A Time for Mindfulness, The Sky Isn’t Falling, Maintain Serenity

Grocery shopping, usually an enjoyable experience for me was a journey into self-mastery. because I absorb and am naturally very sensitive to the energy of those around me. As I quietly walked through the store, the fear and anxiety were palpable. I witnessed out of control, panicked and worried people collecting multiple carts with several family members, pushing, shoving and racing through the store scooping large quantities of merchandise into their carts as if the world was coming to an end. While there was a temptation to find fault and judge, for my own self-protection I remained focused on what I was doing, stayed to myself and concentrated on departing when I was done.

The condition of the store (images below) was unthinkable. As the cashier was ringing me out, we chatted about the state of things, she said it is the “Chicken Little” story come to life.

“The moral of the Chicken Little story is to have courage, even when it feels like the sky is falling.

To make things worse, the media is exploding with a steady stream of inflated piffle and misinformation that frightens and upsets people. This only increases unnecessary fear that brings extreme psychological stress and out of control anxiety only increasing weakened immune systems. Fear spreading is the real danger, calm and common sense are the catalysts to avoid extreme situations that can and will take place if fear continues to dominate a very controllable circumstance.

EFFECTIVE MINDFULNESS Practices

Exercise such as:

  • Yoga, stretching, walking

Aromatherapy, use these scents to increase calm:

  • Lavender
  • Vetiver
  • Bergamot
  • Roman chamomile
  • Neroli
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Orange or orange blossom
  • Geranium

Take supplements to increase wellness:

  • ashwagandha,
  • omega-3
  • fatty acids,
  • green tea
  • lemon balm
  • valerian
  • kava kava
  • Reduce caffeine
  • Laugh
  • Eat and sleep well

Practice mindfulness through:

  • meditation
  • unplug, be present in the moment
  • watching your thoughts when they wander

Create a mini arts program for yourself:

  • play games, read a novel, relax with music

As with every difficult situation we are challenged by, It’s important to remember all we can do is our best, continue to live our lives and expect the best outcome. Whatever your spiritual practices, we can all contribute by withholding judgment, remain considerate, compassionate and understanding.

The truth is:

“The vast majority of cases are going to be mild, and people are going to recover just like they do from a cold or flu-like illness.”— Dr. Amesh Adalja

Stay well, be at peace; find the sacredness and joy in everyday life.

Climate Change Grief, Honoring the Pain and Moving On

Climate crisis anxiety and related PTSD are very real and growing mental health issues affecting people of all ages, especially young people. Between unexpected climate-induced disasters, the media and scientific reports focusing on bleak situations of impending environmental catastrophes, people are experiencing increased feelings of distress, anguish and helplessness. It is natural to want to put our heads in the sand to avoid the stress, but a healthier way to live is to reduce the amount of time spent focused on the negative and address what we are feeling so we can move beyond the paralysis of fear.

Being fearful and anxious are natural reactions to the overwhelming issues we are faced with, grieving, pain and emotional anguish are a part of the process we must go through. But, like anything difficult we are faced with we have to find ways to deal with what we’re feeling so we can move into a place of purpose and create a practical, positive vision for the future, empowering ourselves to take effective action.

Part of that action is moving away from the mindset that the government or other agencies are going to correct the environmental wrongs, if we are honest with ourselves and take responsibility, climate change developed with human expansion and the industrial age so we are all accountable; the solutions are up to all of us.

Eco-psychologist Joanna Macy teaches useful frameworks for facing up to disturbing realities and finding capacity for action. First there is the gratitude stage, which focuses our attention on those aspects of life and the world that nourish us. Then there is a stage that honors the pain that we are experiencing. The third and fourth stages relate to exploring new possibilities and finding practical actions to take. (from theguardian.com)

Ways to contribute that I’ve found useful:

  • Sign environmental and wildlife petitions
  • We don’t run the A/C, the house does get warm, but its livable and ceiling fans keep us comfortable
  • Create a garden of native and edible plants
  • Use bird feeders to supplement what food isn’t there
  • Unplug appliances and electronics wherever and whenever possible
  • Use cloth grocery bags
  • Reuse whatever I can, reduce, then recycle
  • Significant reduction of food-waste and trash
  • Use nature friendly products
  • Monitor water and electricity usage
  • Combine trips to town
  • Use photography as a medium to convey conservation information
  • Grow native plants in my garden

My well-being and happiness practices:

How we feel and think makes a tremendous impact on our ability to be clear, deliberate, wise and sensible. I focus on a variety of ways to take care of myself so I am able to practice what I preach.

  • I pay attention to how I feel
  • Spiritual practices that allow me to attain internal peace
  • Stay in the moment
  • Practice deep breathing and meditation
  • Maintain a clutter free, beautiful environment
  • Get enough sleep
  • Be in the moment
  • Go out in nature for a walk
  • Listen to peaceful and relaxing music
  • Share any feelings of distress
  • Practice gratitude
  • Read about achievements and successes in conservation and sustainability
  • Instead of worrying, I search for solutions that I can apply

This man-made wetlands is just minutes from my home and one way I take solace that there are positive signs of progress. This is reclaimed water from my neighborhood, it supports a large variety of wildlife and native plants. Even though it seems minuscule, this is a part of my “solutions based program” because I feel uplifted by the efforts that the Game and Fish Dept. put into it to make this small area a part of the solution. Because of this area, my neighborhood does what we can to take steps to help keep the area as trash free as possible, do volunteer projects to help clean up public land, use chemical free cleaners and do whatever we can to honor and protect wildlife and nature areas.

 Climate change is the single biggest thing that humans have ever done on this planet. The one thing that needs to be bigger is our movement to stop it. – Bill McKibben

Moving on is beneficial not only for you, but for the planet. Healing takes time and is a step to be mindfully and heartfully whole again. Connecting your mind with your heart is a way to help yourself feel like what you’re doing matters.

How you can relieve the stress and feelings of helplessness:

  • Daily self care practices
  • Have good eating habits
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Maintain healthy sleep
  • Take a walk in nature
  • Talk with someone who shares your ideals about how you feel
  • Remember one person can make a significant difference
  • Practice gratitude and appreciation
  • Reduce the amount of time spent on negative media
  • Seek help if you’re unable to resolve any internal issues

Create your own personal conservation program:

  • Promote change – sign petitions effecting the environment and sustainability
  • Reduce your use of fossil fuel
  • Be efficient – maintain your vehicle
  • Purchase Energy Star appliances
  • Weatherproof your home
  • Grow your own food
  • Use native plants and edibles throughout your garden
  • Reduce, reuse and then recycle
  • Offset your fuel consumption by donating to Green Projects – here is the link to help you find a project you’d like to fund: https://offset.climateneutralnow.org/
  • Use public transportation when possible, walk or ride a bike
  • Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use
  • Learn about what your local businesses are doing to improve their environmental practices
  • Speak with your local authorities about what they’re doing and find ways to participate

While people may believe that doing these things is small and insignificant, imagine the effect if millions of people practiced these steps every. So do your part, proudly, knowing that you’re contributing to the better good of our planet.

We have to believe that even the small actions we take are making a difference and helping the environment. Develop strong social connections with family, friends and your neighbors, that will propel you to want to promote positive solutions and encourage everyone around you to be mindful of the way they live.

In a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket. But with enough drops, we can fill any bucket. David Suzuki

A New Way to Stop Overplanning; Living One Day at a Time

One day at a time- this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.” — Ida Scott Taylor

Before I relaxed into a natural life of consciousness, I was so focused on my past “mistakes” and how my future was going to go.  No matter what I did, the past never changed and my future plans had a mind of their own. It was truly exhausting living that way.  I had no idea that I was letting the moment I was in slip into oblivion.  The growing and learning process was slow with many challenges that kept pulling me into understanding that the moment I was in was precious and the only thing that I was sure of.  Now my life is focused on living one day at a time, never letting what I’ve experienced in the past or what may come in the future stop me from enjoying my life right now.

Years ago, I tried a suggested practice someone defines as living backward in time. Its not new for some, but for many people it is a different way of treating life. Living backward means living in the now as if it’s the future that you envision. Setting an intention means thinking forward in time, living in the present means being here now. A way to manage both is to combine the two. That is living “as if”, instead of “what if”and I can attest that it’s very effective. For example, instead of going on a diet to lose weight because your overweight with the potential of gaining it back, live as if you’re 15 pounds lighter, living healthier and the owner of a different lifestyle, your entire way of living and thinking will be forever changed.

Here are several suggestions that I’ve used to re-adjust my thinking to a backward way of living.

  1. Accept uncertainty. It’s impossible to predict the future
  2. Take action, talking about changing usually requires less energy than actually doing it
  3. Stay focused on the day. Start with letting go of planning every minute of your day and go with the flow, I do this very successfully and actually get more done
  4. When engaging with people, put your full attention on them and your conversation, no more half listening or allowing any distractions 
  5. Always have a positive and expectant attitude, smile often, life has a million possibilities
  6. Forgive forgive, forgive past hurts, forgiving is not allowing a person to get away with something, it is about removing yourself from the situation completely and freeing yourself be present and move on
  7. Stop worrying, whatever happens tomorrow, happens, worrying doesn’t change anything and makes it harder for you to maintain your sanity and be present
  8. Let go of past accomplishments, don’t let whatever successes you’ve had in the past interfere with your present, however great they were, they don’t define you or what your capable of
  9. Create your intention now as if it is already successful and the way you envision your future life and dream big

To help me to stay aligned with this way of life, I practice the following habitually so I never slip back into an old, ineffective way of living.  These powerful practices are simple and very effective.

  • Meditate – There are lots of ways to meditate, rather than just lying or sitting still, you can walk, dance, write, listen to music while allowing your mind to go blank and just be, I do it all of the time and find myself thinking less, moving through my day mindfully and so at peace.
  • No Next – imagine that there is no next event, next task, next person or next anything to get to. Invite yourself to stop preparing or getting ready for something else to come. Deliberately remove all elses. Meet now with nowhere and nothing else still to get to. This practice helps you to stay focused on what you’re doing or who your engaging with.
  • See Everything as a Teacher. When you’re feeling frustrated with someone, stressed by work, upset or grieving about a difficult situation or the health of a loved one, just feeling anxious about anything, pause and see this person or situation as a teacher. I find that when you ask yourself what can I learn from what’s going on then the mind is focused on a solution for peace of mind in the moment.
  1. The Power of Self-Reflection – Asking yourself questions keeps you focused on self-improvement and ensures that you are as fulfilled as possible.  What attachments can you see in yourself that are causing you to project to the future or relive the past? What stories are you telling yourself that are causing you to feel this way? What can you let go of? What can you appreciate about this moment that you’re taking for granted? 

We create our lives, so now decide the kind of life you would like to create for yourself and what that life would look like. Then, live it now as if that life and lifestyle were yours already.

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha.

Thank you for reading my post and your time.

Living in a Harmonious Society, Lessons from Ancient Egypt

 

 

In ancient Egypt, the more good deeds you did, the lighter your heart became. If your heart was not light, you could not board Ra’s board and sail away into your Afterlife.  Lin Dunn, Ancient Egypt for Kids

This quote explains how ancient Egyptian’s knew that practicing selfless good deeds, living in harmony within their community and remembering that what they did and how they treated others was the ticket to a happy transition when the time came for them to leave this earth plane. While that may appear to be selfish, in truth, it was simply a way of life and a value system that was and is handed down from one generation to the next.

Today, In Cairo as well as major cities in Egypt, a large number of old Egyptian traditions remain from the time of the Pharaohs, and contrast with pure tribal customs brought in by many invaders throughout the centuries. UNESCO

How do you view the human existence?  How do you see the relationship between humanity and nature? What do you think you can do to be more in alignment and harmony with nature and your fellow-man?

I think we can all agree that we are living in very turbulent times, chaos seems to be the dominating factor everywhere we turn. From warring countries to road rage, the world seems to be at a point where it’s clear that we have to find another way to live or humanity will disappear. This is where living mindfully is successful because it’s about being thoughtful, kind, compassionate, observant and knowing that outside events and experiences are not the guideposts for your life, but living consciously within our community to create a harmonious existence is.

From everything I’ve learned over years of research and reading, if we go back in time to a wise and experienced society like the Egyptians, through a change in belief, we can implement harmony, collaboration and cooperation. While the ancients may have had an occasional war with their neighbors; within their society balance reigned. If there were any internal uprisings, they were settled with negotiation or conformity until something changed in order to maintain peace.

One major reason for their success was the common but strong belief in a wonderful life after death. It was not an absolute, it had to be earned, the belief was so strong that all levels of society conducted themselves to assure a safe passage to the afterlife.

I’m not suggesting that everyone believe in life after death, I am suggesting that if we all believed in living in harmony with nature and the balance it can bring, we would effectively be changing the way we interact with each other. Ancient Egyptians were extremely intelligent, their engineering accomplishments are far superior to those we’ve seen in the 21st century.  If they were wise and quick-witted enough to conduct a harmonious social life, settle grievances through a spirit of reciprocation and recognize the vital links between humans, nature and the divine, then so can we.

So what changes can we make?  Of course, the world wasn’t populated the way it is now when the ancients were alive, but in my way of seeing things, change happens one person at a time.  If we choose to embrace a healthy respect for nature, mindfulness and cooperation and live that wherever we go, we can eventually recreate the same kind of world the ancient Egyptians lived in.

For instance, I recently learned that one American rancher achieved more success and connection with his community by leaving commercial ranching behind to create his own compassionate, natural and humane ranch. By following his inner guidance, he inspired many other ranchers to do the same. In another instance, a gentleman who owns a small successful farm, founded a farming coop to help his community maintain their small farms rather than try to fight each other or large commercial farms. This happened because the founder was determined to continue to do what he loved and he knew the community he lived in wanted to do the same, forging social harmony and aligning with nature.

In my life, I moved into a situation where there was stress, conflict and tension between roommates. The love, compassion and balanced approach to situations I’ve brought has changed everything, one roommate even remarked that I am a miracle. We can all be and bring a miracle to effect harmony and live in tune with nature if we let go of the old way of doing things by creating harmony and peace with just our presence.

Ancient Egyptians believed the purpose of life was to nourish the seeds of the divine within us all, they revered the natural world. It is happening slowly as more and more people are coming to understand that we are all linked. People are realizing that life is better for everyone if we live more naturally and are more aware of the vital role we play in caring for nature and each other. I believe It is the only way humanity is going to survive and progress.

Perhaps the greatest lesson to be learnt from the wisdom of sacred traditions is also the
simplest; to honor creation by nurturing a kinship with nature. UNESCO

Nature has life all figured out, we just have to understand her and live in harmony with it. Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.

Celebrate Your Dream – Create a Space that Inspires You

Your attitude and mindset are the most vital components in the pursuit of your dreams. How you wake up, spend your precious time and how you sleep at night are the catalysts for living an inspired life.  Your perception of yourself, beliefs and feelings about life are physically manifested in the space you call home.

Imagining and creating give us a sense of purpose – Tony Wagner

Creativity is an important component of pursuing your dream, it makes you happier, less stressed, more equipped and resilient when it comes to problem-solving in challenging situations.

An easy way to express creativity is to design your space using color, style and placement of the items you choose so wherever you call home can be an inspiration for your dreams. Someone I saw on a show recently said, “Where you lay your head at night can set the foundation for every aspect of your life“, I have to agree with that 100% because I know it to be true. When you create your surroundings with the intention and purpose of aligning yourself with your dreams, it makes an extraordinary difference in how you feel about yourself and your life.

Use these helpful tips below to get started with your space creation:

1. Don’t analyze or choose what you “should” like or what is trending.
2. Go with your gut and pin or clip things that you instantly respond to. You’ll pare them down later and, when you do, you’ll find common threads without even trying to make it happen.
3. Take your time and enjoy the process.

My Choice to Live Minimally

Because my focus now is my photography/lifestyle business, I choose to live very simply. I’ve consciously made a choice to be surrounded only by items I love, colors that speak to me and my unique style. Everything in my space has been selected very carefully.  I’ve allowed myself to feel something before I bought, which has made a huge difference in what I do have. My surroundings are also clutter-free, so my space is not only inspirational but harmonious and peaceful.  If I don’t use something or need it, I get rid of it.

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. The Minimalists

A Space for Dreaming:

  • Encourage yourself and design a space for dreaming, whether you live with people or have a space of your own, find a place where you can use colors and objects that you choose, even if it is a corner of a room.

 

  • Lighting is foremost, so make sure you choose wisely. Natural lighting in any room makes a huge difference, so choose window coverings to optimize the light and place furniture to take advantage of it. The combination of natural and soft lighting and candles helps to fuel your inspiration. Use natural oils and incense to fragrance the room, it makes a room feel magical.

 

Photo courtesy of Evija-Roberts Blog

  • Choose colors that you love and are inspired by. Color is the most tangible way to express yourself.  Remember to use bright and vivid colors sensibly such as on one wall, in throw pillows, a bed throw, or cover, decorator items or in curtains, too much of it can overwhelm you.  When you combine neutrals with color it will make the room an expression of you rather than the star, that is you, always.

Photo courtesy of Trendir

  • Use natural items, such as wood, cotton fabrics, plants, a water feature, metal, whatever you can find to help your space feel like you’ve invited nature indoors. Because we feel most connected in nature, bringing it into your space is motivation to be more authentic and true to what you are and your purpose in life.

This is part of my room, I found the dresser at a thrift shop, I fell in love the moment I saw it. To highlight the beautiful wood, I use soft lighting with a beautiful vintage style lamp, one of my photographs designed intentionally in warm tones and a lovingly handmade wooden bookcase that all inspire me.

  • Create a place with your dreams and intentions written where you can see them, it will spark your imagination, keep you focused and create a happy place to be a constant reminder of your plans.  One way to do that is to write them out and frame them.

Finally, declutter, this one act can improve your health, emotionally and physically, rapidly.  Here are some tips to declutter and the benefits from mindbodygreen.com.

HOW TO DECLUTTER

When we declutter around here, I use a method that I learned from a home improvement, when going through a room, we separate things into three categories:

  • keep
  • donate
  • trash/recycling

For whatever reason, separating things this way helps me work through junk drawers, backs of closets and corners of rooms that I’ve been ignoring for months. I hope it helps you, too!

It can also be helpful to keep your eye on the prize. Decluttering feels good, when it’s done, and keeping the important benefits of decluttering below in mind can help you stay on track during the “it gets worse before it gets better” part of the process.

BENEFITS OF DECLUTTERING

1. Less clutter equals less stress.

A cluttered home can make you feel disorganized and out of control. There’s something just plain calming about a tidy living space.

Clutter also makes it easier to lose things, which can be stressful. Have you ever torn apart the house looking for your keys, only to find them under a pile of papers on your desk that shouldn’t have been there in the first place? Just me?

2. You’ll save money.

A prime example of clutter costing money just popped up in my kitchen last night. My husband came home from work with a bag of groceries, including a box of green tea. This box looked incredibly familiar to me, and we discovered that, buried under a mountain of spice jars and other boxes of tea in the pantry, we had another (unopened) box of that exact same tea.

An extra $4 box of tea might not seem like much, but little things like that happen all the time when your living space is cluttered, and those small expenses add up.

3. There will be less cleaning to do.

Less clutter means less housework. It means fewer knickknacks to collect dust and fewer places for dust bunnies to hide. According to the National Cleaning Institute (formerly the National Soap and Detergent Association), clutter can add up to 40 percent to the amount of housework you have to handle.

Forty percent seems pretty high, but even if you’re just shaving 10-15 minutes of dusting off of your cleaning routine, I think decluttering is worth it.

4. Reducing clutter makes you more productive.

Decluttering your home can streamline your life, which gives you more time to get things done. Have you ever been late to work because your kid couldn’t decide on what pair of pants to wear? Or maybe you are still hunting for those keys that are under that pile of paper on your desk (still just me?).

When you have less clutter, you avoid these little hold-ups that make you late, derail your plans and interrupt your creative flow.

5. It’s good for your kids, young and grown.

If your kids are still living at home, clutter can cause them stress and hurt their productivity, just like it does to you. In extreme cases, it can cause your kids extreme anxiety.

This isn’t something we like to think about, but our clutter impacts our kids, even after they move out of the house. As we get older and less able to care for ourselves, that clutter is going to become our kids’ problem. Many adults I know stress about their parents’ cluttered homes, especially if their parents aren’t in the best health.

This kind of stress is tough on its own, but it also comes with a side dish of guilt, because they feel selfish for dwelling on what seems like such a small thing. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to finally tackle that embarrassing pile of papers on my desk and donate some knick-knacks to the thrift store this weekend.

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.

 

Choose Wisely, Choose Intentionally

Choices are the hinges of destiny.” —Edwin Markham

We live most of our lives believing that we are limited or have no choice, especially in difficult situations. It doesn’t have to be that way, rather than thinking what’s the use and giving up, believe in a better future, decide a course of action by using your life experience and instincts for an outcome that you desire. Whenever I’ve been in a position that required I make a choice especially if it’s complex, I make sure that my happiness and peace of mind are the primary conditions for my final decision.

Every time you’ve had a complicated choice to make, are you choosing with your happiness and values as a priority or on another person’s perception, opinions and feelings with the expectation that you’ll have to live with an outcome that you don’t want?

That question is to prompt you to rethink your patterns;  what are your priorities in making tough decisions, are you choosing based on logic or your intuition? Many of the choices we make are complex and may take much consideration, our values and quality of life have to be a top priority if we want to be happy and fulfilled. Remember if it is to be, it’s up to you, even if it means leaving your comfort zone.

Consider the outcome when you decide with someone else’s life in mind before your own.  Are you really being selfish if you decide on behalf of what works for you?  In my opinion, no.  Making choices that are right for us means we cannot be and should not ever be responsible for someone else’s happiness.

Choosing for ourselves is a right we all deserve, especially since most of us have dealt with people who’ve tried to take our ability to choose away.  Only you know how you want your life to be, never, ever is that anyone’s decision but yours.  That is why choosing consciously and relying on your intuition are optimal ways for you to decide.

Choices have a number of possibilities whether real or imagined, ultimately the choices we make will affect our lives forever. Just think about all of the events in history that have taken place because someone made a choice to do something differently.  You cannot control the world, but you can control how you respond to situations and the choices you make to deal with them. From my own personal experience, no matter what happens outside of you, when you stay focused on making a decision based on what is right for you and you trust yourself, happiness is just a choice away.

Some questions to ask yourself and ways you can make a decision from James Van Praagh:

  1. What is important and valuable to you? What you value may not be of much import to someone else. So know what you value most.
  2. Don’t lose focus on your future. Many people tend to make choices based on life as it appears now instead of looking to the future. Does your choice and its ramifications stay within the goals that you have set for yourself for the future?
  3. Have you looked at all the alternatives and considered different scenarios? Sometimes you just might consider a different outcome.
  4. How important is this decision, and are you willing to work on it? Don’t get caught up with how important a choice is, but — better yet — what a positive impact this has on your life.
  5. Don’t forget to use your “intuition” for your choice instead of your head.

I believe we all have a purpose and path that is affected by the free will choices we make. If we make choices by paying attention to our inner guidance, how God is speaking to us and what we feel in our heart, our path will be forever changed if we just flip the switch and choose.

Learn to love you… You will make so many choices differently when you love and respect yourself. Courtney Seard,
Consultant and Coach

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.

Laura

 

 

Competition, Thief of Joy

Life for us has become an endless succession of contests. From the moment the alarm clock rings until sleep overtakes us again, from the time we are toddlers until the day we die, we are busy struggling to outdo others. This is our posture at work and at school, on the playing field and back at home. It is the common denominator of American life. Alfie Kohn

The title of this blog almost sounds like a misnomer because the majority of the human race thinks of competition as sports, games, fun, winning a medal or a trophy and as being a winner.  How can competition rob us of the enjoyment and pleasure we feel when it appears to bestow us with a high of being number one.

But, I ask that you think back throughout your life whenever you were involved in anything competitive, how did you feel when someone else won?

I’ve reflected on competition for a long time especially when the biggest and most well-known competition, the Olympics began.  I don’t watch the games but I realized that there are only a handful of “winners” and there are hundreds of people who no one hears about, people who didn’t place or win who worked just as hard as the few on top. People are mesmerized for two weeks with the glamour of the entertainment and energy of the games, but once they’re over, it’s all forgotten as we get on with our lives.  Interestingly, all of the people participating spend most of their lives focused on training and preparing to win and for that one big moment, then it’s over.  The winners stand on the podium and are handed a medal and the world applauds.  There is monetary gain for only a small percentage of the athletes who are given an opportunity for endorsements, the rest are forgotten and go back to their lives. Do we ever hear about or know how those who didn’t win feel or how their life went afterward?

Through my research,  I’ve learned that cooperation not competition is our natural state of being.  We aren’t born hostile with the intention of bringing someone else down, that behavior is handed down from one generation to the next. We unnaturally push ourselves to best someone because we’re taught that being a winner is the best.  But, in truth, competition is filled with selfishness while we hope for the downfall of others, it is filled with anxiety, stress and pressure. Once we start down the road of winning, once is never enough, it almost becomes necessary for our confidence and self-esteem, putting us in a constant state competitive power.

Emerging research shows that competition is deleterious in many ways.

  • With children, competition serves to dissolve self-confidence and spread self-doubt, even among frequent winners who learn to become dependent on external sources of validation.
  • Among adults, competition leads directly to hostility and greed, both of which are the enemies of progress.

If we want to advance our society and ourselves, we must learn that competition is not the path to victory — cooperation is. Tiffany Rowe

I’m  not competitive by nature, when playing games, I enjoy the process more than who wins or loses.  Putting that in context, for me the journey in any competition is more rife with tools to learn, skill building and enjoyment.

There are many tribal societies that thrive on cooperative living and have endured for centuries.  Competition as a whole encourages greed, betrayal, to be better than others, the importance of being a winner, the lack of compassion, cooperation and most of all an absence of kindness. Competition is toxic in relationships, in business, education, in all of life. There is no benefit when someone feels inferior, lacks self-confidence, is depressed or believes they aren’t good enough. I believe it is time to instill cooperation and encourage each other to be the best person we can be.

The  result of competition is radical climate change, biological and nuclear warfare, rampant habitat destruction, water shortages, and extremes in global wealth and poverty. Louise Palmer

Cooperation is beneficial not to a few but to everyone, here are some of the advantages:

  1. Cooperative Play – A bond is formed when challenge, discovery and success is shared by everyone.
  2.  Cooperative Learning and Work –  When we compete whether at work or in school, we are invested in ourselves and what will benefit us without giving thought to anyone else, we consider everyone our rival.  But, when we cooperate, we support and help each other, giving each individual value and respect. Rather than striving to be number one, the intention is that everyone succeed, it shifts us away from greed, selfishness, aggression, anger and hurt feelings. Cooperation creates an environment of unity, openness, honesty and trust.
  3. Cooperative Activities for our Well-Being  – Competition causes enormous stress, anxiety, hostility, embarrassment and tension, can you imagine the state of our health? Cooperative activities create an atmosphere of play, relaxation and enjoying ourselves without judgment, the foundation for healthy and playful fun.

I’d like to conclude with this very powerful quote:

We destroy the love of learning in children, which is so strong when they are small, by encouraging and compelling them to work for petty and contemptible rewards–gold stars, or papers marked 100 and tacked to the wall, or A’s on report cards, or honor rolls, or dean’s lists, or Phi Beta Kappa keys–in short, for the ignoble satisfaction of feeling that they are better than someone else.  John Holt

Thank you, I appreciate your time.

Laura

Inner Peace = World Peace

“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.” Dalai Lama

I’ve learned to achieve inner peace even when there is chaos around me simply by just being and not allowing outside problems affect my peace of mind.  This is a state of harmony everyone can achieve with practice.

Inner peace is something most of us want but don’t have or know how to achieve. I believe that when we’re inundated with the stresses of the world, work, daily life demands, kids and tight schedules, it is difficult to imagine how we can ever be at peace. Not being in a state of peace is a learned behavior, we are very capable of unlearning something at any time, especially when we truly desire change. When we make inner peace a priority instead of what is going on around us, it will change the way we see everything, our family, job, relationships, our health and state of mind and the world.

“Peace is not something you wish for, it is something you make, something you are, something you do, and something you give away.”  ― Robert Fulghum

It Starts with You

It is my belief and experience that global peace begins inside of each and every one of us.  Of course we all have busy lives; it is easy to get caught up in the routine we follow every day. Not that daily life routines aren’t important, even venerable, but the approach we take and the way we handle what takes place each day makes a huge difference. There is a distinction between approaching things unconsciously with little attention paid and doing things with intention of purpose peacefully.  The basis of inner peace is simply people willing to take responsibility for their own peace and peacefulness.

Inner peace isn’t about changing what is going on outside of you, it is about changing what’s going on inside you by managing how you are, which in turn affects others in your family, your neighborhood, your community and eventually the world.

“Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.” – Pema Chodron

Peace Mind-Map

Inner Peace – Simply

Start with something as simple and natural as changing the way you wake up in the morning. Most people start their morning by preparing for a hectic schedule and going through a preview of the day before they even rise from bed then the turmoil begins, because that is the way things have always been done. Inner peace calls for you to stop that process and recreate it by consciously waking; as you rise in the morning, start by simply saying thank you just for being alive, then take a few long, slow deep breaths, smile and start your day as if you mean it.  Stop the daily preview chatter by slowing your mind and reminding yourself to be calm; that you are in charge not the commotion or order of the day.  I am not suggesting passivity by being indifferent and unresponsive,  but by being calm or at peace exudes tranquility and thoughtfulness.

Be truly grateful. We have a tendency to take what we are fortunate to have for granted. Start each day with appreciation for what seems ordinary: running water, electricity, the stove, clean dishes, your children, spouse, your family, your pets; you get the idea. When we begin to give thanks for what we already have no matter how simple, it brings a feeling of appreciation. Thankfulness and awareness for the good things in our lives is a good start to experiencing internal peace.

Additional Ways to Inner Peace (  )

  1. Set limits.
  2. Find a relaxation technique that work for you.
  3. Don’t make mountains out of mole hills.
  4. Slow down.
  5. Unclutter your world, unclutter your mind.
  6. Use a minimalistic workspace.
  7. Be 10 minutes early.
  8. Breathe
  9. Remember the 5 little words that’ll help you to stay sane: “one thing at a time. “

” If there’s no inner peace, people can’t give it to you. The husband can’t give it to you. Your children can’t give it to you. You have to give it to you.”  Linda Evans

Peace Improves Your Health

Achieving inner peace is the gateway to improved health.  Instead of allowing what is taking place in your life to be the master, why not make how you feel and the way you want your life to be a priority. That will put the control of you in your hands instead of the outside world.  True inner peace is the best medicine for your overall state of wellness. Did you know that when you remain upset about something that happened in the past and when you repeat the story that your body returns to a state of distress, as if it is in the actual situation again? That form of stress is dangerous to your health and the beginning point for disease.

Health Benefits of Inner Peace

  •  It lowers oxygen consumption.
  • It decreases respiratory rate.
  • It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
  • Increases exercise tolerance.
  • Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.
  • Good for people with high blood pressure.
  • Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.
  • Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms.
  • Helps in post-operative healing.
  • Enhances the immune system.
  • Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress
  • Enhances energy, strength and vigor.
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage
  • Higher skin resistance
  • Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
  • Decreases the aging process.
  • Prevents, slows or controls pain of chronic diseases
  • Makes you sweat less
  • Cures headaches & migraines
  • Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning
  • Reduced Need for Medical Care
  • Less energy wasted
  • More inclined to sports, activities
  • Significant relief from asthma
  • Improved performance in athletic events
  • Normalizes to your ideal weight
  • Harmonizes our endocrine system
  • Relaxes our nervous system
  • Produces lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity
  • Cure infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation). (Courtesy of peacerevolution.net)

Inner peace is our natural state of being

When we respond to what is going on in front of us instead of reacting or acting irrationally no matter what it is, is when we will know that we are capable of inner peace. Worry and anxiety never ever changes anything, in fact it stops you from making sound choices and experiencing clarity.  Inner peace helps you to develop courage, strength, resilience and an understanding that life is cyclical. Even though you’re going through a bundle of emotions, you will better be able to handle something difficult when you’re in a state of peace. Seek ways to calm yourself and improve your self-talk to help you stay on the path.  When you’re in a state of peace, self-care will be at the top of your list instead of the bottom.

Keys to Inner Peace

Assistant professor at the University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center and at the UT Medical School, Alejandro Chaoul, teaches courses in their Integrative Medicine program. His work on mind-body practice as an integrative cancer care include Tibetan yoga and meditation. In this video he shares how he has helped many reach a new level of inner peace and health.

“Keys To Inner Peace”

I sincerely appreciate your time, thank you for reading my post.

Laura

Did you Know that Creativity and Consciousness are Connected?

Creativity is a process of transforming the raw energy, information, and material of the universe into something that has never before existed. Whether you are creating a new business, an original piece of music, or a relationship, creativity requires a leap in awareness – a quantum jump from one pattern of thinking to an entirely new one, without progressing through incremental steps. In one moment a creative idea doesn’t exist, and in the next, it is part of our conscious world. In between, where was the idea? It came from the field of pure potentiality, which gives rise to everything in the universe.. Deepak Chopra

I was sure things had changed when I opened up to a life of consciousness because I’m naturally creative, drawn to the arts, photography, music, cooking and creative writing.  Because I am living consciously, I’ve become conditioned to rely on creativity in unique ways.  Part of that process for me is being still to let the vision or idea emerge, it is always fascinating to see what I can come up with.  What we are taught and what we are capable of is miles apart.

I find it interesting that when we’re young, we create entire worlds through our unlimited imaginations. When I reflect on my growing up years, the Beatles, Julia Child and Walt Disney stand out as a unique, creative people who conceived something that never existed before and what an impact each has made.  As some of us reach adulthood, we tend to use our imagination less because we’ve been made to believe that our brain loses its capacity to evolve and transform creatively.  Most adults believe if they can’t draw or sing, then they aren’t creative and that just isn’t true.

Have you ever gotten a great idea or imagined something and just let it go?  We all have unique ideas, use your imagination, you never know what you can create.  Whether we express our creativity through dance, music, art or communication, it is an essential part of who we are. When we are in the flow of creativity, we are also naturally in a state of mindfulness. The benefits of using our imagination is the ability to solve challenges differently and we will live our lives more creatively.  Scientists are now advising that our brain has the ability to form new neural pathways until we are very old, so don’t let old beliefs stop you from creating, go for it!

I live in a state of being open to creatively using my imagination to do things differently. After all, my date of birth is the same as Walt Disney’s, what a mentor to encourage creativity!  A few months ago I volunteered for a nonprofit thrift store.  I began by just processing donations and organizing the merchandise on the shelves.  As I became more involved and passionate about their mission, I intuitively found imaginative ways to display the merchandise which unknowingly helped to increase sales.  I continued to use my imagination to create ways to help the merchandise sell quickly.  The day I left to move,  the manager told me that I made a significant impact on their organization and all that happened was I went with the flow of my creativity and I had fun. A great pairing, consciousness and ingenuity, to germinate any seedling waiting to be watered with creativity to generate something brand new.

Creativity is the foundation for innovative problem solving, new products, inventions, ingenious ideas, new ways to benefit the world, the basis for re-creating a relationship or finding a new way to do something.  When we take the leap to tap into our creativity, we will be an inspiration and a force for using our imagination to those around us. Trust in your innate sense of creativity, change your life and change the world.

I believe in being an innovator. Walt Disney

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.

Laura

 

 

Making Your Life What You Want it To Be

Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts, it you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do.  MoveMe Quotes

I believe we all forget whose in charge of our lives, especially when we’re in the midst of situations that overwhelm us or seem uncontrollable.  For me, it used to almost feel easier to just give up or go back to living unconsciously. But then I’d hear the voice in my heart telling me to keep trying, to make a choice, to use my wisdom and let goodness happen and I have. This is a gentle reminder that we don’t have to be unhappy or live with the belief that only some “lucky” people have a charmed and satisfying life.

Being in control of your life comes by believing in yourself and by not allowing the fear of obstacles, challenges or change stop you. Remember you have a choice and you can learn to get past the old belief that you’re not good enough to make a real contribution to the world.  Believing we’re here for a purpose can greatly reduce our suffering and the feeling of being out of control because even if we forget, we are always in the driver’s seat of the direction of our lives. This is where we can rise above the limited life we’ve allowed ourselves to live by doing something on behalf of ourselves because we know we are worth it.

I can say with confidence that you can experience the impossible and that leads you from misery to unexpected joy and peace. As with any spiritual endeavor, this way of believing is knowing that you’ll have to take steps out of your comfort zone and be okay with it. This is where we learn to power through fear, head on. Every time we experience the unknown, fear will try to sneak in to stop us and that’s okay. Don’t ignore it or try to avoid it, just don’t be swallowed up by fear. Allow yourself to be afraid and just keep reminding yourself that you can do this, take a deep breath and keep going. 

Here are some ideas to consider to master your life:

  • Rely more on your “sixth” sense
  • Put your happiness and health first
  • Live in the present moment
  • Create plans that are open to change because that is how life in the control seat is
  • Be okay with living out of your comfort zone
  • Stop thinking so much, have faith in the unseen
  • Believe in the impossible
  • Create some rituals or routines for a well-balanced life
  • Nothing is set in stone, you have choices
  • Obstacles are a part of the journey for you to rise above
  • Take time for stillness or meditation, this is truly powerful step
  • Pursue meaning over pleasure, a life of meaning is why we are here
  • Be imaginative, create outside the box
  • No matter how things look, keep your eyes on the prize of a purposeful life

I’d like to end with this powerful and profound quote:

“Never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible.

Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds, chastisement, exile, doubt, fear, or ANY mental viruses prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be it’s conqueror.” ― Mike Norton

Thank you for reading my post and your time.

Change your life in 2018, Laura