Tag Archives: procrastination

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

Attitudes and Expectations: A Pep Rally

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We’ve been talking about expectations this week and are some thoughts about what we’ve learned so far.

Expect that you will achieve your dreams.

You have the dream in your heart which means that you have what it takes to achieve it. You have all the talents, all the abilities, and the latent specialized intelligence already inside of you.

Will it require work for you to dig in and pull out your talents and abilities and then develop them? Of course it will. But you have what it takes to achieve that dream in you. Will you have to take classes, find a coach or a mentor or teacher, or devise your own program of self-study? Of course you will.

You can do it, though. You have what it takes to do it.

Don’t make the mistake of comparing yourself to someone else–anyone else. You can’t do that because it isn’t about the talent and whether or not you have enough or the right kind. It’s about your dream, your mission here on Earth. Your talents and abilities are the vehicle through which you achieve your dreams as well as you manifesting your uniqueness.

And that’s the key, your uniqueness.

It’s through your uniqueness that you can reach, touch, and help others in a way that no one else in the world can do. These others are counting on you to achieve your dreams because in so doing, you’ll help them have a better life.

It’s critical that you live a soul-prospering life, which is what happens as you’re achieving your dreams.

You have what it takes!

You can do it!

I believe in you!

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

Gratitude: The Wise Woman’s Stone

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I came across this little essay and it resonated strongly with me. I thought you’d like it, too.

 

The Wise Woman’s Stone

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.”  

~Author Unknown

 

This is such a simple way of reminding us that it isn’t who we are on the outside–riches, fame, beauty–it’s all about who we are on the inside. With an attitude of loving-kindness, humility, and gratitude, we are far richer, far more beautiful, and can have a deep, far-reaching impact on our life, our loved ones’ lives, and, perhaps, we can make a significant difference in the larger world.

The point is what’s on the inside of us.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Gratitude: Inspiring Quotes from Mother Teresa

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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!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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