In honor of my meditation practice, I’d like to share a list from Zen Habits… about find peace, simplicity, and contentment. I believe I found the article from Sarah at the SHU Box (but I can’t find the exact link).  And with my personal takes added in.  It’s long-winded, so feel free to skim, or just go read about it from Zen Habits.  It all sounded just too good to me; I couldn’t resist.

Decide what is important. Take a step back and think about what’s important to you.

* I think I’m a pretty standard Gemini in this way… I love being surrounded by a ton of friends. And equally, when it’s the right time for me, I love being alone and chilling out. They both feel important.

* Family. After this move, I want to make sure I keep it at the forefront, and don’t turn into a letdown of not stopping by to hang out with my parents.

* I like cooking. That’s why the blog started out only concentrating on food. But I don’t like when every night feels like I’m stuck in the kitchen not enjoying other plans. So cooking enough to have fun, but remembering that a bowl of oatmeal for dinner is just as delicious to me as the next thing.

* As far as what I want to accomplish with my work… I’m trying to figure that one out. I’m taking some steps.  And staying calm about it (trying to, every day).

Do less each day. Don’t fill your day up with things to do. You will end up rushing to do them all.

* I’m in a pretty interesting space right now, without many actual necessary commitments on my time. I can make time for myself, for the people I love, and even the silly things I like to spend my time doing.

* I have the time to take care of myself. I can do yoga, I can do pilates, I can even still find the time to meditate, to be present and drink a mug of coffee, to read.

* I need to look for my time-wasters. They are probably 80% of my time on a good day. All I have to do is be mindful, and present, and they are so obvious. It’s easy to knock it off, but it’s tough to actively think about it.

Slow down and enjoy every task. Try to enjoy whatever you’re doing. Try to pay attention, instead of thinking about other things. Be in the moment. Unless the task involves actual pain, there isn’t anything that can’t be enjoyable if you give it the proper attention.

* It’s all about working away from mindlessness, and into being mindful as often as possible. As obvious as it sounds to me, it’s really tough. It was one of my big three for meditation… It still slips from me all the time.

* Eating. Showering. Driving. I want to work on it all. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so centered as I was on Thursday eating my perfect eggs for dinner.

Single-task. Do one thing at a time, and do it well.

Eliminate stress. Find the stressors in your life, and find ways to eliminate them.

Do nothing. Sometimes, it’s good to forget about doing things, and do nothing.

Practice being present. The key methods include paying attention instead of daydreaming, observing what is going on around you, breathing attentively, and meditating. Live in the Moment. Instead of delayed gratification, try enjoying life right now.

* Andie Mitchell talks about a lot of the ways she thought before and after losing 135 pounds (literally another person of who she is now).  She always though as soon as she lost her weight, life would be good, she would be happy, she would carry out her plans and meet her goals then.  And then she realized that she should just start taking care of herself.  That she could do it for just today, be healthy for just one day.  And she could enjoy herself, and do what she wanted, and start enjoying the moment.  She could wait until she was thin to enjoy life, or she could just jump in.

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