The prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
A peaceful state of mind will lead to less anxiety and restful sleep most nights.
How do we on a consistent basis be in that peaceful state of mind?
I suggest we keep the following in mind:
1. The past is the past. It does not have any power over us unless we allow it to.
2. The future is not yet here. Why sacrifice today by fretting about something that may or (more than likely) may not happen?
3. Find your allies! Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who love and care about you.
4. Have faith in yourself,
5. Have faith in others,
6. Have faith in life,
7. have faith in God.
8. Circumstances and other people can not hurt you if you don’t let them.
9. At the end of the day, say, “I did my best”. Breathe. It is done.
10. In the end, what is truly important? So much of what we permit worry us or upset us if just fluff. Let it go!
Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith. ~ Author Unknown
For a treat, listen to
Time To Say Goodbye Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman.flv
I used to teach these two lovely ladies once a week at 6:30 in the morning. Every week, they would show up like clockwork, them and them alone. My morning class went from that of a general open level setting, to a very friendly, and personal semi-private – to the point we carried our friendship off the mat, and out into the world. Every now and then, when the weather was terrible, or someone had worked too late the night before, I would receive a text that said, “Sorry, Aryn. Today we’ll be practicing sleep yoga.”
Now, they were just letting me know they were going to sleep an extra hour, and they would see me at my next class, but in the realm of yoga – sleep yoga does actually exist. Yoga Nidra is a style of yoga that helps you glide into a sleep like state, by means of guided meditation. By concentrating on our breath, and following the instruction of a Yoga Nidra teacher, Sleep Yoga can helps us, simply, let go of the stress and tensions of every day life.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra include: Improved concentration and focus, a clear mind, and improved performance at work and in other areas of life. According to The National Sleep Foundation it also helps improve menstrual problems, and even helps relieve post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).
Personally, I love yoga nidra. It is something I do at least once a week to help ensure I am getting the amount of sleep that I need. As the Dalai Lama said, “Sleep is the best meditation.” But remember, sometimes meditation is the best way to get a full nights sleep.
I’m Aryn, a mother of one born in Ohio, living in California. I love ice cream, but I don’t eat it and couldn’t even if I wanted to, and I hate popcorn. I love carnivals and summer, the beach and ocean, I love yoga and to live every moment the best that I can with my family, and I really, really love to write.
You can find Aryn at her wonderful blog Weekly Adventures. Ordinary Girl.
or she is quite active on Twitter at @ArynYoungless
A special note from me to to Aryn:
From the very beginning of my blogging journey (about three years ago now) you have been there. You are someone I can always share things with about my writing, my yoga practice, and life. Thank you for being a guest blogger here at The Warm Milk Journal and
most of all,
thank you for being my friend.
A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world. ~ Leo Buscaglia
Good morning. Thank you for this new day. I am excited by much these days.
Thank you for all of the people in my life and the doors that continue to open as I seek to better myself and my life.
May I be guided by your loving spirit and know that peace reigns in my heart.
Please help me to have a clear head when in stress or feel excited.
May I remain centered so that I can be the most help to others and myself.
Thank you for being there when I am scared and when I feel unsure.
Here is this night’s list of all time relaxing activities:
1. Savoring a glass of wine in the early evening
2. Listening to jazz on Pandora while enjoying glass of wine (see above)
3. Reading beautiful poetry and spiritually inspirational books (Rumi, Marianne Williamson come to mind).
4. A hot lavender bath
5. Playing Yahtzee or Scrabble with my husband or daughter
6. Cooking (while drinking wine and listening to Jazz on Pandora).
7. Walks on the beach
8. Spending time in nature
9. Afternoon bike rides
10. Morning cup of coffee and writing in my journal
11. Blogging in the early evening.
12. That afternoon cup of tea and watching the wildlife in my back patio.
13. Cuddling with the most special person in the world…
Breathing for Sleep
Breathing for Sleep is adapted information found in Nurturing Wellness through Radical Self-Care.
REB posture is an energy psychology and autonomic nervous system balance that calms
and soothes, creating rapid positive change in your body.
The breathing exercise below encourages you to try the REB posture while breathing for sleep. The REB posture diagram
The best tip I have about awakening during the night is to accept that you have awakened. Don’t allow the sleeplessness to anger and frustrate you. The frustration,tossing, and turning only delay sleep and exhaust you. When you wake up in the middle of the night, Radiant Energies Balance (REB) will help you get back to sleep.
I recommend that you find the easiest way to hold the posture comfortably while in bed I usually turn on my side, because the bed helps support the posture. If no other health problems exist, once your relaxation response is locked in, sleep will be less of an issue or no issue at all.
We are going to use a technique call Gap Breathing for this exercise. Inhale. Pause two or three counts. Exhale. Pause for two or three counts. During the pause, notice how quiet your mind is. There is complete silence in the natural gap between your in-breath and your out-breath. This is a great breathing technique for anyone who has trouble with a chattering mind, especially at night.
• Use the Gap Breathing mentioned above. Begin by taking a nice, normal deep breath, hold it for a second and then drop the breath into your lower
abdomen. Begin to breathe from your abdomen. Normal, deep breathing is calming.
• Breathe from your abdomen; inhale, continuing to use gap breathing.
• Begin to use the REB posture. Use bilateral squeezing if it is comforting to you. Bring the issue you are worrying about to mind and notice your body
as you breathe. Notice the areas of bodily tension and focus on them as you breathe. You can imagine that you are breathing into the stressed areas. Continue focusing and breathing until the tension reduces or disappears. Notice the next area of tension and repeat the instructions. Notice your thoughts, especially worry and fear thoughts.
• Allow yourself to relax around each troubling thought until the emotional impact is gone.
• Focus on your breath. Notice yourself inhaling. Notice the quietness in the gap at the top of your inhale. Exhale, and notice the gap at the end of the exhale. Notice your body as you let go of stress with each exhale. Notice how it feels to inhale, hold the gap, exhale, hold the gap. If you feel your mind begin to wonder, bring your focus back to the breath. Continue to breathe this w ay until you drift into sleep.
• If you haven’t drifted off to sleep after a reasonable time, notice how relaxed your body has become. Continue to focus on your breath and your breathing. Resting quietly is much more preferable than tossing and turning or getting up and watching TV. Quiet rest is very deep and very restorative. Accept your situation and rest quietly.
• Occasionally I’ll add paired words (peaceful–rest or soft–comforting) to my in breath and out breath in just the same way I add them during walking meditation. This causes a deep ANS response because you are getting the relaxation of the breath paired with the relaxing frequency of the verbal message.
Our guest blogger:
Janet Nestor, a positivity mentor, has published two uplifting books. Her newest book, Nurturing Wellness through Radical Self-Care: A Living in Balance Guide and Workbook offers a Mindfulness Based Recovery and Rejuvenation program. Pathways to Wholeness (2010), has inspired readers to live an aware, mindful life since 2010 utilizing walking meditation and mindful breathing,
Specializing in stress reduction, Janet is a licensed professional counselor, Diplomate in Comprehensive Energy Psychology, Diagnostic Prescriptive Educator, Soul Detective, and natural intuitive. She works with individuals and groups, primarily by phone and Skype and enjoys guesting
on radio shows, teleclasses, and as a writer whenever possible.
May gentleness rule this day,
and let worries melt away to a place
far away from me.
May in their place, be a space for peace
that comes home to stay
within my mind, heart, and body.
May your love and guidance
guide me today to remember
what is most important:
Joy in the little things,
And most of all
I would like to offer you an opportunity to submit a guest post for The Warm Milk Journal. Our readership continues to grow and is now getting over 11,000 visitors from around the world a month. We have hundreds of followers on our Facebook page and at this writing, 16,461 people following us on Twitter.
I will share and market your post as much as I would my own. If your post is published here, I expect you to do the same.
A few guidelines:
1. Familiarize yourself with our site first. Our content is a bit eclectic. We welcome anything that supports living a well balanced life by day and sleeping restfully at night. Most posts are pretty short in length.
2. Sample topics may include anything to do with: insomnia, anxiety, health and wellness, journal writing, what makes us happy, how to relax and overcome stress, spirituality, meditation, poetry, travel, bedroom design and decor, etc.
3. People I would like to hear from: any person who is challenged and has solutions for above topics, people from the health and wellness industry, medical providers such as: doctors, nurses, counselors, yoga instructors, massage therapists, chiropractors, etc., hospitality industry (hotel managers or B&B owners), travel industry, mattress companies, sleep aid products, feng shui experts, etc.
4. Note, it is fine that you have a product or service but please offer content of value to our readership. I will not publish anything that is strictly a marketing piece.
5. Your submission needs to be an original post (not published on your own site or anywhere else).
6. Interested? Please email me: Debratech@msn.com. Attach your article via an editable Word document. You may include a brief bio, link to your site, and a photo you would like me to use.
This blogging journey has been a tremendously rewarding one. There is nothing like feeling passionate about something and sharing it with others. I feel very blessed to be sharing this experience with you. I am excited to see what comes of this. We are never alone and we can always learn from each other. I think it will be wonderful for you to be able to share here at The Warm Milk Journal and for our readership to enjoy new content from different voices.
In an ideal life, I am always centered (as in, sitting on a peaceful mountain top all day centered). This is the state of mind I strive to be in but, alas, daily life and my personality come into play once in a while…
We may not be perfectly at peace all of the time but I do find it helpful to know what makes us vulnerable to anxiety. The more aware we are of what I call our anxiety “triggers”, the more effectively we can recognize the anxious state for what it is (a momentary passing state flirting with us) and get on with the business of enjoying our lives (and sleeping restfully at night).
We all have our “triggers” that make us vulnerable to anxiety. I will share with you a few of mine and perhaps you may relate to these (or if you have different ones, please feel free to comment and share)…
Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop. ~ Usman B. Asif
Five things that make me antsy with anxiety:
1. When I feel physically run down
2. When I am experiencing some kind of pain in my body
3. When I have too much unstructured time
4. When too many choices are presented to me
5. When I feel like I should be productive but instead I am distracted rather than focused.
There are more but I will stop with these. If anxiety is flirting with me in any of these five ways,
I often find it helpful to:
1. take a walk outside
2. get busy doing something
3. remind myself that this too shall pass
4. help somebody else
5. enjoy a great movie with my family
Goodbye, anxiety….with any luck this was a mild passing flirtation and nothing more…
Worry is a misuse of imagination. ~ Dan Zadra
I have recently experienced panic,
and deep sorrow.
and then beaten down.
The human condition puts us through the ringer so to speak. We definitely have our peaks and valleys. When I am despairing and dying of thirst in the midst of death valley, I find it helpful to remember that:
1. This too shall pass.
2. Change is part of life.
3. I am strong.
4. My emotions are simply emotions. I don’t have to attach any more meaning to them than I would passing clouds in the sky above me.
As I write this, there is a storm brewing in North Florida. Thunder booms and the rain is coming down.
The thunder outside, like our anger with its temper and tantrums… will subside and go away in due time.
The rain, like our tears that flow and flood our anguished faces at times, will stop.
The sun will come out again. We will be centered and feel peace again.
And so it is.
Tonight, I offer you these five therapies to get a good night sleep (and they won’t cost you a penny)!
1. Walking. There is nothing like a great walk outside in the fresh air. I always sleep better if I have taken at least one walk during the day or night.
2. Meditation: It can be sitting still or part of the walking therapy (see above). A still, centered mind is what we need to sleep restfully.
3. Writing: in all forms! Journal writing, poetry, free writing, writing down our worries, writing down our questions, affirmations, etc. Just write!
4. Love: spend quality time with loved ones (including pets).
5. Cooking: I just love to pour my glass of red wine, crank up the jazz music on Pandora, and cook away. Very healing and creative and spiritual (the cooking part), Good food in belly (the eating part), sleep (the result)…
These five therapies are a good start. To be continued…