Archive for March, 2011

Contentment, like happiness, is often elusive.  When we grasp for it, our hands are left empty.

But sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere, contentment finds us.

Yesterday was Hard.   The aftermath of my hard fall.

Following the Hard, spent several hours stuck in traffic.  Not a day I expected to experience contentment.

Irritable and hungry, I stopped for dinner at a quiet bistro ordinarily off my path.  There, I discovered Spring truffles, aromatic black truffles, thriving in this year’s heavier-than-normal rainfall.  Truffles generously shaved onto pasta, parmesan on the side, and a perfect Pinot noir, subtle and complex.

Contentment snuck up on me as I savored a truly delicious meal in an out-of-the-way oasis.

I drove to the stable where I keep my Arabian mare.  She is my touchstone during difficult times.  She whinnied, then bowed her head to kiss my hands, our ritual of greeting.  We had the barn to ourselves, soft rain pattering on the roof, horses snuffling their hay.

I brushed my mare and rode her alone in the deep quiet, savoring the rhythm of her movement, her kind and gentle spirit.  Quiet time with this lovely mare, my dearest friend, is pure contentment.

Life in the present moment, now.

And I thought, perhaps this is when contentment finds us, when we are simply here now, just being, and all else falls away.

When does contentment find you?


Mara Rose

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*A note on Pacific NorthWest truffles–know your source.  Truffles can be harvested from our forests by ethical or by illegal means.

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Cultivating Compassion.

All of us have experienced difficult times, an inescapable part of being human.  I recently experienced a hard fall, followed by a series of events that left me flattened.  I am picking up the pieces of my life, finding my balance.

A wise friend observed I need to give myself time and permission to grieve.  That had not occurred to me, despite it’s being obvious.  I tend to push myself pretty hard, and am generally kinder to others than to myself.  I suspect many of us are like that.

This week, I experienced an epiphany–I need to learn to practice kindness towards myself.  Not self indulgence, but lovingkindness, the heart of compassion.  The kindness I would naturally offer a friend facing my circumstances.

I have long flirted with the idea of meditation, beginning a practice, then not sticking with it.

And I experienced another very helpful insight–I have procrastinated, putting meditation off, making excuses not to meditate, because I had long ago turned meditation into a Big Thing.

I had convinced myself I needed the right philosophy, the right teacher, the right retreat, the right posture, the right cushion, on and on, until I had made meditation into Hard.  And Hard was not going to happen.

Tonight I asked, what if I simplified meditation to just sitting and being with myself, in the spirit of lovingkindness and compassion?

What if I simply sat in my comfortable armchair, where I feel cozy and warm?  What if I simply centered my awareness in my heart, and on my breath?  For only 15 or 20 minutes?  Or even just five minutes?  What if I took the Hard out of meditation?

This was an Aha moment.  This I could do!

Tomorrow morning I begin.  I look forward to my quiet time of extending compassion, kindness, and love to myself.  Perhaps the first baby steps into my new life, into Wholeness.

My commitment to myself is to meditate every morning for 30 days, until meditation becomes a habit, an essential part of my morning ritual.

What are your experiences with meditation?

What helps you maintain your practice?


Mara Rose

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I am a woman re-imagining her life,

discovering strength,

embracing vulnerability,

exploring new ways of being,

re-building dreams.

I invite you to join our conversation about learning to Live from the Inside Out.


Mara Rose

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