Taking a Little Break

I can’t believe it’s been eight months since I wrote a post. I needed a break from a few things and gave myself permission to do so, without guilt or pressure. It’s freeing to do that once in a while.

I felt compelled to write today because I discovered something recently that has been life-changing for me. It’s a very small thing with a big impact.

My work is busy (who can’t related to that??) and life sometimes gets crazy as well. I have found a technique that has helped me to reduce stress and feel less overwhelmed by responsibilities.

I take mini muscle relaxing breaks. I focus on a muscle (often my jaw muscle which seems to be tense a lot) and purposely let it relax. I wiggle it a bit, take a breath and consciously let the muscle go limp. It’s something easy to do any time because it literally takes a second or two.

I do this throughout my day. Over time I have found that my jaw and shoulders muscles (which I also focus on) have become more relaxed.

In fact, my whole body has become more relaxed. These mini muscle relaxing moments have extended beyond my physical and triggered a mental relaxation as well. I’m calmer and more relaxed in the busyness of life.

I love how simple things can make a difference.

Namaste

Meditation of the Week: Stop!

OSHO’s words are a source of inspiration for so many people, myself included. I found his latest meditation a simple and effective way to become fully aware in the midst of a busy day.

Stop! Meditation technique to do in a moment, any time, any place to enhance your everyday life at work, at home, and at play.

Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop.

You can try it anywhere. You are taking your bath – suddenly order yourself to ‘Stop!’ and stop. Even if it is only for a single moment, you will feel a different phenomenon happening within you. You are thrown to the center and suddenly everything stops – not only the body. When the body stops totally, your mind stops also.

When you say, ‘Stop!’ do not breathe then. Let everything stop…no breathing, no body movement. For a single moment remain in this stop, and you will feel you have penetrated suddenly, at rocket speed, to the center. And even a glimpse is miraculous, revolutionary. It changes you, and by and by you can have more clear glimpses of the center. That is why inactivity is not to be practiced. Use it suddenly, when you are unaware.

For example, you were going to drink a glass of water. You have touched the water, the glass – suddenly stop. Let the hand be there, let the desire to drink, the thirst be there inside, but you stop completely. The glass is outside, the thirst is inside; the hand is on the glass, the eyes are on the glass – stop suddenly. No breathing, no movement, as if you have become dead. The very impulse, the thirst, will release energy, and that energy is used for going to the center. You will be thrown to the center. Why? Because any impulse is a movement outward. Energy is always in movement – either going out or coming in. Energy can never be static.

Remember three things…. One, try it only when a real impulse is there. Secondly, do not think about stopping, just stop. And thirdly, wait! When you have stopped, no breathing, no movement – wait and see what happens.

When I say stop, it means stop totally, fully. Nothing is moving, as if the whole time has stopped. There is no movement – simply you are! In that simple existence, suddenly the center explodes.

Osho,The Book of Secrets, Talk #17

Source: Meditation of the Week: Stop!

Random Acts of Kindness

Our community is participating in 30 Acts of Kindness this month. Every day a small idea of kindness is presented that can make a difference in the lives of those around us.

Doing something good for others can be as simple as a smile or a kind word. Each and every act of kindness makes our world a better place.

Here is the list of 30 ideas to try to incorporate in our daily lives:

  1. Reconnect with old friends
  2. Write a thank you note
  3. Buy coffee for a stranger
  4. Smile at everyone you see
  5. Brighten someone’s day with flowers
  6. Offer free hugs
  7. Donate or volunteer for a charity
  8. Be a Snow Angel
  9. Encourage someone with a note
  10. Organize a food drive
  11. Share your knowledge
  12. Pay a compliment
  13. Donate used books
  14. Be kind to the environment
  15. Offer to help a neighbour
  16. Forgive someone
  17. Pick up litter while out walking
  18. Be kind to yourself
  19. Share the gift of music
  20. Treat someone to a movie
  21. Offer a friend a ride
  22. Share laughter – tell a joke!
  23. Gift a reusable bag
  24. Hold the door open
  25. Be a good listener
  26. Brighten someone’s day with a balloon
  27. Show kindness to an elderly person
  28. Prepare and share a meal with a friend
  29. Return a shopping cart
  30. Reciprocate kindness shown to you this month

We truly can make the world a better place, one small act of kindness at a time.

Source: 30 Acts of Kindness Challenge

Choose Positive

Is your cup half full or half empty? Do you spend the majority of your time thinking about what is going wrong in your life or do you see the positive in every situation?

Regardless of our circumstances, we always (yes, always!) have a choice to see the positive side of life. If you aren’t used to doing that, it may take a bit of effort to switch your mind into thinking of the positive but doing so will produce amazing results. It actually re-wires your brains to be more positive!

So, make the choice to see, think and speak about the positive side of every situation. Do it daily, hourly. Look for the good. Really look for it.

Here are a few ways to help us do that is:

  • Start your day saying three things you are grateful for
  • Keep a Gratitude Journal
  • Play uplifting music
  • Watch comedies and movies that make you smile
  • Read books that are inspiring
  • Compliment others, especially those who annoy your
  • Go for a walk in nature and marvel at all the miracles around you
  • Say “I love you” to others… and yourself
  • At the end of the day forgive (others and yourself) and then let it go
  • Before you go to sleep, go over the positive things that happened that day

The choice is yours. What will you choose?

glass half full

Happiness First, Success Follows

Most of us have spent our lives thinking that we need to be successful first and then we will be happy. Shawn Achor’s entertaining TED Talk proves otherwise.

If this inspires you, consider joining the Happiness First, Success Follows Facebook Group for inspirational ideas. A 21 day journey starts tomorrow, although any day you join would be a good day to start being happy.

10 Tips for a Peaceful Day

A few reminders for all of us:

  1. When you wake up in the morning, thank the Universe for giving you the day ahead. Expect that your day will be wonderful.
  2. Sit in silence before getting out of bed – even 5 to 10 minutes will make a difference. Quiet your mind and simply observe the sounds of your room without judgement.
  3. Walk in nature, even if it’s simply in your neighborhood. Listen to the sounds of nature – the birds chirping, the wind in the trees.
  4. Eat foods that grow from plants and trees; slowly eliminate manufactured food.
  5. Drink plenty of water.
  6. Smile and speak positively to everyone you meet.
  7. Help someone in need.
  8. Get in touch with a friend or loved one.
  9. Forgive someone who hurt you. Make peace with your past so you can move on in peace.
  10. Before you go to sleep, thank the Universe for all the blessings of the day; send love and blessings to everyone.

Namaste

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.

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