Just Do the Next Thing
Being overwhelmed is a universal experience at one time or another in every person's life. Whether it arises from having too much to do or it comes from feeling so stressed out, emotionally drained or mentally fatigued that one cannot move forward, the effect is the same - you feel indecisive, confused, and stuck. When this occurs, it is very difficult to function at that moment. It develops into anxiety, frustration, fear, depression and endless worry...
Like Attracts Like
Stress seeks out more stress. If you’re having a really bad day, how likely is it that you will drink a healthy smoothie, meditate and go to the gym? Not very likely. You will probably drink alcohol, eat junk food, smoke cigarettes, or seek out your disgruntled friends to complain about how awful your day was. This does not make you a failure. It makes you human...
The Zen of Groundhog Day
This past Friday was Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil has given us his prediction - six more weeks of winter. Of course, that depends where in the country you live! That aside, it has become a tradition that many people look forward to and provides great conversation at the water cooler, with cashiers while getting groceries, and on Facebook...
Five Go-To Habits To Keep Relationships Thriving
"Our connection to others is the glue that holds our stressful lives together. We are in contact with people, whether intimately or superficially, and everything in between, on a daily basis. How people react to us can make the day feel like a celebration or complete drudgery. The fact is, we need others to help us out, enrich our lives, show us new perspectives, challenge us, excite us, love us, support us, and make life all the more interesting. We are interdependent on each other..."
Five Bad Habits Affecting Your Relationships
The fact is, we need relationships to thrive in this world. Very few human beings could survive without connecting with others in some way throughout their life. After working with people on relationship challenges for many years, here are my top five bad habits that can affect any relationship.
Stop Trying to Relax
" ...In the midst of this holiday season, there is much to do. The tasks are endless and time is a commodity few of us can harness. Self care and relaxation are low on the priority list. But, self care and relaxation are desperately needed to be able to get everything done! At the very least people need to get a good night sleep and not try to fall asleep all night...."
Does Thinking Interfere with Happiness?
" ... When you let go of the struggle and the need to fix things, control things, battle things and make them your way, you might find happiness creeps into your life unexpectedly. I have noticed when working with many of my clients, it is not their depression or anxiety that they suffer from the most. It is their desire to stop the depression or anxiety that causes the most suffering. It’s the same for those who endure chronic pain. Not wanting to feel the pain creates more of a problem than the pain itself. One of the most fundamental techniques to cultivate happiness is dropping the struggle...."
The Allure of Escapism
"I remember when I was a young girl hearing the famous 1970s commercial that touted "Calgon, take me away,” referring to powdered water softener. The commercial would feature a beautiful woman relaxing in her bathtub, taking a break from her chaotic household. It represented calmness, serenity, self-care and happiness, and everyone wanted to do the same! That phrase stayed with me as the quintessential image that represented getting away from life — escapism."
In the Defense of Love
There are poems about it, songs about it, paintings depicting it, buildings constructed for it, but we still don't really understand love. This article sheds a new stream of light on the true origin of love and how to directly experience it right now.
You Are What You Are Looking For
Lou and Marilyn Guadagnino
Recently, we were asked a wonderful question. The question was simple and came from the heart. We enjoyed the question so much we thought it was worth sharing. We hope you enjoy it too.
Question: What is the essence of Living Stress Free? What is the goal of our practices and everything we are learning?
What Does Perfect Mental Health Look Like?
" ... So, what does perfect mental health feel like? If you want to get there you have to know what you're shooting for. It's our essential target practice. However, this is a difficult question for many people to answer because it’s so unfamiliar. The qualities you identify with will set the stage for your future, so it is an essential question to answer. Healthy change requires a change in perception... " read more
Hanging Out in the Now - Understanding Mindfulness
"Let’s talk about awareness. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the definition of “aware” as having or showing realization, perception or knowledge. Consequently, being aware equals knowing something. What if we look at awareness on a broader scale. If we limit awareness to just having knowledge, it stays on the level of thought and all thoughts are based on the past. The mind compares our present experience with memories of our impressions from the past. If we can perceive awareness as an action that goes beyond just knowledge, we have an amazing tool that can enhance our experience of life and potentially create positive change..." read more
Can You Really Live Stress Free?
"Someone on Twitter recently asked me: Is it really a goal to live stress free? Or is it more to manage stress effectively and figure out what level is productive?
Her question is a common one that I’d like to clarify and discuss. Living stress free is not a remote possibility or pollyanna idea. It is most definitely possible. You live stress free by changing your relationship with stress. No, we cannot stop stressful circumstances from happening to us, but we can perceive the circumstances with awareness and a balanced perspective ... " read more
Put Down the Magnifying Glass
" ...Why is dropping the storyline difficult? It's familiar and provides a sense of security. It is common for people to fear the unknown. Thoughts are from the past so they are known. That which is known provides a sense of hope, a feeling that things can get better. How often do you notice people who are very stressed have a wish that things return to how they were - "if only we can live the way we did in the past, everything would be alright." The truth is there were just as many problems back then as there are now, yet people still feel secure with the idea of returning to that which is known..." read more
Curiosity and Mindful Living
"What you identify with you become. If you perceive yourself as a confident, self assured, relaxed person who can handle whatever comes your way, you will imbibe that state naturally. However, if you identify as a worthless, messed-up, difficult person who can't seem to get it right, guess what? Your life will mirror that again and again. That is why it is very important not to identify with the stressed part of you..." read more
LSF Team Meditation Blog
Marilyn and Lou Guadagnino
" ... It was noticed how the first round of meditation seemed to be more difficult for some due to the stress of the day coming to the forefront and releasing. This stress must be felt to release. The result was restlessness, struggle, uncomfortable sensations and distraction. Once this transient stress was released, the second sitting was much smoother. For others, the first sitting was easier because the stillness and silence of the initial meditation loosened up accumulated stress that is deeply hidden in the body. The second sitting began unraveling this stress resulting in difficult thoughts and feelings from the past overpowering the experience. This too is normal and helpful because residual and accumulated stress must be released to feel better and do better in life. LSF Meditation is extremely helpful for cultivating this necessary release to occur..." read more
Presence is Truly a Present
"...Overthinking is destructive. Attachment to thinking leads to experiencing unhealthy feelings and behaviors. Thinking takes us away from the reality of the present moment because we have a tendency to believe every thought we have as truth, fact and reality. Even more important, whenever thinking is engaged, a person is not fully present experiencing the moment that is occurring. They are experiencing their thoughts about the moment occurring..." read more
Meditation is Yoga - Yoga is Meditation
"Yoga’s popularity is at an all time high. It is right up there with the popularity of mindfulness meditation which has influenced psychology and medicine as it’s benefits become scientifically proven and the practice gains respect in healthcare. But both of these practices have ancient roots which are seldom understood by yoga teachers and mindfulness meditation teachers alike. Understanding a little bit about the history of these powerful spiritual tools will help us get more out of our practice and it will increase our focus and intention by clarifying our goal..." read more