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10 Things I’ve Learned by Meditating

There’s More to a Meditation than Meets the Eye

I’ve included meditation in my daily routine for several years now. I try to do an hour a day, sitting quietly in my living room, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, I meditate on the dance floor. Others, I meditate while doing my morning stretches. I have even been known to meditate while grocery shopping.

It doesn’t really matter where you meditate or what you’re doing. The trick is to just quiet your mind and allow. Of course, when people hear “quiet your mind” they think you mean turn your brain off. We all know that’s impossible. What it means is to let the thoughts flow without analyzing or judging. In short, you just allow.

I get a lot of ideas from my meditations including both the title and main idea for my latest NaNoWriMo. But I realized today it’s much more than that, So without further ado, here are the 10 things (or should I say 10 of the things) I’ve learned by meditating.

  1. It’s the perfect place to work on forgiving yourself.
  2.  There is no wrong way to meditate.
  3.  A To Do list isn’t just to keep track of tasks I need to do. It’s also a way to show myself how much I actually accomplish even on days I consider lazy.
  4.  You can never have too many accountability partners.
  5.  If you don’t understand a message you receive while meditating, it will come again in a different way and will continue to do so until you get the message and act on it.
  6.  You can change your entire attitude by meditating.
  7.  For cats, meditation is a group sport.
  8.  No matter how frustrating your day might be, meditation will help put things back in perspective.
  9.  You can’t beat yourself up while meditating.
  10.  If you receive a message during meditation which shows you rearranging furniture, don’t ignore it. You won’t be able to settle down, sleep or even enjoy a movie until you do.
Meditation for your Health

Even if I’m pressed for time, I’ve learned to take as little as five minutes out and just breathe. The overall reduction in stress is huge, and even more so if performed with a purring cat on your lap. Reducing stress in any way you can improves your physical, mental, emotional and energetic health. I’m heartily in agreement with those who say it should be taught in our schools. Maybe someday it will be.


My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the message I received today to swap my sofa and love seat and move the cat tree.
2. I am grateful for a week which, while not as productive as I’d like, saw me getting back on track with my To Do list, MyFitnessPal and my accountability buddy. It also saw me becoming part of a mastermind group who enjoy writing about Alternative health and just plain healthy eating.
3. I am grateful that Patches is being good about taking her meds though I try not to let myself think about how lousy she must be feeling to be so calm.
4. I am grateful for a full and interesting life where new ideas and challenges come up often. I’m reinventing myself almost every week and someday I’ll even know who I am.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, health, well-being, peace, harmony, calm in the midst of a storm, inspiration, motivation, hope, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

October 2, 2014 I love lists!!!

There’s a phrase I never thought I’d hear myself utter!

Truth be told, this is really a new love in my life. It began just shy of a year ago when I left the rat race and no longer had a fixed routine. Suddenly, I found myself needing structure, not only because it got me motivated, but because it gave me a sense of accomplishment to check a task off of one of my lists. I have several now, but one main list on which I keep track of daily and weekly chores as well as things I’m trying to accomplish over the course of time, and things I want to make part of my regular routine. For the most part, it works very well. However, one thing I didn’t count on was how much I like being away from people…a LOT! This makes things like regular gym visits very challenging, and forces me to look for alternative activities that I might actually stick to for more than two or three months.  So far, cleaning house, something I used to despise, seems to be filling some of that void.

I’m also learning, by following my lists, that it does me good to get out in the world more, as I seem to get things done better when I’m not a complete hermit. Take today for example. I had to be out of the house early to take one of my cats to the vet for a check up. By noon, I had not only been to the vet and returned, but I had emptied, cleaned and refilled both sand boxes, vacuumed the entire house (minus the ant room which I am still hesitant to enter) and scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom floors! All that, just because I got moving!

Lists: They’re not just for tasking any more!

Using lists isn’t just to keep track of what you have to do, though (and I’ll include packing lists in that category). They can also motivate in other ways. Take, for example, the gratitude list I always close my posts with. Can you really be unmotivated and miserable while counting your blessings? Lists are also good when you’re trying to make a decision. You can lists pros and cons, or things that inspire you…the possibilities, and lists, are endless!

Lists and graphics and charts, Oh, my!

Spending over 30 years playing with numbers, charts and spreadsheets does leave a mark on a person. Being no exception, my lists have evolved so that they are no longer simply checklists, but spreadsheets on which I can not only check things off, but quantify my actions. Once I have compiled enough data, I’ll be able to do some trend analysis as well. (OK, so maybe that is a bit over the top, but did I mention I love my lists?)

Something else I’ve discovered by keeping my lists, I sleep better at night! No, really! Think about it, especially the women out there. How many hours of sleep do you lose in a month because you’re making lists in your head instead of falling into a peaceful slumber? If you committed those lists to paper or computer screen, wouldn’t you rest easier? If a small amount of effort could cure your insomnia, wouldn’t you try it? C’mon! Be honest now! I challenge you to try listing for just a week or two, then report back to me via the comment section of this blog. I want to hear from you, whether or not keeping lists works for you, and if it does, I want to hear about your lists. What where they for? What did you keep track of? How did it make you feel to check things off or count your blessings or list the pros and cons of a decision you were trying to make?

But before I go off into a list bliss, I’ll close with my favorite list, my nightly gratitude list:
1. I am grateful for lists. They keep me focused and they remind me of what’s truly important.
2. I am grateful for the people who read my blog, especially when I hear that something I said inspired them.
3. I am grateful for all that I accomplished today, and the things I plan to do tomorrow.
4. I am grateful for forward progress on my copywriting class. Sometimes, it just takes a little motivation.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, harmony, motivation, inspiration, imagination, gratitude, faith, hope, health and prosperity…and of course, LISTS!!!

Namaste

September 9, 2014 Rethinking my goals

Making healthy habits sometimes means figuring out what will and won’t work for you.

I’ve been trying (and failing) for weeks, to get back into my gym routine, and am getting more than a little frustrated with myself. But today, I had an epiphany. It’s not that I don’t want to exercise, it’s that I just don’t want to be around more than a couple of people at a time! So I thought about what I could do to get myself motivated to exercise, and realized that the best place to start is my To Do list! Today, I devised a chart which can be added to, amended, varied and changed as I see fit, and have already made my first entry. I’ve also added things which can be done together or while waiting on hold, or watching tv, or anything which takes up time in my day while being basically unproductive.

Here’s my chart so far:
Activity                             Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Squats                                                 25
Planks(seconds)                                   25
Crunches                                             60
Pilates DVD (minutes)

Although the formatting isn’t coming through here, you can probably see that this format might lend itself to other daily activities as well, and, as occurred to me today as well, might simplify my daily activities and make it easier to see and stick to the ones which are either weekly or long-term projects.

Even things which have been working might require change from time to time

Interestingly, the theme for September is “Change” and suddenly, I’m being called upon to change how I’ve been doing things for the last several months. Part of that change is a result of finishing the first edit of my book, and trying to get it to people who can make suggestions and catch things I might have missed. As that project moves to a new phase, I find myself with time I need to fill with other projects which will, ultimately, help me achieve my goals.

As I allowed this to percolate, I realized that it will be easier to track how I’m doing on my goals if I have little charts, allowing me to check things off on the actual days I do them! The logical, numbers person in me sees an opportunity to create charts and metrics from this information so I can eventually see what works in the long-term! (just another case of “you can take the girl out of accounting, but you can’t take the accounting out of the girl!” At least not completely.) Of course, this means moving my To Do list from Word to Excel so I have the charting capabilities. Oy! Is it that I’m really bored, or that I need some serious motivation? Either way, the end justifies the means.

At any rate, the next week or so will definitely be one of adjustment and change. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes out!

My Gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my logical mind which becomes very useful at times.
2. I am grateful for my willingness to make changes.
3. I am grateful for the flow of ideas, whether it’s for a creative venture, or to get me more organized.
4. I am grateful for a positive start in a new direction.
5. I am grateful for abundance: ideas, motivation, inspiration, harmony, peace, joy, love, health and prosperity.

Namaste

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