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.
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 →
Seeking inspiration today I found it in this sunflower. Some may see it as all used up – petals lost, growth complete, all done, and so sad. But deep inside are seeds preparing for their journey to become something new again. The possibility of new life is within each seed and one sunflower can have 2,000 seeds! So. Much. Potential. Continue reading →
Do you have trouble letting go of things? Are you having trouble letting go of the insane political climate? Letting go of choices you made long ago? Do you remember something you wish you’d done differently or at least wonder, what if?
Dandelions totally get it. A perfectly adorable yellow flower turns into a seed pod that has no intention of holding on to those hundreds of seeds. It knows how to let go.
Sometimes I don’t make the bed. I don’t see the point in making it pretty every darned day for literally no one to see. Many days I don’t even see it myself until I pull the covers down to climb back into it.
Man I miss this bedroom. It’s my old bedroom from my last house and it was spacious, soothing, quiet, with just the right amount of natural light coming in. I am reminded by this picture of many years where my hubby traveled and I slept alone in this big bed. Making it was simple – pull up the covers on my side and walk away. Continue reading →
Beauty is everywhere if we will only notice it. Some days it’s harder than others to see it.
Yesterday the theme of my blog post was the word indivisibleand I thought about the Pledge of Allegiance and the meaning behind it. I said I didn’t have a solution for this problem our country is facing – the divide, the dissent, the anger between individuals and lawmakers. Actually I do. Continue reading →
There’s been a lot of talk lately about liars. So much in fact, that new phrases have become popular and acceptable, like fake news and alternative facts. People are arguing that ‘all politicians lie,’ as though, if true, it somehow makes it acceptable which causes one to ask, does truth-telling matter? I suppose a blog called The Other Side of Denial should at least address the dilemma.
Interestingly, the basic definition of denial is: the action of declaring something to be untrue.
Well, holy moly, this blog is referencing the act of lying! I’ve been living in denial about my blog about living in denial. No lie. Continue reading →
Last month my identity was stolen. It might not have been such an excruciatingly horrid experience if it were not for the fact that we are smack dab in the middle of buying our dream property—you know, with the necessary credit checks, title searches, folks googling our names to be sure we are who we say we are. It is only by chance that we discovered my stolen identity, as it is in most cases. There is no Stolen Identity Bureau of the government who notifies us when our social security number has been used illicitly.
The nightmare began when we attempted to file our tax returns electronically, like we have for years. To our surprise the system rejected our returns because someone had previously filed using my social security number. We are lucky because the fake return was rejected, which means the thief did not receive our refund. We are unlucky because our refund will now be held up for 180 days while the IRS proceeds to confirm I am who I say I am. And unlucky because we were forced to file via snail mail (certified & registered) – complete with an affidavit, a form explaining what happened, the police report case number, and copies of my social security card and passport. Continue reading →
Depression–it rears its ugly head when you least expect it. I will not refer to it as something I suffer from/with. I prefer to say it is my dirty little secret which I cannot quite manage to be done with (once and for all) after years of keeping company with it. I try to portray myself as one who has everything under control always. There are days however, when that is easier said than done. Even when I don’t feel it, I have a Happy Face + Attitude (HFA) that I tap into—on most days. Periodically the dreaded depression sets in deeper than I’d like. Those are the days I try to hide from the world until I can get my HFA back on track, but this week it was out of my reach. I picked up the phone when it rang and my daughter was on the other end asking what I wanted to do for my birthday. Poor thing, I do feel bad for her.
Nothing. Nothing at all. I hate my life. I want to run away. I want change. I wish I lived on a farm, was my sad, forlorn, woe-is-me response.
She had to hang up pretty quickly after that. I don’t blame her. I’ll talk to you Saturday, she said. Continue reading →