Wednesday, June 30, 2021

FYI Email Subscribers

Since my first It Is What It Is blog post in August, 2010, Google Blogger has been the content management system hosting service I’ve chosen to use. In July, email subscribers will no longer be supported through the web feed management service on Blogger known as Google Feedburner.

What this means to you - you will no longer receive an email notification when I publish new posts. While this has been convenient for my email subscribers, it does not mean the website will cease to exist. For now, email subscribers will need to log into It Is What It Is at from time to time to see if I have posted.

Currently, I'm looking at the future of It Is What It Is and alternative hosting services. Email subscriptions may be available once again at a later date. Stay tuned...

Take care,

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Thinking About What You Are Thinking

Mindfulness is thinking about what you are thinking!

As children we are naturally open to asking questions. But somewhere along the way we got sidetracked and stopped asking. With this exercise, let’s release that inner child and explore questions.

Consider your thoughts, your feelings, and ultimately your actions (behavior) by paying more attention and begin asking questions. A simple way to bring this to mind is anytime you have the thought, I like, or I don’t like, go beyond the thought or feeling and ask yourself WHY? Then keep asking why until you run out of answers. The more you do this, the more you will learn about yourself. This mindfulness practice will guide you to making better decisions. Trust me on this - this is huge!!!

Here are some examples to get the ball rolling and your mind used to the practice of asking questions:
  • You see an outfit on someone you think looks really great. WHY do you think so? Is it the fit, color, fabric, or maybe the person looks really happy or confident? On the flip side of it – you see an outfit on someone and you notice it doesn’t look good at all. WHY? When you do this enough you not only end up with answers that help you make better decisions when you are buying your own clothes, you find yourself asking questions in all sorts of situations.
  • You are thinking the sunset is beautiful. WHY do you think so? Remember our last two exercises when we focused on our five senses? Let’s put them into action. What do you see? What do you hear? Is there a scent you notice? Are you eating or drinking something that invokes a lovely flavor while you focus on the sunset? How do you feel? Do you feel happy or calm? If it’s a good feeling, perhaps you should be watching more sunsets. Being mindful will bring you more than just happy or calm. It will bring you understanding and a deeper peace.
  • You just yelled at your child. WHY, and WHY, and WHY? But ultimately, was it about the child, or about you? Maybe you’re the one who needs the time out! Aha! See how this thinking about what you are thinking works?

I learned to do this exercise many years ago while taking design classes. It helped me see things in a new light. It’s fun and can be a very interesting and revealing. It’s an observational exercise that I continue to do as I explore my thoughts, feelings, and actions at any given time. With this exercise I have learned why I think, feel, and do. I have learned more about me by asking myself WHY. And I found that the why’s were just the beginning of the questions I asked myself.

Allow yourself to be open to the changes that are ahead. Changes? You can’t help but change when the answers reveal patterns and pieces you didn’t even know about. When you ask yourself enough questions you begin to put the puzzle of your life together through mindfulness thinking.

Take care,

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Breathing in Nature

A walk in nature walks the soul back home.
Mary Davis

For the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring our five senses to better understand what we see, hear, smell, taste and feel. We checked with ourselves throughout the day and gave thought to these amazing senses in order to expand our mindfulness awareness. Now, let’s take it outside and breathe-in nature the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing - taking in the forest). This is not just a walk in the woods. It’s an immersion of each of our senses - a communion with the natural environment.

Don’t worry if you don’t have an actual forest to walk around in. The idea here is surrounding yourself with the natural environment. I have found the more I am engaged in any form of Mother Nature’s loveliness, the more peace filled I become. Let’s begin...
  • Find your walking rhythm in an outside space of your choosing.
  • Take a few slow and deep breaths to begin, and let go of everything going on in your head.
  • Walk, pause and breathe. Ask yourself what you see. Continue to walk, pause, breathe and see for a bit before moving to another sense.
  • I like to close my eyes when I pause to take in the sounds, smells, flavors and feelings. Each time I repeat my concentration of one sense, I notice a bit more than I did moments ago.
  • After walking and infusing your senses, you may want to find a place to sit and linger. Immerse yourself by breathing deeper into the natural setting.
The more you bring awareness to your senses, you become more in tune with your surroundings. When you have experienced this space, you can recall it anytime by focusing on what your senses remember.

It’s the end of spring, and summer is just around the corner. Find more time and calm space for yourself outdoors to simply be in nature by breathing-in nature. Continue with this practice as often as possible. It will create a space of calm and wonder, and open a space for your mind to rest.

Take care,

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