Autumn Applause

autumn applause detail-medThe ash outside my window wears a joyful scarf of burgundy and gold. The change is a signal for me to give autumn applause and seek grace and serenity in life’s simple gifts.

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Season of enlightenment

Alhambra sun - Version 2What does enlightenment mean?

To some enlightenment may mean to gain greater knowledge or understanding about a subject or situation. To others it may mean to have a spiritual awakening.  To me enlightenment means that I’m intimate with a moment – acutely aware of what’s happening here and now. There are no words to accurately describe enlightenment. You can’t read about enlightenment and know what it means. To be enlightened, I believe, one must feel it.

Many Rochesterians may have experienced enlightenment from their relationships with recent challenging events in our area: The funeral procession of Rochester police officer Daryl Pierson, and news of a plane crash that killed two prominent Rochesterians – husband and wife  Others may have experienced enlightenment on Facebook, scrolling through the outpouring of condolences and photos posted for a family who just lost their loved one to cancer; being moved to action reading about a mother’s miraculous survival after she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle, or finally realizing that light will break through after many dark days.

Enlightenment, however, doesn’t always arise from grief, sadness, or loss. Happy moments are more frequent and offer us many opportunities to experience enlightenment from the ordinary things we do every day:

Children often have a way of reminding you to slow down, or stop whatever you’re doing to listen to their whimsical stories, or snuggle like bears on the couch. Children are like little buddhas, plump with enlightenment and unfettered by adult hang-ups. As a mom, I’ve found that when I allow myself to see the world throughout the lens of my child and act from an open heart, I learn something new.

This season, we need to take time to experience our enlightenment. Why not start right now?

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Moms share back-to-school resolutions

school resolutions2 sm

Moms, have you made your back-to-school resolutions, yet?

The realization that 71 days of summer vacation has ended brings a range of emotions in kids from excitement to anxiety. Back-to-school time also leaves moms trying to figure out how to cope with the challenges of getting their kids ready to return to school.

I interviewed several Rochester-area moms about their “resolutions” for the new school year, including yoga instructor Mary Aman who shared ways she was reclaiming space. I also spoke to two experts who offered their tips in combatting back-to-school jitters. After speaking with moms and writing the article – which appears in today’s Democrat and Chronicle Living section – I never thought about making resolutions in September. Now I understand that it’s a perfect time to recommit to what’s important in my life. I hope you find time to read my story in print or online and share your back-to-school goals, resolutions, and lessons with me.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me a comment. You can also post a comment on my blog or Facebook.