Day One: A Day of Listening
Today, in the hustle, bustle, and busyness take time to listen.
“From Listening, Comes wisdom…” Proverb
Practice a 10-minute Meditation of listening to the sounds around you. Listen to sounds far away, sounds in the space where you are and even the sounds of your own body.
- Ask an elder to share a story from their past with you.
- Read aloud a story with your partner/family/friend.
- Sit and listen to some inspiring and spiritual music.
Take a walk in Silence and listen to the sounds around you.
Day Two: A Day of Appreciation
“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life.” Margaret Cousins
Reflect on what in your life you appreciate. The people in your life, the “tools” that support you in life and at work, the luxuries you have in your life, your body, and your health. Try this meditation for 15 minutes.
- Call a friend you have not spoken to for a while and share how much you appreciate having them in your life.
- Write a note to a loved one telling them what you appreciate about them. You can mail in the mail for them to receive, or hide in a special place for them to find.
- Practice saying thank you for, and appreciating, even the smallest of gestures.
Open your heart with a seated Bellows Breath – practice for 3 to 5 minutes
Day Three: A Day of Joy
“The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.” Russel M Nelson
Visualize Your Most Peaceful Beautiful Place. Where is your most peaceful place? Imagine it, visualize it, be there. Smell it, taste it, breath it, hear it. Practice this meditation for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Read this short blog MEDITATION ON JOY. https://discoverlivingalive.com/meditating-on-joy/
- Set an Intention today to be Joy: I am Joy.
- Look for the joy in every moment of the day.
- Schedule for today an activity that brings pure joy: a hike, a yoga class, curl up with a good book, have lunch with your best friend, sleep in super late – make it a day filled with joyful activities.
Turn on your favorite music, find yourself some dance partners, and dance with pure joy and pure freedom. Turn it loud and let loose!
Day Four: A Day of Loving Kindness
“Through loving kindness everyone and everything can flower again from within.” Sharon Salzberg
Share an act of Kindness with someone you know. Share an act of kindness with a stranger. Share an act of kindness to yourself.
Come into a tabletop position on your hands and knees and practice a gentle cat to cow movement for 5-minutes. Really open up your heart on each movement into cow and broaden the shoulders and round the back deeply on your cat pose. If you are not familiar here is a great short 2-minute video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqnua4rHVVA
Day Five: A Day of Equanimity
Equanimity is defined as a state of calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in the midst of challenging moments.
“Every moment of Equanimity is a moment of waking up from the delusion that should be as we want them to be.” From One Mind Dharma
- Read Blog: https://discoverlivingalive.com/the-8-attitudes-of-mindfulness-part-v-equanimity/
- When you encounter moments of challenge, frustration, or irritation today, practice saying to yourself this phrase: “It is what it is.” Just try to be present to what is happening without reaction or, if you can, walk gently away.
Start your day with a calm mind with this short, recorded supine (on your back) yoga sequence. Let words guide your practice. https://soundcloud.com/diane-laylin-macdonald/supine-audo-5318-103-pm/s-PvTJd
Day Six: A Day of Forgiveness
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Leis B. Smedes
Practice the 12-minute meditation for release. https://soundcloud.com/diane-laylin-macdonald/meditation-for-release
Read my blog on forgiveness and practice the five steps to forgiveness exercise. https://discoverlivingalive.com/practice-forgiveness/
- Express your feelings in a letter to self.
- Reflect on what this event or person taught you.
- Can you Empathy Please?
- How did you contribute?
Take a long quiet walk. Imagine you are walking with the person you are ready to forgive. Have a conversation with them as you walking. Say the words I forgive you out loud to your imaginary walking partner. Continue your walk and imagine walking and having a new conversation now – a conversation post-forgiveness, a conversation based in love, empathy, and compassion.
Day Seven: A Day of Letting Go
“Today is your day to let go of things that no longer serve you.” Katrina Mayer
Inhale to receive what you desire to create in your life. Exhale what you desire to let go of. Nice big deep belly breaths on the inhale, exhale belly button to spine and push out as much breath as you can. Practice for 10 minutes.
Write down what you would like to release or let go of from 2019. Place in an old coffee can outside, burn it and watch the wind blow away in a billow of smoke all the things that no longer serve you.
Restorative Heart Opener. Lay on the floor or mat and place the prop so that it will support your back from the bottom of your shoulder blades up when you lie down on it. The legs can be in any position: outstretched, knees bent, goddess pose. You may want another prop to support your head.
Day Eight: A Day of Intention
“Intention + Action = MAGIC!” Chris Tieinge
Practice the Be Alive Field of Flowers Meditation. This meditation supports you to weed out your beliefs and cultivate new and powerful beliefs. https://soundcloud.com/diane-laylin-macdonald/bealive_fieldofflowers
- Read 2 Blogs on intention: https://discoverlivingalive.com/the-three-cornerstones-of-intention/ AND https://discoverlivingalive.com/intention-purpose-trust/
- What is your Intention for 2020? Who do you want to be this year? What quality do you want to cultivate this year? Share your Intention here and write it down. Make a screen saver with your Intention or record your voice repeating your Intention and listen to it daily!
Do the Brain Power Series and Repeat your Intention as you are moving. Do each movement in the series for 1-minute.
Day Nine: A Day of Beginner’s Mind
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few” Shunryu Suzuki
Focus on an object you know well. Imagine it as a thing you do not know. Notice the form, texture, shape, color etc. Get curious about the object. If you do this for long enough, the object may become foreign to you. Ask yourself, “What is that?”
- Read my blog article on beginners mind: https://discoverlivingalive.com/the-8-attitudes-of-mindfulness-part-i-the-beginners-mind/
- Do something you have never done before; bake a cake, paint or draw a picture, read about and practice a new skill like knot tying or macramé. Feel “being a beginner.”
Listening to, and practicing, a movement series for the first time is most definitely a beginner’s mind challenge. Try this short standing yoga series and approach your efforts without expectation and with a beginner’s mind. https://soundcloud.com/diane-laylin-macdonald/short-standing-sequence/s-Ny1n0
Day Ten: A Day of Self-Efficacy
“Self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure.” Albert Bandura
Practice a Body Scan meditation. Getting to know ourselves, our physical body, and our emotional body helps us to cultivate self-efficacy. https://soundcloud.com/diane-laylin-macdonald/bodyscan/s-9D00u
- Read my blog article on self-efficacy: https://discoverlivingalive.com/the-8-attitudes-of-mindfulness-part-vii-self-efficacy/
- Grab and journal and do some writing. Record successes you have had in your life. Write about the challenges you have faced and overcome. Make a list of your strong skills and attributes. If you get stuck ask others to share their thoughts!
Take a long hike. Find a local hiking trail and go for it. Enjoy the outdoors and challenge yourself, at your level, to go further than you think you can, climb a stepper incline, or pick up your pace. You are stronger then you think you are!
Day Eleven: A Day of Laughter
“Laughter is the sound of the soul dancing.” Jacob Kintz
Try this laughter meditation from Deepak Chopra for 3 to 5 minutes:
Find a comfortable position to sit or stand. Start by slightly smiling and then begin laughing without too much effort. Move to deep belly laughs. (Hint: try different types of laughs to encourage your true laugh to come through. Even if it begins as a forced feeling, most people find the forced laughter catalyzes authentic laughter in no time.)
- Read my blog: https://discoverlivingalive.com/laugh-play-and-love-with-abandon/
- Go to a comedy show or watch a comedy.
- Sit with your partner or family members and share funny stories about each other.
- Play a simple and fun board game like CLUE or CANDY LAND, a game that makes you smile.
Go outside and play. Go to the playground and swing. Find a friend and play a game a catch. Get a group together for a game of kickball or touch football. Play OUTSIDE.
Day Twelve: A Day of Silence
“Listen to the silence, it has so much to say.” Rumi
Sit in silence for at least 30 minutes. Practice an open monitoring style meditation. Just letting what comes up, come up. I liken this to imagining yourself as a vast blue empty sky, your thoughts, feelings, and emotions that come up as white puffy clouds floating softly by. No judgment, no reaction – just awareness of what comes up.
Set aside a chunk of time during your day to be in silence. (At least 2 to 3 hours) Let those around you know that you are practicing silence. No tv, no phone, no computer – find other things to do.
Take a walk-in silence and listen. At least 30 minutes.