Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

Archive for the tag “health”

What Makes You Happy?

Do you know what makes you happy? What makes you really happy? What feeds your spirit and makes your heart sing? 

It seems like an easy enough question, doesn’t it? I think most of us think, at least on some level, that we know what we like… what makes us feel good… what makes us happy. But honestly, most of us are just not that good at truly figuring it out. We think we know, but we’re wrong. 

There are so many examples of this in our daily lives. We live in a constant state of more-is-better mentality… and it’s confusing the heck out of us. We’re under the impression that if we just get a little more of this, that or the other, then we’ll be happy. I’ll be happy when… I make more money… I lose some weight… I get a different job… I have more time.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”   ~Dalai Lama

So, how do we figure it out? What’s the secret, magic formula for happiness? Ha! If you watch TV, read magazines, listen to the radio or in any other way are exposed to advertising… then you know it is as simple as buying the next widget, gadget or gidget. Or is it? On some level, we all know it’s not. And yet, if you’re like me, you are continuously sucked in and often succumb to the message that we are just not good enough and won’t be happy unless we have the latest this, that or the other. Perhaps we don’t spend enough time really contemplating our happiness. If happiness is the purpose of our lives, it surely gets short shrift compared to the numerous hours, days and years we spend on less important tasks. So, what’s the first step?

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ~Rumi

I won’t pretend to have all the answers. To be perfectly honest, I struggle with this as much as anyone! I’ve bought my fair share, and then some, of self help books, audio programs and new age magazines in an effort to find that magic pill… experience transformation… be good enough… be happy! It’s a little ironic when you realize that you’re doing all this searching but you’ve never really thought very much about what you’re trying to find. Happiness is a somewhat vague concept that needs to be personally defined by each person.

I’ve heard that one good way to recognize your joy is to find activities that lead to losing track of time. When you get caught up in the activity and 2 hours feels like 2 minutes, then you know you’ve found something that makes you happy. But… a recent jaunt on FB has me questioning this concept just a bit. I’m not so sure spending hours online checking FB, pinterest, and playing words with friends is exactly my call to joy. But if I step back a bit, I can see that connecting with others and being social is joyful for me and makes me happy.

I’d like to propose a first step. Spend some time pondering and writing about happiness. Play with the statement “Happiness is…”

The next step, once you’ve gotten a bit clearer on what happiness is for you, is to notice your daily actions… how you spend your time. Ask yourself, as you move through the day, whether or not your actions are supporting your happiness. Now… I’m not saying that every single action in your day is going to be a joy-fest… but in some way, the actions and activities we engage in should align with our values… what’s important to us… and what makes us happy. Doing laundry, per se, is not necessarily joyful… but I can take a moment to be thankful for the clean, beautiful clothes that I possess. While I may not be elated with every detailed task I perform at my job, on a higher level, I believe in the mission of my company and know that my work contributes to the greater health and well-being of many people.

“When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.” ~Anne Lamott

So call forth your joy. Summon your giddiness. Explore what makes you happy with life… really, really happy… and spend time doing it. Pay attention to your daily activities and ask yourself if they align with your values… your true desires… your river of joy. (then tell me what it is so I can try it out myself!)

Love and light to you!  ~Rashel  

 

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Acceptance in Action

I often think about acceptance. I really believe this is a misunderstood concept. I know I’ve blogged about acceptance before… the importance of it… the value in it… how hard it can be to master! It came up for me again the other day. I was half-way through a yoga class and began to notice my own self judgment. In a room full of yogi’s in training and full length mirrors… ones mind does tend to wander toward comparison. How in the world is that girl getting her arm to go straight up right now? Am I the only one in the room using blocks today? Why is this still so challenging after years of yoga classes?

What came up for me is how natural it is to think that judgment and criticism will lead to change. Why else would we do it? If I honestly believed that all of the negative self chatter would keep me stuck… would I really continue it time after time? I think there is a part of us that believes if we truly accept… if we let go of self judgment and criticism… that we will sink into a state of laziness, carelessness or general malaise. And on this point, I think we’re wrong.

I took some time to practice acceptance right there in that yoga studio What would it feel like to honor my achy knee… my tight shoulders… my protruding belly? Could I allow myself to be fully present in that moment? Appreciating the act of showing up on the mat… despite being exhausted and sporting a to-do list a mile long. Could I invoke a paradigm shift in that moment… moving from a place of self denigration to self acceptance? And more importantly, if I did… what would it mean for my commitment to yoga… to exercising… to my general health?

You see, I think the issue with acceptance is that we think it’s not possible to both accept and act. I would like to argue that it is. I realized as I stood in that yoga class, hand on block, reaching ever so fervently toward the sky, that accepting my limitations in that moment did not make me want to quit. Actually, if anything, I felt free. Free to just be… to exist in that moment without shame or judgment.

It felt good. And while I’d like to say it transferred immediately and directly to all areas of my life… alas… it has proven to be akin to many other transformational experiences I’ve had… profound and difficult to consistently implement! But it has made me think twice about how we encourage change… in both ourselves and others. If acceptance and change can successfully go hand-in-hand… perhaps we can do away with judgment and criticism altogether, no? It might not come easy, but I believe it’s worth the effort to give it a try. For ourselves… and those we interact with every day!

Love and laughter to you!  ~Rashel

 

Shining Brightly

My behavior change process has been rolling along. I’ve been sticking to some of the changes… checking my to-do list in the morning, squats when I first sit down, and tapping when I turn on the shower, while some of the others have fallen away. I started with three changes and then two weeks later I added three more. I’m thinking that was too soon to add more habits. Or… maybe it wasn’t that I added more habits too quickly… maybe there were other issues with the habits I chose. The ones that have stuck are actually a combination of one from my first round and two from my second round. So maybe I need to spend more time comparing the ones that stuck vs. the ones that didn’t.

That said… there’s one thing about this behavior change business that’s been nagging at me. I keep asking myself, “Why am I doing this again?” I guess the notion is that making all of these changes is going to make me a better person… or happier… healthier, perhaps? Maybe I just haven’t stuck with it long enough. I mean, granted, trying to adopt six habits over the last month is hardly a true journey into the world of behavior change! Maybe you’re only supposed to choose habits that you think will make you a better, happier person?

I work in healthcare. The premise of health education is that if you would only change your behavior, you’d be happy and healthy. I teach providers how to work with patients to change their behavior. I’m bought in… hook, line and sinker. But lately… dare I say… I’ve been questioning things. Do you change the behavior… and then get happy? Or do you get happy… and then the behaviors change?

It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, isn’t it? If I was thinner, I’d be happier. If I was happier, I’d have more energy and be more active. Being more active would lend itself to being thinner. But I’m not thinner. I’m not more active. So, I try to implement behavior changes to make myself more active. But they tend to backfire. I don’t have the energy. I’m feeling down today and I don’t make it out of bed until 10am. It begs the question… how do I get happy now? Cause if I could get happy now… I’d have more energy. And the cycle continues!

There have been multiple times in my life where I’ve lost weight. Honestly, they were not the times that I was trying to lose weight! When I try to lose weight, it doesn’t usually work out so good. I get frustrated. I feel deprived. It aint pretty! When I think back to the times I’ve lost weight, I often question how it happened. I wasn’t even trying! Aha… maybe there’s something to that? It was just a particularly good time in my life… I was happy… and the healthy habits and weight loss just happened.

Maybe healthcare should really be all about self-acceptance and appreciation. Getting really happy about who you are… exactly as you are now. Recognizing that you are a beautiful, shining light in the world regardless of how much you weigh… how many friends you have… or how well you fit in. There is definitely a core part of me that knows without a doubt… this focus would change the world!

Until then my friends, I wish you love and light and encourage you to shine as brightly as you can!  ~Rashel

Who Am I?

Sometimes I feel like I have multiple people living in my body. One morning I wake up happy… smile on my face… caring and empathic… loving the world — and then there are the other days. One minute I’m happy and content… and the next I’m moody and irritable. Some days I eat healthy, drink lots of water, exercise, go to bed early… but often I don’t.

What gives? Why such variation and self-sabotage? I know that staying up until 2am watching TV is going to make me feel bad the next day… and yet – I continue to do it. Not every night… but consistently. And what about all the other things I do that I know aren’t good for me… aren’t healthy… won’t make me feel better in the long run… Why?

How many people out there consistently make good choices that support their overall health and well-being? Surely there must be a few? I feel like there might be some kind of link to spirituality… connecting your daily choices with your inner guidance. I’m just not sure where that inner guru goes sometimes. And it makes me wonder… do I get disconnected from the inner guidance and end up making bad choices… or do the bad choices disconnect me from the inner guidance?

What does it take to get clear and consistently make good choices? I’d be the first to tell you that I want to get clear. I like to set intentions, create vision boards and write out goals. But here’s the thing… I don’t feel clear. I feel a constant struggle to figure out what I want.  As I consider why I’m not getting clear… I have to ask myself the question, “what’s good about not being clear?” If you’re doing something… or not doing something… there’s always a reason. If there wasn’t some benefit (unconscious, made-up, or otherwise illogical as it may be), you wouldn’t do it.

Here’s what I realized. If I’m clear, then there’s no question what I want (I know… seems obvious… but stay with me here). If I know what I want, then I should say what I want. But what if I don’t want to say what I want? What if I can’t get what I want? What if it causes conflict if I say what I want? What if other people think I’m selfish for saying what I want? I really, really, really don’t like conflict. Now it starts to make more sense… I start to realize that there are a lot of reasons why getting clear isn’t happening so easily.

So maybe there are multiple personalities living within me. Maybe part of spiritual growth has to do with aligning the various parts of your soul? Uncovering the various hidden beliefs that drive our less-than-ideal choices and bringing them to light. I’d like to say that simply making these connections and having these realizations has allowed me to be able to say exactly what I want at all times. That’s what I’d like to say. Instead, what I can say is that I think it’s a start.

And for that I am grateful.  ~Rashel

Happiness

I’ve read and heard a lot of people talk about the fact that when you get down to it… what people really want… what truly matters… is being happy. You want money so you can feel safe… so you can be happy. You want friends so you don’t get lonely… so you can be happy. Certainly we place a lot of emphasis on being happy. And yet, there are a lot of ways that we sabotage our happiness. For one thing, we often look outside of ourselves for happiness… we depend on other people or external circumstances to lift our mood… make us smile or laugh. Often we don’t even take the time to understand what makes us happy. I had a really interesting epiphany when I went through ‘The Writer’s Way’ by Julia Cameron (13 weeks of daily writing pages and weekly fun dates). In this amazing guided spiritual journey, you are asked to schedule one thing for yourself each week that is completely fun and fulfilling (at least, this is my recollection – it’s been a while). I didn’t really know what I liked to do for fun. I was so caught up in what I needed to do every day that I hadn’t tapped into my enjoyment factor in a long time. Do you know what makes you happy? Ever since that experience, I’ve done a better job at paying attention to what I enjoy doing… not that I always get to it… but at least I know what “it” is!

In Marci Shimoff’s book, Happy For No Reason, we are invited to explore the possibility that we can be happy right in this minute… regardless of any external circumstances. Is that possible? Is it really just a matter of perspective? Seeing the glass half full instead of half empty? In the emergence material I’ve been working with, Derek Rydell gives an analogy that I find interesting. Imagine a time when you were really happy… something great has happened and you are just smack dab in the middle of it. Take a moment to experience it. Did you feel happy in that moment that you were imagining being happy? If you imagined well, you did. According to Rydell, this is basically proof positive that we do have the ability to make ourselves feel happy in any given moment. But of course, the larger question for me becomes – do you just walk around in an imaginary state, imagining yourself happy? What would that even look like?

I can imagine the water cooler conversations would shift dramatically! If you think about it, most of the time, for the majority of us, we walk around whining and complaining about our life circumstances. I’m going to suggest that in most cases, there are as many great things as negative things going on in our lives. (If you can’t think of any, circle back to some of the basics we take for granted like friends, family, etc.) If you step back, from a larger perspective, isn’t it just as much a lie to focus on only the negatives as it is to focus on just positives? And yet, I will admit for myself, it’s hard not to get caught up in what’s not working and what I’d like to have different. I certainly don’t think of myself as making things up and lying to myself just because I’m focusing on the “issues” in my life. Why is it so hard for me to turn my focus around on the positive?

I do believe that what you focus on, you get more of. In fact, I can easily see that the more I focus on what’s wrong, what’s not working, the issues in my life… the more I tend to notice what’s wrong, what’s not working and how very inconvenient those “issues” in my life are! I can even attest to this phenomenon in situations that are neutral… for example, after buying a Ford Edge – I went from not even realizing that this car existed to thinking that at least half the population in the bay area must have just realized what a great car this was… they were everywhere!  Obviously, they were already there… but once my focus was attuned to this car, I noticed. The challenging part is that when I try to focus on the positive things in my life, I don’t always feel like this phenomena sets in… sometimes it feels like the negative is just there… at the ready… waiting!  I guess my quest is not to understand why the negative is so easy to stick with… as much as it is to explore the possibility of changing that engrained habit of where to focus… and shifting to a positive state as much as possible. Perhaps the trick is to practice “being happy” as much as possible so you can start stringing those moments together into a happy life.

Let’s give it a shot, shall we? Love and laughter to you! ~Rashel

 

Simple… but not easy

 I heard the phrase, simple but not easy, quite a few years ago. I can’t remember exactly what the circumstances were at the time… but I can tell you that I’ve considered that phrase so many times since. For the last few years, I’ve been reading the blog Zen Habits by Leo Babauta. He also has a blog on minimalism, which is really interesting. In both cases, there are often times when I think about how much happier my life might be if I were to simplify. If I could learn to minimize… slow down… commit to less… enjoy more… breathe deeper, longer, and more consciously. These are very simple acts… and yet… somehow so elusive.

Upon further reflection, I realize that the elusiveness comes from the difficulty in implementation. Minimizing means throwing things away. Things I like. Things that might have sentimental value. Things I think I might need some day. Or, on the other hand, not buying things in the first place. Things I like. Things that are calling my name! Slowing down means not everything gets done. Committing less means letting people down. It means saying no, for crying out loud!

So, how do we make these simple acts easier to do? Well… I definitely can’t say I have this down! Lately I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed, cluttered and chaotic. I’ve recently been reminded of an approach to behavior change that rings true… slow but steady wins the race. Leo Babauta has a program he calls “Sea Change” where he leads participants through one dedicated change each month. You spend the entire month committed to gradually building up the habit of that one change. BJ Fogg, a behavior change researcher, contends that pairing a behavior change with an engrained habit can produce great results. You might try committing to 5 minutes of exercise every morning after brushing your teeth. Now, you might think 5 minutes is not enough time to really see the benefits of exercise. The argument is that committing to do it, using the teeth brushing as a trigger, and following through… even if it is only 5 minutes… is the best start you can make toward change. Eventually, maybe even right away, you will exercise for more than 5 minutes. But for now, it is the art of commitment and follow through that you are branding into your conscious habit.

Given my current state of overwhelm, I’m not going to attempt anything so lofty as exercise… 5 minutes or not! I’ve decided that breathing deeper, longer and more consciously is a beautiful act that I would like to practice more. I’ve already been trying to do it more lately and it feels good. It offers a taste of joy. My plan is to use the tactic above to make it easier. Every morning when I first get into the shower, I’m going to take a long deep breath. If the moment strikes me, I may take two. But the committment is one long, deep, conscious breath. Stepping into the shower is the habitual act that is already in place, that I do every morning. Maybe I’ll put a sticky note on the shower door to help me remember.

Now, before I finish, I’ll let you in on a little secret. In all honesty, this committment seems small. It seems almost irrelevant. It seems to dwindle in comparison to the big goals of losing weight, exercising more, committing to less, slowing down… and the list goes on. But here’s the interesting part… I get really overwhelmed when I think about those lofty goals. Here’s what I know about taking one deep breath when I step into the shower tomorrow… I can do it! And I think that’s part of the equation we’re looking for… a very high confidence level that I can make this happen. SO… I’m committing to one very small act… and I invite you to do the same. Be sure to let me know how it goes.

Love and laughter to you!  ~Rashel

Breathe in…

and breathe out.

What is it about focusing on the breath that is so calming? Is it just that our mind slows down for a minute? Maybe it’s the fact that we’re tuning in to our physical body. I’m not sure what it is about mindful breathing that relaxes me, but I’ll tell you this… I’ve been very thankful for it this past week. I think I read somewhere that it’s actually really good for our bodies when we breathe oxygen in and out of our diaphragm. Have you ever tried breathing from your diaphragm for any length of time? I have, and I’ll tell you that it’s not easy! Apparently, we’ve become lazy with our breathing and we mostly breathe in and out of our chest… so when you do go in for the deeper breath, it kinda wears you out! I think it’s just another thing that we feel the need to speed through these days… who has time for a whole breath? That is just a luxury… I can breathe in half that time, my friend!

Just a few minutes ago, I was given an opportunity to practice this deep breathing that I speak of. I wrote an entire blog post… maybe it was a little bit more of a rant, if truth be told, which apparently was not meant to be shared this evening. I walked away from the computer to check on my daughter and when I came back, the computer was dark. I assumed it had gone into sleep mode, so I pressed a key and waited. Then I waited a bit longer. Then I realized the computer had shut down. Fun!

I restarted the computer and restored my internet explorer session… one can always hope, right?! For obvious reasons (which, by the way, I don’t know what they are… but it seems like maybe they are obvious to someone… or the universe… or something?), the blog post had not saved and I couldn’t seem to find a previously saved version, either.

I took a deep breath. And then I took another. I decided to write about the practice that has helped me cope this last week and that I’m thankful for whenever I remember to use it. It’s free. It’s easy. It takes no gadgets or gizmos to implement. And while it’s possible that not everyone finds deep breathing helpful… I do think that for many, like me, it’s more a matter of remembering to do it than wondering if it’s actually helping. There was a point when meditation became easier for me… when I realized that what it actually entailed was becoming aware of your breath. I can do that! And so can you.

So, breathe deep everybody! Love and laughter to you all.  ~Rashel

Love, Laughter and Tears…

I was planning to blog about my intentions for 2013. I was planning to share my three words for the year. I was definitely going to say Happy New Year and start my blog for this year, having taken some much-needed time off from work and hobbies, with all my ideas of the amazing year that lies ahead. Then I got a phone call…

My best friend’s husband died. He was 39 years old. They have two kids under the age of 8. Her entire life just got knocked upside down. Where do plans and intentions fit in a world that is so unpredictable and chaotic? It’s true that we will never know our exact path… but does that mean we shouldn’t plan and intend? Is the process of planning still important, even if life throws you a curveball, or in this case drops a bomb on your head, and changes everything? Part of me is wondering if we have any control at all… (reminds me of a saying “You want to know how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans!”), and the other part is insisting that we do and demanding that I step up, be courageous and leave a legacy.

It might be too soon to have realizations, but something struck me last night when I was talking to my friend. She was describing the juxtaposition of the unbearable pain, grief and disbelief she’s holding in her heart… with the gratitude of love and support that is flowing from every nook and cranny, from family, friends and strangers, to hold her up in this difficult time. There’s a part of me… the small, little part that isn’t totally pissed off that life could be so cruel… that realizes this outpouring of love IS what life is all about. People move through grief, tragedy and all sorts of terrible situations and inevitably they come out on the other side. I’m not sure people would make it through if it weren’t for the love.

There is so much pain in my heart when I think of my friend and her children. When life delivers such a leveling blow… how in the world do you recover? There are so few answers… and so many questions. I won’t pretend to have advice. I will listen. I will provide a shoulder. I will love. I will make my friend laugh as much as I can… for I believe laughter to be an amazing healer. And though I have questions myself, through all of this, I will hold tightly to the belief that there are greater reasons beyond our ability to understand. That there is love. That it will be enough to get us through.

This Saturday I’m going to an Intentions Event. I will sit in a room with 50 or so other amazing women and chart my plan for the next year. I will think big dreams and set my intentions. The part of me that feels compelled to step up, be courageous and ‘leave a legacy’ will win. And for this, I am thankful. Pay attention to the love… the love that can be spoken… the love that can be acted upon… the love in your heart that you give to yourself and to others… that is what truly gets us through each day.

With love, laughter and tears   ~Rashel

A way to contribute

Acceptance

My main area of focus at work (healthcare) is behavior change. How do we help people get motivated to make healthy changes in their lives… eat healthier, exercise, quit smoking? I’d been thinking a lot about this notion of getting people to “do the right thing.” I mean, there is a lot of evidence that eating nutritious foods and exercising keeps you healthy. I’m not exactly sure where this rant (see below) came from or how acceptance fits into the whole healthy decision-making process, but the other day I sat down and the following words just leapt out on the page… feel free to add your two cents!

What if we stopped trying to change people? What if we asked them how much fun they’re having each day? What if we
focused on all the great things they manage to do in a day and that they woke up this morning and made it to the point of connecting with us? What if we just said… OK… and stopped fighting, pushing and screaming, into change? What if we started from a place of acceptance?

What would that look like? Every patient gets asked how much fun they’ve had this week? Every patient gets complimented on their lives…
whatever they’re doing right. We don’t talk about healthy eating, exercise or tobacco cessation… we talk about play, and fun, and feeling good. We ask people what it would take for them to be happy. to take good care of themselves. We ask them how they’re taking care of themselves now. We stop doling out drugs for every known symptom and start having a true conversation about the power of
positivity and self-empowerment. We stop judging our patients and start connecting with them as real people. People with busy lives. People with fears and concerns… families and churches… loved ones and careers. We treat them as vibrant, healthy people who’ve lost connection with their inner source of vitality and joy. We hold their hand as they quiet their mind and reconnect with their body.

Stop trying to change me. Honor, accept and acknowledge that I am perfectly wonderful exactly as I am.

Love and laughter to you!  ~Rashel

Meditation According to Me…

I wouldn’t exactly say that I am an expert on meditation… just that I’ve dabbled. I’ve taken some meditation classes and read some books and lots of articles. I have also practiced meditating. But… to say that I am an expert… well… how do you know, really? I can’t cite the history and evolution of meditation… which seems to be a sure sign of expertise. I can, however, tell you what I think about this interesting practice from my own perspective, which is what I’d like to do now.

When I was first introduced to meditation, it was for stress relief. Unfortunately, the act of trying to meditate can actually be stressful. At least, it is when you think there’s a “right” way to do it. The thing I’ve learned over time is that I can set myself up for a successful meditation ’til I’m blue in the face, and sometimes I will drop right into a state of peace and other times it will elude me completely – even if things are seemingly the same on the outside. I’ve come to realize that, at least for me, part of the process is the discipline of attempting to quiet my mind, regardless of how quiet it actually gets or how well it goes. When I took a 7-week mindfulness meditation class, the consistency of attending class weekly and the daily commitment to practice for at least 30 minutes had a huge effect on my mental, emotional and physical self. The regularity of the practice, regardless of how “effective” or “correctly” I did each individual session, had a profound impact.

Here is what I think to be the key to meditation… showing up. We run on autopilot every single day. We are constantly thinking of what has passed and what is to come… and rarely spend much time in this moment. When we attempt to quiet our minds, what we find is that this small task is almost impossible… at first. We sit down and get quiet… and then our monkey mind goes wild! “Is this right?” “Am I supposed to feel something?” “How do I know if it’s working?” “How long has it been?” “How will I know when it’s over?” Has it been enough time?” … and that’s just the first 30 seconds of the practice!

I was reading a book by Marshall Goldsmith where he talks about active listening. He gives an exercise to help you build your active listening capability… but I actually think this is a great exercise in mindfulness. Close your eyes and count to 50 with one simple goal – don’t let another thought intrude into your mind. Concentrate on maintaining the count. Marshall goes on to explain, “This may sound like a concentration test, but it’s really a listening exercise. After all, if you can’t listen to yourself (someone you presumably like and respect) as you count to fifty, how will you ever be able to listen to another person?” I LOVE that! The 50 count exercise, as well as the attempt at meditation for beginners, shows us how distracting is our own internal chatter. So, if you want to try this yourself, close your eyes and start counting to 50. If a thought enters your mind, simply take note that a thought has entered… turn your attention back to your breath… and begin again.

So, this begs the question, am I actually meditating or am I just noticing the copious amounts of internal chatter? YES! I believe that noticing the internal chatter… and more to the point… recognizing that at our essence, we are not the internal chatter, but rather, we are the one who notices the internal chatter, is at the heart of meditation. Meditation is a noticing of the mental mind by the soul. As we begin to show up regularly, and we take the time to separate from the internal chatter… to notice and release… notice and release… we will begin to gain more moments of quiet. And if we can take it one step further… we begin to appreciate that all the internal chatter that fills our auto-pilot world, most moments of every single day, is just thought… thought made up mostly of unconscious beliefs that run like a broken record in our minds. We can begin to separate from those thoughts and start to appreciate the potential recognition of self as separate from thoughts.

But I’m getting ahead of myself… the first step is to simply set aside some time to be still… to be quiet… to notice your thoughts and to recognize that you are separate from your thoughts… you are the one who notices your thoughts. Let go of judgement… release all expectations of what meditation is or looks like… open to the possibility that becoming a better listener of yourself can be good for both you and the world! Let me know what you think!!

Love and laughter to you!  ~Rashel

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