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Gillian Sanger

What lifestyle habits has mindfulness helped you to shift?

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This week's question asks:

What lifestyle habits has mindfulness helped you to shift?

From eating and drinking habits to our habits of communication, movement, and social relating, mindfulness can have a big impact on our lifestyle. Let us know how mindfulness has helped you to change one or numerous aspects of your day to day life.

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Great question. I find that I have a lot less anxiety, so I’m able to sit for an extended period of time and read a book instead of finding something ‘productive’ to do. I’ve also been writing a lot more in my book, as well as more poems. Before, I simply didn’t have the patience to sit and write. My husband and I are getting along better because I make more time for him and consciously make efforts to contribute more to the marriage, even if it’s simply making his lunch, running an errand for him, or sitting through a Star Wars movie 😬because I know he loves it. I’m also far less judgmental towards myself and others. I allow myself to make mistakes, and give myself space to have uncomfortable emotions. Most importantly, I see a whole new way of perceiving the world and my place in it. I feel a certain expansiveness and freedom that I am so grateful for.  And thank you to everyone here for all of your wisdom and support 💛

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Good morning, everyone-

I really do look forward to each Question of the Week.  It acts as sort of an entry point for me to peruse what everyone has been up to and what's on everyone's mind.  So grateful for this community.

I think the biggest shifts from mindfulness for me have come in the form of communicating- with myself as well as others.  I totally get the expansiveness that Jo referenced.  There is an openness to be more present and listen when engaging with others, especially with my kids.  I am conscious not to (at least less) multitask when one of them is speaking to me.  I find I am more present with difficult emotions when in difficult conversations with others, especially my parents and partner.  This is a definite shift for me and speaks to what Sean referenced today in his 5 Mindful Musings- we feel what we feel.  Typically I would stuff or deny or avoid my uncomfortable feelings, but I don't do that anymore.  The same openness also allows me to gain more insight during therapy.

Aside from the openness, there is the pause before responding.  This has also brought clarity to interactions and in my view, has often changed the outcomes.

Another major shift in this area for me is self compassion and forgiveness.  I have carried a lot of inner critic around most of my life; shaming and blaming myself for everything under the sun that has gone sideways or impacted those I love in a negative way (especially my children).  Self compassion and forgiveness practices along with awareness allow me to recognize the stories as opposed the the truths, and also to stop being attached to things from the past or projections about the future.  This is difficult work, but I definitely recognize its' worth. 

Lastly- I have done a lot of work around boundaries, and I find that it relates closely to compassion.  Being enmeshed with others' suffering can be overwhelming.  I am learning to have compassionate boundaries when I care about others' suffering and difficulties.  This is ongoing heart work.

Wishing all of you peace and ease on your journey today.  
Rachel

 

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Mindfulness has helped me shift my eating habits greatly.  I use to just aimlessly grab whatever I could find when I walked in the kitchen.  Now I create routines to have an orange, eat meat, then hold of bread.  Certain habits I used to ignore.  Like when I am asked do you want ice cream or piece of pie.  NO is coming in handy.  Almost like when I had kids.  No was the automatic answer when they asked to do something.  I always had the chance to change my mind.  It helps me much more when eating.  

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Thanks to each of you for sharing. I resonate with what all of you have said - mindfulness has also helped me to better sit with my emotions, to communicate more effectively (imperfectly sometimes, but I am learning), and to nourish my body and mind through the foods and drinks I eat (or don't eat). 

Self-compassion and forgiveness has been a major part of my growth as well, Rachel. I have learned much from simple practices like RAIN and metta meditation. I'm more aware now of the inner critic and am still learning to deepen that awareness and embody it more fully.

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On 6/18/2020 at 1:18 AM, Gillian Sanger said:

Thanks to each of you for sharing. I resonate with what all of you have said - mindfulness has also helped me to better sit with my emotions, to communicate more effectively (imperfectly sometimes, but I am learning), and to nourish my body and mind through the foods and drinks I eat (or don't eat). 

Self-compassion and forgiveness has been a major part of my growth as well, Rachel. I have learned much from simple practices like RAIN and metta meditation. I'm more aware now of the inner critic and am still learning to deepen that awareness and embody it more fully.

The same for me @Gillian Sanger  I love the essence of compassion and practicing loving kindness.  Just recently I learned the term Metta.  I believe forgiveness is needed to receive compassion.  One of the most difficult things to do.  I just received my book, "Loving Kindness, The Metta Practice"  I cannot wait to begin.  

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@Paige PIlege - Yes, forgiveness can definitely be a challenging one. I while back I read Dr. Harriet Lerner's book 'Why Won't You Apologize?' In it, she said something about forgiveness that really helped me to embrace it. She proposed the idea that forgiveness does not have to be 'all or nothing', but rather we can forgive 60%, 80%, 90%, or to some other degree. It does not have to be expressed as a percentage of course, but overall I really liked the idea of being able to have some fluidity around forgiveness. To embrace it on a grey scale, or a continuum.

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8 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

@Paige PIlege - Yes, forgiveness can definitely be a challenging one. I while back I read Dr. Harriet Lerner's book 'Why Won't You Apologize?' In it, she said something about forgiveness that really helped me to embrace it. She proposed the idea that forgiveness does not have to be 'all or nothing', but rather we can forgive 60%, 80%, 90%, or to some other degree. It does not have to be expressed as a percentage of course, but overall I really liked the idea of being able to have some fluidity around forgiveness. To embrace it on a grey scale, or a continuum.

@Gillian SangerThat sounds awesome.  Yes a percentage makes so much sense.  Eventually reaching 100% is a nice thought.  But not pushing it is also great.  Breaking it into sections or percentages makes it easier as with all things we do.  Nice thought. 

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Yes I really liked the way she presented it. I was actually researching her work this morning for an article I am working on and came across this:

Lerner: Forgiveness is talked about as an all or nothing thing like being pregnant.  In fact, you can forgive whatever percentage you choose, or not at all, and you do not need to give away all your anger to continue in the relationship.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2017/01/12/why-wont-you-apologize-relationship-expert-harriet-lerner-teaches-us-how/#cff67d441727

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Posted (edited)

Hi All,

First of all, I thirst for knowledge; those who are familiar with Clifton-Strengths, my 1st Strength is: Learner! I combine those with my other Strengths for sure! I love to Research various Mindful related topics! 

Another Game Changer Book I love is: "Mind Shift", by Joshua Ehrlich. I work my mind from a certain Mindset to a new sometimes, unfamiliar "Mind Shift" as a Leader.

Also, when I heard Daniel Goleman said in a Youtube talk about Creating New Neuro-pathways in our Brains when we Mindfully Meditate! That excites me...Studies of Buddhist Monks by Dr. Richie Davidson & Daniel Goleman's Co-Author of "Altered Traits" have proven this! This is amazing Research! As a Senior this has a youthful Calmer way of growing older; without consistent practice, it will not work!

Namaste!

IMG_2826.jpg

Edited by Rick
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