“Lean not on your own understanding” means not to only trust what you perceive with your five senses. There is more to this planet than what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. Your understanding of life is increased by the gift from God: intuition.
This sixth sense is your Higher Power guiding you in the right direction. Intuition is always your first thought about a situation. The thought is usually quick and fleeting. Sometimes intuition is felt in your body, a la “I had a gut feeling about……”
Listening to your intuition is a skill to be cultivated in order for you to trust it. That’s why meditation or even quiet time with no media distractions is helpful. They both teach you to listen to your own inner wisdom.
Albert Einstein once said, “A problem cannot be solved in the same consciousness in which it was created.” In other words, whatever beliefs that got you into your “mess” must be changed so you can get out of it.
Hope is the last thing to die. When all hope is gone, that’s when people check out of life.
Hope is the emotion that keeps us hanging on even when we are bone tired. When the money is gone, there’s no food in the house, addiction has us in it’s grip, grief has us crying every night, children are sick, collection notices are in the mailbox, or layoffs just occurred, we continue to have hope. Without hope, we wouldn’t take a chance on love, bear children, or continue to live. Hope is the belief that life will get better and improve.
Hope is a sister to faith which is the evidence of things unseen. Faith is a cousin to compassion which is seeing the God in the other person. Love is the parent of all three. If your hope is fading, contact someone you love, or who you know loves you. Trust and believe love will lead you back.
“Life can only be found in the present moment. When you look at the beautiful blue sky, where is it? In the present moment.
In order to not miss the beautiful blue sky, you have to go back to the present moment. Because it is in that moment that you get in touch with the beautiful blue sky, the beautiful rivers, the beautiful trees…
Everything wonderful, everything refreshing, happens in the present moment. Therefore, running to the future, or getting lost in the past, you miss life. Breathing in and out gets you back to the present moment where you have an appointment with life.”
Challenge yourself to reach your fullest potential. Whatever your life’s condition (not circumstance, for that implies that life is series of accidents or happenstance), you have the power to change it. If you take deliberate steps toward your ultimate vision for your life, then life is not simply “happening” to you. You are the power you seek.
This is a follow-up to Mocha Angels Day 23: “I speak from the heart today.” A subscriber said to me, “Speaking from the heart can cause all sorts of problems. The heart is full of emotion both good and bad.” Our conversation led me to clarify the intention behind speaking from the heart.
I learned the technique from a minister. The exact mantra is “Allow me to speak from my heart center.” It’s to be said to yourself, silently or out loud, when you are alone, not in front of other people. You say it when you are alone because this is about shifting your energy. Saying it in front of others invites judgment, and that’s not what you want. If you can’t get away from other people, say it silently. It’s said before a tense conversation (or confrontation) in order to de-escalate the situation.
Be sure to say it before you open your mouth. The intention is to speak with love to the other person. When you do speak, love, compassion, and clarity will flow from your mouth. It’s almost magical. It’s simply a shift in your thinking. You go from “I’m right, you’re wrong” (the ego) to “I want to hear you and understand where you are coming from” (the heart).
The other intention of “Allow me to speak from my heart center” is to heal the relationship. This works for everyone and anyone with whom you want to have a positive relationship.
The challenge is to remind yourself of the mantra when you’re angry or fearful, or worse, consistently an asshole/difficult/brash/rude/selfish/self-centered, etc. I’ve been that person, on all counts. I had to learn, in the hardest of ways, that insisting that I’m right all the time was leading me down the wrong path of self-righteousness aka “why can’t people just act right?” I’m the one who needs to be checking myself. I don’t need for everyone else to behave.
There are times when it’s appropriate to fight and defend yourself, or to get out of a dangerous situation. You don’t put up with anyone’s toxic bullshit or abuse. I think the heart center mantra is a gentler way of moving through life because you are being guided by love.
Hatred never ceases by hatred but by love alone. This is an ancient and eternal law. – The Buddha
Cleaning out, not simply cleaning up, your house helps you think more clearly. Too much stuff weighs you down, body, mind, and spirit. Even the simple act of vacuuming makes my space feel lighter. Yes, I have read Marie Kondo’s books and reviewed her Netflix show, “Tidying Up.” Yes, I’m on board the KonMari Method ™ train headed to Tidyville.
It’s more than that to me. Your house/apartment/rented room is your private retreat from the chaotic outside world. At least it should be. The stuff/things/items (and people) in your home should bring you happiness, joy, and contentment. (Things can also be practical. I don’t love my Phillips head screwdrivers, my toothbrush, or my printer paper. However, I’m glad they are there when I need them.) Getting rid of stuff and people in your house who weigh you down is a good thing. Say “thank you” to your things as you release them. And say “thank you” to the space you are creating for the new in your life.
From The Art of Mindful Living by Thich Nhat Hanh. Audiobook links are below.
Breathing is the essence of Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings. The technique in the photo is called “In/Out.” We stop thinking so much when we focus on our breath. We all think too much. Our body is present, but our mind is lost in the past or anxious about the future. The first fourteen minutes of The Art of Mindful Living, Part 1 is about this breath. It’s worth a listen.