Tag Archives: fear

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/

Gratitude: Start the Week Off Right

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We’ve all heard that it’s better to give rather than receive. We’ve read it in the sacred writings of our faith, our Sunday school or religious teachers instructed us about this, and our parents would often remind us of this. Also, we may have observed that grateful people are nicer to be around and also seem to catch good breaks.

All of us, at least to some degree, have espoused this philosophy.

I’ve come to realize that gratefulness is more than the politeness of remembering to thank people for gifts they’ve given us, for a delightful evening, or for their generosity towards us in one form or another. I’ve observed that, in some people, gratitude and thankfulness goes deeper than just good manners, window dressing, and avoiding the wrath of God. For them, it seems to have become a personal philosophy and a way of life.

Today I encourage all of us to think about our experience of gratitude and thankfulness and how we manifest this in the world. Then as we go about our day, let this thought perk on the back burner of our mind. In the evening, let’s take time to jot down any thoughts about how we can take gratefulness and thankfulness to the next level.

You can do this, I’m sure of it!  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.  Thanks!

Enjoy the day!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Memorials and Remembrances: Back by Popular Demand, Quotes About Gratefulness

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In keeping with Memorial Day, we’ve been talking about people who have helped us–those people we know and those we’ll never meet–as well as talking about when Forces Beyond Us seem to step in and either prevent a disaster or push us ahead much further than we could have done ourselves, even with the help of others.

In yesterday’s post, I encouraged us to celebrate all the goodness in our lives, whether its roots are in happy surprises or disasters averted. Today, I’m encouraging us to keep a grateful heart and to commit to staying in this frame of mind going forward throughout our lives.
Is that a big challenge? Taking a look at it relative to the rest of our lives, then, yes, it’s overwhelming. However, if we take it one little step at a time, then we can do it.
Here are some steps to consider integrating into our lives:
~Begin each day with gratitude and thankfulness that we have another shot at accomplishing our Mission on Earth;
~End each day with gratitude and thankfulness that we gave it our best and our all;
~Throughout the day, take a moment for gratitude and thankfulness that we’re making progress, even if we can’t quite see it yet;
~If the day is going badly, take a moment to breathe slowly and deeply and focus on gratitude and thankfulness. If we’re having trouble thinking of things we’re grateful for–because everything seems bad and headed for disaster–let’s be thankful for things such as crayons and scissors and glue and sparkles and that kids in the world are using these to make masterpieces for their families to enjoy; be thankful that there are flowers blooming, even if they’re “weeds” alongside the road; let’s look around us and be thankful that other people are busy working, caring for their loved ones, and trying to make a difference in the world.

Ok. You get the idea. Now, go out there and be thankful today! Remember to commit to being grateful and thankful for the rest of your days, one step at a time!

You CAN do it, I am VERY sure of it! I believe in you!

Below is the original post of gratitude quotes that was published on September 20, 2016:

Be thankful for your allotment in an imperfect world. Though better circumstances can be imagined, far worse are nearer misses than you probably care to realize. ― Richelle E. Goodrich

I like this quote because it reminds me that Life is no respecter of persons and can be quite capricious at times. It reminds me to be humble and grateful because I don’t always know when Grace and plain old dumb luck have prevented a worse situation from crashing down upon me.

There is no such thing in the world as a “self-made man” or a “self-made woman”. We’ve received so much from so many for so long that we can’t even keep count. But, simply because we can’t keep count, doesn’t mean we discount. ― Sharad Vivek Sagar

This is another quote that reminds me to be humble and grateful to the people I know who have helped me–and still may be helping me–but also to send out thanks to those I’ll never know how they’ve helped me. Just as I don’t always know when Grace has saved me from a terrible situation, I don’t always know from whom I’ve received a helping hand. Sometimes people’s help is so subtle, I may not make the connection. For instance, it could be an acknowledgement in passing from a stranger–a smile or the person ahead of me holding a door open for me–that lifts my mood enough that I’m able to feel the nudge from my Inner Guidance that then puts me on the path of my Next Best Thing.

She taught me that life goes on, and that I had a choice: To lament what I no longer had or be grateful for what remained. ― Louise Penny

Maybe the secret to life is embodied in this quote. Perhaps the purpose of life is not whether or not we acquiring things real or ethereal, or transcending the world. Perhaps the purpose is to see how often we can turn our backs on loss and the negative and firmly turn our faces toward gratefulness of what remains and for what lies ahead.

Do one of these quotes strike a chord with you? Do you have another that resonates deeply with you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!
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 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

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