Mindfulness 101

Mindfulness 101

Mindfulness is a hot topic these days, but it is nothing new. Mindfulness plays a large role in Buddhism (around 5th century BCE), but today, hectic schedules, long work weeks, crammed social calendars, and a strong addiction to technology has many craving simplicity. Is this you? Do you wish you could, just for a moment, stop and catch your breath? Well, you can. It’s easy, and you can do it anywhere at any time. Proper breathing is the essential first step in gaining control of your attention, to slow you down enough to be mindful of the present moment. There are many different techniques available, but the following is what I do and swear by its effectiveness:

1. Inhale through your nose for a count of six (ideally your stomach should expand as you inhale). Think to yourself, “In” as you breathe in.
2. Exhale though your mouth for a count of six. Think to yourself, “Out” as you exhale.

Repeat three times.

All that exists in that moment is your breath.

Your heart rate should slow down and you will feel more relaxed. Do this deep breathing as often as necessary throughout the day, whether you’re stuck in traffic, feeling overwhelmed at work, or when facing a difficult situation. During the workweek I have Outlook reminders set for the top of each hour as a reminder to breathe and refocus for the coming hour. Do whatever it takes to remind yourself to come back to the present moment and relax.

Breathe… You’ve got this.

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Making Plans vs. Making Goals

Making Plans vs. Making Goals

Today I am grateful for my overall good health. I had a bone density exam last week and the results are I have osteopenia in my lower lumbar (on top of the arthritis that is there). While osteopenia is not as severe as osteoporosis, I was still shocked at the diagnosis. I’m someone who does the weight training (for years), eats well, takes the extra calcium and vitamin D. The diagnosis ultimately ends my plans of eventually getting back into running, which is a bummer. I’ll just have to keep going with the cycling, and I assume, walking (which is fast-paced on a 10% incline – I beg the universe to not take this from me!). But other than this, I always feel fantastic, years younger than what I am.

I am grateful we got the garden planted this past weekend. Now just hoping the plants make it!

I am grateful for my quiet life. I adore it.

I am grateful for the love of great friends. Looking forward to spending an evening with one tonight at a Sixx AM concert.

I am grateful for my almond butter chocolate chip cookies (I use this recipe) – they are AMAZING! Make them all the time.

I’ve been thinking even more about this blog/journal and what more I can offer. I had a topic in mind for this week, but realized I needed to do a little research on it before posting. But lately me and the word “goals” haven’t been getting along well. I once loved setting goals, but after years of doing so I found myself pushing back against the ones I set for myself. I started feeling restricted rather than organized. I came to resent goals. I just wanted to live life, unbound by always being tied up in one goal after another. (Funny – as I sit here typing about goals I can feel my heart rate increasing. Automatic notice I’m entering territory I’m not meant to be in). But, in order to have a coherent and relevant journal, some additional thought has to go into it. So I’ve decided to make plans for more¬†enlightening posts. Making plans sounds more fun to me, more relaxed. Like saying, “Let’s make plans to get together tonight!” or, “I’m making plans for summer vacation!” So much more fluid, I think, than “making goals”. Can you imagine saying to a friend, “Let’s make a goal of going to lunch tomorrow.” I feel like the date would need to be quantified on its effectiveness afterwards! Don’t get me wrong, goals have their place. But after a life filled with them, I’m over them.

So I will be thinking of a plan for next week’s post. But outside of that, I’m letting the universe take the wheel, trusting in it’s guidance. In other words, I’ll be enjoying life, as is. I hope you will as well.

Peace, love, happiness, and harmony always.

Begin once again…

Begin once again…

Been MIA the past couple of weeks mainly because I just wasn’t up to writing. Was having doubts about whether it was worth continuing the blog. Was having doubts if I cared enough to continue. But today I decided I’ll keep going, for me. And also because I hope to inspire at least one person to start journaling each day so they can focus on what they have to be grateful for in his/her life.

I am grateful to be working from home today. I think if I was allowed another day or two I would remain with this job for the next year. Please guide me.

I am grateful to be able to knock out all the housecleaning today! I do believe this Tuesday schedule is going to work perfectly.

I am grateful for my new Vans – I love them!

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Polynesian flair!

I am grateful for the sound of rain and the birds singing. The rain is nourishing the soil and will make for easy planting of my flowers and vegetable plants.

I am grateful for my perfect health. I am always healthy. My hip is healed and I am moving forward.

I am truly happy and excited about getting the cleaning done today – absolutely perfect! I know, totally corny, but it’s the little things. I am also feeling good about dropping the incessant need to be doing something “more”. It’s a huge sense of relief. I am currently successful. I do have everything I need to live a great life. When I think of those going without, it makes me embrace my wonderful life even more. I have the love of a good man; I have a job that pays exceptionally well for little output, and I have a great boss to boot (and great benefits); I have a roof over my head; and I have an abundance of good food to eat. I can afford whatever I want whenever I want it. Hubby and I can travel anywhere we want whenever we want. My life is perfect right now. I know the universe has been trying to point this out to me for years, so I thank the universe for putting up with my resistance for so long. I’m grateful the universe is always presenting me with what I need at the exact time I need it.

Hubby and I are looking forward to our upcoming trips: Cozumel and later this summer, Colorado. Already looking into the hot springs I want to visit in Colorado. We need the break.

Today is a great day. I am happy. I am relaxed. I am at peace with myself. I am enough. I am capable of doing whatever I want, and I am grateful for this ability. I am grateful for the love and guidance of the universe. Life is what I make of it. I control who I allow in. I chose my emotions. I choose happiness above all else.