Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Do you want more joy in June?

Yesterday, my good friend Nancy L sent me the link to Plum Deluxe's tea and food blog.  Nancy is tea brilliant.

If you put a scone and a delightful cup of tea in front of me, I become surprisingly happy!  Friendships come with conversations over tea.
Happiness is really so simple.  A cup of tea, a scone, an afternoon to sit and visit.  Simple pleasures are not complicated, expensive or taxing.  When we simplify our lives ... magical moments appear.

 I challenge you to have a tea party this month.  Invite friends, neighbors or just you.  Bring your heart, taste buds and notepad.  If not a tea party, then pick something you would love to do.

June simple and rich:  Downsize your stuff, your to-do list, your schedule.  Add in play, adventures and rediscover what you love about June

Play!!  Celebrate Strawberries- go to a festival and each strawberry shortcake, watch clouds, celebrate the first day of summer, plant rosemary just to smell, do yoga outside. Walk at night, sleep with the windows wide open.  Enjoy early mornings and late nights.

   Happy travels,
            Send me pics of your tea party!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

How to Activate Your Super Power in Work

Go from focus to play & ignite your super power

 According to Cal Newport, in his book Deep Work, our ability to work fully focused and undistracted is a super power.  According to Brandon Burchard in his book High Performance Habits, taking a productive pause between focused working segments is just as important.

 Focused Deep Work will catapult us forward on our projects and out of overwhelm.
The Intentional Pause will keep our minds sharp and let us finish our day invigorated. 

I agree!

"Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy." Cal Newport  Deep Work

The practice of deep work
 100% fully present
 monotasking - one very specific project or task
set timer
phones off
social media off
tv off
all interruptions paused
task - goal clear
focus 100 % on project
Benefit- super power activated

The practice of intentional pausing 
100% present and unplugged from focused task
set timer 5-10-15 minutes
step outside
stretch- move:  especially if you have been sitting at a desk
hydrating and balancing your blood sugar
breathe from your belly
play, throw a ball,  juggle, skip, dance
take a short walk
Look at nature
Eat your lunch outside- away from your desk
Focus 100% away from work
Benefit- super power activated

Repeat throughout your workday or project

 When your timer goes off. Stop!
 Step away from your desk or project.   Think recess, play, shut off brain

Set your timer for the pause too.  Distractions are everywhere- even in our play

Value and commit to pausing as much as you are to the work.
The Pause is equally as important as the work itself.

The pause is what will keep your mind sharp and your energy strong.  It is what will help you finish the day refreshed.

By becoming fully present and pausing we give our brains a chance to turn on their super powers.

Try deep work and intentional pausing for a day.  Let me know how it goes.
This practice is incredibly effective on mentally challenging tasks but equally helpful on boring or mundane tasks.   This practice of focusing on and then off, can be used on any task from writing a grant, downsizing your paper clutter, to even watching TV.  The most important part is to become present, fully intentional of your task and setting your timer to help you focus and then reboot.

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Practice of Smiling as a Meditation

The practice of smiling as a meditation is one of the most profound and flexible meditations you will ever find.  By thoughtfully taking time to smile, no matter the weather, day's events or season, you will not only relax your nervous system and up your resiliency but you also become present.

The Practice of Smiling as a Meditation

  "Smiling is a practice.  There are over 300 muscles in your face.
When you are angry or fearful, these muscles tense up.
The tension in these muscles creates a feeling of hardness.

If you know how to breathe and produce a smile however, the tension will disappear."
"Make smiling an exercise."

"There are times when your joy produces a smile.
There are also times when a smile causes relaxation, calm and joyu.
I do not wait until there is joy in me to smile:  Joy will come later

Sometimes when I am along in my room in the dark, 
 I practice smiling to myself.
I do this to be kind to myself, to take good care of myself, to love myself.

I know that if I cannot take care of myself, I cannot take care of anyone else."

"Being compassionate to yourself is a very important practice.  
When you are tired, angry or in despair,
you should know hoe to take care of your tiredness, your anger and your despair.

That is why we practice smiling, mindful walking, breathing and mindful eating."

To create smiling as a practice, I recommend incorporating this smiling practice into an already established habit.  Something you do everyday- rain or shine: washing your face, cooking dinner, exercising, driving, right before you go to sleep and when you wake up.  By connecting this new baby practice with a current habit you are using what is called a trigger habit.  When you connect a new habit with an existing habit it ups its chances of becoming a habit exponentially.

Just a FYI, there are days this practice comes easy and there are times it is a deep practice.                     Be kind, consistent and persistent - the benefits are huge!!

Happy travels,
                                         Life Coach and Speaker for home and health