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Young Woman Standing with Arms Stretched OutUnplug and just “be”


Be in the moment. Take 15 minutes and simply disconnect from life as usual and connect with your self and your surroundings.


From the time we get up until the time we go to bed we are running.  Even when it is time to relax we are bombarding our thoughts and minds with media sites, posting, texting, zoning out with TV, video games, and on and on and on. All the things we must do, should have done or ought to do. I get tired just writing about it.


I propose a 15 minute reprieve from the madness of the day to day business of life.


Yes, there is a lot we have to do to pay the bills and take care of our families. And it may seem like a ludicrous suggestion to add another 15 minutes to my list. And yet, it may be the most important 15 minutes of your day.


So here is how you unplug


Select a time when you can be alone. When you can relax and not think about the millions of things you have to do, must do, or think you ought to be doing.


Find a spot to sit quietly. It is especially nice to be outdoors this time of year. Or you may choose to go for a walk on a nature path, in a park or on a country road. I am fortunate to live where there are many nature trails to explore and enjoy, plus beach access and extensive nature parks.


Our minds are constantly busy thinking and solving problems. During this 15 minutes, however, we want to switch from thinking and problem solving to simply being in the moment, becoming aware of what is happening around us.  Whether sitting or quietly walking, first become aware of your breathing and how effortlessly you breathe in and out.


Because we are programmed to be doing something, our mind will thoughts to the forefront of all the things on our “to do” list. Simply acknowledge these thoughts and then re-focus on your breathing. Don’t try to force thoughts away. Simply re-direct your attention to your breathing or what is going on around you.


What do you see? What do you feel? What do you smell? Notice the sky, the clouds, birds, noises in the background, the warmth or chill of the day, smell of flowers, the colors, scent of fresh air, birds flitting about singing, a bug crawling on a plant, a spider’s web, the movement of tree leaves. If you are walking notice the texture of the path, the shapes of bushes and tangles of roots and scent of pine needles.


After awhile you will be amazed at how refreshed you feel. This is so simple, yet we resist the urge to sit still and be in the moment. We are so busy rushing around.


This is mindfulness – being in the moment – not the past – not the future – but right now in the present moment. When you are in the here and now, your mind is not regurgitating all the problems or things that have gone wrong, what you should do, haven’t done, or are incapable of doing, feeling helpless, stressed, and frantic.


Mindfulness quiets the mind – giving it a rest. It takes you away from obsessive rumination of the past and anxiety about the future.


And it just takes 15 minutes. It is like a mini-vacation that you can take during the noon hour or at the end of day.


Marlene Anderson

To experience a guided relaxation response, my CD, Relaxation, available on my website, will enable you to sit quietly in a chair and go through the relaxation process of all the parts of your body.

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