What This Moment Contains

From page 174 of Deepak Chopra’s book The 13th Disciple:

Every life contains  moments when a person sees beyond the illusion. The secret is to pay attention, because once the moment is gone, so is its power to change you. You must be open and alert to signals from your true self.

Today’s Intention

Each morning I take a few moments to write down an intention for the day. I record my daily intention in a small notebook. Flipping through it from time to time brings me to a place of gratitude and peace.

An intention opens the mind and heart; it sets the tone for my day.

This is my intention today:

I live from the Truth of Who I Am…a spiritual being currently having a human experience.

I love this one and set it often:

I live from the Peace of my Soul.

What is your intention today?

An Intention

Trusted teachers have both taught and reminded me over the years to set an intention at the beginning of each day.  Intention is a powerful energy that guides  our thoughts and actions throughout the day, reminding us of the truth of who we are. Below are a few examples of intentions I have found to be supportive of my journey.

 

 I live from the Peace of my Soul.

I Am All That I Am

I manifest the love And compassion of the Divine.

I am Peace Itself.

I Am Love Itself.

I am One with All That Is.

I like to write my intention for the day on a small whiteboard in my kitchen. Seeing it helps me to live in the moment and to be aware of my thoughts and my behavior. Few days pass that fail to bring me opportunities to live my intention fully. Sometimes the circumstance affirms the truth of my intention; other times my intention guides me into higher awareness of my own patterns. This awareness elicits either gratitude or the desire to shift what I am thinking or doing.

May your intentions be clear, true, and powerful. Namaste. Peace dear hearts.

Today’s Creation

What would you like your day to look and feel like? Tonight, when you look back over this day, how do you want to feel? Take a few moments this morning to think about this. Visualize your day. If you are very detail-oriented, then be specific as you visualize. If you get hung up on details, go for a more general look ahead. How do you want to feel rather than what do you want to accomplish.

Once you have a feel for your true desire as this day unfolds, form an intention that supports that desire. For example, if there is much to do and you have created a list, your intention might be “I accomplish these tasks efficiently and I have fun doing it. I enjoy the people I meet along the way.” For those with a more general idea of the day, your intention might be “I live in peace with myself and others.”

May you be abundantly blessed as this day unfolds for you are eternally and unconditionally loved. You are love manifestin in the world. Namaste.

Our Best Intentions

There are times when, in spite of our best intentions, life gets in the way. I hold an intention of creating blog entries at least three times a week (and preferably five times a week). Life has been getting in my way and the reasons are wonderful, for the most part. It has also brought me a bit of frustration because my intention is…well, I already told you that.

I deal with it the way I deal with everything. I take walks and do a little yoga. I meditate every day and I stay in the moment even when it is so not what I was expecting.

An apartment on private property came to me through new friends so I moved for the second time in a year. My granddaughter is now two so she can tell her parents she wants to play with Gama, which is my delight of course! It is another half day not thinking about writing as well as not writing. A precious new friend has a health crisis and I am giving her reiki every day. This is such a beautiful opportunity to serve and I am humbled and blessed in the process. My moments are filled with blessings. And the days and weeks flow by and I am not at the keyboard.

However, my heart remains true and I hold the intention and this morning – hurray! – here I am. Each day I remember that my highest intention is to live consciously, to be in the moment, and to live each moment with love and compassion for myself and others.

For those of you who faithfully read my words, thank you for your patience. I trust the entries will come into a flow that fulfills my intention and blesses you in the process.

May this day unfold in ease and may we all be present, loving, and compassionate.

Namaste.

Conscious Speaking

I have often heard of the importance of being a good listener. Usually when I think of someone being a good speaker it is in the context of public speaking of some kind. The focus of my teaching for many years has been on living mindfully and being present in the moment. I am often aware of my breath, my thoughts, my feelings. It is my intention to develop the art of listening from my heart.

What about speaking? I know that speaking is one way to express myself…but do I consciously express mySelf?

It is a valid question and one that I plan to sit with and take into my meditations the next few days. I experience the highest level of conscious speaking when I am working with a person one-on-one or when I am leading a group or teaching a class. In those situations I am deeply connected and one with True Self. I am trusting the Divine to love others through me. What I speak flows through me rather than being thought up by me. So, I know what conscious speech feels like in that context.

My awareness is being heightened when I begin to feel frustrated on the phone. Just this week I was asking someone for help with an online issue and I was being directed elsewhere….”Oh, that’s not our program. You have to call that company.” Something I wanted to be simple was becoming more complicated every time I sought help. The frustration began to flow through my voice and I knew full well the person directing me was not responsible for the issue or for my frustration. As I heard my own voice, I knew I was wrong to speak to her that way. I stopped myself (hurray!) and took a breath. When I spoke again, I thanked her for her help and said I would do as she suggested. After all, she had helped me. It wasn’t her fault that this wasn’t how I wanted to spend my time in that moment. Upon ending the call, I sent her blessings and envisioned her having an easy day from that moment on.

I am learning to own what I am experiencing and still get the help I need. For example, when I heard that frustration building in my voice as a cable tech tried to help me over the phone, I interrupted myself and said, “I know you can hear the frustration in my voice. Please know that I am not frustrated with you. I get frustrated with myself for not understanding and with technology for not doing what I want it to do. Please hang in there with me because I know you are helping me.” He was very kind to me and even slowed down so that I could stay with him, ask questions, etc. This helped me to calm down very quickly and focus. The problem was then resolved in about 15 minutes and I was grateful for his knowledge and ability.

It seems I must clearly hear my own voice in order to modulate how it sounds and what it is communicating. Listening while I speak will also keep me from getting ahead of myself or getting off the subject. My desire is to be clear as well as loving and compassionate.

May my voice and my words, as well as the tone and volume, express the love and compassion of my True Self, my Soul. This is the blessing I give myself today.

Namaste.

Intention

My spiritual mentors remind me in many ways of the importance of intention. Beginning each day with awareness by taking 3-5 slow breaths and feeling my body is my first step. As I breathe I ask myself how I want this day to feel…yes, feel. I find this much more powerful than starting a list before I even get out of bed. For me, it isn’t about doing; it is about being. I know how I am being when I am aware of what I am feeling.

Today I want to feel peaceful, happy, loving, and compassionate toward myself and others.

This is my desire. It tells me what I want to realize when I ask myself tonight how I feel about my day. I move from to desire to intention by making a commitment to myself as I begin to look at what I want to experience and accomplish today. Once I have done my morning yoga & meditation, I sit with my coffee and make a list or check my calendar. This is my opportunity to let desire become intention. It is the same thought, the same desire, and now I commit to it and to myself and it is empowered by my intention.

Today I believe in mySelf as I live from the peace of my Soul. I am happy, loving and compassionate toward myself and others. I am faithful to the commitments I have made with myself and others today. 

An intention can be much more specific, of course. If there is something I have been avoiding, like making a dental appointment 😊 my intention may include calling at a specific time and setting an alert on my digital calendar. If I have been wanting to shift the energy of my life by trying something new, my list may include signing up for a class or walking to the park to do yoga rather than staying inside.

Play with these ideas and see what shakes out. Keep it simple and clear. Find what works for you.

For me, today

I believe in mySelf as I live from the peace of my Soul.

Namaste

Eye Contact

Are you aware when you make eye contact with someone? Do you really see that person? If it is a stranger, perhaps the cashier at a grocery store or restaurant, do you notice the color of their eyes? Are you aware of their Inner Being or just their outward appearance?

We’ve all heard it said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. It is true. In yoga we do eye gazing as part of our practice. For many people it is extremely uncomfortable. For some, it is an opportunity to connect with another without words. You simply soften your face, your eyes and your gaze and look, without interruption, into that person’s eyes.

As you stand or sit across from each other in silence, barriers begin to fade and a gentle awareness arises. This is a soul manifesting in a body. This is a Being seeing you through the portals we call eyes. You become aware of your own eyes as portals. You feel the Being, the soul that you are, seeing through the portals of your own eyes. The two of you are allowing your True Selves to see and to be seen.

Mindful eye contact or eye gazing done in a group or with a loved one prepares us for those momentary opportunities to look into the eyes of a stranger in a way that lets them know they have been seen. Once on a very busy day, I looked softly into the eyes of a cashier and simply said, “Good morning, Susan.” Yes, I had read her name tag. Because I said her name, she looked at my face and then into my eyes which, of course, were softly focused on hers. She whispered, “You are the first person since I was hired here to actually say my name!” She stood a little taller and smiled at the customer behind me as I left.

Oh, how we all need to be seen, to hear our names spoken with respect, to know that we are not invisible.

There were several effects of this type of mindful interaction that were a surprise for me when I first began to practice with others. When I look softly into the eyes of another person and have the intention of seeing the Being inhabiting that body, I am incapable of doing that person harm in my behavior or my thoughts. I see myself in their eyes as well. I cannot look into your soul without connecting with my own. When I allow myself to see you, I see myself as well and the love that wells up within me is for both of us. In the moment I experience this depth of connection, I know the Oneness that We Are. I cannot harm you without harming myself. Feeling love and compassion for you is feeling it toward myself because everything that touches you also touches me.

In the Oneness of All That Is, We Are.

The Power of Intention

Intention is a powerful thought form, an energy that guides my behavior. Please note that I said “guides” rather than “controls.” When I was younger, others instructed me to control my thoughts and my behavior. I wanted to be a good person so I set out to control myself. Generally speaking, it did not work very well. In fact, it created an inner atmosphere of resentment because I felt judged by the voices in my head and by those around me. I desperately wanted to be free to just be me. Lack of life experience and tools to know myself made that freedom impossible. In my late twenties, a loving pastor listened as I talked and wept in frustration. As I wound down, he looked into my eyes and quietly said, “Catherine, there are some things you just can’t understand until you have lived long enough to understand them. Let it be okay to just be where you are.” The door to personal freedom began to open.

As I awoke this morning, a mere forty years later, I lay with eyes still closed and slowly became aware of leaving a deep sleep to emerge into a new day. I let the process unfold and felt each moment bring me into this current reality. Some mornings I awake wondering where I was during the night because I feel a shadow of remembrance, a conscious awareness of something other than here. This morning I was grateful for a deep and restorative sleep. Moving has disrupted my sleep patterns so feeling rested is a true gift. I snuggled down and let myself be, appreciating this gentle emerging and the growing sense of this whole new day. As my mind became more awake, another dear mentor’s words came to mind, “Catherine, remember the importance of setting clear intentions each day (Richard Miller).”

For me, this means renewing my life intention which is to live mindfully from a place of love and compassion for myself and others. It also means taking a few minutes, before I leave my bed, to feel and visualize what I want this day to look and feel like. I picture myself moving through the day, accomplishing necessary tasks, interacting with others, and allowing my True Self to manifest through it all.

When I remember to begin my day in this way, I notice that the day unfolds with a clarity and gentleness that nurtures my soul and allows me to be present in each moment, whether the moment is fun and easy or challenging and difficult. For me, this is the true power of intention. Whatever the day holds, I desire to be in peace when I lay down at night. I want to look back over the day and know that I was present and mindful and that I “let it be okay to just be me.” And yes, that means to lovingly accept myself when I let the 8-year-old within take over and I act silly or thoughtlessly. My inner voice jumps in to remind me that even this is an opportunity to express love and compassion toward myself and others. Welcome to the human race, Catherine Ann. Welcome to the process of learning to manifest your divine self while in human form.

On a different level, developing this practice of clear intention and mindful presence has also caused physical, material needs to be met more easily and with much less fear and anxiety. I feel more relaxed in my life because I am more aware of who I am. It is easy to love myself and others because there is no standard of perfection haunting me. Relationships are clearer and more fulfilling as I let others be who they are, honoring their process as I have learned to honor my own. Life is so much more peaceful and loving.

As I typed the last paragraph, I turned my head to look out the window and there on the wall sits a dove. It sat, turning its head side to side to see me more clearly. I stopped typing and returned the compliment, softly looking back and acknowledging its presence. It felt as thought this lovely bird had been quietly waiting for me to notice it. Several minutes passed as we interacted before I returned to the keyboard. As I continue to write, I now hear it cooing from a nearby tree.

I love the synchronicity of these small things in life! I am writing about ending my day in peace and a dove alights nearby to affirm my intention. Sweet.

Aum shanti shanti shanti. Aum peace peace peace.