Welcome Awesome Readers!! :)

This blog is for all you Awesome Readers who wish to journey along with me, discovering Zen Living Simply...Living from the Heart!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Presents Vs. Presence

Our culture encourages consumerism...to buy more gadgets, more stuff, more presents.

In the past I have equated lots of presents with demonstrating my love for people.

I'm realising I can contribute more to my children, friends and family by being Present...sharing experiences, hanging out together Versus showering them with presents, especially around birthdays and holidays.  With my kids' birthdays around the corner, I'm reminded that I'm striving for more meaningful experiences, quality time with them... Avoiding the trap of buying stuff that gives only temporary enjoyment of the latest gadget. Investing, instead, in memories of being Present.

A lot of money need not be spent in order to convey that I care about people.  My kids and I enjoy the beach...since we live at the coast it's an enjoyable way to be Present with one another.  Friends and family enjoy hanging out, being together... It's not about the presents, like our consumeristic culture would like us to believe.

This year I intend to contribute more to others. Taking my children to a local soup kitchen to serve will allow us to contribute and to be Present for others.

Rather than indulging in the madness of acquiring more gadgets at the mall, I'm intending to be more Present this year.    Have you improved the quality of your life by choosing Presence over presents? :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Precious Present

This summer I had an amazingly refreshing vacation.  My children and I experienced a Slow pace of living in a mountain chalet.  Taking in the vast beautiful views of the mountains, listening to the crickets and frogs at night, and enjoying the "precious present" was priceless. 

In addition to the fun tourist activities, we enjoyed quiet times of reflection. 

Some of our past vacation experiences have been fun-filled but exhausting, going from theme park to theme park, continuously rushing.  This vacation in the mountains incorporated some slowing down, being aware, and enjoying the present moment. 

Today I read the awesome book, "The Precious Present" by Spencer Johnson, MD. I look forward to sharing it with my kids; it is a very short, easy read.  I encourage you to share the story with others. 

Enjoying the present--not being in the past, not jumping out to the future--but being fully present, is a key to happiness.  Especially as our lives get even more busy with the onset of the school year, it is important to carve out "vacation time" for yourself and your kids.  With or without children in the home, fall brings holiday activities that seem to speed up our lives and can decrease our awareness of the "precious present". 

Incorporating "vacation time" activities in daily life can promote our awareness of the "precious present".    Some ideas:

** An Electronic-Free Day--no television, computers, gaming devices, ipods, etc
** Have dinner as a picnic on a blanket in your back yard--or your living room floor.

** Simply appreciating nature, wherever you live--the beach, mountains, a local park, lake, indoor plants/herb garden.

** A day of natural light, without electricity.  As darkness falls use flashlights and candles to enjoy an evening of fun with kids...or a relaxing bubble bath by candlelight for yourself.

** Work on a soul collage: cut out pictures from magazines that appeal to you, arrange and glue on poster board, utilize stickers, glitter glue, ribbon, etc. Write a Title on the back along with the date.  See the official website for Soul Collage for more details.

** Journal writing, Gratitude List, Arts and crafts projects for kids.

What other ideas do you, Awesome Readers, have for incorporating "vacation time" activities into our daily lives?  Or we can call them "time out" activities--time out from the mindless busy-ness of our lives, time out from the "rat race" that can consume our time.   Time out to appreciate the  "Precious Present"!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Free At Last!!

"Free at Last! Free at Last! Thank God Almighty we are Free at Last!!" --Martin Luther King, Jr.

What have you Freed yourself from?  Or what should you Free yourself from? 

Do you need to be Free from an unhealthy relationship, that you know is not good for you? 

Do you need to Free yourself from regrets of the past?  Or unknown fears of the future? 

There are various methods to utilize in order to Gain more personal freedom in your life:
  • Set Boundaries with your loved ones.  Verbalize your boundaries and stay firm.
  • "Say what you mean, without saying it mean."
  • Stay True to Yourself. By living authentically, you will naturally follow your own path of peace. How do you wish to spend your time?  In a state of anxiety, "walking on eggshells", reacting to situations/your partner/spouse...OR In a state of Peace, living from a proactive, productive, peaceful center, living from the Heart.  Free yourself from stressful situations.  "Detach" from the situation by removing yourself physically, or "detach" by letting go of the struggle with the other person; take a time out and revisit when perspectives may be more clear.  If there is not an agreement to be reached, agree to disagree.
  • Establish your "bottom lines" for your life, what you refuse to tolerate, and you will be Free from negative influences you may have tolerated in the past.
  • Free yourself from regrets of the past by casting them to God.  Cast them to God, then try not to reel them back in.  If you reel them back in, recognize that you are thinking about your regrets again and Cast them back to God.  Do this over and over, until you feel lighter, more Free.
  • Free yourself from unknown fears of the future.  Remember, God is in control; we are not.  We can not control the future.  We can do our best;  live with positive energy, expecting an abudndance of peace, health, beauty and prosperity in our future.
We are ALL held in the Heart of God...We only need to recognize that fact...especially through difficult times.  Set yourself Free...Free At Last!  What are you going to set yourself Free from this year?

Monday, April 4, 2011

God, Grant Me The Serenity...

Gotta love the Serenity Prayer.  This one prayer/meditation can help you navigate through rough times in your life, as well as deal with daily dilemmas. 


"ACCEPT the things I can NOT change"
  • can NOT change other people
  • can NOT control other people
  • can NOT "fix" other people
  • can NOT make someone happy

 "COURAGE to change the things I CAN"
  • CAN change my self
  • CAN change my attitude toward other people and situations
  • CAN set new boundaries with others
  • CAN change my "bottom lines"--what I will allow into my life /what I will not tolerate
  • CAN choose to disengage from an argument--"let go", stop doing "the dance"
  • CAN change the way I react to situation

"WISDOM to know the difference"---Discerning between the things I can change and the things I can not change.

When you have a problem or dilemma, break it down using the Serenity Prayer:
  • What aspects of your situation can you NOT change?  A spouse, family member or friend? 
  • Accept that you can not change the other person. 
  • Next, what CAN you change about your situation?  What can you change about yourself?
  • Pray/meditate for Wisdom to know the difference between what you can change about your situation and what you can not change.
  • Pray/meditate on building the Courage & strength within yourself to change the things you can.
Have you applied this in your life?  Have you tried to change someone else, then realized that the Only person you can change is Your Self? 


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Zen Living Simply: Who are You Without Your Stuff?!

Zen Living Simply: Who are You Without Your Stuff?!: "So often in today's culture of 'more is better', 'bigger is better', we can be consumed by our desire for more, bigger, better Stuff. ..."

Who are You Without Your Stuff?!

So often in today's culture of "more is better", "bigger is better", we can be consumed by our desire for more, bigger, better Stuff.  It is a never-ending cycle perpetuated by our consumeristic society and marketing tactics promoting the latest Stuff.

I can so get caught in the consumeristic trap; I like this question--

Who are You Without Your Stuff? 

---without your Cars?
---without your House?
---without your Furniture?
---without your Clothes/Shoes/Handbags?
---without your latest greatest Tech gadgets?

Who are You Without Your Stuff?
Are you:
---a Patient,Loving parent?
---a Loyal, Trust-worthy partner or spouse?
---a Peace-seeker?
---a source of Positive energy toward Yourself and others?
---a Dependable friend?

Our Stuff does not define the Divine Luster of who we are--God's children, Precious and Free. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Let Go, Let God!

One of my all-time favorites:  "Let Go, Let God"!!

Let Go of:  Resentments
                 Past Failures/Mistakes
                 Future Worries
                 Trying to Control other People & Circumstances
Let God:  Bring you back into the Present
                Heal you from past wounds
                Lead you on Your Path
                Work things out for Your Good

God is in Control; We are Not.  How Freeing is this concept.  We do what we can...and leave the rest for God to work out.  Worrying about the future or regretting the past is a waste of energy. 

"Let go" of trying to control others, especially those closest to you.  Stop trying to "fix" them.  The key is to Focus on Yourself!  Whatever you may be expecting someone Else to give you or do for you, affirm you, compliment you, listen to you or be attentive toward you---Give it to Yourself! Contentment is an "inside job" where we work on ourselves, not "depending" on others for our state of being. 

You can not "make someone happy", just as they can not "make" you happy.  You may believe that if you just cooked more then he may be happy.  Or perhaps if you organized the house better, cleaned more, did everything exactly as he wanted, maybe then he would be happy.  You may believe that if you bought her more jewelry, a better car, a better house, maybe then she would be happy. Wrong!  Each persons' happiness is their Own responsibility!! 

So, "Let Go, Let God"! 
What are you "Letting Go" of?  And what are you "Letting God" do in your life?  : )