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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Wednesday Workout: You Are Your Body’s Mechanic

“Start a physical activity program, and keep exercising consistently.” ~Practical Stress Management, John A. Romas and Manoj Sharma

 The Oxford dictionary defines machine as “…an apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task.”

The Oxford dictionary defines mechanical as “…relating to physical forces or motion, physical.” If something is mechanical, it is physical.

I propose to you that your body is a machine. You only have to know the basics about machinery to understand that if the machine and its parts are not cared for and maintained, the machine breaks down, is unable to perform its duties and functions. The machine stops working satisfactorily unless it is kept in working order. It has to be taken care of. That is the job of the mechanic.

Your body is your machine and you are its primary mechanic. One of the actions you need to apply to your body machine is that of physical exercise because as the definition of mechanical states, “…relating to physical forces or motion, physical,” the mechanics of your body uses movement to function and requires movement to stay in working order. Regular physical exercise is one way to maintain your body’s overall health.

Think for a minute about eating. The digestion process involves chewing, swallowing, breaking down, distributing, and discarding the resultant waste products. Those are all verbs and verbs are action words. Every system in your body is about movement. It makes sense that movement is the body’s best ally when it comes to achieving optimum health and thereby dealing successfully with stress. Exercise is an amazing tool to deal with stress. Why?

Review points in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on physical activity (2004).

“The chief benefits of regular physical activity include:

+Prevention and control of coronary heart disease, stroke, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoporosis, colon cancer, depression, anxiety, and obesity

+Improved heart, lung, and circulatory system function

+Better balance of blood lipids as a result of increasing “good cholesterol,” and lowering “bad cholesterol”

+Improved quality of life

+Enhanced functional independence

+Mental well-being

+Counterbalancing of adverse effects due to stress

+Improved self-esteem

+Maintenance of appropriate body weight

+Slowing down of adverse effects of aging such as memory loss

+Overall improved life expectancy.”

There are eleven positive benefits of regular physical activity listed. Eight of those eleven are related to emotional standards of health. If your emotions are in good health, so is your body. While physical exercise contributes immensely to the overall well being of a person in the mechanical sense, it contributes immensely to how we feel about ourselves and how much control we have over our lives. When we are in control of our lives through the use of healthy options such as exercise, eating right, and accomplishing goals, we are less stressed. Physical exercise gives us a sense of control over ourselves, our situations, and our choices.

What’s most important to remember about how exercise helps us deal with stress besides endorphins, neurogenesis, avoiding disease, and weight management is that regular physical exercise enhances our underlying self-respect. That intangible area of how we feel about ourselves is inexplicably linked to whether we exercise or not. Plain and simple.

Nineteenth century German philosopher Rudolf Steiner is believed to have said, “The first sign of life in a human is movement. The first sign of death in a human is lack of movement.” Our very survival is all about movement. It only makes sense that exercise be an important component of that survival.

What is your plan for exercise today?

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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Monday Meditation: Renaming Today “Fun-day”

Monday Meditation: Renaming Today “Fun-day”

Monday is typically a dreaded day. It’s more unwelcome than a case of athlete’s foot. Yet it returns and reruns itself no matter what remedy we try. So it might be time for a change of perspective and to think positively about this day instead of always trying to avoid it. I’ve decided to rename Monday to “Fun-day”, the day of the week when we make an effort to enjoy the opportunities a fresh start to a new work week can offer. It’s time to look at all the potential Monday, I mean “Fun-Day”, presents.

First, we should admit that our problem with Monday is that it seems to end the fun of the weekend. If we make a choice to continue the fun on the first day of the week, sleeping on Sunday (the “day of rest”?) night won’t be the challenge is it for people who don’t look forward to Mondays. If we think of the day as “Fun-day” instead of Monday we might get enough sleep on Sunday to make the most of this promising day.

The next issue we have with Monday is that it never seems to have enough time built into it. That’s because we spend most of it being disgruntled that it has reappeared instead of making the best of something we can’t change anyway. The sun comes up and Monday comes back. That’s reality on this big round thing we live on. Like some other distasteful things I won’t mention, Monday happens. So it’s worth the LESS STRESS to plan ahead to make Monday more like “Fun-day” instead of I-hate-life-day. Take a few minutes on Friday to make a “Fun-day” plan. Look over the list and do one of the “Fun-day” jobs on Friday (P.S. I’m renaming Friday too, more on that later.) That way, “Fun-day” will have more space for taking care of something that invariably pops up or poops out.  Those last minute, didn’t-know-this-would-happen things that Mondays are famous for.

Time and trying to live against it instead of with it is a major contributor to creating bad stress in humans. Take a minute or two on some day in advance of Monday to make it “Fun-day” and relieve yourself of a tiny bit of stress.

What will you do today to make it “Fun-day”?

CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED! The winner of the drawing for a free digital copy of WRITER WELLNESS, A WRITER’S PATH TO HEALTH AND CREATIVITY and a month of free Writer Wellness coaching via email is

 

JOANNA AISLINN!     Congratulations. Contact me to arrange for your prize package! Thanks to all who entered.

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 »

Monday Meditation: Part Deux

At the “friends-giving” celebration in my home recently, a dear friend told me that one of her teachers spoke something that resonated so deeply she couldn’t get it off her mind. Part of “studying” the teacher’s words for her was to share them and see what others might have to say. Her teacher said that all of life’s relationships could be simplified to four sentences. She said that if everyone could somehow apply all four sentences to every relationship they had, there would be no stress.

1.I love you.

2.I am sorry.

3.Please forgive me.

4.Thank you.

She wrote the sentences down and they’ve been posted in my kitchen for several days now, and I’ve noticed a difference in my relationships without really trying to think too much about the four sentences. Just reading them several times a day has implanted them within the folds of my interactions with others.

1.I love you. This is very true. In the case of becoming upset with another person’s actions, these three words appeared out of nowhere. Before I could get much deeper into my frustration, this sentence reminded me that I DO love you, and I DO NOT want to jeopardize that with anger. This sentence enabled me the pause necessary to find another way to deal with or discard my unhappiness.

2.I am sorry. This is a very difficult sentence to utter. We are all resistant to pointing out our flaws even though we all have room for improvement. This sentence simply reminded me to avoid having to say it by thinking before I reacted to something. This way I didn’t have to say this to anyone because I remembered my love for them.

3.Please forgive me. It’s one thing to apologize, but it’s another thing for the wronged person to accept the apology. I’ve come to realize in my life that forgiveness is an option for some people. I don’t have the right to expect someone to forgive me. Therefore, it’s much easier to remember that I love them than to be placed in a position of waiting on forgiveness. It may never come.

4.Thank you. These are two amazing and powerful words. It doesn’t seem like we hear them enough. So I remembered to say it as often as warranted and to add a little smile. It works. We all just want to make a difference.

I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.  What would happen if you wrote these four sentences on a slip of paper and tacked them up somewhere you would see them multiple times a day, day after day? I’m interested in knowing your results.

 

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 »

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

1 Comment »

Wednesday Workout: Lost On the Treadmill

OK. As is my practice after car trips, I cruise by the fitness center on the way to the hotel room. Good. A treadmill and space for my yoga mat. Unload the car and change for my workout to release the tensions of getting lost on the way to the hotel. A new highway had been recently changed and the directions we received literally took us into a brick wall. After driving a few miles out of our way because there were no other exits off this highway, we found a parking lot to turn around in and head back. We could see the hotel from the highway, just couldn’t get off the highway to find it. Several miles down the road, an exit appeared and we zig zagged our way back to the hotel. Nice hotel and not their fault the Ohio road department built a brick wall where their parking lot used to be. Moving on.

I want some cardio first because it serves several purposes. Study after study

http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/article/188986/8/To-Lose-Belly-Fat-Debate-Aerobic-Exercise-Or-Lift-Weights

says it’s the best for chewing up belly fat the fastest, it helps with thinking, and it releases more toxins than any other type of exercise and that is very relaxing. Plus if you don’t focus well during cardio workouts, you will fall off the equipment or stumble on a rock if you’re walking or running outdoors. I chose the treadmill over the elliptical. Ellipticals irritate old ballet injuries in my hips and glutes.

Shoes tied and step on the well worn rubber band that will hopefully take me to sweat-ville in about twenty minutes. Push start. Nothing. Push every other button on the panel (this is also what I do with my forehead on the keyboard when the computer isn’t responding. My husband loves fixing it when I do that.)

Nothing. Try fist. Maybe the buttons are unresponsive because this treadmill shows its age with the wear on the tread, labels peeling. I don’t care as long the damn thing will just come on and start pushing me. Nothing. I get off and look around the whole machine for a hidden restart button. Kinda like when I have to reboot my computer because I have fifteen or twenty different things open all at once and the system implodes under the strain. I check the electrical plug thinking it may be so old that it’s a manual. If that’s the case, I’m walking around the parking lot twenty times. Seems to be plugged in alright. Then I direct my attention to the one thing I have intentionally neglected because I don’t know what it is. A silver metal square is hanging from a frayed blue nylon cord. I think it’s the heart monitor which I have no use for  because I’m already aware that my heart rate is pretty intense because I got lost on the trip, it was further than I expected, the roads were….. Anyway, I cave and go to the desk and ask for help.

“Did you put in the key?”

Sigh. The desk clerk returns to the fitness center with me and takes the metal square on the end of the cord and attaches it to a worn down image of a key. The square is a magnet. It is literally sucked onto the front of the panel by the power of the magnet. She pushes start and poof, tread rolls. Out smarted by a piece of equipment again. Such is my existence. But I felt much better after the workout and the writers conference the next day was excellent.

Has a piece of exercise equipment ever gotten the best of you? Do tell.

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 http://www.joyeheld.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

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Monday Meditation: It’s OK To Think

In spite of the prevailing information about meditation, it’s okay to think while we meditate. As a matter of fact, there is a lot to be said for occasionally letting our minds run free and unfettered for fifteen minutes without the sensation of being judgmental. It isn’t the thinking that is such a problem, it’s judging the thoughts. The trick is to let the thought go without dwelling on it or rationalizing or whatever. Just let the thought trickle through and don’t attempt to follow it. That’s a successful meditation session.

 

Whether it’s five minutes or twenty, meditation practice is more about quality than quantity. I read about celebrities who warm the cushion twenty-minutes a day, twice a day, but how many of those minutes are spent being judgmental? Most of us who have tried meditation have judged the process after the fact. That’s normal. What makes the practice productive and valuable is learning two things:

 

1.Don’t follow the thought over the river and through the woods and wherever else it wants to go. Just let it go, and return to the secret words, “Breath in, breath out,” and don’t worry about where thought is going without you.

2.Be patient and loving toward your mind and recognize that actually sitting still for a few minutes each day is restorative and calming to our brains, our hearts, and our attitudes. When we judge ourselves less, we judge others less as well. It’s tough. Never said it would be easy.

 

Be less judgmental too. It’s quite normal to think while we meditate. The challenge is how often we can resist the temptation to chastise ourselves for the thinking. It’s a counter-productive process to slap ourselves in the head every time a thought filters through our minds during meditation. It is a step in the right direction, maybe just a baby step, but a step nonetheless to lovingly ignore the thought, grin, and breathe. That’s all there is to it. Think. Grin. Breathe.

 

Are you kind to yourself when thinking interrupts 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.)

 

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.

 

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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