“What do you want to grow in yourself? Dwell there.”

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Taking part in Mindful Living Week by the Awake Network (https://www.theawakenetwork.com/) was one of the most beneficial things I have ever done for myself. This was an online program that I participated in back in May of 2017. Right when I was revving up to start making corrections in my life and start living better than before. The presenters were top notch and just full of useful, practical information and tips that I applied in my life immediately.

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Starting on Day One with Mindfulness, Calm and Happiness, Dr. Rick Hanson talks about how meditation works in your real life. He uses the example of when you work out physically, it makes your muscles stronger. It’s the same with mediation. When you are meditating and return to the breath, you learn control, and that carries over into your real life. I saw this happen in my own life, which I have talked about before. There is a calm that takes over. What a pleasant way to live! It’s fascinating to me that every time you get a little lost in meditation then come back to the breath you are having a “mini-awakening” at that moment, as Dr. Hanson calls it. That’s SO important. The coming back is the brain training. So, it doesn’t matter how many times you get lost, coming back is the exercise. Over time, you actually change and thicken the cortex of your brain. You are making structural change that will impact your life, becoming more empathic and less agitated. This is absolutely true for me. When I heard all of this for the first time I was so excited! It felt like someone let me in on some sort of secret! “Why isn’t everyone doing this?!” I thought. Just the idea that doing something as SIMPLE as meditating could have such an enormous change in my brain and body! Dr. Hanson says “you become what you think about”. If you live in a state of worry, as I did for so many years, the accumulation of wear and tear of stress and anxiety is something you not only experience, it’s what you become. This all made perfect sense to me as I looked back on the previous year or two. My state of mind was so destructive. A “state- to -trait” if you will, as Dr. Hanson says so well. If you want to learn more, watch the following Ted Talk by Dr. Hanson. https://youtu.be/jpuDyGgIeh0 My favorite quote from Dr. Hanson during his presentation was “What do you want to grow in yourself? Dwell there.” Yes, dwell there. SO POWERFUL. We are growing these muscles for life. And I couldn’t wait to get started.

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Dr. Hanson also focused on how we need to note the small moments of joy that occur every day. When those little small doses of joy happen for us we need to savor them. And really absorb them. For me it could be the birds at my bird feeders, sitting in the warm sunshine or spending time with my kitty. There is so much happiness there. Don’t let those moments float by!

Another way to bring joy into our lives is to wish someone else happiness two times a day. This does not need to be said to the other person, just a a personal wish of our own, maybe during meditation or just taking a few minutes a day to think about someone else. Wishing someone else was happy automatically makes you happy, according to Dr. Hanson. I have to say a agree with this. I did a little experiment with this tip and I did find that it brought me more happiness. It brought me out of my own head which is always useful.

This week think about starting a meditation practice if you haven’t already. You could also try the following:

Wish happiness on someone else two times a day!

Notice the small moments during the day, and savor them.

I’d love to hear your feedback! Please comment below! Thank you for being here!

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