1- Use only the most helpful and positive technology. Last month I downloaded the Insight Timer, an app for meditation. It’s become very important to me that I do some group meditations now and again. Through the Insight Timer app, I joined a Global Meditation Group that periodically meditates for planetary peace and well-being. Plus I’ve created a few meditation presets with and without background sound, with varying time limits. And, I’m connecting with people all over the world. Technology is here and I’m good with technology if we can use it to support ourselves. https://insighttimer.com/
2-Join groups for support. There are a few meditation groups in my area and I’ve been sitting in on their group meditations, in-person (not virtually, as with the app I just mentioned). I found all of these meditation groups on Meetup. And all are based on mindfulness meditation practices. Most of these groups have someone who leads the meditation, offers a message that we can then offer our response to. We share how we feel and, from listening, we can become more clear. Plus, I just like the connection I feel from a group meditation. https://www.meetup.com/
3-Play. I just finished an art class in pastels, a new medium for me to learn. Every time I play with art I have to learn that it’s not about striving for more talent in an effort to become an accomplished artist, but more to let go, have fun and play. This is a good way to feel about art because it takes me away from comparisons, from negative self-talk and instead, I learn to see something beautiful in what I create. Self-deprecation is not a friend. Humility is an admirable characteristic, but only to a point. I’m all in favor of looking at our art, our music, whatever our passion is, and to recognize the awesomeness of what we’re creating, regardless of how it compares to others.
Speaking of creating…
4-From dawdling to prioritizing. When I doubt myself, get scared, I can procrastinate which way the hair blows down the back of a gnat’s ass. However, what I really want is to continue taking steps to create my dreams and ideas. I have a habit of first cleaning the house, then cooking, maybe paying bills, running errands, and then, if there’s time, working on my ideas. Rather, on a good day, when I prioritize first what my passion is, I’m sending a message to both the universe and to myself that my dream is important. The more I prioritize my dreams, the more I open to the next steps to act on my ideas. I begin to receive assistance in all kinds of ways. And, I’ve asked for assistance when stuck in procrastination mode. Even as I’m dawdling, I’ll ask for assistance for moving forward, and an opportunity will show up gently encouraging me forward.
5-Practice awareness. Becoming aware of how assistance is coming through for me. Becoming aware of my self-talk and thoughts. Especially becoming aware of my heart as I meditate, as I meet with someone, even as I’m out doing something as mundane as grocery shopping. Ok, I’m human so I’m not aware all the time, but I am more and more, and it’s making a positive difference in my life from the way I hold myself to the connection I feel. This past week, I was at a holiday party for a wonderful non-profit, and as their volunteers were being recognized, I stood there watching and thinking “May everyone feel peace, love, support, and a sense of cooperation, and collaboration”. To me, they’ve been creating exactly that, peace, love, support, cooperation, and collaboration. It was kind of a metta (loving kindness) meditation while standing in a room full of people. And then a funny thing happened, my raffle ticket won the big raffle prize and I was shaken out of my reverie big time. In the next moment I was thanking people, shaking hands, and having my photo taken and walked away with a high-end sailing jacket. For a long minute (maybe two hours or so), I felt guilty for winning that jacket because I only volunteered one to three times for that organization. My husband had to talk me off the ledge by reminding me it was a raffle ticket that anyone was able to win, any active volunteer like himself, or a non-volunteer, anyone who attended the party. I kicked my guilt to the curb, allowed myself to be thankful for winning the lovely gift, shut-up, and enjoyed the moment.
One more thing, and this brings it to six, not five, but who’s counting?
6-Watch less TV! My husband and I have really gotten into a rut of watching TV. Granted, they’re not violent shows, but there’s usually something upsetting happening at some point. Here’s the deal. My brain or body doesn’t know the difference between real life and the make-believe lives on TV. So when I watch a TV show and get attached to the characters and the story lines, it’s like it’s really happening. The emotions I feel, the tension in my body, are a result of watching the show. What’s worse, later on I may still think about it as I fall asleep, or when I wake up. That’s why I watch the news almost not at all. It stays with me and revisits me, visually and emotionally, until I feel dis-empowered, depressed, and hopeless and then I’m no good to anyone. It’s important to remember that everything has an energy, and what we take into our bodies affects us visually, emotionally, and physically. In our world, when my husband and I watch TV, one of us isn’t playing guitar, the other isn’t painting, we’re not sitting in front of the fire listening to music, or talking to each other. TV is a time suck and we have too many interests for time sucks. It rarely adds to my life, and it’s addictive. So, in an effort to get back to a good balance, we just finished eating our chili in front of the fire, and I’m now writing this post in front of the fire. The TV is in the other room, and it’s off.
Our moods have a lot to do with how we are being and what we’re creating. Can you think about how you’re supporting yourself (or not) by your patterns and habits? It’s so worth a look. Little steps can make a huge difference in our lives. It’s fun to learn how we can create big change in our lives, from taking small positive steps.