Tag: MindBody

“I can’t focus, my mind’s all over the place!” If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say this to me, I’d be rich. I hear friends say they take on a million tasks at once and they’re onto the next task before finishing the first one—which really means nothing ever gets done.

Our minds move a thousand miles per minute, and with the speed of technology, we’re not slowing down any time soon. The TV’s on, the radio’s blaring, the cell phone’s pinging with every new text, and Facebook’s open 24/7. Information is so readily accessible, it’s easy to get wrapped up in having to know it all. And after knowing it all, we try to do it all. An endless cycle that can go on forever as if we’re running on a hamster wheel.

This state of overthinking, overload and overwhelm is all too common.

We’re split and scattered between past, present and future, juggling roles and responsibilities. We’re caught up in regrets about yesterday and worries about tomorrow. It’s no wonder we struggle to fall asleep at night.

These are the effects of mental clutter. The head fog, the confusion, the chaos, the stress. And this “stuff” affects our environment. It leads to our messy desks, our overstocked cupboards, our overflowing closets and drawers.

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It’s easy to wake up and just start running around the house like a crazy person making breakfast, checking email, putting dishes away, doing push-ups, rummaging through closet hangers for an outfit and getting the kids out of the house. Ambitiously, in the spirit of “getting it all done.”

Most of us can relate to a morning like that. And how it starts is typically how it ends.

Our days begin to look colorless and feel monotonous, and we can’t see the horizon because we’ve cluttered our view with tasks, obligations, chores and responsibilities. The weight of it all is debilitating.

We have only 24 hours in a day and sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough because we’re cramming too much in.

So much so that it’s confused us, clouded our focus and crippled our peace. Our effort to get it all done is actually counterproductive.

But what if we started a little slower and a little more thoughtfully? How would a peaceful start change our day, its course and momentum? How would our morning affect our focus throughout the day? How would it improve the way we speak to others, what we put in our bodies, and how we feel by the time we return home at night?

How can we use our morning to put us on the good foot? To open us up to receive what comes and to welcome it with open arms, whatever it is? I have an idea how…

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Even after listing all the benefits, the few who still cringe at the thought of meditation don’t realize the gift it is. They’re too caught up in thinking they can’t do it. Believing the myths and getting discouraged.

“Is it sitting around thinking about nothing? My mind never shuts up! Besides, I have too much to do to set aside 15 minutes to do nothing. That’s time wasted.”

But it isn’t time wasted. It’s so powerfully recharging and rejuvenating that once you experience the gift of meditation, you’ll happily make the time to do it because it will prove to be the best way to start the day.

Reconnecting with yourself in meditation, checking in and getting centered is how we stay cool, calm and collected. This work leads to clarity, insight and peace.

It leads to connected relationships. The time spent in meditation will equal how joyful and present you become with those you encounter at home, work and everywhere.

Once you decide that meditation is worth it, it will be. And you’ll see the gift of meditation manifest in your life immediately.

If you’re still wrestling with the idea, unconvinced of its benefits, let me offer you a crash course in meditation.

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What a perfect time for this step. Spring is in the air and makes for an excellent stage on which to experience Step 8 of The Declutter Code. (But first, read and practice Step 7!)

Use the change of seasons to make this a powerful experience.

Step 8: Savor

To savor is to relish and delight in a feeling. It’s basking in the sensations of an experience. Savoring is placing our attention on a situation fully, openly and fondly. We are unconditionally loving the moment.

To savor is to appreciate. Savoring a situation with our senses is to embody an experience, gratefully noticing all the sounds, smells, sights, textures and flavors that accompany it.

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By now, you’re probably familiar with my book, The Declutter Code: 10 Simple Steps to Clarity and how it explores the simple philosophy behind decluttering our minds and the journey to getting clear.

It is a process to declutter our lives. It shines a light on our clinging and hoarding, and clears the way through mental and environmental clutter. It accomplishes this by offering steps to calm the chaos and clear the fog in our minds. It encourages full-body awareness and the use of our senses.

The results of practicing The Declutter Code, in addition to clarity, are peace of mind, less stress, managed anxiety and freedom from overwhelm.

The next several blog posts are dedicated to the 10 steps of The Declutter Code. I’ll break down each step and provide a quick and easy way to incorporate it into your life.

Don’t let the simplicity of these steps fool you. They are powerful, decisive and transformative.

Step 1: Slow

To slow is to pause. It is a significant and unmistakable pausing to breathe, observe and reflect. It is taking our foot off the gas and physically slowing the movement of our bodies. It is becoming slow to speak and slow to react.

Slowing invites in a respite from the frantic, crazed doing. A treat for our sanity. We slow down to go with the flow.

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I’m raising the torch for exercise. I’ll even throw an Olympic gold medal on the thing. Is there any reason not to love it?

Exercise is how the body stays fit and healthy. It’s also one of the ways the mind stays fit and healthy. Incorporating some type of physical activity (a.k.a. exercise) into your daily routine is a must.

I wouldn’t call myself an athlete, but I stay fairly active. I like to challenge my body and see what it can do (when I put my mind to it), especially in my yoga practice, spin class and trail hikes. Aside from that, I aim to get a 45-minute, brisk, aerobic walk in daily.

Right now, I’m enrolled in a 2-week intense bootcamp program that’s kicking my ass…and I love every gritty second.

If you, too, made the new year’s resolution to get fit, good for you. When you set that goal, you probably weren’t even aware of all the side effects that decision would have on your entire life. More on that in a second.

For those of you who are anti-exercise, what’s your reasoning?

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Each and every single day of our lives, we work toward love. The one thing we don’t need to work for at all, yet it is the one thing we work the hardest at. So much so, we never fail at it, searching and finding love.

We don’t always know we’re doing it, but we are. We seek to be loved, to feel loved and to know we’re loved. And we effort toward that through any means necessary.

We search and we find it however we can. Through compliments, awards, sex, food, drugs, gossip, Instagram, shopping, comparing, belittling…

A lot or a little at a time, we distract ourselves from true love and gravitate toward good-for-now. We’ve become addicted to those small detours away from self-judgment. Anything that gets our minds off what we hate about ourselves.

Doesn’t sound like love at all.

Nothing external can be a source (er, a reminder) of love, unless we first love ourselves. Love that comes inside-out is able to recognize love that comes outside-in. We see, feel and know only what’s already inside of us.

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