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ME ON MONDAY (SEIZE THE HOLIDAY!) 23 Dec 2013

Mindfulness

If you know me well, you know that it takes a lot to shake me up.  In fact, many people think that I do not worry enough (like, that's a bad thing?).  I feel that troubles are a lot like people - they grow bigger when you nurse them.  What's my secret?  Being mindful and living in the present.  I am only human, so when something does shake me up, I do something really simple - I wear my skull necklace (above) to remind me to be present.  The skull is a symbol that mindfulness of our own mortality is the key in making us realize the importance of the moment:  Remember that you are mortal, so seize the day!  From this point of view, the skull is not symbolic of anything dark or evil, but instead becomes a positive symbol that encourages us to live life to the fullest. 

With all of that said, Christmas is one of the craziest times of the year; It's kind of like a wedding.  We get all wrapped up in the things that don't really matter, and then before we have time to sit back and relax, it’s all over and we forget to live in the moment. 

Figuring out your own way of being present is so important during this time of the year, and whatever it may be, it can really allow you to make the most out of the holidays, and ultimately your life.  Here are some of my simple tips to help you find your present self: 

Keep it simple
Every year like clockwork, I purge and de-clutter my house post-Thanksgiving.  It completely simplifies my life.  Clutter is like chaos.  It can crowd your mind, and make you feel stressed and unorganized. Cleaning out your home of all the things that no longer serve a purpose in your life can be SO liberating.  I highly recommend it! 

Don't be a control freak
This is SO easily said, yet so many of us really struggle with it. It can be frustrating when something doesn’t go as planned, but keep in mind that the situation has already happened. Acceptance is they key to letting go and moving forward.  Likewise, don’t waste your time worrying about something that you can’t control.  Try not to fight it.  Everything is as it should be.  Try to remember that life’s happening right now...make the most of it!

Stop complaining (be grateful!)
There is nothing worse than a complainer.  There is nothing better than feeling grateful. Take a moment to look at your life, at your health, all that you have, and the awesome people that surround you.  There is always something (or someone) in your life that is your rock.  Try not to engage in fat talk, worry so much about the purse that you want (but may not get), or that rock that's currently not on your finger.

Make time for you
We’re all so busy with work, completing our to-do lists, and many of us are juggling a lot without childcare right now (myself included!).  Take a moment for YOU, every day.  Grab a hot chocolate, take a hot bath, read a magazine, and just breathe.  Slowing down your pace can really help you enjoy the present. 

Energy out
If you're like me, you may feel really wound up.  Like a child, I have to get the energy out.  Maybe you haven't worked out in a week or two?  I always feel better after I exercise.  If you can't get to Lithe, lithe at home or lock your bedroom door, turn on some music and Cardio-Cheer-Sculpt your worries away (yelling included) your way.  Having trouble staying mindful in class?  Check out this post by Lithe Instructor Rachel Dore, PSY.D.

This ain't no dress rehearsal
Enjoying the moment is fundamental
in learning how to be present. Sometimes we spend so much time on planning, and use so much energy worrying that something will go wrong that we totally forget to enjoy it!  Try to remember that you can't rewind or play your life out again
, so enjoy it!

Image of Lauren and her mindfulness necklace via Jordan

Comments

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This advice came at the perfect time. Thanks, Lauren!

Well put. Thanks for a well timed reminder!

Thank you Lauren for so eloquently and simply putting such a wonderful positive spin on the realities of life. Perfect to print as a list of resolutions!

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