Does your teen make a plan with you and then ditch you for her friends?
Does your teen say hurtful things to you?
Does your teen squirm away when you try to be physically affectionate?
Even the nicest teens say mean things.
I remember looking at a photo of my Mom when she was a young woman wearing plaid bellbottoms, and I said, “Did you actually think you looked GOOD back then?”
Ouch! Sorry, Mom.
“So often we become so focused on the finish line, that we fail to enjoy the journey.” –Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This has been coming up for me a lot lately.
In a world where we’re always striving to be someone or get somewhere, when I take a moment to appreciate my surroundings, and notice all my senses — how I’m feeling, what thoughts are swirling around me, and whether they’re serving me or not — I can consciously make a choice to react differently, because I care how I feel in this moment.
Just for today, I will be grateful.
I can’t commit to being happy all the time, but I can commit to being grateful, one day at a time. In fact, it is my daily commitment to gratitude that keeps me going. Giving thanks has been part of my life for as long as I can remember; prayers at meals and bedtime, and going around the table at Thanksgiving to say out loud, in front of everyone, what I am grateful for have become rituals that I enjoy. Every time I sit down to write a birthday card I end up expressing gratitude for the qualities in that person that touch my life. Another gratitude practice of mine is when I’m feeling frazzled or anxious, I get out my journal and write out pages of things I’m grateful for, to bring me back to a place of calm and appreciation. At the end of the day, I am most grateful for my family and my health, and all my other worries seem small.
There are three chakras that will help you with organization and clarity: the root, solar plexus, and third-eye.
Take a few minutes each morning and evening doing this practice:
This week Dr. Wayne W. Dyer left his body. While he had his health issues over the years, he was so active and vibrant that his death still comes as a shock.
I never had the opportunity to meet Wayne in person, but I felt, as you may too, that I really did know him. He was so personable and open about his struggles and triumphs that listening to his HayHouse Radio show always felt like chatting over coffee with a great friend and mentor.
The results are so neat and clear. Meditation and Reiki, even just five minutes, can completely change your state. Your stress levels drop and happiness levels go up. What is so cool is that the results are statistically significant and consistent. That is nerd speak for, this is the real deal!
In the Reiki and Meditation Science Experiment, I have people rank their stress in 30 categories of stressors, everything from losing a spouse to getting a big zit. In the experiment, you rank your stress before and after either a 5 minute meditation or a 5 minute self-healing Reiki session.
Five minutes of meditation creates a 56% drop in stress levels.
Five minutes of a guided self-healing creates a 61% drop in stress.
As you can imagine, when you drop stress, happiness also increases.
I created another quiz where you rank your happiness levels by using the Reiki Ideals. The Reiki Ideals are: do not anger; do not worry; be grateful; do meditation and self-care; and be kind. After a 15 minute meditation, happiness levels increased.
Fifteen minute meditation increases happiness by 25%
What is so cool about all of this is that you don’t need to have a good meditation to get these results. Often when we drag ourselves to our practice, we get huge benefits. Even though these monkey-mind, chattering thoughts, restless meditations feel like we are terrible at meditating, we often see the biggest drop in stress when we have them.
So basically, don’t worry about doing meditation well, or the correct way. You just need to do it. Just show up and the results just happen.
What I have found is that not only do stress levels drop after a few minutes of meditating or doing Reiki, the effects are long lasting and cumulative. The more you meditate, the lower your stress levels.
I am a firm believer in frequency. The more often you meditate or do Reiki and self-healing, the bigger the benefit. It all adds up. In the long run, you become happier and more resilient to stresses.
And you only need a few minutes a day to create these changes. No need to spend hours coiled in a preztel! Just sit comfortably and breathe slowly for 5 minutes with your eyes closed and you will absolutely transform your life.
So. It is summer. All I want to do is … Nothing.
I’ve been struggling with my to-do list, which is lengthy, and just really not feeling it. I don’t want to ‘To-Do’. I don’t want to do anything.
I want to goof off and play hooky. I want to nerd out on my phone for hours. And when I get tired of that. I want to watch Friends. All of them. I want to fill my mind with cotton candy fluff. I want to doodle and read Facebook.
The struggle is that there are many things, productive-mind-vegetable-type-things, that I really want and need to get done this summer. So, in the midst of all that struggling to be productive, but really not, I called a dear friend.
“Maybe you could just do nothing really well for a week. Give yourself permission to rest. Just goof off, if that is what you want to do.”
So. I gave myself permission to do nothing this week and here I am – productive.
I’m here to say that if you are struggling with procrastination and To-Do-ing, try doing nothing.
No. Really. Try it!
It is wonderful.
Doing nothing is freeing. AND it is wildly productive.
Without trying. Without pressure.
I’m just doing the stuff I like. The stuff I enjoy. The stuff that is beneficial to me and my family. It is easy. I’m being easy in myself and energy has become available for things without trying or forcing.
Now, everytime I do something productive I feel like I am really bad at this doing-nothing thing. I thought with my procrastination skills that I would be way better at it than this.
The truth is, often when we feel pressured we don’t even know what actually needs to be on our list. What we really need is rest, play, cotton candy fluff. That rarely makes the list, but it is tremendously important.
If you are living a creative life, rest and goofing off are important. They are vital to fresh ideas and much needed perspective.
It is the cross-pollenization that is necessary to generate new ideas. We need that restorative break. Regularly. We need the cycle of rest and activity to be truly productive and creative.
So, run an experiment. Goof off this week and see what you get done! ?
I remember trembling while speaking. Holding my paper, damp from my unsteady hands, I read my notes in front of the class. Public speaking. Blech!
Nothing was less appealing than that.
Often I would enter this surreal, deer-in-the headlights, feeling when faced with talking in front of a group of people. So many times, the memory felt hazy. Like I was a breath away from passing out. Actually, the feeling of passing out was probably because I wasn’t breathing at all. Too panicked to breathe. Oh deer! 😉
I was fortunate to take a wonderful public speaking class in university. I was forced to speak every week. A curious thing happened. I began to open up, the shaking lessened, and my confidence soared.
The act of practice, that was the magic key to being able to speak in front of others. The only way through it, the only way to get better, was to do it.
There are some things that can not be learned from reading. No amount of studying from the (illusion) of safety will bring the experience that practice will.
At some point, you must try, make the attempt. And fail. Yes. The risk of failure is there, and high. But even failure is better than hiding. Particularly if we want to pursue a worthy goal.
Sometimes following our path takes us into the ‘uncomfortable-but-necessary’ zone. It does not (yet) feel natural, we don’t know what we are doing, there we are, feeling raw, vulnerable, maybe even frightened.
The new, but necessary, skill is waiting there for us to keep practicing. To not give up, to not fear starting, to persist throught the efforts of the ego to convince us we don’t really need to, it would be easier if, why don’t you just sit down for a while.
If we can keep going, keep showing up, keep leaping, we begin to see change. This change might be subtle at first, barely a whisper. But then, possibly over night, everything is somehow easier. It clicks.
Now, I love speaking to groups of all sizes. I love the idea of reaching more and more people with this work, which I am so passionate about. I find it inspiring now.
This did not happen overnight. It was a process of practice. Many, many years of practice, failure, patience. I kept on going because I felt it was necessary. Even though I didn’t like it, life kept throwing me in these situations where I had to speak. I got practice.
In the midst of showing up is a huge benefit: the power of practice is that it makes you truly powerful. Everything becomes doable. Everything.
What if you were worthy of all good you have and seek simply because you are human?
What if it was all on the way right now and all you need to do is sit still in the sun on a patio?
What if it was all so much easier and effortless than you ever believed?
What if it was all so very easy?
As easy as a morning stretch or a nighttime cuddle. As easy as breathing a sigh of relief or a simple walk in the full moon light.
That seems right.
Ah… To-Do list… You are not my badge of worthiness. You are not my reputation. You are not my source of abundance. Just merely an idea.
I have been working full tilt for quite some time. Don’t get me wrong, I love this work. I dive into it. I am filled with creative ideas non-stop these days. I love helping people. I will stay up till the wee hours of the morning when I am inspired by a project. I love that part of what I do.
This holiday, however, has taught me something valuable. I deliberately didn’t ‘work’. I did my best to put down my phone, turn off the laptop and genuinely spend time with family. It was interesting.
I had an odd adrift feeling. Not tethered to my long list of projects, I felt both free and nervous. Would my business come crashing to a halt? If I am not focused on it all the time will it go of the rails?
Everything is just fine. No one’s hair caught fire. No problems at all.
What did happen was the realization that I need more time completely OFF. It is a bit of me taking my own medicine, for sure.
So in two weeks, expect me to not answer my email or my phone promptly. I will be resting until I am restored!