Be Here Now

There is a lot going on right now, and I feel like I am flying all over the place.  Good thing my broom is up to the task!  Beautiful Witch

Speaking of fifty, (no, not shades of grey) today marks my 50th post!  Thank you for reading, and for your comments and encouragment.  If I could invite you all to my house for champagne, I would!  

And speaking of parties – this Saturday is BlogathonATX – a whole day of learning, sharing, and great food with other bloggers. This event inspired me to follow my dreams last year. Blog Heaven!

Today’s post is excerpted from my book-in-progress, “Sick and Tired…and Sexy. Living a Beautiful Life with Chronic Illness.”  Since I am trying to do so many different things at once today, it’s the perfect topic; being present.

In 1971 Richard Alpert, PhD, a successful Harvard psychologist, and a friend of Timothy Leary, went on a spiritual journey to India, leaving everything he knew behind.  “Remember, Be Here Now” chronicled his learning and transformation into Baba Ram Dass, or “servant of god.”  It went on to become the counterculture “bible” for a generation of hippies, but over the years, it has influenced many other writers and yoga practitioners such as Wayne Dyer, George Harrison, Michael Crichton and Steve Jobs. 

After the book, Ram Dass made his mark in the world by teaching and promoting loving service and conscious care for the dying.  So much of how we currently act and think  arose from his discoveries and teachings.  nothing_to_doSome religions suggest happiness is to be found by focusing on what’s happening in the moment.  What Ram Dass realized is that this moment is all there is. We can’t go forward, nor can we go backward!  We can only be here, now.

“While washing the dishes one should only be washing dishes, which means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At first glance, that might seem a little silly: why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing here and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I’m being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There’s no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

I guess I will get off of my broom and quit zoooming around. Maybe I’ll use it to sweep…the dishes are already done!

XO Donna


Bed, Sweet Bed

(I have decided to give you all a ‘sneak preview’ of the book I am writing:  Sick and Tired…and Sexy:  A Guide for Living Beautifully with a Chronic Illness.  Read on, and please feel free to contact me with your compliments and praise…I meant, thoughts and comments.)

Bed, sweet bed.  I love my bed. I love the simple duvet and shams that I bought for it. I love the escape from aches and pains that it affords me. Some mornings all I want to do is crawl right back into it as soon as I get out of the shower! It lures me, like the sirens lured the sailors onto the rocks and to their deaths. And to crawl back into bed would be a kind of death…a giving up, an elimination of any possibility of learning, or creating, or accomplishing anything once I am comfortable nestled back in my bed.

Granted, there are days when you’re not well and staying in bed is certainly the right thing to do. But there are times when it’s better left as a longing that will be satisfied when bedtime arrives. I’ve realized that sleeping more does not equal more energy, anyway. My tiredness won’t be satisfied, so I get up and get moving…and keep moving until bedtime. And to reinforce my determination, I make my bed every single day!  cropped bdrm

I was inspired by a post in the blog “Apartment Therapy,” entitled, “Make your bed!  For productivity, profit and peace.”  I’m a fan of productivity, of profit and especially of peace!  Like many people, the author admitted that they hated making their bed, since they were only going to get back into it later. Reading an article in Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit” changed their mind. It said that making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity.

How can anything so somple, and so quick (3-5 minutes) make such a difference in your life?  It seems that the act of making your bed is a way of developing a Keystone Habit, and this  type of habit “helps other habits flourish by creating new structures, and establishing cultures where change becomes contagious.” It is, in essence, a catalyst for other good habits. 

Gretchen Rubin, best-selling author and blogger:  ‘The Happiness Project,’ said, “I’ve written about the resolution to make your bed before, and I’m bringing it up again because, to my astonishment, when I’ve asked people what has made a big difference in their happiness, many people cite the modest, ‘make your bed.’

Why does it boost happiness so effectively? First: it’s quick and easy, yet makes a big difference. (When you don’t feel well, quick and easy is good!)  Everything looks neater and more peaceful. And outer order contributes to inner calm.  (Peace)Second: sticking to any resolution – no matter what – brings you satisfaction. When you get up in the morning, still tired, the payoff for making your bed right away may not be obvious, but with practice it will become second nature!

Here are some tips to make making your bed a habit:  Sheets on Line

  1. Simplify your bedding.  Eliminate extra decorative pillows to make it even easier.
  2. Spritz with a nice linen spray to freshen everything.
  3. Time yourself making the bed. Just once. See?
  4. Hate folding fitted sheets? But two flat sheets and make your bed like hotels do!
  5. Treat yourself to new bedding.
  6. And my favorite:  add a vase of fresh flowers to your nightstand.

I believe that making my bed every day has been a great jumping-off point for other small changes in the things I have control over, and those things make me feel better and happier.  Less sick, a bit less tired, and more sexy.  Being greeted by a lovely, neat bedroom has been it’s own reward every time I see it. I hope it offers you the same!

XO Donna

(beautiful image of  sheets from vickersranch.net)