Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday The 13th

I was thinking today about what Friday the 13th means to me.

Some might be chomping at the bit to catch the latest installment of Friday the 13th at the local cinema. Or if you are in California, are you waiting with bated breath to see whether the California State government will or won't increase taxes (personally, I think when a government is out of money, wants to issue IOU's for income tax refunds and then wants to increase taxes to fix the deficit, there's a problem somewhere. I thought the government is for the people not the other way around?)? Or are you waiting to see what happens with the recession? Or are you gearing up for a long weekend?

I choose to look at today with an open mind - looking at all the wonderful opportunities this new day brings. But, remaining present, not looking back to yesterday or forward to tomorrow.

Opportunities are right in front of us. But, for whatever reason, we go about the day with blinders on. In essence, we are resistant.

This started me thinking about Sonia Ricotti's wonderful book, The Law of Attraction Plain and Simple. You can order the book here. The web site is filled with other great resources as well, including a free newsletter that you can sign up for.

I guess you could call this book an extension of The Secret. Ms. Ricotti continues to discuss the law of attraction which is defined as "we attract into our life what we direct our conscious attention to." As an example, I focused on wanting to be on the last season of Boston Legal and I was.

I remember having a breakthrough of my own at the end of the year right around the time I read this book and the chapter entitled "Letting Go" really hit home for me. It was about letting go and just being, but it also talked about Resistance.

According to the book,"whenever you are feeling uncomfortable, unhappy, or any other negative emotion, you are resisting something in your life" and "resisting emits negative energy and attracts more of the same negative situations in your life". It also means you are trying to control something. And if you are controlling something you can't let go. Resistance also results in not noticing the wonderful opportunities you are faced with each and every day. Acceptance and letting go allows you to surrender to the beauty all around you and presents that openness you need to be your genuine, creative self.

We are human so we will have negative emotions. Emotions are experiences. We are not our emotions. Let them pass through. Try this technique the next time a negative emotion hits you - backtrack to determine the root cause of your discomfort. What are you trying to resist? Breathe deeply and let go. See, what happens. I think you will find you will be in a state of bliss and you will see all the wonderful opportunities ahead of you.

Here's to your bliss!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Be Present

I have had the opportunity to read several books on living in the now and the how's and why's of being present. I think Eckhart Tolle's comment in Stillness Speaks stands out: "True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found".

Being present has to do with right now, not regrets from the past or anxiety for the future. It's amazing thinking back to all the things that I - for whatever reason - spent wasted energy fretting about. All the time I spent worrying about the past or the future resulted in losing precious present moments. Ironically, all the things I worried about were irrelevant and inconsequential. The only thing that matters is living or being - focusing on what's happening in the Now.

So what does the phrase "be present" really mean? To me, it means getting out of my head and focusing on just being a human being, not doing anything. It's that feeling of bliss you find when you are meditating, practicing yoga or just focusing on something (athletes call it "being in the zone".) without thinking.

So, what techniques can help help you be present?

Here are my top 10 ways to stay present:

1. Think less. Feel more. This is called "getting out of your head".
2. Focus on something or someone.
3.Practice Conscious Breathing. Take deep breaths regularly throughout the day. Breathe in for a count of 10. Breathe out for a count of 10.
4. Meditate.
5. Practice yoga.
6. Exercise regularly.
7. Get out into nature - walk with your dog, take a hike, go to a botanical garden, etc.
8. Help someone.
9. Be open-minded about solutions and ideas. See things from a different perspective.
10.Write in a journal.

How do you stay present?

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's a Glorious Day in Six-Burgh!

It's a glorious day in Pittsburgh or should I say Six-burgh?! The Pittsburgh Steelers have won their 6th World Championship and Santonio Holmes is MVP!! Did you watch the Super Bowl Commercials? I thought the commercials were a little subdued this year, but that Troy Polamalu commercial was very creative! Which commercial was your favorite this year? What's your favorite all-time Super Bowl commercial? I'd love to hear.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow - six more weeks of winter. Oops. If I was PP, I'm not too sure if I'd like being hoisted up in the air like that. Punxsutawney is north of Pittsburgh. Check out the website. It's a total party up there. A whole festival with lots of events.