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365 Day Challenge-Day 30 No Beginning and No End

We usually try to hold on to life and run away from death. But, according to the teaching, everything has been nirvana from the nonbeginning. So why do we have to grasp one thing and avoid another? In the ultimate dimension, there is no beginning and no end. We think there is something to attain, something outside of ourselves, but everything is already here. Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

One of my favorite expression is ‘simple, not easy’. I complicate situations, a lot! For me when things like other people’s feelings, my fees for my professional services-money, or other people’s opinions, their judgement are at stake then simple is not always easy. It is easy for me to get tripped up.

So, today’s lesson speaks to me on a couple of levels:

#1 keep it simple

#2 remain in gratitude

By the way, if I approached everyday just focused on these two practices then life would be very sweet.

However, I complicate my life most when I pretend that something is okay when it is not. This is a powerful dishonesty to oneself, to the people in your life, to your potential. I know this one very well especially because I tend to place the comfort and wishes of others before my own.

Why would I do this?

  • I tell myself that it doesn’t matter-It does matter whether it seems like a big thing or a small thing. The small things add up very quickly.
  • I want to be liked-Do I really want to be liked at the risk of pretending to be someone else?
  • I tell myself that I do not have enough information-Acting in integrity takes courage sometimes, simple not easy. 🙂

The other part of today’s lesson refers to our quest to attain that which is outside of ourselves. I would imagine most of us can relate to this whether it was the time you thought another class would make you ‘more professional’ or an expensive purchase would make you feel more accomplished. When we look for affirmation from the outside, and it can be exhausting. Why are we reluctant to acknowledge our own knowing, talents, our own ‘enoughness’?

This is another form of dishonesty that I know well. I will ignore my own experience, talents, abilities when I am stressed or when I am distracting myself from really tackling the task at hand. If the buck stops here, meaning ‘everything is already here’ then what if I fail or it doesn’t go as planned.

What now? I don’t have the answer. AND I do know from my own experience that the more I live into my truths then the better the results.

I offer business coaching, team training, and workshops. I published Spaghetti on the Wall as a simple and easy tool for discernment, available for purchase now. If you would like to learn more then contact me, kristan@attriniti.com

In gratitude,

Kristan


365 Day Challenge-Day 29 The Art of Mindful Living

Mindful living is an art. You do not have to be a monk or live in a monastery to practice mindfulness. You can practice it anytime, while driving your car or doing housework. Driving in mindfulness will make time in your car joyful, and it will also help you avoid accidents. You can use the red traffic light as a signal of mindfulness, reminding you to stop and enjoy your breathing. Similarly, when you do the dishes after dinner, you can practice mindful breathing so the time of dish washing is pleasant and meaningful. Do not feel you have to rush. If you hurry, you waste the time of dish washing. The time you spend washing dishes and doing all your other everyday tasks is precious. It is time for being alive. When you practice mindful living, peace will bloom during your daily activities. Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindful living is an art; it is a practice. In talking with a friend, we were contemplating how to take some of the more abstract elements of mindfulness and give them a real life application or point of reference. Well, for starters mindfulness is the exact opposite of multitasking. I love the part of today’s lesson when it says, ‘If you hurry, you waste the time of dish washing.’. I hear this as an invitation to enjoy each moment of your day and the most mundane tasks. What if you entered into each moment of your day both in your professional life and personal life with the attitude that you would savor every minute? What might you notice and learn about yourself and others? Could you be more productive? Would it allow you to enjoy parts of your day you previously rushed through?

In The Sun Magazine, there is an interview with Norman Fischer who is an author, a teacher, a Zen priest. One of the most powerful takeaways for me is the concept that the present implies a future. Additionally, the implication of a future means there is hope. Hope that the future can be something new or different. In the practice of mindfulness you observe your feelings and emotions AND release the impulse to act on feelings. I see both ideas as wonderfully interconnected. If we remain present and we observe our emotions without acting on them then we allow for new possibilities, the future. We allow ourselves to move beyond our habitual reactions. In this way we can all become agents of change in our lives, our communities, and beyond.

Mindful living is an art and a practice that challenges us to do things in a new way. If you are stuck in your business and would like assistance in identifying old habits that don’t work and developing new ones that do then contact me, kristan@attriniti.com. I would like to help.

I look forward to talking to you.

In gratitude,

Kristan


365 Day Challenge Day 28 The Seeds of Happiness

Whether we have happiness or not depends on the seeds in our consciousness. If our seeds of compassion, understanding, and love are strong, those qualities will be able to manifest in us. If the seeds of anger, hostility, and sadness in us are strong, then we will experience much suffering.

To understand someone, we have to be aware of the quality of the seeds in his store consciousness. And we need to remember that he is not solely responsible for those seeds. His ancestors, parents, and society are coresponsible for the quality of the seeds in his consciousness.

When we understand this, we are able to feel compassion for that person. With understanding and love, we will know how to water our own beautiful seeds and those of others, and we will recognize seeds of suffering and find ways to transform them. Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

How does your garden grow? And what are your cultivating? Simply put, taking responsibility for your seeds of consciousness can change your life. How does one do that? One idea would be to incorporate daily affirmations into your routine.

I attended a fantastic conference this weekend given by Sam Bennett of the Organized Artist. In addition to sharing powerful content, we discussed the power of our own thoughts. The conversations we are having with ourselves can truly help or hurt your business. Do you have a daily affirmation practice? How and why do they work?

Affirmations are one of the simplest ways to shift your consciousness. If you do not have the happiness, joy, meaningful work, _______________(fill in the blank) you would like, then adding a daily practice of affirmations can provide a powerful shift. Why does they work? Affirmations work because our minds are ‘wired’ to look for what they know and for better or worse, our minds believe that which we hear often. If you affirm that the world is a welcoming place then your brain will be on the lookout for positive experiences to support your belief. You will begin to notice more people saying ‘hello’, more spontaneous conversations with strangers, more drivers letting you in. One key to developing an affirmation practice that works is to select words or phrases supported by your real life experiences. For example, if your daily affirmation is that the world is a friendly place then think back to an example from your own life when the world felt friendly, the time when the person in front of you in line with a huge basket of groceries asked if you would like to go first.

Here is a good article to help with developing your affirmation practice:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-wise-open-mind/201108/5-steps-make-affirmations-work-you

Alternatively, if you have read this and think I am full of it then please let me know, kristan@attriniti.com AND here is a link to an article that may be better suited for you:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/melodywilding/2016/08/15/forget-positive-thinking-this-is-how-you-actually-change-negative-thoughts/#3bf3e8696c46

In gratitude,

Kristan


365 Day Challenge Day 27 A Century of Spirituality

I have heard some people predict that the twenty-first century will be a century of spirituality. Personally, I think it must be a century of spirituality if we are to survive at all. In our society, there is so much suffering, violence, despair, and confusion. There is so much fear. How can we survive without spirituality? Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

There is so much suffering, violence, despair, and confusion. There is so much fear.

What would a century of spirituality look like? What would a day of spirituality look like?

Each day shortly after I wake up, I think about a word for the day. Lately, my word has been kindness. My mandate for myself is to treat all with kindness, including myself. Kindness means each person I encounter is greeted with a hello and eye contact. Kindness means that I remind myself not to take the world so seriously and that any slight I may feel is most likely not intentional; who knows what that person has been dealing with prior to crossing my path. Kindness means not to assume I know best and to trust in each individual’s own process. Kindness means not to solve the world’s problems and to be a witness for my fellow beings.

It is easy to pick a word as I lay in bed before I get up and begin to encounter my family, the emails, my mental list things I want to accomplish. It is easy to imagine a day infused with goodness. And I know how easy it is to lose the calm of the early morning which means that I have to constantly remind myself that when I goof up to pick myself back up and start again. This is what being kind to myself looks like!

What does your century of spirituality look like? What does a day of spirituality look like? How do we live in integrity with ourselves? How do we bring our best selves to each occasion, big and small? How do we keep from succumbing to hopelessness?

Please share your thoughts.

In gratitude,

Kristan

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365 Day Challenge-Day 26 Sovereign of the Five Elements

Each one of us is sovereign over the territory of our own being and the five elements (Sanskrit: skandhas) we are made of. These elements are form (body), feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. Our practice is to look deeply into these five elements and discover the true nature of our being-the true nature of our suffering, our happiness, our peace, our fearlessness. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home

Top of mind for me today is finding peace. Hopefully the moments of peace I am able to experience each day will find their way into the world. When I think about peace, I think about all the parts of me integrated into the whole, I have a sense of being okay with the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of myself and my life, I able suspend the inner critic that can always find something wrong.

However, peace is not passive, nor do I believe that you can only achieve peace through stillness. I know the lesson suggests we look deeply, and you can look deeply when engaged in a full life. In fact it gives you more to look at and can simplify the process. More data when studied with intention provides a more accurate picture.

So, my suggestion for today is be mindful of your skandhas and be open to new experiences, be willing to enter into situations with fresh eyes instead of the old baggage, and then reflect.

I put together Spaghetti on the Wall, an elegant journal for the messy ideas of life for this very purpose of connecting busy, engaged people with a practice of reflection. SOTW actually asks a bit more from you; it asks for discernment, the practice of learning from our experiences with curiosity and without judgement. SOTW is on sale now and I offer SOTW classes for a deeper dive. Contact me for information, kristan@attriniti.com.

We could all do with a little more peace in our lives.

In gratitude,

Kristan


Moby Dick Cover Letter

Decided to share this imaginary cover letter that I wrote one evening when I was flush with the triumph of having read Moby Dick by Herman Melville from cover to cover.

Truth is I want your business. I am a darn good business coach ready for more clients who are ready to do their business better, kristan@attriniti.com. Read on to see if I am the kind of person who would be an asset to your company or organization.

2015

To my future employer,

I just finished Moby Dick by Herman Melville this past weekend, and it feels good. Usually, I can read a book in a matter of days; this one took me months. Each chapter was like an eight course meal with wine pairings prepared by a master chef. A chef who comes highly recommended, but of whom, you had never directly experienced. Did I like Moby Dick? I am still digesting; I will get back to you on that.

Do I feel like I have accomplished a pretty incredible task? Absolutely, which leads me to be feeling pretty good about myself in the moment. How good you might ask? Well, I would hazard to compare my collective skill set and talents akin to a combination of SpiderMan, Olivia Pope of Scandal, Oprah, and Martha Stewart without the felony conviction (Which I bring up not because I hold it against her, but rather because this is a cover letter. Therefore, I want to be clear that I have not spent time in prison.).

SpiderMan?

I am highly intuitive, observant, and tend to see the interconnectedness of all things, the web of life if you will.

Olivia Pope?

I am professional. I see opportunities where others may see obstacles. I inspire loyalty because I am loyal. Lastly, solutions are my specialty.

Oprah?

I believe in everyone’s potential to be amazing when you are living authentically. I know that giving back locally and globally is a worthwhile endeavor. I am moved by beauty and love; I love to share beautiful experiences with others.

Martha Stewart?

I am highly organized and believe in doing things right. Taking the time to start with a solid foundation, putting first things first. I am a perfectionist who knows how to deliver. I am a very hard worker from peasant stock.

When I am not working or spending time with family, I love to read and travel. Reading and travel are essential to my life. Yes, both provide an escape from the day to day, yet with the unique ability of continuingly challenging me to explore what is at my core, my big ‘Why’, and most importantly, remind me of the numerous similarities I share with others. I will add music to the list too. Reading, travel, and music a perfect trifecta of experiences that are moving, humbling, and intoxicating. I believe that anything that removes the illusion of being alone, not being part of a bigger whole is a worthwhile pursuit.

Thank you for considering my application. If I sound like a good fit then I hope we can talk more about how I could support your organization, kristan@attriniti.com.

Best regards,

Kristan Browne

P.S. I almost forgot the most important quality I share with SpiderMan, Olivia Pope, Oprah, and Martha Stewart-I love helping people. kristan@attriniti.com


365 Day Challenge-Day 25 Selective Watering

Through the practice of deep looking, we can identify the positive seeds that we want to water every day, and train ourselves not to water the negative ones. This is called ‘selective watering’. The Buddha recommended methods for doing this, and even a few days of this practice can bring about transformation. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home

Today is one of those mornings when I wake up full of gratitude for all things in my life; I feel overcome with a sense of abundance that leaves me wondering how can I do right by all the good in my life. Today’s lesson provides a wonderful suggestion. As I see it, by putting my energy and intention towards the positive in my life, this will yield not only more of the results I would like but also more of the goodness I want for those around me. I want to be an agent of change for my clients, my community, my loved ones. My hope is to inspire more people to step more fully into doing that which they love, engage creatively, and share their goodness with others.

The other reading I did this morning discussed comparison and timing within the context of growth and meaningful change. I can be impatient and I have been known to force situations. My impatience and determination to resolve situations are not mal-intended. I get anxious and I start thinking that something should happen faster than it is, or that I know what is the best way to get something done. The truth is everything has its own timing. Each situation has multiple paths to resolution and in my impatience and determination, I could miss an opportunity for learning.

Now, how do I see the practice of ‘selective watering’ and faith in our own path as being interwoven? First, we needed to have a sense of our path. As I mentioned for me, it is about helping people build sustainable and creatively-driven businesses. Part of my ‘selective watering’ is to model that in my own business and continue to reach out to people who may benefit from my services. Do I want to be helping more people each day? Absolutely. However, I cannot force anyone to change or see that working with me would radically shift how they are doing business. Contact me if you would like to discuss your path, where you would like to make positive changes and grow your business in a meaningful way, kristan@attriniti.com.

In gratitude,

Kristan


Get Support for You and Your Most Creative Self

“As artists, we get the experience of making something and the experience of sharing it. Sometimes people don’t like it, but you can’t control that. The part you can control is how you feel making it.” Ava DuVernay

Yes! And how often do we get in the way of our own authentic creation because we are worried about how our art will be received and perceived by others? Too often I would argue. Actually, I am not going to argue with you; I know it to be true. It was true for myself, and I see it with my clients. By the way, I am expanding the words, ‘artist’ and ‘art’ to include all people who are engaged in the creative process of making something and sharing it, which includes small business owners, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.

I have a background in Fine Art; I fell in love with printmaking. My professor at Middlebury College was David Bumbeck, a very accomplished artist who encouraged my artistic vision and exploration which by the way was totally different from his own-the measure of a truly gifted instructor. I continued to work on my art upon graduation but was not drawn to get an MFA or do the struggling artist thing in NYC with 6 roommates in a cramped and dirty apartment. So, I got a day job and told myself that I make art in my free time. A long story short, I began to spend less and less time on my art and more time on work and hanging out, eventually I let it go completely.

How could I let it go? This part of me that felt so good when I was in the studio creating, that loved collecting the images and found objects which would later serve as working materials or inspiration, the part of me that felt most alive when I was engaged with the world as an artist. Unfortunately, the flipside of all these positives was that I was concerned about whether or not people would like my art or what they would think of me-a wanna-be artist with a day job in retail.

The good news is that despite my best efforts to ignore my creative self, it kept creeping back into my daily life. Of course, now I encourage it and readily play with my creativity.

What happened? What changed? A few things:

-I got older and starting caring less about what people think.

-I got wiser and stopped seeing myself as these different parts and more as a whole.

-I found a community that would support me.

Depending on where you are in your journey, I would recommend that you find a community that supports you. Because it took me a long time to get older and wiser. I coach small business owners who are some of the most creative and daring people I know and I am building community one client at a time-join us. I would love to talk with you about how I could support your creativity, your business, your dreams.

In gratitude,

Kristan

kristan@attriniti.com


365 Day Challenge-Day 24 A Love Letter

It’s the energy of mindfulness in us that allows us to write a real love letter and reconcile with another person. A real love letter is made of insight, understanding, and compassion. Otherwise it’s not a love letter. A true love letter can produce transformation in the other person, and therefore in the world. But before it produces a transformation in the other person, it has to produce a transformation within us. Some letters may take the whole of our lifetime to write. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home

Many people come to mind when I consider writing a love letter. It also occurs to me that perhaps I start with writing to myself. A letter that would acknowledge and give insight into coping mechanisms developed as a child that no longer serve me. A letter that would allow for grace when I think of past wrongs both done by and to me. A letter that would celebrate the dreams and hopes I have for my life that can be scary to share with the world. A letter to myself at this moment would have the benefit of the compassion and understanding that comes with time and space.

The transformation I would hope for would be one of greater self-acceptance and love. The weight of the years of judgement, self-doubt, and sadness could slide off my body and mind allowing more room for peace. Today, I will start the love letter to myself, and it is okay if it takes a lifetime.

In gratitude,

Kristan


Don’t Fear the Uncharted-Breathing into a Difficult Situation

Have you ever had one of those conversations where you can feel the person across from you withdrawing or becoming agitated and anxious? Then you start talking more as your discomfort grows and pretty soon the entire conversation is off the rails.

What if you could relieve the pressure and possibly rescue the conversation?

Breathing into a difficult situation is a start. So many times when we are anxious, we forget to breathe. Conversely, this can happen when we are really excited too.

Pausing, taking a deep breath, then exhaling completely will help to release the tension you are bringing to the interaction. If possible continue to breathe deeply, slowly with the intention of letting it all go. The ‘it’ can be your anxiety, your expectations, your fears, your frustration and anger.

In addition to the positive benefits you are receiving from your breath, often the people around you will benefit too and begin to adopt your breath pattern.

Once you have found a bit of space in your own body, in the conversation, in the tension then you might consider asking a question. If this is a professional interaction and you have been trying to ‘sell’ yourself then consider backing up and making sure you are serving your client in a way they want and need. Get curious about where they are in their process.

If you could use help in practicing your difficult client conversations then contact me, kristan@attriniti.com. My clients have found it extremely helpful to role play and develop some scripts before a situation goes off the rails.

In gratitude,

Kristan