Breaking things down… building them up again

Posted Friday, September 29th, 2017. Filed Under Voices of wisdom | Leave a Comment

I know it has been a few weeks since I have written. It has been a trying, scary and exciting roller coaster in my life. I went away with my family this summer to celebrate me and my twin turning 50 and my nephew’s bar mitzvah. We left on June 28th and returned on July 15th. Before I left for our trip I was working on two projects, a large project and a smaller one. Everything was in place for the fall. I returned thinking I am good and then in August things started to fall apart. The large project I was working on (to do with legalization of marijuana in Canada and shifting behaviour amongst the 18-25 year old market around driving high) was put on hold. There was too much uncertainty for us to continue and we need to wait until more was known. Investors were reluctant to move forward until more is known about how the law will unfold. Right then and there my fall “plan” was gone.

The smaller project I am working on is something I am passionate about however unfortunately the person I am working with is not fully focused on this project. This pattern was all too familiar. I ended one joint venture relationship earlier this year and I decided at that point that I want to be very selective about who I partner or do a joint venture with. This small project is in its third year, and final for me. I want to work with people who will commit to a project; that we have similar core values and desire for outcome.

When everything fell apart I didn’t know what to do. My whole life is about plans and doing. I need to do things differently. I knew that I would have to break things down completely before I can build them up. At the same time as my work falling apart my 6 month relationship also ended. In retrospect, this was good for me… another pattern I needed to break – saving people. One decision I did make is that I will be in moment and allow things to unfold as they will. My whole life I have spent pushing and pulling and I didn’t want to continue my work or life this way. I also decided to take a mindfulness course for I really want to break, once and for all, my patterns that are holding me back in all areas of my life. I am also determined to address my fast-moving mind that moves a million miles a minute. I call it the “wandering” mind. I can have a whole conversation with myself and rile myself up completely while in fact, nothing has “happened”.

Talking to my friend who teaches the course we discussed the importance of “stabilizing” the mind. I would say quieting my mind however that is not truly mindfulness. I wanted to learn to deal with my emotions as they arose and rather then letting them control me or build a story I would learn to acknowledge the emotion, not analyze it (which was difficult and something I do a lot) and just let it be. By doing so I am learning to truly let go. I also am learning to see how much my mind wanders. I have built myself up to 10 minutes a day of meditating. In meditation, again you are not quieting the mind, rather acknowledging when it moves away from the meditation practice and where it goes, see it and then bring it back.

I am so grateful for this being in my life right now. I say it has saved me. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done because for the most part I have stopped and am doing “nothing” allowing myself to feel, be awake, acknowledge. That is another thing I am grateful for, being awake. I realized how most people are “asleep” in their lives. They move through life on auto-pilot or distract themselves: get up, go to work, do activities, eat, sleep and then do it all over again. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be awake and live my life to the fullest.

What has been some of the scariest moments is when I feel immobilized… I feel like I cannot move left or right. I am not an indecisive person however over the last 6 weeks I have been. It’s almost like I don’t care. I have limited my conversations with people because everyone wants to help me — do this, do that and it overwhelms me. I know that I need this time to let things emerge and clear. I have had moments of glimpses to my next steps. My love and passion – empowerment, making a difference, was put on hold (ok never really entirely) . I am slowly reawakening my passion which has not changed since 2004 – empower our youth with life skills that will help them thrive in the new economy structure – the “gig economy”; one that is constantly changing. I have been working on a “boot camp” platform that will teach our kids the entrepreneurial skill sets that they will need whether they become and entrepreneur or not. Today we are a business of one – we need to brand ourselves, communicate who we are, our skills, lead by example and network to find the multiple projects that align with our core values and skills.

I am slowly emerging, rebuilding as we speak.

If any of you have felt this overwhelming feeling over the last few weeks, you are not alone. I want you to know that.

I really hope that what I shared today has helped even one of you out there. One thing for sure is trusting G-d, the universe. That’s another thing I want to break – controlling things. I truly have handed off to G-d and my angels saying I need their help. I asked for a sign the other day and a bee showed up in my bathroom. Just to let you know at the end of July I was stung by a wasp (could have been a bee) and then last week I was stung again. When the bee showed up yesterday in my bathroom I knew that I didn’t want to be stung but more importantly I wanted to know what message G-d was sending me.

Here is what I was sent by my dear friend Mary:

“If the bee shows up it means: It’s time to get organized and get to work on that idea that you want to implement and develop.
Approach your projects with commitment, diligence, and dedication, and you’ll succeed beyond your wildest expectations.
Involve several other in a cooperative and life-affirming venture, one in which everyone who participates will benefit — and if possible, one that includes the entire community.
Take time to appreciate and enjoy the sweetness of life.
This is a very fertile time for you physically and creatively, one where you can bring your ideas into fruition.
This is a very productive cycle for you, so stay with whatever you’re working on, and there will be a favourable outcome.”

“If the WASP shows up, it means: whatever task is before you, jump in and go for it with enthusiasm and determination.
Consider making a study of sacred geometry and how it applies to your life.
For the next few weeks, focus on fulfilling your responsibilities and personal obligations.
Break out of your routine and do something that’s adventurous, unusual, and completely different from what you would do ordinarily.
Lead with your heart, not your mind.
Whatever you’ve dreamed of doing, put some plans into action that will help you realize them.”

WOW or what.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend. Tonight begins Yom Kippur with Kol Nidre. It is a time of self-reflection, self-awareness, self forgiveness and then forgiveness of others. As I am constantly doing this I will observe where I have deviated from my truth and path and see how I can bring myself back. I don’t like the word sin for I don’t believe that G-d is a punishing G-d. I do believe that if I have wronged someone or did something to hurt and harm them then I will ask them for forgiveness.

This time of year is very powerful for me. I look forward to being written into the book of life and approaching this year to be the best I can be, enjoy the abundance in my life and live life to the fullest. I look forward to working with many others to really impact the lives of our youth! I will also be putting attention to empowering women who have gone through divorce or some major change in their lives. I want to create a mastermind group and the same life skills I am teaching our youth I will bring to these women.

Have a wonderful weekend. I will keep you abreast of my “rebuilding”.

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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