Wednesday, April 30, 2014

One-Minute Meditation: Raindrop Rings on the Patio

The temperature in my town is supposed to rest around 90° all week. I'm a summer girl at heart, so I don't mind too much, but I would love for another storm or two to make their way through town—partly to quench my thirsty state, and partly just because I love the rhythmic sight and sound of a good rainfall.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

3 Little Questions That Can Transform Your Relationships

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post for Mimosa Lotus about the 3 questions relationship-seekers should ask before they dive into the dating process.

1. How do I want my ideal date/mate to treat me?

2. How am I treating myself? 

3. How can I bring these two things into alignment?

(You should really go read the full post, but those give you an overview of the thinking.)

As I thought about the post later, however, I realized that these 3 questions apply to every kind of relationship—not just the dating variety.

Want your coworkers to show you respect? Consider how you're showing respect to yourself.

Wish your spouse would be more attentive to your needs? Start attending to yourself more regularly.

Want your family to be more supportive of your ambitions? Make sure you're supporting yourself with the way you think and speak.

It's easy to fall into the trap of believing that a relationship's success or failure is determined solely by how you treat the other person and the other person treats you, but one of the biggest components is how you treat yourself.

And the good news is, you have complete control over that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Open Your Eyes

When  you look for it, you can find something wonderful in everything. Open your eyes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Zen Gardening

A couple weeks ago, two of my life coach pals were staying with me and very aptly pointed out that I have a tendency to spend too much time focusing on the future rather than being in the present. I love planning—and come from a long line of highly anxious individuals—which is the perfect combo for projecting about 80% of my thoughts into future goings-on instead of those that are happening right in front of me.

Do you spend most of your time grounded in the past, present, or future?

Cultivating mindfulness has a myriad of benefits, some of which can actually help protect your brain against mental illness. But for many of us (or is it just me?) staying present is about as easy as keeping ice cream from dripping down its cone on a summer day. Sure, it's possible, but it requires commitment.

The good news is, we're probably all practicing mindfulness already and we just don't realize it. 

As I contemplated my own forward-thinking nature, I realized (thankfully) that there are times I'm fully present in the now. When I'm gardening, I'm wholly devoted to what's happening right in front of me. I use all my senses—eyes scouting out dandelions that need to be pulled, ears tuned to the sound of my garden gloves rooting in the dirt, nose engaged by the scent of damp earth and cut grass, hands gripping my trowel to move dirt and gravel.

Who knew that weeding could be so Zen?

The more I can allow myself to approach other day-to-day tasks like I approach gardening, the closer I'll get to maximizing my mindfulness. (I'm feeling the keyboard right now as I type this, as a start.)

What opportunities in your do you see in your everyday life for grounding yourself in the present moment? And what activities already keep you in the now?