Tag Archives: mindfulness

Discover Yourself through Discovering the World

Sitting here in homeport watching the sunrise over the ocean on a cold winter day, I dream of cruising in the warm Caribbean sunshine. I live in Paradise. I dive the dream of living at the ocean. I am blessed beyond anything I would have believed 10 years ago. And yet I dream bigger dreams now.

My dad instilled the love of ships and sea in my. The beach became my sanctuary when I couldn’t get out on the sea. It lets me imagine and see the possibilities that are out there beyond the horizon of my everyday life.

I have wanderlust. I long to see distant shores. To discover beaches in every port. More than that I long to see other places, to have new experiences, to meet new people. In learning and exploring the world and what others know and live I develop more of who I am. I open doors within my self that I never knew existed.

I become more of who I am. I step more and more into who I am. I am more understanding of others, and of myself. It allows me to step out of my comfort zone, to stretch myself, to be comfortable with the unfamiliar and unknown, to conquer fears, to discover what I am capable of, and who I can be. I become more of who I am.

Travel is the ultimate mindfulness pursuit. It makes me become present in my surroundings, with what I am doing, experiencing and what I see and hear around me. When you are out of your eliminate, out of your everyday routine you become more aware, more alert to your surroundings, more present to your experiences. It happens almost naturally if you let it.

Travel is transformational. Travel shifts my perspective. It shows me not only possibilities of life but it connects me with myself and with others.

When I travel with someone it allows me to experience them in new ways. To develop a closer bond, to appreciate our differences and share our experiences. It teaches us how to be together and respect each other’s space and time.

Travel is an inner and outer journey. It is in discovering other cultures, other places, other people and the world-even the world right outside your door- that you discover yourself in the process.

 

Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me

For a while I was putting up chapters here but then I got so entrenched in the editing process that I kind of neglected that. After several rewrites and many – many edits and a  title change my memoir is done.

It was published at the end of April and we have been doing a soft release. As I get ready to put it out into the world it is scary exciting! This is after all my life, my story, events and details.

Why would anyone want to read about me? my life?

I hope that in sharing my story other women who have been through challenges, lost their sense-of-self, felt empty or gave up on their dreams to meet the demands of others or the world will feel connected and not alone. I hope it inspires you to believe in yourself and follow your dreams at any age or stage of life.

It is never to late to become your true self and live the life you dreamed about in secret.

It has arrived. Come along and be a part of My Journey of Becoming Me!
Get it on Amazon.com
or at The Mermaid’s Purse and Sugar Island  Bakery              on Topsail Island

 

update Memoir CoverIn her Memoir, Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me, she shares her story, her life, and her journey of stepping out of life to create one. It is one of emotion, hope, perseverance, letting go and beginning again.

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. What a journey you have been and still are on. I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced in your life experiences.” Marie

 

I’d love to hear your story – send me an email at cathyt@cathyteoste.com or jump onto my facebook page

Happy Birthday – Here’s a Present for You

Last year for my Birthday, I headed off on a cruise with my sister and niece, then I went to Sonoma to visit with my daughters. I spent my birthday week doing one of my favorite activities, wine tasting.

This year I am remaining in homeport. I am not sure exactly how I will be celebrating. But I wanted to do something special. So I decided I would share my love of the ocean, beach and dancing with you.

For my Birthday I sharing my gift with you….

The ocean reaches into my weakest moments and reminds that I am strong.

Here seeing her magnificence I feel and express my gratitude. Everything is right, I recognize the good that has happened in my life. It makes any day a good day.

Here I look out over her surface to the horizon and stand on the horizon of myself, my hopes and dreams. My life is contained within the depths of her.

My connection to the ocean is where I connect to myself. Here is where I really go inside myself, into my heart, into my soul.

 

From March 1 through March 5 

Dancing on the Beach, Kindle Version

 

A collection of essays expressing deep love and connection to the wisdom of the ocean (501x800)

 

 Is FREE for you to Download from Amazon!

FREE! FREE! FREE!

 

So please download my gift to you and join me in my love of the ocean, beach, and dancing!

Here on the beach Transition and vision merge together. Laugh, play, sing, dance, express your inner child and your truest deepest self. Just be and see what the tides bring to your feet.

What wonders and possibilities and treasures are here for you. What might you discover?

If you are on Topsail you might just find me on the beach- dancing!

So join me in Spirit and Download

a FREE Copy of Dancing on the Beach!

I choose to live my life in Joy. To inspire and be a source of inspiration to others. I express this though Dancing on the Beach. The Dance is my own unique creative expression of myself, my gratitude, my joy. My light shines through me to others when I am in my light.

 

Cultivating a Relationship with Yourself

Step into Yourself-Step into Your Life

Cultivating a Relationship with Yourself

Your most important relationship in life is with yourself. How you treat and take care of yourself is directly related to how you think about yourself.

Cultivating a good relationship is critical to your process of becoming who you are, becoming all you can be and living the life you dream of.

We have prepared out physical environment for our journey but now you must build a solid foundation to deepen your relationship with yourself and expand out into having a relationship with life itself.

To have a good relationship with yourself you must have self-respect, self-value, self-acceptance and self-care. You must make time for yourself, meditate, and be present and mindful. You must listen to, understand and care for your needs. You need to be able to hear the wisdom within you.

The three key elements of cultivating a relationship with yourself are journaling, self-care and present moment mindfulness.

 

Journaling

Hopefully you have already started journaling during your sacred time but if not it is time to begin to get into the habit. For those of you who are already journaling – great. Here we are going to go a little deeper into the methods and techniques of journaling.

In journaling you begin to develop a relationship with yourself. Here we communicate and listen to ourselves, we contemplate, dream, excavate, discover, uncover, our deepest beliefs, thoughts and feelings.

How you journal will depend on what you are trying to accomplish or discover. There are many types of journal keeping, Idea Journal, Personal Journal, Vision Journal, Art Journal, and Self-Discovery Journal. You can combine different types of journal writing into one journal.

  • Date the entry.
  • Start writing when you are ready, write when and how you want to
  • No critics are allowed in your journal. No worries about neatness, spelling, grammar etc. Avoid making judgments.

Your journal is for spontaneity, creativity, and discovery. Try using the different kinds of journaling processes, the different techniques and the suggestions. Stay open. Expect the unexpected. Wonder-Wander-Speculate.

 

Present Moment/Mindfulness

  • The present moment is powerful.
  • You must be present with yourself and present with your life.
  • It is the only way to cultivate a true deep meaningful relationship with yourself.
  • Mindfulness is a way of being.
  • It must be integrated into your everyday life on every level.
  • Living mindfully is key to becoming your true self and living your best life
  • Mindfulness is being in the present moment, being aware of what you are doing, thinking and feeling, to get the most out of each and every experience.
  • Mindfulness can be applied to any and every activity you are doing.
  • Mindfulness is paying attention to the task at hand – to what you are doing and thinking in the present moment. (Even if that is excavating the past or recalling a memory).

The two most important components of mindfulness are present moment and attention. In developing mindfulness you direct attention to the experience in the present moment.

The present moment is the access point into your deepest self – Your Being- at your fullest potential.

 

Things Mindful people do

  1. Take walks
  2. Pay attention to their breath
  3. Turn daily tasks into mindful moments/paying attention to the activity they are doing
  4. Focus on one activity at a time (no multitasking) then take a break and return to activity or begin a new one
  5. Know when not to check their phones-have times they phones and e-mail/computer are not in sight or turned off, stow phones when talking or interacting with other people
  6. Seek out new experiences, try new activities, foods, go to new places, change up their routines
  7. Go outside-spend time in mother nature-nourish and reboot your energy, renew sense of wonder and awe, awareness, awakens senses
  8. Feel what they are feeling-accepting the moment and what is not resisting what they are feeling or control it-accepting both negative and positive feelings and remaining even keel to cope with the emotions and situation in a mindful way
  9. Meditate
  10. Conscious of what they are putting into their body/mindful eating/ focus on the act of eating using their senses-sight, smell, taste
  11. Pay attention to what they feed their minds- less tv, social media, etc.

A mindful life is lived from our core engaging in every moment and every aspect of our self and living from our soul-our inner being-our authentic self

In order to live from you authentic self and to live fully you have to be present with yourself and present for your life

Mindfulness alone – without doing anything else- can change your being and your life. Without it any and all of the following actions will not result in connecting with and living through your true self. If you do not cultivate mindfulness then you will not benefit from the self-discovery process.

Mindful living will be the foundation of your day, your process, and your life.

 

Self-Care/Self-Nurturing

Self-Care means taking care of your needs at every level, mind, body, spirit. Self-nurturing is paying attention to needs and taking the time to nurture and nourish our spirit. As women we often push ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally depleting our spirit.

Most often if we do any kind of self-care it is only focused on the body, and specifically with eating and exercising. But most often we even neglect that too. If self-care is limited than self-nurturing is nonexistent. We believe we have no time for frivolous self-nurturing activities. We have been taught that it is selfish to have our own needs, wants and desire beyond our physical health.

It is vital that we take care of ourselves. If we do not then we are telling ourselves we are not good enough. Worse we are distancing our self for our relationship with our self. We are not engaging in a relationship that enhances our being.

 

Some ideas for self-care/self-nurturing activities

  • Listen to my favorite music
  • Enjoy a long, warm, bubble bath
  • Go for a walk
  • Watch the sunrise/sunset
  • Do something adventurous
  • Read a special book or magazine
  • Sing/hum/whistle a happy tune
  • Swing/slide/teeter/totter
  • Play a musical instrument
  • See a special play, movie or concert
  • Draw/paint a picture
  • Swim/float/wade/relax in a pool/on the beach

 

Conclusion

Cultivating a relationship with yourself takes time and effort. You must make the time.

If you do not do any more of the program you will eventually become true to yourself, you will be aware of how you feel, what you desire, what you need and make choices and decisions accordingly.

By simple cultivating a relationship with yourself through journaling, mindfulness, and self-care/self-nurturing you will become more content with your life.

These three practices can change your life.
But you must cultivate these practices consistently, thoroughly and conscientiously.

 

 

Memoir: Running into the Woods

This is an excerpt from my Memoir

through the Woods to the Sea: Stepping into Myself, Stepping into My Life

By Cathy Teoste

The Woods

Running into the Woods

I have done it. I have run away. I actually got on the plane and flew to Wisconsin. No turning back. No looking back. It is September in North County where the leaves of the trees are already turning, red, yellow, orange and brown.

I have spent the last couple of days visiting with my friend, Myra.  Myra is the reason I am here. This was her suggestion. Several months ago we were having a phone conversation where I said, “I am tired. I can’t deal with all of these changes around me. I just want to go to a retreat center and hide out for a while, but I can’t afford to do that.” Leave it to my friend Myra to find a way. Not two days later she sent me an e-mail with a link. “This might be the answer”, she wrote. “This place sounds just like you and they need volunteers- you can stay for free for 30 hours of service each week. And if you don’t like it I can come and get you and you can stay with me for as long as you need.”

I looked at the website. It looked perfect, but Wisconsin? Why would I go to Wisconsin with the winter coming? The only time I had been there was to visit with Myra. For several days I would return to look at the pictures on the website, but quickly log off, I did not want to go to Wisconsin. One day without thinking I downloaded the application, filled it out and sent it off and forgot about it, until that day of Divine Intervention.

Now Myra is driving me down a highway that is surrounded by woods, nothing and no other car in sight. No signs of any kind of civilization. Our eyes are alert for any sudden movement between the trees. We are more likely to run into a deer then another human being. I have lived in the woods for many years now, but nothing could prepare me for this ride deep into a forest of trees. How far in are we going? Will I be lost to civilization forever?

Finally Myra turns off the paved roadway onto a dirt road heading into the retreat center. We turn a curve, pass a few small cabins, up a small incline and are greeted by an empty parking lot and a silo. I love the woods but what in the world am I doing here in the middle of nowhere? I asked God for a miracle. I have been divinely led here. Why here in the middle of the Wisconsin Woods? I have no idea but I am about to find out.

I walk into the building and into an equally deserted hallway. The silence is deafening. My footsteps echo. I am greeted by a tall thin grey haired women, Sr. Cecy. She shows me around the main building then I follow her down another dirt road to the cabin that will be my home while I am here.

Opening the door exposes everything there is to see. A simple cabin with two twin beds, a small lamp table, a small dresser, a lazy boy chair and a small desk. Hidden behind the open door is a port-a-potty. The cabin has electricity and a gas heater but no running water. It is about 12 feet by 12 feet in size. Much smaller than my bedroom in the four bedroom house I just walked away from. Everyone back home who thought I was crazy would be convinced of that now if they saw where I am going to be living! I much prefer this than remaining there in that empty life or rather the life that they want me to live.

As I unpack the few personal belongs I brought, I pull out my Angel pins, my crystal Angel and my Angel cards. I have believed in Angels all my life. My faith has centered more around Angels than God. Is this another sign that I am staying in a cabin named Holy Angels?

“Angels, lead me, guide me, and show me the way. I really need your help here. I have so much to figure out, so much to heal. I have taken a leap of faith. I am placing my trust in you. Please be with me. If I am to heal and move forward with my life I am going to need your help.” I rub my crystal Angel and hang it on the bedside lamp. I am leaving the past behind while putting the future on hold indefinitely. A future I am not yet ready to face and so I have chosen to ignore it and run away.

Have I runaway to find me and my life or just to escape myself and my life? I do know that I am running away from the person I was in danger of becoming if I had stayed. Will I ever go back? Do I want to? Can I really leave the past behind? How much do I want to leave behind? Is there anything worth keeping? Can I really do this? Am I brave enough? Am I capable? I hope I have done the right thing running away like this and putting my life on hold. Is it really a wise decision to step out of life to create one?

 

The Christine Center

The Christine Center is an interfaith retreat center. It is located in Willard, Wisconsin. It is about 50 miles east of Eau Claire. It isn’t exactly in the middle of Wisconsin but it sure is close. It is run by three nuns, Sr. Johanna, Sr. Cecy and Sr. Henrita. (This has changed now since I’ve been there. There are two more nuns on the core team now.) It is run strictly on donations.

Here one can get lost in the natural environment, the meadows, fields, ponds, the wildlife, and the trails through the 122 acres of woods surrounding the center. People come for a variety of reasons, to rest, relax, and renew, for quiet reflection, do deep inner work, or to participate in one of the many programs the center offers in spiritual deepening and global transformation. Cabins or hermitages as they call them are either modern or rustic. The rustic cabins have electricity and a heat source either a gas heater or a wood stove but no running water. The modern cabins have water and hence have bathrooms and kitchenettes as well. The hermitages are scattered around the property. Volunteers stay in the rustic cabins. The center does have an office staff, cooks, dishwashers, housekeepers and a maintenance crew some of who you will come to meet in these pages.

 

Mindfulness: Nowhere but Here

What a beautiful day, cloudy with the sun peeking in and out. Warm for this time of year. The leaves have all turned now. They crunch under my feet as I walk the trails alerting the deer and all the animals that I am coming. The sun is a huge very bright white light sitting in the sky. I have never seen the sun so brilliant. As it sinks into the trees a green light then a pink magenta light flood into the clouds and down into the horizon. Then it is gone as quickly as it appeared and dusk arrives. It easy living day to day. I am lost in each moment.

I am completely living in the present moment. Nothing outside of this community exists. There is no past or future just right here now. I think I could live this way for a long time. I feel at peace, I have peace of mind. The only time I reach out into the outside world is to check in with my daughters. When other communications reach me they are an unwanted and unwelcome intrusion.

I have put everything I have left behind out of my mind. Being present and enjoying every moment, working, walking in the woods, socializing, getting to know everyone and just being. I realize that I have not had one single tension headache. Not one! What does that tell me? Here I am miles away from everything and everyone I know among strangers in a strange place and I am not nervous or anxious or tense. How can I be relaxed and happy in this situation when I have been so anxious and unhappy in my own home? I am living completely in the present moment and loving it.

Maybe my life is simple here. I know others think I am being selfish and irresponsible focusing on myself. But the only life I can control is my own. My life purpose is to contribute what I have to offer. What more can I contribute except to be myself, and share and give of myself? I am helping out here while I figure out who I am and what I might have to offer. It is the best I can do right now. I need this safe haven because I have failed to figure it out while I was out there in the outside world.

My daily life has become my mindfulness practice. I am only here. My mind does not wander to the past, to what I left behind or what might be going on outside my daily experiences. Nothing outside this center exists for me. I spend my days working, doing whatever chores I am asked to do.

Routine it seems is the structure of my day. Up at 7 am, breakfast at 8 am then I begin my daily chores. Stop at 12:30 for dinner as the noon time main meal is called here. Work some more. A light supper of soup and salad at 5:30. By the end of the day I am so physically tired I could fall into bed. Yet not wanting to be alone I stay up in the main building in the library on my computer or reading.

I have formed a relationship with a guest, Trish. She is a nun from Australia on sabbatical. We spend hours in the library talking, watching movies and laughing. I can’t even remember when I laughed before. Now I laugh every day. I have never laughed as long and hard as Trish has me laughing! This is what keeps me from sheer exhaustion.

I walk down the hall and see a man standing in the laundry area starring confusingly at the washing machine. I feel pain oozing off him. Hurt. The energy is so strong I am strangely drawn into it not sure what it is but if there is anything I can do to ease it, I have to try. His back is to me, I approach slowly, “Can I help you?” I ask. He turns around and looks at me still deep in thought.

“I was going to do laundry but I don’t have any detergent. Do the sisters have some in the office they sell or I can use?”

“No they don’t, but here use mine.” I say as I reach into my locker and pull out my jug of laundry detergent.”

“I couldn’t, that’s ok. I’ll just go buy some”

“Please just use mine, it’s no problem Just put it back here in this locker when you are finished.”

“Thank you” He pauses then continues, “If I don’t speak to you next time I see you, please understand that I am here for a silent retreat. I will just acknowledge you he says as he brings his hands together in prayer form and bows his head, “Namaste” I replay in kind.

The next few times I see him we acknowledge each other as we pass in silence. This happens often here as people come to be in silence and do deep meditation and contemplation. I now notice he is wearing a wrist brace on his right hand.

On his last day he comes out of silence and joins us for a meal. The sisters are intrigued by him especially when he mentions that he is a musician and plays the guitar. Despite the fact that he is still wearing that wrist brace, Sister Trish asks him if he will play for us. The rest of the sisters’ jump right in requesting him to play. Not wanting to disappoint the sisters, staff and guests, he agrees to play a few songs.

An impromptu concert has everyone excited. A half hour later a group of women are drooling over the romantic musings of Raymundo. He has this group of nuns, staff and guests mesmerized. Everyone is hypnotized as we watch and listen to him strum and sing ballads that has stars in everyone’s eyes. The pain in his wrist gets to him and he finally begs off. He asks the cook if she can get him some ice so he can ice his wrist.

Sitting in the dining room I offer to do Reiki on his wrist for him. He asks me what Reiki is.  I tell him that it is an energy healing. “Sure, not sure I understand or believe it will help but I’ll give it a try.” I place my hands around his wrist and focus sending healing energy to his pain. He feels the heat coming from the palms of my hands. I tell him that this along with the ice, heat and cold should help ease the pain some. After about ten minutes I stop. He thanks me. We all once again tell him how wonderful he plays and thank him.

The next morning as he comes to say his good-byes, he stops me. “Look I don’t have my brace on. I don’t understand what you did but it worked. I can move my wrist without it hurting so much. Thank you.” After all the good-byes he heads off back into civilization.

I am spending much needed time with adults. I realized that I crave socialization. It may be that I am just avoiding being alone but I also haven’t been around adults much during the years I was raising my children.

I ran away from my life hoping to rest but I find myself deep into the mundane chores of life. If I wasn’t so exhausted and in so much physical pain I would be laughing at the irony of the situation. If I needed to rest when I got here I will need to rest when I leave. Still I am happy.