We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul.~Deepak Chopra
Imagine it is a beautiful day. The sky is blue and the sun is shining bright. There is a light breeze that just feels like a gentle hug. You are walking down your favorite street. Everything you see is just beautiful.
As you walk, your sense of peace increases. You then turn the corner and all of a sudden dark clouds appear out of nowhere. The sky turns dark. The gentle breeze is replaced with powerful winds. Pretty soon, you are pushing yourself against the wind. You think you are moving forward but actually you are stuck.
This darkness that appeared is not the weather. It is what happens when you stray from your innate nature — bliss — and succumb to the power of the ego.
Have you noticed that some people have sparkles in their eyes, shining with joy, while others seem to be traveling with a storm cloud over their head, consumed by problems? Those who exude joy don’t have fewer life challenges, they’ve just figured out ways to better handle their egoic mind.
It has taken me many years to realize that I was wrong.
I felt the need to be free at an early age. I recall packing my bags to leave home at five years of age. My poor parents had a hell of a time with me when I hit my adolescent years. And of course, the teen-age years were even worse.
The art of mindfulness can transform our struggles with food — and renew our sense of pleasure, appreciation and satisfaction with eating.~Jan Bays
This is a personal story of my disordered relationship with food and my own healing. When I wrote this a year ago, I thought:
There is absolutely no way I’m sharing this so openly and publicly. Especially since I’ve had such transformation over the past few months and now feel healed of this struggle. This is a closed chapter.”
Now, I think, that’s even more the reason to share.
My intention in telling you the details of my experience is so perhaps you will find the courage to inquire about your own relationship with food.
When we’re able to cultivate a deeper awareness with eating, we will also begin to wholeheartedly nurture ourselves and pay attention to other areas of our life.
To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.~Elizabeth Gilbert
Six years ago, I took one of the boldest actions of my life. I traveled solo halfway across the world to Ubud, Indonesia (Bali). In June 2008, I was 27 years old and had never left United States soil despite a constant longing to.
A combination of fear and comfort held me hostage in familiarity — until I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This bestselling novel chronicled the author’s adventures through Italy, India, and Indonesia as she sought to “find herself” after a divorce.
The book’s vivid descriptions of Indonesia’s rich culture and lush countryside converged with my imagined vision of ornate wood-carvings, colorful temples and sprawling rice paddies.
The beautiful tapestry of life I envisioned left no question about where my first trip abroad would be once I mustered up enough courage to go. And whenever I went, I decided I would go alone — just like Elizabeth Gilbert.
Let age, not envy, draw wrinkles on thy cheeks.~Thomas Browne
This morning I spoke to my sister on Skype for almost two hours. She lives in Istanbul, so we don’t chat as often as when we lived in the same house, but we’re pretty close despite the ocean between us.
I remember in the not-so-distant past that getting off the phone with her was bittersweet. She’s lived in Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Italy, South Korea and even international waters. The bitterness didn’t come from being so far apart from my lovely sister, but the fact that I was extremely jealous of her.
I remember vividly sitting in my home in Minnesota expressing my excitement for her when she told me she was planning on moving to Asia.
“You’re so lucky,” and “This is such a great opportunity for you,” came out of my mouth, but what I was thinking is I can’t believe I’ve lived in one state my whole life. I should be traveling and exploring too.
It was embarrassing to be jealous of my younger sister, so naturally I denied it to myself and anyone else who had the guts to say it. But in my head, the envy found a place and rooted itself there, determined to make permanent residence.
Our way to practice is one step at a time, one breath at a time.~Shunryu Suzuki
The first time I meditated was about six years ago.
I was drawn to meditation by the same aspiration as many people — the desire to feel calmer and happier. I was a medical student at the time, and my life was just too stressful and hectic.
It seemed there was always more to do, more to worry about and no time to reflect. I felt disconnected and dissatisfied.
And then, I got dumped by a man I was madly in love with. I felt like a total failure. I was shaken and incredulous — how could I have wanted something so badly and still have it taken away from me?
I was not used to failure. I was used to setting a goal, laying out the steps and diligently taking them — one at a time — until I got what I wanted. I was under the illusion that with enough effort, I could achieve any goal and sidestep all feelings of pain and discomfort along the way.
Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.~Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
Fifty is about to slap me in the face. It’s not planning to tap me lightly on the shoulder. Nope, its plan is an epic full on attack of body and mind, beginning with a huge powerful gut busting blow next January, on THAT day.
How do I know? Because I’ve seen the recon team and it isn’t pretty.
But everyone says, “Ah, age is just a number. It’s all about your attitude.”