Years ago, when I was in my 30s, I conducted a television interview with a Zen Buddhist priest about the transformative power of meditation. At the time, I’d dabbled with various types of meditation, but certainly didn’t practice it regularly and couldn’t attest to its benefits. While I really liked the priest and everything she […]
What does it mean to dance with life? When we dance with life, we take energy in and give it back to the world in a graceful exchange. We engage with every aspect of life, at every moment, with every breath. Here are five practices to take you deeper into the dance. 1. Celebrate who […]
The way I see it, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers. It’s a day for remembering love in its many forms and, whether or not we are partnered, we can put romance in our lives with simple practices that cultivate meaning, joy, connection, and richness. Here are some of my favorite ways to fall in […]
Toni Bergins, MEd, founder and director of JourneyDance™, has helped thousands of people find a new sense of self-esteem, inner wisdom, emotional health, spiritual practice, and well-being. She leads an international team of hundreds of JourneyDance Teachers, spreading joy and passion for life. www.journeydance.com Q Describe what you do in 15 words or less. A […]
The following heart-based meditation comes from the Institute of HeartMath, in Boulder Creek, California, and is a wonderful technique to redirect the mind and replace negative emotions with positive ones.
First, get your body in a comfortable, relaxed position and focus on breathing slowly and rhythmically, so that the length of your inhalations and exhalations are about the same. Find a breath rate that feels sustainable for you. Next, bring your awareness to the center of your chest and imagine your breath flowing in and out of your heart center. As you continue to breathe in and out of your heart, remember a time when you felt a positive emotion such as gratitude, joy, or love.
Think about being with loved ones, a beloved pet, appreciation for the good things in your life. This associative memory generates a positive emotion. If you can’t recall such a memory, then simply imagine a positive feeling moving in and out of your heart as you breathe. If your mind wanders, gently return to the positive feeling, allowing the sensations of gratitude, love, or joy to flow with your breath. Continue to circulate this heartfelt feeling for a few breaths, or even for a few minutes. Then pause to notice the effects of the practice.
The fields of Positive Psychology, mind-body medicine, yoga, and the spiritual disciplines offer wisdom—culled from research and centuries of experience—that can sustain our unique over-40 needs. Here are five of these wisdom teachings.
1. Remember that change is possible at any time. Not only is our brain plastic (able to be “remapped” toward greater health, calm, memory, and reduction of pain) but also our thoughts and feelings can be reshaped on a daily basis. We can begin to experience positive transformation within days—a transformation that can be sustained over a lifetime.