Category Archives: Mindfulness

” I Can See Clearly Now”

Standard

​​
At the end of the mini series “Genius,” Einstein is dying, and as his long time secretary looks at him with sadness, he takes a flower from an arrangement and holding it in his hand says, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” 

I looked at Tom with a childlike excitement, and said,  “I learned that all by myself!” 

Just a few simple lines, and yet they hold within them a great awakening, opening up a whole new world for us. You don’t even have to be a genius to discover it yoursełf. It reminds me of when my father-in-law had his cataract surgery. He said he could see things with such clarity and crispness, and the colors were so vivid. When our own blinders are stripped away we can also say, ” I can see clearly now.”

“From Here to There”

Standard

photo171_inner_86-18-738-17-86-940-739-937

I think as we journey through life we come to the end of each path wondering how am I going to get from here to there? Sometimes the next journey requires us to walk through valleys or up steep mountains, maybe even across paths of hot coals, or over wobbly bridges, and what about the ones that are paved in stones across the sky. Will, freedom, choice, trust and faith come into play surrounding me, and ego steps into view with its limited human perspective announcing that there is no way on earth to get from here to there. All the while the spirit within waits and watches patiently until will, freedom, choice, trust and faith can finally see past ego and into the depth of their purpose.

We walk through a period of our life being host of our soul. Showing it all there is to be seen through our eyes, senses and emotions much like a tour guide on a trip. But eventually the spirit within the soul becomes bored and tired of seeing the same thing as we circle round the Ring of Kerry over and again. We are at the point of our crossroad and it’s time for the ego to get out of the drivers set and let the spirit take the wheel. The spirit doesn’t’ need the maps or GPS to get us to the next path in life. It tells us now to sit back and enjoy the ride, choice is our ticket, trust is all we can take, will is what pushes us on the bus, and faith is what gives us the courage to take the first step, freedom is the weightlessness we feel as we let go of all the things that hold us back from moving on. As we travel once again around the Ring of Kerry on our way to the next destination we see as if for the first time because now it’s through the eyes of God.

 

“What’s Gestating In Your Mind?”

Standard

IMG_2517

I ran across the word gestating in an article I was reading. I never heard it being used in relation to the mind so I was prompted to look it up. Gestate means to carry in the uterus during pregnancy. Ok I thought, that’s where I’d heard it before. However, it also means to conceive and gradually develop in the mind. Wow! I thought. What a great analogy to use in reference to the conception and development of both body and mind. The food we ingest during pregnancy contributes to the unborn child’s physical development. In the same way, our thoughts feed our mind slowly, one thought building upon another. Eventually they both become too big to contain, and the need to come forth and express what they’ve become burst into being. Just as a new life is created so to do our thoughts create, and just as new life affects the world it comes into, so do our thoughts affect the world. So just as we wouldn’t feed the unborn child the kind of food that could harm it. We should be mindful of the thoughts we feed into our mind. In both cases what we feed our body and mind plays an important part in how we choose to live our life.

So, what’s gestating in your mind?

 

“The Vines of Entanglement”

Standard

IMG_2404

For the 3rd time I’m pulling out these entangled vines in my garden. Every time I think I have all the thick twisted vines pulled, a week or so later they find their way back to the top of the soil. As I stand looking at their fresh green heads poking through the soil I can almost hear them laughing at me, as they say in their wee taunting voice, “we’re back!” I dig deeper with more determination to get to the source of each plant. Hum! I think to myself. There’s something awful familiar about what’s happening here besides the mere fact that I’m pulling these vines out again.

“Okay God, what are you trying to show here?” I say to myself

I’ve been doing the same thing in my own life pulling out the stuff I don’t want anymore, pulling out what isn’t good for me, and pulling out what no longer has a purpose. I do feel much lighter in many ways, but the vines from all that stuff is deeply rooted and intertwined so even when I think I’ve pulled it all, it finds a way back into my life, temping me and trying to sabotage all my efforts. Pulling out the entangled vines feels as if it has a hold of me. It doesn’t want to let go of it.

“What am doing wrong God?”

“It isn’t the vine that has a hold on you. It’s you who won’t let go of the vine.”

Woo! I didn’t see that one coming!

“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”

Standard

IMG_2574

To be mindful one must quiet the mind long enough to see what’s in front of them. I was told recently that I think too much. I’ve been told that before. So, in the process of trying not to think too much I turn to my thoughts for ideas on how to not think so much. Ha-ha! I know, right about now you’re probable wondering what the heck has Connie’s been smoking. It’s true! I do think a lot, but it’s who I am and to be honest I “think” it’s the one thing I like most about myself. I have a curious mind, and I think deeply about things if you haven’t guessed that already. But the mind needs to be tamed, same as everything else in our life. We have to find a balance. In order for me to do that I first have to find a way to quiet all the chatter going on inside my head. Meditation doesn’t come easy for one who thinks too much, but it’s the very thing I need to clear the pathway of my many thoughts. So, I’m sitting on my deck enjoying this bright sunny day and my eyes are drawn to the blue skies. White puffy clouds drift slowly, reminding me of the gentle peaceful flow of life I long to be in. I watch, focusing my attention only on the movement of the clouds letting my thoughts drift past them as they come. As I watch the clouds it’s as if I begin to move right along with them only in the movement there is stillness. Between the moments of stillness comes change as the cloud becomes a dolphin that turns into a shark. Then a dragon spewing fire from its mouth, that becomes an elephant, and an angel with a trumpet. As the cloud begins to disperse it looks like a scruffy dog, and I chuckle at the words to a song that comes to mind, “Lucy in the sky with diamonds,” it’s my Lucy dog.

Being the deep thinker I am I can’t help but wonder what the significance of these characters might mean. So, for the fun of it I look up the symbolisms for each. There are all kinds of meanings and explanations for just about anything you picture or envision. Who knew? I didn’t! So, I wrote down what resonated with me. I was amazed at how it all came together. Pretty cool!

Dolphin-is an emblem of living our true purpose in the creative since, and using it to contribute to the better good of all. The Dolphin reminds us to enjoy the moment for this moment will never pass this way again, every moment is precious. (Wow!)

Shark-when a shark enters your life it portends a time of fearlessly facing those things or people who hold you back. (Hum!)

Fire dragon-teaches you to roar finding your voice, being heard and truly understood. (Yes!)

Elephant– when an elephant comes to you the message is typically one of connectedness. (For me it reaffirms the connectedness of my oneness with God.)

Angel-Seeing angels in the clouds indicates that spiritual insights and guidance are in the offing. Pay extra attention to your intuition and insights. (Great confirmation)

Dog-a dog in the clouds suggests the company of loyal friends and faithful companions. (Which I love!)

 

 

 

“Going With The Creative Flow”

Standard


As I’ve been working on letting go it’s opened a whole new space for fun things in my life. So I had this idea to paint my clay pots. As I sat down to do each one I had no plan of how I was going to do them. Letting go of control seems to be the main source that gets in the way of what I really want, and that is to simple “be.” Listening to my inner voice, trusting in the process feels difficult when I keep getting in the way. I want to do everything perfect, but I can’t, it simple sets me up for failure.As I began my pots I went with the creative flow inside me. There was no rhyme or reason to what I was doing I just expressed. They are as imperfect as they come, but what I learned was to see the beauty that lies behind the imperfection. There are no two pots alike, and no matter how hard someone would try to duplicate what I did there is only one of a kind. Maybe that’s the way God went about creating each one of us, He just went with the creative flow and not one of us is alike either. That makes us about as special as each of my pots.

“Wakeup Calls”

Standard

 if not now

I don’t think I can count how many times I’ve been given a wakeup call. They come in one way or another like a health issue that pops up putting a scare in your life. An accident where you realize you’re lucky to still be alive. The loss of a pet, friend or loved one. These are all life altering scenarios that call for a change in our life.

So, the question becomes, “If not now, when?”

For as Mark Nepo says in his reading today, “There is no tomorrow, only a string of todays.”

 

 

“Letting Go of Control…Reconnects The Soul”

Standard


I had a friend once who seemed to have it all. She was smart, well educated, successful, classy, charismatic, faithful church goer, involved, and giving in so many ways. However, when it came to her own pain and suffering she didn’t know how to let go of the control she used to make everything else in her life work so well.

I made her up a care bag full of things I thought might help her through this journey. It had a stress ball to squeeze when the pain got bad. Lavender Epson salts to soak and relax in the bathtub. Chocolate kisses to treat herself with a bit of decadence, and a Meditation CD to calm her thoughts enough to meet right in the middle with God. She loved the bag of goodies and was eager to try anything, but when I checked in with her a few days later she said that she didn’t know how to make any of it work for her. I knew right away what she was talking about. I’d been there myself many times. It’s because we get in the way, trying to take control of what we can’t do in the normal scheme of things on our own. As a matter of fact it doesn’t seem logical at all. I mean how can anything change if we don’t take control of the situation, right? Well how’s that working for you so far?

I tell myself It’s all about going deeper reaching within my soul to reconnect not only with the God who created me, but with everything else He created as well. Reeducating myself constantly to touch base with what I instinctively know, but sometimes forget along the way. Opening myself to trust in what I know in my heart, but can’t explain in words. I think how easy it is..when I get out of the way

“To Simple Be”

Standard

metamorphosis

A friend asked me a few weeks again, what is it that you want out of life? All I could think of was that I simple want to “be.” I’ve been on my caterpillar journey. Moving upon the various path. Taking in all the nourishment, knowledge and understanding I could get along the way. Never quite knowing where I’m going, only knowing that something instinctively inspires me to keep going. Now I find myself up a tree and resting upon a branch. I can see from this place everywhere I’ve been and what I’ve learned along the way. It’s time to begin to let go of what no longer serves me at this point in my life, but this is the hardest part of life yet because it means trusting in what seems illogical. I mean how can I let go when I need to hang on in order to go through the process of metamorphose or transformation.

And so, this is where I’ve been these past few weeks sitting on my branch looking out over my life. Getting rid of this and that. Feeling lighter with less weight holding me down. Yet I find myself holding on tighter as I pray for the courage I need to move onto the next stage. I contemplate the quote above that reminds me that, “Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change.” I’ve still a long way to go, but a caterpillar has many feet to hang on with. I’m learning to let go one foot at a time, and each time I trust a little bit more in that which goes beyond the self. For I have come to believe that the God I know wants nothing more then for me to become the beautiful butterfly…He created me to be.

“Finding The Rightness within Right”

Standard

img_0375

“Being “right” is the easy part. Finding the “rightness” within the opposite point of view is the challenge.” -Barry Johnson “Polarity Management”

I read this quote and thought of all the controversy and rhetoric that so many of us were caught-up in just a month or so ago. I don’t know about you but I’ve taking a step back lately needing to catch my breath and move onto healthier hopeful positive things that bring some goodness back into my life. It’s created some wedges between me and some of the people I care about. I find it’s unfortunate because it’s behind the wall of the internet that so many things have been said, misunderstood, taking out of context and assumed without the advantage and respect of a face to face conversation. Body language and facial expression play a big part in expression our passions. But more than that don’t we owe at least the benefit of the doubt to those we loved and cherished for so many other reasons that go beyond politics?

I looked at the front page of the Lancaster newspaper today. Jeff Hawkes a reporter for the LNP had a perfect article called the “Bridge Tables” to go with the thought provoking quote above. It’s about a way of bringing people of different political views together in a way that they can discuss their differences in a respectful way with nothing between them except the table they sit at. The event is called the Left/Right Café and the premise behind it is to heal America’s political divide. The organizers Eric Sauder and Jamie Beth Schindler’s idea is for liberals and conservatives to come together for a respectful conversation getting past stereotypes and broadening understanding in a safe comfortable environment. Breaking bread and sharing food often has a way of bringing people together in a non- threating way. The hope is to find some understanding and a place of common ground, and from the article it appears that’s what these willing conversations did. It opened each other’s eyes that sometimes what is right to us is not so different from what the other persons believes, but even if it’s not giving one a chance to explain themselves can allow us to better agree to disagree. And who knows maybe we’d learn a fact or two that holds some truth within it giving us a chance to broaden our perspective on beliefs.

For local readers, I’ll pass on that if you want to know more you can contact Jamie Beth Shchindler at LANCoalition@gmail.com