5 Simple Practices to feel more happy, calm and peaceful

April 10, 2023
The mind is either the bridge or the barrier to everything. Health, positive relationships, happiness, meaningful work, abundance, and more.

Spring has sprung in the northern latitudes, and spring is a natural time of rebirth. As you notice mother nature moving into growth and renewal all around you, you might remember that YOU are part of mother nature. You, also, are wired for spring renewal. With that as our theme, today I’m serving up:

  1. The opportunity to join a spring renewal program for your sweet bod
  2. Some thoughts on how you might steward some powerful renewal in your habits of mind

 

Will you join us?

 

I invite you to join us for the 28toGreat® Program—a Food Sass® Journey into Intermittent Fasting. Program runs Apr 29 – May 26 and registration opens this Thursday Apr 14th. Folks LOVE this program. Truly a game-changer, for LIFE.

I’m so looking forward to guiding this spring group toward a health renewal: reclaiming their physical health and well-being. More info and registration links will be coming your way this Thursday. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out my free ebook Timing Matters. This will help you understand why intermittent fasting is so powerful, especially when combined with The Food Sass® Lifestyle. Again, registration info coming later this week!

 

One of my faves: A Great Question

 

A few weeks back, I wrote a blog about the power of mind trainingSi. The response to this blog was amazing; people felt all the feels around navigating loss and the benefits of mind training.

In that post, I shared that if I had to choose the five things that have most supported me during the key challenging times in my life as of late, they would be:

  1. Accepting the impermanence of all aspects of planet Earth living (non-attachment and letting go)
  2. Intentionally evoking curiosity—instead of stress and fear—about whatever arises
  3. Looking for the lessons in anything I perceive as unwanted, messy or obnoxious
  4. Continually questioning the seeming solidity of my experience. In reality, experience is fleeting, unsubstantial, and wide-open with possibilities.
  5. Honoring emotions as important data, and then taking personal responsibility for what comes next. I decide how I respond and what I focus on.

A question I received from many readers was along the lines of:

“I love what you wrote, and it makes sense to me, including the 5 philosophical practices that you strive to keep on the forefront of your mind. Are there accessible gateways into those practices? Some of them feel like a stretch for me.”

What a great question! I love great questions. What’s also fun is that the answer is YES.

 

5 Simple Practices to feel more happy, calm & peaceful

 

Let’s get to it. What follows are some of the key “gateway drugs” into mind training that I most often share with my Body-Mind-Spirit Coaching clients.

Note that these are not a 1:1 correlation with the philosophies above. Meaning, #1. Depersonalize doesn’t directly correlate to #1 above of Accepting Impermanence. Instead, all of these philosophies and practices share the aim of awakening the mind to our true nature. Of quieting our mental storytelling, relieving unnecessary suffering while opening our mind and our heart.

 

1. Depersonalize.

Things happen. There’s traffic; your boss is on a rampage; your spouse is feeling grumpy; or a flood sweeps your home away. None of this is personal. Why does that matter?

Because we feel very different if someone accidentally bangs us in the leg with a tree limb versus if they walk up and intentionally do so. One feels personal and one doesn’t. This doesn’t change how much our leg hurts, but it changes our internal response to the event.

The practice: This is happening TO ME (and it’s awful). =>becomes=> This is happening, it feels unwelcome, and I can navigate it.

 

2. Just like me.

I learned this in my studies of the work and writings of Pema Chodron, and I find it helpful. Let’s say our friend Betty is drunk at our dinner party and is annoying everyone. We may likely demonize Betty and what an idiot she is and how dare she act so badly at OUR dinner party. Or. Instead we think, “Just like me, Betty needs to blow off steam sometimes and it ain’t always pretty.” We remember all the times that WE haven’t been on our best behavior.

The Practice: Remind yourself that the things you don’t like in other people, exist in you as well. This gently ushers us off the judgy, righteous podium, and closer to tolerance, understanding and love. We’re all messy and imperfect.

 

3. Here’s where I’m lucky.

As I shared in THIS blog post, 2023 is off to an interesting start for me. In February, a big tree smushed our home, rendering it un-liveable for the long term. After a long stay (7 weeks and 3 days, but who’s counting?) in an uncomfortable hotel situation, I finally secured a rental home. Then, 5 days after moving for the second time this year, I found myself navigating another round of COVID that body-slammed me for 6 days.

Gratitude has been a cornerstone of my tools for this journey. This is just life! Sometimes it feels easy and sometimes it feels hard. It’s funny how when something “bad” happens, we’ll say “I can’t believe this happened to me! It’s not fair.” But we don’t say that when something great happens. It’s like we expect life to feel good and thereby feel disgruntled when it doesn’t feel good.

Here’s where I’m lucky might sound like:

“I’ll take a tree on my house any day of the week over a tree ON ME.”
“I’m so grateful that I HAVE a house at all. And thank goodness for insurance.”
“A house is a building that can be fixed. Better this than ____.”
“This bizarre chain of events has underlined for me how much love I have in my life. How wonderful and supportive people can be. Lucky me.”

Gratitude is one of the 10 Healing Practices I share in Wild World, Joyful Heart. It’s a powerful healing ointment, is simple to practice and is always accessible.

The Practice: Turn your attention to what feels good in your life experience. What you focus on expands.

 

4. Do I KNOW that this is true?
(Hint: The answer, 99.9% of the time, is no.)

“I know Jim was trying to undermine me in that meeting.” Do you KNOW that this is true? No, you don’t. Instead, you’re telling a story based on your mood, your like/dislike of the person, your insecurities, your fears and your habitual storylines. This doesn’t mean that Jim is your best friend or should be the godfather of your firstborn. It simply shows us how we torture ourselves with stuff we make up in our head that we then label to be factual. This practice is based on The Work of Byron Katie

Once you remind yourself that you don’t KNOW that it’s true, you can ask yourself who you would be without that thought. Because let’s face it, our snarly repetitive thoughts have one person that they injure: Ourselves.

The Practice: Question the solidity of your assessment of the people and events around you.

 

5. Respond intentionally.

We remember that other people don’t cause our emotions. While emotions are important messengers that hit us in the moment, mostly due to our own internal biases and storylines, we can then choose how we utilize the energy from the emotion. Meaning, after someone “rudely cuts us in line,” and we feel the emotion of anger or indignance, we can then choose to not play it over and over and our mind and continue to get fired up about it. We can choose to respond with intention rather than act from a place of reactivity.

The Practice: People are who they are and do what they do; and how you choose to think about it and respond is up to you. Create a mindful space between the stimulus and your response.

 

Our mind is the bridge or the barrier

 

The human mind is nothing short of astounding, is mysterious and is largely untapped. One thing I have come to understand about the mind is that it can be either the bridge or the barrier to…well…everything. Health, joy, positive relationships, happiness, meaningful work, abundance…you name it. This is the premise of my 2019 book, Wild World, Joyful Heart.

Once this was clear to me, all of my research headlights turned on to the mind. Because if I understand how to help people heal their bodies (and I do), and then I’m able to help them turn their mind from barrier to bridge? All bets are off.

I invite you to get to understand the mind better. These 5 simple practices can help, as I explained via personal story in THIS aforementioned post. Misunderstood and misused, the mind can spawn pain, misunderstanding and poor health, to name just a few outcomes. Understood and developed as a tool, the mind can help you reclaim your health and well-being—body, mind and spirit.

To your Empowered Well-Being,
Laurie

1 Comment

  1. Patricia F. Danflous

    Thanks Laurie for these great reminders to live more peacefully in this challenging world. Your insight is thoughtful, inspiring and came just at the right moment in my life.

    Reply

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