Stressed? Aggravated? Do you meditate? Maybe you should.

<Hint, hint>

The following is a public service announcement from those who are trying to love you:

Are you in need of improved focus, concentration, awareness and a much more positive outlook on life?  Meditate on it!  

Meditation refers to an act of becoming consciously relaxed and focused. 

I say that to pray is to ask; to meditate is to listen.

Meditation has been asscall it meditationociated with monks, mystics, and other spiritual disciplines in the past, but it has gained mass popularity among regular folks of all ages today. You don’t have to be a monk or mystic to enjoy the benefits of meditation, and you don’t have to be in a special place to practice it. If your living room or bedroom is comfy and quiet, then go with it. I like to go outside and enjoy nature when I meditate. Find yourself a quiet, isolated area far from the ringing of the phone or the whining of those around you.

     Ignore meditation postures you may have seen in magazines. You do not need to be a contortionist hell-bent on getting into a compromising position in order to reap the benefits of meditation. The most important thing is that you are comfortable. You may sit cross-legged, stand up, lie down, or even do a walking meditation. When you are in a sitting or standing position, your back should be straight but not tense or tight. The only no-no in meditation is slouching or falling asleep.

     Wherever you choose to practice meditation, you should be surrounded by calmness. You may designate a special seating area and play soft music if it enriches your experience. Many people prefer to enhance their senses by lighting scented candles, using essential oils or have a soothing waterfall or salt lamp in the area. Use an exercise or yoga mat if you plan to take on more challenging positions (that is, if the contortionist in you is screaming to come out).

     There are many different approaches to meditation but the fundamental principles always remain the same. The most important aspect is to remove obstructive, negative, and wandering thoughts and fantasies and calm the mind with a deep sense of focus. And please, make sure you are wearing comfy clothing.

     Negative thoughts like those damn nosy neighbors, bossy colleagues, having to get a price-check over the loud speaker for feminine products, spam in your inbox, are all aggravations. Allow yourself space to really breathe so you can cleanse your thoughts and focus on a deeper, more meaningful state of being. Do not fret over whether or not you are ‘breathing correctly.’ You will breathe—naturally. There is no need to be so intensively mindful of your breathing that you begin to hyperventilate!

     Really try to detach yourself from any commotion around you. Focus on a deep, quiet, profound thought or a pleasant site such as the soft glow of a candle’s flame. Silence may seem deafening or awkward at first since we are all accustomed to constantly hearing, seeing and thinking. As you begin to meditate, you may find yourself suddenly becoming increasingly aware of everything around you but don’t worry, this will decrease with practice. Just focus on one thing.

     Have you heard monks chanting in a monotonous tone? They are performing their mantra. This, in simple terms, is a short creed, a simple sound which, for these practitioners, holds a mystic value through the frequency or vibration of that particular sound. You do not need to chant, but you might consider focusing on repeated actions such as breathing or humming a sound to help you enter a higher state of consciousness.

Hope this helps, so…

Namaste′ right here and meditate. After all, Google can’t answer every question!

Brightest Blessings,

Connie

Stretch Pants, Stretch Marks & Stretched Too Thin

Why is it that when our energy is depleted the first thing we give up is the thing we need most? Time!  Time for a measure of peace, a respite, a break, a living chance. We scurry to fill every daylight hour adding more tasks to our to-do lists.  Then we squeeze in even more in the nighttime hours, too…because we can. We’re women. If the thought of adding one more task to your to-do list makes you want to silently scream, then it’s time to take back your energy.

     Many of us are chronically exhausted from juggling demands of work and home. We find ourselves thinking I’ll take time tomorrow when my work is done. I’ll take time tomorrow to enjoy my kids. Tomorrow, I’ll take better care of myself.  But who are we kidding?  We know deep down that life is never calm enough to put ourselves on layaway until tomorrow. Everyday distractions surround us.

     The loving but brutal truth is that we allow our lives to be hectic. It is a choice. True, some of us have lives that are more frazzled than others and we sometimes struggle from chaos to crisis feeling defeated before we’ve even begun. But hear me when I say that it isn’t the tragedies that test us—it’s how we handle the aftermath that matters. For years I gave up and resorted to the comfort of stretch pants where I could hide every flaw, everything that hurt me.

     I want you to know that you really do possess all you need to live the life you desire; it’s just buried under the bills, laundry, illness, soccer practice and indecision. We aren’t recreating the world—just carrying its weight on our backs. We are notorious for putting everyone else’s needs before our own, becoming stretched too thin. We begin to wonder if we care at all when we know, deep down, that we care very much.

     Pledge to honor a routine. Children are not the only ones who need a regular bedtime and time-out. The Universe itself has order, why shouldn’t we? Day turns to night; the moon cycles monthly (as do we). Ocean tides ebb and flow and seasons change on cue. It is the ultimate beauty routine.

     I say beauty is a natural inner radiance. We all have it but many hide it instead of outwardly owning it. It’s the essence of strength and inspiration.  Our inner radiance can’t help but to manifest  itself on the outside, too! It’s a sparkle in our eyes and a spring in our step when we know we have reclaimed our energy!

Choose to lose the stretch pants and proclaim with me:
I am what I am, and what I am is wonderful!

I am wonderful

Six Simple Ways To Lead By Example

Great role models lead by example. They just do. When what they do is aligned with what they say, they become a person others want to follow and perhaps even emulate. When a person says one thing but does another, they disintegrate any trust that has been built. Don’t be fooled by wanna-be gurus masquerading as the ones with all the answers.  How do yoSix Simple Steps a Great Role Model Leads By Exampleu identify an authentic role model? They follow these six simple steps:

1. Take responsibility for their actions. Shifting blame onto others costs precious credibility, keeps others on the defensive and ultimately sabotages any potential for real growth. Own your mistakes. Others will respect you for it.

2. Be truthful. The effects of dishonesty can be pervasive and will trickle down to affect relationships far and wide. The truth always has a way of coming to light, sooner or later—one way or another. You know what they say about Karma… I would avoid that.

3. Be brave. Show that you are willing and capable of making tough decisions. Lead the charge and be the first to the fire. Having the faith to take a calculated risk shows passion and commitment to a larger purpose in life.

4. Acknowledge disappointments. Success is not final and failure is not fatal, as the saying goes. A great role model accepts setbacks and makes it safe for others to do the same. The trick is not to give up on enthusiasm. Try again, perhaps fail again. Then try again.

5. Co-create solutions. It’s true—if you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem. A great role model listens intently and eagerly seeks solutions so creative that others crave to be a part of the action.

6. Practice self-care. Making time to care for oneself is not indulgent or selfish. It is life-preserving. A great role model knows they shine the beacon for those that follow and they keenly respect the lessons of perpetual sustenance. Nurture well-being—mind, body, spirit, and success—even through adversity with their feet firmly planted on the ground.

Sending Bright Summer Blessings to you!
Connie

Can you say, “Enough!”?

There are great lessons to be learned cleverly hidden within the actions of others.  So you feel used and abused?  My bet is you pretty much knew it was going that way all along, right?  People will treat you exactly how you allow them to treat you.  Just know this:  There is true beauty in letting go of what no longer serves you—letting go of pain or the shame of past mistakes, or of memories and worries that invade your sleep at night.  Wake up to realize that your dreams are wide awake and patiently aligning for you.  They are waiting to hear you say, “Enough!  I can do better than this.

Be on your way now. Reach for the stars, for I am truly convinced that they are reaching back!

Yours in Brightest Blessings,

Connie 

stars don't twinkle

 

Doodles & Distractions

Any work-at-home professional writer can tell you that the common denominator in the lack of productivity is the multitude of distractions we face every day! Someone else always needs your time and attention, iwrite bookncluding the digital distractions we face every day…emails, social media, cell phones and such. It’s no wonder we struggle to wiggle in time for our daily writing activities.

What to do?

It’s pretty simple, really. Create your personal distraction free zone! The hard part is enforcing the law of your distraction free zone. And only YOU can do that.

Many of us get our writing done at the kitchen table or outside if we can steal a few minutes here and there. We take advantage of any time when the house is quiet or we have some time to ourselves, but then it seems there is always so much more that needs to be attended to around the house. If that is your M.O. then it’s time to seriously consider an office area—just for you. I’m really not talking about moving on up to a DE-luxe office suite in a high rise professional park. Your space can be a nook, or a cranny. How about a dedicated office in a room in your home. You use what you have, right?

Lately I’ve seen some really clever tricks where even a closet was turned into a unique working space with everything you need all contained in one small area. Regardless of where you land, make sure it has the capability to close the door or leave the area so it is not staring at you suspiciously when you aren’t working. We all need to be able to leave our work behind and put our busy minds at rest.

We can’t eliminate all of our distractions, but do take the stronghold against those you can. Start by quieting your notifications for email, Facebook, games, etc. There are programs and tools you can get that actually block you from accessing certain internet sites for specified periods of time so you can dedicate the time to your tasks at hand. Personally, I don’t like them. I don’t want to block myself; instead I try to simply be more disciplined and self-responsible. But everyone is different. If you can’t resist it, there are tools you can download such as Concentrate for Chrome and Leech Block for Firefox that allow you to set timers that deny access to those online distractions.

It is true that you need to manage your social media as you build your platform. I’m merely suggesting that you actually schedule those activities into you day and adhere to that schedule. Don’t let them rob you of your day.

Simply make a deal with yourself to get your writing done, as distraction-free as possible. Your editors, coaches, and publishers will thank you.

Just Write.
Don’t Edit.
Just Write.