Feeling Overwhelmed

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” – Sydney J. Harris

Bench in trees

At times, I feel over-whelmed with the craziness of unrelenting news stories, an on-going construction project next door and my personal commitments. Our hectic lives make it difficult to catch our breath, slow down and nurture ourselves.

It’s important to incorporate self-care practices in our daily life instead of waiting until we’re on overload. If I wake up anxious about a busy schedule, I remind myself to take a few deep breaths.  Focusing on inhaling and exhaling calms our mind.  When I begin my day stretching, meditating, or sipping lemon and honey water it starts the day in a positive way before checking Email and to-do lists.

Ultimately, we need to know we don’t have to do everything or be constantly busy. It’s ok and healthy to take time for ourselves.  Relaxing with a good book, sitting in nature, taking a walk, enjoying things that soothe our spirit strengthen us so we can keep going.

Here are some other tips and resources:

 

 

 

Finding Balance

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go” – Rumi

Balance comes into play in so many ways in our life. Achieving a work/life balance makes us happier and healthier.  Our lives are enriched when we engage in activities, volunteer for a worthy cause, learn new skills.  Just as important is making time to rest and nurture ourselves.  As Rumi states, it’s an ongoing cycle of opposite energies.

Yin and Yang CO

Yin and Yang has been a Chinese principle for thousands of years. It represents opposite yet complimentary forces which dynamically join together to create harmony. We see numerous examples of this in nature: day and night, hot and cold, shadows in sunlight.  Autumn prepares for the barren, stillness of winter.  Springtime is a time of growth and renewal.  Opposite forces create the flow of life.

Another perspective of balance is the tipping factor. Being in tune with our body and spirit helps us to understand our equilibrium point.  It’s the process of knowing when to make adjustments before we tip over.  Finding balance is an interconnected process as life changes.  The one thing we can count on is feeling peaceful and content when we’ve achieved it.

Power of Social Connection

Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.” – Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Child Reaching for Mother

I’m one of those people who strike up a conversation with strangers in the market, while petting their dog, or dining at a community table. Connections with people can be just for that moment or they can last a life time.  Once when attending an event without my spouse, a group asked me to join them seeing I was eating alone.  We’ve been good friends ever since.

“Research shows the need to connect socially with others is as basic as our need for food, water and shelter,” says Matthew Lieberman, author of Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect.  Studies show social connection improves health, strengthens our immunity system and increases longevity.

It’s heart touching to hear about children who sit next to the kid at lunch who is all alone. The book and movie, Wonder is a powerful example of reaching out to people who are isolated because they’re different.

This is a particularly difficult time for people who are alone or without a family. When we take time to reach out to people, it’s a gift to see their face light up when we connect with them.  Spread joy this season – Best wishes for the New year!

 

 

Pause and Observe

Make peace with the present moment.” – Eckhart Tolle

A friend told me today I seem more calm and content. It pleasantly surprised me she noticed. I’m working on going with the flow and not getting upset by things I can’t control.  I try to take time to pause before responding to something.  Just taking a breath helps me feel more peaceful in that moment.

Pause and Observe

Yesterday I watched Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Her guest was Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author of The Power of Now and A New Earth.  They discussed conflict and divisiveness in the world today.  Oprah asked, “Are we taking steps back in consciousness or is this happening to raise consciousness?”  Eckhart explained it is not a linear process.  Like our development in life, we experience challenges and obstacles to help us grow.  When we have setbacks, we need to pause and observe.  It’s not what happens to us but how we react to it.

He says stress is wanting something to be the way it isn’t.  Look at the situation without belaboring it.  When something happens to upset you, watch your mind and what it’s telling you.  “Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.”

If you would like to hear him talk more about this concept, here’s a 2 ½ minute Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ys17xPHS2Q8

Healing Energy of Singing Bowls

Do you know that our soul is composed of  harmony.” – Leonardo da Vinci, Notebooks

Sounds sing to me today. This morning, I thought I heard a bell ringing at construction next door.  Metal clanging sounded melodic.  Walking back to my car after Pilates, wind chimes drew me into their deep tone.  At the studio, I meditated to music with Tibetan Singing bowls.  I could feel their vibration radiating throughout my body. The hypnotic effect pulled me into a peaceful meditation.  Tibetan singing bowl

There’s actually a reason for this effect and why singing bowls are used for healing. In eastern cultures, illness is thought of as a manifestation of disharmony within the body.  Sound and vibration bring a deep sense of peace, releasing tension and blocked energy, balancing chakras / energy centers in the body helping restore harmony. The vibrational effect of gongs and singing bowls comes from a natural phenomenon known as entrainment – entraining or synchronizing the body to a certain sound. Entrainment occurs when powerful vibrations of one object actually change less powerful vibrations of another object.

If you’re ready to feel healing energy from these singing bowls, sit in a comfortable position, take a few breaths in releasing each one fully, and enjoy this 20 minute peaceful meditation.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXcw1VXlRRE

Read more about the Science Behind Healing with Sound in this interesting article:http://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/science-behind-healing-sound

 

 

 

United for Change

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”   -Margaret Mead

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I caught the cold being passed around. Thinking about it, I’m not surprised so many of us are sick or feeling under the weather. The election inflamed everyone, but the results particularly hit those of us who are stunned a candidate with such abusive, discriminatory beliefs and demeanor will be running our country. Like most of my friends, I grieved for days depressed and worried about the future.  I’m sure it wore down our defenses and immunity. 

In a war-torn world, we need leaders who unite people rather than divide or discard them, a government which upholds principles of ethics, equality, and justice, one which protects our rights as well as our environment.  Our Declaration of Independence gave power to the people for defending our rights.

In Franklin Roosevelt’s speech on The Four Freedoms he said, “As Americans, if we say we love our county then it is OUR JOB to stand and speak up for those whose rights are being taken away. It is OUR JOB to stand and fight for them in the same way that people have fought and died for the freedom we have been blessed to experience today. Our ultimate goal and purpose, no matter what party you represent, race, background, poor, or rich should be: to aid the common needs of the common people of the United States of America!”

Now many of us are asking what we can do to voice our concerns and take action.  It’s time to unite and support one another to feel safe, empowered, and help make a difference.  As I recuperate physically and mentally, I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of resources to keep us peaceful, united, and engaged.  I hope these suggestions encourage us to work together creating change for a better world for us, future generations, and our planet.

Coping Tips:
Happiness and Inner Peace during Turbulent Times:
How to help our children:
Twelve steps we can take: