Just Live Mindfully

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Category: Meditation

The Voices in Your Head

Do you ever feel like you have voices in your head?  Like someone marching around with a megaphone saying things over and over again?  I do.  And no, I’m not crazy.  And neither are you!

I relate it to the angel and the devil on our shoulders.  The personalities living inside of our head that have a 3-way conversation with us about this or that, what decisions to make and what actions to decide on.  Whether you see it this way or as the person with the megaphone, you need to start listening.

These voices can either help us or hurt us.  They can cause us to make wild choices about which path to take or can make us live a life that’s stagnant.  But if we’re not listening, like really listening, we might not be taking their advice like we should.

Ok, are you still with me?  Let’s talk about how you can tune in and start paying attention to these voices.  Let me given you a few examples of how this whole thing should work.

Example 1:. It’s Friday night and your friends really want you to go out after work.  Part of you wants to but the other part of you wants to go home because you’ve got the early morning yoga class.  One voice [the angel] says to go home, get some rest and be ready for yoga in the morning.  The other voice [the devil] says you need to go out for a few drinks with your friends.  What do you do?

Example 2:  You’re on your commute to work and listening to your favorite radio station, a podcast or meditation mantra.  While that’s playing in the background, you suddenly get this urge to travel to a place you’ve never been.  You start to have this internal conversation.  You have no idea why you feel drawn to this place, but in your mind you go back and forth – do I stay or do I go.  Do you listen to the voice and figure out what it means or do you ignore it?

These are just a few examples that I’ve experienced and it took me awhile before I really started to listen.  How did I get there?  Meditation, self-care and mindful practices.  I just took 10 minutes a day to start and it has been a life changing!  I set aside just 10 minutes to be with me, myself and I.  I sat quietly, listened to music or day dreamed and things just came to me.  It even happens while I’m working out sometimes.  Only you can find the right place for you for those 10 minutes a day.

These voices can help lead you down a path that you never knew was open to you.  It definitely did for me.  I challenge you to start opening your mind more and paying attention to those little voices.  I’d love to hear what comes out for you!  

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Breakfast with Buddha

I just finished reading a book and it had a very strong reminder for me.  The book is Breakfast with Buddha.  If you’ve read it, I want to hear your thoughts so make sure you comment below.  The book is about a man named Otto who’s parents died suddenly.  Otto has to travel halfway across the country to settle the estate and his sister asks him to bring a monk along for the ride.  Now, Otto has never met this monk and in the beginning, doesn’t necessarily believe in everything the monk stands for.  Along the journey, Otto tries to show the monk a little bit of the American lifestyle – tourist spots, the beautiful scenery and of course, food.  A lot of this book is how tasty food is or can be.  On the other side, the monk also tries to show Otto a bit about his practices.  They have to stop along the route at speaking engagements and while Otto resists learning, he comes around.  In the end, Otto learns a lot and realizes he needs to look at life differently.  Very differently.

The book had a very strong message for me.  And no, it wasn’t about practicing religion or becoming a buddhist.  The message for me was about gratitude.  That word is pretty big.  And most people, including myself, don’t take time to actually think about being grateful.  Think of the food you ate today.  Was it good?  Did it have flavor?  Do you even remember what you ate?  Were you grateful for the meal?  I remember what I ate, but. I definitely can’t say I took the time to be grateful for being able to buy breakfast and lunch and be fed.  Let’s think of it another way.

Most of us have cell phones.  Smart phones, at that.  We use them throughout the day, off and on, and some of us use them more than others.  When they stop working, we freak out!  The volume doesn’t work, the screen is cracked and your favorite app doesn’t open.  Ok, here’s the deal.  Why do we freak out?  This is a material thing and in all honesty, it’s not a priority.  Think of our parents or grandparents.  They didn’t have cell phones and they got by just fine.  I like to call this “First World Problems”…you may have heard of this phrase.  Do you use it?  I use it jokingly but it’s true.  This is a true problem.

Instead of thinking of all the bad or negative things that happen, let’s try to think of it differently.  With your food, savor every bite.  Experience all the flavors by eating slow and enjoying it.  But not too much.  With your modern day life, be grateful that you can have a smart phone.  Some people can’t even afford such a luxury.  With your friends and family, be present and live in the moment.  Enjoy your time with them.  Laugh a little.

My challenge to you is to start thinking of at least one thing to be grateful for each day and increase over time.  Start paying attention to the world around you – the colors, the smells, the senses on your skin.  And say thank you…a lot!  Start tonight!  Comment below with a moment of gratitude from today.  I’ll start…

Wow…What a Week…

Wow!  What a week, right?  Yea, it’s been a crazy one for me and it’s only Tuesday!  I honestly don’t think my emotions can’t handle anymore.  It all exploded after my workout tonight.

This is what I looked like.  Not pretty right?  But honestly, who cares.  I totally broke down.  I’m was done.  Exhausted – mentally,  physically and emotionally.

First, I’ve got a TON going on at my full time job.  I’m in the middle of my normal monthly project and then an even bigger project gets thrown in.  I mean, it’s one where you’d have to drop everything if you got an email.  This one…mental stress.

Then, in the wake of what happened in Las Vegas, I was literally torn apart.  No, I didn’t know anyone attending the concert, but honestly I don’t think that matters.  The fact that this event even took place is devastating for anyone.  I’ve been to Las Vegas and loved it.  I’ve stayed at Mandalay Bay before.  I’ve been to outdoor concerts.  I have never had something this awful happen in my life.  However, the fact that it CAN happen, scares the crap out of me.  Over the past few days so many questions have been running through my mind (and I’m sure yours too) but some of them I can’t answer.  All I can do is tell my loved ones how much I love them and give them all hugs next time I see them.  This one…emotional stress.

Lastly, tonight’s workout was a challenging one.  It was the last straw, if you will.  Tonight we (my husband/accountability partner/workout buddy) did a 45 minute kickboxing workout.  It’s one of my favorites because the music gets you amped, the moves are fun to do because they make you feel like a true fighter and at the end, you’re sweating buckets.  It might not be the workout for everyone, but it’s the workout for me.  There are a few tracks that literally leave you breathless.  Like crazy breathing.  Out your ears breathing.  Whenever I do this workout, it makes me think back to 5 years ago when I first started my journey.  Back then, I would have never been able to get through this workout without pausing the DVD.  This one was not only physical stress but it was emotional stress too.

So what do I do with all this stress?  Well, I could do a few things:

•  I could cry my eyes out every day.

•  I could bottle it up and just harbor all that energy.

•   I could decide not to leave my house because it’s too scary of world out.

•   I could go see someone and get things off my chest.

Granted, I do the first one maybe once a month but that’s not so fun.  Harboring energy, whether good or bad energy is never a good thing so I think I’ll pass on that one.  Leaving my house is just not an option.  But, I can get help.  And listen, it’s not a bad thing to ask for help.  It might feel like you’re failing, but trust me…you’re not.  Getting help is one of the best things you can do for yourself because it’s part of self-care.  There are many, many people out there that swear by therapy because you’re getting feedback from unbiased parties.  It can be as simple as that.

So has your week been stressful like mine?  If so, how are you handling it?  Stress management can happen in a variety of ways and I love to hear what you’re doing to get through it.  Leave me a comment and share!  You  just might be helping someone else in the process.

 

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