For many of us the daily challenges we face can feel like too much to handle on some days. Modern medicine tells us we must learn to reduce the stress in our lives. We’re told to just calm down, relax, chill! If you’re like me those suggestions are not helpful. So how do we start?
I recently started a daily practice of meditating for ten minutes. Only ten minutes, y’all! And it’s helping my overall emotional and physical well-being. It may seem daunting to BEgin but that’s all it takes. And in the end, learning to just BE is one of the most important things we can do for self-care.
Here are my 5 steps to BEing calm:
BEgin today. Don’t wait any longer. There’s no right or wrong way to meditate. It’s basically sitting still and breathing. You are already breathing so now all you have to do is sit still and just BE for ten minutes. It can be anywhere, preferably where you can BE alone but even if you can’t, you can still BE still and breathe, anywhere. Sitting in a chair, on the floor, with legs crossed or straight out in front, are all perfectly fine. BE comfortable.
Use a phone app if you can. I am using one called Calm and another called HeadSpace. I tried both with free trials and ended up purchasing a subscription to each. These are great tools to help us get started because they guide us through the ten minutes, reminding us to focus on our breath and walk us through relaxing and just BEing. These apps also have tools for helping us sleep with relaxing sounds in the background. You don’t NEED an app to meditate but I have found it excellent for a beginner like me.
Light a candle or incense if you are so inclined. These are not mandatory but I find it helpful to set the mood relaxation relaxation.
Set reminders to practice at whatever time of day works best for you. Experts say first thing in the morning is best, but I grab my ten minutes when it’s convenient for me – usually in the middle of the day.
BEgin. There’s no better time than now. The benefits of this short daily practice are immense and cannot be denied. Just ten minutes a day of BEing still, calming the mind, and breathing deeply with awareness of the breath, can reap huge health benefits both physically and emotionally. Now keep it up because before long this new habit will be something you look forward to every single day.
About a month ago something triggered my need for renewed self-care. That something was awareness. It was an awareness, an opening of my heart, knowing I can do better and feel better for a more healthful, relaxing and joyful life. But how?
I’ve never practiced yoga or meditation on a regular basis even though I have had a clear understanding of their benefits, both physically and emotionally for a very long while. I’m no expert. Which is exactly why I now believe this is a perfect time to share my new journey into this self-care adventure. Continue reading →
If you’re like me you may be asking (or screaming to no one in particular), “What is happening?” The division, the spewing of hateful words back and forth, the widening tribal gap, the alternative reality that our president lives in, the openly outright lies and gas-lighting – it’s too much to take some days. But the ugliness that happened because of a man named Kavanaugh, that has sent many women (in particular) spiraling into a deep sadness and grief, or for many more, spurred an enraged feeling of knowing enough is enough.
Thankfully harmony is at our fingertips. For some of us it is found in prayer, in meditation or on the yoga mat. Harmony opens up to us when we seek it. I needed this reminder this week. Continue reading →
The date was January 27, 2016. The presidential primaries were well under way to putting Donald Trump, self-made billionaire extraordinaire, in the White House. I posted this picture on Facebook and wrote the following on that date:
Most of you know I steer clear of political posts because I prefer to appear neutral and would rather not get into heated discussions on SM. But I fear we are headed in a most frightening direction. I have not ‘heard’ one person support the Donald, yet we are told they’re out there. I find it odd that those who support him are quietly doing so, as if even *they* know how absurd the man is. These quiet supporters somehow admire the man for his audacity. I can see it now, if he gets into the White House, there will be a Presidential Reality TV show called: You’re Fired! And hey, why not vote for the wacko — how refreshing it will be to have someone completely out of control IN control. <Sarcasm.
If the leader of the free world keeps repeating, “The enemy of the people is the media,” the goal can only be one thing — to convince the people to believe all news is fake news and believe only what he says. Unless of course the media reports flattering news about him, then it’s right on. But here’s the thing:
The Chicks Don’t Care
We all know he lies blatantly and chronically, sometimes about the most ridiculous things. His form of ‘negotiating’ is to bully and create conspiracy theories about his ‘enemies.’ An enemy equates to anyone who disagrees with him or those who refuse to be bullied, or those who investigate and report facts. These facts can be something he said on camera or tweeted. The most dangerous thing about his lying is it feels normal and acceptable. We read reports that have tried to track the number of his lies and we aren’t surprised, because we all know he lies, but the chicks don’t care. Continue reading →
There’s no denying winter is brutal. A month ago there was a chill in the air. Today that air has been treated with an arctic blast of frigid cold that can be downright dangerous to living things. At fifteen degrees Fahrenheit, now is not the time to be outside prepping for the cold weather, so I’m happy to report we took care of it back in November. I’m filled with gratitude, to be sure. Along with the extreme chill we have also been gifted with far more than a foot of snow on the ground and covering every horizontal surface. It is a stunning wintery painting everywhere one looks.
Folks who have never had the opportunity to live in a cold climate, on a farm, might be interested to see what it takes to get through a long, cold and snowy Michigan winter. So here are some highlights of our fall preparation: Continue reading →
Distractions are sometimes a good thing unless those distractions are a ploy from the man in charge with a sole purpose of keeping the masses divided and angry.
Sometimes a furry distraction (like the orange tabby kitten who recently adopted us) is just a few feet away but we need a teeny reminder that these things bring us joy like no other. They love us and count on us for their well-being. Have you ever noticed how the act of caring for a pet or even a plant, can make us feel whole and satisfied? It’s better than sex, I tell you, and it lasts longer. Continue reading →
There’s a technique in image-editing called Selective Color. The way it works is to take a color photo and change it to black and white. Then a part of the image is selected and brought back to its natural color. It’s artistic and cool. While saving the image I was working on, the term selective color jumped out at me, as did the words black and white.
I’ve heard of selective hearing where a person hears only what they choose to hear. My dad was hard of hearing but refused to wear a hearing aid and he frequently said, “I hear what I want to hear.” No denying his selective hearing.
There’s also selective breeding, concerning animals and plants (breeding for the best possible characteristics, for example).
All of which made me think of racism and I wondered, am I a racist and if I am what can I do about it? So I did some digging and discovered my own lack of understanding about some basic terms I’ve been misusing. Continue reading →
I don’t know what to say. I do know silence is not an option.
In trying to grasp the magnitude of the events of the weekend I have spent much time reading opinion columns, blogs and social media posts by friends. I’ve read so much and heard so many opinions I’m not sure there is a right thing to say, no matter what our opinions or feelings are.
I’m white and with that brings privilege. White people should not pretend to understand the horror and fear that people of color live with, I’ve read. I’m not supposed to say, “But I’m one of the good ones,” pretending not to be racist or not to have racist thoughts. Because, they tell me, this is not about me and they say it’s not about President Trump either. Continue reading →
The right to bear arms will not help us avoid a nuclear attack on our own land. We are experiencing precisely what many of us feared when Mr. Trump was elected president – watching him bully his way through a crisis he created, quite possibly with one finger on the nuclear codes – or is he bluffing? Does it matter?
He truly believes the way to negotiate anything, including world peace, is to be a tough negotiator, to bully, threaten, lie and then walk away hoping your opponent agrees to your terms. As we all know threatening nuclear war is not subject to negotiation, however our president does not. Continue reading →