The Joy of Slow: Time Out to Tune In and Turn On

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My friend, Jennifer, told me about a fantastic App called?Insight Timer. I’ve been using it over the last few weeks. It’s filled with hundreds of thousands of meditations to choose from, and you get to see yourself amid a world-wide community of meditators. It is very cool! And, it’s free!

One meditation I tried last night reminded me again about the simplicity – and the power – of a meditative practice. It is called ‘How to Fall Asleep Mindfully’ and is a short (6:48) guided experience led by Sean Fargo. Sean’s voice is soothing and relaxing, and he begins by reminding listeners of the noise – the busy-ness – in our minds. That noise can negatively impact sleep (we have all had the experience of lying restlessly being nagged by thoughts of the day gone by or worries about the day ahead) as much as it negatively impacts wakefulness!

Sean guides listeners to tune into their bodies; one ‘part’ at a time. I was only at my knees and I could already notice a shift (we started, by the way, at our feet)!

The simplicity of meditation is in being able to change your state by changing your focus. Mindfully choosing to tune into our bodies helps us to tune out of our busy minds. This simple process induces relaxation and ‘sleepiness’. While I have selected sleep meditations before, I like this one because it taught me how to fall asleep mindfully when I don’t have my headphones in my ears and my Insight Timer turned on. I can learn to slow myself down and fall asleep easily. Every year I get older, I am more grateful for the gift of a good night’s sleep!

I awoke this morning feeling energized and awake! This is where the power of a meditation practice is realized. When I arise energized and awake, I am better able to navigate my day; I begin with more joy in my heart, I proceed with more spring in my step, I make better (more mindful) decisions, and I am more equipped to deal with frustrations and irritations that inevitably come along.

In this world of ‘hurry’, you can choose to pause on purpose…either at the end of your day to fall asleep, at the beginning of your day to awaken positively, or any time throughout your day to engage energetically. And then, just notice what you notice….

I know you will find as I do….there is real joy in ‘slow’. What do you think?

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker and Author, Deri?s message reinforces that positive habits are the pathway to a happier and healthier life ? at work, at home and at any age!?www.derilatimer.com

One-Buttock Living

If you have not already seen Benjamin Zander speak, you have got to check him out.? You’ll be smiling for days!? I want to hang out with this dude!!

In the video below,?Zander references playing with “one-buttock” on the piano.? It’s a different way to play the piano, and the result (the music) is considerably transformed by the position of the perfomer’s body (i.e. one buttock or two).? One-buttock playing also transforms the listener – it’s a different kind of experience of the piano player.? When you live, work, and parent?on one-buttock…YOU are different and those you interact with are transformed.

What if leaders, parents, teachers adopted the stance of one-buttock living?? What might be the results?? How might the teams, children, students be transformed?

How do you recognize one-buttock living?? Well, you’ll notice a lot of ‘shining eyes’ around you.? Starting, of course, with the eyes that look back at you every day when you look in the mirror.? No leader, parent, or teacher can inspire shining eyes, when their own eyes do not shine.

Zander explains in the video that he believes that?we all have the capacity to love classical music, to be moved by it.? He does not doubt it.? And, he goes on to say that all leaders can experience shining eyes when they have that same kind of absolute belief in their teams.? “It?s one of the characteristics of a leader that he (she) ?not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he?s (she’s) leading to realize whatever he?s (she’s) dreaming.?

What do you believe about your team, your children, your students?? Do you believe completely in them and in what’s possible for them to achieve?

My experience has shown that a?key to helping your own eyes?’shine’ is to have a practice of mindfulness.? At the very least, mindfulness will allow you to be ‘present’ and to notice and appreciate the shining eyes around you.? Check out the following video in which? Congressman Tim Ryan and Jon Kabat-Zinn share some wise words about the power of mindfunlness.

Watch Mindfulness Going Mainstream on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Deepak Chopra has set out to transform the world to become more mindful.? Some might argue he’s been doing just that for many years.? Now, he is on a mission to inspire a “critical mass” to create a more peaceful, joyful, sustainable, healthy?world.

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Zander challenges us by saying: ‘Ask yourself – who am I being that my children’s eyes are not shining?’.? As leaders, parents and teachers, we can ask ourselves the same question.

Look around right now. How many shining eyes are around you?

?Deri Latimer, B Mgt, CSP, is an expert in positive possibilities for people! She is one of fewer than 10% of speakers globally who hold the designation of Certified Speaking Professional. Deri combines a Business degree in Human Resources with experience from business sectors including health care, manufacturing, education, agriculture, government, mining, transportation, tourism, and professional services. Deri provides practical strategies for mental health ‘at work’; impacting individuals and organizations?to increase resilience to change, energize engagement with the organization, and propel meaningful performance results that last!??www.derilatimer.com