What Does it Mean to Live Well?

What does it take to live well? First it takes an awareness that there is something flat and off key and you know it could be better. Maybe it is prioritizing an important relationship that you realize is stagnant. You could jump start that, you don’t have to wait for the other to make the first move. Or it could be that you finally ran out of excuses for not beginning that exercise program, and you know you have to start. And why not now? And you do. It might be time to take that first step to reconnecting with your spiritual life that you left behind when you left your parents’ home. You remember there was something essential and mysterious that touched you deeply and opened your heart. Maybe, a realization arises and you pick up the phone and make an appointment for a physical because you have been low on energy for far too long.

A flash of insight peaks through and you know that it is up to you to define and discover what it means to live well. Live well no matter what circumstances are present.

Deep bow of gratitude to the brave participants in the initial offering of a new program, Cultivate Health, Learn to Live Well with Cancer. A circle of people came together from the comfort of their homes to share in this webinar, to reflect, discuss and engage in thought provoking questions and exercises around what it means to each of them to live well.

Throughout the 6-week program each person was invited to engage in and reflect on several areas vital to living with more ease and wellbeing. These included stress management strategies that prioritized working with habits of thinking and ways to challenge the negativity bias. Taking stock of social connections in order to define relationships that empower and energize rather than drain vitality and create stress. The latest research on ways to improve quality of sleep were discussed, as well as unlocking the vividness of the sensory world; participants discovered what a valuable resource our senses are.

Expanding vocabulary for feelings is a way to be with them that puts them in their proper place. No need to get swept up by emotions. This happens less when all feelings are acknowledged and can be just what they are, here, felt and then gone. You learn that feelings are temporary. This changing nature of life naturally led us to talk about death.

We reflected on ways to plan for and talk about desires for the end of life. When you relax the heart to the inevitable reality of death, a flood of energy creates a renewed sense of urgency for living. Knowing what you value is the foundation for what matters most.

It was a deep dive into patterns, barriers, aspirations, and the always present yearning of each of our beautiful, beating hearts.

Don’t wait, the time to live well is in the present. Not someday when all things are mapped out, certain or perfect. All an illusion. Life awaits your attention. Life is calling you to Cultivate Health and Live Well NOW.

 

New Year On Purpose

 As the year ends and a New Year opens, it’s valuable to reflect on what occurred for you in 2018, opening the possibility to release, renew, and reengage as you step in to the next year. Here are some questions to assist with that process. Let it be intentional, for intention is what sets the foundation for the life you want to live.

What’s been going on in 2018?  

  • What are the high points of the year?

  • What have been the challenges?

  • How would you define success this year?

  • What part of the challenges are in the success?

What are you most grateful for?

  • What are the top 3-5 experiences?

  • How did you participate in creating those experiences?

Where has the growth been? What has been the catalyst for that growth?

What are you most proud of?  What does that feel like in your body, heart and mind?

What surprised you?

What is left undone? Can it be left undone?

What can be forgiven? Or, what could you have the intention to forgive?

What is being healed? How do you experience that? What opens the door for healing?

What can you let go of? Or, what could you have the intention to let go of? What could you do to commemorate the release so you remember?

Where are you going in 2019?

  • What is next for you?

  • What is the dream inside the next steps?

  • What 1 action are you taking today to begin?

“Look ahead to the rest of your life and ask yourself what you want it to add up to.”

-Pema Chodron

 

 

 

 

 

Mindful Checklist Gratitude: Freshen Up Your Thanks

Mindful Checklist Gratitude: Freshen Up Your Thanks

Thanksgiving now behind us, we are left with an uplifted spirit from pausing to say thanks and gathering for connection and tradition. We can help that experience linger with an intention to notice, pause, and say thank you. Gratitude can be a way of living every day, and is a foundational component of resilience.

 Gratitude is good for your health, both physical (immune system booster) and emotional (increased optimism and joy). The good news is it can be cultivated.

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Mindful Checklist Distraction

Mindful Checklist Distraction

One definition of Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose to the moment without expecting it to be different than what it is. Distraction is used to not pay attention to what is going on, often because you want the moment to be different than what it is. You don’t want to see what you don’t want to see. You also don’t want to feel what you don’t want to feel. And you are also busy…all the time. Distraction takes your mind, thoughts and feelings away from the moment because the moment feels uncomfortable. The discomfort can be anything; fear, boredom, anxiety, desire to control, despair, or not wanting to address some problem.

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