No Answers, No Closure, No Problem


KJC

I wish it were that easy. Well, it’s not, but the good news is that there are mindfulness skills that can be used to help ease the pain. “Why me, why now, why my child, why do I deserve this, how, how did this happen?” Since we’re all human, I’m sure you’ve found yourself asking these questions at one time or another in your own life. Let’s face it, it just plain sucks when this happens. It hurts. It’s confusing…but the upside to all this is that there is hope.

I think if we reframe these types of questions and really believe that what is in our control we can change, and what is not in our control we can’t change, then we’d be a lot better off and able to better cope with tough situations. It’s not about having all of the answers all of the time, or…

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12 Steps to Living Mindfully


KJC

Until I started studying and practicing mindfulness I was full speed ahead, day in and day out and always on the go. Once I started learning how to slow my mind, thoughts, actions and intentions, I found more peace in my life. It is work, but it is work that is well worth the effort.

Living mindfully means being awake and not just going through the motions. It means being fully engaged, fully aware and fully present every chance you get. Sounds a little challenging doesn’t it? Well, yes, it is but being present keeps your mind from dwelling in the past (it’s over) and worrying about the future (it hasn’t happened yet), it keeps you in the now, the wonderful and the beautiful present moment. Try it. Feel how your mind refocuses and centers itself. Feel how you are better able to recognize and control your emotions. See your…

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Mindful Grieving


KJC

We have all been there, we’ve all lost something in the journey of life…a person we love, a home, a job, and certainly we’ve all had to deal with change at one time or another. This brings me to the topic of mindful grieving. Grief enters your life when you lose something or when things change. It can be as difficult as the death of a loved one, or as exciting as landing your dream job. You see, even when you move on to bigger and better things you’re always leaving something else behind, good or bad. You are always losing something and always gaining something else.

Grief becomes even more complicated when you factor in all of the emotions that come with feelings of loss and discomfort. It’s extremely important to process the emotions that do occur and face the change and grief, otherwise you risk seeking other, often destructive…

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An Interesting Fact About The Palm Tree That Will Change Your Life


How do you get through tough times, breakups, struggles and disappointment? Sometimes the pain is so great that it’s difficult to understand how you’ll make it through another day. When you’re sad and hurting it’s almost impossible to see what good will come from a situation that brought you so much unhappiness. Well now you can. I’m going to share an interesting fact about the palm tree that will help you get through those trying times in your life and motivate you to stay positive and hopeful that things will get better.

I’ve always liked palm trees, mostly because they’re unique looking and remind me of vacation and warm weather, but what makes them even cooler is the fascinating fact I learned about these trees. Have you even noticed how palm trees bend but don’t break? In fierce winds, including hurricane force winds, the palm tree remains standing. Its roots spread wide and very deep. This characteristic alone is amazing.  And here’s the life changer, when strong winds come the palm tree’s root system is not weakened, but actually strengthened by these storms! Yes, when the wind blows hard on a palm tree, the roots stretch and grow stronger. This fact makes me see them in a whole new light! I love it.

What’s the lesson here? Strong winds will come and go. Difficulties, uncertainty and stress are, and always will be, a part of life. It’s how you work through the storms and who you are after the storms pass that matters most. Instead of feeling damaged every time something bad or disappointing happens in your life, let the winds bend and stretch you and watch yourself grow stronger. This new strength will allow you to be resilient and bounce back just like the palm tree does. When things get tough don’t give in or give up, give a good bend…and then get back on your feet. I hope you’ll give it a try. I’m certain you’ll flourish like a palm tree!

5 Ways To Create Positive Headspace


Where is your mind at right now? My guess is you’re thinking about all the things you have to do or maybe worried about something. Or maybe your head is clear, you feel relaxed and you’re in a peaceful mindset. If so, that’s great! In any case, I think we can all agree that it’s nice to clear our heads once in a while and agree that it’s not always an easy thing to do. There are many ways to clear your head. More often than not we don’t do it because we think we don’t have the time. Well, good news! I’ve outlined 5 realistic ways you can start creating more positive headspace in your life.

Headspace is a person’s state of mind or mindset, and in mindfulness we like to make sure this space is pure, logical, compassionate and open.  Everyone’s different, right? So if you don’t think any of these ideas will work for you, then I ask you at least take some time to map out what other ideas might work for you and really think about what might make you happy. Let’s get started.

1. Meditation/mindfulness/prayer/time for thinking about nothing – Practice mindfulness and meditation, it doesn’t matter your religion or skepticism, meditation is for everyone. There are so many options that you’re sure to find something that works. I’ve personally had success with yoga, meditation apps, books and mindful walks.

2. Exercise – Find something that you like to do, run, walk, light weights, yoga, sports, whatever it is, make sure you find time for it. We tend to associate exercise with our physical bodies and as part of a diet regimen, but you need to remember that exercise is also good for your brain. The benefits of physical exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has positive effects on brain function from the molecular to the behavioral level. According to a study done by the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia, even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions.

3. Self-care/doing something for yourself/something you enjoy doing – It’s not selfish to pamper yourself, to take time for yourself and to enjoy doing it. We all need a break once in a while, to laugh, let loose and unwind. Life doesn’t have to be serious all the time, experiences make us who we are and keep us engaged in life.

4. Write/journal/draw – The point here is to take time to do something creative, even if you’re not a creative person. Draw, paint, write, challenge yourself to a crossword puzzle or a few brain games. The point is that you need to carve out time to be random and let your mind wander with no one judging or critiquing you. Relax and have fun with it.

5. Conversation – I find deep conversations to be very rewarding. Listening is so important. I find that when I mindfully engage in conversation I usually learn something new and really enjoy the human connection that comes with sharing and listening to someone else. Taking part in good conversation is a chance to get outside of your own head and express your thoughts, feelings and opinions out loud. It’s healthy to share your thoughts and ideas. Bottling up your emotions and beliefs is draining and destructive.

The human mind is rarely quiet. Questions, ideas, and plans seem to pass through our consciousness without much order or purpose sometimes. Knowing how to clear your mind can help with anxiety and sleep difficulties.  Above are some proven tricks and techniques that will allow you to better clear your mind. Learn to find clarity in your mind and you will create more positive headspace.

The Perfect Plan, The Perfect Life


KJC

Does not exist. Perfection, expectations, external pressure, internal pressure, these are all things that can quickly make us unhappy if we allow them to control us. It’s important to always remember you are in the driver seat. You are in control of your own life AND it doesn’t have to be perfect. We all know things happen, surprises catch us off guard and things don’t always go as planned. People tease about not having expectations (or having low expectations) because then there won’t be any disappointment when things don’t go their way…maybe they’re right. When we remove the pressure, lower the super high expectations and live mindfully we’re able to stay in the present moment and not worry about the past or the future. When we spend our time and mental energy focusing on the past or the future we formulate more stress and create unwarranted feelings of fear and…

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Mindfully Eating


This article is about how mindfulness can help you in your health, diet and fitness goals. Each day I find myself trying to eat the right things, trying to fit in exercise and trying to think about what I can do to better my health. These are some of the toughest and most important goals for me, that sometimes I find myself wanting a quick fix or wondering what shortcuts I can take to get there. Well, if you’ve ever tried cutting the corners with health, eating and fitness, goals you already know that it just doesn’t work.

Mindful eating is not a diet. There are no menus or recipes. It’s about being more aware of your eating habits, the sensations you experience when you eat, and the thoughts and emotions that you have about food. It is more about how you eat than what you eat,” says Susan Albers, psychologist and New York Times best-selling author. There are many benefits to a mindful eating approach. You’ll find that you start eating to nourish your body instead of eating for emotional reasons, and you’ll notice when you are full so that you don’t overeat. Do you ever find yourself zoning out and eating as fast as you can because you need to get to that meeting or you “just don’t have time” to eat? Well grazing on food, rushing through your meal and not paying attention to what you’re putting in your body are examples of mindless eating. Continuing these types of behaviors will hinder your health goals.

Mindful eating allows you to enjoy the taste of your food and carefully select what you’re going to put in your body. When you’re mindful about your meals, you’ll notice how food gives your body energy and fuels your mind. Mindful eating also allows you to break bad habits. It makes you stop, think and make deliberate choices instead of automatically falling back on routine behaviors. Just because “that’s the way you’ve always done it” doesn’t make it right. You have the power to change and make better choices. Mindful eating is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle and a healthy way of living. The best part is that these new habits will carry over into other parts of your life.

The same goes for what you drink. Sometimes we reach for that soda because we tell ourselves we’re tired and it’s the only way we’ll get through the day. But if you stop and think, you’ll find you’re smart enough to know soda drains your energy and weighs you down. This is an example of how mindfulness can retrain your brain and disrupt damaging thought patterns.

Be in-the-moment during your next meal. Zone in the next time you’re exercising at the gym and take note of how your body is moving and releasing toxins. Eat the foods you love in a mindful manner, savor the flavor and stop judging yourself.

Give it a shot. I bet you’ll see positive results. I’d love to hear any success stories!

What Makes You Vulnerable Makes You Beautiful


You can’t form a close relationship with someone unless you’re open and honest with your emotions and feelings. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with other people. It’s important to let others in and trust the ones you love.  Jumping in wholly and completely is not easy, but it’s necessary if you want to reap the rewards that come from closes friendships and relationships. When you bury your opinions and emotions you shield yourself from possibility. You begin to create an emotional wall that only gets harder to break down as time passes. If you’re open, vulnerable and disclosing, more often than not it is reciprocated.

We tend to think that being strong means being tough, but being strong actually means being vulnerable. Vulnerability is an accurate measurement of courage. It is the bridge that builds connections. When you are real with people you connect with them on a whole new level.

Believe it or not, we’re all human and share a lot of the same feelings, emotions, stress and concerns. Do not be afraid to act human. Anyone who judges you isn’t worth impressing. It’s common to want to protect and shield yourself from the possibilities of being hurt and disappointed, but if you’re always hiding you won’t get to experience the joy and happiness that comes from being open. Vulnerability is at the core and the heart of all meaningful human experiences.

Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone. Only then will you truly live, learn and grow. Show up, put yourself out there and become a sensitive soul. Most importantly, keep it real. Johnny Depp, perhaps one of the most versatile actors of his day, once said, “People cry not because they’re weak. It’s because they’ve been strong for too long.”

Your Life Only Gets Better When You Get Better


We’ve all been there, questioning how we got to where we are, contemplating what we should be doing next and asking why we made some of the choices we made along the way. These type of questions above give us purpose in life, but what about the questions that relate to our well-being, health and quality of life?  Quality of life is the standard of health, comfort, and happiness experienced by an individual or group. We often get so busy living and doing that we forget to observe our own quality of life and, in turn, end up neglecting our own health. In fact, it’s very difficult to answer the first set of questions when you’re not physically, emotionally and spiritually at your best. You have to disrupt your destructive thought patterns and reorganize your priorities in order to find peace and joy.

When we put ourselves and our health first we create a stable environment where we can mindfully deal with change, stress and daily tasks. Don’t underestimate the power of nourishing your body with a healthy meal, taking a 20 minute walk or making time in your day to clear your head. When you attend to your health first you will improve the quality of time you spend with people you love, you’ll perform better at your job and you’ll be more likely to accomplish the goals you set.

Woman jumping in park at sunset

When you ignore your own needs you will experience burnout, it will become difficult to regulate your emotions and the external environment will soon control who you are and where you’re going. When you put yourself last you will become fatigued and slowly move from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat of your own life. This shift is a big deal. When you stop taking responsibility you start living as a victim, you become tired, wounded and bitter about life. You get stuck in a vicious cycle of unhappiness and sadness and soon, you guessed it, your health starts to deteriorate. All of a sudden you’re going in a downward spiral and don’t even know it until it’s too late.

Zig Ziglar, an American author and motivational speaker once said, “Fact: If standard of living is your number one objective, quality of life almost never improves. But if quality of life is your number one objective, standard of living invariably improves.” Put yourself, health and happiness first, the rest will fall into place. First and foremost, take care of yourself and also be mindful to enjoy the happiness this change brings to your life.

 

Every New Concept First Comes To The Mind In A Judgment


KJC

I was out to dinner the other night and we struck up a conversation about how you don’t really know what someone is going through (or how you’d react) until you’re in the same situation. I know others out there feel the same way, but sometimes instead of understanding and showing compassion for others, we spend time gossiping, judging and criticizing. It got me thinking about this concept of judgment and this idea that, “Every new concept first comes to the mind in a judgment (Charles Sanders Peirce).”

There is no such thing as too kind, and an open mind creates an open heart. Those unhappy with themselves or who like to constantly judge may disagree. People judge because they are misinformed, not listening, not trying to understand and reflecting their own insecurities. Wayne Dyer once said, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”…

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