The Importance Of Downtime

By on October 2, 2014

The first thing I came to understand while traveling in Northern California was the importance of creating downtime.

Taking time to really unplug from the routine and enjoy some contrast.

Contrast highlights the differences of our surroundings.

Without contrast, things can begin to look and feel a bit dull.

The edges of our daily experience might become blurry, bringing feelings of uncertainty or boredom.

Coming back to normal daily life after some time away brings with it an excitement, a fresh perspective and even a new freedom.

And it doesn’t take a month away to create contrast.

Sometimes, all we need is a full day, one that is planned for in advance, where we declare, “Today is a my day to play!” And then stay away from that work! (of course, when you can get away for a whole month, you better do it!) 🙂

I also went to a 7-day meditation retreat at Spirit Rock, and learned about the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Great stuff! I’ll tell you more about it next time.

This weekend, is yours to relax into. Let each action flow from the next. Let the breath guide your way.

Where is your mind now?

Stress Release Tip

Have fun!! Having fun is important part of keeping your stress at bay. Because studies show such wonderful health and stress relief benefits from laughter and even the anticipation of laughter, you should try to get more giggles into each day. You could have some friends over tonight; tell a bad joke (har har!); have a game night; be in the present moment (where joy is waiting!); and with a light-hearted attitude, events that would normally be annoying become amusing, big hassles become humorously absurd, and major stressors become great stories. Stress has no chance against a smile.  🙂

Mindful Homework

The first foundation of mindfulness is of the body. Contemplating the body as a body through direct perception, not intellect, we can descend below the thinking mind, to a level of awareness more firmly rooted than the fickle mind allows. Rooted in experience. By tuning into the breath and then sounds and then body sensations, we begin to become aware of a different experience of reality — the direct experience of how we feel, as opposed to how we think we feel. A subtle, yet profound difference. Can you tell the difference? Take a moment this week to ask yourself how you feel about a particular occurrence, and see what you receive.

Quote From Adam

“Declare today ‘sacred time’ — off-limits to everyone, unless invited by you. Take care of your personal wants and needs. Say ‘No,’ graciously but firmly, to others’ demands.”
– Oprah Winfrey

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