- Pause right where you are and take two deep breaths.
- Look directly into your loved one’s eyes as you talk.
- Eat a snack with your full awareness – no reading, no screens, no conversation.
- Gaze out the window and take in the sights.
- Step outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air.
- Pause and notice the sounds around you, both near and far.
- Move just the slightest bit more slowly and with more awareness.
- Imagine a time machine has transported you from 1915 to 2015 — notice what you typically take for granted.
- Consider what you appreciate about someone and tell him.
- Imagine you live in an underdeveloped country where having your basic human needs met is not a given.
- Name five things you are grateful for right now.
- If any of these are people, let them know you are grateful for them.
- Drop your shoulders.
- Sit up straight.
- Hug someone and allow him to be the first to let go.
- Perform one simple random act of kindness.
- While waiting in line, resist checking your phone and look around.
- Smile. Make it genuine. What changes in your body, thoughts and mood?
- Smile at someone else. Notice the same.
“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued- when they can give and receive without judgment.” ~ Brene Brown
In my last post, I wrote about balance and connection as my guiding words of 2015. Crafting a flexible plan to bring me closer to my intentions, I divided up the areas of connection into categories where I had been lacking: self, husband, and friends.
Connection with self.
If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I would add — when Mama’s been meditating, the peace is increased. Mood is infectious and the benefits of meditation are as well.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, it is vital to start here — with the need to get quiet in order to foster wisdom and clarity. Call it prayer, meditation, or simply sitting in silence for a few minutes. Without it, awareness of our inner thoughts and experience is much more difficult to assess.
Although I currently meditate daily, I recommitted to 5-30 minutes of practice a day. This also means offering myself compassion and honoring my need for sleep, rest, fun, and balance.
Shonda Moralis, MSW, LCSW, Psychotherapist