Still Waters Newsletter
|Celebrate the moment|
Take a moment to celebrate today, this moment.
Sometimes we need an inspirational reminder to stop the fast paced spiral and come into the awareness of life's joy.
Join us on Facebook
where I share practical ideas for developing threads of inner peace through our days
Join us on Facebook
where we discover that
death doesn't end the relationship, it simply forges a new type of relationship - one based not on physical presence but on memory, spirit, and love...
"Shortcuts to Inner Peace"
October 26th, 7pm
UCC, North Hampton, NH
All are welcome
November 2nd, 7pm
Gibson's Book Store
November 5th, 1pm
Barnes & Nobles
"Daily Peaceful Habits"
November 13th, 11am
All Souls Unitarian Church
New York City
November 17th, 7pm
Water Street Bookstore
November 21st, 7pm
The Coop - Harvard/MIT
Shortcuts to Inner Peace
Nov. 22nd, 3:30 - 4:30pm
WAIF Cincinnati 88.3FM
"Waves of the New Age"
"Shortcuts to Self Care: restorative tools to lighten your day"
December 8th, 12pm
23nd International Psychology of Health, Immunity & Disease Conference
Hilton Head Island, SC
Conference Registration Required
|Ashley Davis Bush|
Even in the midst of a sluggish economy and various tragedies in our lives and in the world, life has many causes for celebration. This month, I write about celebrations both large and small. I also write about celebrating a life no matter how long it lasts while celebrating the love which is everlasting. The shortcut this month is Freeze Frame, a mindful moment to help you pause and savor a simple pleasure.
Look around you. No matter what your circumstances, there is much to celebrate.
Stress Free Living
"Celebrating the Moment"
Life is filled with lots of different kinds of moments. Some moments feel stressful and overwhelming. Some moments are heartbreakingly sad. A few moments are 'million dollar moments' -- mountain top experiences -- such as weddings, births of children, graduations, promotions . . . or book launches.
For me, I'm thrilled to launch a book (on 11/1/11) for the first time in a decade. Like other 'million dollar moments', this one is fraught with a complex mixture of excitement, exhaustion, expectation, and a little anxiety. And like most moments, it will come and it will go.
I have found that while the big moments stand out in memory, it's actually the smaller 'penny moments' that really add richness to my life. Noticing and savoring simple pleasures - a cornflower blue sky, a hug from a loved one, a phone chat with an old friend, hot tea on a chilly evening - these offer cause for quiet jubilation. Life offers its gifts moment by ordinary moment.
A few years ago, my husband and I began choosing sparkling wine on our evening restaurant dates. Often the waiter will ask us if we are celebrating anything special. "Yes," we answer, "This moment." Let's celebrate.
Living with Loss
"Honoring the Life that Lives On"
My beloved, special cat has disappeared. To some, this may not seem like much of a tragedy. Others may understand that the loss of a pet can elicit an enormous amount of grief.
Charlotte (affectionately called 'Charly') was my little rescue cat. I adopted her from a shelter when she was only 6 weeks old. Because she was separated from her feral mother at such a young age, she had 'issues'. She was skittish, neurotic, and fearful. Yet with me, she was tender and trusting. I freely and willingly became her 'mother.' She stirred within me a deep and protective love . . . as do so many of our loved ones.
So how do we 'celebrate' even as we grieve? It's virtually impossible if we only focus on the loss, the pain, and the sadness. However, it is quite possible if we think of their life and our ongoing love. In the case of little Charly, I feel lucky to have been her mother for 3 years. I was enriched by having her sleep in my lap and nuzzle in my arm. I was changed by loving her.
Now, I gaze at her picture near my desk, looking at the stripes around her whiskers, imagining myself stroking her chin. Yes, I miss her terribly. But I also know that she was a dear little soul and she will always be a part of me. I celebrate her life . . . having her in my life . . . and I celebrate the love that will always exist between us.
This Month's Shortcut
To use whenever you have a beverage break
As you take your first sip of a morning beverage, stop for a moment, take a deep breath, freeze the frame (make a mental or audible camera click sound), and think, Life is good. As you take your first sip of your lunch drink, your afternoon coffee, your evening drink, create the habit of stopping to take a mental snapshot. Feel the liquid go down your throat. Notice, breathe, absorb, and savor the tastes as well as the moment. Imprint on your mind the happiness habit of noting to yourself, Ah, this is a good moment.
* * *
This Shortcut helps to train our minds to focus on a moment of simple pleasure. It identifies a happy moment and holds it in our consciousness, creating an imprint of positive experience. It cultivates gratitude, a quality highly correlated with peacefulness. Finally, it creates a "pause" which momentarily stops the physical and emotional spiral of the day. When we weave this Shortcut through our days, a new healthy habit evolves and we begin to find that moment of inner peace automatically.
"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes."