Thursday, April 24, 2014

Still Counting The Ways

This past week Jim and I celebrated our 40th anniversary.  I think we were both surprised at the calmness surrounding such a "big" number.  We spent the day hiking then pulled into a camp site to grill steaks and potatoes and open a bottle of champagne.  Later we shared a piece of chocolate mouse cake accompanied by a second bottle of champagne and talked about our life together.

The years and effort that go into a relationship of this length are more than we can comprehend standing at this end.  We both agree that we love each other more now than we even knew was possible back then.  And we understand now that we will love each other more tomorrow, more next week, more next month and next year.

We realize now that as we create memories together, as we cultivate this relationship with time spent together, we grow our love for each other.  And growing love is just another way of counting all the ways we love.  And counting the ways we love just gets better and better!

Life Is Good Here!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

21 Breaths

Last year I was privileged to attend a talk by His Holiness, The Dali Lama.  During the lunch break, I was honored to be personally introduced to him and shake his hand and pose with Jenn, Liz and Rudy for a picture.  I have this picture framed in my home, but am often surprised when I notice it again.  It was such an amazing day!  But often our amazing days slip away into weeks, months, years, and eventually a life time, and the amazing part becomes hazy, forgettable, or buried somewhere in the crevices of our lives.

Before his public talk began on that Monday morning, I had purchased a wooden bead bracelet hand made and sold by the Tibetan Monks.  I was intrigued with the simple beauty of it, but primarily purchased it as a reminder so that this day would not become too forgettable.

During the Dali Lama's talk he recommended that we use beads to count our breaths as we meditate.  The goal:  21 breaths without the mind wondering.   And when/if it wonders, come back gently and begin with one again.

I wear this bracelet often as a gentle reminder and I always count my breaths each day as I meditate.  And even though I have not made it to 21 without other thoughts coming to mind, I now look forward to the thoughts that do come.

With 21 breaths I find the thoughts that affirm again and again that life is good.  I find thoughts of love, of inspiration and of creativity.  I find thoughts of beauty in nature, in family and in laughter.  I find thoughts of peace and calm, even when the outside doesn't look that way.  I find thoughts of health and vitality and I feel eager to move, to walk and to hike.  And always, I find thoughts of great expectations for all the good that is mine.

Although my mind continues to conjure these thoughts, and doesn't care to stay focused on breathing for the duration, I will enjoy each day as I count, over and over,  21 Breaths.

Life is Always Good!