5 ways to find your zen.

Zen habits

There are times in your life when you need to just breathe…or scream.  Screaming is not appropriate at work though, so we need to find other ways to manage our stress.  This is always easier said than done.  We worry, fret, and work ourselves into a tizzy over something that might happen.  We ponder, speculate, and look for hidden meanings in the words of everyone around us.  Life would be much easier if people just said what they meant…well, maybe.  I know I work better that way, but perhaps not everyone does.  In the meantime, we need to work with what we are given.  This applies to all aspects of life, not just work.

5 ways to find your zen:

  1. Focus on the task at hand.  I realize this is easier said than done, but if you really work to train your mind on the task at hand, we can get into our flow.  We actually can shift the way we think and remove the obstacles we place in our minds.  We are moving away from distractions and really focusing on what’s in front of us.
  2. All in.  Are you all in or only sort of here?  Be present.  In order to be in the present moment, you have to really pull your thoughts back.  Think of your thoughts moving continuously like a river.  That is the basis of flow.  The ego falls away and you are in the moment.  It is almost like timelessness.  The end of the day comes and you got so much done that you didn’t even realize you were in flow.  That’s how I feel in yoga.  I am in my flow.  Flow experiences can occur in different way for different people, but we have strong concentration during the task.
  3.   Rest.  Sometimes, you need a break after a long stretch of working on things.  This is something I have a problem with and I am learning to let go.  After being in my flow, I know that if I stop, it takes me longer to recover than most people.  I learned I need to set a timer since I work from home.  In an office setting, you can get up and stretch your legs.  Get a coffee.  At home, I tend to just get back to work.  It’s very important to remember everyone needs a break too…even if you are the boss.
  4. Simplify your workspace.  Do you every find yourself looking for things and they were under piles of paper?  Do you not know important dates because you have a calendar system that’s messy and difficult?  Work to simplify things.  Don’t over book yourself.  Keep meetings to the point.  Keep your desk neat and tidy.  Work on diving up your task into smaller, easier to handle chunks.  If you work from home, do the same thing.  Keep an orderly space.  It helps clear the mind.
  5. Let go of that which does not serve you.  This is my favorite one.  Gossip?  Does not serve you in any way shape or form.  Let it go.  Truthfulness?  Yes.  It serves to make your life easier.  Weigh your responses before answering.  Jealousy over what others have?  Does not serve you again.  Gratitude for what you have serves you much better and brings about more happiness.  Too many possessions?  Clutter?  Thank the items and give them to someone who needs them.  This is way we create space for things we need to come into our lives.  Remember, if it doesn’t do you any good, you don’t need to focus on it in your life.  Period.

My good friend said to me “What other people think of me is none of my business.”  I loved that line and made her repeat it.  I instantly thought of ways to apply that to my life.  The next time someone says something snippy to me, I will breathe in and out and maybe even make the “ohmmm” sound in my mind as they are speaking.  Knowing me, I might even say it out loud until it annoys them.  Zen is the practice of “not doing”.  You are not reacting to things around you when the world might be in chaos.  You need to still the thoughts that are going on in your head and think about the bigger picture.

 “Life is short.  Time is fleeting.  Realize the self.  Purity of heart is the gateway to God.  Aspire.  Renounce.  Meditate.  Be good; do good.  Be kind; be compassionate.  Inquire, know Thyself.”

~Swami Sivananda

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil…

I remember being a child and seeing the three wise monkeys sitting somewhere I went on a regular basis.  I believe it was the doctor’s office.  I would stare at them and think about the meaning.  As a child, you are constantly asking questions about the world and if you’re lucky, you have good influences in your life to help guide you.  No matter what you do, sometimes it is hard to avoid the first one.  “See” no evil.  It is everywhere.  Around us daily, just waiting to happen.

It is suggested that the legend of the monkeys was derived from Analects of Confucius.  Basically, it said this:  “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety”  Meaning do no evil as well.  What am I getting at today?  I’ll tell you.

Reduce negativity in your life.

I had another doctor appointment today and it got me thinking about things in life.  You can approach life as best you see fit, but I am saddened to see that most people heap negativity on top of negativity no matter what they do.  If you are on Facebook, scroll through your feed and look at the types of things people post.  If you would like, delete the evil you see.  That’s right.  Hide them.  Poof.  Gone.  Next, check out your surroundings.  Do you have positive books around you?  If not, get a few.  Make an attempt to see no evil…especially if you can control it.

Listen to less negativity in your life.

Hear no evil.  Watch the news all the time?  Tired of the ugliness out there?  Turn it off.  Yes, I know it’s still there.  Pray, meditate, think nice things, or do what makes you feel good instead.  Have a friend who always calls to tell you when bad things happen?  Or a ahem grandma?  Be honest.  Say something like, I am making an attempt to create a positive space around me and I would love to talk to you, but I want to hear about what’s good in your life lately.  Can you please help me with that?  I think it would be good for both of us.  If they don’t understand, well, you still win because now they call you less.

Speak less negative thoughts.

Speak no evil.  This one is really hard, I know.  Let’s say you are trying to put some positive vibes out in the universe and whoever it is, keeps pushing back with negative.  It’s all about them at that moment, no matter what you might think, it is not your battle.  I know this goes with previous posts, but it is true.  Hurt people want others to hurt.  I know people who remain so lost in their own pain that they can’t focus on the good at any time.  I keep those people as far away as I can.  Some I have to see at holidays.  Ahem, but others, I don’t.  Don’t let them drag you down.  If they can’t find other topics, they need to be on limited access to you.  So, I say to you the same thing I say to my FB group:  << here




A state of happiness and satisfaction.  Do you have that in your life?  I mean it.  Right now, take stock of what’s important to you, and see if you can find contentment.  If the answer is no, what’s holding you back?  I know what’s missing from my life, and it’s not really missing.  I can change it.  So I can be content.  I will be content.  Most people have problems living in the “now”.  I will give you an example.  I went to dinner with my family last night…it really was like the Olive Garden commercial as we were one big happy family.  My brother, his daughter, my parents, my husband and my girls.  I had everything I needed right there.  I was content.  Wine was flowing, the meal was great, and I love seeing my family.

The spell was broken later when my husband decided he needed to make a comment using what I call his “ass-hat voice”.  I am not ashamed to tell you this, because maybe you too suffer from a case of “ass-hat voice”.  You see, he was worried about something that might happen.  And he made him all angry and ridiculous sounding.  I told him that tomorrow would take care of itself and I wish he would have handled it differently.  What we fail to listen to time and time again is the thought of what we have the power to change and what is out of our control.  This might be a newsflash, but as of yet, we do NOT have the ability to control the weather.  That I know of.  Sometimes it is best to just wait, and that was my point.

So, the next time you are feeling content, and some random thought comes into your mind that you have no control of, push it away.  Think instead of what you have the power to control and what is trying to control you.  You will be able to grasp the feeling of contentment much better this way.

“Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.”  ~Grenville Kleiser