Free Meditation Challenge with Zen Master Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg offers a 28-day meditation challenge each February. If you’ve been thinking about starting a meditation practice, Sharon’s prompts cover a lot of territory which is a great way to find something that works for you. Recent studies show short-term and long-term benefits from meditating even for short periods of time each day. Meditation helps you be calm. It helps you focus. It helps you detach from the day-to-day crazies. And it helps your body heal itself. What’s not to love!?

And when you do something for 28 days, guess what? You’ve formed a new, healthy habit. Yay!

I met Sharon over a decade ago at a weekend retreat in NYC. The irony of having a meditative retreat in the heart of NYC is not lost on me. :). When I signed up for Sharon’s meditation challenge this year, I remembered why I like her so much. I’ve told you this story before, but here it is again.  Continue reading

Slowing down to be more productive

I just finished Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee, a product designer and student of JOY in the world. One of Lee’s last studies in the book is on the joy of being in nature. Participating in a natural life helps you slow down. It keeps you grounded. It helps you be meditative and at the same time lifts your energy. And it makes you feel healthier and happier which helps you be more productive.

Think about when you were a kid and everything outside felt new and exciting. I’ve been thinking about elements of nature and what we can do to be more observant of them to appreciate them more to get back some of that kid-energy.  Continue reading

Still not organized?

If you’re having trouble getting traction on your organizational goals, it may be time to take a step away from your work, take a deep breath, and look for root causes.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Continue reading

Mind the Gap

I love when I’m traveling in England and the government courteously reminds me to “mind the gap” when exiting a train or subway.

As a life-philosophy, you also want to “mind the gap” between what you say and what you do. When you meditate or spend quiet time with yourself, it’s easy to think kind, generous thoughts. To feel connected to the earth. And to will the energy of the Universe to allow you to do your best work.

But if you’re cross when someone crosses you, or immediately feel disconnected when things don’t go your way, then it’s time to mind a gap in your life. If someone crosses you and you snap, practice stepping back mentally from the scene and sending that person loving kindness for whatever is going on with them. And see yourself from a distance, like a loving angel, and think, “That poor girl! I wonder what made her cross?” It takes practice to be non-judgmental with the world and with yourself but what a nice practice it is.

If you struggle with this, here are four things that may help you close the gap. Continue reading

The significance of choices

Is it too mysterious to think that for every major choice in your life where you headed off in a new direction that you also continued in the original direction?

That you simultaneously went to more than one college.

That you have your current friends and you have friends from that other life, the one you’re not living.

That you got divorced and you stayed with your ex. Continue reading

Ring bells. Light candles.

As much as I love organization, I’m not a big fan of organized religion. I hope you don’t take offense; I know many love the church. But I struggle with churches that: Continue reading

Making a new habit a priority

When you’re working on something you really connect with, you get more done. It’s weird to think that adding something to your “to do” list helps you do more – but it does. When you work on stuff you love:

  • Your energy goes up.
  • Your focus improves.
  • You manage your time better because you want to make sure you have time to get to your good work.
  • You’re more interesting to be around.
  • You feel better.

Quiet, mid-Winter days are a great time to ponder a new habit. Successful new habits start with intent – why do you want to do this?

Then you have to figure out how to make this new habit a priority. Doctor and author Lissa Rankin has a great exercise to help you figure out your priorities. Take a plain piece of paper and draw a stack of circles. Each circle is a core part of who you are. Each is something that makes you tick and makes you happy. Continue reading