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Revitalize in 5 Easy Steps

After a long day, a few minutes with your legs up the wall will quickly help you to restore and recover.

Benefits:  Varicose veins, circulation, new blood flow to upper body and much more

Do not do:  Detached Retina, Glaucoma, Hiatal Hernia

Try this:

  1. Lie on your back about 6 inches away from the wall with your back flat on the floor
  2. Allow your head to be level (if it is not, place a pillow or towel under your head)
  3. Bring your legs side by side with your heels close to each other
  4. Allow your knees to straighten with your thighs relaxed (if they are not, move further from wall)
  5. Take easy deep breaths with your belly relaxed for a few minutes

This is a simple way to bring inner calm and center.  This will revitalize you while bringing a sense of mental stillness and ease.

Let me know in the comments below how you felt after this practice.  If it did not help, what do you think happened?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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Calm Your Mind: Attitude #4

Your mind has a life of its own and is the culprit of much frustration and physical tension.

We have previously explored three attitudes, that when cultivated will help calm agitated thoughts. 

They were:

  1. Friendliness toward the happy.
  2. Compassion for the unhappy.
  3. Delight in the virtuous.

The 4th attitude is what I perceive as the most challenging: Disregard toward the wicked.

When we run into people that are rude or mean, we usually get our guard up and judge or get angry.

To retain our undisturbed state:

  • Remember that you have had times when your behavior was inappropriate and harmful. 
  • Do not take the persons behavior personally, even it is directed toward you. Keeping this distance helps you ignore the behavior of others which will make your life much more peaceful.
  • Their behavior might not change, but your response makes all the difference to your well- being.

Give this a try next time you encounter someone who is behaving cruelly or inappropriately.  Let me know in the comments below how your state was and if you were able to make the shift to disregard their behavior.

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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Calm Your Mind: Attitude #3

Cultivating a change in our attitudes unlock the mind from the inner obstacles that create agitation.  The keys to the locks are in these four practices.

In previous posts I have focused on the first two:

  1. Friendliness toward the happy
  2. Compassion for the unhappy

The third is:  Delight in the virtuous

What this is talking about is that to help the mind, we need to appreciate others virtuous qualities rather than trying to pull them down.

Others might be extremely giving  or knowledgeable in ways that make you feel “less than” and we envy them and are critical rather than complimentary.

The practice of taking delight in another would be to look at their qualities with the possibility of cultivating them within yourself.

Focus on their kindness, generosity or whatever quality they display and practice emulating it.

Give this a try and let me know in the comments below what happened.  If you could not find delight, what do you think got in the way?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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Calm Your Mind: Attitude #2

Helping the mind remain calm and undisturbed is a lifelong practice. Often our thoughts are agitated from our reactions to other people.

A chapter in the yoga texts focuses on four categories of people and how cultivating certain attitudes will help.

Focus #2:

Cultivate attitude of:  Compassion for the unhappy

This one seems easy when we first look at it.  Of course we are compassionate for others who are not happy.  However, when we are around people that we find annoying and whining, are we able to be merciful toward them?

It is easy to get frustrated and judgmental with those individuals.  

Next time you find yourself feeling impatient with someone who is unhappy, even if their behavior is inappropriate, take a breath and look beyond the behavior and practice compassion, even if you do not feel compassionate.

Your mind will be calmer and your attitude might help them feel better about themselves.

Let me know in the comments below how this worked for you.  If you could not practice compassion, what do you think got in the way?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Step to Compassion for Elder Parents

Elders are often stuck in their way of thinking and communication can get quite frustrating.   It is clear that no matter what is said, they are not going to change, but we try anyway bringing increased tension and frustration. 

There is another way: Compassion

It is easy to practice when you are not so invested in the situation, but the challenge is to practice compassion with a parent who “pushes your buttons”.

It is challenging not to argue and judge when they are being stubborn or negative.

Try This:

Step back, take a breath and consciously change your focus to see beyond their behavior.  Look at them as a human being with fears and struggles.  

When you make this shift, your will be more calm and centered and can bring that state into the relationship with them, meeting them where they are at.

Give this a try next time you are with elders that are frustrating and let me know in the comments below how it went.  If you could not make the shift, what do you think happened?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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Calm Your Mind: Attitude #1

Helping the mind remain calm and undisturbed is a lifelong practice. Often our thoughts are agitated from our reactions to other people.

A chapter in the yoga texts focuses on four categories of people and how cultivating certain attitudes will help.

Attitude  #1:

Cultivate Friendliness toward the happy.

When someone gets something that they are excited about it, jealousy can set in.  This only disturbs you, especially if you want what they have attained.

A shift in attitude to open up to another persons happiness can fill you with joy as well as leave you feeling calm and centered.

Next time your feel yourself feeling uneasy around someone’s happiness, take a breath and shift your thoughts.

Give this a try and in the comments below, let me know what happened.  If you were unable to be open to someone's happiness, what do you think got in the way?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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Avon Team Building Sessions a Success

Challenges: 

Creative avenues to explore to increase sales and support employees overall health and wellbeing.

What was Presented and How it Helped:

Custom Calm tailored two mind-body sessions for our team-building conference of over 100 employees.  They engaged the rather reluctant group in simple practices to adapt into their workday.  After the first few minutes Ellen and her team had our full attention and participation.

They were professional and communicated clearly with warmth and humor. They effectively integrated their presentation into the overall theme of our program. This provided continuity for the week and ensured our team was able to gain long term application from the mind-body exercises taught by Custom Calm.

I also contracted Ellen Sichel to work with my core sales team at our monthly meetings to provide mind-body techniques that targeted our needs based on excessive car travel and high stress.  The sessions were presented in a clear, inviting, professional manner and Ellen inspired my team to consider how they can manage their stress throughout the day to be more productive, healthy and of course – Sell more. 

What You Can Learn:

There are creative ways to present material that is relatable and inviting.  The practical, simple implementation of practices including breath, yoga and meditation can be customized to meet specific needs of the client with communication that motivates and engages everyone in the room.

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Airplane Comfort Made Easy

Airline seats can be quite uncomfortable and the the lumbar support is designed for an average body.  Since our bodies are all different, long trips can leave us with lower back discomfort.

Making your seat more comfortable can go a long way in helping avoid unnecessary pain.

Airlines used to offer blankets which made great low back props.  I would recommend bringing a small towel or soft garden pad on the plane just to make sure you have something to use.

Try this:

  • Fold the blanket so the edge is on the seat, so it supports and lifts your sacrum.  Your sacrum is the flat bone that is located right above where your tailbone begins.  It is the lowest part of your spine right above your bottom.
  • When your sacrum lengthens upward it elongates the entire spine and takes a lot of stress off of your lower back.

Let me know in the comments below how this worked, or if you have any questions. 

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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Phone Frustration: 5 Ways to Remain Calm

Phone calls that require waiting or complications can trigger frustration and anger.

When we encounter these situations it is challenging to remain calm and patient, especially if the person on the other end is rude, unhelpful or slow.

We take it personally,and the consequence is physical tension and emotional anxiety.

It is a more productive interaction when you are calm and centered.

Next time you have this kind of call, try this:

  1. Bring your feet under you and feel your feet grounded on the floor.
  2. Take an easy inhale allowing your belly soften and then slowly let it out, a minimum of three times
  3. Know that you too have been rude or confused when asked to do something- this will give you some compassion and patience
  4. Remember that the situation is not a personal affront
  5. Keep the situation in perspective and know that it is one small part of your entire day.  Take a breath and move on.

Let me know in the comments below what you tried and how it worked for you.  If nothing helped, let me know what you think happened?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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5 Steps to Improve Listening

There are times in conversation when we are thinking about our response before the other person is finished speaking. 

We interrupt without thinking, which is frustrating and dismissive to those around us.  Often it is a knee jerk reaction and the thought is out before you catch yourself.

 When this happens, our minds have left the moment.

 If we are thinking about something else while another is speaking, we are no longer present in the conversation. 

Try some mindful listening:

  1. While the person is speaking, feel your feet on the floor.
  2. If you feel the urge to speak, focus on your breathing to guide yourself back to what the person is saying.
  3. Make eye contact while you are listening.
  4. Have a 5 second rule before you speak (that is my husband's suggestion!)
  5. If you are unsure about something stop and ask them what they mean, rather than feeling lost in the conversation.

Let me know in the comments below how this works for you.  If it did not work, what do you think happened?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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