This has been on my mind so much lately…
It’s not the to-do list with checked boxes, the app with the timers and bells and whistles, or the endless meal planning that will change your life.Think about it… what does it mean to “be on top of it all?” ALL the time spent worried about what “others will think” WHO are those specific others? Can you see them? Are they people that you care about, that mean a lot to you? If not, why are “they” taking up so much of your mind space? your energy? your life?
My dear friends, freedom occurs when you cultivate a real, authentic, meaningful, dynamic relationship to YOUR life. The relationship in which you trust and love and treat with compassion, the realities of your responsibilities. Freedom occurs when you CHOOSE joy over endless to-do’s and you wake up to the value of a spacious, expansive, creative day. Freedom occurs when we trust ourselves and listen to our hearts, not JUST the mind.
“PLEASANCE!!!” you say, “how on Earth can I do that? I have a job, and kids, and bills, and endless tasks on my lists.
And then I will come close, hold your hand and whisper… practice. It all starts with practice.
So in honor of this response, here are tips to get you started.
Here are 3 of my Favorite Yoga & Wisdom Books. You can click on the book cover to learn more and to purchase.
Check out all of my recommended reads. Find titles related to Family/Parenting support, business/self-development, meditation, kids books, plus DVDs, products, and more of what I love.
Just added! Give yourself 8 minutes in the morning, on your lunch break, or before bed to try this at home yoga practice.
Here’s a 5-minute meditation video I created to support content from Chapter 8: Awake of my book, Delight: 8 Principles for Living with Joy and Ease. Want to receive all the supporting video content? Sign up.
Tara Brach offers a wonderful “How to Meditate Guide” which addresses setting up your practice, troubleshooting common issues, and sustaining a practice. You can also check out her New to Meditation page.
“You are traveling a path that has led to clarity, peace and deep realization for many people over thousands of years. May their awakening support and inspire you. And may the sincerity of your practice heal and free your spirit.”
— Tara Brach
When you establish your sitting practice, you’ll want to be comfortable. Find a comfy mat, bolster, or blanket. Or set the mood or intention with some essential oils and aromatherapy! Maybe you need a grounding oil like Vetiver or Sandalwood. If you need extra relaxation try Lavender, Roman Chamomile, or Clary Sage. Need some cleansing? Grab your sage. Need some loving? Neroli or Rose will do the trick. There is SO much to learn about essential oils related to practice. Let’s chat about it. Book a free 30 minute intro call with me.
If you need any additional support regarding your practice and want to work together, here’s an application to get started.
Additionally, join me at Insight Meditation Community of Washington in Tenleytown for my half-day Pause Retreat on Friday, November 18th. This is a simple, sweet yoga and meditation retreat for all levels where you will explore practices to take home.
My meditation teacher says she practices so that she does not hurt other people. When she sits, she does no harm.
Just a few days ago, I got to visit Hazy Moon. The home base for our lineage and practice.
We pulled up & the house was inviting, warm and spacious.
The door opened & Karen Maezen Miller came out, huge smile, warm hug.
I looked around at all the beautiful plants, secret buddhas hiding behind them and the HAZY MOON sign.
Zen practice is not cozy. It’s not warm and fuzzy. It can be rather quiet, rather empty. Sometimes, cold & lonely.
The instructions are simple and there is no sugar coating. We JUST SIT. Mostly looking at a wall.
But Hazy Moon was so comfortable, warm. And so were the people I met.
Eventually we went to the Zendo, we gathered, we sat.
But here, we did no harm.
And later we listened to a powerful dharma talk about the state of our world, the state of our mind, & taking action to heal with world.
But, it starts with a sit.
Reading from my tradition. Sometimes I see it so clearly. Here it is, simple, really. I am the one who makes it difficult to be here, to be in my life. To not wander away. Here is the truth- and the clarity gives me comfort.
Become the least grain of sand and you’ve become inseparable from the whole beach. Big, mighty, or great doesn’t begin to measure what you already are. All you have to do is see it, and then, keep doing the small things. The universe depends on it.” Karen Maezen Miller
in the back of my head, I know it’s approaching.
I have said it a bunch of times.. in passing.. “oh , yeah I’m going to this meditation retreat.. in Ohio”
Inside my body. my heart starts to skip. my head starts a mantra. unknown. unknown.unkown.
I have no idea what is about to happen. but I ‘m pretty sure it’s going to change my life.
that’s what she does, EVERY TIME I’M WITH HER.
when I read her words.. my heart is connected. I feel like she’s talking to me. She hears me. She knows me. She opens me up and sees the inside.
she’s my teacher.
at her last visit to lil omm, I cried almost the whole weekend and then GROUNDED. like I had not been in years.
Her energy lifts me, swirls me around , and then leaves me a little.. out of it . Only to fully return to myself. in a more open way. with more love and beauty and tears and life. Grounded. Confident. Present. Deeply Rooted.
I cry. I need space. I feel WIPED after being with her. After the practice and the teachings. and the knowledge. and the space. sitting quietly. doing nothing.
When Karen Maezen Miller (Momma Zen & Hand Wash Cold Author & Zen Buddhist Teacher/ Priest) posted months ago that she was teaching a retreat in OHIO in MARCH- I thought. that’s crazy! Ohio? WHY? March? WHY? I can’t do that. I can’t afford it. How selfish of me to even want to go? And then I took a DEEP BREATH and I knew I was going. .
I did everything I could to make it happen. I started the ball rolling and now I am days away from the flight.
Okay, lets start here- A FLIGHT ALONE WITHOUT KIDS. has not happened in a very long time. I’m going to be PLEASANCE! not mama. not owner of lil omm. no masks, veils, roles or responsibilities. just me. So, is that what is totally freaking me out?
a few days on my mat, on my meditation cushion without any of the parts of my life that I have relied on as ways to identify myself. ( mom, community member, wife, friend, teacher, coach, bness owner.. the list goes on and on) instead it’s Just me. ME.
I’m not sure what will unfold.
I’ve had tough days over the past few months where just the thought of this retreat was enough to get me through.
I’m called to the practice, sitting and stillness save me over & over.
I’m ready Karen.