Expectations are a funny thing.  I feel I am someone who harbors many expectations.  My expectations so often obscure my view of reality to such an extreme I cannot see things as they are or people for who they are for that matter.

Dropping expectations often feels like a thin line to walk, for I fear I will become tolerant of being mistreated or detached and complacent.  One thing I can experience undoubtedly is how many expectations I have for myself.  I am always “working” on something to fix, repair, or put the way I expect it to be.  I am beginning to experience control, insecurity, and fear masquerade as expectations.

I focus so intently on making things work I lose sight of being able to watch them work.  Everything then becomes viewed through the lens of a problem, and everything becomes blurred.  Because there is no separation of how we treat ourselves and between how we treat others I can undoubtedly experience how my expectations of myself bleed out into the world and onto all of those around me.
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Right now, where you are – breathe.

Take a deep breath and imagine a rubber band around your lower ribs and inhale through the entire circumference of your ribcage.

Exhale fully.

Repeat three times.

Take your time.

Resume whatever you were doing and may your day be filled with lots of space.

(photo by Tim Goedhart)

I analyze.  I am continually finding myself analyzing situations and then strategizing how to best respond.  At least this is what I have called it for most of my life.  This obsessive analyzing has served me in many positive ways:

  • It has made me a super problem solver.
  • I am a tinkerer driven by a mad curiosity which results in discovered efficiencies both in my career and in my personal life.
  • The constant questioning and problem-solving have led me to learn – and I mean a lot about a lot of different things.

However, if I do not pay attention that same analyzing quality also can destroy my happiness by creating confusion and clouding clarity.
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Welcome to 2018!

I have been off in hibernation over the holidays – it is what I do every year.  I visit my family at the beginning of December, my hubby heads off to his family’s house, and I stay at the casa with Travis (the cat) and hibernate.

It is one of my favorite things to do each year.  There is a space that opens inside of me when I am left to my own devices, when I can make my own schedule, and when there is no one, but Travis of course, to listen to me regurgitate my thoughts audibly.

For the past 20 or so years, I have practiced my end of the year ritual.  It is not even about the new year itself but rather the energy that permeates everything and everyone towards the end of the year that resonates with me.  Everyone seems to be in the same mindset; there is more optimism everywhere I look, and I ride the tide and wrap myself in the energy that feels like wrapping up and beginning anew.
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When I meditate I focus on my out-breath.  When I first begin my meditation practice, I pay attention to the qualities of the out-breath, the color, the texture, etc….

After getting settled, usually about 5 minutes, I start to pay attention more to the space around the out-breath rather than the qualities of the breath itself.  As my mind starts thinking, which it always does, I imagine popping the thought bubble with a feather and say to myself, “thinking.”

When I first began meditating several years ago, I would label things within my meditation as they happened. This labeling was identified by the sense perception I was experiencing. When I would hear a car go by and my attention was drawn to it, I would silently say to myself “hearing.”  When I noticed I was lost in thought, I would silently say to myself “thinking” and then bring myself back to watching the out-breath.
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Information has an amazing ability to transform our choices and illuminate our own knowingness.  At the same time, information can keep us suspended in this middle space of never being enough.  We see a headline promoting something, and we think, I want that because I don’t feel like I have it in my life.  We place our hope in learning about something to get away from something we don’t like about ourselves.  It’s easy to implement practices or methods to escape.  Escape from what makes us uncomfortable, what makes us feel insecure, ashamed, fearful, sad, or angry.  If we are not careful, we spend our days acquiring information to rid ourselves of things that have the potential to be our most prominent teachers.  Meanwhile, those same things we perceive as obstacles keep showing up in different places with different faces trying to get our attention.
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The pictures you see are, but of a soul your mind created.  What resides in the dark places are only dark because the light has not been brought.  When you shine a light on the dark by drawing your attention gently to it, a lightness comes through an illumined sense of being.
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According to good old Merriam Webster, should is defined as used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions. In my opinion, the word “should” has judgment built right into the center of its meaning. Whether it is judging someone else or equally as detrimental, judging ourselves, I was always taught should equals shame. Read more

In America, we celebrate labels which only emphasize separation all the more.  It sets the stage to believe those labels mean anything; the first woman president, the first black president, the first black woman to win a race.

Although these are milestones that reflect changes in society of “moving forward” and “acceptance”  I feel deeply their reflection of acceptance is in and of itself a deep-seated belief in labels and that somehow they are important to the accomplishment at hand.
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One of the biggest things that has led me to where I am today is understanding that everything – and I mean everything is an opportunity! Experiences happen to help us if we can only clear the fogged mirror long enough to look inside.

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