Happy #MindfulnessMonday! We hope your weekends were wonderful and that you are excited for the week ahead.
Today, our inspiration for our #MindfulnessMonday post comes from a quote from the Buddha which says, "if your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete." Raise your hand if that statement stops and makes you think? Our hands are up.
Most of us were taught as kids to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But, rarely do we think about doing unto ourselves as we do to others. For example, how many times have you told a friend they were nuts for thinking they looked fat? Yet, how many times do you look at yourself in the mirror and think horrible things, things that would never, ever say to someone else? We know we have. Most of us are really hard on ourselves. We think we should be thinner, prettier, faster, smarter, bendier and even happier, nicer, kinder etc. And, we spend a lot of time building others up, while we internally break ourselves down.
So, this week, we challenge you, and ourselves to internalize the wisdom of the Buddha and practice compassion to others, as well as to ourselves. Let's talk ourselves up instead of down. Let's encourage ourselves and give ourselves a break. We can do it!
How was your weekend? we hope it was great and that your Monday is getting off to a wonderful start! Today we want to talk about commitment.
If you google search the word commitment you will find two somewhat opposing definitions. The first one says, "the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc." It reads in a positive manner and refers to dedication and activity. The second one says, "an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action." That reads extremely negatively and refers to obligation and restriction of freedom, yikes!
Now, certainly we all have commitments that we might find to be a nuisance, but we choose to treat them more as a dedication, or as keeping our word - doing what we said we would do, long after the feeling in which we said we would do it in has passed. Keeping commitments has never been more true than the last week for Samara because she got a puppy! Frankie is the cutest little girl and she is wonderful and cuddly and fun, but she is also a puppy and puppies require work - they need to be house trained, they need to be walked, they need to be taught basic commands and all that needs time and patience and of course, commitment. So, does Samara always want to take Frankie out when she is tired or in the middle of something? No, but she does it because she is committed to giving this dog a great life.
Getting a dog is a big commitment, but we all have little commitments in our lives that we may let slip - practicing meditation every morning, reading one chapter in a book every day, doing yoga twice a week, running a half marathon etc. - but what is important is to remember why you made those commitments and do your best to keep them, and feel good about that. Be dedicated to yourself and your life and know that even if you're tired, getting up and going for that 5K run will likely make you feel so much better for the rest of the day.
So stay committed this week friends, and stay positive.
Happy Mindfulness Monday! How are you? Sorry we did not post last week, but we were still kind of stressed and bummed that our retreat got cancelled. Yes, that's right our retreat in the Bahamas meant for the weekend of October 2nd got cancelled due to hurricane Joaquin. Samara found out just 20 minutes before boarding a 9 hour flight to Miami, a day before the retreat was to start, that the retreat center was being evacuated and the Bahamian airport was closed due to the category 4 hurricane. She had no choice but to cancel the retreat.
We were bummed! Devastated, saddened and upset, about the lost time spent planning all the magic that was supposed to happen that retreat weekend. We quickly realized that there was absolutely nothing we could do. We certainly cannot control the weather. Which brings us to today's #MindfulnessMonday theme - managing our responses.
In stressful situations it is easy to react on instinct and emotion, but often those reactions can lead to more harm than help. Conversely, if we take a few moments to manage our reaction and look at the situation objectively, we can try to respond in a more constructive way. This is certainly much more easily said than done, but in this situation we employed 3 techniques that helped us move forward in a positive way and we hope can help you too:
1. Acknowledge the facts/realities of the situation
2. Understand the actions that you can realistically take to improve the situation, weigh the pros and cons of each
3. Take the chosen actionable steps towards the best outcome
4. Ask for help when/where you need it
5. Breathe and submit to forces that are far beyond your control
This isn't a science, but we found it helped us. We are going to re-schedule the retreat at the end of March and it will be even better than originally planned. This particular moment was missed, but never lost.
Have a great week everyone. Try and respond to your surroundings in a way that breeds positivity.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.