I was watching the Kelly show and she had on as her guest Julian Edelman, the New England Patriot wide receiver that had the outstanding catch that helped turn around a deficit and be part of what led the Patriot’s to their fifth win. I have to admit I was going for Atlanta and when half time came it seemed that Atlanta was heading towards their first Super Bowl win.

During the show Kelly asked Edelman what the coach said to the players during half-time break. Like most, myself included, we assumed that the coach would get those guys into a room and just blast them. He said that the coach turned to the guys and said, “You are a team and we work together. We need to take one play at a time when we go back out there if we want to win.” And sure enough that is exactly what they did. They drove the numbers up to the point that they tied the game. As soon as they tied the game I knew New England Patriots were going to win.

This is not the first time I have heard a coach talk take to his players like this. I remember a few years ago sitting in a career development conference and they brought in a former coach of the Montreal Canadians who led the team to a come back win for the Stanley cup when they were down 4 games to 1. Like the Patriot’s coach he told the players we play one game at a time. And sure enough they won to the point they won the Stanley Cup.

Why do I bring this up? I am constantly reminded how reaching your goals and “winning” (whatever that means to you) is not just about going after the big picture, rather, breaking it down into actionable soundbites. I have to remind myself of this because I am hard on myself. Therefore, in order to reach my larger vision, which is large, I need to break it down into sections/steps and just put all my effort into that one section/step. I talk about baby steps all the time. I want to couple that with patience. These are two things I am working at getting better at. For me, I sometimes get caught up in the larger picture/vision and want people to know … what I am doing is not just this part but there is more to it. That is more about my ego than achieving my goal/vision.

I also need to remind myself that I’m not doing this alone. I am part of a tribe/community. Knowing this is comforting.

When I say this I may not formally be part of anything, rather I see myself as part of a youth movement in which we all want to see the same thing: a better world for our millennial youth and the ones to follow. What I have discovered in the youth brainstorm sessions we have held is that the youth also want this. The older millennials are really concerend about what kind of world their younger counter parts will inherit.

My message today is: be in the moment and focus everything you have in that moment. Our success will come as a compound effect of the smaller successes. If you set a New Years goal which you have already broken try it this way. Rather than looking to quit smoking altogether, try one less cigarette a day. If you want to lose 20 pounds, focus on one day at a time and for that day drink a little bit more water, get a little bit more sleep, tell yourself one positive thing or one thing you are grateful for, exercise a little bit more than you did the day before, eat one more healthy thing in your diet. At the end of the day, congratulate yourself on a great day. If you have a bad day – ate a lot of junk, didn’t exercise – who cares that one day is gone and tomorrow you have another day to enjoy. It always helps to find your support group or community: for example people who are health conscious or want to become healthier.

I want to leave you for this weekend saying we get to define what it means to be a winner and what reaching our goals looks like – don’t ever let anyone take that away from you. Dream big and just break it down into bite sizes.

I want to wish you a great weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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I am learning about mindfulness…

Posted Thursday, July 21st, 2016. Filed Under Voices of wisdom | Leave a Comment

Mindfulness is an interesting practice. Many, including myself, thought mindfulness is the ability to be present and in the moment to the point where you can train your mind to not wander.

I have been attending yin yoga with teacher Karen Kofman. She is wonderful. I love this yoga as it is more about the stretching for me than strengthening. My body is tight with my work outs (and older age!) and I really need to stretch.

Karen has been studying Mindfulness for years and she has spoken to me about it on and off. It is not until these last few months that I have really begun to pay more attention and have a great understanding. I know Karen well and seeing how she has incorporated mindfulness into all aspects of her life has been inspiring. She has had so much to deal with yet she has learned to live in the moment more than anyone I know.

What really has inspired and changed me is understanding what truly mindfulness is. She shared a story recently that when she was in Thailand her guru, Jess Koffman, did an activity with the group – they had dried beans and a cup in front of them and the instructions were that every time your mind wandered you were to bring it back to the present for this you were to put a dried bean into the cup. At the end of the silent mediation you were to count the number of dried beans in your cup. Some of the “newbies” were proud of themselves as they only had a few beans in a cup. The more seasoned had many more.

What Jess explained is that mindfulness is not a static state, we are human and our minds wander – we begin to think about our day, the kids, bills, etc. – the important thing is to recognize that our mind is wandering, consciously acknowledge this and then bring your mind back to the moment. The ability to do this is conscious and you are in the present. Therefore, the more beans you had in your cup the more you were acknowledging your thoughts.

When we did the silent mediation I recall my mind wandering – did I turn off the oven (I was up at a cottage for a girls’ spiritual day and made cookies that morning)? I brought my mind back. Then I began to think about the woman in the room with me doing the silent mediation and how I haven’t seen them in years. I sent them love and brought my mind back to the room. I was patting the dog and I am a believer that animals can be instrumental in healing. While patting the dog I felt her do a big yawn – an energy release. I brought my mind back to the room. After 30 minutes the meditation was over.

I was worried that I was going to fall asleep as I had been really tired. Instead I didn’t. I felt refreshed.

I am grateful to understand this practice. I have a very active mind. I use this practice a lot now. It has been helping me be in the moment and to not chastise myself for letting my mind wander.

I wanted to share this for I hope that you have learned something as well and can learn to incorporate this into your daily practice.

It is a practice and a practice takes time and needs to be done over and over again.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

Be present. If your mind wanders, acknowledge and bring it back!

All my love,

Sandra

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My Aunt Died Yesterday at 6:30am

Posted Friday, November 19th, 2010. Filed Under Voices of wisdom | Leave a Comment

November has been a weird month for many … I am not sure how you are feeling. I know of so many people who have a family member who is really sick or has experienced a serious health issue. In the last few weeks as I have been reconnecting with people for our Aviva Community Fund contest – yes still going strong – I am asking how their family is and they are telling me of a brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent and so on that is really sick; sick to the point of dying.

My aunt decided two weeks ago that she no longer wanted to live the way she was and took herself off meds that were really just keeping her at a mediocre state. I remember going in to see her and talking to her that when she is ready she will go to a better place. She cried and said she wanted to go now. I told her that she will go when she is ready (spiritually, emotionally and physically) and that for now to sleep and just allow people to come by and say good-bye. From the time of her decision to the time of her death it was very short. I went to see her the day before she passed away and she was in this semi-comatose state however I know she can hear me. I sat with her for a short while for I wanted her to sleep. She kept trying to talk and because her lungs were filled with mucus it was difficult so I told her not to talk. I did ask if she is ready to go and if so then it is her time. Her son stayed with her overnight and that morning, 6:30am she passed on.

I have a number of friends who have a heightened psychic abilities (we all have psychic abilities) and they have told me her mother, my grandmother, helped her pass over and that she is much happier. That makes me feel good.

I will touch on this topic next week as we are about to go into the U.S. Thanksgiving — and with all that seems wrong in our world, there is still a lot to be grateful for.

With so many people “checking out” of this human world, I ask that those of us who remain, continue to be in the moment, trust and know that we are meant to be happy, healthy, peaceful, and abundant in all areas of life. It really comes down to a state of mind. If you can learn to be in the moment then you are not concerned with what has passed, for you cannot change it, and you don’t have to worry about what will be – just enjoy the PRESENT of life and be present in all that you, feel and be.

Have a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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