“Each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny. As the force of fate, this image acts as a personal daimon, an accompanying guide who remembers your calling.” ~ James Hillman
This quote resonates with me on so many levels. The only word that I would use instead of image is sound. The inspiring force in my life constantly challenges, alludes and takes me away from that sound are discordant and devastating counter melodies that have disconnected me are fear, anticipation, control and remaining true to that force. Breast Cancer, Guillain Barré, homelessness, the death of my parents are the major noises that interfere with hearing and feeling that daimon. Jazz was the only sound that brings back that familiarity and sense of joy and inner peace. My thoughts and life changed course and I spend quite a bit of time meditating on Jazz, mindfulness and creating the life that remembers my calling. It is when I had fallen in love with sound, images and words that became a portal to my inner strength and life.
Here are the 5 essential lessons that I feel deepened my practice over the past decade…
- Authenticity is important– vital actually – in ‘the art of mindfulness living’. To truly embody mindfulness, we need to embrace absolute authenticity in every aspect of our lives. It is the degree to which we are true to our own nature and spirit, despite external pressures the world seems to place on us.
- Protect and nurture mindfulness despite living in a chaotic world. I started meditating at the tender age of eleven. Life has taught me that in order for me to be happy; I had to adapt my thoughts to a more ‘Simplistic’ frame of mind. I was living in excess, i.e., clothes, food, drink, events and other ‘Junk’ to the point that I no longer had space or time to enjoy life. My plan was to simplify life and take time outs for walks, sitting by the water, reading, listening to jazz, dancing and just being –in a sustainable balance.
- Develop the ability to listen intentionally to my body-mind-spirit through sound and poetry to live with compassion and patience. I decided to take Mindfulness Meditations by listening to jazz and writing instead of drinking or worrying or fighting and denying my feelings by accepting and breathing into those moments which now makes my suffering less intensive and gives me clarity and reminds me of my calling.
- Finding better ways to deal with stress and painful emotions. I have learned, through mindfulness, to acknowledge my ‘negative’ emotions and not react to every little upset by suppressing them or burying them. Making different choices and to just relax and breathe! I discovered that I can find peace even in the midst of inner storms. My perceptions have changed and the fog has lifted. I may not know what or where I am going, but I am confident and comfortable and back to my laid back self. Listening to music, dancing barefoot in my room or in the sand, long walks or just sitting quietly at the Marina are some of the ways to decompress and renew my inner spirit.
- Consistency is a vital necessity. I have been very devoted to a formal mindfulness practice usually yoga mixed with doing art and writing at a consistent time of day early morning works best for me. I am no longer just surviving and now am living fully awakened to this phenomenal life and those who have put God’s grace and beauty in every way. Now I am able to be a catalyst and the adventurer of this template we all call Life.
I hope my realizations and lessons are helpful to you. What about you? Share your experience and wisdom below. Peace Out! JBC 😎 & ♥
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