Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Well I'm back at the gym and back at Pilates- yeah.  I must say I had 2 very hard workouts.  I was so lucky to have had a one on one with my Pilates instructor BUT it was sooooo hard.

I finally had my appointment with my oncologist for my 1st follow up appointment since treatment and every thing is going good.  I did have my blood test results prior so I knew about all that.  We did discuss my iron and also he ran tests on my thyroid and estrogen levels.  My iron is 10.2- normal range starts at 11 so that's not that bad.  I did see my Vitamin D is 21 and that is not where I'd like it to be- I'm shooting for 50 so I will increase my dose.
I'm also adding to my daily vitamins- Magnesium and Calcium.  I had stopped them because I really was getting sick of taking so many things.  After watching Deepak Chopra on Doctor Oz tonight I'm back on those.  You can watch the clip of him on Dr. Oz's website. 

My trainer has informed me that I need to kick up my cardio and tonight on Dr. Oz I loved Stepp Stewart- I even got up and did the moves- very simple and fun.
Click on the picture and you can do it too!

Stepp Stewart shows off the 3 simple moves that will firm your rear for the New Year. It's easy to get in shape without a gym membership.  Dance...
I also realized that stress management is very important so I will go back to some things I learned at Doorways to Healing and also use some things I learned from Deepak. 
Empty the Mind
Deep Breathing
I found this post about Mediation 
How to Meditate (for beginners)
Justin Dixon
July 29, 2009

Our minds are built for solving problems, but when our minds run out of problems to solve it is not uncommon for them to create new (often imaginary) problems. Our minds can start attacking our identities with anything they can find, they can focus on things that will make you worry without benefit, and your mind if not reigned in will cause you to miss out on the greatest gift you have right now, your own life, your existence, the present, here and now, all that you really have. Meditation is about getting this under control.

Meditation benefits health, peace of mind, and spiritual well-being. It reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, increases focus, and gives rest. You may or may not have heard of all these benefits, but what do I mean by meditation and how do you get started?

Any action can be turned into a meditation with the proper mindset and breathing. For some many chores are meditation (good way to wash dishes), yoga, martial-arts, and sometimes dance are forms of meditation. There is also the still form of meditation which is what I will focus on here. In all cases what you are trying to do is clear your mind, to be completely in the present moment, and to be at peace in spite of surrounding circumstances.

Here are some of the methods I have used for successful meditation. I recommend trying them all out to see which ones work best for you. Another thing that I’ve done before is when I catch myself coming out of one type of meditation I switch to another type so that I can keep on going.

The lotus position is not necessary. Try to find a way to not be leaning sideways and more importantly be comfortable. With practice the period of time that you meditate will get longer, and if you are sitting in a position that is uncomfortable or bad for your body than you can cause harm.

Your mind will put up a fight. For the first five minutes of holding still you will probably itch and want to fidget all over the place. This is your mind resisting. I know it will take practice but try to wait it out as this will stop.

You don’t have to get it perfect the first time. It may take a couple of tries, that is okay, stressing out about it would be both ironic and counter-productive.

Quality over quantity. This is not a contest, you do not get points for the amount of time that you meditate. Instead, focus on quality. So far the best quality I’ve had is when it takes real effort to come out of my meditative state.

With those things said lets continue.

Focus on Breathing
This breathing is the type you want in all of these meditations, and it is where many of the health benefits come in to play. In this meditation you want to focus exclusively on breathing. First start by inhaling through the nose, as lightly as possible, and extending the breath as long as you can, than exhale through the mouth in the same way. Just focus on keeping this kind of breathing up. The goal is to have the breaths so light that they would not move a feather.

Using a Mantra
Our minds have incredible power, and we can use that to help us gain better control over them. Simply close your eyes and think about the following mantra over and over again. “…still as a stone, tranquil as the wind, still as a stone, tranquil as the wind…” A rock does not move if a bug lands on it, and if anything tries to upset a summer breeze it just keeps blowing by as peacefully as it came.

Focusing on a Color
Close your eyes, and pick a color that makes you feel peaceful, and relaxed, like green, light blue, or whatever works for you. What you want to do is think about that color until in your mind that color surrounds you completely.

Zen Questions
Zen Buddhists take an unanswerable question, and force themselves to focus on it for hours on end. Once they have an answer they report to a higher ranked monk. If the answer is wrong, than they continue thinking on that question, if the answer is right, than they move on to the next level. An example of a zen question that you are probably familiar with would be “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to here it does it make a sound?” Try to think of a serious answer to this question. Is sound sound, because it is heard, does it originate at a separate point in space, or does sound start in the ear? Is there really such a thing as separation of space, or is this an illusion? How do you know? There is a lot of meaning in these strange questions.

Just Be
This is one of the main goals of meditation and can ironically be a meditation itself. In fact I actually had this state induced by watching through Kung-Fu Panda, and sitting through the credits! For this meditation it doesn’t matter if your eyes are opened or closed. Just be. That is beautiful, and in many ways sacred.

Binaural Beats
This is a way to kind of cheat if you are having a really hard time. It can also be used to reach a deeper level of meditation. How this works is you plug a pair of headphones into your computer and you stream the meditation binaural beat through your computer, or mp3 player. These beats send a different tone to each ear, thus communicating directly with the brain. I go here for my binaural beats as I can listen from my computer for free.

There are many more kinds of meditation, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of how to do this, but this should get you started. When you master this, even the most annoying, or even dangerous things, will not be able to cut through your sense of tranquility. After all panicking helps no one. Plus the other benefits of meditation are way more than I can even list here.

Justin really makes it not so scary and very simple-

Tonight I'm feeling peacefully funky- and my mantra is
New Year New Rear ;)


maria said...

Happy New Year! Sorry for the delay but I was very busy with my babies! No school, my boy was sick (he is fine now)... Happy New Year I wish you all the best!:)

Amy said...

Great post- I have been thinking in the last few days to try some meditation and didn't know where to start. Thanks for the guide.

Congratulations on a healthy review from the Dr. Glad to hear all your tests are coming out good.