Thank you. Bless you.

One of my favorite yoga teachers  taught a simple but powerful mantra in one of the many wonderful classes I’ve taken from him:

Thank you (on the inhale)

Bless you (on the exhale)

Try it–  Thank you……..  Bless you…….

I liked it in class–nice message.  Easy to remember.  Rhythmic.  Good sentiment.

But it wasn’t until later that it became significant to me, that it became mine.

The first time I remember using the mantra outside of the studio was in a doctor’s office.  I had completed my first mammogram (ouch!) and ultrasound and was waiting for the doctor to come in talk to me.

I waited and waited.  I didn’t suspect that anything was wrong… lumpy boob syndrome was my self -diagnosis, but there was time to kill and I needed somewhere to direct my attention  so I leaned back on the table, took deep breaths, thanked and blessed.

As it turns out, I got bad news that day and so I’ve had the opportunity to use my mantra in many a hospital bed, surgical prep room, and recovery ward as well as on airplanes, in line at the grocery store, at acupuncture and reflexology appointments and in the privacy of my own home.  Thank you.  Bless you. Thank you.  Bless you.  It makes me feel calm, it grounds me, it helps me slow down and smell the roses.

The first phrase is gratitude.  It’s appreciation for the gifts I’ve received great and small and for the people who have offered them to me.  The second phrase is spreading good vibes—giving.  It is sending out prayers, white light, well-wishes,  kindness.

Sometimes I’m specific—I’m acknowledging a specific person or practice, a broader people (thanks Billy, Jane, doctors, nurses, friends, family, etc.) or a segment (bless people in need, people who are helping,  people who are trying), but most often it is completely general—as if just saying the words is enough to get the message to the appropriate people without me having to name or identify them in any way.  Some crazy notion that just thinking the thoughts could make a difference to myself, to my dear friends or to people I’ve never met half way around the world… crazy, I know.

Or is it?

Does the thought that someone could be sending you good vibes at this very moment, thinking loving thoughts about you or appreciating the difference you have made in their life warm your heart?  If every person on the planet sent a virtual “kindness care package” to someone else—anyone else on the planet every day, would it affect world peace?  My answer is unequivocally YES to both!

So I offer to share my mantra with you… Thank you.  Bless you.  I hope it brings peace and joy to you, your family, your community, your nation, and your world!

Namaste!

XOXO

CB

FAITH

I just finished reading Kelly Rae Robert’s Blog (very creative artist, here is her blog site: http://kellyraeroberts.com) and she mentioned that her word for the year is TRUST.

Word for the year… I like the concept.  Maybe a new New Year’s  Eve tradition?  Instead of or in addition to my normal resolutions– “Drink more champagne!”, and “Light more candles!” (both meant literally and figuratively), maybe I should invest in a word for the year.

I pondered the concept.   I wondered what my mot (French for word) might be for 2014, this the year of the horse according to the Chinese calendar.  It took about 3 seconds for the word FAITH to settle in.  Ahhh.  Faith is one of those strong but gentle, powerful but soothing almost ethereal words akin to grace, honor or gratitude.

The fact that I immediately had to email my friend for validation of both the mots d’annnee (more French) concept and my selection (she agreed on both counts) signaled that this was an area in need of focus.  Not because I’m generally lacking in the faith category, alas I’ve been known to be faith-full to a fault (just ask the random guy who knocked on my door and offered to wash my windows for a mere $200 in cash which needed to be pre-paid—I had faith that he would do the right thing.  He didn’t.).  But in the hustle and bustle of life, it is necessary to flex the faith muscle often starting with little things like the date of expiration on the milk is accurate, the car mechanic knows what he is doing and is giving you a fair deal, Siri will give you good directions, etc., so that it has massive strength to fend off the fear, anxiety and worry that can show up with overwhelming magnitude about more significant issues if we aren’t careful.

So this year I’m going to practice being faith-full.  I’m going to…

  • Have faith that the person who cut me off in traffic either didn’t see me (maybe her mirror is broken or she was distracted–worrying about a sick relative?), or is in a very big hurry to get somewhere VERY important.
  • Have faith that 5 minutes a day of downward facing dog and tree pose counts as a yoga “practice” and qualifies me for yogini status.
  • Have faith that making time for stillness, silence, and sleep is OK.
  •  Have faith that my body is strong and powerful and healthy.
  • Have faith that I’m making the best parenting decisions I know how to make and that they are serving T well.
  • Have faith that when I make wrong  decisions, he’ll let me know and we’ll correct course as appropriate.
  • Have faith that when T leaves the nest, he’ll have a selection of wonderful schools to choose from and that the one picks will help him soar.
  • Have faith that I’ll be able to survive (deep breath) and thrive when he’s gone.
  • Have faith that people are good and doing the best they can on any given day.
  • Have faith that even the darkest clouds have silver linings.
  • Have faith that things work out the way they are supposed to.
  • Have faith that love can conquer all (Beattles singing in the background– All you need is love, love, love…. Love is all you need), and that I love well and am well loved.

XOXO

CB

P.S. The picture with this blog is from Izoar, based on the art from my friend Janice Earhart.  Check out her work at www.izoar.com!

When life asks you to dance… say YES!

Advice for my teenage son.

My darling, as you grow up and go out in the world, you get to decide how you spend your money and your minutes.  Here’s my investment advice for you…

  • Travel.  Anywhere and everywhere.  Meet the locals, see the sites, drink in the experiences.
  • Try on a “different life” for at least 3 months.  Work on a dude ranch in Montana or an oil rig in Alaska.  Be a ski bum or a surfer dude.  Live in NYC or LA.
  • Be inspired by great athletes.  Experience the Olympics, the NBA championship, March Madness, the Superbowl, Wimbledon.
  • Enjoy great live music.  Go see Jay Z, Garth, Leontine Price, U2… whoever you love or anyone you love loves.
  • Swim, fly, and drive.  Snorkel, scuba, hot air balloon, helicopter (NO bungee jumping or sky diving– why jump out of a perfectly good airplane?), ATV,  jetski, boat– try them all!
  • Make something you are proud of with your hands.
  • Take on a major physical challenge.  Climb a mountain, run a marathon, do yoga 25 days in a month :-).
  • Sing in the shower, the car, the park.Perform at a karaoke bar.
  • Say Yes! when asked to dance.  Ask the most enchanting person in the room to dance.
  • Start a business.
  • Create a home you love.
  • Spend time with old people.
  • Hold a newborn.
  • Visit a holy place.
  • Give your whole heart someone(s) and something(s).
  • Believe… in something.
  • Have FAITH.  Have FUN!