Living a Healthier Lifestyle

I’ve enjoyed a number of the free meditation series offered by the on-line Chopra Center (link)  This blog post summarizes some of the insights I gathered from the one on Healing the Whole Self.   As part of my retirement transition, I am actively trying to live a healthier lifestyle and I hoped this meditation series would help me with that part of my journey.

The core premise of this series was that your mind/thoughts, your body/physical actions, and your spirit are all connected. While there wasn’t that much new information, I found it helpful to remind myself of ways to live a healthier lifestyle.  Sometimes these reminders are validations that I’m doing it (yeah, me); sometimes these reminders are nudges to get back on track.  I also found much of this consistent with exploring my Personal Spirituality, which I talked about in my last post (here).

There were a few lovely quotes that could become mantras for me:

The light of my own being guides my life forward.

Joy is my guide.

I will own my strengths and honor my dreams.

Exercise makes me stronger – physically and mentally.

I am complete; I am enough.

My deeper journey is to no longer just “do”, but learn “to be”.

See the world with compassion and kindness.

 

The BODY – Every day there are things I can choose to do to impact having a healthier body.   Some of the reminders for me are:

  • Eat nutritionally rich foods by “eating the rainbow”.
  • Manage portion control.
  • Add more whole grains and legumes (less potato chips!).
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Daily movement – regular walking, yoga stretching, strength training.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Practice meditation – bring awareness to my breath multiple times a day.
  • Appreciate my body; be grateful for it. (As opposed to having negative feelings about it.)

The MIND – Nothing holds more power to heal and become healthier than the mind. Being aware of thoughts is a challenge. The goal is to become more aware and not immediately react, but control or modify the reaction.

  • What we put attention on grows – focus on what I want, not what I don’t want. By changing our thoughts, we change our actions.  Identify and let go of limiting thoughts (fear, anxiety). Identify and release old (negative) thought patterns/habits.  
  • Calm the overactive mind and be in the present moment. Just say, “stop” to the mind-spinning thoughts.
    • Stop reliving/lamenting/if only replaying the past – accept what’s happened; stop second-guessing, re-running, and berating.
    • Stop the worry about the future scenarios. Allow it to happen and experience it as it happens.
  • Notice things without judgment. Compassion is opposite of judgment. 
  • Every emotion has a reason. Become aware of the emotion and accept it non-judgmentally.What needs are not being met? Appreciation, acceptance, attention, affection? What actions do I need to take to get that need met in a healthy way?

The SPIRIT – The soul is your true self behind your thoughts and actions.  The true self comes from your experience, from your senses – it is your intuition and your creativity.  The conditioned mind is the opposite of the true self – it is full of shame, fear, mistrust, disconnection, and based on conditioned (negative) thought patterns.  How to better link to your soul – your true self:

  • Increase awareness of actions and habits. More contemplation and less mindless busy work.
  • Be grateful for what you have.
  • Practice kindness and compassion – more acceptance, more appreciation, and less judgment.
  • More taking action (plan your dreams) and less procrastination (waiting for someday). Look for synchronicities.
  • More slowdown and savor and less go, go, go. Reconnect with nature (get outside every day). Be mindful when eating.

I enjoyed this inspirational reminder across the Body, Mind, and Spirit of how I can live a healthier lifestyle. I continue to learn how to balance movement & doing (getting out & about, in touch with nature, connecting with others) and the stillness of just being (journaling, contemplation, solitude, quiet). I continue to practice being aware of my limiting beliefs and my conditioned (often judgmental) reactions.  

Do you like these types of reminders for your own journey? 

 

31 thoughts on “Living a Healthier Lifestyle

    1. Lorraine, Healthy eating and portion control is the one I need reminding of regularly! Last night was a failure there, but today was a better day. I said they were reminders… not that I was successful in all of them. 🙂

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  1. I really liked those quotes/possible mantras Pat – they are great reminders for how we should be living our lives. I’m focusing a lot on “being” rather than “doing” and allowing myself to go with the flow more – rather than rushing into stuff that I may regret down the track. I’m glad you’ve found some positive points from the series.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

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  2. Hi Pat, Nice to meet you through #MLSTL. I like learning and reading about meditation. I am also big on quotes and mantras. I have been attending almost daily yoga classes the past 5 years and I choose a mantra for focus in each class. I especially like your quote “Joy is my guide.” It speaks volumes in few words. The “I am enough” is a concept I try to reinforce with my daughters. An excellent post with great reminders! Shared SM 🙂 Erica

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    1. Thanks Erica. I’m doing yoga 3 times a week right now and really loving that. I have not tried a mantra in each class – what a great Idea! I often just use the word “release” – stress/resentment/anger. But I think next class I will pick a manta. Thanks for the idea.

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  3. I’ve neglected mental, spiritual and physical health so far this year. I added up today that I’ve been away from home for a total of 10 weeks since the beginning of February – some of that has been holiday but most have been trips to Sydney for work. While I exist in a reasonable amount of daily juggling of creative and corporate brainspace, I need the structure of a flexible routine & that has completely disappeared. No boundaries are not good for me. I’m hoping that next weeks trip will be the last business trip for a while and am resetting my goals from 1 June. At the top of that list will be finding a way to remind myself to breathe.

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    1. I found that I got caught up with things this week and stopped looking at email, FB, and any blogs. Which is not my normal routine. And that made me feel unsettled! I know that’s crazy, but it was a loss of my normal structure. And I’m a structure girl. Hoping your June is full on long, slow breathes.

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  4. Hi Pat! I don’t care how many times I have read about or heard these ideas—I always appreciate feeling my mind with this stuff because it is so very easy in our world to be distracted and not put it front and center (where it belongs.) Plus, nearly every person writes about it or speaks about it in different ways and that helps plant it deeper inside. Good for you for taking the class and then writing about it. I too find that writing about what I learn, just like taking notes in class, helps me draw out what was most important. I’m guessing you are the same. i just wish you didn’t live so far away because it would be fun to get together sometime and talk about it in person! ~Kathy

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    1. Kathy, As I read your comments I was going – yes, yes, yes! Yes, to the reminders again & again. Yes, for writing about it so it gets integrated in my mind. And a huge YES, to someday getting together … we’d talk for hours I am absolutely sure.

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    1. Deb, They offer a free series about 3-4 times a year. I’ve taken a few and there’s one starting soon – on dealing with Chaos. I’m thinking I might take it just because they are so interesting…not that I have any chaos to deal with at the moment!

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  5. Hi Pat, I am very aware of ensuring that not only my physical health but mental and spiritual health are taken care of. I love the holistic approach and from you post I can see that you are finding that balance between movement and just being present in the moment. I love the courses through the Chopra Centre.

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    1. Sue, Did you take this Mind-Body-Spirit one? I am feeling like some of his series are repetitive, but I also like the reminders. I’m thinking of signing up for the next one just for that (plus I’m still trying to get into meditation).

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      1. Hi Pat, I think I did the meditation one but it was a couple of years ago now. I love learning and it makes me expand my thinking in all areas of my life. Having the time to devote to self-development is very important to me and retirement has certainly provided me with time. Have a great week and thanks for sharing at #MLSTL x

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      2. Sue, I’m enjoying having time to do self-development. I started another of the Chopra meditation series just this weekend… he’s got so many of them. All similar, yet all different, too.

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    1. Donna, Recently somebody commented that something I had written “has already been written about” in a derogatory tone. For me, I need these reminders because I’m not doing everything I want to be doing (to live healthy and happy) yet. And sometimes the reminders give me the “yeah -you” feedback when I know I’ve made some changes and stuck with them. It’s nice to hear others also like the revisiting. 🙂

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