Monthly Archives: December 2011

Mindfulness….can we just try it?

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I don’t think that there is ever a date where you “start fresh” per se. After all the person who you are on December 31st is STILL the same person who you’ll be on January 1st. To me, I think if you want to achieve something, you should just start doing it NOW. Besides, most of the ‘resolutions’ made each year are really lifestyle changes and involve depth, understanding, reasoning, and time, which are all strung together with mindfulness.

Mindfulness. It’s a lovely word isn’t it? The way it just rolls off your tongue and comes out almost like a lyric in a song, sung in harmony of different notes, beats, words and sounds but yet stands on its own and projects out clearly even if heard by a foreigner with no knowledge of the language or the word.

I know you’re wondering how do lifestyle changes and mindfulness really relate to one other but I ask that you please bear with me and keep reading for as Common once pointed out, “One Day It’ll All Make Sense”. 😉

I have found that choosing to be more mindful has made me a better friend, coworker, sister, daughter and that it has made my interactions with the people around me, happier and better. Although I’m far from perfect (but then again, who isn’t?) I still choose to practice mindfulness in my every day life to the best of my abilities – from basic errands, responsibilities, work life, to all forms of dealings and communications with people both in my professional and personal life. So instead of giving you a dictionary definition of what being mindful means, I’m going to give you some examples instead. Of course this being my own interpretation, I welcome any and all opinions!

Being mindful is keeping your word or clearly communicating when you cannot. Example: You make plans with your friend on Thursday to hang out on Sunday afternoon. You both agree to spending time at your place. Sunday afternoon comes around and there is no sign of, or word from your ‘friend’. You contact them only for them to tell you ‘I can’t make it down – I’m stuck doing something and cannot leave.’ Mindful action in this scenario would have been your friend letting YOU know as soon as they knew that they wouldn’t be able to make it without you having to contact them to ask if they’re still coming. A mindful reaction is you letting that person know that your standard of friendship requires them to respect you and your time by letting you know of the change in plans as soon as it happens. (Another example of this is you speaking to a friend on the phone and you having to get off the phone, telling them that you’ll phone them back and then you don’t. Your friend has every right to be upset and not speak to you – after all, if it was a business deal, you’d go somewhere else right?)

Being mindful is also keeping it real. Example: There are only a few words that I can say I hate hearing or being addressed by. One of them is short form of honey – ‘hun‘ – which in my personal opinion not only sucks as a ‘word’ in the way that it’s said or used, but it’s also very overused and often comes off as fake. So, I cringe anytime anyone calls me ‘hun‘ and I’ve made it a point to let my friends know that I hate being addressed as such and for them to refrain from using it. Now when I tell my friends that – my real friends – they refrain from addressing me that way. Hence they are mindful of my feelings by not addressing me as ‘hun‘ and I’m being mindful by telling them how I want to be treated, rather addressed by them.

Being mindful is being open-minded and accepting of another person, making them feel good about being themselves around you. I am sure you can pick from a slew of situations you’ve experienced where this applies. In the end we end up being around people who we feel comfortable being ourselves around without feeling that we are judged. This includes friends, family, and those who we have intimate relationships with. Of course this is a two-way street as no one is going to be comfortable being around someone who is constantly criticizing you and making you feel bad about yourself.

Being mindful is also encouraging and being supportive of someone’s passions. Example: I’ve started doing spoken word events where I actually get up in front of people, on a mic, and recite my own poetry. It means so much to me when my friends send me messages of encouragement or good luck. It gives my performance more confidence and makes me feel good knowing that they want me to succeed. They’re being mindful by taking the time to simply send me that message.

There are many ways of being mindful but I’ll leave room for you to think about things that are important to you and to those around you. Instead I’ll leave you with this:

Mindfulness is kind of like your mother who took the time to do laundry on the weekend so that you have clean clothes to wear for school on Monday – mindfulness is another expression of love. It’s also kind of like your grandmother who disciplines you when you start acting out while she’s taking care of you – it sets a standard on how to treat and speak to others while teaching you that you must set your own standards on the way you allow others to treat and speak to you. Mindfulness is also kind of like your father who took you on a trip to an orphanage and showed you how other kids live – it makes you more aware of others and gives you a different perspective on life. Most importantly, mindfulness is kind of like your spouse – it’s a choice.

Mindfulness is so many different things but it laces together truth, honesty, integrity, communication, standards, respect, love, support and care. It makes us grow as people, it makes us feel good and it makes others who we interact with also feel good! Mindfulness….can we just try it?

T

“We achieve mindfulness when reality takes precedence over our ego.”~David Richo (from his book “How to be an Adult in Relationships – The Five Keys to Mindful Loving)


I AM Here!

I am here. Breathing. Seeing. Hearing. Feeling. Observing. Feeling. Reflecting. Feeling. I am here.

I wasn’t planned by my parents so in a way, you could say that I was a ‘mistake’. But they choose to give me the greatest gift – LIFE. I breathe. I am here.

I open my eyes and watch the rise of the sun while the moon sets and I think, “Look at that! I live to see another day!”. It is amazing because I am here to see it. I am here.

I close my eyes and I hear life. It’s happening all around me. The trees sway their branches while housing the birds who chirp and sing the most beautiful morning song. I listen. The mindful trees and birds are embracing me in their circle and making me feel their vocal hug. I am here.

Inside of me, my heart is beating and as I close my eyes, I observe its position. Quickly, I realize that it’s never alone for it’s surrounded by layers of protection which form almost a tunnel that allows the echo of its beat to be felt. I feel its strengths and high points but as I observe more carefully I hear its pains, fears, regrets and disappointments. But I feel it. I am here.

I open my eyes and look up at the ceiling and I reflect on its imperfections. I don’t need a mirror for the ceiling is reflecting back all of what I break myself down to be – imperfect. There are so many imperfections that the more time I spend reflecting the more they all blend into one amazing roof over my head which has come to me at the cost of experience. I feel as if it’s a lot to deal with but the sun is shining bright, the birds are still chirping, my heart is still beating and I am reminded…..I am here.

I could stop there, couldn’t I? For I breathe, I see, I hear, I observe and above all, I feel all….but am I really feeling all? I sit up and put a hand over my chest. Somewhere deep inside, there is a voice of light. It’s warm and comforting. It’s a slew of colours, sounds and shapes. I can’t quite decide which way to look at it or feel it for it comes to me when I’m at my lowest of lows. It has no limits and it is as intense and free as I need it to be. Am I controlling it or is it controlling me? I close my eyes and that is when I realize. Its name is love. I smile and allow my hand to fall by my side. My eyelids open and I realize that that is what I am here for – love! Love for me and for all that I do. Love for life, breath, sight, hearing, and love for all things which bring me back to me and remind me that I truly AM here.

“We can always choose to perceive things differently.You can focus on what’s wrong in your life, or you can focus on what’s right.” ~ Marianne Williamson

T


Soulful Sailing*

Kinkardin, Ontario

I took the chance

to speak my truth

yet you just stand there.

Seems like you’re unsure

of what to say or do.

I can tell you’re not amused

and maybe you’re even

slightly confused….

but isn’t that what us, women do?

***

Okay so I said yes, then no

before you even had the chance to

have a seat and elevate your feet

for this short sailing trip

has made you light-headed

and your knees weak.

Can’t help but think

you might not forgive me

for any of this

but then I go back to Decoded

and remember the words of another poet:

“The truth is always relevant”

so I choose to speak it.

Pain is inevitable

if we sail and explore

the sea of life,

but this port is just not

where WE were meant to dock.

***

I’ma take my own boat out,

on this sea,

cuz my Sailing Soul

is ready to meet

my sea mate…

To throw unbreakable ropes,

over to each other’s boats,

and that is when he’ll say You vs Them,

and I’ll reply with Take Care

for we’ve already met

and our sails have been set

for some soulful shhh…

We can go north, south, east or west

it doesn’t matter

for even if you were a Stranger

you’d still be MY Best Friend.

You ready?

‘Cuz I sure am.

Am I Feeling Good?

NO I feel GREAT!

This is our chance to take!

Let’s explore these waters,

and sail off to write

our soulful romance…

The sun is setting

and the sea is ready for

our very different boats,

connected with unbreakable ropes,

to find a place

and the right moment

to rest and spend some time

to test this connection

that’s already flowing like

a real-life,

Love,

television story.

***

*This post was inspired by Jhene Aiko’s album sailing soul(s) and references have been made to songs by Jhene Aiko, Drake feat. Rhianna, Tweet and Bilal, Nina Simone, and Musiq Soulchild, as well as Jay-Z’s book, Decoded. I’ve included the song links for your listening pleasure.

Jhene Aiko: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMEfKYufmRg ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RIOKhsoYJ4

Drake feat. Rhianna: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ1cE0rt0cY

Tweet and Bilal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp5awQhcPmQ

Nina Simone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8tuTSi6Sck

Musiq Soulchild: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybRnAOb-CPk

 

You can watch my performance of this poem here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajhln4holrE

T


It’s A Start…

Trevi Fountain, Roma 2011

We sit here in depth

conversing about life and its deaths,

love and regrets,

it’s battles and pains,

knowing full well it’s really in its beginning stages.

You look at me

with eyes filled with tears,

for the pain inside of you

has only now been given the permission

to come out and show through

the facade of the ego,

which has kept you cold and cool…

yet confused and overwhelmed…

lost and needy….

alone and lonely….

giving yet driven.

Turns out

you’ve got years of life

to feel, sort through, forgive and let go of.

It’s going to be a lot of work,

I KNOW.

You do have to go through it all,

just take it slow.

Become The Alchemist

of your heart’s truth!

Your treasure awaits

and next to it

are the open arms of your

true soul mate.

REMEMBER – HAVE FAITH!

*

T


%d bloggers like this: