Archive | July, 2015

Mindfulness at Home

28 Jul

When I come home in the evening, I typically say hi to everyone, look around the house and see a lot that hasn’t been done. I start mindlessly sweeping the floor, dusting or cleaning the bathroom…

A few hours later I’ve got a sparkling house but haven’t interacted with anyone in my home.

Do you feel bombarded on a daily basis by busy work? If left unchecked, these distractions can disconnect us from our primary relationships. I want to share some insights with you about how to bring attention and mindfulness into your key relationships.

Use Dinnertime to Connect

In our busy society, many people don’t sit down with the family to talk about what happened during the day, the problems and issues that arose or how they may be feeling. Dinnertime is fragmented in many households because the kids may have already eaten or the husband comes home late.

My family saw me at home but somehow I wasn’t part of their lives. I asked myself how I could change that. I’m so used to believing that I’m being mindful, but I was surprised to realize that I was actually operating from the other end of the spectrum!

We have to choose over and over again to be fully present with our families, whether the encounter is casual or lengthy. Dinner is a great time to increase engagement because sitting around the dinner table really invites connection. Meals have been important throughout history as a primary way family, friends and associates interact and bond. When you make mealtime a mindful experience for your intimate circle, you’re able to deepen your relationships even further.

Create Connection Rituals

Experiment with assigning different family members little tasks like setting the table, Unknownlighting candles or making a salad dressing. Say a little prayer or give thanks before you eat. This will prepare the body to receive the food. To keep interruptions at bay, make unplugging from phones and smart devices a house rule.

When you’re trying to form a new habit, consistency is important. Decide on a start time for dinner and commit to it, no matter what. You may have to shift by a few minutes when you take into account that schedules can go awry, but make the effort to maintain this as a sacred time. Don’t let the commitment fade into oblivion. Once you start neglecting it, it’s easier to ditch family dinner the next time. Then you lose that mindful connection at home.

Mindful Listening

As each person around the table speaks, the others can consciously engage with their food. While someone has the floor, don’t interrupt but be mindfully present to what that person is saying and simultaneously engaged in the process of eating your meal. This will help the body fully absorb the food’s nutrients.

Regardless of whether the person speaking needs to be vulnerable or not, there’s a way to engage with those you love. Attentiveness and a lack of interruptions bring mindfulness to the group effort.

What ritual can you create to get your family on board to experience a mindful dinnertime? Let me know in the comments!

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect

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Creating Inner Peace, Ojas-Style

14 Jul

This is the last of four blog posts about ojas, the Ayurvedic term for your immune system (read last week’s post HERE. Let’s take a look at practices that foster inner peace.

Silence and Self-Reflection

We can get so critical of ourselves if we feel we aren’t achieving enough or being grateful for who we are. This is something I do a lot. Instead of criticizing yourself for not living up to your own expectations, remember to reflect and go into peaceful silence.

Something as simple as relaxation actually replenishes the ojas. Take a little time for yourself during the day to find silence. That rest can help you maintain vital inner and outer beauty. It doesn’t have to take a long time; two to five minutes is plenty. Sit in silence (with your eyes closed if you can) and strengthen your ability to engage in self-reflection. You can do it in the car, radio off, or if you’re in the bathroom do a slow, deep breathing practice for a minute or two.

Appreciating yourself helps cultivate a more positive mental state, which allows you to build ojas in a naturally graceful way. Even if there are people in your life you’d rather kill, be grateful because they’re here to teach you something!

When you’re grateful for those experiences instead of being critical or beating yourself up, you’ll feel happier, for one, and that feeds the ojas, which gives a lasting sense of contentment. Whenever you’re in a grateful state you step away from the opposite.

Gratitude tends to magnetize more contentment into your life, and when you’re content that’s a phenomenal way to naturally build up ojas.

A Peaceful Pose

Unknown-2Peaceful poses reinforce healthy ojas. If you practice one peaceful yoga pose a day before you go to bed, in class during the day or during your morning ritual, you’ll build your ojas.

I like to do child’s pose – anyone familiar with yoga knows child’s pose. The more relaxed you get, the deeper you sink into the yoga mat – it feels wonderful. Another great pose is shavasana, when you lie prone for several minutes. The longer you do it the more relaxed you get. It also just feels great.

Evening Calm Down Routine

This a wind-down ritual that helps you sleep very well at night. Fill the bath with warm water and add one to three cups of Epsom salts. You can find versions made with lavender, milk and honey or eucalyptus. I recommend the lavender, and then add a tablespoon of honey, two cups of whole milk and a few drops of lavender essential oil under the running water.

You can also add other essential oils depending on what your dosha is: for vata dosha, use rose or geranium; for pitta dosha, use frankincense and for kapha, use juniper. Light a candle and sit in the bath for 20 minutes. Optionally, you could light an incense stick if you want.

I guarantee if you do this evening calm down ritual, you will sleep phenomenally well, whether you’ve just been to the gym or had a stressful day. Not only will you sleep really well, you’ll be building ojas and will smell super yummy!

What healthy rituals do you do to decompress? Share your practices in the comments below.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect