And We’re Back…

 

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To school that is… As a teacher and mom, the summers are GREATLY appreciated. Having lots of quality time with my family and friends is a wonderful opportunity. Of course, going back to work after 2 lovely months, can be tough (even if I have done this for 15 yrs!)  I know that other colleagues, moms and educators share the feeling… So I wrote about getting ourselves back to work mindfully this month. You can find the article here. And while some of us may not be educators or parents, simply getting into the “swing of things” – can sometimes be tough. We hit stumbling blocks – it’s ok, and just part of the journey. Using some of the mindfulness techniques mentioned here just may make those blocks a lot easier to get by.

You may also want to use some of the resources from this blog for other “tips and tricks” on using mindfulness in your every day living.

Lastly, a few visuals (for rainy days or times you’re “forced” to be at your computer) to help you breathe a bit easier…

 

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The Greater Good…

I love the material that comes from Greater Good, a resource center and organization a the Univ. of CA, Berkeley.

It’s a wonderful place to find some interesting articles on the brain, mindfulness and help with stress and anxiety…

Click here for the link  to their mindfulness quiz! and take a tour of their site and resources while you’re there… Enjoy!

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doing the Work…

I don’t get paid to write this. It’s something, however, I want to share. It’s something I believe so many of us can truly benefit from. If you haven’t heard of “The Work” by Katie Byron, I highly suggest taking a look at the site.

“Who would you be without your story?”  – it’s the most powerful question I’ve ever been asked. It’s also the one that makes the most sense in figuring out our stresses, fears and joys.

Katie’s work is thought work. By looking at our thoughts we can find a true peace of mind. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve mastered a completely “clear” mind. I’m still quite human and still get “stuck” and frustrated. BUT the Work is like my yellow flag. When I feel some stress coming on, I simply turn to The Work. It’s very helpful.

Of course I should also add that I use breathing , yoga and Reiki techniques for stressful events and thinking as well. A good walk. Playtime with our dogs. There’s lots of other methods for helping clear stress.

However, The Work will help get to the root of the problem. Yes, feeling good is one thing, but getting to the core is essential.

Everything you need is on The Work site. It’s free and you can do it any time anywhere. It’s a wonderful resource and tool. I thank Katie for providing us with this every day.

 

 

How to Help

Just days ago, a country that was “most prepared” for an earthquake, was shaken and devastated by two violent acts of Nature. The alarming earthquake combined with a horrifying tsunami in Japan has left thousands with no home, no family, no food or shelter. There are thousands still missing and many who are injured.

Like many, I was able to sit on my living room couch, watch the scenes of horror then simply turn off the TV and go about my day. However, it wasn’t just a bad dream or horrific film, it was real. There are still thousands of people living those images every minute, right now. I’m the fortunate one who isn’t confronted with those scenes, unless I choose to put them on my TV or computer. I’m the lucky one who can go about playing with her toddler at the park or in our yard, and I don’t have to surround myself with reminders of what just took place in Japan, unless, I want to.

And so, I go about my days, I work, I play with my daughter, spend time with my husband, clean my house, take walks, take photos, make dinner, and go to bed. But Japan is on my mind. I have chosen to allow it to be there and remain there. I have no family or friends who were lost to the recent devastation, but my ties through the practice of Reiki originate in this country. Reiki, the art of healing energy, was brought about by Mikao Usui, from Japan, in the early 1900s. This art continues to grow in me and teach me every day. It’s something I use daily, for just about everything I do. And though it is an art, and practice, that needs time and dedication,and a great amount of understanding, once learned- the respect that accompanies it is overwhelming.

Last night I told my husband that we should get on a plane and go to help the people of Japan. However, time and money, at this time, don’t allow that. I offer Reiki to Japan every day, as it can be done from a distance as well. I also wanted to offer more. Therefore, at work I set up a donation system for the next two weeks. Below, in this piece, there is also information on where to go to make donations or find more information about helping Japan, volunteering and assisting in this global tragedy. It’s what I’m able to do at this moment, now, which is all we have.

The following are non for profit agencies and organizations which are working to provide relief and recovery in Japan:

*Shelter Box, American Red Cross (you can also text “Redcross” from your phone to 90999 and donate $10 for relief efforts)

*GlobalGiving

*Save the Children

* The Salvation Army (text the work “Quake” or “Japan” sent to 80888 to make a $10 donation)

*Americares

*Convoy of Hope (text “Tsunami” to 50555 to give a $10 donation)

*ITunes via Apple has linked up with the Red Cross as well in order to make making donations easier.

You can, of course, text these agencies or, simply visit the websites to find out about other ways to make donations as well.

Sadly, there are those looking to make money from this “cause” as well . Beware of scams. Check Charity Navigator- a site that lists and evaluates thousands of non for profit agencies. Beware of suspicious phone calls and do not given financial information over the phone unless you make the call to a verified agency, such as one of those listed above.

If you can’t done money, or volunteer, you can still help. There is always the act of prayer – a few kind and loving words, prayer, they can be heard for thousands of miles.

Namaste.