Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Month: December 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

December 2011 Review: Focus

Wild! Wet! Unrelenting rain!

The perfect ambiance for turning inwardly and focusing.

New writing projects were the primary focus this month.  Surprises, to be revealed in the new year!

I’ve discovered my best friend for both focus and writing is  Tick-tock Timer.  I’ve been actively using this free online timer.  What a useful tool!

Saving Money

Money was another main target this month:  tracking and limiting expenses.  I can raise millions of dollars for good causes, but I’m like a kindergartner when it comes to tracking my own money, which I need to do because it is limited. I began in September and have diligently continued for an entire three months (insert pat on back here).

It’s a simple two step process.  I stuff all receipts into my wallet.  Then I unload them onto an Excel worksheet.  After tracking my expenses for three months, I created a monthly budget.  I’ll continue tracking my expenses while working toward my next goal:  staying within my budget.  At the same time, I need to focus on earning more money.

I’m following Leo Babauta’s Single-Changing Method.

According to my astrology, I’m in the midst of getting a cosmic MBA and it’s going to last for a number of months.  I’ll happily share whatever tips and tricks I learn.

Saving and Actualizing the Insights

I’ve been pouring through my journals, notes from hypnotherapy and a clarity session, and guidance from selected reading.  I’ve also been gifted with a treasury of insight and wisdom from my dearest of friends.  Tons of unconscious material has bubbled up in this year.  So I have pages and pages, which my hypnotherapist humorously coined, “the Cliff Notes on Sandra”.

But more than just  capturing these life lessons in writing, I’m asking myself, “How do I consolidate and actualize these insights?”

It’s clear:  I don’t need more information.  I need to consolidate all this richness into a set of guiding principles for the coming year.  And integrate the knowledge into my being and action.  Instead of looking for more medicine, I want to focus on the one medicine that cures all.  This refining process will continue into January as it is not complete.

As Zeenat suggested, I’ve also been gradually cleaning up and clearing clutter to bring more balance and harmony into my living and working space.  It feels good.

Everyone’s Needs Are Important

My 7-week Non-Violent Communication class ended a few weeks ago.  NVC is an amazing communication tool.  But it clearly takes diligence and commitment to learn and practice it.

The most important  takeaway from this NVC training is making a commitment to holding everyone’s needs as equally important.  This is a significant shift in almost anyone’s perspective.  Instead of thinking first and foremost about my needs, it means making an effort to understand other people’s needs as well.

It’s not always possible to meet everyone’s needs.  But chances are we can meet more needs – ours and others – simply by paying attention and making the commitment.

Caught Reading Again

This month I devoured The Power of An Open Question: the Buddha’s Path to Freedom by Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel.  Excellent!  It’s a highly accessible, down-to-earth guide to living in the moment and understanding the true meaning of emptiness, without actually using the word.

One Moment Unfolding Into the Next

2011 has been a challenging year.  There’s a part of me that wants to close the door and never look back.  I realize that’s a knee-jerk reaction.

The whole idea of a year is an arbitrary one anyway.  It’s not really over, it’s really just one moment unfolding into the next.  Still, it’s time to close one chapter of my life and move on to another.  Writing it out is like this, in one sense, is like putting a period at the end of a sentence.

UPCOMING in January

I’ll be in activity mode again:  instructing two online courses, writing, and seeking freelance work.  The challenge will be to find space between the activity and to bring space into the activity!  I look forward to the challenge.

How was your December?  How do you feel about moving into the new year?

This is part of my monthly review series.  If you liked this article, please consider sharing the link on your social networks.  And, I would love to connect with you on Google+ or the Always Well Within Facebook Page   With love, Sandra

Image:  Mom the Barbarian

The Best of Always Well Within 2011

I find it mind-boggling to know there have been more than a million hits on Always Well Within since its inception less than two years ago.

I realize that some people have whirled by, barely stopping for a few seconds.

Still, I find it amazing that the energy – as expressed in the words, colors, shapes, and ideas on this blog – has interacted with hundreds of thousands of people if only for a moment.

It illustrates the power of the blogosphere as well as our potential for realizing our interconnectedness.

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Remember the View

~ For inspiration and contemplation:

“Just as the ocean has waves, and the sun has rays, so the mind’s own radiance is its thoughts and emotions. The ocean has waves, yet the ocean is not particularly disturbed by them. The waves are the very nature of the ocean. Waves will rise, but where do they go? Back into the ocean. And where do the waves come from? The ocean.

In the same manner, thoughts and emotions are the radiance and expression of the very nature of the mind. They rise from the mind, but where do they dissolve? Back into the mind. Whatever rises, do not see it as a particular problem. If you do not impulsively react, if you are only patient, it will once again settle into its essential nature.

When you have this understanding, then rising thoughts only enhance your practice. But when you do not understand what they intrinsically are—the radiance of the nature of your mind—then your thoughts become the seed of confusion. So have a spacious, open, and compassionate attitude toward your thoughts and emotions, because in fact your thoughts are your family, the family of your mind. Before them, as Dudjom Rinpoche used to say: “Be like an old wise man, watching a child play.”

from Glimpse After Glimpse by Sogyal Rinpoche

21 Quotes to Inspire Love

The most important present you can ever give to another – and to yourself – is the gift of love.

Without strings.  Without conditions.  Without judgments.

Just pure love and acceptance.

Of course, day-to-day occurrences can push our buttons in so many different ways.  But, whatever tensions arise, let’s do all we can to stay spacious and reconnect with our heart.

May we all give and receive the gift of boundless love as often as we can, spreading it far and wide. 

  • “If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.” – Arabian Proverb
  • “All you need is love, love, love is all you need.” – John Lennon and Paul Mcartney
  • “Love is loving things that sometimes you don’t like.” – Ajahn Brahm
  • “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai Lama

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6 Ways to Capture Your 2011 Life Lessons

We may have jumped ahead by planting the seed for your One Powerful Word 2012, but let’s not forget to capture our 2011 life lessons.

They are precious gems, indeed!

Have you ever noticed how insights that are so uplifting in one moment seem to dissolve in the next?

Unless we capture them and actually practice integrating them into our being, they will vanish into the mists.

How to Capture Your 2011 Life Lessons

I’ve recently read six extraordinary articles that offer different slants on learning from our life experiences. Some focus on 2011, one goes all the way back, and one focuses on the present moment, the culmination of 2011 and all our years.

I would like to do all these processes!  So I bet one of them may ring true for you.

Maia recommends taking a full day to focus on reflection and journaling on the past and coming year.  She offers 5 keys questions to deeply stimulate your thought process, including celebrating the positive.  She describes intentions in the following way and explains how intentions link to goals:

“Intentions come from the heart and soul – they are rooted in the values that are most important to you. An intention is connected to your life’s purpose, and is a specific way of expressing it at a given time in your life.”

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One Powerful Word 2012: A Simple Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

Note:  This is a revision of an article originally published on my blog last December. 

I love the simplicity, force, and focus of choosing a single word as a guiding light for each year.

One Powerful Word 2012

According to some surveys, almost 90% of resolutions end in failure.  So why not skip the exhaustive list of New Year’s Resolutions?

The truth is there’s a physiological limit to the amount of willpower we each have.  Hence, if you try to change too many things at once, you inevitably fail.  It’s a scientific reality.

Instead, consider the simplicity and elegance of selecting one powerful word.

But let’s not get hung up on the idea of “one” word.   You could choose one word or two.  Or a whole phrase.   You could work with your word for a full year, six months, or until its done.  You might decide to focus on a different facet of your word each month.

There are no rules!  It’s your life.  Experiment and find what works for you.

Finding Your Perfect Word

Is there is a single word or a phrase that captures what you would like to manifest in your self or your life in 2012?

A perfect word may immediately pop into your mind.  Or you might need to let the idea percolate for a while.  Then see what bubbles up.  There’s no rush.  It might be easier to see clearly once the chaos of the holidays have passed.  But you can let the idea simmer in the meantime.

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