Those who know me know that I’m not the type who can sit still for long. Hell, I even wrote a lengthy guide on how an active person like myself can meditate without sitting still.
The exercises I outlined in that article work well for me. In place of a 20-minute meditation, the article explores a dozen or so activities (emphasis on the active part) that have helped me achieve a meditative-like state.
But what if I need to calm down quickly when the circumstances call for it? Like if I need to steady my nerves before a presentation? …
I’d like you to think about habit-building like a guitar player thinks about his fingers.
Imagine picking up a guitar for the first time and noticing these thin, taut wires strung along the length of a flat wooden board, hovering about two or three millimeters above it.
Using just the tips of your fingers, you need to press these wires over and over again, with a high level of pressure, into the board.
Your fingertips probably aren’t going to like you too much after that.
But if you keep at it for a few weeks, your fingers will become desensitized…
About the time my daughter was learning to crawl, I came across a study demonstrating that a test called the “sitting-rising test” could predict mortality risk in elders. The test asks you to sit down on the floor from a standing position and then get back up without using anything for support, like your hands, knees, or a chair.
As I was sitting down with my daughter one minute, and getting up to chase her across the room the next minute, it dawned on me that I could turn this parenting thing into a game. …
I don’t know if it’s my obsessive-compulsive nature or my tendency to smash about four regular-size Twix bars in a single sitting, but somewhere along the line, I decided that eating clean is an all-or-nothing proposition for me. And I mean ultra clean.
So over and over again for several years, I would set myself some strict rules, spend four to six weeks following them to a T, and then slowly but surely fall off the wagon and end up back at square one.
Or so I thought it was square one.
About the fourth time around, it started to…
…every organism — from paramecium to pachyderm — is born, lives out its days, and dies influenced by a complex web of rhythms interwoven in time.” — Ernest Rossi, The 20-Minute Break
Science has discovered a number of biological rhythms that play out in our lives on scales both large and small. This field of study is called chronobiology, underscoring the intricate relationship between our biological rhythms and time itself.
By understanding how these internal rhythms operate, we can learn to use them to our advantage.
Many people are probably familiar with circadian rhythms. These are biological rhythms that play…
I moved to Australia in my late 20’s, and I’ve remained here for more than a decade. One of my prized possessions is my authentic didgeridoo. What I love about it is that it allows me to practice better breathing, while it simultaneously emits a soothing vibratory hum that allows me to enter a clam state of mind. But before I go into all of that, a little history lesson…
Table of Contents
=================Why Active Meditation?Part I: Breathing
Yoga Method to Breathe Deeply
POWERbreathe and Similar Gadgets for Deep Breathing
Pranayama Exercise for Energy: Fire Breath
Pranayama Exercise for Calming: Bee Breathing
Pranayama Exercise for Centering: Hissing BreathPart II: Stream of Consciousness
Morning Pages Stream-of-Consciousness Writing
“I Am Aware” Partner ExercisePart III: Other Exercises
Osho Dynamic MeditationConclusion
For years, I tried and failed to get into meditation. It didn’t matter how many friends recommended it, how many guided meditation apps I tried, or how many benefits I read about.
Just as season 7 episode 5 of Song of Ice and Fire (i.e. Game of Thrones) was airing on TV sets throughout Australia, some Sydneysiders were taking the “ice” part quite seriously. I was one of them.
The Iceman Wim Hof was in town last night, leading a demonstration and training session in The Wim Hof Method, a system of practice designed to teach people how to withstand cold temperatures by using the breath and by maintaining mental focus.
Hof has steadily been gaining a worldwide following on the back of his many cold weather feats and 26 Guinness World…
“Why are you always so hard on yourself?” a colleague asked me after I psychologically flagellated myself for having a coffee with him, in spite of my “no latte” challenge.
“I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because I grew up new Pennsylvania, and some of that Puritan mindset crept in?” I responded.
That’s when it hit me that I was going about this whole self-improvement thing all wrong. Instead of coolly, confidently and enthusiastically pursuing new heights of ability and awareness, I was resigning myself to a fate of self-denial and pseudo-asceticism.
If you don’t know, asceticism refers to a lifestyle…
There’s nothing like a long weekend. An extra day off work, additional time spent with loved ones, a trip out of town. Did I forget anything?
Unfortunately I forgot something important… the string of healthy habits I started to build but hadn’t fully internalized. So maybe I should say “there’s nothing like a long weekend to derail several weeks’ worth of progress.”
Sounds a bit cynical, I know. But bear with me, there’s a happy ending.
Perhaps I should start at the beginning.
My girlfriend and I planned the perfect getaway for Australia Day weekend — a short trip to…