7 Spots Where You Wish You Could Meditate

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
7 Spots Where You Wish You Could Meditate
The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life — and your well-being — off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others’ stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing “secret weapons” that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

The power of meditation allows us to get lost in the moment — and where better to do that than in the perfect, peaceful setting? Whether it’s among the fresh air of a mountaintop or the warm sands of a sunny beach, we all have our go-to happy place we’d give anything to jet off to in order to grab some solace. We asked our Twitter community where their ideal meditation location is and included some of their responses below. Tell us in the comments: Where’s the one place you’d love to log some mindful moments?

For more GPS Guides, click here.

3 Steps From Pain to Purpose
I’ve had some tough times in life, and in each struggle I ask the same questions. Why me? How long will this last? What will it teach me? Life is known for testing you, then teaching you. It’s the opposite of how we were taught in school. I’ve gone from test to test all of my life, and I’m sure you have too. I guess it’s just the way it goes. I’ve learned some valuable lessons in my few years on Earth, and amongst those lessons one really echoes; turn pain into purpose! If you have to go through it at least get something out of it. There’s a lesson in every struggle.

Step 1: Understand why it’s happening to you. I know that may sound unfair, but the truth is that it’s happening to you because you can handle it. Life happens to us all, but to each is a share that’s meant to strengthen, not kill. Remember all the times you didn’t see a way out but yet you made it anyways. It was blind faith and instinct that brought you through it every time. If it happened to your best friend, it could have killed them. If it had happened to your enemy it still would have hurt you. Your problems are put on your plate because you can swallow them.

Step 2: Get a lesson from it. Life is a great teacher, so let her have her perfect way. When the struggle hits don’t focus on the pain, focus on the purpose. Life has an interesting way of handing out valuable lessons. Sometimes we bring them on by our actions, and sometimes life just happens to us. As you’ve heard before: it’s not what happens, it’s how you respond that matters most. Look the pain in the face and smile back at it. Don’t let it beat you. Let it teach you. Life is meant to be lived, not to be survived. And life is survival of the wisest. Get a lesson instead of stressing.

Step 3: Turn the pain into purpose. If it happened to you it was so you could help someone else get through it next. As we live we should learn, and as we learn we should teach. Some of the greatest teachers are those who decided to teach from the hard lessons life taught them. Some of the greatest inventions were made from a struggle. Adversity should breed creativity. Your pain may birth your non-profit organization that will serve a group in need. Your pain may birth a book that will change lives. Your pain may breed creativity that could inspire a nation or change the world. Take it from me. I’m not writing you some fluff on a page. I’m writing from my pain and my purpose. I made choices and life made me pay for them every time. In that pain I learned lessons and I began to share them. Today I have a message that organically reaches up to 20,000,000 people a week. My pain birthed my purpose and my message has spread over 80 countries. It’s taken me to South Africa to speak to crowds of 4,000-5,000 plus. It’s allowed me to make a living while making a difference.

Don’t just let life happen to you. Do something about it!

16 Habits Of Highly Sensitive People
Do you feel like you reflect on things more than everyone else? Do you find yourself worrying about how other people feel? Do you prefer quieter, less chaotic environments?

If the above sound true to you, you may be highly sensitive. The personality trait — which was first researched by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., in the early 1990s — is relatively common, with as many as one in five people possessing it. Aron, who has written multiple studies and books on high sensitivity, including The Highly Sensitive Person, also developed a self-test (which you can take here) to help you determine if you are highly sensitive.

While recent interest in introversion — driven largely by high-profile publications on the subject, including Susan Cain’s book “Quiet,” — has brought more awareness to personality traits that value less stimulation and higher sensitivity, Aron notes that highly sensitive people still tend to be considered the “minority.”

But “minority” doesn’t mean bad — in fact, being highly sensitive carries a multitude of positive characteristics. Read on for some of the commonalities shared by highly sensitive people.

1. They feel more deeply. One of the hallmark characteristics of highly sensitive people is the ability to feel more deeply than their less-sensitive peers. “They like to process things on a deep level,” Ted Zeff, Ph.D., author of The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide and other books on highly sensitive people, tells HuffPost. “They’re very intuitive, and go very deep inside to try to figure things out.”

2. They’re more emotionally reactive. People who are highly sensitive will react more in a situation. For instance, they will have more empathy and feel more concern for a friend’s problems, according to Aron. They may also have more concern about how another person may be reacting in the face of a negative event.

3. They’re probably used to hearing, “Don’t take things so personally” and “Why are you so sensitive?” Depending on the culture, sensitivity can be perceived as an asset or a negative trait, Zeff explains. In some of his own research, Zeff says that highly sensitive men he interviewed from other countries — such as Thailand and India — were rarely or never teased, while highly sensitive men he interviewed from North America were frequently or always teased. “So a lot of it is very cultural — the same person who is told, ‘Oh, you’re too sensitive,’ in certain cultures, it’s considered an asset,” he says.

4. They prefer to exercise solo.
empty gym
Highly sensitive people may tend to avoid team sports, where there’s a sense that everyone is watching their every move, Zeff says. In his research, the majority of highly sensitive people he interviewed preferred individual sports, like bicycling, running and hiking, to group sports. However, this is not a blanket rule — there are some highly sensitive people who may have had parents who provided an understanding and supportive environment that would make it easier for them to participate in group sports, Zeff says.

5. It takes longer for them to make decisions. Highly sensitive people are more aware of subtleties and details that could make decisions harder to make, Aron says. Even if there is no “right” or “wrong” decision — for example, it’s impossible to choose a “wrong” flavor of ice cream — highly sensitive people will still tend to take longer to choose because they are weighing every possible outcome. Aron’s advice for dealing with this: “Take as long to decide as the situation permits, and ask for more time if you need it and can take it,” she writes in a recent issue of her Comfort Zone newsletter. “During this time, try pretending for a minute, hour, day, or even week that you have made up your mind a certain way. How does that feel? Often, on the other side of a decision things look different, and this gives you a chance to imagine more vividly that you are already there.” One exception: Once a highly sensitive person has come to the conclusion of what is the right decision to make and what is the wrong decision to make in a certain situation, he or she will be quick to make that “right” decision again in the future.

6. And on that note, they are more upset if they make a “bad” or “wrong” decision. You know that uncomfortable feeling you get after you realize you’ve made a bad decision? For highly sensitive people, “that emotion is amplified because the emotional reactivity is higher,” Aron explains.

7. They’re extremely detail-oriented.
Highly sensitive people are the first ones to notice the details in a room, the new shoes that you’re wearing, or a change in weather.

8. Not all highly sensitive people are introverts. In fact, about 30 percent of highly sensitive people are extroverts, according to Aron. She explains that many times, highly sensitive people who are also extroverts grew up in a close-knit community — whether it be a cul-de-sac, small town, or with a parent who worked as a minister or rabbi — and thus would interact with a lot of people.

9. They work well in team environments. Because highly sensitive people are such deep thinkers, they make valuable workers and members of teams, Aron says. However, they may be well-suited for positions in teams where they don’t have to make the final decision. For instance, if a highly sensitive person was part of a medical team, he or she would be valuable in analyzing the pros and cons of a patient having surgery, while someone else would ultimately make the decision about whether that patient would receive the surgery.

10. They’re more prone to anxiety or depression (but only if they’ve had a lot of past negative experiences). “If you’ve had a fair number of bad experiences, especially early in life, so you don’t feel safe in the world or you don’t feel secure at home or … at school, your nervous system is set to ‘anxious,'” Aron says. But that’s not to say that all highly sensitive people will go on to have anxiety — and in fact, having a supportive environment can go a long way to protecting against this. Parents of highly sensitive children, in particular, need to “realize these are really great kids, but they need to be handled in the right way,” Aron says. “You can’t over-protect them, but you can’t under-protect them, either. You have to titrate that just right when they’re young so they can feel confident and they can do fine.”

11. That annoying sound is probably significantly more annoying to a highly sensitive person. While it’s hard to say anyone is a fan of annoying noises, highly sensitive people are on a whole more, well, sensitive to chaos and noise. That’s because they tend to be more easily overwhelmed and overstimulated by too much activity, Aron says.

12. Violent movies are the worst. cover eyes at movies
Because highly sensitive people are so high in empathy and more easily overstimulated, movies with violence or horror themes may not be their cup of tea, Aron says.

13. They cry more easily. That’s why it’s important for highly sensitive people to put themselves in situations where they won’t be made to feel embarrassed or “wrong” for crying easily, Zeff says. If their friends and family realize that that’s just how they are — that they cry easily — and support that form of expression, then “crying easily” will not be seen as something shameful.

14. They have above-average manners. Highly sensitive people are also highly conscientious people, Aron says. Because of this, they’re more likely to be considerate and exhibit good manners — and are also more likely to notice when someone else isn’t being conscientious. For instance, highly sensitive people may be more aware of where their cart is at the grocery store — not because they’re afraid someone will steal something out of it, but because they don’t want to be rude and have their cart blocking another person’s way.

15. The effects of criticism are especially amplified in highly sensitive people. Highly sensitive people have reactions to criticism that are more intense than less sensitive people. As a result, they may employ certain tactics to avoid said criticism, including people-pleasing (so that there is no longer anything to criticize), criticizing themselves first, and avoiding the source of the criticism altogether, according to Aron.

“People can say something negative, [and] a non-HSP [highly sensitive person] can say, ‘Whatever,’ and it doesn’t affect them,” Zeff says. “But a HSP would feel it much more deeply.”

16. Cubicles = good. Open-office plans = bad. cubicles
Just like highly sensitive people tend to prefer solo workouts, they may also prefer solo work environments. Zeff says that many highly sensitive people enjoy working from home or being self-employed because they can control the stimuli in their work environments. For those without the luxury of creating their own flexible work schedules (and environments), Zeff notes that highly sensitive people might enjoy working in a cubicle — where they have more privacy and less noise — than in an open-office plan.

5 Platitudes I Take More Seriously Since Sustaining a Concussion
I recently sustained a concussion in what one would term a “household accident.” We were visiting my mom’s house and my daughter asked for something to drink. As I was leaning into the fridge to see what mom had, unbeknownst to me my daughter opened the freezer door above.

When I went to stand up — bam! Contact. There were stars. I had to hold on to the kitchen counter to remain upright. Minutes later, sitting in a chair with an ice pack, my head throbbing in pain, I knew I had a concussion. I struggled to remain awake. My speech was slurred. I felt as if I were under water. And the nausea!

A visit to the ER ruled out a skull fracture and bleeding in the brain. Diagnosis: Grade 2 concussion. My discharge orders were for bed rest and what the doctor termed, “complete brain rest.” No reading, writing, or looking at a screen of any kind. Nothing that would tax my brain beyond its most basic functioning. Driving was out of the question.

The doctor asked if I needed a note for work, and I explained I am a freelance writer. “Well,” he replied, “You’re going to be giving yourself some time off.” Was I ever. I was aware concussions are serious, but truly had no concept until I was recovering from one.

The experience has me looking at some commonly used platitudes in a whole new light:

1. Accidents can happen any time, anywhere.
Sure, I am aware there are potential dangers lurking in any home. But the scenario that played out in my mom’s kitchen was not one I had ever considered. And while she and my husband were there when it happened, I was very grateful we have taught our young daughter how to recognize an emergency and respond appropriately. If she and I had been alone, it would have been critical.

2. Control is an illusion.
I had a scintilla of control over my recovery in that if I followed the doctor’s orders carefully my recovery should go more smoothly. In theory. But as I slept up to 18 hours a day following my injury and struggled to do the most basic of things, I felt very much out of control. I had no choice but to surrender and rely on others. Give up any illusion I could control my recovery. My brain was going to heal on its own timeline, not mine.

3. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.
At one point after taking a blow to the head, I could neither feel nor move the right side of my body. I tried desperately to wiggle to toes on my right foot but couldn’t. It was terrifying. But thankfully, temporary. Yet I could not stop thinking, “What if?!” What if something worse had happened? I felt so fortunate, but also wanted to return to health as quickly as possible.

4. You have to take care of yourself first.
I have been told this no fewer than 8,000 times since I became a mother. But in the time since my concussion I realized how very true these words are. I had to let others know when I needed rest — and help. I had to put my recovery above everything else. Because if I didn’t get better, I could not care for my family. It was liberating and easier than I expected. But sad it took a traumatic brain injury for me to give myself permission to do it.

5. You are never too old…
I’m going to finish this one up with “to need your Mommy.” My mom was by my side in the ER. She got my prescriptions from the pharmacy. She went grocery shopping for my family. She provided meals and childcare when my husband had to return to work. I could not have gotten through it without her. At 45 years old, I needed my mommy. And was so glad she was there. Thanks, Mom!

Another thing I learned is that the world will go on without me. That was both a sobering and satisfying thought. In the beginning, I worried a great deal about what I would miss. Work deadlines. My daughter’s school Valentine’s Day party. The Olympics. Life updates from friends and family on Facebook.

I went from being always connected to completely isolated. And it was okay. Early on, my husband would sit next to me in bed and read my emails out loud to me. He would scan my Facebook feed and share updates he thought I would like to hear.

By the third day, when he asked if I wanted him to do so, I declined. I preferred to spend the time I was awake and aware with my family. If not actively involved, then at least present and enjoying them.

I’m getting back to social media slowly. And oh my goodness do I need to write! But I gained a new perspective from this experience. A jolt to the brain, both literally and in the best of ways.

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