Last weekend, I was delighted to hear that my Qigong classes in
the outdoors had started. Qigong is a physical meditative
practice that has its roots in ancient Chinese medicine. It is purported to
help harmonize, strengthen, and heal the functioning of all the internal organs
and bodily systems. It increases the supply and flow of energy throughout the
body, can have a variety of rejuvenating effects and is believed to increase
longevity, and it induces calm mental and emotional states.
I attended classes on both Saturday and Sunday and it was a refreshing way to start both days. Unfortunately, due to a skiing mishap, I have been forced to stay off my devices. However, as I enjoyed the fresh air and moving of qi during my Qigong class, I realized this break from the digital realm was a gift.
I am taking April as an opportunity to find internal harmony in my body. While the stress and restrictions on life have taken a physical toll, I have made it my task to tune into my sensory experience and try to calm my nervous system with qigong, rest and breath. I encourage you to do the same as we continue this marathon towards a safer and more social society.
We have had to restructure almost every aspect of our daily
lives, but educational institutions have seen some the most drastic of all
changes. I see it with my son and his friends at university, I feel it when I
am giving talks through video conferencing platforms, I hear about it from my
staff with little ones...
But in many cases, young people are adapting better than the adults among us. One thing Covid-19 has reminded me is how resilient the human brain is. Scientists like Barbara Oakley demonstrate that we have come so far to adapt to new learning conditions. Humans are hungry for knowledge, and will find a way to learn regardless of the situation.
This month, I urge to you to take comfort in the fact that your body and brain were designed to adapt to stressful situations. You are an extremely well designed machine that will care for you even when the goings get tough. Trust that your body will help you overcome whatever hurdles come your way.
Learning to work with your breath will be the greatest gift you can give yourself this spring. Breath is a method of reminding our body we are safe. Even when we intellectually know we are not in danger, our bodies can register a looming threat (like an international pandemic). Neuroscientists recommend focusing on a long exhale as a reminder to our neurosystems that all is well.
Banish Your Phone!
If you’re like me, when the phone is within arm’s reach it’s so tempting to grab and start scrolling. Try to keep your handheld devices outside your bedroom and keep your rest area a phone-free zone. I keep my charger in the living room, and keep my device charging there overnight.
2. Find Your Golden Hour
Maybe it’s the blissful hour before your spouse wakes up, maybe it’s the hour after work while you are preparing dinner, maybe it’s at 2 am...just make sure you schedule time every day to stay away from your device and just enjoy. As you get used to this experience, you can start expanding your time away from screens and computers.
3. Read Physical Books and Newspapers!
Yes - it may seem like an antiquated practice, but if you read from a book or paper, you’ll be less tempted to open your social media or get distracted by colourful pop ups! Rebuild your attention span and read a physical book.
4. Enjoy Sketching
Sketching is proven to have a whole host of cognitive benefits, and will keep your hands busy away from your phone! Similar to meditation, it forces you to concentrate on an item beyond yourself. Buy yourself a sketch pad, go sit in the backyard and get sketching!
Administrative assistants, coordinators and receptionists allow our organizations to flourish. This year, don’t let Administrative Professionals Day pass by unacknowledged. Taking place on April 21st, this holiday provides a perfect opportunity for you and your organization to say thanks. Your admin staff often work behind the scenes, and their contributions should be shouted from the rooftops. If you need ideas about how to say thank you, check out our blog post here.
One of my passions is speaking
and igniting others to live with gratitude. I have been fortunate to continue
expanding my presentation roster, and move my events to online platforms. Check
out some of my upcoming events and send me an email if you would like to
inquire about my talks.
March 9th 2021 - International Women’s Day Talk – Garnering Everyday Happiness with Abundance in a Box.
April 20th 2021 - The Rotary Club - Covid and Abundance
Mindy offers a reminder on the value of expressing gratitude as the impact of Covid-19 continues to reverberate through our personal and professional relationships. Please email email@example.com for meeting link.
Remember, our bodies and minds were built to withstand a great amount of hardship. I believe we can individually and collectively overcome the challenges of this year. Take time to check in with yourself this month, especially your breath. Move your attention inward to be present with yourself and observe your internal strength as you move through this year.
All my very best,