Tag Archives: annoyed

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

12 Quotes of Inspiration

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The number one reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbors. ~Napoleon Hill

 

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. ~Margaret Thatcher

 

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all. ~Dale Carnegie

 

Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. ~Francis Chan

 

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. ~Dale Carnegie

 

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. ~Vidal Sassoon

 

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. ~Pablo Picasso

 

All progress takes place outside the comfort zone. ~Michael John Bobak

 

Your problem isn’t the problem. Your reaction is the problem. ~Anonymous

 

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you. ~Lolly Daskal

 

If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission. ~Anonymous

 

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. ~Anonymous

 

Which quote resonated with you? Keep it handy throughout your day and refer to it frequently. Let it give you the boost you need!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Playlist to Harness Your Anger

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The power of anger can feel almost uncontrollable, and that can be very scary. As a result, oftentimes we feel we need to “stuff” our angry feelings because we want to scream, shout, and throw a fit…but we know that won’t solve anything. But yet, what do we do with all that energy?

One of the best ways to release the steam that builds up when we’re angry is through music and movement. Here is a short playlist to help you do that.

Even though some of these songs are about love gone wrong, feel free to substitute words and names so that the song is customized to you and your situation.

Remember to use the energy to help you take the next step!

Enjoy this playlist!

 

These Boots Are Made for Walking sung by Nancy Sinatra

 

Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair sung by Mitzi Gaynor

 

You Better Be Good to Me sung by Tina Turner

 

My Boyfriend’s Back sung by The Angels

 

That’ll be the Day sung by Buddy Holly

 

That Don’t Impress Me Much sung by Shania Twain

 

Change sung by Taylor Swift

 

Me, Too sung by Meghan Trainor

 

Shake it Off sung by Taylor Swift

 

Confident sung by Demi Lovato

 

 

Feel free to share your playlist with us. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Morning Routines: What If…?

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Last week we talked about James Allen’s recommendation that we get up when our alarm clock first rings. He claimed that this simple act strengthens our will, leading to self-mastery, which is the cornerstone of a successful and fulfilling life.

This got me to thinking a little deeper about morning routines. We all have one, whether it’s something regimented or if it’s a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, we all have certain things we do in the morning to get us up and going and out the door, reasonably on time.

When we think of the phrase “morning routine” it conjures up serious activities such as meditating and exercising. These are great activities and they certainly are worthy of being included in our morning routine, but what if we also included some “fun stuff”?

How would it make us feel to give ourselves enough time to sit quietly outside with our morning coffee or tea and watch the sunrise? What kind of a boost would it give our spirits?

How about scheduling in time for us to do something that’s totally indulgent and even frivolous for ourselves: practicing magic tricks, learning how to juggle, playing the kazoo, learning how to do handstands, or my favorite activity of practicing our bubble blowing technique?

Do you think this would put a spring in our steps and get us off to a happy start in our day?

I think so! I also think it’s worth a shot!

Let me know what totally indulgent and frivolous things you like to do. No worries if you can’t think of anything. Tomorrow we’ll talk about a few things you can do.

Enjoy!

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

Start the Week off Right: Get Up When Your Alarm First Rings

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I was listening to James Allen’s Byways to Blessedness, a Librivox recording.  The first section of the book talks about beginnings.

James Allen states that there are beginnings we have no control over, for instance we may have been laid off from work and now we’re facing the beginning of unemployment and the process of looking for a new job.  He advises to not focus on these beginnings, aside from taking care of our responsibilities, but rather to focus on the beginnings we have total and complete control over.  He says that these types of beginnings are of vital importance because they create the complex web of results that then make up our life.  He went on to say that these beginnings are controlled by our thoughts and mental attitudes, and the resulting daily conduct and actions we take.

According to James Allen, the first beginning to focus on—the easiest one to take control of—is the start of a new day, namely when your alarm clock first rings. He suggests answering these questions because “…much happiness or unhappiness depends upon the right or wrong beginning of the day…”:

 

~At what time does the alarm go off?

~Do we immediately get up?

~In what frame of mind do we enter the sacredness of a new day?

~How do we go about getting ready for the day?

 

One of his suggestions is to rise at an early hour, even if we don’t have to because this will help “…start the day strongly by shaking off indolence.”

 

Then this statement jumped out at me: “…How are you to develop strength of will in mind and body if you begin every day by yielding to weakness?”

 

He’s telling us to stop hitting the snooze button and to get up when our alarm first goes off. 

 

I get his point that by hitting the snooze alarm, we aren’t really getting a few extra Zzzz’s—in fact researchers have shown that hitting the snooze alarm does not help; the “extra sleep” you get is not restful.  James Allen is saying that when we hit the snooze alarm what we’re actually doing is telling our mind and body that it’s okay to procrastinate, it’s okay to indulge ourselves, it’s okay to go for instant gratification.

James Allen goes on to say:  “Self-indulgence is always followed by unhappiness.  People who lie abed until a late hour are never bright and cheerful and fresh but are the prey of irritabilities, depressions…and all unhappy moods.”

He then goes on to say that hitting the snooze alarm is like an alcoholic taking a nip in order to brace him/herself and steady his/her nerves for the upcoming issues in the day.

 

It’s our self-indulgence in hitting the snooze alarm that creates indolence and avoidance that is creating the issues–it’s our weaknesses and our pandering to our moods and emotions that are at the root cause of the issues that we’re avoiding!

 

James Allen adds:  :…Men and women are totally unaware of the great losses which they entail by this common indolence (hitting the snooze alarm):  loss of strength of both mind and body, loss of prosperity, loss of knowledge, and loss of happiness.

James Allen isn’t the only one who urges getting up early and getting up right away.  Earl Nightingale, Brian Tracy, Wayne Dyer and other successful people join him in this.  One of James Allen suggestions for this “extra time” is to take a gentle walk in Nature.  Earl Nightingale, Brian Tracy, Wayne Dyer, and others advise filling the time with studying sacred and/or inspirational writings, studying the industry in which we work, and pursuing other avenues of self-development and education.

Wow.

Usually I get up the first time the alarm rings.  Occasionally, though, I’ve let myself sleep a little later, commonly on the weekends.  I have noticed that James Allen’s statement is true:  I seem to be a little less focused and less productive on the days I allow myself to catch up on my sleep.  In fact, I had been wondering if it wouldn’t be better to get up at my normal time and take a short nap during the day if I need it.  I guess James Allen’s answer would be YES!!!

This week’s challenge is to get up on time—when the alarm first rings. Let me know the differences you notice in your week. Feel free to leave your comments below. Thanks!

Please pass this post along to a friend. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren