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The treasure of mindfulness


What defines success?

Is it the outcome, or how others see you?  Outside-in process. OR  Is it how you see yourself?  Inside-out process.

The outside-in process keeps the reins of your success outside of you so that you must keep performing to feel a sense of self-esteem – leaving you with an external locus of control.  This is a state wherein your self-esteem dwindles between successes and requires constant attention to remain buoyed.

The inside-out process is the opposite.  One develops an internal locus of control and is buoyed from within between successes and even through failures or difficult trials.  This is what we want to develop in ourselves and our children so that we can weather the storms of life.

When you get kudos for something you did, it can pull you away from what’s inside, or who you are, especially if the thing you accomplished did not develop out of an internal drive toward something but rather to make another happy.  It puts you at cross-purposes where you are working to get the kudos but not necessarily focusing your energy onto your own goals.

If you are pulled forward toward the creation of something by an inspiration from within, then the kudos for that thing transcend the exterior into the true self, and connect directly with your self-esteem.  This can be enhanced by the support of others but develops you along the path you have identified for yourself.

The development of self-esteem is an internal process.

If you are helping a child develop his or her self-esteem it is an internal process that is guided from the outside.

It requires a type of mindfulness that applies lovingkindness, compassion and perspective toward the child with an intuition of what is happening within him or her.  It is a reinforcing of his or her internal talents and vocations.

Self-esteem is caring about, having a fondness for, and connection to, ones self in a balanced and harmonious way.  Don’t think narcissism, think joy de vive – it’s a gentle sweetness.  Self esteem is an energy that says I can do it – or I can’t do that but it’s ok, I’m ok.  It’s accepting and strong, both.

When you are developing a positive self-esteem within your child, successes and accomplishments and people being proud of  him or her are necessary.  This looks outside-in, but it is actually a reinforcement of inside-out behavior.

The way in which this is promoted or encouraged is though en courage -ing.  Distilling the inner courage by taking advantage of courageous opportunities.  Successes are not required for this to develop, however having triumphs over  small conflicts is very helpful.

Mindful intuitive guidance helps to focus those opportunities so that the child can move through to see the growth and expansion he or she can create.  Courage is the energy of moving through the fear of something to see that you can do it.  It is also the energy that embraces how we are different and unique, and how these unique talents may create opportunities in our life-path, embracing the whole of who we are.

The utilization of mindfulness as a way of navigating our environment  increases our understanding of ourselves and others.

Mindfulness incorporates an integrated spiral inspiration and expiration of sensing information, while remaining connected to that inner compass of spirit-self.

Cool image don’t you think – an integrated inspiration and expiration of sensing information while being connected to that inner compass of spirit self, – I see it as the spiraling dna-structure or a kundalini spiral of energy.

I once experienced a kundalini spiral of energy.  It began at the base of my spine and  swiftly moved up along my spine through all my chakra energy centers.  I had the most cathartic and joyful feeling rising through my body.  It was automatic and profoundly joyful.  It was like a laugh or cry of joy that began deep within me and then rumbled out quite unexpectedly and rather forcefully and uncontrollable like a sweet little belch of happiness.  I can only lightly remember the whole of the experience – much like birthing my child – only remnants of the experience remain.  I believe this is partially because the full emotional and visceral qualities of the memory are not held within my mind but within my body.

The full body memories seem to be re-kindled when involved in a similar activity.

Self-esteem has the same quality of wholeness.  Feeling a sense of self-confidence can be re-kindled when participating in a similar experience or activity whence once you built it.  It’s one of the reasons that once you have a habit of success with something you want to repeat the experience or activity because it reinforces that sense of self-confidence or self-esteem.

It’s also why using repetition can ingrain a greater sense of self-confidence.  The trick is to practice the activity correctly so that what is entrained is positive and en-courage-ing.  You want to avoid, side-step, setting into place a negative habit reaction pattern.  This relates to activities like math, and gymnastics, and bicycle riding, but it also applies to social interactions, problem solving, and facing fears.

Mindfulness increases your connection to yourself so that you can have a more accurate ability to focus your positive energy toward your own successes and growth.  Teaching mindfulness to your child increases your child’s capacity to find courage and attain an inner sense of en-courage-ment.

Watching my daughter practice her gymnastics I observe how perfectly she stands on the beam, and I am grateful to her gymnastics coach for teaching her small components that en-courage her to continue and build her inner self-confidence through her constantly developing spiral of success.  Step-by-step she moves toward her own internal goal of perfection through the mindful guidance of her coach who provides the requisite set of practices to allow her mind and body to develop the building blocks of self-confidence and then mastery.

Mindfulness is truly a treasure as it allows us to move back to center and en-courage our best self to come out and play.  It en-lightens our awareness, and increases our connection to our inner locus of control and develops a solid self-esteem.

Mindfulness is re-member-ing, re- connecting our experiences so that we can build on the components that best help us move toward our goals.  Mindfulness is like my daughter’s fantastic gymnastic coach gently pulling us back to center, then adding a new move and refocusing us, and then moving on to keep adding the building blocks of success.

Use mindfulness to get a handle on what parts of your life are under your internal locus of control.  If there are areas that feel like they are controlled from without, use mindfulness to bring you to center.  Then with compassion and lovingkindness reframe, re-set your center so that you can connect or re-connect with your own positive self-esteem.

See you tomorrow.


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Risking love


Loving another is a funny journey of faith and risk.  It is an adventure of the most daring kind.  It teaches you about yourself and the other, as well as The Way, the Tao. It requires knowing, perceiving, negotiating, holding on, and letting go.

It is a strange sort of risk, a sense of faith and trust of knowing yourself, and knowing the other.  Seeing through the facade the other presents to protect self while secretly wanting to be seen and loved for his true self.  Loving through your own facade and fears to find a peaceful connection and acceptance.

And just to spice up the adventure, there is the issue of time and space, and accepting the inevitable knowledge that everything changes.  It requires being willing to enlist anew in that dynamic process, holding on to what matters and the truth in the relationship while letting go of the fears and attachment.

It’s a risk to love.  A risk of interpretation.  A risk of acceptance and expectation.  A risk of perception.  It’s a risk of loss of what is gained.  It’s a risk to allow yourself to be seen and to see the other.  Risky because being faced with the intimate experience of love is so invigorating and vulnerable.

In order for true love to be felt there is a degree of self that must be released to make room for integration with the other in relationship.

I believe there is a strong connection between intimacy, vulnerability, risk, and connection.

When you are in a relationship with someone who does not allow himself to be vulnerable, then the relationship is not risky – but it is also not intimate.  The connection is more superficial, and less profound, but relatively safe.

The risk in love IS to be seen and cared for – and then to WANT to be connected… the risk is that in the seeing and being you feel real like in the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, where the love of the boy transforms the bunny into something truly special.

Risking what happens when change or loss comes, as it inevitably will, the pain will be greater.  It’s risking the pain, in order to have the amazing joy of being seen and loved.

I have found that the depth of ones grief is equal to the height of one’s joy.  Therein lies the risk in loving….

Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.  ~Jean Anouilh

True love is a discipline in which each divines the secret self of the other and refuses to believe in the mere daily self.  ~William Butler Yeats

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved – loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.  ~Victor Hugo

Love is when you can be your true self with someone, and you only want to be your true self because of them.  ~Terri Guillemets

We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.  It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.  ~W. Somerset Maugham

The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.  ~G.K. Chesterton

There is a lovely children’s book that I read in my high school French class that I carry in my heart about the meaning, adventure, committment, and risk required in love.

Le Petit Prince  by Antoine de Saint-Exupery  “Here is my secret.  It is very simple.  It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye…  It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important. . . . People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said, “But you mustn’t forget it. “You become responsible for what you’ve tamed.”

“You’re responsible for your rose. . . .”You risk tears if you let yourself be tamed.  But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…” “If you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life.”

Like a number of well written children’s books and fairy tales, this book offers supreme guidance on a major developmental task of life.  Faith and trust are the paramount components of loving.  Risking self and loss is required in love.

There are a lot of books that talk about how to calculate the risk and reduce the percentage of loss but as long as intimacy and self are involved in order to truly love and be seen one must step off the cliff like the fool card in the Tarot, Trusting one’s mindful heart.

Mindfulness is the key to reducing the risk while keeping the intimate connection – mindfulness and present moment focus.  These help to surround the risk with compassion, integrity, and character.

I hope you have a fantastic adventure in loving.

See you tomorrow.