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A Time Where We All Really Need It...

Some of us are seekers, trying to find a greater meaning to life, our environment, and the culture we find ourselves in. We seek truth in the most imperceptible places and may at some point practice mindfulness. A newer version of being in the moment, or as Ram Dass coined the term, “Be Here Now”, also the title of his 1971 book. The Zen in doing is another mindful narrative where being focused in the moment is key to a balanced life. A seeker searches for clarity with courage as feelings of dissatisfaction can become a source of alienation of not belonging to the collective mind or following the status quo.

This type of isolation can be depressing, and often the seeker searches for like-minded individuals to align with for strength and inspiration. “You are the company you keep, so keep the company of saints.” Finding your tribe or community is therefore key to experiencing less isolation, where collectively you can seek a higher more balanced purpose. 

For me, my search is constant, and I have learned some lessons along the way and continue to improve and evolve as I practice daily awareness of these facts. It’s not in the realization as it is in the journey, I have not realized my full potential yesterday or tomorrow but in the moment of awareness. To seek authentic intelligence is to tap into the moment that is present in each breathe we take. I fail each day trying to get to the simplest reality of life, be here now, focus on the moment, feel reverence and gratitude in each breathe.  These are not just words to live by, but a reality I know to be true, because I experience it. Seek the experience and don’t be satisfied until you find that truth that creates the greatest amount of peace and love in your life.

This is my interpretation of mindfulness and a way to universal consciousness.  I am no saint, I get mad at injustice almost daily, I get depressed when I feel powerless in a society that is not as honest as I would like. The older I get the more I see unaccountability more often than authenticity and accountability, especially in business.

There is a reason we love communing with nature, whether it’s a walk in a forest or swimming in the ocean.  We thrive on being aware of the symbiotic cord we share in those pristine environments.  There is a sense of being at home, maybe it’s the negative ions, but for sure it’s the energy. 

As a seeker I found this same amazing awareness inside of myself, beyond my breathe that awakens my heart intelligence and is always accessible. There is no greater peace, then to access that point where all knowledge and understanding live with the ultimate experience of consciousness. Mindfulness is a gateway to consciousness and consciousness is true empowerment. 

Rocks stacked on top of one another in a reaching zen exercise

I believe a healthy lifestyle is another important key to mindfulness. Healthy eating, a good night sleep going to bed earlier, a practice of meditation, a disciplined exercise regimen, and last but not least, selfless-service, all lead and stimulate mindfulness. Selfless-service is doing something that takes focus away from yourself, and benefits someone or something else.  It could be something obvious like dedicating your time to a homeless shelter, or animal rescue, or it could be cooking and serving people with food, or maybe it’s environmental cleanup.

We are on a journey of discovering about who, what, and why we are.  When we seek to intentionally focus on each breathe we surrender the days stress and those that may have been a bit angry, even if that person is us.  The idea that we can’t get angry or mad at injustice is ridiculous!  It’s what we do with it, fall -get up, fall -get up, fall -get up…get the picture? Yeah, we are imperfect, but we forgive ourselves and get up and strive to be kind and empowered so that the greatest amount of good can be a reality to live by.

I heard this recently from one of my teachers and friends that we have a choice each day to bless or to curse.  That’s something to think about when your cut off in traffic as they flip you off and laugh as they make it to their meeting and you miss yours. Bless or curse? I’ve been in this situation recently and felt rage almost all day. I am trying to remember this when the daily political injustices loom over all us, no matter what side of the isle you believe in.  When you see that people are suffering all over the world, and at home, do you bless or curse those in control? I believe people need to be held accountable for their egregious actions, but not to curse or hate is the challenge. Just being mindful and supporting this thinking with one another is so powerful, not only in our own evolution, but that of the planets. 

Have you ever run into anyone when asked how their day is, and they simple say, “I’m hanging in there.”  They are not lying about the challenges they face that day or in that moment, they are doing their best to get by without unloading their frustrations, hatred, or injustice. They are choosing to be present and breathe through the difficulty.

I recently had someone that I speak to quite a bit about business, and often we share our frustrations in being an authentic maker that does not get the recognition we feel deserved.  This topic can take its tole after a while.  No good can become of affirming a negative reality, true or not.  Hearing her say, “I’m hanging in there”, after asking how she was, I knew what she meant and sincerely from my heart to hers wanted her reality to positively shift responding with, “You hang in there dear-heart, breath and a shift is inevitable”. We have the power to bring ourselves into balance, through intentional thought and action.

Young woman practicing mindfulness with yoga and meditation

Inspiration is a byproduct of mindfulness, in my experience. The deeper or more aware we are and can tap into that heart place is the root of creation. Authentic and inspired design has always come from source. This doesn’t mean that we conceptualize a sort of zen posture with no reaction or accountability to those that perpetrate an injustice or cruelty to another. Speak out, speak up, move forward, but be mindful if in so doing, you are upset, shaken, and limit yourself and those around you to an imbalance that effects not only you, but those around you.

This is a time to be alone and pull it in, take a deep breathe or 3, and become silent.  We may not have the answers or even feel like ___, but sometimes we just have to wait, sit in silence until we do. Honesty, truth and accountability tend to go hand in hand in living a thoughtful life.

For myself in running a complex business I wear numerous hats. I oversee all operations, some of which include formulation, purchasing, design, marketing, financial fluidity, employee trainings and guidance, merchandising, and all written content.  I practically have the drive and energy of 10 hard working inspired individuals.  I never designed this business to fall on my shoulders as it has, with only a few to carry out vision, a daunting task for the most competent of individuals, mindfulness is a must. But I hang in there more than I’d like to admit. Consciousness and truth is much easier to find when life’s circumstances are aligned and in winning positions than when the opposite occurs. 

There are very few makers that are original and create authenticity. The majority of company’s follow or copy what they want and never feel remorse. I’ve been copied unmercifully since my first product in 1987. It has continued throughout my entire existence.  Some are out of business and others are still thriving. They cannot copy me with any real success, as they have no depth of understanding the why, and fail sooner or later. Still it continues to disturb me, as they compete for my ability to grow. 

In spite of this, and often because of it, I am very grateful for being a vessel for authentic and inspired formulas that have and will impact my customers and friends. Business can instill fear, as competition and revenue loss can incite aggressive action. Finding peace in those situations where a supplier decides to send a ruined raw material or a custom bag made the wrong size, are only a couple examples of a bad week.  Not because they will profusely apologize and immediately reimburse; NO, because the norm is that they refuse to make good on their mistake. 

In the above scenarios of which we have too many to count in a year, we have come to expect it, but never except it.  When stated that business can breed fear, I meant mostly in those in our supply chain that would cause harm to save themselves.  My staff and I can write a book on all the times the most unaccountable things have happened.  Most of which would not exist, if an honest resolution and exchange could take place.

The point of hashing out this sad reality of being a business owner with a vast supply chain is not to have a bitch fest and have my readers feel sorry for me, no, it’s to reflect on the choices we make.  The choice to bless or to curse, to be in the consciousness of truth and empowerment and stand up for yourself in times of injustice.

How hard do we get pushed back before we start to push? Never! Be mindful, one bad turn does not deserve another.  That does not mean you don’t hold those accountable in the best way possible at the time.  Some of us get screwed by even nice people and can’t lawyer up like most would think.  Taking lawful action is a timely and expensive process. My heart has been broker by trusting another that engages in sabotage and deceit, all for their own ego and self-righteousness.  Beware, narcissists are all around, even and often in the nicest people.  Know the signs and practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is therefore a state of heart and mind connection.  If we are serving in some capacity, we owe it to those we serve and ourselves and family to be in a state of honor and love. It is within this spirit that Benedetta exists… for you!

From my heart to yours,


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