We are so excited and energized and grateful to be writing this #MindfulnessMonday post today because we had such a wonderful, supercharged day yesterday with everyone who came out in support of Childhood Cancer Canada. We mentioned a little while ago that we were hosting this amazing event with Childhood Cancer Canada at Union Yoga and it was honestly more than we thought it would be. We spent 2 hours with the children doing yoga, reading 2 books on Mindfulness (Sarah Kraftchuk's, Love to Be Me and I Am. Magical Me) and making happiness jars. What is a happiness jar you may ask? Well, it is a jar full of colourful water and glitter of course! Each child was given a jar with water and they were given the opportunity to choose what colour to make their water (with the help of food colouring) and then put in glitter, sequins and gemstones. With each sequin or gemstone they put in they were instructed to think of something that made them feel happy. And, then they got to decorate the outside of the jar with stickers and take it home as theirs to keep. The jar is meant to serve as a source of happiness and joy, so the kids were told to shake the jar and all the happy thoughts they put in there whenever they feel sad.
The children had a ball, but really, I think myself and the adults may have even had more fun! Watching the children discover yoga, some for the first time, and watching them play as they created their jars was inspiring. It reminded us the importance of play! Sometimes as adults, we lose our sense of play, but we have to remember to hold onto it. To smile, to laugh, to make silly faces, to jump up and down and of course, to play with glitter!! It also reminded us how good it feels to give of ourselves to others. It can be hard to find time to engage in community work or charity work when we can sometimes barely find time to shower. But, when we can, we should because it is SO good for the soul.
So, when you can, fuel your soul with smiles, with giggles, with play and with acts of kindness!
Thanks again to all the volunteers who supported the event this weekend.
How was your weekend? We hope it was fabulous! A few of our team members took a little road trip
this weekend and had several hours in the car to think. While, we always stress mindfulness here, we
also know the dangers of having too much time to sit with a cluttered mind (see Mindful vs Mind Full).
So, the inspiration for today’s #MindfulnessMonday is a quote by the Buddha: “Your worst enemy
cannot harm you as much as your unguarded thoughts”.
Confession: we don’t always practice what we preach. We try, we really try, but we, like everyone else
are a work in progress. And, the fact that sometimes our progress is not as quick or as consistent as we
hope, we can get mad at ourselves and criticize ourselves. And then we remind ourselves to stop. Stop
and take stock of where we are, all the positive things we have done, all the less positive things we have
done and all the things we still want to do. And then, we make an action plan of how to get there. We
know “action plan” can seem daunting, but really it can be as simple as: 1) Buy lemons (so that we can
get back on track with drinking hot water with lemon each morning) 2) Sign up for meditation workshop
3) Read 10 pages in the book we said we would finish last month 4) Call grandmother (like we said we
would). See, when you break it down, is it really so daunting?
Life is busy and it is full of obligations and deadlines and all the little things (like buying lemons, must
buy lemons!) and it can seem like we are falling short in every little thing (I didn’t call Grandma again,
I’m the worst!). Instead of hating on yourself, guard your thoughts and mind your mind. Know where
you want to be, set a plan to get there and then enjoy the ride. And if you get stalled or detoured, that’s
okay too. Plans are meant to change, to evolve, to be built upon. The world outside can be rough
enough, so don’t make it tougher by being so hard on yourself. Be good to yourself, and like Tinkerbell
says, “think happy thoughts!”
Have a great week everyone , Namaste.
This is our first official #MidnfulnessMonday of the year (no pressure right!?) and we are excited to begin another year with you, but we are also feeling heavy hearted. Last week’s events in France are atrocious and horrifying and the purest representation of hate. In our practice and in our lives we look to come from a place of peace and serenity, which can be quite difficult when the world around us is in chaos. So, today for our first #MindfulnessMonday of the year, we are sharing a few of our favorite ways to spread peace and joy and love in the world.
1. Smile – It is a proven fact that it is impossible to feel sad while smiling. So, smile to make yourself feel happy and to share that happiness with others.
2. Be Generous – Be generous with your time, be generous with your resources, be generous with your spirit, be generous with your patience, be generous with your warmth. The more positivity you put into the world, the better it will be.
3. Be Charitable – Being charitable is good for the soul and by giving your time, funds, clothes, food etc to those who need it, you become a part of a chain of giving. If we all gave just a little bit to those who need, imagine what a difference it could make.
4. Be Kind – We often focus on being kind to strangers, but it is also important to remember to be kind to our closest contacts too (who are sometimes the easiest to lash out on). Show the same kindness to your husband, wife, sister, brother, mother, father, best friend as you would to a client, student, complete stranger. Like they say, happiness starts at home.
5. Practice Yoga – Of course, practice yoga. And practice from a place of joy and love, free of competition or expectation. Practice with a deep breath and a calm mind and work to bring your peaceful practice into the rest of the world.
Peace. Santi. Paix. Shalom. Pace. Salam. Paz. Vrede. Pis. Pas.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.