Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Mindfulness – a term and practise I am quite familiar with, a diligent pursuit of full presence, observance and space.

But somewhere along my path I began trading mindfulness for mind-full-ness, falling for the false belief if I could just “push through”,  go a “little harder”, a “little longer” that it would would be over and life would “calm down”.

Mind-full-ness is  the human brain on overload, like a mass of writhing hissing grey snakes, impatient for the return to the serenity of mindfulness.

In a discussion yesterday I pointed out the human capability of being able to hold very conflicting beliefs and still being able to rationalize them when the same beliefs are pointed out to them. Last night I realized the conversation just might have held a message as or more important for me than him.

It’s not about doing it all

It’s about pausing

It’s not about being frantic

It’s about paying attention

It’s not about reacting

It’s about observing, anticipating

 

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Everyday countless distractions beg for our attention, our energy and our time, filling our minds making it virtually  impossible to be fully present, focussed, aware.  And while our minds feel full to the point of explosion, an emptiness remains and we begin to feel constantly one step behind life, constantly trying to catchup, catch on and catch a break.

So over the last week I’ve begun the practise to bring my mind that is full to bursting back to a place of mindfulness. I am ready for the journey – at work, at home, in the park, in the car, with people, with life.

Life may still be busy, crazy, chaotic, adventurous, filled with challenges and unexpected moments, but I will be present for them. And most importantly, I will remember to be present for me. I already know that when I am present for myself first, I am more present for others.

One thing at a time, one choice at a time remaining present, forgiving myself when I stray and lovingly bringing myself back, mindfully.

Smile

Breathe

Return

Repeat

After all, it really is all good, it’s just how you choose to look at things. Today, choose to do so mindfully and rise like air.

 

©2018 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Jewel, I love this job! You know, writing you every day.

Do you know how I got it?

I just started doing it.

And that’s all anything takes.

Magic follows,

  The Universe

Pause…

Reflect…

Absorb…

The truth contained in the note from The Universe via Mike Dooley  that arrived in my inbox yesterday morning was as simple as it was brief.

I just started doing it.

Magic follows.

I recognized the truth because as I reflect on the years gone by that’s how so many of my adventures, big or small, fanciful or serious began.

Adventures like

  • going after a job
  • starting my Rise Like Air blog
  • volunteering with Life Vest Inside
  • trusting myself
  • being more independent
  • parallel parking
  • starting a novel
  • public speaking
  • forgiving myself
  • gardening
  • painting
  • forgiving others
  • dancing
  • smiling
  • paying it forward
  • keeping the boundaries I set

That doesn’t mean the adventure we call life doesn’t have puddles and pot holes. The adventure is all about learning  and adjusting, growing and experiencing, gaining perspective and insight and so much more. Magical.

What if…

We believed

What if….

We risked

What if…

We tried

What if…

We just start

What if…

We just start doing “it”…

The “it” that attracts us…

The “it” that distracts us…

The “it that makes us smile…

The “it” we want to talk on and on about…

The “it” we are passionate about…

The “it” that ignites us…

The “it” that helps others…

What if…

That really IS all anything takes…

What if…

You really just have to start…

And what if…

Magic follows…

I mean really, how can it not? But you’ll never know unless you take the risk, take the plunge and begin, and let the magic unfold. After all, it’s all good. It’s just in how we choose to look at things. How are you going to look at today? What if…

©2018 JFries/Rise Like Air

There are many ways to heal. Eventually, any externally imposed guidelines for how to become well must be consistent with your own inner guidance system. You must learn to support yourself through self-respect, not through restrictive regimens filled with should and oughts that feel punitive.  January 14th Women’s Wisdom Perpetual Flip Calendar Christiane Northrup,M.D.

Reading this on the 14th was really a bit of an aha moment for me. I was already planning my blog about Tuesdays With Morrie so health, healing, life and death were already on my mind. This message really made sense to me in an important way – because I think it’s a very simple idea that far too many of us forget, or don’t even recognize to begin with.

The importance of finding a balance between how we choose to heal.  As Morrie says in Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom, “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”  Far too often when we are faced with health issues even from minor all the way up to crisis, we put our decisions in someone else’s hands. Whether out of doubt, fear or exhaustion or simple lack of understanding that what we believe and how we feel actually matters!

It’s important to find the balance and like most things in life, there isn’t just one path or answer on how to do that. But the first step certainly can be that simple little aha moment that I had.  That it matters. That beginning to pay attention and to care and to take some responsibility matters and is possible.

Taking an active part in our health, learning to support ourselves, and to support others through self respect, love and kindness provides a healing that medical science might not be able to measure in meticulous scientific terms – at least yet. But like most things in life, healing arrives in many different forms along many different paths.  We might not be able to cure everything, but that does not mean that very real healing can occur.

 

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ser·en·dip·i·ty
noun: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
“a fortunate stroke of serendipity”
synonyms: (happy) chance, (happy) accident, fluke; luck, good luck, good fortune, fortuity, providence; happy coincidence
(Thank you Google)
Do you listen to your intuition, that “gut feeling”?
Do you notice the little things and listen to that little thought that just jumps into your head?
Or the little voice that seems to come from the vicinity of your shoulder?
Have you noticed when you allow yourself to be open to positive possibilities, things just “arrive at the right time”, just when you need them? Some might say serendipity…
Experience has taught me it’s usually a very good idea to notice, because once you start noticing, you’ll begin to notice more. It can  take a very long time for things to align and for me to connect the dots to see opportunity. Often I am completely unaware of the process unfolding before me until it’s completed.
For instance, my mum loves to read, so, I tend to scan the used book tables for treasures. It was on one of these excursions that Tuesday’s With Morrie by Mitch Albom caught my attention. I’d heard of the title and accolades about the book. It was twenty-five cents well spent.
When she gave it back to me it was with the gentle recommendation “you really should read this, it was excellent! It’s the kind of book you’d love.”  I smiled and said thank you.  I was very glad she’d enjoyed it. At home, I put it in the bathroom thinking I’d get around to reading it some day.
When guests have visited our washroom they’ve often commented,  “Oh, you’r reading Tuesday’s With Morrie! Isn’t it a great book!” To which I’ve responded honestly, I hadn’t read it yet.
Each time I cleaned I’d move the book as I dusted and then put it back with  the bathroom reading material. Sometimes I’d think “Maybe I should read it” but most times I simply ignored it. This was my routine for more months than I care to count.
Then a couple of weeks ago as I picked up the book as I was dusting. I had a distinct and very loud thought, “You need to read it now.” I really wasn’t in the mood. As a matter of fact I was in a bit of a funk, but I’ve had enough experience with myself and those loud thoughts.  I picked up the book and opened to the first page.  I smiled and said a little thank you to those thoughts. It was exactly what I needed. Serendipity.
I am so grateful I’ve learned to listen to myself, well, at least some of the time. The book is filled with tidbits that I was ready to hear now – not six months ago, not in a year, but right now. Although, no matter when I read the book, I would still learn from it,  NOW is when the words sunk in. Now is when I was ready to receive it.
“I’m going to say it again,” he said, “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”  He smiled, and I realized what he was doing. He was making sure I absorbed this point, without embarrassing me by asking. It was part of what made him a great teacher.    Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
I certainly recommend the book, but what I recommend even more is allowing yourself to be truly aware and open to the serendipity around you. It is always there if you are open to it. The problem is most of us aren’t. We ignore the messages that surround us, and virtually put our fingers in our ears and sing lalalalalalala I can’t hear you.
It can take a while to get tuned in to recognize  and trust the messages and signs around us. But once you make that first connection and recognize it, it becomes easier each time until they jump out at you like a friend waving a welcoming hello!
So when you get that nagging jolt of “maybe I should”, or “maybe I shouldn’t” …. maybe what you should do is take a moment and check it out. Just maybe, exactly what you need is actually right there in front of you patiently ready and waiting for you to simply take the time to pause, listen, and recognize it so you can own it.
Because in the end, it really is all good. It’s just how you choose to look at it.  Go on, be open and let yourself Rise Like Air.
© 2018 JFries/Rise Like Air

As each woman realizes her power she transforms the world – from 2015 WomanSpirit Sourcebook, Patrice Wynn

What do you want to do?

Right now, today, tomorrow, with your time, with your life? Do you want to leave a legacy, relax, learn, travel? Make a difference? But how can you? Just little you.  How can you make a difference? Well…

Have you realized your power yet? 

 

Have you embraced it

Moulded it

Learned how to use it…

 

Do you appreciate it

Fear it

Crave it…

 

Will you reach for it

Believe in it

Trust in it…

 

It is Yours to Choose

To Own

To Realize…

Give yourself permission.  It really is all you need…

 

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Whether you are man, woman, child, adult, it does not matter who or what you are. Realize your Power and you will transform the world.

Rise Like Air.

 

©2018 JFries/Rise Like Air

Honoured to have our reflection shared on this fantastic show, It’s All Good Radio Show wth the hosting duo of Debbie Hyde and David Durant featured each Thursday live on Riviera FM in Torbay UK which is located on the “glorious English Riviera”.  If you missed the show live you can always listen later on Mixcloud.  For this past Thursday’s show, listen here.

 

“The show shines the spotlight on individuals, companies and organisations who are changing the way we live and work for the better.”

 

On Mixcloud

On this week’s show we share with our latest adventures including taking part in the Torbay Cleaner Coasts Initiative Brixham Breakwater clean up and tree planting with Moor Trees at Upcott Farm. We also share the exciting news of The Big Bay Beach Clean scheduled for March 3rd and of the growing interest from people […]

via It’s All Good Radio Show January 11 2018 — It’s All Good Radio Show

 

You can read the blog shared on the show here.

It started out simply enough. A trip across the street to the mall for a few groceries.No big deal, except when you’re getting close to 90 years old, things take a little longer than they used to. They take a little more effort than they used to. But independent and undaunted as always my parents went on their shopping excursion[…] – Twenty Cents Worth

 

via Rise Like Air – Twenty Cents Worth

Originally posted October 28th 2016

slice-pumpkin-pie-e

Some days are just like that. You seem doomed from the start. My mother had a day like that a little while ago and she was kind enough to call and share it with me.

It started out simply enough. A trip across the street to the mall for a few groceries.No big deal, except when you’re getting close to 90 years old, things take a little longer than they used to. They take a little more effort than they used to. But independent and undaunted as always my parents went on their shopping excursion.

Upon returning home and unpacking the groceries, she realized she had forgotten to purchase whipping cream for the pie that was waiting for dessert. Of course you can’t serve pumpkin pie without whipped cream. So, taking it all in stride as you tend to do when you’re in your 80’s my mother grabbed a five dollar bill, her keys and off they went again. Back to the mall, to the far end where the grocery store is, picked up the cream and got in line. When the cashier rang the purchase through it came to a grand total of….. drum roll please….. $5.20. Yes. She was short $.20. Two dimes.  Four nickels.  Forget the pennies because we don’t have them anymore.

So, as she tells the story, there she stands, mouth hanging open thinking.  Here we go again! When, a kind gentleman who had heard the exchange reached over and handed her a dollar coin wrapped up with a kind smile.

Now my mom has heard me tell many stories of paying it forward because it’s a favourite thing for me to do. And I tend to hang around with people who like to do it too. So here’s my mother, experiencing a stranger’s gesture of kindness.

I loved hearing my mom’s excitement as she described her relief at not having to go home and return for a third time. She was so appreciative that when she got the change she found the gentleman and gave it to him, much to his surprise. She even confided that she is quite looking forward to being able to return the favour in kind to someone else in need. Watch out! Mom is on kindness patrol!

My mom has always been a kind person, but I do believe she’s been bitten by the pay it forward bug. The only kind of bug I like getting bitten by. All part of living a the kindness lifestyle.

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

My mom was just telling this story again last week with a big smile on her face. You really never know just how big an impact a seemingly small action can have on another person.  Sometimes, all it takes is 20 cents. Never doubt your importance and value in the world.

Because in the end, it really is all good. It’s just in how you choose to look at it.

via Twenty Cents Worth

©2018 JFries/Rise Like air

Set your heart on fire

Seek those who fan your flames

Rumi

Credit J Fries 2018

There is beauty in the ashes of a heart that burned for what it loved

Ariana

One loving heart sets another on fire

St Agustine

Love is friendship set on fire

Look a little closer in those delicate eyes, her heart’s a wild creature and her soul’s on fire

– NR Hart

The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire

-Ferdinand Foch

Create what sets your heart on fire

It will illuminate the path ahead

©️2018 J Fries/Rise Like Air

We have now officially ushered out 2017 and introduced ourselves to 2018.

I’m not sure how old i was when I remember I expected to feel something different when I woke up after my birthday, or on New Year’s Day. After all something defining had occurred right? Another year older, another year past.

I realized then it wasn’t the magic of the clock turning to a new day, there wasn’t a wham bang sudden change. I grew another year older day by day and 2017 passed day by day like every other year. Today is just the day after yesterday. Just like every other day. It’s what we choose to do with that extraordinarily ordinary day that matters. Every one of them.

Some of us are bounding in to 2018 with smiles, hope, plans and attitude. Rock on. Make it your year. Fly! Learn, love, grow.

Sometimes it seems there is only hardship and sadness on the road ahead of us. But, in amongst the challenges life puts in front of each of us right now, may we also find our way to see the beauty, feel the joy, hear the music and be touched by the love hidden in each day that dawns before us.

And I say to you as well,

Rock on. Make it your year. Fly! Learn, love, grow.

Wishing you a blessed 2018! Every extraordinarily ordinary day of it.

©️2018 JFries/Rise Like Air

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