calm

woman meditation imageHave you heard about Meditation and Mindfulness?  

Want to learn more about it?

Learn how to focus your attention, access a sense of calm and balance, lower your level of stress, improve your health, and harness your true inner strength and resilience . . . here’s how

 

Join 2bpresent this fall to learn about the incredible benefits of establishing your own personal meditation practice.  This fall 2bpresent is offering new courses and workshops for beginning and experienced meditators.  To learn more and to register, click on the links below.

What students are saying about our classes and workshops . . .

SWG_1544_©Sandra_Wong_Geroux (1)“This was a fantastic course. (On a scale of 1 – 5 ) I would rate it a 6. Everybody in the class
seem to have a great time – Cheryl was knowledgeable and generous. I would highly recommend this to any of my friends and would take future courses offered by Cheryl!”  – student, Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation

“Just a quick note to thank you so much for being such a wonderful instructor.  I am enjoying your class so much, and I really love practicing being mindful.  I am trying hard to be present in every moment, and am filled with gratitude that I signed up for the class.  It’s been great, and I’m looking forward to what comes next!” – Rosemary, Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation course, 4/12/16

“Your classes are helping refocus my mind from the chronic pain and anger I have been carrying for over 7 yrs . It will be a long process to let go but I know I need to. I took your advice and walked ‘the loop’ around the water today with my dog.   There are hundreds of daffodils in bloom that some generous soul planted years ago, I saw a sweet rabbit and listened to the birds.  So enjoyable.   Many thanks.” – Barbara, Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation course, 4/07/16

 

New Fall Classes

Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness can help you lower your levels of stress, stay focused and calm, and live your life with a greater sense of ease and happiness.  This course integrates research-based material from the fields of Neuroscience, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Positive Psychology, as well as Eastern Philosophy and Practices, to introduce individuals to the physical, emotional and psychological benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation. These benefits include decreased stress and the physical symptoms of stress on the body, Increased focus and concentration, and improved sleep.   Each week, we will learn and practice formal and informal mindfulness practices that will help quiet the mind, bring increased focus to our daily activities, cultivate greater happiness and improve overall health and wellbeing.   Friday mornings, 9:30 am to 10:30 am, from 10/07/16 to 11/18/16.

For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

 

New Fall Workshops

What is Mindfulness & Meditation?  

man-meditatingMindfulness & Meditation.  These words are everywhere, but what do they actually mean? How can we use mindfulness meditation to lower stress, sharpen our focus and attention, and cultivate greater happiness?  Join Cheryl Vigder Brause, Executive Director of 2bpresent, to learn more about mindfulness and meditation in this interactive workshop in which we will explore the growing body of scientific evidence from the fields of mindfulness, neuroscience and positive psychology and learn practical mindfulness tools to help us relax, have greater focus and find your inner quiet, calm and strength.  Tuesday, October 27, 2016, 7 pm.  For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

 

Unleashing the Power of Creativity Through Meditation 

Learn how to use meditation to access a free flow of thoughts and tap in to your greatest creativity.  Join Cheryl Vigder Brause, Executive Director of 2bpresent, to learn more about mindfulness and meditation in this interactive workshop in which we will explore meditation practices to help you problem-solve, find creative solutions and access new and innovative ideas.  Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 7 pm.   For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

 

Stressed Out? Learn Ways to Lower Your Stress and Find Calm and Clarity for a More Productive and Healthy life. meditation_at_work image

The long-term health affects of chronic stress on your body are severe. Learn why our bodies react the way they do and how you
can change your thoughts and behavior through mindfulness meditation practices to lower your levels of stress at work and at home, find greater calm and a healthier lifestyle. 
Join Cheryl Vigder Brause, Executive Director of 2bpresent, in this interactive workshop in which we will explore the growing body of scientific evidence from the fields of mindfulness, neuroscience and positive psychology and learn practical tools on how to use mindfulness to help us relax and navigate the stresses of our busy lives.  Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 7 pm.   For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

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We are thrilled to welcome back Sharon Salzberg to our mindful community for a fall evening exploring Lovingkindness in the Face of Adversity

Wednesday November 13th from 7:00-9:00pm

Mamaroneck, NY (location to be sent upon confirmation)

 

Sharon is one of America’s leading spiritual teachers and authors.  She is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work.

During this evening we will explore the power of lovingkindness when we face our own physical challenge or illness, emotional upheaval, negativity from others, or unfairness in how we are being treated. We will look at lovingkindness and compassion as strengths rather than as submissive states, and talk about joining them with discerning action, wisdom, and our often untapped capacity for resilience. We’ll practice meditation along with dialogue and discourse.  Suitable for both beginning and more experienced meditators.

To Register Click Here

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Are you feeling tired, a lack of focus and concentration and out of patience?   Do you want to learn ways to slow down, clam down and find a greater sense of balance and happiness in your  life?

Join us for Mindful Living: An Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation

We will explore  meditation and mindfulness practices that can be used everyday to help bring calm, clarity, connections and contentment into your daily life.  Each class will consist of a discussion and practice.

Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation include:

  • Increasing your attention, focus and concentration
  • Understanding your own stress reactions and how to minimize them
  • Increasing your sense of balance and equanimity
  • Fostering a greater connection in your relationships
  • Enriched appreciation of the ordinary moments of life
  • Learning to listen with kindness to yourself and those around you
  • Improved sleep

Class Dates & Times:  Tuesday evenings, November 19, 26, December 3  and 10, from 8 to 9:30 pm.

Location:  Westchester Jewish Center, Rockland & Palmer Avenue, Mamaroneck, New York.

Investment:  $140 members and $160 non-members

*This class is a prerequisite for classes we will be offering in 2014 on Meditation and Spirituality.

**Registration opening soon for this class.

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A Much-Needed Holiday Stress-Reducing Meditation

A Meditation for the Holiday Season

by cheryl on November 20, 2012

in Healthy Living

Why is it that during this joyful, festive time of year so many people are feeling anxious, depressed or depleted?  All that gift giving and holiday cheer  can be exhausting.  There is pressure to be happy and full of joy.   So when we don’t feel like being in the holiday spirit (or we may feel downright depressed), we become upset with ourselves and ask, “What is wrong with me?”

First, there is nothing wrong with you.  Throw away any judgment or feeling of disappointment in yourself.  You feel the way you feel, and that is OK.  It is an exhausting time of year.  There is cooking to do, presents to wrap, gifts to give, roads to travel.  You may also feel lonely or sad.  In addition, there are always those complicated family dynamics to contend with, which are often even more intense this time of year.  So, remind yourself that it is OK to feel whatever you feel.

Second, whether you are a regular meditator or have never tried meditation before, try this simple holiday meditation.  It doesn’t take long and I know you will feel a little better after giving it a try.  The great part about this meditation is that you can use it over and over again throughout the holiday season, as needed (no prescription required).

Step 1:

Find a quiet spot.  Allow yourself to escape for a short time from the commotion.  Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor, with your back straight OR lie down comfortably on your back in a resting position. Gently close your eyes.

Step 2:

Breathe deeply, in through your nose, then release that air back out through your nose.   Simply follow your breath in through your nose, filling up your lungs and abdomen, allowing your belly and chest to expand.   As you exhale, follow your breath back out through your lungs, your abdomen contracting, as the air flows out your nose.  As you inhale, think of letting in a sense of  calm, quiet, and stillness.   As you exhale, release all of the tension in your body, and any anxiety or sadness you are feeling.  With each exhale, simply let go.  As you continue your breathing, exhale for a slightly longer time than you inhale.  For example, inhale for two counts, then exhale for four counts.  You can use any number you want, just try to make your exhales longer than your inhales.  Fully release all of the air you are holding on to.  After doing this several times, you will begin to feel more relaxed, calm and peaceful.

Step 3:

After you have done some breathing and are in a nice rhythm, continue your slow, steady breathing while you think about five things you are grateful for.  These can be almost anything.  Just take the time to remind yourself of a few incredible gifts, big or small, that you have in your life.  For example, you may be grateful for allowing yourself to take this much needed time out from the holiday madness.   I will give you the first five things that pop into my head.

 

#1 – I am grateful for my breath.  As I breathe in and breathe out, I am so thankful that I can breathe freely, that my body works in a miraculous rhythm, naturally and rhythmically.  I am grateful for my breath.

 

#2 – I am grateful for my children.  I am incredibly lucky to have three beautiful, healthy, loving children who bring great joy to my life.  I am grateful for my children.

 

#3 – I am grateful for my husband.  I am so thankful to have a supportive husband who loves me unconditionally every day.  I am grateful for my husband.

 

#4 – I am grateful for my own wellness warrior, my mother.  My mother spent all of last year fighting lymphoma.  Every day she faced very difficult physical and emotional challenges with incredible strength, optimism and courage.  Through the most difficult circumstances, she was an example of the importance of being present in each moment, taking each day as it came,  one moment at a time, and, sometimes, one breath at a time.  I am grateful for my mother.

#5 – I am grateful for my friends.  I have so many people in my life that love and care about me.  I am truly blessed to have them in life.  I am grateful for my friends.

 

Step 4:

Smile and continue to breathe.  After taking the time to think about a few things you are grateful for, return to your breath.  Try smiling by simply turning the very ends of your mouth upwards, to allow some happiness in.  “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”  (Thich Nhat Hanh)  Focus on your breath, on that feeling of gratitude and on letting go. Take this time for yourself.  Be present, let go and simply breathe this holiday season!

 

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The Calm Before the Storm

The Calm Before the Storm

by cheryl on November 8, 2012

in Meditation

Just before Superstorm Sandy hit our area, in what was the calm before the storm, I attended a beautiful service in which the following thoughts were read aloud by Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman.  I was struck by the beauty of his words and wanted to share his thoughts with you.  We are sending our love and prayers to those impacted by this devasting storm.

The Calm Before the Storm  . . .

There is something called the “calm before the storm.”  I do not know whether it is a scientific reality – whether there really is a “calm before the storm.”  It’s possible.  Or it might be that when we know a storm is coming and we are playing out all the terrible possibilities in our mind, the present reality just seems very calm.

But in either case – whether real or perceived – there is a calm before the storm.

I sometimes think that we don’t use it properly.  We usually use the calm to prepare for the storm.  Yes, I imagine that is important.  And yet, it would be nice if we could appreciate the calm without images of the storm infecting it.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take a walk in the calm before the storm, and just enjoy the calmness?  In the calm before the storm the wind may be invigorating – not destructive.  In the calm before the storm, the drops of rain may be refreshing – not drenching.  In the intense quiet of the calm before the storm, we can think, we can close our eyes, breathe in life, and maybe we can hear the still small voice of God.

Life is filled with storms – physical storms, emotional ones, spiritual ones.  Sometimes they take us by surprise; but sometimes they don’t, and there is a special – almost holy – calm before the storm.  The trick is to not let the fear of the storm destroy the peace of the calm.  We can use the calm to give thanks for what we have – even as it may soon blow away.  We can use the calm to pray – use the calm to listen – use the calm to love.

Thank you God – for the calm before the storm.

-by Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman

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12 Exercises for Mindful Parenting

12 Exercises for Mindful Parenting

by cheryl on September 21, 2012

in 2mindfulmoms

We all know that parenting can be a challenge.  Many of us have undergraduate and advanced degrees and have continued our professional training, but it is rare to find a course in what is arguably our most important job – parenting.  So, we at 2bpresent, hope to pass on to you any helpful bits of advice that we find along our journey on how to become a better parent.  In the book, Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn offer the following exercises that are wonderful tools to make our jobs as parents a bit easier and, perhaps a bit more rewarding and fulfilling, even at the most difficult moments.

12 Exercises for Mindful Parenting:

  1. Try to imagine the world from your child’s point of view, purposefully letting go of your own. Do this every day for at least a few moments to remind you of who this child is and what he or she faces in the world.
  2. Imagine how you appear and sound from your child’s point of view, i.e., having you as a parent today, in this moment. How might this modify how you carry yourself in your body and in space, how you speak, and what you say? How do you want to relate to your child in this moment?
  3. Practice seeing your children as perfect just the way they are. See if you can stay mindful of their sovereignty from moment to moment, and work at accepting them as they are when it is hardest for you to do so.
  4. Be mindful of your expectations of your children and consider whether they are truly in your child’s best interest. Also, be aware of how you communicate those expectations and how they affect your children.
  5. Practice altruism, putting the needs of your children above your own whenever possible. Then see if there isn’t some common ground, where your true needs can also be met. You may be surprised at how much overlap is possible, especially if you are patient and strive for balance.
  6. When you feel lost, or at a loss, remember to stand still and meditate on the whole by bringing your full attention to the situation, to your child, to yourself, to the family. In doing so, you may go beyond thinking, even good thinking, and perceive intuitively, with the whole of your being, what needs to be done. If that is not clear in any moment, maybe the best thing is to not do anything until it becomes clearer. Sometimes it is good to remain silent.
  7. Try embodying silent presence. This will grow out of both formal and informal mindfulness practice over time if you attend to how you carry yourself and what you project in body, mind, and speech. Listen carefully.
  8. Learn to live with tension without losing your own balance. In Zen and the Art of Archery, Herrigel describes how he was taught to stand at the point of highest tension effortlessly without shooting the arrow. At the right moment, the arrow mysteriously shoots itself. Practice moving into any moment, however difficult, without trying to change anything and without having to have a particular outcome occur. Simply bring your full awareness and presence to this moment. Practice seeing that whatever comes up is “workable” if you are willing to trust your intuition. Your child needs you to be a center of balance and trustworthiness, a reliable landmark by which he or she can take a bearing within his or her own landscape. Arrow and target need each other. They will find each other best through wise attention and patience.
  9. Apologize to your child when you have betrayed a trust in even a little way. Apologies are healing. An apology demonstrates that you have thought about a situation and have come to see it more clearly, or perhaps more from your child’s point of view. But be mindful of being “sorry” too often. It loses its meaning if you are always saying it, making regret into a habit. Then it can become a way not to take responsibility for your actions. Cooking in remorse on occasion is a good meditation. Don’t shut off the stove until the meal is ready.
  10. Every child is special, and every child has special needs. Each sees in an entirely unique way. Hold an image of each child in your heart. Drink in their being, wishing them well.
  11. There are important times when we need to be clear and strong and unequivocal with children. Let this come as much as possible out of awareness, generosity, and discernment, rather than out of fear, self-righteousness, or the desire to control. Mindful parenting does not mean being overindulgent, neglectful, or weak; nor does it mean being rigid, domineering, and controlling.
  12. The greatest gift you can give your child is your self. This means that part of your work as a parent is to keep growing in self-knowledge and awareness. This ongoing work can be furthered by making a time for quiet contemplation in whatever ways feel comfortable to us. We only have right now. Let us use it to its best advantage, for our children’s sake, and for our own.

Excerpted from Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

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Back to Reality

Back to Reality

by joanna on August 8, 2012

in Meditation

It’s been a glorious summer for us at 2bpresent.  We took time from the normal school year schedule and lived weeks in a very unstructured unscheduled manner.  As we are now in August, we have been struck by the reality of returning to a school and life schedule that is drastically different from the way we have lived for several weeks now.  In pondering this shift that is going to have to take place the following lyrics from En Vogue seemed apropos to share with all of you.

Back to life, back to reality.  Back to the here and now, yeah.  Show me how, decide what you want from me.  Tell me maybe I could be there for you.
However do you want me? However do you need me?  How, however do you want me?  However do you need me?
Back to life,  back to the present time.  Back from a fantasy, yeah. Tell me now, take the initiative. I’ll leave it in your hands until you’re ready…

Summer is a break from the reality of the hectic schedules that we have during the school year.  People asking of us and us pouring ourselves out to those we love and the causes that we support.  We are wanted and needed and needed and wanted 24/7.  By breaking from that for summer we are able to refuel and come back recharged.  The transitions from one to another are not without anxiety for us or for our children.  For our children they have shifted from school schedules to summer (camp or unstructured chill time) and now what they focused on so much is coming to a close and the hectic school schedules that they have are approaching them once again.   Can we incorporate the best of what they love from the summer into their normal school year schedule?  Can we put a little less on all of our plates this year and have more time to just be together as a family?  Will they miss something if they aren’t as busy?  Will we?

September also coincides with a climatic shift as the sweltering warm days start to turn cooler.  We go from shedding clothes to adding layers to stay warn.  As we look toward this transition, can we add mindfulness and meditation into the layers we wrap ourselves in?  Incorporating a mindful practice into the way we interact with those we love the most and those who we just barely touch.  Mindfulness can make those shifts be they seasonal or from summer back to school smoother and easier for ourselves and our families.

If you are interested in learning more about beginning a practice of mindfulness and meditation, please join us as we once again journey to find Real Happiness following the work of Sharon Salzberg and other experts in this field.  Click here for more information on this upcoming course and on our event hosting Sharon Salzberg in our community.

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How to Make that Vacation Last

How to Make that Vacation Last

by cheryl on May 20, 2012

in Meditation

“Vacation, all I ever wanted.  Vacation, had to get away.  Vacation, meant to be spent alone.”  Well, maybe not alone, in fact with 13 other people, but what a vacation it was!  After returning from an amazing vacation a few weeks ago, I can’t seem to get that classic 80’s tune from the Go-Go’s out of my head.  (Yes — I was/am a huge Go-Go’s fan.)  In fact, I can’t seem to get my head back from vacation.

This was no ordinary vacation.  I spent six days living at sea on a sailboat with my family of five.  Along for the adventure were two other families, dear friends, sailing across the beautiful blue Caribbean sea in their own boat, meeting us at remote islands each day to hike, kayak, snorkel, swim and play on the beach.

I realize that this was a very unique vacation, a vacation that is probably not for everyone, and one that was totally my cup of tea (or my cup of rum punch as the case may be).  Each day I enjoyed watching the sun rise and the sun set.  I kayaked each morning over the still, calm water before cooking and eating breakfast with my family.  At breakfast, we talked about the beauty of the crystal blue water around us and imagined all the pirates and explorers who had sailed on these seas before us.  After breakfast, we sailed on to our next destination, thrust forward only by the power of the wind as it caught our sails.

It all sounds heavenly, but it was not all luxury cruising.  During our sailing time, we all pitched in to help hoist the sails, swab the deck, check the lines and clean the galley.  We had limited water onboard, so water conservation in toilets, showers and sinks was a challenge and a necessity. No cell phones, no internet, no cable TV.  Our time was spent reading, talking, swimming, snorkeling, exploring, and simply enjoying the beauty of our surroundings. We were on our own, no captain and no crew, just us.  For me, it was the ultimate exercise in getting away from it all.

Now that I am home and back to a busy life in suburbia, I find myself with the same feeling I have after a wonderful yoga practice and blissful shavasana (for non-yogis, shavasana is done at the end of a yoga class when you lie on your back with your eyes closed, breathing deeply, as you relax the muscles that you just worked and you melt into the ground beneath you).   After shavasana, I often ask myself, how can I keep this deep state of calm, quiet and relaxation going off my yoga mat?  Since returning from my sailing vacation, I have been asking myself, how can I hold on to that blissful, relaxing feeling of my vacation now that I am home and back to my daily routine?

To figure out the answer to this question, I made a list of what it was about the vacation that helped me to feel so connected, relaxed and rested.  I concluded that if I could come up with a list of what made the vacation so fantastic, I would work to incorporate those things into my life at home in an effort to enjoy each day in a more relaxed, less stressful and less exhausting way.  Why not make a little part of each day like a mini-vacation?  Why wait for those few weeks a year to truly unwind and nurture myself?  Short of magically creating the beautiful blue sea, ocean breezes, rum punch on a sandy beach, and a beautiful boat to sail on, here is what I came up with:

(1)  Start the day with some time for peace, quiet and contemplation

(2)  Get exercise everyday – keep that body moving

(3)  Connect with Nature any time you can

(4)  Eat healthy, fresh food and get some rest

(5)  Spend quality time connecting with family and friends

If I could treat myself to these five things each day, would I feel some of that vacation state of mind back home?  I will say that I have tried it and, although it is not quite the Caribbean around here, it has been wonderful to take time each day to indulge in what makes me happy and more peaceful, and to take a mini break in an otherwise hectic day.  Most importantly is the idea that instead of pushing through the unpleasant business of each day and simply dreaming of the next opportunity to take a break from it all, I have tried to truly enjoy each day as it comes by incorporating into each day some of what makes me feel happy and peaceful.  Here are some observations I have made along the way and suggestions for how to incorporate these five things into your life.

First, it is interesting to me that once our lives get busier and more stressful, the first things that we “have no time for” are the things we need most.  The first thing to be cut from our schedules are often the things that I listed above.  Ironically, these things are needed most when we are busy and stressed.   By incorporating them into our lives, we will feel less stressed and better able to cope.   We will also have more energy to tackle our long “to do” lists.  If we include in our days the five things listed above, we can maintain at least some of that calm that we had on vacation and we won’t need to begin the count down to our next vacation the moment we return home from our last getaway.

Start the day off with a few minutes of calm.

On vacation, we have physically removed ourselves from the distractions and aggravations of our everyday lives.  When we are “away from it all,” we are able to focus on truly being present and enjoying every moment of our getaway.  We are able to experience fully where we are and how relaxed we feel both physically and mentally.  When we return home, we find ourselves back in the thick of it, our minds twirling with what we need to do next, no longer able to enjoy being where we are.  With some practice and a little effort, however, we can foster our ability to bring that focused, relaxed feeling into our lives everyday by simply taking the time to recreate that vacation state of mind wherever we are.

Most of us hear our alarms each morning and like a good thoroughbred at the starting gate, the bell sounds and we are off to the races.  We dread getting out of bed because what follows is often unpleasant —  yelling at the kids to get up as we rush through our morning routine, hurrying and scurrying to get everyone out the door.   Tomorrow, try something different.  Set your alarm half an hour earlier and enjoy a few minutes of quiet time before the busyness of the day begins.  Stretch your body while taking a few deep breaths, sit for a few minutes just taking some slow deep breaths in quiet meditation while concentrating only on your breathing, enjoy a quiet cup of coffee or tea while taking in the view out the window, or sit outside for a few quiet minutes if the weather is nice.  Notice how good that feels, how peaceful, how vacation-like.   Those wonderful moments of quiet each morning can set you up for a calmer, less stressful and more enjoyable day ahead.  Think of it as a treat for yourself, a little pampering, a chance to center yourself before the busy day begins.   Don’t use that time to go through your “to do” lists, watch the news or check your e-mail.  Instead, use it as a time to really relax and take in the peaceful quiet and stillness of the morning.  You deserve it and the few less minutes of sleep will pay off in a calmer, more peaceful you.

Get your blood pumping and enjoy the outdoors

Too often, we cut out our time to exercise when our day is crammed with meetings, appointments, and a giant “to do” list.   Instead, it is when we are the busiest that we need to carve out some time, whether it is a ten minute walk, a yoga class or a quick jog, to get our blood pumping and the oxygen flowing in our body.  This will increase your energy level and your productivity, which will help you to get all that work done.   Research shows that exercise helps reduce the physical symptoms of stress in the body, which will also help you to feel calmer, better able to focus and be more productive.  One great trick that I often use is to find little ways to get more physical movement into my day, especially when I don’t have time for a full workout.  For example, park your car in a spot far away from the store and take a longer walk to the door (rather than circling a few extra times to find the closest spot).  Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.  Walk or ride your bike to your destination instead of taking a cab, bus, subway or car.

You can use this same strategy as an opportunity to spend some time outside where you can enjoy the fresh air and the nature around you.  Many studies have shown that simply being outside, and enjoying nature can bring great physical and psychological benefits to people.  Try not to be preoccupied by your thoughts — your “to do” list and your schedule.  Rather, take a break from the torrent of thoughts and be fully present in your surroundings.    You may be amazed at how nice that can be and how refreshed you will feel.

Eat Healthy Foods and Get Some Rest

When we are busy, we too often cut out the simple pleasure of eating slowly, joyfully, and healthfully.  We grab what we can on the go, and often that “fast food” is unhealthy food.  In addition, we often reward ourselves when we are stressed with food high in fat and sugar.  Unfortunately, the pleasure we feel from eating these foods doesn’t last long and we soon are left feeling bloated, tired (the crash of the sugar high) and upset with ourselves for eating what we did.  Instead, we need to remember to fuel ourselves with fresh, healthy food that will make us feel good not only for the short time we are eating it, but for the rest of the day.  Eating a healthy and nutritious snack will not only give us the energy that we need to get through the day, but it is something that we can do to nourish our souls by treating ourselves to something that is good for us.  Think of eating healthfully as a way to pamper yourself, to treat yourself with great care by filling your body with what it needs to do all that important work and to feel good while doing it.

In addition to eating well, we need to be sure to get plenty of rest.  When we are on vacation, we often feel like we can sleep for days.  We are simply exhausted from our extremely busy schedules at home.  At home, many of us fall into that caffeine trap of needing that morning and afternoon pick me up to give us the energy to make it through the day.  Often those caffeinated drinks are also loaded with sugar (again a sugar and caffeine high followed by a big crash).   Just be aware that your body is telling you that you need to rest, not drink more caffeine.  A good night sleep can do wonders for your body, mind and spirit!

Connect with Family and Friends

Finally, we need to make time to connect with our families and friends. We need to make a conscious effort to have quality family time when we are home and to connect with those special people in our lives.  This is more important than most, if not all, of the things that we put in the way of that time together.   Most of us have heard about the many studies that show that children who have family meals are much less likely to become involved with drugs and alcohol, have better social skills, better grades, and a closer connection to their family.  Those alone are enough reason to take time out to have a family meal.  But taking the time to connect with your family and friends will have incredibly positive effects on you as well.  It makes you feel loved and connected to those closest to you.

 

After my wonderful sailing adventure, I realized that we don’t have to live for vacation, to count down until the next opportunity we have to treat ourselves well.  We don’t need a vacation to enjoy some quiet time or to create quality time with our family and friends.  We can incorporate a little vacation time into every day and treat ourselves to those simple pleasures that will nourish our minds, our bodies and our spirits.

 

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Give Yourself a Time Out!

Give Yourself a Time Out! April 2, 2012

The Time Out is a disciplinary tool used by parents to correct bad behavior.  The idea is to send a child to a particular place so that he can think about his bad behavior, or simply feel the consequences of misbehaving by having to sit still, quietly and alone for a few minutes (or what […]

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Simple Step #3 – Slow Down

Simple Step #3 – Slow Down January 11, 2012

“Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make this moment last.”  Simon and Garfunkel, Feeling Groovy. After a very special celebration that took months and months of busy preparation, a good friend of mine complained, “I can’t believe it is over so fast!  How do I make time stand still so I can […]

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