How to enjoy life

The Power of Breath

Have you ever noticed how powerful the force of water in nature is? Your breath is similar. Now visualize a large body of water. Sometimes that water is choppy with whitecaps. Sometimes that very same water is flat and still. The water moves with the wind. When we are stressed or angry, our breath tends to be rapid and shallow and the body, as a result, becomes taxed. When we are calm, our breath is naturally slow, steady and deep. But you have the power to instantly use your breath to turn your stress or anxiety into calm.  The key is awareness! Try the following meditation. 

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Now, close your eyes for a moment. With your eyes closed, breathe in deeply through your nose and out deeply through your nose. Put your awareness into your breath as you allow the other busy thoughts in the mind to fade away. Acknowledge any thoughts that pop up, but save them for later, they can wait. Simply listen to the sound of the waves in each breath going into shore, and back out to sea. Breathe in, breathe out.  Feel your breath slow and listen as it quiets. 

 Now, with your eyes still closed, visualize that body of water. As your breath calms and quiets, that body of water will begin to still. The body of water represents your soul conciousness. Once the chaos of the external world subsides, your natural state arises like the surface of beautifully calm and crystal clear water. Small ripples represent the effects of others upon us and us upon others. But underneath is where the depth occurs. Your true authentic self is deep below the surface. It is in this calm where the breath is slow and steady, and that the body and mind can truly become one and work to be their best. Your natural state is one of calm and joy. Your natural state is divine love. It is here in this silence that the answers you seek will come. There is in essence no need to worry. Just let go. Just be.  Just breathe. 

 Breathe in, breathe out, release and let go... 

Breathe in peace, breathe out chaos.

Breathe in acceptance, breathe out judgement.

Breathe in divine love, breathe out divine love.

 You are enough. You are all you need. In times of chaos, turn to your breath. Take just a moment, listen to those waves and let that calm you. It is proven to lower your heart rate. It works and it is in your power all the time! Have an incredible start to this week!  

 

Clarity

Clarity

Happy Monday, 

Libby

How to Reduce Stress and Live a Better Life

Summer fun for kids

We live in a world that is overly glorified by busy schedules and chaos. Even our children’s days are packed with scheduled activities and we need a daily planner just to know which child needs to be where and when. This leaves very little time for rest and pure relaxation, let alone creativity. 

In my humble opinion, and please feel free to share yours (this is an open conversation), WE are out of control as a society. It seems people schedule themselves months out for meetings and social events almost as if it's a status indicator.  What happened to the laid back dog days of summer? The sipping of tea or lemonade on the porch and watching the kids play in the yard? Yes, now we are spending more time on our phones while driving carpools here and there.  Very little time is spent spontaneously enjoying the little things. 

Stress is killing us. It is literally a contributing factor in so many diseases, including obesity and lupus, which costs our society billions of dollars in medical bills and countless hours of non productivity, which in turn feeds back into our never ending cycle of stress. So the lesson is that we need to S-L-O-W down as parents and allow our children to do the same. We are in control of a lot of the stress and we need to take responsibility. 

You will not find my kids in more than one sport per season. You will not find me scheduling social events months in advance. I am simple. I like it best that way. I have learned that I LOVE a social life, but to take things as they come and not to take on more than I can handle. I have learned that it is OK to say no occasionally and that people will still accept me and invite me another time. I have learned that my children LOVE time outdoors that is unstructured and that these are years to be treasured. I have also learned that meditation and yoga help ease stress when schedules cannot be modified.  Just a few minutes a day dedicated to yourself will help tremendously whether in a group class or on your own at home. 

So, give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy each day.  It is a journey, not a race! Ask yourself what is really important in order to find "the balance" that works for you and for your kids. Stay true to who you are. Wishing you all a stress free day!

Peace, Peace, Peace,

Libby McAvoy