Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hallelujah! Leonard Cohen

"She has made some important matters wonderfully clear, and every page is informed by a sweet concern for the well-being of her reader." Leonard Cohen

Foreword and Afterword with Joyful Heart Praise!

In the mid nineties Leonard Cohen wrote the foreword to my book Mental Fitness which on a light note, I now see as sipping yogi green tea to "chill & reach stillness." At the time, I wasn't ready to accept the awesomeness of what he wrote. I actually shared his foreword in a previous blog (Get a Sip of Zen in the Zoo of Life). This post is a new perspective.❧

In keeping this short, sweet and to the point, DGMS (don't get me started:), I've made absolute peace with the divine timing of my daughter Grace Sakura being born a few months after Mental Fitness was published from Weatherhill now Shambhala. In short, I'm a late bloomer in promoting myself, realizing that being a mother was more important and to this day the most sacred honor to uphold. As stated in the quote above from the foreword, I resonate with "every page is informed by a sweet concern for the well-being of her reader." The expression "sweet concern" reminds me of the Sanskrit word "Madhuvidya" which means sweet knowledge, and the simple act of infusing spirituality into our everyday lives. I am honored to share with my readers delicious ways to restore well-being.
On a side note Neil Pasricha's The Book Of Awesome helps us infuse those tiny little sweet moments into our lives empowering us to play our A game of Awesome. We attain Altitude with his 3A's; Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity as mentioned in a previous blog.

Indeed, the intent of this blog, and my work which Grace calls "FunZen" (making mindfulness and breathing fun & imaginative) is to cultivate sacred moments aka
itsy bitsy joys that sweeten our daily life. Thank you for joining me in a rebirth of Mental Fitness where I'm onboard to help you embrace your original nature and turn what your soul already knows into joyful heart steps in the dance of life.


My old teacher, Joshu Sasaki Roshi, has asked me to say a few words about the book which you are holding. He never really learned English, and he has forgotten much of his Japanese, but he knows a good thing when he sees it, and he wanted me to thank Michiko Rolek, on his behalf, for her very helpful instructions.

I live with a number of bewildered souls on a mountain in southern California. The place is called a Zen Center, and it probably is, but it is also a kind of hospital for people who have forgotten how to breathe, or sit, or stand, or walk. Michiko has developed a simple and effective approach to these fundamental activities. Some of us are breathing better already.

This workbook may not solve the Burning Issues of Your Life, but you sure as hell can save yourself a lot of trouble by looking into it. You might even be able to skip having to visit a place like this, or if you are already in one, perhaps with this valuable information you can slip away.

In any case, we want to join Roshi in expressing our gratitude to Michiko for her kindness in presenting to us her manual on Mental Fitness. She has made some important matters wonderfully clear, and every page is informed by a sweet concern for the well-being of her reader.

Thank you.
Jikan Eliezer
a Mt. Baldy monk
(Leonard Cohen)

Inspirational Recipe: Making Mindful Breathing a "Staple"
Gratitude is the Mother of Lovingkindness & Joyfulness

(Pure Joy comes from our Spirit) "Joy is prayer~Joy is strength~Joy is love~Joy is a net of love by which we catch souls..." Mother Teresa

HeartWarmer Spiritual Exercise: Breathe in slow and deeply: Opening your heart, (expanding lower ribs)

Breathe out: Expanding your net of pure love (firm-up core on exhalation)
(perform 3-4 breath cycles) repeat connecting the heart dots at your pace of comfort & joy through out the day one breath at a time... (gentle reminder, we forget a lot, i'm simply here to offer little hints helping you refresh & re-center, perhaps making the miracle of mindfulness your daily ritual...;)

Listen-up and Zenjoy!

For this blog, please ask about special offer for Mental Fitness... Thank you.
Looking forward to hearing from you...

Contact: Michiko (lil mama) Rolek
Twitter: Follow @ZenMommie
Life Coaching: (805) 490-2391

Friday, February 18, 2011

Keep Calm and Have A Cupcake

Having your Cupcake and eating it too with Zen-like Calm!

I did some research on where these expressions " To have one's cake and eat it too" and “You can’t eat your cake and have it too, originated. They appear to be English idioms from the 15 th century that are similiar to the phrase "you can't have it both ways" or take on more than you can handle..." However, at the FunZen Bakery, you can have your cupcake and eat it too. We celebrate life lessons to grow on. On our journey there will be disappointment, highs and lows when things don't go our way. By learning how to find our center, we calm down and start to see things in a whole new light. Remember you are not built for guilt, blame or shame. Zenjoy this moment. We go to the FunZen Bakery to nurture our inside child's joyful spirit and quiet strength of a warrior. ❧

We will keep it short, sweet, and to the point to help you taste stress free simplicity. Our awe-some Centering Charm is inspired from Author, Meditation Master Thich Nhat Hanh to take with you wherever you go. Just Imagine going to a Cupcake Bakery and your number is finally called.

This time with your yum cupcake is your added bonus; the inspirational recipe below to celebrate taking a moment of zen to not just talk about keeping happy calm. But actually walking the talk, by experiencing the message of this popular saying "Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake!"

Mindful Breathing Inspirational Recipe:

from Mental Fitness aka Yogi Tea for the Mind pg. 36

Begin within with the gratitude of a joyful heart, eyes closed (center-up between your eyebrows) or gently lower your eyelids...Exhale Whooosh (press zen button, pixie pause) to re-focus and relax from top to toe, sit, stand or lie down feeling grounded yet tall, light and firm from the inside out.

On each Exhale ahhhh your core naturally strengthens, Inhale soften and expand to receive abundantly, allowing you to give more in an endless circle of love, laughter, (tears) while living in the moment no matter what life dishes out.

Buddhist nun and inspired Author Pema Chodrun reminds us that "Breathing in and out opens our hearts and is the most kind and loving thing we can do for ourselves." To deepen this idea of loving thyself is an empowering link from brilliant author, Valencia Ray MD who says "Part of what I do is; help women entrepreneurs lead with the power of their True Self so that they can heal the world.

Zenergized Centering Charm:

Breathing in, I calm my emotions.

Breathing out, I smile, :) centering the spinning mind.

Breathing in, Being in the miracle of the present moment.

Long Breath out, Ahhhh I know this is a wonderful moment.

Now, repeat as needed to Keep Zenergized Calm to Carry On with your Centering Charm

Gentle Reminder: "Fun is good, here, there and everywhere" (pure joy from Dr. Seuss)

Check this out: Do Nothing For Two Minutes

Curious to hear any thoughts or questions about Stop doing, Start being for 2 minutes ❤

Here's a shout out to mention a few favorite tweeps who have shared their awesomeness with us and supported our vision of Cupcakes & Inspirational Recipes are sweeter when shared...@StressFreeKids @julieshanti @spiritedwoman @drbenlo @JenuineHealing @Beautyofwisdom @CrissyBayless...❤❤❤

Thank you profusely @JRavenHawk for being a zen rock of steady support for Mental Fitness training and being an earth angel respectful of boundaries while helping us spread creative ideas about adding a bit of zen- like calm to the Spinning Tea Cup Ride called Life ❤❤❤

The first few callers, emailers, that mention this blog "Keep Calm & Have a Cupcake" and tag #cupcake ❤ will get a complimentary Life Coaching session ❤ Signed copies available, Mental Fitness: what I'm currently referring to as Yogi Tea for the Mind ❧

FunZen helps you get upright to find the right words at the right time, to spread your heart wings to take root and fly...

FunZen Bakery contact: 805 490-2391 ❤

Mental Fitness Foreword by Leonard Cohen still available: Amazon, Bodhi Tree Books Zenjoy!

In Gratitude w/Love ❤

FunZen Girls OX
Michiko (lil mama) and Grace

Life Coaching Services now available: 805 490-2391
Twitter: @Zenmommie

I teach Kids FunZen and train Parents to be Mindful.

Yoko Ono's commitment to spread Imagine Peace elucidates the meaning of a zen mommie; give peace a chance to begin with the me in mommie.

Happy Ageless Beautiful Birthday Yoko (ocean child)

Feb. 18, 2011 ❤

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Your Zen Tune-up Experience

Pema Chodrun

I recently read Author, Host, Tom Bergeron's superb book I'm Hosting as Fast as I Can! Zen and the Art of Staying Sane in Hollywood. When he mentioned "giving himself a Zen tune-up backstage to find his center" I was spellbound. Tom fondly mentioned an Alan Watts quote "If you hold your breath, you lose it." In that moment of reading that quote, I instantly recalled a "A Single Breath" meditation exercise I learned at Cal Arts from legendary Zen poet Gary Snyder. He was friends with philosopher, Alan Watts (also a student of my great grand father Sokei-an) and studied Zen at my family's First Zen Institute in Kyoto, Japan.

Without further ado, here's a quick on the spot application you can use to find your center, in the gift called the precious present, your Zen moment to be zenjoyed, that's what gifts are for. Consider Phil Jackson's wise words " The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single breath. Here we go...

Inspirational Recipe; Snow Globe Cupcakes

One Breath Meditation
(Centering technique)

Consider a Snow globe turned upside down and shaken about. When it is set upright, the snow begins to settle and the scene is clear once again. Think of your mind the same way. We get tossed about by the stressful events but in an instant of the miracle of mindfulness, with One Breath, we get ourselves upright, our thoughts begin to settle and our mind becomes more clear.

Gentle Reminder; Stop (press your zen button, Whooosh) Breathe, Feel (Centered) ; Clear Mind, Peaceful Heart activation of your warrior (warriorette) spirit... It doesn't take more time to get centered, thinking on your feet, it takes intent. It's always an empowering choice we can make to live in what brilliant Author, Eckhart Tolle calls "The Power of Now."

Thank you straight from my heart inspired author of Along the Winding Path: A Little Personal Journey, a mind-body-spirit work ...@JulieShanti for being my cheerleader soul angel and inspiring me to post this to share my best and highest good, Ti amo... ❤ Brain storming with you is refreshing, like tasting zenlighten-mints.

Tom inspired me to mention Starbucks & this Heartwarmer quote:
"Friends are like snowflakes: each one different and beautiful..."❤

Cupcakes in picture from click here Sprinkles

Mental Fitness (Foreword by Leonard Cohen) still available: Amazon, Bodhi Tree Books or, contact me for an autographed copy.

In Gratitude w/Love ❤

FunZen Girls OX
Michiko (lil mama) and Grace

Life Coaching Services now available: 805 490-2391
Twitter: @Zenmommie

I teach Kids FunZen and train Parents to be Mindful.

Yoko (ocean child) Ono's commitment to spread Imagine Peace clarifies the meaning of a zen mommie; let a little peace begin with the me in mommie.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What's Luck Got to Do with It?

My intent is to share my kismet experience of meeting and sharing a pith meaningful conversation with Jerry Seinfeld at Starbucks in Burbank California. Beforehand, let's look at L.U.C.K. as an acronym: (L)abor (U)nder (C)onstructive (K)nowledge meaning with a solid work ethic or discipline, knowledge applied (wisdom) and preparation (foundation) will allow good things to happen for anyone. From a zen perspective consider that resistance or fear pushes away what we want and non resistance and love magnetizes and draws our best and highest good to us. Basically, it's the right attitude, not a random fluke that leads to making your own luck and living a charmed life.

The words that danced through my mind when I spotted Jerry Seinfeld sitting at a table near the front door talking to his colleague who looked more unapproachable than Jerry was "he looks too busy, play it by ear". I only had a couple of minutes and was actually almost late picking up my daughter, so thinking fearlessly on my feet meant I had milliseconds to respond (from my soul) or react (from my ego) and pretend I didn't notice him.

When I quieted down my monkey chatter with a few mindful breaths, I trusted my intuition and just took some heart steps over to his table. Blossoming where I landed, I uttered "this is a Shy to Hi" moment. He smiled and I whooshed feeling comfort and joy that he appeared receptive to my inquiry. I asked him how Zen influenced his "show about nothing" comedy ... He said he was flattered that I asked and shared that Zen had inspired him. He added that he'd read many books on Zen... I mentioned how Grace & I started the FunZen Bakery and shared it's message of light, to help kids shine brilliantly by going within for life lessons or going without their blessed Aha's.

He smiled with a simpatico (friendly) sense of resonating with the point to offer kids and parents Perspective Life Skills. I felt this yin yang creative tension of appreciation that Jerry was open to discussing a bit of zen, yet a strong urgency that I had to go get Grace. It is beyond the scope of this blog to share more details about my Lady Luck experience. Perhaps in a future blog I'll share more awesome details on this idea of Zen and The Art of Jerry Seinfeld which is an actual chapter in a Biography, Jerry Seinfeld, Much Ado About Nothing by Josh Levine that I researched after I met him.

"Zen is just looking at something from a different perspective, and that's what
a lot of comedy is". Jerry Seinfeld

For now, what is key is that you carry the vibe that you can Be your best and make your own luck. With this one thing: Trust your Intuitive Heart which knows how to blossom where you land, with your unique "Shy to Hi" zen moment of; asking a challenging question, meeting someone new, listening to your inner wisdom and shifting away from: what if (future worry) what was (past) to the sweet acceptance of reality or what is (present).

Back to the opening? What's luck got to do with it? It appears that luck has to do with Oprah Winfrey's common sense wisdom; "I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity."

Inspirational Recipe: Lady Luck Cupcakes

Following your heart begins within with setting aside a little Quiet Time for Getting Centered.

3's a Charm Stay In Your Heart Interactive Steps:❤❤❤

1) Blossom where you land by feeling your feet pressing down (root lower body) and gently reach up (rise) through your heavenly crown, eyes closed (center up between your eyebrows; or lower your eye lids) keeping your head to the sky, shoulders ( heart wings) spreading soft and wide.

2) Mindfully (non judgmentally, be kind to your mind) Observe your breath flowing out and in...up to a minute or so. Gradually deepen your breath by feeling the rise and fall of your tummy ~Ride the waves ~(Discover Centered Breath in Mental Fitness pg 22)

3) Ignore and dismiss any (monkey chatter) self defeating thoughts like doubt and regrets sweep your mind clear with your long breath out. Welcome the compassionate heart thoughts that inspire you to aspire and take action for your highest good.

Here's your Lady Luck Centering Charm to make or bake your own luck. This is one that Grace (daughter) and I use often to zencourage positive thinking, raise our energy and deepen our fearless faith.

Exhale, relax and refocus, Breathe in ~I am (pixie pause) Long Breath Out~

Being my best and allowing God (Divine Love or Spirit) to handle the rest
...repeat 3 or more times. Note starting to sense zen-like calm to carry on... comes naturally.

As mentioned in the previous blogs Got Zen? Becoming A Resourcerer, we are exploring ways to activate brilliant author, Neil Pasricha's 3A's of Awesome, Attitude (way of being) Awareness (mindfulness) Authenticity (return to your original nature) using Mental Fitness to get your head in the A game.

Any suggestions or questions: tweet me, call me, email me, facebook awaits; How can I help you empower yourself to shine? Looking forward... Let's start the conversation.

Mental Fitness (Foreword by Leonard Cohen) still available: Amazon, Bodhi Tree Books , or, contact me for an autographed copy and free gift telecoaching session. Share with your friends and Zenjoy!

In Gratitude w/Love ❤

FunZen Girls OX
Michiko and Grace

Life Coaching Services now available: 805 490-2391
Twitter: @Zenmommie

I teach Kids FunZen and train Parents to be Mindful.

Yoko (ocean child) Ono's commitment to spread Imagine Peace clarifies the meaning of a zen mommie; let a little peace begin with the me in mommie.