Tag Archives: mindful

Mastering the Art of Doing Nothing

For the last few weeks or months, I’ve been in a state of writer’s block.

If you’ve been following me regularly for a while now, then you may have sensed this on some level already because it’s pretty unordinary for me to not be coming out with a new blog every week.

Yes, I’ve had the podcast but, admittedly, it’s become a way to help cover up the writer’s block so I could still be bringing you weekly content.

So what’s the cause to the writer’s block, you ask?

It’s no one thing in particular, but many things.

I’ve been…

… reflecting on where I’m at and where I want to be.

… letting go of ways of being in the world that are no longer serving me nor anyone. 

… releasing old beliefs and ways of perceiving the world and my place in it. 

… processing old feelings of loss and grief that still hadn’t been fully processed.

Upon reflection, I can see how I had been focusing so much on doing that I was hardly allowing myself to simply be — and it caught up with me.

A few days ago it hit pretty hard when I found myself extremely stressed thinking about my future — where I want to go, what I want to do and how.

Being a student of A Course in Miracles, I knew intellectually that by simply trusting and allowing things to flow I will be guided exactly to where I’m meant to.  But telling myself to trust and shove those feelings of worry away simply didn’t work — and it never does.  Instead, it made me more agitated.

So I gave myself time to feel it. I literally spent the entire day stewing in my own feelings of worry, sadness, frustration, and so on.

… and, apparently, that’s all I needed to do, because the next day I found myself calmer and more peaceful.  Not relieved because I had found any answers, but simply feeling okay with where things are right now. 

It was a matter of really feeling those feelings so that I could get to a place of being okay with just being, rather than to feel guilty for not doing work to move forward.

Yesterday I went to a local farmer’s market and then a grocery store.  In my process of shopping I felt drawn to get myself some prosciutto, marinated mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.  A friend of mine had shared this amazing combination of foods with me a few weeks ago when she came back from her trip in Italy.

As I placed them all on my plate and drizzled them with balsamic vinegar for my afternoon snack, the words “Dolce far Niente” came to my mind.

If you’ve ever seen the movie or read the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert then you’ve heard this saying before.  In Italian it means: the sweetness of doing nothing.

The Italians in Eat, Pray, Love explained to Liz that Americans need to be told to take a break and relax, but Italians don’t need to be told.  If someone were to tell them to take a break, they would say, “Yes I know I deserve a break.  I know that I need to take some time to simply just be and enjoy life for what it is.”

Because, really, what is it that we’re really after?  A great job?  An amazing relationship?  A great income? 

On the surface it may appear that way, but if we never allow ourselves to simply be and enjoy life’s little moments, then we’re forever going to be unsatisfied.  We’re always going to be in the race of chasing unattained wishes and dreams.  And, as a result, we’re never actually going to be able to enjoy anything — we would’ve lived a life of stress, rather than joy.

EnjoyLifeLittleMoments

Click to Tweet: If we never allow ourselves to simply be and enjoy life’s little moments, then we’re forever going to be unsatisfied. @jenilyn8705

It’s okay to do nothing.

It’s okay to reflect.

It’s okay to enjoy life even if everything isn’t “perfect”.

It’s okay to celebrate even if there is no big event to celebrate.

And it most certainly is okay to spend an entire day feeling anxious, depressed, sad, angry, or whatever.

So wherever you are in your life — whether you’re sad, frustrated, worried, or stressed.  Even if you’ve recently gone through a breakup.  Even if you’re not sure how you’re going to pay next month’s rent.  Even if you think you’re job sucks.  Even if you’re stuck in writer’s block.  It’s time to stop, slow down, and simply enjoy life.

‘Cause life’s not meant to be lived stressed and chasing unattained dreams — it’s meant to be enjoyed… one present moment at a time.

10 Self-Care Methods for Highly Sensitive People

Do you tend to feel overwhelmed by other people’s energy?  Do large crowds feel like too much to you?  Then you may be a highly sensitive person.

As a highly sensitive person, it’s incredibly important to learn how to set boundaries, protect your energy, and become a master of your own self-care.  Here are 10 self-care methods for highly sensitive people:

#1 – Set boundaries

In a relationship where the give-and-take never seems to be equal?  Are you around someone who consistently seems to try to get you wrapped up in their drama?  Is there someone in your life that makes critical remarks towards you?  Then set a boundary.

The boundary may be set by making a verbal statement or it may be by limiting or distancing yourself from the person.  Regardless of how you do it exactly, remember that its an important component in protecting your own energy.

#2 – Meditate daily

Meditation is an excellent tool to help increase emotional stability, happiness, and mental clarity.  You can meditate to a mantra, do visualizations or even a movement meditation.  Grab a free copy of my guided visualization meditation Healing Blocks to Love to learn more about my album Ignite Love from Within, which includes all these forms of meditations.

#3 – Do yoga

Do yoga at least twice a week in whatever form you prefer.  That could be hatha, vinyasa, kundalini, restoratives, yin, or whatever.  Regardless of the type of yoga, it is all going to help you release the energy or emotions that you’re holding onto in your muscles.

#4 – Spend time in nature

In our modern world of technology and sitting in an office most of the day, it’s not surprising to see why many of us can feel stressed, overwhelmed, or just down in the dumps — it’s not our natural way of living.

So get outside.  Go for a walk.  Walk in the grass barefoot.  Get some sunlight.  Smell the flowers.

#5 – Take a salt bath

Soaking in a bath of epsom salts for about 10 to 20 minutes will help you relax your muscles and restore your entire being.

#6 – Get massage, acupuncture, or Reiki

Schedule regular appointments for a body-work of your choosing.  It could be massage, reflexology, acupuncture, acupressure, reiki, or whatever. 

My only stipulation is that I encourage you to be mindful about who you work with.  You don’t want to work with somebody who drinks, does drugs, and doesn’t take their work seriously.  A careless practitioner can do a lot of damage — especially for a highly sensitive — so be sure that you get treatments from those who do their work well.

#7 – Eat clean

What I mean by this is eliminate (or at least minimize) processed foods and eat organic as much as you can to reduce consuming any pesticide residues.  I also encourage you to experiment to see what kind of diet works best for you and your body.  Maybe you feel best going vegan or vegetarian.  Or maybe you feel best going gluten free.  Or maybe you feel at your best cutting out grains all together with a paleo diet. 

No “one size fits all” for everyone all the time.  So experiment and try things out to see what gives you the most energy.

#8 – Journal at the end of the day

The reason many of us can feel so stressed out and overwhelmed with things is because we never really give ourselves time to process.  We never really let it all out in some way.

While talk therapy is beneficial, it is not the only way to do this.  Another way to help process all the stuff that’s going on in your life is to journal.  The simple act of just getting it all out on paper can be extremely therapeutic. 

A great practice to do put away some time in the eventing to just journal about your day.  If you’re not one to write, another option could be to draw or paint whatever you are feeling.

#9 – Breathe!

Did somebody just cut you off driving down the highway?  Breathe!  Someone come into the office all angry and stressed?  Breathe!  Can’t find your car keys?  Breathe!

When we bring it back to the breath, we are able to let it all go.

BreatheLetItGo

Click to Tweet: When we bring it back to the breath, we are able to let it all go. via @jenilyn8705

#10 – Spend time at the beach

If you’re remotely near a coast, take advantage of going to the beach.  The sand exfoliates your feet and gives you a little foot massage, the air is infused with uber-healthy ions and the sound of the ways is soothes the soul.  It’s the perfect combination to fully relax and recharge.

Take action now!

Out of the list above, which of the self-care methods are you going to plan on doing this week?  Share it in the comments below!

5 Ways to Start Living in the Present Moment

Back in 2010-2011 — before I lived in Korea, before I moved to California — I had a lot of internal distress.  I couldn’t, for the life of me, seem to ever live in the present moment.

Why can’t I ever just enjoy things when its actually happening? I would think to myself.  Why am I so focused on what is yet to come rather than simply enjoy what I’m experiencing now?

Needless to say, a lot has happened between now and then.  And I’m not anywhere near as distressed as I was back then.  While I’m far from an enlightened being that can live in the present moment at all times, it’s certainly something that I struggle with much less than I did years ago.

I managed to make shifts so I can live more in the present, and I know with complete confidence that you can to.  So here are 5 ways you can start living in the present moment:

#1 – Get off your cell phone

Stop playing Candy Crush, solitaire, Words with Friends, or whatever other game you play on your phone.  Stop constantly texting your friend or boyfriend throughout the day.  Stop checking Facebook 50 times a day to catch all the latest news trends.

All of these things make us disconnected from our present moment experience.  When our eyes are glued to our phones, we are disconnected from all of what is going on around us.  We are unable to connect with our colleague at work.  We are unable to really connect with our partner after work.  We are unable to really be present with our friend who is sharing a difficult story.

It’s okay to have a phone, but be mindful about it.  If you see catch yourself mindlessly looking on Facebook, checking e-mail or doing Candy Crush put it away and look at all that is around you.  Put the phone down, and take in the beauty of your present experience.

#2 – Declutter… often!

Do you have a stack of books and notebooks from high school piled up in your closet?  Or how about a stack of CDs that you haven’t listened to a good 10 years?  Or maybe that one top hanging in your closet that your just waiting will be back in style someday?

Well, I’m gonna tell you right now.  If you want to really start living in the present moment, then it’s time to throw it out.

While it’s okay to have a few keepsakes, having too much “old stuff” only weighs us down.  It’s almost like the piles of old stuff that we keep is merely a reflection of all the old emotional baggage that we haven’t quite let go of yet.

Seriously — have you ever walked into the house of someone who has piles and piles of old stuff?  How did you feel walking in there?  I doubt it felt light, free, or gave any sense of renewal.

So let go of the old — both internally and externally — it’ll make it much easier to be in the present.

#3 – Be grateful for what you have right now

One of our habits as humans is that we have a tendency to either live in the past or the future.  We may be nostalgic about the “good ol’ days”, while, on the flip side, we may be caught up in dreaming about how everything is going to be great for us in the future. 

Both of these ways of thinking are distortions created by our ego, and all it does is keep us out of the present moment.

So rather than be wishing that things were as they were 10 years ago or how they could be 10 years from now, be grateful for what you have in your life right now.  Be grateful for that job that’s helping you make ends meet.  Be grateful for that apartment that you’re living in even though it may be smaller than you’d like.

Gratitude brings us back into the present moment quickly and easily, so start bringing gratitude into your daily practice.

Gratitude Present Moment

Click to Tweet: Gratitude brings us back into the present moment quickly and easily. via @jenilyn8705

#4 – Let go of worry

Many of us get so caught up in worrying about things that we can never enjoy what we are experiencing.  We worry about getting bills paid, our love life, our career, and so on.

So when you catch yourself being a worry-wart, stop and take a deep breath.  Take a moment to notice how your body feels.  By getting connected how we feel in our bodies, it helps bring us back into the present moment.

#5 – Meditate… every single day!

If there was only one thing that you could take away from this article and start implementing today it would be this: Start meditating!  It is the easiest tool to help you live more in the present moment and can be the foundation for so many other miraculous changes that can happen in your life. 

If you’re ready to start meditating today and open yourself to love, grab a copy of my free meditation Healing Blocks to Love from my new meditation album Ignite Love from Within.

Take action now!

Out of the 5 listed above, what are you going to start doing this week to better live in the present moment?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

5 Steps to Stop Blaming Others in Your Relationships

Blame. It’s one of those things that seem to be a part of all kinds of relationships. It’s in our relationships with family members, with our partners or spouse, with friends and it can even be with our co-workers.

If we aren’t mindful over our habits of blaming others then it can become detrimental to the relationship. So how can you stop blaming others in your relationships? Here are 5 steps:

#1 – Recognize when you’re blaming.

Examples of blaming include (but aren’t limited t0) saying things like: “You never call me when you’re going to be home late”, “You’re too sensitive”, “You’re too needy”, “You never do the dishes when I ask you to”, “You need to change” “You never listen to me” or “You caused all these problems yourself”.

What is a common word in any of these examples? Yep, that’s right it’s saying “you”. It’s all “you did X” or “you did Y”. Sometimes there is also the element of saying the word “never” as well, which is clearly just an exaggeration. It’s not necessarily that the person “never” does what you ask, but that they don’t do it sometimes.

So the first step of the battle is being sure that we catch ourselves getting into the habit of blaming.

#2 – Take a moment to get centered.

Often when we are blaming it’s not that we are doing it from a balanced and centered place. We aren’t thinking and seeing things clearly. More than likely, we’re stressed out because of various things that happened during our day or triggered by something.

So immediately after recognizing that you’re doing the “blame game” be sure to stop and take some time to get centered in yourself. Take some deep breaths. Walk around a little bit. Jump or shake your arms to let out the stress and tension of it all. Look around at the different items in the room.

Any of these little tools can help you to get centered back into yourself so you can think clearly and respond to the situation in an effective way rather than to just mindlessly react to what is happening, like most of us do often.

#3 – Recognize that you and this other person are both equals.

When we’re blaming, we are coming from this mentality of “You’re wrong and I’m right”. It involves putting yourself on a pedestal and making yourself appear all perfect and good, then condemning the other person and making them appear imperfect, flawed, and wrong.

Not exactly something we want to be doing in a marriage where both people are meant to be equals, right?

Exactly. Yet, unfortunately being in a continuous state of blaming can often be one of the big causes for divorce.

So, it’s important to recognize this illusionary thinking that blocks us from truly experiencing and expressing love.

#4 – Own your own experience.

Once you’ve gotten centered and recognized that you and this other person are both truly equals, it’s time to really own your own experience. So check in with yourself and ask: How am I feeling about this situation? What do I think about this situation?

Once you have identified your thoughts and feelings, phrase them into an “I” statement. For instance, you may want to say something like, “I’m angry because there is a mess in the living room” or “I feel upset because I don’t think we talk as much anymore”.

Be sure that when using these statements that you don’t say something like “I feel you’re not listening to me” — because that is not true. That is a thought and not a feeling. So be sure that you’re identifying an emotion if you use the word “feel”, because if we don’t the other person will likely still think they are being blamed.

Don’t believe me? Reflect back on times where people have told you something like “I feel like you don’t care about cleaning up the apartment”. What’s your initial reaction? It makes a difference.

Finally, when you’re making an “I” statement be sure that you don’t fall into the blame game again by saying something like “I’m upset because you don’t listen to me”. There is still a “you” there.

So be sure to really own your own experience and take responsibility.

#5 – Apologize.

If you’ve said something where you were really blaming the other person, then be sure to apologize to them. If you’re dating or married to this person, be sure you express your love and affection to them. Doing so will help bring the two of you closer to each other and help deepen the relationship.

BlamingPartner

Click to Tweet: If you’ve been blaming your partner, be sure to apologize & express your love to them. It’ll bring the two of you closer. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

How have you been blaming in your life? Share it in the comments below!

7 Ways to Start Your Journey Toward Self-Love

For many of us, we could all use some help in the self-love department.  Our own level of self-love can be detrimental to our success in relationships, career, health, and overall well-being.

Here are 7 ways to start your journey toward self-love:

#1 – Do mindfulness practices.

To be mindful means to be tuned-in to your own thoughts, emotions, and needs.  Many of us struggle with this because we can get so caught up in all of the things going on outside of ourselves that we forget to stop and tune in to our own experience.

To practice mindfulness is a lifelong journey and can be challenging at times, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.  A few ways to practice mindfulness include:

– Focusing intently on the present moment while doing an activity, such as while doing the dishes, cleaning, driving, cooking, or working.

– Taking moments throughout the day to tune-in to how you are feeling in your body.  Check in to see where there is tension, aches, fluttery sensations, and more.

– Taking breaks throughout the day to take deep breaths for a few minutes through your diaphragm.

If you want to start doing well at self-love, then start practicing mindfulness every single day.  The more mindful we are, then the more successful we will become in our self-love practice.

#2 – Nourish your body.

Ask yourself: What have I been eating?  What have you been eating at home for dinner?  What places do you eat at?  How much sugar do you consume?  How many processed foods do you consume daily or weekly?  What are you drinking during the day?  Do you drink sugary drinks or alcohol and, if so, how much of it weekly?

While I don’t definitely don’t think there is a “one size fits all” diet for everybody, I do think it is important for us to focus on how the the things we put into our body affect how we feel.  What foods make you feel sluggish?  What foods give you energy?  What foods make you feel lighter?

Discovering what foods work best for you and your body can be a journey, so try out a few different diets and discover what works best for you.

#3 – Move your body.

Find time every day to move your body each day.  Go for a walk.  Get up away from your desk and stretch.  Take up a new exercise that you’ve always wanted to try.

#4 – Do things that feed your soul.

What things do you feel passionate about?  What activities light you up?  Do you love performing music?  Do you love dancing?  Do you love writing?  Do you love cooking?  Whatever it is, be sure to find time to do it.  The more we do things that feed our soul, then the more we become connected to our soul.

FeedOurSoul

Click to Tweet: The more we do things that feed our soul, then the more we become connected to our soul. via @jenilyn8705

#5 – Write a list of all the things you love about yourself.

This activity can be very transformational, especially if we are dealing with relationship issues, self-esteem issues, or depression.

Get a journal and put it by your bed.  Every night before you go to sleep write down at least 2 things that you love about yourself.  Overtime, you will definitely notice a shift.

#6 – Become the master of your own self-care.

When you notice that you are hungry, be sure to make it a priority to feed yourself.  When you notice that you are tired, be sure to rest or make time to get extra sleep.  Be sure to give yourself time and space to disconnect from other people’s stress.  Be sure to set healthy boundaries by saying “no” or setting a limit to things that you know are going to greatly deplete your energy.

#7 – Be grateful for the things you do for yourself.

In your journal that you keep by your bed, write down all of the things that you are thankful that you did for yourself at the end of every day.  Bringing gratitude to our self-love practice will bring fuel to to it in a way so that we can become even better in our own self-love.

Take action now!

In the comments below, share at least one thing that you are going to do today to start your journal toward self-love.