Meditation

Funny Meditation

Meditation is an active process to train your mind.  This form of training can be done to relax or focus your mind when needed.

According to Harvard Researcher Herbert Benson, meditation triggers a ‘relaxation response’ that causes activity reduction of the sympathetic nervous system.

Areas meditation research have shown to help are:  lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, stress relief and my favorite deep relaxation.

Meditation practice can be used throughout the day to help improve your walk into the future.

Find a comfortable place when needed to begin your meditation process.

My day starts with a minimum of 5 minutes to meditate and properly prepare for the day.  I prefer a completely dark room without distractions (TV, music, etc.) in the background.  This process allows me to calm my thought process and identify things I want to focus on for the day.  I make a few declarations during this time:

  • Today will be a great day
  • I will make a difference today
  • Positive thoughts create positive results
  • Others as needed

This provides the springboard needed to start the day off to generate desired results.

Meditating at work is a little more challenging but can be accomplished.

For those with an actual office, look for an opportunity to close your door for a few minutes.  Sit comfortably and close your eyes to begin.  Focus on your breathing and how your body reacts.  Let the concepts of your breathing rhythms help calm your mind, body and heart rate.   This process provides the most benefit when experiencing high stress periods in the work day.  Consistency in your meditation practice will allow you to find time in the day to take this mental and physical break needed.

For those in a cubicle environment, look for an opportunity to get up from your desk and walk.  You can use this time to refocus, collect your thoughts or relax as needed.  A quick trip down the hall or outside to find a quiet spot to recharge can be the thing needed to get through a trying day.

Leverage meditation during your day to regain focus, relax and eliminate stress.  It will not be one size fits all but can be beneficial to help you accomplish what’s needed.

How can you use meditation to help conquer your day?  Curious.

meditate3

Partnering

Partner–A person who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavor

(Dictionary.com)

Partnership2

I leverage the Walk into the Future blog to highlight some of my travel, adventures and thoughts on multiple subjects (personal and professional).  There are times when I create blog content to help one of my ‘branches’ when they are experiencing different things in their professional and personal environments.  This is one of my ways to continue to keep my tree growing and to help others in a different way.  The content you read is generated once I get a ‘theme’ or ‘idea’ I believe I can develop into something I hope others would enjoy reading.  My goal is to always have two months’ worth of content I can select from when it’s time for me to post on Thursdays.

I was extremely happy and honored when one of my former UCF students, mentee and friend, Daniel Botero asked me to partner with him on his extremely successful podcast, Mastering College.  Daniel decided to use his voice and create a platform to give back and help students, parents and faculty/staff understand ways current and future college students can maximize their time in college.

I am proud to say Daniel and I spent numerous hours in my office when he was a UCF student and I worked in the Career Center discussing/creating his plan of action for his life after graduation.  He has done a fantastic job translating his knowledge and bringing in experts to create substantive content to help the next generation understand ‘Best Practices’ on the Mastering College podcast and maximizing efforts to become a successful student with a job after graduation.

You can listen to Daniel’s podcast here:   https://linktr.ee/thedanielbotero

Podcast episodes #10 and #11 are the episodes I partnered with Daniel while in Orlando in September.

Please share the podcast with anyone you believe would benefit from this excellent resource.

You can also follow Daniel via LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/thedanielbotero/

Enjoy!

Please note: I’m always looking for partnership ideas so reach out and let me know how I can partner with you or your organization.

Partnership

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting continues to grow in popularity as more people discover the positive benefits of the program.

I was introduced to the concept through a friend during my time in Orlando.  Decided to give it a try after doing my personal research.  The concept of fasting does not appeal to most people and I was skeptical how this would improve health and physical wellbeing.

I currently use the 16:8 model—16 hours of fasting with an 8-hour window to eat.  I can eat whatever I want during the 8-hour window including desserts.  No solid food at all during the 16-hour fasting window.  Example:  8-hour window = 11 am – 7 pm, 16-hour window = 7 pm – 11 am.  This can be adjusted based on daily activities.

Other popular Intermittent Fasting models are:

  • Eat-Stop-Eat—you would fast for 24 hours, once or twice a week
  • 5:2 Diet—take in 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days while eating normally on the other 5 days

I always work out and run on an empty stomach so not eating first thing in the morning was not a tough adjustment for me when I decided to utilize Intermittent Fasting.  Your body will adjust to this concept quickly.  The initial hunger you feel will subside over time during your ‘fast’ period.  You can also suppress hunger by increasing your water intake.  Again, you can eat whatever you want during the 8-hour eating window.  No calorie counting, no avoiding certain foods during this timeframe.  Enjoy your meals, drinks and dessert if you want.

I have not lost a massive amount of weight while following the intermittent fasting program.  I have lost inches on my waist and my body composition is more toned than before.  I attribute the toning process to my body using fat as energy during my fasting period.  I’m sure I can lose more weight if needed by adjusting the foods I eat during the 8-hour period.  I have a love affair with cake, so I’ve never eliminated it from my diet.

The best thing about intermittent fasting is you own the process.  You can adjust the program to fit your daily lifestyle, weekend plans or travel.  It is not so rigid where you feel you are cheating if you break the times on occasion. Just pick back up as soon as you can to continue to reap the benefits of this health program.

Check out intermittent fasting to see if the program would work for you.

Intermittent Fasting

Volunteer

The Salvation Army states, ‘We are dedicated to doing the most good’ when researching the organizational mission statement.

This simple concept caught my eye as I looked for opportunities to volunteer and make a difference in the local community.  There are multiple local organizations geared to help others, but the Salvation Army was a great starting point to dip my toes back into the volunteer world.

I reached out to their Volunteer Coordinator to check on the process and see what opportunities they had available.  She was quick to reply and let me know they always need help in the Retail Store, but the most pressing need was organizing the donated items for the Library.

I decided to tackle the Library project since it was identified as a pressing need.  Turns out they had hundreds of donated items (bibles, hymnals, books, games) but no real organizational structure for the room.  My task was to bring some order to the Library and get items off the floor and on shelves—easy enough!

Took me a little over two hours to create an organizational structure for the donated items and get everything on the shelves.  This project was not rocket science, but it was something the staff needed done to enhance their operations and introduce visitors to the Library.

I shared a little about my academic and professional background with the Volunteer Coordinator and quickly discovered I could help them in additional ways.  Her major volunteer need for the holiday season will be Red Kettle bell ringers around the city.  Statistics show volunteer bell ringers garner more donations than paid bell ringers.  This is because the volunteers truly want to be there and are more engaging when greeting potential donors.

I’m using my local network of contacts to help the Salvation Army with their recruitment program to find bell ringers for the holiday season.  I’m sure they will have a few other projects I can lend a hand with and enhance programming to meet their needs.  Looking forward to a long and productive partnership with the Salvation Army.

What organizations can you help in your local area?  What special ‘skills’ can you lend to enhance the organizational mission and make a difference?

Make it a great day!

Volunteer