Daily Moment of Awareness [10.20.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

While we enjoy the majesty of this life, we will also experience pain. We all will. There is no avoiding it. In fact, a life spent trying to avoid pain leads to suffering.

Pain happens, whether unexpected (loss of a loved one, natural disaster, etc.) or as a result of our own doing (ruminating in resentment, allowing fear to influence our choices, etc.). The lesson is no matter the source of pain, it’s how (or if) we decide to face it that will shape us. Choosing not to embrace pain will lead to suffering. Facing pain in unhealthy ways (through numbing = drugs, sleep, pretending, etc.) will also lead to suffering. And it is suffering that gives pain power to manipulate you into believing you cannot heal.

Pain is another experience we must move through. Don’t get wrapped up in the pace of it. Do notice if you are stagnating.

Give action to pain. Ask for help (friend, family, counseling, etc.) Meditate. Pray. Journal. Engage in healthy activities (exercise, reading, walking, etc.). Other forms of action include: expressing your truth, acceptance, forgiveness, love.

Move through your pain so you can heal in love.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.15.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

“Why didn’t that person respond as I had hoped?” or “Why didn’t that situation unfold as I had hoped?

Have you ever asked those questions? I do. In fact, I did this morning.

These questions place our attention on the outside of ourselves. Even when our intentions are pure and our preparation is solid, people and situations are ultimately out of our “control.” Sure we can affect both by what we bring to each, but that’s where it stops. We cannot control responses.

However, we can choose how we respond to a person’s response and or the unfolding of a situation. Ask yourself how you feel and why? Ask yourself what you could learn. And then, you can choose to ground yourself in the reality of the present moment.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.14.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

Maybe it’s not work. Maybe it’s not grueling. Maybe it’s not exhausting.

Maybe….it’s necessary.

When you consider making change in your life, do you cast a negative shadow on the experience? Like, before you even take a step? Think about how you characterize what you need to do or what you are trying to achieve. The more you paint it in a negative light, the more mental blocks you create to get in the way. As if you needed any more excuses.

When you reflect on areas of your life that you believe to be unhealthy or in need of a healthy dose of change, it is helpful to think and speak about the change in a grounding and benefiting way. Ask for the effort and energy needed to move forward. Allow lessons along the way. Be patient with yourself. Say, “Thank you.” for the opportunity.

You affect the process of change by your attitude about change. See it as necessary and welcome it as part of your growth.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.12.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

I’ve spent a great deal of my life trying to play the “expected or acceptable role.” Though I can blame how I thought others wanted to see me, I ultimately chose how to express myself. This resulted in me being unsure of the life I wanted or how to deal with the life I had.

This conflicted feeling had been present in the mundane every day living as well as in the deeper experiences.

What I’m discovering is as I let go of my own made up stories of “what they want from me” and instead ground myself in “this is who I am,” I feel peace. I feel gratitude. Like, where have I been my entire life?!?!

I also recognize living my truth needs conscious decision making from me. Yes, my life deserves my time, space, and attention.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.10.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

Today was a day filled with gifts.

It began with breathing in a beautiful morning and deepening my awareness in meditation. Then a 9+ mile run through a blissful autumn scene. Followed by a calming, restorative float session. And culminating with reiki and a full body massage.

My mind was clear. My heart was open. My soul was shining. My body was rejuvenated. My whole being was filled with gratitude.

It is good for your spirit to love and care for yourself.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.9.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

It is something special when you are seen and heard. I felt that way this morning. A friend of mine shared some very kind words with me about how I affect a particular aspect of his life. See, we both play music together and he expressed how my drumming is opening him up to new ways of how he plays bass.

Why this is so special is because I’ve been playing drums for almost 25 years and I’ve been in a couple different bands. Each has been a unique experience and each has helped me grow as a musician. However, during my short stint with this current band, I’ve let go of my fear of feeling inadequate. It’s freed me to explore and to have fun.

I’ve mindfully been expressing my creative side and it has shown in my playing, my feeling, and in gratitude from others. It is really special to be seen and herd for who you really are.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.8.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

I am discovering what it means to feel all the feelings. Today, was non-stop with emotions. They took me all over the place. I found myself thinking not, “Why am I feeling this?” but instead, “What can I learn from this?”

This is big time progress for me. Rather than racing, full steam into the emotion, I felt it, named it, and asked what the lesson may be? I became more accepting of my choices in life - good, bad, happy, sad, doesn't matter. They are mine and mine to learn from.

I felt like I truly honored my whole being today.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.7.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

We wish people happiness all the time. But happiness, success, and yes, love, cannot exist without truth.

For people to genuinely experience happiness or success or love, they need to be living a truthful life. I don’t mean in the sense of being a Saint and never telling a white lie, but rather, living your truth. Being authentically who you were born to be.

Let that sink in.

If you are hiding your essence, whatever you experience will feel incomplete. Why? Because you will be denying yourself the ultimate experience in this life…being YOU.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.4.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

My day began with my meditative practice, which presented so many lessons about accepting who I am and giving from a place of truth rather than obligation. This was followed by a 14 mile run, which inspired intense feelings of bliss. Between the autumn scene and the endorphin release, I sincerely felt like I was floating. I then hopped in my car for a road trip to hang with family this weekend.

The whole ride out, my attention was pulled to the clouds, the sky, and the sun setting. My goodness, it was gorgeous! Once again, I was reminded how beautiful LIFE is. Yes, life. Not my life, but LIFE. The gift that is LIFE.

Awareness is the gateway to appreciation.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.3.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

We are often told, “There is always something to be grateful for.” Some of you may agree and some of you may struggle with that. However, no matter where you stand, it’s up to you to explore it.

Dismissing it because of your current circumstances does not make it untrue. Passively agreeing does not evoke the awareness. Expressing gratitude is an act which requires your time, space, and attention. You need to call to your consciousness the people and/or things for which you are grateful. This can be your breath, a recent purchase, a sweet lunch with a loved one, an accomplishment, or having enjoyed a sunny day.

Gratitude is not about happiness. It’s about active recognition and appreciation. I realized that today. Though I felt drained this afternoon, I was still able to bring my attention to people and things for which I am very grateful.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.2.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

I was reminded today of something I’ve been sitting with in my times of refection. I don’t believe we need courage to live our truth. I believe we need acceptance. We need to FIRST accept our truth. Love our truth. Once you do that, living your truth will begin to feel like breathing. It will feel natural.

Because your truth is your nature.

Our truth is in us. Always. It’s that thing we hide. It’s that thing we deny. It doesn’t take courage to do that. It’s simply a conscious choice. Therefore, you can make a conscious choice to live your truth too. Out loud.

Stop with the pep talks about living your truth and just be it.

Daily Moment of Awareness [10.1.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

I have been enjoying a pretty steady ritual of daily morning meditation, followed by reading, then a run, then some social media work and then….well, whatever I need to do in the moments following.

Today was completely lopsided for me. I was up super late and basically, so my sleep schedule was totally messed up. I actually laid in bed until about 5p. Though I was feeling conflicted about some stuff, unmotivated, and annoyed that I allowed the day to go by, something happened.

I told myself it was ok to deviate from the plan. I recognized I could still accomplish what I do in the mornings, in the evening too. In that moment, I felt ok about not feeling ok. But I also become mindful that making healthy choices to boost my energy, clear my mind, and nurture my well-being are available to me in every moment - not just the morning time.

So, I sat up. I scheduled some social media posts. I leaned into my mediative practice. I read. I got a quick run in. I showered. And I even ran out for some quick fall knick-knack shopping.

Even when things feel off, you can still make choices to align yourself with well-being.

Daily Moment of Awareness [9.30.2019]

Moments of awareness shared with you

Meditation is an experience which gives the individual the opportunity to see oneself. Unfiltered. Non-judged. Without fear.

This does not mean it is without intense emotion, but it is emotion grounded in how you see yourself. This is powerful. Many of us chip away (sometimes strip away) our authenticity in order to be accepted, to be loved, or we do it to be invisible. We then begin to see ourselves as others want to see us.

My meditative practice has been about eight years in the making. Where I am at is leaps and bounds from where I began. But what I realized today is, when I meditate I am seeing and feeling my authentic self. It’s liberating. It’s inspiring.

I’m also reminded I have work to do, but I’m not embarrassed by it. I am accepting of it. I am accepting of me.

Fear Is Not A Validation

People hear what you say. People see what you do. But people do not experience your life experiences as you do.

Furthermore, we often dial down or even hide our truth. The deep, core experience dancing in our souls and warming our hearts. For as real as it feels to us, we still try to make sense of it. We question it and doubt it. There are so many reasons why we do this and it all points back to fear.

How much do you reveal in your moment to moment? 

We tell people what we think they will accept. We show people what we think they will accept. We surrender to fear. We tell ourselves we have difficult choices to make, but what that really mean is we have tradeoffs to make. The tradeoff is our authenticity for someone else's acceptance. Why? Because we allow fear to be a validation for how we choose to live.

Fear is NOT a validation.

words on image: Michael Barata / image: Jez Timms

words on image: Michael Barata / image: Jez Timms

Your Truth

Who YOU are can only be discovered and realized by YOU. What others may think or say is their own deal.

You make choices. You make decisions. You make mistakes. You learn lessons. You dance in bliss. You grow from pain. You express your truth. You reflect in silence.

Life is your most precious gift. The journey is yours to unwrap it.

words on image: Michael Barata / image: Ravi Pinisetti

words on image: Michael Barata / image: Ravi Pinisetti

When Fear Knocks

What if you looked at your fears as opportunities? What if your opportunities are your fears in disguise?

Before you jump to the scariness associated with fears, try thinking about them differently. Imagine opportunity whispering to you through your fears. An opportunity is not without unknowns and yet, it feels different because there is a perceived benefit. A fear feels debilitating because the perceived experience is seen as discomfort, pain, or failure.

Pursuing an opportunity reveals more about it. Moving though fear reveals more about YOU.

all words: Michael Barata / image: Ricardo Retez

all words: Michael Barata / image: Ricardo Retez

I Am Strong

[I Am mini-series #2]

Have you forgotten about your strength? Your ability to overcome? To persevere? To move through the fear? To heal? 

Your strength has helped you countless times. This power resides within you, for you, whenever you need it. 

Honor your strength with gratitude

all words + words on image: Michael Barata / image: NordWood Themes

all words + words on image: Michael Barata / image: NordWood Themes

Be Instead of Prove

Think about your energy. Think about your time. Think about YOUR LIFE. How do you want/need to be expressing yourself? How often do you allow someone else to influence how you create and live your life? 

Your reference point for your authenticity is within YOU. Your successes and failures contribute to the path you are blazing. Burn the bridges of conformity and judgment with every step you take. 

Stop proving yourself. Love yourself. Trust yourself. Nurture yourself. BE YOURSELF!

all words + words on image: Michael Barata / image: Nick Fewings

all words + words on image: Michael Barata / image: Nick Fewings