Do you feel more connected to the world “out there” than to your own inner self and your own inner wisdom? Is your attention always engaged with your computer, your smart phone or the wants and needs of others? Do you fear being alone with your thoughts and feelings and distract yourself constantly?
In our culture, we are so often taught to measure our worth by what we are doing and how busy we are. We are also taught that our negative feelings should be avoided. We are rarely encouraged to just be and allow ourselves to connect with our body and our emotions. However, taking time to simply be is how we touch into the part of us that is greater than our limited ideas of ourselves as individuals who have to do to be okay.
If you feel like you are stuck on a treadmill and you can’t get off, if you are not sleeping well, feeling stressed (due to health issues or life circumstances), are searching for a more conscious connection to the source of your being, God or true nature, or simply want more happiness, contentment and peace in your life, mindfulness meditation can help.
So, what is mindfulness meditation? It is simply the moment-to-moment being with whatever is arising for you without judgment, without getting caught up in the story your mind is telling you. It is an ongoing deepening into this moment, the only moment that you’ll ever have. Being truly present to what is present allows you to tap into inner resources that can transform this moment from something you want to escape from to a place of nurturing and support.
You can get a little taste of it right now. Just for a moment suspend all thought as you look around you. Notice that you don’t need thinking to take in the colors and shapes that come to you through your eyes. It can all be seen in a space of non-judgmental awareness. The red is no better or worse than the green, the round shape no better or worse than the square one. Notice any sounds in the same way, seeing how you don’t need to have an opinion about them to simply hear them.
Now bring you attention to your breath and let is be just as it is while letting your thoughts come and go without attaching to them. If your attention gets caught up in your thinking, gently bring it back to the breath, again and again without judgment. Try this for a few minutes and simply notice what happens.
If you want to learn more, come to one of my Mindfulness Circles here at Nourishing Journey or check out my website at www.letgoofyourstories.com for all of my offerings that can help you bring more peace, acceptance and clarity to your life.
Certified Living Inquiries Facilitator
The beginning of the New Year can be an excellent time to make changes in your life! And resolutions are a great way to get the ball rolling. Give yourself the very best chance of succeeding with the changes you are seeking with the following tips.
Don’t overwhelm yourself
Though we may want and expect immediate change, we are less likely to succeed with our resolutions if they are dramatic. Just as habits form over a lifetime, new behaviors will need time to take root. Start small and set reasonable goals for yourself that you believe you can attain and work your way up. Think of your goals as seeds that will need time and nourishment to grow!
Focus on what you want
When we want to change something, we often focus on ridding ourselves of a particular behavior or situation. But it can be far more motivating to focus on what you want than what you don’t want. In other words, we simply find it more inspiring to do something positive than to avoid something negative. For example, instead of trying not to overeat, we can strive to create healthy and satisfying meals. Instead of trying to stop overspending, we can aim to create a sensible budget and adhere to it. Focus on the positive and take it from there!
According to a recent psychological study, people who are explicit about their resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who aren’t. Small successes can be strong motivators for us to continue our quest. But being vague about our resolutions makes our successes vague. So maximize your feelings of success by being super-specific about what you want to achieve and make sure you recognize and celebrate each and every small success!
Need a little help getting where you want to go? Consider working with a life coach to create the changes you are seeking! Learn more at www.newleafcoaching.net.
I know this has been a rough year and the last few days have been very difficult for many. I’d like to offer a (hopefully helpful and very humble) spiritually based perspective… an approach in dealing with these times of intense 3-D polarity to find our way to internal peace. Take it or leave it – I just hope it helps in some way.
Why focus on internal peace instead of the external situation? Internal peace spreads into external peace when those around us learn to follow our example. When we hold that energy, it provides space and permission for others to do the same.
I was in meditation about all of this, and a vision of a wave came to me. As I analyzed the wave, I observed that the wave could be really great if we are riding on top and seeing all of the beauty and the bigger picture of all-that-is. Compassion and wisdom thrive in that space.
I also noticed that if we are pulled into the undertow of that wave, it can get chaotic, confusing and difficult very quickly and then it takes everything we have to keep from drowning. This is where our limited earthly 3-D perspectives and judgments rule our experience.
Do you ever wonder how other really wonderful people can have such dramatically different points of view? Well, it’s because we have all had very different experiences and have individual perspectives. Literally, no two people see the world exactly the same way. Some perspectives are more extreme than others, but they are all just points of view… mine, yours, theirs… we are creating a group consciousness that has become quite chaotic. This is because we are putting our collective and individual energies into the undertow.
The word undertow means: any strong current below the surface, moving in a direction different from that of the surface current. Higher consciousness, compassion and peace flow in one direction on the surface, and that which prevents it flows in the undertow.
I truly believe that tough things happen for a deep and ultimately beautiful purpose. Chaos is sometimes necessary to spur growth and healing, and it seems that the more healing we need, the more chaos is needed to stimulate that healing. It doesn’t mean that we need to get caught up in the undertow of the chaos and we certainly don’t need to add energy to it. We can keep putting our energies to the surface and rise above the chaos the best we can, helping others to do the same.
So, I encourage everyone to take a look at ways in which you are being caught in the undertow. How are you responding to this chaos? Are you adding chaotic energy by swimming in the under-current or are you helping to neutralize the chaos by rising to the surface? We all have triggers on some level – pay attention to your triggers. That is what needs healing inside of you. This life seems to be more about what the triggers are bringing up to heal than it is about the trigger itself. And, now is the perfect time for this healing to occur for and within all of us.
Let me know if I can help in any way – I am here for you. Energy work is a powerful way to heal the triggers that are being experienced. Meditation and exercise are also helpful, depending on how you prefer to process things. Remember, the undertow doesn’t have to control you.
Do you know someone who always seems to look at the bright side of life? If so, chances are that this person is a positive thinker. And recent research indicates that such people are healthier, less stressed, better able to cope in times of adversity and generally happier than those who aren’t positive thinkers.
Positive thinking is a mental attitude in which you choose to focus on the possibility of good outcomes, using your energy to act in ways that are more likely to make those outcomes occur. And when bad things happen, the positive thinker typically takes action to resolve the problem instead of giving up hope. In this way, the positive thinker learns to believe in his/her own abilities to effect change, increasing self-esteem.
How can we become positive thinkers? We can simply choose to engage in positive thinking from now on. But those of us who have been in the habit of negative thinking will need a little help. One thing that can help is to spend more time with positive thinkers. Another way is to subscribe to a publication that presents you with ways of thinking more positively. One such publication is my monthly e-newsletter, The Leaflet.
As a life coach, my goal is to improve my clients’ quality of life. So it’s no surprise that the focus of The Leaflet is on positive thinking and growth. Each issue contains articles, tips, quotes and reminders to help you appreciate who you are and help you be all you can be. You can see my latest newsletter and subscribe here: http://www.newleafcoaching.net/Newsletter/Newsletter.html . Sign up today – I’m positive you’ll be glad you did!
Change is an inevitable part of life. But unlike the rest of nature, we humans can lose momentum and get stuck. Sometimes our vision of the future is not clear enough to motivate us. And sometimes we get so comfortable where we are that we don’t want to risk a change. But sooner or later we become so aware that we need a change that we become dissatisfied with the way things are, even though we feel helpless to make that change.
That’s where a good plan can help get you started! I’m talking about the kind of plan that includes a list of actions that you commit to with dates when you need to complete those actions. A good plan will start with a concrete objective so you know for sure that completion of the plan will bring you what you‘re looking for. The plan will take into account any obstacles that you might encounter and will be flexible enough to work around them. It will allow ample time for preparation and contemplation. And a good plan will arrange the actions so they can be completed by the time you want to experience the end result.
Some of us have difficulty generating these plans that are so vital to us. And even if we are good at planning, we sometimes need help following through with the plan. That’s where a good life coach can make all the difference. With the use of skilled listening, perceptive observation and insightful questions, a life coach can help you identify where you want to go and how you want to get there. She will give you carefully designed feedback to increase your motivation and confidence. And she will hold you accountable to the actions you have committed to.
We cannot rely on luck itself to arrange our future to our liking. Dissatisfaction is your cue that it’s time to take action and begin to create for yourself the life you want to lead. So go ahead and get started on your plan! If you’re not sure where to start, contact me and we’ll get things rolling. There’s no time like the present!
Certified Professional Life Coach
New Leaf Coaching, LLC