Always Well Within

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

Month: September 2016

The Buddha’s Essential Guide to Happiness

The Buddha's Essential Guide to Happiness

When people say “Buddha” or “the Buddha,” they usually mean Shakyamuni Buddha, Gautama Siddhartha, who lived during the 6th century B.C., and taught the spiritual path now called “Buddhism.”

You don’t have to become a Buddhist, however, to benefit from the essential teachings of the Buddha because they are universal in nature.  Moreover, they remain highly relevant to successfully navigating modern life and finding the deeper sense of happiness and contentment you so deserve.

The Buddha didn’t fabricate Buddhism.  Compelled by his wish to understand suffering, he simply observed the way the mind works and how the world functions.  He then shared his observations with others who also sought freedom from constant frustration.  The Buddha’s observations therefore are meant to apply to everyone and everything, not just Buddhists or Asian reality.

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My Morning Routine: How I Start Each Day with Ease

my-morning-routine

When you start your day with a calm morning routine, ease will naturally punctuate the rest of your day.

In fact, research shows that an early morning increase in stress can continue all the way into the afternoon.  Best to avoid that, don’t you think?

Here’s a peek into my morning routine.  I hope it will inspire you to start your day off with ease too.

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Just the Best: On the Benefits of Music, the Dangers of Screen Time, the Myth of Work-Life Balance & More

Just the Best: On the Benefits of Music, the Dangers of Screen Time, the Myth of Work-Life Balance & More. My favorite articles from around the web to help you shine.

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity of spending 6 days with a sweet group of Brazilians. I don’t want to stereotype Brazilians, but I can say with certainty these particular people were joyful, relaxed, grateful, friendly, and vivacious.

I found it so good to get out of my own skin, my own limited vision of the world, and step into another. The way we see the world isn’t necessarily the way the world is, right? But it’s so easy to forget that and be imprisoned by our routine and limited perception.

Try immersing yourself in another culture for a time if you want to shake up stale perspectives that might be holding you back.

Here are my favorite articles from around the web, just the best ones, that offer practical or profound wisdom to inspire you to shine.  Enjoy!

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What Does Renunciation Really Mean?

What would it be like if you renounced your negative thinking patterns and unhealthy emotional stories? Imagine living fully with ever-expanding insight, awareness, and compassion.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. – Annie Dillard

I sometimes wonder if I’m wasting my time and thus wasting my life.  My spiritual tradition highlights inspiring tales of renunciants, individuals who have spent multiple years, even decades, in retreat from the ordinary world.

These are not just stories from by-gone days.  One of my teachers, a New York Times best-selling author, recently returned from four years as a wandering yogi, moving about in India with no money or permanent shelter as well as meditating in caves in the Himalayan region.

Considering these influences, I sometimes feel I too should withdraw from the world.  I’ve come to see, however, the drawbacks of tormenting myself with “I should.” Chewing the same “should” over and over again is hardly letting go and certainly not the practice of mindfulness or presence.

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Stress Tip: Enjoy Time In Nature for More Ease

Would you like to reclaim your calm, your cognitive clarity, and your productivity. Discover the stress-relieving benefits of nature.

According to countless research studies, spending time in nature can improve mental performance, better your health, extend your life, and reduce cortisol, that pesky stress hormone.

In the 1980’s, the Japanese instituted a preventative health technique called “forest bathing” or “shinrin-yoku.” Forest bathing involves walking calmly in a woodland area, gently breathing, and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the pastoral atmosphere.

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How I Lost 22 Pounds In 4 Months & Improved My Health

How I Lost 22 Pounds in 4 Months

I don’t believe that beauty depends on color, size, or shape.  Each of us is born with an inherited body type that ranges from skinny to medium build to curvy.  The sooner we reject modern propaganda about the perfect size, and embrace our own nature-given physique, the better.

This is not easy, I understand.  But only you can stop the self-hate and begin to love and accept your body as it is.  What better time than right now?

So I want to be clear I’m not writing this blog post to promote a specific body size or type as the “right” one.

I know for myself, however, that I don’t feel my best when I mindlessly let the pounds pile up from over eating sweets and carbs.  For me, eating the wrong foods in excess shows up as aches, pains, and fitful sleep.  My blood sugar markers increase, heading me straight toward pre-diabetes.  I feel like I have no will power or control.

But I was able to turn my weight gain around at the beginning of this year.  I lost 22 pounds in four months and have subsequently maintained the weight loss.  I know that there isn’t one “right” way to lose weight, but perhaps hearing my story will inspire you to begin and find the best way for you.

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