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HW 007: Winter Weeps

What part does grieving play in the winters we all face?

 

What will bring us through tough times?  Listen in as Lee Ann reflects upon the power of our grief.

 

…And drop Lee Ann a line via email, sky-writing or pigeon carrier!  She’d love to hear from you…and as you’ll hear in this episode, she’s sending cards and notes to listeners who just need a bit of love, cheer and/or pick-me-up.  Nothing better than finding some love in your mail box (not your email in box!)…Just don’t forget to leave your mailing address or the address of someone you care about who needs a little surprise.  You can email Lee Ann at:  leeann@hoorayliving.com.

 

Resources/Links referenced in today’s podcast:

 

Mary Oliver — (American poet, born 1935)  The poem I read on the podcast is called, “Starlings in Winter” and can be found in her book, Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays (Beacon Press 2003). Another couple of recommendations include one of her more recent collections,  Felicity: Poems (Penquin Press 2015) and, as a devoted dog lover, her book Dog Songs: Poems (Penguin Press 2013).  I particularly enjoy the poems in Felicity because they are about love. Yes, love as the headlong rush into life each day. She grabs you by the shirt collar and points to the birds, furry four-legged creatures, the sky and the mangroves, exclaiming “look, listen and love!”  Pick up any of Ms. Oliver’s poetry and you will get a dose of nature surely capable of healing any woes.

 

Leo Tolstoy — (Russian writer, 1828-1910)  Tolstoy wrote the acclaimed novels War and Peace, Anna Karenina and The Death of Ivan Ilyich, and still ranks among the world’s top writers.  Here’s an interesting tidbit you may not know…Did you know that Leo Tolstoy’s ideas of nonviolent resistance to evil influenced Mahatma Gandhi?  Indeed!  He was deeply spiritual.

 

Fyodor Dostoevsky — (Russian writer, 1821-1881)  Dostoevsky’s great novels include,  Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiot.

More quotes from this most influential author:

“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”

“Love is such a priceless treasure that you can buy the whole world with it, and redeem not only your own but other people’s sins. Go, and do not be afraid.”

HW 003:  Finding Stillness

“Be still; stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.” –Lao Tzu

 

Welcome to the 3rd episode of Hooray Weekly!  So glad that you are here!

 

Today, I discuss the importance of stillness in our busy, frenetic and fear-filled world.  If you want to find your Hooray in tough times, it is a necessary component for your days.  Listen in to the podcast for some love, encouragement and a couple of meditation/stillness techniques.  Here are two of the practices I mention in this week’s episode.

2 Easy-Breezy Practices for Stillness

  1.  Passage or Verse Meditation–The mind is a funny thing. It doesn’t like to be quiet and shushed.  So why fight it?  This type of meditation is easy.  Get comfortable in a chair or on the floor with your back erect, shoulders down  and away from your ears, eyes closed, arms relaxed with hands in your lap and take some loving belly breaths.  (I go into detail on the podcast for both these meditation practices, so I’m keeping the words simple and short here, okay?)  Next, think of a piece of Scripture or line of a poem or affirmation.  Spend the next 5 to 30 minutes letting the words of whatever you have chosen to come to you again and again in your mind without effort.  I use the line from Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.”  I actually repeat the phrase in my mind 5-10 times, then shorten the phrase to “Be still, and know that I AM…”  Again, I repeat comfortable with plenty of silence between the repetitions.  Then I shorten the phrase again, “Be still and know…”  You get the picture.  Next, “Be still…” (5-10 times with more silence).  Finally, I end with “Be…be…be…”  My mind is soft and gentle since these are words that I know by heart.  There is no forcing to focus my mind or to rid it of unwanted monkey mind.  The unwanted stuff will be there, but with less vehemence.  After moving through the passage, I take some deep breaths, smile inwardly, and come out of the stillness slowly.
  2.  Chanting the Name of God (or your dog for that matter)–This practice is similar to the one above, except that one focuses on the Name of God or a blessing.  Some examples include, Om Shanti Shanti, Heavenly Father (or Mother), Peace, Holy Spirit, Allah, Lord Jesus, Krishna, Illumined One, Great Spirit or Light.  The words are endless.  Just make sure that it is comfortable for you.

And for meditation inspiration, these are the four books I turn to regularly:

Easwaran, Eknath, God Makes the Rivers to Flow: Selections from the Sacred Literature of the World (2009).

Ladinsky, Daniel, Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (2002).

Mitchell, Stephen (translation), Tao Te Ching (1988).

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (adapted by Moshe Mykoff & S. C. Mizrahi with the Breslov Research Institute), The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments (2002).

 

The books are linked to Amazon’s bookstore.  Full Disclosure Alert!  When you purchase books using Hooray Weekly’s link, a tiny pittance of the price comes back to support the podcast.  So thank you very much for any and all your support!

 

 

 

 

 

Turbo “Today” for 2017

“The same wind blows on us all. The difference is the set of the sail.”–Jim Rohn

 

You’ve seen hundreds of articles in your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter news feeds about all that you need to do to kick-start your 2017. You’ve read all the grab-you-by-the-shoulders headlines: “Why New Years Goals Don’t Work,” “21 Ways to Make Your Life Infinitely Better in 2017,” “5 Tips to Make You a Better Investor in 2017,” “3 Simple Steps to Building Consistency,” “Your Successful 2017 in 7 Easy Moves,” “Habits to Help You in the New Year”…Ugh, the list is endless! And what’s worse, we actually read this stuff and think, “Well that person must know something I don’t…” Then you read the articles and realize on second thought, “They don’t know anything more than I do!  It’s just more (can I say this to you?…)…CRAP!”

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Getting What You Want

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”

– Maya Angelou, an amazing poet!

 

Do you want more than you currently have?  Do you feel that you can be and do more?  Do you desire more for your children and those you love?

 

If the answers are yes, listen up.  You can have more, be more and get more if you do something that we often overlook and under-appreciate.  That is, we need to ask for what we want.  While this is a first step, it is absolutely not the only step.

 

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Smile

Smile

“Smile, and the world smiles with you.”

–Lee Ann Hopkins

 

Spring has arrived!  We are outside, rubbing elbows with more folks, and hopefully, feeling a lift in our spirits as we notice the crocuses, the forsythia and the robins return.  Whether you are feeling that springtime lightness or not, I recommend listening to the track I produced a few years ago on my CD, “Can-Do Booster Shots: The Painless Pick-Me-Ups” and share it with anyone who needs a 7-minute boost to their day.

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Two Words that Will Change Someone Else’s Life…and Your Own

Writing a “thank you” letter has become a lost art ~

 

I’m a big advocate of “thank you” notes.  In fact, I have a stash of Crane stationery that would be the envy of Her Majesty the Queen, but for the fact that she’s more a fan of Smythson’s on Bond Street.  Stationery preferences aside, I think she would agree that a “thank you” well-conveyed is one of the greatest utterances we can ever make.  James Allen has said that “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”

Sending “thank you” notes was a requirement in our household as a child. No sooner had the last person left from our birthday party and mother had sheets of paper and a fountain pen before us on the kitchen table.  If we were the “birthday girl” or “birthday boy” we knew what was expected of us at the table: write the thank you notes right then and there for all the lovely presents we were given…don’t even think about playing with the newly unwrapped Twister game or GI Joe sitting there waiting for us to play! Write first, then play…Those were the rules.  “Thank yous” first.  “Thank yous” always.

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