Archive for the ‘Attitude’ Category

Meditation for Body and Soul: Slowing Down the Mind

This has been a tough year, demanding more of me than I am sometimes able to give. Even with all the tricks in my bag, I can find myself discouraged and get exhausted. A few weeks ago I had the chance to go sit with a yogi coming through town, to meditate and revive the spirit. What a difference it made for my body!

Meditation has a magical way of bringing things back into balance. It becomes clear how we get caught up in mental patterns that cause us pain and suffering, both physical and mental. Plus we don’t sleep well for worrying, and we don’t take care of ourselves when we are out of balance. Meditation seems to put things back into balance.

What does meditation do? Simply, it slows down the raging mind that never has a moments rest. When the mind slows down, the body slows, and we can again breathe and rest. Slowing the body slows the mind, and slowing the mind slows the body. Basically, we need to slow down, Bessy.

How To Meditate
I have been a meditator for many years. Meditation is simple. The hard part is making time to sit still, and staying there long enough to allow the mind to slow down. Just sit or lie down with a straight spine, close the eyes, and breathe in and out. Notice the breath go in and out. Just follow the breath and allow your thoughts to come and go.

Your mind may go berserk with all the things you should be doing, so just say thank you, and let it go. The mind is trying to take care of you but is in an overworked state so it doesn’t function well. So be grateful your mind wants to help you, but let it wait. Stay put for at least 10 minutes if possible, but 20 minutes is better, and work up to an hour. Any amount of time meditating helps, really. In studies they have shown that 5 minutes in alpha state can equate to 8 hours of sleep. But it may take a little while to get to the alpha (slower brain wave) state.

Here are more detailed instructions, and a link discussing meditation difficulties.
Breathing Instructions
Difficulty Meditating

Like exercise, mediation works wonders. As the wise men and women say, just do it!

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What It Means To Be Alive

It’s new year’s day 2011 and what a week it has been. My dear friend and business partner went into the hospital just before Christmas and died a few days later… a sudden, unexpected departure. The moments are blurred and rushing by in the flurry of things to take care of, then there are moments when time stops. I think of my friend gone, and then of me still being here. What does it all mean?

Today I had this moment of total clarity of this gift of life, or what it means to live this human existence. We live on our little piece of turf, bumping into others, creating meaning and purpose and our model of internal integrity. This is the plane on which we learn and experience the highest and lowest states of existence, and then learn balance and love and contribution. The world awaits your contribution.

I don’t know if we can really know the greatness of life if we only think with our brain. Is there greater connection and comprehension that comes when we are pushed outside of our daily thoughts? There was this moment of clarity of the great gift of life and the great gift of death. Yes, death can be a gift too, with understanding.

As we get older, we must get used to loosing friends and family since we will all have our time to go. A great being once said that we live this life in order to die a good death. I think that just means that we live with integrity and find a way to be at peace with ourselves and with the world. So when we die, there is more happiness left behind than anything else, and we free ourselves from regret. We can value this time on earth and forget the limitations. We can live our own purpose and make our own contribution.

Susan, my friend, lived with great integrity. She was a poet and a social activist, giving her best to make the world a better place. And able to smile and be gentle even in the face of adversity. She left too much undone, but her greatest legacy will be all the people she touched with words and actions. I am so sad, but I am so lucky to have journeyed with her. I am still here, so that means she is still here too, with me in spirit. I hope this makes sense to you, and if you loose a loved one, you will let love expand beyond the grief.

Happy New Year 1/1/11 to my fellow beings still here with me. Let’s live this year with inner resolve to let go of restrictions and embrace possibilities.

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Mobility and Disability

Fall can be a demanding time of year. First, there are the social happenings: holiday events, family gatherings. A whole lot of moving around. Then there are the leaves to rake, potted plants to move… weather related changes. I love the yard and garden, even though what I do is limited.

I may I complain about the extra yard work and about finding the extra time for all the holiday hoopla, I am grateful that I can do them.

I lived with constant back pain for years. Being mobility disabled is a real life changer that you may already know. For my sister who is wheel-chair bound from a motorcycle accident, it is a big deal to even go to the store. My niece’s husband who underwent unsuccessful back surgery has days lost to morphine. A friend with unresolved back pain is rarely able to come to community events.

So I keep at it. I keep using the 7 steps on pain-in-my-back.com. When my back starts aching or hurting, it is asking for help, which I willingly give. It is my partner in staying mobile.

A very wise being once told me,  “Take care of what matters.” My mobility matters, so it is worth taking care of. Rather than complain about the inflammation and pain the day after raking leaves, I take arnica and do back stretches. I am grateful that I have the strength and mobility to rake leaves.

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What Causes Pain

I really like addressing the physical aspects of back pain, because there are so many things that I can do that help relieve the pain. Yes, it takes action, but the payoff is so big when I can get out of pain rather than go down for a few days. So most of my website and blog are about those things that can be fixed or improved with nutrition, physical exercise or various helpful pain-relieving devices.

But this week I have been dealing with emotional pain related to financial issues. You may have some of that too. Self-employment and the economy are not easy these days.

Unresolved emotional issues affect not only my mind but my body. I am slumping. I have tense shoulders. Even my jaw clenches. None of this is good. The happiness factor is gone this week.

So what is the happiness factor? That is the ability to smile, laugh, let  go and enjoy life. Even if just for awhile. It is good for your body. Smiling relaxes the face and neck. Laughing opens the heart. It gives you the feeling that all is well, and we need that feeling.

Really, even faking laughter is good for you! That is called faking it until you make it! So this week I wish for you moments of happiness, whether from a memory or something that happens. Take a break from your worries and let peace enter your soul. That is what I am doing now.

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Song of the Soul

Being happy goes a long way in pain management.  I have attended four memorial services this year, and each one was so full of grace and expression of gratitude for the person who had journeyed with us. I am honored to have friends who have chosen to die so consciously with such love for those they left behind.

This Song of the Soul is a joyful song, dedicated to my friend Lois Joy Meyers, who lost her battle with brain cancer after 14 years.  It was her favorite song. Words are below. Feel free to sing along!

Song of the Soul

Love of my life I am crying
I am not dying, I am dancing
Dancing along in the madness
There is no sadness
Only the song of the soul

Echo: And we’ll sing this song
Why don’t you sing along
Then we can sing for a long, long time
Why don’t you sing this song
Then we can sing along
Then we can sing for a long, long time

What do you do for a living
Are you forgiving, giving shelter
Follow your heart, love will find you
Truth will unbind you
Seek out a song of the soul

Come to your life like a warrior
Nothing will bore ya, you can be happy
Let in the light, it will heal you
And you can feel you
Sing out a song of the soul

Love of my life I am crying
I am not dying, I am dancing
Dancing along in the madness
There is no sadness
Only the song of the soul

From the collection of Andrew Draskoy
oct97

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