I recently traveled from New England to Arizona for a 3 day conference and then, I flew over to Maui for some well needed rest and relaxation.
I found that each place has such powerful natural beauty in their own way. Those of you that haven’t gotten to know me yet should know that I have this hobby/mission of recording amateur video clips in nature to give those in need of some inspiration a quick dose that is easily accessible on the internet. These two minute movie prescriptions are, what I call, “Meditation Mooditation Moments”.
If am feeling the mood is right, I just pull out my iPhone whenever I see something that I feel inspired by in nature and record a couple minutes with a little intro from yours truly. I find that nature is such amazing medicine for the soul. It has been what healed me of all the tough times that I have been through and I know it from first hand experience that it works for others too.
Check out Leah Marie's video about her Meditation Mooditations Moments:
In my work educating people about holistic stress management, I have found that there seems to be an association with being removed from nature and losing one’s sense of playfulness. I have taught hundreds of seniors meditation over the course of several years that were living in facilities. I found that the when tuning into nature through meditative practices, using audio, visual, tactile and sense of smell was an approach that always brought them much joy. It would uplift and inspire the most difficult skeptics in the classes. The memories that were brought up and shared were precious moments of interactions with nature that somehow got locked away and forgotten about for years.
When they were reminded of those moments that they experienced nature in impactful ways, I would hear about exotic trips they took, beach excursions with their families, gardens they grew and fishing adventures that they had. Most inspiring to me was that I would witness their inner light start shining bright through their eyes and their smiles, as they reminisced about these wonderful long lost memories. I found that the mindfulness exercises involving nature that I brought inside to them would bring out the joyful, playful, kid that is always there within for them to access through experiencing nature. This really inspired me too.
We had a lot of fun with those experiential moments. I loved bringing things in for the groups I taught that would allow them to be in the present with memories of the past.
One of their favorites was when I would bring sand and quahog shells from Horseneck Beach in Westport, MA. In the winter time, the beach is loaded with discarded shells that are overtaking the beach, so I would grab a few to bring to my elderly students that were from the area and most of them hadn’t had the chance to visit the ocean in years.
When I told them where the shells came from, the stories would start to fly about experiences at that beach and others. It was great to inspire all of this energy of joy in these people just by bringing a little nature for them to be in touch with. We would listen to waves on an audio player and I would lead everyone through a guided meditation that would be featuring the beach. It was an honor to see how this inspired people to share in the experience that nature brought them. I am so grateful for sharing those moments with my very wise students.
Technology has made it possible for anyone to access a bit of nature whenever we feel like we need it, so I am taking full advantage of that. My usual office space has big windows overlooking a lot of trees, so I can access it whenever I need to by glancing out the window and taking a few short meditation breaks during the day. However, there have been times when I have worked in offices that have no windows and after a few days working in that environment, I felt like I was getting claustrophobic and I would have feelings of anxiety coming on. That is when I knew that I needed to tap into the healing power of Mother Nature.
I really appreciate the relationship that I have with nature and that all humans do. It is something that a lot of us take for granted and it is going on all day long. Literally right under our noses! Think about it…we are breathing oxygen all day long and that is what the trees, plants and other natural elements are releasing for us. We are exhaling carbon dioxide 24/7 and feeding these other living things without barely giving it a thought. It is an amazing, reciprocal cycle that goes on and on and we barely ever think about it. All living things have some sort of balancing connectivity to one other somehow. That is why it makes us feel a connection when tuning into the life within nature. It definitely is something to be grateful for.
Next time you feel like you need a dose of nature or you are visiting someone that is spending time in a facility for care, find a bit of nature for healing. It sets the mood for everyone to be healed.
My Meditation Mooditation Moments can be found on my FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/LeahMarie999 and on my YouTube channel.
Here is a Medititation Mooditation Moment with Leah Marie:
Listen to this informative podcast as Leah Marie discusses how to improve overall health and well-being using Ayurveda. Leah has recently completed the “Perfect Health Using Ayurvedic Lifestyle” program by the Chopra Center and is now a Chopra Certified Teacher.
Click here to listen now or download the MP3 file below to listen anytime you'd like!
Practicing Mindfulness and Self-Awareness Helps in Reducing Stress...
How we perceive the world is what determines our experiences of our circumstances...and our own perceptions can invoke immense stress into our lives and those around us.
It is all about our own reality, our interpretations of the experiences. Each one of us has a different reaction to experiences we encounter and we get to choose how we react to what is happening in our environment.
What may raise stress in one individual may not cause the same amount of stress in another.
Things do not happen to us...they happen and we react based on our perceptions of the circumstances. Choosing how we will react or move forward, if we will learn from or enjoy what is happening or not is our choice.
We also tend to, at times, overlook our sense of self and why we are reacting in a certain way. We forget that we are human beings.
That is what we are...humans being...not just humans doing, humans thinking, humans saying, but humans being. And we have choices of how react, what we do or not do.
This is not saying that you shouldn't be doing things or you shouldn't think anything, but that there is a difference between "being" and "doing". That moment in between is what I am asking for you to allow into your experiences.
The "being" is actually the space that allows us to be appreciating, be in gratitude, be happy, be healthy, be creative, be at peace, be successful, be kind, be generous, be secure, be loving, etc..
These are all aspects of life that we share as desired states of being. The end results that we desire of all situations as human beings is more joy, peace, good health and security.
In order to start looking at what it takes for us to achieve these states of being in our own lives, we sometimes need to evaluate what we are doing and the choices we are making.
Being mindful of what surrounds you, what you are doing and how it affects you, along with your perception of circumstances brings you into a state of self-awareness. How do you relate to the world and the experiences that are happening in your life?
Sometimes we get stuck in a pattern of doing...doing things that bring us great stress and we don't even know why how or how to stop it. We just keep doing.
To lower stress-based reactions...I recommend taking at least 20 minutes per day, but not limiting to 20 (if you need more that is fine), and BE.
Be happy, Be peaceful, Be creative, Be thoughtful, Be positive, Be secure and Be willing to learn from those difficult challenges you face in your life.
Then start to look at what you're doing to bring in these experiences. Are you doing something that doesn't bring the desired states of being or something that is holding you back from ever achieving them?
Where your focus of energy should be is more on what you can do to attain the true state of YOU...being.
During this precious time, take notes, set goals, set milestones and targeted dates... journal. This is your treasure map to finding the real sources of your inspirations. This is the doing part.
What do you want to BE? We are NEVER too old to ask ourselves this question.
Taking this 20 minutes per day to explore this question is a practice in mindfulness and self-awareness. It allows you to experience your perceptions of your circumstances and to process.
It is an investment in your self worth...in your self esteem bank account...in your road map to living YOUR fulfilling life.
During this daily practice, you will actually start to figure out what things you do that bring you more joy, more inner peace more fulfillment...and what doesn't.
That is what your purpose in this life is all about...to experiment, discover, create, learn, share, LOVE, enjoy...stress less and BE!
Leah Marie, CHLC, SMC, RM
P.S. If you are looking for the right support to improve your overall well-being, reduce stress naturally and move towards a more joyful life, email email@example.com to schedule a free 20 minute consult call with me. Thanks again or being part of the Mind Health Coach community!
Leah Marie is presenting Natural Ways for Stress Management and Overall Well-being at the conference on April 7. 2016.
This full-day conference is designed for both professionals and family caregivers. The aim of the conference is to share best practices and creative interventions for the care, treatment and preservation of the quality of life of persons with Alzheimer's and related dementia's.
In Leah Marie's breakout session, participants will learn how to incorporate meditation, yoga, Ayurvedic daily practices and touch therapy into purposeful engagement for those with Alzheimer’s disease. These techniques are proven to help reduce stress, agitation episodes and anxiety for both caregivers and patients.
Natural approaches to sustain emotional wellness and stress reduction through yoga movement, breathing practices, Ayurvedic daily practices and aroma-therapy in concert with accu-pressure will be presented.
For all details, see item C1 in the event program guide by clicking on link below:
Click here to read full article at Feelguide.com
Below is a list of articles from various sources regarding the positive effects of meditation on the brain for seniors dealing with Alzheimer's, Dementia and Memory Loss:
This article from Neuro Scientist News discusses how "non-directed" thought produces more brain activity than focused, concentrated thought. Another amazing revelation by science showing the benefits of meditation:
"the brain has its highest activity when we rest. It represents a kind of basic operating system, a resting network that takes over when external tasks do not require our attention. It is remarkable that a mental task like nondirective meditation results in even higher activity in this network than regular rest"
Click link below to read the entire article: