Keep Your Head Up

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Taken in the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal only yesterday.  The small details are sometimes the most interesting.  At the end of each pew is a small wooden figure intricately carved always looking forward.

Keep Your Head Up. Two weeks off from writing anything of significance but a lot of time to think. Work drew me in and it needed focus. Yet lots of time to reflect, think, plan. Living mindfully is one thing and yet sometimes life steps in and it feels hard. Hard to stay present and focused on the mind. Working 12-14 hour days while traveling can be challenging and force us to dig deep into those reserves of energy that build up in the down times.

I found myself waking up a bit earlier to ensure I got my meditation in.  20 minutes of time to myself just focusing on the breath brings a sense of calm to the day. I also found time to listen to motivational clips from some of the best. Eric Thomas, Les Brown, Wayne Dyer, and the list goes on.  It occurred to me while listening to all of these great speakers that glimpses of mindfulness are found within all of their messages and it only helps to confirm the importance of practicing daily and keeping it as a priority in life.

Spending time thinking about the link between what motivates us and where mindfulness exists is something that interests me.  It seems counterintuitive at first.  The messages of being successful, stay hungry, never quit, resonate alongside all of the other motivational slogans out there but sometimes feel as though they crash up against the thoughts of no-ego, staying present, not allowing yourself to think your better than anyone else. It feels as though at times the messages conflict. The feelings within motivational folks can seem downright aggressive at times.  The underlying messages though don’t have to be.

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” – Eric Thomas

Lets focus on one.  Don’t quit.  Keep your head up. The people who are successful don’t let failure stop them but rather place the next stepping stone on top of that failure and step again. Mindfulness and meditation practice is no different.  In fact failure can be a daily occurrence within a meditation practice depending on how you look at it.  You succeed by simply sitting down but perhaps you look at it as failure if your mind races, wanders, and won’t commit to focusing on the breath.  We fail and succeed every time we practice and in doing so we slowly lay down stepping stones for our life from which we can take the next step. We will sit down tomorrow and meditate and success will come; so to perhaps failure.  Both are not only guaranteed but required for long term practice.

Keep your head up when those failures come. Treat yourself with kindness when the mind wanders and your lost in whatever emotions and feelings rule the day. Celebrate the successes though that also come with knowing you will sit down tomorrow and rest your mind and focus on the breath.  You made it to the next step.

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