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5 Easy Steps For Mindfulness
Here are 5 Easy Steps for Mindfulness – to decrease stress in your life
Find a comfortable – quiet location when possible – however you can, and use these steps even at work or in other locations. Sit relaxed.
Set an alarm if you want for 2 to 3 minutes 0- you can make it longer each time if you want; however there are benefits from meditating for 2 minutes.
Find an object to look at or close your eyes. Either technique can be relaxing. Try both so that you can decide which one works best for you.
Breathing is the key to being present with your body and self. Inhale for 3 seconds (say in your mind calming – calming – calming) Hear your breath going into your lungs – hold it for a second, exhale for 5 seconds (say in your mind releasing – releasing – releasing) Hear your breath going out of your lungs.
When done, stretch and hug yourself.
Stress is a part of life – How much you choose to manage it is about CHOICES. Make the CHOICE to meditate for two minutes very day, You can do 2 to 3 minutes several times a day if you would like.
Posted in Meditation | February 4 th , 2016 | 0 Comments
Healing the Seven Chakras
We are at peace when our chakras are in balance. Remember the energy within the seven chakras influence our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health. When the chakra energy is stuck or stale, we suffer from various ailments. The secret to healing the seven chakras doesn’t always come naturally. Throughout our life we encounter various experiences and each of those leave a bit of an imprint on your chakra energy. If some of those life experiences are not pleasant, the balance of energy can be thrown off. The messages we learn in childhood can affect the spiritual growth through life.
How can we change the message that each of our chakras emanates? I look at it as a way to heal the soul, and more. I am learning that one very effective way to do this is through positive affirmations. If you can practice positive affirmations you should be able to balance reality and your past. Again I see it as a healing practice for your soul and the things you experienced in life that throw that chakra energy out of balance. Mind, body and soul balanced in harmony, means you are at your peak and happy. Lets look at a few positive affirmations that will help direct the chakra energy back into balance.
Crown Chakra: Remember this chakra is located at the top of your head, and its energy spins a violet color and is connected to spirituality. Repeat the following affirmation to begin with: “I am apart of the divine, and I seek to understand and learn from my life experiences and I cherish my spirit. I will live in the present moment.”
Third Eye Chakra: Remember this chakra is located in the center of your forehead, and its energy spins a blue color and is connected to our intuition, repressed emotions and fears. Repeat the following affirmation: “I am wise and will listen to my inner wisdom. I will trust my intuition, forgive the past and learn and embrace the good in my life.”
Throat Chakra: Remember this chakra is located in the throat, near the thyroid and its energy spins a light blue color and is connected to our ability to communicate, express ourselves and our creativity. Repeat the following affirmation: “I will communicate my feelings with ease. I will be open honest and clear through my communication. I will show my authentic spirit through my creativity and my body will feel the truth.”
Heart Chakra: Remember this chakra is located in the center of your chest, and its energy spins a green color and is connected to our heart and our emotions. Repeat the following affirmation: “I am open to love. I love myself deeply, openly and I accept myself. I forgive myself and accept life’s challenges that help me connect with others. ”
Solar Plexus Chakra: Remember this chakra is located just above the navel, and its energy spins a yellow color and is connected to growth, intellect, control and self respect. Repeat the following affirmation: “I love and respect myself. I am worthy of love, kindness and respect. I will be strong and courageous and direct my own life.”
Sacral Chakra: Remember this chakra is located just below the navel, and its energy spins an orange color, and is connected to sexuality, reproduction, commitment and pleasurable experiences. Repeat the following affirmation: ” I love and accept my body and have healthy boundaries. I am passionate and can enjoy the present moment through my senses. I will nourish my body and take care of my needs. I will respect my body.”
Root Chakra: Remember this chakra is located at the bas of your spine or tail bone, and its energy spins a red color, and is connected to our basic survival skills and physical needs that allow us to feel safe. Repeat the following affirmation:” I am deeply connected to my body. I feel safe, secure and am deeply rooted. I have the right to be here, and I have what I need. I am stable and will nourish my body and keep it healthy. I trust myself and the choices I make that are good for me.”
These affirmations are just a start to the journey of healing your seven chakras. Some may resonate with you more than others, and that can indicate an area that needs more of your focus. Draw strength from that, listen to your mind, body, and soul.
Posted in Meditation | January 29 th , 2016 | 0 Comments
Silence From Within
Meditation can help you find your silence from within. Below is one of my absolute favorite quotes. It really simplifies finding the happiness and peace within yourself. You have to love yourself first, then the silence from within will keep you balanced. I think the ultimate way to balance and settle within yourself, and draw strength, is to meditate. When I first started meditation, I didn’t think it was for me or that it worked. But amazing things have happened in the roughly year and a half that I have practiced meditation. Mindfulness is key to making decisions. I have been able to channel that mindfulness and that has resulted in making better choices in my life.. I am finding more strength within myself every day. I attribute that to meditation.
For thousands of years people have used meditation to move beyond the mind’s stress-inducing thoughts and emotional upsets into the peace and clarity of present moment awareness. The variety of meditation techniques, traditions, and technologies is nearly infinite, but the essence of meditation is singular: the cultivation of mindful awareness and expanded consciousness. (chopra.com)
Silence is something that comes from your heart, not from outside.
Silence doesn’t mean not talking and not doing things, it means that you are not disturbed inside.
If you are truly silent, then no matter what situation you find yourself in, you can enjoy the silence.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Posted in Meditation | January 28 th , 2016 | 0 Comments
Signs of Stale Chakras
The seven chakras of the body correlate to different ailments and issues within the body. If these energy centers are not in alignment, the physical ailment affects the mental and emotional strengths. Do you have signs of stale chakras? Just think about it, when you are dealing with a physical ailment, it affects your emotional state. You don’t feel good. The energy within these seven chakras needs to be fluid, not stale. That stale energy can cause a malfunction with in the body and soul. If you are suffering from pains, aches, or stiffness or reoccurring emotions and fears, you will want to explore whether a chakra is blocked and stale.
Read along with this excerpt from MindBodyGreen to see if you could have ailments that are related to unbalanced or blocked energy in your chakras.
1st or Root Chakra
Sits at the base of your spine, at your tailbone.
Physical imbalances in the root chakra include problems in the legs, feet, rectum, tailbone, immune system, male reproductive parts and prostrate gland. Those with imbalances here are also likely to experience issues of degenerative arthritis, knee pain, sciatica, eating disorders, and constipation.
Emotional imbalances include feelings affecting our basic survival needs: money, shelter and food; ability to provide for life’s necessities.
When this chakra is in balance, you feel supported, a sense of connection and safety to the physical world, and grounded.
The lesson of this chakra is self-preservation; we have a right to be here.
2nd or Sacral Chakra
Located two inches below your navel.
Physical imbalances include sexual and reproductive issues, urinary problems, kidney dysfunctions, hip, pelvic and low back pain.
Emotional imbalances include our commitment to relationships. Our ability to express our emotions. Our ability to have fun, play based on desires, creativity, pleasure, sexuality. Fears of impotence, betrayal, addictions.
When this chakra is balanced, we have an ability to take risks, we are creative, we are committed. We are passionate, sexual and outgoing.
The lesson of this chakra is to honor others.
3rd or Solar Plexus Chakra
Located three inches above your navel.
Physical imbalances include digestive problems, liver dysfunction, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach ulcers, pancreas and gallbladder issues, colon diseases.
Emotional imbalances include issues of personal power and self-esteem, our inner critic comes out. Fears of rejection, criticism, physical appearances.
When this chakra is balanced, we feel self-respect and self-compassion. We feel in control, assertive, confident.
The lesson of this chakra is self-acceptance.
4th or Heart Chakra
Located at the heart.
Physical imbalances include asthma, heart disease, lung disease, issues with breasts, lymphatic systems, upper back and shoulder problems, arm and wrist pain.
Emotional imbalances include issues of the heart; over-loving to the point of suffocation, jealousy, abandonment, anger, bitterness. Fear of loneliness.
When this chakra is balanced we feel joy, gratitude, love and compassion, forgiveness flows freely, trust is gained.
The lesson of this chakra is I Love.
5th or Throat Chakra
Located at the throat.
Physical imbalances include thyroid issues, sore throats, laryngitis, TMJ, ear infections, ulcers, any facial problems (chin, cheek, lips, tongue problems) neck and shoulder pain.
Emotional imbalances include issues of self-expression through communication, both spoken or written. Fear of no power or choice. No willpower or being out of control.
When this chakra is balanced, we have free flowing of words, expression, communication. We are honest and truthful yet firm. We are good listeners.
The lesson of this chakra is to speak up and let your voice be heard.
6th or Third Eye Chakra
Located in the middle of the eyebrows, in the center of the forehead.
Physical imbalances include headaches, blurred vision, sinus issues, eyestrain, seizures, hearing loss, hormone function.
Emotional imbalances include issues with moodiness, volatility, and self-reflection; An inability to look at ones own fears, and to learn from others. Day-dream often and live in a world with exaggerated imagination.
When this chakra is balanced we feel clear, focused, and can determine between truth and illusion. We are open to receiving wisdom and insight.
The lesson of this chakra is to see the big picture.
7th or Crown Chakra
Located at the top of the head.
Physical imbalance include depression, inability to learn, sensitivity to light, sound, environment.
Emotional imbalances include issues with self-knowledge and greater power. Imbalances arise from rigid thoughts on religion and spirituality, constant confusion, carry prejudices, “analysis paralysis.” Fear of alienation.
When this chakra is balanced, we live in the present moment. We have an unshakeable trust in our inner guidance.
The lesson of this chakra is live mindfully.
After reading this, you (just like me) may feel that more than one chakra is imbalanced or blocked. This is because when one is blocked, the other chakras begin to compensate and either become overactive or under-active. I think my next step will be to learn how to balance my chakras. Looking forward to this challenge!
Posted in Meditation | January 22 nd , 2016 | 0 Comments
According to Chopra.com, “The Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or disk. In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.”
It is essential that the seven main chakras remain in motion or moving. When there is a disruption to these chakra, there is a disruption to the energy that flows within you. This energy is responsible for centering the psychological, emotional, and spiritual states within us. These seven chakra are bundles of nerves that are attached to major organs. We must keep the chakra fluid and in motion to keep ourselves healthy. The chakras can lead to illness if the energy is blocked.
The Root Chakra: This is our foundation and where we get our feelings of being grounded. This chakra is located at the base of the spine and is responsible for how we survive the basic survival issues like finances, food, shelter.
The Sacral or Splenic Chakra: Gives us the ability to accept others and new experiences. It is located in the lower abdomen. We get pleasure, sense of well-being and sexuality from here.
The Solar Plexus Chakra: Basis for confidence and control in your life. It is located in the upper abdomen in the stomach. Confidence, self esteem and self worth flow from here.
The Heart Chakra: here comes our ability to love, not surprisingly found in the chest above your heart. Here lies love, inner peace and the joy in your life.
The Throat Chakra: The ability to communicate comes from here. It is located in the throat, and to me explains the tightness you can feel in your throat in certain situations. You get your communication, self-expression of your feelings and of the truth from this chakra.
The Third Eye Chakra: Look at the big picture and find focus on life. The third eye chakra is located between the eyes. Decision making, wisdom, intuition and imagination flow from the third eye.
The Crown Chakra: This is considered the highest chakra. Here is where the energy to be fully connected to life spiritually lies. It is located on the very top of the head. Pure bliss, inner/outer beauty, and our spiritual connections resonate from here.
Posted in Meditation | January 21 st , 2016 | 0 Comments
Too Stressed To Meditate?
Days can become hectic, life’s struggles build up, and there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all that you need? Does this sound like you? Did you know that meditation could be a remedy to the anxiety you may feel? However, could you feel too stressed to meditate? It’s a common excuse and truth. Let’s explore…
Meditation can be one of the greatest ways to reduce stress. It can reset your nervous system, calming your mind which then leads to you being able to manage thoughts, emotions and thought patterns more effectively. Meditation causes the relaxation response in your body to kick in.
Meditation can help with chronic inflammation, borderline high blood pressure, PTSD and it can lower the stress causing hormone, cortisol. But when these issues are activated, the last thing you may be able to do is sit still. Just thinking about sitting still to meditate, may make you anxious! So could there be a minimum amount of meditation that can be done, but still get the stress reducing benefits? I’m not sure that has been determined, however a few studies have been done that reinforce how meditation reduces stress.
For instance, one study has shown that doing an 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction session, can activate the brain increasing memory, sense of self, empathy and reduce stress. Does the thought of an 8 week session add to your stress, does it seem like too much time? Well you’re in luck, another study states that meditating just 25 minutes a day for three consecutive days can be effective in reducing stress. You can get results with any amount of meditation you can handle…thats what I hear!
The first step in meditation is to be present in the moment, to be present in the stress you feel. Take a deep breathe and practice meditation for as long as you can. Be gentle with yourself and don’t get upset if you fall short of your expectations. I fell that the more you try, even in small doses, you will feel the benefits, which will encourage longer sessions. Be disciplined, and be careful to not confuse the compassion you might feel for your overwhelming stress, as an excuse to not meditate. Remember, self discipline is key. Namaste.
Posted in Meditation | January 11 th , 2016 | 0 Comments
How Yoga Could Help Kids In School
Searching for a way to relax? Need a way to distress? Could you benefit from mindfulness? Do you have a child with ADD or ADHD that could use some help focusing? Have you ever considered yoga? Did you know that recent scientific research is focusing on how yoga could help kids in school. I look forward to the day that my children can practice yoga not only at home, but at school as well.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years, where it originated in India. Many people all over the world practice yoga. The Indian definition of yoga is union. So if you are practicing yoga, you are uniting the mind and your physical body. When you are able to complete this union, you should feel an overall sense of well-being, or happiness.
According to PBS.org, “There are many aspects to yoga. In short, yoga is a system of physical exercises or postures (called asanas). These asanas build strength, flexibility and confidence. Yoga is also about breathing (called pranayama), which helps calm and refresh the body and mind. We are going to focus on these basic two aspects of yoga, but there are many other parts to practicing yoga. Yoga is about exploring and learning in a fun, safe and playful way. Yoga and kids are a perfect match. Here is what children (and adults!) can learn from yoga:
- Yoga teaches us about our bodies.
When we practice the physical postures or exercises (called asanas), we learn how to move more freely and with greater ease and awareness. These postures help our bodies become strong and flexible.
- Yoga teaches us how to breathe better.
When we breathe deeply and fully (called pranayama) and become more aware, we can bring peacefulness or energy to our bodies.
- Yoga teaches us how to use our energy more effectively.
When we practice yoga, we learn how to use the life force energy in our bodies (called prana) to feel more relaxed, focused, or motivated.
- Yoga teaches us how to quiet the mind.
When we practice yoga, we learn how to be still. This helps us to listen with attention and make good decisions.
- Yoga teaches us about balance.
When we practice yoga, we learn to be more aware about the need for balance in our lives. This could mean equal stretching on the left and right sides of our bodies or making sure we balance our very busy time with equal quiet time and relaxation.
- Yoga teaches us to be the “boss” of our bodies.
Yoga teaches us to listen to our bodies by modifying or changing poses that are too hard or cause pain. (We will talk about how to modify poses in a later section.)
- Yoga teaches us about taking care of ourselves.
Yoga is a great way to move our bodies and feel healthy, and teaching children how to take care of themselves is one way to show love. As with all forms of exercise, a good yoga practice can mean a good night’s sleep!”
As I previously stated, I cannot wait for the day that a mindful course of yoga is taught at my children’s schools. The pleasure I see in their eyes and the calmness I see and feel in their bodies, when they practice yoga at home…is indescribable. To see that taught as a daily practice at school would open doors and minds to learning. Once that union between the mind and body is met, it will only make retaining the information being taught, that much easier. I honestly believe that if children can find that mindful connection, they will love to learn, and be truly happy doing it. Lets all encourage yoga in schools, and at the very least, practice it at home with your children! It’s an incredible connection.
Posted in Meditation | December 29 th , 2015 | 0 Comments
How can one manifest happiness? Here are twelve quotes from Deepak Chopra that I think can lead one to manifest happiness from within. I’m finding time to sit in silence, breathe deeply, and center my thoughts on where I want to be, guided from within. I hope these words can help you on your journey.
“You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.”
“Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble, because that reason can be taken from you.”
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or, a pioneer of the future?”
“Feel the world, instead of trying to understand the world.”
“Wish…each time I meet someone, I will silently wish them happiness, joy, and laughter.”
“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.”
“The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.”
“There are no accidents…there is only some purpose that we haven’t yet understood.”
“Trust that your soul has a plan and even if you can’t see it all, know that everything will unfold as its meant to be.”
“Negative emotions are like unwelcome guests. Just because they show up on our doorstep doesn’t mean they have a right to stay.”
“I am here to serve. I am here to inspire. I am here to love. I am here to live my truth.”
“The inward journey is about finding your own fullness, something that no one else can take away.”
Posted in Meditation | April 1 st , 2015 | 0 Comments
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. According to psychologytoday.com, when you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
There are many benefits of mindfulness. Harvard Medical School sites some of those benefits as emotion regulation, body awareness, and an overall increase in sense of self. If you can focus on present moments instead of getting distracted, your attention sharpens. The most common practice of mindfulness includes meditation. Meditation allows you to be aware of your mental state, helping you to focus your emotions. Through focused meditation you can learn to distinguish between your distracting worries versus a real resolution to your problems. Because of these affects, mindfulness is being sought as a resolution for anxiety and traumatic stress. Mindfulness seeks to change the relationship between the anxious person and his or her thoughts.
According to psychcentral.com, In mindfulness based therapy, the person focuses on the bodily sensations that arise when he or she is anxious. Instead of avoiding or withdrawing from these feelings, he or she remains present and fully experiences the symptoms of anxiety. Instead of avoiding distressing thoughts, he or she opens up to them in an effort to realize and acknowledge that they are not literally true.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, fully realizing the experience of anxiety enables anxious people to release their over identification with negative thoughts. The person practices responding to disruptive thoughts, and letting these thoughts go.
By remaining present in the body, they learn that the anxiety they experience is merely a reaction to perceived threats. By positively responding to threatening events instead of being reactive they can overcome an erroneous fight-or-flight response.
In other words, a way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety is to be fully, mindfully, anxious. As anxiety reveals itself to be a misperception, symptoms will dissipate. (http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/01/28/using-mindfulness-to-treat-anxiety-disorders/)
To help center your thoughts on being mindful, Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn, offers this short meditation in his book Being Peace:
“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment.”
Posted in Health & Wellness, Meditation | March 5 th , 2015 | 0 Comments
Five Benefits of Meditation
Five Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is the practice of focusing and being aware of when your focus drifts. Meditation is being mindful through repetition, focusing on your breath, and repeating a mantra- this practice clears your mind, improves focus and allows your body to relax, resulting in the following benefits:
1. Reduction of Stress
2. Better Focus
3. Improved Memory
4. Reduction of Anxiety
5. More Creativity
Posted in Meditation | February 13 th , 2015 | 0 Comments