Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Wednesday Workout: Walking Meditation to Achieve Balance

It’s National Meditation Month and it’s Wednesday Workout day here at Writer Wellness, and I’ve been able to combine the two ideas. Have you ever tried walking meditation? It can be simple and effective and a real test for the type A personality. That’s a good thing. The hyper person needs to work on achieving a balanced state of being by slowing down more often in a conscientious way. The laid back type B individual could do with a bit more pep in their step on a regular basis to work towards the same goal: balance. Both bodies can learn a new value from the practice of walking meditation.

Walking meditation is pretty agreeable to just about any way you want to go about it. Just walk and be aware of your surroundings and your breath. Go outside for the fifteen minute excursion where you notice everything in small detail and intentionally appreciate it in your mind and even in your journal pages later. For me, I have an issue with graffiti. Defacement of other people’s property doesn’t sit right with me. Since I live in the city, graffiti is everywhere. On walking meditation trips I take in the painted scrawl and intentionally identify it as art and writing with a spray can of paint. It truly is a bold statement of territorialism and sends a multi-faceted message. I think to myself, “A writer wrote that.” At least I’m trying.

Walking meditation can also be a slow, patient, meticulous walk around the room gingerly placing one foot in front of the other. Make an intentional effort to match your breath to each step. It’s amazing how intense walking meditation can become and how internal this practice can turn out to be just by focusing your attention on every step and the sensation of the soles of your feet gradually connecting to the floor in a slow, patterned manner. It provides a wake-up call for comprehending time because it’s amazing how little space you can cover in ten minutes of slow, detailed walking. And it’s a good exercise break although admittedly you’ll need to schedule the cardio session another time. Not much sweat builds up during walking meditation if done properly.

And then there is appreciation. Regardless of personality type, taking a few moments to intentionally appreciate what your mind and body have helped you achieved to date takes the edge off of what you still need to get done in life…one slow, meticulous, detailed step at a time.

Have you ever tried walking meditation? What did you notice?

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Cool Gus Publishing.

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

 

joyeheld@gmail.com

 

http://twitter.com/Joy_E_Held

 

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Tuesday Tickle: Summer Health and Safety Tips for Writers

Summer creates a host of diversions and dangers to writers. To prepare you to guard against the pitfalls, I’ve designed some summer health and safety tips for writers. Just because we are a solitary group (do oxymorons distract you like they do me?) nonetheless we have to be careful in the summer just like anyone else.

 

 

Sunburn

While it’s okay to get some vitamin D rays from the extra potent sun, don’t overdo it. Go ahead and take the lap top or the notepad and pen outside, but stay out of the sun. Writers in the zone always lose track of time and trying to keep on a deadline while your burned skin is flaking away painfully is not my idea of summer fun. Research sun screens (look at the Blue Lizard line of products) and enjoy the healthful benefits of the sun but don’t stay out too long.

Caffeine Overdose

While coffee is the writer’s drink of choice, the caffeine is extra problematic in the warm months. It acts as a diuretic, that is, it increases the body’s inclination to release fluids. In the summer this can inadvertently contribute to dehydration. Drink more alternative fluids in the summer such as those that replace electrolytes (think: what do they dump on the winning coach at football games?) Try iced coffee for the caffeine buzz but double up on the good, pure water for every glass of caffeinated beverage you inject just to be safe. Self-check your hydration level by pinching the skin on your forearm. If it snaps back into place quickly and does NOT remain pale, then you’re doing okay. If the whiteness where you pinched yourself remains white, get some more fluids quickly.

Eye Strain

With the extra daylight hours comes the desire to read more. That’s good! Read more in places where other people can see you read. It helps keep reading on people’s front burner to-do list. Summer reading lists are great but added to your regular writing workload could increase eye strain. Take regular breaks, meditate with an eye mask on (like the one you wear to sleep) or take a short power nap with a rice filled eye pillow over your eyes to relieve the tension in your eyes.

Writers need extra care and attention in the summer. Please leave a comment about what do you do to avoid summer troubles and keep safe as a writer.

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Cool Gus Publishing.

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

joyeheld@gmail.com

http://twitter.com/Joy_E_Held

 

 

 

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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: Breath in, breath out

“When I stop, I pass out,” said one of my college hatha yoga students. That means we are out of balance. It means we have neglected the quiet, still moments in life and our energy levels are at an all time low, so our bodies seize the moment (when we stop) to knock us out cold so it can recharge. I call this backwards living because when we are going and doing constantly, it takes a punch in the belly to dump us a$$-over-tea-kettle so the body, mind, and spirit can get some rest. This is the hard way to achieve balance. In this zippy age of “just DO it,” 99% of the students I meet in yoga are looking for something to slow them down, but when they meet it head-on they resist. What we resist is what we need the most.

To look up the definition of “balance” in the dictionary would cause most people to slam the book shut and think, “How can one word have 27 different meanings? Forget it.” If we will spend a breath on the Latin (don’t freak) derivation, we’ll see that “balance” is Latin for “two scales”. Take the thoughts a bit farther and the image of the scales of justice should roll across our mind’s eye and we might take the leap to understand that “balance” is another word for “equality.” Hopefully, we think equality means giving both sides the same amount of time. It means striving to equalize our “doing” with our “being.”

We call ourselves human “beings”, but we are actually more human “doings”. Aren’t we always doing, going, getting, asking, etc. almost all the time? “Doing” is everything we’re responsible for and everyone we answer to. “Being” is much simpler. It is calming our mind until the only “doing” is breathing. Strangely, the human body, mind, and spirit react positively to an inequality of “doing” versus “being.” We can be much more active than inactive and our human carriages will show positive signs of health, but we must offer our bodies organized sessions of peace and quiet at regular intervals. In other words, it takes only a few minutes of “being” per day to balance many minutes of “doing” and we can achieve equilibrium.

The “being” is simply sitting or lying in a quiet, meditative state that is conscious relaxation when we are not talking, moving, thinking without obsessing (more on that later,) and simply appreciating the moment in which the only requirement of us is to breathe. It is not sleeping. It is conscious relaxation when our minds are focused on the breath and only the breath.

“Breath in, breath out,” is all we need to think and when something interrupts or tries to supersede that simple mantra, we do not follow its lead but continue the easy words in harmony with our natural breathing. As you breathe in, repeat to yourself, “Breath in.” As you breathe out, repeat to yourself, “Breath out.” Try it for five minutes, then ten minutes, then fifteen, and twenty minutes gradually increasing the time as you feel ready. It sounds easy, but let me know how easy it is or isn’t for you. If you’re human like the rest of us, it will present a lifelong challenge that will change your life forever and for the good.

 

 

 

 

 

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: 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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Thursday Thot: On Yoga and Writing, Interview with Maryanda

By Catherine Greenfeder

Maryanda, a yoga instructor in New Jersey for over twenty years, is also a published author of two semi-autobiographical books, Who is She and She is Me, and is working on a third book, “Yoga Secrets, Yoga Tales” a collection of short stories that bring the reader into yoga. As She explains,  “A shift will happen for the reader just reading this book, which will bring them into the yoga space.”

          As someone who has been a published author and a yoga instructor and practitioner, Maryanda feels that her third book is yoga off the mat, and “just as yoga on the mat brings in all parts of us – body, mind, heart, and spirit, that’s what the third book will bring to the reader.”

          “As for writing, learning to recognize the different parts of ourselves will create better writers and deeper writing. And when a writer is writing from the yoga space, the place which integrates all parts of our being, then the reader also has access to that space inside them.” Maryanda uses yoga techniques to open her third eye before she writes, opening to the yoga space.  It is simple and from the heart. “As the reader takes it in they also open to that space within themselves. If you cannot be actually doing yoga on the mat, you can take yoga in esoterically off the mat.”

          Maryanda practices and teaches Kundalini yoga.  This is a gentle yoga which helps the practitioner go inward. In addition, she offers Yoga Nidra, which means “yoga sleep”.   This is the deepest form of yoga and goes beyond the posture/asana.  Here we set our Intention, activating what we want to come into our life.  And it works!  

          Among the many benefits of yoga, Maryanda said that the practice helps to lower stress, reduce anxiety, build strength without effort, and increase energy. This is healthful for the body, mind, heart, and spirit. Yoga is physically helpful, as well as mentally and emotionally helpful. And what delights many is that your body can very possibly find its own right size through yoga.  Although yoga is more about finding the right balance in every aspect of life, it still is very popular for developing a chiseled physique. Yoga is definitely not limited by age, body weight or body strength. Through yoga, the body is working with you as your level of consciousness is raised. Yes, yoga brings all parts of  all of us together, and it also keeps Maryanda healthy and well into her seventies, still enjoying life. 

Note: Catherine Greenfeder, a published novelist and teacher, has enjoyed and benefited from Maryanda’s yoga and Yoga Nidra classes.

www.catherinegreenfeder.vpweb.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

 

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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Tuesday Tickle: Guest Joanna Aislinn Offers An Idea for Some Quick Pampering

Quick Pampering

Hi all. These thoughts came to me a week or so ago, when hormones were making me crazy and I was seeing the world in one of those weepy-way days.

Every last thing was making me feel overwhelmed: the house; the price of gas; not utilizing my time well and thinking about all I had to do (or wanted to get done) in just a few hours.

I was in serious need of a mental shift and lucky enough to be feeling that way when I wasn’t scheduled to work the day job. I headed upstairs to face the bedroom that needed some attention and to figure out what I’d wear.

Maybe getting dressed forced me to notice my feet, which hadn’t seen an official (i.e., spa) pedicure since the summer. Since I’m lousy at scaring out the 45 minutes that would take (and often too restless to sit through it anyway), I grabbed the Ped-Egg and got to work. Within 20 minutes (possibly less) I was heading into the shower with much smoother skin at the ends of my lower extremities.

The process got my mind off my blues, and I can’t imagine scrubbing with some force didn’t help channel some negative energy out either, lol.)

IMPORTANT: If you have any problems with circulation or bleeding (i.e., are diabetic, take blood thinners, etc) DO NOT DO YOUR OWN PEDICURE. Talk to a podiatrist, who can steer you in the best direction given your condition.

For the rest of you, your own pedicure is easy. Just follow these steps!

(1) Keep feet dry and use the Ped-Egg to slough dead, roughened skin off anywhere on your feet you find it. (For those who can’t reach their feet, get hold of a foot rasp—usually available at dollar stores and pharmacies. Use Velcro to attach a longer handle—a wooden spatula is great—to the rasp’s handle. With that, you’ll get down to the heels pretty easily. Getting under the foot is a bigger challenge—one this occupational-therapist-by-trade needs to think about.)

(2) Don’t wet those feet yet! Once you’ve sloughed to smoothness, make a scrub with liquid hand soap and borax (yep, the inexpensive 20-Mule-Team box from the laundry aisle at any supermarket). Squirt a dollop of soap onto your dry palm and sprinkle enough borax on the soap to cover it. Apply directly to your skin and scrub away what’s left of those rough patches. (Borax tends to soften skin. Who knew?) Take it one step further and scrub your legs too!

(3) Rinse with warm water for a soothing effect. If you want to perk those legs and/or feet up, finish with a blast of cool—not cold—water.

(4) Apply your favorite scented lotion. (Lavender or vanillas are soothing. Peppermint is great for waking those toesies up!) If you’re doing this on a cold day, put socks or stockings on while your feet are a bit moist. If you’re bed-bound, consider putting on a heavier-duty ointment (i.e., petroleum jelly or Avon’s Moisture Therapy, which is based in petroleum jelly. Eucerin, Kerry and Curel products are great too, and my dollar store has an awesome creamy petroleum jelly that’s pretty amazing.)

(5) Pat yourself on the back for having done something nice for yourself! Take it a step further: prop those puppies up in your favorite relaxing hangout and read or just wind down for a little longer. J

Thanks, Joy, for allowing me this opportunity to share with your readers and fans one way I take care of myself.

All good thoughts to everyone,

Joanna Aislinn guest blogJoanna Aislinn

I am a wife, mother, day-job holder, mega-fan of tennis (go Rafa, Djok and Roger) and recently football  (Go Giants–so psyched for Super Bowl XLVI) She’s an avid reader. My writing roots stretch back to my early teenage days. At present, I’m fine-tuning the sequel to NO MATTER WHY, my debut novel. (For those who like, you can still snag an e-copy and/or print copy over at Amazon, while I transition into a new, to be determined phase of my writer’s life.) I’m also developing a third story in the series and working on some more free reads (for posting when the time is right J; there are, however, quite a few already at my blog).  When I’m not writing reports for work (or cleaning) I’m learning about promo, making on-line friends while building my web presence and looking for ways to connect with the readers!
 
Visit me at my website and blog, and I’d be honored if you choose to follow me on Twitter and/or friend me on Facebook!
 
 
 
Joanna Aislinn
Dream. Believe. Strive. Achieve!
NO MATTER WHY
The Wild Rose Press (available now!)
www.joannaaislinn.com
www.joannaaislinn.wordpress.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

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

3 Comments »

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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Thursday Thot: Time for a “Joy-Fix”

I was named after my Grandma Joy. When I was a little bit of joy, she told to watch out for days when it would be difficult to live up to our name. In other words, feeling joyful would be challenging sometimes. That’s life. I grew to be a practical person who doesn’t like to waste time or breath. So I tend to work hard before I get to the joyful parts of life. Sometimes the work is so overwhelming that I’m too tired for the joyfulness that should be my reward. Alas, the conundrum Grandma Joy warned me about.

Many people mistake my diligence and persistence for unhappiness. I am happiest when I’m working and productive. Some people don’t believe that work is a joyful occupation. I do. These folks think I need more joy in my life when my whole being is made up of joy. I take joy in my work. I find joy in my purposes as parent and teacher. I know joy with every word I publish. Joy is achieved, at least for me, through my desire to make a difference. I have found my niche, my way to make a positive difference in my life and that of others through teaching and writing. Those are occupations to some but they are joy-filled opportunities for me. I do run into stinkers every now and then. They try to threaten my ability to find joy in my work. I’m only human. So I turn to my journal and hash it out in words and drawings and thank-you notes from people I’ve helped.

 

But everyone needs some helpful reminders now and then on how to find joy in life and therefore that positive attitude that is October’s mission. Here are a couple of tips I’ve found useful.

1.Daily affirmations-these are little snippets of what I call “cheerleader talk” that you write down and keep handy throughout the day. Examples of such positive self-talk are “Today is a good day to notice one good thing about myself and share it with the world.” There is a list of positive affirmations in my book Writer Wellness.

 

2.Daily meditation practice-five minutes of sitting in stillness and listening to your own breath rotate through your body and mind sounds mundane, but the results of such a long term and simple practice are amazing. Don’t discount the simplicity. That’s exactly the point in this crazy, work-till-you-drop world. I should know. That’s why meditation is an important part of my plan for joy. There is a chapter in my book to help you get started with meditation.

So when it’s time for a “joy-fix”, pull out the simple things and watch your negativity gradually fade away until all that’s left is pure joy.

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

2 Comments »

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