Learning to be Mindful

This post was written for The Lotus Effect – a group created to aid in Spiritual Development.  Enjoy!

Today’s challenge is one I hope you all choose to partake in.  This challenge lasts for one full waking day.  From the time you wake until the time you drift into a peaceful sleep, I want you to be mindful of your thoughts, actions and the words you speak.

Mindful

Our Mind is an amazing tool.  We use it to assign words and values to people and things.  We remember past experiences and formulate wishes and hopes for our future.  It is an amazing and beautiful tool we use to help express our soul and emotions. But I want you to “keep in mind” that your mind is a tool – it is not you.  It is a tool to help you. And as we all know by now, your mind can also speak words of doubt, hurt, conspiracy and gossip.

I want you to be mindful of the words that are passing through your mind and across your lips.  Are they serving you?  Do the words in your mind express doubt and uncertainty?  Do the words you speak express love and acceptance?  Are the words you think and speak reflecting who you are?  Does it reflect your spirit?

All of us participating in The Lotus Effect are trying to open our mind and our heart to a more loving and peaceful existence here in our bodies.  We need to eliminate our self-doubt, negative thinking and judgment of others.  Our primary concern during this process is finding peace and love within, thereby allowing us to share this wonderful state of being with others.  We are looking inward.  As you catch yourself having negative thoughts and conversations throughout the day, I want you to stop and recognize them.  This is not to say you shouldn’t explore why you are having these negative thoughts and speaking in such a manner, but today I want you to realize how much of your energy is spent in this area.  Until we understand how our mind is perceiving our experience, how will we know where to start our healing and what issues need to be addressed.

Do not feel badly about your negative thoughts and words you speak, just recognize that they are there.  If you so choose, feel free to correct your thoughts with a positive affirmation or stop your gossip or conversation in its tracks by changing topics.  But for now, the most important thing is that you observe yourself.  I want you to experience your thoughts and interactions as if for the first time.  Let them resonate with you. What is your mind doing and is it serving you?  Your mind is a tool and is here to help you live the life your innermost self is meant to live.  Do not let your mind get in the way.  Your mind is not going to like this challenge, but your soul, spirit and inner light (whichever you choose to call it) will love this.

Ultimately, we want to trust our intuition and soul.  Part of this is learning the language we have taught our mind to use, and training it to work in a manner that serves us now.  Whether this means quieting your mind, calming negative thoughts or learning to be present rather than thinking about the past and future, we need to first see where our mind is going and what we are doing in there.

This exercise is to know your Self and better understand your inner workings.

It is more challenging than you think.  Please re-read this challenge, take it all in, turn on the Awareness Button and observe your thoughts and the words you speak all day.  Be Mindful of your Self. Once you are aware of how your Mind is serving you and how it is viewing the world around you, you can better assess what areas and issues are in most need of your loving attention.  We all have issues, triggers from our past and hidden things from our childhood that flow in the undercurrent of our emotions.  This exercise is to help you see what parts of you may need healing.  What issue is manifesting itself as impatient, judgmental, anxious, nervous, worried, lonely, overly busy, overly concerned?Be mindful of your thoughts.  Be mindful of your actions.  Be mindful of your words.  Be mindful of your inner voice that speaks through the knot in your throat, the pit in your stomach and the butterflies in your heart.  Be mindful – all – day – long!

Now, re-read, turn on the Awareness Button and observe.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

Believe

I believe that people are inherently good.  That darkness and cruelty comes from hurt within – from our heavy and unhealed emotional wounds.  I believe that if we heal ourselves, and release our buried wounds, we can heal the world.  That if we can get to a place where we see others with our heart, rather than through our lenses of pain and insecurity, we will see the beauty and light within all beings.  I believe that once we can see that light, we will share our love, forgive our neighbors and walk the earth with renewed purpose.

I believe we are far more wonderful than we realize.  That we posses an infinite amount of love and that we are hopeful beings.  I believe we can all access this hope, love and light by taking the time to care for ourselves and by following our intuition.  Once we have begun to heal ourselves, we will begin to see a world of hope, love and light.  From this place we can work together toward building a peaceful and harmonious existence.  One in which all are loved, cared for and at peace.  I believe this is possible.  I feel this through every fiber of my being; from the depths of my soul, through the corners of my heart and within the folds of my mind.

believe

I believe that within all of us lies the magnificence of the Universe and the ability to feel the joy of it all.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

A Quieting

After a lovely weekend of serendipity and destiny and truly present moments:

I am so very grateful for the people in my life and those that have crossed my path.  Words will never express the depth of my gratitude.

Thank you all for sharing your authentic selves.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

There Where My Longing Lies

It was there in the moonlight, gazing at the starry sky that I first felt it. Time stood still and the light shining in the distant galaxies was calling me home – pulling me higher.  My body was anchored to the boulder atop the mountain on which I sat, but my soul was soaring.  Voices and memories were pulsing through my veins as if they had been there from the beginning and reminding me with each breath and heart beat that we are as one.

Finally I was given a glimpse of what I had been seeking.  That longing that had been pulling on my heart strings, knotting in my throat and ringing in my ears had found its source. The sky.  The beyond.  Somewhere in the darkness and the twinkling of faraway stars and planets.  Past the black holes, comets and solar systems.  Farther still where sound and light and fantasy shift into a new language undecipherable to my mind.  Yes, it is there where my longing lies.  Somewhere my mind cannot explain, nor my memory attempt to fathom. There in that place lies a piece of me, every bit as connected as the brown in my eyes and the heat on my breath.  Part of me there is reaching out, longing to connect, wanting me to listen.

With open mind, heart and soul I listen.  Now, I listen.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

Let the Journey Begin!

I am taking a leap of faith and following my instincts.

Like a five year old child, unable to sleep, knowing that there will be presents under the Christmas tree in the morning.  Like the scent of rain on the wind, long before the forecast was checked or a dark cloud seen.  Like the moment just before your lips touch your lover’s for the first time, locking in a passionate kiss.  Yes, just like that, I can feel something good is coming.

For most of my life, I have trusted my logical mind.  When push came to shove and important choices needed to be made, logic won over emotions and feelings almost every time.  This type of thinking kept me safe and secure, but did not do a wonderful job of making me feel happy and satisfied.  I was still longing for more, without really knowing what more I was looking for.  Over the past few years I have tried to find a better balance of following my mind, my heart and instinct.  Not surprisingly, the main thing holding me back was fear.  Fear of change.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of being judged.  Fear of failing.

Thankfully I realized the fear holding me back could only be released by me.  After all, it was placed there by me, so it was going to be up to me to figure it all out.  That kind of work must be done within.  As much as I love the idea of throwing money at the situation to fix it or using a Band-Aid to cover it up, no dollar amount or bandage can fix the fear – it can only be released by the owner and operator, Yours Truly.

Right now I am in a really good place.  This past year I have been picking up speed like a snowball turning into an avalanche (just ask my friends). I am releasing my past.  Confronting my demons.  Facing my fears. Taking on challenges. Falling down, dusting off, and trying again! Listening to my body.  Quieting my mind.  Following my spiritual light.  I am learning to trust (and rely on) my feelings and emotions more than my logical mind.  This is huge for me.

So here we are on this journey.  And I do not say we just to engage you, dear reader.  I say it because we are all on a journey together right now – this is part of the change I feel.  Recently, I have seen strangers becoming kinder and more patient.  I have watched close friends and family become more open and vulnerable. I have witnessed physical, mental and spiritual transformations result from the simple thought of wanting a better life.  These changes are not a result of a longing for more money or fame.  These changes are happening because we as humans are awakening to an inner desire to become the truest and best version of our self – whatever that may be. We are trying.

“For those of you who don’t know, December 21st 2012 is regarded as the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar otherwise known as the Mayan Calendar. New age interpretation of this date is that it marks the start of a time in which Earth and its inhabitants will undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that it may mark the beginning of a new era (Note: Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have pointed to this date though it’s still debatable).” – The Lotus Effect.

I am taking a leap of faith and following my instincts.  Something good is coming.

All I know for sure, is that it is my job to prepare for it.  Not the typical preparedness that involves formal education or purchasing emergency goods, but rather internal preparedness.  I have never been this focused or passionate about caring for my mind, body and soul and helping others around me.  I know with every fiber of my being, that now is a time to feed my body nutrient rich food, sleep well, exercise and purify my body of toxins. That now is a time to quiet my mind and be open to new possibilities.  Now is a time to be patient, forgiving and speak with more love than ever before.

Yes, just like that, I can feel something good is coming.

What have you been experiencing?  Any tips, advice or ideas to share?  Please, all thoughts are welcome.  We are in this together.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

A Moment of Revelation: Mind, Body and Heart.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do some of my best thinking while driving in my car.

This has been an interesting week and month – lots of thinking to be done.  When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining and there was a dusting of clouds against the beautiful blue sky, and I felt renewed.  This was going to be a good day. I could feel it! I shared a few positive tweets, Facebook messages and texts, and my heart swelled with love.  Finally, I was back in the peaceful state of mind I have grown accustomed to over the past few years.  The struggles I had been rolling over in my mind melted away and I allowed the light and love to pour into me.

While driving in my car, I tried to recall what I had done that brought me back.  What had happened that brought me back to this wonderful state of calm?  Instantly I  realized that I had restored the balance in my mind, body and heart.  I have been working toward realigning my mind to a peaceful place, my body to be healthy and thriving, and my heart to be open. Mind, body and heart. Mind, body and heart.  Today they aligned and I feel beautiful, loved and capable. Mind, body and heart.  The trinity of me.  The trinity of you.  The three things we must align for a peaceful and loving life. Wait, did I just say trinity? As in the Holy Trinity, like Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

Stay with me for a sec. This is where I started to trip out too.

I have long since believed that religion and our view of God is a way for us to understand life, how things work and how we work.  Each religion takes a different perspective on what/who God is and what all of that means.  I was raised Catholic, but have distanced myself from the Church as there were too many things that did not align with what I felt in my heart.  And the idea of God floating up in the clouds looking down on us, just didn’t feel right to me.  I feel like God is something that unites us all and is present in everything, but I have yet to fully understand this and I am working on connecting the pieces.  Yes, there are some Catholic beliefs I do not agree with; but there are many wonderful things I have learned that have stuck with me.  All of the lessons about being kind, how to treat your neighbor and how to treat and respect yourself – those lessons are tucked within the folds of my heart and ever present in my mind.  Lessons about being kind, loving and grateful.  Lessons about sympathy, empathy and doing what is right.  Lessons on forgiveness, love and family.  You find such lessons in most religions.  Most religions emphasize the importance of caring for your mind, caring for your body and caring for your heart (soul).

In my recent quest to find myself and a greater meaning for my life, I have been paying a lot of attention to other peoples’ views, ideas and feelings.  I have been reading and listening to the thoughts of others with a careful ear and open mind and heart. There is an idea out there, a belief, that we are God. God lives within us.  We are all connected and are a manifestation of God.  When the word trinity rolled through my mind today, I thought I might just be on to something here.  I have long believed that we interpret certain universal truths the best way our human minds can, and assign them names and values to the best of our ability. Words like God, soul, love, connection, dream, devil, redemption, miracle, right and wrong – all ascribed to feelings we try to understand.

Now, here comes my moment of revelation.  My thought: during mass and prayer, it is common practice to say “The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” while signing the cross on your body.  The Father: touch your forehead (the mind).  The son: touch your lower chest or navel (body). And the Holy Spirit: touch each shoulder once (your heart and soul lies within). Tears welled in my eyes at the thought of this.

I am getting closer. This makes sense. Mind, body and heart.

I really do some of my best thinking while driving in my car.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

P.S.  What do you think?  I welcome any comments or feedback.  Still mulling this over…

A Rose By Any Other Name

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1600.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.  How very true, this notion that it doesn’t matter what you call something; it only matters what it truly is. But do we all apply this in our everyday life?

Let’s say for example, we have a woman named Jane.  Jane grew up in Ohio, has two loving parents, three siblings, is a widow with a four year old son, and is wickedly smart, funny and kind.  She is a wonderful friend and the kind of person that would give her jacket to a shivering stranger.  Now, what does Jane do for a living?  Jane is a Politician. Jane is a Pediatric Nurse.  Jane is a Preschool teacher.  Jane is a Preacher. Jane is a Prostitute.  Is Jane by any other name, still as sweet?

Think about that for a second.

Did you hesitate for a moment on any of those occupations?  And if so, why?

People are complex.  It can never be as simple and as black and white as you may like it to be.  We all possess many character traits, attributes, strengths and weaknesses.  What is important to remember, is that you should not discount someone or their character because of one thing.  It is not black and white.  One thing does not cancel out another.

Jane is wickedly smart, funny and kind.  She is a wonderful friend and the kind of person that would give her jacket to a shivering stranger. 

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I am going to carry this thought with me today.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese