Extend and Receive

When I lay in bed at night, one of the heart-based exercises I do is to mentally go through the alphabet and list things that my best self enjoys extending and receiving:

Acceptance (celebrate our differences)
Benefit of the doubt
Compassion
Divinity in action
Encouragement
Forgiveness
Gratitude
Hospitality
Inclusion
Joie de vivre (joy of life)
Kindness
Listening between the lines (attentiveness)
Mindfulness (present-moment focus)

Namaste’ (honoring the divine spark in self and others)
Optimism
Peace
Quiet strength
Respect
Simplicity (the gift of ease)
Truth
Understanding
Vision (cultivating and nurturing original ideas to fruition)
Wisdom
Xellence (the daily practice of being my best self—living my best life)
Yoga mindset (valuing connection with the world and its inhabitants)
Zen attitude (daily letting go of what I can’t control)

Do you have a consistent nighttime practice?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Peace Begins with Me

Enzo is the main character in Garth Stein’s book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. “Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs).”

Enzo (or Ensō, both are correct) is also the name of a Zen circle, a Buddhist symbol that represents infinity, “no-thing.”

For me, that symbol translates to simplicity, minimalism, a meditative state, and enlightenment which I define as “Recognizing that we are all connected, then consciously living that realization—our thoughts, words, and actions an unshakable reflection of that understanding.”

Zen is an enlightened state of mind. It’s also a way of being—living. As we close 2017 and look to writing the pages of a new year, my mantra is “Peace begins with me. Right here. Right now.”

Will you please join me?

Incidentally, The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of my all-time favorite books. If you haven’t read it yet, please carve out time and gift yourself with the opportunity. You’ll be glad you did.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Bare Naked

Contrary to popular belief, ambition and spirituality aren’t in opposition to each other.

  • Ambition is a strong desire to achieve something.
  • Spirituality is connection with our essence, our spirit that’s already whole and perfect.

From my perspective, the important thing is understanding the motivation behind our ambition.

The externals (academic achievement, upper echelon title at work, bling, financial status, the super-duper whamodyne car in the garage) isn’t who we are.

When we remove the externals—strip down and get bare naked to the internals—we reach our essence, our being. That’s where abundance resides: peace, joy, compassion, gratitude, inspiration, creativity, and grace—our basic wealth.

It’s from our essence that we pursue our passion—an expansion of who we are. Living our passion fuels both the internal and the external aspects of our self.

It’s from our essence that we utilize our talents, achieve our ambitions, and live our potential—to make a positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing impression on those in our sphere of influence.

When was the last time you got bare naked—right down to your essence?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Stillness is Dynamic

Being married to a pilot, we fly a lot. When I take in-flight photos through the window, the propellor looks motionless. Not because it’s still, but because it’s spinning so fast!

Physics tells us that everything—without exception—is in motion. Even the Buddha statues you see in the photo below.

During my sabbatical I visited the GARDEN OF 1000 BUDDHAS in Arlee, Montana

Stillness is dynamic; it’s un-conflicted movement (no friction). We experience it when there’s unrestricted participation in the moment; when we’re unreservedly present with whatever we’re doing.

Stillness is a natural rhythm in the cycle of life. In the space that stillness creates we have the opportunity to quiet the mind and body; to re-group, re-charge, re-connect, and to find a point of reference; something to measure against.

For me, that point of reference is my inner compass. From here, I can move back into the busy world refreshed.

Do you create intentional stillness?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Got Mud?

When I travel to the San Diego area I make a point of visiting the meditation gardens at the Self-Realization Temple in Encinitas. Located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, their aquatic gardens are home to colorful koi fish and lotus flowers.

A lotus flower grows from the bottom of a muddy pond rising upward, emerging at the surface where it blooms into a beautiful flower. At night the petals close and it sinks beneath the surface only to re-emerge in the morning with the sunrise.

In my perspective, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s observation, “No mud, no lotus,” is a lovely metaphor for the human experience.

Have you got mud? Turns out, it’s a good thing!

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Book Trailer

Created by the award-winning talent of Rucinski & Reetz, I’m excited to share with you the book trailer for Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth.

Available for pre-order on Amazon

Transforming intention into action, Note to Self equips you to shed your baggage, bridging the gap between where you are and where you want to be—body, mind, and spirit—empowering you to step into joy-filled living now!

“Laurie Buchanan has a knack for helping others find positive, creative, and clear solutions to life’s challenges. Reading this book was like watching the sun rise for me; every page had bright rays of wisdom that made me smile. Delightful indeed!”
Christine DeSmet, author, screenwriter, and writing teacher at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies

What book are you currently reading?

Available for pre-order on Amazon.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Intentional Kindness

I’d like to think that I’m a pretty tough cookie, but in reality, I’m not. Certain types of things—terrorist attacks, school shootings, discrimination, the fact that some people go hungry while others throw food away, cruel treatment of humans or animals—these types of things go right through me; pierce me to the core.

Right through me

I don’t pretend to have the answers, but I do know at least one thing—one positive action step—I can personally take to contribute to the solution. I can be kind on purpose; I can practice intentional kindness.

Some of you may remember that in April of 2012 I had the privilege of having lunch with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. When asked about his religion he said:

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
—The Dalai Lama

What pierces you to the core?

 

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

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