How are you treating life these days?

Barbardos- June 2008

Greetings,

How are you treating life these days? Yes, that’s right. Instead of saying, “How are you doing? Or How’s life? I started asking people, “How are you treating life?” Hmmm…now that’s different right? It makes you think about what YOU are doing in your life. A dog is a dog. A cat is a cat. As human beings we have the power of choice. We often forget that we have the ability to fully engage in life or to simply live our lives on auto pilot. To truly LIVE Life is a choice. Making specific and conscious choices is what I call, “Living by Design.”

1999, I wrote my book, Why Struggle? Life is too short to wear tight shoes as a mini compendium of ideas, thoughts, philosophies and tips for helping me manage life’s unpredictable changes and to help me learn to Live by Design. Around that same time I started dabbling with meditation and relaxation techniques but I didn’t quite dedicate myself to the practice.

Being a student of life and growth, I decided I would give meditation a try, why not? Sitting and being still was very challenging at first- now, I don’t start my day without at least 600 seconds (10 minutes) of silence or meditation. A few months ago I released my meditation cd, Be Still: Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day  and I have been truly honored by the positive responses.

Daily we brush our teeth, shower and prepare ourselves to go out into the world. Meditation is mental hygiene. It is one way to prepare our mind for our day. Meditation provides mental clarity. Consistently meditating as little as 3 minutes a day ensures more focus, greater clarity and less stress. At work or in our careers we train ourselves about things we don’t know. Why not train your mind to manage your thoughts and emotions more effectively? Why not use this amazing tool to create what you want?

Do you have 600 seconds a day that you can devote to yourself? Don’t you deserve 10 minutes a day to be with yourself? In less than 10 minutes a day you can start making changes in your life that will impact every choice you make with more awareness and clarity.I’m offering several specials on my website, www.dontstress.net, for my book and cd.

ONLINE Special Pricing – available at www.dontstress.net.

Be Still CD – $15.00 (regular price- $16.95)
Be Still CD Special – 3 CD’S for $45.00
Be Still MP3 – Download Available immediately for only $13.00
Why Struggle? Book – 1 for $9.95
Why Struggle? Book Special – 3 for $25.00
Don’t Stress Special – 1 book + 1 CD – $24.95

Take a 5 minute break…Listen to a sample meditation from Be Still:Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day
Please take five minutes for yourself and be still, get clear so you can choose well. You can listen to a five minute sample from the CD several ways:

1. Click this link to listen through streaming: http://www.byoaudio.com/play/WdX5zMwx
2. View relaxing images and listen at You Tube. (be sure to leave a comment)
3. Visit my website, www.dontstress.net and listen to samples.

Please share this email with your friends, family, colleagues or organizations.  If you are interested in mini-workshops, group sessions or book clubs, email me at barbara@dontstress.net.

Remember to take the time to be still, get clear and choose well. Create a the day YOU want to live.

Is Multitasking Productive?

Do you believe that multitasking makes you more productive? I was thinking about this topic this morning as I walked my mother’s dog, Lacee while visiting in my hometown, Albany, GA.  Walking is a type of meditation that I enjoy practicing when I take the time. I usually walk strictly for exercise prior to a serious workout, so it was great to walk at a nice pace and enjoy nature.  Albany has beautiful trees, flowers and plants and the sounds of birds, crickets and nature always remind me of the joy of being alive and in the present moment.

Getting back on topic now. Multitasking provides the illusion of being more productive. Doing more than one thing at a time initially seems very productive until I really thought about what I was doing. Right now, I am typing this blog, listening to my mother and the tv is on in the background with the movie, Shopgirl playing. Oh, and I forgot, I just checked Google for thoughts on multitasking and found this blog, The Myth of Multitasking: How Doing it All Gets Nothing Done. Is that really productive?

Of course not, not really. However we convince ourselves that I can get some thing done or a few things done or maybe one thing done.One great sage, my mother, often says, “Focus, baby, don’t scatter your energy.” Great words from a wise woman.

Let me know your thoughts by clicking the comment button, I’d like to know what you have to say.

Be Still: Why Do That?

     Meditation-Om. The sound of the word can create images of monks sitting crossed legged chanting words you don’t understand.  Or maybe people in flowing robes espousing words of universal love.  Forget your preconceived ideas of what you may think meditation is and focus on the results of regular practice. Take a moment to imagine a day that starts out peaceful and clear and well executed. Silence is a way to add to your spiritual bank account. Peace of mind, clarity and focus are some of the results of regular meditation.

     Meditation is the process of letting go of the thoughts in your mind so you can release and recharge. Meditation for me is the process of going inside to reconnect with myself. It allows me to let go. I have become more clear and focused and that allows me to make better choices.When meditation was first suggested to me it didn’t make sense.  Being still?  Are you kidding? What could I learn from silence? I was a talker. Who would I talk to? I enjoyed thought provoking conversations.  I didn’t get it at all. My connection with my inner spirit was robably there but it was temporarily disconnected due to lack of funds.  At 30 I had not learned that the currency required for my spiritual bank account was in the form of being still. I was being proactive by seeking out information from sources like people, books and classes.  I was not interested at all in being still.  Stillness didn’t seem like a way to learn anything.

     In 1995 I started dabbling with meditation a few times a week.  I didn’t want to commit to the practice.  I was afraid to be still. I was afraid of what I might find out about myself. Quiet Barbara scared me. I started meditating very slowly and with hesitation. I was still not convinced I would really benefit from silence. It took several years before I decided to create a daily spiritual practice that included some form of meditation.  I used a guided cassette daily in the morning and learned to be still.  When I decided to embrace meditation as a natural process for growth and development I began to understand the power of silence. I saw myself grow like a newly watered flower.

     Now, I won’t leave my house without my meditation time. If I am running late, I will be 5 minutes later.  Meditation recharges my internal batteries. Every morning I sit on my sofa, I close my eyes and breathe in and out and I sit in complete silence. In the stillness I have a reverence and an appreciation for my life.  I give thanks to The Creator for all people and experiences I have had and the ones I will create.  In the five to ten minutes of complete silence I allow my thoughts to do what they will, sometimes they tell me what I need to do, sometimes not. I allow my meditation time to develop as it will.

     My daily meditation practice reminds me that I have a lot more to learn about myself and life.  I have learned that I need to be still to get clear so I can choose well. After meditating my spiritual bank account is full and I am ready to create the day I want. Be Still: Yes, I must do that.  

Click here for to listen to a sample meditation from my upcoming CD, Be Still: Learn to Meditate in 10 Minutes a Day.

Share your thoughts or meditation practice below in the comments.