~ A Blog About Mindfulness and Other Musings~
Join me along this journey called life as we travel ever so gently, serenely, and mindfully.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Collage Journal: How Are You?

Here's my latest collage journal:

(Images taken from the magazines O, Chatelaine and Alive)

Lately, I've been like the woman on the top right who has smoke, fire, and heat emanating from the top of her head. 

 The Right Hand asked:  Why such fury?

The Left Hand answered:  Mostly frustration and short "tempered-ness" over various issues -- hubs' search for work, house hunting in a ridiculously over-priced market, and other wifely nit-pickies.  Hubs is asking for acceptance, patience, and greater compassion.  Of course I can offer this.  The point being, I am capable of this.  Doing it. Now that's the real issue.  It would be far more peaceful to show restraint and calm instead of blowing my top (with dark, billowing smoke) as in the image. 

The Right Hand asked:  What are the fruits about? 

The Left Hand answered: A reminder to live in a healthy way and to diminish behaviour that can only be poisonus to the body, such as anger.  The fruits, particularly the berries all have antioxidant properties. 

The Right Hand asked:  Can you really dwell in equanimity like the woman taking delight in the present?

The Left Hand answered:  Just looking at her in this stance melts the fury.  I want to be present and to delight in a warm cup of tea with nourishing reading materials by my side.

The Right Hand asked:  Tell me more about the horseback ride.

The Left Hand answered:  That would be so exhilarating, yet terrifying too.  In moments of pure letting go, I would be in a state of bliss, no worries, no fears.  What an awesome inner space.

The Right Hand asked:  Two images, a younger self standing on a swing looking outward, and an older self along the bottom of a path, near the water.  What's captivating their attention?

The Left Hand answered:  The younger self clearly has no fear, standing there on the swing, she is looking outward at all the possibility that awaits in life.  How is it that our younger selves are so fearless and filled with such courage? 

Comparatively, the older self along the path is in a state of confusion or self-questioning, perhaps doubt.  She is looking downward, not ahead.  She is trying to find her bearings so that she may continue along the path, where ever that path may lead.

I am praying to find the courage to stand on my swing. 
Acceptance, patience, greater compassion. 
With self, and others.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Question of Authenticity

Narcissus fell in love with his shadow because he could not recognize his true self. He ended up in love with a false sense of self -- his ego.
Lately, I, too, have been struggling with questions of authenticity. Who is the real me?

I reflect on the ways I conduct myself in my professional life and I find myself judging the persona of:

a woman with the right answers
a woman with high energy
a woman with confidence and
of competence.

But is this my authentic self or just the mask I put on?

In my most private moments, I know the self that I am far more comfortable with is the quiet self, the serenity snail if you will.

But I fear that self is de-valued in our fast-paced lives and in our quick interactions with others.

How do I, then, learn to integrate both selves instead of judging one or the other?

Does the answer simply lie in being present to my experiences at work, at home, and in the privacy of my own inner world? If I am present and mindful, then there is no room for the false ego, the Pinocchio of myself rearing its ugly head. So much easier said than done!
(This image was taken in Florence, Italy)

I know my mask is glued firmly in place when I feel threatened, insecure or as though I have to prove myself. Indeed, that is exactly how I feel in my new position at work right now.

If I could simply let go of my fears, and relax into myself, perhaps I would not feel such inner duality?

Unlike Narcissus, I want to fall in love with my authentic self, not my shadow.  To actually experience self-love that is true without the narcissism -- now that would be Divine.

(Taken at Boldt Castle)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Office Mindfulness Reminders

I am beginning to see that my new position at a new school is very fast-paced. At any given time, students, staff, parents, phone calls, emails are all competing for my attention -- often all at once. In the midst of the busy-ness, I am losing my mind, yes, but also my ability to be present and mindful.

I wonder what mindfulness reminders I could institute in my office to remind me periodically of the need to just dwell in serenity for a moment: to feel my body, to breathe deeply and to quiet my mind. It is so easy to get swept away with the currents and tidal waves of a fast-paced work-life.

I am open to any mindfulness reminders that have worked for you in the home or office that I may practise.

Right now, I have a book on my desk at work entitled, Present Moment, Wonderful Moment. Just glancing at the title instills a little moment of pause.

I am all for other suggestions.