Tag Archives: Dreaming

“The world is changing and we are part of that transformation.” -Paulo Coehlo

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Whatever God means to you – whatever it is that connects you to you, to others, and to something larger – this compilation of words excerpted from  Coelho’s The Valkyries will  inspire you. It fits right in with the theme of Mandala Reflections. Coelho’s words make me want to sit down with his book set: The Valkyries, The Fifth Mountain, and Veronika Decides to Die.  A special thanks to my dear friend, Irene, who shared these quotes with me after she finished the first book. Thanks, dear!

We, at this moment in history, must develop our own powers.  We must believe that the universe doesn’t end at the walls of our room.  We must accept the signs, and follow our heart and our dreams.  We are responsible for everything that happens in this world.  We are the warriors of the light.  With the strength of our love and of our will, we can change our destiny, as well as the destiny of many others.  The day will come when the problem of hunger can be solved through the miracle of the multiplication of the bread.  The day will come when love will be accepted by every heart, and the most terrible of human experiences – solitude, which is worse than hunger – will be banned from the face of the Earth.  The day will come when those who knock at the gates will see them open; those who ask will receive; those who weep will be consoled.  For the planet Earth, that day is still a long way off.  But for each of us, that day can be tomorrow.  One has only to accept a simple fact: Love-of God and of others-shows us the way.  Our defects, our dangerous depths, our suppressed hatreds, our moments of weakness and desperation – all are unimportant.  If what we want to do is heal ourselves first, so that then we can go in search of our dreams, we will never reach paradise.  If, on the other hand, we accept all that is wrong about us – and despite it, believe that we are deserving of a happy life-then we will have thrown open an immense window that will allow Love to enter.  Little by little, our defects will disappear, because one who is happy can look at the world only with love-the force that regenerates everything that exists in the Universe.”  “We are not alone.  The world is changing, and we are part of that transformation.  The angels guide us and protect us.  Despite all the injustice in the world, and despite the things that happen to us that we feel we don’t deserve, and despite the fact that we sometimes feel incapable of changing what is wrong with people and with the world…love is even stronger, and it will help us to grow.  Only then will we be able to understand the stars and miracles.”

Did you like this post? Please stay tuned – in the months to come Irene and myself and some other women are starting a communal blog together (so exciting!)… and we think you’re going to like it! 

Reflections from a New Mom

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As a prenatal yoga teacher and birth doula (in training), recently I have been surrounded by the wisdom and joy of mothers. In honor of Mother’s Day, Mandala Reflections is happy to share one mom’s perspective on what it’s like being a mother and readjusting to life around a baby. Like many people who frequent Mandala Reflections, Amy is a person who lives life fully and holistically. As a school counselor, photographer, yogini, foodie, and garden enthusiast, Amy has many topics she could write about, but this time she wanted to talk about moms and motherhood. For more of Amy’s writing, do check out her blog, A Little September Love.

Happy Mother’s Day! This day has always held a special and bittersweet place in my heart. It not only reminds me of the mom that I miss every day, but it also reminds me of how truly blessed I am to have had lots of “mamas” in my life. Being pregnant the past year has made me especially grateful for the presence of these fabulous examples of mothers. As I continue to embark upon my own adventure as Finn’s mom, I am reminded daily of all the wisdom and love these ladies have shared with me!

It’s funny for me to think back to last Mother’s day…oh I so remember it. I was just coming to grips with the biggest surprise of my life; I was going to be a mom. We had breakfast at the Good Day Café, and I was desperately trying to conceal my morning sickness as I choked down some oatmeal (their fabulous eggs Benedict just wasn’t going to work that morning). I hid my Sea-bands and brushed off the “when are you going to put a car seat in the back of that thing?” comment, referring to the fact that we just traded our Jeep in for a shiny new station wagon. Little did Mamasa know that she was about to become a grandma.

I’d be lying if I said that I was thrilled when I found out about Finn. Thrilled is not the exact word I would use, more like shocked. And after taking 5 (yep count them) pregnancy tests, I shed some tears and grieved that my fabulous, newlywed life was about to totally change. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always wanted to be a mom, however I thought that I would maybe be ready in like 5 years…oops. Apparently my husband, Barrett and I need a little refresher course in sex-ed. (But that’s another story.) So slowly, and I mean slowly–I warmed up to the idea of my soon-to-be motherhood, and by about mid-October, I was finally feeling excitement about my pending arrival. Finn was set to make his debut on Christmas day, and he sure did.

Life has been a whirlwind since then. I’m desperately trying to figure out balance and realigning my priorities. You see, having a baby changes everything…literally EVERYTHING! Finn’s presence has been a welcome kick in the ass, forcing me to really figure out what I want to do with my life. Figuring life out is an ongoing dialogue in my head, and as I continually explain to my sweet and thankfully, extremely understanding husband, the ideas just keep coming. I want to be a mama, a school counselor, a swim coach, a yoga teacher, a writer, a blogger, a photographer and in the meantime, I’d love to conquer the constant flow of laundry and actually finish a book that I start. Having a baby has continued to push my creative button and as much as I resist and try to suppress it in an effort to be practical, my urge to be creative is now stronger than ever! I believe this urge has something to do with realigning priorities and wanting to make sure that the time I spend away from Finn is spent on something that I’m extremely passionate about. So, where does that lead? Well, for now, I decided I am going to try to master the manual settings of my SLR camera this summer and take a few photography classes. I also hope to make a commitment to write a daily blog post–come and visit if you’d like. So at least for this moment, this is the path that life has me on. It is incredible to witness the changes that have happened within me and with my life over the past year, and yet it has been just as wonderful to see how I have stayed the same. But most of all, on this Mother’s Day, I am excited to say I am embracing my sweet surprise and welcoming the holiday celebration with joy and gratitude.

Amy, Finn, and Barrett

In closing I must say thank you, to Lisa for being the bravest step-mom I’ve ever known, to Nana for having a daughter named my mom, to all of my aunties, you have loved me like your own daughter, and to my mama friends, thank you for reminding me that even if we’re moms and life is a little different now we are still so much the same. Also, to Netty, you are the best doctor ever and an even better mom. And to the future mom’s in my life, what a wild and wonderful ride you’re in for some day, and most importantly I want to thank my angel of a mom, for teaching me everything in life that’s important. I hope that I’m making you proud doing what you did so well, loving my sweet baby while cramming 10 pounds of life into a 5 pound bag. My heart is so full this Mother’s Day!

The Obligatory New Year’s Resolution Post

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Despite my resistance now for a few days, a proper health and wellness blog cannot go without mentioning New Year’s Day and the birth of countless resolutions. A handful of these promises will be life-changing, while the rest will soon be forgotten as people fall back into living their familiar stories. This year marks another year I hope to wind up in the handful. I say, why not?

Truthfully, I used to think New Year’s was kind of a joke. It kind of is when you look at all of the failed attempts at resolutions. And for me, it really was just another day in another year of my life. Now, as I feel more inclined to live life fully each day and to live according to the seasons of the calendar year, I realize the powerful symbol the New Year brings to my consciousness, when I pay attention. The day ritualizes new beginnings in my life, and I get inspired by it. I hear other people embarking on their own journeys because of the New Year, and it makes me smile.

What my New Year’s ritual looks like is me sitting down in quiet reflection, jotting down thoughts about life and the world, but I also use this time to empty out. After I get all of the words on paper, I go through and think deeply about what I really want to accomplish. While my list of things I want to do, do, do, seems never-ending, I wonder about the bare necessities. I strip away my desires to the most necessary and truthful dreams I carry with me. I recognize that before I can move forward in making my dreams a reality, I must be honest and shed the parts of my life that no longer work. I let go of some of those ambitions (okay most), and I decipher which dreams are mine and which are my ego’s. It’s not always easy to tell, but I try to figure it out anyway.

I then practice letting go of even the dreams that I think are mine, and I practice focusing on clearing my mind. I repeat this process as often as necessary, and this reflection and discernment goes on for the rest of the year,  because circumstances change, the world changes and I change accordingly. I build and practice faith and “trust the process” as I let go.

To bring you outside of my whimsical, New Year’s reflection and back to reality, here is the succinct takeaway from my thoughts on New Year’s: Instead of viewing New Year’s as a time to add more to life, why not view it as a time to really simplify life? Let go of old habits, relationships, experiences and make room for new. You will find that learning to accept accompanies this letting go process, and I don’t know about you, but I think it feels really good to accept yourself and your life and strip away the non-essentials. You may just find joy at the bottom of your catch-all-drawer you’ve been meaning to clean.

Only 5 days into the New Year and letting go has already taken many shapes and forms that have made me feel great. With a new meal plan routine, I let go of foods that do not nourish me and that harm the environment. In addition to the health benefits, as a secondary result, this act of letting go actually now produces a financial plus (saving money) and an emotional benefit (I am cooking more and sharing meals with family, which makes me happy!)  Just today, I let go of 4 bags of old clothes that no longer fit me (you know those ones you keep just in case, well, I moved on). So far, letting go has been a fairly easy resolution for me. So far. I know it won’t always be that way, but I hope I can be open to the experience when it arises.

I also hope that you take a moment to honor the New Year and the surprises and teachings it may bring to your life. If you haven’t already, Mandala Reflections challenges you to really sit with yourself and think about your life. Maybe do art, write, practice yoga, dance, have a beer or do whatever inspires you to tap into your unconscious. Rediscover old dreams. Ask yourself where you feel well and where you feel unwell. Go to the discomfort. Ask yourself what you want to change about that uncomfortable place and most important, be honest. Recognize and discern if you are actually ready and willing to change. If you are not ready to change or you are a superstar, you won’t feel the urge to make a resolution, and that’s okay. Just listen and you will know what to do. Give yourself the chance to practice self-awareness in the New Year, and you will make the best decisions you can.