Timing Our Day Consciously

Taking part in Oprah and Deepak’s 21 Day Meditation Experience Manifesting True Success has given me food for thought. In particular, today I am thinking about how I spend my day.

Too often I feel unsatisfied at the end of the day. Whether it was not having time for fun or not accomplishing something that I had planned to do.

Today’s meditation “Timing For Success” showed how we can look back at our day and feel good about it, if we follow the model for mastering time from psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Siegel. His work shows the best way to have a healthy brain that supports a person’s well-being. He suggests dividing our time into seven different ways each day.  They are:

  • Sleep time – to get a full night restful sleep
  • Physical time – to move and let your body be active
  • Focus time – to be alone for awhile to concentrate on what matters to you
  • Time in – for meditation, prayer or self-reflection
  • Time Out – for simply resting or existence
  • Play time – for fun in a carefree mood
  • Connecting time – intimate private time between those you love and care for

Deepak goes on to explain that this isn’t just about having a well-planned day.  Each step optimizes different areas of the brain which leads to expanded awareness and a sense of fulfillment.

I like that. It makes sense to me.

We can strive to be masters of our time each day and have a map to help us on our way.

Turning Negative into Positive

We all have experienced negative people in our lives. Sometimes we become negative ourselves. It never feels good and can change our outlook on everything.

When that happens, I am reminded of the Native American Indian (Cherokee) wisdom of Two Wolves:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

This is a great reminder that even in hard times, we always have a choice. Which wolf are you feeding?

Moving On Slowly and Gently

Sometimes life throws a curve ball at us. When it does, it can be hard to find any peace or happiness for a time. Life becomes a struggle.

But there is a way to get out of it. It takes only a moment in time.

Start by observing what you are going through. Don’t try to change it. Don’t act on it. Don’t judge it. Just observe where your thoughts are taking you and what feelings you are having.

Then, slowly and gently, make a conscious effort to look at something else in the room or outside. Pay attention to one item. It could be as simple as looking at a chair or a picture hanging on the wall. Really look at it, as if seeing it for the first time. Look at the tiniest details. Don’t judge it. Just observe.

Then, listen to any sounds that you hear around you. Perhaps it’s a clock ticking, the fridge humming or a bird chirping. Put all your attention on the sound. Again, just observe. Just listen.

Then, take a brief moment to give gratitude to whatever you observed – yourself, something in your home, office or outdoors, the sound.

Do this as often as you like throughout the day. Take only a few seconds to start with, then eventually allow it to expand into longer periods.

Observe the change over time. Be gentle with yourself and know that it’s all good.

The Healing Power of a Drum

Last night I experienced the comfort and loving sounds of what it must have been like to be in the womb and hearing my mother’s heartbeat.

It was during a community drumming circle where about 50 or 60 people were sitting in ever larger circles. Each person had a drum to play and were instructed to drum a heart beat.

BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom…

I was invited to lie on a yoga mat with 8 other people in the center area for what was called a “rhythm cradle.” I closed my eyes and could hear the heartbeat around me.

More than that, I could feel the vibration of the drums throughout my body… all in time to the heartbeat.

Then people with native hand drums began to drum over top of my body. I could feel the power of the drum literally coursing through my feet, my legs, my arms, my entire body. Two men playing didgeridoos in the background came over and played their instruments right into my body. I could feel the rush of air and feel the amazing vibrations going right to my core.

Slowly the drumming over my body and the didgeridoos drifted away. I was left with the steady heartbeat of the drum in the background. BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom… BOOM… boom, boom…

Then all was quiet.

I lied there for a few minutes. The sensation was so powerful.

So healing!

If you live in an area that has a drumming circle, go experience the healing sensations of the drum. In Calgary, Alberta we are so fortunate to have Judy Atkinson’s Circles of Rhythm.

Laugh Daily for Mind, Body and Spirit

We all love to laugh. A good joke, a funny movie, time with friends or a silly situation can trigger the giggles, and that can lead to a full-out belly laugh.

There are numerous benefits – from releasing stress to strengthening our immune systems, improving the function of the heart and even temporarily relieving pain. Laughing helps us to relax, recharge and shift perspective. It brings us together and brightens our day. And it feels good!

To receive full benefit of laughter, do it on a daily basis. Start with a smile, then a quiet giggle and slowly move into a full out laugh. Do this near someone else and it will become contagious!

View this short video and see if you can keep a straight face. LOL!

The Power of Positive

We all have the power to create positive experiences in our lives.

In each moment, we can make a choice. We can walk away from negative situations and surround ourselves with people who are uplifting. If that isn’t possible, we can send our love and blessings to difficult situations, infusing a positive light into it.

Everything we think, say or do has a ripple effect in our lives and those around us.

We can learn much from a conscious communication practice rooted in Buddhist tradition. Before you speak, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is what I’m about to say kind?
  2. Is it true?
  3. Is it necessary?
  4. Does it improve upon the silence?

If you can answer yes to all four questions, then your words will resonate with love.

Smile and Say Hello

As a teenager, I was very shy. I would walk the hallways in school, eyes down, shuttling off to my classroom. While I always had one or two close friends, I was never one of the “popular” kids in school.

My older sister was the opposite. I watched how she made friends easily and was comfortable around many people.

Smile!At one point I asked her how she made friends so easily. The advice she gave me was simple and effective.

She said, “As you walk down the hall at school and see someone you know, look them in the eye, smile and say hello. Then keep that smile on your face as you continue on your way.”

It’s many years later and I am no longer the shy person I was once. The advice my sister gave me is something that stayed with me over the years and has served me well.

Give it a try throughout your day… just smile and say hello. Keep that smile as you continue on your way and see how your world changes. So simple!

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