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

March Meditations 

“Now and then it’s good to pause 
in our pursuit of happiness  
and just be happy.”  

Guillaume Apollinaire
Easy for some to say, you might be thinking, but the gifts of joy and happiness are available to most of us, regardless of everyday irritations, conflicts and frustrations.
In an earlier newsletter, I wrote about the power of positive thinking and the current wealth of research in this area.  The bookshelves of libraries and bookstores now contain many self-help books with various techniques and strategies to facilitate this kind of thinking.  Much of the work falls under the category of “cognitive behavioral” studies and therapy.

What I’m recommending, however, is actually simpler than that.  This “technique” doesn't require your spending money on a self-help book, nor does it require spending a lot of time or energy.  I’m recommending meditation. 

The “gifts” of meditation are numerous and may include: 
  • a sense of joy
  • clarity of mind for problem solving
  • easing of stress
  • health benefits (as we now know it can aid the immune system)

I’m currently facilitating a group of women who are enthusiastic about the benefits of this new practice in their lives.  It has been informative for me, as the “teacher” too!

Here is an exercise to get you started.  It is very simple.  It involves nothing more than just breathing – regular everyday breathing, with a clever twist. 
To begin:  find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted by the noise of telephones, television, etc. 

Sit comfortably, with feet uncrossed. 

Read the following instructions, then close your eyes and enjoy doing this exercise!

     Inhale for a count of 4, then
     Hold your breath for a count of 4, then
     Exhale for a count of 8. 
     These 3 steps equal One Cycle. 
     With eyes closed, do 10 cycles. 
     Keep track of the cycles by “ticking” them off on your fingers.  
I've been certified in hypnosis for over 20 years, and I admit I was dismissive of this exercise as just “another breathing exercise” when a Harvard professor at a stress reduction seminar presented it.  However, after trying it, I was converted!  Counting the cycles keeps you in the exercise and reduces the likelihood that your thoughts will stray.  Over the years since I've learned this exercise, many clients tell me, with amazement, it’s the only one that has ever worked for them.

I’ll be providing some more exercises in future newsletters.  I hope this one will start you on your path to nurturing yourself through meditation and relaxation.

Kendra Brown
From the bookshelf:

This month's bookshelf collection includes some favorites along with highly recommend reads on mediation.  
What meditation titles are on your bookshelf?  

Share your favorites:

Charlotte Joko Beck wrote a gem of a book on meditation, Now Zen.  I like it because it’s small, well written, and easy to understand.  She has written a number of books on meditation and they are available through Amazon.  I haven't read them, so I can't recommend them.  However, if you have, please e-mail us your comments.  We'd love to hear from you!
Thich Nhat Hanh
is a Buddhist monk and Christian philosopher and author.  His books are also available on Amazon.  His website is: Plum Village

10% Happier

How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing my Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works—A True Story

By Dan Harris

Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.
See the Dan Harris Nightline video: ABC News Log Journey 10% Happier
The Chopra Center has a 21 Day Meditation Experience starting 4/14/2014. The series is titled Oprah & Deepak Finding Your Flow- click here to learn more.
Visit the website for details about future events:  
We’d love for you to attend. Events Page
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Copyright © 2014 Kendra Brown, Ph.D, All rights reserved.

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