Welcome to the middle path

My photo
Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 14th Challenge: Find some stillness

First things first:  Stop for a minute after reading this paragraph, and do a quick body scan. Holding tension in your shoulders?  Hands?  Elsewhere? In your breath?  Let it soften.  Take one, two, three slow and steadying breaths-- a little slower, a little deeper than normal. 
Mondays can be a hard change of pace back into Busy.  Today's challenge is to find a few minutes of stillness today.  Maybe that body scan and three breaths is all you'll manage.  It's a start.  But if you've time for more, check out one of these sites that can assist you in learning mindfulness practices.  Learning to step out of the hubbab and into the present moment has multiple, research proven health benefits: lowering stress (and related stress hormones), reducing blood pressure, improving immunity are a few.  A 2012 American Psychological Association article by Daphne Davis, PhD and Jeffrey Hayes, PhD provides a good overview:  read it here

UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center is a good place to begin.  They offer several free, downloadable audio clips of instruction and practice, including a five minute breathing meditation. 

Oxford University's 8 week mindfulness course is now in book form.  You can find several short meditations on the website franticworld.com, including one on chocolate!

There are multiple free resources collected on the aptly named freemindfulness.org website, including blody scans, meditations, breath exercises and guided imagery.

If you have time, explore this simple, well-written and easy to understand site:   thinkmindfully.com.
There's even an interactive exercise where you can type your thoughts in and watch them be placed on a leaf that floats down a stream. 

Enjoy, and let your Monday hold a place of peace to begin your week.

PS:  My pal Hal, who does my work website, make a room for you to take a breather by putting some of my photos to quiet music.  Come on by.

1 comment:

Kiesa said...

my tolerance for sharing hardship has been diminished considerably because my work life is filled with handling other people's horrible hurts. I want to find a way to restore that sense of play. Maybe it begins with stillness. Maybe it begins today.