Tag Archives: mindfulness

What I’m giving Thanks for

It’s that time of year.

The time of year when all, or at least most, of us give thanks. We gather around tables with people we love (or sometimes, people we tolerate) and acknowledge all we have. And stuff ourselves.

I try to give thanks every day. Or nearly every day.

I’ve found that when I notice what I have, I feel better. When I call out what’s working, I feel better. When I appreciate the big and the little, I feel better.

Do you sense a theme?

Most days I list my good things in my “good year box” list on my phone. I counsel clients to write three things they’re grateful for each day, and what they did to contribute to those things. This highlights gratitude and self-efficacy, both of which strengthen our souls and minds. As often as I can, I stop and notice…and notice…and notice all the beauty and ease and light in my life and my day. And I feel better.

I am giving Thanks for so much.

For my family. For my older child home from the Midwest. For the amazing dinner my amazing husband has prepared. For the fact that I got to cook what I wanted to cook, and I got to opt out and put my feet up and rest when I didn’t want to cook. For my younger child who’s spent some quality time with me recently. For my friends and the multitude of people I care about. For the fact that I’ve found long-lost friends and made new friends.

For the fact that this time next year, my book will be out. Did I mention that I’ve signed with a publisher and my book will be out?

I have so much to be thankful for. I want to focus on it all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Just breathe

Again yoga. Again a learning. A huge learning. A duh-uh learning, but huge nonetheless.

I’m not sure if the instructor said it, or if I just thought it. But all of a sudden, as I “worked through” a pose, “just breathe” popped into my mind.

Like, just breathe. Like, you don’t have to do anything other than breathe.

I didn’t have to work through, or into, a pose. I didn’t have to move to get into the perfect stance or to fix my alignment. I didn’t have to keep fixing, and fixing, and fixing the positioning of my limbs.

All I had to do was breathe. And breathe again. I know it’s quite simple, but it felt revolutionary when I realized it.

Then I realized that “just breathe” applied to the rest of my life as well, not just my yoga. I don’t have to work through, or figure out, anything. I don’t have to move to get into the perfect attitude or to fix my mindset. I don’t have to keep fixing, and fixing, and fixing…anything.

All I have to do is breathe. And breathe again.

I don’t think this should have been so astounding when it popped into my mind. After decades or healing and working on myself. After decades of letting go of old tapes and learning new ways. After decades of finding ways to ease and slow down and live in love and joy. You think I would have gotten this already.

And maybe I have. But somehow, today in yoga, it loomed even larger, and I got it even more.

All I have to do is breathe. And breathe again. And breathe again.

Just breathe.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Can you lighten up a little bit?

And by you, I mean me.

Can I lighten up a little bit? Can I find a way to not be so serious? To not try so hard? I’m still writing about it, so I guess it’s still a challenge at times. ☺

I know that when I lighten, life gets easier. I get easier. I know that when I lighten, I am happier. I know that when I lighten, things are good.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m light a lot of the time. I’ve worked hard ☺ to be light. I’ve learned to be light about being light.

And I can still use reminders.

There was a reunion of my Applied Positive Psychology class this weekend. Talk about a lot of people who are focusing on being light. It was wonderful to hear their stories of how they’ve applied Positive Psychology practices, almost as if they’re unconscious behaviors already. “I found myself stopping to take a deep breath to calm down,” one person said. “I freak out about everything I have to do and pause and look back at everything I’ve already done…and relax a bit,” another said.

I love seeing their journeys into more calm and ease, and lightness and joy. It reminds me of my own.

I love that I live my life looking for – and seeing – the beauty in everything around me. And often everyone around me. I love that I have tools to help me not be so serious. To help me not push so hard. And I love that the tools are almost so second nature to me – after all these years – that sometimes I use them without really noticing it, or thinking it through. I sometimes use them a lot.

Yes, there are moments in life – in my life – that are hard and heavy. Yes, I still have – I may always have – challenges in my now and trauma from my past to work though. Yes, there are times when I am so filled with anger it feels as if I’ll explode or when I’m crying with sadness. And yes, I believe I need to allow those feelings, be present for myself (and whomever I’m with), and search for (self) compassion and love.

And then when it’s time, I can, once again, lighten up.

I can often – if not always – use to bring a bit more joy and delight into my life. I can often – if not always – stand to pause, breathe, and ease. I can often – if not always – benefit from lightening up even more. And even more.

I can lighten up just a little bit.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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