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On Sunday, May 2nd, I will be a part of a Holistic Seminar, hosted by SOL Pilates FIT. Please join me for a chakra clearing meditation. The event will be held at the Extraordinary Beginnings unit at 5261 Hwy 7 in Markham, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. To register call 416.948.SOUL (7685) or email lynne.stewart@solpilatesyoga.com

Do you live in the Greater Toronto Area? Please join me for a
meditation class at SOL Pilates and Yoga Studio in Markham. The class will be held at 7 p.m. on alternate Fridays. Please contact me for additional details.

Do you long for a relaxing treatment for your mind, body and spirit? I'm now accepting clients for Reiki treatments. To register for a class or to book a treatment, please contact me. I look forward to seeing you!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gratitude Journal


Photograph: "Gratitude for Nature's (Turquoise) Beauty" by P. Grodecki


How we perceive ourselves and the world around us depends on our perspective. Similarly, to manifest abundance and joy we often need to start by being mindful of our thoughts and emotions. It may not seem to be an easy task, and it can take a while for us to truly shift our way of thinking. However, we can start by taking small steps toward this goal. One such step is to start a gratitude journal.


Writing in a gratitude journal can help us to focus on every aspect of our day and reflect on it in a positive manner, zooming in on the blessing in each event, rather than on the points that may appear negative. After all, our state of mind affects our perceptions. When we become overwhelmed with copious amounts of work, unresolved personal and family issues, and other everyday ‘annoyances,’ it becomes easy to focus on our ego and forget that we live in an abundant universe in which all that we wish for can be manifested. Challenges in life are inevitable, but it is up to us whether we wish to perceive them as ‘difficult times’ and wonder, “Why does this always have to happen to me?” Instead, we can shift our thoughts to acknowledge that there could very well be a blessing behind the challenge and that everything that we face in life comes into the frame of our life’s picture for a reason. The former thought focuses on personal drama, which is ego-based; the latter thought allows for a positive outlook that invites the vision of the Higher Self to emerge, shutting off the ego-based thoughts that may try to drag us down. A gratitude journal, therefore, can help us to focus our thoughts on the positive aspects of our day, allowing us to see the world and its events in a better light, knowing that we will never be faced with anything we cannot handle, thus helping us to manifest what we wish in life, by helping us to think more positively. If this thought appeals to you, you may wish to try starting a gratitude journal and begin to learn from the experience of this ritual.


If you have been keeping a journal for some time now, in which you record the impressions of your day and various events on which you feel inspired to reflect, starting a gratitude journal may prove to be an easy task. However, for those who have never written in a journal before, this may seem challenging at first. Nevertheless, to create positive change in our lives, we often need to take a risk and step outside of our comfort zones in order to learn about and expand our boundaries.


So, how do I start a gratitude journal?


First, you may wish to purchase a notebook or a journal that feels ‘right’ to you and which you will enjoy holding in your hand and writing in every day. The journal itself can often inspire us to continue writing even when we least feel like it. Every day, at a certain time, dedicate at least 15 minutes to writing in your journal. I prefer to write in the evening, as a way of reflecting on my day, and I often like to start with the phrase, “Today, I am grateful for…” Underneath, I list as many things as I feel moved to list. You may wish to place your hand on your heart area and ask yourself what the answer is. Write down whatever comes to you, without questioning it. The answer might be ‘sunshine,’ ‘my family,’ ‘my job,’ ‘compassion,’ ‘my dog,’ ‘the ability to make a difference in the world,’ etc. You may also wish to journal about an event that took place today that filled your heart with gratitude, or you may wish to write about the kindness of someone who made your day this much brighter. I invite you to try this activity every day for at least 14 days, to see whether it helps you to shift your own outlook and manage challenges that you may face in your life.


This activity may inspire you to experiment with various other ways of writing in your journal, and it is important to find the method that ‘works’ for you. If you wish to share these methods, I invite you to either leave a comment below this blog entry, or e-mail me at naturessecretwhispers@gmail.com, if you wish to share this information with me only. I would also love to read about your impressions on journaling, if this is a new activity for you.


Affirmation: "I make time to write in my gratitude journal every day, as this activity allows me to see the blessing within every area of my life and enables me to greet each day, with all its events, with a positive outlook. When my heart is filled with gratitude, I am able to manifest Universal abundance and joy in my life."


Today, I am grateful for the ability to share this thought with you. Thank you for reading the posts on Nature’s Secret Whispers.


Namaste! Happy Journaling!



Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Beauty of the Present Moment


Photograph: "A Precious Moment" by P. Grodecki

When life seems to get into a rut, we may start to worry about the future and lose sight of what is truly important. What can help us to see the situation more clearly is the ability to focus on the present moment and not worry about what the future holds. By awakening our senses to the beauty of everyday life and this very moment, by starting to live mindfully, we enable ourselves to shift our focus in a new, more positive direction.


Are you the kind of person who leaves your home early in the morning, without taking the time to eat breakfast and speak with your family? Do you sit in rush hour traffic jams, jet through the work day without even a break for lunch, and return home to watch TV and go to bed? It is easy for any one of us to become that person, at any time. It is easy to slip into a place where our main concerns centre on the amount of work we had accomplished during the work day, what we will prepare for dinner tonight, and what tomorrow will look like. When we live mindlessly, life can easily seem to lose its meaning.


Stop and ask yourself:


When did you last sit quietly and enjoy the sounds and sights around you, forgetting about everything else, even for just a few minutes?


Although it may seem to us that, when we focus on work and ignore everything else around us, we are having a productive day and are, therefore, benefiting ourselves, let’s ask ourselves about the true rewards of such days. Do they truly make us feel healthy and good about ourselves? Instead of gaining, in fact, we lose precious time when we rush through life and slow down just to continue to engage in mindless activities.


When we become determined to live each moment of our lives with purpose, we shift our outlook and learn about what is truly in our hearts, what we actually wish for. Perhaps, for one day, you can try to challenge yourself in the following ways:


When you wake up in the morning, ask yourself how you actually feel today and acknowledge your response. When stuck in traffic, look around you and truly be in the present moment, noticing everything and not missing a single detail. Everywhere you go and with everything you do, ask yourself to notice every sound, every image, every colour, every feeling and sensation. Try to live each moment of the day mindfully, making the most of every experience.


When we awaken our senses and consciously decide to notice the beauty of the present moment, we begin to see the changes in our organic, ever-evolving lives and in the lives of everyone and everything surrounding us. Do you really not care about missing these changes? Noticing these details also enables us to live each day to the fullest, as we become aware – or mindful – of our very existence and of the Universal energy that flows through us and connects us to all that is.


If you have always wanted to make the most of each moment, each day, but didn’t know how, start by paying attention to your every thought, feeling, and everything you see and hear, thus raising your awareness about yourself and all that surrounds you. The task may not seem easy at first; however, it will become more and more natural with time and consistent practice, eventually altering the way we experience our being and everything around us, allowing for a fresh, more positive outlook. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to open your eyes in the morning and immediately feel the Divine grace of the present moment? The practice of mindfulness grants us with the gift of this perspective and this gift remains with us for the rest of the day. Of course, this also means that not only can we be more productive at work, but we can also be truly, naturally happy at the very same time. Sound too good to be true? That’s the magic of mindfulness!


Affirmation: “I live each day of my life mindfully, remembering to make the most of each moment and celebrate my existence in a world filled with wonder. I release any worries I may have about the future. I focus, instead, on how my thoughts and actions at this time can help to improve what is to come, remembering that without the ‘here and now,’ there can be no tomorrow, and that tomorrow is a reflection of the ‘here and now.’”