30 Days of Stillness

In a world filled with the consumption of busyness it is very unusual in our American culture to take time to be still. Since I have been back in the United States it seems as if we consistently glorify busyness, as if it is a badge of honor. The glorification of being busy has caused many diseases, stress, breakdowns and much more for the American culture. People identify with the words “hustle”, “grind” and “go-getter” as a way to celebrate their busy lives. Too often we confuse productivity with busyness and vice versa. Therefore, slowing down is never a thought because we do more to be more to get more. Instead of finding the beauty in simplicity we rush through life missing out on it.

I remember when I lived abroad I cherished the simplicity of life and enjoyed the moments of downtime. Simplicity was not so foreign to me until I came back to the US.  I began to yearn for the days where being present in the moment was a joy. Although, I’ve been  back in the US for 11 years now I still have not adjusted to the hustle and bustle of busyness. However, I made a vow to myself to get back to the life of simplicity!

Every summer I spend time strategizing where I want to go and who I plan to visit yet, this summer I wanted to do something different. I decided to spend 30 days being still; doing absolutely nothing. And to be honest, I found so much enjoyment in relaxing, slowing down and being present in the moment. Although, you may not be able to take 30 days off to be still but you can pick a day to do absolutely nothing.

Here are a couple of things I learned from my month of slowing down.

1. It can wait. Sometimes what you think is a priority is not a priority so rearrange your list and take some time to slow down.

2. Staycation.  Staycations are the best vacations because it allows you to rest and refresh your whole being.

3. Stop chasing people. I spent too many summers and holidays on the road visiting people who had no intentions of visiting me. Save your gas and money for a trip you want to take alone.

4. Become a priority in your own life. Stop waiting until other people put you as a priority on their list. It is time you become number 1 on your own list.

5. Stillness is mindfulness. When you are consumed with the present moment you see the present in everyday living.

So, take the time to disconnect yourself from the spirit of busy and embrace the joys of living in the moment. 

Which lesson will you implement this week? Let me know in the comments.

Beach Therapy

Summer has officially arrived with kids out of school and beaches packed to capacity. As the heat beats and temperatures rise  the greatest place to stay cool and relaxed is at the beach. The beach is my favorite spot to go to when I want to feel the water tingle against my feet and get a clear perspective on my life. It is always soothing to get a good book to read when I am at the beach. 

The beach has a magical vibe especially during the week while everyone is working. The soothing swoosh of the waves have a melodic tune. When I look out into the water I get lost and let my thoughts wander aimlessly. It is great sense of healing and therapy to me when life seems to suffocate me.

Below are three ways you can use the beach as your own personal therapist to help you relax this summer:

1) Go Workout At The Beach. It is so refreshing when you decide to take your workout outdoors. It gives you a chance to connect with nature & start your morning off to a positive start. However, taking your morning jog, run or yoga exercise to the beach can be even more relaxing. It will help you connect with your inner self & create a positive mindset for your workout.

2) Meditate At The Beach. Meditation is one of the most important part of my morning routines. Taking your morning meditations to the beach can enhance your mental awareness, assist in your breathing techniques & help you visualize a beautiful picture as you look out in the sea.

3) Read A Book At The Beach. If you are a book lover like me books are a great form of relaxation. It helps you take your mind off the real world and allow you to bury yourself in a world of imagination. It is even more relaxing to take your favorite book to the beach & get lost in the beauty of the beach.

The summer is a great time to relax, unwind & embrace the joys of beach life, might as well get some beach therapy while the weather is still alluring!

Clear The Clutter

In the last few weeks the sparkle has dimmed which has made me feel like I have been running rampant on the carousel of life. It has been filled with noise that has caused distractions, interruptions and the plague of redundancy. My world began to torment me with the agony of work, school, taking care of my daughter and maintaining personal relationships. I started to search for a moment to slow down, to inhale and exhale out the mental stress. Depletion was slowly creeping in suffocating me, I needed to escape from the mental clutter. I wanted to simply breathe again.

I believe many people can relate to my experience because we all are on a quest to silence the commotion. However, silence can only be found when we start to dismiss the noise we find cramped in our mental space. Mental stress can bring on many issues from depression to PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome). According to Pysch Central, “Stress actually has an impact on how the brain processes information and stores memories.” In order to combat the pangs we feel when stressed we have to begin to take an inventory of where the clutter lies.

Here are a couple of tips to clear the clutter from your mental, emotional & physical space:

1. Take a nap. Resting is essential to refueling your mind, body and soul.

2. Schedule personal quality time. We all need to be able to take some personal moments to our self to quiet the noise around us. Make it a habit to put an appointment on the calendar just for you.

3. Choose an activity just for you. Running around on everyone schedule gets tiresome, find something you love to do that does not require you to do nothing but relax.

4. Be Selfish. In society we are programmed to believe taking care of our self is selfish however if you do not take care of you first no one else will so be selfish.


References:
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/05/06/our-brain-on-stress-forgetful-emotional/ 

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-causes-and-effects.htm

Picture Reference:
http://www.purepowerfitness.com.au/blog/

Live In The Moment


Life is a constant rollercoaster where we are on fast forward but sometimes we need to put our lives on pause, rewind to the moments we constantly rush through and just slow down. Life is so precious in which we have to learn to embrace each moment because it will dissipate quickly. Life is about making each hour, minute and second count to create a life full of memorable things to look back on in years to come. I have been guilty in not cherishing the moment but rushing to get to the next day just to rush through it all over again however, this year I have been challenged to enjoy life in its present state and appreciate what each moment has to offer as well as teach me. For the last 190 days, I  worked a job I  did not enjoy with a person that made the job more challenging than it had to be but it taught me to never waste another day living in a moment that does not bring me joy. This job gave me the strength to reevaluate myself and my life to the capacity of investing in moments that are worth enjoying. In the real world, some moments can be painful just like the 190 days I had endured at my job however, there were moments that taught me how to let go of the bad things and create the life I love to wake up to everyday. Moments have full of lessons to go along with them even in the most uncomfortable moments. We still must strive to embrace the moment, live in it and make it a moment worth living for because life comes and goes in a flash. I have learned to capture the sweet things in bittersweet moments, hold on to the fun moments and make memorable thoughts of moments that have took my breathe away. It is funny how ugly moments teach you great lessons just like my job did for the last 190 days. I am thankful that my job ends this week as I take the time to reflect, slow down and move forward at my own pace this time. Too often, we rush because we feel rushed to be at a certain place in our life but in reality we are right where we need to be. Living in the moment is simply about not rushing out of the current moment you are in but savoring the moment. I made a vow to myself no longer to rush from moment to moment but let each moment have its place to flourish and process into something beautiful. So I challenge you this week to embrace the moment, slow down, let each moment be processed thoroughly so that maturity can have its time to spring forth. I dare you to Live In The Moment

Go Ahead, Take A Day Off!

Sometimes the hustle and bustle of life can be overwhelming due to the demands of life, people and work. However, every now and then you have to be adamant about making quality time with yourself a priority. This week I can truly say I felt overwhelmed and needed some very well deserved me time. I pride myself in trying to live a balanced life but sometimes my life scale is unbalanced and I have to recalibrate it. Today I decided that this weekend would be time for myself only receiving calls from my family and no technology distracts. In a world full of distractions we have to be willing to find our own secret heaven or paradise. So today I decided to buy a magazine, read it and sit in Starbucks sipping my latte. It was such an invigorating moment to know I allowed time to stand still just to nurture my mental being. It felt good to put some things on hold just to take care of myself mentally and emotionally. So I decided once a month maybe every third Saturday would be my day to mentally, emotionally and spiritually rest. Here are some tips on pushing you to create your own personal day off!

Tips To A Day Off…..

TIP #1: Make yourself a priority and schedule your personal time off on your calendar. Pencil yourself in…

TIP #2: Communicate with your spouse, children, boyfriend and loved ones about your day off. So they will understand this is your time and you will not want it to be interrupted.

TIP #3: Do something simple. You may not have the finances to go to the Spa or take a weekend trip but look at the simple things you can do to change your scenery and get away mentally. (Ideas: walk in the park, walking on the beach, reading your favorite magazine or book)

TIP #4: Spend this day to reflect, meditate and not be bothered with any distractions.

TIP #5: Smile and Be Grateful. Having gratitude for another day to appreciate the beauty around is important. A day for you to cherish yourself is also important.

Until Next Time…..Live Bold. Live loud. Live Authentically.