Category Archives: Inspiration

Playlist for When You’re Anxious or Frightened

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Life can be scary, especially when we let our imaginations go and conjure all sorts of disasters waiting to befall us. Or, our imaginations can be more petrifying by not dishing up anything specific but yet terrorizing us with the Nebulous Unknown.

I hope one or all of these selections can help you feel grounded and safe when you’re in the throes of fear and anxiety:

 

The Cradle Song composed by Brahms

 

Ave Maria composed by Franz Schubert

 

Ave Maria composed by Bach/Gounod

 

Canon in D Major composed by Pachelbel

 

Clair de Lune composed by Debussey

 

Let it Be composed and sung by The Beatles

 

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star sung by Jewel

 

Over the Rainbow as sung by Judy Garland

 

Angel Standing By as sung by Jewel

 

 

If you have favorite songs that help you feel calm and safe, please share in the comments below.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Back by Popular Demand: Playlist for When You’re Feeling Discouraged

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Following on the heels of yesterday’s post of a playlist for when you’re anxious and filled with dread, here’s an updated playlist for when you’re feeling discouraged. Please note, the original of this post was published on March 29, 2016.

I hope one or more of these selections stir you to take the next step toward your dreams!

 

Ride of the Valkyries composed by Wagner

 

William Tell Overture composed by Rossini

 

1812 Overture composed by Tchaikovsky

 

In the Hall of the Mountain King composed by Grieg

 

Flight of the Bumblebee composed by Rimsky-Korsakov

 

Sabre Dance composed by Khachaturian

 

 

And whether or not you’re American, there’s nothing like a John Phillip Sousa march to get the old juices flowing again! J

 

Stars and Stripes Forever composed by John Phillip Sousa

 

 

 

Here is the original post and playlist published on March 29, 2016:

 

~Never Surrender – Corey Hart

 

~Hold on Tight – Greg Holden

 

~Hall of Fame – The Script feat. will.i.am

 

~Keep Your Head Up – Andy Grammer

 

~Stand – Rascal Flatts

 

~I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

 

 

Feel free to share your favorite playlist with us.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Morning Routines at Work: Playlist Suggestions

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Yesterday we talked about our morning routines at work and whether or not they help us or hamper us.   We also discussed a few strategies that might help us “hit the ground running”--with productivity and not terror (!!)–when we first get to work.

Another technique that I use is to have music playing quietly in my work space. I keep it turned low so that only I can hear it–I don’t want to disturb or annoy my co-workers.

My go-to place is YouTube because there is a very wide variety of music. Depending upon the day, I’ll choose from:

~recordings of nature sounds,

~Tibetan singing bowls,

~chakra balancing and healing sounds,

~Ella Fitzgerald,

~swing,

~chanting,

~classical music,

~Do Wop music,

~music that also has nature sounds with it.

 

Do you quietly listen to music at work? Do you have a favorite type or a particular artist that you like? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Morning Routines: Fun Stuff!


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Yesterday we explored the idea of what if we added “fun stuff” to the serious stuff that we already do such as meditating and exercise. Today, let’s list fun things we can do.

 

~Blow bubbles

As you know, right now this is one of my go-to fun activities.

 

~Singing any old which way you feel like it in the moment

This was offered by a long-time reader of this blog.   This is a great way to oxygenate your system, a fun way to move around and get a little exercise, and you can’t help but feel better after singing at the top of his/her lungs!  🙂

 

~Taking the time to make a delicious breakfast

This was suggested by a friend of mine who enjoys home cooking but doesn’t always take the time to make breakfasts she loves such as pancakes, waffles, and vegetable scrambled eggs.

 

~Sitting outside with a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper

A neighbor offered this one.  He has a small “grove” of pine trees and in it nestled an Adirondack chair.  Now with it lighter in the mornings, he sometimes sneaks out there to read for a few minutes before heading off to work.

 

~Reading in a fun book

A young mother who does a lot of technical reading for her job loves to wake up a little early and read her latest fun book–or mind candy book, as she calls it!  🙂

 

~Doodling

An artist friend of mine enjoys doodling first thing in the morning.  She doodles shapes, symbols, or random strokes; sometimes she uses graphite pencils and sometimes she used magic markers or crayons.

 

~Origami

A friend of mine has a high pressure management position and she likes to fold origami.  In the mornings when she does it, the activity becomes a meditation for her.  And afterward, not only is her soul nourished but she has a pretty flower or animal to show for the efforts, which boosts her spirits.  And the origami also boosts the spirits of the person she gives it away to.  Cool!

 

~Ironing

I know what you’re thinking:  what the heck is ironing doing on this list of fun activities to do in the morning?!  Believe it or not, I have a friend who enjoys ironing early in the morning.  She likes that it lends itself to meditation.  She also likes the smell of the hot iron on the cotton fabric–it connects her to her childhood and memories of her mother.  And she and her family have crisply pressed clothes in the bargain!

 

 

As you can see, there are a variety of different activities. The common thread through them all is pleasure.  Each of these activities weren’t something that the person had to do; they were activities that the person chose to do for the simple fact that it gave them pleasure.

Feel free to share the activities you enjoy doing in the morning. Thanks!  Remember to add them to your morning routine!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

When Your Alarm Clock Rings: Thoughts to Think from James Allen

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There is a sense in which every day may be regarded as the beginning of a new life in which one can think, act, and live newly, and in a wiser and better spirit. ~James Allen

 

I came across a reading of a James Allen work entitled Morning and Evening Thoughts. As the title indicates, some of these thoughts are intended for the morning and the others are meant to be read at night just before sleep. Even so, they are all profound and, in my opinion, are good to listen to regardless of the time of day. In fact, if you can manage it, this recording could be helpful to have running as you go about the tasks of your day.

Just a note:  James Allen had a deep faith.  In some of these thoughts, he talks about Jesus and other Christian ideas.  Please don’t let that hinder you!   Feel free to substitute other holy or wise people such as Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, or the Dalai Lama,.  Feel free also to use descriptors that fit with your philosophy or faith such as instead of God, use The Universe, The Divine Intelligence, or The Great Spirit.

Have a listen and let me know what you think:

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

What to Do After Your Alarm Clock Rings

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Yesterday we talked about James Allen’s explanation of why we should get up when our alarm clock first rings. He recommends rising early, even if you don’t have to. We mentioned a few things to do in the morning such as taking the time to contemplate sacred or inspirational writings, gentle exercise, or broadening our understanding of–and expertise in–the industry in which we are employed.

Just today I began reading the book Your Creative Mind: How to Disrupt Your Thinking, Abandon Your Comfort Zone, and Develop Bold New Strategies by Scott Cochrane. In this book he’s talking about creativity and how to develop it. The section of the book that stood out to me was “Chapter 3: Creative Power and the Power of Creation”. He lists several things a person can do to stimulate his/her inborn creativity. When I read the list, I realized many of the things he suggests are activities we can do in the morning during the time that James Allen suggests we take for ourselves.

These are the suggestions offered in the book by Scott Cochrane:

~Purge Negative Thoughts

This can easily and effectively be done while smiling at ourselves in the mirror as we brush our teeth, comb our hair, and tend to other personal grooming tasks. We can also do this as we shower and bathe for the day linking the activity with the imagining that we’re washing away unproductive, unhelpful thoughts and attitudes.

~Step into Bright Sunlight

This stimulates the production of seratonin and dopamine which, according to Scott Cochrane, are essential to fostering creativity. This can be incorporated into the morning walk or while doing Tai Chi or Yoga outside in the morning.

~Take Time for Music

Getting back to the instrument we played as a child or learning how to play an instrument for the first time are great workouts for our mind. It spurs creativity because our brains are working in ways they haven’t before. Doing this first thing in the morning can give us a reason to get out of bed right away as well as give us a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning. This can then insulate us from the frustrations of the day.

These are just three of the several suggestions Scott Cochrane has made in the book so far. I thought these would be easy to incorporate into a morning routine. I haven’t finished reading the book yet and I expect there will be other points the author makes that I’ll want to share with you–stay tuned!

What activities will you add to your morning routine? Are they brand new or are they ones you’ve enjoyed in the past and are now bringing back into your life? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

Enjoy!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Earth’s Sounds, Nature’s Prozac

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

The best remedy for those who are afraid,
lonely or unhappy is to go outside,
somewhere where they can be quiet,
alone with the heavens, nature and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be
and that God wishes to see people happy,
amidst the simple beauty of nature.
I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
-Anne Frank

 

I love this quote by Anne Frank. I posted it yesterday but I just had to post it again today, all by itself, so you could read it and savor it.

I hope you can get outside or open your window and enjoy the sounds of Nature. Tonight perhaps you can open your window and let the night sounds lull you to sleep.

Enjoy!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren