The Holidays are fast approaching and, naturally, we are drawn to reflect, rest, and pause. When our bodies are disconnected from our spirit, we feel tired, discontent, and lost. To increase joyfulness during the Holidays, we must find time to realign our bodies with our spirit through making time for sacredness. It might be difficult because we have become used to rest with our phones, to watch movies, to be connected on social media, or to text friends. We are used to seek activities, and to be immersed in them. Sacredness calls us to let go of activities, to let go of worries, to shift our focus to giving to ourselves, to increase our self-compassion, to bring our attention to our bodies, our hearts, and our dreams. In a way, sacredness time should be a communion with ourselves – a sacred time to reclaim what has been lost through work, stress, emotional upheaval, drama, and demands of family and society. I don’t know what that communion would be like for you and what you would discover about yourself, but I can suggest to you ways to get there and to boost the joy that has been dormant inside of you. Even small efforts on your part to include sacredness in your schedule can bring big results in terms of feeling present, happy, and more like yourself.
1. Shut off your phone on weekends or hours at a time.
2. Fall in love with silence through turning off your TV, radio, etc.
3. Go for walks in nature, and listen to the natural sounds of birds and winds.
4. Journal and create.
6. Sit on the beach and watch the waves.
7. Play with your dog or your cat.
9. Pamper your body.
10. Do something nice for someone in need.
We need to understand being mindful as being more aware and acting with more presence and awareness.
The purpose of mindfulness is to expand our awareness of our behavior and our role in our environment.
Mindfulness has become such a hot topic because we have disconnected our minds from our bodies, so much and so often. We continue to technologically over-connect to the growing cyber-worlds, and over-develop our analytical abilities in the navigating of it.
As a result, we frequently disconnect from our core selves, from the messages of our body and from the subtle messages of nature.
Mindfulness leads to a more holistic way of living where we are in sync with ourselves and nature. We become better people, we develop spiritually in mindfulness and we learn to balance our material demands with the guidance of our spirits.
But how do we get there?
Any course on mindfulness will set you on the path to mindfulness.
You need to learn the techniques and you need to practice.
When you commit to change, you have to find the time to spend with yourself. You will need to slow down and close your eyes. Even a 10 minutes of breathing exercises will make you aware of your body.
Think of mindfulness meditation as giving a gift to yourself. You are giving loving care to your body and soul. You are increasing your awareness, and you are establishing a more solid connection with yourself.
You are also increasing your self-healing abilities, changing your perceptions, and increasing your joy.
Life will slowly start revealing itself in different ways. What looked like grey, might start looking like green? What bothered you, will no longer bother you. Life will become easier. The way you deal with daily challenges will be less aggravating. You will slowly start forgiving others and accepting your experiences without emotional charge.
The moments and days you spend in mindfulness-present time will be longer and fuller, because you will start living with more joy.
The regular practice of slowing down and seeking a deeper connection to yourself is a work between you and you. When you start approving of yourself, loving yourself and making a difference in the lives of people, you will be firmly on the mindful path.
There is no end to it. All your life you will be starting over and over, and discovering more and more wisdom.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Mindfulness practice is a great way to dive into and savor the world of our greatest human possibilities, and explore its far reaches.
The essence of mindfulness is simple as well, just Be Here Now.
We go on dates with ideas in our heads, and so much hope that things will turn well, thinking that maybe… our search and struggles will soon be over. But the reality is often something else, and we get stuck in a full range of emotions.
How do you get up when you are feeling down, when you go through experiences that are not matching your expectations, when you are tired of feeling disappointed after dates.
There is nothing wrong with having expectations or standards, we need them to guide us through life. But there are a few things we should do to get unstuck quickly after a bad date and keep going.
Learn to have neutrality about dating situations and always treat yourself with respect and compassion. The worst thing you can do is to start analyzing and feeling guilty. I should have done this, I should have said that. No matter what you said or did, it wasn’t an experience you were supposed to have.
It might have been a decision on both sides, even if it was unconscious. When someone doesn’t call you back, examine the truth, it might be you who is putting the brakes on, even if you were not consciously aware of it at the time.
It is what it is. I like this saying because It is a very present moment saying. Ok, so you met, and you can’t imagine being with each other. Simply put, you didn’t connect. Now, you are free to close this small chapter and move on.
In the meantime, feel grateful for the new lessons you are receiving. Make sure your heart stays open and ready to receive love. You are getting closer to the one who will make your heart soar. Trust life and trust your heart!
Do not give up because you have been through a bunch of dates and they haven’t been satisfactory. If you keep getting disappointed and feeling that you will never find a partner, it is time to stop the thinking all together.
Go out dancing or to a cafe with friends. Keep dreaming… a life without dreams is a life not worth living.
Take the advice you find, online or off, with a grain of salt. It is wonderful to become a better person in all venues of life. But no one has the answer for you. You have the answers for yourself. When you follow your spirit and your heart, you can become a powerful being.
When you start living from the heart and your truth, you won’t follow anyone else’s rules. You follow yours. Start experiencing today with no rules, only with the wisdom of your heart. And make sure that you are receptive to the unexpected and beautiful, everywhere, and with everyone.
Most people would probably agree that our world needs empathy.
The dictionary defines empathy as the action and the capacity of understanding, being aware of, and being sensitive to the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another person.
As humans we are wired to be empathetic because we can feel our own pain, thus the pain of other human beings or animals. We can deeply understand their distress. But if we are wired for empathy, why so many people lack empathy?
One might argue that our culture – with its emphasis on mental and technological progress – has cut us off from our emotions and our bodies. We spend most of our time thinking, analyzing and not really listening to the silent messages of the heart and body. Because we spend so much time on our computers and at our desks, we can easily become isolated in our heads, and that means less time in person or within real life communities.
Psychologists talk of three types of empathy. Cognitive empathy is when you can put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. We cognitively understand what they are going through. Though this is important, it is not enough.
Emotional empathy is when you feel and sympathize with the feelings and emotions of others. We need this capacity to maintain relationships and friendships. But emotional empathy can be treacherous for sensitive people. Taking in, into your body, somebody’s else emotions and pain – can cause you to become ill.
I heard a radio host yesterday apologizing for not talking about the tragedy in Texas. She explained it like this… “I feel too much pain. I am in an overload of pain after months of tragedies. I can’t go there.”
Feeling the pain of others is an essential component of good health. But it is important to be able to separate one’s emotions from other people’s emotions. And this can be difficult for a lot of people.
To have healthy empathy, we must transition into Compassion. With compassion we understand and we feel for someone else, but we also understand that we need to stay whole in order to be a healthy and helpful resource for others. Compassion is felt more in the heart. It is an invisible silent thread that is felt between people. We are extending our heart to someone else’s heart.
Compassionate people are in control of their emotions. They can be very helpful in bringing about wise solutions. They are helpful with their sheer and trustworthy presence.
So to increase empathy and compassion, I would suggest to start with yourself.
Ask yourself how much empathy you have for yourself? Are you hard and unforgiving of yourself? Do you feel a lot of guilt all the time? Self-reflect and meditate on yourself often.
Also, remember episodes where you lacked empathy for others? Were you afraid or unware? Always ask why and wait for the answers to emerge from deep silence. There is no need to go into the past. But by remembering your aha moments of your past, you can illuminate your future.
Changing ourselves is a process. The most important thing is to be committed to transformation and to realize that your most important task on this planet is to become more human and to be of service.
I heard the famous author Caroline Myss say many times in her lectures that people are hungry for the sacred.
Once, people in masses went to churches to reflect and to connect with a force stronger than themselves, one that brought them relief and peace and hope. Now we have yoga studios, where we go to connect to a force inside of ourselves.
“Religion is part of the human make-up. It is our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing,” writes Christopher Hitchens.
Whatever the Gods represent for you, quantum intelligence or a divine intelligence, we often need the humility the sacred brings into our lives to make sense of our illogical human existence. I heard one of the victims of the California fires say “only gratitude matters going forward.”
Collectively we need more inspiration, more beautification and purification of our characters, our personalities, our souls, and our energies.
We are a sacred temple, and everyone on earth is a sacred temple. Together we make one sacred tribe. We walk on sacred earth, and we desperately need to accept ourselves as sacred beings. No shift in collective consciousness will ever happen if we don’t welcome back this basic truth.
We need to respect the sacred each one of us has decided to pursue; it is the right one for you at this point of your human evolution.
The true sacred inside of us doesn’t wage wars, doesn’t wish bad things to people, doesn’t look down at other sacred beings.
When you are feeling stressed, bring to mind the image of a sacred space, feel the peacefulness and the tranquility of sacredness inside of you. Respect, devotion and faith are a part of who you are.
In my yoga class this morning, blessings were sent to my body, my friends, the people all over the world who are suffering and lacking peace. Send blessings to your own body, and your own friends, and all other places you wish to send some sacredness and healing.