A poem

 

Silence

Inhale. Exhale.

The obscure sound dancing in my mind.

Inhale. Exhale.

It taunts me with the promise of serenity.

Inhale. Exhale.

The sweet spot of consciousness that lies between the breath.

Inhale. Exhale.

It promises the chance at peaceful bliss.

Inhale. Exhale.

It is the vast nothingness filled with everything.

Inhale. Exhale.

Silence.

Mindfully happy

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I heard an awesome idea today. Lama Marut (http://lamamarut.org/) said, “Real happiness is losing yourself in life.” He talked about being mindfully unselfconscious. That “the true experiences that bring us happiness is when we are truly engaged in the experience.” It is when we are unselfconsciously engaged in whatever it is we are doing.

Wow! Being mindful. It’s such a simple concept yet sometimes so difficult to do. I think practicing mindfulness is something that allows me to not only be in the moment but it eases my reactivity. It allows me to listen. It forgives me of that feeling that it’s all about me. Mindfulness allows me to not take everything so personally.

Because, really, it’s not all about me, is it? I don’t live in a vacuum. If the people in my life are affected by my behavior I want them to be affected in a positive way. Being mindful to them when I am with them is one way of making them aware of my love for them. Loving kindness, compassion, listening to one another…that’s how we make our world a happy place.

Are there areas in your life that you don’t pay attention to? Pick one of those and try to lose yourself in it. Lose yourself in life.

Peace. 

Communication

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I’m working on mindfulness in listening. In my humble opinion, it is one of the most important skills a person can learn. I am making a very conscientious effort to be mindful when people talk to me. This includes making eye contact, and, more importantly, stopping whatever it is I’m doing and giving that other person my full attention.

Miscommunication occurs because people aren’t really listening to each other. They are texting, reading emails, cooking, working, etc. At the same time, I think people desire so much to be heard that they don’t hear what other people are saying. What happens is everyone is talking but no one is being heard. We then create these alternative realities because we have to fill in the blanks of what we weren’t listening to in the first place.

I don’t know about you but it leads to a lot of frustration. Personally, I tend to shut down when I feel I’m not being listened to. My thought is that if you can’t listen to me then I don’t really have anything to say. I’m aware I do this. I’m also very good at letting it go most of the time. I can’t change the way people are. I can only change myself and my reactions.

Are you a good listener? How do you handle it when people don’t listen? Do you find this to be a common theme in today’s society?

Peace.

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Hobbies

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Hobbies

I was chit chatting with my sister today while I was working on writing a blog post about hobbies. She suggested I share my thoughts about writing, or lack thereof, on the blog. I was going to wait but as this is hobby I want to pursue I thought it might be a good idea, so here goes. I am just today noticing that I tend to put off writing these posts because I think it’s got to be this profound, meaningful, long, carefully written blog post to end all blog posts. And, I’m realizing, just now, that it doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m not doing this for anyone really but me and any people who read it should be able to, eventually, learn my sense of humor and my sarcastic wit! Along with my sensitive and emotional side, of course! If people don’t like it they don’t have to read it. I put too much fucking pressure on myself to be perfect AND that is one of the things that make me spin around in circles and get nothing done. That being said, here are my thoughts on hobbies.

Hobbies are awesome. Hobbies are those things we do in our free time or the things we make time to do. Having a hobby is a great way to decompress, manage stress, and exercise the mind, body, and/or spirit. Allowing ourselves to participate in a pastime we enjoy can actually lower blood pressure. And, low blood pressure is a major component in whole health.
These merry diversions allow us time to get out of our own heads. Or, in some cases, they allow us to express what’s going on in our heads. Either way, hobbies are great ways to learn new things, meet new people, or develop new talents. They can increase self-esteem and induce pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. Hobbies can also provide physical activity, influence an artistic gift or an intellectual pursuit, or just about anything you can imagine! There’s no boundaries for hobbies.

My favorite hobby walking on the beach collecting beach glass, rocks, crinoids, geodes, drift wood, and sometimes other peoples’ washed up trash. Most days, I’m there for an hour. The times vary with schedules and weather but it is always something I make time to do. I’ve been doing it most of my life. It relaxes and inspires me. My beach walks fill me with gratitude. Finding those pieces of beach glass, the perfect fossil, or the shiniest of geodes gently reminds me of all the blessings I have in my life. It is also where I go if I need to find my balance or get rid of frustration or anger. This hobby also makes it possible to work on my other hobbies; designing beach themed crafts.

What hobbies provide you with that much needed down time? Why do you have your hobby? And, if you don’t have a hobby, what’s stopping you? I’d love to hear what other people do for fun!

Peace.

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Winning the Prize

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Winning the Prize

This dumbbell represents one of the reasons I love my trainer, Troy Ford of Troybuilt Fitness (http://troybuiltfitness.wordpress.com/about/ ). Last year, he conducted a fitness challenge centered on weight loss. I did not participate. This year, I participated in my first fitness challenge because it did NOT include weighing in. AND, it was challenging. AND, I kicked ass! I won 1st place week 4 and received a gift card allowing me to buy this beautiful dumbbell. Now, in addition to working out with him and my fabulous husband once a week, I am able to rock this workout (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImlyaX4ppLQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUXIDvGIOQT4V37vN96cj0dw) with a more challenging weight.

This challenge introduced me to the wonderful world of interval and brick training. I especially love intervals! It also included practicing meditation, keeping a gratitude journal, and increasing water and vegetable intake. I forfeited Starbucks and cheese for goodness sake!

Troy told me I inspired him to reexamine his beliefs about being fat and being fit. Coming from a certified trainer, his words mean a lot to me as I feel persistently bombarded with the message that I can’t possibly be who I say I am: Fat and fit and feeling just fine!

Peace.

Simplify

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There was a time I defined my daily happiness on how I felt physically. Today I continue practicing defining my daily happiness on how I feel emotionally instead.

I find it can be quite overwhelming sometimes. These emotions. In my quest for knowledge I find myself inundated with information. So much information, in fact, that I find myself unable to actually do anything because I’m so busy reading and listening to what other people are doing that I don’t do anything for myself.

And, indeed, much of what I listen to pisses me off. Between the American culture’s obsession with being thin, our broken healthcare system, the war on women, and the products that pass themselves off as our food supply, I’m just kind of done feeling angry all the time.

At just the right time, one of my favorite blogs inspired me to let some things go and simplify. Check them out here. http://bemorewithless.com/simplicity-in-action-kayla/

So these past few days have been liberating as I’ve become familiar with the “unsubscribe” button and the “junk” folder. I’m no longer being caught up in a perpetual time suck of links and comments and like buttons.

Let’s see what happens.

What do you do to unwind or disconnect?

Peace.

Defining health

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People talk about health all the time. Our society is obsessed with health: What foods are healthy, what exercises are healthy, etc. But, how do we define health? WHO (World Health Organization) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” So why is American culture so focused on physical health and not really health but what healthy should LOOK like?

I listen to a lot of health & wellness podcasts. I read a lot of health & wellness blogs.  I listen and I read because the podcasters supply valuable information on general and specific ways that what we eat and how we move contributes to how we feel. At the same time, many of these well intentioned folks also push the assumption that to be healthy one must be of a certain weight.

Now, I do believe there is definitely a healthier way to eat And, I’m real sure we’ll talk about that later. Real food fuels our body, our minds, and our spirits. I believe processed food and genetically modified foods (GMOs) are killing us as a nation. If you want more information about GMOs take the time to explore http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/ .  

Additionally, exercise and movement is important for fitness, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that extreme athleticism is healthier than walking every day or simply sitting in the sun. Movement looks different for different people. Our physical health is only the biological aspect of our being.

There is so much more to health than how are bodies look and feel. Often these are overlooked because they cannot be seen. They cannot be measured by the eyes of others. But just because they cannot be seen doesn’t mean they are not equally important. What we do for our mind and spirit nourish our being.

How do you define health? What makes you healthy? Do you compare your health to that of others?

Here’s to your whole health!

Peace.

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