Author: Donna Pierce

Mindful Monday: Relax, control freaks!

Challenge, mindfulness
This week, I thought I'd write a very short, simple post about control issues again because so many of us struggle with them. We can't control our thoughts. For the most part, they come and go on their own. We can't control the emotions that arise in us because we feel what we feel when we feel it. We can't control most of what happens in our bodies. If we can control so little within the borders of our own selves, how is it that we imagine we can control other people or events that come into our lives? We can control our choices and behaviors, and that's about it, so maybe we control freaks can relax a little. … What are you noticing about control today? ... for Mindful Monday ... © 2014, post, Donna Pierce Photo credit: The Wizard of Oz (film), 1939, produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. I f

Mindful Monday: Control Issues?

Buddhism, Challenge, contemplation, mindfulness, overwhelmed, Spirituality
Do you have control issues? I do. In the past five years, my family has experienced a long string of stressful events—terminal illness diagnoses, deaths, breakdowns, emergencies, chemo and radiation, surgeries, and alarming revelations. Life kept falling apart. It still is. I struggled to control the outcomes of these events because I found myself terrified by suffering and loss. Surely if I knew how to do just the right thing, I could make a situation turn out well, solve the problem, or keep people from dying. When I couldn’t, which was most of the time, I felt like I had failed: bad mother, bad daughter, bad wife. Self-loathing escalated. Margaret Wheatley, a consultant, writer, and student of Pema Chödrön, sheds light on this idea of hating oneself because we think we fall short whe

Mindful Monday: Getting out of your own way

conflict, listen, mindfulness, spiritual practice, Spirituality
This post is the third of three on the topic of mindfulness and listening. Like most of us humans, I tend to listen from an unconscious stance of reactivity. That is, I hear what someone is saying, and I react quickly to the surface meaning of the words, the tone in which they're spoken, and the facial expression that accompanies them. Not mindful! I'm smack up against my identification with the words and emotions with no mindful breathing space between them. I hear the words, but I'm not listening because I'm reacting. I take a breath to reply, but I'm not taking a breath to consider and then respond. This can be a problem in most conversations, especially the challenging ones. In The Wisdom of Listening, Margaret Truxaw Hopkins, a hospice chaplain in Santa Clara, CA, writes about simpl...