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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Santa’s in town!

Hi Dear Journalers,

I just happened to be out for lunch with my girlfriend in La Jolla on Sunday and heard some bagpipers practicing in the distance. As we walked along Girard Street we noticed the blocked-off road and people assembling. Horses and carts were being readied for the Holiday Parade. What an unexpected surprise!

Anticipation

It took me back to the days when I used to march in parades. I could feel the anticipation and excitement. This awakened my curiosity. Who was going to participate?For a couple of hours I leaned against a tree trunk with my iPhone in hand, snapping photos. Elves tossed candy canes to the audience. Brownies and bagpipers marched in orderly fashion along the shop-lined street. Crowned Princesses from around the county sat atop convertibles and waved at the crowd. I wasn’t situated close enough to see their faces, but I felt the excitement in the air.

During these moments I felt alive to what was happening before my eyes. The vintage T-Birds in pastel hues curved along  the road, boasting their angular beauty. The ponies pranced back and forth as they wove up and down the street pulling their vintage, circus carts. Not to be missed were the graceful women in Victorian dress atop their horses. It was good to be out of the holiday buying frenzy for a few hours and back into the sheer joy of the present moment.

So this week for your journal writing, I recommend that you go out and about to explore something surprising. Take a chance! Go around that next corner to find something unexpected like I did last Sunday. Photograph the images and add some notes about the sensory details. Savor it. If you like, draw some pictures. You can even put together a collage, including your feelings and thoughts about how these stolen moments of pure joy affected you and restored your spirits.

Have fun this week, and see how relishing life increases your sense of happiness. As Lynn Johnson, PhD. says, “If you savor one experience a day, you can create a habit of appreciation that leads to an increased zest for life.” Something worth writing about!

Happy journaling!

Karen

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I don’t know about you, dear journalers, but I am already feeling some of the inevitable stress of the holidays. I’ve been up later than usual, entertaining, and reaching for the car keys to drive to the grocery store for those last missing items. The end of the year fills up, and pretty soon I am heading towards 2012 with my head spinning.

So I returned to a few easy “5 for 5” centering practices that keep me anchored, grateful, and happy.

1. Take out my journal and write down at least 5 things that I am grateful for each day.

2. Meditate for 5 minutes.

3. Pick up an inspiring book and read from it for at least 5 minutes.

4. Lay on the floor or bed and put my feet up for 5 minutes to release tension.

5. Eat 5 good foods a day.

Sounds simple enough, but when I’m fussing I forget to do these essential things.

So let me start you out this week using the first three practices.  You will build some valuable journal writing into your daily life and come away supported and refreshed.

Let’s start with some inspiring words from Wu-Men, “If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, this it the best season of your life.”

Now, find a quiet, comfortable place to sit and meditate on this idea for 5 minutes. Contemplate these two phrases. As the inevitable chatter interrupts your focus, acknowledge this and keep returning to these words.

Next, when you arise from meditation, write down five things for which you are grateful. Whether these ideas come quickly or slowly, sit with this exercise until you feel a sense of gratefulness which calms you.

beauty close up

Your ideas can be simple or profound. As for me, I find that I can meditate on what is important when I walk at Batiquitos Lagoon nearby my home. Today I snapped some photos. This helps me slow down and observe the things that inspire me the most.

I’m including a couple of photos that I took today as my dog Sam and I ambled around the northern path that hugs the outskirts of the waterway. We sat for five minutes and listened to a woodpecker tap his music on a eucalyptus while he had a hearty bug lunch.

looking for the woodpecker

I am truly grateful for that fleeting moment of communion with the life around me. I will return to this photo later and write some more about how I felt in this verdant cool spot that seemed a small wonder. Let your interests tell you something about yourself during these quiet moments of needed contemplation.

Try each day to write in your journal, more about your appreciations and how this kind of gratefulness has impacted you to live more fully.  For additional support, write down your own words of inspiration, or a phrase that caught your eye when you read something profound. Put these words on an index card and post it, put it in your pocket or purse, or return to it whenever you feel stressed.

Let me know if you find these practices helpful.

Happy journaling to you during this abundant week of blessings!

Karen

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Dear Journalers,

Unimaginable wonder

Welcome to the month of November and the season of harvest, home, and love. And this week, we San Diegans have been lucky enough to experience warm weather and the desire to go out and about and enjoy. I took some time to explore the beauty of the beach. Often these stolen moments from our busy scheules, can bring us closer to our greater purposes and our heart-centers.

And this time away can be a welcome break from our human struggles that seemingly come together in one hour or one day and overwhelm us.

At these moments, we can always turn to our journals for a respit from our daily concerns, to come back to our compassionate natures and remind ourselves of what is dearest in our hearts.

This week I recommend that you take your camera out of its bag and set out for the beach, the lagoons, the mountains, or even your garden where you can grab a peaceful moment. Photograph something that brings you a sense of communion with the outer world and your soul.

My best moments are often captured near the water where I can see beyond my limiting beliefs. I come away inspired and in awe of what is going on around me and inside me.

When you have photographed the image write about taking the time to do so and how it made you feel connected to something deep inside yourself. Theme the photo for what it inspires in you. Take time to journal your heart-felt dreams and wonders. And continue to invoke these feelings of abundance and awe this week. Read some inspiring words to uplift your spirits.

I leave you with the wish for an awe-inpsired week, one full of fun activities and silent moments for contemplation!

Karen

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