5 Steps to BEing Calm

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.

Denial – It’s Okay (Or is it?)

I took a short break from blogging, which turned into a longer-than-expected break. Truth is, I’ve been in a transition period since ‘losing’ my full-time caregiver job, i.e., my father, a few months ago. While he was living with me, this past year, I kept my business going, somehow. Having a work-from-home business can be a blessing and a curse, all at the same time. There is no doubt the blessing part this past year, was being able to be home and take care of my dad. However, taking care of Dad was painfully difficult and created a situation whereby I was unable to focus on anything else – the curse. I would be living in a ridiculous state of denial if I did not confess this truth. Those who know me best know that I pride myself in being real. I don’t believe that putting up a front for others honors our true selves, so I tend to tell it like it is. There will be a touch of this honesty in every future blog post, no doubt, for it is who I am. Consider this your fair warning.

I learned much from watching my father in his last months. He was an interesting character, to say the least. He had an innate ability to live in denial; yet, at the same time he was a huge worrier. It was confusing to observe this, but thankfully I learned some life lessons that will forevermore stay with me. My denial antenna (the one that allows me to spot it in myself and others) has sharpened. Continue reading