Childless Stepparent

for stepmoms + stepdads with the unique challenges – and gifts – of creating a family with their spouse + their spouse's child(ren) and no child(ren) of their own

Category: spirit

Loving-Kindness Meditation for Stepparents

spirit

“Just as compassion is the wish that all sentient beings be free of suffering, loving-kindness is the wish that all may enjoy happiness. As with compassion, when cultivating loving-kindness it is important to start by taking a specific individual as a focus of our meditation, and we then extend the scope of our concern further and further, to eventually encompass and embrace all sentient beings.”
~H.H. Dalai Lama

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Letting Go Is Letting Happiness In

spirit
We often experience “letting go” as resignation. Passively letting something slide through our fingers. Passive letting go feels like loss.

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Celebrating the Little Things

spirit
This morning I took a hike with my neighbor and our dogs in the forest that opens up behind our house.

It was gorgeous out, the ponderosas rising up from the snow, the dogs running ahead happily, my new friend and I talking about the history of this old mining town and the eccentric people who make this place so special.

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All You Need To Do Is Be

spirit

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.”

~ Tao Te Ching

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One Big Happy Household

spirit
Today I am filled with gratitude. Our home is full of love and playfulness.

I’m sitting in the living room, sunshine streaming in the windows, taking it all in. My husband reading the paper, his daughter playing with the cats in the windowsill while they watch bluejays on the deck. Our new dog cuddled at my feet. Even the beta fish are swimming happily in their bowls.

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Self-Created Suffering and Freedom

spirit“If we do not think through things well, if our vision is only short-term and our methods only superficial, and if we do not consider things with an open and relaxed outlook, then we turn what started as minor problems into major difficulties. In other words, we ourselves create a great deal of our own suffering.” 

~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama | Daily Advice from the Heart

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A Quick Technique to Find Your Inner Calm

spirit
My teacher, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, taught me this technique: when you’re feeling turbulent with emotions, watch your body.

If you do, you’ll see this pattern: a thought triggers a response in your body, which is when the emotion arises. It all happens very quickly, but it’s not instantaneous. Our emotional reactions always happen in this order: thought, manifestation in the body, emotion.

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Be In Communion In Order to Let Go

spirit

“If you would understand something completely – your neighbor, your wife, or any relationship – you must be near it. You must come to it without any objection, prejudice, condemnation, or repulsion; you must look at it . . . . If I would understand sorrow, I must love it. I must be in communion with it. I cannot do so because I am running away from it through explanations, through theories, through hopes, through postponements, which are all the process of verbalization. So words prevent me from being in communion with sorrow.” 

~J. Krishnamurti, On Love and Loneliness

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New Year’s Resolutions for Childless Stepparents

spirit

In addition to remembering The Childless Stepparent Manifesto and putting it into action, I have these resolutions:

to let go of the past,
forget the future,
connect with myself,
wake up,
and be present.

Find Balance Between Exertion and Relaxation

spirit

My teacher, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, talks about how we can find balance between exertion – what he calls “delightful diligence” – and relaxation. He teaches us how to find that lightness in our meditation – it can be applied to everything we do. Delightful diligence, relaxation, delightful diligence, relaxation.

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