Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

Double JoyA thoughtful gift of a plant with two garden stakes multiplies my joy every morning. As someone who enjoys nature and who has an affection for birds, I clearly appreciate the plant and the whimsical hummingbird. But knowing that my personal mantra is “Spread Joy,” my friend also gave me a garden stake with the word “joy” on it. What she doesn’t know is that every morning, when the bright eastern sun shines on my backyard, my joy doubles!

#1 – Napkin Notes
Napkin Notes A man named Garth writes words of encouragement on napkins before placing them in his daughter Emma’s lunch box. As a dedicated dad, he has been giving her these napkin notes, since she was in the second grade. But now, after being diagnosed with a cancer that gives him only an 8% chance of living beyond 5 years, Garth is accelerating his note-writing. He plans to write an additional 826 napkin notes, so that Emma will continue to receive notes in her lunch box after he is gone until she graduates from high school. Read about Garth and Emma’s inspirational story and check out their Facebook page.

#2 – Mother, Art, and Climate Change
Zaria Forman: Art and Climate Change Rena Bass Forman, an artist and photographer, conceived an idea to retrace the 1869 Arctic trip of American painter William Bradford, but unfortunately she did not live long enough to realize her dream. Her daughter Zaria Forman, a Brooklyn-based artist, fulfilled a promise she made to her late mother by leading an expedition called Chasing the Light up the northwest coast of Greenland. This trip inspired many realistic pastel drawings of icebergs. In an interview posted on My Modern Met, Ms. Forman says, “My hope is that these drawings bring awareness, and invite viewers to share the urgency in a hopeful and meaningful way. Art can facilitate a deeper understanding of any crisis, helping us find meaning and optimism in shifting landscapes.” Ms. Forman also traveled to the Maldives, the lowest-lying country in the world, to continue her focus on climate change. Below are links to see more of her incredible artwork:

Exploring Climate Change Through Art: Giant Pastel Oceanscapes and Icebergs Drawn By Zaria Forman

Zaria Forman Website.

#3 – A Hum a Day Keeps Stress Away
"Flying" Hum Want to begin the day in peaceful calm or end your day completely relaxed? Or do mid-afternoons present the most stressful moments? In any case, all you need to do is hum. Check out Osmosis, a “Frequency-shaped Meditation Drone Generator. The site reads, “Humming enhances breath control and extends exhalation. It also creates deep vibrations inside your chest, helping you to relax, ease stress, and balance your mind and body.” Locate the steady hum behind the soothing tinkling of bells and hum along. Feel better?

#4 – Valentine’s Day Upcycled
Upcycled Gift Boxes Not wanting to rush the year along, but Valentine’s Day is only two weeks away! Instead of buying heart-related stuff at your local craft store, how about upcycling something you already have around your house? Start by making these lace-inspired gift containers, made with plastic containers that previously held powdered drink pouches.

#5 – Joy Follows
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
Guatama Buddha

Now Go and Spread Joy!

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bird bath photo

Photo by Linnell Chang

Do you long for the bright sunny days of spring? Winter doldrums affect many of us and require us to find ways to recharge our batteries and to uplift our moods. When you find those seasonal “blahs” taking over, try to live in the present and try to find something for which you are grateful. There’s always something to be grateful for – for starters, you’re alive!

#1 – Soothing Music
winter sonata OST In the early morning hours when the house is quiet and still, I like to listen to soothing music while I sip my first cup of tea and gaze out my kitchen window. The music replays in my head all day long and sets a calming beat for my heart. Here’s a lovely piece of music that’s perfect for those quiet times. Hope you enjoy Nibanmenoai by Park Joung Won and, if not, do select something more suitable for your heartbeat, one that kicks off your day just the way you want.

#2 – Lessons For Your Memory
On my list of New Year’s resolutions is a category titled “Things I Want to Learn.” Among the things I want to do, learn, or  re-learn: how to knit something other than a scarf; try to brush up on my conversational French; play one of my favorite songs on the piano from beginning to end; learn to use my new camera proficiently; learn more silver-smithing techniques; continue taking ballroom dancing lessons. A Fox News article lists 9 Tricks to Improve Your Memory and one of those tricks is to learn something new. If I accomplish all on my list, my memory should be in good shape. Here are the 9 specific tricks, but do your brain a favor and read the whole article:

1. Change your font
2. Learn ballroom dancing
3. Switch hands
4. Take breaks
5. Write by hand
6. Play a computer game
7. Distract yourself
8. Meditate mindfully
9. Read out loud

#3 – Three Breaths Meditation
Whether you’re wanting to start your day calm and fresh or you want to de-stress, try doing a quick “Three Breaths Meditation.” Zen Master Mary Jaksch leads you through the basics in this short video. If you’re feeling “droopy, exhausted, dry, joyless, irritated or anxious,” she also has a post worth reading for those people who are suffering from spiritual fatigue.

#4 – The Power of Beautiful Photos
balloon in the sky Like a soulful song, beautiful and inspirational images stick in my head and help boost my mood. Here’s a series of stunning photos, one of which will surely catch your attention and brighten your spirits.

#5 – Candle of Joy
“Remember to light the candle of joy daily and all the gloom will disappear from your life.”
Djwhal Khul

Maintain your sunny outlook all weekend long!

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