Archive for the ‘Heart Health’ Category
Just a thought to take the pressure off yourself today. There is no way you can do it all. There is just no way! So what do you do?
Let go of:
- Perfectionism-this is self abuse
- I shoulds
- What will people think
- Thinking if you don’t do things they will go to ……
Instead go inside and ask?
- What’s really important today?
- How can I play or have fun?
- How can I be gentler on myself?
- What can I let go of today?
I’d like to pose a question to you…do you feel free or feel a sense of freedom? Can you remember those times when you did? When I looked up the word free I found it can mean “without a charge”. Freedom can be a “lack of restrictions, free will, or looseness.” Most people I talk to have the opposite, a sense of being confined. And, that’s certainly a reasonable feeling as the hurricane of change and uncertainty still hovers around us. But, when we start to feel boxed in we can choose to slide into a more open and freeing state of mind. It can come in the most unexpected way.
My birthday was this week and I had such a sense of freedom and celebration during the day. What was unexpected and really contributed were the Happy Birthday songs. This was the year for the six musical happy birthdays that entertained me both live and in messages. One birthday rendition left me in a heap of laughter. It wasn’t that they sang poorly it was just fun and the joy they were having left me smiling inside and out. It was so freeing to hear them sing and just laugh in the moment and celebrate! The bubbles of that laughter keep me feeling free and that lovely feeling of openness permeated my day.
So very simply put, this July 4th celebrate your freedom. This weekend is a wonderful time to enjoy the moments of being able to do nothing, be with your family and friends or enjoy being with yourself. Celebrate what you have and laugh.
Happy July 4th weekend, feel free it’s all in the feeling, have fun and enjoy the present moment,
I am including a video that had me in tears. Laughing will give you the opportunity not to be bound up, worried or feel restricted. It’s only two minutes. I bet you won’t be able to keep a straight face! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HttF5HVYtlQ (copy and paste)
Last week during the business, I have to admit that I re-read last weeks blog Staying Out of the Cracks, to remind myself to fill up on what’s working.
I have to be honest one of the cracks for me is writing this blog and having no one post a response. I get email responses but few comments. I finally decided that it didn’t matter, what mattered was my sharing my experiences and things I know uplift others. For example, a woman emailed me after last week’s blog and said she shifted her to do list for her mini vacation from the “shoulds” which made her fall in the cracks. Yay, out of the cracks!!! (I know it can also feel like a dark hole believe me.)
I think each of has a gift to share. It may be just listening to someone that will keep them out of the cracks or it may be that small thoughtful thing you do that keeps them from falling deeper in the cracks. You may not even know how something you did fills someone else up. The message I want to share is when you are up looking at the Sun and filled up share it. During these this time, we are meant to connect, support and be supported. The journey is easier. Celebrate those sunshine moments. If you look up and fill up you’ll find you aren’t alone. There is always someone or something to guide you away from the cracks.
I want to thank those who posted that filled me up as I read the comments from the last blog. Thank you as I am reading your comments and writing, the dark clouds lifted and the sun started to shine outside. For each of you who wrote a comment. I want to thank each of you for shining your light and sharing. You never know who else you may lift out of the cracks!
Looking up at the sun and filling up,
We all know it’s always darkest before the dawn – the world is at its most gloomy before the light can start seeping through the waves of darkness. In several faith traditions, this is the week of darkness before the light. “A week” you say? I know it feels longer than a week. I have spoken to many people who have felt that the darkness and chaos started last week (or last year or over the last several years) and I have felt the same way. Even the most grounded, successful and spiritually-trusting people have been challenged. I know this may be a turbulent time whether it’s the small dramas, the busyness of life or the ongoing bigger issues that concern you. How do you find those beams of light, take care of yourself and not drop all the balls you have in the air as you put out fires at home and work, meet everyone else’s needs and take care of your family all while staying connected and trusting? That’s a good question, and it’s one I ask myself and my clients routinely.
I want to share with you what I know can support you in connecting to the “light” this week or any busy day (or week or year) in your life. However, I hesitate to suggest this to you as I have consciously left it out of my conversations and writings as many of you may consider it a “dirty” word. Here is goes…one of the best ways you can find your way out of the dark and into the light is to meditate. Yes, I wrote it. If Oprah can use the word, I know it’s okay for me to use it, too. But I can hear you now — I don’t have time, I can’t quiet my mind, that isn’t for me — and I really understand. I started out feeling that way also.
Here’s the good news. Everyone can “meditate” because it’s easier and less time consuming than you think. It takes you out of the dark and gives you a peek of light. And, we do it all the time already — meditating is just focused attention. It’s about being open and listening and being present in the moment. I looked up the word meditation and it comes from the Indo-European root med – meaning “to measure”. Meditation has been defined as: “self regulation of attention, in the service of self-inquiry, in the here and now.”
Many simple meditation techniques ask you to focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breathing engages your left brain, keeping it from trying to figure everything out, and allowing you freedom from other thoughts. The key (coming from the Buddhist tradition) is taking your mind out of the mix even for a short time and allowing the space, “the wiggle room”, for the answers or inspiration to surface. (There’s more on wiggle room in the last blog post). So if you stop what you’re doing and focus on your breathing — you’re meditating.
Step it up by using self inquiry-questions before you start such as “I wonder how this darkness and chaos will lift?” Or “What is the most important thing for me to do next?” Or “I wonder how it would feel if I wasn’t ______.” The answers will come either now or later if you give them the chance. Just four easy steps: Stop what you are doing, take a deep breath, ask your questions and then focus on your breathing. Try this for one to three minutes — that’s all! Then notice what is different, the lightness you feel…and keep noticing. Keep noticing what’s different.
Meditation can take place during many activities, not just when you’re sitting still with your eyes closed. It can come when you are writing in a journal, as you do routine chores, or while taking a walk. Just staying in the present moment noticing with your senses what you are doing. It’s all about focusing in the moment…the moment you have right now.
I know how difficult it is to make the best choices in the midst of too much do, in the middle of chaos and drama. I would love to help you! So I encourage you to take a “meditation break” and let the best choices for you and your life come to you in the “light”.
Resources to find some light in your life
The Soothing SoundPaths™ to Serenity: The Virtual Spa™ CD (available in CD or downloadable version)
Transform Stress in 30 Days with One-Moment Meditation®
My wish for you is that you connect to the light of meditation,
PS Post and let us know how “meditation” helped you let in some light. Thanks for posting,when you post it really helps others on the path!
Did you know you can use your five senses to de-stress this holiday? Yes, you really can! How many times have you heard “Don’t focus on the material world…. there is more here than you can see?” I certainly have found that thought to be true.
I believe it’s important to look beyond what’s in front of you. I also believe there is a lot to be said for using all your senses. One of the most fun and powerful ways to reduce anxiety about all you have to do is to use your five senses of smell, taste, hearing, touch and sight to take time in the moment. Appreciate what you’re doing right now….yes, savor what you doing. It may sound silly, but savoring isn’t just for the enjoyment of food. I have found (as many others have found in research studies) that savoring really works to enhance your sense of wellbeing and to reduce stress. I love savoring because you can do it anywhere, any any time and with anything. Savoring is simply gratitude in the moment.
When you use your five senses to really take in and pay attention to what you’re doing and what is around you your sense of peace expands and stress starts to dissolve even during the super busy times. When you savor it frees you up from the “thought struggle” and worry about you have to do next. Savoring keeps your left brain happy and content with “doing”. You can’t run a to-do list in your head and savor at the same time. Savoring allows your right brain the free space for relaxation or creativity to seep in resulting in surprising possibilities. Savoring fills your holidays with joyful, precious times and a full treasure chest of the gems of beautiful memories.
As I get ready to take out the boxes for the holiday decorations, I remember even the process can be savored. When I stayed focused and savored the job of decorating last year, time seemed to fly by. Before I knew it I was finished; sitting, enjoying the transformation. Savoring really helped me enjoy the process of decorating ……….not to just enjoy the results.
As I take bring in the holiday decorations this year, I will be smiling instead of dreading it. (I no longer focus on how much work it is or how much I still have to do.) Any feelings of stress will slip away as I savor and enjoy new emotions surfacing this year. Yes, you guessed it. I will be feeling gratitude and contentment.
12 Easy Savoring Tips for Less Stress and More Joy
- Take in the colorful sights in the grocery store and look for smiling faces
- Stop for a moment to feast your eyes on the sights of your creations
- Really be in the moment and appreciate the changes around you
- Notice the small details while you are involved in a task
- Look for moments to enjoy the sounds of laughter; watch for moments of joy
- Fill yourself up with the sounds and music of the season
- In the malls look deeper than the commercialism and notice the kindness around
- Make your shopping experience one you like. Savor your gift choices. Focus on the joy of your gift recipient
- Give your full attention when you spend time with your family and friends
- Help your children make a game out of whatever they have to do
- Focus on the positive and savor every moment of harmony
- Relax and savor just a few minutes of pure peace and quiet to rejuvenate yourself
(yes, you can find those few moments) Visit the spa at SerenityPathways.com
Savoring lifts your mood and protects your health. Savoring helps erase the hassled and rushed feelings we often have during the holiday season.
You can release stress and struggle and let the power of happiness propel you to breathing and living easier. In the last few blogs we have been talking about stress. Stress and happiness can’ t survive together. If we can choose our thoughts why not choose to let at least one stressful thought go…….
Then ask yourself what’s really important? When you focus on what’s really important, you’ll find those delicious moments of happiness. When you are so busy you forget your cameras for your daughter’s graduation from a life changing camp? (yes, that really happened to my brother) Forget a friend or a loved ones birthday? (I’ve done that haven’t you?) Worry about money and not create a memory with someone special? Miss precious words and ideas from your children. Or is your day so busy you missed the moment and the day? We all know but forget you can never get those moments back.
Are you too busy to take a few minutes to protect your physical health and emotional health now (and then regret it in the future)? Do you want to regret something you could have changed? I know I don’t.
Benefits of being happy and letting go of stress:
- Your life is more meaningful
- You life is less crazy
- You’re happier (I know for some a foreign idea)
- Your physical and emotional health is better
- You have healthier relationships
- You’re more productive
A quick de-stresser not for everyone…only those that want that delicious feeling of calm and want to let the happiness flow in! http://www.practicalyoga.tv/shownewsletter.asp?newsletterID=7071597
Now add some benefits of your own. Blog and tell us what you are doing right now as a summer stress reliever or what you will choose to do to let a happy choice lead the way today.
Letting go of stress can be fun,
P.S Visit the Virtual Spa and take a few minutes to release your worries and choose happiness!
Are you stressed or stress-less? Believe it or not there are many times we have an opportunity to make space for doing nothing. Yes, isn’t that an interesting thought. However, we don’t often make that choice. It’s not in our work ethic. Our old doing habits, thoughts and programming keep us doing. You know those kid “time outs”?
A great stress reliever is just to take a quick “time out” from the doing. Add some breathing and a gratitude. Science and (your body will tell you) just that short time out will help de-stress your body, mind and spirit.
“Do nothing during the several “time-outs” today. And do it well.”
~David Kundtz Quiet Minds
Happy, relaxed and doing nothing? Blog and let us know,
P.S. How are you creating a de-stressing life? Many of you have mentioned to me how much you liked the last blog, but were not brave enough to post! We are honoring the blog posts that give our readers the three most unique or tried and true de-stresser with a gift.
PPS Try “not doing” and visit the Virtual Spa. www.SerenityPathways.com click on the towels (3 minutes or 8 minute “non doing”)
What do the first letters of the words above spell? Yes, you knew it—B.U.S.Y.! There is busy and then there is B.U.S.Y. Feeling B.U.S.Y. is feeling like you’re on the bottom, underneath the pile of to-dos weighing you down, stressed—thinking about what isn’t going to get done and then. . .the really yucky feelings creep into the pit of your stomach. Need I go on? I caught myself in that trap this morning after starting a new two-day-a-week work opportunity (which I’m grateful and very appreciative of having).
I really thought this morning my inspired priorities were in order. But, when I started to think of the top one on my list (a new task list added to the already long list–finding my Social Security card, which I needed so I could send a copy to my new contracting company so I could get paid) I felt the yucky feelings start to creep in. I wasn’t able to locate it when I looked before a late dinner last night, on top of knowing all I had to accomplish today after being out of my office. Being the de-stress queen I knew I had a choice. I could keep feeling like I was propelled out of a cannon ball and get aggravated OR de-stress myself.
The Power of De-Stressing
I make the choice I know works the best for me: de-stress and connect. I focused on breathing. . .I breathed deeply in and out of my nose for a least 30 seconds. Then the pit in my stomach released. (I reminded myself how my brain, and yours, gets locked up when we are stressed and clear thinking gets put to the side.) I also remembered how when I’m able to flow more freely without worrying how the most important things on my inspired list seem to get done. Although quite frankly, I’m not always sure how they gets done. In fact sometimes it truly amazes me.
Once I reached the driveway it occurred to me to look through our files again. Sure enough, there was a second folder with important papers in it that I had missed the previous evening. Viola! There was my Social Security card.
What do you do?
I’m really interested in what your favorite de-stressor is. How do you keep yourself grounded with all you have to do? They can be serious, fun or just practical. Blog and tell us what your favorite (healthy) de-stressor is. It’s great to share so everyone benefits! We will choose the top 3 most unique or best de-stressing tips and send you a gift. So please put your email in your blog response so we can contact you by email if you are a winner.
Welcome to SerenityPathway’s new blog The Natural Path to Being You, Ideas to Nourish Your Body, Mind and Spirit. The intention of Serenity Pathways’ (Blog, CDs, Coaching, Natural Path to Happiness© Modules, teleclasses, The Virtual Spa®, ebooks and products) is to create short, elegant pathways–stepping stones–for you to transform, create and keep a positive, loving connection to your body, mind and spirit.
“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own shadow.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (from Life Makeovers by Cheryl Richardson)
I believe that everyone can connect to their authentic self and to an energy that is much greater than each of us individually (God, Spirit, Source, the Universe etc.) I also believe that when we connect to each other while being our authentic selves, we create a much better world. As your “best” and authentic self, you give a gift of you to yourself and the gift of you to the world. It’s energizing, joyful and fun. (You’re not a gift when you’re filled with drama, stress and anxiety. It just fills the world with more toxins.) You then inspire those around you to be their “best” selves.
Competing, being a victim and sacrificing was the old game. The new structures for us to build now are to allow ourselves to be just who we are using our gifts, strengths, and taking care of all parts of ourselves. That includes the obvious self care, as well as the deeper choice of being gentle and kind to ourselves.
Being your “best” and authentic self is a choice. You have a choice to do the self nurturing and self care that supports you being your authentic and fully-connected self or stay on the treadmill of more work and while keeping going and not stopping. If you choose to not stop, at some point you’ll fall off in exhaustion in one or all areas of your body, mind and spirit. Deeply honoring your body, mind and spirit is the choice that is important for your connection, health and wellbeing.
When you choose self care and self nurturing, you grow and are more abundant in every way. As each of us does that in our own way, our planet will shift and become a more joyful, healthier, safer place to live. We can certainly use that now!
I hope this blog will inspire you, give you practical information and be a place of community where you can all share your wisdom and gifts. I also hope that everyone reading the blog will find a short, elegant pathway that make will make life easier and more fun.
Wishing you the ease of the elegant butterfly,
How many times have you thought “I don’t have enough time to make a change, shift my thoughts to a more positive one or to do something different that I know would help? Or how about the thought, “There are only 24 hours in a day?” (You have to whine a bit as you say that.) If you don’t have control of your time, who does? I know we all have been caught with those thoughts of overwhelm and not enough time. On the other hand, have you ever been involved in a project where time flew by or, the opposite, you had so little to do you were bored? What happened to time in those cases? We have to live by the clock or “time” in some ways but how about……
…….energy management instead of time management. It’s really all in your head how you think about time. I can hear you! Yes, there is a never-ending list of things in our overly busy and overwhelming world. That isn’t going to change. However, you can make an inside shift in your thoughts, you can watch your outside world change–even if is just a little bit.
For example, when you wake up jarred with an alarm or loud music, and then jump out of bed with a startle, it’s hard for your physical body to catch up with the inner wiser part of you. So try this before you get out of bed in the morning. Take time in the morning to get your energy grounded and present in your body. (You may want to catch those last drifts of important information from your sleep time, first.) When you’re a bit more awake, focus on your body–be gentle and allow yourself a few minutes to connect with yourself in the waking state. Some people express gratitudes or thanks for the day. Then ask, “What the priorities are for today? How can I use my energy most effectively today?” Listen or write it down! (This may come from your list that has a million to dos that would most likely fill a calendar for a month rather than a day.)
Next is my favorite part of this whole process. It works so very, very well. Before you get out of bed ask yourself what strengths or gifts you have that would help you today? Imagine that strength or gift filling you up, starting in the heart and circulating through your body. (Notice when that gift comes into play during your day.)
When you get out of bed and face the mirror (okay fine, don’t look in the mirror; do it on your way to the bathroom or brushing your hair), take a few deep breaths. Breathing helps all the thousands of processes in your physical body, connects your body and mind, and raises your energy. This should only take a few minutes. (If you are night person, you’ll want to ask for the priorities the night before and visualize your gifts then.) Engaging in this process is one of the stepping stones on the Natural Path to Happiness©.
Try starting each day with this quick energy management shifter before you get out of bed. Then visit our blog and tell us what happened. Making a shift is about you making a choice to take a few extra minutes to maximize your energy. Taking time for you and choosing to take steps to self-nurture yourself is one only you can make. It’s all about energy management. Some days we are much better at this than others.
Lastly, don’t forget to employ good “time and energy management” and organizational skills; check your email at designated times; keep some kind of list of what you need to do each day and for the week, label the most important etc. You can’t do it all. Ask yourself: Can I delegate something? What do I need to let go of and what do I keep? Is there a more efficient way to do things.
Shift your thoughts, manage your energy and watch for the miracles.
Happy quick and easy shifting,
P.S. After you have mastered that, how can you make room for the next thing you want to do and have been putting off?