Category: motivation

Dec 23, 2017

Time to rest

Time to restIt’s time to rest

A group of Puffins rest on a rock, taking a break.

Just sitting, standing, just pausing for moment.

How tranquil they appear, no need to rush through the rest or think what is next.

It is time to rest.

Is it now your time to rest?

I gather it is.

Why is it so hard to sit, stand, and just pause for a moment?

A Puffin can do it, despite the potential dangers and constant search for food.

Our dangers are almost nonexistent and our food is easily accessible.

Why do we find it so difficult to rest?

Resting maybe a waste of time or you might miss out on something.

Others might make it difficult for you to rest.

Resting feels lazy and sloth-like, or self-indulgent.

Though ask a Puffin, if a Puffin could speak, it would stare at you perplexed.

“Why can’t you not rest?”

A Puffin does not diarize his breaks; he takes it when his belly is full.

He will undoubtedly become hungry again or seek a mate; with rest he has the energy to proceed.

We too can pause after our bellies are full, our work is finished for the moment, and we feel safe.

Not the pause of shame or guilt, but one that is embraced fully, without strings attached.

Puffins just sit stare, looking around, eyes opened or closed, no thoughts at all.

No, we are not Puffins

Yes, we have thoughts.

But still we too need to rest.

It’s time to rest

Have you thought about starting the new year with my mindfulness course?

 

Recipe: It’s time to rest

So allow yourself time to rest

Just rest

It’s OK to rest

Dec 17, 2017

I am in charge

I am in chargeI am in charge

Repeat after me, “I am in charge.”

In charge of your choices, reactions and moods.

It is easy to blame society, your parents, great-grandma Martha or uncle Dave.

Our jobs, workplace, or area we live are the ultimate blame space.

Christmas sucks because it’s dull, mom always gets stressed, and Tom gets drunk.

New Years is doubly worse because we are always disappointed and get too drunk.

No matter what happens in life, as an adult we are in charge, despite crappy circumstances.

Blaming serves an immediate relief, you feel better, more powerful for a moment, and then you are back to you and your situation.

Don’t get me wrong I do it too.

I blame society for its busyness, the pressure to succeed and , not being able to buy a home in London…

Yes, I do it too.

But guess what?

Blaming only makes me angry, it might help me connect with fellow blamers, making me part of the crowd.

Once away from the crowd, I am back to where I was, incomplete, agitated and dissatisfied.

Until one day I realised I am the one in charge!

I am the only one who can change the course of my life, make the money I need, create calm in a busy world and enjoy Christmas despite the outward chaos.

I cannot change Uncle Tom or Aunt Jemima, let alone calm the nerves of Mamma Bear.

It is up to me, I can only change me!

I can walk into work with a smile of my face, drop my shoulders down below my ears and take the breath I had been holding for the past hour.

When Christmas or New Years comes, I can do the same and repeat to myself “I am in charge.”

Click here to learn more about my January Mindfulness courses

Recipe: I Am In Charge Meditation

Take 3 deep breaths – inhale through the nose – exhale longer through the mouth.

Relax after each exhalation

On the 4th breath:

Inhale – silently say, “I am”

Exhale – “in charge”

Repeat at least 10 times

You can do this meditation anywhere, with your eyes open, closed, at work, at home, on the bus, in the car… anywhere.

Remember you are in charge!

Dec 10, 2017

Find or Seek?

Find or Seek?

As a child most of us have played the game of Hide and Seek, when a friend hides in an obscure space and we run around seeking their hiding space.

During the game the hider, hold their hands on their mouths to muffle the giggles, making themselves small until they are found.

What fun to be the hider.

The hider gets to choose where they hide; the seeker with little to go on wanders around, directionless, until the hider exposes their hiding place with a sound.

The seeker relieved and victorious, the hider the one who knew where he was all the time.

 

In life there are seekers and finders.

Many seekers stay seekers throughout their lives searching but not finding

While finders hold the key

A finder starts out as a seeker, with perseverance and imagination will usually  find what they are looking for.

Are you a seeker or a finder?

How would you know?

A seeker walks without a compass, spinning in circles; can be exhilarating and full of adventure no doubt.

If you are a seeker, you might not experience pressure since you are only looking, without committing.

Seekers window shop, dream of being rock stars, famous actors even without the talent nor the inclination.

Now finders, get real with themselves, they walk into the store touch the clothes, try a few on buy or walk out empty-handed.

They know they can’t sing,  face the fact they have never acted in their lives nor are they going to invest in endeavors which waste time.

Though, like the hider in Hide and Seek the finder knows where they are.

Finders live in the now, no matter what they are doing at that time, working, wiping a table, answering calls, selling, dealing with irate customers, they are present.

Seekers are in a contiuous state of looking forward, seeking  a happier moment, hating what they are doing, never satisfied.

Finders still dream, fantasize and pursue goals; they don’t accept their lot as you might assume.

What makes them stand out is they acknowledge for the time being where they are whether it be, flipping burgers, speaking to a customer, writing a report, teaching a class… no matter how mundane these tasks are they are  sacred moments.

Seekers seek

Finders find

You choose?

 

Recipe: Be Here Now Meditation

Take a moment, breathe in and out, notice where you are, what you are doing, how do you feel… ground your feet to the floor.

Breathe in say ‘Be Here’

Breathe out say ‘Now’

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat

Now you are a finder

Dec 3, 2017

Interested or Committed?

Intersted or Committed?Interested or Committed?

Straddling between the two?

Are you interested or committed?

Interested in that girl or boy, or committed?

Interested or committed to your job?

Interested or committed to your wellbeing?

What is the difference?

If interested you are dabbling, dreaming, meandering along a path, with one foot forward and one foot behind, and not ready to take the plunge.

Commitment feels different as both feet are planted firmly on the ground; you are sure what it is you want.

When interested the energy behind it feels frail and spongy, not solid and robust like commitment.

An interested person is someone you are unsure of; you cannot quite trust they will do what they say, most likely they will not.

“Hey, lets get together soon” with no date scheduled are they interested or committed?

Now a committed person is steadfast, faithful and will persevere no matter what.

We all know of someone in our life like that; mums, dads, a friend… partner?

It is also apparent those who are just interested.

All commitments start out as interests however; most interests never progress into commitments.

Interested to exercise, with no commitment to follow through.

Interested in the idea of  meditating daily, though never start

Half at work and half at home, interested.

Fully at work or fully at home, committed.

Let’s be honest it is more fun to be interested, because it takes no effort or risk of failure.

Once committed it is a harder more treacherous road than interested

Why commit then?                                                                               

Because commitment is the only way to grow as a person and the only way to build resilience.

It is about grabbing hold of the stars, rather than just reaching for them.

Commitment gives life purpose and meaning and ultimately our inner peace and happiness.

Why not take a risk and commit to your interest.

 

Recipe: Commitment Breathing Exercise

Our breathing patterns can teach us about whether we are committed fully to what we are doing

If shallow, less committed

If deep, more committed

Settle into a comfortable seat, close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths

Begin to feel a breath, as it enters your nostrils and observe the movement into your chest and the expansion of the belly

As you breathe out notice the movement of the breath as the belly draws in, and the breath moves into our chest and throat and out your nostrils.

With the next inhale, take a shallow breath, don’t fully commit to your breath and exhale. Do this a few times

Commit to making changes in your life for the New Year

Why not commit the January the course, details on the link below (click on ‘Mindfulness Course’)

Mindfulness Course

Nov 26, 2017

Stay in your lane

Stay in your laneAre you the kind of person who stays in your own lane or do you overtake?

Overtaking is indeed exhilarating, flying past the slower more tentative driver can give you a rush.

Doped up feeling faster and cooler, ahead of the pack.

The chase to be ahead begins as a lighthearted race, sustained by overtaking as many people as possible.

At what point does it stop?

As there will always be someone slower or faster than you, switching lanes can go on until either you crash or get to your destination.

Then it starts again.

Why not just stay in your lane?

Why not pay attention to your own destination, not someone else’s?

Is it boredom, something to do on a long drive?

Is it power, winning at all costs?

Or is it jealousy that person has something you want?

Staying in your lane, focusing on your own future and dreams is harder than you would expect.

In the short term beating the other person to the finish line is more fun.

Though as soon as you gain the leading position, the fun stops.

And it’s time to overtake again, then again and again and again.

When does it end?

It never ends, unless you decide to remain in your own lane and stick it out.

You will at times feel bored, frustrated, ready to pull your hair out, and may succumb to passing the slower driver again.

Only to begin the race again.

Stick it out, stay in your lane; listen to your heart, to your passions, to what makes you happy.

Wave your hands to the slower drivers and thumbs up to the faster drivers, it does not matter where anyone is on their trip, all that is important is that you are following your heart.

Stay in your lane or swerve into others.

You decide

Recipe: Stay in Your Lane 5 minute Meditation

Find a comfortable place to sit, anywhere.

Close your eyes or keep eyes looking towards the ground

Take 3 deep breaths

Breathe in and say silently, “Stay In”

Breathe out and say silently, “ in my lane”

Repeat until your heart rate and breathing slow down.

Notice how staying in your lane, feels restful and peaceful.

There is no need to rush or speed.

You are taking your time, because it is your time, no one else’s.

When ready open your eyes

Nov 19, 2017

Pain and Pleasure

Pain and PleasurePain and pleasure meet in the lift.

Pain, stiff with tension, chest rapidly moving and surging with adrenaline, looks over at Pleasure.

Pleasure, as cocky as ever, steeped with dopamine, pumped for the day.

Both prepared in their own way for the day ahead.

Each differently approaching their day Pain’s head is filled with thoughts wishing the day were Friday, his day off or the day was over.

Pleasure inspired with thoughts of success, longing to get going, making as much money, and bantering with his work friends.

The two, step out the lift, Pain shuffles to his desk, as Pleasure bounces in, annoying all the other’s who too are like Pain.

Few people can tolerate Pleasure; he is way too energetic for the morning.

As the morning progresses, Pain begins to relax a little, allowing a smile to creep in every so often.

Pleasure’s dopamine has drooped, leaving him drained, less smug, looking forward to the coffee fix.

Pain and Pleasure, look across at each other, noting how their moods have shifted from the morning, realizing through the haze something was missing.

Then Soothing sat down, relaxed, breathing evenly into his belly, thoughts on the moment, and appearing utterly content. Sipping a cup of water, he just had spent his break taking a walk; phone tucked away in his pocket and had found a quiet place to sit in stillness for a few minutes.

It then occurred to Pain and Pleasure, Soothing had been the ‘something missing’.

Pain and Pleasure decided together to grab a cup of water, take a walk without their phone and sit with their eyes closed for 5 minutes.

Each took a deep breath and looked at each other with great relief.

Yes, it was Soothing that was missing.

Is soothing missing for you?

Recipe: Box Breathing for Soothing

Imagine a square with 4 straight lines, we begin on the left side and work our way clockwise, to the right

Breathing through the nose for both inhale and exhale

Left side, inhale 4 counts

Top of the square, hold breathe 4 counts

Right side, exhale 4 breaths

Bottom of square, hold 4 breaths

Begin again

Repeat sequence 4x

Practice square box breathing 4x a day, 4 sets of each

Think, box, 4 sides, 4 counts, 4x a day, 4 sets

All it takes is a few deep breaths to shift into a soothing state.

Nov 12, 2017

Chasing happiness

Chasing happinessHappiness is where we all want to be

Who wishes to feel unhappy?

Chasing happiness is a chase like a snake chases an Iguana

A lion chases an antelope

Happiness is not just about an appetizing meal

It comes in the form of love making, spreading your seed,

Passing on your genes.

Strutting your stuff, looking good, feeling pumped up

Happiness can also be the job you have always wanted, or the deal you finally got.

Picking up your phone, a text. Bam! Happiness

Working up a sweat, being the fastest in the pack, lifting the heaviest weights

This chase begins the day you are born, chasing the desire to walk, to speak, and to leave the sight of your parents.

Seeking happiness, we know will finally come, when it comes, and it quickly loses its freshness and allure.

We are on the chase again.

Does it ever stop? Should it stop?

As long as we are alive, the chase keeps us seeking, expanding on what we have, and increasing our knowledge.

Seems good, seems right.

Until all you want is a rest, a moment of silence, a reprieve from the chase.

What is wrong with the chase?

Nothing

It is innate, our animal biology

It feels good.

Though the chase can only last for so long, we feel good, then not so good, or possibly pretty awful

Chasing happiness is natural, though, taking breaks, moments of solitude, soothing yourself is equally satisfying.

Take time to sit and stare, nurture your creativity, let your inner light shine through.

Chasing happiness is a trap. You chase the same thing, same thoughts, same aspirations.

Your groove for the same runs deep, an inner wiring destined to repeat the same mistakes and dream the same dreams

Take a breather from your chase, sit in the sun, and take a break

Bam!

You are at peace

 

Recipe: Relaxing into the Chase Meditation

How do we know we are in chase?

Our bodies will be pumped up, exhilarated and energized.

Rather than keep going, just like having another drink, sit with those feelings

Enjoy and allow them to envelop you

Then take 3 deep breaths, don’t push the feelings away

Place your hand on your heart and relax into the good feeling

Then watch your body soften, wrap around that feeling, your heightened energy and excitement will change its shape

The shape becomes lighter, less of a jolt to your system, more of a relaxed alertness

By sitting with the powerful emotions, you won’t lose them; they will just change to something you can sustain.

Notice if you try to chase the feeling by doing or seeking more.

If so, take a deep breath and stay with what is happening now

You will be left with a sense of satisfaction

Discover how to be happier with my next Mindfulness for

Look and see

Look & see

Looking but not seeing

Where are the carrots? Under the lettuce!

How about the Jam? Behind the milk!

Not noticing the brilliant sunshine, because you are looking down.

Looking but not seeing

A loved one looking but not seeing

Can any of you relate?

Screaming from the other room, “where did you say the chocolate is?”

You, yelling back, “Look!!!”

It does not take long for you to have to pull yourself up from your long awaited slumber only to move the jar of peanut butter an inch to expose the surreptitious chocolate bar.

Why is that you are able to see the chocolate and your loved one can’t?

Is it due to laziness, lack of imagination or dependency on your gifted ability to see?

Think about the times that you too have stared directly at the thing you are searching for and not seen it?

What about making an assumption about a person based on an initial glance, or skimmed an email missing the true meaning of what was being conveyed?

Are you doing exactly that as you read this piece?

What stops us from looking between, beneath, above, inside, or underneath?

Because there is never enough time and you are impatient, let’s blame your brain.

What does the brain have to do with it?

Time and patience indicating busy lifestyles and ‘Wanting It Now’ Syndrome, the brain because it has a limit to how much it can cope with at one time.

Our brains’ job is to fill in the gaps with its own interpretations to minimise information overload.

A quick look, your brain decides the jam does not exist or ask mom and that person you quickly judged looks a little like Jack the Ripper, therefore he can’t be trusted; there done and dusted says the brain.

Not a problem, if you don’t mind the massive holes in your daily life.

Holes that create that sense of life being a blur whizzing by leaving you wondering where time has gone.

The solution is to slow down and cultivate patience then you will recall more details, enrich your experiences, lessen false interpretations and ultimately discover where the chocolate is.

 

Recipe: Seeing with your eyes wide open meditation

This meditation teaches you the technique of seeing with your eyes open

Most of us are living blindly looking but do not actually seeing.

We rarely look at an object or a person without breaking them into parts or forming judgments

As we drink a cup of coffee, we see the white cup with the brown liquid and the shape of the handle.

When we look at something our eyes are continuously scanning the thing we are looking at then get distracted by other external stimulation.

In order to practice being present and turning inwards rather than outwards look at an object as a whole, not the fact it is made of wood, metal or plastic.

The beauty of this technique it can be practiced anywhere, on the train, bus, sitting at your desk

Pick an object and with a fixed stare keep coming back to the wholeness of the object until you begin to experience the sensation of connecting inward, the outer world continues on but without your awareness.

Look at that object as if you have never looked at it before – observe its freshness and delight just as baby’s do

That object will begin to disappear and you will now get a glimpse of your inner world

This technique brings back life, freshness, and vibrancy to your eyes.

With a regular daily, practices you will begin to notice things that normally were just passing glances or went unseen

Now use the next 5 minutes to concentrate on that object

Remaining present with your inner quietness

Gently open your eyes, sit for a moment and then get on with your day

Please do like comment and share to spread this mindful message

Deepen your Mindfulness understanding & book on the October Mindfulness Course 

Mindfulness course

 

 

 

Free time

Free timeFree time

Free time is what we all look forward to after a long day, a week of work or a holiday.

Looking ahead to the next free moment… lunch, after work, Friday night.

Biding your time until you are free to do what you want.

Comparable to looking out through the bars of a cage seeing your freedom from the inside out, waiting to be free, free of obligations, constraints and to move about on your own volition.

Free time feels good, especially the idea of free time.

The anticipation of free time is the energiser.

Once you are free to wander beyond the bars, initially there is a sense of liberation, a softening of your movement, akin to floating. Looking back with a sense of relief and a bounce in your step, because you are now free.

Free to do the things that were out of reach while behind the bars.

Once free, there is often an initial high, once that wears off reality sets in.

What to do with your free time?

Concentration lapses, your mind flitters into… ‘what to do’, ‘I should be doing’, ‘I hate my job’,’ I am lazy’, ‘I am bored’, to existential questions, such as ‘what is the meaning of life’ and ‘what is my purpose’ and ‘ is this all there is’?

Free time can bring great joy, twisting, as swiftly into feelings of frustration when free time experiences are not exactly what you hoped for, resulting in depleted energy and disappointed; the anticipation was far more thrilling than the actual reality.

In other words the looking forward is far more exciting than the free time experience.

Have you ever felt deflated after a weekend or a holiday because you had no recollection of what you did?

Relishing free time is a skill, which requires learning how to use your free time efficiently.

Due to the nature of free time, it is all too easy to drift into activities, such as, watching TV, perusing the Internet, talking on the phone, or texting. These all too often leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled.

The key is to seek out an activity that is not mind numbing but leaves you in a state of euphoria or what I refer to as a soul blowing experience.

The 4 essential requirements to enhancing your free time is having an idea, concentration, to be challenging and ends with a reward

Examples of these activities are, skiing, cooking, reading, writing, sewing, cleaning, swimming, photography, yoga, exercising… whatever floats your boat.

The essential ingredient to enjoying free time is that you are focusing on one activity at a time, not bouncing around. If you are cooking, cook, if you are skiing, ski, reading read, and so on and so forth.

Start with an idea/plan, sustain concentration, there has to be a challenge to it and reap the rewards of what you devoted your precious time to.

With this newfound skill you can look forward to and actually feel rejuvenated from your free time, rather than looking back in dismay.

Learn to enjoy your free time.

Recipe: Free Time Meditation

Take 3 deep breaths

Ask yourself what do I want to do with my free time?

If there is no answer

Take another 3 breaths, repeat

Until something captures you

Do not resort to your default free time habits of turning on the TV, picking up your phone, or checking emails/Facebook.

You might decide to go for a walk… plan the route, maintain concentration, make it challenging and then enjoy the accomplishment of getting there, what ever grabs your fancy.

Enjoy your free time!

Achieving greatness

achieving greatnessDo we really know who we are?

Do we know what our full potential is?

What about the people who influence us, do they see it is as well?

Mary Oliver, a renowned poet, spoke about greatness, “ Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life”.

What is our greatness?

For some, it is blatantly obvious; they have voices sweet and smooth like silk, or paint pictures that take your breath away…

Some are so physically beautiful it is impossible to turn your eyes away from their beauty.

Then there are the highly intelligent who can sleep through an exam and not only pass, but get the highest grades.

There are the few who write with such eloquence and those who can bake the most delicious cakes.

What if you are not one of them? Or you have no clue what is your greatness?

Maybe you have a talent that is recognized though due to your situation or lack of perseverance it just fizzled out.

Wouldn’t be the saddest ending, when gifts are known and they get lost in the busyness of life?

It is wretched situation to end your wild and precious life with missing chances.

Sometimes it is not necessarily you to blame, it can be a loved one who thwarts you attaining greatness.

It might be husbands, wives, partners, parents, sibling or even your children who discourage your greatness.

Why this possible, when life is so short. Don’t we all want each other to succeed and be happy?

Don’t we want everyone to achieve greatness?

Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

We absorb others stories, the stories that we are not great or that good, our talents, would never make a living, leaving us deflated.

Families may not cheer us on, because they themselves are fraught with jealousy, our talent exposes their lack of greatness.

How dare you be more beautiful, more talented, and intelligent than them, if you are great they see their limitations. Crushing your greatness in the process of attempting to lift themselves up.

Has this ever happened to you?

How terribly sad, for at the end of the day, it is your wild and precious life, not theirs.

As children we know nothing about greatness, we just do what feels right and natural. Our footsteps are ours to walk in.

Then as we mature we begin to step inside our parents steps, forgetting about our own.

Don’t forget your parents have done the same, walked in their parents’ footsteps, as did their parents, and so on and so on…

I would suggest take risks in your wild and precious life; place your foot down with the resolve that you will follow your greatness.

If you don’t know what that greatness is, dedicate your life to finding it.

Don’t waste your wild and precious life!

 

Recipe: Achieving Greatness Meditation

Close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths

Sit in silence without any distractions for 2 minutes.

After 2 minutes, ask, “What is my greatness?”

Sit and breathe

Notice how your mind will immediately step in to answer the question

Do not pay attention to it, allow the thoughts to evaporate

Sit and breathe

Ask again, “ What is my greatness?” Keep asking

Notice what comes up, until there is nothing.

After 5 minutes gently open your eyes

Do not expect an answer within your meditation, unless per chance it comes.

Most answers come in subtle forms as we live our lives, keep yours eyes and mind open.

Do this everyday until you see what your greatness is

Be present, patient and persevere

RJMindbody

RJMindbody