Sunday, January 30, 2011

My First Award

I received my first blogging award!  I am extremely excited!  Thanks for the award goes to Doreen from the blog reflections.  I love her blog and her eye for photography.  I am honored that she thought of me for one of the recipients.

There are four steps to follow that come along with this award.

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Seven things about myself:
1. I am interested in mindfulness hence this blog.
2.  I love poetry which can be seen on my other blog.
3. I am engaged and getting married in June.
4. I have two cats: Magnum and Winston.
5. I live in South Jersey.
6. I love taking pictures.
7. I just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I am now reading The Good Earth.

Now, I must admit I cannot come up with fifteen blogs to share this award so I will have to just do five.

1.  This blog is also about mindfulness as well as meditation and spiritual growth.  Janice Lynne Lundy does this blog.  She includes book reviews as well as guided meditations.  It is well worth visiting!  Janice also does a course on spiritual growth.

2.  Cottage Garden Studios I like this blog because Sara who does this blog has a great energy in her writing and does some unique art work that I like.  She also does excellent photography.

3. I like this blogger because she does some excellent poetry.

4. writeplacewritechick This blog is by Jarielyn who lives in Las Vegas.  I find her blog to be fun.

5. Writing in Faith I love this blog. The blogger is Sandy Carlson. It is a combo photo and poetry blog.  The poems are uplifting and the photos are beautiful.  I always feel good after visiting this blog.

Well, I hope you like my recommendations!  If you check them out, I'd love to know what you think!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mindfulness: It's Not Just for Buddhists Anymore

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."  --Viktor Frankl

There is a rampant preconception that mindfulness is only a spiritual
tool. Due to this belief, many people who would benefit from
mindfulness reject it. Like many others, I do use mindfulness for
spiritual reasons; however, it does not have to be used that way. The
technique itself can benefit the most staunch of atheists. The act of
mindfulness is simply being in the moment with all of ones' senses
focused on where one is. It is a way of grounding oneself and becoming
centered. Benefits for those of us not interested in pursuing a
spiritual path include many things, but three major ones that I can
identify are:

1. Increased self awareness. When locating oneself in the moment, it
makes you more aware of yourself. This awareness is empowering and
like my favorite Viktor Frankl quote above, gives us the power to
change direction.

2. Greater self control. As I alluded to above, when we bring our
awareness to the moment, it helps us act with our authentic selves and
not act mindlessly in habitual ways. For example, when in the moment
and really paying attention to what you are doing, you may be more
likely to choose a piece of fruit for breakfast than a donut. Now, if
you are like me, you may grab the donut anyway sometimes, but
mindfulness will help you enjoy that donut much more fully than just
scarfing it down.  I talk about being more mindful about eating here:
3. The Several Physiological benefits. There are many benefits to
mindful meditation that research has supported. In fact, UCLA has a
mindfulness department (MARC) where you can read more about it, take
classes about mindfulness, and even have access to free mindfulness

I'd love to hear from others who have more ideas on the benefits!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why Not Today, This Second

Why wait to wake up?  Every second gives us an opportunity to start again, to start moving our lives in a new direction.  Even if it feels like an impossible task, even the minutest change can have a ripple effect.  Just think where you would be right now if you had started moving in the direction you want to go a month ago, a year ago, ten years ago?