Monday, January 14, 2013

Meditation Monday: Stress Sans Frosting

So, um, how is all that Happy New Year enthusiasm holding up?   Maybe it's just me but mid-January is about the time when the realities of life threaten to bring a dense fog over ambitious resolutions.

For those of us in the mode of moving away from using food and alcohol as vices, there's a special little something that happens.  You remember why that cupcake tastes extra good after the little terrors kids are asleep or why drinking during the week is so much more helpful than saving it for the weekend.

Take away the chocolate and chardonnay and now you've just gotta deal with the "stuff."  Stress!  Ugh!

Very recently I had this epiphany that diving face first into the crapola du jour is a good thing.  Not only for me but as a model for my children.  I'd really hate for them to think that to get through hard times, you just cover up all the bad feelings with frosting.   

I have a justified fear that my son will one day put down his pencil after a particularly hard spelling test and announce with exasperation, "Wow, I need a drink!"

For me personally, it's more about awareness vs. extremes.   My goal right now is to be intentional in my enjoyment as well as in how I deal with my stress.

One thing that helps a lot is meditation.  I especially love the quick exercises that can be done throughout the day.

Here are two of my favorites:

Square Breathing.   Breathe in for four slow counts (1....2....3....4).    Hold the breath for four slow counts (1....2....3....4).    Breathe out for four slow counts (1....2....3....4).   Hold for four slow counts (1....2....3....4).    Do this cycle several times until the urge to scream goes away.    Keep it calm and slow.   If you find yourself breathing in and out too quickly, count to eight.    Hyperventilating and passing out is not the goal.    No blue people.

Heart Glow.     Close your eyes.   Take slow, deep, calm breaths.    As you breathe in, imagine a little glow in your chest near your heart.    Like a pilot light or the flame of a match.   As you breathe out, picture the light getting bigger.    As it grows, imagine feelings of peace and happiness also growing.    Keep breathing as the light and happiness fills your whole body.   Then, the glow completely surrounds you.   Finally, imagine that you are a beacon of light and happiness radiating out into the world.    Rinse.    Repeat.

Once we are in a more centered, relaxed place it's a lot easier to see what we are really feeling.  From there we can prioritize our actions in a much healthier way, whatever that means to us individually.

It's all good...

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcoming 2013 with an Abundance Mindset

Last night I had family and friends at my house for a wild bash mild overindulgence of merriment.

(Side note: if you've never played the dice game "Left Center Right" you have no idea what you are missing. Crazy fun.) 

There was a consistent theme that I heard at the party which was also echoed all over Facebook today.  It's that 2012 (and 2011) sucked for a lot of people. 

At the same time, there is incredible hope.  Everyone is so open and ready for the page to turn.  There is a palpable sense that the next chapter is going to be good.  Really good.

Great things are happening for all of us.  While there may be a lot in the world to fear, hate, and worry about -- there is also room for unlimited faith, positivity and gratitude. 

The universe is an abundant place; 2013 is the perfect time to fully welcome that abundance.

Here's to focusing on health, happiness, and prosperity. 



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