
For myself, I began to live more and more as though everyone could see every choice I made and every thought I was thinking. A Course in Miracles tells us “there are no private thoughts.” We can live in the illusion that we’re separate and so no one really knows what we’re thinking or what we’re doing behind closed doors, and on our own. Yet, since we all share the one mind, everyone actually, in a sense, feels and knows everything about us. There’s no hiding.
I began to live more and more as though my students, my counseling clients, my niece and nephews, my goddaughter, and everyone I might hope to be an example to, were ALWAYS observing me. It’s a life-changer. One of the main changes for me was that I learned to forgive every error I made and move on. I practice non-judgment with myself first and foremost.
Everyone makes errors, that’s how we learn a lot of the time, but beating ourselves up for learning through errors is cruel and unnecessary. It adds injury when there’s no need. So, I drew the line and stopped the self-judgment.
I became more and more mindful. I began to treat myself with more love and kindness. Love is the great healer and my mind was (and is) healing.
In practicing mindfulness and self-Love, all personal care habits get upleveled. If you’re living as the person you are becoming, would you still eat that sandwich leaning over the sink, or would you set the table, make a beautiful space for yourself, use your best dishes, have flowers on the table, and light candles?
It’s easy to get into habits of living a life that is dull, routine and repetitive and built around convenience rather than beauty and being present in the moment. Little things can improve the quality of your life greatly.
Sometimes you can eat an entire meal, or drive across town, without even noticing it’s happening. I’ve done both. Some folks eat so fast they barely have a chance to taste the food, much less chew it – and that’s not only unkind to your digestive system, it’s not being present to the opportunity to experience your life. Sometimes people are mostly a few steps ahead, thinking about what what comes next, that they’re barely experiencing their life. Here’s where mindfulness brings us into the present moment where the Love actually can be felt and experienced.
One of the greatest mindfulness learnings in my life was when my precious mother was very ill and close to making her transition. I was living with my parents in their home which is beautiful and built of cherry wood floors, many glass windows and skylights, the vibrations of people’s movements and voices carry easily through the house.
I was having a lie down one afternoon, and listening to the sounds of the house. At the time, my father was very stressed, understandably, and his movements in the house carried that stressed energy. As I lay there being mindful, I realized that it can be very challenging to be present and mindful when you feel stressed.
In order to support both my parents during the time that clearly was the most difficult period of their entire lives (and mine too), I made a commitment to be extra-mindful and to move through the house in a peaceful way. It made it easier for me to go through the challenges of the day – being mindful of the opportunity to be peaceful with every step. I could feel that I was contributing to the Peace in the house.
I have done several retreats with Thich Nhat Hanh, the great Buddhist mindfulness teacher, and his book Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life is one of my all-time favorites. I go back to it again and again. His short, sweet essays are profoundly inspiring and heart opening.
Thich Nhat Hanh taught me so much about the value of being mindful. He teaches that mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. Mindfulness is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing. We bring our body, emotions and mind into harmony while we wash the dishes, chew our food or take a shower.
Being truly alive means being in the flow of Love at all times. Doesn’t that sound like living a Joy-full life? Isn’t that worth practicing mindfulness?
As with many spiritual practices, it can seem like such a burden to practice, but then, with faithfulness and willingness, we notice our heart, mind and life are transforming and then we’re inspired to keep going. The burden becomes lifted as we recognize how much happier and comfortable we are. In our 40 day reboot of Pray & Clear, we’re cultivating the ability to Love ourselves enough to be present to a life lived in the flow of Love.
Our spiritual practice of mindfulness leads us naturally to a more Joy-Full life. Mindfulness allows us to witness more of the Beauty in every moment. Once again, we realize:
Spiritual practice SAVES time that would otherwise be spent in suffering.
Invest in spiritual practice rather than in suffering.
We can be mindful all day long! Please share your experiences of cultivating mindfulness in our facebook group.
On the cleanse side of life: How about a high-protein, gluten free bread that you can make at home that is totally delicious? I’m in!! I found this great recipe on the CleanProgram.com blog and it sounds fantastic! I used to make pita bread and this is a flat bread made with chick pea flour. YUM! Check it out – click here.
If you’re finding what I’m sharing to be helpful won’t you please share at facebook and twitter to let others know? Thank you!
Come run away with me! Check out my Stop Playing Small Retreat this May in North Carolina! ALSO I’m offering my Spiritual Counseling Intensive Training again – check it out, also in May in North Carolina!
Today is my Sacred Circle day! This is my monthly membership program that gives you a weekly call of group spiritual counseling. Join my Sacred Circle and you can ask me any question you would like on the phone, on line or in writing! I love it! We have an awesome group of people who are doing the deep work! Try my Sacred Circle for a month and see! 4 spiritual counseling calls with me each month – ask me any question!