Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Archive for July, 2016

What is your Word?

In this busy, busy world we often try to do more, faster and better and can get to a point of physical, mental or emotional exhaustion. We know there is more to life and long for something that will bring greater peace and enjoyment. I have often talked about the practice of Mindfulness in which slowing down, even momentarily and taking a few deep breaths and exhaling slowly to regain a sense of greater calm really works. It may sound deceptively simple but it truly works. 
Could it be that since we are inundated with a million and one self help books that we don’t have time to read that we just give up and continue to accept that life will never be any different than it is today? Well, let me make it easier for you.
In addition to the practice of Mindfulness how about adding one simple idea. A word… not a goal, affirmation, lengthy intention but simply just one word that is something you desire more of in your life? Words such as balance, trust, love, acceptance, gratitude, health, excitement, generosity and opportunity (the list goes on and on) are but a few words that can make a big difference to your overall well being. The easy thing about this is that you don’t even have to perseverate on which word you want to choose. Simply put the idea in your brain about selecting a word and let it just roll around in your thoughts for a few days. The absolute perfect word just for you will pop into your conscious thought and you will say….yes, that’s it! That’s what I want more of in my life. Once you decide on a word and you take that momentary deep breath to relax or calm down a bit let your special word come into your awareness. When you are driving, cooking, or working and you mind momentarily wanders think of your word. Keep that special word with you for 6 months even a year and just let it remind you and the Universe of what you most desire.
You may be thinking that it sounds to easy to be true. Well it does…but it isn’t! Until you try it you won’t know how powerful this approach can be. Try it for a week or two and just experience the difference. You will find that among all the noise and distractions of life the word you have chosen will bring you back to your true north.
Greater peace and contentment in life is actually not as hard to obtain as we may think. In our fast-paced world of today we need simplicity not complexity when we are trying to improve our lives and focus and calm our minds. Give yourself the gift of simplicity by breathing deeply and thinking of your special word. This approach is a gift you are giving yourself that will simply and easily keep on giving back to you effortlessly.
Try it – you’ll be so glad you did!
Have a great few days!

Just Breathe!

When you woke up this morning what is the first thing you thought about? Let me guess, were your thoughts racing as you reviewed all the things you wanted to accomplish? You may have even noticed that before you could even engage in one thought another one popped into your mind and interrupted the flow of the first one! Many people are so busy thinking, thinking, thinking and trying to see how much they can get done or checked off their list that they forget to feel and appreciate the simplest of moments and the beauty of the journey.
Think about it another way – this is July 9th, 2016 and there will never be another July 9th 2016 in your entire lifetime. Once it’s gone it’s gone. When you think about it that way it makes this moment, this day even more significant. When you go to sleep tonight will you reflect on the positive things that happened today or will you start perseverating on the million and one things facing you tomorrow and start building up stress in your muscles? If so, you may even need something to help you get to sleep as quickly as possible so that you can jump up and start all over again tomorrow. Is that really what life is all about? Is that how you truly want to live?
How would you choose to be remembered – as a person who couldn’t slow down or a person who brought their whole self to the experience? The first example is of a person who radiates stress and accommodates rather than appreciates others and believe me people know it. The second is a person who brings a calm, positive, productive energy to what they are doing. We want to be around them because we feel more valued in their presence.
The amazing thing is that we get just as much done when we take a deep breathe and ease into the day. In fact, our days go even smoother. We don’t misplace our keys, spill our coffee or run late to our first appointment because we have taught ourselves to breathe deeply, focus on one thing at a time and move in a more deliberate fashion. Each task and each moment, regardless of how mundane, offers a deeper significance to us. There is an art to becoming fully engaged in living. It is not something we are taught in school or even at home but we can learn it over time and it’s so worth the effort.
If you’re catching a plane there’s no time to loose. I get it. But for most things in our daily life it is not that critical if we choose to take two or three more minutes to engage our full attention to what we are doing yet it reaps great rewards to our emotional well being. You may be thinking – yes but this task is so redundant – I’ve done it so often that I can do it with my eyes closed. Maybe true, but do you really want to go through life with your eyes closed? Life can be as stressful as we choose it to be. Does it really, really make a difference if something takes a bit longer to accomplish if you gain a deeper appreciation along the way?
In mindfulness training we are first taught to listen to our bodies. When we are moving or thinking at warp speed it results in stress in some part of our body. Listen to your body it will tell you when you are pushing too hard and forgetting to focus on the moment. It’s kind of amazing that when we don’t recognize our emotions our bodies kick in to help us ‘feel’ the message that is intended.
Just breathe in deeply, hold it for a few seconds and exhale slowly. Try to do this a few times each day as a beginning practice and especially when you are feeling overwhelmed or super stressed. Today is meant to be part of a life journey not a fast trip to your local 7-11 Quick Stop!
Have a great few days!