Little mindfulness victories add up on a busy day :)

living in the moment



Although people who teach mindfulness and meditation tell you to do it with no goal in mind, I fully admit I started looking into these areas and practicing them specifically because I was so sick and tired of feeling bad all the time.  I don’t mean clinically depressed – but this bad undercurrent in that I always had some angst in my heart thinking about the future and some regret and shame from my past. And I rushed through my days at a feverish pace.

My inner angst didn’t stop me from living or working or providing or whatever, but it did affect the quality of all those things. I certainly didn’t like feeling rushed or emotional or negative or easily upset. Continue reading “Little mindfulness victories add up on a busy day :)”

No Self Awareness = Pain and No Inner Peace

A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves a thousand moments of regret


When I slip back into my old habitual thinking habits, which is to react to thoughts instead of noticing them and instead calmly responding to them -without being all emotional -I lose my inner peace. Having no self awareness is for me a recipe for pain and suffering.

Last Sunday before my son went back to college my husband and I got into it verbally. I was online paying 2 bills and noticed how much money he is charging to PayPal to pick things up here and there for his newest hobby, which is fixing old bikes. Well it was NOT a little amount of money –  and instead of me sitting with it for a moment and collecting myself before I asked him about it, I blurted out a snarky  comment to him.

Well that set him off naturally, he said something back to me that was snarky, and next thing I know we were hurling insults back and forth at each other.

The amount of anger I felt was just off the charts. We both probably scared the shit out of ourselves, because we haven’t talked to each other since and its now Wednesday! 🙁 Continue reading “No Self Awareness = Pain and No Inner Peace”

What is Mindfulness and the Parable of the Two Wolves





This is a 2 minute video that illustrates beautifully what mindfulness is as well as how mindfulness helps us using the Native American parable of the two wolves.

It shows how we all have both good and bad within us represented by two wolves that fight inside us.

One wolf  is fearful, vengeful, envious, deceitful, and everything bad.  The other wolf is compassionate, loving, generous, truthful, peaceful, and everything good. The child asks, “Which wolf will win the fight?”

To which the elder replies, “The one I feed.”

That doesn’t mean we try to deny, hurt or kill the angry wolf. If we did that, we’d make the wolf more powerful. This is what is meant by, “what  you resist persists.”

If we fight the wolf, it sucks the energy out of us and only makes the angry wolf stronger. Instead we calmly pay attention to the wolf and let go of any thoughts about it. When we do that, the angry wolf becomes docile and lies down next to us, no longer an enemy.

We strengthen the good wolf and let it become out steady companion by feeding it with our attention. We let it show us the way through all kinds of life experiences, good and bad.

This is what mindfulness can help you do. Mindfulness allows us to see our thoughts and feelings as they are beginning.

It’s very powerful to know what we’re feeling as we’re feeling it, and to know what we’re thinking as we’re thinking it.

With mindfulness, we can strengthen and choose what we will bring into action (the good wolf) , and we can choose what we will gently let go of (the bad wolf). We don’t have to be at the mercy of old habits or old ways of thinking, or old ways of being. We are empowered.

It just takes practice.

feed your good wolf



Wishing you peace,

Lisa Arcelia

PS. Here are some easy mindfulness tips you can use today to help feed your good wolf 🙂

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Benefits of Mindfulness and How I Went from Messed Up to Happy in Just 6 Months

the goal of meditation



Today I want to discuss the benefits of mindfulness and how by doing something as little as sitting in silence for even 5 minutes a day, you can start to reap the wonderful and life affirming benefits.

Last summer I went to a weekend retreat at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. During that weekend I went to a meditation class in a lovely little temple deep in the woods. There were about 20 people in the class and the instructor was a young female Buddhist monk.  She had a shaved head and wore a long robe.

The monk gave simple little pointers on sitting and showed us how to focus on our breath. Then she lit some incense and we began. We basically just sat on cushions for 20 minutes in total silence. I have never sat in any room with total strangers for that long in complete silence  It was weird and cool at the same time 🙂

At the end of the 20 minutes she sounded a little bell. Then she had us follow her. We stepped outside and did a slow and silent walking meditation around the gardens and ponds surrounding the temple. That class was a surreal experience and felt sublimely peaceful. When I left I felt like I was floating.

After I got home I  researched the benefits of mindfulness and couldn’t believe what I read. It is just so good for your body, mind and spirit. It kind of blew me away, almost sounding too good to be true. More on that below…

Since I loved how I felt in that class, I decided to start my own daily meditation practice. I sit on 2 pillows in silence for 5 – 10 minutes (sometimes longer, if my schedule allows). In the summer and fall I enjoyed sitting outside in my backyard. Once it got too cold, I moved into my living room in front of a window. That’s it. I do this 4-5 days a week.

This little practice has helped me tremendously and I love how nice I feel today.

Like I said, I looked through some research articles (listed below) and here are some of the proven benefits of mindfulness that you can gain through a simple meditation practice like mine. Since most of these things have come into my life since last summer, I hope you don’t mind that I added in my own comments here and there 🙂 :
only living in the present brings peace

1.  You have more time to get things done.

2.  The quality of your interactions with others improve- whether this is family or strangers.

3.  Anxiety lessens. And if it does come now, I find I deal with it better.

4.  You worry less.  I am sleeping better because of this.

5.  You become better at regulating your emotions. For example,  I am learning to recognize when I am feeling angry or overwhelmed, and not acting out that negativity by taking it out on my husband or my coworkers.

6. You ruminate less. Again, and my sleep has improved. I used to take sleep aids pretty regularly, no more thank God.

7. Your attention span improves.

8. Depression lessens.  No more depression medication, thank you very much 🙂

9. You don’t look for happiness outside yourself. What a relief!

10. You become less reactive.  Have learned that I can actually stop picking fights with my husband

11. You become kinder.  I have always wished to be a kinder person. Now I think I am, and it feels genuine.

12. Eating becomes enjoyable.  And, I am finding it becomes *a choice* to mindlessly stuff myself or overeat into dullness. I really don’t just do it automatically anymore. 

13. You become more appreciative of little things.  I can experience real joy just eating an apple or sitting quietly on the front porch with my dog 🙂

14. Strengthens your immune system. I recently had a fever and it only lasted a few hours, no lie.

15. Improves your sense of well-being.

16. You become less distracted.

17. Promotes empathy.

18. Increased self – compassion.

19. Have less emotional exhaustion.

20. More job satisfaction.

21. Lessens automatic negative responses.

22. You become more emotionally stable.  Thank you Lord 🙂

23. Promotes calmness. Have you ever seen a stressed out monk? 😀

24.  Perform better at work and at school.

25. Life gets easier. Amen. 🙂



I am so so grateful to have found mindfulness. “Found” is probably the wrong word I guess. It’s really just focused attention – something I never really did for most of my life, until I was shown how.

On a very basic level what it boils down to for me is that my thoughts no longer control my mind and life. I have always struggled with feelings of racing thoughts and this is the balm that has allowed me to heal.

Sitting in meditation for just 5 or 10 minutes a day has quite literally given me a peace and joy of being that I never knew was available to someone as “messed up” as me 🙂

Wising you much success in your mindfulness practice,

Lisa Arcelia

PS. Have you ever wanted to learn to meditate but thought it would be too complicated or too hard to understand and get into? Here is a nifty free meditation starter kit from SubSines that can get you started in just minutes.  Learn more here.

Resources:

www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/Benefits_of_Mindfulness.pdf

psycnet.apa.org/journals/apl/98/2/310/

research.familylife.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/the-potential-benefits-of-mindfulness-training-in-early-childhood.pdf

openaccess.city.ac.uk/1918/1/Tapper%20et%20al.,%202009.pdf

www.pmalinowski.de/downloads/Lattimore2011.pdf

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Present Moment Awareness Brings Inner Calm

present moment awareness brings inner calm



I have lost touch with the present moment and therefore have no inner calm. Here is a short worksheet doing The Work (mentioned in my last post) on one of my stressful thoughts…

I perceive the outside world as hostile and that makes me anxious.

Is it true?

Yes

Can you absolutely know that it’s true that the outside world is hostile?

No

How do you react when you believe the outside world is hostile?

Unprepared, like I have to cover up, small, exposed, vulnerable…

And who would you be without the thought?

Happy, calm.  At peace.

Turnarounds:

The outside world is kind.

People are kind, nature is kind,

My thinking is hostile.

Yes! My thinking about the outside world is hostile. It plays over and over how I am different or how someone or something is to be feared. It keeps me separate and isolated from really connecting with others and the world itself.

When my thinking is aligned with the present moment, without all those mind-made stories and thoughts attached to it, I achieve an inner calm. I am free from the burden of  my mind.

Reality is kind indeed 🙂

Thank you Lord.

Lisa Arcelia xox

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