Category Archives: Appreciation

Silence and Meditation: 24 Ways to Do It

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Yesterday we admitted that one of the reasons we don’t have a regular meditation practice is because we’re afraid it may be painful–sitting in one twisted position for hours (days!) on end…! We talked about several different types of meditation and that one of them might be just the ticket for you.

I also wanted to draw your attention to the fact that there are plenty of ways to meditate, to “sit” in silence, that don’t require sitting in one position for a long time.

Here are some suggestions, 24 to be exact:

Taking a slow walk – being aware of the sights, sounds, aromas…

Observing nature – closely watching squirrels, birds, ants, bees…

Moving your body – dance, walking, yoga, gentle exercise…

Doodling – making random marks or shapes;

Studying closely a favorite photograph – of loved ones, a landscape, flowers…

Repetitive activity – gardening, cleaning, folding laundry, kneading dough…

Making sounds – hum one or two notes, play with wind chimes, experiment with pots and pans and empty bottles…

Still water – fill a bowl with water and make ripples, waves, splashes, or gazing into the stillness…

Running water – let water run through your fingers or dangle your feet in a pond or in your bathtub!

Gazing into a flame – a candle flame, flames in a fireplace or fire pit

Gratefulness – counting your blessings instead of your troubles

Laughing – yes, this is a valid meditation technique AS WELL AS yoga technique! Even if you aren’t in a good mood or feel stupid laughing at nothing, force yourself to do it anyway. Soon, you’ll be laughing on your own. If you need a boost to get started, there are YouTube videos of people laughing.

Focus on a peaceful image – water gently lapping on a beach, a burbling brook, a field of flowers swaying in a playful breeze, a beautiful spring day, a peaceful snowy evening…

Memory – remembering and re-living a happy event: the holidays with your loved ones, a special vacation, the birth of a baby…

Listening to music – classical music, sacred music, uplifting music…

Guided meditations – many, many choices on YouTube

Breath – focusing on your breathing, counting your breaths, breathing deeply and slowly…

Rhythmic playing – gently bouncing a ball, easy tossing and catching a ball by yourself, looking through a kaleidoscope…

Letting go – letting your body totally relax, feeling as if you’re melting into the chair or floor or bed…

Daydreaming – softening your focus and gazing out the window

Holding an object – rosary beads, smooth stone, special object…

Rocking – by yourself or with a loved one in a rocking chair, standing and shifting from foot to foot…

Human contact – hug yourself, hug a loved, hold a friend’s hand…

Ponder – an inspiring thought, a sacred passage, something a friend or loved one said that has resonated with you.

 

The point is that there isn’t only one right way to meditate…although the one right method is the one that works best for you (there can be more than one right method for you).

Choose several of these types because you may find that when you’re in certain moods that some methods work better than others for you.

Experiment and have fun with this! Then commit to doing some type of meditation every day; you’ll be very glad you did!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Silence and Meditation: 12 Benefits

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We’ve talked several times about sitting in silent meditation and contemplation.

Silent meditation forms in you a wide and deep channel for Love, through which you live a soul-prospering life.

Here is a reminder of the many benefits of a regular practice of this:

~Centering and grounding – let go and release the drama in your life; the drama you create as well of that belonging to others;

~Understand and feel your interconnectedness to the world – you are not alone;

~Align and connect with the Divine within – there is Something Out There that’s far bigger than you, me, the world, the universe…;

~Relaxing – reduces tension and blood pressure;

~Calming – reduces insomnia and increases restorative sleep;

~Boost neuroplasticity – a fancy word for your brain growing new cells and making new connections between neurons, which increases the health and strength of your brain;

~Clears your mind – you can think clearer, more creatively, see connections and opportunities, thus enabling you to make better decisions;

~Peaceful heart and spirit – lessen the likelihood of your emotions getting the better of you;

~Gratitude – aiding you in noticing the gifts, beauty, and happy surprises of Life;

~Increases well-being – you come to understand Life and your Mission on a deeper level;

~Helpfulness – you are more likely to reach out a helping hand to others;

~Joy, contentment, happiness – you come to understand that you are valuable and valued, which is the foundation of true self-esteem and self-worth.

 

You can do it! Go for it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

A few articles about the benefits of silence and meditation:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/silence-brain-benefits_us_56d83967e4b0000de4037004

http://www.chopra.com/articles/why-meditate-0#sm.00019ivvt9hske44xba2adinb7g3e

http://www.lifehack.org/377243/science-says-silence-much-more-important-our-brains-than-thought

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246503

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/20-ways-sitting-silence-can-completely-transform-your-life/

Father’s Day 2017: Thank You!

 

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Thank you to all the men who are giving their best every day and living the true meaning of the words Father, Daddy, Grandpa, Dad, Pop-Pop….

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Happy Father’s Day!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Attitudes and Expectations: Out of the Mouths of Babes

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Recently I read the newest book by Anne Lamont called Hallelujah Anyway where she talks of a number of things she’s discovered over the years.

The part that I found intriguing was where she talked about her young grandson and his habit of saying ever morning that today was going to be the best day ever. She then talked of a time when he spent the night and in the middle of it he awoke because of an intense nightmare. Naturally, Ann stayed with him, calming him until he was able to fall asleep. The next morning when he woke up, she expected him to be subdued; he had been very upset because of the nightmare and she thought he’d still be feeling the after effects. To her surprise, he bounded out of bed saying, “Today’s going to be the best day ever!”

Out of the mouths of babes, as they say….

We can all take a lesson from Ann Lamont’s grandson: shake off the nightmares and expect that today’s going to be the best day ever!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

 

Attitudes and Expectations: Expect To…

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Expect to enjoy yourself as you go for your dreams;

Expect to meet interesting people along the way as you go for your dreams;

Expect to meet helpful people who’ll encourage you as you go for your dreams;

Expect to learn some very interesting things about yourself as you go for your dreams;

Expect to find talents, abilities, and gifts inside yourself that you had no idea you had, as you go for your dreams;

Expect to do, see, and experience things you never thought possible as you go for your dreams;

Expect to be excited and energized as you go for your dreams;

Expect to have a peaceful contented mind as you go for your dreams;

Expect to build a life that matters , that makes a difference, as you go for your dreams;

Expect to love Life as you go for your dreams;

Expect to fall in love with yourself as you go for your dreams;

Go for it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Attitude and Expectancy: Is Yours Truly Positive?

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I’m sure you know it’s important to have a positive attitude. Not only does this make your path to your dreams easier and more pleasant, but studies have shown that optimistic people reap physical, mental, and emotional benefits as well.

How positive is your attitude, though?

It’s easy to be upbeat when everything is going well. But if the surface gets scratched or dinged just a little bit, do your good spirits quickly deflate like punctured tire?

If so, then I encourage you to take a close look at your expectancy. It can be quite a surprise to discover what you truly expect. You may find that although you say you believe things will turn around for you, when you look closely at what you’re actually expecting, you may be shocked to find that you really don’t think things will turn out well at all.

One quick way to get a read on your expectancy is to think about what’s your state of mind first thing in the morning or the last thing at night? How do you approach new tasks or situations? If you find any of the following–even just a little bit–then you need to take a closer look at your expectations:

~Waking up with dread;

~Going to bed mentally exhausted;

~Reluctant or hesitant to try new things;

~Anxiety when the boss assigns you to a task you’ve never done;

~Procrastinating, especially when faced with something new….

 

As you go through your days this week, stay mindful of whether you’re reluctant, tired, anxious or dragging your feet, or if you’re excited, energetic, and eager to get started. If you aren’t enthused, then do a little bit of digging to find out what’s the thought–the assumption or expectation–that’s at the core. Keep track of what you discover so that you can find a pattern or the common thread. This will help you in overcoming and resetting your expectations.

I know this sounds like a lot and perhaps you’re feeling a little nervous about this topic. Don’t worry; we’re going to be talking about attitude and expectations this whole week. In fact, tomorrow I have a YouTube video to share with you that I think you’ll find helpful.

You can do this; I believe in you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Start the Week Out Right: Put on a Fresh New Attitude

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As we start the new week, it isn’t uncommon for us to look ahead in reluctance to what’s in store. Sure, we may be excited about an upcoming event or looking forward to visiting with loved ones and friends, but there can also be that undercurrent of dread.

It’s habitual so it’s easy to slip into this mindset.

This week, let’s work on this habitual attitude of disbelief that things really will get better, in spite of our desires and our efforts toward improvement.  It’s this disbelief that’s underlying the reluctance or dread that’s coloring our thoughts and emotions as we prepare for the week.

Put on a fresh new attitude instead. You may have to ease into it, but find something that gives you joy and a feeling of eager anticipation for the week. Focus on this; hold onto it. Let it infuse your mind and spirit. This’ll help you start the week off right.

Yesterday, we thought about our triggers that spoil our grateful spirit and thankful hearts and today I encourage us to think about what are the triggers that cause us to not feel hopeful and excited about the upcoming week. Also think about what you can do about this.

We’ll be talking about attitudes, expectancy, belief, hope, and the like this week. Let me know if you have any questions you’d like addressed and I’ll do my best to help you find answers.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren