Lead Your Life

Leadership, Awareness, and Growth

A * MAZE October 5, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 7:04 pm
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maze

  • Amaze:  In awe / overwhelmed with wonder.
  • A maze:  A winding, unknown, unpredictable journey from start to stop.

To quote my friend, Linzi, “Same, Same, but Different.”

We can choose amazement in the midst of the ordinary if we choose to be overwhelmed with wonder by the potential of each and every moment.  It is a state of openness and curiosity mixed with acceptance and reverence.  It sounds lovely, yes?  But it does require that we depart well-groomed trails of repeat experiences and see each one as an unchartered maze.  In other words, to treat each moment as if it is brand new to us.

Can we be amazed by the beauty of what is, the possibility of what is coming, and the diversity of the people we meet?    Can we remember in the midst of routine to be amazed by the work that we do; recognizing its importance in creating a world that we are excited to leave for our children and grandchildren?  Can we be overwhelmed with wonder when we consider the whole of who we are?

 

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What does love breathe? September 21, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 12:53 am
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I am blessed to have parents who have been married almost 51 years.  As a married woman, I understand that love’s oxygen is a carefully woven blend of commitment, presence, and compassion.

Living our love is different than simply loving.  I can love another and still mistreat with unkind, impatient words.  In the important moments of our life, those that wake & shake us, living our love seems easier.  In these moments, we so easily take a stand for one another; with big love, big hands, and big hearts.

However, most of our life happens in the small moments that feel undifferentiated from the last.  It is easy in the routine of our day to allow the seepage of irritation and ribbing.

As we navigate dinner, moonlighting as uber drivers for our children, we may fall asleep to the impact we have.  Does it mean we love less?  No.  It does, however, mean we are living our love less.

So here’s my experiment.  For one week, I will practice staying awake to the miracle in the mundane & to living my love.  It is a small way to build a big habit & to retrain my mind to elevate above the fray so that meaningful connection, radical compassion, and unconditional acceptance illuminate every moment; even the one navigating school drop-off.  Will you join me?

 

The heartbeat of expression September 14, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 7:19 pm
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heart

Did you know our heart has a magnetic field with more than a 3 foot radius?

In yoga, we think of our hearts as the center of our subtle body.  Our heart chakra, anahata, is our reservoir of expression.  In every moment, our heart asks us to be truthful and unrestrained by feeling deeply our full range of emotion.  And then our heart nudges us to be complete in our experience by letting go of that moment so the next can emerge (non-attachment).

I recently heard a physician delivering a talk at Google headquarters say, “It is our heart, working in tandem with our brain, that allows us to feel for others and make sense of those feelings.  It is ultimately what makes us human. Compassion is the heart’s gift to the rational mind.”

The practice of gratitude lifts us and others.  It returns our heart and mind to a place of steadiness and acceptance.  Gratitude may be the missing link in clear, centered communication between the mind and heart.  Consider that for yourself.

Gratitude is the cognitive expression of the heart’s knowing and longing.

 

The journey home September 8, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 6:46 pm
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meditate

It is part of our human experience to lose our center; sometimes just a small step out of line & other times long, slow fades away from our truth.

From a place of curiosity, scan just today.  Can you see moments of light, dark, loss of presence, grasping, illusion?

Now breathe.  Breathe out your judgement of it, breathe out calling it good or bad, and breathe out your mind’s desire to want this to reinforce your story.

Now connect.  Follow your breath up and down the center of your body.  Follow your breath to the nucleus of your heart.  Give yourself permission to feel exactly as you feel and forgive yourself for the habit of self-judgement.  Be strong enough to treat yourself gently & with kindness.

Now decide.  In this moment, who am I?  For me?  For others?  For the world?

And be that, be you fully, just be.  It is from this space that we create positive change and live a life in love and light.

The beautiful thing about being human is we can gently take hold of opportunity even if we squandered it in the last moment.  We can teach ourselves to reside in a place of joy and participate fully in a world that is sometimes dark, sometimes overwhelming, and sometimes not what we visioned.

Each of us possess passions, places we are called to make a difference, take a stand, and set an example.  Imagine if we all took a breath, honored our truth, believed in ourselves, and then got busy manifesting our passion.   Choose Well!

Namaste.

 

The Duck and her iPhone Quagmire August 2, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 2:58 pm
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duck

This morning, my walk took me along a lake that appeared to be an endless landscape as the fog was obscuring the shore.  The geese and ducks floated while a resident loon soared across the horizon.

I considered a photograph, and it occurred to me that you cannot capture the mystical.  It extends beyond sight; reaching into the sound of silence, the smell of earth, and the touch of dew heavy air.  And it is changing; ever so subtly, but always changing.  It refuses to be contained to a single sensory dimension or moment in time.

The mystical lives in the present moment fully.  It is part physical, part energetic, and entirely magical.  The desire to contain it is a human one.  The duck is not thinking; “I wish the iPhone camera was more sophisticated.”  The duck is just being the duck in the midst of the mystical moment.  I wonder if we humans perplex the duck or if she watches us encountering the mystical & quietly whispers to us….

Just Be.

 

Are you lying your way to success? July 25, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 3:10 pm
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They say there are no coincidences, and thus my ears perk up when I encounter the convergence of two ideas.

I stumbled across a study showing that people who demonstrate higher degrees of self-deception are more successful in the world.  Participants were asked a series of embarrassing questions written to reveal the dark side within us.   Those who lied reported being happier and feeling more successful in their pursuits.  This went beyond how they felt as they also earned more in their respective roles.

This study converged with a Buddhist principle I studied on self-compassion without self-deception.  The belief that if we drench honesty in compassion, we might live a more authentic, loving life.  Pema Chodron said “the definition of self confidence is self gentleness.”

If this is true, what do we make of the first study?  Have we, as a society, become so inept at self-compassion that self-deception is required to carve a happy productive life?  Have we replaced radical acceptance with deceit as a survival skill?

What if we could accept with compassion the whole truth of who we are without self-loathing?  What if we were amused by our flaws and forgiving of our failures?  What if we met weakness with a heart of curiosity versus a mindset of judgement?   Could this impact our joy?  Our authenticity? Our results?  And what if it had only one impact:  self love.  Would that be enough?

 

Unending rain July 11, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 11:24 am
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rainy day

I’ve always marveled at our nature mirrors our life.  Rainy days are the perfect illustration.   Sometimes life seems so sunny & bright with all the pieces aligned & in flow. Our energy boundless & our ideas as expansive as the blue sky.

And sometimes it pours.   It’s in those moments when it’s gloomily overcast & it would the sun is never again coming out that we have a choice.  We can wallow in the darkness & tell ourselves woe is me stories or we can practice patient strength.  With a deep breath & a lift of our heart, we can radiate the joy and possibility that appears cloud covered; digging deep to ride the ebb and flow of what is external to us.

And even then, sometimes the rain just keeps coming.   A dreary moment becomes a dreary season, and still the choice stands in front of us.  Will we see the beauty?  Will we see the gift of the rain?  Will we honor natural cycles in our life without being a victim to them? Will we believe in the possibility of tomorrow’s rising sun and parting clouds?  Choose to bask.