Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Meditations for Back to School. 2017.22.

Meditations for Back to School. 2017.22.

I wonder what you thought when you saw this title?

In fact it IS about meditation and it IS for kids…yes!

From my experience of the past two years, meditation is helpful. I use it for helping me stay in the moment more and for being mindful. I’ve written about it here.

More and more though, it is found that a few minutes of meditation, slowing down to focus on the ‘here and now’ and the breath is an excellent strategy for us all. It is not about clearing the mind nor about going to sleep.

Smiling Mind is an Australian-based company producing apps and meditations on-line. The app is free. I have used this app a few times. I like the Australian accent too. Here’s the link to Smiling Mind to find out more.

What caught my eye recently from the ABC in Australia is this:

Meditations for Back to School.*

There are meditations for kids and teachers. I tried the kid one and that’s why I am sharing it here. I would suggest having a go with your children.

I would also try it with a class if I was still teaching!

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Here from ABC and Smiling Mind. From their website:

Our vision is to see mindfulness meditation on the Australian National Curriculum by 2020.

This hopeful statement from the Dalai Lama provides food for thought.

*Not a sponsored post..I just like to share what I think is helpful for families and education.

Have you tried meditation?

Do your children meditate?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

 

 

 

 

 

It is I Blog On Tuesday time I. B. O.T! Joining Kylie Purtell and the crew who blog on Tuesdays here.

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My Week 6 Intention. React Less Respond More. 2017.20.

My Week 6 Intention. React Less Respond More. 2017.20.

credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0b/75/1e/0b751e663829b6a2b95fa9e144b06085.jpg

I have always been a react first…and sometimes (OK, maybe a lot) an over-reactor who almost always regrets her behaviour.

Oh why oh why?

I think I know why…really..it’s about unexpressed words or views and how I need to get in first..maybe it’s about needing to think I have ‘control’ but then again..that’s not an excuse is it? Here’s an interesting take on the two!

credit: http://d3fhkv6xpescls.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/react-vs-respond.jpg

However, I do know that I regret my reactions almost EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

I would rather take TIME to consider my response rather than react as I know the other person will feel valued and I will feel satisfied that I have not placed my frustrations or blame on another.

My Intention for Week 6 is to slow down my reaction to any given situation so that I take a breath, have a think of how I will behave, and make a response. I will also forgive myself for forgetting this and get back up and remember again!

Update: Intention Week 5. Listening actively has become an almost -automatic response (see what I did there!) and it really has changed me from within and in my dealings with others. 

So what is your style?

Reactor? Responder? Bit of both?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

Joining Leanne on Thursdays for Lovin Life Linky here.

P.S. This is from one of my favourite on-line teachers ever…Tara Brach. She has written two books I love and has a regular podcast too. Pop over to tarabrach.com to find out more.

If you have the time…this is awesome! Thanks Tara.

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My Week 4 Intention. Savour The Positive Pt 1. 2017.12.

My Week 4 Intention. Savour The Positive Pt 1. 2017.12.

Last week I know I benefitted from my intention of kindness and it was brought home to me even more after a stressful time on Tuesday. I had to summon up the courage to drive a long way (45 minutes) on a super hot day to the periodontist who I HAD to see about my poor gums. I did it, but it was at a physical and emotional cost the next day when my IBS struck and I couldn’t go out. But, instead of my ‘old ways’ of talking to myself and thinking I had ‘failed’ I was able to be kindly towards myself in word and action and be a friend to myself!

Being a friend to yourself takes practice!

It was also lovingly helpful to have so many commenters who understood what I was writing about when they read my post last week. Thank you all! This kindness that is spreading around is GOOD!

Building upon this, and wanting to continue to learn more about how our thinking can distort our feelings (and vice versa) I have become a firm fan of the work of Rick Hanson PhD & his collaborator  Richard Mendius MD. He speaks from years of research about the ‘neurons which fire together wire together’ and how we CAN affect our health by too much of the negative messages,  self-talk and so on.

I have been listening to him speak with  Richard Mendius about  and in doing so, am beginning to make some subtle but helpful changes to my daily experiences.

My Intention Week 4/52. 

My intention this week is to ensure I am taking time to SAVOUR positive experiences of all kinds including these:

knowing I am loved and have a person who is my best friend to talk to, hug and be companion to every single day

that the world of nature just outside my house in the form of my small garden offers me opportunities to observe, smell and touch to let the memories flood my brain

I know this needs to be on-going so next week will be an update and more about what I have learned via the lessons and meditations from this CD program.

Have a good week everyone.

Denyse.

I join Leanne and friends here for the Lovin Life Linky on Thursdays.

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My Week 3 Intention. Compassion. 2017.8.

Week 3 Intention. Compassion. 2017.8.

I am continuing my inward journey this week of intention by learning more about compassion. I have much to learn and firstly about myself. I guess I am tough on myself as many of us are. In fact, both my GP and Psychologist have told me that very thing. I am hearing the words of a very wise man, my husband who says “I expect too much of myself”. What I am doing…and learning…is ‘how to be more compassionate to myself’ as I begin the slow journey of being slightly more confident about how to accept Irritable Bowel Syndrome as it is now because the anxiety it brings can overwhelm me.

Here are some excerpts from an article I read yesterday. The link to the full article is at the end of this.

Compassion is the feeling that naturally arises when you learn of the suffering of another, and that motivates you to want to do something to help. Far from being just a social nicety, compassion has a great evolutionary purpose: Human offspring are the most dependent and vulnerable of any species, and need the most care from others to survive. This total dependence is why Charles Darwin said that sympathy is humanity’s strongest instinct. Simply put: Without compassion we wouldn’t survive.

If you find yourself feeling less moved than you’d like—or maybe your empathy muscle has grown a bit weak from lack of use—here are some ways to strengthen it. You, and every other living creature, will benefit from the results.

Be Kind to Yourself

Sometimes it’s easier to feel compassionate for another than for yourself. But true compassion doesn’t discriminate. The next time you’re having a difficult moment, see if you can offer yourself some kindness. You might be surprised at how much it helps—and helps you to feel kinder toward others.

Turn Values Into Verbs

When asked what they value most in the world, people will often say things like “peace,” “compassion,” or “connection.” But in order to make this real we have to turn these values into verbs, making them more specific and practical. If you value compassion, what does that look like daily? Take out a piece of paper, write “Compassion” at the top and create a list of actions, small to big, that you can start doing immediately.

This is how we live Gandhi’s words: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

This is the source of the full article by Elisha Goldstein.

My intention for Week 3 of 2017.

“dipping my toes” in the water – making small changes!

Each time I take the smallest steps in gaining some greater confidence about living with IBS I will give myself words of support and ensure I write down how it went for me as my psychologist and I planned.

Are you compassionate towards yourself?

Tell me more!

Denyse.

 

Joining Leanne’s linky called Lovin’ Life here this Thursday!

 

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About My Mandalas. 366/343.

About My Mandalas. 366/343.

I’ve become so accustomed to making, viewing and noticing mandalas in ‘my world’ and the ‘world around me’ that I see them ALL the time.

Yes.

Mandalas.

Now,  I am not going to enter into any correspondence about mandalas and definitions because they are almost undefinable.

I think that is their beauty, wonder and gift for me. Some of the art from my mandala journey was written about here and then there is another here with the story of my starting to create them.

I sometimes use something from nature to inspire me and use an image to denote a mandala on my Instagram social media account. @denysewhelanblogs (it’s set at private for now, but ask for follow!).

I have posted a mandala example each day in Instagram and onto Facebook and Twitter. I also belong to a Mandalas group on Facebook where we share our photos of mandalas made and seen.

Since commencing mandala creation on July 1 I have completed at least one mandala a day. It is one of the purposes of my day. I just love it. I wake thinking of what I might create that day. Sometimes I do not post anything I have made that day because I see something in nature or elsewhere that is a mandala and I share that.

Over 175 Mandalas have now been made by me, and I love every one of them. I also love to share them. Recently my Dad who’d never heard of mandalas decided he loved them so much he asked for some for his unit. My older grandkids spied ones they liked last week and took them home. I asked facebook friends if they would like one (postage cost only!) and I sent 10 to new homes.

There is a lot of joy in the creation and the sharing and they have added to my mindfulness and creativity every single day.

In 2017 I will be continuing the practice. Try to stop me!

Each of these is on A3 size quality art paper and are originals by me. I used a variety of media. I was happy to see them go to new owners. It’s part of the joy of mandalas.

If you follow me on IG or are a Facebook friend or would like mandala I create in 2017, let me know. I love to share them as I said.

Thanks for your support too! I get lots of likes when I post my mandalas.

Denyse.

This is a first..and I think will not be the last. Posting under 2 categories here on the blog!

And I am joining Vanessa here for #archivelove on Friday 27 January 2017.

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Hands. 366/286.

Hands. 366/286.

I sometimes look at my hands and I see my mum’s. Mostly because I cannot believe where time has gone!!

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I see my gnarled joints on two of my fingers on my left hand (dominant hand) and I see very wrinkled skin on the backs of both of my hand. I also notice the scars from hand surgery x 5. All due to wear/tear and arthritis…. but mostly I think of what my hands have helped me :

care for children and babies in my family

teach others

learn via my typewriter and later my computer

feed myself and family

lovingly caress those I care for

paint and draw

write and type

and more..oh so much more…so here’s to hands!

This reminder about mindfulness is from Elisha Goldstein.

Take a moment right now to look at your hands.

Look at the lines that are uniquely yours, the knuckles, the fingernails, the palms of your hands.

Consider all the work your hands do for you, imbuing a moment of gratitude and priming your mind for good.

Feel these hands, you are alive!

Allow them to carry you today, mindful of their ever-supportive presence.

Have you ever thought about how important your hands are to you?

Denyse.

health

Joining Raychael at Agent Mystery Case for Worth Casing Wednesday.

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Here’s A Site I Like. 366/279.

Here’s A Site I Like. 366/279.

In coming up with a weekly post on Health and Mindfulness I sometimes go back to what I have found helpful as a resource.

Here’s one that is just that!

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The site is called Hey Sigmund and is found here.

Where the science of psychology meets the art of being human. 

Karen Young is the person who founded this and from her site, writes:

About Hey Sigmund.
Because sometimes the only diagnosis is ‘human’.

Every day there are stunning new insights into the human mind and the way we work, love, play, behave, relate, think and feel. We are learning more and more about what it means to be human, and how to master the art. Now more than ever, anybody who is any version of human has something to gain from the science of psychology.

This website contains the latest research and news in psychology. It attempts to bring psychology into the mainstream, unfolding the brilliance that happens within the scientific realm. We will explain what it all means and why it matters.

Some parts will be immediately relevant to your life, some parts less so but psychology is such a fascinating relevant science that at the very least you will have some excellent fodder for dinner table conversations.

The best of us is already in us, sometimes found, sometimes waiting to be. This website provides the tools to uncover what is waiting patiently beneath our skin to be discovered, or to make a life that is already beautiful, even more so. Bupa Finalist 2016

I hope you enjoy the readings and find courageous, daring and simple ways to incorporate them into your life.

Thank you for your wisdom, knowledge and sharing Karen!

Denyse.

health

Joining with Raychael here for Worth Casing Wednesday.

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Mindful Mandala Making. 366/268.

Mindful Mandala Making. 366/268.

Since 1 July I have designed, curated or found a mandala which I have photographed and added to my social media feed. As of today, there are only 14 mandalas to be completed to finish the 100 days’ challenge.

I’ve learned something about mandalas and myself in this time and that came as a surprise.

Making a mandala is mindful.

Being mindful for me is meditative.

This is good for my inner well-being which has been a bit wobbly for the past few years.

One of the things I have found is that when I truly concentrate I am ‘in the moment’ and when I decided to make the most intricate mandala I could make, I was indeed!

This one, in black pen, is all my design and on a large A3 sheet.

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The second shot is of a close up.

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Later, before the challenge is done, I will have coloured it.

Added: I began colouring this last night and found a line needed adding….can you see it here? 

It has taken me time over a few days to create it and i know the colouring will be similar. For someone who is usually a ‘fast finisher’ this demonstrates that I am learning to be more patient and let the creativity flow.

Are you a ‘fast finisher?’

Do you prefer to take your time to ‘perfect’ what ever you create?

I know I am not a perfectionist per se but I also know that I value a product to be proud of and pay tribute to the process too.

How has your creative week been?

And do recall creativity is more, much more than art, craft, writing, performing and music!

Denyse.

creativity 150

Joining the Ultimate Rabbit Hole here this week with The Geeky Shopaholic and also where this link up appears too with Karin at Calm to Conniption along with Shari from  at Good Food Week.

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