Slowing Down

It’s no accident that oil lamps have been used for centuries to create a sense of stillness in a room. The flame of an oil lamp is much steadier tv than the flicker of a candle, lending to the environment of still and healthy quiet contemplation.

If you’re ever someplace and walk into a room where an oil lamp is lit, you will see. A certain “slow down” will happen naturally within you before too long.

Lets slow down on the inside as we also slow down on the outside and lets see what happens.

#oillamp #flame #steady #still #bestillandknow #meditation #quiet #home #catsofinstagram #cats

Protecting your Mental Health during the Coronavirus Outbreak

By Doreen Marshall, Ph.D.

Human beings like certainty.  We are hard-wired to want to know what is happening when and to notice things that feel threatening to us.  When things feel uncertain or when we don’t generally feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed.  This very reaction, while there to protect us, can cause all sorts of havoc when there is a sense of uncertainty and conflicting information around us.

A large part of anxiety comes from a sense of what we think we should be able to control, but can’t.  Right now, many of us are worried about COVID-19, known as the “Coronavirus”.  We may feel helpless about what will happen or what we can do to prevent further stress.  The uncertainty might also connect to our uncertainty about other aspects of our lives, or remind us of past times when we didn’t feel safe and the immediate future was uncertain.

In times like these, our mental health can suffer.  We don’t always know it’s happening.  You might feel more on edge than usual, angry, helpless or sad.  You might notice that you are more frustrated with others or want to completely avoid any reminders of what is happening.  For those of us who already struggle with our mental wellness, we might feel more depressed or less motivated to carry out our daily activities.

It’s important to note that we are not helpless in light of current news events.  We can always choose our response.  If you are struggling, here are some things you can do to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty:

Separate what is in your control from what is not. There are things you can do, and it’s helpful to focus on those.  Wash your hands.  Remind others to wash theirs. Take your vitamins. Limit your consumption of news (Do you really need to know what is happening on a cruise ship you aren’t on?

Do what helps you feel a sense of safety. This will be different for everyone, and it’s important not to compare yourself to others.  It’s ok if you’ve decided what makes you feel safe is to limit attendance of large social events, but make sure you separate when you are isolating based on potential for sickness versus isolating because it’s part of depression.

Get outside in nature–even if you are avoiding crowds. I took a walk yesterday afternoon in my neighborhood with my daughter.  The sun was shining, we got our dose of vitamin D, and it felt good to both get some fresh air and quality time together.   Exercise also helps both your physical and mental health.

Challenge yourself to stay in the present. Perhaps your worry is compounding—you are not only thinking about what is currently happening, but also projecting into the future. When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment.  Notice the sights, sounds, tastes and other sensory experiences in your immediate moment and name them. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control.

Stay connected and reach out if you need more support. Talk to trusted friends about what you are feeling. If you are feeling particularly anxious or if you are struggling with your mental health, it’s ok to reach out to a mental health professional for support.  You don’t have to be alone with your worry and it can be comforting to share what you are experiencing with those trained to help.

We are in this together, and help is always available.  If you’re feeling alone and struggling, you can also reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Moving from Untruth to Truth

A few days ago, a friend asked me if I had a favorite quote, or mantra or something I said to myself every day. I thought I’d share my answer in case it resonated with anyone else.

Asatoma Sadgayama is Sanskrit; roughly translated to English it comes out as “from untruth to truth.”  

Not a religious text, and even though it originates from the east it isn’t eastern either. If you think about the translation, moving from untruth to truth is pretty much applicable to anyone, anywhere.

It means working on dropping what we’ve gathered; perceptions, ideas, habits; anything that is acquired unconsciously and moving towards living more consciously. Letting go of what we’ve accumulated so far in our lives and moving towards what we really are. Which is a conscious being.

That’s a pretty universal idea, isn’t it? Faced with the question, would you really want to hang on to some automatic behaviors instead of stopping and saying “wait a minute’, why do I think this, or why do I do that?” 

There was a song that was popular a few years ago that had a line in it that went “I don’t know why I say the things I say, but I say them any-way”

Reminded me of some words I read recently where the topic discussed was the 28-30 year cycles in life; the idea being that we run through cycles during our lifetimes, repeating behaviours and situations until or unless we wake up one day and stop. And, that we really don’t begin to have an idea what life is all about until we’re in our 70s or 80s, after running through these cycles.

The whole idea of intentionally working on oneself is to shove a stick in the wheel of repetitive behaviors and say “hang on a minute here”, and look a little deeper at what we’re doing (or not doing) and try to see why it all is so that we can make the decision to continue or stop and do something else.  

Asatoma Sadgayama. Moving from untruth to truth. Sounds to me like something worth repeating to oneself every day.

#qotd #asatomasadgamaya #clarity #life #conscious #choose

Mental Health and Social Media


Great article on the link between mental health issues and the use of social media in young people, although overuse of social media can cause problems in adults just as well.

Social media is a great toolset for mass communication, sharing of ideas, for learning and in general making the world a smaller place. Social media can be used to obtain real information about issues, cultures, geographies; anything that one wants to learn about. All if used properly. 

However, it can become easy to blur the lines of social media and reality; not only for impressionable young people, but for everyone.

Try being more self-aware when it comes to interacting with others.  
Limit your online environment in favor of in-person interactions, and see how you feel about each.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/09/11/social-media-linked-increased-risk-mental-health-problems/

Benefits of a Daily Meditation Practice

While meditation can and will provide a sense of peace and tranquility, there are many other benefits to be had from a daily practice.

Lowered blood pressure, calming of the nervous system, and better management of Anxiety Disorders all can be had from a daily practice of meditation.

Sleep quality can be improved, meditation can be used as a part of chronic pain management therapy, and it will also boost your immune system.

Lastly, meditation will help you have happy relationships, because you will be more peaceful and calm. Less will irritate you, and you’ll be inclined to recognize happy and joyful moments throughout your day more.

Check out the below link on Healthgrades.com for more information:

Don’t wait another Day

“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up.

This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. 

By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”

Terrence Mckenna

Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?

When you reach a certain age and look back over your life, it seems to have had an order; it seems to have been composed by someone.

And those events, when they occurred, seemed merely accidental and occasional and just something that happened, turn out to be the main elements in a consistent plot.

So, who composed this plot?

Just as your dreams are composed by an aspect of yourself of which your consciousness is unaware, so your whole life has been composed by the will within you.

Just as those people you met became effective agents of the structuring of your life, so you have been an agent in the structuring of other’s lives. And the whole thing gears together like one big symphony; everything structuring and influencing everything else.

Its as though our lives were the dream of a single dreamer in which all the dream characters are dreaming too, and so everything links to everything else, moved out of the will of nature.

~ Arthur Schopenhauer

#reflection #innerwork #unity #wereallconnected #takecontrol #consciousness#noaccidents #meditation #eternal #circle

How negative emotions physically affect your well-being

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Your body is a physical manifestation of what you tell yourself.

Contentment within the emotions produces the like in the body’s systems.  One’s immune system becomes strong, muscles can become strong and limber.  This helps our emotional outlook and general well-being.  We’re in a good mood when we feel good.  Nothing seems impossible.

But should those same emotions become negative, producing quiet voices within us that speak “I can’t”, “I’m not good enough”, I don’t deserve”, the body also manifests physical forms of these emotions.  Disease easily finds a hospitable breeding ground in consistent negative emotions.  Which in turn then makes us more uncomfortable, more sad or angry – because we don’t feel well.  The system becomes out of balance, and since emotions produce physical attributes in the body, the cycle that was once positive can turn negative, and the since the manifestations in the body support the emotional condition, we become sick more often.  Chronic pain can develop.  Headaches, body aches, fatigue.  Just like a viral disease, the body can do harm to itself as a result of a consistent, negative emotional environment.  Often, this is an old cycle; meaning that we learned this manner of walking in the world at a young age; so recognizing it can be tricky to do.

So what to do?

If you find yourself in a similar condition, talk with someone.  It can be very helpful to have a third party’s support in looking to see if we are managing our lives compulsively or consciously.  Get around some other people.  Exercise is a fantastic holistic remedy; and is quite necessary as we all age to keep our bodies as well as possible.  A Yoga class, bicycling, running, walking, a health club membership; all will change the body’s chemistry and produce positive results not only physically, but also emotionally from being around like-minded people and from accomplishing goals.

The first step can be difficult to take.  But it can also make a world of difference in your life and in the lives of those around us.