Mindful Mondays

Mindful Mondays are brought to you by Joie Schmitz of YOGA\VIVRE. These quick one minute exercises are sure to help you start your week off on a positive note! Check back here each week for a new Monday message!

Feeling up to digging a bit deeper into mindfulness? Don't miss our guided Mindfulness Sessions!

 

person holding red and white practice kindness sticker

There is a lot of buzz about self-care currently. The wellness world keeps offering up new ways for us to soothe from the outside - in. Rituals, massages, oils, tonics, crystals and baths all feel really nice, and can certainly have a positive impact on our state of mind. But real self-care, self-love, self-acceptance — feeling good in your own skin — starts on the inside. When we are able to see the beauty in our own hearts, expressing that beauty and love becomes much easier.

Consider this “Kindness Prompt” from theschooloflife.com: “Part of the reason why we jump so readily to dark conclusions about other people, and see plots to insult and harm us, is a rather poignant psychological phenomenon: self-hatred. The less we like ourselves, the more we appear in our own eyes as plausible targets for mockery and harm. That is why being kind must first involve learning to be kind to oneself.

Be kind to yourself today.

—Brought to you by Joie Schmitz of YOGA\VIVRE.
 

woman standing while stretching beside brown leafed trees

Sometimes I don’t even realize that I am stiff in some parts of my body until I try to move or stretch them. Some dynamic movement can increase circulation, reduce rigidity in the muscles, lubricate the joints, and bring an overall feeling of ease to the body. Notice how your legs feel before, during and after this simple exercise.

Bend your knees and flower your upper body into a half fold. Make sure to lengthen your spine and avoid rounding in your back. Place your hands on the floor (if it is within reach) or on the seat of a chair (if your hamstrings are tight or you have any back pain). Step your right leg back into a lunge position while bending into your left knee. Check that your left knee is not pointing out ahead of the left foot. Re-lengthen your spine and roll your shoulders back. — Now step your feet together again, and repeat the lunge with the left leg stepping back this time. Alternate stepping one leg back, and then the other leg back at a pace that moves quickly but does not cause you to hunch in your back or put undue pressure on your spine. 

This isn’t a long, deep stretch; but it is another way of bringing freedom to your body.

—Brought to you by Joie Schmitz of YOGA\VIVRE.
 

Woman with eyes closed near open window

Pick one of your daily, routine tasks or activities - something you are very familiar with and could do with your eyes closed. Today, do it with your eyes closed!
This could be brushing your teeth, washing your hair, putting your shoes on, talking on the phone to a friend, or holding a yoga pose. Go through all of the motions of the activity without engaging your sense of sight. Notice if it feels differently. Become aware of the depth and dimension of these everyday tasks. Feel for more richness and texture in everything that you do.

—Brought to you by Joie Schmitz of YOGA\VIVRE.
 

 

Today’s task is simple, but the work is deep. 
Meditate for a moment on the idea of “The Eternal Now.” And then for one minute, write in a journal anything and everything that comes to mind about this idea.
When you’re finished, go back to living in the eternal now.

 

 

Reserve any time you have in your car (or any time and means of transportation between places) for silence. Turn off the radio. Pause the podcast. Put down the phone. Get quiet and just be with yourself. 

 

There are so many messages streaming into our consciousness from the outside at any given time. Advertisements and news and music and lyrics and information and ideas... sometimes we need to silence the noise so we can listen to what is most important - what is inside. 

 

Reserve any time you have in your car (or any time and means of transportation between places) for silence. Turn off the radio. Pause the podcast. Put down the phone. Get quiet and just be with yourself. 

 

There are so many messages streaming into our consciousness from the outside at any given time. Advertisements and news and music and lyrics and information and ideas... sometimes we need to silence the noise so we can listen to what is most important - what is inside. 

 

It is natural and beneficial to have some routines and rituals in your life. The sense of security that comes from consistency is a good thing! But, sometimes breaking the mold and spontaneously doing something unexpected brings us closer to the moment and reminds us of how magical this life is. 

 

Today, make some magic of your own by venturing over to the wild side! Break free from the harness of what makes sense, and do something completely different. Play frisbee in the snow. Wear a bathing suit around your house. Put the item that is last on your to-do list first. ...These are only examples... be creative and have fun with this one! Some of life’s most memorable moments pop up when your regularly-scheduled-programming gets flipped around! 

 

We could all use a hand with something from time to time, or a hug when we’re lonely, or someone who is willing to sit and listen to us when our minds are full. But, often, asking for help is hard. Are we weak if we have to call for back-up? Quite the opposite…
Asking for help requires courage, trust and vulnerability. Implied in a request for support is the idea that we can’t manage it all on our own. But also hidden in an ask is a compliment: I think you would make this situation better. And, every time we reach out to someone to ask for help, we are sewing another stitch in the fabric of community.
Today, give someone a compliment by asking them for their help with something.

 

No matter what you have to get accomplished in the course of a day, starting and ending with a minute to yourself can help to keep you connected with what’s most important - your own well-being. Make self-care a ritual first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed at night. You could journal, say a prayer, stretch, meditate, breathe, light a candle, massage your feet… any mindful, loving action works, as long as it is special to you. Let it be something you look forward to waking up to and ending your day with. Personalize it. Enjoy it. 

 

I bless this day in the fullness of good it already contains, in the many occasions it offers to listen deeply, to be of service to others, to express gratitude moment by moment and to keep my mind so filled with love, beauty and joy that no negativity can find even the tiniest crack in which to set foot. I bless this day in the infinite opportunities it gives me to love: to love and bless every human I meet, every beast or bird I pass by, every plant I behold, for all are but the manifold expressions of the infinite Life that undergirds all. Truly, I bless this day for the wonderful adventure it can become as I walk through it with the eyes of wonder rather than boredom, use every opportunity to express peace rather than irritation, and chose love over fear. Thank you, Life, for this day. – Pierre Pradervand
—Brought to you by Joie Schmitz of YOGA\VIVRE.