release for 2015

We will be more successful in our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time,
and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.
                                                                                                                         –Thich Nhat Hanh

Blue Ridge Mountains 2014

Last New Year I wrote a list of resolutions in my best handwriting, with a little script lettering for flair and a couple doodles to make it cute.  Fellow blogging mama, Lyssa wrote about focusing on one word for the year, so I opted to do both the list and the mantra in 2014, just for fun.

Of course the one word mantra was much more successful. It was easy to remember and flexible. I could focus on achieving it an any moment, because it wasn’t specific to one goal. It wasn’t something just to cross of a list, it became a practice.

Slowly.

I chose two words for 2014, mindfulness and presence. Jonathan gifted me a wrist tattoo of the Chinese symbol for mindfulness and still it was slow to learn. Often this past year the lessons came at the cost of connecting with my internet community and contributing to this space. It became easier to shut off all screens, to be a present mother and partner, rather than being more mindful of my time. I’m still learning how to juggle, and which aspect of the juggle is important. I will be a student for the rest of my life.

In the end these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?
                           – Jack Kornfield

My mantra for 2015 is release. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Frozen with Rivers, but I’m taking Elsa’s lead and letting go. Since our move I have felt severely overwhelmed by the number of the projects that need to get done and the ones that moved with us, unfinished. This year will be a release of unrealistic expectations (that often lead to disappointment, guilt and anger), unwanted possessions (that clutter our space and require our time for cleaning or moving); and unnecessary appointments (that inevitable leave us wishing for more and more time in the day).

The lessons of release sounds much like mindfulness. Told ‘ya I’ll be a student for the rest of my life.

Cheers to 2015!

 

 

 

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nothing like the present

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“The greatest gift we can offer anyone is our true presence.” – Thich Nhat Hanh 

Our true presence is a gift we try to offer one another each and every day. It seems easy enough, but somehow it can be difficult. There are numerous distractions in our lives that make it easy to forget. They pacify us in times of worry or stress and we procrastinate working out those feelings instead of simply facing them head-on.

As the year winds down we’ve struggled a bit more with being truly present. Or I should say, I have. The holiday season brought the usual hustle and bustle, but also some interesting news that required big decisions. I was stuck in dream-land as we waited to hear news about these decisions and… well, they fell through.

Lesson learned. Live in the present moment. Plan for the future, but don’t live in a bubble of daydreams, otherwise I may miss out on the beauty and blessings that are right in front of me.

Following fellow mama and blogger, Lyssa, I chose a word words for 2014. Mindfulness and presence are our mantras for the coming year. Reminders to turn off the screens, breathe away stresses, thoughts of work, chores etc. and instead offer ourselves to the present moment. To focus our full attention on …

the smile of our child

hearing his concerns and joys

looking each other in the eyes

sharing a full embrace

facing our burdens with right thinking

cultivating love and celebrating all aspects of our lives

As with a list of resolutions, this will be an exercise in focus and self-discipline.  I can’t just dream my life will move forward, I must be an active participant. All these things I think I knew. May I actually apply them this new year!

“Don’t just hope for the shore to come to you. If you want to cross over to there other shore, the shore of safety, well-being, non-fear and non-anger, you have to swim or row across. You have to make an effort.” -Buddha

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Thank you all so much for sharing in our first blog year. We have appreciated so dearly all of the comments we’ve received and the connections we’ve made. May you all have a joyful time celebrating the new year! See you in 2014!

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