Mindful Hobbies

I haven’t been as motivated to write lately. My productivity levels on writing oscillates from time to time. I thought of this idea to discuss my favorite mindful activities, and it has pushed me to write, so thought it would be a good idea to write this. I have been pretty busy with other fun activities, connecting with family and friends, so I haven’t had the energy to write. My next trip is to the beach, so I thought I will write something before then.

It is important to get out, connect, and do fun activities with others. It allows you to be in the moment, and enjoy the life, and the people around you. Mindful activities are a way to get a way from the noise of the world, from the busyness. To just be with oneself, your thoughts, your creativity. To do the things you enjoy doing. I will list a couple of my favorite mindful activities. I am sure you have similar hobbies to mine, and I am sure you have plenty of different ones.

  • Coloring-I have been really into this one as of late. It take a bit of time and energy, but it is nice getting immersed in it. Using your hands to create something is quite lovely and enjoyable. I also enjoy the finished product. I like to put the finished production my wall. I have a coloring book that has inspirational quotes, so they are nice to look at, and read for inspiration.
  • Plant care-Probably my favorite mindful routine. I like giving attention to all my plants, cleaning their leaves, watering them when they need, checking the soil. Taking each one to the sink, and caring for them. I have just enough, so that I am able to care for them. Having too many plants can be overwhelming, and time consuming, so I have the right amount that gives me the space to care for them where it doesn’t take too much of my time, and I am not neglecting any of them. I love getting my cup of coffee, and going at it.
  • Reading-I am currently reading a book on the mind and brain. I find this topic interesting as the brain and mind are quite fascinating to me. I have been trying to read more this year, and I have kept up with it. Reading allows me to be creative, it allows me to think, and it helps fuel inspiration. I also gain new knowledge and perspective from a good read.
  • Nature walks-I haven’t been doing much of this lately. It has been too hot, or I am too exhausted from work, or just not feeling as much lately. I usually enjoy doing this, during the spring and fall time. I did go to a botanical garden last week, and it was quite lovely seeing all those pretty plants, and walking among nature. It gives you the opportunity to see the beauty of the world. It helps center you back to reality. It is refreshing and rejuvenating.
  • Journaling/Letting thoughts breath- Sometimes I just like to take a break from my computer, and just sit, and let my thoughts get some air. I sometimes write it down, but lately I just have been letting my thoughts out in the air. I sit, look at my plants, look out the window, and just breath. It is quite relaxing to do so. It helps bring me back into the moment.
  • Yoga/Dancing-I put these together, because I usually do them together. I start with a high activity, and wind down with some yoga. I like the mixture. I like to listen to my favorite songs at the moment, and dance to them. I like to get lost in the music, while creating my own choreography to the songs. I find this fun. It helps get my heart rate up, and then yoga helps wind it down, and calms my body and mind.
My go to playlist at the moment

Mindful hobbies/activities help keep the spark in your life. It brings joy, happiness, and fulfillment. It cultivates peace and calmness in this busy and unpredictable world. Once in awhile, or at least once a day, step a way, and find the quiet and joy.

Letting Go of the Ego

One of the important things to be aware of when it comes to mindfulness is learning how powerful the ego is, and learning to strip the ego from taking control of us. The ego allows us to perceive ourselves as always right, or perfect.

It believes the world revolves around oneself. That the world should bend to our mercy. That things should go the way we want it to. This belief creates misery in our lives. It doesn’t allow for any criticism. It wants others to be available whenever it wants. It wants others to be happy when we are, and sad when we are.

It wants everyone to like and agree with it. The ego judges ourselves, others, and the world. It keeps us stuck in a cycle of anger, frustration, annoyance, and sadness. Although, these emotions are natural in human nature. Being stuck in them isn’t good for your mental health. The ego can also limit us from growing, because it refuses to be wrong, and open-minded to other opinions and beliefs.

The ego will always seep through, but you can always learn to reduce the affect it has on your state of mind. Once you learn to strip the ego of its power. Peace and freedom will follow.

Give Yourself Space

Give yourself space and time to get away from the information overload or the distractions of the world. I sit here viewing the scenery of my plants in my room. I am listening to the sounds of the rain playing, and the thunder outdoors. I am looking at the grey clouds outdoors. It is quite nice to just sit and breathe. Giving my thoughts the air to breathe. I find this very relaxing and therapeutic.

I enjoy writing my thoughts on paper and meditating as well. Tending to my plants can also give me the space to be in the moment, and let my mind be at peace. It is important not to get stuck in distractions and a busy lifestyle. Take time to be still, and be in the moment. Enjoying the scenery and sounds around you. Allowing your thoughts, and emotions to flow through you, and be heard and understood. Take care of yourself, and everything will fall into place.

Give yourself the space to understand oneself, and deal with emotions you may have. It isn’t easy to sit still, believe me I find it difficult, but a little discomfort is good for us. We should always try to get out of our comfort zone every once in awhile. Take on the challenge. It can only help us build into a stronger individual. Strive to take care of yourself, be appreciative, and be mindful.

Give yourself space to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and nature as well. I wanted to post this beautiful shot of my favorite place to walk and be at peace.

Oscillation of Mindfulness & Distractions

The continuous cycle, the back and forth. I catch myself entangled in the digital world once again. My bouts of mindfulness and distractions swing from one end to the other. Not much of inspiration or motivation going on at one moment, than the next I get back to immersing myself in my thoughts, meditate, and looking for inspiration and gaining knowledge. It is interesting. but not all that surprising. My mind needs rest, get distracted. My mind needs more fulfilling stimulation, lets get back to mindfulness. I don’t want to guilt myself for not being as mindful, as sharp, or as creative as I could be. I know I won’t be on my A game at all times. I won’t have the will to write all the times. I don’t always want to be mindful. I like distractions from time to time. It gives me the break I need. I know eventually I will get back on track. I always do. The road towards your goals and self-growth isn’t linear. There is some back and forth going on there. You get off the road, but you will get back on it. Getting back to it is what matters. I am now getting some of my juice back, after a week, or so. I continue to practice self-kindness and compassion when I catch myself moving towards distractions. It happens. I am human. Just enjoy, and you will get back to where you need to be. Remember, these distractions should not create harm to your mental health. It should help relax you. It should be enjoyable. If it does, please try to distance oneself, and look for more enjoyable distractions. I will end this here. I just wanted to put it out there that it isn’t easy being mindful all the times, and that it isn’t wrong to find distractions to help stimulate your mind at times. Balance is key.

What Brings Me Happiness

We should all figure out the things that spark happiness in our lives. I learned what truly sparks my happiness when I had to spend a weekend alone indoors at home. I couldn’t go out, or meet up with friends, which made me feel down and lonely. It showed me that being outdoors and connecting with friends are two things that spark my happiness. I decided that if the next had nice weather. I would make an effort to be outdoors and meet up with friends.

It is important to be proactive and take action to bring happiness in to your life. No wallowing in self-pity, thinking about how life sucks, or how lonely I am. Taking action, and doing what needs to be done is how I can help myself. I like you to search for what makes you happy, and implement them in to your life as much as you can. Don’t think. Don’t wish. Just do! After you read this I like you to think of the things that bring happiness to your life. Try to focus your energy on incorporating these things into your life.

My list:

  • Connecting with friends/family
  • Going outdoors in nature
  • Taking care of plants
  • Mindful breaks
  • Meditation
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening to music/dancing

Life Of Uncertainty

I had an idea of what m Sunday was going to be. I was excited to go the park, sit on a blanket under a tree, and relax with my books, and connect with a friend, but things did not turn out the way I planned. That is the thing about life. You can’t predict the future, or expect things to go the way you thought.

My car didn’t start on the way over there, so had to use my friends car to get to the park. Once we were there. I was still a bit upset about my car, so my excitement died down a bit. The lot where I wanted to go was full, so we had to go to a spot I didn’t like as much. We were also surrounded by cicada’s, and the noise was a bit distracting. We also couldn’t sit under a tree, so we had to stay under the sun, which was unpleasant. We were there for about 30 minutes, so the day didn’t go at all how I planned.

I could have called it a day, said the day was shot, and be miserable, but I recognized this is all part of life. Yes, I am a bit upset nothing went to plan, but not all is lost. I ended just hanging out on my friends porch, in the shade, and we ended up having a nice time. I got to read, listen to music, and connect with my friend. I realized being on her porch was pretty nice, and that we should do that again, instead of going to parks, and dealing with multiple bugs, and also having a bathroom.

So in the end, these bumps brought something new to my horizon. I was able to still enjoy my time, and find a new place to hang out. By the end of the day I felt much better. I was still a bit stressed about my car, but the stress wasn’t too strong. The thing is you will always feel the emotion, but acceptance of uncertainty will lesson the severity.

The day did not go how I planned it, but sometimes life doesn’t go the way you planned. What you envision for the future is not reality. Once reality hits. You got to be able to handle what life has to offer, good or bad, because life isn’t smooth or perfect. And in the end, you may find a silver lining like I did, something good can come out of all of it. I found a new spot to hang out, and I found some good writing material.

Low Motivation

I woke this morning with no will to write my usual Monday blog post. I don’t have much inspiration lately. I did have a post to write, but have no urge to write and post it. I have no excitement for it at the moment, so I just don’t want to force myself to post it. I never really post anything I am not excited to write and post. Now grant it, there are plenty of times I don’t feel like writing, but once I push myself I feel much better, and really get into writing, so I think it is important to push yourself eventually, instead of continuously pushing something off. I write because I like providing helpful tips, and spreading my knowledge about mindfulness and personal growth.

I don’t feel guilt or sadness, nor excitement or joy. I am just going through the motions. I am just allowing what I am feeling just to be. If you aren’t feeling motivated, excited, or inspired. That is perfectly okay. There is nothing wrong with that. Days like these happen.

I am just ready to get back to work. I just don’t want to be home. I want to be busy and productive. Was it the gloomy weather? Lack of being outdoors this weekend? Not sure. Although I like keeping a schedule, because it helps push me to get things done. I may not always feel like writing, but once I start writing I tend to enjoy the process. This is why you got to push yourself eventually. Starting is when the magic happens, The thought of starting is much worse, than actually doing what needs to be done.

I choose not to force things all the time. We should all choose not to do so. Be kind to yourself. When you have these days. Listen to your body and emotions. If you don’t have to do it, than don’t. You can have a day to relax. You can have a day where you lack productivity. Just remember to get back to where you need to, because eventually guilt, and your inner critic will come to straighten you up, because humans have this need to continue to progress in life. We like a challenge. We like doing things to better ourselves. Push yourself most of the time, but don’t force all the time. I will end this here. This wasn’t a specific topic. Just my personal story with a bit of helpful tips. Hopefully this resonates with you. Have a lovely week.

Taking Things Personally

We are all guilty of this. It is in our nature to want to belong and be liked as social creatures. The thing is taking things personally all the time can have a negative effect on our peace of mind and well-being. It is okay to feel this way at times. We are human. We feel emotions. If not, we would be a psychopath, but we should learn not to allow taking things personally to consume our lives that it creates a world of misery and stress. I like to discuss a couple of reason behind why we may take things personally. Being aware of these habits can help us learn why we may do this, and help us move forward, so that we don’t continue to fall into this trap.

  • Perfectionism-Not only do you want to be perfect for yourself. You want to appear perfect in front of others. This need to be perfect makes it hard for one to cope with criticism and judgment. It will hurt your pride when someone tells you that you made a mistake, or there is a flaw in your work. This criticism can be well intentioned, but your need to be perfect makes it hard for you to listen or reason. You think this is an attack on you.

The problem with being a perfectionist is that it is unrealistic. You are not perfect. No one is. Once you accept this. It becomes easier to handle criticism without taking it too personally. It will still sting at first, but you will realize that their criticism can help you grow. Now if the criticism isn’t helpful, or it comes from someone who doesn’t know you. There is nothing to be upset about. They don’t know you, and don’t care about your feelings and thoughts, so why care so much about them? The only opinion you should focus on is the ones that help you grow and evolve as a person, or on your skillset.

  • Putting others before oneself-Your thoughts and feelings don’t matter. Others matter more. I am happy if others are happy, so you can see why it would be easy to take things personally if others opinion are more important than your own. You will try your best to please others.

There is nothing wrong with trying to please others, but your opinion of yourself, and taking care of your needs should come first. People will say things that will hurt you, but if you value yourself and your opinions. Your self-confidence will deflect that hurtful language, especially coming from strangers.

  • Lack of confidence-Going along with the last habit. The lack of appreciation of yourself and your strengths can be a trigger for taking things personally.

If you have confidence, and truly believe in what you can do. If you focus on your strengths, rather your weaknesses. It makes it easier to not take things personally. You have flaws. You won’t do things perfectly. You will make mistakes, but I know I have plenty of great qualities that makes me an awesome person. Once you recognize this, taking things personally won’t be as much of an issue.

  • Storytelling-As I mentioned before, our thoughts are our stories. We create scenarios in our head of a situation. It isn’t always based on the facts. We may think this person is out to get us, or they hate us, or they just don’t like me. But it is all in how we think about the situation that creates anger and frustration, not the situation itself. We tend to create stories that make us the victim, and the other person the villain. It can be a good story, but it doesn’t mean it is true.

Cognitive mediation is the idea that things in the world don’t cause emotions. Instead, it’s our thoughts about things that affect how we feel(medium.com)

A person cuts you off, someone isn’t listening to you, someone doesn’t say hi back to you. Your thoughts about these situations trigger your response. Not the situation itself. There are plenty of responses you can take here. Get mad, or angry. Insult them. Get upset that they pissed you off, and ruined your day. You can also take a step back, breathe, recognize their mistake, or maybe the person didn’t hear you, maybe the person had an important place to go, maybe the person listening had other things on their mind. It isn’t always about you. Also recognize that you probably made these same mistakes as well. No one is perfect. You got to remember not everyone thinks the same, or has the same set of values. What may be offensive to you, may not be for another.

  • Your surrounded by negative people-If it is growing up in a toxic household, or in a toxic relationship, or friendship. These people can help define who you are and how you think. If they treat you like crap, and say harsh things about you. The belief in these thoughts will set in. It is much easier to break someone down, than lift them up. You become more sensitive to others input when all you heard about yourself were negative things. This can also go for toxic positivity as well. If you are constantly saying positive things. The person may not react to criticism very well. We need a balance to thrive as individuals.

It is important to be around people who make you feel good. Who help build you up. Who help you grow. No one has time for toxic relationships(negative or positive). The best bet is to remove yourself from the source. That isn’t always easy. I am not saying it is easy, but it needs to be done to live a life with less self-hatred and criticism.

  • Toxic positivity-There is such a thing as too much positivity. Being positive is great. Better that, than negative, but we also need negativity in our lives. Like is not perfect. People are not perfect. The inability to see flaws, mistakes, and the bad is a problem. Just focusing on the good can make things difficult for an individual when things don’t go smoothly, or their mistakes and flaws are mentioned. They will feel offended and take it too personally.

Life has its ups and downs. The good and the bad. People have their strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging this makes it easier to cope with criticism and not take things too personally. If they recognize your flaws, so do you, nothing new, keep it moving.

  • Recognize the trolls/negative people-There are people, especially online that want to bring others down to their level. They want to hurt others. They want to upset others. Why give them that power? Don’t give them what they want. Remember the source. Don’t let a stranger/associate dictate how you feel about yourself. Everyone’s opinion doesn’t matter to you. Think, is this helping me?, no, then move on.

Always remember to think, is this benefiting me or not? Take in what can help you, and ignore the ones that do not. No need to stress over an opinion that doesn’t matter. That opinion doesn’t define you. The person that does is you.

You can never stop the sting of taking things personally. It will happen to all of us. You can just learn habits or tricks that can help reduce the intensity and duration of these feelings. There is no need to suffer over what others think of you. I am sure there are plenty of others who think you are awesome. Focus on what is important. Your opinion, and the opinion of others who build you up.

Source:https://medium.com/personal-growth/6-psychological-reasons-why-you-take-things-too-personally-6c46c21402a1

When you take things personally that is your own fault. . . . . #zenmoment  #zenfrequency #quotes #love #life #quoteoftheday #tr… | Soul quotes, Zen  moments, Quotes

Sharpen the Saw

I was reading the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There is a chapter about sharpening the saw, and it really resonated with me. I found this concept to be similar to mindful time. The story behind this is that there was a competition between a younger and older lumberjack to see who can cut down the most trees. The younger one continued to cut the trees without breaks, while the older one took breaks throughout the day. The older lumberjack ended up winning, despite being older, weaker, and less energetic. The reason is because he took breaks to sharpen his saw. A sharp saw will win over a dull one anytime.

This story and concept show how important it is to take breaks to sharpen the saw, meaning to gain clarity. Constant working leads to exhaustion and cloudiness of the mind. You will be much more effective when you give yourself space. I have to say my best ideas comes from taking time to breathe and be mindful. When I am journaling, taking walks, reading, watching inspirational vloggers, or on vacations. It is important to be present, and in the moment, so that your mind can breathe and gain insight. Our minds need breaks. The mind won’t work well with continuous work and overload. You may think it is a good idea to keep going, but doing that just weakens your clarity and creativity.

I am staying indoors today, due to another snow storm, thankfully not as bad as the last one, but I wanted to be productive and mindful today. This is where this idea came from. I didn’t want to waste my only day off for the next 10 days on distractions only. This is where mindful practices come in handy. I did some reading, some yoga, some writing as you can see. I even found going outside to clean my car therapeutic. Most may see it as a chore or annoying, and I do majority of the time as well, but today I didn’t mind going out. I put some music on, and cleaned the snow off, it was kind of nice. The snow is really fluffy, so it came off easy, and it gave me a nice workout. It was nice to just do something, rather than just sitting inside.

I know this topic has become a recurring theme of my posts, but that just means how important this concept is, and how it never gets old to be reminded of it. Breaks are really important, sharpen the mind, like you sharpen the saw. This can only come from giving yourself the space to think and relax. To be in the moment and enjoy life as it is. Work will always be there, but the moment will not.