Nothing Exciting to Share – Now That’s Exciting!

I have been picking my brain to send you something funny and exciting to start the New Year. Then I dawned on me, there really wasn’t anything profound to tell you.
I did take a family vacation in early December to the west coast.socks 2

It is a rare occasion that my children and their significant others can get together. Nothing earth shattering occurred. We hiked, ate, swam, and basically chilled out. A wonderful time was had by all.

After returning home, the holidays came and went and though much of it, I had a bad cold. My work was at a standstill was the Cancer Support Community closes the last two weeks of December and clients are busy.

I dealt with insurance companies for hours on end (no excitement does not equal frustration!) Went to a few doctors, I watched mindless TV (love the Price is Right), slept late, waked the dog, meditated, read, saw my daughter, and hung out with Robert (in our new fireside socks) and the dog.

As I write about this, it makes me re-examine excitement. I relaxed and slowed down. For a person who loves to feel productive, and be socia
l, it took a lot of unwinding.

I would venture to say many of us thrive on “doing” for many underlying reasons, probably the greatest being society’s value on success and productivity.

Now that it is mid- January, I am finally writing a newsletter. I am sleeping a little later and taking more me time, letting go of trying to make something happen. Every so often my mind kicks in and tells me I am a lazy bones. It is good I know when my mind is messing with me. When that happens I acknowledge the feeling and do a few moments of breathing or meditation to reset my thoughts.

So there you have it. Looking at what I wrote, I would say it is totally awesome just to be me not doing much. The best part is giving myself permission that it is okay.

Not so easy, but quite exciting!

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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What is Your Focus?

Recently a friend relayed this experience:

She was visiting her sibling and enjoys his company very much.  However, there were many other family members to visit and some of them display inappropriate behavior, and have done so for years.  She told me that nothing has changed over the years and by the time she was leaving to go home from an otherwise enjoyable visit, she was sick to her stomach.

When I think about her report of her entire visit, I would say about eighty percent of her visit was great, yet the disturbing experiences are overshadowing the positive experiences.  I venture to say, this is pretty typical of the human condition. 

In my book, I have a few suggestions that can help:

  • I always begin with centering techniques while the situation is going on, but many of us get so caught up in the moment that we forget to take care of ourselves.

 If that has happened, I would suggest the following:

  • It is helpful to review what happened so you can gain some insight. Some questions to ask might be: “What could I have done differently?” “Is there another way to look at the situation?” While reviewing and experience, don’t neglect the fact that there might have been some uplifting moments as well, no matter how insignificant. While the sweet, small events we engaged in are often overshadowed by our upsetting memories, make sure you include them in your review, and then move forward. Even forgiveness is a choice.

It is empowering to realize that you have the ability to shift your perspective.  This review is for you, so go out and enjoy your day—with no indigestion!

Let me know in the comments below how this can apply to your situation.  Are you able to change your focus to the positive experiences or do you get stuck?

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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How to follow through on your New Year’s resolution? With Devotion

Many of you have made resolutions for change in 2011 and already frustrated and ready to quit trying.

A change in perspective will make a big difference.

Consider this yoga teaching:  Practice becomes firmly established by being continued for a long time, without interruption and with devotion.  

We hear the term devoted partner, parent, friend, teacher….  What does that bring to mind?  Perhaps loving, always willing to be there and dedicated.

What would happen if you gave this same devotion to your own wellbeing and resolutions?

If keeping your New Year’s resolutions seems difficult, treat yourself with the same kindness and patience that you would a child learning something new.

How do you treat people you are devoted to?  Can you bring that to your resolutions?  


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Namaste: The Ultamite Greeting

We use the word Namaste at the end of each yoga class.  It means: I acknowledge and bow to the divine within you.

In India, no matter who it is, friend or stranger, they are treated in the same manner.   Acknowledging first the divine in ourselves and then to see it in others is a powerful practice.

Saki Santorelli, the director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMass Memorial Medical Center, says:  “I believe that the active remembrance of this reality is crucial to our lives, our work, and our well-being. Our willingness to relate with another in this way is fundamentally healing.”

This way of relating comes from the heart, and it is difficult in our mind driven culture.  It is a beautiful practice to relate to others in this way.  It opens our hearts and we soften in a way that impacts our body, mind and spirit.

Next time you are in the presence of a family member or someone you do not know well, see if you can shift your perspective to see them in this way. Look for the divinity in them and let me know in the comments below what your experience was.

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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6 Helpful Tools for Challanging Times

There are times that life circumstances are quite challenging and we experience the consequences of added stress:  We become forgetful, drained and totally focused on the situation we are confronted with.

 This is especially true for those taking care of elderly or ill parents or other family members.

During this time it is difficult to live a balanced, calm life. It is a choice to get back to centered living.  Even when life gets overwhelming, there are simple things you can do to gain your equilibrium.

  1. Take some easy breaths into your belly.
  2. Make sure you eat nutritious food, even when you do not feel like it.
  3. Change the book you are reading to something funny and uplifting.
  4. Call a friend and just vent.
  5. Take off your shoes and feel your feet in the ground.
  6. Always keep a sense of humor.

These suggestions are easy, practical tools to help keep things in perspective.  Remember, whatever is going on in life, there are times throughout the day that you can experience a calm center.

Give it a try and let me know what happened in the comments below.  There might be something simple you have tried that was effective.  If so, feel free to share it.

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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A Matter of Perspective!

I walked out to my patio with ready to enjoy my lunch, and within a few seconds I felt something wet drop on my head. 

Sure enough it was Bird Poop!

I have heard that when a bird poops land on your head it is a sign of good luck.  I investigated this claim further and here is what I found:

Many people believe this to be a major sign of wealth coming from heaven. Hence, although, it is really yucky and a major inconvenience, when something like this happens to you, take comfort in the fact that this is described as good luck being just around the corner!

This is a matter of perspective!

At first I did not feel very lucky, but after giving it some thought I chose to look at it in that way. My perspective made the difference of how I experienced the moments after this happened.   I could have gotten angry from the mess in my hair and on my hand, but instead I smiled, cleaned myself off and sat down to a wonderful lunch.   

Our perspective is a choice and it has a powerful effect on our mental, physical and emotional state.  The choice to bring ourselves to the moment, rather than live in reaction will sustain a calmer, more peaceful state of mind.

What is your perspective today?

Let me know in the comments below how your perspective has affected you and those around you.  

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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