One effective way to self soothe

A wandering mind is often an anxious and unhappy mind.  Harvard mindfulness expert, Daniel Gilbert, says:

"People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy… 'Mind-wandering is an excellent predictor of people’s happiness,' Killingsworth says. 'In fact, how often our minds leave the present and where they tend to go is a better predictor of our happiness than the activities in which we are engaged.'… Time-lag analyses conducted by the researchers suggested that their subjects’ mind-wandering was generally the cause, not the consequence, of their unhappiness."

Mindfulness, tuning into the present moment, is an extremely effective self soothing technique and a worthy practice to cultivate.  Here are 5 guidelines to bring to your mindfulness practice:

1. Watch your mind for 5 minutes.  Set the timer if necessary for 5 minutes.  Then breathe.  Tune into your mind.  Watch it.  What does it do?  Where does it go?  What are its defaults?  You'll be amazed at how busy it is, how focused on the past and future it is.  Just observe without judgment.

2. Recognize that YOU are not your thoughts.  As you tune into the frequency that is your mind, you'll begin to see the stream of thoughts.  They are not who you are.  Your essence is separate from your thoughts.  You are light, essence, eternal--yes, even spiritual.  Your thoughts are like trinkets in the pocket of your mind.

3. Begin to label your thoughts. Categorize and label your thoughts for what they are - angry, fearful, funny, etc.  "There goes an angry one."...."Haha! That was a funny thought." "That was a 'I want to get more" thought."  Just notice and label what is coming up and gain clarity.  

4. Decide What is Useful.  Begin deciding on what thoughts are useful and where they lead.  Decide what you want to discard.  Ask "is this thought leading me some place I want, need or can afford to go to?  Is this a thought I want to nurture?"  Here you can literally spare yourself a week, a month, years  of potential suffering as you begin to see that thoughts are seeds that you plant and that will bear fruit eventually.  Weed out the thoughts that do not serve your life's purpose.

5.  Be Compassionate.  Mindfulness practice enables self compassion.  By cultivating mindfulness, you're soothing yourself by recognizing that all sorts of thoughts will float through your mind and that you can let them be.  The practice creates choice.  You are separate from your mind.  You can lovingly detach from mind and not believe or act on the thoughts it feeds you.  

In the comments please feel free to share your thoughts (ha!) and your experience with mindfulness practice.

#mindfulness #selfsoothe

 

Heart and mind working together

Heart and mind working together

3 Ways to Access Miracles

As a little girl, I watched Charlie (Bucket) and the Chocolate Factory again and again and again.  Gene Wilder was the perfect Willie Wonka.  His crazy curls could generate a spark and his cornflower blue eyes beamed, most surely because he had a direct line to the One who could grant all wishes, thought my little girl self.

Mr. Wonker seemed to have a secret way of gaining access to the world (the Chocolate Factory) of miracles.  What he really had was a script and a great set design that captured the imagination of millions.  

To access the miraculous, there are 3 essential realms we need to say yes to:

  1. the present moment;
  2. connection with others; 
  3. a practice of faith (over fear) 

In these realms, we participate and dance with the Universe.  Becoming a miracle magnet becomes possible.  

What miracles have you experienced in your life?  Do you notice a pattern?  Please leave a comment and let us know!

 

Present moment

"Start where you are.  This is very important.  Meditation practice is not about later when you get it all together and you're this person you really respect.  You may be the most violent person in the world-that's a fine place to start. That's a very rich place to start-juicy, smelly.  ...Just where you are-that's the place to start." ~Pema Chodron

The present moment.  

Feel it.

It's here.

It's the great equalizer because every living creature has access to it now.  

It's rich with sound, taste, smell, visual food.  

We can take refuge in the present moment, use it as our momentary resting place.  

In it we can breathe. Five breaths in, 5 breaths out.  

How do you access and relate to the present moment?  Please let us know in the comments.