Tag Archive: meditation


calm

When life gets busy we can forget to take care of ourselves. When that happens, the mind, body and spirit has a way of reminding us that we better pay attention…sometimes we feel stressed, empty, ill, overwhelmed or just plain exhausted. Why not make a point to take some time for yourself and brush up on strategies that will help you live the happy, healthy life you strive for. In August, learn how to find balance in your life during stressful times. In September, discover the importance of setting healthy boundaries at work and in your personal life. And coming in October… learn how to meditate with ease, with a simple course on meditation. The best part, is that it’s fun! 

Click the link below to see our most recent newsletter and check out what Intuitive Psychology has to offer in the coming months…
http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/…

If you are not already receiving our monthly newsletter and would like to sign up, just contact us at:
http://www.intuitivepsychologyplc.com/#contact

Hope to see you soon!

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

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“We already know that psychosocial interventions like mindfulness meditation will help you feel better mentally, but now for the first time we have evidence that they can also influence key aspects of your biology…”

http://www.sciencealert.com/world-first-evidence-suggests-that-meditation-alters-cancer-survivors-cells

 

This is one of many recently published articles that reminds us that meditation works. Your mind and your spirit speaks to your body. And amazingly, all it takes is a few minutes of your time. But that’s the problem, right? No matter how small the amount, it takes our time…and we don’t like to give our time, do we? There’s the struggle, between our intuition and our immersion in our hectic lives, to make ourselves and our health a true priority. In our heart we know we want to, but in our unconscious mind, we make excuses why it’s more important to spend our time on other pursuits.

Here’s the secret…make those unconscious thoughts that stop us from taking care of ourselves conscious. It begins with purposeful awareness. Tune in and pay attention to what you are saying to yourself when you find yourself too busy to sit for 3, 5, or 10 minutes in the morning to be quiet and still. Set a purposeful intention for yourself that you are ready and interested in doing what it takes to take care of yourself. Talk kindly to yourself about this intention on a regular basis. Consciously change your story about where taking care of your health fits into your priorities. Literally envision, in your mind’s eye, how good it will feel. Tell yourself that of course you have time to sit for 3 minutes to start. Remind yourself that meditating is not taking time to do nothing, rather it is taking time to do something crucial for your health and well-being. Expect that there may be obstacles, and make that OK. We all know that obstacles and failures pave our path to success. When you skip a day, or two, instead of giving yourself a hard time about it, allow yourself to be human and simply try again. You see, as with most things, it’s all in your perspective. Ultimately, when we listen to our intuition and take the path it shows to us, the better we will feel inside and out.  And as the Zen proverb reminds us, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” Ha!

Suggested meditation links – all for free!
Sari Roth-Roemer YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRzQL1c0gVxmE1QDKBfC-qQ (try the Compassion Meditation or the Mountain Meditation)

UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC):
http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22  (Free mindfulness meditations from 3-12 minutes for relaxation, pain management and even sleep)
Buddhanet:
http://buddhanet.net/audio-meditation.htm (Try Calming the Body with the Breath 17 min meditation with Malcom Huxter)

Headspace:
https://www.headspace.com (simple free 10 min meditation instructional program)
DoYogaWithMe.com:
http://www.doyogawithme.com/yoga-meditation (yoga and meditation for kids and adults, all levels, all variety of times)

Enjoy…

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

(Thanks for the post link and the inspiration, sister!)

 

A quick, easy way to find some calm and internal balance when you need it. Simple, but powerful. Give it a try? …don’t forget to blow your nose first! 😉

Let your intuition be your guide,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

This brief meditation, adapted from Jon Kabat-Zinn, will help you find a place of stability and groundedness in the midst of emotional storms or difficult circumstances. Appropriate for any time you’d like to feel an increased sense of calm and emotional strength.

Go ahead, find a comfy chair, close your eyes and let yourself take 10 minutes just for you…

If you liked this meditation, consider looking at some of my other meditations on my Dr. Sari Roth-Romer YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRzQL1c0gVxmE1QDKBfC-qQ.

 

Happy_Ninja__Teddy_Bear_by_KamiNeko98The holiday season is here. For many of us it is a time of love and laughter with friends and family…and for some it is a time to face difficult family dynamics without losing our cool…or our minds. This is the season when people come into my office asking how to handle this mother-in-law, this uncle, this sister-in-law, and that brother. And it is the time when I remind these searching souls to look at this as a wonderful opportunity to practice compassion. I encourage each of them to become a compassion ninja. Ever at the ready to take a breath, not take the hurtful word personally, to step aside from the struggle, and to instead find the compassion in their hearts for the person they are having difficulty with. Let’s be clear, I am not saying that we don’t have a right to be annoyed at rude and unkind comments. What I am saying is that we have the ability to choose our response to any circumstance…and if we can choose a response that serves us best, we are the better for it. When we are able to look beyond the hurtful words, and understand that quite often there is simply human hurt and upset that really has nothing at all to do with us lurking beneath those words, we may find the compassion we need to let the words roll off our shoulders, allowing us to step aside from conflict and keeping our holidays peaceful.

The Compassion Ninja code:

  1. I set my compass for compassion – Before you head out to your holiday gathering, take a few moments to sit quietly and set your intention for the day. Will you carry compassion in your heart? Will you remain nonreactive? Will you focus on the love in the room? Whatever you choose is fine, just set your compass in that direction before you go.
  2. I stay calm and nonreactive – Remind yourself that your response is your choice. Don’t be goaded into joining arguments you don’t want to join…the choice is always yours. Simply saying “I love you too much to argue,” or smiling and changing the topic can slide you past an argument that you just don’t need to have.
  3. I Breathe – Before, during and after the party. Breathing gives us a chance to pause. It starts a physiologic process that helps keep us calm and focused.
  4. I remember that I am not alone – Remind yourself that you are part of the human race…at this very moment you are a member of a larger group of compassion ninjas ready to face misbehaved family members! You are not being punished, merely having a fully human experience.
  5. I hold onto my joy – Don’t take anything too seriously. Have fun and enjoy your holiday! When we let ourselves get too worked up in anticipation of upset, upset is just what we will find. So focus on what you love and enjoy about your family and friends…and love and laughter is what you will find.
  6. I practice compassion – Try starting your day with a simple, brief compassion meditation. The more you practice, the more the neural networks in your brain change, allowing you a quicker, easier, more automatic compassionate outlook…kinda like going to the brain gym!
    Take a look at this brief 7 minute guided meditation I made for you on YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoFpJCdJfyw

Here’s hoping your holiday season is filled with the light of compassion and loving kindness.

Let your intuition be your guide,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

To find out more about my upcoming events at Intuitive Psychology, PLC including the next December 18th workshop on Learning to Set Healthy Boundaries…the secret to happiness, take a look at this link:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/learning-to-set-healthy-boundariesthe-secret-to-happiness-tickets-13998029483

 

 

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How much of your day to you spend in a distracted state of mind? For many of us, the answer is much of the time. In our fast paced world our attention is often drawn from task to task, event to event, conversation to conversation, stopping only for brief periods of rest…and even those times of respite are becoming briefer and briefer for many of us.

Try this out for a quick moment… Set a timer for 3 minutes. Close your eyes and allow yourself to focus on your breath. Just simply observe and be aware of the natural steady rhythm of your breath for 3 minutes. If your mind wanders, just gently note that, and then bring it back to the breath. Got your timer set? Go…

How’d it go? How often did your mind wander from your breath? How quickly were you able to note it and bring it back? Were you able to catch your mind wandering or did the timer go off with you being lost in thought? Everyone will have their mind wander at some or many points during the exercise. For many of us, our minds will wander away from the breath quickly, often, and sometimes completely.

Now I have a challenge for you…in the popular time of challenges…I challenge you to take time to be still once a day. Just once a day, is all I am asking you to commit. Schedule purposeful time in your day to stop, be quiet, clear your mind and just breathe. You can take as short as five minutes or as long as an hour to be still in whatever way works for you…sit outside and look at the clouds and the trees, sit in your favorite chair and focus to your breath, lounge on your couch and listen to a quiet piece of music, turn your desk chair away from your computer and listen to a meditation app, go for a walk and feel a part of nature…however you want to do it is just fine…just do it. Take time out of your day for whatever amount of time works for you to purposefully pull yourself out of the distracting constant flow of information and be still. Are you willing to give it a try… if only for 5 minutes a day to start?

If your mind wanders at first, that’s fine. No need to be discouraged by that. That’s the normal process of training you mind to be quiet and still. It’s so used to being distracted. When you catch your mind wandering, instead of judging and scolding yourself for it, perhaps try smiling at yourself for being aware of your wandering mind and then gently bring it back to your breath. Paying attention to all of your senses is another nice trick to help keep you off of your thoughts and in the present moment. Sense your body on the chair, feel the air on your skin, hear the noises around you, notice the feeling of the breath coming in through your nose and out of your mouth, feel your clothes on your skin. Let your thoughts simply come and go. Observe them passing through your mind, without following them. Put them on a cloud or a leaf and let them float away. If they return, let them float away again. Most importantly do it all without judgment of yourself. Give yourself credit for taking the time to practice…and practice is just what this is. Every new skill takes time and practice to develop mastery. This is no different. Make sure that you are patient and kind with yourself as you learn this new skill. Maybe even allow yourself to be pleased that you are purposely taking the time to do this for you.

Observe what happens after a day, a week, a month, three months of practice. Observe the changes in your level of peace of mind, your ability to be less reactive, your ability to put your mind where you want it to go. If you commit to this daily change, you will be pleasantly surprised. Your mind will change. Your sense of inner peace will increase. Your ability to focus your attention will improve. You will feel more creative. Your health will benefit…all because you took time out each day to quiet your mind and be still.

There’s only one way to find out if what I am saying is true. Will you take the Stillness Challenge?

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

 

The Magic of Mindfulness, Thursday, September 18th at 6:30-8pm, Intuitive Psychology, PLC, Scottsdale, AZ:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-magic-of-mindfulness-the-time-is-now-tickets-12835020893

 

IMG00139-20100704-1817Trying hard to relax? Maybe don’t try so hard… Consider instead that forcing yourself to relax will rarely ever work, simply because relaxation is a a letting go…a release. To force relaxation is actually the opposite of what relaxation is all about. You have to allow it, rather than demand it. Instead of struggling against stressful emotions like fear, anxiety and anger…allow them to pass through. All too often, without meaning to, we hang on tightly to our emotions with the stories we tell ourselves. Put those stress-inducing stories down and let them go. Become aware of what you are saying to yourself, allow yourself to feel what you are feeling, let it be what it is and let it pass. Be mindful of your thoughts. Let  your story move from a story of fear and upset to a story of release and triumph. From “Oh no, this is terrible! I can’t do this!” to “It’s all right. In time, I will figure this out.” Breathe deeply, as if you are breathing in and out through your heart, then between your brows, and finally through the top of your head. Gently let go of your upset with each breath. Don’t push it away forcefully. Just breathe it out as if each breath is softly sweeping away the stress from your mind and from your heart. Tell yourself you will figure it out, even if you haven’t come up with the solution just yet. Focus on the present moment and what you can control right now. Put your mind where you want it to be. Meditate, go outside, move your body, sing your favorite song, call your favorite friend, cook your favorite meal, do anything that pleasantly absorbs your attention… Honor yourself for being human, with a full set of human emotions, as well as an amazing ability to be resilient and to pass through difficulty if you just allow it. Then smile to yourself, knowing that you’ve just cleared a space for that inner voice inside you to speak your answers freely…

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

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You’ve heard about mindfulness and want to learn more…then this workshop for you! Come take your lunch hour to join us on this dynamic adventure into mindfulness, with a twist of intuition. In this workshop you will learn how to enhance your awareness and make purposeful choices to shape your life in the direction you’d like to go.  The Thoughtful Thursday workshop series takes place on the 4th Thursday of every month, offering a variety of thought-provoking psychological and wellness topics. Each workshop in this series uncovers the biology behind the psychology, and gives you practical tools to change your mind and your brain to be a happier and healthier you.

Thoughtful Thursdays:

Mindfulness Explained

Thursday, April 25, 2013

12:00pm-1:15pm

5635 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 170
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
480-261-4061
http://www.intuitivepsychologyplc.com

Call 480-261-4061 to register now. Pre-registration required.
$50 registration (companion $25). Save 10% if you mention this blog post!

Come learn and have some fun while you’re at it. It’s time to take some well deserved time for yourself, isn’t it?

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

Screen shot 2013-04-02 at 1.20.18 PMHave you been exercising your compassionate nature?

Check out my latest article on the importance of fostering compassion in our lives in the new issue of http://www.az-lifestyle.com, Pages 61-63:

http://az-lifestyle.com/2013/4/413.html#p=62

The Beauty of Compassion

Human beings are social creatures by nature. We were designed to live cooperatively and to assist one another in the survival of our species. But in that very design of species survival we were also given an alarm system to warn us of potential danger. So we get anxious, we get scared, or we get angry in response to any type of perceived threat.  Back in cave people days, when threats happened only on occasion, that worked pretty well; fast forward to the modern digital age, when we see “threats” to our routine on not only a daily basis, but sometimes on multiple occasions throughout our day. A simple faceless text or email can send us into an orbit of upset. Relationships are impacted. Our ability to live cooperatively and compassionately has been compromised.

Think now about the last time you got upset with someone, whether from a faceless text or phone call, or a face-to-face interaction. How quickly did that feeling arise? How did it feel in your body? Did you hold on to the upset for a while or were you able to let it go fairly quickly? Many of us seem to have a tendency to hold onto our upset. Sometimes we even nurture it: “I can’t believe that person acted that way,” “What is wrong with them?” We stay stuck in our perception of what happened, justify our upset, and even feel deserving of it. But when we do that, we stay stuck in our upset too. Do we deserve that?

Compassion involves being able to step out of your own perspective and become aware that other perspectives exist. You don’t have to agree with the other perspective, but rather acknowledge that it’s there and that it feels valid to the other person, just as your own perspective feels valid to you. Compassion is the ability to understand the emotional state of another person or oneself, which is akin to empathy with the added element of having a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another. Compassion asks that you step out of your viewpoint and recognize that another viewpoint exists alongside yours.

So, how does this work? You are angry at someone and I am suggesting that you internally empathize with them? I am. The minute you are able to empathize and have compassion, your anger will diminish and you will feel better. More than that, you set a course for healing the emotional wound. What effect will holding on to anger have? It will keep you in your anger and upset. But there’s more… Recent research on compassion shows significantly positive health benefits: people who practice daily compassion meditation are found to have brain changes associated with improved stress response, improved immune function, improved ability to receive support from others, improved mood, reduced anxiety, improved ability to recognize other’s emotion and improved overall sense of well-being and life satisfaction. Wow!

Compassion isn’t just for others though. How kind are you to yourself these days? Research shows that this is different than self-esteem, or holding yourself in high positive regard. High self-esteem actually has its down sides. It can create narcissism, a better-than attitude, and can create interpersonal distance rather than connectedness. Self-compassion, on the other hand, allows for self-kindness rather than self-judgment; allows for being an imperfect human in kinship and connection with other imperfect humans; and allows for an appreciation of where you are in the present moment rather than over-personalizing situations. In fact, studies on self-compassion show that self-compassion is associated with more stable feelings of self- worth over time, less social comparison which often leads to shame, less self-consciousness, and reduced anger. Starting to sound pretty good isn’t it?

So, how do you do it? How do you get from anger to compassion in heated situations with yourself or others? You meditate on compassion daily. Seriously. That research that I’ve been mentioning – it has been on people who practice compassion meditation daily. It’s that simple.

In your mind and your heart, say to yourself, then to someone you love unconditionally, then to someone you are in conflict with, then to someone you don’t know very well, then to the whole world:
May I/you/we be filled with loving kindness
May I/you/we be well
May I/you/we be peaceful and at ease
May I/you/we be happy

Give it try. Practice it daily for a month and notice the difference in you. So much to gain, and so very little to lose…

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

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Spring has sprung! Are you ready for the new beginnings it’s offering us? Maybe this year make a point of starting something new that you’ve been waiting and wanting to do, but just haven’t gotten around to yet?

The earth is opening up in all her glory to us. Spring is quite literally the season of creativity; so don’t miss out on the gift of inspiration being offered to you. Look around you at the new leaves, flowers, baby birds. Immerse yourself in the sights, scents, and sounds of all the new activity around you. Allow the newness to motivate you, moving you out of your winter inertia and into a something wonderful. It can be as small or as large as you’d like: a new recipe, a new art project, a new business idea, a new path to work. It’s all up to you. Just make it something new and new different.

  • Make a point of spending a few moments outside each day.
  • Be fully present and aware of the new energy that surrounds you.
  • Breathe it all in. Allow yourself to feel connected to and part of it all with each breath.
  • Ask yourself,”what path shall I take now?” Be open to the answer. It may just surprise you.
  • Let the ideas grow and develop each day as you take a little time for you and your creative thoughts.

What do you think? It’s surprising what you can accomplish when you allow yourself to take the time; even just for a few moments. Ready to give it a try?

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

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