30 Days New – Day 18 & 19

“30 Days New” – Day 18 & Day 19

I am still focusing on my watery goals of being in the moment each and every time my hands touch water.  Loving that my “New” practice is expanding to other moments in my life. Once my mindfulness habit kicked in, I began slowing sown and savoring more daily experiences.

I have started giving myself mini-hand massages when they are soft and soapy and it feels great!  I don’t know anything about the art of hand massage, but I mimic the movements of my wonderful manicurist and even a minute or two feels fantastic.

I have also become more aware of my steps! Throughout the day I have been walking with awareness, and enjoying it. Focusing on how our feet and legs feel as we walk can be very relaxing.

I learned how to do meditative walking many years ago with a monk at a Thai Buddhist Temple in Florida, and have used the practice at one of my retreats, but as with many things I had forgotten to integrate it into my daily life. I had forgotten to integrate it into my daily life. It is a simple way to bring serenity to each step.

You can begin a meditative walking practice by simply noticing the movement of placing your foot on the floor. Where do you feel contact first, then next? Breakdown the action in your head and pause to feel where the sensation goes in your body. We are so often on automatic pilot, we forget we are placing our feet and pay no attention as to how our bodies complete the action.

feet-2683898_960_720To add to the sensations of the moment, go barefoot on the grass in your yard or on the sand at the beach. Pause to really absorb the moment after each step. If the experience inspires you to try a more formalized meditative walk, check out this meditative walking post I found.

You might also want to read this Wishful Thinking Works post for a meditative look at how calming walking in circles can be!

Day 18 & Day 19  Results – Amazing reminders and awareness of how many quiet, peaceful moments our bodies can provide us with, if we simply slow down and tune in to their movements and sensations and tune out of our heads! Being more relaxed and finding new ways to release the stress and strain of everyday living can be found from the tips of our fingers to the tips of our toes.

“New” Idea for Fun

The first person who posts a photo of their feet during a meditative walk, will receive a free on-on-one, 60 minute coaching session on the topic of their choice. 

The first three people who post a meditative walking or hand-washing related photo on the Wishful Thinking Works Facebook page, will receive a free 30 minute, one-on-one coaching session on the topic of their choice. 

Since this type of offer is new for me, I am planning to count it as my Day 20 “New”.  I hope you join in the fun and you might be part of my Day 20 Results!

To read more about how my “30 Days New” habit got started, click here.


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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?

Start today with Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching! 

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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?

Start today with Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching! 

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30 Days New – Day 7

“30 Days New” – Day 7

Yesterday’s “New” happened without me realizing it until late in the day.

Endeavour
Endeavour on PBS

I love PBS, but do not watch their programs as often I would like. I have the time and the access, but for some reason I simply do not do it. Earlier in the week I DVR’d a number of episodes of one of their mystery programs.  Yesterday I binged on two of the series’ two hour episodes.

I loved the show, but that was just the icing on the cake. What excited me was I was enjoying something new, without even consciously planning it to be a “New”. Seems “News” may be becoming a normal part of my life after only a week!

Writing about my Day 7’s activity reminded me of my 20+ year habit for ordering a new magazine almost every year that showcase topics I know little or nothing about. Popular Science, Wyoming Magazine, and Architectural Digest have all crossed my threshold at one time or another along with many other unrelated titles. Sometimes, I enjoy a magazine and reorder it; other times I read an issue or two and donate the rest to a local library. I believe the money is well spent under any circumstances because reading the magazines exposes me to new ideas and information, and perhaps even sparks a new interest, which is most often the case.

Do you have a regular “New” that relates to exposing yourself to new ideas or concepts, or even new forms of entertainment? If so, share what you have discovered along the way.

Day 7 Result – Surprise, enjoyment and a continued sense of excitement for “News” big or small.

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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Two ways to live your life

The Parable of the Arrow

arrow-1557462_960_720A man was walking through a forest, when suddenly seemingly out of nowhere, an arrow pierced his thigh.  He felt a sharp pain.  Then, immediately following he felt anger. The thought quickly came. Where did the arrow come from?  Who shot it?  I’m going to find him.  He must be punished.  He finally pulled the arrow out of his leg. Gradually the physical pain went away and the wound healed.  His anger continued for days.  His thoughts of anger and frustration reoccurred for the rest of his life.

Another man was walking through a forest. When seemingly out of nowhere, an arrow pierced his thigh.  He felt a sharp pain. He took out the arrow and continued walking. The wound healed.

Adaptation from a Buddhist Teaching

How do you want to live?  The choice is always yours.

Choose wisely.

Are you ready to create the life your really want? Start today! 

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Capture what truly mattered in 2017

notebook-731212__180As the New Year rolls around it is way too easy to get bogged down in what we didn’t accomplish or do this year and to start making long lists of what we need to do in the 2018.

I think a much more rewarding way to start the New Year is to remember how wonderful you are by creating your personal WTW “Ta Da” List 2017.

I created the list years ago for a Wishful Thinking Works post and I use it twice a year to remind myself of all the good things – big or small – that have happened or that I have accomplished. Focusing on the positives and growth in our life is a great motivator and provides a stable foundation for future plans.

Why not use New Year’s Eve to celebrate you and what you have done instead of worrying about what you didn’t do?

Even if 2017 was your toughest year yet, you survived, and that is worth celebrating.

champagne-584072_960_720If you are alone on New Year’s Eve, embrace it!

Buy some bubbly, treat yourself to food you love, pop in a movie, read a good book or soak in a luxurious bath and savor being you.

Some of my best New Year’s Eves were spent alone – outdoors, reflecting on all the good things in my life. I sipped something wonderful, tasted something delicious and savored the moments.

As the New Year dawns, don’t worry about what’s next, just enjoy what is. You made it this far in life and have so much more to look forward to.

Happy New Year!

 

15 minutes of quiet can give you peace

University of Rochester researcher Thuy-vy T. Nguyen, M.A. recently completed 4 studies related to solitude.  Here’s one of the major findings her work revealed summed-up nicely by Bella DePaulo Ph.D. in a recent Psychology Today article:

 

“In short, the people who sat alone by themselves for 15 minutes with no electronic devices, and who got to choose what to think about, or who thought about positive things (by choice or by assignment) had very positive experiences of solitude. They felt calmer and less angry or anxious, without also feeling any sadder or lonelier, and without losing any of their feelings of excitement or enthusiasm.”

15 minutes of quiet – no phones, laptops, Echo or Alexa – can increase positive feelings and reduce stress. How wonderful is that?

Here’s how to unwrap this personalized, peaceful present that will keep on giving to you throughout the year!

  • Sit quietly for 15 minutes.
  • Think about any positive thoughts you like.
    • Relive your happiest or simply fond memories or anything else that brings you pleasure.
  • And, then enjoy the benefits of feeling more peaceful!

Give yourself this free and easy, sure-fire gift to make your life feel more relaxing and fulfilled this holiday season.

You deserve it! Unwrap your 15-minutes-a-day for the next 21 days, and see how your happiness grows.

“Tis the Season to be . . .

Enjoy!

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