Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Quote Unquote: The Power of a Post

The Butterfly Effect*–Social Media Style

The following quote was published in 1973, decades before the advent of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Its importance has multiplied exponentially since then.

“Any word you speak this afternoon will radiate out in all directions, around town before tomorrow, out and around the world before Tuesday, accelerating to the speed of light, modulating as it goes, shaping new and unexpected messages, emerging at the end as an enormously funny Hungarian joke, a fluctuation in the money market, a poem, or simply a long pause in someone’s conversation in Brazil.”

from the essay “Computers” in The Lives of a Cell, by Lewis Thomas

And the moral for today is: 
Post Mindfully

*The Butterfly Effect is the idea that a small change in one part of the world (i.e. the fluttering of a butterfly’s wing) can have a great impact somewhere else entirely.

For more thoughts on 
MINDFUL APPROACHES TO TECHNOLOGY
click here.
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Who Says it’s New Year’s Day?

There’s Not Just One New Year

Who says Jan. 1 is the start of the New Year? I’m no historian, but as far as I can make out Jan. 1 was chosen more or less at random Julius Caesar, when he decided the Roman calendar needed a little updating, back in 45 BC.IMG_5615

The year never feels particularly “New” to me on the first of January, but it does feel as if the year is turning in the fall, when crops are being harvested. That’s when it’s time to celebrate the Jewish New Year, which gives me another opportunity to consider my New Year’s intentions and reflections.

But perhaps if I lived in an Asian country I’d feel ready to begin anew in February, when the Chinese New Year is celebrated.

Rather than debate the merits of the various options for a New Year’s celebration, I choose to honor as many as I can in order to support my New Year’s intentions, and I invite you to consider doing the same.

Here’s how:

  • On Jan. 1 set your intentions for the coming year.
  • During the period between Jan. 1 and Feb. 8 (the Chinese New Year) reflect on the year that just passed, and visualize what you want to move toward in the year to come.
  • On Oct. 2, the start of the Jewish New Year, renew the intentions that you set on Jan. 1. The Jewish New Year is also a time to seek forgiveness for any wrongs you’ve committed, so you might also take this time to forgive yourself for ways you’ve fallen short of living up to your New Year’s intentions. Then gently encourage yourself to try, try again.

No need to stop here…learn about New Year’s celebrations and traditions in other cultures, and see if you find inspiration for supporting your own quest to renew yourself again and again, all year long.

I am wishing you a Joy-Filled New Year. May you Renew, Refresh, and Recommit to being the best you can be.

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Here at AllTheSnoozeThat’sFitToPrint we’re resolving to do New Year’s Resolutions differently. Today’s post is the final installment in a week-long series on mindful ways of creating New Year’s Resolutions that work.

You can read the first post when you click here. Then just follow along.

Joy CoverAnd now for a word from our sponsor:

Bring more JOY into your life in 2016. My new book helps lead the way!

 

 

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Resolve to Remind Yourself

What is it about New Year’s resolutions that makes them so easy to forget? Let’s face it, making resolutions is easy. Sticking to them–not so much. Here are some tips to help support you in succeeding at keeping your New Year’s intentions:

  • Touch in. Keep a touchstone (an object to remind you of your intention) close at hand in a pocket or pocketbook. Each time you see it, remind yourself of your New Year’s intention.
  • Home in. Take a picture of your touchstone, or of some other image that reminds you of your intention, and make iIMG_1020t the Home Screen Image  on your smart phone, tablet, or computer.
  • Be alarming. Add a label to your alarms and alerts on your smart phone or other devices that reminds you of your intention. So, rather than having an alarm that says “Wake Up” your label might read, “Wake Up to Joy,” to remind you of your intention to live joyfully.
  • Drop anchor. Another good way to stick to your resolution is to anchor your intention to something you do every day. For example, each time you brush your teeth, focus on lovingkindness, if that is your intention. Or meditate for each morning while your coffee is brewing, if you are aiming to bring more mindfulness into your year.

Get creative and have fun finding different ways to build Resolution Reminders into your day.

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Here at AllTheSnoozeThat’sFitToPrint we’re resolving to do New Year’s Resolutions differently. Today’s post is part of a week-long series on mindful ways of creating New Year’s Resolutions that work. You can read the first post when you click here. Then follow along.

Joy CoverAnd now for a word from our sponsor:

Bring more JOY into your life in 2016. My new book helps lead the way!

 

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Making New Year’s Resolutions…40 Days at a Time

A Year is a Long Time

364 days (365 for 2016, which is a leap year) is a long time for sticking to a new habit or behavior. So rather than make a New Year’sIMG_1016Resolution for an entire year, try committing to 40 days at a time, instead.

Why 40 days? Studies show that it takes about that long to establish a habit. It’s also a long enough time to create a healthy challenge, but not so long that it’s unsustainable. Still, if 40 days seems like too long, try committing to your resolution for 21 days at a time, instead.

Here are some tips for making those resolutions stick one day (or 40) at a time:

  • Be specific. Rather than say, “I want to be more mindful,” try: “In order to be more mindful I’ll meditate for 12 minutes a day for 40 days.” If you want to be more grateful, resolve to make a gratitude list containing 10 items every evening before bed for 40 days.
  • Choose a touchstone. A touchstone is an object, such as a feather, shell, stone, coin, or piece of jewelry, that will remind you of your commitment. Your touchstone should also be small enough to carry in a pocket or purse, to keep your reminder close at hand for the duration of your 40-day commitment.
  • Aim for progress, not perfection. Be gentle with yourself. If you forget you resolution for a day or two, simply return to, and re-commit, as soon as you remember.
  • Celebrate. Mark the conclusion of your 40-day commitment on your calendar. On Day 40 celebrate your success, and repeat the process for the next 40 days.

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Here at AllTheSnoozeThat’sFitToPrint we’re resolving to do New Year’s Resolutions differently. Today’s post is part of a week-long series on mindful ways of creating New Year’s Resolutions that work. You can read the first post when you click here. Then follow along.

Joy CoverAnd now for a word from our sponsor:

Bring more JOY into your life in 2016. My new book helps lead the way!

 

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The Dream Journey from Overgrown to Growthful (A Corner View* Post)

The untended garden

Recently a client brought me a dream in which an unkempt man, who the client described as repulsive, stormed into his home and found the dreamer’s garden untended and overgrown. In the dream, my client was furious at the interloper and also ashamed of the state of his garden.

But as we stayed with the dream and welcomed the intruder into our dream replay using active imagination, my client saw that this dream character was asking him to accept his own imperfections and embrace a more laissez faire attitude, rather than clinging to his impossible-to-meet, joy-crushing standards.

If we look at the antagonists in our dreams: The shadowy figures who give chase, the animals who bare their teeth, and even the environments that threaten to choke, drown, or bury us, we’ll find great teachers.

In this case the client looked at the situation from different angles, including the intruder’s point of view and even the garden’s point of view. Stepping into the unkempt man’s shoes, my client was able to see that despite his imperfections, this man was not ashamed of his appearance—in fact he was full of confidence.

As for the garden, it was simply doing what it enjoyed doing: Growing and creating life!

Unintended growthSunflower faces

Now the dreamer looked at his own character as reflected in the dream. Rather than being ashamed of his perceived laziness, the dreamer came to understand that he was taking a much-needed rest. Sure, he’d get around to weeding, but first he needed to accept the state of affairs as they were, and to see the positive aspects of what he reflexively judged as a problem.

Looked at with curiosity, and without judgment, our dreams can help us soften our resistance and consider new points of view. When we do this, we nurture the seeds of self-love, we create a sense of inner expansiveness and we make room for previously rejected, abandoned, or misunderstood parts of ourselves. In this frame of mind, it is easier—and more joyful—to pick up the hoe and go about our work of tending our inner—and outer—gardens.

Apply this principle to even the most mundane dream and the results can be soul-shaking—and delightfully growthful.

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Learn more about how to develop A Mindful & Yogic way to sleep, dream, and live better at these upcoming workshops:Weds. July 22, 6:30 p.m. at VegaYoga in Holyoke, Mass.and November 12-15 at Sivananda Ashram and Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas.

Want to learn more about your dreams? Contact me to find out about upcoming dream groups in western Massachusetts, or individual dream sessions by phone, Skype, or in person.

*Corner View* is a weekly appointment – each Wednesday, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. This week’s theme is “Overgrown.”

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Strike a (Dream) Pose

The Yoga of Dreams

In Yoga, postures are physical poses that we practice for improved health and over all well-being.

Dreamwork, too is a practice to help us improve our health and well being. Bringing conscious awareness to our dreams means paying attention to how we go to sleep, what we dream, how we wake up, and how we respond to our dreams in our waking lives.

Posture refers not only to how we carry our body, but the word posture also refers to a spiritual attitude. In that sense, conscious dreaming is also about posture—in the sense that it’s about the position we take toward sleep and dreaming. In particular, it is a mindful approach to entering dreams in order to align with our true self and our divine aspirations.

In dreamwork we pay attention to our dreams to further our commitment to self-study and self-reflection. As a result we develop more mental flexibility, clarity, and ease.

What is your current posture—or attitude—toward your dreams? Do you believe your dreams can assist your spiritual development? Can you stretch your mind to have a more open and nonjudgmental attitude toward dreams and dreaming?

Learn more about how to develop A Mindful & Yogic way to sleep, dream, and live better at these upcoming workshops:

Weds. July 22, 6:30 p.m. at VegaYoga in Holyoke, Mass.

and November 12-15 at Sivananda Ashram and Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas.

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Long Time Gone (& back again)

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to post here. Those of you who know me know there’s been a lot going on in my waking life (almost as much as in my prolific dream life!).

But before I tell you how glad I am to be back, I’d like to put in a word for silence – or the space between words; the lacuna between one thought and the next; the dreamless sleep that hammocks us between bursts of dream.

The beautiful spring flowers that we’ve been enjoying in these past weeks remind me that the snow covered winter landscape was in fact incubating vibrant dreams of color and beauty all through those gray, icy months. In the deep darkness of silent sleep, untold wonders are sending forth shoots that we will soon see blossom.

And so, this time between blog posts has been an opportunity for me to regroup and reflect on what it is I most want to share with you about dreams.

And here it is: I want to help you see the benefits that being fluent in your own dream language can afford to you.

I’d also like to help you begin to see dreams as not just something that happens to you when you close your eyes and go to sleep—but instead, I want to help you recognize that dreaming is a state of consciousness that you can enter into and engage in mindfully, and as such, that it can help to support and sustain your intentions for integrating body, mind, and spirit in a healthy and holistic way.

In the coming days and weeks I will share some posts with you about how to make dreamwork a part of your life, in the same way that a yoga or meditation can be woven into the fabric of your daily routine.

In the meantime, it’s good to be back.

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Welcome back, dreamer: Have you been a long time gone from your dreams? Let your dreams know that you want to rekindle your relationship with them: Place a notebook beside your bed, and write down your intention to remember your dreams tonight.

 

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Enjoy a musical interlude with the Dixie Chicks as you peruse these posts: Long Time Gone.

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Learn to develop A Mindful Way to Sleep, Dream, and Live Better at one of these upcoming workshops:

Weds. May 27 Dreamasana at VegaYoga in Holyoke, Mass.

November 12-15, The Yoga of Dreams at Sivananda Ashram and Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas.

 

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