Weigh things in your favor

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“When we talk about balance, so often it’s our tendency to focus on the things that are OUT of balance. Today, let’s celebrate the things that we’ve got really right. ”  Chopra Center Meditation

86,400

86,400 – The number of seconds you have each day.

How will you spend yours?

I hope you choose to spend them with those you love, or at least letting the ones you love, know that you love them.

I hope you spend them doing what you really love or by taking risks in the direction of who you really want to be, no matter how scary that feels.

I hope you spend them working to change any injustices you see, and don’t worry if there seem to be too many on any given day, simply act and know your time was well spent.

I hope you spend them making something more beautiful or peaceful, or by simply being more aware of the beauty and peace around and inside of you.

If you do any of the above, your time will be well spent, and you will have given the world the gift of you having lived your 86,400 seconds well, which is truly a gift to behold.

 

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

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30 Days New – Day 17

“30 Days New” – Day 17

What a difference a day makes!

After posting yesterday, I remembered to “be in the moment” about 85% of the times my hands touched water,  a huge improvement over my previous day’s attempts. My watery reverie felt wonderful and I quickly began to look forward to the moments.

bbq-500547_960_720We had dinner guests last night, so I spent a bit more time in the kitchen than normal. Washing my hands became a sweet break in the action while preparing dinner for five. Cleaning the peppers, onions and mushrooms for grilling and rinsing the kale and blueberries for a salad truly felt relaxing each time I allowed myself to be in the moment.

Day 17 Results Not only was I enjoying the sensation of the water cascading over my hands, I also began listening to the sound the water made while rushing from the tap. That awareness led me to notice the different sounds it made while adjusting its flow and when it splashed against the various fruits and veggies being rinsed in the strainer. Paying attention to the subtle differences became a satisfying experience.

The experience was similar to the moment in meditation when you focus on your breathing and you are suddenly aware of the sounds it makes and how your breath feels against your upper lip as you inhale and exhale. You quickly realize that the sensation and the sound of your breath had always been available to you, you were just too pre-occupied to notice. (Which, coincidently is now philosophically linked in my mind to the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound. My new philosophical quandary is “When I am breathing but not listening to my breath, does it still make a sound.”)

No matter the answer to either question, the rest of the world and all its demands and desires instantly fade away the moment we focus our attention on our state of being and the sensations we are feeling, which leaves us feeling alone and yet overflowing with our oneness with all things. It feels as good as the coziness of slipping into a warm bed on a cold night, enjoying the first satisfying sip of a cold beer on a blistering hot day, or the first delicious bite of our favorite dessert – all is right with the world in those moments, and luckily the feelings those moments bring are ours for the asking, any time we fully focus on the sensations we are experiencing.

Try it now, Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply in and out through your nose. Did you feel it? Did you hear the sound? Taking three deep breaths in a row with awareness can reset your brain and relax your body. 

It might sound silly to be talking so transcendentally about simply washing our hands and paying attention to our breath, but any form of awareness is relaxing for our bodies and refreshing to our souls. Each moment of awareness is also a gentle and rewarding reminder of its benefits and hopefully encourages us to return to the practice. (And, because I know I need extra help focusing, I will keep post-it-note reminders in plain view!)

I hope your Saturday is filled with relaxing, rewarding moments. If you would like to join in my “New” awareness practice and challenge for this weekend, click here. I think I will go wash my hands, just for the fun of it!

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

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“30 Days New” Day 14, Day 15 & More

“30 Days New” – Day 14 & Day 15

I woke up feeling terribly guilty that I was behind in my “News” and also in posting about them. I was feeling embarrassed that I started the project and wasn’t keeping up with it. I also was beginning to find ways to justify my lack of follow through. (Step 2 in the rationalization process – Step 1 one is to admit a problem/situation has occurred, Step 2 is to figure out a way to blame circumstances or someone else for our failure!)

When I realized I was ruminating ad nauseum about the situation, I decided to occupy my mind elsewhere for a bit and began creating a mental to-do-list for today. The minute I switched gears I felt lighter and after making a few mental notes, I started to laugh at myself.

I had solved my own problem. I know beating-up on myself leads to no good end, and if I kept it up I would simply fall further behind and probably begin adding other lapses to my life to confirm to myself that I really had “failed”!  Misery loves company and I had to admit I was already inviting imaginary and very unlikable guests to my personal pity party. (You know, those voices in our heads that never have anything nice to say, but we listen to them anyway.)

I decided that instead of filling my head and my heart with my real and imagined failings, I would simply get started planning what my “New” would be for today. It took me less than a second to come up with it. Stop back tomorrow to read my results.

Day 14 & Day 15 Results – A kinder, gentler me – to myself, and an increased ability to swallow a good dose of humility to soften my judgmental rough edges.

Forest for the trees

awareness that I could not see the forest for the trees. I had done lots of wonderful things on Day 14 & Day 15, including re-doing some of my “News” and expanding on others, but I was so focused on the project that I discounted the benefit of those things, simply because they weren’t “New” enough.

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

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30 Days New – Day 12 & Day 13

“30 Days New” – Day 12

Easy peasy, second day of new qigong practice! I am counting it as a “New” because it is the first habit I have chosen to create as a result of “30 Days New” practice. That’s a first, which is just as good as a “New” to me.

Day 12 Results –  Sense of peace and calm while doing the practice, and curiosity as to what it will add to my life.

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“30 Days New” – Day 13

Day thirteen turned out to be very lucky for me. Today I meditated for an hour.  It seemed like about 3 hours, but no matter, I did it!

I have been wanting to try meditate on my own for an hour for more than a decade. (Who knows why it took me so long, but seriously not important at the moment.) I use a variety of 25-30 minute guided meditations, including Yoga Nidra and self-hypnosis, both are very satisfying and I will continue to use them, but excited that today I took the leap to 60 minutes on my own.

I can’t honestly say I loved meditating for an hour and it was not an earth shattering experience, but it took commitment and a great deal of patience. I like that. I also like that since I have meditated for an hour, 30 minutes on my own is much less daunting. I know I can do it regularly and that makes me very happy.

Day 13 Results –  Sense of accomplishment, mixed with pride and the overwhelming urge to give myself a sticker of some kind! Woo-hoo, I gave it a try and I did it! 

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

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30 Days New – Day 9

iphone-410311_960_720“30 Days New” – Day 9

I was going to call yesterday a sick day, because I was sick and had been up most of the night, but then realized that wasn’t in the true spirit of my “30 Days New”.  I decided to wait it out and see what happened as the day went along.

By late afternoon I was feeling better and began asking myself, “What’s new to do?” Within minutes, I came up with two or three options and settled on making some phone calls for my projects, one of which was completely out of my comfort range. My mission was accomplished – Day 9 commitment completed and even though it was not a miraculous cure for what was ailing me, it did make me feel better.

Day 9 Results – Sense of pride for not giving up. The knowledge that if I did have to skip a day for a more serious reason, I would know it and feel fine with that choice, but yesterday was not that day.

I also realized I liked doing “30 Days New” the second I accomplished a new “New” but beforehand the process can be frustrating. Short term discomfort for long term gain, I can live with that, especially since I posted publicly I was going to do it!  It’s become my personal marshmallow test.

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

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“30 Days New” – Day 4

Day 4 of my “30 Days New”

My Day 4 “new” involved taking a new risk in the direction of my dreams. I am working on three totally different projects at the moment, and today I was reminded that taking a risk on one made it so much easier to move forward with the others. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was following through on plans I had long considered, but not completed.

Yesterday was one of those days when everything worked – my avocations blended seamlessly with my vocation, which left me feeling refreshed and fulfilled. I decided to celebrate by spending the late afternoon relaxing in the shade on the patio with a good book and picked up, “Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership – Ten Practices For Leading Consciously”, which was written by Paul Ward. The book is informative, intuitive and inspiring.

IMG_1078 His chapters on purpose and possibilities are my favorites. Paul included the story I am now sharing with you; it has taken up residency in my mind and is working its way into my heart. I think it is a great reminder about what really matters in life. Let me know what you think . . .

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me something more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.  Author Unknown

Day 4 Results – A deep sense of satisfaction and balance knowing that risks in the direction of our dreams are always rewarding in and of themselves, and they can also free us up to relax and explore new ideas and insights or to simply sit and think about what really matters to us.

I hope you make time this summer to take a risk in the direction of your dreams, and then to sit back and savor the moment.

If you would like to read more about why and how I started my “30 Days New” click here. You can follow along each day with us here  or on Facebook at Wishful Thinking Works.

 

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

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