Time to Bee

This has been an interesting week, time wise. Two of my watches and a wall clock stopped while I have been teaching yoga classes. I’m curious to know what some of you may think this might be about… Time will tell eh?

I also wanted to share my new purchase of a swatch watch. I’m grateful it’s still ticking away!

I chose the design of a flower and bees because it makes me smile. Every time I look to see what time it is, I smile and think of our hardworking bees emerging from their winter pause.

It gives me pause as well. To stop and appreciate, and to bee in the moment. 😉

It’s like a mini mindful moment during my day.

And so much better than picking up the iPhone and getting caught in the web of distraction.

 

* Stressed? Quick Tips to Nourish and Restore

stressed

When you notice your body and brain are no longer cooperating and you are looking blankly at a blank screen … What do you do?

When you notice that your mind is full of thoughts that jump from re-visiting the past and becoming anxious about the future … What do you do?

When you find yourself getting triggered easily and lashing out at others … what do you do?

Most of us have coping strategies that have become habits over time. These become our “go to” behaviors to deal with stress.

I know a number of people who will keep going, and push through. Telling themselves this is what is needed and there is no choice. Until they start to become ill and chronically fatigued from stress.

The following tips are inspired by the restorative yoga classes I teach, and my own ways to unwind and de-stress. They work, whether you need a time out at work, or a break from conflicting emotions, or are just plain exhausted.

When we are drained and depleted we disconnect from our inner sense of being.  We are so much in our heads we have lost connection with our body and spirit. The key to bring this connection back is to use our breath to come back to our body and ourselves. 

Mini Mindful Moments like these are quick and simple. Pharmaceutical companies and purveyors of alcohol might deliver a different message at this point, but these tips are inspired by yoga. They are free and don’t take much time!

restore at workTry any one of the following strategies and see which work best for you. Make them a regular practice whenever you find yourself feeling stressed and tense.

1. Let out a big sigh! As soon as you notice you are stressed and tense, there is something ready to be released. Very often I don’t realize how tense I am until I sigh. Its has an immediate affect. Take a big breath in through the nose and let it out with a sigh. Take as many as feels good to you,  and let the weight fall off those shoulders.

2. Take several deep breaths, allowing yourself to feel fresh energy entering your body and stale energy being released. “I renew with each inhale. I release with each inhale.”  If you can, try adding some movement with your breath by moving your arms out and up on the inhale and then down on the exhale.

3. Close your eyes and focus on your body. Scan parts of your body in your mind. Notice where there is contraction and some tension. As you notice it, imagine sending your breath there and let the area soften. Breathe into each tense area and be mindful of the relaxation taking place.

4. Stretch. Standing tall reach for the sky and come on to your toes. Breath fully all the way into your belly. Release your heels back down on an exhale and repeat as often as it feels good.

5. Place both hands just above your heart. This stimulates a mammalian parent response, and brings comfort. Soften the tops of your shoulders and let your belly become soft. Breathe into the warmth around your heart. Feel the soothing nature of this compassionate touch.

6. Put your feet up – literally. Try moving to a wall and then raising your legs and resting them on the wall.  Make yourself comfortable with a pillow under your neck. You can also lie on the floor and bring your legs over a chair and rest there.

7. Smell a favorite smell. It can be useful to carry an essential oil or scent with you. Experiment with a citrus scent, lavender, or mint to see what feels most refreshing.

8. Dim the lights and light a candle. Gives your eyes a rest from the screen or wherever you’ve been focusing. Let the soft light and flicker soothe you.

9. Lie down in a gentle back bend, with a pillow under your back and a blanket or pillow supporting your head. Allow your shoulders to relax. Feel your ribs and the space around your heart gently opening as you inhale and relax as you exhale. Rest here for several breaths.

10. Feel the ground. Take your shoes off. Notice the four corners of each foot and then wiggle your toes for a moment. Notice how your feet are making contact with the ground and imagine sending down roots through the soles of your feet and deep into the earth. As you inhale, imagine drawing up strength and nourishment through these roots and into your whole body.

I hope you enjoy these mindful moments to nourish and replenish.

* Inspiration – Stillness

It has been said: “Stillness is the language God speaks, and everything else is a bad translation.”

Becoming conscious of stillness whenever we encounter it in our lives will connect us with the formless and timeless dimension within ourselves, that which is beyond thought, beyond ego.

Eckhart Tolle

 stillness

It may be we find this peace in nature, in the quietness in waking up in the early morning or in the silence between every day sounds. When we encounter stillness within we connect with our essential essence.

Eckhart tells us we are never more deeply ourselves then when we are still.

Does it not make sense to embrace these moments and make room for more of them in our hectic lives?

Find your Middle Ground and come home to your true self.

* M..M..Moment

mini mindful momentHere is a lovely Mini Mindful Moment that helped me find my Middle Ground today:

Walk Slowly by Danna Faulds

It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection. The harsh voice
of judgment drops to a whisper and I
remember again that life isn’t a relay
race; that we will all cross the finish
line; that waking up to life is what we
were born for. As many times as I
forget, catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
slowly into the mystery.

And that is why it is called a practice.

It begins with bringing our attention to our breath.

Patience little ones … and big ones too 🙂

Namaste

* MM Moments

I was thinking about the little rituals and moments that I have during my days that bring me back into the present moment. We don’t need to go on retreat or drive to a studio for group meditation or yoga. Although it is really beneficial to have a formal daily practice, it can be difficult to schedule in at times.

Having something to keep you on track can be very helpful.

It only takes a moment to come into the present.

mindful ladybug

… There you are 🙂

When we create rituals we bring more awareness into our days. When we are observers of ourselves we can step back and see possibilities, let go of what isn’t working for us, and make more conscious choices and decisions.

Pausing for a moment to connect with our inner being can make a huge difference to how our day unfolds.

Here are some daily rituals that remind me to check in with myself. I call these moments Mini Mindful Moments. MMM’s.
(Apologies to those that thought I was about to announce the next generation of M&M’s)

MMM’s

♥ As I wake up I notice my breathing. I take several deep breaths and allow myself 5 or more minutes to be right here before the need to get up. I ask: What can I look forward to in this day?

♥ Washing my hands with tender care using an aromatic foaming soap.

♥ Choosing specific music that signals meditation time. Its like Pavlov’s dogs … It takes me right there in an instant!

♥ Using the Chakra time mediation app on my smart phone. It goes off at 8 am and 1pm. An easy reminder to pause and breathe. Coming into the present moment.

♥ Listening to my own 2 minute mini meditation:

♥ I also ask myself these questions during the day:

Am I present?

Is my heart open or am I in my head?

What’s alive in me?

Do I need to take time for myself – a sacred pause?

 ♥ Using sticky notesQuestions to become present

Being conscious in the moment is freeing!

What MMM’s do you have that support you in being mindful and staying present during your day?