Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Monday Meditation: “Easy” Cross-legged Seat?

In yoga, life is considered a series of “dukha” or sufferings one after the other, but the lessons of yoga are principally about teaching us to cope with suffering through relaxations or “sukha”. This is the art of relaxing and to yoga this means being comfortable and at ease. It means stillness (sukha) in the body and mind purposely practiced to counter act the opposite feelings of stress (dukha.) Therefore, the “easy pose” is taught as a physical position to take when trying to relax. But for some people the “easy pose” is anything but easy, so why is it called “easy”?

 

The “easy” translation simply means being the opposite of uneasy or busy and stressed. Although the specific sitting position known as the “easy pose” is traditional, the mere act of sitting or semi-reclining and being motionless can be considered an easy pose. After all, not everyone can sit on the floor with their legs crossed at the ankles for an extended period of time. It would take human or mechanical intervention to get some of them back to standing contradicting the “easy” part.

 

An “easy pose” is one that allows us to be at ease with ourselves without the urge to fall completely asleep. Most of us are conditioned to begin snoring within a few minutes if we find ourselves lying flat on our backs. Happens all the time in yoga. Corpse pose at the end of class is regularly mistaken by some exhausted individual as nap time and the rest of us are serenaded by the heavy, unburdened breath of someone who has fallen asleep on the mat. That’s okay, but as I’ve said before, sleep is not meditation. Sleep is sleep and meditation is an easy, comfortable state of relaxed alertness.

 

In meditation we are without the normal business of our bodies and minds (thoughts, movements, sounds.) Instead we are physically still. The only movement is what’s necessary to breathe. And our thoughts are fewer and slower. Thoughts are normal but they bring with them varying degrees of stress, so during meditation the fewer the better. It requires a low level of consciousness or awareness to “quiet the mind” as desired by meditation. The lack of thoughts equals fewer opportunities to be stressed by thinking which equates to feeling at ease—without stress. An easy pose is one that is comfortable enough to bring on the sensation of ease without allowing us to fall asleep.

 

Sitting cross-legged on the floor, a stack of blankets, or a meditation cushion IS a comfortable pose for some. Others may need to sit in a chair with feet flat on the floor or lie back on a stack of pillows or a bolster to keep the body from lying completely flat. As long as we are physically at ease, our breath and thoughts will eventually join in and calm down. This is “sukha” or being without the suffering implied by the stress or “dukha” of physical movement and mental stimulation.

 

The honest challenge is developing the stamina to remain in this position of ease for a particular length of time. Practice, practice, practice and the body will gradually remember its state of comfort and be more cooperative when asked to be still. Remember our bodies and minds are very practiced at zooming all the time. The opposite is challenging (dukha) but rewarding (sukha.) This is balance.

 

What is your “easy pose”?

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

 

Joy E. Held

 

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Monday Meditation: Monkey Mind Meets Medication (Naturally)

The yogi meditates to seek stillness. The Buddist meditates to achieve oneness, non-duality. Modern medicine recommends meditation to quiet racing thoughts and slow down our frantic existence. The rest of us meditate because it feels so good just to be motionless for a few minutes out of every day. Along the way we all catch glimpses of peace or the giddiness of noticing the tension literally draining out of our shoulders or hands like rainwater down a spout. Or having fifteen minutes without thinking about this, that, him, her, time, dinner, laundry, deadlines, appointments, pets, kids, work, and dirty floors. The “ahhhh” of a few moments without the chatter and screeching of monkey mind is all it takes to revive us enough to finish the must-do-today list. Then we take a bath, reach for a few hours of dreams, get up, and do it all again. Somewhere along the route, the moments spent deeply focused (that’s all meditation actually is, deep focus while being conscious,) begin to taint our everyday existence. In small ways, meditation practice filters into our daily routines, and we find that we are less prone to flaming out when something doesn’t go our way. At least, if we do flame out, it is not as hot as it used to be and doesn’t last as long. The flame instead sheds light on the situation, and we stop and think differently about it all.

It’s the same for everybody whether they admit it or not. Meditation is a challenge but a worthwhile one. I’ve recently finished reading The Accidental Buddhist by Dinty W. Moore, an English professor at Ohio University (Go, Bobcats! you were basketball awesome last Friday night!) in Athens, Ohio. Moore travelled the country for a year in search of instructions on becoming a Buddhist or at least learning how to meditate really well. He discovered much about himself and his relationship with spirituality, but he bluntly faces what we all face every time we put our rumps on the zafu: monkey mind is in control. Moore says it succinctly:

The problem is clearly inside. My mind is a monkey, and the monkey needs Ritalin. (The Accidental Buddhist, page 36.)

Everybody encounters the same yakety-yak of thoughts and distractions. That’s part of the practice. Learning to deal with ourselves in a kinder, calmer way spills over into our lives and that’s one of the ways meditation becomes a tool to help us deal with stress. We are harsh with other people because that is how we treat ourselves. We chastise and punish ourselves pretty regularly and it’s become a habit for lots of people. We treat others the way we treat ourselves. NOT beating yourself up when monkey mind goes berserk and draws you away from the calm and reassuring sound of your own breath is the first step to stopping this attitude in your dealings with other people. An easy way to hush the chatter is to out talk monkey mind with kind and reassuring positive affirmations. “I am kind. I am smart. I am calm. I am important,” are just a few of the phrases that will shut monkey mind down in a heartbeat. Repeat them over and over in tempo with your natural breath day after day. A positive mantra repeated over and over is like a sort of Ritalin to calm monkey mind down for a few minutes. And like Moore discovers after a year of grasping for an understanding of a meaningful and spiritual existence, you’ll realize what he did.

If there is a God, I should live my life according to principles of kindness, compassion, and awareness, and if there is no God, well then I should live my life according to principles of kindness, compassion, and awareness anyway.

You can begin by trying to show yourself kindness, compassion, and awareness the next time you and monkey mind meet on the cushion. And I highly recommend Moore’s book The Accidental Buddhist.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

Be well, write well.

~Joy E. Held

 

 

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Monday Meditation: Just Breathe

 

Relax? What does that really mean? It can mean taking a moment in the face of stress and remembering how inconsequential the problem is. But is that practical? What if the problem is a really big issue like something burning? Thankfully, the natural “fight or flight” response will kick in and you can probably put the fire out but what about responding to the everyday stresses we encounter all the time? It all matters a little bit but how we react to the situation is the real cause of most of our stress. It’s a matter of choice.

I believe that what causes the most stress for people are expectations. The fear of not living up to the hype causes us to tense up and that tension results in poo-poo thinking and the release of stress hormones that don’t dribble out later. They hang around and sludge up the works making blood sticky, muscles achy, and thinking unclear.

What helps? Breathing helps. Meditation helps. Exercise helps. Loving helps. Heck, hugging helps reduce the stress response and makes us think maybe we can cope with all this crap after all. Everything happens for a reason, and you are here now at this moment for a reason living life the way you are. You may not know it, but I think the human experience is only about finding that reason for living and pursuing it with everything you’ve got body and soul.

Find your reason for living by paying attention to the little things and to how fast time flys when you’re engaged in a particular activity. When do you lose all track of time? When do you feel refreshed no matter how intense the activity? When is your thinking focused on one thing and nothing else can get in until you let it? These are clues to finding your reason for being here, for contributing to the existential drama that causes us so much stress because we don’t know for sure what our true purpose in life is supposed to be.

Be still, breathe, and listen and the answer will overpower the stress. Has meditation helped you see the clarity in your work or life?

(Photo by J. Purkey, 2003)

Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity

 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

 

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

 

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

 

 

 

Be well, write well

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Monday Meditation: Stillness

 

The soft, gentle place of peace and tranquility at the end of a yoga class is known to some students as the “prize” at the bottom of the box. After the stretching and the breath work, the relaxation pose at the end of class for five to ten minutes is a welcome relief. It’s also a place for something we don’t receive often enough during the day: stillness. We are so busy doing, darting, and thinking throughout the day that we forget or run out of time to find balance and do nothing but breathe. Day after day of being out of balance creates the stresses we are desperate to dissolve in our bodies and minds. The simplest way to reduce stress is to be its opposite. Stress is an active pressure on something. The physical or emotional pressure created by stress is blasted into oblivion by simply being still, not moving except for breathing for whatever time can be set aside for it.

Physical stillness is miraculous in its ability to energize our muscles and internal organs. However we’re so used to putting demands on ourselves physically and mentally, that it feels awkward to some people to be without motion so they “hold” themselves still and think this is relaxation. This is more doing. Stillness is letting go and just breathing in and out for five minutes and nothing else. It works better and achieves a better overall result to lie down, but it’s possible to let go while sitting up. But that’s the challenge of meditation isn’t? To meet the urge to do something with just being. So if life feels out of balance, it probably is. When we try to find balance with the practice of stillness, remember that there are two ways to achieve the stillness. We can grip something so hard it is still, or we can let go of everything until the bliss of just being pervades us on the deepest of levels. This is stillness.

How do you achieve stillness?

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

 

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

 

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

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Monday Meditation: Banned Thoughts During Meditation

It’s national Banned Books Week. Sigh. A history of yet another way, besides disappearing bricks-and-mortar bookstores, to make a writer’s life more challenging. In spite of the collected freedoms we and others support and sometimes die for, the concept of banned books is ultimately about freedom of speech and censorship. When it comes to meditation and choosing not to follow a path of thoughts but staying present in the moment of the breath, are we actually censoring our mind’s free flow of ideas instead?

 

In the colorful history of banned books, there is the concept of books being ‘challenged’ as well as actually being removed from the availability of certain populations such as children. Just as often however, books are kept away from adults with the right to choose what they read. It is the sense of challenge that permeates meditation practice rather than total separation. As we meditate and thoughts surface in the consciousness, we are given the freedom to choose at the very moment if we want to dwell on the thought or simply not. We have the freedom in our minds to set aside the thought temporarily, and this is in a sense meeting the fundamental challenge of all meditation practices. Do we grasp or do we let go?

 

Famous classics have been and continue to be challenged and/or banned by institutions and groups for various reasons that seem clear to those taking advantage of their right to free speech to question the propriety of a book. I see a contradiction there. If it weren’t for the freedom of speech and ergo freedom to read and write, these particular entities wouldn’t be allowed to oppose these books. In our minds during meditation, we are ultimately free, freer, in fact, than anywhere else or time. Real freedom of choice exists during meditation. We are free to challenge thoughts or free to follow them down the spiraling road of tangents. The spiral is thinking about something, and that’s entirely different from meditation as I see it practiced. Thinking is good. But the freedom not to think while meditating is just as good.

For more information on Banned Books Week 2011 visit the American Library Association website.

http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/index.cfm

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

 

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

 

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

 

 

 

Be well, write well

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Monday Meditation: Meditation In Six Words

Nothing, everything matters inside my peace.

 

Comments limited to six words, please.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Leave a comment »

Monday Meditation: Getting Lost In Your Own Mind

Getting lost is a disconcerting sensation. For many goal-oriented people, being lost means something, somewhere broke down along the lines of their motto, “I cannot cope with the worst case scenario, so I will over-plan to be prepared if the worst happens.” While making a plan, then working that plan is a valid approach to achieving success, the best of us get lost. Coping with the reality might be easier if we practice meditation because the feeling of being lost in our own minds and bodies but not experiencing panic is possible. Then it’s a matter of transferring that lesson to real life situations.

The key is surrender. The first few minutes of sitting in meditation are normally a challenge almost every time we go to the cushion. That’s because we are so used to holding on to things. It’s a natural sensation to want to hold on. In my opinion, everyone is born with the desire to hold on because our bodies are constantly pulled on by gravity. It makes sense to me to hold on to things, people, and myself simply because it’s how we function in relationship to the earth’s pull on our beings. Surrendering to this awareness of being held onto by gravity is a first step when sitting in meditation.

Up to the first ten minutes of meditation practice is basically about noticing gravity’s hold over our bodies, organs, and senses. Simply notice, then intentionally start at the source of the pull and work upwards through the body to relax or let go of the worry about being pulled down all the time. It’s very normal to feel everything settling downward (some people note this as being “grounded”), and it’s at this point of everything being settled down we try to surrender it all to a feeling of weightlessness. We let go of the worry. Surrender to gravity’s pull then allow the anxiety about whether or not it’s working to surface and face it. At this point it’s possible to get lost in the lightness of being and just breathe until the session is ended.

It’s surrendering to the power of being lost and letting go of expectations that we practice on the cushion then try to recall when we get lost on the highway or in a tricky plot pattern we’re writing. In meditation we keep breathing and follow the breath to the end. In real life, we should apply the breath to keep us calm and working toward correcting the wrong turn or the wrong speech or the wrong choice. Everyone gets lost. It’s easier for some than others to deal with being off-track. A few moments of being lost in your own mind everyday and surfacing to a better place in the end is one possible way to learn how to deal with the real world situation of losing your way no matter how much you plan in advance.

All the outlines, maps, and global positioning devices in the world cannot teach us how to cope. Those are tools for dealing with and correcting the problem. Applying lessons learned on the meditation cushion to daily realities is one method of coping with being lost along the journey. It happens to everyone occasionally. For those goal-oriented folks like me, the key is adding “get lost” to the plan.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

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Monday Meditation: A Liquid Mind Can Be Messy

 

Monday Meditation: A Liquid Mind Can Be Messy

 

A singular goal of meditation is to learn acceptance and therefore patience. If we accept the truth of ourselves and decide to live that authenticity in our daily activities, we will surely become more aware of our inadequacies. By the same token we notice these weaknesses in other people. “We are only human,” (and flawed ones at that) becomes an overused excuse for not wanting to make the effort to be better, to change. If meditation practice brings us face to face with our true natures then why would we want to do it? Because knowing the realities of who are releases us from the burden of trying be something and someone we aren’t. It’s a very liberating feeling to make choices from a strong and energetic place of, “This is who I am and this decision comes from that source, the me-energy I am.”

 

How can a few minutes of sitting motionless and without dwelling on thinking bring us to a place of fully understanding our true natures? These moments are the only ones in the day when we are free from having to meet anyone else’s expectations. Our lives are all built upon living up to the demands, requests, promises, and instructions given to us by other people. They are perfectly within their rights to offer these requests. Our personal stress comes from trying to meet obligations put upon us that do not match what we believe about who we are and what we’re capable of. It’s stressful to be inside this pressure yet it’s how everyone’s life is lived in contemporary society. There are rules, boundaries, expectations, precautions, and on and on that define how we live. These demands do not have to define who we live our lives as. Meditation allows us to discover and stay connected to our authentic selves and later it gives us the strength to accept and appreciate ourselves and others regardless of flaws. Because we learn in meditation to accept and appreciate our true natures, we are better equipped to offer the same considerations to other people. But we’re only human.

 

I call this having a liquid mind because during meditation I am soft and flowing physically, mentally, and emotionally and the feeling is like warm water all around and through me. After taking a deep cleansing breath, opening my eyes, and getting up from the meditation cushion, I notice this liquid feeling and I make a point to say to myself, “I will do my best to carry this warm, juicy feeling into my experiences today.” Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is messy. Like a coffee cup filled beyond the brim, hot feelings can overflow and scald me when I encounter people with agendas, misconceptions, and fears. I’m only human, a flawed one at that, but I try to pause before I respond to the burning liquid being thrown my way. I try, but sometimes, because I’m only human, my true self says, “You need to clean that up, honey. I left my maid uniform at home.” And I go back to the cushion seeking more practice at patience and acceptance.

 

Is meditation helping you cope with something or someone in a better way?

New website to check out! http://www.joyeheld.com

 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Leave a comment »

Monday Meditation: Independence Day Lessons

 

My first child was born 24 years ago on the fourth of July. I named her Aurora which means “new dawn” as her addition to my life signaled a new chapter. She has been a grand teacher for me because her ever self-reliant nature determined from the beginning that she would do things her own way. From her I have learned to love a free spirited child whose independent nature isn’t meant to threaten our bond but to test its strength and assure that it will hold no matter what. This is the very same lesson I have learned from years of meditation practice and day after day of trying to apply the concept to my writing.

At first blush, independence is a startling notion the initial time we feel it. It is both exhilarating and frightening when we understand that we are in total control of something: ourselves, the lives of our children, the books we write, relationships, and more. On closer inspection, freedom of choice comes with assorted baggage firmly attached to it that could threaten to dampen our new found moment of feeling like we are running unencumbered through a field of perfect daisies wafting in the breezy sunshine (or whatever image independence means to you.) The downer for some people about independence is recognizing gratitude as a hanger-on-er  because this means a responsibility to someone or something else. It doesn’t feel like the ideal definition of liberation if we have to be thankful and appreciative of who and what got us to this point. Therein is the first lesson.

Saying “thank you” is really tough for some people, but it’s the first lesson of independence and meditation. Simply and regularly being grateful is a great stress reliever because it helps us stay connected to people, and since we are wired to be social beings, we need them from time to time. Telling others how much we appreciate what they’ve done for us keeps them around. People like to be recognized for their contributions. The easiest and quickest way to get rid of volunteers for anything is to neglect saying “thank you” for your help. And people are volunteers when it comes to other people in every sense of the word. None of “have” to help anybody else. We’re busy enough trying to survive ourselves. Take care of yourself, right? Without the help of others none of us could get anywhere regardless of smarts, talent, or beauty. Moments when meditation is difficult (we get bored, tired, frustrated, our backs hurt, etc.) are the perfect moment to appreciate. Start a mental run down of everyone you could thank for anything. When you think the list of people to thank is done, start over again saying the person’s name or visualizing their face and telling them “thank you” in your mind.

Don’t be surprised if the next time you see this person the words “thank you for…” pop out of your mouth. Handle it gracefully no matter how startled the both of you are. When you notice how wonderful you’ve made the other person feel by recognizing their volunteerism and how it’s benefitted your life, you will get hooked on being grateful and saying so.

The writing lesson is to not hold back when acknowledging the people who got you to the point of actually being asked by your editor and publisher to thank people. Go ahead and recognize your fifth grade teacher in as many books as you want. Isn’t she the one who helped you understand exactly what and where a comma does? Don’t leave her out. It’s a sign of mature independence to be thankful for the responsibilities attached to freedom.

Thank you Mrs. Mary Young, my fifth grade teacher at Elkview Elementary school, who believed in my writing for the very first time. Without your encouragement I wouldn’t know the liberty I know today to write stories from my heart just the way you told me to. Thank you, Aurora, who has taught me the meaning of loving our free spirits. Let freedom ring in your writing and your meditation then spread the love. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AURORA.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

Leave a comment »

Monday Meditation: The Consequences of Meditation

Monday Meditation: The Consequences of Meditation

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Things change. Whether we want them to or not, everything changes. To bring this to the attention of myself and my students, I close every yoga class with these words:

“With every breath we grow. With every breath we change. Every breath is precious. Until your journey brings you back to me, remember to breathe. Namaste.”

It’s my way of saying, “Change is a natural part of our existence. Fighting change causes stress. Embrace the concept of change and you will know less stress.” But how do we “embrace” change? I don’t have a practical answer, but I do have qualified experience because I practice yoga and meditation regularly. One of the consequences of regular meditation practice is the ability to readily embrace change and not be as stressed about it. The more you practice watching things come and go during meditation, the easier it is to watch things come and go in life. We may not wish to see things come and go, but it happens. One of the consequences of meditation is less stress because we understand that everything comes and goes, and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

One of my favorite descriptions of the sensations of living as the result of meditation and yoga comes from yogi Mukunda Stiles in his book “Structural Yoga Therapy.”

Symptoms of Inner Peace

1. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fear

2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment

3. Loss of interest in judging others

4. Loss of interest in judging yourself

There are other symptoms or consequences of meditation listed by Stiles. Just as everyday is a beginning, so is every meditation practice. It’s a place to start learning to watch things come and go without fear or stress.

Have you noticed any consequences as a result of your meditation practice?

Happy Note: Book signing and hatha yoga demonstration Saturday, June 25 at Borders in Vienna, WV, 2-4 p.m. Will I see you there? Bring your yoga mat!

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc. 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

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