Welcome home. I missed you terribly. I even missed you till my misser got sore!
It's a quiet overcast Sunday morning in Huntington Beach (the sun will be out soon). You probably know by now I'm a morning person. I love listening to the birds singing first thing in the morning. It reminds me of the importance in how we start our day.
It's the same for your week. Often you arrive Monday morning with baggage from the weekend. This is one of the reasons I started Viral Mindfulness Monday. I wanted to create a space for me to do what I love most, and a place for you to start your week with a mindful invitation.
I had a secret fantasy you were waiting on the edge of your seat for this day—the series two premier. But the bigger truth: I've been sooooo excited, and on the edge of my blue exercise ball awaiting this day. I have truckloads of popcorn and beverages and built you a new website with an Om-Page! Go check it out
I'm going to make it brief so you can scroll through your online home. Plus I'm struggling to pinpoint my thoughts, since I have so many freaking things I want to share with you. I'm attempting to make my mistakes more visible, since I often obsess on perfection (however I've given myself permission to be perfect with Beethoven). I recorded an 8 minute introduction, with music, and some powerful thoughts about a recent event I attended at UCLA with Pema Chödrön and K.D. Lang in June (Let me just say Holy Wow-zers!) It completely changed me. Listen to it here
Let's dive in. Series two has a thesis: pay attention to your life. That's right! Your life. I'm asking you to cultivate a stronger sense of listening and observing you. And your life. It's so easy to get wrapped up and distracted in other people's lives these days. It's super, super tricky with all the social media. And before you know it, you're probably eating a double-double comparison, I'm-never-going-to be-good-enough-burger, animal style. Trust me, it's heavy on the stomach and the soul.
Over the past 6 months I've actually spent time with some of you in person. And conversed with you through email, phone, or video conversations. And I must say, I'm one lucky Alexander! There's a lot of heavy things happening in your life, or in the life of someone close to you.
Life is a circus, and we should play more often. Mindfulness can also be broken down into a different concept besides being present to this moment, without attachment (yada-yada, blah-blah-blah :). The word ness can mean something exemplifying a quality or state. Let's say you were to be in a quality or state with a mind full of shit. Mmmmmm, smells yummo!
What about a mind full of summer? Hope? Love? Crickets, planets, humming birds, biking, bowling, traveling, art, creativity, sadness, anger, grief, sugar, needles, Netflix, or despair.
Do you understand? You have an opportunity to wrap your mind around something. To fixate. To focus. So why not deliberately practice increments of time when you wrap your mind around play. Or better yet, a picnic. We've got a solid five weeks left of summer and I am inviting you to throw a picnic for your first mindfulness challenge. And I'm offering a prize! All you have to do to enter your name in my watercolor giveaway is send a picture, short video clip, or an email about your picnic.
The only rule is you have to picnic for at least 60 minutes. It can be on your living room floor. In Greece. On a mountain, in a boat. You can have it alone. You can invite your favorite people. You can eat green eggs and ham. Whatever! I just want you to be present for sixty minutes under the context of "picnic".
Are you game? Because I would love for you to win my first watercolor giveaway. A still life of an avocado I grew on my very own tree. This will be the first piece in a series as I study and paint the avocados from my tree.
I want series two to start with powerful and playful action. Before we dissect the reasons you don't listen to your inner self and pay closer attention to the subtle music and symphonies within. After years and thousands of one-on-one sessions with clients, I believe there's great wisdom in learning to become the expert and guru of you and your life. To become the divine physician and healer of your body. And it's not easy. We are trained right from the get go to attach, like infants on a breast, to somebody else, or something else for nourishment.
I'm inviting you to throw a picnic, show up, and listen. Pay attention. Even better if you spread compassion and share music at your picnic. Send me your thoughts via picture, words, or film.
Carl Jung says "there is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."
I will guide you through the darkness, but before we face your soul, let's picnic. It's summer. There are friends and people who would love to picnic with you. And if you want to picnic alone, make it special, because you deserve it.
Don't be surprised if I hit your inbox before next Monday. I'm just saying!
All my love to your mindful week!