Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud.

-Maya Angelou


Native American Prayer

I give you this, one thought to keep.

I am with you still, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush...

of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not think of me as gone-

I am with you still, in each new dawn.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.  

-William James

"I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy.  From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace."   Dalai Lama

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing attention to the present moment. Common ways to practice being mindful are:  

--Sit comfortably on chair or floor, placing hands on your heart. Lower your gaze down or close eyes.  Take a slow breath in through your nose and an even slower breath out through your mouth. Repeat 3-5 times.  Open your eyes slowly. How do you feel?

--Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Knees straight, shoulders relaxed down and eyes looking straight ahead. Arms are at your side with hands open and fingers spread apart. Lower your eyes down to the ground in front of you or close your eyes. Imagine warmth traveling from your feet up out through the top of your head to the sky. Breathe in and out through your nose for 3 cycles. What feels different?

--Sitting comfortably, run your fingertips along different body parts. For example, run your fingertips from one shoulder, slowly down the outside of your arm to your hand.  Trace each finger and return your fingertips back to your shoulder on the inside of your arm. Do this for 1 minute. Repeat on other parts of your body. What do you notice?  Does your body feel more or less relaxed?

--When eating a snack or during a meal, focus on the esperience of one bite of food. As you bite into your food, do so slowly. Feel how the food feels on your tongue, in your mouth and when you chew.  Is it hard, soft? What does it taste like as you chew slowly?  Does it taste sweet, salty or sour?