Daily Practices: Train your Brain

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Daily Practices: Train your Brain 

Dr. Richard J. Davidson, William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, and Founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison says science confirms that “A wandering mind is an unhappy mind.”

I believe it is important to “train your brain, be kind to your mind and pay attention to what you think about and how you feel.” Having practices around my brain/mind is comforting. It helps me to have a focus for my mind so I say my morning affirmations. Affirmations are statements that are aimed to affect the conscious and the subconscious mind.  We have between 60,000-80,000 thoughts during the day, so why not focus specifically on what I would like to show up in my life?

Most mornings I start my day with a walk with my Yorki Poo, Lacee. During my walk I am enjoying the sights and listening to nature. I also say my affirmations aloud.  I’ve usually had few minutes (10 or less) in meditation before I start my walk. If I have any questions I want to have my subconscious work on, I think about those questions before I meditate and walk.

Here are some affirmations I say aloud as I’m walking the dog.

Morning affirmations

  • I am calm. I am  safe. I am secure. All is well. I am grounded in life.
  • Today I take time to laugh more and not take myself so seriously.
  • Unexpected income finds me from places I could never recognize. I am grateful.
  • I trust my person guidance system (PGS) and I am always moving in the best direction for me at all times.
  • I love myself at all ages and stages of life. I am divine.
  • I forgive myself. I forgive others. I love myself. I know that forgiveness a key to living a fulfilling life.
  • Today, I stop to breathe and connect with the present moment.
  • Perfect health is my divine birthright. I eat foods that nourish my body by  instinct.
  • I allow myself the time to stop for myself to breath.
  • People love me and want to help me.
  • Things are always working out for me.
  • I have strength, stamina, endurance and flexibility. I trust that the right people and resources present themselves to me and I recognize them immediately. I take time during my day to be stil andget clear so I can make the best decisions.  I believe that no matter how  things appear, things are always working out for my highest and greatest  good.

Affirmations may be spoken, written and thought silently. I also practice using my affirmations during the day. Whenever I’m about to interact with people I like to use the affirmation I heard Louise Hay say, “People love me and always want to help me.” I really find that helps lay a great foundation for conversations with people.

I’d enjoy hearing any affirmations, confirmations, or thoughts on how you train your brain.

 

The Power of the Present Moment

Practicing being present

 

The Power of the Present Moment

In March this year I completed a four week long Mindfulness Based Stress Resilience class that also included a day long silent retreat. Prior to taking the class I had an issue with my back and right knee that definitely made me “mindful” about how I was able to move, the pain was a constant reminder. Pain can be a gentle or strong reminder of how we are living our life. I struggled for several days and finally I was in so much pain that I had to take a few days off from work. The decision to take a few days off of work was big for me, I don’t remember the last time I have taken time off due to illness.

I also missed the second class due to the extreme pain.  In the bed on my back with my ice pack I was definitely finely tuned in with each present moment. I practiced breathing and meditating a lot over those days. Being forced to “be still” made me even more present once I was able to move more fluidly a few days later. I gingerly walked the dog and took my time getting in the car. I was forced to practice mindfulness in a way you can only experience when in pain.

It was a valuable lesson. I am proud of myself for taking care of me and listening to what my body was saying. Stop. Slow down. Take care of yourself. I am slowing down more, taking my time and savoring more of the day to day experiences like walking the dog and taking in the sights and sounds. Life’s simple pleasures like watching a child discover something new, feeling the sun on your face or hearing a wind chime are a few ways to connect with the power of the present moment.

My back and knee are much better. I am so grateful for the blessing of moving better and being in less pain. When I find myself walking very fast, I take a breath and remind myself to slow down and be more present by taking in all my senses. I remember how an older person walks, very deliberately and that helps me to moderate my pace.

The present moment is called so because it is a gift. I’d love to hear how you have learned to be more present. Share your thoughts below and share with others.

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.