Now & Then

While visiting Washington, D.C. in July 1986, I took this picture. I thought it was the cutest thing to see this little kid and presumably his grandfather both dressed in overalls. Recently I was looking at some old pictures and decided to scan this one.

Back then and for many years after, every 4th of July, my extended family on my mother's side got together over my uncle's house. There always seemed to be a new Will Smith movie coming out over the holiday. Lots of food and fun. I really appreciate those days. It was a very special moment in time.

I thought those times would last forever. But nothing stays the same. Change is the nature of things

This year, there are plans to bring back the 4th of July family reunion. I'm really looking forward to it and hope that we can start a new family tradition. The timing of the new Will Smith movie won't be exactly right, but it will be close. Nothing stays the same.

+ + +

Yesterday, I attended a day-long mindfulness retreat with Patricia Howard. It was amazing!

Since I started meditating even more, I've been toying with the idea of a yoga and/or a meditation retreat. Not that I can afford one at this point, but I was wondering if I'd even be able to do it if money were not an issue. To sit for a long time and just think.

One of the benefits of teaching baking classes, there's another one coming up by the way, is that I can take a free class too. I decided to try this mini retreat to see if I liked it enough to try one for a longer period of time.

Patricia guided us in practicing and also spoke to us about different techniques, schools of thought, like Thich Nhat Hanh and Jon Kabat-Zinn. My first meditation experiences were in yoga classes and we always focused on our breath. Which is what I try to do when I meditate each day. Patricia spoke about the fidelity of the breath, which I really liked.

While everything in life changes, one thing we can always count on is our breath to be with us. It's the one thing that we have had since the moment of our birth and we can count on until the moment we die. We will always have our breath and we can use it. Sit with it and learn to appreciate the present.

Impatience has always been an issue for me. I realize now that it's a rejection of mindfulness, because it's focused on the future. So many states of mind are not focused on the here and now. It's a lifelong challenge, but one that I continue to pursue.

Happy Sunday to you!

*Updated 3/25/2013* For those of you who are interested, Patricia Howard is teaching two MBSR - Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programs this Spring at Visions HealthCare and there are two free orientations

Wellesley ~ April 10, 2013, 7pm
Dedham ~  April 11, 2013, 10am

Suggested reading material: Thich Nhat Hahn, Pema Chodron, Dali Lama, Ekhart Tolle

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Can-Can said…
"Everything must change-an-ange, nothing stays the same." I'm hearing Oleta Adams's voice as I write this. I wrote a blog post once called Don't Change: An Impossible Request of Family. Oh the large picnics and family meals! I feel you!
Do make sure your family has its July 4 gathering. We had one Labor Day weekend in my hometown and it was great. the weekly dinners at my grandmother's house ceased when she died a few years ago but everyone does get together a few times a year. One of the things I miss so about home.
Lisa Johnson said…
can-can - We usually do have a smaller family get togethers each holiday, although small is relative. For my family, a small get together is large for many others. My mom grew up with ten siblings! So many people have moved out of state, away from our Boston base, so we don't have the super huge holiday gatherings that we used to. The super huge gathering is what I'm hoping for!
Chris O said…
I hear you loud and clear Lisa! I am also impatient at times and try to remind myself when I'm being so. Being in the present is what it's all about because that's all we have.
Lisa Johnson said…
chris - I knew you'd be with me on this! : )

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