It has been a little over three years ago that our Wellness Group met Dr. Steven Wengel and Maureen O’Donnell at an information session on Stress Management. They both helped me to begin my meditation practice and I would not have achieved my current level of calm without their help.
In the beginning I struggled to clear my mind for five minutes. My brain was like dropped pie central, but I didn’t give up. I kept trying and experimenting until I found what worked for me. I found the meditation app Calm and the Podcast My Meditation Station. I devoured all of the guided sessions and quickly found my favorites and finally fell into a daily meditation practice.
I chuckle every time I write the word meditation because I used to suffer from the stereo typical thinking that seems to be married to the act of meditation. You know what I’m talking about, I can see the corners of your mouth turning up…I used to think meditation was something only Hippies and New Agers did to take a journey while sharing cannabis—and I do hugs not drugs.
I am a curious person by nature and through further investigation on meditation. I found a meditation practice called The Work by Byron Katie. It’s called “The Work” for a reason. Katie invites you to write a “Judge Your Neighbor” work sheet whenever you have a grievance or feeling that is troubling you. She asks you to question your own thoughts. By meditating through a series of questions and turn-a-rounds your stress will soon leave you. Katie’s meditation practice teaches you to live in the moment. You begin to recognize your thoughts are fiction—and fiction is not true. Once you understand this about yourself you will be present and at peace.
Suffering is optional and only lives in our past thoughts and the anticipation of future anxiety. When you imagine the future— is it true?
What we imagine is false and when we learn imagination is always false, it opens us up to reality and reality is kind. (Take a deep breath and just sit in the present moment—not believing your thoughts…. “Aren’t you okay—right now in this moment?”
Reality is kind and the universe is friendly. Life can be tranquil…our egos make it noisy. Open your mind, open your heart, slow down, and allow yourself to discover a more blissful you.
For more information on The Work visit www.thework.com where everything is always free. To download a judge your neighbor worksheet click here.
Here is a clip with Byron Katie to get you started. I look forward to hearing your feedback.
Video Copyright – Byron Katie International
Harvard Health Publications – Published this Article and it is full of great tips to begin your practice or recharge your current practice. It offers more great apps for your guided pleasure.
Photo Credit: Created and presented by Harvard Health Publications
I invite you to wake-down. Waking down is a term used by Bill Epperly, PhD and he has a great website devoted to the practice of mindful meditation.
Guide yourself into a restful meditation with one of his methods or try them all. Continuing to practice is key. You may feel it isn’t helping, but you will reach you Ah-HA moment.
Until next time, live well and do stuff!
Are you struggling with your Mindfulness Practice?
If so I found a great little app simply called: Calm
Calm is available for iPhones or Androids. Or you can visit the Calm website for more resources. There are programs to get you started, timer options, and tranquil scenes to choose from.
Set a daily intention.
Until next time live well and do stuff,
Some selected resources if you want to learn more about the practice of mindfulness.
www.relaxationresponse.org : Dr Herbert Benson’s web site which includes a link to instructions for eliciting the Relaxation Response.
https://www.fammed.wisc.edu/mindfulness/resources : University of Wisconsin’s Family Medicine web site which has a wealth of resources on mindfulness, especially geared for health care workers.
http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/medstaffwellbeing : University of California Davis physician well-being committee web site.
http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/index.aspx : University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness In Medicine, Health Care, and Society web site.
http://marc.ucla.edu/default.cfm?id=1: UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. Free online mindfulness audios.
http://www.brainsync.com/atozlist#oid=1374_1: Kelly Howell. Free downloadable audios
http://www.healthjourneys.com/: CDs From Expert Belleruth Naparstek. Improve Your Health & Well-Being.
“The Mindful Way Through Anxiety” by Susan Orsillo and Lizabeth Roemer. Detailed book by two psychologists on adopting a mindful approach to everyday stress and anxiety. Has many helpful exercises.
“The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook” by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Eshelman, and Matthew McKay. Full of practical strategies for stress reduction.
“The Relaxation Response” by Benson. Originally published in 1975, by Harvard cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson, this remains one of the best resources for leaning a simple and very effective meditation/relaxation technique.
“Relaxation for Dummies” by Shamash Alidina
“Stress Management for Dummies” by Allen Elkin