Meditation for Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Learn Something New

As the days whisk by and we’re caught up in all of the tedious moments of meal planning, check writing and that fun task of laundry that seems to procreate all by itself (who wears eight socks in two days?) we start to feel like we are in a dirt encrusted rut that Luke Skywalker couldn’t pull us out of.

Learning something new will add excitement to your life.  It helps build self-esteem, enhances your character, and helps you make new friends.  Plus, it gives you something to talk about to your children and current friends other than crusty Cheerios and Dr. Phil.

There is one rule to learning something new. Make sure it is something that you want to learn.  Taking a jujitsu class is great if you want to learn how to better protect yourself in close combat.  But, if you are only taking a jujitsu class to impress the guy down the street, chances are the warm, fuzzy feeling you had in week one will feel like a crampy ‘this sucks’ feeling by week three.

If you aren’t sure what you’d like to learn about or brush up on, make a list of all the things you enjoy.  After you make your list, circle three that you like the most.  Then go online or go to the library and search for classes or seminars in your area on the interests you’ve circled.  Some may cost money and some are free.  If you feel it is worth a few dollars, treat yourself.

There is a great website called, meetup.com that has a slew of different groups, from knitting to motorcycle riding.  You’ll meet people with similar interests and maybe even make some new friends.

Thought for the day:  Learning new things increases my happiness and potential.

Let Bygones Be Bygones

Meditation For Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When we are young we learn about disappointment, hurt and anger.  As we grow most of us learn tools to handle these pains and letdowns.  Those of us who do not learn effective coping tools wind up holding onto resentments that hurt our own well-being.  Holding onto pain from the past hurts our future.

Emotional pain sticks with us longer than physical pain.  If we fall down and skin a knee, we may cry for a moment, but we get up, brush it off and keep on trekking.  However, emotional pain burrows inside of us.  We sit and we dwell and we think of ways to get even or we manifest misdeeds done unto us, letting it damage us continually until we are full of hate.

In the movie American History X, Edward Furlong’s character says, “Hate is baggage.  Life’s too short to be ticked off all the time.”  When I heard that line a light bulb went off in my head. He used a stronger word.. but you get the point.

When we are angry at others, or full of hate, the only ones we hurt are ourselves.  Most of the people we are angry at long forget that we were ever mad at them in the first place.  Others never knew that they had upset us or maybe they did and didn’t care.

So there we sit, in our dimly lit room, or driving our car, stewing over the injustices done to us by careless people.

Get over it.  When you keep your anger, you give away your power.  You are letting the actions or words of others dictate your well-being.  Why would you want to give someone else that kind of control?

If you are so upset that you can’t see straight, write it down, scream at the wall or punch a pillow.  If you feel you really must let the person know how upset you are, write it down first.  It is important that you do this so that you can read it over a few times and let the situation sink in a little.  Often, we realize we are overreacting and wind up tearing the paper up and never saying anything.

If you feel you must say something, it is important that you get it in your head in a way that will be effective in communicating why you are upset.  Calling someone names and rehashing things that have long been talked about can lead to an argument and more resentment.

Meditation for the day:  Letting go of resentment and anger kindles my wellbeing.

Sometimes We Need To Be Lazy

Meditation for Sunday, February 20, 2011

Being lazy has always been frowned upon.  We call unmotivated people lazy, children who do not excel in school lazy and the unemployed lazy for not pounding the pavement 24/7 looking for a job.  It is painful looking for work when jobs are so scarce.

For those of us with plates so full the tasks are spilling out over the sides, being lazy is a great idea once in a while.

When I say, “be lazy”, I do not mean, “do nothing.” I mean, slow down.

When we are overrun with errands, meetings, exercise, and what to make the kids for lunch on a daily basis, tasks start to blur together.   Before we know it, we open our carefully packed lunch to find a pb&j with the crusts cut off.  Your child is sitting in school scratching her head because she knows that you know she hates veggie wraps.

Being lazy helps us to regroup and realize our priorities.

Rome was not created in one day.  Cliché, I know, but it hits the point home (I’m hoping).

Take your time.  There are a lot of things in life that can wait until you get a few spare moments to tackle.

In the morning, quickly go through your day.  You can do this in your head or on paper.  Check off the things that need immediate attention.  Leave the items that can wait unchecked.  Be honest with yourself.   If it is Tuesday and you have a meeting, the kids have violin practice and the dog has to get to the vet, do you really need to vacuum the entire house? The fuzzballs can wait.

Realization for the day: Being lazy once in a while is okay when we focus on the big picture.

Gratitude

The days blur by as our to-do lists seem to grow in size like water infested sponges.  Then life happens.  An unexpected illness, a home repair or maybe your car dies when you are on your way home from work.  I can totally relate to this last one because that is what happened to me yesterday.

 As I sat in the driver seat, cursing everything imaginable with my ‘why me’ attitude, I realized that I was being kind of bitchy.  I mean, there are people who are less fortunate.  There are people who are unemployed and wish they were broke down at work.  Yet, there I was sitting in my car (which has fared me well so far) complaining to my girlfriend on the phone about all the injustice of the day while I waited for the tow truck.

 They say when life hands you lemons to make lemonade, which, I find quite corny.  But I get it now.  Make the best of your situation.  Know that whatever life throws at you, you can handle it.  If you feel the need to drop to your knees and scream at the sky, go for it.  After your brief collapse get back up and figure out how to make it work.

 I made a gratitude list last night.  I listed all of the things I was grateful for.  Some of the things on my list were: my career, money in the bank, AAA, friends and coffee.  Make your own list.  You’ll realize that things are going to be okay and you have a lot in your life that you may take for granted sometimes.     

 Meditation for the day:  I am grateful for the little things in life.

Daily Meditation for February 13, 2011

Get Rid Of Fear

Emerson said: “Do the thing you fear, and death of fear is certain.”

There are a lot of different emotions that fall into the category fear.  Jealousy, insecurity and selfishness are just a few.  When we are fearful, we give away our power.  Fear rears its ugly head when we say, “I can’t” or “But” or “What if”.  Fear stays in us when we are in a hopeless situation and remain because we are afraid of failure or change.

Talk to your partner about that issue, ask your boss for that raise or take flying lessons.  Once we get past the fear, there is nothing more to be afraid of.  Most often, we say, “that wasn’t so bad. I wonder what I was so afraid of?”

Meditation for the day: Letting go of fear builds my character.

Daily Meditation for February 12, 2011

Feel Beautiful On The Inside

These days the world is overrun with plastic surgery, flashy cars, expensive clothes and the list goes on.  We always strive to look beautiful.  But do we feel beautiful?

You can get all the plastic surgery you want to give yourself the ideal image.  But if you still feel empty inside at the end of the day, all of the plastic surgery and fancy clothes is a waste of time and money.  If you always want what someone else has or want to look like someone else, there is something missing inside of you.

Today meditate on who you are, not what you are.  What are your ideals?  Where are your boundaries?  If you strip away everything, is your inner core solid?

Feel beautiful in all of your little imperfections.  Those imperfections are what complete you and make you unique!

Meditation for the day: I am a beautiful human being and love who I am.

You Have What It Takes To Meditate

We as women stress out over the tiniest things because it is in our genetic make-up to take care of everyone and everything.  Kids, work, mates, money, exercise and the list goes on of all the things in our lives that stress us out.  And let’s add one more thing… ourselves!  Meditation can help us through these trying times of overreaction.

If you can sit quietly for ten minutes then you have what it takes to meditate.

There really is no big secret to meditating.  Breathing and having a peaceful focal point, which often times is your breathing, are really the only two things that are essential to meditating successfully.

The first and foremost step to meditation is breathing.  Once you learn how to focus on your breath you are well on your way to meditating.  So you’re thinking, ‘ well I already know how to breathe’. Well, yes, but this is a more focused breathing.  Try to imagine your breath as a physical entity.  You inhale the fresh air through your nose while you suck in your abdomen and then you push the bad air out of your mouth as you slowly relax your muscles.

You can meditate in your home.

Meditating at home is one of the easiest places to meditate.  Just knowing you are in a  familiar place can be relaxing.  Try to give yourself a good amount of time.  For some ten minutes works; others might need up to an hour.  If you can’t make a meditation room (and really – how many of us can?) then just find the most relaxing place in your home.  Sit in a relaxed position.  Close your eyes and inhale through your nose (good in!) and then exhale through your mouth (bad out!).  If your mind starts to wander take it back to the breath.  You cannot think about more than one thing simultaneously.  So if you are concentrating on your breathing there is nothing going on in that already over loaded brain of yours.

You can meditate outside.

Meditating outside in a park or even on your front porch or stoop in the quiet time of the day is another great place to meditate.  The noises of nature; chirping birds, the wind rustling the trees and perhaps even a close by trickling of water, are great accents to go along with your breathing.  If sitting on the grass makes you uncomfortable then go for a walk.  Still, be sure to focus on your breath while your senses take in the sights and sounds of the outdoors.  Feeling the wind brush your skin is an added bonus.

You can meditate in your car.

This is a tricky one.  However, focusing on your breathing and finding a happy space in your head while stuck in traffic is a good way to get through your commute without wanting to repeatedly bang your head on the steering wheel!   Instead of turning on the talk radio or cranking the tunes (which I am guilty of often) try being in the quiet with your breathing for .. yep!  Ten minutes!  Then put your radio on.

You can even meditate at work.

It’s true!  This is probably one of the top places we all need to learn to meditate.  When deadlines are crashing in on you and your boss won’t stop hitting the intercom button it is great to know how to focus on your breathing and getting to that happy place.  If you have to step away from your desk so be it.  You’ll collect yourself and be more productive when you get back to that intercom.

So remember.  As long as you can find yourself a happy place in the midst of the insanity of your day-to-day, and you can focus on your breathing then you have what it takes to meditate.