Making a change? The mindfulness key

mindfulness meditationSTOP whatever you’re doing and SMELL where you are… take a long, slow, lazy sniff of this moment and watch its molecular landscape paint itself across your brain. Now draw a few shorter more urgent breaths and pay close attention to new layers and nuances that add texture, peaks and valleys to this internal mapping. Continue reading

Making a change? The REAL reason to risk the void!

shocked face
I’m so embarrassed! I’m sitting here trying to deny the complete inaccessibility of this morning’s post, not to mention its stomach churning irony. Ever push a truth so far it turned into its own satire? Just spent 3 hours picking the ‘right’ words for a painfully intellectualized argument for genetic honesty pursued through epigenetics and personal consciousness to ease universal energy flow… ya I’m WTF-ing along with you. Continue reading

Making a change? Why risk the void?

leap of faith
Short answer… So you can tell the truth. Not some sort of accountability to your friends and family bullshit, but permission to express and experience your genetic truth at a cellular level. This is clean energy flow. This is bliss. This is what Oprah’s driving at, what we’re all reaching for, but we’re missing the point by expanding its definition into our human social systems. Continue reading

5 Tips for staying human at the office

office phoneDenying or suppressing our humanity while at work can lead to tragic consequences… depression, anxiety, illicit stairwell trysts, office shootings, or the time my boss found me sitting on ‘the new guy’s’ desk after a drunken Christmas luncheon, performing an erotic reading of an article I’d found in a seismic geophysics magazine on the evolution of the scientific method – oh gawd the horror, the shame! Don’t let this happen to you! We are at our best and brightest when we stay connected to our passions and personalities. The following five tips are simple survival strategies to help you keep hold of your sanity and soul at your own office day job:

1) As counterintuitive as it feels, as hard as it is to say… go on, admit it, you WANT to be sitting there. If you don’t believe me, click here for compelling neurological proof.

2) Personalize, personalize, personalize! You don’t have to go as far as my art installation office phone pictured in the photo above. emoticon phone stickersEven I have to admit it might be getting a wee bit over-accessorized; I messed up twice the last time I had to dial our Xerox technician’s number on my emoticon keypad. A couple of your favourite pictures, inspirational quotes/posters (although these can all too quickly slide into the ironic), or comic strips can add some mood enhancing personal colour and flair.

3) Practice mindfulness brain games to help you reengage with your tasks and surroundings in novel ways. Try focusing on the experience of one sense at a time or imagine that you’re exploring a museum exhibit showcasing long-outdated 21st century office supplies. Trust me – it can really open things up. Just don’t advertise your little field trip, especially if you’re the only employee already risking your professionalism (let alone dignity) by dialing with customized emoticons.

4) Oxygenate! If at all possible, incorporate plants into your office environment. Spider plants are surprisingly easy to sustain and provide the optional bonus of an interactive tactile relationship. Refuel the rest of your body with a living lunch. I don’t mean go hunting for something (or someone) skulking around on the third floor, but get creative with your limited office kitchen supplies and make yourself something worth waking up for.

5) Keep your fantasies out of the office! Breaking news – you are a sexual being. Acknowledge this honest truth and move on. And obviously, do not, under any circumstances, engage in drunken desk hopping this holiday season! Keep your daydreams focused on your future, your weekend, or if things get really bleak, pretend you’re embroiled in a multi-billion dollar international corporate espionage conspiracy while filing your next report. Regressive? Perhaps. Nerdy? Decidedly. But desperate times call for decidedly desperate measures.

funny stickerMost importantly, stay conscious (always a good place to start) and on guard for subliminal, and not so subliminal (like that stupid Chubb door sticker I have to try to ignore every morning!), social and environmental cues that threaten to compromise your value as a precious, uniquely wonderful human being. And if you manage to get out alive this Friday, have a fabulous, unabashedly human weekend!

What do you do to stay human at your 9 to 5 job?

Sense Scrolling – 3 minute blank canvas mindfulness meditation

Our brains process reality through a filter of attentions and associations (eg. chair, building, tree, etc.). These filters, developed over time through culture, coding, and experience, can limit our freedom to explore and evolve our internal/external lives. Sense scrolling is a insight mindfulness meditation designed to loosen immediate associations, heighten senses, and give our filters the flexibility to deepen/change the way we experience our world. This insight mindfulness meditation can be performed in under 3 minutes, anywhere you can be still with your eyes closed.
Step 1 – Smell: Close your eyes (for steps 1 – 4) and focus on your breathing. Take 5 deep nose breaths and concentrate on the smell and temperature of the air. Your entire world is limited to that smell. Define it’s layers and overall character.

Step 2 – Taste: Focus only on taste. Explore your mouth with your tongue and define the current balance of salty/sweet/sour/bitter. This taste is your world – hopefully a minty one. (note: this step, combined with step 4, can also be performed during any meal to focus and enhance the experience)

Step 3 – Hearing: Your world is only the surrounding air vibrations. Try to differentiate all distinct areas of sound and pinpoint their locations, moving clockwise from back left to center front to back right. Separate the layers of sound from low frequency to higher pitched vibrations. You’ll be shocked by your acuity!

Step 4 – Touch: Your body becomes your world. Is there any air flowing across your skin? What is it’s temperature? What is your temperature? Pick 2 or 3 parts of your body and focus on them one at a time. What are the internal/external sensations. Are your toes touching the end of your shoe? Are strands of hair blowing across your face? Are you putting more of your weight on one knee?

Step 5 – Sight: Starting with only a dark empty world, open one eye. Concentrate on colour contrasts (yellow leaves against a blue sky), shapes (single leaf), highlight/shadow, and repeating patterns (building windows). Now open the other eye to experience the wonder of full depth of field. Look for motion patterns and perspective distances. Now add your other senses. This is your world – and it’s magical!

Note: Over time, besides giving you greater freedom of perspective and attentions, sense scrolling mindfulness meditation will actively heighten your senses and give you the ability to focus acutely on any of the five in almost any situation. You’ll be able to walk familiar route as a soundscape, smellscape, coulourscape, rather than just a landscape. Trying a new food will become a fully engaging adventure. And sex… well, let’s not even go there~wink.