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Mindful Poetry

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human. …

More in the PDF at the link.


Mindful Impressions

In the process of interacting with our environment, we form impressions via our senses.  Our impressions are influenced by our beliefs, which act as a filter to our experience.  Thoughts automatically come as we process our impressions and form ideas and opinions about them.  So we begin with a set of beliefs, interact with our world and form opinions based on our initial impressions.  Take the belief about beauty regarding gardens, for example.  Most people identify beauty with cultivated flowers and the weeds are an eye sore.  But if you let a garden go ‘to the weeds’, then take the time to look at it from a neutral point of view, it will show you a different kind of beauty.  One that grew without deliberate design, but naturally, filled with life, color, texture, and contrast.  You can re-define your idea about a beautiful garden by letting go of the initial belief and just observing what’s there, keeping yourself completely open to observing something new.  Looking at things in a neutral way by suspending current beliefs about them allows you to see them in a new and maybe surprising way.

I apply this idea to my kids frequently by trying to suspend my pre-conceived notions about how I think they will behave and just watching what they do.  For instance, instead of defining for them how their summer day might go, I let them define it themselves with complete acess to video games, tv, etc.  With this freedom and the possibility of unlimited acess to those activities that are usually looked down upon, they actually choose a variety of activities on their own, which includes time playing outside, crafts, visiting the neighbor, choosing when to eat, watching very little tv and making up games to play.  It’s a great way to truly see them for who they are as they express themselves naturally once given the freedom to follow their own choices.  And they do surprise.  One example is their own motivated cultivation of a potted plant garden consisting of the plants in the plants vs zombies video game.  Who knew?  It’s some thing I would never have seen in them if I banned them from playing video games because they integrate all of their activities into their life, so that a video game, for instance, leads to gardening.

It’s a challenging, but great way to practice mindful raising of kids and allowance of things that may challenge existing beliefs.

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