toilet paper

     We all experience points when life takes that turn and everything really starts to go our way. We feel lighter and freer. But – so often we’re encumbered with a sense of guardedness, feeling like this is not going to last, while we wait for the other shoe to drop. We have grown so accustomed to the struggle and daily grind that when good things happen we’re not used to it and we think it is an anomaly.  Well, I’m happy to report that this type of stinkin’ thinkin’ is all in your head. It is only natural for us to feel good and everything is supposed to go our way.
     To prove this point, consider your toilet paper. I have lived in many different locations over the years. Each abode, of course, had a holder for the toilet paper. In one place I became accustomed to turning toward the left to gather this precious reserve. It became automatic to lean in that direction for the much needed item. After a while I didn’t even think about it. The brain pattern was in place and I could be totally mindless when it came time to acquire this useful tool.
     Moving to a new place, I found this valuable commodity to be on the right. How odd it was to automatically be reaching left, reaching left, reaching left. I realized, though without fanfare, that if I wanted to utilize this important resource, I had to open myself to a new way of thinking. I had to allow and create some new brain wrinkles. I had to be mindful and reach right. Those little subtleties can change everything. In mindfulness, the shift is always for the better.
     Meditation cleans things up. When we meditate we cultivate mindfulness and open ourselves to all that good stuff. Each time we meditate we, little by little, train our ever agreeable brain to lean in the direction of our natural inclinations. We become mindful.  We begin to notice that we are turning left when what we want is on our right. We recognize our passions and our brain re-patterns to accommodate our wishes.
     Test your toilet paper today. Take a few minutes each morning to meditate, breathing in and breathing out; paying attention or being mindful of your breath, your breath, your breath. The shift is incremental and it does not take long to become used to and normalize. Life is supposed to feel good, without compromise. Meditate and let it in. It’s only natural.
hearts (3)

(artist unknown)

core intellect

025I’m taking a 100 hour meditation teacher training which will ‘qualify’ me to share a type of meditation that everyone can utilize. I love it. Oddly, I’ve always been qualified but over the years I had allowed the opinions of others to jade my self- confidence.

We are such people pleasers, we humans, that most of us have trained ourselves right out of our own innate and natural well-being. We’ve allowed the intellect to take over our lives forgetting that we are an energy field at our core walking around in these garages we call a body.

When we meditate we are cultivating that core. It is a distraction for the intellect, which says ‘yes’ to everything we feed it. In meditation we tune in to our inner world where inspiration, simplicity and goodness reside. Meditation leads to mindfulness. Cultivating mindfulness through meditation is a powerful tool for daily living. We are able to soothe that which does not serve us and our perspective shifts.

Emotions are simply the indicator of the direction of our thought. Our thoughts, thought often enough, turn into beliefs. The intellect is comprised of our beliefs. Contrary to what the programmed intellect may offer, it is natural for us to feel good. When we meditate we become equipped to notice if we’re feeling good or if something is feeling off. It is that noticing, that mindfulness, that allows for us to consciously change our minds. We are enabled to slow or stop feeding the off-ness our energy/attention and it slows the momentum.

010.jpgIt is the daily practice of focusing on the breath, the breath, the breath that gently breeds mindfulness. The intellect conforms to mindfulness and you will find your behind in the proverbial sling less and less and less. If you’re in a pinch, breathing and focusing elsewhere, like your big toe for example, helps to find that place of well-being. Overall, once a consistent meditation practice gets a foothold on the intellect, feeling good becomes normal and life gets better and better.

007Cultivate your core and meditate. Open the channel telling the intellect, “I know I have the ability to focus.”  Bring your attention to the breath, the breath, the breath. Feel a type of detachment from the physical environment letting your inner cork float. The more you do it the more you want to do it. It’s all good AND It’s only natural.

b r e a t h i n g science

The Closet Academic

I always thought the art of meditation was common knowledge; taking a few minutes every day to focus on our b r e a t h i n g. We can stir up much ado over little things that they seem big and out of reach. How many of you know people who b r e a t h e? How many of those b r e a t h i n g people you know are ever aware that they are b r e a t h i n g? How often are you aware that you are b r e a t h i n g? If you do a workout you may be aware that you are b r e a t h i n g, and b r e a t h i n g hard and exerting yourself and sweating…

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power pause

Deep breath in to the tippy top, holding briefly and a strong exhale out the mouth. Allow a sigh. One more time – inhale and exhale. Now, just breathe normally noticing the rush of air coming in and going out. Just noticing. At the beginning of a practice, meditation students  are often instructed to silently ask themselves three simple questions.

Now, in your mind, as you breathe ask yourself,  ‘who am I?’ breathing in and out, ‘who am I?’ very gently offering the question – breathing in and breathing out. Next question, ‘what do I want?’ And, again breathing in and breathing out, ‘what do I want?’. Ever so easy, ever so natural ask yourself ‘what is my dharma/purpose? What is my purpose/how may I serve?’ And then, let the questions go, breathing in and breathing out. Inhale in the luscious air, savoring it and then exhaling out what no longer serves you.

How easy is that? Very! Now you have launched your practice for the day. Enjoy the peace of natural breath for a few minutes more. Make the best of the rest of your day and watch what comes. ‘Seek (the good stuff) and ye shall find.’ It’s only natural.