Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

How to Create a Simple and Supportive Meditation Space

How to create a simple and supportive meditation space

Recently, I ran across a Pinterest pin with a a checklist for creating your meditation space.  The pin listed items divided up by the senses plus some extras, like these:

  • Calming pictures
  • Ornaments
  • Meditation Mp3
  • Relaxing playlist
  • Oil diffuser
  • Oil burner
  • Incense
  • Blanket
  • Rug
  • Cushions
  • Herbal tea
  • Bells
  • Fresh flowers
  • Plants
  • Meditation cushion

Those items might be nice if you want to create a cozy space for self-discovery, personal reflection, or listening to the whispers of your heart.  But, believe me, not a single one of these items is necessary for mindfulness meditation.  You don’t even need a room.

To be clear, I’m speaking about the practice of mindfulness meditation, not meditations or guided visualizations meant to help you relax, increase your self esteem, or improve your body image.  Those can be helpful, but they’re completely different from mindfulness meditation.

The only thing you truly need to meditate is your mind.  Meditation is about working with your mind, whatever the environment.  However, in the beginning it’s helpful to have a relatively quiet and supportive ambiance in order to establish and stabilize your practice.

Read More

How to Calm Stormy Emotions and Reclaim Your Peace

How to Calm Stormy Emotions and Reclaim Your Peace

It’s good to be in touch with your emotions, right?  Not always.

If you become easily overwhelmed or flooded by emotions, so much so that you have trouble regaining your calm, you may need to learn emotional regulation.

Because out-of-control emotions tend to trigger more out-of-control emotions, which usually leads to more distress and a greater tendency to repeat the same pattern in the future.  And, the regular expression of strong emotions can become addictive, it may even re-traumatize you.

For whatever reasons — trauma, highly sensitive person, or INFJ on the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator — I’m highly influenced by my emotions and the emotional states of others.  I’m easily triggered, I spontaneously cry, and sometimes it’s not easy to recenter myself.

I’ve always labeled my emotional nature as “bad.”  Feeling ashamed, I would try to hold in my emotions. But for me, that’s like holding back Niagara Falls.  It only creates more tension.

This is why I’m gradually learning to better regulate my emotions.

Emotional regulation isn’t about denying or suppressing emotions, tightening and constricting.  It’s learning how much emotion you can field without getting overloaded, how to calm yourself if you do feel overwhelmed, and how to pace yourself so you’re not constantly dipping in and out of upset.  It means listening to and learning to work with your emotions in manageable doses.

Let’s look at simple yet effective ways to slow down a flood of emotions, whether you’re a highly sensitive person or not.

Read More

28 Journal Prompts That Will Change the Way You See Yourself

Self Discovery February 2018

I thought it would be fun to try something different in February:  a personal discovery challenge.  I’ve gathered together 28 prompts to help you (and me) explore, learn, and grow.  I’m calling it Personal Discovery February 2018 or in hashtag land: #personaldiscoveryfebruary2018.

I’ve designed this as a journaling challenge, but you could also use the prompts to inspire your photography or artwork.  The idea is to journal each day in response to the prompt.  You could write one word, a few paragraphs, a page, or even pages.  Whatever suits you.  And if you prefer, you can take a photo or create artwork in response to the day’s prompt.  You can interpret the prompts however you wish.

Do as much or as little as you like.  Start in the beginning, middle, or near the end.  There’s no pressure or expectations.

If you have time though, I hope you’ll share your insights with us because your story is important.  Sharing your story can help you heal.  And, sharing your story can help others heal as well.

Here are the prompts followed by how we can share with each another as a community.

Self Discovery Challenge Prompts February 2018

Read More

15 Things You Need to Know About Willpower

How to develop willpower.

Do you feel you don’t have enough willpower?

You’re not alone.  Almost everyone feels they lack self-control.  And feelings of hopelessness when it comes to personal resolve have only intensified because temptations have multiplied in modern times and dog us at every turn.

In their New York Times bestseller, Willpower:  Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (affiliate link), Roy Baumeister and John Tierney reveal that one-fourth of our waking hours are spent resisting urges.  That puts our personal struggle with self-control into perspective, doesn’t it?

Read More

How to Fight Distraction and Make Your Goals Happen

There’s such highly charged collective energy around positive change at the New Year.  We’re all eager to get healthy habits in place, set exciting goals, and make our dreams come true.  Anything seems possible.

But how do you stay accountable a few weeks later when that starry-eyed energy wears off, you’re faced with the day-to-day drudgery of making your goals happen, and distractions tempt you at every turn?

According to U.S. News, by the second week of February, 80% of us have failed on our resolutions.

For me though, it’s not about impetuous resolutions made in response to holiday indulgences.  I put considerable thought and energy into creating an annual strategy for my life and my tiny business.  I’m dead serious when I set those goals even if I’m simultaneously naive and overly enthusiastic.

Here’s the hitch for me. It’s easy for me to be accountable to others.  It’s a million times more difficult to be accountable to myself — to my own dreams and aspirations.  The fact that I no longer work for anyone else and thus don’t have to do anything, makes it all the more harder for me.

In a recent heart-to-heart, these words mysteriously slipped out:  “I don’t want to be accountable to myself.”  Where was that coming from, especially for someone who demonstrated a high level of responsibility for most of her life?

This illustrates to me how our fears and resistance run deep.  If we want to make our goals happen, we need a mix of the right tools, the inside story on willpower, and the courage to look deeply within at the sources of our own self-defeating patterns.

Today, I’d like to share some of the ways I plan to stay accountable this year, hopefully all year long, not just in January or part of February.  I’ll also offer a few questions to help you look at deeper issues that might be holding you back from changing bad habits or achieving your dream. In my next post, I’ll focus on 10 things you need to know about willpower.

Read More

Make a Resolution to Listen to Your Heart

What's the most important resolution you can make? Heart-Centered Living | Listen to Your Heart | Follow Your Heart #heart-centered #listentoyourheart

I’m delighted to share a guest post today from Courtney Carver, the author of the just published Soulful Simplicity, How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More.

It’s that time of year when we are supposed to resolve to be better, thinner, more productive and other things that we seem to re-resolve every year. What if this year were different? What if this year we rejected all of the ways the outside world tells us that we are supposed to be and instead, decide for ourselves?

This year, make a resolution to listen to your heart.

Read More

Page 1 of 98

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén