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2014 February

3 easy practices to bring more peace and presence into your daily life


1. Sit still for 10 minutes in the morning to practice bringing your attention back to your breath. This is like dental floss for mental health. (Notice I have not used the “M” word! Too intimidating.) Sit comfortably wherever you are, set a timer for 10 minutes, and breathe. Every time your mind starts wandering/planning, gently bring your attention back to your breath. It’s like training a puppy without the messes to clean up. I think you’ll find that your energy is calmer, your concentration sharper and you enjoy life more.

2. Use color coding in your calendar app to track self care. If your calendar looks anything like mine, full of dull little boxes, and you’re feeling disconnected or completely overwhelmed, this is a simple way to commit to better self care. If you use Google Calendar or Outlook, choose a color that makes you feel peaceful. Use this color to code self-care activities, even small ones, like taking a 15 minute walk, sitting still for 10 minutes or your PiYo class. At the beginning of the week (or month, depending on how you roll) make sure this lovely color is scattered throughout your days, and stick to your commitments to yourself. You’re the only one who can, and you’ll see a big payoff.

flower3.  Put a stake in the ground for creativity. You know you need more creative outlets. Watching House of Cards and helping your kids make Christmas ornaments with pipe cleaners isn’t cutting it. If you haven’t had an idea that excites you for months, try this: make a commitment to a creative project and announce the deadline to your friends and colleagues.

You don’t have to know how you’ll do it, only that you will. (I finally offered an Animal Wisdom workshop after wanting to for years by renting a space and telling a few friends. It was the best thing I did all year.) Paint a painting, host an open house to display your photos, or make one actual bowl in a pottery class. (If you’ve ever taken beginning pottery, this is a reasonable goal. 🙂

I’d love to hear from you – what simple things made your 2013 better?