Because this business of becoming conscious is ultimately about asking yourself, 'How alive am I willing to be?'~Anne Lamott
Last year I wrote about a goal-less New Year: Beginning from a place within that allows you to open more in 2013 — to use less fervent goal-seeking willpower and more awareness when placing intentions.
This is a practical piece on how to intentionally move from this place of willingness, once you’re attuned to that inner self.
Eighteen months ago, I couldn’t sit still in meditation for more than a few minutes. I became either anxious and antsy or really sleepy after several minutes of stillness.
Three years ago, I couldn’t imagine life without chicken and fish. My diet was largely comprised of protein, protein, protein — in the form of animals.
Four years ago, I couldn’t run more than 6 miles. Beyond 6 miles felt like thefurthest distance.
Five years ago, I was petrified to start my own real estate business. I was comfortable with being an employee, and starting my own business seemed risky.
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.
The soul cannot think without a picture.~Aristotle
Lately, I have observed that many of us feel we are reacting to life versus creating it.
Perhaps some of us are stuck in a job we feel is not challenging or is not utilizing our potential. Or, we are constantly feeling behind — the demands from errands, tasks and bills have us constantly playing catch up. Some of us struggle with finding a meaningful balance between our family and career.
Or, simply, we have become the victim; unconsciously, we have decided to be the effect of each day versus the cause.
Recently, as I was faced with a disconnect in varying interests, I realized I had to refocus, quickly, before I went astray.
I found by designing my life through a vision statement, it has been a tool for providing more direction: Instead of becoming reactionary to whatever arises in my day, I have regained the role of creating it.
… and have no goals. This is a radical declaration for me.
Historically, I spend a few days in December reflecting on the past year and envisioning the New Year. I would carefully organize my goals into categories of personal growth, finances, career, family, wellness, travel, and refine to ensure each one is specific, measurable and timely. I assess the goal like a test tube subject to be sure that it has all the appropriate elements of a ‘great goal.’
After circulating my Official New Year’s Goal Document to my BFF and husband as accountability allies, I move onto a vision board with inspiring words, favorite quotes, dreamy magazine cutouts.
A few weeks ago, I received a curious and adorable little hand-written letter from Cat. At the time, she was on her 3rd months living in a Zen Monastery. Without Internet connection, she sent us this important self-reflective story—on what she had learned—in this little envelope. I believe this is one of the most important and beautiful articles you will read. Spend some time, and soak in its beauty and wisdom.
The contemporary western world can feel rushed and complicated.
With speed and productivity woven into this culture, our bodies move with a habitual hurriedness, our minds fill with an endless stream of errands, expectations, goals to conquer, a life to plan ….
For many years, my days were spent rushing from one moment to the next as an ongoing effort to make progress in each category of an accomplished life. The alarm would sound: chime, chime, chime and a billion responsibilities rushing in, tugging me out of bed:
Monday mornings … snooze
… snooze again.
By the time my eyes would open, I already felt behind.
This is the 3rd version of an intimate and insightful story from Cat. I highly recommend reading it. I hope something in this speaks to you as it has for me. And before you go, please help me wish Cat a beautiful journey in this new life chapter by leaving a quick comment at the end of this article.
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards.
They try to have more of what they want so they will be happier.
The way it actually works is the reverse.
You first must be who you are, then love what you do,
in order to have what you want.~Margaret Young
I started my banking career 10 years ago out of convenience.
“My mom had worked in the industry, banking appears to be a respectable living, and I like money.”— That was the entirety of the thought process behind my career choice.
With a secure paycheck and material comfort as my guiding life force, I would spend most of my 20’s crafting my external life.
The following is a conversation between Cat and her meditation teacher Sarah McLean. This is truly an inspiring piece. As I was editing this interview, I felt an inner shift happening within me and with it came a sense of serenity and peace. Hope this inspires you as it did for me. Sarah is truly an incredible and powerful human being. I look forward to learning from her. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this interview.
Meditation is an essential travel partner
on your journey of personal transformation.
Meditation connects you with your soul,
and this connection gives you access to your intuition,
your heartfelt desires, your integrity,
and the inspiration to create a life you love.~Sarah McLean
A few years ago my husband and I drove to Sedona, Arizona to seek out a private mediation session.
At that time, I was embarking on a self-discovery journey, in deep inquiry about how to lead a more meaningful life. I had this fundamental restlessness that no longer had me fully engaged in daily life – I was uninspired by the complicated upkeep of the corporate hustle that was rewarded solely by material comforts.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?~Mary Oliver
This morning, as I scurried out of my mom-in-law’s home, I was carrying three bags: a Yoga bag, a purse on one shoulder and a leather bag on the other shoulder–tightly packed with iPad, laptop, chargers galore, client cards, and a journal.
My mom-in-law, Janis, had this calm, knowing smile as she eyed my resemblance—Cat, The Bag Lady.
She is the most present woman I’ve ever met. And lately, a reminder to just-slow-down. So, I felt the need to explain the ambitious look: