Before you end your day, try this: The best exercise to do before lights-out involves no movement at all.
Just a note to any reader.....
Our progression; how we manage to make strides and steps toward better health, all of that will be noted below the 'history', so to find our 'progress entries', scroll down to the bottom part of this blog.
As we learn of books and other resources, the sidebar will have those entries and links.
We welcome your visit and any comments/ideas you'd like to share with us. If you've started a similar blog, do let us know and we'll add the link. "To your health and ours".....Diane & Jessica.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Before you end your day, try this: The best exercise to do before lights-out involves no movement at all.
They go to many a refuge,
to mountains and forests,
to park and tree shrines:
people threatened with danger.
That's not the secure refuge,
not the supreme refuge,
that's not the refuge,
having gone to which,
you gain release
from all suffering & stress.
But when, having gone
to the Buddha, Dhamma,
& Sangha for refuge,
you see with right discernment
the four noble truths —
the cause of stress,
the transcending of stress,
& the noble eightfold path,
the way to the stilling of stress:
that's the secure refuge,
that, the supreme refuge,
that is the refuge,
having gone to which,
you gain release
from all suffering & stress.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Robin Urton has created two paintings that I love; the other is further down in an earlier post. This one you're viewing, is called BUDDHA BEING.
I must say, every time I look at this one I get the same energy I did the first time I saw it!
If you're suffering from adrenal fatigue; depression, or living with CFS or low thyroid function, you're going through what both Jessica and I have been for years, and as we both have shared our experiences and symptoms, we find we also find comfort in the practices of Yoga; the study of Buddhism, and other 'words of wisdom', and examples and methods we've reviewed, to help us improve our quality of life.
I thought this would be helpful - the list comes from http://www.zenhabits.net - this site is on my rss feed, and I find 'gems' on a regular basis - here's one of the more recent posts:
How to Be Mindful
1. Do one thing at a time. Single-task, don’t multi-task. When you’re pouring water, just pour water. When you’re eating, just eat. When you’re bathing, just bathe. Don’t try to knock off a few tasks while eating or bathing or driving. Zen proverb: “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”
2. Do it slowly and deliberately. You can do one task at a time, but also rush that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you focus on the task.
3. Do less. If you do less, you can do those things more slowly, more completely and with more concentration. If you fill your day with tasks, you will be rushing from one thing to the next without stopping to think about what you do. But you’re busy and you can’t possibly do less, right? You can. I’ve done it, and so have many busy people. It’s a matter of figuring out what’s important, and letting go of what’s not. Read more: The Lazy Manifesto: Do Less.
4. Put space between things. Related to the “Do less” rule, but it’s a way of managing your schedule so that you always have time to complete each task. Don’t schedule things close together — instead, leave room between things on your schedule. That gives you a more relaxed schedule, and leaves space in case one task takes longer than you planned.
5. Spend at least 5 minutes each day doing nothing. Just sit in silence. Become aware of your thoughts. Focus on your breathing. Notice the world around you. Become comfortable with the silence and stillness. It’ll do you a world of good — and just takes 5 minutes!
6. Stop worrying about the future - focus on the present. Become more aware of your thinking — are you constantly worrying about the future? Learn to recognize when you’re doing this, and then practice bringing yourself back to the present. Just focus on what you’re doing, right now. Enjoy the present moment.
7. When you’re talking to someone, be present. How many of us have spent time with someone but have been thinking about what we need to do in the future? Or thinking about what we want to say next, instead of really listening to that person? Instead, focus on being present, on really listening, on really enjoying your time with that person.
8. Eat slowly and savor your food. Food can be crammed down our throats in a rush, but where’s the joy in that? Savor each bite, slowly, and really get the most out of your food. Interestingly, you’ll eat less this way, and digest your food better as well.
9. Live slowly and savor your life. Just as you would savor your food by eating it more slowly, do everything this way — slow down and savor each and every moment.
As I type this, for example, I have my 3-year-old daughter, Noelle, on my lap. She’s just sitting here quietly, as the rain pours down in a hush outside. What a lovely moment. In fact, I’m going to take a few minutes off just to be with her now. Be right back. :)
10. Make cleaning and cooking become meditation. Cooking and cleaning are often seen as drudgery, but actually they are both great ways to practice mindfulness, and can be great rituals performed each day. If cooking and cleaning seem like boring chores to you, try doing them as a form of meditation. Put your entire mind into those tasks, concentrate, and do them slowly and completely. It could change your entire day (as well as leave you with a cleaner house).
11. Keep practicing. When you get frustrated, just take a deep breath. When you ask yourself, “What should I do now, Self?”, the answer is “keep practicing”.
“When you drive around the city and come to a red light or a stop sign, you can just sit back and make use of these twenty or thirty seconds to relax — to breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy arriving in the present moment. There are many things like that we can do.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
About all I'd add to that is, I never drive in the car without a full supply of beautiful music on CD's - it makes the traffic problems disappear for me....
One of the MAJOR REASONS we experience fatigue; depression, and other symptoms of adrenal failure.....
This is a picture of my great grand-daughter taking her first taste of a strawberry. Was it sour? From the expression on her face, it would appear so.
Things have changed in the way we grow our foods nowadays; back when I was a kid, there was never a 'sour strawberry'; never a berry that didn't taste sweet - juicy, and they were grown organically.
I found this incredible list of foods that are now altered in many ways; the harmful effects on all of us. The article is lengthy; the links are numerous to be sure, but it's well worth the read I think.
Here's the link: http://www.raw-wisdom.com/genetically-modified-food
Acknowledge your feelings. If a loved one has recently died or you aren't able
to be with your loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness or grief.
It's OK now and then to take time just to cry or express your feelings. You
can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
Seek support. If you feel isolated or down, seek out
family members and friends, or community, religious or social services. They can
offer support and companionship. Consider volunteering at a community or
religious function. Getting involved and helping others can lift your spirits
and broaden your friendships. Also, enlist support for organizing holiday
gatherings, as well as meal preparation and cleanup. You don't have to go it
alone. Don't be a martyr.
Be realistic. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change
as well. Hold on to those you can and want to. But accept that you may have to
let go of others. For example, if your adult children and grandchildren can't
all gather at your house as usual, find new ways to celebrate together from
afar, such as sharing pictures, e-mails or videotapes.
Set differences aside. Try to accept family members
and friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all your expectations.
Practice forgiveness. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for
discussion. With stress and activity levels high, the holidays might not be
conducive to making quality time for relationships. And be understanding if
others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they're
feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
Stick to a budget. Before you go shopping, decide how much money you can afford
to spend on gifts and other items. Then be sure to stick to your budget. If you
don't, you could feel anxious and tense for months afterward as you struggle to
pay the bills. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Donate to
a charity in someone's name, give homemade gifts or start a family gift
Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping,
baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make one
big food-shopping trip. That'll help prevent a last-minute scramble to buy
forgotten ingredients — and you'll have time to make another pie, if the first
one's a flop. Expect travel delays, especially if you're flying.
Learn to say no. Believe it or not, people will understand if you can't
do certain projects or activities. If you say yes only to what you really want
to do, you'll avoid feeling resentful, bitter and overwhelmed. If it's really
not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove
something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays
become a dietary free-for-all. Some indulgence is OK, but overindulgence only
adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so
that you don't go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty
of sleep and schedule time for physical activity.
Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone,
without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to
do. Steal away to a quiet place, even if it's to the bathroom for a few moments
of solitude. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find
something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and
restoring inner calm.
Rethink resolutions. Resolutions can set you up for
failure if they're unrealistic. Don't resolve to change your whole life to make
up for past excess. Instead, try to return to basic, healthy lifestyle routines.
Set smaller, more specific goals with a reasonable time frame. Choose only those
resolutions that help you feel valuable and that provide more than only fleeting
moments of happiness.
Forget about perfection. Holiday TV specials are filled with happy endings. But
in real life, people don't usually resolve problems within an hour or two.
Something always comes up. You may get stuck late at the office and miss your
daughter's school play, your sister may dredge up an old argument, your partner
may burn the cookies, and your mother may criticize how you're raising the kids.
All in the same day. Accept imperfections in yourself and in others.
Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your
best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued
by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to
face routine chores. If these feelings last for several weeks, talk to your
doctor or a mental health professional. You may have depression.
So, if you do think you have depression; feeling like it won't go away - not ever, then continue reading some of the posts - refer to the side-bar for some helpful 'quotes' that are inspiring and supportive.
Look at your eating habits; your life-style, and your 'habit' of possibly expecting things to 'stay the same' (as I've done) - things change; we age, and nothing stands still for long. We can't save 'Time In A Bottle', but we shouldn't 'bottle up' our worries and refuse to seek help.
Seeking we find; asking we shall get some answers - the doors are open on so many places not only on the I-net, but in the selections of books and through the kindness of friends and family. Once we share the sad feelings we're having; if we 'open up, about our personal difficulties, we will find a friendly 'ear' - a kind person; a good soul that will give us that extra boost we're seeking, so we can re-engage our own will power, and enjoy the days to come.
Let's talk the positive stuff first! The photo' above - these colors are the most calming colors to me, not only separately but in this combination.
The music I've picked for this blog - allows me to relax while I'm posting; reading, or just about anything. I have a musical play-list blog; I have over 80 play-lists, and about 100 to 200 songs on each list - music is #1 to my relaxation. Not only do I listen, but I sing and play the piano, so this gives me a way to unwind and refresh myself.
I love art; love photography - love certain smells of flowers. My favorites odors are Hyacinth; Lilac, and Gardenia. Coming in close to my 3 favorites are Daffodils and Peonies. All of my fragrances are from this family of flowers; body sprays - powders, and room fresheners.
I adore the smell of sheets and clothes dried outside; I spray my bed sheets with linen or lavendar spray - quite often, 7 to 10 times within a 90-minute period as I wind down; watch a little television, or listen to music and read.
I love comedy; love the sound of children laughing, and adore watching animals play as well as hugging them up close. I love anything in nature - thunderstorms; rainbows - wind, snow, the greening of the trees and grass....
I get more energy from these things, than I do from eating food. I'm a sporadic eater; something that I've read up on and I see I definitely NEED to improve on that aspect of my life.
On the down-side, I've learned what robs me of my energy - both mental and physically. It's not hard work that ever bothers me; mental or physical, but rather irritating little efforts and practices that seem to have little or no meaning in my life, yet I have to 'do it'.
Example: Filling out forms at the dentist and doctor offices; over and over - wondering why they don't just keep the initial form and information on file, and not make me update it every 3 months.
Waiting in a grocery line while the cashier talks to a neighboring cashier about something she did in her life; making a complaint or laughing loudly while slowly processing the people who are standing in line waiting to check out.
Listening to idle chatter irritates me - I make a best effort to tune it out. Getting advertising and junk mail in my post office box - a waste of paper; ink, and a detriment to our environment. I dislike e-mails with idle gossip - use of coined phrases, and slang in the body of a letter or used in conversation.
Hearing people complain about what they don't have, instead of talking about what they do have. People with huge expectations, and not often willing to work to attain those achievements, but rather want it all handed to them on a 'platter'. I'm guilty of allowing people to overwhelm me and sap me of my energy; I try to meet every demand and request, and then often find out these kind of people can never be 'pleased', and will continually drain you with their negative thinking and way of life. With that part of my life, I either decide if I'll accept them 'as is', because I love them enough to do so, or I leave (politely), and usually tell them that they are sapping my strength; causing me to feel stressed and worried, and let it be that. I move on....
Also, I dislike 90% of television today; commercials and content. I choose only those channels who have positive opinion; content - entertainment, and minimal commercial advertising. When the advertising comes on, I put the 'mute button' into action. Because there's always music playing in our home, I listen to the music - watch the moving figures on the television screen, and make up my own 'words' that I put in their mouths as a game to help me 'bide the time', until the regular program returns.
The only physical task that annoys me is dusting. Of course I'm my own worst enemy on that; I collect antiques - artwork; my son calls my home a 'dusting nightmare', and he's right. I deal with it by lovingly holding each piece as I dust it; remembering where I got it, and the joy I had when I brought it home to add to the collection. Most of the time I do get involved with this thought process, and wind up dusting without nearly the angst and fretting just from thinking about it.
I find that if I stop thinking about doing a chore that I dread; do it, I'm much more relaxed and calm after I've started that task - usually within 5 minutes after I've begun to get the job done!
I enjoy reading; I enjoy learning - I want to continue to get better and keep going in a positive direction. To that end, I do subscribe to this particular newsletter - sharing the link, so you might read those articles too.
As always, 'to your health and mine'. Now the link:
The result of stress - great or simple as not taking the 'perfect picture' caused insomnia for me; this results in the lack of the body producing serotonin. Back when this picture was taken, I was skinny as a 'rail' - hyperthyroidism was my problem, but after a critical brain injury in a car accident in 2002, I ended up severely hypothyroid!
Some of the first posts will be about that 'journey' - my particular case; hopefully most will be about the course of recovery and success as I experience it in my own life, and the research I do.