Persistence – Invaluable

All sewn up!
All sewn up!

Our lap blanket really does exist! I am weaving in the loose ends, then the Maplesoft Therapeutic Knitting Group can present the finished product to their recently opened Multi-faith Chapel.

Weaving in ends in knitting and in life takes persistence, returning focus again and again to one object. In our fast paced lives many other distractions compete for our attention. I accept this work happily, knowing that the effort will benefit many. This is my meditation.

Mindfully Leading


Leading mindfully
Mindfully Leading

We associate mindfulness with increasing our well-being, but it is not often that we consider that it could be beneficial for our responsibilities as  managers and leaders. The very qualities of clear thinking, balance and insight that we hope our leaders epitomize are benefits that can be gained from practicing mindfulness.

Just as an athletic skill can be trained and refined with practice so to can skillful decision-making be improved.   The attached article at is a good jumping off point for aspiring leaders.  If you want to make your boss look good you could even share it with them!

You can join me at my Drop in Meditation Practices in Ottawa on Monday evenings if you want to improve your edge. Send me your contact info to let me know you will be joining us.

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January Renewal of our Intentions

evening meditation
Snowy Fences

Our first meditation session of January focused initially on our intentions for this New Year, trying to answer the questions:

Why am I meditating? Who will I be in one year? What am I longing for, for myself?

We meditated on this for about 5 minutes, quietly focusing on our breathing and on these questions. In this way we are trying to set our intent for this year 2014, in the form of an expansive encouraging question.

You need not place any expectations on a particular meditation session, or be concerned if some days you find it hard to focus.  With practice, and with friendly compassion for yourself, you may find that gradually you are enjoying the benefits of greater well-being, and happiness.

A poem we read in the evening:


Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.


This opening to the life

we have refused

again and again

until now.


Until now. By David Whyte from Where Many Rivers Meet  I found it so optimistic.

For our longer 30 minute meditation, in the morning we did a modified Body Scan with a lot of appreciation for what our body gives to us day after day. We honoured its strength. We then meditated on the energy and joy that enveloped us.

In the evening, we used paired intentions that we timed to our breathing.

  • Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in                 Breathing out, I know I’m breathing out
  • Breathing in, my breath grows deep                  Breathing out, my breath goes slowly
  • Breathing in, I am aware of my body                 Breathing out, relaxing my body
  • Breathing in, caring for my body                         Breathing out, nurturing my body

Repeating these intentions during repetitive activities or meditation  throughout the week is a good way of regaining the peace that you felt during our meditation practice.


Peace in every Breath

One day just to ensure that I achieved the right frame of mind; Shanti, my cat, hopped into my lap. Her name means peace, and she did help me feel peaceful, once she finished kneading my legs with her paws and settled down to rest. There is something very calming about the quiet purring of a contented cat.



Meditation Lesson 1 – Letting go of my Ego

Mindfulness Program

I started taking an 8 week Mindfulness Program in September, and I am very pleased to be a part of this Program. It is somewhat intimidating, because at the Orientation meeting and at the first week’s session, we were reminded that we must commit fully to taking this course, we can’t coast through it; some of us might not finish it.

I wasn’t worried, I already was meditating and really was passionate about how this can be helpful. I was surprised therefore to find that I was very resistant to listening to the recorded meditation for the first week.


My attempts at meditating twice a day did not go smoothly:  the first session I stopped it after 10 minutes.  I didn’t like the speaker’s voice; I couldn’t focus on my body; I was restless. I started thinking about how the recorded meditation could be improved;  rather than being aware of my body. The next time, I tried meditating on my back deck in the warm sun. Shanti, my cat, wandered over my belly exploring this new aspect of me. The train whistle I could notice and let go; however, I could not ignore the mosquitoes! They got in a few really good feedings on my legs, making my left leg bounce up and down in an attempt to dislodge them. Safely indoors for my evening session of meditation, I could not concentrate; I’d drift off and then realize with a start that I had missed the whole right leg! Finally I tried experimenting with other body scan recordings and found one that I could settle better with.  I also sat up so that I didn’t drift off during the meditation.

The Prickly Ego

At the Second Week’s Group session, I went on at length about all the things that the course leaders could “improve upon” for the next time; anxious to show how valuable my experience as a process improvement specialist would be to the group.

Meditation Lesson  - Lose prickly Ego
Ego can be a bit prickly

Mindful Meditation

What I forgot to do is to ask myself before I spoke:  “Are these words truthful and beneficial to me and to others? Will they bring peace, or will they create problems?” I think now that they were not mindfully spoken, that I could have taken the course leader aside at the end of the session and identified those things that could be improved (If really necessary). By speaking my concerns in front of the group – I was raising the negative energy and perhaps fostering doubts in others about the usefulness of the meditation. I need to lay my Ego aside, and contribute in a positive way to this program – and not worry about being an expert in anything.

I accept this lesson gratefully, it shows me that I can learn a lot about being mindful in my thoughts  and words. I am finding that I am becoming more patient every day and smiling a lot more. Sunglasses are strongly advised!


Mindful Eating
Mindful eating