Passion

We tend to float through our days in a haze of to do lists, errands, work responsibilities and other tasks that typically do not ignite a passion for life. These are all things most of us must do everyday. But are they? And can we perhaps change our perspective regarding the mundane?

The older I get the more I realize Alan Watts was on point when he said “The real secret of life- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”

In our fast paced world we tend to see work as a burden, especially if our work has nothing to do with our talents and passions. So we then have a choice- change our view or change our job. For many of of changing careers isn’t that simple. Our jobs afford us a certain lifestyle that pursuing a field we are passionate about may not. For instance, if you are a chemical engineer but your passion is painting, you will not necessarily be able to maintain your standard of living if you suddenly quit your job to paint. Over time your skill can develop and perhaps you will earn more through your art, but upfront there are trade offs. So if we do not have the financial ability to quit our current job then we must change our perspective of work.

What if we simply start saying “I’m going to play today” instead of saying “I’m going to work today”? Sounds like fun doesn’t it? In all actuality everything we do is play (or practice). Every day we play being human but most of the time do not realize it. Being at play we lose ourselves in the moment. Do you remember playing as a child, lost in the summer sun, running though the woods? We didn’t think about deadlines or worry about what tomorrow would bring- we were fully engaged in the beauty of the moment, fully engaged in play, fully engaged in whatever our passion was at that moment. How did we lose this passion for life?

We started calling it work.

So lets change our perspective and reignite passionate living. We need to ask ourselves what we are passionate about, where do we lose ourselves completely in the moment?

If we are not passionate about our jobs, it doesn’t mean we need to quit, it means we need to view our jobs as means of pursuing our passions.

(I will mention if you are exhausted because you are working 12+ hour days and have time only for sleep etc.. then perhaps a job change is in order.)

A subtle shift in attitude towards work can have astounding impacts long term. When we no longer greet the morning with the frustration of getting up “just to go to work” and instead greet the day with awe for the adventure that awaits, we align ourselves more potently with our true nature. We are creative beings bursting with potentiality, but we have blinded ourselves with worry and fret. Each and every moment we are reborn, each and every moment we have a choice, each and every moment we can choose to let our awareness blossom and see the world anew.

Balancing Rock, Adirondacks

When we see the world around us for what it is, we open ourselves to possibility and opportunity. It is truly amazing the doors that open to us when we stop looking for them so intently. Play, instead of work, allows us to live passionately in the moment. …And isn’t that what life is truly about?

Let Passion & Play fill your days.

Namaste.

Inspired Beginnings from Bittersweet Endings

A friend sent me a message this morning, only one word, yet it changed the flow of my entire morning from a “Thank God it’s Friday” vibe to “What exciting things are just over the horizon” kind of vibe. The word: ONWARD. That’s it. One simple little word. Onward.

My response back was “I think that is the perfect theme for the coming week.” Next week is full of endings and beginnings. It is strange, (or maybe not) that as with most things in life it seems to be feast or famine. Once I started thinking about the flow of next week, I realized it is an opportunity. Instead of stressing myself out over the myriad of activities, I can allow myself some space to actually be present for what is to be a shift in my life and others. Allowing myself to experience these blissful moments.

The busyness of next week begins with the Upperclassmen Awards Ceremony at my son’s school. For seven years I have enjoyed seeing the accomplishments of these dedicated kids, and it seems too all too soon that my son, a senior, is now to be honored for his accomplishments. Yet, it is not about being honored as much as it is about what each of these amazing individuals have done over the course of years to arrive here, now. It is about who they are. This is but one moment in a lifetime of choices moving them ever onward.

Following the Awards Ceremony are auditions for the fall musical. Two weeks ago my son performed for the last time on the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons stage and next week he will begin assisting with directing the fall show. As it was bittersweet for us to see his last performance, I am in awe of the how the program has shaped him these last six years. It is these past experiences that furthered the desire to give back to what has become his drama family. These things wouldn’t of been possible with out the people who have inspired him, one of whom is also in the midst of vast change, moving onward.

For the last six years, we have been blessed with the grace of Mr. Adam Biggs. The hats he has worn are too enumerable to list. Regardless of the hat, his actions are dedicated to the betterment of others, whether students, colleagues, or friends. He has been a role model for my son and I have had the pleasure of working along side him for 6 years. As he will be moving onward to new beginnings, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons set the stage (pun intended!) for his future successes. I am very grateful to continue to work alongside Adam with the NDBG drama program even though he is moving onward to St. Thomas the Apostle School.

In addition to the new beginning’s of our beloved drama program next week, it is also High School Graduation. Once the honors are presented and the accolades given, I expect a brief ebb in the energy that has infused these last few weeks. All of the effort and hard work for this part of the journey is complete, as the young adults receive their diplomas next Saturday, their dedication to strive for excellence in High School sets the stage for their future endeavors; the past moving us all ever onward.

“The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that ever is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.” ~H.G. Wells

Onward, my friends.


I want to thank Paul O’Brien for his one word message this morning. Amazing what a simple word can do at the right moment.

Paul is the former English Department Chair at NDBG and an author. His books, such as “Keys on the Road: A Country Boy’s Memories” can be found at The Open Door book store on Jay Street in Schenectady.

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Reflections for a Sunday

Ideas and opinions change, views on life shift allowing for growth. New decisions and new choices allow new neural pathways to develop, creating room for more growth.


We flow moment to moment on waves of experience.

Photo by Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com


We allow our identity to be determined by our views and opinions and sometimes, even more so, by the expectations of others. This ID-entity is an illusion.
This illusion causes the separation we feel from all of creation.


We must learn to release our attachment to the idea that we are separate from our experience. We, along with everything else in the Universe, flow from moment to moment. We are a process of the Universe.

The Universe favors certain patterns (systems) which optimize flow. We see examples of this every day as our roadways resemble the circulatory or nervous systems in animals, the branches of trees, rivers and their tributaries; or the similarity between atoms and solar systems. Within these systems or patterns the flow of energy is optimized.

Briefly, let us think about the systems of our bodies- blood flows thru veins, air flows thru our lungs, hormones flow, thoughts flow- EVERYTHING is flow. Now let us think about the Earth: Rivers flow, air flows, Rock and ice flow. Nothing is static, everything is a process of flow, movement, change within a system (patterns) of energy.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Everything is energy. Life is an inter-play of energetic systems, a beautiful dance. We must allow awareness of our dance with the Universe to fully blossom in order to experience the infinite.

Namaste.

Mindfulness

This is the essence of MINDFULNESS. We move though each moment authentically, with intention. Of course this does not happen over night. In our fast paced world, we are inundated with technology that demands our attention, yet our attention spans have dwindled, our patience eroded away by perceived instant gratification.

What does it mean to be MINDFUL? …and almost more importantly, WHY should we practice mindfulness?

We are going to delve into these two questions today and hopefully discover simple ways to practice mindfulness daily. First, I would like to share some background as to how and why I began to cultivate a mindfulness practice over 12 years ago.

Simply put, I was a mess. I had allowed health issues to cause extra stress and frequent stress reactions in multiple areas of my life. I was not THRIVING. Deep down I knew something needed to change but was not sure where or how to begin. Then I came across a book by Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness and everything changed.

I think I read the book cover to cover in two days. Thich Nhat Hanh had provided me with a new perspective. Something that should have been plain to see. Everything we do should have our full attention. Everything.

In the book, a question was posed: “Why do you wash the dishes?” Most people, including myself 12 plus years ago, would answer “Well, to get them clean of course!” However that is not the reason Thich gives us. We “wash the dishes to wash the dishes.” Think about that for a minute.

When washing the dishes, or car, or whatever; our focus, our attention should be on the task at hand, not the outcome. When we place significance only on the outcome, we are not living intentionally in the moment. Instead we hitch our happiness to an unpredictable future event.


This is the essence of MINDFULNESS. We move though each moment authentically, with intention. Of course this does not happen over night. In our fast paced world, we are inundated with technology that demands our attention, yet our attention spans have dwindled, our patience eroded away by perceived instant gratification.

Thus we miss out on the experience. We wind up reminiscing about the past or worring about the future while our NOW passes us by. Which brings us to our WHY? Why should we be praticing mindfulness? Becuase the alternative is to live mindlessly in the past or future; to be awash in stress or worry. We have a choice in each moment to be present and aware. But it takes PRACTICE.

We have now arrived at the WHAT. What is mindfulness practice. Well, it could simply be washing the dishes or attentively listening to a piece of music. It is moving from moment to moment with attention, focus, and intention.


Practice daily. Begin slowly. Pick a activity you enjoy doing and notice if your mind drifts. If your attention wavers, gently refocus your attention back to your activity. Personally, I began with mindful walking. Learning to notice the feeling as each foot makes contact with the ground. Noticing the pattern of my breath while immersed in the sounds of nature. This is still one of my favorite activities- I love being barefoot in order to really experience that contact with the earth! When I can’t go barefoot, I wear Vibram Five Fingers —barefoot feel with sole protection!


How much time do we spend inattentively adrift? Which senses are being ignored when we stare into our phones for hours? What moments are we missing when we ruminate worriedly about the future? Mindfulness bring us back to ourselves, back to the moment.

Adirondack Mountains

Remember, each moment of our lives is a beautiful , once in a lifetime sensory experience.

Moments

All of Life is a collection of moments. We move through our days aware of the passage of time, but view this time as slices; little pieces to be looked at individually as memories. This view of life is an illusion. Life, in all it’s mystery, is an ongoing process of flow, movement, change. There is nothing static about life – it is dynamic and eternal.

…and so is everything. Everything is a process. The Universe is a process. WE are part of that dynamic, every changing dance of energy.
But we forget. We get stuck in a perceived reality in which “I” becomes the center of that perceived reality.
There is no “I”.
Look for it, I dare you! It can be frightening when you suddenly realize you do not exist the way you thought you did.


When we take the time to settle and fall into stillness, the process of life touches the soul. We then immerse ourselves in the flow of universal energy merging with all. We experience a brief moment of ONENESS. A moment of pure bliss, indescribable.
Breathe. Flow. Merge.
Bliss.

namaste.

Beginnings

Where to start? How to begin? Questions we all have at some point or multiple points in our lives. They are exactly the questions I’ve been asking myself for the last hour. “How do I start this post? This litany of words that you may or may not find useful? How do I start? What do I write?”

I’m not new to blogs. I’ve used two other popular blog hosting sites, yet this is a challenge. Why? Yes, that is the correct question. Not how to begin, but why do we begin.

So why? Why start fresh. One word. Simplify.

It seems SIMPLIFY is the path I’ve been on for a while. A number of years ago, in addition to working a full time job, I was convinced I wanted to open my own business. I was encouraged by friends and family to sell my “artistic creations” that I would give as gifts. Jewelry, artwork, whatever; my creativity was unbounded as I was creating! Such joy the art of creation! I figured I’d test the waters of selling my art at craft fairs. Long story short, I loved the initial rush, but after a few years my creative flow felt stifled as I was taking too many custom orders. What I have loved became a chore. Simplify!

No more material goods. Better for me. Better for the planet. So better for you too, as a habitant of this glorious orb.

During this time, I was also a Reiki practitioner and Wellness Consultant at a local Yoga studio (in addition to my full time job). I taught wellness classes and assisted those searching for their path find their AUTHENTIC SELF over 21 days of guided soul work. In other words, I helped awesome people find their smile, their light, their truth! What’s better than making someone smile??

It brought me great joy to teach. I learned so much about myself in the process. It was an incredibly enriching experience. The catch? It was taking time away from my family, which is ALWAYS priority number one. SIMPLIFY.

My son became very involved in the drama program at his school and parents are the backbone of set work and construction. I was no longer teaching (in person), yet I had found and outlet for my creativity (set design) while helping family and community. Better for everyone.

Yet, through it all I maintained a website, social media presence, and virtual clients. …and here I am.

SIMPLIFY.

Why? Why exactly did I start a blog some ten years ago? Because I wanted to write. That simple.

But somewhere along the line, sharing of thoughts and art turned into first a dream, a goal; became a job, a chore; turned into teaching joy, demonstrating patience, building connections; became busy weekends and missing family experiences. Simplify.

Why? Simply for peace of mind. It took me a while to get here, to know what my values and priorities are right now, in this moment, this beginning.

I hope in this new beginning I am able to share ways of mindfully simplifying our lives in order to experience more joy, less stress and live AUTHENTICALLY.

Here is to new beginnings!

Peace & Light

Kristen