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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!

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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.

Let’s set an intention today:
I will ask for what I want. 
Allow that sentiment to guide your thoughts, words and actions for a day. Release the idea that your co-workers or friends already know what you are thinking. Don’t assume that your partner can always come up with just what you need, when you need it. Polite communication creates clear connections between people. If you can kindly ask for what you want, you will feel happier for it, and your relationships will are more likely to reverberate respect.
—Brought to you by Joie Schmitz of YOGA\VIVRE.

Do you have regular routines? What are your tendencies? 
If we are what we repeatedly do, we should take a close look at our lives and examine the practices that make us who we are. And, we should know that creating healthy habits is a very powerful way to make a positive impact on our days. 
Today, identify one action you have taken to be healthier. (Even if you have only tried that action once, if it was a step in the right direction, it is worthy of becoming a habit!) Now… put that action on repeat this week. Do it daily, or more — as often as you can! Repeat, repeat, repeat. 
With repetition — sooner than later — this step in the right direction will become your true north.
—Brought to you by Joie Schmitz of YOGA\VIVRE.

Today, let’s reflect on this quote by Alan Watts:
“The meaning of being alive is just to be alive… It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around i a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”
Sit with this idea today. Notice if your mind wants to rationalize the words or meaning. Rather than analyzing the sentiment, simply let it stew. Consciousness over cognition.
—Brought to you by Joie Schmitz of YOGA\VIVRE.

Today we focus on love. 
Mentally recite this mantra as you sit in stillness and experience the magnitude of your own heart: “Give love” (as you breathe in) + “And receive love” (as you breathe out). 
The key is repetition. The more time you can devote to this practice today, the greater you will feel its effects.
—Brought to you by Joie Schmitz of YOGA\VIVRE.

Rocket launches start with a countdown…
But this exercise promises a cosmic sense of calm with a countdown!
Find a comfortable seat - in a chair, or on the floor. Sit upright, spine tall. Allow the eyelids to drop shut.
Take a long, slow, deep breath in, and then just as slowly, breathe it out. As the air flows out of the lungs, silently say “ten.”
Repeat your exaggerated inhalation and exhalation again. This time silently say “nine” as you empty the air. 
Continue like this all the way to “zero.” Be careful not to rush. If the mind starts to jump or become aggravated, simply start again from “ten.” 
—Brought to you by Joie Schmitz of YOGA\VIVRE.