I was recently gifted two books that have a common thread despite their different subject matter.
I took my time going through Donald Altman's, "One Minute Mindfulness" which, synchronistically came to me about the same time that Lisa Wilson started her own weekly mindfulness exercises and invited everyone to come along. Mr. Altman's book offers 50 simple, short exercises that are easy to incorporate into your day each really only taking one minute or less. From eating and walking to interactions with people, he suggests subtle shifts in our way of looking at and experiencing ourselves, encouraging us to let go of much, including our expectations.
From Chapter 26, he says, " ...strive to let go of your expectations about the way people should act. Instead of getting frustrated, accept that all individuals are imperfect and subject to ignorance, confusion, and delusion. Then give as much as you feel capable of giving from your heart, without demanding anything in return."
Sweet, n'est-ce pas? And he offers this form of prayer in transitioning from work to home: "With each unfolding minute upon entering my home, may I discharge negative emotions. May I cultivate patience. May I wisely transition in order to bring love, understanding, and tranquility into my home".
Which lets me segue neatly into the second book, "Creating Time," by Marney K. Makridakis.
Not having, finding or making "the time" has been my biggest bugaboo about my personal work since I became a mother. There just doesn't seem to be enough of my time to go around and I fall into that common category of failing to put myself first. Ms. Makridakis' book is full of exercises to help you find and make the time for your own creativity. What she calls ARTsignments, she inspires us to use the concept of time by exploring themes such as Creating Time through Gratitude (one of my favourites), Creating Time through Metaphor, Creating Time through Stillness, and I can't forget to mention starting each chapter off with a haiku, echoing the natural simplicity of some of her subjects. With beautiful artwork on just about every page and quotes from some of my favourite sources of inspiration like SARK and Terri St. Cloud, I am appreciative for receiving this gift.