Celebrate Spring & International Day of Happiness with Mindfulness & Mouth Yoga (Smiling)

Are you ready for Spring? Start it by celebrating International Day of Happiness on Tuesday, March 20, with a mindful practice of mouth yoga a/k/a smiling. Smiling is one of the best ways to create positive energy inside of yourself. When you smile mindfully, your positive energy can help open your heart to more gratitude. Also, your smile also has the power to brighten another’s person’s day!

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Check out my #ThrivingMindfully Podcast resources.

How are you planning to celebrate Spring and/or International Day of Happiness? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Enjoy Spring & International Day of Happiness!

#ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week #4 – Equanimity

AL-HappyHolidays

Happy Holy-Days! Welcome to Week 4 of the #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, a four-week experience that invites you to practice and reflect on loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity! Equanimity is the theme for this week.

I launched the Challenge on December 1. It’s hard to believe that we have reached the last week. If you missed the previous weeks, click on the links below.

Week 1, December 4-10: Loving Kindness
Week 2, December 11-17: Compassion
Week 3, December 18-24: Joy

TM-Equanimity-GardenofSelfAcceptance

Week 4 of #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge: December 25-31

Equanimity or upekkha is a state of being that allows you to stand in the middle of whatever thought, feeling, or experience you may have with calm awareness and nonjudgment. Going within and being with all of your stuff (thoughts, feelings, and experiences) on a daily basis helps you plant seeds of equanimity in your garden of self-acceptance. When you give yourself equanimity, you are able to handle the ups and downs of life with more peace. You also access more loving kindness, compassion, and joy. In addition, your capacity to support others with loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity grows.

Theme/Video: Equanimity

Invitation: Slow down and take three deep breaths. Touch your heart with one or both of your hands as you enter into a moment of stillness.

Take three more deep breaths. Right where you are repeat the first prayer out loud or silently three times: May I embody and express equanimity for myself.

Take three more deep breaths and repeat the second prayer. May I share equanimity with others. Inhale deeply and as you exhale thank yourself for showing up in the stillness.

JournalYourThoughts

Reflection Questions and Journaling Exercise: Take some time this week to reflect on and journal about one or more of the questions below.

1) What does equanimity mean?
2) What does equanimity look like in your life?
3) What prevents you from embodying and expressing equanimity for yourself? and for others?
4) What do you want equanimity to look like in 2018?
5) How can you add more equanimity into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines?

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Happy December: #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week 1 – Loving Kindness

AL-MeditatingatEMIHappy December! It’s the last month of 2017. It’s also my birthday month and an opportunity for me to share what I have learned so far in my mindfulness facilitator training program with the Engaged Mindfulness Institute (EMI). The EMI program started with a week-long silent retreat that was held in Deerfield, Massachusetts in September. One of my biggest takeaways from the retreat is the value of practicing loving kindness or metta towards myself each day. It is one of my four self-care vitamins (loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity) I use to outsmart stress and thrive+work mindfully.

TM-SpecialGift

Here’s my special gift for you: #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, a four-week experience that invites you to practice and reflect on loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

Each week, I will share a video and invite you to participate in a self-care exercise that includes breathing exercises, reflection questions, and journaling. See the schedule below.

  • Week 1, December 4-10: Loving Kindness
  • Week 2, December 11-17: Compassion
  • Week 3, December 18-24: Joy
  • Week 4, December 25-31: Equanimity

Week 1 of #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge: December 4-10

Theme/Video: Loving Kindness

Invitation: Slow down and take three deep breaths. Touch your heart with one or both of your hands as you enter into a moment of stillness.

Take three more deep breaths.

Right where you are repeat this prayer out loud or silently three times: May I embody and express loving kindness.

Take three deep breaths. Thank yourself for showing up in the stillness.

TM-Selfcare4weekchallenge-12417

Reflection Questions and Journaling Exercise: Take some time this week to reflect on and journal about one or more of the questions below.

  1. What does loving kindness mean?
  2. What does loving kindness look like in your life?
  3. What prevents you from embodying and expressing loving kindness for yourself?
  4. What do you want your loving kindness to look like in 2018?
  5. How can you add more moments of loving kindness into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines?

Happy Yoga Monday! – 5/13

Photo Credit: http://womenshealth.gov
Photo Credit: http://womenshealth.gov

Happy Yoga Monday!

In honor of National Women’s Health Week (May 12-18), I am celebrating the many contributions women yoga teachers make to women’s health and wellness. Sariane Leigh, a Washington, D.C.-based yoga teacher, health activist, blogger, writer, and wellness instructor uses her Anacostia Yogi web site, blog, podcasts, classes, and workshops to promote health awareness and yoga for women and individuals recovering from trauma-related experiences such as HIV/AIDS diagnosis, conflicts, natural disasters, poverty, and institutional racism. Leigh’s healing approach marries Hatha and Kemetic yoga principles to the psycho-social healing tradition from African-American women’s spirituality.

Photo Credit: AnacostiaYogi.com
Photo Credit: AnacostiaYogi.com

In October 2012, she wrote a guest blog, “Sisters of the ‘Yogic’ Yam: bell hooks and the Yoga in Self-Recovery” for TheFeministWire.com that discusses her healing approach.  To learn more about her work, visit http://anacostiayogi.com.

Who is your favorite yoga blogger?

OM #YogaMonday OM!

Ananda’s Speaking at 2nd National Summit: Arts, Health and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum in April

Photo Credit: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center web site - http://www.wrnmmc.capmed.mil/SitePages/home.aspx
Photo Credit: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center web site – http://www.wrnmmc.capmed.mil/SitePages/home.aspx

Hi All,

Since it’s Creativity Thursday, I thought I would share my news about speaking at the Second National Summit: Arts, Health and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum on April 10, at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. I will serve as a panelist for the Discussion 2: Re-entry/Reintegration Military Treatment Facilities. My co-panelists are Linda O’Neil, a Smith Center artist, and Tara Tappert, Exhibitions Coordinator at Combat Paper Project and archives and American arts consultant. Ermyn F. King, Creative Arts Program Coordinator at Walter Reed, will serve as a the moderator. During the discussion, I will share my experience of working with wounded warriors, military personnel, and hospital staff as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts.