Posts Tagged “mindful”

Top 5 New Year Resolutions You Can Make

NEW-YEAR-2016

It is 9.30pm on January 1st as I write this and I am well aware it is a little improper for me to be wishing you a happy new year but nevertheless I do.

I love the energy of a new year’s day. It is so full of hope and wishes, new intentions and resolve for us to be bigger, better, brighter than we were the year before.

Yes most times we break those new year resolutions but for the most part, we are an optimistic species because new year resolutions are still a “thing” despite many seeing it as a fad, it has withheld the test of time.

There are a couple of things I do at the end of one year and the beginning of the next and you know, I never change it or question it because every year has been a good year, with lots of growth and understanding so in my mind, why fix it when it’s not broken?

Let’s see, the week leading up to New Year’s day, I tend to keep the house in order and clean up or throw out things no longer of use. The day of New Year’s Eve, I make sure all the laundry is done and the trash is taken out. This is telling of my Guyanese background as it was considered tradition to enter the new year with a clean home.

Another cultural observation of New Year’s Day is to make black eye peas and leave it on the stove. Most of my family and friends make cook up rice which include black eye peas in the recipe but I prefer to just cook up some black eye peas on the stove and leave it out. The understanding is that black eye peas invite prosperity and abundance to your home, so you should meet the new year with some on your stove. Hey! This is the stuff old wives tales are made of, so somewhere along the line, it must have worked and hence carried forward generation after generation!

Another New Year’s tradition for me is to make a vision board. I LOVE doing this because I always go into it with my expectations of what I want and by the time I am done, Spirit has another plan for me. I love my board for 2016 because it involves a lot more introspection, meditation and introverted behavior, which is my nature (I know, I know I can be the life of the party but deep down, I really am an introvert). I also inspired Rob to do one of his own and he is excited to see what Spirit has in store for him (big hint-we match up perfectly in love and in life).

I have also completed my annual reading where I pull 14 cards to tell the energy and events of each month (if you would like me to do yours, click here for more info). It is such an affirmation when your reading lines up with your vision board which lines up with your energy. It is all coming together and I am excited to see it play out this year!

Finally I make a resolutions list. Yes I do! I know many people are against making new year resolutions but I will leave them with this thought. How do you approach a project? Do you go into it letting the chips fall where they may or do you have an outline or plan of action? Of course having a plan makes you accomplish that project quickly and with the best results. If you have a plan to become a millionaire in this lifetime, will you wait to win the lottery or will you go about saving a little each year and investing your money to make it happen? I rest my case.

If you have goals and dreams to accomplish, don’t wait! Start on them now and make your resolutions to either accomplish them this year or at least make some headway. For example, I plan to publish my second book, “Love Redefined” and it has twelve chapters. I plan to write a chapter a month and finish it by December to promote and publish next year. Challenge accepted.

I will admit I do not accomplish all my goals (I am Capricorn-a high achiever if you ever knew one!) but I do get a lot of satisfaction with the ones I do accomplish because it shows me, physical proof that I did something with my life and the year was not wasted. How many times have you heard people say the time flew by and they don’t know what they did with their year? Not me! I can tell you with a straight face I have accomplished a 10 day fast with no foods, global volunteered in Brazil, read 12 books and grew my business exponentially in 2015. I lived!

So if you are serious about your goals and want to start with new year resolutions good for you! You are on the right track and I can help with some tips by giving you the top 5 resolutions everyone should make every year. Last year in 2015 I completed 14 out of 17 goals, yah me! This year I upped the ante by making 30 resolutions. Ooohhh, I can’t wait to make them happen! Of those 30, there are 5 that are repeated every year and this should be part of your resolutions as well:

1) New Year’s Resolution #1- Address a Fear 

Every year I address one of my fears (yes I am admitting I am human and have fears) by including it as one of my resolutions. Last year in 2015 I had not so much a fear but uncertainty that I can go long periods of time without food. So I took part in the Master Cleanse fast which meant 10 days of no food and only drinking a lemonade mixture to keep you going. It was brutal but it was worth it because the empowering feeling I had after was amazing.

When you set out to conquer a fear and you do it, you feel unstoppable and confident that you can tackle anything. You don’t have to go in with a large resolution like mine, start small. List your fears or uncertainties and pick one that you can do but just avoid doing because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Start with say a bikini wax or sky diving if you want! Whatever it is, large or small, it will give you a sense of empowerment and that will trickle into every part of your life.

2) New Year’s Resolution #2-Increase your Savings Account 

If you haven’t already created a savings account, now is the time to. If you don’t believe in the banking system, then buy a safe and save at home. Bottom line, we all need to have a stash put aside for a rainy day. You don’t know what life can bring so saving money for that rainy day will bring you peace of mind now and when it happens.

The goal is to have six month’s worth of finances safely tucked away so if you are unable to work, you can pay your bills and continue living for the next six months while you figure out what you need to do. You don’t have to push yourself and stress yourself out, move at your pace! If you need to have $12,000 in savings ($2,000/month) give yourself three years to accomplish that goal. This way if you have a new year’s resolution to save $4,000 this year it works out to putting aside $300 a month. Of course you can try to accomplish it in one year, but remember resolutions are not meant to stress you out, it is meant to keep you on track with your goals and hold you accountable. Take as long as you need to reach it.

3) New Year’s Resolution #3- Do Something Healthy 

Let’s not expect miracles here! As much as I would love to lose 50 pounds, the most I am realistically expecting to take off this year and keep off is 10. The understanding is that you want to live healthy so as you age and get older, you can live fitfully and easily in your body with minimum aches, pains and medical conditions.

Weight loss as Oprah has identified is a tricky event and is less about physical action than it is about mental attitude. If you can see your weight loss journey as a pyramid, it will stand tall and looming over you….and you know what? It should. It has taken you a lot of years to put this weight on, it will not disappear overnight. Instead of focusing on the weight, focus on increasing healthy behavior. Try to incorporate more wellness activities into your life such as walking, yoga or dance. Try to tackle the unhealthy food habits and love of junk food and bit by bit, when you do these things, you start to chip away at that pyramid from the base. Eventually over time it will crumble and you will be free from the dieting yo-yo regimen that has been your life.

My goals this year include restarting my yoga routine and choosing healthier snacks. I am no longer going to eliminate snacking from my diet but make better choices. Instead of reaching for a piece of cake, I will have a yogurt and granola mix instead. If I can keep choosing healthier, it nourished my body and helps me keep the weight off as well.

4) New Year’s Resolutions #4-Include the Family 

If you have kids or pets, it is important you also include a resolution to do something for them that they cannot do for themselves. Being the owner of a wellness center, I teach and provide services of a metaphysical nature. As a result, my children grew up practicing yoga in their bedrooms, meditation and other things. This year I plan to complete both of their Reiki trainings (Nathan is level II and Joshua is level I) and increase their daily meditation times.

When you put emphasis on someone else and make it part of your resolutions list, it will come about because it is part of the plan. Listen, we are all good parents and we all try our best to do right by our kids (and pets!) but sometimes we fall short. We fall short because we are tired, busy or have other things to do. Its ok! It happens to all of us, including the super moms and super dads out there. By putting your loved ones on the resolutions list, you are committing to spending quality time with them and not overlooking them. You will feel great about it as they will too.

5) New Year’s Resolutions #5-Grow Yourself 

And finally one of the resolutions you must make every year is a commitment to you. We are all students of life and if we do not keep learning, we will stop growing. Stop growing in spirit, in mind and in evolution. Every year I sign up for continuing education classes for my massage therapy license and other licenses I need CEUS for but I also enroll in personal enrichment courses or read books to grow myself as well.

Spiritual enrichment doesn’t need to be about studying alone either. You can take up a new hobby, learn a new dance or recipe or do something you normally won’t do. The idea is to grow your knowledge base and allow expansion in. The more you learn, the more you grow and you become a more open minded person. As we know especially now, the world needs more of that, open minded people.

So in closing dear reader, my wish for you is simple. Live 2016 the best way you can and don’t look back. Make this year fabulous and live it large! I have faith you will do it better than years past and will have much to show for it at the end of the year.

Until next time,

Love and light,

Uma

Posted on: January 2nd, 2016 No Comments

Why be mindful?

You’ve probably heard the term mindful or mindfulness. It’s getting a lot of good press lately. So, what’s mindfulness all about and why should we bother?

First, there’re a few different ways the word mindful or mindfulness can be used, so let’s get clear on we’re talking about. The word mindfulness can refer to mindfulness meditation, which is based on a Buddhist meditation; mindful can be a character trait, such as, ‘Bob is always so mindful of other people’s feelings.’; and it can be a practice of a moment to moment awareness of what you’re experiencing emotionally and physically without judgment. We’ll be discussing this last definition.

What does it mean to be mindful in this way? It means to observe what you’re feeling, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, and hearing without assigning a judgment of good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, or fun or boring.

To practice mindfulness in this way, it is much easier to start with experiences that are already fairly neutral for you. Most of us don’t think too much about brushing our teeth, but this can be a great place to start. It’s very experiential and something we do a couple of times a day. Start with how the toothbrush feels in your hand. How does the toothpaste smell? How does it taste? What do the bristles feel like on your gums? What are you seeing as you brush your teeth? What do you hear? Are you aware of any emotions as you’re brushing your teeth? The point of this exercise is to start observing these things. Once you can brush your teeth mindfully, you can add in other activities.

The real question is, ‘Why should we bother?’ According to the American Psychological Association (APA)[1], there are many benefits of being mindful. These include:

  1. Reduced rumination.
  2. Stress reduction.
  3. Boosts to working memory.
  4. Focus.
  5. Less emotional reactivity.
  6. More cognitive flexibility.
  7. Relationship satisfaction.

Have thoughts that go around and around in your head like they’re on a loop? That’s rumination and can be eased with mindfulness. Stress? Does that even need to be a question in our society? You can reduce stress with mindfulness. There are many benefits and there are more to be found if you’re looking.

According to the APA, in addition to these benefits, being mindful has other side effects. These include:

  1. Empathy.
  2. Compassion.
  3. Decreased stress and anxiety.
  4. Better quality of life.

These are pretty great as far as effects of a simple practice go. I’ll also add that finding more gratitude is another effect many people find of mindfulness.

Does this mean that mindfulness will make your life a piece of cake? No, absolutely not. What it does mean is that you will be more clear-headed and focused; less stressed; and more compassionate in your day-to-day life. That will certainly improve the quality of your life.

There are additional ways to increase your mindfulness. You can join a meditation or get a Reiki session. These are great ways to increase mindfulness in a very focused way. In a meditation, you’ll often focus on chanting a mantra, which helps to increase focused attention. Some meditations will follow up chanting with a mindfulness meditation, which, as its name implies, is a practice of mindfulness. A Reiki session can help you handle stress better, be more relaxed, worry less, and/or being less emotionally reactive. If you’re having a hard time with your mindfulness practice, having a Reiki session can help get you in a good frame of mind to continue your practice.

Please do notice that I’m using the word ‘practice’ a lot through this article. Remember that mindfulness is a practice, something to continually develop and work at. Be gentle with yourself through this practice. Enjoy mindfulness, its benefits, and its wonderful effects.

If you’d like to book a Reiki session with Micha, please mention this article to receive 20% off your first session.

[1] http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx

Posted on: July 27th, 2015 No Comments