Glow up

Emerson Sunshine quote w tag

You know that saying about “getting out of your own way”? Turns out Ralph was onto it way before your mom, or your 9th grade teacher, or your basketball coach ever were. We’re so good at trying protecting ourselves from the awkward, painful and ridiculous, that we often count ourselves out before we even take a shot at that next step. In school, at work, in our relationships. How many times has “that would be crazy” or “that would never work” been the first and last word on something your heart was telling you to try?

No more. It’s summer, after all. Stop hiding, and get out there and soak up the sun.

Monday Moment: External resources

RW Emerson External Power quote w tag_zhangkaiyv

This bit of mindful wisdom may have you scratching your head at first, because clearly, there are external forces and authorities that have the power to make you do things you don’t want to do. For example, your alarm this dark, autumn Monday morning. I think Ralph was on to something different here, though.

The idea is that you and only you are in charge of your internal landscape, and while we can’t control the people and forces that embody the world around us, we are in charge of how we respond to them. You give power to things that you allow to change your mind or mood in a lasting way. The short-term experience is what it is – you can’t stop a thought or a feeling from arising when it does, and ignoring or denying it will only make it worse. But you can choose if you want to take a ride with it and allow it to multiply, or simply notice it, and let it move on.

To bring back another one of my favorite Monday Moments from the writer Alice Walker, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” You are nothing but power, in fact, when it comes to shaping your own experience in the world. Use it wisely, and never give it away to anything that makes you feel like you have less of it as a result.

Photo credit: zhangkaiyv

Monday Moment: Peace of mine

Emerson peace quote w tag

There are so many wonderful tricks of the trade out there for finding calm, many of which you hear me talk about here on this site, and elsewhere. What I love about mindfulness, though, is most of our options involve tuning in to yourself, and connecting with the peace that is always right there at your center. There’s plenty of noise to make your way through on the way, but with your intention, attention and your breath, you can tap into it. And even if you don’t feel that connection on a particular day, the effort itself is more than enough. In fact – between you and me – it actually is the meditation.

Have a peaceful week, if and when you want to. :-)

Photo credit: Jeffrey Betts