Make time to find things that make you happy every day. Happiness doesn't just happen to you—you can proactively create it. You have more control over how you feel than you may think. Mindfulness helps you understand this. As you learn to observe, you realize that thoughts and feelings come and go frequently.
A benefit of practicing mindfulness is that you learn to be less reactive to stressful and emotional situations. This is good for your health. We all have 'buttons' that, when pressed, can cause us to lose control. It does not have to be that way.
When you watch over time the issues that press your buttons—for example, I hate it when people tell me, "You're wrong," because I pride myself on being very careful to get things right—you can learn, rather than react according to old patterns you may have had since childhood.
Many people ask me how to start a meditation practice or how to be mindful. The key is to improve the mind-body connection and to increase awareness. The way to do this is to wake up your senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Many of us are so caught up in our thoughts, we don't even notice the world around us. We miss the beauty of the sky—the brilliance of its colors, the mystery of the clouds. We don't even hear the birds around us singing.
I created this website as a resource for today's busy woman - you! I know, because I am you. We all hear about the importance of self-care and self love. You know that you 'should' be doing something to take more care of yourself, but because of everything you're juggling — work, family, friends, and community — it feels selfish and impossible.
This summer, I had the pleasure to meet with new and old friends at the Midsummer Mindfulness Conference in Rome, Italy. My meditation experience began with my Japanese mom in childhood. My formal training is from yoga instructor trainings and the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program from the Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts. Midsummer Mindfulness was a fantastic opportunity to renew myself at the source.
You can learn how to relax. Sometimes, it's necessary to make a conscious effort to relax. Rushing from place to place, meeting deadlines, dealing with difficult people can all lead to one big adrenaline rush. You need to slow it down.
Encouraging Iyengar yoga students to continue attending class at least once weekly may make a significant difference in their stress levels and in their quality of life, according to study findings published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2012; doi: 10.1155/2012/408727).
A mind-body study is shedding light on the biological reasons why daily meditation can successfully lower stress. What's exciting is this research suggests that meditation practice may reduce cellular inflammation and aging and therefore boost longevity and cellular health.
Just recently, I received the Pilates Deck, which is a set of 50 pilates exercise cards that allow you to make up your own sequences and develop a workout within your timeframe and skill level. I love the freedom these cards give you. I know we are all busier than ever, and these cards make it possible to get your workout in no matter how much time you can spare. Even if you only have 10 minutes, you can use a few warm up cards, then add in as many of the Pilates exercises that you want. They are illustrated and well explained, so that anyone can use them! And they are perfect to take on trips to get your workout in no matter where you are.