Switch off: Stay away from screens

A long weekend in Ireland. Time to switch off and nourish our deeper selves:

Make a place to sit down. 
Sit down. Be quiet.… 

Breathe with unconditional breath 
the unconditioned air. 
Shun electric wire. 
Communicate slowly.

Live a three-dimensional life; 
stay away from screens. 

Wendell Berry, How to Be a poet

Being at ease with the messiness of life

With mindfulness practice, you learn to see how the untrained mind is agitated by the human condition and how not to allow this general anxiety to fuel your fear in a specific situation. You also gain tolerance for the unpleasantness of uncertainty and also the naturalness of your own imperfection. You have confidence that “life is like this.” You cannot and are not supposed to miraculously fix it; rather, you gain the insight that happiness and peace come from relating to life just as it is.

Philipp Moffit, Freedom from Fear

Being driven is not always a good thing

On the day after being nominated among the 50 best blogs “on the planet”, these thoughts on striving and becoming which I had written for today seem even more apt…

One reason we practice mindfulness meditation is to strengthen our capacity to “be with” what is here,  rather than always nurturing the deep-seated dynamic of “becoming”.  And “being with” does not just mean that simplistic idea of mindfulness – being with this beautiful flower or cupcake –  but also being with the life or personality we have, rather than always wanting to be better or be like others –  “If only I was this….. if only he or she wasn’t like that – then I’d feel satisfied”. Ideals of perfect relationships, perfect holidays and even perfect wellness make it easy to feel that one isn’t good enough. These can be false friends, pushing us to do more and achieve more, rather than finding rest in who and where we are:

Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: “If I look perfect, live perfectly, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.” Perfectionism is defeating and self-destructive simply because there is no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal. Additionally, perfectionism is more about perception – we want to be perceived as perfect. Again, this is unattainable – there is no way to control perception, regardless of how much time and energy we spend trying.

Perfectionism is addictive because when we invariably do experience shame, judgment, and blame, we often believe it’s because we weren’t perfect enough so rather than questioning the faulty logic of perfectionism, we become even more entrenched in our quest to live, look, and do everything just right.

Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Another week begins: it doesn’t have to be perfect

Sometimes Monday mornings can be a challenge, and what is not going right comes to mind more easily, as we start back into work after a relaxed and sunny Sunday.  So we remind ourselves that  one does not have to be completely satisfied with everything before one can be content. Similarly, everything does not have to be just as you would like it in your life for you to be grateful.

Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have.

Pema Chodron, The Wisdom of No Escape

The wilderness constantly reminds me that wholeness is not about perfection….

I have been astonished to see how nature uses devastation to stimulate new growth, slowly but persistently healing her own wounds. Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness – mine, yours, ours – need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life.

Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

Sunday Quote: Stop running

Now and then it is good 

to pause in our pursuit of happiness

and simply be happy,

[De temps en temps il est bon de faire une pause dans notre quête du bonheur  et simplement être heureux]

 

Guillaume Appolinaire, 1880 – 1918