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February 2016 - SubSines Archive - SubSines

Archive for February, 2016

Using Meditation To Deal With Death And Grief

February 5th, 2016

It is common for us to celebrate birth. Death on the other hand is seen as an uncomfortable reality. And regardless of how much we mentally prepare in dealing with it, we still find ourselves filled with grief when faced by it.

Grief is not a bad thing. It is our way of dealing with unwanted circumstances. But when the pain becomes too unbearable, it can turn into an emotional scar that can haunt us for years.

This article talks about the use of meditation to lessen the impact of losing a loved one. It is not just about teaching you how to move on, but more of how to accept this inevitability.

“I have realized this deeper truth about death: It is as natural and normal as birth. I am often asked if there is a way to conquer death, but my response has always been why do you want to conquer death? We ‘conquer’ our enemies. Death is not something to be conquered and believe it or not, death is not your enemy. It is actually a sacred and unavoidable phenomenon we can understand as an expected — even celebrated — event in life. Knowing that death is as natural as birth is liberating. Seeing deaths all around us should humble us that one day we’ll die too. And it is okay. What is born must die.

Death is a requirement for any living being. It is mandatory and no one is exempt from it. Name one person you have known who has not died, and I shall change my attitude about death. Life is not guaranteed but death is certainly guaranteed — so why stress about it? I don’t mean to be flippant about this. But truly, every single one of us will die. Nothing we could ever do will change this fact. However, suffering in death is optional. Acceptance will end our suffering. The key to acceptance is to understand what death actually is.”

When you accept death, you accept life. In order to live a fearless life, you must accept the idea of death. I’m not saying that you have to think about death every day; I’m simply saying that it’s important to understand that birth and death are two sides of the same coin. Regardless of your religious beliefs, death will happen to all of us. Here’s a meditation from Break the Norms that may help you further:

Write a question down on a piece of paper before you go to sleep. Or, some people like to delve into these questions in the earliest hours of morning. My experience says that once you start to devote time and attention to these questions, the universe also conspires to get you the information you requested.

Here are few questions that you may ask your soul: Who am I? What is the source of my happiness? What is the meaning of life and death?

For this exercise, simply pick a question and meditate on it. You can come back to the same question as often as you wish, or pick a different question on a different day.

Do not ask questions to find some exact, specific answer. The aim is to meditate on the question and let the answers happen in their own way.

Take a comfortable seat. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Take your awareness to your heart or the third eye (the space between your eyebrows), and gently ask the question.

Then, let the question marinate within you. Don’t try to get the answer. Remember, an answer is not the goal. The goal is to throw out the question; the answer shall come when you are ready.

Be accepting of your answers. Observe every answer that comes to you. Don’t judge. Don’t overanalyze. Simply reflect.

Source: Huffingtonpost.com


Do You Know You Lose Weight Without Dieting?

February 3rd, 2016

A few days ago, we published a post about “Is Mindfulness Meditation The Ultimate Weight Loss Program?”.

Some might be wondering as to why we suddenly started posting articles about losing weight. The reason is that we know that not everyone visits, or use, our meditation audios because they practice meditation or are spiritual beings. Some do it for health reasons, and nothing more. There is no denying that meditation, and anything tied to it, translates to a healthier state of mind and body.

With this in mind, we might as well do our part and assist them in any way we can.

So to further cement the points stated on that article, we would like to add more information for those that are serious about losing weight through a natural and holistic process.

First, you must find your “WHY”

That is, you need to find the real reason behind your desire to lose weight. What is really driving you? Not just “I want to fit in my jeans” or “my doctor told me I should.” You should really think about the deeper reasons, the things that will push you forward and keep you motivated.

If you keep asking yourself this question you may be surprised at the answers you get. For example, some people want to lose weight to look good for their husband or wife. I’ve even found some of my clients are actually unconsciously sabotaging their diet because they don’t want to attract attention to their body.

Make sure you’re honest with yourself about why you’re doing it.

Create a map

You need to plan daily and weekly, and allow yourself enough time so that you can easily make it.
Think this way: when you go to work, most likely you know exactly what you need to do each day. And you make plans for your summer holiday. Now in order to be successful with your diet you need to plan too, and find the right strategy — not one that works for someone else, but one that perfectly fits YOU.

So before you start your weight loss program, make sure you take your time and create a road map.

Change your beliefs about yourself

Stop saying “I am fat,” “I can’t lose weight easily,” “My metabolism is so slow,” “I am getting old”… If you’re telling yourself something over and over again then you’ll really believe it’s true.

Instead, how about saying “I’m getting healthier,” “My body is getting stronger every day,” “I can lose weight so easy.”

Even reading these sentences now makes you feel more positive, am I right?

Be mindful what you’re telling yourself about YOU!

Practice conscious breathing for 10 minutes each day

Conscious breathing has a relaxing, healing effect. But how often do you really realize that you are breathing?

Try this exercise. Just sit or lie down comfortably, then relax your shoulders by lifting and dropping them a few times. Keep your eyes closed. Breathe slowly and deeply, without forcing. When you inhale feel your body rise up, and when you exhale feel your belly relax.

When you relax, your hormones will balance and you can start to feel joy. This also helps reduce emotional and binge eating too.

Conscious breathing creates self-awareness, which is all you need to help you change your actions.

When it comes to breathing exercises, the key is to complete focus on the act of breathing itself. Those that have been meditating for quite some time now wont have any problems with this. But if you are new, this can be an uphill struggle. If that’s the case, then I suggest you go read our article “Meditation For Beginners: 3 Easy Steps To Start Meditating“.

And as a bonus, go download our 15 minute meditation audio. You can either use it to heighten your meditation session or just to relax and reboot your system.

Source: Huffingtonpost.com


Forego On Deciding To Change Until You Ask These 3 Questions

February 2nd, 2016

The only thing that is constant in life is change. And it is also one that strikes fear in our hearts. It’s not that we don’t welcome change, but rather more of us being afraid of what it might bring. It is this fear of the unknown that holds us back from stepping out of our comfort zone. And though there is nothing wrong with holding on to what is familiar, fear prevents us from discovering our true potential as a person.

Like the coming of Spring after a long Winter, we should welcome change with open arms and enthusiasm. But then again, with numerous factors at play that can lead to failure and disappointment, such a thing is easier said than done.

That is why in this article; allow me to give you three questions you can ask when faced with a life changing decision. By no means am I saying that this is the recipe for success in life. This is but a mere cheat sheet to help you assess the situation and come up with the right questions for you to arrive at a more informed decision.

1. Is this change in your life a response to fear?

Fear is a huge motivator in life and manifests in a myriad of ways.

In my life, I’ve responded with fear countless times. From choosing to avoid my life through drugs or emotional eating, to spending the day reading a novel, to not making phone calls I need to in order to move my business ahead.

In other words, are you creating this change to avoid something in your life?

Maybe you want to move to a new apartment because you’re afraid of confrontation with the person you currently live with. Or perhaps you want to get another job because you’re afraid of being challenged more deeply in your job (or asking your boss for more responsibility).

Are you suddenly in a new relationship because you fear being alone?

I used to move a lot.

My average for living in one place was four years and then I’d get this itch to go. Once I became aware of the pattern, I saw that I liked starting over, starting fresh. It allowed me to reinvent myself but it also meant that I was moving in the same circle over and over again.

Starting over meant I began again with new friends, new job, etc., so I wasn’t deepening my learning or pushing beyond what was safe and comfortable.

The times that I’ve come up against my desire to flee, spoken with a confidante, and worked through it, I’ve deepened my relationship with myself and forged into new business ventures and relationships.

2. What opportunities will this change bring?

Will the change bring growth in areas that you need or want?

Maybe you live in a small town and it’s time to no longer be the big fish in a small pond. Be honest with yourself about what you need right now.

When I lived in Hong Kong and quit my job at a textile factory, more than anything, I wanted to run far, far away. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. All I knew was that I didn’t want to be in Hong Kong anymore. So my best friend told me I had to stay and make my happiness there. After wanting to tell her off, I realized she was right.

I had to ask myself what I needed in my life. That process helped me find a job teaching and it transformed my life.

3. Are you reacting or responding?

Many of us spend our lives reacting to the world. Someone cuts you off while you’re driving and you flash them the finger. Your spouse gets jealous about a co-worker and you immediately retort with a cutting remark.

Instead, of allowing our emotions to hijack us, we can choose to respond.

Sometimes this means taking a moment, a breath, asking for clarity or guidance before speaking or acting. It’s staking the higher ground both for yourself and the other person.

We’re all human so if course we react. But through meditation and mindfulness training, we can retrain our minds to respond with love and compassion instead of anger, hostility, or fear.

To further heighten your meditation experience, download this free 15 minute meditation audio made with cutting edge binaural beats technology.

Source: huffingtonpost.com

 


Is Mindfulness Meditation The Ultimate Weight Loss Program?

February 1st, 2016

Countless weight loss programs have been created in the past couple of decades. And though some have indeed lived up, or even exceeded expectations, most fail to target the root cause of why people become overweight. Most if not all weight loss programs focus more on the body rather than on a person’s mindset towards food intake.

If you intend on making a change in diet, health, or lifestyle this year, you’re not alone. Some sources estimate more than 126 million Americans set New Year’s resolutions. Historically, we’ve seen that only a fraction will be successful. There are many possible explanations for this drop-off, including unrealistic goals and expectations. Another factor could be that most lifestyle-change strategies focus directly on the body and behavior yet neglect the mind. Could mindfulness or meditation be a missing link?

The typical New Year’s resolutions require a good amount of mental fortitude for success. Common goals resemble: “Lose 10 pounds by Feb 15th” or “go to the gym three times a week.” This approach relies on self-control, which is controlled by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the evolutionarily youngest part of the brain. The PFC is the first brain region turned off when someone is hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (hence the “HALT” acronym in 12-step programs). When difficult emotions arise or energy reserves run out, the PFC shuts down and people want to engage in the less healthy behavior, even when they know cognitively they “shouldn’t” smoke or eat the brownie, and they no longer possess the willpower to resist the urge. One key to overcome this is to train the mind to crave beneficial behaviors and reject the harmful ones, says Judson Brewer, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Mindfulness is one of the most potent mental fitness techniques, as well as a vessel for awakening. Neuroscientists have demonstrated mindfulness meditation can rewire our brain in ways that promote happiness, attention, empathy, and morality. Now, research shows mindful practices can also positively influence our behavior and even our biology.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, the forefather of secular meditation, describes mindfulness as “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment.” The term mindfulness is derived from the Pali word “sati,” which can be roughly translated as “to remember.” This initially seems odd for a term related to living in the present moment. In this context, though, it means a different kind of remembering: recalling the commitment to pay attention and even bringing to mind the consequences of past actions and future goals. This kind of remembering, which is quite different from a simple “black-lab consciousness,” or awareness without context, can help mindful people make decisions that support their health.

Brewer is among the growing number of physicians and health psychologists who think mindfulness and meditation can play a pivotal role in lifestyle change. His approach is unique. When working with smokers, he doesn’t ask them to stop smoking; instead, he encourages them to smoke “mindfully.” As his patients begin to pay attention to their cravings and the experience of smoking, many realize they actually abhor the taste and smell of cigarettes. As they also become mindful of the consequences—their morning cough, and asthma symptoms, they consciously experience how smoking impacts their bodies. Many then naturally begin smoking less frequently. Rather than wanting to smoke and feeling they “shouldn’t,” they genuinely want to smoke less. “Everybody knows that smoking is bad for them—but to have a visceral sense that smoking smells like stinky cheese and tastes like chemicals—that’s wisdom rather than knowledge,” says Dr. Brewer. It’s something you “know in your bones. And wisdom is really what drives behavior.”

Mindfulness also helps people make good choices, even when cravings are present. As people become more mindful, they learn to notice cravings as bodily sensations that arise in any given moment. As they become consciously aware of the sensations that make up the craving, they learn to observe these from moment to moment and notice any judgment that arises alongside it. In doing this, they grow their power to witness a craving arise, peak, and subside without necessarily acting upon it. In doing so, they literally train their self-control.

This makes sense. During mindfulness practice, the mind focuses on a specific object, such as the breath. When the mind wanders to another object, such as a thought, a sound, or a physical sensation, attention should be gently but consistently brought back to the breath. Mindfulness helps one control the power of attention and harness the gap between stimulus and response.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Dr. Viktor Frankl

 

Source: Sonima.com