What is Meditation?

Someone asked me for my thoughts on meditation and it got me thinking… do I know anything about meditation? For me, meditation is so pure and simple that it is somehow complicated to put into words. Mindfulness/meditation is the art of doing nothing and letting go. It is going home to ourselves when we have left our senses. It is our natural way of being. It is feeling the power of relinquishing the need to control.

The Great Contradiction

Meditation to me is a kind of contradiction. By yielding to the present moment we overcome our situation. By giving in to what is happening, we are instantly rewarded with a better, more fulfilled feeling. By letting go, we gain so much. And all we have to do to have the most wonderful feeling in the world… is absolutely nothing.

Our Busy World.

With people so busy checking their phones, looking over their shoulders for competitors and some even building walls of fear and hate, we all need meditation to help us to find a sense of peace. In our current society, we have become too infatuated with speed, success and doing, that we have forgotten to refuel.

Recharge the Batteries!

Humans energy levels are similar to mobile phone batteries. Almost every day, we charge our mobile phones to make sure that it has enough energy. This is akin to people making sure to get a good nights sleep. We need around 8 hours every night to function well. But what happens during the waking hours of the day?

Take Many Breaks.

As we use up energy on our phone, for phone calls, internet and messaging, we demand a lot from our phones. By the same token, as we expel our own energy on our thoughts, our daily tasks and constant activity, we also deplete our own energy. We need to take moments during the day, simply to be. We need moments in which we do not give out too much energy. We can stop for a minute to refuel our batteries.

What Do the Experts Say?

Eckhart Tolle, the author of “The Power of Now” advises that adding a small moment now and then to our lives for a mindful breath or a short meditation can greatly improve our well-being. The length of the meditation is not important, rather he advises to inset periods of meditation on a regular basis. The duration of meditation will naturally extend as we implement our own practice.

I encourage everyone to practice a bit of meditation. In whatever way we invite peace and meditation into our lives, it is one of the healthiest choices to make. We can slow down. We can refuel. We can become healthier and happier. As we practice, moment by moment, we can recover from a lifetime of struggle.

 

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What we Can Learn from Disney Heroines

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I have many friends who dismiss Disney as childish, anti-women or cliched. However, I believe that children’s stories can reveal to us astute messages if we are willing to see them. Movies that are directed at children often have poignant moments which reveal great truths, the kind that are the most difficult to admit to ourselves. And I remain a huge fan of all things Disney, so here is my toast to the women who inspire the little girl in me.

  1. They did not have it easy in the beginning.

Most of the classic Disney ladies had it tough when they grew up. Belle was viewed as aloof by everyone who knew her, Cinderella had her awful step-sisters and Rapunzel was cooped up in a tower. It is inspiring that despite their difficult beginnings, the Disney princesses did not let their personal circumstances get in the way of their dreams and their destiny.

2. They stuck true to their beliefs of what is right and wrong.

The Disney women did not appease people they did not approve of. Snow White didn’t take any prisoners from the seven dwarfs. Belle turned down the egotistical Gaston who came chasing after her. Cinderella left behind her cruel family to live happily ever after. As the song says “I never bother with people I hate. That’s why the lady is a tramp”.

3. Their Princes fought for them.

The men who chose these Disney princesses were not after riches or status. The Princes fought dragons, went against their social differences and pursued their love interest until they could unite. They were daring, bold and brave. They could see how wonderful these Princesses were and were willing to fight fantastical and social challenges for them.

4. They appreciated the good things in life.

Pursuing true love, caring for nature, and being true to themselves, the Disney women are elegant ladies with social tact. Although life presented many issues, the Disney women would power through and life would bring them to the right place at the right time. They were able to flow with life and trust that all will work out well in the end.

5. They believed in the power to choose good or evil

There is a good deal of magic in Disney stories, which helps to change your life. But when you take out the metaphysical or witchcraft elements of the stories, what you are left with is a battle between pure humanity and wickedness, caused by envy or hurt. The Fairy Godmother gave the gesture of kindness and mercy by giving a helping hand in an hour of need. The Wicked Witch was simply to be pitied for harnessing so much hatred against Snow White. Fairy tales are of course fantastical, but they show us how people have a choice in how the choose to respond to life’s challenges.

I understand my friends who do not approve of Disney. But I hold steadfast in my beliefs. Despite what other people think, I believe in happy endings, I have faith in the goodness of people. Although I may not change the world, I will be the heroine of my own life… with a touch of magic!

From Flowing to Floating

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via Daily Prompt: Float

 

Here is a little poem inspired by “Floating”

 

Flow when your friend is sick

And can’t make it to the gig

Twist the twist of fate and see

You have a choice suddenly

To do exactly as you choose.

 

Flow around the bumps and lumps

That life serves up

Dish yourself out something new.

Ask what’s next on the menu?

 

Float: when you

Cannot flow anymore,

Paralysed by too many options

like the donkey (long overdue)

between two bails of hay

could not choose and what did he do?

 

Float when you

cannot flow anymore

when the water won’t play by your rules.

 

Lie on your back

face up, look at the sky.

 

Put the flow back in floating.

Let life row you downstream to

Its source back where you

Came from… home.

 

Flow on to new adventures

when you have wind in your sails.

But when you are all blown out,

Remember to float

back home.

 

What will you do flow or float?

 

 

5 Reasons not to Compare Yourself

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When we see someone do exceptionally well in life, do we think, “I could never do that!” or “I want to do that too!”? In life, there will always be someone faster, stronger or more talented than us. Therefore, we need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Here is some of my advice on how to keep us focused on our own goals.

 

  1. You are on your own unique path:

Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. We are built differently to each other, with different ages and different backgrounds, so no two people can be compared in how they live. As we reach for life goals we will take a completely unique journey to anyone else.

  1. This is not a race:

We can reach our goal in our own time. Even if we share the same goal as someone else, set the time frame to suit ourselves. If your goal is to run 5 kilometres in 15 minutes, and it takes one month to achieve this, you still reached your goal. Some people take longer to achieve their goals than others, but we will still get there in the end.

  1. Remember you are not alone

Everyone has moments when they feel unsure about their own abilities. We have all compared ourselves to someone else. It is reassuring to know that you are not the only one to feel like this.

  1. Competition distracts you

No one else matters when we pursue our goal. Our fight comes down to ourselves alone. We can only look to ourselves to push through to the end. Watching what the others are doing around us, will waste our energy. So don’t let competition take your eye off the prize!

  1. You will have more fun!

We will enjoy life so much more when we don’t compare ourselves to anyone else. We will have the best time doing it in our own way.

Conclusion

Instead of competing with another person, turn them into your role model. Be impressed with their success. Let them inspire you to do the same. If you want to follow their path, talk to them about how they prepared for this goal. Look up to this person. They can show you the way! At the end, when you finally reach your goal, you will meet them at the finish line!

 

How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Giving Up

Its that time of year again, where we begin new projects and may struggle to maintain momentum with the new changes. How can we continue with a project when we really, really, REALLY don’t want to? If we have been disillusioned with our health or work for a while, we may lose interest or motivation to keep going. How can we avoid giving up? Here are some tips to help us keep going with relationship issues, work-related stress or our fitness routine.

 

  1. Choose a fun task

Do something you love! If you are doing something which is not your thing, try something new. Try as many styles of work and projects as you can until you find the type that suits you. You will know when you find the correct type when you enjoy it, you want to be challenged more and you feel by the end of the workday as though you really gave your best. When you do what you enjoy, believe me, you will flourish!

  1. If it is not fun, make it fun!

Sometimes if we want to focus on a particular task, our options for fun can be limited. If we cannot avoid a certain task we can find a way to make it more fun. Get creative with your mind and make this as silly as you can! Laughter will really help you through the difficult workdays.

  1. Distract yourself

A bit of background noise can help you to work better and get you more engaged in your work. Put on whatever helps to get you more motivated to work. Also make sure that your work space is inviting so that you associate work with having a positive experience.

  1. Change the routine

Here is where you can trick your mind into thinking you are doing a new routine. Simply change the order of in which you complete your tasks. It is a minor change, but it can be a new approach when your routine has become repetitive. This change can be as good as a break.

  1. Don’t be rigid.

Life will not allow you to follow a rigid work plan. You will have to learn to be flexible as life interrupts your plans again and again. This is a good challenge however, as the more you are challenged by life, the more indestructible your work habits will become. With practice you can meet every challenge as it arises and overcome whatever life throws at you.

  1. Get curious!

If you find you are struggling to maintain your good quality work, find out why you that is. Is there something holding you back from your goal? What is the reason you are not progressing with this project? Explore the reasons to find out exactly why there is this issue.

 

Final Note:

The process of becoming a happy worker is not a straight forward journey. We set out with great determination to work exceptionally well and it is not long before life starts to challenge us. These hurdles are our real test. As we make these positive changes in our working lives, we have to change our attitude so that we can keep on going. Don’t beat yourself up for being human, remember your overall goal and find the path most enjoyable to you. If there is no path, build your own one to suit you! Whatever you do, keep moving forward!

 

“Lighting of One” By Joan Healy

InkSplinters

From ‘A Christmas Challenge’

Sweetest Love, I do not go
Underneath the mistletoe.
This Christmas find me underneath
An avalanche of snow.

I give myself the gift of time
To finally fall apart,
To write you out of my will
And will you out of my heart.

But instead, I get one single flake,
As lonely as a prayer.
The first to fall is the one to call
The rest from sleep to share

In the falling and rising of snow
Til the sky is covered in white.
Litany of lighthouses guide us home
In the bleak mid-winter night.

Beacons like olive branches,
Are passed from star to star to come.
For all the light we are blessed with now
Began with the lighting of one.

One crystal becomes a cloud
One angel becomes a choir
This song becomes this silence
As one light becomes a fire!

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