Encouraging women to evolve and create new opportunities at any age.

Enhancing Meditation


”The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh
In March, I recommended meditation as a wonderful resource:  no side effects, no prescription necessary and no cost, other than a few minutes every day.  I hope you have tried – and profited from – the exercise I suggested.  In the newsletter, I cited books by the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, as an additional resource. 

Having sent my newsletter draft on to our editor, Terry Gray, I sat down with a small book by Thich Nhat Hanh that I discovered on my bookshelf – where it lay, forgotten by me, for some time! 
I found the following wonderful exercise which serves as an extender of the one I provided in March. According to the Thich Nhat Hanh, we can feel relief, even in difficult moments, by doing this exercise.         
“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out. 
Breathing in, I notice that my in-breath has become deeper.
Breathing out, I notice that my out-breath has become slower. 
Breathing in, I calm myself.
Breathing out, I feel at ease.
Breathing in, I smile.
Breathing out, I release.
Breathing in, I dwell in the present moment.
Breathing out, I feel it is a wonderful moment.”
Here are the important instructions that go with this meditation – and they are the key to what makes it powerful. 

The first section – focusing on breathing in and out – helps you concentrate and focus on your body, letting go of thoughts and feelings that may have been bothering you.

The second section – focusing on breathing more slowly and deeply – reinforces your concentration and inner focus.

The third section – focusing on calm and ease – allows you to calm any emotions that make you less peaceful.  When you breathe out “ease”, you can picture being light and relaxed and begin focusing on well being.

The fourth section – is that of smiling and releasing.  As you breathe in, allow yourself to smile.  You can allow joy and peace to follow that smile, with the result that tension will decrease or even vanish.  When you say to yourself “release”, you can picture releasing whatever was creating the emotional distress, whether it was an idea, a fear, or a worry.

Finally, focus on the present moment – the only one in which you encounter yourself.  The only moment in which life is fully available.         

Looking to add some Calm to your  day?

Meditate, Sleep, Relax

This website offers meditation music tracks and beautiful nature scenes to aid your meditation and relaxation.  There is also an App available for iPhone.

The Aging Powerfully Award

If we had an award here at Eavesdropping – “The Aging Powerfully Award” – I would nominate a woman whose obituary appeared in our local newspaper recently.  She was about eight months shy of her 100th birthday, and I felt sad about that, but I was absolutely amazed at the details of her life.  
I had seen her at her son’s restaurant, where she worked most days. She and her late husband started the restaurant in the 1950’s, and it was then, and continues to be, a local landmark.  She took some time off from this business, teaching home economics at a local middle school for about ten years. 

Other than experiencing her as a pleasant, free spirit, I knew little about her. She stood out from the other waitresses mostly because she sang as she waited tables!  What I now know is that – in her 80’s - she climbed Machu Picchu, walked a section of the Great Wall of China, cruised down the Amazon River and planted a tree in the Amazon Rain Forest.  She volunteered at a local nursing home for over 40 years and taught Sunday school and sang in her church choir for 50 years. 
I nominate Pauline Ellen Macarthur for our first award. 

A link to more information about Pauline Ellen Macarthur.

Who would you nominate for the Aging Powerfully Award?

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Copyright © 2014 Kendra Brown, Ph.D, All rights reserved.

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