Are You Afraid of…the Silence?

One of the most powerful healing things you can do for yourself is to surround yourself, if even for just a few minutes a day, with silence. In a world consumed with quick, costly “fixes,” there’s something we can all so easily find and benefit from (physically, emotionally, psychologically), it’s free, and yet many of us are…afraid of it!

I used to be one of those people who feared silence. I woke up in the morning, and immediately turned on my television. When I got home from work, the first thing I did was turn on my television. It’s not that I actually watched anything a lot of the time, it was just comforting to have some form of noise in the background. Writing this, I can’t believe that there was a point in time (and a long point in time) in which I actually wanted noise.

I can’t attribute my silence appreciation to one particular thing. I did get rid of my cable, but before that, I began meditating, and learning about the Tao. Silence (or attempting to achieve it) can be, at first, a bit overwhelming. And by silence, I don’t just mean a silent room or space, although that’s a wonderful start. I’m talking silencing your mind, controlling your thoughts so that they focus on just one thing at a time. As you might imagine, that can be extremely difficult. I must say though, the more you meditate and enjoy periods of silence, the easier it will become.


I didn’t just jump right into silence, but instead used guided meditations which very quickly helped me to see the benefits of calming my mind, floating into the silence, not worrying or thinking about the past or the future…living and breathing in the now.  It’s a mental renewal every day, and the benefits are evident on a daily basis…patience, less stress, less fear, confidence in tackling everyday problems, better sleep, more energy, positive outlook, and the list goes on. So often, we let everything accumulate in our minds…problems from months ago that may have already been fixed, but for whatever reason, still rent space in our brains. Enjoying silence through meditation helps you to let go, to leave the past in the past, and live in the present, to slow down, to treat yourself to relaxation and rejuvenation.

Silence and meditation allow you to be alone with your thoughts, but in a good way, a productive way. So often our days are spent worrying about our problems, wondering how on earth we’re going to get everything done that “needs” to be done, stressing about the past, present and future, mentally preparing our every move, always trying to be one step ahead, but rarely enjoying where we’re currently standing. Before we know it, yet another day, week, month and year have “flown” by. But why have they flown by? Because we didn’t take the time for ourselves, to be alone with our thoughts, not the superficial “To Do List” thoughts, but deep thoughts, the kind that cause our spirit to reawaken and find its purpose. We didn’t take the time to slow down and enjoy the moment.

Silence truly is golden. It can slow down the hands of time. It can benefit your well-being in ways you never would have thought. It can heal you. Silence can be your own personal therapist…if you’ll let it.

~Carolyn

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I Love Mondays?

Monday, Monday!

It’s 7:30 Monday morning, I’ve up been awake since 5:30 and up since ten to six.  When I got into bed last night, I decided that I would wake up extra early to do my full hour of exercise in the morning, hence the 5:30 wake up call.  Well…5:30 came, my alarm went off and I hit snooze, only to be awoken 5 minutes later (my phone which I use for an alarm only snoozes for 5 minutes).  I continued this little game a few more times before I finally hauled my behind out of bed.  Yes, it seems kind of pointless that game, but I did learn one thing from it – 5:30 a.m. doesn’t work, it is too early!

I wasn’t sure what the body of this post would be, but I had the idea: the weekend goes so fast and I really don’t like Mondays (who does?!).  Then, I had a better idea while I was getting my shoes on – try and make this the best Monday I’ve had in a long time and write about it!  Write what I did and if it worked for me.  I can’t promise that this day will be the best, but I am certainly going to try.  For obvious reasons, although I’m starting the writing now, in the morning, I won’t be able to post this until tonight.  So, here it goes!

As I mentioned, I woke up early to work out which I did, for 30 minutes.  I felt/feel great about it.  I’m not dwelling on the fact that I didn’t complete the full hour like I had planned but hey, I did something and I am happy and grateful that I not only did it, but that I am healthy enough to be able to do it.

I showered and got ready in record time – another in the plus column.  Luckily, my hair and makeup routine is pretty minimal so lingering in the bathroom is not something that I do.  I’ve meditated and I’m now eating a healthy breakfast, plus and plus.  So far, so good.  I’ll be logging off in a few minutes to get dressed and pack up for my 11 hours away from here and then, I will be off to work.  That, my friends, will be when the real test begins!  Ciao ciao until tonight.

Well, I’m back home.  To keep this post from being too long, I’ll give you a quick run-down of how the rest of my day went.

The bus ride to work was uneventful which is always good.  I enjoy taking the bus since it’s my quiet reading time.  I decided to read Dr. Dyer’s book The Power of Intention instead of the other book I brought with me, 50 Shades of Grey.  I’m about to start Chapter 13 of that book and so I know what to expect – this is definitely a book to read at home! It is hot, hot, hot!!

The morning was also good, lots of driver traffic in and out of the office (I work at a transportation company), and I had quite a few pleasant conversations with them – always nice.

The rest of the day went very good and very quickly.

I logged onto Word Press on my lunch and checked out the Freshly Pressed blogs and read A Midsummer Night’s Cream at A French Frye in ParisI’m not much of a traveler, but after reading that, I am inspired to save up and head to La Belle Paris!  It’s a wonderful blog with beautiful photos and great writing – check it out!

So, as I said, I am back home and feeling relaxed and happy.  It was a very nice Monday, full of good conversation, lots of work and some very nice and inspiring reading.  Sure I had a couple of frustrating moments, but at work, who doesn’t? The difference today is that instead of letting things upset me like they tend to on Mondays, I just smiled and moved on with the rest of my day.

It just goes to show that everything I read is true about positive energy attracting positive energy and negative energy attracting negative energy.  I started this Monday with a positive attitude and look what happened – I had a great day.  It’s all about the power of positive thinking!

~Trisha~

Taking the Plunge

“Don’t die with your music still in you.” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer~

That’s exactly what my sister and I did last night. We filled out the information to start our own business. We don’t even have a business plan! Well, technically, we do…it’s just all in our heads, not in some formal, intimidating, scary-looking “Business Plan” format. That’s just not us. We’re tired of having to fit into molds, doing things “their” way. We’re just flying by the seat of our pants, something the “old us” would never have done. Last night, sitting on the couch as we filled out the e-paperwork…was pretty freaking scary. We started getting snappy with each other, impatient, feeling anxious, nervous…getting mad at the form we were filling out for asking questions about our “anticipated profit”?! Afterwards, although still a bit scared, I think the overwhelming feeling we experienced was excitement. We’re finally taking charge of driving down our life’s path instead of relying on a chauffeur.

I think we’ve both just reached the point where we are tired of being the hamster in the wheel going around and around and around. Our hearts are just not in our jobs anymore…were they ever? I doubt it. In Ten Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, Dr. Wayne Dyer writes of the importance of following your passion and discovering what truly inspires you, the music you were put on this earth to play. For so many of us, we “play music” on a daily basis, but it is not our music. It’s the music that gets us through our day-to-day lives; it allows us to put a roof over our heads, pay our car insurance, feed our family…but, is it the music we were meant to play, or want to play? Is it the music that makes us feel good, feel fulfilled? Is it the music that corresponds with what we believe our purpose in life is, our passion? For me, the answer is no. And that’s why I have made this leap of faith. That is why I’m taking the plunge. I don’t see the safety net, but I know it’s there.

~Carolyn

Let your music play!

Trimming Your Screen Time – Ten Simple Ways to Watch Less TV

Okay, so the idea of not having a TV is not the ideal option for most people.  In fact, if the statistics that I’ve read are any indication, I’m pretty sure most people would rather chop off an arm and wave it around than give up the old TV.  Basically, most Americans watch 6.47 hours of TV a day (I’m assuming they are talking about both pre and post work hours here ‘cause that’s a lot of TV to be watching in a single day!).

Now I’m not going to sit here and preach about the virtues of going TV-free or even TV-lite, since up until a year or so ago, I was one of those people watching endless hours of mind-numbing television.  However, I will tell you that last summer I made the decision to give it up and I haven’t looked back.  I should point out that I do still, technically, have a television (for watching DVDs and my workout videos) – what I don’t have is cable and where I live, that’s the same thing as not having a TV.  Nary a channel can be found on my TV.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering on more than one occasion what you were doing sitting in the front of the TV instead of out and about doing something, I think I can help.  Although I basically cut out TV completely on a whim, I do realize that that particular way is just not realistic for a lot of folks.  In fact, most TV-lovers would probably prefer to simply cut back on their TV time, not cut it out altogether, which is more than doable – it’s a great idea and I promise you won’t regret it.  I have offered up some tips below that anyone wishing to expand their lives beyond a television screen can work into their day.  Try one, try some, try them all – you won’t regret it!

1) Turn on Your Stereo

Instead of turning on your television the minute you wake up in the morning or the minute you walk into the house at night, turn on your stereo. If you’re like me, you like a little noise in the background when you’re fixing dinner, cleaning up, etc.

2) Set a Time Limit

If the first tip is out of the question because you absolutely just have to have your morning television fix or your evening news jolt, then set a time limit.  Really – say to yourself that you’ll watch only enough to get the “Top Stories” and the weather.  After you’ve seen what you “need” to see, turn it off.  You’ll still be informed, but you won’t be wasting precious early morning prep time lingering in front of the television.

If you’re weaning yourself off TV (which again is perfectly fine – just because I went off TV completely, cold turkey, doesn’t mean you have to – that’s just my personality, all or nothing), set an allowable amount and stick to it.  For instance, tell yourself that you’re allowed a maximum of two hours of TV each day and that’s it.  How you use those two hours is up to you.  My one word of advice is, don’t watch TV right up until your bedtime.  You need downtime before hitting the sheets and TV doesn’t qualify – there is just too much stimulation for your brain (this goes for computers as well – log off at least 30 minutes before you plan on turning in).  Try reading or meditating instead.  I guarantee you will find you have a better sleep.  Really, I promise.

3) Move Your TV Out of Your Bedroom

Speaking of your TV and your bed, don’t watch the darn thing in bed.  In fact, if you have a TV in your bedroom, move it out of there, stat!  Your bedroom should be a peaceful, tranquil room; watching TV while in bed is anything but peaceful, admit it.

4) Eat Your Meals at a Table

What a novel idea! Eat meals at the kitchen or dining room table instead of in front of the TV.  Not only will you enjoy your food and become a more mindful eater, you might also wind up having a great conversation with your family, and what could be better than catching up with your loved ones?

5) Get Out There

Get out of the house or apartment and play!  Nothing is better than being outdoors and having fun.  That’s hard to do if you’ve melted into the sofa in front of your television.

6) Do Something You Enjoy

Find a hobby or pick up a new one!  There has to be something that you’ve wanted to do, but kept saying to yourself you didn’t have the time for – gardening, knitting, a sport.  Remember, if you’re like the average North American, you’ll have an extra 6 hours a day – think of what you’ll be able to do with all of that free time!

7) Say “Om” 

Try meditating.  There’s something about the idea of watching garbage on TV after meditating that seems almost vulgar.  You have just cleared and reset your mind, centered yourself – why would you want to introduce anything negative and/or unbalanced into your mind?  You won’t, that’s why this is on the list!

8) Volunteer

Not only will you be getting out of the house and away from your TV, but you’ll be doing something good to boot.  You’ll feel better, the people you’ll be helping will feel better – everybody will be happy.  Smile!

9) Enjoy…Silence

Enjoy the peace and quiet, and watch your days slow down! Mindlessly watching television, scheduling your days/evenings around television programs, only serves to diminish your “me time,” believe it or not. Watch what happens when you begin to lessen the time you spend in front of your television. Miraculously, you’ll have MORE time for yourself, and your days will, literally,  slow right down.

10) Do a Little Math

If none of these tips are up your alley, try this one – grab your cable bill, look at the total, multiply it by 12 and see what you come up with.  Have you done it yet?  Crazy isn’t it, how much money we spend, or have spent, to be “entertained”?  Now think of all the other things you could be doing with that money!

I hope that I’ve given you some ideas that you feel you can and will use in your daily life to, if not cut it out completely, at least trim your screen time.

~Trisha~

Hello world!

Hello and welcome to Simply Om! With this blog, we hope to inspire as well as share and gain knowledge of all things Zen. We have, over the past couple of years, been transforming our lives and decided to share that process with like-minded people. You can read about each of our (ongoing) journeys under Our Stories. We will also be sharing some of our favourite things including our favourite books, favourite recipes, favourite blogs, etc.

We invite you to take a gander through our baby and leave a thought, story and/or add your two cents to our favourites collection.

Enjoy!

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