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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September 23rd marked the Autumnal Equinox, or the official start of fall. Transitional periods, like this time, are ideal for reflecting on the past and setting an intention for the future. That right there can seem like a lot to accomplish… but give yourself one minute to do it, and see what comes up!

15 seconds: Replay everything you can remember from the year so far. Notice what comes to mind first!
15 seconds: Pause and feel gratitude for everything you have experienced. It has all contributed to your growth.
29 seconds: Set an intention for the season ahead. What do you want your life to feel like for the next few months? Create a statement that defines that thought.
1 second: Smile.

In actuality, the exercise above could take hours. To really honor the past (without dwelling on it), and to set yourself in the right direction for the future (without putting worry into it), could take a while. But, by dedicating just one minute to this, you’re more likely to try it… right? Bottom line: learn from the past, and take charge of the future.

Fall is in the air. This week’s cooler temperatures feel refreshing! A breath of brisk air or a breeze with a bit of a bite can be invigorating. In fact, it can snap you into a moment of complete presence.

This week’s workout: get outside and activate your senses. Connect with nature and notice what you notice.

Look for leaves changing color.
Listen to the sound of the breeze in the trees.
Feel the crispness of a cool day.

Whether you step outside for 1 minute, or take a long walk around town, being outdoors and among nature activates our senses and draws us close to the present moment.

Take a 60-second time-out from your day to try this: 
Sit comfortably with a tall spine, relaxed shoulders and a slight smile.
Take long, deep inhales and think: I am breathing in good (or peace, or patience, or strength — whatever positivity you need today.)
Release long, slow exhales and think: I am breathing out bad (or anger, or or sadness, or tension — whatever negativity you need to let go.)Every breath is an opportunity to replace negative mental energy that drags you down with positive intentions. Our thoughts influence our energy. And our energy determines our personal actions and interactions with others. When we take time to cultivate good thoughts, we generate goodness in ourselves and all around us!

For 1 minute today, stop everything you are doing and be completely still. You can stand, sit or lie down. You can close your eyes or gaze at a single point in front of you. Try to relax and let everything around you (noises, distractions, your own thoughts, etc.) fade into the background.

Taking a “time out” like this can be like hitting a mental reset button. When we allow ourselves moments of true stillness and separation from the myriad of thoughts and tasks that rule our days, we can often emerge with mental clarity to focus on what is really important.