About 5 months ago we adopted our first rescue dog. A black lab we named Pepper. We seriously won the rescue jackpot with her. She is a super sweetheart, easy going, fit right into our family (with 2 cats), and loves everyone she meets.
We don’t know how we scored so big! Her only flaw is that she has developed some separation anxiety. Who can blame her? Like most rescues her story is a sad one, being abandoned in a house with her sibling lab brother when her human family moved out. (Seriously, what is wrong with some people?!)
As part of our strategy to help remove her separation anxiety we’ve done a bit of everything: changing everything about our routines, leaving on tv, leaving on music, leaving on a loop of my recorded meditations, recording us having a conversation and leaving that on loop, using a thunder shirt, moving her crate to a new location, we even turned off all the panel sound on our alarm system so we could arm it without her even knowing!
That’s right - the panel makes no sound now. So not only can we set the system without her knowing it, but when we come home it doesn’t even beep when the system is tripped. The only sound it makes is the siren when the alarm goes off. And we’ve been hearing that a lot lately!
How is it possible that we keep setting this thing off almost on a daily basis when we’ve been using an alarm system for 13 years?!
This is what I woke up thinking about this morning as my husband set the alarm off for the first time today. (I then set it off after returning from our walk!)
Its the first thing we do every time we walk in the door. Shouldn’t this be an automatic habit by now?
But without the beep letting us know its been tripped we keep forgetting to turn it off.
Why do we keep forgetting when this has been part of our daily routine for so long?
The answer is that without the audible reminder of the beep we just simply forget that we need to do it - even after 13 years. That blows my mind!
This got me thinking about reminders in general. I know I have to add every task or event to my calendar or it will get forgotten.
And I started thinking about when I wanted to create a meditation practice on my own and how I had to schedule it to be part of my day or it wouldn’t happen.
Anytime you want to do something that is out of your usual routine (or maybe even if it’s part of your usual routine - like the alarm!) it is helpful to take the time to create a reminder for yourself.
[This same concept could be used to remove a habit you no longer want too - just remove the trigger.]
For now, I’m adding a note to remind us to turn off the alarm!
Oh, and Pepper is doing much better with her separation anxiety. We don’t have her 100% yet, but our last time out she actually slept. Hopefully that means, we can turn the alarm sound back on soon.
If you’d like reminders (and a whole supportive program) to create your daily meditation practice - join us for Motivate To Meditate!
What if you could stop listening to all those repetitive thoughts in your head?
You know the ones I mean - the ones that play like tapes over and over. They may come in several forms such as: nonsensical or meaningless, negative or judgmental speak, or a never ending version of your to do list or a rendition of something on it.
The constant cycle of unwanted thoughts in our heads can:
We also lose our ability for clarity and productivity.
Our brains were made for thinking but its difficult to do that when its full of unwanted thoughts. It’s hard to hear your creative, insightful, meaningful thoughts above the incessant chatter of the cyclical, useless ones.
But what if you could interrupt them?
What if you could learn to ignore them and not pay them any attention?
What if you could learn to calm your mind?
Meditation can teach you how to do that.
Meditation increases your awareness and ability to pay attention. When you start paying attention you begin to notice all kinds of things in your life including those cyclical thoughts.
Which means you can begin to clear them out (before they take up space!) by using your awareness to help you identify those repetitive tapes. Once you recognize them for what they are you can learn to ignore them. And when you stop listening—they stop showing up.
They literally vanish - making room for actual important thoughts. And a calm and more quiet mind.
There is tremendous power in being able to turn off the pointless thoughts.
When you learn how to recognize and distinguish between types of thoughts - your life changes.
It’s then that you are able to create space in your head for real brainpower to take shape AND to be heard because those important thoughts won’t be fighting amongst thousands of other unwanted thoughts. So you can easily find it and hold on to it.
Meditation can teach you how to recognize cyclical thoughts and how to ignore them, which will give your mind a much needed change of pace and also space for your creative, insightful, and powerful thoughts to be heard. And this is where your life starts to expand.
So take your seat right now to begin finding your calm and quiet mind and see where it takes you! If you need a little meditation assistance download these short mini meditations or set up a session.
For more blogs on meditation and breaking or changing patterns check out:
Out Of Control Mind
A Pattern In The Breaking
Getting Comfortable With The Uncomfortable
How often do you tune into and listen to your instincts? You know the ones – a turning in your belly that says something isn’t right or your spidey senses saying there’s something a little off here.
Since moving, we’ve had to start over in all areas of our lives. Not just new friends and new environment, but also new holistic health providers. How do you find the right dentist, acupuncturist, chiro, etc.? Let me tell you, it can be a sloooooow process.
I recently found myself in need of some bodywork. I went to someone who came highly recommended, but after the first visit, I could tell that my body wasn’t responding well to this style of treatments.
My gut was saying this isn’t working with your highly sensitive system, but I wasn’t sure if I just needed to give it some time or if I needed to find someone else to work with.
This is one of those things that can come up whenever you are getting care from someone, and it can cause us to go around in circles trying to decide the right thing to do.
So how do you decide what’s best for you? How do you really know what your gut/body is trying to communicate to you?
Here’s what I do:
Really pay attention to how your system is reacting. Try to put it into words instead of just sensing and feeling it so you get a clearer picture. Sitting quietly with your eyes closed for a few minutes can really help you to tune in and paint a better picture.
Once you know what you are feeling, start asking questions. What is this feeling about? What could my body be trying to communicate to me? Do I feel uncomfortable with this person? Is this harming me? Is this a common response for this type of treatment? Am I avoiding something? Have I responded this way before?
Keep going. Take a look at it from all sides and perspectives to see what information you can gather. I am the queen of asking questions, so if you get stuck, reach out.
Word of Caution: don’t fall into analysis paralysis here. This is more about addressing any concerns that you have about working with this person and getting truthful responses from yourself about your reaction to this particular situation.
Gather more information
If your questions don’t lead you to a decision, go back for another appointment to collect more information. Or give the office a call and talk to the practitioner to get your concerns addressed. Be sure to ask all of your questions and pay attention to how your gut/body respond before, during and after for additional feedback.
Remember: there is no “right” and there is no “wrong”
I find that this rule applies 99% of the time to most scenarios. We often put so much pressure on ourselves to make the right choice. To not screw up. When in reality, it doesn’t really matter. And in the end, if it truly feels like it wasn’t the right choice, part of how we learn is from our mistakes so we can put it in our growth and learning bucket for future use.
Ultimately, I decided to have another appointment with this person and talk about my concerns. They completely understood what was happening to my system and we agreed that another version of treatment was what I needed. I even received an awesome referral!
We all deserve to be well taken care of and whomever we work with needs to be supportive of our well-being and our interests. Surrounding yourself with that kind of support can sometimes be challenging, but is worth it in the long run.
Are you listening to your body? What steps do you take to understand what it's telling you?
Jenn White, Yoga Educator, Meditation Teacher, and Owner of Embodied Bliss, began her journey of yoga and meditation in 2004 while recovering from a back injury. Feeling lost, restless and seeking something more from life, she found her path through meditation.
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