Sunday, June 24, 2012

How to Recharge After Drama


Life can throw some interesting things at us sometimes! Even the most conscious and positive-minded people are not completely immune to some stress and drama once in a while. I believe we have a choice in how we handle these things. We can choose to breathe and remain centered in the midst of the chaos, or we can choose to entangle ourselves in it.
I found myself in the midst of some drama this week and although I feel like I stayed pretty calm, I felt really zapped of my inspiration and creativity afterwards. I turned to one of my go-to remedies: a twenty-minute guided meditation. It helped me truly relax and let the drama go.
So how do you replenish yourself after a difficult or dramatic experience?
Take a nap. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just take a nap! It’s one of the best ways to soothe your mind and body.
Meditate. Guided meditations are amazing because your mind is following the words that are being spoken. You are gently guided into a deep state of relaxation that benefits your mind as well as your body.
Write out your feelings. Acknowledge the way you feel in a journal, and then let it go.
Call a good friend. Talk to someone who you know will uplift you. Express how you feel, and then focus your energy on how you can let it go and move forward.
Create art. Take your mind off the subject that’s upsetting you and let yourself get happily lost in a creative activity.
Go for a walk. Walking is good for you in so many ways! When I go for a walk, I feel physically and mentally balanced.
Take a shower. The feeling of the water is so soothing. I always feel so refreshed after I take a shower.
Listen to music. Music is such a powerful soother. It’s so easy to get swept away in the rhythms and melodies of a beautiful song.
If you’re in a place where you can’t be alone, for instance if you’re at work or if you’re driving, the best thing you can do is breathe consciously and slowly. Let everything slow down and deeply feel the sensations of your breathing. Find a point of focus and zoom in on it, whether it’s a background color, the beauty of someone’s eyes, or the music in the background.
Once things have calmed down, there’s usually something of value to be gained from the experience. It might not be obvious while you’re in the middle of it, but if you look a little closer, you can see the silver lining in every cloud.

http://islaorganic.com/how-to-recharge-after-drama/

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What is Life Like Beyond your Comfort Zone?

Most of us are familiar with the term “comfort zone.” I honestly wish it had a different name! It just sounds so…well, comforting. I think it should be called the predictable zone, the boring zone, the cocoon…any of those names will do! Our comfort zone is the place where we keep doing what is familiar and safe. We are afraid to venture out into something new because we might mess up, get embarrassed, or any number of uncomfortable feelings.
Neale Donald Walsch once said that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” and I really believe that. Sometimes, the things we’re scared to do are often the most exhilarating and satisfying. Things like talking to a handsome stranger, delivering a speech, or singing karaoke.
Phil Stutz and Barry Michels, authors of the book, The Tools, address this in a really unique and powerful way. They suggest fully embracing the feeling associated with leaving your comfort zone instead of avoiding it. (I highly recommend checking out their book for the full explanation of this exercise, as well as the other transformative tools they suggest.) I’ve tried this a few times in the last week and it’s actually really fun to do! I was at Starbucks the other day and there was a very tall, attractive woman in line behind me. I was intimidated by her but I embraced the feeling and started talking to her anyway. She was so nice and we had a lovely conversation about being tall! It might sound silly, but I felt really alive and happy afterwards! This is just a small example, but it applies to bigger things as well. I actually applied for a job that is way out of my comfort zone. I met the owner and had an interview, and now I’m just waiting to hear back. Even if I don’t get the job, the experience itself has been so exhilarating. I’m proud of myself for going for it and I have more courage to keep going. This reminds me of a beautiful quote that I’ve heard so many times, but now it holds a powerful new meaning:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  –Anais Nin
If you think about it, everything was once unfamiliar. From the basics of talking and walking, to everyday activities like driving and cooking, we have to try new things on a regular basis. After a while, they become familiar and automatic.
So what is life like beyond your comfort zone? It is exhilarating, exciting, and fun. It’s filled with new experiences that are truly fulfilling. Think about all the best things in your life right now. Imagine if you didn’t take that extra step that led you to those experiences?
I feel another quote coming on!
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”  –Henry David Thoreau
In what ways can you go beyond your current comfort zone?
You could:
Start the business you’ve been dreaming about
Apply for a job that feels a little out of reach
Make a new friend
Submit your artwork to a gallery
Start a challenging new workout routine
Life really does begin at the end of your comfort zone. Embrace the discomfort and watch it dissolve. And if you do, you’ll meet with success unexpected in common hours.


(You can also read the article here: http://islaorganic.com/what-is-life-like-beyond-your-comfort-zone/)

Monday, June 11, 2012

How to Savor the Moment

Why do we have goals? Why do we make plans and write to-do lists? I’m beginning to think it’s not just to get it all done. I think everything we do is for the enjoyment of it. We’ve all heard the expression: Life is about the journey, not the destination. I’m starting to realize that life is really about cherishing and savoring the moment.
Savoring and being present go hand in hand. Eckhart Tolle popularized the concept of being present with his book, “The Power of Now.” A simple definition of being present is to be fully aware of whatever you are doing in the moment. You’re not thinking about the past or worrying about the future; you are fully here, now. It’s actually a really elegant and potent form of gratitude.Your body is relaxed, your breathing is slower and fuller, and the experience of enjoyment is enhanced. In her book, “The How of Happiness,” author Sonja Lyubomirsky mentions that researchers define savoring as any thoughts or behaviors capable of “generating, intensifying, and prolonging enjoyment.”
I also love these definitions:
To give oneself to the enjoyment of
To relish or enjoy; to delight in
To taste or smell, especially appreciatively
Here are some ways to savor the moment:
Savor a meal. The next time you sit down for a meal, notice and enjoy the flavors of each bite. Notice how different your food tastes. Really revel in the experience instead of rushing through it.
Revel in music. Play your favorite songs, and really enjoy how the music makes you feel.
Luxuriate in a spa treatment. Make an appointment for a massage or facial, or ask someone to massage your shoulders for you. Be sure to fully enjoy the sensations.
Delight in beauty. When you see something beautiful, take an extra second or two to notice the details of it. Nature is abundant with beautiful sights to enjoy.
Enjoy conversations. You can also savor a really good conversation. Savor the feelings that come up and notice how good you feel!
Lie in glory. To bask means to lie in glory. I just love that! Where could you bask? Maybe you could enjoy a sunset on your balcony, revel in an accomplishment, or hit the snooze button and enjoy a few extra minutes relaxing in bed.
Cherish a friend. The next time you’re with a good friend, really notice what you love about them. It could be the way their eyes sparkle, their witty sense of humor, or the way they really listen to you.
Enjoy routine behaviors. Imagine enjoying a routine behavior like brushing your teeth! You can enjoy the sensations of the water, the minty taste of your toothpaste, and the freshness of your breath.
And there are so many other things you can savor:
  • A hug
  • Art
  • Pictures
  • Memories
  • Future plans
  • Books
Savoring doesn’t have to be limited to vacations or special occasions. You can find endless things to savor even on ordinary days.
“The purpose of life, after all, is to love it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt
What are some things you can savor in your life?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Just a Coincidence?


I had another amazing synchronicity yesterday. My mom was telling me about a friend whose daughter takes three hour naps every day, and then goes to sleep really late at night. Interestingly that day, she only took a 45 minute nap! It reminded me of something similar that happened when I was in skin care school. I noticed that no matter what time I left in the morning, I would always see this particular student from the hair design program on my way there. Obviously he noticed it too because he mentioned it to me one day. From that day on, we never saw each other on the road ever again!

I told my mom this story yesterday and later that night, I went out with a good friend of mine. We walked back to my car and all of a sudden, I looked over and saw the guy from my school!!! I haven’t seen him in three years and I just told my mom that story earlier! How do you explain something like this? It felt like much more than a coincidence. My own assessment is that everything really is connected, and when we become aware of something, it shows up in our experience.

It’s like when you get a new car, and suddenly you see it everywhere.

Who knows how or why these things happen. I think instead of trying to figure it all out, I’ll just marvel at how amazing life is!


(image from photosen.com)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Words of Wisdom from my Higher Self


I’m doing something a little different with this post. I usually like to write about an inspiring experience or an insight that I had, but today I feel inspired to share some thoughts from my Higher Self. Yesterday morning, I wrote in my journal: Wise Self, do you have any messages for me now? And these are the words that came:

Love, clarity, grace. It’s true: the Universe has the wherewithal to fully deliver to you, the full experience of what you desire. Each and every thing! You just have to be a match to it, and it’s easier than you think. The most important and valuable thing you can do is relax, breathe, smile, hug people, trust yourself, enjoy yourself, and trust Life! Breathe and relax.

You are loved. You are supported. Smile and savor! Treat yourself with love and care. Breathe deeply. Cultivate joy. Be present, here in this moment now. Life is good! You become a vibrational match to your desire by knowing it is available and ready. Know you are worth it. Amplify your worthiness. You are a treasured Goddess! Treasure yourself. And treasure others. Dance with Life. See all the Beauty. Enjoy sensual pleasures.

Relax into the knowing of who you are. Feel good and embrace the magic of life. Let go of tension and tightness. There’s nothing to figure out or fix. Just be here in this moment, now. And cultivate your favorite feelings.

I love the purity and the clarity of these words. I love that I am being bold and posting them here on my blog! I hope you enjoy and ask your Higher Self for some wisdom, too!

Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Stay Centered When Life Gets Crazy

There are times in our lives when things can feel overwhelming. It may seem like everything is off balance. You know the old saying: when it rains, it pours!
Here are a few fun things that can change your perspective and possibly alleviate some of the feelings of being overwhelmed:
Start Your Day on a Positive Note
When you first wake up in the morning, bring a smile to your face and see what happens. You’ll notice your entire day will unfold differently. Take advantage of those peaceful morning moments. If you live with other people, try waking up ten or fifteen minutes before everyone and give yourself that time to relax and start your day on a positive note. Take that time to do anything that brings you pleasure, whether it’s writing, working on an art project, doing research for your business, or anything that makes your heart sing.
I’ve never considered myself a morning person but I realized that I actually love mornings, as long as I don’t have to interact with anyone! I love those quiet moments when there’s not much noise or activity and my thoughts are gentle and flowing. My best ideas come to me when I first wake up in the morning. Author Julia Cameron recommends the practice of morning pages. It’s a writing exercise where you literally start writing anything and everything that comes to you. You don’t edit or question any of it. You just let it flow and when you’re done, you’ll find gems of wisdom and brilliance.
Enjoy the Journey
To me this means being fully here in the moment, not thinking about the past or worrying about the future. I recently went to a birthday party on a yacht. It was my first time on a yacht and it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. It felt so wonderful to be out on the water, feeling the wind and the sunshine, seeing all kinds of beautiful sights like other boats, beautiful bridges, and colorful kites. It was magnificent and I soaked up every second of it. I was not thinking about anything else. I was fully in the present and savoring every moment of it. I wondered what it would be like to feel like this even on ordinary days.
Turn Everyday Annoyances into Moments Of Pleasure
Lots of things can happen that have the potential to set you off in a downward spiral: someone cuts you off in traffic, you choose a slow checkout line, or your work gets criticized. These things usually trigger a reaction that includes feelings of irritation and even anger. Recently I started playing a game where every time something like that happens, I use it as an opportunity to experience a moment of pleasure. This is really fun to do while driving. Every time someone cuts me off or drives slow in front of me, I send them blessings or think of something I’m grateful for. It’s so out of the ordinary and it prevents a downward spiral.
Another level of this game is to reframe a frustrating experience. For example, when someone cuts you off in traffic, consider that maybe they’re rushing because they’re late for a job interview and they haven’t had an interview in months. If you choose a slow checkout line, consider that there’s a hidden blessing in it. Maybe you were meant to interact with that particular checkout person for some reason. Use your imagination to make up stories that make you feel better, whether they’re true or not!
Breathe
This one sounds so obvious, but when you breathe consciously and deeply, your whole body relaxes. Take a few deep breaths and you’ll immediately feel a sense of relief. Do this throughout the day and you’ll maintain a gloriously relaxed state.
Try integrating some of these practices into your day and notice how differently things unfold!