Meditation for Monday, February 21, 2011

Your Future Is In Your Hands

You alone hold the power to change your life or maintain it.

Taking responsibility of our lives can be, at times, difficult.  As youngsters, the only responsibility most of us had was homework, keeping our room clean and the chores our parents delegated to us.  Then we enter high school or college as young adults.  The world is starting to look different and we are thinking, most often for the first time, about the future.

I didn’t follow the path my parents had hoped.  Somewhere around the age of fourteen, the blame game started.  My life sucked and it was everyone else’s fault.  I didn’t realize that if I followed the rules, got good grades and stayed in school that my future would be wondrous.  I partially realized this in my twenties.  But, I didn’t fully realize this until less that three years ago.  Since then, I am opening doors of wondrous opportunity and finally understanding that while I have to live life on life’s terms, I control my destiny.

An example of this is someone in a bad marriage, as I once was.  I stayed in that marriage far beyond the realm of reconciliation.  I used excuses like, ‘but, I have nowhere to go’ and ‘but, what about the kids’.  The truth was, the thought of leaving terrified me.  There is a saying that everything after but is bullshit.  ‘I should go back to school, but…’

Practice I statements and leave out the buts.
You’re going to feel like saying ‘but’ after your statement.  Stop yourself.  I don’t care if you have to physically grab your tongue and hold it.  Just make the statement.  Let it settle.  Then say the next statement.

I should go back to school. I will go back to school.
I should join that pottery class.  I will join that pottery class.
I should tell my spouse I am unhappy.  I will tell my spouse I am unhappy.
I should ask for a raise.  I will ask for a raise.
I should take a day off.  I will take a day off.

Sure, stepping out of the comfort zone is down right terrifying!  When we do things that are out of our comfort zone we strengthen our self-worth and confidence.

Meditation for the day: I alone hold the key to my future.

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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.

Friends Are Important

Meditation for Saturday, February 19, 2011

With all of the errands, housework, deadlines, and other tasks that fill our day, sometimes we get wrapped up in ourselves.  Chilling out for an hour here and there isn’t going to hurt anyone or anything.  Chilling out with friends makes life fun, relaxing, and at times, rejuvenating.

Spending time with friends helps us grow.

Whether we are laughing over the latest blurbs from our toddlers mouths or gasping at the newest gossip, spending times with friends keeps us grounded and helps us grow.

I have a few close friends.  When I get off the phone with a friend, or I am on the way home from a coffee night, I see things in a whole new perspective.  Sometimes we dump on each other, but we always do our best to find the humor in situations and we wind up laughing over events going on in our lives.

When we discuss our problems or bounce ideas off of someone we trust, we get a completely different view-point.  A lot of the time we are so encased in the dilemma or idea in our path, we rarely are able to think outside the box.

And there are times when we just need to sit and chat about the latest book we read, television show we watched or yoga class we attended. We may even need to let off some steam about a co-worker we fail to get along with.

That’s okay. It is important to have friends we trust in to tell all of the good stuff and the not so good.

Meditation: Spending time with my friends helps me to realize my potential.

Eat Right – Feel Right

Meditation for Friday, February 18, 2011

They say a healthy body equals a healthy mind.  Or was that a healthy mind equals a healthy body?  It goes both ways.  The healthier you eat, the better you feel.

Now, I am not telling you to turn into a rabbit and only eat salads and veggies.  Eating only one of the food groups is not good for you either.  It is important to eat a balance of protein, carbs and fats.  Yes!  Fats!

Not so fast there, speed.  Eating heart healthy fats doesn’t mean hitting your favorite fast food joint and chowing down on the latest burger.

Some foods with healthy fats are: Walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds, fish (not fish sticks), papaya and cantaloupe.

Be sure to get in a serving or two of veggies as well.  Veggies contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients.  You can find any food pyramid on the internet to tell you how much of what to eat in a day. Dark leafy greens, yellow squash and carrots are a few of the great veggies that can help eat healthy.

Yes, it is difficult to get in all of the food groups.  But if you eat a balanced diet of lean protein, vegetables and carbs you’ll be giving your body the nutrients it needs.

As far as snacks go, try to cut back on junk food.  Dried fruit, veggie crisps and frozen whole fruit bars are great healthy snacks.

If you are chocolate freak, try an ounce of dark chocolate here and there to curb your craving or a low fat frozen chocolate treat.  Dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate because it has more cocoa in it and less sugar.  Not to mention the antioxidants it contains.

Drink 100% fruit juice or water instead of soda.  If you aren’t a fan of water, they have little flavor packets in the drink aisle at the grocery store.  Dump one in, shake well and enjoy!

Eating healthy leads to feeling healthy and when we feel healthy we feel happy.

Daily meditation:  I put good things in my body so that I can feel good inside and out.

Get Rid Of The Junk

If you are anything like me, you have too much crap.  Too many coupons lying around that you’ll never use, too many magazines that you’ve already read (but might need to refer to later for useful tips) and too many clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in six months or will never wear.

Get rid of all of the junk cluttering up your home, your car and anywhere else you keep it.  Clean up your space, clean up your mind.

I’m sure you’ve done the deep, spring clean on the house once or twice a year.  That time is coming up again.  Did you ever notice how much more relaxed you feel when you plop down on your fresh sofa or favorite chair and gaze at your clean home?  You feel peaceful, relaxed, maybe even energized.

It’s funny how a clean, clutter free home coincides with a clean, clutter free mind.  And a clean, clutter free mind helps you focus.   You know where everything is now.  You have put it in its proper place.  When you don’t have to rip the house or apartment to shreds looking for keys or a paper you feel more relaxed.

Where are the keys?  Oh, they are on the key hook.  Easy.

Where is that credit card statement? Right! It’s in the file drawer.  Simple.

If you have clothes you don’t or won’t wear, but can’t bear to throw them away, donate them.  You’ll be helping out a lot of people and feel good about yourself.

If you’ve got way too many magazines lying around that you’ve read but (gasp!) can’t stomach throwing in the trash, donate them to your local gym.  Better yet, you can donate them to troops overseas.  There is a site called Noanie.com with information on how to get started on donating magazines.

When we free up our living space, we free up our mind space.

Meditation for the day:  I un-clutter my space so that I may un-clutter my mind.

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.

Love Thyself

We love our partners, our children, certain foods and animals. But do we love ourselves? These days we are so wrapped up in taking care of everyone and everything else, we often forget that we need care, too.

Take a long bath, get a manicure or buy that book you have been itching to read. Self care is important. If we do not care for ourselves, our health suffers and then we cannot care for those we love.

If you are down on yourself a lot, sit in a quiet room (maybe even light your favorite scented candle) and think positive affirmations. Thoughts like, ‘I deserve happiness’ and ‘I am awesome’ are simple chants but they help when we need that little jolt of self-love.

Having no love for yourself makes it difficult for us to have true love for others.  There are days when I put a lot of things before me, neglecting my need for self-love, and those are the days that I do poorly on projects in work.

Going for a walk in the afternoon (or whenever you can manage it) is a way to give love to yourself.  Alone with your thoughts and ideas you can come back to whatever you were doing prior with a fresh outlook.

So today make it a point to love yourself!

Affirmation for the day: I am worthy of love and love myself completely.