Archive | October 2016

Mindfulness-Meditation-Affirmation🙏🏽

 

Image result for body scan meditation

 

My experiences fighting colon and breast cancer played a tremendous role in my consciousness. My self-awareness was heightened by coming face to face in a real way with mortality.

 

But the fact is, you don’t have to experience some tragedy or moment of truth to start living a mindful and conscious life. The purpose of this post and the current series – “Mindfulness and Meditation” by Dr. Richard J. Davidson is to provide a life opportunity to learn to appreciate the silence in meditation and the awareness it brings.

 

Image result for meditation quotes

 

My wish is to be a conduit for making it a practice to live in the here and now, not the past or the future. Realize that NOW is the only reality there is.

So, as I promised in my previous post, this lesson’s Meditation Technique is:

 

“The Body Scan”

A Sensory Experience of the Body. 

Image result for meditation quotes

This practice will focus on:

• The systematic review of regions of the body.

• Connect the mind to what we’re experiencing physically.

• Improve our Focus and Intention.

 

Guided Meditation

Led by Beverly Hays Center for HealthyMinds

University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Make yourself comfortable. Sit in a chair and allow your back to be straight, but not stiff, with your feet on the ground. You could also do this practice standing or if you prefer, you can lie down and have your head supported.

  • Your hands could be resting gently in your lap or at your side. Allow your eyes to close, or to remain open with a soft gaze.

  • Take several long, slow, deep breaths. Breathing in fully and exhaling slowly.

  • Begin to let go of noises around you. Begin to shift your attention from outside to inside yourself. If you are distracted by sounds in the room, simply notice this and bring your focus back to your breathing.

Image result for meditation quotes

  • Slowly bring your attention down to your feet. Begin observing sensations in your feet. You might want to wiggle your toes a little, feeling your toes against your socks or shoes. Just notice, without judgment.

  • Perhaps you don’t feel anything at all. That is fine, too. Just allow yourself to feel the sensation of not feeling anything.

  • Move your attention up to your ankles, calves, knees, and thighs.

  • Continue to observe the sensations you are experiencing throughout each region of your body. 

Image result for meditation quotes

  • Let your attention expand out to include the entire body as a whole. Bring into your awareness the top of your head down to the bottom of your toes. Feel the gentle rhythm of the breath as it moves through the body.

  • As you come to the end of this practice, take a full, deep breath, taking in all the energy. Exhale fully. And when you are ready, open your eyes and return your attention to the present moment.

 

Image result for meditation quotes

 

When we ground ourselves in meditation practice it benefits not just us but others as well. It reminds us to take the time to ask – “How am I feeling today?” What emotions am I aware of?

The practice of self-awareness in our physical body helps us better connect with our emotions. 

I love the idea of Meditation without judgment as a basic premise. Knowing that it’s okay to accept what is and move on. Understanding that loving oneself is paramount to loving others. We are all connected and when we reaffirm love for ourselves it can allow us to embrace and forgive others.

 

The Universe dictates that Love, Compassion, and Empathy are the essence of what our lives are meant to be. As John Lennon once wrote:

 

“I am the Walrus”

Image result for john lennon i am you as you are me quotes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cultivating Well-Being With Mindfulness Meditation🌞🙏

Mindfulness and Well-Being Techniques to build Compassion and Empathy

empathy

What’s Your Emotional Style?

Being diagnosed with both Colon and Breast Cancer at the same time heightened my self-awareness big time! It slapped me in the face and said, “girl, you better appreciate each precious moment you’re given because this fight is fluid as is life.”

I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone but facing your mortality can be seen as a blessing. It affords you a second chance to treasure your life, family, and friends, like never before.

 

Image result for livinginthemoment2015

 

Since then, I’ve made it a priority to cherish the time spent. Heck, I even named this blog, Livinginthemoment2015, marking my year of living with cancer and its impact.

However, you don’t have to wait for some tragedy or moment of truth to start living a mindful and conscious life. Take advantage of this post and the current series – “Mindfulness and Meditation” by Dr. Richard J. Davidson and use it as an opportunity to learn to appreciate the silence in meditation and the awareness it brings.

Image result for meditation

Make it a practice to live in the here and now, not the past or the future. Realize that NOW is the only reality there is.

 

Image result for meditation

 

“Certain meditation exercises have been proven to lower stress, anxiety, and depression. They have also been shown to change the self-awareness, attention, and resilience dimensions of emotional style.” Dr. Richard J. Davidson

The goals of Dr. Davidson’s meditation techniques are:

Image result for meditation

° To foster a routine of daily practice for cultivating well-being.

° Establish a simple meditation process taking a few minutes a day.

° Recognition that one size does not fit all.

° Making meditation work for you.

This lesson focuses on the technique of “Mindfulness Breathing Meditation”

 

 “If we can pay attention to our breathing, we can pay attention to almost anything.”

Guided Meditation

Led by Beverly Hays Center for HealthyMinds University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Sit comfortably, spine straight and strong but not rigid, body relaxed. Release any tension in your jaw, shoulders, neck or anywhere that you may have the habit of holding stress. 

  • Breathing through your nose, take a gentle but deep inhale. And as you release the exhale, allow your eyes to drift closed, or if you prefer, just lower and soften your gaze. Begin to turn your attention inward, taking a moment to notice your inner landscape, the state of your mind.

 

 

  • Are there emotions present? Are you sleepy or energized? Mind buzzing or calm? Without forming an opinion or passing judgment, just notice this.

  • Now, with a deep inhale, imagine that you are gathering in any mental residue from your day. Any problem or unfinished business that is tugging at your attention. And with a complete exhale, release it, and see it all drop away.

  • Notice your breath as you set your intention to be present for this meditation.

  • Letting the breath come to you, without attempting to change or control it. Just notice as it falls into a natural rhythm.

  • Breathe in, breathe out. When thoughts arise, which they will just notice them, and let them pass away.

  • Gently return your attention to breathing. Calming, centering, constant. There is only this moment, this breath; connecting mind and body.

  • When you’re ready, take a deep, intentional inhale, and with your exhale, release your attention to the breath, and open your eyes.

“As you move through your day, it may be helpful to remember that breath is always with you and can be used, in the moment, as a method to calm and focus your mind.”

 

Image result for breathing meditation

 

I use this Breathing Meditation to take myself out of my surroundings and re-focus on feeling centered and present. Taking a body scan* is also an effective way to gauge your emotions. Do I feel anxious, tension, pain? Being aware of your emotions helps with empathy and compassion. Often times we lash out at others when feeling anxiety or anger. Recognizing this internal state can allow us to halt the impulse and take a breath.

 

Image result for awareness

 

Why are we feeling this way? A lot of times our anger has nothing to do with the moment or the person on the receiving end. I know I’ve been guilty of holding onto anger until finally exploding over something that has nothing to do with the current situation.

* “The Body Scan Meditation”

Next time we’ll delve into this technique to garner a further understanding and awareness of self; using the silence of meditation to practice being in the moment and your present self.

 

1 Year Ago Today – Day 1 of My Chemotherapy Journey 🙏🏽💕

defying gravity changed

 

Today I celebrate being Cancer Free and look back at my first day of Chemotherapy. What a difference a year makes. The uncertainty of the road ahead but complete faith in God’s healing love. 

I still believe what I said a year ago that God loves me so much he placed this task before me to strengthen my faith and raise my consciousness to a higher level.

I can’t express enough my gratitude and thankfulness for all the love and support from my family and friends. Today I celebrate you and how you lifted me through prayer and faith, helping me in Defying Gravity.

 

My heart is so full. I love you all!

💖

I created this video on my 11th out of 12 chemo treatments as an expression of my feelings and experiences with fighting cancer. The song “Defying Gravity” from the Broadway play “Wicked” perfectly describes what I’ve taken away from my cancer journey. 

 

Shedding fears, my unwavering faith and belief that God is always with me and that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to is such a freeing and powerful realization I’ve been blessed to receive. 

 

defying gravity

My message and desire for everyone is to embrace your faith and shed your fear. We only get one life, let’s enjoy it!

 

 

 

Mindfulness Meditation – What’s Your Emotional Style?

 

Image result for meditation

Each of us has a unique emotional style. However, sometimes our style can hold us back and prevent us from leading the life we want. Good news is, we can reshape our styles to complement our desire for happiness and a life associated with it.

This post is the second installment in my new course of study, “What’s My Emotional Style?”, “Mindfulness and Meditation” by Dr. Richard J. Davidson.

meditation1

When asked in group discussion why I was taking this course I described my practicing meditation in my fight against colon and breast cancer. I believe using meditation as a method for focusing on faith and healing worked and I’ve discovered my Purpose is to share this information with others. I want to learn more tools to grow and promote a life of happiness and well-being.

 

whats-your-emotional-style-4

 

Dr. Richard J. Davidson is a Psychologist and Founder of The Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his lifelong focus of study have revolved around the neurological aspects of the brain in relation to our emotions and how to affect changes.

Ω

The goal for studying Mindfulness and Meditation is to achieve happiness and well-being in life. Well-being is a skill we can cultivate like exercise. You can’t run a Marathon without a training regime. Day after day practice is necessary to affect the outcome and results desired. Achieving happiness and well-being can be accomplished if we practice healthier habits of the mind.

 

Image result for wellness

 

This lesson on Mindfulness Meditation and Emotional Styles is about understanding the definitions and levels of each emotional range. Where do you fit on the scale? Too much, not enough, or just right. If you don’t like where you feel you fit, this awareness can help you work towards changing your brain and retraining it to make the adaptations you want.

Six Emotional Styles:

*Attention – Do you flit like a cat trying to catch a pointer light? Or are multiple tasks your forte’?

*Resilience – How quick do you bounce back from adversity? Can you take a hit and come back stronger, or does depression find you lying beside the road?

*Outlook – Do you savor the moment or is doom your best friend?

 

Image result for emotional range

 

*Social Intuition – When interacting, how well are you able to read another person’s non-verbal cues. Can you empathize and know when to speak or listen?

*Self-Awareness – What is your response to the emotional signals your body sends (my heart races when I’m angry) or are you even conscious of them?

*Sensitivity to Context – In group situations, how do you regulate your behavior? Are you having a few too many and pole dancing at your company banquet? Yikes! Or, are you afraid to speak or move in fear of embarrassing yourself?

emotional range of a teaspoon

Hermoine Granger and Ron Weasley – “Harry Potter”

Finding out where you place on each emotional spectrum can help you retrain your brain to achieve the level of awareness you desire. Watch out for levels of extreme on either end.

Image result for meditation

I’m learning a lot from the variety of people sharing how they use meditation to center their lives. The benefits of taking those moments to focus or clear their minds. There’s not just one set viewpoint or practical use. The point is to give it a try, you might find some answers.

Ω

  • Real Estate Agent Krista on Mindfulness Meditation – “Meditation helps to quiet your mind. In the car turn off the radio and observe who you are in the present moment.”

 

Image result for meditation

 

I’ve always believed that awareness is the key to happiness. Living a mindful and purposeful life. Next time we’ll learn some meditation techniques to further our emotional growth.

 

Image result for meditation

 

 

We Can Do This!✌🏼️💗

motivationquote5

 

It’s been a year since I started my fight against Colon and Breast Cancer and today I’m a Survivor! 

Let’s do what we can to win this war and find a cure for all cancers!

 

 Join the Fight to Find a Cure!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

image

For More Information:

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

motivationquote4

Let’s Do This! 

A Visit to Love💖

Image result for welcome home quotes

 

It always feels so good taking a trip back home. I am wrapped in love and kinship even before I pass under the Welcome to Michigan sign.

Image result for welcome to michigan sign

Living in North Carolina I don’t get to revel in nieces and nephews birthdays or a lazy Saturday afternoon get together. I miss those moments and while I was going through chemotherapy for colon and breast cancer, I vowed to return home more often. (Except Wintertime, too much snow and too much cold😄)

Part of my recent family weekend included hanging out with my bestie and her husband for the incredible brunch at the iconic restaurant The Gandy Dancer on the campus of my beloved University of Michigan.

Go Blue!

Image result for university of michigan

As I write this, I’m beaming reflecting on how blessed I am to have such a loving and supportive circle of family and friends in my life. God is truly amazing every day and I thank him for his never ending Grace and Favor.

 

grace-and-favor

Love you all!

 

 

What’s My Emotional Style?

 

whats-your-emotional-style-3

whats-your-emotional-style-4

My husband and I have been married for 38 years so we’ve literally grown up together. From teenagers to what some call “middle age” or “seniors” which I flat out reject because I still feel 25.

However, I digress. So, he was the first person I asked about my emotional style. He commented that I used to be more calm and gentle but my involvement in politics has brought on a more “aggressive” style. I thought, hmm, valid point. The madness is driving me mad.

 

Image result for emotions

 

One of the first remarks from the author of this course – “Mindfulness and Meditation” Dr. Richard J. Davidson was that “our emotional styles change as a result of the barrage of experiences and relationships we have.” Hmm again, wonder if my husband’s driving me crazy on occasion has anything to do with my “aggressive” style:) Love you honey😘

 

Image result for what's your emotional lifestyle richard davidson

 

Each of us has a unique emotional style. However, sometimes our style can hold us back and prevent us from leading the life we want. Good news is, we can reshape our styles to complement our desire for happiness and a life associated with it.

In my continuing quest for a deeper understand of myself and emotional health, I’m delving into the study of Mindfulness and Meditation.

 

Image result for mindfulness meditation

 

Dr. Richard J. Davidson is a Psychologist and Founder of The Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his lifelong focus of study have revolved around the neurological aspects of the brain in relation to our emotions and how to affect changes.

Ω

The goal for studying Mindfulness and Meditation is to achieve happiness and well-being in life. Well-being is a skill we can cultivate like exercise. You can’t run a Marathon without a training regime. Day after day practice is necessary to affect the outcome and results desired. Achieving happiness and well-being can be accomplished if we practice healthier habits of the mind.

 

Image result for richard davidson meditation

 

When asked in group discussion why I was taking this course I described my practicing meditation in my fight against colon and breast cancer. I believe using meditation as a method for focusing on faith and healing worked and I’ve discovered my Purpose is to share this information with others. I want to learn more tools to grow and promote a life of happiness and well-being.

 

Image result for meditation quotes

 

We Can Change the Dimensions of Emotional Style and Cultivate Compassion and Empathy.

Ω

Throughout the course, I will be learning techniques of meditation and lifestyle changes. I invite you to join me and ask yourself, what’s my emotional style and is it helping or hurting my desire for happiness and peace in my life?

 

Image result for meditation quotes