Month: June 2016

Don’t look away

Dont1Look in front of you

Not to the side, or above, or below, or beneath, or ahead, or behind you

Look in front of you.

Look at what you have, what is there, what is glaring at you.

The thing that tugs at your shirt for attention, announcing its presence.

See me, I am here, right in front of you.

Though you look away or see through me, seeking something of which I am not sure you even know what it is.

Why is it you cannot, or choose not to see me?

Am I not significant, are you indifferent, bored of me?

What must I do to be seen?

You keep looking away, though I know I am what you need.

I cannot scream or shake you; you have to slow down to see who I am, and what I mean to you.

Your head is in the clouds, as if that place will complete you.

You keep searching, though I am here, I have not stepped away.

Me is enough, you do not need to seek further; look at me and I will show you what it is that you want.

Pause, look, and you will see what it is you have already.

It is the human quandary that our minds look away from what we have, and seek out the things we want.

This wanting and grasping is a bottomless pit, as it is never satiated.

Because it never gets fulfilled the mind will create more longings.

The dilemma is natural, though the result is relentless suffering, and can destroy the very thing you want most.


Recipe: Don’t Look Away Meditation

Find a comfortable place to sit, where there are few distractions.

Close your eyes and take 3 deep conscious breaths.

Now name the experience you are having, “wanting”, “craving”, “desiring” “longing”, “yearning”.

Notice where in your body you feel this experience. Does it come in a form of tension?

Which emotions are being felt, “anger”, “sadness”, “hopelessness”, “agitation”?

Notice if your impulse is to, “run”, “grasp”, “eat”, “sleep”, “drink”, “pick up your phone”.

Take a pause and keep naming the experience, see if with time the wanting changes shape and diminishes.

This meditation will help you to glimpse what it is you already have.

Coping with Boredom

Coping with boredomPeel open boredom

Do you find yourself feeling bored?

What do you do when you are bored?

How do you cope?

Boredom is not a simple emotion; it is complex medley of feelings.

If you see boredom as just that, being bored, you miss out on what boredom is actually telling you.

When bored, you are likely to alleviate it with perhaps a technical device, or food, alcohol, sex, porn, reading, calling someone, sleep, drugs, smoking, shopping… anything to avoid boredom.

Boredom is like an onion, as you peel away the layers, the true feelings emerge.

Boredom is an emotion that actually means nothing on its own; the feelings underneath are what provide the picture of what boredom actually is.

When bored, look and see, you might feel irritability, exhaustion, fear, anxiety, loneliness, anger, frustration, depression, sadness, powerlessness, helplessness, jealousy, hopelessness, apathy…

Boredom is that little red warning flag that ‘something else’ is out of balance, yet how can you see that ‘something else’ when you cope by the flip of a remote control, a sweet or your phone?

Our mind dislikes boredom, seeing it as a threat and tends to seek out diversions to alleviate the discomfort of it.

It seems almost farcical to scrutinize boredom in such depth.

Whatever the reason, boredom comes and goes like the clouds, but we rarely slow down enough to see boredom for what it is and how it can offer insight into our inner selves.

Boredom is the space to pause and check beneath the layers what is actually going on.

Before you grasp for something to eliminate boredom, wait and see what arises from deep within.

You may be surprised what you may find.


Recipe: Peeling the Onion of Boredom Meditation

When bored, take a moment and close your eyes, ask yourself

“Where in my body do I feel boredom?” maybe in your abdomen? Chest? Head?

Once you locate the area of the body where boredom resides, ask yourself “ what does boredom feel like?” Give it another feeling and then ask again “what does boredom feel like?….”

Keep repeating that question until you have at least 3 feelings

Continue with your eyes closed sit with those feelings


Despair“Whatever happens to you, don’t fall in despair. Even if all the doors are closed, a secret path will be there for you that no one knows. You can’t see it yet but so many paradises are at the end of this path. Be grateful!”

~ Shams Tabrizi

One of my favorite childhood stories, “The Secret Garden” speaks about despair and then triumph found beyond a garden gate.

Despair weighs heavily on our hearts, leaving impressions and scars of all the despairs that came before.

To look at oneself you see a fallen stance, with your heart encased in a concave cage, well protected from past and future pains.

Despair can come in dribbles, though the ones known best are torrential onslaughts.

Don’t fall into despair, we are told.

How to not, is the difficulty.

To be able to summon up the strength to trust that there is a secret path beyond the garden gate. All you need to do is seek and wait.

Not so easy, don’t we all want to know, now?

The truth is, that if you are to heal and grow, you have to believe ‘what is’, is beyond the garden gate.

The despair is what guides you toward that path; it grabs hold of you with such ferocity that you have to open the gate; to remain behind is not an option.

Once on the other side, you see ahead, a new and different path.

A path that might be muddy, windy, filled with obstacles, but that path is yours… your secret… your life, only yours.

You can despair; though only for a short while, then begin to look beyond the garden gate, not back at the world you have always known, but to the world beyond.

It is too easy to stay put, allow your despair to escort you to where you are meant to be,

Beyond the garden gate


Recipe: Finding Your Way Through Despair Meditation

Sitting with your eyes closed

Take 3 deep breaths

Now take your despair and place it down.

Visualize yourself walking towards a garden gate, open it up, you can look back for a moment, but then continue on closing the gate behind you.

Take a moment before moving forward and absorb what you see in front of you, a path.

What does your path look like? – Is it made of grass? rocks? heather? steps? rungs? Whatever you see, it is your path.

As you walk, you can stop and pause for a moment, look around you. What do you see?

Flowers, bramble, trees, sun, darkness, is the path narrow or wide? Windy, steep, straight or vertical?

What is on the path?

Can you see far ahead or is your vision limited?

Whatever you see, it is your path.

Along the way you might see a clearing, if so, what is on the clearing? A building, a person, something you are doing?

Maybe there is no clearing.

Allow yourself to be in the moment with your despair safely beyond the garden gate and you wandering freely, without restriction.

You may need to keep coming back, the path may change shape, and seasons may come and go.

Let whatever happens, happen.

Take a moment and slowly open your eyes.

Repeat this often!

Is there someone you know who should read this?

Send it and get them to sign up for my weekly ‘Recipe for a Mindful Life’ here:

[mc4wp_form id=”1114″]

What if

What ifWhat if I fail?

What if things don’t go the way I want them to?

What if things fall apart?

What if I screwed up?

What if he/she stops loving me?

What if my hopes and dreams remain just that hopes and dreams?

What if I get sick or my loved one becomes ill?

What if I don’t like my choice/s?

What if I lose my job, home or those I love?

What if I don’t get that job, home or ever fall in love?

What if?

“What ifs” creep sneakily about, when you least expect them, some “what ifs” are relentless chatter and other times they wake you up in the middle of the night.

“What ifs” turn your stomach; create havoc on your nervous system

“What ifs” block the flow of creative energy.

“What ifs” do nothing more than convince you of all the opportunities that may not be.

“What ifs” sap your zest for life and happiness.

Now, what if you reframe your “what ifs “ to:

“Let me see”

“I have done all I can”

“Let it be”

“It will be okay”

When you rephrase the “what if” you will notice a sense of calm and presence with letting things occur naturally.

“Let us see” does not try and control

“I have done all I can” is loving and non-judgmental

“Let it be” holds no grudges or stifles our right to happiness.

“It will be okay” embraces you and soothes your fears.

There are no guarantees, other than, “what ifs” create pain and insecurity.

All it takes is a simple reframing of words and a sitting with any and all possibilities that may happen.

Some outcomes will hurt and others will bring great joy, either way it is okay.

It is okay to feel disappointed, sad and hurt

It is okay that you may need to rethink what is next

It is okay that things will happen, as they supposed to.

You will be okay, no matter what.


Recipe: Reframing “What If’s”

Sitting quietly with your eyes closed

Take 3 deep breaths – inhale for 4 counts and exhale for 4 counts

Bring your awareness to the “What if” you are dwelling on

Notice how you feel – maybe anxious, scared, angry, frustrated…

Take another breath – inhale and exhale

Now reframe your “What if” statement to “let me see” “I have done all I can” “let it be” or “it will be okay”.

Notice, now how you feel once you reframe the words – do you feel more relaxed, less fearful, more a peace, accepting…

Keep practicing until the “What if’s” are replaced by more loving and self-accepting words.

Remember the 3 P’s:

Pause, Patience and Persistence

To receive my weekly Recipes for a Mindful Life: sign up here

[mc4wp_form id=”1114″]