Daily Challenge: Meditate For Ten Minutes

This isn’t the first, nor the last, time I’ll mention meditation on this blog. I think the importance of meditation can’t be understated. Whether you do it daily, weekly, or just once in a while, meditation allows you to focus on your breathing, calm yourself, and take a break from the outside world to bring a sense of peace to your life.

Today’s daily challenge is a simple one: meditate for 10 minutes.

Super easy to do, right? It’s just ten minutes out of your day — just 10 minutes of the 1,440 minutes each day offers us, which is not an unreasonable request.

Whether you choose to do this when you wake up in the morning and before you begin your day, when you’re ending your day and heading to bed, or in the midst of your day, is completely up to you. Each time offers its own unique benefits: helping you prepare for the day, allowing you to calm down from a busy day before a night’s sleep, or just allowing you to take a break and step away from the madness that can be everyday life.

Some people might read this and say “Well, I don’t know how to meditate.” In reality, there’s no “wrong” way. You might like music, or silence. You might have a mantra. You might sit, or lay, or find some other (yoga?) position. Here’s a few websites to help: Link 1, Link 2.

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a few websites highlighting the various benefits of meditation, including Forbes and The Huffington Post.


Five Things You Can Do To Organize Your Life RIGHT. NOW.

keep-calm-and-organize-351Do you feel: frazzled, overworked, strained, anxious or just plain stressed out? While many problems take a lot more work to solve, there are at least a few ways that you can organize your life RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT, and it won’t even take that long.

Sometimes, the smallest things can lift a huge weight off your shoulders, help you accomplish other tasks more easily, or otherwise just make you feel even the tiniest bit better about your life and where it’s heading right now. Sometimes, you just need to do something small to help get your life organized and get you a little less stressed.

Here’s five things you can do – right now – to help get your life organized!

1. Purge your email. Most of us are constantly connected, but sometimes emails can build up… whether they’re important contacts you need to respond to, spam emails you need to delete, or coupon offers you’ve been holding on to. Sort through it. Respond to the emails that require a reply; mark items as spam as appropriate. Delete coupon offers that have expired or that you know you won’t use. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, go in and unsubscribe yourself from half of those email lists you’re getting but never even bother to read.

2. Make a to-do list. Whether it’s short-term tasks you need to accomplish in a few hours (or a few days) or longer-term deals that entail a lot more work and time, make a to-do list. It’ll give your life and time some structure, set some goals for yourself, and keep you on track. Plus, there’s nothing like the quiet satisfaction of crossing a task off once you’ve accomplished it.

3. Plan out your calendar. Doctor’s appointments, birthday parties, meetings, soccer games, etc. Buy a planner (if you don’t have one!!) and write everything down. This will help in a few ways: first, you won’t have to worry about forgetting events if you’ve got them in your planner! Second, it’ll make it a lot easier to schedule future events if you have a handy calendar ready for easy reference.

4. Clean up your cell phone. Delete old texts. Move old photos to your SD card to save space, or better yet, delete photos you don’t want anymore. Remove apps you don’t use, and clear your cache to free up even more space. Our mobile devices are some of our most precious items nowadays, and it’s important that we make sure these things aren’t contributing to our stress.

5. Do that one thing you’ve been putting off. What is it? I don’t know. Maybe you’ve been dreading making that doctor’s appointment, or calling your mother-in-law. Maybe you don’t really want to go to the grocery store (but hey, you have to eat sometime). Whatever that “thing” is that you’ve been postponing…. go and do it. You’ll feel a lot better without the stress of that impending event weighing on your shoulders.

I hope these tips can help you feel less stressed and more organized! Anyone else got any tips they’d like to share?

The Path to “Zen”

The way our lives are today, it’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of everything. We have to think about so many things at any point in time. Paying the bills, getting to work on time, what’s for dinner tonight, the weekend plans, why hasn’t that person called me back?, etc. etc. — all thoughts that cross into our heads, sometimes all at once. It’s easy for our heads to feel like we’re swimming and for some reason, we can never break the surface. But it’s time to let go of all that and get ourselves on the path to “zen.”

This isn’t a topic that I’m too familiar with, I’ll be the first to admit that. But it’s a path that I want my life to be on – peaceful, calm, destressed. Seriously, how great does that sound? I just picked up a book called “Being zen : bringing meditation to life” by Ezra Bayda (published in 2002). I haven’t started reading it yet, but I think it sounds great. Detaching yourself from the stressful situations and letting life work out things for itself, staying calm and keeping yourself centered.

I used to stress over everything. I used to worry about everything, be caught up in all sorts of drama and generally, I was pretty unhappy. But the past few months have really taught me a lot about letting things go and how much that can seriously help your demeanor and attitude towards life. Being present in the moment allows me to enjoy things so much more. Not worrying about everything and trying to plan every last detail of everything has opened me up to spontaneity and adventure. Detaching myself from stressful situations has allowed me to not worry so much about those things and focus on my life and the things I can control.

I’m sure there are tons of books about “being zen” out there. Meditation, focus, being present in the moment, letting go, etc. I plan on using these tools a lot in the future, and I hope maybe you’ll consider it too. It seems like it’ll be a great way to get centered and calm and relax. Now I just have to come up with a mantra for myself for those times when things do get in the way — but I’ll work on it.