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Light Works

*Achieving Health through Mind, Body, & Spirit*

Musings of a Medium

Mindfulness

Posted on March 1, 2018 at 6:25 AM

March 2018

Greetings Friends!


As always, I hope this letter finds you happy, healthy, feeling loved, and MINDFUL!


Hey everybody!! It feels like it took forever to get this newsletter put together. Thank you for your patience. It's been a pretty eventful month with the move and a few wrenches thrown in for good measure. But the good news is that Light Works is officially up and running and feeling nice and warm and cozy in the new space. Finally!!!!! I can't wait for you to see it.


Now that I can take a deep breath, I am trying to take lots of them. In fact, I am realizing that in the midst of the recent chaos and excitement, I was so focused on what needed to be done or what hadn't gone as planned....that I may have missed out on the some of joy and the excitement of the experience. But isn't that always the case? We often get wrapped up in something that happened yesterday or last week that we can't seem to shake. Something that was said to us or how we wished we had done something differently. And if we're not consumed with the past, the future can sure take up a tremendous amount of valuable mind space if we let it. Planning, planning, planning.....or worrying, worrying, worrying. What shall we have for dinner? What's going on this weekend? Will my boss be happy with my project? Will I meet my deadline? Who do I call to book that vacation? I wonder if I should take the kids with me to my dentist appointment? Will he/she call? And of course, there's the perpetual mental "to do" list. Oh geez.


I never seems to end, does it? All this thinking about the past and worrying about the future...or even just thinking about the future....seems somehow efficient or productive when it's taking place in our heads. And yes, we definitely need to use our brains to plan things. Otherwise, we'd be eating frozen dinners every night. So I get it. Planning can be good. Thinking about tomorrow can be good.


 

But what about the NOW? How much time are we really dedicating to enjoying or experiencing the present moment? By trying to solve the world's problems (or just those in our immediate worlds) 100% of the time, we are often cheating ourselves out of the peace and happiness that we might experience if we just stopped to smell the roses....or a batch of cookies baking...or the air when it rains. Sometimes it's the smallest of things that we miss when our minds are somewhere besides the present. And what ideas might come if we allowed our minds to sit and rest for a minute (or two or three ..or sixty)? And what does that look like anyway? What does it mean to be MINDFUL and why bother practicing MINDFULNESS?


And yes, it's a thing.


I'm not sure where the concept of being 'mindful' originated. It seems to be one of those innate states of being that animals are great at and humans were once great at but then unlearned as we 'evolved'. Yet, like so many of our natural methods of treatment and natural ways of coping and navigating, the practice of mindfulness seems to be making a comeback. So what is it exactly? According to Psychology Today:


Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future.



So then I ask myself....what's the point? I mean, I meditate. Isn't that the same thing? The answer is ....kind of.


As we know, there are a bazillion ways to meditate and many known physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits to practicing meditation. You can sit by yourself in meditation, or in a group, guided or self directed. You can walk and meditate, listen to music and meditate, color with crayons and meditate. Meditate with the trees, the angels, or the dolphins. Often times, meditation is about focusing on the present and actively being in the moment...which would be considered a mindfulness exercise. But sometimes meditation focuses on specific subjects like....weight loss or sleep or manifesting or connecting with Spirit. All of these things require visualizing the future or focusing on a particular subject, which is awesome. But it's not practicing the art of just BEING. So, when we meditate and focus on the present and what is happening right in that moment, meditation can absolutely be a mindfulness practice. However, meditation in and of itself is not always a mindfulness practice.


And being mindful doesn't even have to involve meditation. It is simply the act of bringing your attention to the present, in a non judgemental form of observation. It's about accepting and experiencing emotions, thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they are occurring right...now.


So, again...why bother? What's the point? What are the benefits of this ancient practice?


Wellllll, besides being listed by Buddha as one of the Eightfold Steps to the Path of Enlightenment, here's the list of some of the known benefits of practicing mindfulness:


Helps to relax

Reduced rumination/less depressive symptoms

Stress reduction/decreased anxiety

Boosts working memory

Increases focus

Decreased emotional reactivity

Increased cognitive flexibility

Relationship satisfaction/reduced relationship stress

Enhances self insight, morality, intuition, and fear modulation

Increased immune function

Increased information processing speeds

Improvement to feelings of well being/positive thoughts

Reduction in psychological stress


No kidding. And believe it or not, all of these were determined from numerous studies by reputable organizations and science-y people. Seriously. Look it up. They are out there and documented and everything! One major benefit that I've found from practicing mindfulness exercises is that I am able to let go of junk faster and easier. I'm not talking about the junk in my garage. That's still an issue. I mean the emotional junk that weighs me down. Like, when my husband snaps at me and I want to punch him in the nose (would never, but it has crossed my mind). Years ago, his words would stick to me like glue for days...sometimes weeks. I would hold on to those words and replay them over in my mind as if somehow re-triggering my anger and hurt would somehow help me to get over it (or punish him in some way, right?). Of course we all know that I was only torturing myself and stealing my own joy from myself. But now, things are way different. It's much easier to let go. Sure, I get angry and feel bad initially about stuff sometimes. And I give myself permission to feel what I feel. But now I am able to feel my emotions and then recognize that I don't need to hold on to them...and I can let them go way sooner. It's not always a success on the first try (still human!), but it sure goes away MUCH faster than it used to. Through mindfulness, I've realized that I have a choice. And I've realized that holding on to 'junk' gets in the way of my happiness so I choose to ditch it as soon as I can!


There are tons of mindfulness techniques and most of them involve focusing on the breath, the senses, thoughts, and the body. My favorite mindfulness activity is sitting outside in the grass with my dog. Animals are mindfulness masters, I tell you. They literally are in the moment almost all of the time. They are not planning their next vacation or feeling sad because they didn't get to go in the car with you yesterday. Rather than hold on to the past or day dreaming about the future, they are focused on what is going on n their world right now. So, when I sit outside with my boy, I find it much easier stay focused as well.

 

Don't have a pet? Or maybe you have grass allergies. No worries! The most basic mindfulness practice is to sit quietly and simply focus on your breathing. Count your breaths. Pay attention to how the air feels passing through your nose and into your lungs. Focus on how your chest and stomach rise and fall with each breath. Then ask yourself, "How do I feel right this second?". If you are feeling awesome....AWESOME. If you are feeling stressed, anxious, tired, upset, or are experiencing a physical discomfort....take a moment to talk to that part of you. Ask yourself if the discomfort is still serving your highest good and if it's something that you need to hold on to. If not, give thanks for the awareness and ask for it to please leave. It might sound crazy and it may not work the first time, but I urge you to give it a try sometime. You never know what you might discover.

Want to learn more about mindfulness? Then check out a couple of the mindful things going on this month at Light Works - "The Mindfulness Movie" and a Guided Mindfulness Meditation.




Also, COMING SOON!... "Connected Kids" - Children's Mindfulness Programs!!!! Adults aren't the only ones who deal with physical, emotional, and mental stresses and pressures. Mindfulness is known to help kids focus, remain calm in stressful situations, improve sleep, minimize behavioral issues, increase kindness/compassion for others, and to improve cognitive abilities. Teaching children mindfulness techniques that they can use in every day life situations is something that I am passionate about and I'm so excited to be rolling out these programs in the next few months. Stay tuned for more information and be sure to let me know if you would like to be personally notified when classes are officially on the calendar.


Sending love out to all those who need/want it and prayers to those who may be hurting today. May you find peace in your heart and a smile on your face no matter what is happening in your world. And if you need a place to go to lift your spirits, I hope you'll stop by sometime :)


Here's what's happening at Light Works this month...


To kick things off, I'll be teaching Meditation with Intention...to Connect with Spirit! on March 11th. Want to learn how to connect with Spirit? In this class, you'll learn my method of connecting with the angels, spirit guides, and loved ones...and, yes, anyone can do it :)


Next, we'll be getting together on March 22nd for Movie Night! to watch...."The Mindfulness Movie" . The Mindfulness Movie is a fun and educational journey showcasing the worldwide brain research proving the benefits of mindfulness and the public’s increasing awareness and acceptance of the practice. The movie showcases those who have reshaped mindfulness into everyday, practical skills. Neuroscientists now tell us that the practice of mindfulness literally changes the brain in positive ways. And it’s as simple as paying attention! Throughout the film, you'll encounter inspiring people and ideas on how changing the way we see can change our lives. Come hang out with me and other like minded folks for a chill night at the movies ...popcorn provided :)


Take your Reiki Level I training to the next level with Usui Ryoho Reiki Level II Certification class on March 17th. Reiki isn't just a healing modality. It's a lifestyle that promotes self awareness...as well as physical, emotional, and Spiritual health. Become certified as a Level II practitioner to help others...and yourself!! Are you a massage therapist looking for a class that offers CE credit hours that you can apply towards your license requirements? Receive 6 CE hours when you take this class!


If you're looking to connect with your favorite furry, scaly, or feathered friend, be sure to take advantage of this month's special - $10 off an Animal Communication Session. Be sure to mention the discount when scheduling your session :)


On March 22nd, it's "Making Your Mini Vision Board Night!". Come join us for a fun night of creativity, affirmations, and manifesting. Vision boards are a great tool for setting goals and intentions for ourselves. They bring our dreams to life in the form of photos and words. Vision boards are meant to help us 'see' our goals and these mini boards are the perfect size to place in your home, office, or wherever you go! Choose a theme or themes that you want to focus on (relationships, career, health, travel, social, spiritual, etc) and design the perfect mini vision boards for you!


Want to put this mindfulness thing into practice? On March 27th, join us & the angels for a guided meditation to focus on just that at "Let's Meditate! Guided Meditation Night: Mindfulness Meditation". Relax and leave all of your stress behind as tap into the many health benefits of meditation!


And lastly, I'll be delivering messages in a gallery style event at "Love & Hugs from Heaven" Mediumship Demonstration with Juli! on March 28th. Come out and receive loving messages from Angels, guides, and loved ones on the other side! This is a great opportunity to witness how Spirit works with me to share messages of healing, guidance, and love. Those in the Spirit world are always around and want to help us to heal, to feel loved & supported as we navigate our way through life in the physical world. A mediumship gallery is a wonderful way to experience this beautiful connection.


So, these are just a few of the things happening this month at Light Works.


As always, new things are popping up on the Light Works Meetup page . Be sure to join the group to receive announcements. Stay tuned, stay connected, and stay in touch!


Sending lots of healing energy and LOVE to you all...hope to see you soon!


In love & light,

Juli


Juli Richardson

Certified Reiki Master Teacher, Psychic Medium, & Animal Communicator

Call 703-926-4499 or email [email protected] to schedule a reading or healing session for you or someone you love


Categories: Spirituality, Inspiration, Wellness

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