Posts Tagged ‘Pema Chödrön’

i am now in the fourth week of posting my “thoughts of gratitude and abundance” quotes. over the last six months, i have been studying and practicing Buddhism, mainly through the teachings of Pema Chodron. i just finished her book, “Start Where You Are” and took the follow quote from my reading:

the more you’re willing to open your heart, the more challenges come along that make you want to shut it. -Pema Chodron


well, isn’t that the truth! 🙂 i found myself struggling with having an open-heart this past week. i can not pin point a particular situation that happened except i just found than that the little voice in my head would say one thing and my heart-gut would refute it immediately! this led me to finally sitting with my thoughts and allowing my breath to bring me back to the heart-center.
our mind is an amazing tool and i am learning through research and my own observations that out heart-center (and not just our physical heart but, as i like to say, heart-gut) is what has the ability to choose. we have the opportunity to choose in every moment: we can either walk around with a closed-heart in the face of fear or we can choose to remain open no matter what the world throws our way. i understand that this is tricky and i battle with it on a daily basis. but, at the end of the day, i know that by being open and loving and offering kindness to each other, that is what will truly help us heal one another. i challenge you to go fourth today with a completely open-heart and you will see the kindness reflected back to you!


try to learn to stay. learn to accept the present moment as if you had invited it. and work with it instead of against it. -Pema Chodron


i have been intently studying the Buddhist teachings of Pema Chodron over the last six months. coming from a Christian background of being told what is “right” and what is “wrong”, Buddhism offers an approach that is filled with unconditional love, compassion and acceptance for all sentient beings. diving into the works of Pema Chodron has opened my heart and mind to cultivating love and kindness to myself and the experiences i face each day.

the quote i chose for this week was one that i meditate on frequently. simply learning to stay in your body. stay with your thoughts. stay with your joys and your fears. stay in the present moment. i challenge you to give it a try this week. you have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain from within. namaste.

books i have read and re-read many times (and recommend) by Pema Chodron:
Taking the Leap
Start Where You Are
Comfortable with Uncertainty
Getting Unstuck

we all experience heartbreak at some point in our lives.
that moment in time when we feel like we are the ONLY person in the entire universe that is going through the pain of separation, heartache, abandonment, disconnect and sadness. it can be from many different forms of a relationship. from losing a loved one or cherished pet; a friendship that dissolves or the loss of an intimate partner relationship. these experiences all hurt in different ways and bring a new level of challenges to overcome and get through.

lyrics from “Raise Hell” by Brandi Carlile

i am currently in the process of healing a broken heart for the loss of my lover and best friend. while i experience days when i feel like i will never get past these feelings, i remind myself that there is a chance in every moment to shift your perspective and remind yourself of your own power and love. so, i made a list for myself on how to heal a broken heart. perhaps one of these ideas will help you through a rough spot and to see the light that shines within you!

1. raw cacao. allow yourself to eat as much raw chocolate as you desire. any time. any where. and enjoy every bite of it!
2. dance in your bedroom. alone.  dance to the Spice Girls or any nostalgic childhood music that brings you happiness and joy! jump up and down, sing, stretch and have fun with the beat of the songs. Zigazig ah!

3. create. i started to paint and draw with oil pastels again. (picture above) to release my feelings that i was unable to find words for. this has been very therapeutic and enjoyable.
4. explore. spending time in nature can be extremely healing. step outside, breath, and take it all in. i am grateful to watch the fawn and young bucks play in the hills across my house; picking fresh blackberries and figs on my daily walks and sitting in our garden!

this little caterpillar was just chillin on some cilantro in our garden!

5. take yourself on a date! each week i pick an activity to treat myself to, from a movie, concert, a talk or special dinner. it gives me a chance to appreciate myself and that i deserve the very best!

6. cheesy love songs. you know all those annoying love songs you hear on the radio? well, next time, sing them to YOURSELF! after doing this for a while, you will begin to smile and laugh and remember that you are your number one lover in life!

7. socialization of creation. join a group or activity that involves something completely new for you! i recently started to learn tracking skills! i am part of the Catscapes series in Marin that tracks pumas and bob cats and will also take a course on tracking other wild animals in the area this fall!

8. lift heavy things! or just move around and be active. i have continued with my strength training and crossfit and know that it helps in the healing process as well plus i am surrounded by an amazing community that supports me outside the box.

9. read. travel away and get lost in a book! it is a great way to relax and take your mind off of your current situation or feelings for a while. stimulates your brain and creative process as well!

10. mediate. most importantly, sit with your thoughts and feelings. even if it is for only five minutes. our busy life can push what we are really feeling or transfer it through stress, bad diet, anger, frustration and numbness. and it is ok to feel these things but from the teachings of Pema Chodron, learn to be in it and to feel it all. the only way to get through hard times is to lean into them. be with them in each moment.

to any of you who are reading, for whatever broken heart you may be suffering from, remember that it will get better. take each day at a time. reach out to family and friends for support. stay busy with healthy activities and always find quiet time to be with your feelings and thoughts. i look back at my first remembrance of a broke heart and thought i would never move on, but here i am. again. and i know that life has crazy twists and turns for a reason. there is something more amazing out there just waiting to be discovered, if you continue to stay open and just take a leap…!

spiral inside soul tornado.
-painting by hlg

i could give every excuse possible as to why i haven’t written on my blog in months. so, i will:

– the honeymoon with it ended. the excitement faded and it just felt like i was writing words and not expelling emotions.
– i started a full-time position with Rise Bar as their NorCal Sales Manager. FULL-TIME.
– i am also in school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, studying to become a Certified Health Coach.
– i am focused on balancing & nourishing my long-distance relation because it means more to me than anything else in my life. (besides myself, of course!)
– i was traveling a lot for pleasure and now i travel a lot for work.
– i was spending too much time thinking and not enough time processing my thoughts through writing.
– i started writing for Breaking Muscle, too.
– i partnered up with Chocolatl to brand my own raw chocolate, “Chocolatl Puma Bites”.
– i began to meditate everyday.
– i would much rather be playing outside with the longer days than sitting at the computer any longer than i already do for work.
– i started spending more time on my spiritual practice.

but, really. there are no excuses.
because we make time for the things that are the most important and, i guess, it just became less important for me. i lost interest and i lost my passion. i have felt the passion for certain areas of my life fading over the past months with the focus on just trying to make a living for myself and to feel secure in the unknown. but, being comfortable with the unknown is what we all should be striving to achieve.

i recently read the book “Comfortable with Uncertainty” 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion by Pema Chodron. yeah. i’ve been dealing with a lot of fear in my life. internally, there is a battle going on and at times it is so fierce that i want to explode. but, i hardly let this side of me show, except with a few close loved ones or behind closed doors. this book presented itself to me at the perfect time. books have a way of doing that. it was in perfect unison with the beginning of my meditation practice. reading her simple words brought much comfort to my soul. we are all good at masking what is going on inside for us. some use food as a tool to look past their feelings, others may exercise themselves to exhaustion, or turn to alcohol, cigarettes or excessive caffeine consumption. i have done all of this at times but i want to move past it and turn my fear into action: LOVE. i would like to share an excerpt from chapter 92, Abiding in the Fearless State:

“…To the extent that we stop struggling against uncertainty and ambiguity, to the extent we dissolve fear. Total fearlessness is full enlightenment – wholehearted, open-minded interaction with our world. Meanwhile we train in patiently moving in that direction. By learning to relax with groundlessness, we gradually connect with the mind that knows no fear.”

feeling free.

so, the real reason i haven’t written in months is that four-letter word. i let fear get in the way and thought what i had to say was not important enough. good enough. that it wouldn’t make an impact on anyone. and, who would want to read my thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs? well. YOU DO. and i want to continue with it. i do have a passion for life and i want to share my knowledge and gifts with others. i have decided that i will dedicate my time and energy to at least three posts a month that will vary between educational, spiritual, life-learning lessons and recipes, reviews and workout ideas. anything could happen and with the growing presence of bloggers, writers and columnist on the internet, who’s to say that i won’t make am impact on the world?

in regards the long-awaited announcement of President Obama backing gay marriage, i want to leave you with one of my favorite songs by Vanessa Carlton, that was written to express that we are all equal and that everyone’s love matters. enjoy!