Welcome to your new mindful life!
This page is just for employees of Cayuga County who are looking to feel calmer, move better, and improve the quality of their life and relationships.
Week One: Finding Calm
Discover how to calm and soothe your system using your own breath. The breath naturally arises from the belly, radiates outwards, and provides a gentle rhythm of expanding and condensing for the body and mind.
The following practices will help you connect with the movement of the breath in the body.
You can download the handout from our session here.
Anatomy of the breath – A quick overview of how the body breathes:
Three-part breathing – A great breathing practice to release tension and bring your awareness into the body and this moment:
Following the exhale – A short guided breathing practice to find quick calm:
Feeling the breath in the body – An extended guided breathing meditation to release and relax:
Straw breathing – An easy practice to calm the mind and retrain the body to breathe from the belly:
Week Two: Moving with Ease
When the mind, body, and breath align, you can move with more comfort, coordination, and ease. The following practices will help you use the power of your mind to heighten your awareness of your body’s natural state of ease and health.
Download the handout from our session to learn four main components of easeful moving here.
Synchronize your movement to the rhythm of your breath to calm the nervous system and move with strength using the right muscles:
(Eek! This was filmed back when I first started making videos and didn’t know to smile!)
Strengthen and awaken your brain-foot connection – you’ll need a small ball like a golf ball:
(Never mind the day 15 heading – I filmed this during the first round of my Mindful Month.)
Moving meditation to explore yielding to gravity and moving in sync with the breath:
Align the neck to relieve neck, shoulder, and jaw pain:
Take care to be present when you’re in transition. One way to be fully aware of what you are doing is to focus on the sensation of the foot connecting with the ground as you walk. Thich Naht Hanh suggests imagining you’re kissing the earth with your feet as you step, and envisioning a lotus flower blooming under your foot as your heel lifts off.
You may also use your time walking to awaken all your senses – look up and notice the edges of the leaves on the trees and the clouds; listen to the sounds of the birds, wind, bugs, people; smell the air, spring, flowers. Be present, soak it in and enjoy!!
Week Three: Mindful Eating
For many of us, eating is a time when we check-out of the present moment. You may overeat, eat quickly, or snack mindlessly – all of which take us away from the experience of tasting and enjoying your food.
Consider these questions:
Do you avoid thinking about your food as you’re eating?
Do you snack mindlessly or reach for food when you’re stressed, confused, or experiencing other strong emotions?
How is the quality of your breath when you eat? Are you aware of your breath?
How would you like to relate to your meals and eating?
Download the week three handout HERE for more questions to guide your inquiry into your relationship with food.
Choose one practice you can do to bring yourself fully into the moment before / during your meals. You may choose counting your bites, watching your breath as you chew, setting your fork down between bites, saying a blessing, or taking 3-5 deep breaths before eating.
This practice outlines a short guided meditation into the effort and food chain behind each meal you eat:
Here are two more specialized practices to get you thinking:
Straw breathing – An easy practice to calm the mind and be fully present for your meals:
Gratitude / Intentional eating – A different take on infusing your food with specific intentions
(Never mind the day 22 heading – I filmed this during the first round of my Mindful Month.)
Here is an aff. link to the book I mentioned: http://amzn.to/1OfnRUj
Guest expert Sabrina Weyenth – a psychotherapist specializing in disordered eating explains what to do when shi** hits the fan in your relationship with food. Her perspective continually blows me away – definitely worth watching.
Lastly, check out 7 Mindful Eating Tips shared by the National Eating Disorders Association, available HERE.
Week Four: Mindful Relating
If you’re anything like me, you learned over time to act and react to others in certain ways. For example – you’re different with your parents than you are with your friends or siblings, not to mention your kids or spouse.
It’s easy to get stuck in a habitual way of interacting and forget to bring the best of yourself forward for the ones you love.
That’s where mindfulness comes in. If you’re dissatisfied with your relationship dynamics and want to develop new patterns of interacting, then you need new tools to help you change.
Try the practices below and download the week four handout HERE to tune into how you show up for your relationships.
Heart-opening mindful practices
Watching your breath – focusing the mind on your breath while listening to others
Heart-opening meditation – use this practice to explore and activate your heart chakra energy.
Lovingkindness meditation – a guided meditation to embody lovingkindness and share its gifts with others
Heart Hugs – a fun experiment to connect more deeply with others
Energy clearing practices
Zipping Up – untangling your energy from another’s
Cord cutting – clear the energetic ties that are draining you
Thank you for taking this journey with me over the last month! Hopefully by now you’re feeling calmer and know you have all the tools you need to navigate life with poise and presence.