Bite Size (Part 3 of 4) – Don’t judge people

Now that you have mastered lessons 1 and 2, let’s move right along and cover lesson 3!!

  1. Know thyself
  2. Love yourself
  3. Don’t judge people
  4. Be kind.

Don’t Judge People

This is a tough one for most of us; it certainly is for me at least. There are quotes about it:

  • Judge not lest you be judged.
  • Don’t judge  person until you walk a mile in their shoes

Intellectually, it is easy to “know” not to judge another. Sadly, the reality is quite ugly. I have found two practices that have helped enormously.

The first – to pray for the person or group you are judging. Yup, you heard that right!! Say you roll your eyes every time you hear a news story about a particular, really bad (judgment) politician or political party; take 5 minutes of your day to pray for him/her/them. This is a great option when you don’t know the person or any members of a group.

The second – start a new habit that forces interaction and awareness of the person or group. Let’s say you think homeless people are lazy good-for-nothings (judgment); collect $5 bills and give one to any and every homeless person you meet AND talk to them when you give the money look them in the eye, smile,.

This is an ongoing lesson for me and these two practices help. I am currently working to balance each judgment I make with a positive thought or statement about that person/group. I am a work in progress.

I would love to hear how your progress manifests.




Icing for our weekend!!

Sometimes the little things in life are the icing on the cake!

It’s Sunday evening, we have had a lovely weekend, the sun was shining, we spent time outside, plenty of time to read and now we are catching up on How I Met Your Mother.

Because we were traveling most of last year we did not see any of season 9 (the last season where Ted finally meets “your mother”). I got an email this past week telling me the season was available and here we are…relaxing on the couch, in the throes of a Netflix marathon!!

And this is the perfect ending to a perfect weekend…abundance!!


A big aha-moment

I like the post-aha-moment awareness but the moment itself can be painful and humbling.

We were watching “The Biggest Loser” with our son and the effort we saw was inspiring. We talked about how level of commitment is reflected in results.

I recalled the quote: “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.” I realized, to my horror, that I do not put forth great effort; my walk does not reflect my talk (and fuck it, that pisses me off!) Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not believe I have to put forth 100% in everything every time but (and it’s a big but) if I say something is important to me then surely my walk (effort) should reflect that more often than not, right?

I decided to start another experiment…what is I were to raise my effort just 5 or 10%…what might happen in my world?

A little later I was fortunate to receive an after-lesson, a gentle whisper on the fresh morning air: “Maybe it is not about effort, maybe it’s about the source”.

Now that spoke truth.

Instead of they level of effort, perhaps I should focus on the source. What if I were to experiment and do anything (and everything) from a place of love and compassion? What kind of reflection would that manifest?

Anything, and everything… with love and compassion. Wow!! Big stuff.

  • Walking the dogs
  • Cooking the dinner
  • Phone call with customer service
  • Exercising at the gym

I’ll let you know how it goes. Any big aha-moments in your life recently? Please share in the comments.


Bite Size Steps (2 of 4): Love Yourself

I hate to say it but this step is harder than the first one. In fact, obeying these two words may be the biggest challenge most of us face in our lives.

Love yourself…

Hard? Absolutely.

Simple? It can be.

Three habits to grow the (self) love:

  • I have this note on the mirror in my bathroom. I see it every time I go in and I repeat it to myself. At least once a day I spend 10 seconds looking myself in the eye and I speak these words out loud.
  • .sign
  • Practice forgiveness and compassion, for yourself and for others. It is certainly hard to forgive a person who has caused hurt, to pray for them, to hold them in my heart, to step back from judgment and finger-pointing. And yet, this simple act works beautifully. Pick one person who makes you angry, pray for them 5 minutes a day for a month, and watch the love blossom and grow.
  • Don’t be so mean (to yourself). When I said something negative about myself, my sister used to reply, “Don’t you dare be so mean to my sister”. It is so easy to point out our faults, to hold ourselves to some ridiculous ideal. Ease up on the self criticism and start noticing your skills, talents and brilliance.

You are already pure, perfect and complete. You are already loving and lovable. The only thing left is to accept this as fact and love yourself!


Bad bad blogger…just kidding, I’m awesome!!

I dropped the ball…again!!

I woke up at 2.18am last night (to go to the loo) and realized I had forgotten to post yesterday’s blog. Grrr was all I could think, a few choice Irish expressions and promptly fell back asleep.

I knew this new experiment (a daily blog post) would pose challenges and I thought the biggest would be coming up with a topic for every day.

That was not the cause of yesterday’s “failure”. I spent the day writing, ate dinner at 8.30, completely forgot my blog, among other things and collapsed into bed after 11pm.

I am never quite sure what to expect when I start these experiments, whether it is a daily blog post, juicing or a new class. I try to go into them with a scientist’s mind; no preconceived notions, no desired outcome, simply a commitment to make the change and observe the outcomes in my life.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I felt so unaffected by my latest “failure”. No self-flagellation, so recriminating thoughts. I did not post yesterday, such is life. Moving right along.

Why are we so hard on ourselves when we “fail” at a new way of being, a new habit? Isn’t it better to try something rather than accept the status quo? Aren’t we living more fully simply by stepping out of our comfort zone?

Absolutely yes, yes, yes.

To my friend who just left a spiritual community after experimenting for months, to my cousin who is quitting cigarettes (you go Carmel), to the new student in my yoga class – CONGRATULATIONS!! Your courage to make a change inspires me and inspires us all to try again.

An abundant tomorrow can only be created by the life we live today.

Please share your experiments and the lessons you learned.



Bite Size Steps (1 of 4): Know Thyself

Over the next 4 posts I want to dissect 4 fabulous steps that guarantee abundance. Pity each one is the size of an elephant and we get overwhelmed by the enormity (and confusion) of the task.

I love quotes; I find them inspiring and helpful as I live my life. That said, there are lots of quotes that are head-scratchers, or at least, eyebrow-raisers!! Here are 4 I find particularly troublesome and challenging.

  1. Know thyself
  2. Love yourself
  3. Don’t judge people
  4. Be kind.

Such huge demands, unless we break them into bite-size, few of us will be able to master them.

Know thyself…what does this mean? Physical characteristics? How about mental capacities and strengths? What makes me laugh and cry? My spiritual beliefs and practices? Like I said…huge!!

The better we get to know ourselves, our core purpose, our priorities, the easier it is to follow our true path, the one that properly reflects our values and intentions.

Over the years I have learned many small things about myself that have led to clarity and focus regarding my path which makes most decisions simple and clear-cut.

Here are a few of my bite-size ‘know thyself”; hopefully they inspire you to introspection and a better sense of you:

  • I have major depression and have learned the importance of certain habits to keep me healthier – walk outside, eat properly (as in, don’t eat cereal for all meals for a week – yes, done that!!), get dressed every day.
  • I am a homebody. Truth be told, I am very happy with a book and gallons of tea for days/weeks on end. This habit does not support an abundant life (see above!) so I force myself to get out and spend time with real people in the real world. It’s tough but worth it.
  • I am a perfectionist. This knowledge reminds me to lower the bar of expectation for myself and others (an ongoing practice!!)

When you know who, how and why you are life becomes easier and more abundant.


A mother’s love

It s so easy to see the negative, in ourselves and in others and that can blind us to many of the positives. It is important to remember and share the good, the great and the fabulous.

In 1996 I moved back to Dublin with 3 kidlets, expecting #4 while Tom was stationed in Saudi Arabia for 12 months. I knew I would need the support and love of my friends and family and was looking forward to a year at home.

We found a lovely little house, great schools and I caught up with the life I had left behind 9 years earlier. The pregnancy was very hard on me; I was exhausted and in pain.

Every Saturday afternoon Mum took the bus to our house. She spent each weekend cleaning, playing with the kids and cooking us food for the week. We spent Saturday evenings chatting and watching telly. Sunday morning we would have breakfast before she walked the mile back up to her bus and headed home.

Every week… Every week… For almost 12 months, my almost 70 year old mother came to look after me and our family. She loved helping me, knowing that she played an essential role in our lives. Tom loved it because it eased his worries of us being alone. I loved it because I felt loved and nurtured in ways that only a mother knows to do.

These 12 months were the best of our relationship; I miss my Mum and I am grateful for the memories of having been so deeply and unconditionally loved.

I hope you have some wonderful loving memories; please share them in the comments if you feel so inclined.