Tag Archives: Mother Teresa

The 52: Lesson Thirty Six — Be Still and Remember Who You Are!

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butterflyblueskyAre you afraid to be quiet?  Is it too daunting to think of being alone with yourself?  What will happen if you turn off the sounds around you — the iPod, the radio, the TV, the chatting on the phone, the texting — all that surrounds you?  Or maybe, wise you, you don’t live in this kind of noise any more.

Are we so addicted to all this noisy input that we cannot fathom what it is like to see how it feels to be quiet.? Maybe we have become what James Thurber, the great humorist, suggested:

Nowadays most men live lives of noisy desperation.

LESSON THIRTY SIX

BE STILL

Several years ago, when we were living in a quiet, leafy suburb of Chicago, we invited a successful playwright to stay with us as one of his plays was being produced in Chicago.  He lived in the heart of New York City in an apartment surrounded by bustling activity and noise.  After a few hours, sitting on the veranda at our home, with birds chirping, leaves gently rustling in the breeze, and squirrels making their way from one branch to another, he could not stand it any longer.  He blurted out:  “How can you stand it here? It is too quiet!”  My husband and I were so stunned at this statement  that we laughed in response.

The Arctic expresses the sum of all wisdom: silence.

Walter Bauer

Well, most of us will not be going to the Arctic anytime soon.  So what about you?  Can you stand a little silence?  I don’t mean meditating, though that would be even better.  I only suggest being still and turning off the outside chatter.  You might even choose to go somewhere that is relatively quiet — somewhere like a path in the woods or a park or to a museum or library.  In these places you will still have nature and artworks and books to keep you company, but, at least, the noise will be less.  You might, at some point, realize that you (yes, YOU) are pretty good company to keep.  And then your chattering mind might find it pleasant to drop back and relax.

Here are some ideas:

  • Actively notice when you are bombarded with auditory influences and sound, then take note of times when you let these go.  How does it feel?
  • Make a conscious effort to take a little time each day to shut out exterior sound.  Don’t try to find another distraction, like reading or texting.
  • Make those time longer.  Perhaps set a time aside to be still and, each day, make it a priority.
  • You might make it even more positive by adding a statement:  At the beginning of your quiet time say  — I love myself completely now. — or — I enjoy this time to myself. — or any phrase that makes you feel good.
  • You may notice, as time goes on, that YOU can be silent, calm and peaceful, even when surrounded by blaring sounds  and cacophony.

This idea of stillness did not always come easy to me, so I can sympathize if this seems hard.  Recently I went to a spiritual retreat center, a kind of summer camp for seekers.  At dinner, i looked for a table marked with a sign that read “silence.” Most ashrams and places of this sort have them so I was disappointed that there was no table to just sit and feel the pleasure of nourishing good food.  On the reverse,  long ago, I was at a social gathering with a group of loquacious, high energy TV producers and others.  Someone had heard of experiments on being silent.  We agreed to try it and see how long we could be together without talking.  It lasted for a while, with none of us used to such a thing.  And guess who was the first to break the silence, to feel compelled to make some joke?  That’s right.  I could not just relax with the quiet. I was the first one to break the silence. But that was long before I had any idea I would begin meditating and go in the direction I took. I was “chatty Cathy” in those days.

Now there is little I relish more than stillness, my mantra and meditation.  Just being, that’s all.

Mother Teresa made this statement:

We need to find God and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence.  

See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence. 

See the stars, the moon, the sun, how they move in silence…

We need silence in order to touch souls.

Who knows?  In silence you may touch your own soul — and God.

With love and namaste,  Deanne

For more, go to http://www.deannemincer.com

The 52: A Lighter, Happier YOU – Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

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The 52: A Lighter, Happier YOU – Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

butterflybluesky

Love makes the world go ’round.  This song, originally written in the late 1800’s, has been recorded over and over again.  Disperse versions from ballad, rock, and blues. Perry Como, Madonna, Deon Jackson, and many others have found this title captivating enough to record.  It rings true!

Does  “love make the world go ’round?  What do you think? Many people believe that Love = God, while physicists and astronomers might think something other than “love” makes the world go ’round.  They may think we need something that we can scientifically prove with our logical, left brain thinking.  Here’s what Albert Einstein said in a letter to Gandhi:

I am a scientist.  I trace the lines that come from God.

It’s hard to top Einstein.  But what would a spiritual master say?  Yes! Yes would be the resounding answer.  If creation is about eternal love, then that would be the correct answer, esoteric as it may seem.  Love makes the world go ’round.  Love is the creative force.

What would it be like if you saw Love as the motivator and center of the universe?  Would your sense of reality be different?  What if your sole (or should I say “soul”) purpose were to learn to love yourself  and others? This quote is attributed to everyone from the Buddha to the author, Anne Lamott:

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison

and expecting the other person to die.

Certainly, loving others without condition does not turn you into a doormat.  There are means to stand in your own truth and not drink the poison yourself.  Love and forgiveness play a big role here. We know very well that emotions that are negative affect us and weaken us. Why hold onto the something that is damaging?  Hit the switch! Push the love button.  Make your circle of love bigger and more inclusive.

Here is something to try:

  • In a quiet moment, think of someone (past or present) who evokes negative feelings in you.  Try, for a little while, to witness that person in a non-judging way.  Can you or are you too attached to your own ego emotions?  Walk in that person’ s shoes for a little while.
  • Now extend a loving thought to that person.  Hold onto that love and forgiveness.  See how it feels to you.  What do you experience? Can you embrace them in love?  How does it make you feel?
  • Repeat this exercise as often as needed until it feels okay, comfortable to you. 

Mother Teresa said:

If you judge people you have no time to love them.

So let love flow within you and around you. Let it extend into every chapter of your life.  Let it be the antidote to “poison.”  See what it does in your life.  It might feel like a great relief to let love wash away anger and judgment. If something begins to change within you, enjoy it.  Let me know if you like.   I am here to support you.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com