Monthly Archives: February 2010
|02/22/2010||Posted by Jane under all posts, mind . body . spirit, nutrition, serenity|
When people around me are having a bad day, I can easily catch it! It’s contagious! Just as I feel like covering my face when I’m around someone with the flu, I feel like running for cover when I’m around someone who’s in a less than good mood. I don’t expect perfection from other people. They’re certainly entitled to have bad days from time to time, but I prefer to do what I can to maintain, or if it’s too late for that, to reclaim my serenity. These are a few of my favorite, insanely easy, methods.
1. Go for a walk – I’m not talking about your hour at the gym, or three miles on the treadmill in front of your tv. I mean get outside! Yeah, on the sidewalk, or in your back yard, on a wooded path, or at a strip-mall. When I walk outside my body moves more freely. My arms and legs swing with a natural motion that can’t be duplicated on a machine. Breathe the fresh air, breathe it deeply. Imagine that you’ve never experienced air so clean and fresh before, and just breathe. You’ll soon find that with the rhythmic movement of your body, and the fresh oxygen in your bloodstream, you will awaken. The clutter will begin to leave your mind and, sometimes with practice, the precious gift of serenity will return.
2. Make a mini-sauna – Simple and old-fashioned, all it takes is a pot of water, a hot pad, and a towel. Bring a about a quart of water to a boil in a pot. Sit comfortably, using the towel to make a little steam tent. The steam will be very hot at first, so adjust the towel as-needed to let the hot steam escape. As the steam becomes tolerable, take deeper and deeper breaths. Imagine that you’re by-passing your lungs altogether. Pull the steam directly into your belly, and then down further, to your pubic bone. Adjust your posture to accomodate this. Breathe it in as hard, and long as you can. Long, slow, deep inhales. Long, slow, gentle exhales…and then, when you think you’ve pushed all the air out, push again, and again. You’ll find that you can (almost) completely empty your lungs, and then wait….your body will tell you when it’s time to pull in another deep breath. Feels like magic. Use this as a meditative time. Listen to your breath, or listen to gentle music on your ipod if the TV is blaring in the background, but give this time to yourself. You’ll breathe more clearly, help to clear your lymphatic system, clean your pores, and when you’re finished, wipe the sweat from your face and look in the mirror. What a beautiful glow!
3. Prepare good food – No, wait, don’t skip this one! It’s important! Food is our fuel, don’t you remember this from third grade? Skipping a good meal when we’re already spent, is like bypassing the gas station when we’re on our way into heavy traffic, not such a good idea! Keep it simple, and be mindful. Notice the sound and texture of the food you’re preparing. It can be as simple as a bed of crisp greens topped with olive oil, S&P, a pinch of Italian seasoning, and some fresh grated Parmesan. Treat yourself to good food.
4. Pick up the phone – A conversation with someone we enjoy spending time with breaks the mental dialogue we’re holding onto and allows new thought patterns to come in. Often when I make a phone call I find that when I hang up my mood is completely altered. Interaction with other people stimulates new thought patterns and can really help us move forward.
5. Allow yourself some playtime – What’s your pleasure? Crayons and a sketch-pad? Working a puzzle? Looking at old photos? If you think it’s child’s play….then it’s perfect! Think of something that would make you happy, and then do it. When our mind is engaged in something we enjoy, it’s much easier to forget about what’s going on around us….and that’s the whole idea.
Tonight I did each of the things I listed, except taking a walk. As a result, I’m breathing clearly, and feeling nourished and full of gratitude. Thanks for being here to stimulate my thought patterns and keep me moving forward. We learn from each other, so I’d be happy to compile and post a list of other great ideas if you’re willing to share.
Thank you, Stacy Wachter, for the beautifully grumpy photo!