Looking inward, embracing opportunities

As the days grow shorter and darkness envelops more of our days, I am learning once again that our resistance to embracing even the most wonderful of opportunities is part of being human.

Earlier this fall, I was invited to accompany my dear friend Autumn on her trip to Bali. My first thought was, “Oh no, I’m too busy. I need to clean my basement!” Pretty quickly, my two sons set me straight, and encouraged me to jump on this opportunity. The choice was life, adventure and beauty vs. hauling, sorting and organizing. So I said yes, and I’ll be there by Thanksgiving!

As I have prepared for this trip, I have been reflecting on the lessons learned from my Balinese friends on previous visits. Three things stand out from these wonderful people who so highly value family and community:

1.  Slow down as you move through life. It’s not a race, and we miss so much when we are in a hurry. There is so much beauty in the everyday small moments, when we drop in, savor and honor.

2.  Pay attention to the happiness of others. Attending to and fully engaging with others, your own happiness is enhanced! The kindness of my Balinese friends has always been an inspiration.

3.  Celebrate simplicity. A typical Balinese kitchen has only a few implements which dance with the elements of fire and water: one or two bowls, a few pots, a good knife, one long bamboo spoon, a grater for garlic and ginger and a cutting board. Mixing is done using a clean hand, so there is no need for a complex collection of stirring implements. The work of washing, chopping, assembling and arranging food is done with great respect for the ingredients and the process. And the results are healthy and delicious, as everything is fresh!

I’ll close with the Balinese phrase, “Om Swastiastu” –  “may peace be with you” – and hope that you are inspired to learn about and visit the wonderful people on the magical island of Bali.

Closer to home, look for new opportunities for integrating mindfulness into YOUR life. In January, I’ll be expanding my practice to work with a few more private clients to bring mindful awareness and self-compassion into their lives. If this interests you, please let me know! You can simply reply to this email newsletter.

To what one breath can do,

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