MYSTICAL JOURNEY: “Be Soft with You”

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Be soft with your spirit.  Be gentle with your essence.  BE authentic to your purpose and calling.  Rid yourself from the negative self-talk.  You become everything you say that you are or that you are not.  We are born every day, every minute, every second.  We are here on borrowed time.  Make it lovingly serene with your heart so that you can present your soul lovingly to another.  This struggle is all bullshit at the end of the day.  It doesn’t matter what you did or haven’t done.  This moment, wasted reading this, or contemplating what hasn’t been scratched off your To Do List, is all irrelevant.

Really… this is nonsense.  All the fake-ness of pretending and showing others a different person in order to fit in society.  I want to know YOU… the real you that cries in your car, gets giddy at the first dog you see in…

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SAMUEL GENTOKU MCCREE: “20 Ways Sitting In Silence Can Completely Transform Your Life”

20 Ways Sitting In Silence Can Transform Your Life

“Silence is a source of great strength.”  ~Lao Tzu

 

For over two years I spent one out of every four weeks in silence.  At the time I was living at a Zen Monastery and every month we would have a week-long silent retreat.

During this retreat we sat meditation in silence, ate in silence, worked in silence, and only communicated through hand gestures and written notes.

At first living like this was hard, but over time I learned to grow to appreciate silence.  By the time I left I learned that silence was my friend and teacher.

What did silence teach me?

1. Satisfaction

I used to think I needed to watch TV every night.  But at monastery I went without and discovered I didn’t need it.

Silence taught me to be happy with less. 

Pick something that’s weighing you down and let it go.  Your life will thank you.

2. Expression

When you can only talk by writing a note, you only say what’s important.  Before the monastery I talked a lot but said little.

Silence taught me that a few simple words well spoken have more power than hours of chatter. 

Think of one simple thing you can say that would help someone feel better and say it.

3. Appreciation

Being able to speak makes life easy, but when I couldn’t talk I learned how much I relied on others.

Silence taught me to appreciate the value of relating to others.  

The next time you see your friends or family, try to really listen.  Deep listening expresses deep appreciation.

4. Attention

Several times at my first retreat I thought my phone was vibrating.  But then I would remember I didn’t have my phone.  It showed me how my phone divided my attention.

Silence taught me how important it is to let go of distractions. 

The next time you are with someone you care about, try turning off your phone and putting it away.  It will make paying attention easier.

5. Thoughts

I once sat a retreat next door to a construction project.  What amazed me was how easily my thoughts drowned out the noise.  I realized if my thoughts were this loud, I’d better make them as wise as possible.

Silence taught me the importance of shaping my thinking.

Take time each day to notice your thoughts and let go of thoughts that don’t serve you.

6. Nature

Because I sat retreat in every season, I know that the sound of wind in fall is different than it is in winter.

Silence taught me to notice nature.

Take a short walk outside in silence and you’ll discover the wisdom and peace that nature has to offer.

7. Body

During retreat I noticed that whenever I got lost in thought, I lost track of my body.  And when I focused on my body, my thoughts would calm down.

Silence taught me to be in my body. 

Close your eyes and ask, “What sensations do I feel in my hand?”  Learning to feel your body can calm your troubled mind.

8. Overstimulation

Whenever I went into town after retreat, the world seemed so loud and fast.  I came to realize how much our senses have to process most of the time.

Silence taught me the importance of reducing the stimulation. 

Enjoy some quiet time everyday.  The less you see and hear, the more settled your mind can become.

9. Sound

People would come to the monastery and remark how quiet it was.  But living at the monastery I knew all the noises, from frogs, to owls, to the sound of sandals on the sidewalk.

Silence taught me that the world is a rich texture of sounds. 

Sit in front of your house and close your eyes.  You’ll be amazed at what you hear if you listen long enough.

10. Humanity

During retreat I was surrounded by imperfect people who were doing their best.  Some were happy, some were sad, but all were wonderfully human.

Silence taught me that people display great beauty. 

Find a good spot to people watch with an open heart.  What you see may inspire you.

11. Space

For a long time anytime something difficult came up, I would just distract myself.  But retreat taught me that if I avoided something it would never go away.

Silence taught me that space helps me face hard times. 

The next time you face something difficult, pause and honor whatever is arising.

12. Love

I used to think love was this big thing.  But in retreat I found that I felt love for so many things.

Silence taught me that love can be simple. 

Think of someone you haven’t said I love you to recently and tell them.

13. Courage

I used to think courage was about facing danger, but during retreat I realized that real courage is about facing yourself.

Silence taught me the courage it takes to be still. 

When we stop moving everything we’re running from catches up.  The next time you are afraid, stop and wait for it to pass.  There is immense courage inside your heart.

14. Perseverance

Every retreat reminded me that speaking is easy, but staying quiet is hard.

Silence isn’t flashy, but it has an immense power to endure. 

The next time someone doubts you, instead of disagreeing, silently vow not to give up.  Action speaks volumes.

15. Faith

I often ask for reassurance or feedback.  But living is silence meant I had to trust my instincts.

Silence taught me to have faith in myself. 

The next time you begin to feel anxious, sit in silence and see if you can find the space of deep faith that lives in your heart.

16. Honesty

I used to lie so I wouldn’t have to explain myself.  But when I couldn’t talk I began to notice this impulse and how much it degraded my integrity.

Silence taught me the importance of telling the truth. 

Notice times where you tell little lies and try telling the truth instead.  It isn’t always easy but it’s the first step to trusting ourselves and others. 

17. Gratitude

During retreat I didn’t have a lot of comforts.  It helped me see how much I took for granted and how much I had to be grateful for.

At the end of every day sit in silence and ask yourself what am I grateful for. 

You’ll be amazed at the blessings you discover.

18. Simplicity

I used to love drama and conflict. But at retreat I found I was happier when I kept it simple.

Silence taught me that simplicity and joy are close companions. 

Pick one space in your home you could simplify.  Keep it simple for one month and enjoy the ease it offers your life.

19. Connection

I used to think I had to talk in order to feel connected.  I realized during retreat that I can feel connected just by being near people I care about.

Silence taught me that words can get in the way. 

Do something in silence with someone you love.  It will be awkward at first but eventually you will see what it means just to be in someone presence.

20. Truth

I studied philosophy in college and I thought I could read about truth.  But retreat taught me that truth is found in silence.

Silence has taught me a deeper truth than words ever could. 

Sit in silence once a week and feel the truth in your heart.  It’s there whether you can express it in words or not.

 

 

About the author: Samuel “Gentoku” McCree is a Mindful Fitness thought leader, personal trainer, and mindful living coach from Portland, OR. He trained for two years at a Zen monastery, is an endurance athlete, and founder of MindFitMove. You can find his blog and a free Ebook on Your Sexy Brain at mindfitmove.com.  ~via BodyMindSoulSpirit.com

 

~ INSPIRATION FOR THE DAY ~

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“It is human beings that will change this earth, not the Gods from space. Please take some time to appreciate the reasons you came to this earth, and reflect on your achievements, the love you have lived and the love you have given. That is all there is, when all of this is said and Done.” 

~Lisa Renee 

 

 

ALEXA PELLEGRINI: “Be Simple: 6 Philosophies For a Stress-Free Existence”

Stress-Free

In our fast-paced society, getting a breather is almost impossible — even when you are struggling for air. Today is the day to throw yourself a lifeline and recognize this simple truth: stress is created within the root of the mind. Believe it or not, you can re-frame your thinking and take back control from your stress. Infuse these 6 philosophies into your daily routine to achieve a blissful, stress-free life.

1: Release Your Control

Everything in the Universe has a natural order. By honoring this balance, you are one step closer to achieving a stress-free lifestyle. When you take excessive control over your life or the lives of others, you are creating an imbalance in your environment that may cause tension, irritability and damaged relationships. An overwhelming desire for control stems from an inability to trust yourself and your ability to face life’s challenges. Trusting yourself allows you to gain the confidence to have faith in others and accept the unknown. When you recognize the Universe’s powerful ability to realign what is out of order, the anxiety of yesterday will become a distant memory.

Stress-Fress

2: Appreciate the Simple Things

We live in a chaotic world filled with stress that we create. When we overemphasize the material, we lose touch with some of the simple, beautiful things life has to offer: observing nature, indulging in laughter, the joy of good food and connecting with loved ones, to name only a few. By reconnecting with life’s simple foundations, you will find your center and naturally attract abundance. Remove yourself from the ‘Matrix’ of unnecessary stress created by society — call an old friend, watch a comedy, take a walk and infuse love into the food you cook.

3: Observe the Long-term Horizon

When we are stressed, we may fail to observe the long-term horizon and focus instead on the chaos of the present moment. In order to combat anxiety, it is important to observe life on a long-term scale. Imagine yourself in this moment several years from now. Will you be the same person, struggling with the same stress? Taking a moment to consider the future will eliminate irrational thinking. Life evolves, and so will you — and your stress! Your struggle is temporary, and there is a solution.

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4: Meditate on Prosperity

Visualization is key to manifestation. Money is a common source of stress, but simply meditating on prosperity can relieve unnecessary woes. Each day, take a moment to meditate on money as an energy — visualize your body as a magnet that attracts money to it! Worry is just as problematic as greed. Financial fears create an imbalance deep within the self, perpetuating the subconscious idea that money is abstract and powerful. Recognize money as an accessible energy that exists around you. Easing financial stress is as easy as meditating on the fact that you deserve the money you need.

5: Love Who You Are

The energy we release is returned to us in a mirror-like effect. If you find yourself stricken with low self-esteem, this negative energy is expelled into your environment and prevents you from getting the respect and happiness you deserve. Loving yourself yields a stress-free existence — imagine how simple life could be if you made peace with yourself! Encourage yourself with positive self-talk and take care of yourself – get enough sleep and decompress by doing activities you enjoy. Above all, never place conditions of happiness on ‘if’ statements. ‘If I lose 10 pounds, then I will be happy’ is an excellent example of a statement that can create unnecessary stress in your life.

Stress-Fress

6: Embrace the Change

When life throws us a curve ball, our first instinct may be to resist the change and cling to what is familiar. Ironically, this worsens stress — resisting change is akin to trying to push against a brick wall! The Universe brings us change as a gift, yet we see the gift of change as a problem or something to fear. When you embrace change in your life, your stress will diminish as you accept that everything must evolve in order to grow, including yourself. When you encounter feelings of anxiety about change, remember that even the most difficult of changes have an underlying gift.

 

 

 

 

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