Wednesday, June 29, 2011

17 Ways to Make Space for “me” time.

17 Ways to Make Space for “me” time.

By Neil Legault

Today’s society is all go-go- go… We have been so accustomed to squeezing in many activities, projects and people into our schedule it’s hard for us to have the space in our lives to enjoy our journey. Not only is it just activities and people, we also have been accustomed to living a certain way that fills our space. Our busy and cluttered lives hinder our ability to connect with ourselves and spend quality time enjoying our experience of life.

Making “Space” is the key word here. Space comes in 3 forms and when we fill up all our available space, we become dysfunctional, tired, disconnected and depressed. Not having enough space is an energy drainer. Making space is also essential to any spiritual practice if you want to really connect with your life.

These 3 areas are:

1) In your mind

2) In your activities

3) In your environment

This is your life and every day that you don’t have the time to smell the roses is one day less you have to enjoy it. Space and time are almost the same. Time is time. That’s the easy one. Space on the other hand is psychological. When we have lots of physical and mental clutter around we feel weighted down, heavy and our energy drains.

Below are 17 ways to slow down and simplify to create space and time in your life.

1. Don’t fill empty space with junk. We have a tendency to fill every minute with something. Stop and smell the roses. Do absolutely NOTHING for a while. If you have troubles doing it it’s because you have a compulsion to fill in the gaps. This compulsion is like a fear of emptiness.

2. Reduce the time you spend with the TV or Computer. Are you starting to feel that life is getting artificial? Spend 1 day doing stuff outdoors with no electronics and compare your state of being. You will see a big difference in your quality of life.

3. Get rid of your junk. Getting rid of all the stuff you have and NEVER use will make you feel like a load is off your back. The lighter you are with less “stuff” the more you will feel freer. More energy.

4. Eat, walk and do stuff slowly. We rush, rush, and rush. All the stuff we usually want to enjoy we tend to put aside or rush through so we can get somewhere else faster.

5. Take your time. Whether you are shopping, gardening, or whatever, practice going slower and taking lots of time doing it. This will help you slow down.

6. Be present. Again, slowing down on purpose helps you be more present.

7. Plan to finish or abandon. Having “unfinished projects” all over the place stops you from enjoying the moment. Either plan to finish your project or decide that you don’t want it anymore and get rid of it. Once you decide and finish or abandon you will feel lighter and have more energy.

8. Simplify your home, desk, office. Seeing your space uncluttered and minimal makes you feel light on your feet, organised and clean. It’s an energy booster.

9. Take a look at your priorities. Make a list of what’s important in your life. Are you spending your time on them now? If not then when?

10. Reduce unneeded activities. If your friends, neighbours or family routinely ask or invite you to do stuff that is mildly interesting, cut back or stop! Spend your quality time and space on you.

11. Empty your mind. The busier you are the more you have on your mind. Emptying it regularly is a meditation. If you are afraid to forget something write it down. Make a list. This helps you not having to remember it every second.

12. Focus on simple pleasures. Focusing on simple pleasures keeps the pace slow and allows you to enjoy being here.

13. Meditate. Meditation is about stopping the mind from taking over and allowing you to be present in your experience of life.

14. Enjoy doing dishes. Every moment you are doing something, try to enjoy doing it. Pretend as if you have all the time in the world and there is no need to do anything quickly. Simple chores have now become spacious. It’s a meditation.

15. Leave space between activities. We have a tendency to pack a lot in a day. Whether they’re appointments, or things you need to do, don’t stack them back-to-back. You will feel less rushed.

16. Reserve time for you. Especially in relationships. Book and reserve time for you to be on your own away from your home and friends. Being on your own helps you regain a focus on you.

17. And MOST importantly, Learn to say NO. Many people have problems saying NO. We have a tendency to say “yes” to almost anybody… Mostly because we feel obligated or feel that we will hurt their feelings if we say no. No stops others from taking up your time and space especially with useless stuff or their garbage. These are energy suckers and you want to keep your energy up!

Just say NO!

Here is a simple guide to follow when looking at your life:

1. Identify what’s important to you.

2. Remove everything else.

3. Take your time to enjoy.

When you have space in your life you make room for life to happen to you. It also allows you to spend more time connecting with life.



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

5 Daily Habits for Positive Thinking

5 Daily Habits for Positive Thinking

by Wendy Tomlinson

Positive thinking is essential if you want to improve your life and create the things you want. When you understand the law of attraction you will understand that we must take charge of our thoughts if we are to successfully create the life we desire.

However most of us have spent years thinking about what we don't want and don't like and allowing negative thoughts to sabotage our dreams. With these 5 daily habits for positive thinking you will quickly see changes.

Begin and end each day with positive affirmations. Stand in front of a mirror to say your affirmations whenever possible and keep all affirmations in present tense.

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations you might use are:

I am healthy and slim

I am a money magnet

I have lots of wonderful friends

I have a loving family

I am loved

I am successful in all areas of my life

I am confident and positive

I'm always in the right place at the right time

Design your own affirmations that fit your own desires. For example, if you want to attract a new car, your affirmation could be I am now the owner of a brand new red sports car.

Use affirmations throughout the day. The more you practice using affirmations the more naturally they will come to mind as needed.

Thought Swapping Whenever you catch yourself having a negative thought swap it for a slightly better thought. Here's an example. It's Monday morning and the post arrives with a pile of bills. You groan and complain about the bills and say I'm never going to have any money for the things I want.

STOP. These are negative thoughts.

Now is the time to swap.

How about this instead. Okay so I have bills. One is for the electricity that powers my home. I love that we have free flowing electricity so that we can enjoy the television, lighting, the music system, the computer...

The second bill is insurance for my car. My fabulous car. I love my car. I love knowing that all I have to do is get in my car and I can go pretty much wherever I want.

I'm sure you get the idea. Be thankful for the service you receive and pay the bill with thanks.

VisualizationsVisualizations are incredibly powerful. Spend time as often as possible visualizing (daydreaming) the life you desire. Visualize your day as you want it to be. This is a fantastic way of tricking the mind into thinking what you want already exists allowing you to naturally attract this into your life. I recommend spending a few minutes at the begining and end of each day

Time for some funEvery single day make time for fun in your life. Read the jokes in the newspaper, watch a comedy on tv, read a funny book, do a funny dance around the office or your home, stand in front of the mirror and pull funny faces, play games, play with your kids (or someone else's), it really doesn't matter what you do, just make it a part of your daily life to have fun EVERY DAY.


Be consistent with your daily habits

Habits are formed over a period of time. To start with you will need to think conciously about doing all 5 habits daily and it may seem like a bit of a chore in the beginning. I suggest commiting to the 5 daily habit for the next 30 days. By this time the positive habits will have become a part of your natural day and you will no longer need to think so much about completing them as you will have begun to do them automatically.

By the end of the 30 days I would certainly expect you to be feeling and thinking much more positively.

The word meditation brings a variety of different pictures to my mind. This is an area you can explore yourself. Some people enjoy long guided meditations or group meditations and they are extremelly relaxing and powerful. However for our daily habits I suggest a few minutes sitting quietly and clearing your mind. The best technique I have found is to focus on your breathing. Take 3 slow and deep breaths and then relax into a natural breathing rythm and begin slowly counting to 10. When you get to 10 count backward to zero. If your mind wanders just start again. Try to spend around 10 minutes doing this. This particular technique can be done anywhere. Because you are counting, your mind gradually empties allowing you to feel calm and positive


The Power of Imagination

The Power of Imagination

by Dimitrios Papalexis

Best-Selling Author and Psychologist, Norman Doidge, left his fancy laboratory to embark on a journey across the United States and interview famous scientists from the field of neuroplasticity. His results about how imagination leads to material changes, reveal the power of imagination and the infinite possibilities of the human mind.

Scientific Experiments Prove the Effectiveness of Imagination

Alvaro Pascual-Leone chief of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical center, part of Harvard Medical School, conducted experiments showing that “we can change our brain anatomy simply by using our imagination”. He conducted an experiment that shows how thoughts can lead to the change of the material structure of our brains.

During the experiment a number of students learning piano was divided into two groups. The first group, with the name “the mental practice group” sat in front of an electric piano two hours a day, for five days, and imagined both playing the sequence and hearing it played. The second group, that was named “physical group”, actually played the piano. The brains of both groups were mapped before the experiments, each day and afterward. When both groups played the sequence after the end of the practice, a computer measured how accurate their performance was. The results have shown that both groups learned to play the sequence. The mapping of their brain showed similar brain map changes.

The above experiment demonstrates that mental practice or imagination alone “produced the same physical changes in the motor system” as if the students had actually played the piece. That means that mental practice or imagination can be effective for learning a physical skill without having to physically practice.

Anatoly Sharansky Became a Master of Chess Through Mental Practice.

Another story presented in The Brain That Changes Itself shows how imagination leads to physical changes. While in prison, most political prisoners are mentally falling apart due to a lack of use of their brain that needs external stimulation. Anatoly Sharansky, a jewish computer specialist, who stayed for a long time in prison in the worst conditions of isolation, played mental chess for months which helped him to keep his brain from degrading.

During his mental practice, Sharansky played both white and black, holding the game in his head from opposite perspectives which is an extraordinary challenge to the brain. The result was that when word champion Garry Kasparov played against Sharansky, he didn’t manage to beat him. Sharansky became a master of Chess only by using his imagination.

How Imagination Changes the Human Brain

Neuroplasticity shows that our brains change through imagination. When people close their eyes and visualise a simple object, the primary visual cortex lights up in the same way that it does when people are actually looking at the object. Brain scans reveal that many of the same parts of the brain get active when we act or imagine things. This provides a scientific proof for the effectiveness of visualisation.

According to Doidge, when one imagines using his muscles, he/she strengthens them. That happens because the imaginary muscles’ contraction leads to the activation of the neurons that string together sequences of instructions for movement resulting to increased strength.

Norman Doidge says that because the human brain can reorganise itself so quickly and individual parts of the brain are not committed to processing particular senses, people learning a new sill can recruit operators devoted to other activities, increasing in that way their processing power. The way to do that is by blocking the operator from its usual function so it can be recruited for the other function.

Imagination Changes Reality

The latest findings of neuroplasticity show how imagination engages the same motor and sensory programs involved in action. It shows that whatever we imagine leaves material traces. The finding that “our thoughts alter the physical state of our brain" is of huge importance since people can use the power of their mind and imagination for their benefit and improvement.