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

Taking a healthy step into the New Year

 

Painting by Mark Compton

“All beginnings wear their endings.” – astrophysicist Chet Raymo

As we start into a new year, please remember that if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t do your best work. You may get started with a great idea, but you need to be healthy to get to the end.

Here are 9 reminders from a Washington Post article on a recent London study on ways to practice wonderful self-care. Continue reading

Need motivation to get more sleep?

Deborah Kris had an article in The Washington Post last week on the importance for teens to get enough sleep. The thing is, sleep isn’t just important for teens! More and more research is being done on the impact of sleep deprivation across all age categories.

We’ve all experienced periodic lack of sleep and you know the feeling.

  • Your cognitive functioning is impaired.
  • It’s hard to focus, to concentrate.
  • Your body feels heavy, achey, and clumsy.
  • You feel grumpy and might have head spins and negative thoughts.
  • You feel more sensitive and impatient.

One teen in a recent study summed it up beautifully: “When I don’t get enough sleep, everything is harder.” 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

Grouping items to create harmony

If you have a place in your house that feels scattered or drains your energy, try introducing a little harmony.

Think about how different a scattering of single leaves look compared to leaves grouped together on a tree. Or how loose petals of a flower look compared to the look of a full-headed flower. Or the look of singular flowers versus the look of a sweeping field of flowers.

You can create harmony by placing similar items together. By putting prints on a wall in matching frames. By grouping items together that are the same or complementary colors. Continue reading

The Joy of Color

I’m reading a great new book: Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Lee opens the book with studies and thoughts about what makes a moment joyous and settles in on something quite simple: color.

If you want to change a drab day, a drab building, or a drab party, add bright, warm colors and you add a pop of joy to the world. Think birthday party balloons. Chinese dragon parades. Maypole ribbons. Hot air balloon festivals. Fields of wildflowers. Can you picture any of these in black and white? No! Just thinking about these colors brings up a bubble of joy.

“Color is energy made visible.”

Lee believes that energy is all around us and that bright colors have high energy that’s contagious.

If you need a little pop of energy, you could try something as simple as… Continue reading

Improve your organizational skills by changing what you eat

If you aren’t feeling good about what you’re getting done, it might not be an organizational issue – it might be a matter of health. When we push our bodies to the limits, it’s not a surprise when the quality of our work suffers.

Here are some easy steps you can start this week to improve your health. Continue reading