No matter what the weather is where you are–cold, rainy, foggy, hot, muggy, or picture-perfect–get outside today!
Get outside ESPECIALLY to meditate-sit in silence-pray-contemplate.
There is something very simple, very peaceful, and very profound about sitting outside. Many studies have proven the health and well-being benefits of getting outside and reconnecting with Mother Nature.
You don’t have to do anything big or spectacular to get the benefits. No need to move to the country so you can live off the land. You can still get the benefits by sitting on your fire escape in the middle of the city and noticing and absorbing the birds and other animals, the sky, the weather conditions that day.
Make this a regular part of your week, and, if possible, figure out a way to spend a few minutes every day outside contemplating natural world around you.
Wouldst make thy life go fair and square?
Thou must not for the past feel care;
Whatever thy loss, thou must not mourn;
Must ever act as if new-born.
What each day wants of thee, that ask;
What each day tells thee, that make thy task;
With pride thine own performance viewing,
With heart to admire another’s doing;
Above all, hate no human being,
And all the future leave to the All-Seeing.
We know we need to let go, to forgive; most of all we know we need to move on.
How do we do that when the injustice, the hurt, the humiliation, the pain, the loss is still so fresh and sharp, even though the original incident happened years ago?
The best, most effective way is to stop looking at the past and the thing that happened. Instead, look to the future.
But what if we can’t tear your focus away from the past; what if the future has no joy or hope?
The solution is to build a better image of the future, something we can look forward to. If we can’t do this then that means we’ve built up a much stronger, more compelling image of the past than we have of the future.
Focus on you. Focus on where you are headed. Focus on your dreams. If this is too much and you can’t do it, then focus on the next best step you can take in the next moment, the next hour, the next part of the day. Keep focusing on this–taking the next best step. Focus on it minute by minute.
Be relentless about this focus and you will find one day that you have dropped the heavy baggage from the past–the injustices and insults, the hurts and humiliations, the pain and pessimism.
Give it a try and let me know how it’s working out for you. You can do it!
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!
When you think of meditation, you’re probably like me and imagine you’d have to sit in a position that twists you uncomfortably, on a hard and unforgiving floor, for hours and hours and hours….
So you quit even before you start, convinced that you’ll fail so it’s no use to even try…not to mention you worry that you’ll be in traction for years if you attempt those twisty positions even for one second! 😉
You may not realize that there are different types of meditation methods and one may be perfect for you!
Here’s a listing of some of them:
~”I Am” Meditation
~Primordial Sound Meditation
There’s plenty of information on the Internet about these methods of silence and mediation. Do a little investigating and experimenting to find a style that works for you.
Here are three articles to get you started in your research:
I came across these quotes by Mother Teresa that resonated with me and I thought you’d like them, too.
It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. – Mother Teresa
Have you ever been on the receiving end of either a gift or a helping hand but you knew the person doing the giving was doing it because they had to or they had another agenda in mind where it was all about benefiting themselves and not at all about helping you? At those times, you want to tell them to keep their gift or their helping hand.
It’s insulting to be treated this way!
So, let’s make a pact to not do this to others. It’s a variation on the theme our mothers said to us that if we can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all. If we can’t give from a loving-kindness heart and spirit, then we shouldn’t help in that way or in that place at all. We should help because we feel strongly that we should help that person or that organization.
At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” – Mother Teresa
Again, this quote is about the fact that it isn’t about us; it’s about helping others from a grateful and thankful heart and spirit. It’s about being humble enough to be of service to others.
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. – Mother Teresa
Oftentimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference. And smiling at others is so easy for us to do! Perhaps smiling is too much to expect of ourselves right now but we can easily have a pleasant look on our face. We can also make a point to smile at our loved ones each day. Your smile first thing in the morning would be a wonderful gift to give those you love!
Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. ~Mother Theresa
This is a variation on the previous quote. Saying at least one positive and encouraging thing to your loved ones each morning is another delightful gift to give each morning!
You can do this because you are awesome! I believe in you!
What about when The Universe steps in–those times when we’re amazed at the lucky breaks, the serendipity, the coincidences? We’re delighted and we remember to be grateful.
But what about the times when, through a stroke of luck, we avoid difficulties?
I was reminded of this recently when I took my car to the shop for repairs because it started making an odd clunking noise. I had debated about putting it off because the sound wasn’t that bad, but for some reason I decided to bring it in. Good thing because there was something seriously wrong with the car and had I put it off and driven it on the highway, as I was originally going to do, it could have had disastrous results.
We need to be grateful–very grateful!–for these times.
Today–when you’re preparing for the day in the morning and when you’re winding down this evening–remember to be thankful not only to the people, including The Universe, who have helped move you forward but also the people and the Universe for protecting you from disasters.
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Crafting a deeply meaningful, soul-prospering life