5-Minute-Meditation: Learn

By Brian Hay

And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

(Anais Nin)

I don’t like change. I’m a creature of habit, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Leave everything the same, don’t make me learn a new way of doing an old thing. Change is hard, difficult, tasking. I feel lost at sea when going through change, a new building, a new home, a new address. New pathways to walk and roads to drive. I already knew my way home and back. Why do I have to learn new ways?

And oh, this is so true for me with technology. I’m sure that the new programs are dreamt up by 20-year-old geeks and kids who are just trying to make it harder and harder for my generation to keep up. I’ve got a new computer and everything is different. Nothing works like it used to work. Today’s programs are much more detailed and different-looking. I have no idea what button to push just to do the same function that I used to do with a simple click.

Yet, I bought that new computer for myself, so I could give my three-year-old computer to my friend who needed one, but couldn’t afford it. Meanwhile, I thought the most current computer out there would speed up my work. And so the change was made for the right reasons, to help my friend and, supposedly, also make it better for me. So, I try not to fear learning—and instead embrace it. Now, what button do I push to save and close this file again?

I embrace learning, to make life better.

© Brian Hay 2016

Learn was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography – Brian Hay

Brian Hay is a retired lawyer and a writer. He completed Transformative WritingTM studies at Canadian Mennonite University and received facilitator certification at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center, European Centre for Life Writing for TransformationTM, in Birmingham, England. Brian took motorcycle lessons after he turned 60, consistent with Michelangelo’s motto: “I’m always learn-ing …” He loves reading books about writing and daily personal/spiritual reflection.

5-Minute-Meditation: Savour

By Brian Hay

Half of the ills of mankind might be shaken off without doctors or medicine by mere residence in this lovely portion of the world. (Robert Louis Stevenson)

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The bright, hot sun and smooth warm sand on the beach kept me walking in gratitude and high spirits this morning. Only four days left of this and then back to the cold harsh winter in Canada, which almost brought me down. I thought of my English friend, who e-mailed this morning and told of having to use a “light box” to simulate the summer sun in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder during England’s dreary winter days. How lucky I was to have the real thing here in Maui, Hawaii, a tropical paradise.

I thought about how Robert Louis Stevenson had what we now know was likely the same seasonal affective disorder. Yet he found great relief in living out the last years of his life in Samoa.

For myself, with each day flying by in this tropical paradise, I wonder how I can preserve, remember and relive this moment? Just do it—take the beach walk, re-imagine this blissful time, savour it, and write about it, a time to savour.

I embrace the warm sunshine to remember and savour, on days that are not as warm and bright.

© Brian Hay 2016

Savour was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography – Brian Hay

Brian Hay

Brian Hay is a retired lawyer and a writer. He completed Transformative WritingTM studies at Canadian Mennonite University and received facilitator certification at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center, European Centre for Life Writing for TransformationTM, in Birmingham, England. Brian took motorcycle lessons after he turned 60, consistent with Michelangelo’s motto: “I’m always learn-ing …” He loves reading books about writing and daily personal/spiritual reflection.

5-Minute-Meditation: Change

By Tracey Craigon

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, 

we aren’t really living. (Gail Sheehy)

ChangeKaizen is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. The two original Chinese characters that make up this word are change and good.

I’ve become acutely aware of how easy it can be to be too content, too comfortable with the status quo. The way things generally are or have always been is not always the best, most life-giving, or secure way. At some point, if I am sincerely interested in improving the quality and effec-tiveness of my work, my relationships, and my commitment to a higher purpose for my life, I need to consider the value of change and the possibility of continuous improvement.

Change can be messy, for sure. It’s frequently difficult, requiring effort and adaptation, even compromise, on my part—and it’s often inconvenient. There are things that I would like to change or that I know need to change … and yet, it rarely happens as soon as I’d like. It’s easy to become discouraged and impatient when I don’t see the desired results I’d like to see. Sometimes things seem to get worse before they get better.

A different perspective, an improved attitude, a renewed commitment, a change of heart, a change of address, or simply a change of scene can really do some good.

I willingly embrace the necessity and power of change.

© Tracey Craigon  2016

Change was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography – Tracey Craigon

Tracey has had a knack for writing since childhood. Her love of the craft has led to explorations in poetry, journalling, song writing, blogging, calligraphy, and fiction. She is considering writing a book about some of her faith experiences. Presently, Tracey lives in Winnipeg and teaches ESL. She recently certified as a Personal Trainer and helps others enjoy the benefits of fitness. Tracey’s other interests include prayer, language, singing, cooking, HIIT workouts, and dance.

5-Minute-Meditation: Begin

By Alison Lock

I have to come back to a beginner’s mind, the first way I thought and felt about writing. In a sense, the beginner’s mind is what we must come back to every time we sit down and write… Each time is a new journey with no maps. (Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones)

How to begin?

Begin A new notebook. I open the first page. The smell of the fresh-cut paper and the clean-lined page taunt me, saying, “well, go on, what are you waiting for?” But somehow I cannot put my pen to the paper. For one thing, I know my handwriting is untidy and only vaguely constitutes anything that can be considered legible.

In fact, if I ever want to read aloud what I have written in my writing circle, I will need to look for my most up-to-date spectacles with the highest magnification just to see the words.

And then there’s the problem of the page being the very first in the notebook and the feeling that I should begin with something profound—some wise words, a flash of clarity that will light up the world.

But actually I am writing, not on the first page—I turned over a page before I could set down these words, these less than impressive words, on this insignificant second page.

I cherish every beginning, allowing new opportunities into my life, wherever they come from, whenever they arrive. I will begin again. No excuses.

© Alison Lock  2016

Begin  was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Alison Lock

Alison Lock is a poet and author from Holmfirth (UK). She finds inspiration in the moorlands and the natural environment of the South Pennines, which is often reflected in her writing. She is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Creative Writing. She believes that Transformative Life WritingTM is a unique and powerful tool that can transform our personal journalling, giving us new insights, and encouraging the development of our writing journeys.

5-Minute-Meditation: De-Clutter

By Jayelle Bond

There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. (G. K. Chesterton)

Friends inform me that they are going through their homes, getting rid of things; the buzz words are de-clutter, purge, downsize. Toys, books, equipment, clothes, and other household items are analyzed. A strategy is devised: to keep, organize, donate or discard. Because clutter clings to us, we experience a tug-of-war, as we decide what to release. I think of the quip, “I could keep my closets cleaner if I had another garage.”

My closets are stuffed with garments galore, memorabilia, stacks of paper, hidden cookies, et cetera. I confronted the issue of excess stuff and began to cull, but alas, clutter slowly began to increase as I purchased more. A realization came that the weight of clutter in my abode was like carrying fat around: it is mental, physical, and spiritual stress. It robbed me of nurturing relationships. Clutter clean-up required coming face-to-face with myself. I had to reduce the inventory. My inner voice took on a cogent tone, “Think of it as not losing something, but blessing someone else.”

I work on travelling light. I’m not defined by my possessions, but by what inhabits my heart. On this journey, I pursue letting go of tangible accumulation by doing math. Subtracting stuff from my life is adding to my living.

De-cluttering is a gift I give myself and others.

© Jayelle Bond  2016

De-Clutter was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Jayelle Bond

Jayelle Bond is walking into her prime. She stretched herself by taking the Life Writing for TransformationTM course at Canadian Mennonite University. Poetry is her usual writing; her poems have been published in journals and magazines. A prairie woman who delights in wind-rippled wheat fields and the starry vault of sky, Jayelle engages in watercolour painting, reading, and travelling.

5-Minute-Meditation: Decide

By Bertha Fontaine

Most folks are as happy as they

make up their minds to be. (Abraham Lincoln)

Our minds are very powerful if we choose to believe in something or someone. Only recently has research shown that treatment or therapy can be ineffective if an individual does not believe they are going to get well. We only have to look to children to see how a strong belief system works.

This past Christmas my youngest grandchild told her brother, “You have to come home with us to sleep tonight for sure. If Santa doesn’t see you sleeping in your bed he may think you no longer live there, and so he won’t leave you any gifts.”

Although he preferred to stay with his grandparents, my grandson’s belief in Santa overpowered his desire to stay with us. After trying to persuade him all evening to go home with his family, he quickly changed his mind and put on his coat.

Sometimes, I think, we as adults need to practice our belief systems like children in order for them to work for us.

By the way, Santa did arrive at my grandchildren’s home to deliver some Christmas excitement. The children? They were very happy.

I decide to believe in my hopes and dreams, 

with all my heart.

© Bertha Fontaine  2016

Decide  was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Bertha Fontaine

Bertha Fontaine is currently a manager and counsellor at an addiction treatment centre in Winnipeg, Canada. She attended a Transformative WritingTM program at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) and other writing classes led by Joanne Klassen. This helped Bertha realize the healing power of writing. Bertha loves being with family, especially her two sons, daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. She believes and practices the Ojibway and Cree traditional ways of her ancestors.

5-Minute-Meditation: Imagine

By Lori Gagnon

Imagine all the people living life in peace. (John Lennon)

ImagineWhat is peace? I ask myself this question in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the pre-Christmas week.

Imagine, if I did not have to hurry through life at a crazy pace that does not allow me to breathe and experience its every exquisite moment.

Imagine, if guns had never been invented and I lived in a world with no war.

Imagine, if love was my only motivating force—not winning, being top dog, or having all the power.

It is easy to imagine such a utopia. I then ask myself, how could it ever be real? Then I realize that such peace must first come from deep within myself, before I could ever expect it to be an outward worldwide concept.

Imagine, if I find something kind to say the next time I feel angry with someone.

Imagine, if I am peacefully silent the next time the office is jumping with gossip.

Imagine, if I purposefully try to live peace every day.

Imagine, if I only allow my thoughts to be loving and peaceful.

Imagine! I wonder if it would catch on. Would other people want to try it? I imagine they would.

I enter this day with peace, determined to remain peaceful.

I breathe peace in, I breathe peace out. I imagine

I am at peace and the whole world is at peace with me.

© Lori Gagnon  2016

Imagine was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Lori Gagnon

Lori Gagnon is a mother, daughter, sister, wife, and grandmother. She has a passion for reading, writing and art. Lori became an avid journal writer and explored writing poetry during the 26 years she lived in Churchill, Manitoba. Lori took a Transformative WritingTM course at CMU and continues to write, journal, make art and explore any creative venture that piques her interest. Her dreams include publishing her own book about growing up in Silver Heights, Manitoba.