Monday Meditation: Stillness

 

The soft, gentle place of peace and tranquility at the end of a yoga class is known to some students as the “prize” at the bottom of the box. After the stretching and the breath work, the relaxation pose at the end of class for five to ten minutes is a welcome relief. It’s also a place for something we don’t receive often enough during the day: stillness. We are so busy doing, darting, and thinking throughout the day that we forget or run out of time to find balance and do nothing but breathe. Day after day of being out of balance creates the stresses we are desperate to dissolve in our bodies and minds. The simplest way to reduce stress is to be its opposite. Stress is an active pressure on something. The physical or emotional pressure created by stress is blasted into oblivion by simply being still, not moving except for breathing for whatever time can be set aside for it.

Physical stillness is miraculous in its ability to energize our muscles and internal organs. However we’re so used to putting demands on ourselves physically and mentally, that it feels awkward to some people to be without motion so they “hold” themselves still and think this is relaxation. This is more doing. Stillness is letting go and just breathing in and out for five minutes and nothing else. It works better and achieves a better overall result to lie down, but it’s possible to let go while sitting up. But that’s the challenge of meditation isn’t? To meet the urge to do something with just being. So if life feels out of balance, it probably is. When we try to find balance with the practice of stillness, remember that there are two ways to achieve the stillness. We can grip something so hard it is still, or we can let go of everything until the bliss of just being pervades us on the deepest of levels. This is stillness.

How do you achieve stillness?

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

 

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

 

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Thursday Thot: Time for a “Joy-Fix”

I was named after my Grandma Joy. When I was a little bit of joy, she told to watch out for days when it would be difficult to live up to our name. In other words, feeling joyful would be challenging sometimes. That’s life. I grew to be a practical person who doesn’t like to waste time or breath. So I tend to work hard before I get to the joyful parts of life. Sometimes the work is so overwhelming that I’m too tired for the joyfulness that should be my reward. Alas, the conundrum Grandma Joy warned me about.

Many people mistake my diligence and persistence for unhappiness. I am happiest when I’m working and productive. Some people don’t believe that work is a joyful occupation. I do. These folks think I need more joy in my life when my whole being is made up of joy. I take joy in my work. I find joy in my purposes as parent and teacher. I know joy with every word I publish. Joy is achieved, at least for me, through my desire to make a difference. I have found my niche, my way to make a positive difference in my life and that of others through teaching and writing. Those are occupations to some but they are joy-filled opportunities for me. I do run into stinkers every now and then. They try to threaten my ability to find joy in my work. I’m only human. So I turn to my journal and hash it out in words and drawings and thank-you notes from people I’ve helped.

 

But everyone needs some helpful reminders now and then on how to find joy in life and therefore that positive attitude that is October’s mission. Here are a couple of tips I’ve found useful.

1.Daily affirmations-these are little snippets of what I call “cheerleader talk” that you write down and keep handy throughout the day. Examples of such positive self-talk are “Today is a good day to notice one good thing about myself and share it with the world.” There is a list of positive affirmations in my book Writer Wellness.

 

2.Daily meditation practice-five minutes of sitting in stillness and listening to your own breath rotate through your body and mind sounds mundane, but the results of such a long term and simple practice are amazing. Don’t discount the simplicity. That’s exactly the point in this crazy, work-till-you-drop world. I should know. That’s why meditation is an important part of my plan for joy. There is a chapter in my book to help you get started with meditation.

So when it’s time for a “joy-fix”, pull out the simple things and watch your negativity gradually fade away until all that’s left is pure joy.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Thursday Thought: Guest Post CLAUDIA TALLER on “Balance”

When I stepped off the bus this morning, it was pouring down rain.  A complete stranger put an umbrella over my head and we chatted easily for the five minutes it took to get to the building.  After I thanked him and went on my way, I thought about the nice surprise of spending time in conversation with a good-looking guy first thing this morning.  It felt like the universe was telling me to live in the moment.

During last evening’s religious study class, we talked about how important it is to have a Sabbath so we can refuel.  I have been struggling with all the social networking I have to do to communicate about my events—it’s keeping me from getting my writing done.  I need balance, not just in my life but also in my writing.

I journaled this morning.  A planned stay at a hermitage at a monastery awaits me in October.  I have allocated some blocks of time for social networking and keep my “real” writing time sacred.  This morning proved I’m open to possibility and synchronicity, which are important for ideas, and zest for life, and trudging forward.  And my walk at lunch time allowed me to let my worries go, a form of meditation.

Interesting how I can hold the tree pose for ten minutes on each leg and feel totally centered and balanced, but once my day gets going I soon feel like I’m going in a million directions.  Julia Cameron had it right in The Artist’s Way when she recommended Morning Pages, Artist’s Dates, and attention to synchronicity.  In her second book, she added walking.  If we add sorting out priorities to her formula, we can achieve balance. 

When life feels out of control, we just need to do tree pose and go for a walk to ruminate on our morning journaling, retreat time, and life’s surprises.  Writing then becomes what we dream it should be—a bit of ourselves flowing through the keyboard and out into the world.  It happens when we’re in balance.

Claudia Taller writes about writing, living well, and striving for excellence for a number of publications. In 2008, she launched Igniting Possibilities (http://www.ignitingpossibilties.blogspot.com/), which seeks to encourage unbounded creativity and personal exploration in others. Her Word Lovers retreats are held twice each year in Lakeside, Ohio, and memoir writing, spiritual quests, and other events are sprinkled throughout the calendar. She published the book Ohio’s Lake Erie Wineries (http://www.ohiolakeeriewineries.blogspot.com/) in June 2011.

 

 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Monday Meditation: Banned Thoughts During Meditation

It’s national Banned Books Week. Sigh. A history of yet another way, besides disappearing bricks-and-mortar bookstores, to make a writer’s life more challenging. In spite of the collected freedoms we and others support and sometimes die for, the concept of banned books is ultimately about freedom of speech and censorship. When it comes to meditation and choosing not to follow a path of thoughts but staying present in the moment of the breath, are we actually censoring our mind’s free flow of ideas instead?

 

In the colorful history of banned books, there is the concept of books being ‘challenged’ as well as actually being removed from the availability of certain populations such as children. Just as often however, books are kept away from adults with the right to choose what they read. It is the sense of challenge that permeates meditation practice rather than total separation. As we meditate and thoughts surface in the consciousness, we are given the freedom to choose at the very moment if we want to dwell on the thought or simply not. We have the freedom in our minds to set aside the thought temporarily, and this is in a sense meeting the fundamental challenge of all meditation practices. Do we grasp or do we let go?

 

Famous classics have been and continue to be challenged and/or banned by institutions and groups for various reasons that seem clear to those taking advantage of their right to free speech to question the propriety of a book. I see a contradiction there. If it weren’t for the freedom of speech and ergo freedom to read and write, these particular entities wouldn’t be allowed to oppose these books. In our minds during meditation, we are ultimately free, freer, in fact, than anywhere else or time. Real freedom of choice exists during meditation. We are free to challenge thoughts or free to follow them down the spiraling road of tangents. The spiral is thinking about something, and that’s entirely different from meditation as I see it practiced. Thinking is good. But the freedom not to think while meditating is just as good.

For more information on Banned Books Week 2011 visit the American Library Association website.

http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/index.cfm

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

 

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

 

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

 

 

 

Be well, write well

Monday Meditation: Meditation In Six Words

Nothing, everything matters inside my peace.

 

Comments limited to six words, please.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Monday Meditation: Getting Lost In Your Own Mind

Getting lost is a disconcerting sensation. For many goal-oriented people, being lost means something, somewhere broke down along the lines of their motto, “I cannot cope with the worst case scenario, so I will over-plan to be prepared if the worst happens.” While making a plan, then working that plan is a valid approach to achieving success, the best of us get lost. Coping with the reality might be easier if we practice meditation because the feeling of being lost in our own minds and bodies but not experiencing panic is possible. Then it’s a matter of transferring that lesson to real life situations.

The key is surrender. The first few minutes of sitting in meditation are normally a challenge almost every time we go to the cushion. That’s because we are so used to holding on to things. It’s a natural sensation to want to hold on. In my opinion, everyone is born with the desire to hold on because our bodies are constantly pulled on by gravity. It makes sense to me to hold on to things, people, and myself simply because it’s how we function in relationship to the earth’s pull on our beings. Surrendering to this awareness of being held onto by gravity is a first step when sitting in meditation.

Up to the first ten minutes of meditation practice is basically about noticing gravity’s hold over our bodies, organs, and senses. Simply notice, then intentionally start at the source of the pull and work upwards through the body to relax or let go of the worry about being pulled down all the time. It’s very normal to feel everything settling downward (some people note this as being “grounded”), and it’s at this point of everything being settled down we try to surrender it all to a feeling of weightlessness. We let go of the worry. Surrender to gravity’s pull then allow the anxiety about whether or not it’s working to surface and face it. At this point it’s possible to get lost in the lightness of being and just breathe until the session is ended.

It’s surrendering to the power of being lost and letting go of expectations that we practice on the cushion then try to recall when we get lost on the highway or in a tricky plot pattern we’re writing. In meditation we keep breathing and follow the breath to the end. In real life, we should apply the breath to keep us calm and working toward correcting the wrong turn or the wrong speech or the wrong choice. Everyone gets lost. It’s easier for some than others to deal with being off-track. A few moments of being lost in your own mind everyday and surfacing to a better place in the end is one possible way to learn how to deal with the real world situation of losing your way no matter how much you plan in advance.

All the outlines, maps, and global positioning devices in the world cannot teach us how to cope. Those are tools for dealing with and correcting the problem. Applying lessons learned on the meditation cushion to daily realities is one method of coping with being lost along the journey. It happens to everyone occasionally. For those goal-oriented folks like me, the key is adding “get lost” to the plan.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Monday Meditation: It’s OK To Think

In spite of the prevailing information about meditation, it’s okay to think while we meditate. As a matter of fact, there is a lot to be said for occasionally letting our minds run free and unfettered for fifteen minutes without the sensation of being judgmental. It isn’t the thinking that is such a problem, it’s judging the thoughts. The trick is to let the thought go without dwelling on it or rationalizing or whatever. Just let the thought trickle through and don’t attempt to follow it. That’s a successful meditation session.

 

Whether it’s five minutes or twenty, meditation practice is more about quality than quantity. I read about celebrities who warm the cushion twenty-minutes a day, twice a day, but how many of those minutes are spent being judgmental? Most of us who have tried meditation have judged the process after the fact. That’s normal. What makes the practice productive and valuable is learning two things:

 

1.Don’t follow the thought over the river and through the woods and wherever else it wants to go. Just let it go, and return to the secret words, “Breath in, breath out,” and don’t worry about where thought is going without you.

2.Be patient and loving toward your mind and recognize that actually sitting still for a few minutes each day is restorative and calming to our brains, our hearts, and our attitudes. When we judge ourselves less, we judge others less as well. It’s tough. Never said it would be easy.

 

Be less judgmental too. It’s quite normal to think while we meditate. The challenge is how often we can resist the temptation to chastise ourselves for the thinking. It’s a counter-productive process to slap ourselves in the head every time a thought filters through our minds during meditation. It is a step in the right direction, maybe just a baby step, but a step nonetheless to lovingly ignore the thought, grin, and breathe. That’s all there is to it. Think. Grin. Breathe.

 

Are you kind to yourself when thinking interrupts meditation?

 

 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

 

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

 

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Monday Meditation: A Liquid Mind Can Be Messy

 

Monday Meditation: A Liquid Mind Can Be Messy

 

A singular goal of meditation is to learn acceptance and therefore patience. If we accept the truth of ourselves and decide to live that authenticity in our daily activities, we will surely become more aware of our inadequacies. By the same token we notice these weaknesses in other people. “We are only human,” (and flawed ones at that) becomes an overused excuse for not wanting to make the effort to be better, to change. If meditation practice brings us face to face with our true natures then why would we want to do it? Because knowing the realities of who are releases us from the burden of trying be something and someone we aren’t. It’s a very liberating feeling to make choices from a strong and energetic place of, “This is who I am and this decision comes from that source, the me-energy I am.”

 

How can a few minutes of sitting motionless and without dwelling on thinking bring us to a place of fully understanding our true natures? These moments are the only ones in the day when we are free from having to meet anyone else’s expectations. Our lives are all built upon living up to the demands, requests, promises, and instructions given to us by other people. They are perfectly within their rights to offer these requests. Our personal stress comes from trying to meet obligations put upon us that do not match what we believe about who we are and what we’re capable of. It’s stressful to be inside this pressure yet it’s how everyone’s life is lived in contemporary society. There are rules, boundaries, expectations, precautions, and on and on that define how we live. These demands do not have to define who we live our lives as. Meditation allows us to discover and stay connected to our authentic selves and later it gives us the strength to accept and appreciate ourselves and others regardless of flaws. Because we learn in meditation to accept and appreciate our true natures, we are better equipped to offer the same considerations to other people. But we’re only human.

 

I call this having a liquid mind because during meditation I am soft and flowing physically, mentally, and emotionally and the feeling is like warm water all around and through me. After taking a deep cleansing breath, opening my eyes, and getting up from the meditation cushion, I notice this liquid feeling and I make a point to say to myself, “I will do my best to carry this warm, juicy feeling into my experiences today.” Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is messy. Like a coffee cup filled beyond the brim, hot feelings can overflow and scald me when I encounter people with agendas, misconceptions, and fears. I’m only human, a flawed one at that, but I try to pause before I respond to the burning liquid being thrown my way. I try, but sometimes, because I’m only human, my true self says, “You need to clean that up, honey. I left my maid uniform at home.” And I go back to the cushion seeking more practice at patience and acceptance.

 

Is meditation helping you cope with something or someone in a better way?

New website to check out! https://www.joyeheld.com

 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Monday Meditation: Monkey Mind Matters

I’ve got bad news. Meditation is not the “quick and easy” idea several teachers and websites claim it to be. It’s so simple, it is REALLY, REALLY difficult. During my teacher education courses in college, I was admonished about forewarning students that “the following information or activity may be difficult, but do your best.” As a student, I would have appreciated knowing in advance that I was about to be trying to tame extremely hungry lions, but the prevailing teacher education message of the day was, “Don’t tell students in advance that the lesson is difficult. You are setting them up for failure.” Poo (and I don’t mean Tigger’s friend the chubby, blond bear.) If something is going to take work, I want to know up front.

Meditation takes work.

“How is that possible?” you ask. “All you do is sit there with your eyes closed. I do that every night once the wine kicks in.” Meditation is not sleeping. Snoring is a sign that your brain is bored and has fallen asleep. This is not meditation. Meditation is CONSCIOUS RELAXATION where thoughts are guided, not controlled or followed, but guided. Huh? We all have this state of thinking that is fondly referred to in meditation circles as “monkey mind.” Meditation is taming your monkey mind to keep it from jumping from thought to thought, image to image, and idea to idea. Taming monkey mind is not as easy as cracking a whip or stabbing at the air with a wooden stool. This may cause hungry lions to back down, but it does not scare monkey mind. Monkey mind responds better to kindness and compassion. Monkey mind ceases to chatter and screech, and finds a still place to rest if it is fed a steady diet of calmness, reassurance, and love.

I’ve recently explained how a simple set of words repeated over and over in your mind will calm your brain, breath, and body. It’s called a mantra, which literally means “mind tool” in the ancient Sanskrit language which is the mother tongue of meditation and yoga. It is always a very simple phrase like “Breath in. Breath out,” that is repeated rhythmically with the movement of the breath and sometimes the body.  A mantra is not quite a chant because chanting is a call to order, a statement of purpose, or a dedication. Mantras are always really, really simplistic and tend to feel musical as they are repeated over and over. They aim to produce a hypnotic state of stillness and peace by repeating the chosen phrase over and over until it doesn’t want to be repeated any longer. Yes, I said until the mantra decides it has been said enough. This is one point where the difficulty arises.

It reads like a simple exercise to mentally repeat a phrase until your mind is at rest, but the actual practice is challenging because monkey mind is typically very immature and difficult to appease. With time and practice, just like any normal toddler, monkey mind will learn to quiet down sooner and sooner when it hears the mantra, but it requires practice, practice, practice. One thing toddlers and monkey mind do NOT respond well to is punishment. No spanking, yelling, or time-outs in the corner for monkey mind. It will only mature and become quiet with patience, practice, and love.

So here’s the plan. Sit comfortably with your spine supported and your eyes closed. Yes, you can recline slightly as long as you PROMISE not to fall asleep. Better to sit upright. Begin by allowing monkey mind to chatter away about everything it can possibly think of. When you think the time is right, begin repeating the mantra you have chosen. (See list below.) Anytime monkey mind interrupts your mantra, kindly and gently IGNORE it and return to repeating the mantra. Set a timer so you don’t get frustrated. Start with three minutes once a day and gradually add a minute as you notice the time seems to “fly by.” That’s a signal you’re ready to increase your meditation time.

Simple? Let me know. Be kind to monkey mind and it will be kind to you.

Mantra suggestions:

Breath in…breath out

I breathe in…I breathe out

Peace in…negative out

I…am

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

Be well, write well.

Wednesday Workout: You ARE Independently Wealthy

The practice of yoga is founded on the principle that we are each naturally endowed with what we need to survive and thrive during whatever time period we exist on Earth. Each of us lives a unique life and serves a particular role in the grand scheme. Some prosper longer than others or are equipped with what seems like better health than others. In yoga the goal is to live a life of health and devotion to the divine, self, and others that honors whatever time we have been allotted. Therefore, we are each expected to make the best of and appreciate what we are born with, and we are all independently wealthy in a sense because we have exactly what we need if only we will respect our basic gifts.

The basic gifts are:

                Breath

                Muscles and bones

                Mental ability

                Immunity

Breath: Yoga teaches breath practices known as pranayama just the same way yoga teaches physical poses or asanas. The belief is that we are each supplied with a certain number of breaths to take. It is important to make each breath productive and to recognize its value. No one knows in advance how many breaths they have received so it’s important to take care of the breath and honor it. That’s why yoga classes provide so much instruction and reminder about breathing. The breath is just as much a tool as the physical body. Use it wisely.

Muscles and bones: The wild, wild westernization of yoga has expanded its perspective in many ways. Purists are somewhat disheartened by the ideas but I believe the variety contributes to the evolution of yoga. It must continue to grow right along with the progresses of mankind. One of the changes in yoga has been the implementation of equipment. Props (blocks, straps, blankets, etc.) help students find unique ways to participate in some poses but  yoga is founded on the concept of wholeness, and whatever muscles and bones we are each supplied with is what we are expected to work with when it comes to yoga. This way we are considered rich in ourselves because we strive to strengthen what we have instead of reaching for what we cannot ever realize.

Mental ability: Advanced yoga pose variations look complicated and they can be intricate, but an upper level pose is really just a twist (sometimes literally) on the basic mental attitude of the student. Basic yoga poses such as Standing Mountain Pose and Triangle pose represent the basic thought processes of a simple idea leading to a more convoluted concept. Meditation is the opportunity to recognize a simple thought and understand its place in more intricate thought processes.

Immunity: The human immune system is fascinating. It strengthens us against disease. While some immune systems are born weaker than others, there is some degree of immunity natural to everyone. Yoga contributes to the maintenance and development of our immunity by calming the nervous system. With breath control (pranayama,) physical actions (asanas,) and mental calmness (meditation,) we are working with our individual gifts to be the best we can be.

Do you realize how wealthy you are?

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

 Be well, write well.