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Art of Meditation Archives - Prudence Sinclair

Loneliness is a silent killer.

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Loneliness is a silent killer

Did you know that one in five people suffer from loneliness and isolation? Recent research shows that these feelings can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, depression and many other illnesses.

Your emotional health matters.

Emotions matter more than you realize. You go to your Oncologist because they are experts in cancer drugs – the physical part of cancer. Oncologists did not study nutrition, emotional health and the mind-body connection in medical school. So, you must become educated on how to heal your whole health – your whole life. I requires surrounding yourself with the right healing team.
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Mother told me I wasn’t good enough.

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Mother told me I wasn’t good enough so I never felt good enough.

When was the last time you sat still and recognized your accomplishments? I’m not talking about physical things like the amount of money you make or the big house you live in with the fancy car in the driveway. I’m talking about the expansion of your soul and the life lessons you’ve learned. If the evolution of our soul is a fact of life, we will want to keep evolving and becoming more aware so we can live a more harmonious and rewarding life.

Cancer Truths: “We’ve got it all.”

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Cancer Truths: “We’ve got it all.” Have you or a loved one been told by a doctor, “we’ve got it all?” Before you start reading any further, I need to warn you my lovely peeps that today I’m going on a rant because I’m sad and I’m pissed off with the lies my peeps are hearing from their doctors. I am about to tell you some home truths about cancer and share a beautiful story of a twin sister’s unconditional love. I hope this story will encourage you to dig…

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Mind Your Own Life

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Mind Your Own Life
We’re three weeks into the New Year and how would you say it’s going so far? Keeping those resolutions? Have you lost ten pounds? Joined a book club? Quit smoking? Are you taking the stairs more often? While those are all perfectly nice resolutions, they may never get you where it is you really hope to go in your life. But I know something that will get you there, something that, if you stick with it, can truly and completely alter the course of your very existence.

MIND YOUR OWN LIFE
What does this mean exactly? It means paying attention to the life you have right now. Right in this moment and the one after that and the one after that. What does your life look like? Are you happy with it? If not, you can create a better one. Not through half-hearted resolutions but through intention and mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is simply being purposefully present with life’s experiences; from the very small to the very big. It also means being aware that your mind has bad habits. Most people “live” their lives every day with the same thoughts running through their mind over and over like a record that keeps skipping on a really bad chord. When you think the same negative, depressing, angry, bored, sick, self-defeating thoughts every day, you create a negative, depressing, angry, bored, sick, and self-defeating life. You may think you’re fixing a salad, but are you present in that moment? Are you purposefully present with the experience of making that salad? Are you noticing the colors and smells of the produce, how the knife sounds when it slices though a carrot, how your fingers feel when you rip the lettuce? Or are you thinking about how much you hate your job and wish you could quit but know you’re not smart enough to move up the ladder and so you’ll probably die miserable?
Once you start being more mindful of your life and in your life, you will feel calmer and have more clarity. You will be able to recognize those thoughts that are from your higher self, and those that have a knack for bringing you down. When you are in dialogue with your higher self, you can begin to proactively create the life you want.

Here are some simple ways you can practice being more mindful in the New Year:
Our Minds Wander so Focus Yours on What Matters Most to YOU.

Most of our lives are busy and chaotic and there are numerous distractions around every corner. Because of these distractions, our minds have a tendency to wander instead of staying focused. When this happens, it’s important to remind ourselves what really matters to us and set an intention to focus on that. For instance, if having true connections with friends is something you cherish, then the next time you are with a friend, create the intention that you want to be fully present during your time together. You’re human, so your mind is apt to wander even when in a conversation with a dear friend. Just gently bring it back to the present moment.

Don’t Judge Your Thoughts
Be kinder and gentler with your own thoughts. Think of them as your children. You observe your children, you guide them but you don’t judge them. If you have a negative thought like “I’m never going to pass my exams,” acknowledge the thought and understand that it’s just a thought and let it go. If we can respond to our own thoughts without judgment, we can stop the cycle of one negative thought leading to another and another and another until we become dark, miserable people.

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Stop and Smell Whatever Flower You’d Like
I can tell you from personal experience, mindfulness and hectic schedules don’t mix. We all need to slow the pace of our lives if we want to be more present for them. At every possible opportunity throughout your day, take time to slow down and be more present. Listen to the buzz of the overhead lights. Smell the coffee brewing down the hall. Look at your hands and really see them. Even the smallest mundane tasks like washing a Tupperware lid can have tremendous meaning when you are present in that moment.

Taste Your Food
When’s the last time you really tasted your food? I mean really tasted it and felt it in your mouth? Most of us just inhale our meals without really tasting or enjoying them. We eat in the car on the way from Point A to Point B, at our desks during our lunch break, and then in front of the TV at night. No good. The next time you eat, really eat it and be fully present in the experience. Notice the textures and the smells as well as the taste. This is an easy and satisfying way to practice mindfulness.

Get Out of Your Boring Routine
It’s hard to be fully engaged when “involved” in the same old activities we do every day. That’s why it’s important to get out there and try new things, meet new people, and have new experiences. Being fully present in the moment is much easier when those moments are filled with adventure, excitement and wonder.

What are some other ways you practice mindfulness in your daily life?

More FREE mindfulness techniques here

Mindfulness?

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Mindfulness & Meditation

These days I am grateful to be alive and totally in love and in harmony with my life’s purpose. It is the art of mindfulness that has been my main stay and has led me to this joyous place in time.

The way I used to wake up and treat the new day was horrific. “Oh, for goodness sake, is it morning already?” “Not another disastrous day.” “Surely, not another day like yesterday.” “How can I get everything done today”? “Life is a hassle.” These were my thoughts upon waking. What the heck was I thinking? No pun intended!

Life was a struggle back then. My moods were up, down, and all over the place. No wonder with all of that stinking thinking.

I use to think, “Does meditation mean you have to be still, quiet, and clear your mind? How boring is that? I have places to go, people to see. How on earth do I have time to sit and ‘Om’ like a monk? No way Jose. Get me some high-powered caffeine, turn on some tunes and hit the pedal to the metal. That will get me going and going and going, right?” Wrong.

I resisted learning the art of meditation for years. I thought it was too hippie-ish. You know, the people that went to Pune, India searching for their life purpose. Oh, and I tried it once and it didn’t work. It doesn’t work for everyone, I thought. Excuses, excuses.

When I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer and given 3 – 6 months to live – it was a wakeup call of the highest magnitude – pay attention Prue.

“Try mediation,” a friend of mine said. “It really calms you and helps your body to heal.”

“Oh, I tried that years ago and it didn’t work for me.”

How often did you do it?” my friend said.

“Just the once,” I replied.

I’m laughing so hard as I write this post – how pathetic was I?

I’ll bet some of you reading this post right now have the same opinion about meditation I did back then.  Well, I learned the hard way and I don’t want you to have to, so please pay attention because I can tell you from experience – 25 years to be exact – it is worth every second. I love meditation. It is my escape from the real world. Bring on the peace and tranquility.

I am truly grateful for my cancer diagnosis. The journey led me to the art of meditation.

Like anything, meditation is a commitment. The hardest thing about meditation is making the time to do it! Notice I said making the time and not finding the time. If you try to find time, you never will.

Our lives are overstimulated. When did you last Facebook, Twitter, text someone or buy something? Maybe you did all of these in the last hour! We are out of control.

When I coach overworked, high-anxiety people, I suggest a mediation plan. It can be overwhelming to begin so I have a baby step action plan to get them started.

I get push back all the time from my clients. “I can’t sit still long enough.” The classic one is, “I don’t have time” or “I tried it once and didn’t like it,” sound familiar?

Excuses be gone people. Just do it and see for yourself.

Happy mindfulness.

The Bitter Truth About Chocolate

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Chocolate Bar

The Bitter Truth about Chocolate:

It’s almost Easter which means soon little chocolate bunnies will be hopping off shelves and hopping into watering mouths all across the country.

I will admit, although I’m a bit too old to believe in the Easter Bunny, I am not immune to the delightful satisfaction of biting off a chocolatey rabbit ear every now and then. And when I’ve bitten off more than I SHOULD chew, I tell myself it’s okay to indulge because chocolate is good for my health. Right?

Well… yes and no.

Here’s a brief overview of how chocolate is manufactured into its various forms:

Seeds from the cocoa tree are fermented and roasted before extracting them from the outer pod. This substance is then ground and heated to produce a chocolate liquid which is extremely bitter. This bitterness comes from the present polyphenols.

This is essentially the stuff made into unsweetened baker’s chocolate, although the actual polyphenols is only about 5% of the total mass – the rest being cocoa butter. The original purified chocolate liquid has polyphenols which are close to 20 times more bitter than the taste of unsweetened baker’s chocolate.

Why is all this talk of bitterness and polyphenols important? Because it’s the polyphenols that give chocolate its health benefits. Research shows that eating enough of these chocolate polyphenols can significantly reduce blood pressure. But how much does a person have to eat to get these benefits?

Studies show that eating roughly 500 mg of polyphenols per day over a 2 week period (the amount typically found in a 100-gram bar of unsweetened baker’s chocolate) will do the trick. There is also scientific evidence that these polyphenols have some anti-inflammatory properties as well.

Now, before you jump for joy and rush out to buy 10 bags of Almond Joy, remember that I said BAKER’s CHOCOLATE. That’s the unsweetened stuff. Normally unsweetened chocolate goes through a sweetening process where sugar is added to make it palatable for people. This sweetening gives us the dark chocolate most people are familiar with.

But this process not only dilutes the beneficial polyphenols, it also adds calories and increases insulin levels. When more sugar and milk are added to the original bitter liquid, milk chocolate is created. It’s delicious but fattening with absolutely no health benefits.

So, if you want the health benefits of eating chocolate, you’d better reach for the unsweetened baker’s chocolate instead of a giant milk chocolate bunny. Sorry Easter Bunny. Seeing as I doubt many people will be stuffing their faces with bitter baker’s chocolate, I suggest you follow Dr. Barry Sears’ recommendation of eating an anti-inflammatory diet and consuming 2.5 grams of EPA and DHA every day. This will reduce cellular inflammation and the consequences of it such as high blood pressure.