I don’t know about you, but I have had times in my life where I look at a picture from my past and don’t remember that moment, that fun, that happiness, that loving memory with a beloved. Maybe we all have had this experience at one point or another in life. In hindsight, things were most likely hectic, overwhelming, busy, chaotic, and perhaps trauma inlaid. Of course, there are understandable reasons for all of it; we were maybe distracted, not in our body, had a heaviness, and usually presence is not in the realm. We need and crave presence for our well being, to remember, to be here and now. There is an abundance out there of wellness, mental health, fitness, blogs, articles, books, movies – guiding you in the search for a way to allow your shoulders to come down from the top of your ears and come back to yourself. Even for just a moment. Oh, and how about your concentration levels to read those publications or listen all the way through? Personally, I don’t have a lot of concentration, maybe it is the pandemic, or hormones, age, kids, work, and now add home schooling, et al. It doesn’t matter how or why, it just matters if you want to help yourself. By choosing yourself. In ‘choosing yourself’ you are not being selfish. You read that correctly. Rather, when you choose ‘you’, even for 5 seconds, maybe, just maybe, that service to yourself will help you; which by osmosis will radiate to the people and life around you. Let’s start with some simple integrations, that authentically helped me, to exist in presence, for a moment.
- Awareness: Simple right? Well, according to Eckhart Tolle, this is key to life. And this piece of awareness or awakening was/is life changing for me. I am not going to wax on how easy this is or that once you read his book, A New Earth, will automatically be floating in the awareness of peaceful bliss, I will say, it is a start. And, a start, is just that - one step closer to peace and presence. I am on my second go around of reading this book that has never left my bedside in 9 years. I am reading it from a different perspective, a different cellular make up, and certainly a different time in my life. Awareness is still the key, but this now dives deeper into the observation of the self. Run out and support your local independent bookstore, like the coolest Moon Palace (if here in MPLS). We can help our world come together in peace when we start with ourselves, then to those closest to us, then the community, city, county, state, region, country and so on...
Listen to Music: Turn off the news, stop doom scrolling, turn off notifications on your phone, maybe even see what it is like for a day or week or even, dare I say, a half hour without checking your social media. Turn on the radio, stream from wherever you listen to music. I mean there is nothing like being in the flow of creativity, eating, being with your kids, or working with some good tunes. I am into and listening now to Jim James, my favorite album Eternally Even. His incredibly magical albums are visceral.
- Moving Meditation: The sky is the limit to this one, and to find one, the world is your oyster. My personal favorite is the silent (by that I mean I am not talking for a record hour) moving meditation of hot yoga. Give me a 103˚ and 45%, like at Modo Yoga Minneapolis, and my trusted magic carpet, the ridgeback® yoga rug, the best yoga accessory, tool, aid, yoga mat, yoga towel replacement. Why? Because it is a totally distraction free containment of my own spiritual life processing, sweat infused, saving grace. This yoga mat will not move, will not twist or bunch, you grip, the more you sweat the better it works, super absorbent, it won’t stink! One of the best parts is it is ethically sourced and hand woven, sustainable, eco- friendly. You only have to wash it every 10 + yoga practices. If you are only able to practice virtually, the ridgeback® shows up for you. When the thoughts come in during your moving meditation, have the awareness, acknowledge them, then let them pass through and go back to your breath.
- Pause: Personally, this is my most consistent challenge, it comes up each and every time I reflect on the...What could I have done differently? In the moment there could be confusion, stress or reaction. Sometimes, a remedy that works is to stop, breathe, in other words, a reminder to the self to pause. Lilac 11, a women owned small business, created a brilliant delivery system packaged up beautifully and brilliantly. Their belief is, and this is what hooked me; “We believe the transitions, the in-between moments, are the opportunities for self-care and mindfulness. These moments serve as a time to prepare for what’s next and to show up as your best self.” So, boom, I bought this affordable ‘Be Well for the Moment Kit’ and I use this not once, not twice, but 'thriceatrillion' (I know not a real word) times a day. Even if for 5 seconds, it is a pause back to the ‘me’, and to remind myself of what serves best, for me.
- Have green plants: This sounds silly. Or maybe it doesn’t but simply having and watering my little plants or succulents in my house brings me lots of joy. It is a sign of life, growth, evolution - if you will. We are just like them, we need a little water, some sun, and moments of Love.
- 5 minutes of positive: This is a very small step that is not necessarily that easy for most people, and by most people I mean me. First, don’t set a big expectation or set an enormous goal of a full new year's resolution of being positive, or even a month, or a week, or even a whole day (which isn’t easy). How about set a 1 minute goal to start? This includes having your outward responses to those around you be in a positive light, and most importantly, your inward thoughts be positive. Then build from there, try 2 minutes, 3, 4, and finally, the 5 minute goal. It is doable, and it really does lighten your load. You will feel it from the inside and be smiling more both on the inside and out. Then, try and build more time, go for a full day and see how you feel. I believe it is a worthwhile habit to try and mostly feel.
Okay, hopefully these are simple, a little different, or maybe even something you may have heard a 100 times - except this time, it finally resonates. Either way, if nothing else, choose you, today, you are worth it. Let me know your thoughts, experiences and if it helped. firstname.lastname@example.org