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Archive for February 22nd, 2012

Great blog post. I really enjoyed seeing this today!

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Enjoy this beauty that was gifted to us by Christy!

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A Hope for Not Complaining

A HOPE FOR TODAY

Author Maya Angelou offers a wonderful hope for not complaining:

“If you don’t like something, change it.

If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Don’t complain.”

What excellent advice Maya gives, but it is often not easy to follow.  Sometimes people are powerless to change things, and sometimes they have strong, unyielding opinions that are difficult to change about those things.

The secret is in the last sentence of Maya’s quotation:  “Don’t complain.”  Things may not change, attitudes may not change, but complainers can choose not to complain out loud.

There are many complainers, but there are also many silent sufferers who are unable to change their circumstances or their attitudes about something that has hurt them very deeply–so deeply that they do not talk about or complain about it to others.

These hurts are often mental and emotional bruises and wounds that are never seen on people’s exterior countenances or in their speech or mannerisms.

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Great Advice!

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Here is a 5-Minute meditation for you to check out.

See: www.falundafa.org/eng/exercises.html

Image via Wikipedia

Taking time throughout the day 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, another 5 before after dinner or before bedtime is better than no time at all.

We all have 5 minutes.  What if we all made the time for 5 minutes of meditation instead of standing around the water cooler?

Or 5 minutes to practice mindful walking instead of staying after a meeting to gossip (and that’s a whole other post)…

My day job is stressful and often non-stop.  But I am doing a few things to try to change that.  For one, I bought the Enzo Pearl timer that I described a few posts ago.

Another thing I have recently done is to bring my copy of Awake at Work by Michael Carroll to work.  I have it sitting on my desk.  Not on the book case to look pretty but right next to my water bottles on top of my desk.

When I have time between meetings or between reports, I can close my door and pick up the book.  There are 35 small chapters — easy 4-page reads — that I can use for contemplative practices.  Today I might read about being authentic”.  Maybe Thursday, I read about what “kitchen sink” mentality is…

Other days, when things are really chaotic, I might just set the Enzo timer for 5 minutes.  I take 5 of the 15 minutes I have for a break and just sit and breathe.  Right now, I don’t share an office so I can even do a 5-minute round of walking meditation.  I could, on a good day, even do 5 minutes of downward facing dog or warrior pose.

Sure it’s great to do at sunrise or sunset like we do on retreat. . . but if prisoners in a prison dharma program can do walking meditation in their cells, surely I can create a mindful space to walk around my desk for a few minutes.  It’s all about right attitude.

Taking this time during the day helps me to keep a mental and emotional balance that’s really important right now as I juggle work, my dissertation, and things like my blog.  I can remember when I was younger and was actively caregiving when having someone tell me that it was okay to take 5 minutes for myself. . . that the compassionate practice of being was important for me and the person who I was helping would have been a godsend.

So what are any of us waiting for?  Share some lovingkindness with yourself, with those around you, and with your world.  Plan to take 5 minutes during work… 5 minutes after work… and if you can, 5 minutes when you wake up or before bed to do some sort of practice.

Remember that you can also practice mindful eating — I know I have posted on that at least twice, with some references as well as Thich Nhat Hanh‘s rendition of the 5 Contemplations that you can use while you eat mindfully.

If you have creative ideas for what that might be, drop a note here and let us know how you find time.

Take gentle care, Jennifer

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