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Archive for the ‘meditation’ Category

The languorous warmth of Indian Summer.

Autumn crisp evening air, seductive with possibility.

Fields of sunflowers.

Rows of freshly mown hay, curing in the sun.

Lush, almost-purple heirloom tomatoes, layered into ricotta and leaves of fragrant basil, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.

Corn on the cob and fresh-caught salmon, grilled to perfection.

The Light, glowing soft and hazy.  Luminous.

The preciousness of warm, sun-lit days.  Reveling in each moment, as Summer bids farewell.

The excitement of those who are returning to school.

Making changes, moving on.  Difficult decisions to finalize before the rain sets in.

The ebb and flow of Life, framed naturally by the Seasons.

Clarity.  Energy.  Movement.

A time for new projects and refreshed motivation.

For you who are curious about meditation, or would appreciate support as you start your own meditation practice, I am planning a series of posts about how to begin meditation….

How you can ease into meditation, making meditation a beloved habit, a  ritual, an essential part of your daily routine.

We’ll also explore the many benefits of regular meditation practice–for your physical and mental well-being.

Many great tips and resources, coming soon!

I hope you’ll join me.

This blog will soon migrate to a new platform.  There is nothing you need to do–you will be automatically be redirected to the new site, MaraRose.com, when it is complete.

Stay tuned!

And, thank you so much, every one of you, for your kind support and warm encouragement.

Much Love,

Mara Rose

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Contentment in the Rain

*Photo of fresh garden produce, courtesy of  M., the best farrier ever.

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Are you feeling stuck, unsure whether to stay in a less than satisfying situation, or whether to leave and find another way?

You are not alone.

Many times in my life, I have stayed in an unhealthy situation far too long.

I have blamed myself, and tried harder.

Or made excuses for the inappropriate behavior of others.  Something Buddhist Master Trungpa Rinpoche referred to as “Idiot Compassion“.   Otherwise known as enabling.

I have allowed fear of an unknown future to keep me frozen in an unacceptable present.

I have worried, ‘Out of the frying pan and into the fire’.

I have bucked up and taken the High Road.

And then I began to embrace Self Compassion and my own Worthiness.

I learned that while true self esteem is generated from deep within ourselves, our self esteem is also affected by how we are treated by those around us.

And even when we know we have done nothing to deserve bad treatment, even when we believe we are “Rising Above”, consistent exposure to toxicity is damaging to our sense of who we are.  And undoing that damage is challenging and time-consuming.

As I deepen my meditation practice and connect with the intuitive wisdom of my body, I’ve discovered another way to consider the question, ‘Do I stay, or do I leave?’

First, I ground and center myself.  I spend some time in meditation.  Then, I consider my present situation.  I attend to what I am experiencing in my body.  I notice I feel anxious.  My heart races, my chest tightens, my breath becomes short.

I am aware I now avoid the situation.  The energy field of my body shrinks and becomes dark when I enter into the situation.

I have tried constructive communication, and come away unsatisfied.  There has been gossip, stirring of the pot, scapegoating.  Violation of boundaries in communication.  Behaviors I do not want in my life.  Even though there are good things about the situation, the negative overshadows.

I have found an alternative situation.  I’ve spent time evaluating the new situation–asking questions, listening, checking in with the wisdom of my body.

I have weighed the objective criteria for each path, to avoid making a reactive decision.

Then, I visualize the new situation–and I feel my body opening, softening, expanding.  I experience a Lightness of Being.

And therein lies the essence of my decision.  I am moving towards the Light.

I engage this process more than once, on different days.  I seek Clarity, Spaciousness.

As move forward in my life, I know that embracing self compassion and my own worthiness go hand in hand with being treated with respect.

And when I am not treated respectfully, when there is a pattern of disrespect–when I observe the pattern of disrespectful behavior is also directed at other people–when my efforts to establish respectful communication are not met by the other, it is time to leave. 

With class and dignity, I walk the Goddess Walk.

Life is too short and too precious to waste on toxic situations.  No situation is perfect.  Life is never perfect.  But when the balance consistently shifts towards the negative, I choose to walk into the Light.

Perhaps you are at a crossroads in your life.

It is my genuine hope that you might find my personal process helpful, as you find your way.

XOXO,

Mara Rose

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The New York Times Health Blog, Self Compassion.

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Discovering the power of a clearly set intention.

Last week, I promised myself I would begin just sitting every morning, using awareness of my breath to quiet my mind and extend lovingkindness and compassion to myself.

I was especially mindful that I avoid turning meditation into a big thing that would invite procrastination.  My intention is to practice daily for a month, creating a Ritual.

For the most part, the first steps of meditation practice have gone pretty well.

I discovered a beautiful CD by Jack Kornfield, a teacher of mindfulness meditation, that guides me to centering myself in my heart and on my breath, traditional lovingkindness practice.  I love this CD, and found it helps me to focus.

Some days, the process flows beautifully, and I feel peaceful and relaxed.  One special day, I met and embraced a lost part of me who needs my acceptance, my love and compassion.

Often, my mind is busy with worry and distracting thoughts.  I am learning to gently remind myself this is why meditation is truly a practice, and I return to my breath and the space between the stream of thoughts.

In the past, my intention to meditate was derailed by Busy Mind, as I told myself I wasn’t doing it right, that meditation was too hard.  Now, I find any attempt to let go of my perfectionistic tendencies is enormously helpful. Learning to be, not to do.

My intention, to just sit each morning and to learn to live from the inside out, has drawn to me exactly what I need now.

I am grateful to Havi Brooks, and her delightfully witty, wisdom-filled blog, The Fluent Self, and for her generous link to Hiro Boga.  I have immersed myself in Hiro’s program, How to Rule Your World From the Inside Out, and I am blessed by an exquisite garden of Being and Presence–“Sovereignity of Your Inner World.  Both women are a truly gifted healers and teachers.

Love,

Mara Rose

*Photo:  My mare and I were once guests at this beautiful stable in another State.

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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?

XOXO,

Mara Rose

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