Photos and stories that attempt to understand the world we live in . . .

Standing in the wind

waiting

watching

wondering

wanting

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Where we Are


Here I am in the most unexpected ways.

A vision on the beach,

      a pleasant smell in the morning breeze.

A gentle touch on your cheek,

     a sparkle in your child’s eye.

Everywhere you are,

     I’m there with you.

Wherever I am,

     I’m always with you. 

Fishing for Reason


A brief encounter as we pass each other on this amazing journey. Soon the darkness falls and the music fades away. The beauty of your passing remains etched in my mind and my heart holds you close. I wonder if you’ve found a place where you can hear our song once again?

Be the Music of Life


May you find beauty in the music of life today and everyday. 


Today is yours–may you find joy and peace as you frolic through the gardens of your life. 

Keep Dreaming

X Cloud

A sign to aim high or a sign to stop or turn back? Either way, keep dreaming and keep reaching for those dreams, making your dreams become your reality.

What’s Real?

What-s Real-

I spend a lot of time helping people think about what’s real. I don’t mean that all the people I see are delusional and ungrounded. In the age of the internet we are inundated with news, events, and a lifetime of experiences that can lead our thinking to be inaccurate and unhelpful and we can easily lose sight of what’s real and accurate.

So it’s important to spend a few moments thinking about what’s real.

Before we hit that share button on Facebook.

Before we accept the media’s account of events and current affairs.

And most importantly, before we accept our own negative self talk.

As we’ve seen over and over again, Facebook and the internet in general, perpetuates falsehoods and outright lies, often for years after a story has been debunked. The nature of the internet and media allows us too easily to see and hear only the stories and opinions that support and reinforce our own personal point of view. This can lead us to a very biased view of the world that is blissfully unaware and/or unsympathetic of alternative ways of understanding. It also feeds the anxiety and unsettled feelings so many of us carry; feelings that affect our attitudes and often, our health.

But it’s our own internal dialogue that can be the most harmful. That inner voice telling us we’re not good enough, smart enough, etc. We come to a point fairly early in life where we passively accept that voice despite any evidence demonstrating that we are good, we are smart, and we have good things to offer the world.

Maybe it’s time to try turning off the computer, the news feeds, the inner voice. The first two are easier—simply unplug the electronics. Talk with friends, engage in interesting activities, connect with nature. These actions will also help tame the inner voice. Mindfulness meditation also helps calm the inner voice by raising our awareness, which is a first step in learning to change that dialogue.

Begin by asking yourself, is it real?

 

 

Mindfulness is a common phrase these days and offered as kind of a cure all for stress and the key to living a happy, productive life. While mindfulness may be considered the latest thing to fix us, the concept has been around since ancient times and simply involves being present in the present moment. One of the founders of the current mindfulness movement, Jon Kabat-Zinn, defines mindfulness as, “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.” This means not only paying attention to who we are with and what we are doing, but also to what we are thinking and feeling. Learning to pay attention in this way takes practice, but when we learn to pay attention we begin to see things in new ways and we can begin to make positive changes.

One of the best parts of mindfulness aside from helping us be more present, is that it can be practiced anywhere at any time. Nothing special is necessary—no sitting cross legged on special pillows, no special robes or rooms, and no apps, though plenty of all of these can be found. The simplest mindfulness exercise is simply paying attention to your breath. Practicing a mindfulness breath meditation 5-10 minutes a day can have a powerful effect in lowering your stress and help you be present for the important moments in your life.

This two minute video gives you the basics and will help you get started. Please let me know what you think in the comments here and if you have any questions or want to learn more. Meditation 101: A Beginner’s Guide Animation

Getting Lost

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Some days we’re like a ship lost in the darkness. Some days we’re like a light of hope in the night. While it’s good to serve as a beacon offering hope and guidance, leaving the safety of solid ground allows us to seek new adventures and understandings. It’s when we get lost on these journeys that the best learning and growth often takes place. The light to guide you safely around the rocks will be there when you’re ready to see it. So be a beacon when you can be, but don’t forget to set your sails for new adventures to keep your light bright. And remember it’s alright to get lost at times.

 

Catching Up

We set out with the best of intentions and then life happens. Always does. It’s been quite awhile since I wrote that last post a year and a half ago, so let me catch up on a few things before I attempt again to make a regular go of this space.

Unknown to me at the time, the most significant event was developing as I wrote that last post about mindful running. Just a few days later I found out that my oldest brother had some pretty serious cancer going on. It took a solid year of various treatments, surgeries, and drugs to get him in good place again where thankfully he remains, though treatment still continues. Perhaps needless to say, that was one event to change my focus. Somewhere in the middle of brother’s adventure my stepfather passed away after a lengthy illness. His departure set off another chain of events within the family that are rippling.

Another significant happening during this time was my shift from part time to full-time work as a mental health therapist. Lots of focus on establishing my office, building a client base, and learning the unique and challenging ways of the insurance industry. As for running, I’m still at it. I’ve finished four half marathons so far and shed many pounds along the way. I still find running to be a nice way to work at being mindful and notice the world around me. I do have to admit that I sometimes slip on the headphones now to help motivate and entertain during some runs. It’s challenging and perhaps unnecessary to be mindful all of the time and listening to music can be a mindful activity in itself.

So maybe now, after a year and half, things have settled down enough to allow me to be more present here. I have wisdom to share and thoughts about the world and life that I hope you’ll find interesting. Hoping to be back here very soon, but then Life keeps happening.