Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

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.

2 Comments »

Friday Feast: Don’t Be A Fat-Head!

It’s definitely a derogatory slur to call someone a fathead. Let me clarify. I’m not calling you a fathead. I’m simply bringing a scientific fact to your attention: excess abdominal fat does more damage than forcing you to let out your belt another notch. Besides being dead weight it releases toxic chemicals and inflammatory molecules that can literally seep into your brain and contribute to sluggishness when you’re trying to think. And excess body weight in middle age adults has been found by a Kaiser Permanente study to increase your chances of developing dementia as you age. Yikes. Plenty of reason to reduce body fat by choosing healthier, brain-friendly food options before the goo gets trapped in your gray matter.

In a nutshell, the study discovered patients in their seventies who did not have a weight problem in their forties were less likely to have developed dementia.

“People who were obese in mid-life were 74 percent more likely to have dementia, while overweight people were 35 percent more likely to have dementia, compared to those with normal weight, said lead investigator Rachel A. Whitmer, PhD, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.”

http://www.dor.kaiser.org/external/news/press_releases/Obesity_in_Middle_Age_Increase_Risk_of_Dementia_Later_in_Life/

Don’t think of healthy food options as cutting out your favorite foods. Think of it as replacing something high in fat that will more than likely come back to bite you later on in life only you won’t remember eating the fat or anything else if the menu continues to include high fat foods over low fat. Here are some suggestions.

In place of:                                                                    Eat instead:

corn chips                                                                     non-wheat crackers

cookies                                                                           oat granola bar

red meat burger                                                         turkey burger

Do a little bit of research. Read food labels and try to cut down on the fat intake and you’ll remember doing it later in life!

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

Leave a comment »

Thursday Thot: Matches

 

“Women with clean houses do not have finished books.” ~Me

There is a wonderful chapter in the classic writing text by Brenda Ueland titled “Why Women Who Do Too Much Housework Should Neglect It for Their Writing.” The title is enough to liberate me from the toils of the home but others may need a bit more convincing. Before I encourage you, male or female, to reduce the amount of housework you do so you have more writing time, I will qualify my remarks with saying that complete abandonment of the necessary tasks to keep a dwelling sanitary is not what I’m advocating. It’s a matter of accepting other people’s help.

Ueland’s chapter is in her inspirational book If You Want To Write, A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit first published in 1938. The copy I never let get too far away is a 1987 edition, and even though she was a turn-of-the-century woman, her advice is applicable to anyone who wants to write today. Her ideas have influenced my belief that everyone is a writer to some degree. Some take it farther than others. In this clever chapter, Ueland presents the work of former writing students from her classes and shows how as women they are quite talented writers but the demands of being mothers and wives seems to prohibit them from knowing the satisfaction of publication.

Online chats and luncheon table conversations at writing conferences never fail to spend some time bemoaning the fact that women have too many household responsibilities and civic chores to get any writing done. Whooey seems to be my word of choice this week, and I repeat it here. I homeschooled my two daughters for 18 years and published a non-fiction book, finished a historical romance novel, wrote weekly columns for three regional newspapers, published many poems, published book reviews online, and wrote 1-4 articles monthly for a trade magazine all while they were sitting at their desks beside me doing social studies and English. When it was time to focus on work where I couldn’t be interrupted, I made sure they were safely ensconced and closed the office door. The sign read “Do not disturb unless it’s bleeding, broken, or on fire. Love, Mommy.”

Ueland’s advice is similar: “If you would shut your door against the children for an hour a day and say: ‘Mother is working on her five-act tragedy in blank verse!’ you would be surprised how they would respect you. They would probably all become playwrights.”

What strikes me the most honestly about her comment is that my daughters reacted this very way to this very practice. My oldest called me this week to tell me she has arranged for me to speak to the undergraduate playwriting group in her college theatre department to talk about Writer Wellness and how it applies to their future careers as writers. I didn’t intentionally set out to raise more writers. Both daughters write really well. I set out to respect myself and model what a woman with a passion for something looks like so that when they find their passions they’ll know it.

If they grow up to be writers, I won’t be disappointed. I just hope I still have their rooms relatively “clean”. It’s a feast or famine career but one that even a mother can be proud of doing.

Of course, there’s the story where one day I heard the youngest child saying, “I don’t think Mommy likes matches,” and I flung the office door open pretty quickly.

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 »

Wednesday Workout: Sweat’s a Bore

 

Even if it’s producing results, exercise can be boring. When you think exercise is boring it’s time for a change. Time to shake up the workouts or possibly time to get started with a fitness plan you can manage that will reap solid benefits.

Think of “boring” as a symptom of repetitive stress syndrome. Exercise bores you because your muscles are no longer responding to the actions because you do the same treadmill, the same bike, or the same yoga practice over and over again. You have created “muscle memory,” which is good, but the average person’s muscles respond better to a variety of workouts. Muscle memory is important for dancers and athletes who have to perform consistenly under stress. Games and performances are stressful and these folks rely on muscle memory to carry them through, but the same exercise routine day after day for the average person causes muscle fatigue because after a certain point muscles stop improving they tire and do not improve. This is the feeling that leads someone to think, “This is boring.”

Variety is the secret. Create a fitness program that includes a number of varied options. Exercise reaps more benefits faster and maintains results longer if the body and the brain are regularly challenged by variety. Mix it up. Yoga, treadmill, aerobic dance, walking, martial arts, kickboxing, recumbent bike, and weights can make for an interesting week of productive exercise. And change the locations. That helps also.

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

4 Comments »

Tuesday Tickle: Head Games

 

In the exploding world of brain research, it’s being proven that play is healthy for your brain. Most people love to play games. Growing up my house was filled with games and gamers, although we didn’t call ourselves gamers back then. We played card games, board games, music and dance games, and learning games in my house almost every day. My mother was a dance teacher and my father played alot of musical instruments so our house was pretty busy with some kind of creative endeavor all of the time.

We not only learned skills and strategy, we learned competiveness. And we learned to think like someone else. If we could figure out how someone at the game table was thinking, it was possible to win the game by thinking like them but ahead of their thoughts. That’s strategy training.

Games were really big and the holidays were really special because it meant we didn’t have to stop playing a particular game to go back to school. My favorite Christmas was at age seven when I received Monopoly as a gift and my dad, sister, and I played the game for four days without stopping until one of us won. I couldn’t wait for the weekends as a child because it meant extra time to play games.

What good is playing a game? Were you “taught” that games are a waste of time? Too bad, because playing games creates new brain cells and new brain cells mean better quality of life because new brain cells help use function and cope longer and better. Work a crossword puzzle, play a video game, or play cards with family friends. It is proven that playing games challenges your brain and increases its ability to function.

The practice of using your brain to think through a game’s strategy and then implement your plan keeps things like memory and focus in tact. Playing a variety of games such as working puzzles and playing board games encourages your brain to build new brain cells in response to the mental challenges. These cells prosper when challenged continually. Playing games helps your memory to function better just because you practice using your memory when playing games.

Don’t play games with other people’s heads. Engage in gaming to strengthen and lengthen your own brain’s capabilities. As my college teachers used to say, “Play is learning.” Cool.

What is your favorite game? Do you know why it’s your favorite game?

(Fall Fairy by K. Held)

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

Who Dares Wins Publishing  www.whodareswinspublishing.com

There are  five primary areas of practice to the 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

 

5 Comments »

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

7 Comments »

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

Leave a comment »

Wednesday Workout: Quick Exercise Tips To Keep In Mind

I keep reminding folks that fitness is a lifestyle choice. The long term benefits far outweigh the cost of health care remedies and tests. A set of small dumbbell weights is paltry compared to the cost of a prescription or surgery.  But honestly, some folks aren’t sure where to start or what’s the right thing to do or how to continue exercising when they feel discouraged. One day at a time, and like Anne Lamott advises in her book about life and writing Bird by Bird, take the project one thing at a time. And why do we still get discouraged? Because we might have let some important but minor things slip by the wayside. Here’s a list of some quick exercise tips to keep in mind to help you stay focused and upbeat over the long haul of a lifetime of fitness.

 

1. Variety-remember to mix it up on a regular basis and weekly is the best way to approach this idea. Practice yoga, aerobic exercise, walking, and weights every week to keep your overall muscle tone in shape and your brain challenged. Classes aren’t the only way to do this. The library has scads of videos and books to help you put together an endless variety of options so boredom isn’t an option.

 

2. Water-schedule your daily water intake and measure it out in advance to help you remember to stay hydrated. Water flushes toxins. Water aids digestion. Water may help avoid headaches. Water improves skin quality. Water is paramount to a successful fitness protocol. The first thing to hit your stomach in the morning should be distilled water with lemon. Keep a pitcher of filtered water with fresh lemon slices in the fridge to remind you to do this first thing every day.

 

3. Schedule-you probably eat at pretty close to the same time each day. And going to bed and waking up are about the same time each day for most people. Our bodies have built-in clocks, circadian rhythms. So you should schedule exercise at about the same time each day to work with your body’s natural flow.

 

I’m sure you’ve got a quick exercise tip to share that has helped you stay dedicated to fitness. Let me know.

 

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 »

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
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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: Quick and Tidy Way To Meditation

If someone were to ask me how after 35 years of meditation the practice has contributed to who I am today, I’m not sure I could answer succinctly. Just like there is nothing really quick and tidy about life, there is nothing quick or tidy about meditation including the results. Yes, we can sit down for a quick five minutes of peace and quiet four times a day to equal our goal of twenty minutes a day, but the results are scattered for the average person. Instead of cumulative, each session is beginning from the beginning each and every time. But that is the valuable trinket many people fail to recognize about meditation and that’s why some of them give up the practice. They don’t see any big changes. They don’t feel like they are progressing. They don’t know if they’re doing it right. They are tired of starting over the same way every practice. And they don’t see a tangible goal, something they can grab onto and work toward, a reason to meditate.

Thirty-five years ago I was in love with my IBM Selectric electric typewriter  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Selectric. I could type like the wind and writing became even more of a compulsion when I found out how quickly and efficiently I could write and edit articles. Once I cracked open the seam of a story and had the Selectric turned on, the poems and columns poured out like water from a spigot. I was in a mental zone while writing, and nothing short of a child screaming, “Mommy, she has the matches again!” could break me out of the writing trance. Ideas, words, and fingers reaching frantically in every direction of the compass across the span of the keyboard, known lovingly to me then as “the keys” of the typewriter. They were the keys to finally getting all that stuff out of my head, onto paper, and into the hands of others. They were the keys to my deciding to become a writer, get a journalism degree, and publish as much as I could possibly pass from my brain to my hands to the keys to the printer to the reader. This was actually my first experience with meditation even though I didn’t realize it. I was intensely focused on the writing and the process. That’s what meditation is: focus. And writing is where I learned to focus and when introduced to meditation, the ground work was already in place because I had learned to focus on a story and stay dedicated to the idea until it was finished.

Sure the pure definitions of meditation say things like “calm tranquility,” “emotional detachment,” and “blissful state,” but I had already experienced those trance-like places of clarity as a writer. Learning to breathe and call it meditation was a “peace” of cake. Because writing requires awareness of detail, clear steps of organization, and the results are any number of acceptable variations, the similarities of writing to meditation are easy to recognize. All writers are practicing a state of focus while writing. The next logical step is to roll the office chair from the keyboard for five or ten minutes and sit in stillness with your breath. When you return to the craft of piecing together the twenty-six letters of the alphabet into words, ideas, sentences, and stories your perspective will be the fresh and new you’ve been hoping for.

So it is writing that led me to meditation and meditation that continues to lend it’s nothingness and its everything-ness to my writing. Did you know you are meditating when you write? Notice next time, simply notice.

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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