Three Ways to be a Fully Present Friend

Three Ways to be a Fully Present Friend Building friendships used to be such a difficult skill for me. I did not grow up with a lot of friends and my parents did not have a lot of friends around either. I naturally gravitated towards people but I always found myself just shy of being the most awkward or weirdest person in the room. That actually helped me to connect with many different people on many levels. However, I never could get as deep as I wanted to with people and found it very challenging to fully commit to be someone’s friend. It has only been within the last few years have I truly committed my personal time to developing and actively seeking friendships with others. I have learned that even though I possess  a natural gift to network with people, one skill I truly lacked was being “fully present” for someone. Being fully present means having your focus (attention, thoughts and feelings) all fixed on the person when you are with him or her. Multitasking gets in the way. Multitasking in the Western culture is seen as productive, a badge of honor, and a worthy skill. However, multitasking robs of really hearing, feeling and connecting with another human being. Friendships and romantic relationships often break down because at least one partner feels that they aren’t being heard or paid attention to the level they desire. Being present with someone is both an active and intentional action but reaps long-lasting, deep rewards in the long run. Here are three ways to be fully present friend or partner: Remove Distractions. Good...

3 Simple Ways to Add a 5 Minute Meditation to Your Day

It is a commonly held belief, in American culture, that there is not enough time in the day. This statement rings true certainly for me as I am sure it does for some of you too. I have to remember that there are many cultures where time is irrelevant, unimportant and even abundant. Part of living an intentional life is creating small moments that add up to a fulfilled life. Meditation has recently been in the public eye a lot lately; especially with the “invention” of meditation coloring books for adults. (I love mine by the way!)  And I am sure you have seen many articles posted and re-posted on schools introducing meditation into the classroom to calm students down and to perform better in their academic studies. Even influential medical journals are showing the scientific benefits to the brain and improved body functions from daily meditation. Meditation takes on many forms but most people think you have to sit in a complicated pose and be still for long periods of time. Meditation can actually be the opposite of that. Meditation’s purpose is to bring awareness to your body and as well as an inner peace and stillness. For some, meditation seems like a scary thing or too hard. Meditation can be: time spent in prayer, running early in the morning for two miles, painting an abstract color form on canvas, sitting in a chair and studying the trees waving in the wind; or even, a walk along the beach listening to the waves crash in to the sand. Meditation doesn’t have to be an intimidating “thing”. Actually, its’...
There is No Such Thing as Balance

There is No Such Thing as Balance

“There is no such thing as balance. There’s work, and there’s life, and there’s no balance,” Sheryl Sandberg , COO of Facebook in 2012 In some respects, I agree with Sheryl’s statement that there is no such thing as balance.  As a working woman and entrepreneur, I quickly began to understand that the belief of “when I find balance” or wishing for “balance” in my life was really just a load of crap!  There is no such thing. But what there is is living a life in harmony with my beliefs, my desires, and what is most important to me. Balance implies that everything is equal and stationary; life is just not this way. Nature itself is never in a state of balance but rather it all lives in harmony. The natural world is in a constant state of flux and so are we. But what we do have, that nature does not have, is the ability to transform our experience so that we live in harmony with life. Here are just a few ways to live life in harmony: Accept your loved ones as they are today. You can’t change people. Period. What you can do is change who you are and know that as you change, the way you interact with your loved ones will change too. Allow no one to make you feel ashamed, guilty, or insecure. No one has the permission to make you feel you anything. Actually, you allow others to treat you the way they do. Without your consent, they just can’t treat you like crap. Instead, spend more time with people who...