Daily Meditation: Greet The Sun

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Daily Meditation: Greet The Sun
We all need help maintaining our personal spiritual practice. We hope that these daily meditations, prayers and mindful awareness exercises can be part of bringing spirituality alive in your life.

Today’s meditation features a yoga lessons from Ashtanga yoga instructor, Eddie Stern. Stern leads viewers through a traditional “sun salutation” to get the body moving through a series of positions while focusing mind and spirit on the divine nature of the sun.

The Philosophers’ Guide To Calm, Part 3
Nowadays, almost all of us wish we could be calmer. It’s one of the distinctive longings of the modern age. Across history, people have tended to seek out adventure and excitement. But most of us have had a bit too much of that now. The desire to be more tranquil and focused is the new, ever more urgent priority.

In our view, there are eight basic causes of agitation – and the path to greater calm involves attempting to consider each one systematically and returning to it on a regular basis. Here is the final installment in our three-part guide to a calmer life:

The Myth of Creative Inspiration: Great Artists Don’t Wait for Motivation (They Do This Instead)
Franz Kafka is considered one of the most creative and influential writers of the 20th century, but he actually spent most of his time working as a lawyer for the Workers Accident Insurance Institute. How did Kafka produce such fantastic creative works while holding down his day job?

By sticking to a strict schedule.

He would go to his job from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., eat lunch and then take a long nap until 7:30 p.m., exercise and eat dinner with his family in the evening, and then begin writing at 11 p.m. for a few hours each night before going to bed and doing it all over again.

Kafka is hardly unique in his commitment to a schedule. As Mason Currey notes in his popular book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, many of the world’s great artists follow a consistent schedule.

Maya Angelou rents a local hotel room and goes there to write. She arrives at 6:30 a.m., writes until 2 p.m., and then goes home to do some editing. She never sleeps at the hotel.

Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon writes five nights per week from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Haruki Murakami wakes up at 4 a.m., writes for five hours, and then goes for a run.

The work of top creatives isn’t dependent upon motivation or inspiration, but rather it follows a consistent pattern and routine. It’s the mastering of daily habits that leads to creative success, not some mythical spark of genius.

Here’s why…

Daily Routines: The Power of the Schedule

William James, the famous psychologist, is noted for saying that habits and schedules are important because they “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action.”

An article in The Guardian agreed by saying, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.” And there are plenty of research studies on willpower and motivation to back up that statement.

In other words, if you’re serious about creating something compelling, you need to stop waiting for motivation and inspiration to strike you and simply set a schedule for doing work on a consistent basis. Of course, that’s easy to say, but much harder to do in practice.

Here’s one way of thinking about schedules that may help.

Permission to Create Junk

Weightlifting offers a good metaphor for scheduling creative work.

I can’t predict whether or not I’ll set a PR (personal record) before I go to the gym. In fact, there will be many days when I’ll have a below average workout. Eventually, I figured out that those below average days were just part of the process. The only way to actually lift bigger weights was to continually show up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — regardless of whether any individual workout was good or bad.

Creative work is no different than training in the gym. You can’t selectively choose your best moments and only work on the days when you have great ideas. The only way to unveil the great ideas inside of you is to go through a volume of work, put in your repetitions, and show up over and over again.

Obviously, doing something below average is never the goal. But you have to give yourself permission to grind through the occasional days of below average work because it’s the price you have to pay to get to excellent work.

If you’re anything like me, you hate creating something that isn’t excellent. It’s easy to start judging your work and convince yourself to not share something, not publish something, and not ship something because “this isn’t good enough yet.”

But the alternative is even worse: If you don’t have a schedule forcing you to deliver, then it’s really easy to avoid doing the work at all. The only way to be consistent enough to make a masterpiece is to give yourself permission to create junk along the way.

The Schedule is the System

During a conversation about writing, my friend Sarah Peck looked at me and said, “A lot of people never get around to writing because they are always wondering when they are going to write next.”

You could say the same thing about working out, starting a business, creating art, and building most habits. The schedule is the system that makes your goals a reality. If you don’t set a schedule for yourself, then your only option is to rely on motivation.

If your workout doesn’t have a time when it usually occurs, then each day you’ll wake up thinking, “I hope I feel motivated to exercise today.”

If your business doesn’t have a system for marketing, then you’ll show up at work crossing your fingers that you’ll find a way to get the word out (in addition to everything else you have to do).

If you don’t have a time block to write every week, then you’ll find yourself saying things like, “I just need to find the willpower to do it.”

Stop waiting for motivation or inspiration to strike you and set a schedule for your habits. This is the difference between professionals and amateurs. Professionals set a schedule and stick to it. Amateurs wait until they feel inspired or motivated.

P.S. For more ideas on how to set schedules and stick to habits for the long-term, read my free 45-page guide: Transform Your Habits.

James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he shares strategies that make it easier to live a healthy life – both mentally and physically. For fresh ideas on how to boost your productivity, improve your health, and master your habits, join his free newsletter.

GPS Guide: How Alena Hall Finds Her Zen
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.

Alena Hall, Editorial Fellow for HuffPost’s Third Metric, doesn’t only write about the importance of connecting with one’s inner self — she personally searches for new ways to live more mindfully each day. When she’s in need of a little headspace, she turns to a few activities and memories to help escape the hustle and bustle of New York City. Check out her personal GPS guide to finding your zen in the slideshow below.

For more GPS Guides, click here.

The Secret Source Of Your Bad Mood (And How To Overcome It)
By Angela Haupt for U.S. News

We can slap a bandage on a cut or an ice pack on a bruise. But that only works for the physical kind.

“We typically try and bust a bad mood with the most generic approaches,” says psychologist Guy Winch, author of Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries. “We go to a movie, have a pint of ice cream, hit the tequila. But bad moods are not like an infection — you can’t just take a Z-Pak and get rid of it.”

Consider that bad moods are transitory –- if we’re upset for a month, depression might be the culprit -– and typically triggered by specific events. We’re not always great at connecting these events to our mood, but the connection typically does exist, Winch says. Figuring out what your grumpiness is about will help address it in an appropriate way.

In an interview with U.S. News, Winch tackled three common causes of a bad mood, along with ways to overcome that bummed out feeling.

Cause: Rejection

rejection

Winch calls it the “emotional cuts and scrapes of daily life” –- and as we all know, it’s inevitable. There are the big examples, like your wife asking for a divorce, but lesser acts can send your mood spiraling. Winch points to a common example: You come back from an exotic vacation, post your photos on Facebook -– or Instagram or Twitter -– and await the response. But none of your friends click “like.” The same friends whose photos you always acknowledge.

Or maybe a handful of co-workers make plans to go to lunch –- and, ah, forget your invitation. Even if you’re not particularly fond of the group, being excluded will make your mood plummet. In fact, research suggests that our brains are wired to be so sensitive to rejection that it hurts even when “the people who rejected us are people we despise,” Winch says. In one study, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology in 2007, participants were rejected by strangers –- who they later were told belonged to the KKK. Even that knowledge did little to soothe their hurt feelings.

How to snap out of it:
If you’re offended because your friends aren’t jumping up and down over your Facebook photos -– and clicking like, like, like -– ask them to. “Some people say that’s cheating, which I just don’t understand,” Winch says. Send a message to two or three of your friends, and say: “What do you think of my vacation shots? We had such a great time.” “And then they’ll go and like them,” Winch continues. “Once you have a couple there, it starts to feel better. You’re just bringing their attention to it, because they might have a feed of 3,000 people they’re scrolling through at lightning speed and miss it — which is usually the case.”

And if you’re the co-worker not invited to lunch? Emerge from your funk by connecting with people who do appreciate you. Make plans with a few of your office friends -– but not because you’re trying to get back at the other group. “You’re reminding yourself that you don’t need that group. You have your group,” Winch says.

Cause: Compliments

thumbs up

It’s counterintuitive, but compliments aren’t always appreciated. People with low self-esteem aren’t comfortable with praise because it conflicts with their self-view and can make them feel worse about themselves, Winch says. He describes a 19-year-old college student who’s having trouble finding dates, but every time she goes home, her parents gush about how beautiful she is. “It makes you feel bad, because your belief system is contradicting that,” Winch says. “In other words: ‘If I’m so beautiful, why aren’t I dating?'”

How to snap out of it:
When everyone is telling you that you’re great and you’re not feeling it, try a self-affirmation exercise. Think about the qualities you have in whatever the domain is where you received the compliments. Then write two paragraphs about why those positive attributes are important. As Winch says: “Yeah, maybe I’m not the most gorgeous, but I’m supportive, I have a great sense of humor, I’m emotionally available and I’m a good listener.” Acknowledging this will likely pluck you out of your bad mood.

Cause: Guilt

guilt

We don’t want to have too little guilt (like sociopaths) or too much (we’d be riddled with anxiety.) As Winch says, the right amount serves an important function –- it’s essentially a relationship protector that alerts you when you’re about to do something that could harm another person or their feelings. And when we do feel guilty? It’s reason enough for quite the poor mood.

How to snap out of it:
The one way to fix how we’re feeling is by doing “the thing we’re terrible at,” Winch says: the apology. “We’re taught how to apologize from the time we’re toddlers,” he adds. “A 5 year old will stomp into the room and say, ‘Fine, I’m sorry,’ and stomp out again, and that’s usually accepted. Well, he apologized.”

As adults, we often keep that up by mumbling a begrudging “I’m sorry.” But Winch is adamant that’s inadequate. He says a proper apology has several ingredients: A clear “I’m sorry” statement, an expression of regret for what happened and a request for forgiveness. And perhaps most important, it also needs to express empathy. If you show up late and cause a friend to miss an event, for example, don’t blame it on the subway. “An apology is about the other person, not about you,” Winch says. “We tend to make apologies feel great to us, and that doesn’t feel great to them. And then we still feel that there’s tension, and we still have the guilt, which then puts us in a bad mood.”

More from U.S. News:
8 Ways To Become An Optimist
How Your Personality Affects Your Health
14 Simple Ways To Be Happier And Healthier In 2014

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