Happy Changes for Happy Stillness

One of the secrets of making changes that stick, is starting so small that you don’t wake up the Chicken Little part of your brain. You’re setting yourself up for success, because even the tiniest of successes are encouraging (and multiply).

Yes I know, there’s also the hard part of starting small.

You want to make a change now dammit!

And that tiny step is still So. Far. Away. from what it is you really want.

I’m asking you to trust me on this.

At a minimum, you’ll get at least that tiny step closer (which you aren’t doing now) and, the much more likely scenario, it’s just the first step to getting what you really want.

And that’s the idea behind Happy Changes. A list of tiny changes you can experiment with over the next week. And beyond.

Choose one of these things, one that feels completely and utterly doable to you, even if you aren’t sure it will make a difference, and play with it this week. Let me know how it goes here, in the comments, on twitter (using the hashtag #happychanges) or Facebook.

Happy Stillness

It’s no secret, I like to run, ride, climb, you know, move.

I also like stillness. To be quiet. To reconnect with myself. I dip in and out of this kind of practice, and I would like it to be more consistent.

It can be frustrating.

And then I’m reminded as I was linking to those active posts, I wasn’t always this active. There was a year or (cough, cough) twenty, when I didn’t do much of anything active. Well, I actively avoided being active, but I don’t think that counts. Now, when I’m not training for something in particular, I may move more leisurely, but I’m still doing something nearly every single day.

That encourages me to continue growing my practice. And starting small. And getting curious. And playing with it.

Research has shown that meditation can help with attention and controlling pain. Two things we could all use post-hurricane and during this election week.

Here are some ideas — choose one to play with this week — no expectations, other than to be curious and have fun with it!

  1. When you first wake up, take three to ten conscious breaths before getting out of bed.
  2. Every time you sit down in your chair, pause and scan through your body, just to notice how you’re feeling (no need to change anything).
  3. Set a pleasant-sounding timer, like this online meditation timer, and for three minutes, allow your thoughts to flow through your mind . . . like leaves falling off trees, clouds moving through the sky, floats passing by in a parade.
  4. Choose a quality, like presence or joy or courage, and focus on it for one minute.
  5. Rest your hand on your heart, close your eyes, take a deep breath and check in with yourself.
  6. Set up a Pandora station with a kirtan singer like David Newman, and sit or lay down and listen to one song.
  7. Move first, by doing some sun salutations, simple stretches or Dance of Shiva, and then lay down on the floor for a few minutes.
  8. Decide on another tiny way to play with stillness, and share it.

I’d love to hear how it goes, either here in the comments, on twitter (using the hashtag #happychanges) or on the Perception Studios Facebook page.

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Check out all the past Happy Changes.


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