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Archive for mindfulness – Page 2

Mindset Secret for Finding Your Natural Calm

Are you relaxing into summer? Or is your tension headache putting a damper on summer fun? Are you making time this summer to do more of what you love? Summer is the time to slow down, kick back and savor the iced tea by the poolside.

Recently, I savored a favorite summer-time activity by taking two teenagers to a festival in the park.  As the teens walked around by themselves, I enjoyed watching the little kids and parents interact. Parents, love on those babies! They will be teenagers walking around on their own before you know it. Ten years fly by in the blink of an eye!

I reminisced about going on the merry-go-round with my kids when they were little. Do you enjoy the merry-go-round at the fair? Or does it make your headache worse? Does the merry-go-round at the fair remind you of your life? Do you want to get off the merry-go-round of life? Enjoying the merry-go-round depends on your perspective.

If you are focusing on “Oh, I hate this! The lights, noise and vibration are giving me a headache! Get me off this thing!” you will not enjoy it. If you are focusing on “I hate the commute to work! There are too many dishes in the sink! The dog barfed on the rug,” life can feel like a never-ending merry-go-round—up, down, up, down, round and round, same-old, same-old.

Yes, if you stay in the same old patterns of thought, emotion and behavior, the same neuro-pathways in your brain get triggered and stuck in a rut. You get more of the same. What goes around, comes around.

But, if you lift the circle into a spiral by learning the lesson and by mining your truth out of each situation, then, when the pattern of thought, emotion, and behavior comes around again, you have more resources to deal with what life throws your way.

For example, I am a recovering chocolate addict. It took me many turns around the spiral to overcome my sugar and chocolate addiction. It did feel like a never-ending merry-go-round. I ended up with a nasty candida yeast imbalance that went around in a circle for years while I fed the candida with sugar.

I first lifted the circle into a spiral when I noticed the relationship between sugar and how I felt physically. Then, I lifted the situation up the spiral again when I noticed that I ate sugar when I felt an emotion—sad, mad, glad, anxious. Pretty much any emotion triggered my sugar craving. I learned the lessons, integrated the wisdom and lifted the situation up the spiral to overcome the craving for sugar.

Yesterday, I savored a few spoonfuls of my favorite ice cream and that was enough. In my past, I would have eaten the entire container. Because I was connected to my state of inner calm, I had no craving to finish the whole container of ice cream. My body, mind, emotions and spirit felt happy about that choice.

I’ve just written a book about finding your natural state of inner calm.  The book is called Seeking Serenity: How to Manage Anxiety and Love Your Life. I am super excited to share my book with you. I’m proud of the personal and professional work I’ve done over thirty years to collect stories to share with you. The book is full of tools and techniques that, when you practice them, will help you find your center when you lose it. Everybody gets off center sometimes, but with practice you can get back to feeling re-centered, grounded and in the flow of life quickly.

The book, Seeking Serenity: How to Manage Anxiety and Love Your Life, is available for pre-sale now. Here is the link. The book will be available to download for free on August 1.

If you want to get started right way, message me (651-472-3995) and we’ll set up a time to chat about your journey and ways I can support you. I would love to help you find your natural state of inner calm so you can enjoy the heck out of each moment this summer.

Joyfully yours,

Leah

Spiritual Detox for Body, Mind & Emotions

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Are you in emotional recovery and ready for a spiritual detox? 

Are you ready to let go of old resentments that are still holding you back?

Are you willing to shed the emotional weight of drama?

If you are ready and willing to experience more joy, inner peace and grace in your life, then I’ve got a deal for you!

I am looking for 8-10 people to engage in a door-opening, short-term, individualized project of self-discovery.

The project includes three 90-minute sessions:

  • a 30-minute spiritual guidance session of guided imagery, meditation, written exercises and creative movement;
  • a 60-minute bodywork session of therapeutic massage, energy healing, essential oils and sound therapy

Over the past five years, my regular massage clients have experienced personal growth as well as enjoying a relaxing massage.  A couple clients have chosen to change jobs and do more of what they love.  One client ended a bad relationship and is making room for a new love.  Several clients are better managing work-related stress.  Several clients have released emotional baggage associated with illness and surgery.   I want to see what a few committed individuals can create for themselves with focus and intention while using more of the tools I have to share from my toolbox.

Before I launch this program in a larger way, I want to pilot the 3-session project with a few committed souls who are excited by personal growth and who will give me feedback for future programs.

My commitment to you includes:

  • tuning in to your Soul and listening for spiritual guidance about what will serve you best;
  • sharing tools and resources that support you in gently releasing and moving beyond old hurts and negative thought patterns;
  • co-creating with you an individualized plan for you to know your best self and experience more joy in your daily life.

Your commitment includes:

  • setting an intention and doing the homework before each session;
  • offering constructive feedback;
  • allowing 2 hours for each session;
  • contributing the deeply discounted monetary cost.

The value I am putting on these sessions is $315 – although, it is hard to put a price on inner peace.

For this select group of 8-10 individuals, however, I am offering a
Pre-Launch Discounted Price of 30% off – or only $225.

If your heart is saying: “YES!  Now is the time!  Pick me!”  then call or text me and we’ll get started right away.  651-472-3995.
Or email leah.skurdal@gmail.com

If you are thinking this might be a fit for you and you would like more information, please give me a call and we can discuss whether this is right timing for you to join the program.  651-472-3995.

If you are interested but not yet committed and would like to stay on the list for the future program at full price, let me know too.  Email me leah.skurdal@gmail.com

Allowing me to focus my healing energy for your benefit and supporting you to embrace your own wisdom is an honor and privilege.

Let me know if you would like to join the personal growth project at this time.  Call or text:  651-472-3995  or email leah.skurdal@gmail.com

Be well!

Leah

Toggle to a Future We All Desire

world children

When your vision becomes more powerful than your memory, your future becomes more real than your past.  ~ Roger Hamilton, Futurist and Social Entrepreneur

500 years ago, smart, well-meaning people believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Copernicus showed they had it backwards.

500 years from now, will our descendants look at our belief in resolving conflicts with violence as equally misguided and ignorant?  We have a disagreement, so we kill each other’s children.  Makes sense, right?

The Copernican Revolution in the 16th century turned long-held beliefs upside-down, which contributed to changing the trajectory, or path, for future generations of scientists.  Folks in the 16th century left a legacy of scientific advancements, innovations, and reformation.

What legacy will our current generation leave for our collective descendants?  Whether or not you have physical descendants of your own, you still share our generation’s collective descendants.

I envision we will leave a powerful legacy for our collective descendants.  I envision our generation creating an unstoppable trajectory, or path, toward a world of peace 500 years from now.

What if you live your life today in ways that ensure both you and the next seven generations could thrive?  What if, after seven generations of thriving, you and I had helped set an unstoppable trajectory toward a world of peace and prosperity for all?  What if we focused on the world we DO want our descendants to live in 500 years from now and held the door open for them to walk through?

Whether our descendants attain the world we envision for them, or something better, doesn’t matter.  Our intention and the trajectory we set matters.  That is what we have control over.  Are we on course for fear, suffering and devastation?  Or are we on course for peace, harmony and prosperity?

I choose to live my life, day by day, moment to moment, so that my children’s children’s children will thrive on a trajectory of peace, harmony and prosperity.

Is my hostile attitude in this moment adding momentum to or detracting from my trajectory toward peace?    Time to self-correct.  (I hope to get to auto-correct, but I’m not there yet.) I consciously choose to toggle, or switch the screen of my awareness, AWAY FROM fear and what I do not want TOWARD what we PREFER and DO WANT.

We DO want healthy children thriving and contributing to healthy, thriving communities.

We DO want clean air, fresh water and delicious nourishment for all.

We DO want more love, more joy, more prosperity, and more vitality for all.

We DO want well-being for all.

The scientists of 500 years ago would be mystified by our cell phones, micro-wave ovens and airplanes.  They couldn’t have imagined what we would do with the trajectory of scientific discovery they set in motion.  Or did they?  Did someone imagine walking on the moon back then?

Set your personal intention and our collective trajectory in the direction of peace and harmony for all within 500 years.  The longest journey begins with a single step.   In which direction is your next step?

Leah Skurdal, inspirational speaker, teacher and author is available to speak to your group.  Click here to check out her You Tube video Soul Cookies.

Toggle to Joyful Center

gyroscope 5Attend my workshop, Toggle to Joy, as my guest, Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 6-7:30pm at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Student Services Bldg, Riverview Rm SC200. In Toggle to Joy, learn about shifting the screen of your awareness from the small, outside shell of ego, to the ever-present, Infinite Joy at the Center of your being… struggle, toggle, JOY.  struggle, toggle, JOY!

Also, if you have wondered about how to integrate Complementary & Alternative Medicine into your career, check out the Anoka-Ramsey College Integrative Health & Healing Certificate Program when you come to the workshop.  http://www.anokaramsey.edu/classes/Certificates/Integrative%20Health%20and%20Healing%20-%20Certificate.aspx

Toggle to Joy

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In sync.  Out of sync.  In sync.   Some days my outer light flashes green and red like my wifi connection needing to be re-synced.  Funny thing is that the inner light of joy is always on – like the internet is there waiting for me to reconnect.  Your inner being is always joyful and loving.  It is the connection between the inner and outer that fails.  When our inner light shines through to the outside, we feel joy.  When we drop out of joy, it’s time to re-sync.

I call that connection re-sync to the inner light, Toggling.   On your electronic device you can toggle between screens.  When we are paying attention, we can toggle between the inner and outer screens of our awareness.  We can toggle between the screen of Always Joyful Inner light, spiritual center, Soul or whatever you call it to the outer light of Sometimes Joyful ego- personality.   I notice that I just barked at someone. “oops!  I just dropped my Joy Connection.”    Usually these days, I stay in joy most of the time.  Sometimes, though, I notice my dropped connection more often.

Someone cuts me off in traffic and I cuss.  Yikes – just dropped my joy connection.   Toggle to Joy.  I am way short of sleep and I grouse at the kids.  Oops – Toggle to Joy.

If my internet provider dropped my wifi connection as often as I drop my connection to my joyful center, I would get a new internet provider.  However, I am my own connector to my joyful spiritual center through my awareness.

Personal mastery is not that you never drop the connection to your joyful spiritual center, but how quickly you get the connection back.  Personal Mastery is a process – not a destination – and toggling is a tool for your tool belt of personal mastery.

I am offering two opportunities to play with Toggling in my Toggle to Joy workshops:

Sunday, April 3, 2:00-3:30pm
Unity North Spiritual Center
11499 Martin Dr. Coon Rapids MN
Cost:  Suggested Love Offering $20

Tuesday, April 26, 6:30-8:00pm Save the Date!
Anoka Ramsey Community College
Integrative Health & Healing
Complementary & Alternative Medicine Club
Student Services Bldg.  Riverview Rm SC200
11200 Mississippi Blvd. NW, Coon Rapids MN
Cost:  No charge

Please join us for one of these Toggle workshops so you stay in joy more often too!

Call me with questions or to pre-register.  651-472-3995

The light in me sees the light in you!  Namaste!  Leah

Three Ways to Nurture Your Spirit

boston-park-in-fall

Fall time – a fun time of new beginnings, fall sweaters, pumpkin spice latte.
Fall can get stressful for me with the added parent meetings, workshops, and new projects to complete.

 

 

Three simple things I do when I am feeling stressed to nurture myself and nourish my spirit are:

  • Breathe – Most of us severely under-rate breathing on our daily importance scale.  With less oxygen on the planet than 100 years ago, our bodies have to work harder to stay oxygenated.  Breathing fully and deeply into the bottom of your lungs gives your body an energy boost from the extra oxygen.  Count in 4, hold 4, count out 8.  Try 4-5 of those full breaths several times a day to relax, restore and regroup.
  • Move – Physical movement helps you process the energy of the day moving through your life.  Feeling anxiously overwhelmed?  Try some aerobic exercise to jump start your fire and digest the energy more efficiently.  Feeling angrily stressed?  Try calming yoga movements to slow down and just be present.  I set aside time to move however my body wants to move in the moment.  Whatever movement you choose, MOVE to get out of your head and into your body where you can take action to reduce your stress.
  • Nourish – Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and the cleanest meat you can get.  The artificial ingredients in processed foods clog your system like cheese clogging a sieve.  When I am feeling stressed, a fresh veggie sandwich and pro biotics like fermented vegetable sauerkraut or a pro-biotic drink like kombucha gives me a lift.  Giving your body higher quality fuel will give you more stamina to deal with daily life.  If you can’t get high quality food, bless the food you do have with gratitude and raise the vibration of the food you are consuming.

When I want to push the refresh button on my life screen, I retreat.  Sometimes retreating to the bathtub for an hour suffices.  Other times, I am ready for the full weekend retreat get-away.  I was fortunate to get that weekend retreat away last weekend with a group of amazing women.  We laughed, danced, meditated and ate delicious food prepared especially for us.  I came home feeling refreshed and full of life.  I would like to offer you two delightful retreat opportunities!

Here are two retreat options for you to renew your spirit.
http://masteryintheartofliving.com/classes-and-workshops/

I hope you can join us!
Enjoy the Beautiful Fall Day!
Be Well,
Leah

Mini Spiritual Retreat

meditation ocean

 

 

 

When have you taken time out for yourself lately?

Come to Saturday Sanctuary Mini Spiritual Retreat

  • to nourish yourself so you have more to give others
  • recharge your batteries so you feel refreshed and re-energized
  • listen to your own wisdom so you can hear your voice above the roar of demands on your time
  • breathe and move so you can slow down your mind

Saturday, April 25, 9:00am-12:00pm
at the Wellness Circle, 7094 Lake Dr. Lino Lakes, MN

Cost:  $90

For more information or to register call Leah:  651-472-3995

Live Life Like Someone Forgot to Lock the Gate

Sophie runningDoggie friends, Sophe and Ziggy, live life like someone forgot to lock the gate. Sophe’s human companion Jim McDonnell lives by that motto too.   Jim proudly displays the trophy and blue ribbon that Sophe won in their partner race. This picture of Sophe running for joy shows her ears flying like sails. Jim runs and snowshoes for joy too; although his ears don’t flap in the breeze, his kilt does.   Sophe’s high-spirited nature charms Jim’s friends who marvel at her zest for life.

Our doggie neighbor Ziggy’s expression of joyful abandon infects everyone around her, too. Remember: don’t forget to lock the gate when Ziggy goes out.

Mean Mom doesn’t care to take on the responsibility of her own doggie family member, so my deprived, poochless kids get their doggie fix through neighbor dogs- especially Ziggy. My daughter thought she was in heaven when the neighbors offered to pay her to dog-sit for a couple days. I swear she would have paid the neighbors for the privilege of caring for Ziggy.

I do admit that I kind of enjoy dog-sitting at someone else’s house. Like a grandparent, I get to love them up and then go home. Ziggy, the pug-mix, overjoyed to see us and exuberant to go outside, races across the hardwood floor sending the rug skidding into the door which makes us laugh. Buster, the loving pug-mix, sends my daughter home perfumed with dog slobber. Like a starry-eyed girl after a first kiss, she doesn’t want to wash the love off her cheek.

Lesson for the day: find a job you love so much that you would pay someone to let you do it.

We observed another life lesson in action watching Ziggy and Buster interact. Ziggy squeaks her toy loudly in Buster’s face, prances back a few steps, then advances squeaking again to entice Buster to chase her. Buster’s food-focused priority enabled him to steal Ziggy’s sweet potato breakfast during her antics.

Second lesson: Seize the day! Focus on your priorities! Engage your friends in playful banter but eat good quality food first.

This week, I am on a road trip with my friend attending a seminar in Kansas City. WooHoo! Someone forgot to lock the gate! At the seminar, I marvel that I get to do work I absolutely love – work that feeds my Soul and allows me to contribute my gifts and talents to the world. My friend and I enjoy ourselves immensely savoring fabulous Thai cuisine, delicious bruschetta, grilled vegetables and even a glass of Chardonnay while learning skills to enhance the work we love to do. Doggie lessons one and two – check!

In the evening, I check in with the family to see if homework got done and how everyone’s day went. I left the family with plenty of food in the fridge, instructions to eat breakfast, and a schedule of the extracurricular activities to attend. I am both pleased and dismayed that they can function without my oversight. Maybe I can lighten up on the oversight.

Doggie Lesson Three – enjoy Sophe’s and Ziggy’s zest for life on a daily basis and in all areas of my life. I will work on that lesson when I get home.

Mouse Musings

minnie mouseOur pet mouse, Isabel, died today. Well, not actually my pet mouse. She is (or was) my daughter’s pet mouse. Isabel came home at the end of a 5th grade science experiment about the merits of fruits and vegetables.

My surprise at the passing of Isabel the white mouse is that I might miss her just a teeny bit. As I cut up vegetables for dinner, I realized I would no longer save tidbits for Isabel. Never did I dream that I would save vegetable scraps for a mouse. Curious things we do as parents. Living with Isabel the white mouse has taught me a few other things about life.

For a while, Isabel ran on her wheel every night. We shut the door so not to listen to the squeaking plastic wheel turn all night long. One day, we realized that we had not heard the wheel for a time. When we investigated why Isabel had stopped running, we discovered that the wheel had become lodged during a cage cleaning and would not turn. We adjusted the wheel so that it turned properly again, but weeks later, Isabel still would not run.

We mused that Isabel had failed so many times at turning the wheel that she quit trying. Even though one more try would have proved that the wheel turned freely, Isabel Mouse would sit in the wheel but she would not run.

How often do people behave like Isabel? They feel dejected over failure and refuse to try again. When have I quit trying, when one more attempt would have created success?

Towards the end of her life, Isabel appeared agitated and climbed the sides of the cage regularly looking for a way out. Maybe the cage was too stinky. Now, Isabel Mouse is free. Her carbon atoms buried under a tree combine with the carbon of the earth. Her life force energy combines with the Universal Life Force. Isabel Mouse finally got out of her cage.

Do you notice, as I do, how often people trap themselves in a cage of their own making – prisoners of old patterns of thought? Where in my life do I cage myself in my old stinking thinking patterns?

During meditation, I free myself from the stinking cage of my limited thinking mind. Focusing awareness on my breathing, I watch my thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky. With an open heart, I experience the freedom of aligning with Universal Life Force. I align with my Soul, connect to God, and feel free.

Thanks for the life lessons, Isabel Mouse. May you rest in peace.

Sending a Boomerang for Peace

boomerangActively commemorating the Season of Non-Violence, between the dates of Ghandi’s and ML King’s deaths, January 30-April 4, gives me an opportunity to send out a boomerang for peace.

During the Season of Non-Violence, I invite you to pay particular attention to any negativity you send out before it comes back at you like a boomerang. I experienced this first hand one morning when we were rushing to get to an event on time. In a crabby mood, I fussed at the kids about their lack of preparation and the possibility of arriving late. The tension in the air escalated. I fumed in the kitchen, hurriedly throwing together ingredients for a dish to bring to the third event in a day with back-to-back activities. In a careless, not-at-all-mindful moment, I knocked over a can of olives, sending the liquid flying all over the floor and behind the stove.

I took a deep breath, recognizing that I had just magnetically attracted that experience into my morning. Like attracts like. My negativity had come back to me like a boomerang.

Pulling the stove out to the center of the room, I cleaned the floor and the wall behind the stove while imagining that I was cleaning the negativity from my aura. The day got brighter. On that specific day, I had to focus several times on mindfulness in the moment.

Some days require the extra mindful awareness to my responses. The fellow in the next car flips me off because he doesn’t like the way I am driving. Breathe. When I am mindful of being the change I want to see in the world, I send a boomerang for peace, “I hope the rest of your day goes better.” If I am not paying attention, or if I have already collected too much negativity in the day, I may boomerang negativity back at him – which will come back to me later.

I invite you to bring mindful awareness into your daily interactions. Are you sending a boomerang for peace or for violence?

While attending kids’ sporting events in the past few years, I have sometimes noticed adults yelling or speaking rudely to players or refs. My daughter and I commented on a poster at a kids’ basketball tournament, which read: “Remember, this is a game. The players are kids. The coaches are volunteers. The refs are human. This is not the NBA. Have Fun!” I invite you to be aware of the level of respect in your tone of voice at your kids’ sporting events. Are your comments contributing to hostility or to fun?

Today, I had the opportunity to talk with middle-schoolers about non-violence. Gossip presented as the hot topic. One student suggested that when she hears negative talk about a friend, she weighs what she knows about the person and chooses not to believe negativity. Another student says that she walks away from negative talk and will come back when her friends change the topic.

A couple years ago, while assisting with two situations requiring conflict resolution among adults, we found that the root of the conflict started with miscommunications via electronic media. When volleying email and text messages back and forth, I invite you to be mindful of your intention. Others cannot hear your voice and may misinterpret your words. Misunderstandings over electronic communication can mess up relationships. When I get an email or text message that feels prickly to me, I try to communicate verbally in person or via phone call to sort out the underlying message.

Being the change I want to see in the world, as Ghandi urged, requires that I put mindfulness into practice in my daily life. It takes one set of skills to be mindful of my thoughts while sitting peacefully in meditation. Being mindful during daily interactions requires another set of skills. In what ways are your thoughts, words and actions contributing to peace or to violence? What is on the boomerang you are sending out today?

Leah Skurdal teaches classes on meditation and wellbeing at the Wellness Circle in Lino Lakes, Minnesota. For more information, click here. Or visit her website, www.MasteryInTheArtofLiving.com