D.I.Y. Therapy

A Sunny (Not Necessarily Cheerful) Mindfulness Practice

I will start with this disclaimer: Sunny mindfulness doesn’t need to be cheerful.
One of my favorite things to do is when it’s not roasting outside, is sit in the sun and get a warm Vitamin D bath. Last week I turned sitting into the sun into a mindfulness practice. So let’s get started.
Find a place, any place that is sunny, where you can comfortably sit or stand.
Get comfortable, but not so comfortable that you fall asleep.
Start with three deep breaths. All the way into your belly. Make these good, long breaths to help your body slow down.
Roll your shoulders, and gently shift your head from side to side. Wiggle your arms at your side, wiggle your toes and stretch out your legs. Now relax.
Notice where the sun is falling on your body. Is it everywhere or just certain parts? How does it feel? Is it warming you up or do you barely notice it?
Wherever it feels good, breathe into that space. Focus on the sensations in your body by scanning your body from the tip of your toes to the top of your scalp.
Enjoy this moment. Be grateful that you have time to stop and be present.
Listen to the message of your body. Notice where you feel pressure, aches, warmth, coolness, any feeling at all. Notice it, but don’t worry about it. All you need to do now is enjoy the sunshine.
Stay here until you want to move into the next moment of your beautiful life. Once that moment arrives, take a deep breath. Visualize the air moving down into your belly filling you up with delicious oxygen. Watch as it moves up your stomach, through your lungs, into your throat and then set it free.
Wish yourself well, thank the sun, and be on your way.

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I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and other creative healing projects, like “Cultivating Radical Self-Love: A Collaboration of Healers, Artists & Writers“.

Book Reviews

Book Review “Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth” by Catherine Auman LMFT.

In the book, “Shortcuts to Mindfulness: 100 Ways to Personal and Spiritual Growth” by Catherine Auman, LMFT, I like how the author begins with the harshest truth of individual empowerment, “It’s a painful process; there are no two ways about it.”

From my own experience  with therapy there are no easy fixes when it comes to self-development. It takes patience, work and a desire to practice what we learn. I felt like her 100 shortcuts are very powerful for long-term change. I say this with the wisdom of experience as much of her advice are things I learned when I first decided to commit to change and a few I’m still in the process of learning.

Some of my favorite shortcuts were knowing its okay to not be happy all the time, that meditation is a great tool to take control of our thoughts and that listening to music with positive messages can boost your physical and emotional strength.

While most self-help authors stick to one particular point in our quest for self-love, Catherine highlights simple actions and ideas we can use to create change in ALL aspects of our lives when we choose, without weighing ourselves down by taking on too much work.

I recommend this book for those who are just starting on the path of individual empowerment as well as those who are looking for more guidance.

Find her book at http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Auman-LMFT-Shortcuts-Mindfulness/dp/B00RWS8TCY

I contacted Catherine and asked her to share her favorite mindfulness practice. Below is her response.

“My favorite mindfulness practice is when I can remember, to remind myself to BE in the present moment. Not the past, not the imaginary future. If the past or the future want attention, I will give it to them, then gently return, as I can, to the perfect now.

This is also one of my shortcuts, because if we could be in the moment, now, there would be no need for any other practice.

Of course, being human, I still struggle with this. But more and more, it seems less like a struggle, and more like a leela, the play of life.” Catherine Auman

 

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