The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word

Don Miguel Ruiz writes:

The first agreement is the most important one and also the most difficult one to honor. It is so important that, with just this first agreement, you will be able to transcend to the level of existence I call heaven on earth.

The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word. It sounds very simple, but it is very, very powerful. Why your word?

Your word is the power that you have to create.

Your word is the gift that comes directly from God. “The Gospel of John” in The Bible, speaking of the creation of the universe, says, “In the beginning there was the word, and the word was with God, and the word is God.” Through the word, you express your creative power. It is through the word that you manifest everything. Regardless of what language you speak, your intent manifests through the word. What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are will all be manifested through the word.

The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and, thereby, to create the events in your life. You can speak. What other animal on the planet can speak? The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you. One edge is the misuse of the word, which creates a living hell. The other edge is the impeccability of the word, which will only create beauty, love, and heaven on earth.

Depending upon how it is used, the word can set you free, or it can enslave you even more than you know.

via The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word « Positively Positive.

International Women’s Day: Unleash Your Inner Goddess

FinerMinds shares this:

In honor of International Women’s day, we wanted to share this inspiring video of Maya Angelou reciting a beautiful passage from her book Letter to My Daughter. It is an empowering reminder to be strong, courageous and to take responsibility for your own happiness – regardless of your personal circumstances.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”

via International Women’s Day: Unleash Your Inner Goddess.

Zen Mind in the Middle of Chaos & Stress

Leo Babauta shares this:

What do you do when your job, or your personal life, is a constant source of busy-ness, rushing, nose-to-the-grindstone work, and stress?

Or what do you do if your life is simple and relatively stress-free, but something blows up and you are in the middle of chaos and high stress all of a sudden?

This is when we could use a dose of Zen Mind, or the Art of Letting Go.

What is this Zen Mind? To be honest, I’m still learning what that is, but what I’ve been practicing is a constant letting go. Let’s take an example:

I have a major deadline approaching. It is stressing me out, man! But what is the source of the stress? It’s not the work, which is just a series of actions. It’s not the deadline, which is just a time constraint. It’s my reaction to those external events — my fear that I’m not going to make it, that I’ll mess up, that I’ll look stupid or incompetent. This fear that is causing my stress reaction is rooted in my wanting things to turn out a certain way … wanting to meet the deadline and get things perfect and look good.

What if I could let go of wanting things to turn out that way? This is a fantasy, an ideal, that I’m holding onto. It might turn out that way, sure, but it could turn out a dozen other ways, and the truth is I don’t have complete control over how it’ll turn out. All I can do is do the work, and the fantasy, the fear and the stress are only getting in the way. So if I can let go of this ideal, this fantasy, I can let go of the fear, and the stress.

This is the Zen Mind that I’m learning about. It’s simply letting go, and in doing so, you attain a peace of mind no matter what chaos and seemingly stressful event are going on around you. Again, I’m not good at this yet, but I’m learning. I’ll share what I know with you.

Full story at: Zen Mind in the Middle of Chaos & Stress : zenhabits.

American Minute for March 6th; events preceding ‘Evacuation Day’

English: View of the city of Boston from Dorch...

View of the city of Boston from Dorchester heights / painted & engraved by Robt. Havell ; coloured by Havell & Spearing. Print shows a distant view of Boston with ships in the harbor, the “Worcester Rail Road” on the left, the “Lowell Rail Road” on the right, and the Bunker Hill monument in the middle background. Aquatint, color, C size. New York : Published by Robt. Havell, 172 Fulton St., c1841 (Printed by W. Neale) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

William Federer writes:

25-year-old Colonel Henry Knox unbelievably moved 59 cannons 300 miles in 3 months from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston, considered by historian Victor Brooks as “one of the most stupendous feats of logistics. “Knox had witnessed the Boston Massacre in 1770. He fled Boston with his wife Lucy after the British destroyed his bookshop. On December 1, 1775, Knox was sent by 43-year-old General George Washington to bring the cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston to help drive out the British who had occupied the city for seven months since the Battle of Bunker Hill, blockading the harbor and starving the inhabitants. Continue reading

Technology and mindfulness…

  1. :-D
  2. The Pope is hardly the first person to lose interest in their real job so soon after joining Twitter.
  3. Some thoughts on the Wisdom 2.0 conference last weekend. So much appreciation for Soren and his team for putting…
  4. WISDOM 2.0 will guide our interactions toward greater meaning, productivity, and wellbeing via @SFGate
  5. Wisdom 2.0′s Compassionate, Chaos-Reducing Brand Of Leadership
  6. ⊱⊋↝Leadership↜⊊⊰ The Art of Conscious Leadership – from Wisdom 2.0 2013 via @karin_sebelin
  7. ⊱⊋↝Leadership↜⊊⊰ The Art of Conscious Leadership – from Wisdom 2.0 2013 via @karin_sebelin
  8. For business leaders out there, Wisdom 2.0 provides out-of-the-box practical thinking – you can get more videos by downloading the HBR…
  9. Arianna Huffington At Wisdom 2.0 (VIDEO) via @HealthyLiving Deeper wisdom comes from the school of hard knocks.
  10. Arianna Huffington At Wisdom 2.0 (VIDEO) via @HealthyLiving What wisdom do you really get from inexperienced lives?
  11. Arianna Huffington At Wisdom 2.0 (VIDEO) via @HealthyLiving Wisdom from college students, docs, lawyers and business
  12. Watch Wisdom 2.0 2013 on @livestream:… There’s a conference on wisdom! How come nobody told me. I’m totally there!
  13. @Padmasree Padma watching your Wisdom 2.0 presentation on HBR! Totally inspiring. I am showing this to my team to spread the wisdom.
  14. Some thoughts on the Wisdom 2.0 conference last weekend. So much appreciation for Soren and his team for putting…
  15. The Shift: Exploring Your Life Purpose with Wisdom 2.0 Founder Soren Gordhamer. #Wisdom2conf
  16. Like—》RT @AlliPolin: >Mindful curiosity can take you on new paths of understanding & discovery via @ThinDifference
  17. Food for thought: Wisdom 2.0. @harvardbiz: How to Be Mindful in an ‘Unmanageable’ World
  18. Great post by Jack Kornfield. His interview with Bill Ford was one of my favorite ones. Enjoy another perspective of Wisdom 2.0, from the driver’s seat!
  19. “Without a connection to our inner world, to our own thoughts and body, the creative mind becomes inaccessible amid the mass of other content we digest.” Soren Gordhamer – Wisdom 2.0…

  20. Yoga e maestri zen contro lo stress digitale. L’intossicazione tecnologica crea disagio? Ecco Wisdom 2.0 —>…
    L’intossicazione tecnologica crea disagio? Ecco Wisdom 2.0
    L’intossicazione tecnologica crea disagio? Ecco Wisdom 2.0
  23. Check out the music of Abraham, at We were both at the Wisdom 2.0 summit this past weekend. I just love that the Bay Area is at the center of such cool stuff like mindfulness technology.
  24. The conference I helped to host this weekend, Wisdom 2.0 is written up in this great summary by Arianna Huffington. She recognizes the energy and unique spirit of this event and the amazing people who pour their time into creating this space to process the collective spirit from technology to mindfulness in daily life.

    We sat down with Congressman Tim Ryan this weekend to chart out collaborations for a new foundation focused on creating environments throughout our daily lives that support taking a deep breath, listening, processing deeply with each other and sharing our best selves in the collective conversation.

    I am so happy to share a glimpse here and host these conversations with you in future gatherings. The happiest place on earth.

  25. Arianna Huffington agrees with me – the Wisdom 2.0 Conference was really, really special.
  26. When I’m listening to the signals my body gives, I do very strange things. Like take Caltrain down to Mtn. View for the Hacker Dojo, stay for 15 minutes and go right back to San Francisco. I can make up a reason (too tired, day too full, energetic mismatch) but I don’t need to know. My inner compass is screaming “go back, sleep early, wake up at 5am and have a productive day.”
  27. Many of you have asked me what Wisdom 2.0 was like. In this post, Tony Schwartz shares some of his insights from the 2013 conference …
  28. Wisdom 2.0 2013 Session Proposal – Holacracy: Building a More Conscious Organization
  29. From Suffering to Seeking to Achieving: What Consciousness Can DO! – Wisdom 2.0 – 2013 Conference

American Minute for January 8th; The Battle of New Orleans

English: Andrew Jackson - 7 th President of th...

I think this is one of the most fascinating stories in American history and the whole think could have been avoided by one text message [which of course couldn't happen at the time]:

Though the War of 1812 was effectively over two weeks earlier with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, December 24, 1814, news had not yet reached New Orleans.

On January 8, 1815, in the last battle of the War of 1812, nearly 10,000 British soldiers advanced under cover of darkness and heavy fog, intending to surprise General Andrew Jackson’s Tennessee and Kentucky sharpshooters, aided by French pirate Jean Lafitte and his men.

As the British neared, the fog suddenly lifted and in just a half hour 2,042 British were killed or wounded, while there were only 71 American casualties.

General Andrew Jackson wrote on January 26, 1815, to Robert Hays regarding the victorious Battle of New Orleans:

“It appears that the unerring hand of Providence shielded my men from the shower of balls, bombs, and rockets, when every ball and bomb from our guns carried with them a mission of death.”

General Jackson told his aide-de-camp Major Davezac of his confidence before the Battle:

“I was sure of success, for I knew that God would not give me previsions of disaster, but signs of victory. He said this ditch can never be passed. It cannot be done.”

Andrew Jackson wrote to Secretary of War James Monroe, February 17, 1815:

“Heaven, to be sure, has interposed most wonderfully in our behalf, and I am filled with gratitude, when I look back to what we have escaped.”

The Treaty of Ghent was ratified by the U.S. Senate, February 16, 1815.

All British troops were immediately brought back to Europe as Napoleon had escaped from the Island of Elba, February 26, 1816.

For one hundred days, events in Europe cascaded toward the massive Battle of Waterloo.

President James Madison proclaimed for the United States a National Day of Thanksgiving Devout Acknowledgment to Almighty God on March 4, 1815.

via American Minute for January 8th.

We Can’t Always Get What We Want (And That’s OK!)

Danielle Robinson writes:

Lately I’ve given myself the task of psychological inventory: what am I holding onto, what should I release.

It occurred to me this past summer when I was moving apartments how much we cling to and how little we throw away. A simple cleaning out the closet really inspired me to dig deeper.

More than hanging onto things, which our society does very well, we often use our powerful minds as a weapon, to keep ourselves repeating the same stories, reliving the same events, re-running the same conversations, finding ways to make sense of things the mind simply cannot tackle.

What kept me in a cycle of discontent, riddled with a F*ck You on my forehead, was an accumulated bitterness over circumstances that simply didn’t go my way.

At some point I needed to forgive and forget everything that stung and left a sour energy in my soul. I needed to purge it, nut up, and recognize that no one gets what they want all the time.

Not everyone has the best hand dealt to them upon birth, upon entering school, upon exiting school, upon entering the job market, the love market, the friendship market, the athletics market, the artistic market, the business market, or any other market you can fathom entering.

Full story at: We Can’t Always Get What We Want (And That’s OK!).


I Love You, But Please Stop Talking…

donna-gates.pngDonna Gates writes:

When we think and when we speak, we create.

Ask yourself the following:

Throughout my day, how many times am I thinking and speaking of:

1)Old things and experiences?

2)Things in society I dislike and wish would change?

3)Things I actually wish to create and experiences I wish to have?

Too often we play out the same dramas with different people.

Too often we give a voice to our worries, our fears, and our stress.

It can be difficult not to think and talk about stressful life events. When we speak about what is on our mind, we release some mental and emotional pressure. If we do not disperse the gloomy cloud that hangs around us, we at least have someone to share it with.

In conversation or in thought, the creative act happens in increments. Slowly, one small creation builds upon another. Before you know it, you are thinking about and speaking about the very experience that you do not want.

Every time we engage our fears and worries, we are putting our focus on things we do not want to experience. So then why are we spending so much time making them part of our reality?

During the first months of the New Year, many of us will begin a new exercise program, quit an unhealthy habit or choose a way of eating for vibrant health.

Whether it is the New Year or not, you can always give yourself the support that you need to succeed.

While each of us is unique, I often find that changing your inner ecosystem with fermented foods and beverages goes hand in hand with strengthening the will for transformation.

Raising your vibration on the inside helps to raise the vibration on the outside, including the good feeling states that promote optimistic thoughts and language.

Often at the end of the year, we focus on our flaws and our mistakes. This needs to stop. We need to change our perspective. Our misfortunes are clues. Our setbacks in health are communications from our body.

Thus we should see all the old events or trials and current misfortunes or imperfections as opportunities that bring us one step closer to understanding that the present moment is the right time for gratitude and the only time to focus on where you are going.

When we grasp that—we are one step closer to living our dreams.

via I Love You, But Please Stop Talking….

5 Ways to Keep Cool Around Your Family During Family Holidays

‘Tis the season to spend time with family members—young, old, perfectly sane, or completely crazy. Personally, I continue to contemplate whether gypsies left me on the doorstep of the house I grew up in. 

Needless to say, family gatherings are not my favorite activity. 

But let’s face it, we all have to do it at some point. 

Here are my top five 5 for staying chill throughout your next family fest: 

1. You can’t change your family. You can only change your response to them. 

I think no matter how crazy our family may be, the holidays seem to program us with a glimmer of hope that they can become the Cleavers, if only we do all the right things. In reality, we can’t fix or change people in our lives unless they want to change. So it pays to be realistic, and here’s a way to do that.

Before you embark on your holiday gathering, get yourself in a really calm and grounded place (meditate, do yoga). Enter your family event like you’re about to go see a movie. Sit back and watch the crazy that may ensue, and try not to get wrapped up in it. 

Easier said than done, I know, but over time, with practice, like  anything else, it will get easier.

2. Use imagery: Put on your rubber suit over that holiday dress. 

If imagery resonates with you, imagine putting on a rubber suit over your holiday garb. When family members make comments that are inappropriate and/or hurtful (e.g, when your mother tells your boyfriend not to listen to anything you say about her—sad-but-true story), envision those lovely comments bouncing off you, again and again and again, and flying right out the window.

3. Be thankful: Without your family you wouldn’t be you. 

This is another mantra that took me years to come to terms with but was very empowering once I got there. If it were not for the dysfunctional environment I grew up in, I would not be who I am today.  

We have this amazing opportunity as adults to go beyond the house we were raised in. We can form more functional relationships and become more emotionally equipped and insightful people—and we can do this partly because our family challenges strengthened us. There is a lot of power in that, so if your family gets you down, meditate on that for awhile.

4. After family festivities, process your emotions. 

After family events, I used to find myself immersed in Hershey kiss food-fests and then realize I wasn’t processing my emotions. For me, it was sad to go home to a father who would ramble on about baseball without asking once what was going in my life. 

As we evolve and grow, our family environment can become even more disturbing and just plain sad. So post family fest, acknowledge your emotions, process them (cry, write, talk to a caring friend) and move on.

5. Go against society conventions. Spend the holidays with your friends! 

I am a big fan of self-preservation. If your family drives you absolutely crazy, why go home? For me, my friends have become my adopted family and I take pleasure in spending most of my holidays with them.  

I hope this will help you deal with the holidays, and I’d love to hear what has worked for you!!

Photo Credit:

Published December 22, 2012 at 10:24 AM
About Stacy Slawitsky

Stacy Slawitsky turned to yoga and mindfulness as a means to relieve the stress of a demanding job at a Big 4 Accounting Firm. Her passion to share the benefits of these practices with others led her to start ZenConnect. She conducts stress management programs for companies throughout the Boston area.

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Follow ZenConnect on Twitter: @ZenConn

More from Stacy Slawitsky on MindBodyGreen

Why It’s Good to Cry
Fun Ways to Start a Daily Gratitude Practice
Insights from an Ex-Corporate Road Warrior: 6 Easy Ways to Exercise on the Road
How the Power of Positive Thinking Prevented My Teeth from Falling Out