The Downside to Self Improvement

downside to self improvement

Photo by Julie De Waro

The mind that constantly seeks self improvement creates disconnection with living in the present moment … which is the only place where we experience life fully.
If we go through life trying to make ourselves better, wanting to improve, then we can miss out on living fully.

It’s a bit like searching for your camera to capture the moment, but missing the moment itself because you were looking for the camera.

When we focus on what we want to achieve in the future, we so often miss out on the present. And even when we reach the goal, the ego-mind will judge what we have achieved now and compare it to what we had before… or what might be better next.
We become preoccupied with thoughts about the past and future and forget to live in the here and now.

I’m not saying it isn’t worth setting goals or working towards a vision of the future. The key is to remain aware of each moment as we move forward with our lives.

Taking time for pausing and self inquiry is a powerful practice. I call it finding your middle ground.

So set aside the books, videos, blogs and TED Talks for now, and slow down. Get to know your inner world, and learn to love your self.

Your relationship with yourself lasts a lifetime. Take the time to understand and appreciate your quirky, imperfect and wonderful self, and enjoy the journey together.

Namaste

Reflection – Live your Own Life

quietly refecting

These words came to me in a conversation yesterday with someone who feels she must rescue her adult daughter from a difficult marriage and challenging home situation.

“You cannot live her life for her.

Can you let her live her life?

… and live your own life?”

Perhaps you can relate to this if you are a parent.

Although I am not a parent, these words settled in deeply, and I too realized that I have not been living my own life here and now.

I’ve been living life in the context of “When Don is better”.. or “if Don isn’t here”.

We must all live our lives fully. It is ours to live, just as it is. In the present.

I realized that I have been living with a mindset of “after cancer”.  Yet, the reality is that there is only living with cancer. By living for an unknown future, I have set aside the present and haven’t lived it fully.

When our mind is set elsewhere, the present become a means to an end. Yet the “end” is only a creation in our mind. We miss out on living life as it is.

It doesn’t mean that we should live in a passive way, or give up on life. Quite the contrary.

We don’t know what the future holds, but right now can be wonderful when we pay attention to it… and live it just as it is.

pause

 

Take a moment to reflect.

“Are you living your own life as it is? … or setting it aside for someone else? … or perhaps living for an unknown future?”

And the question I now ask myself is “How can I be more present with myself and those I love?”

Namaste

p.s. Don’s latest scan shows he is in remission. The next will be at the end of April.

No matter what is going in in your life, fully live and love in the moment you are in.

* My Word for this Year and Beyond

timeless

At the beginning of the year, many of you choose a word to live by. I really like this idea, but haven’t done it before. Perhaps because I feel drawn to too many words!

This year, the word was literally given to me. On my birthday, my husband said he had a word for me. His eyes lit up and he was obviously excited to share it with me.

That word was “timeless”.

When he said it we both got teary eyed. Of course, it was very romantic, yet it seemed to go deeper and touched us deeply. What we have together is timeless, and will last forever … and in my own way I am a bit like that classic black dress: somewhat ageless, reliable, neither in fashion or out of it, and turns out well on any occasion 😉

Inner Reflection

I’m looking forward to really living into being timeless, and exploring the fullness of it’s meaning:

* Timeless is about being open, without boundaries, restrictions or conditions.

* Its about letting go of being constricted by time and being free from its apparent demands.

* Timeless happens in the Now, where time doesn’t exist.

* Its an invitation to connect to the unchanging aspect of one’s Self, inner Being and eternal spirit.

* Its about embracing that which is timeless such as curiosity, love, memories, companionship, enthusiasm, creativity …  and many more meaningful words.

Looks like I really did get many words after all…

* Let Yourself Be

In the highs and lows of life let yourself be.

breaking free

Let yourself be

Be what?

The being that you are

This being is found in this moment

It isn’t who you think you are. Your thinking is based on memories

Holding on to this picture of yourself is a prison

Let go of its hold over you

You are beyond anything you can think

So stop thinking

Let yourself be

Pause for a moment and take a full breath

Inhale this new moment to embrace

Exhale and let yourself be

 

* MM Moments

I was thinking about the little rituals and moments that I have during my days that bring me back into the present moment. We don’t need to go on retreat or drive to a studio for group meditation or yoga. Although it is really beneficial to have a formal daily practice, it can be difficult to schedule in at times.

Having something to keep you on track can be very helpful.

It only takes a moment to come into the present.

mindful ladybug

… There you are 🙂

When we create rituals we bring more awareness into our days. When we are observers of ourselves we can step back and see possibilities, let go of what isn’t working for us, and make more conscious choices and decisions.

Pausing for a moment to connect with our inner being can make a huge difference to how our day unfolds.

Here are some daily rituals that remind me to check in with myself. I call these moments Mini Mindful Moments. MMM’s.
(Apologies to those that thought I was about to announce the next generation of M&M’s)

MMM’s

♥ As I wake up I notice my breathing. I take several deep breaths and allow myself 5 or more minutes to be right here before the need to get up. I ask: What can I look forward to in this day?

♥ Washing my hands with tender care using an aromatic foaming soap.

♥ Choosing specific music that signals meditation time. Its like Pavlov’s dogs … It takes me right there in an instant!

♥ Using the Chakra time mediation app on my smart phone. It goes off at 8 am and 1pm. An easy reminder to pause and breathe. Coming into the present moment.

♥ Listening to my own 2 minute mini meditation:

♥ I also ask myself these questions during the day:

Am I present?

Is my heart open or am I in my head?

What’s alive in me?

Do I need to take time for myself – a sacred pause?

 ♥ Using sticky notesQuestions to become present

Being conscious in the moment is freeing!

What MMM’s do you have that support you in being mindful and staying present during your day?