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Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness’

For the next two days, pick one or two of your favorite mindfulness tips:

Self Love and Approval

Loving Your Darkest Self

Empathy

Self-Truth

Peace over Power

Loving Community

The Invitation

Accepting People As They Are

Have a Sense of Humor

Your Mind Matters

Just Listen

Drop the Blame

Everything Changes

Sit each day for five minutes and reflect on those tips.  Were you able to incorporate them into you life? What were your challenges.

This ends the mindful love series.  Thank you for visiting Sally’s Healthy Living blog and look for more healthy living  posts coming up soon!

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“Being heard
is so close to being loved
that for the average person,
they are almost indistinguishable.”
― David Augsburger

“I never miss a good chance to shut up”
― James PattersonAlong Came a Spider

I am lucky, I live with a man who is an exceptional listener.  Really.  I knew this the first day I met him over ten years ago.  When he listens, I feel heard; I feel like I matter, I feel like I am with someone who cares.

I learned about the power of listening years ago when I took a communications course.  We learned how to “actively listen.”  That is, ask someone open-ended questions, shut your mouth and listen to and acknowledge their response without jumping in and giving your opinion.

I practiced  “active listening” on my boyfriend at that time. Later, I fell asleep on his couch. I woke up and he was standing over me, staring.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“What are you doing? You’re different, I like it.” He responded.

A few days later, he said,   “Maybe we should get married.”

While we never married, it was a very powerful lesson.  Listen, listen, and listen.

Don’t be like someone I know who, almost every time I see her, doesn’t even say hello but starts telling me all about her problems. I do not think she has ever even said “How are you Sally?”  This is not a judgment, believe me, I have been guilty of dumping my woes on others many times.

Listening is a labor of love. Listen to others and get out of your own head. It’s like taking a vacation from yourself.

MINDFUL LOVE EXERCISE TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY

Sit quietly for five minutes each day.  Review the past twenty-four hours.  Did you listen or were your compelled to talk about yourself?  Over the next two days, pick out one person and practice active listening.

 

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Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others – Jacob M. Braud

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Photo Courtesy Ed Ogle

Accepting people as they are or loving what is

I don’t know a person that doesn’t have some “annoying” habit, do you?  Some of my pet peeves people who talk about themselves constantly and never show interest in others, sarcasm, and chronic tardiness. I am sure you have your own list.

So then, what is unconditional love? It’s about not trying to change people and its not about letting people walk all over you.  When someone has an annoying habit, you have a few choices a) throw a tantrum and try to change them. Well good luck with that, when was the last time you changed a habit just because it annoyed someone else? b) Ignore them and remain annoyed. c) Change your response to the situation.  You guessed it the best answer is c.

 

My friend Mary used to be at least 45 minutes late every time we met.  She is a great person with this annoying habit.  Finally one day, I decided I had enough.  I waited 20 minutes for her and then I left.  This was before cell phones. She called me that evening and asked what happened.  I simply said, “Mary, I waited 20 minutes, I had other things to do so I left.” She was never late again and we are still good friends.  I didn’t try to change her and I didn’t put up with her tardiness, I simply took care of myself.

 

Wednesday and Thursday’s exercise:

Sit quietly for five minutes. Remember to breathe deeply. Identify two habits in someone else that you find annoying.  Look at how you respond to these habits.  What are you thinking?  What is your reaction?  Come up with a totally different response and try it out. Have courage.  Changing our behavior means taking a risk.  Sometimes we have to be uncomfortable to gain comfort.

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In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged. H.H. Dali Lama

 “As well as our close relationships, we all have wider connections with people across the different circles of our lives – at work, in our communities or through our social activities. Although these relationships are less deep, these are also important for happiness and wellbeing.

Having diverse social connections predicts how long we live and even impacts how resistant we are to catching colds! Our broader social networks provide a sense of belonging and influence how safe and secure we feel. Building connections in our local community contributes to our own happiness and that of those around us, enabling our communities to flourish.

Remarkable new research shows that happiness is contagious across social networks. Our happiness depends not only on the happiness of those in our direct social network, but on the happiness of the people they know too. In other words, happiness ripples out through groups of people, like a pebble thrown into a pond.

We can help to build happier communities by doing what we can to boost our own happiness and also being conscious of the impact our behavior on others. Even seemingly, small, incidental interactions, such as a friendly smile or act of kindness can make a difference – to ourselves, the people we interact with and the people they affect too.”1

My mother was a non-religious, PhD, liberal. Her children, long spread all over the world, she craved companionship and her friend, blind Billy, wasn’t cutting mustard anymore.  Then, she discovered The Breakfast Club, an eclectic group of lawyers, waitresses, plumbers, housekeepers, writers, religious, non-religious liberal and conservative locals who met daily at the local coffee shop, Russ’s Breakfast and Lunch. They talked about local issues, tried to save the world, and kept each other company in the Falls and Winters of their lives.  For at least fifteen years, she walked the half-mile pilgrimage to Russ’s.

As her Alzheimers’ progressed, neighbors stepped in, made sure she was eating, taking her medications and getting to the Dr. as needed.  Then, she had to move. The attorney stepped in, helped her sell the house, and took almost no commission. The Breakfast Club made her a memento book with stories and photos and sent it to her new home in Denver.

The Breakfast Club members had one thing in common.  They wanted community to navigate the seasons of their lives.

Saturday and Sunday’s exercise

Sit quietly for five minutes; ignore the cacophony of your mind. Imagine you are a flower, your petals about to bloom wide open and receive the sun. You provide pollen for the bees, compost for the garden and smiles for your audience.

What do you want to attract from and give to the community around you?  Identify one thing you can do to improve your relationships in your neighborhood.

 1 http://www.actionforhappiness.org/10-keys-to-happier-living/connect-with-people/details

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PEACE OVER POWER
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing 
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.” 
― Rumi

Work and domestic power struggles are very common. 

I live with an engineer. He wanted the dishwasher loaded just so, efficient and so the water flow would perfectly clean every dish.  I wanted every dish put away in a specific place so it would be easy to find.   I didn’t load the dishwasher the way he wanted and he didn’t put the dishes where I wanted. Doing dishes became a source of conflict and a power struggle.

One day he simply said, “Why don’t I take over loading the dishwasher and you unload it.”  Brilliant.  Our power struggle was, for a while, so strong, we couldn’t see an obvious solution. The kitchen is now a peaceful place.

Drop the rights and wrongs so you open up to see solutions to annoying problems.

Thursday and Friday’s exercise: Sit quietly for five minutes.  Identify an area where you are having a power struggle with someone. Imagine neither one of you is right or wrong.  What does it feel like to be without the concept of right or wrong?  Can you come up with a solution to the situation?

 

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LOVING YOUR DARKEST SELF

My willingness to be intimate with my own deep feelings creates the space for intimacy with another. – Shakti Gawain

 

Loving your boo boos.

Hating or fearing some part of yourself isn’t going to make it better.

 

I used to have a problem with overeating.  That all changed when I heard Paula, a woman I knew, confess to a group of people “I stand in front of the mirror every day and say I love myself.”  Really? I thought. How arrogant.

 

And then, I thought again. I hate myself. That can’t be good.  I’m always picking on myself. It’s like I keep tearing the skin off my heart in hopes that it will heal.  Maybe I have this all wrong.

 

That day I changed.  I experimented saying, “I love that part of me that is destructive and overeats.” I repeated this over and over again and almost always with my hand on my heart.  My breath opened up, colors got deeper, I could feel my skin again. I could put my toe in the water and not worry about it freezing off. And, of course, I lost all my excess weight.

 

Friday and Saturday’s Exercise:

Sit in a quiet place. Wait a few minutes, then, identify a quality you don’t like.  Next, take a deep breath and say (aloud or to yourself):

 

I love that part of me that [is cynical, critical, a bad artist, can’t write, isn’t diplomatic, fat, bad hair, no hair, impatient, lazy etc.). Put your hand over your heart as you say this and breathe deeply.

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Thank you for participating in 30 days of mindfulness exercises.  Friday, pick you favorite exercise and focus on it all day.  Being mindful is the gateway to self realization, the answer to locked doors and blocked hearts.  Be still and enjoy everything today, just as it.  Finding acceptance and humor in life soothes the soul.  

We have only this moment, today is tomorrow’s past  and yesterday’s future, make every moment count.

MINDFULNESS EXERCISES

Thank you for participating in 30 days of mindfulness exercises.  Friday, pick you favorite exercise and focus on it all day.  Being mindful is the gateway to self realization, the answer to locked doors and blocked hearts.  Be still and enjoy everything today, just as it.  Finding acceptance and humor in life soothes the soul.  

We have only this moment, today is tomorrow’s past  and yesterday’s future, make every moment count.

MINDFULNESS EXERCISES

SPEECH

Speak kindly.

This is as simple as it sounds.  Don’t say negative things about anyone or anything, just for today.

 

Listen Deeply

Just for one day, avoid speaking about yourself, giving your opinion or telling some entertaining story, unless necessary.  If someone asks you how you are, simply respond, “I’m good but I’d really like to know what is going on with you.”  Ask open ended questions about others.

 

Just for one day, turn off all media unless needed for work.  No news, no radio, no TV, no Netflex. Listen to the environment around you.

 

Speak to bring people together. 

When you talk of others in front of someone, speak in a way that will not alienate the two parties.  And, don’t gossip

 

MINDFUL ACTION

Respect other’s property.

A subtle but important exercise.  If someone drops something, pick it up and hand it to them, wipe up your spills, clean up your mess, if you borrow something, take good care of it, help someone repair a broken item.  Use your imagination with this.

Help someone else each day and expect nothing in return.

This is especially powerful if you can help someone and don’t even tell them.

MIND

Turn off the TV, news and all other sorts of media

Every morning, sit in silence and meditate for at least fifteen minutes

Every night, write down at least three things you are grateful for

MIND YOUR BODY

Eat only food that has come directly from a plant.  Just for three days, you can do it. No sugar, no processed foods, just plants.

Don’t sit, at any time, for more than 45 minutes

MIND THE ENVIRONMENT

Fall in love with the earth. Spend 15 minutes sitting with Mother Earth

Continue falling in love with the earth

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