..........slow down.......take a breath.......be in the moment.......hold your thoughts & feelings as gently as you would a baby bird.......let them go.......just be..........

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Being Held

I have often wondered if I needed to combine my websites, because there seems to me much that crosses over.  Yet, having them separate helps me compartmentalize my lists of things to do.

This post I just put on my prayer bedes website was one I had a hard time deciding where it should go.  It does have to do with mindfulness, but it has to do with prayer beads too.  My resolution was that I would just put the same post on both websites, so here it is.

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to a podcast on the Greater Good Magazine.  Krista Tippet, creator of the On Being show on NPR, is one of the guest speakers on the podcast.  The podcast is titled Krista Tippet on Being Grounded in Your Body.  In it she describes her experience with the body scan meditation.

The body scan meditation is something I learned many years ago in therapy, but had forgotten about.  Yes, I still struggle at times with panic attacks, but lately my frustration has been with not being able to fall to sleep at night.  Amazingly, going through my body and focusing on relaxing each part from toe to head has actually been working!

One of the things that stood out to me when Krista describes her experience is this:
You feel heavy but it is not like feeling held down.
It is like being held.
What a wonderful explanation.  I might add that some might resist that heavy feeling like they are falling down too.  But the description of being held is perfect!

I have always thought of getting one of these parachute fabric hammocks and my order arrived in the mail today.  When you lay in one, that is exactly what you feel like--being held.  I think I have found a new prayer space this summer.  Even when I am not laying there, I can remember that feeling of being held.  There is a letting go and a trust involved in that too.  There are many times I need to let God hold me, and need a reminder to do so!

As with any meditation practice, the key is practice.  Just as with prayer, practice is important for communication with God as well.  (Though I am uncertain if I even want to draw a line between prayer and mediation as I consider mediation a form of prayer when that is the intent.)

Besides the hammock that came in the mail from Amazon today, I also received a new book titled Bead by Bead by Suzanne Henley that my friend, Kristen Olsen Vincent of Prayerworks Studio, brought to my attention.  In the back of the book, my prayer bedes website is listed as a source.  I am humbled and honored!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Mindfulness Wall Art

Still 8x10 print by WindGullDesignCo on Etsy
Still 8x10 watercolor print by WindGullDesignCo on Etsy

I ran across this lovely watercolor print today on Etsy.  It is always interesting to me how saying the same thing in a different way can help us understand and connect with its meaning.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Just Float

Soft Tranquil Blue Glass Mindfulness Reminder

It is another day of listing a new necklace to my Center Rings Etsy shop.  That is when I have to study the particular necklace I am listing and try to describe it with tags that someone might search.  Trying to read peoples minds has never been something I clam to be able to do.  So, instead I decided to describe what comes to mind when I look at the necklace.

How do I describe the color of blue in the glass?  Light blue?  Light turquoise blue?  Then, I thought of the color of a clean swimming pool.  Yes, that is what it reminds me of.

Then, that reminded me of an example I heard once in therapy of what not do do if you are having a panic attack in quicksand.  If you thrash around trying to get out, you will sink deeper.  But, if you lay on your back and float, you will not sink.  It is strange how our mind can so often fool us into thinking something is true.  I know my mind would say "get out of there" if I found myself sinking in quicksand.  The knowledge to lay back and float would not come to mind.  Yet, it is a perfect example of realizing that what we think might not be the truth.  Our instincts are not always right.

So, when I am feeling a bit anxious or panicky, I am going to think about just laying back and floating.  It is quite a remarkable feat of our natural world that water can hold us up if we let it.

Wishing you a wonderful little float today--even if it is just in your imagination.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

This too shall pass...eventually

This is Spring in Minnesota today.  Hail, ice, and snow--lots of snow.  It is reminding me of one of the hardest things about panic attacks.  You know that the feelings will pass, but when you are in the midst of a full blown panic attack, seconds seem like hours.  The strange thing is that the more you try to push those feelings away, the worse they get. 

Most of us here in Minnesota are really sick of this winter weather.  Yes, we are crabby.  But, that will not make it go away.  We cannot control the weather. 

I have decided it is okay to be crabby today.  It is okay to feel whatever I feel.  With that, however, I can still go about my day.  The weather will not stop me from breathing and living.  Maybe today will be a practice in mindfulness.  I can be here right now and just feel everything I feel and not judge it.  Yes, it is "uncomfortable".  I would rather be out in the yard getting ready for warmer weather ahead.

But, I do know that this will pass...eventually.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Aromatherapy, Mindfulness, and Panic Attacks

Aromatherapy Mindfulness Reminder Necklace

One of the other things besides practicing Mindfulness techniques to help with my panic attacks has been essential oils.

The Mindfulness Reminder necklace above includes a lava bead, which because of its porous nature makes a wonderful diffuser for essential oils.

I was excited when I ran across this study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) on Mindfulness Meditation in combination with essential oils to help reduce anxiety.  It was brought to my attention by the Tisserand Institute.  Robert Tisserand is one of the leading experts on the study of essential oils and wellness.

Here is the link to the notice from the Tisserand Institute
and the study from the NCBI.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Inspired by the Little Bird Tracks

Mindfulness Reminder Necklace with Little Bird Tracks by CenterRings on Etsy

Yesterday was a snow day in Minnesota.  (Yes, many of us here were groaning a bit that is was April and we still had snow.)  At our house, we also had an abundance of little Juncos in and out and all around our bird feeder.  I just love the little prints they made in the snow--so much so that it was my inspiration for the pattern on these new hammered brass rings.

Slow down
Take a breath
Be in the Moment
Hold your thoughts and feelings as gently as you would a baby bird
Let them go
Just be

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mindfulness Like Celadon Must Be Experienced to Be Understood

When creating a listing on Etsy, one of the things you do is add tags that describe your piece, such as  color, shape, usage, etc. so people can find it more easily in a search.  It is often difficult to decide what colors to use.  Do you just use the word "green" when it is really a lime green?  If someone is searching for a green necklace are they that specific?  Needless to say, the answers are quite illusive, and you just use words that seem to be the most direct.

Describing the color of the little green-blue bird on this necklace yesterday I had to stop and really think what words to use.  One issue is that describing color can be very personal.  What looks like blue to one person might look like purple to another.  It is actually quite difficult to find true colors.

Then the color "celadon" popped into my head. Yes, the little glass bird was celadon in color.  I typed it in with the other tags and posted the listing.  But I could not help wonder if what I thought the color celadon looked like was really the same color in the little bird charm, so I googled "celadon" in Google images.  Above is a picture of the necklace with what showed up in Google images, which confirmed I had found the right descriptive color.

It was interesting to read a bit more about celadon.  It is actually used most to describe a certain Asian glaze in pottery.  (I know the little bird charm is actually glass, but it is the same color as many of the celadon glazed.)

I was quite struck by this description I found for celadon green in Wikipedia:

These pots have blue-green glazes and are made in elegant shapes and were produced in kilns from all over China. Korean celadon pottery has been described by ancient Chinese artisans as having a quiet elegance whose color is "beyond description", in that it must be experienced to be understood, and its simplicity of form and style has been compared to the spirit of Zen Buddhism.[49]

I really like how they describe celadon as:
"having a quiet elegance whose color is beyond description"... "that must be experienced to be understood..."

That really is another description for mindfulness, and it is really not as illusive as it seems at first.