By Ellie McAtee - General Manager, One Steamboat Place
In this day and age the paradigm of serenity can sometimes be a distant vision and tough to attain. That said, we are the determinates of our lives. Things happen and “stuff” comes up, but at the end of the day our reactions are a choice. Sometimes we can be in an uncomfortable situation and our response is surmountable to Buddha or the Dalai Lama. Other times the slightest trigger turns us into the incredible hulk, or a version of ourselves that we typically keep well hidden under lock and key.
In order to ride the wave of good, bad or whatever label we attach to circumstances, following are seven practices to experiment with:
1) Mindfulness ~
Not the mind filling with random thoughts, the ability to consciously connect and be aware in situations. If we look at “Newton’s Third Law,” for every action there is an equal in size reaction. This is often thought of as “Karma.” Before speaking, doing or answering, ask yourself “Is this necessary? Is this kind? Is this of benefit?” If not, maybe take a second look at the “why” and delay response or reaction by “sleeping on it”.
2) Self-Care ~
“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” ~Brian Andreas ~ It took me 39 years to really grasp the need for self-care. Yes I heard the ongoing response of “Fill your cup, so you can fill up others.” I didn’t get it until finally one day the light bulb clicked and I recognized not taking individual time for me meant a less mindful way of being (see #1). Taking time for a hike with the dogs or making an unrushed cup of morning tea, an early night with quality rest, a yoga class, a long drive with a meaningful podcast or Ted Talk – Experiment to see what works for you, what leaves you feeling refreshed, revitalized and happy. That is the underlying cause of well-being (being well).
3) Deep Breaths ~
“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” ~Sanskrit proverb ~ In the west we are renowned for using approximately 25% of our lung capacity. Unless really focusing on breathing, we take short sharp “upper lung” breaths. When we have a deep sigh we utilize a greater capacity of the lungs and immediately feel the benefits of release. The western world is said to take on average 23,040 breaths a day. For enlightenment, the Buddha is said to take 108. Proper respiration results in a calming of the mind, body and thus the central nervous system. Proper respiration also lowers the center of gravity for better balance, can lower and stabilize blood pressure, reduces tension and anxiety, enhances focus and increases energy.
4) Slow Down ~
“Time and health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted” ~ Denis Waitley ~ How many lists do you create on a daily basis? How frequently are you running from one meeting or appointment to another? How much can you really fit into a day? What would it take for you to slow down and what is stopping you from doing so? Simple questions, but the society we have created drives for more and more and more and more. With this we can tangibly see the increase in stress, anxiety, disease, accidents, disharmony with families and a general sense of urghhh. When following the three prior practices by being mindful and slowing each action down, we become aware of nuances, habits or patterns which then become choices. We become aware of our breath and where we may be stuck. Additionally, we become aware of the big question “Why?” Why am I rushing around, and what am I missing? Why do I need to fill my schedule so full that I create unnecessary stress and anxiety?
5) Turn Off the Electronics ~
“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” ~ Buddha ~ How distracted are you when having a conversation? Are you focused on multi-tasking, answering emails, posting to social media? What would it mean if phones and electronics were off during meals and table exchanges flowed? How much more connected would we be and how much more would we learn from our kids, spouses, significant others by leaning in and paying attention to the being in front of us. No distractions, just pure concentration on what is truly important. The gift of “Off” allows us to really switch off from the world. Try it during a meal, then increase in length to an hour, two hours, a morning, a day, a weekend. Experiment with how sleep patterns change, how relationships change, how settled your inner self becomes.
6) Express Gratitude ~
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~ Meister Eckhart ~ Authentically, when you awaken, take a moment to look around and find something or someone you can be grateful for. Say it to yourself, say it to them, say it out loud. You will be amazed at how this start will transform your day. As the day continues, carry on expressing “thanks” everywhere you can. When someone holds the door or elevator, thank them. At the coffee shop, grocery store, gym, school, and workplace, connect by looking the person in the eye and genuinely proclaiming “thank you.” That individual homage may turn that person’s day around. It may be the first thanks they have received. “Good vibes” create more “good vibes,” so spread it around.
7) Conscious Eating ~
The necessary act of eating can become a mindful and profound experience ~ Thich Nhat Hahn ~ The concept of food having energetic properties that defy measurement has been around for thousands of years. The "Doctrine of Signatures" sees food as a metaphor, in which the structure or function of a plant or animal reveals its nutritive and healing purposes. See prior practices, tune in to your food, begin to notice the deeper aspects of food, and observe how it may affect you beyond calories and fat grams. Turn off electronic devices, slow down, sit at the table, really look at what you're eating and notice its shape, texture, color and offer gratitude. As you're eating, pay attention to how the food feels in your body. Maybe you notice some are warmer or cooler (not temperature based but actually how they feel in your body). Do some make you feel more grounded, or more open and spacious? The more aware you are, the more likely you are to have a healthy and satisfying eating experience. Following eating, check if your sense of satisfaction is high or low. Are you consuming a normal, proper-size portion or an extreme portion? When you finish eating, are you content or uncomfortable? When we consciously engage our attention, our eating tends to be appropriate. When our consciousness is distracted by some other compelling need, we are far less attentive to the eating experience and we may eat to our detriment. Along with eating, drinking enough water is of great importance. Our bodies are comprised of over 80% water. It is vital to our survival and is recommended that you drink your equivalent weight in fluid ounces daily. Good hydration practice can assist with the body maintaining a constant temperature, removing toxins and waste, lubricating joints, reduction of headaches, reduced tiredness, increased concentration, and even increased mental performance.
To learn more about ownership opportunities at One Steamboat Place, please contact us at 970.875.1000 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.