Thursday’s Vacation Week Treat

Published August 21, 2014 by Mayr Berry

Thursday vacation

Thurday’s Vacation Treat

 Quieting the Mind

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Professional basketball executive, former player, and coach, Phil Jackson, recently stated that meditation fits his style really well because he likes to begin his day with a quiet mind. “I tried a bunch of things, tai chi and yoga, none of them stuck! What did stick, was meditation” (Jackson, 2013).

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Don’t Let the World Make Us Bitter

In a recent article, posted in the Huffington Post, Dr. Smita Malhorta stated that the world can be a difficult place. She explains that we may experience suffering, heartbreak, or the loss of a loved one. All of these things can take a toll on our souls. She suggests, however, that we must not lose hope and asks us to think about the Yin and Yang in Chinese philosophy, which states that opposite forces are often interconnected. In suffering, she reminds us that we can find great strength. In heartbreak, we can find resilience, and in loss, we can find a renewed appreciation for life.

Malhorta postulates that life comes with Yin and Yang. The two opposites are interdependent and interconnected; that we do not need to be afraid. In every difficult situation, we are being tested. If we become bitter and angry, we have lost.

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She asks that we take a moment and stop to notice each flower, each weed that is breaking through the cement to find the sun, and each butterfly that has found it’s wings (Malhotra, 2014). In other words, we must learn to see and appreciate the beauty around us.

Iaian Thomas wrote:

Be soft.
Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,
you still know it to be a beautiful place.
Keep your sweetness.
Be soft.
And know that the world is a beautiful place.
Always.

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For more information on Mayr’s published works or to purchase any of Media Magic’s Business Life titles, please visit our website at: Media Magic Publishing

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References:

Jackson, P. (2014, July). Success through stillness. (O. Winfrey, Interviewer).

Malhotra, S. (2014, July 16). 8 lessons I want to teach my daughter. Retrieved August 17, 2014, from The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smita-malhotra/eight-lessons-i-want-to-teach-my-daughter_b_5565037.html

Wednesday’s Vacation Week Treat

Published August 20, 2014 by Mayr Berry

Wednesday Vacation

Wednesday’s Vacation Treat

Contentment

Medical practitioner and author, Dr. Deepak Chopra postulates, that when we speak of inner contentment, we mean more than just feeling satisfied with the circumstances of life. Too often that kind of contentment includes a tinge of resignation as well. Chopra believes that real contentment is the happiness that is at our core; that all is well in our world. In this state, we are aware that we have everything we need right now to feel good about ourselves, others, and life. Even with outer conflicts and uncertainties, our core existence is settled, self-contained, and we know we possess whatever is needed to meet any situation. Living true contentment is more than confidence, it is the feeling of inner fulfillment (Chopra, 2014).

dog on beach

Author, journalist, motivational speaker, and long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad was asked if she meditates. She replied that while she walks her dogs on the beach, she looks out at the horizon and can feel her pulse coming down. All the monkey chatter, something that eats into her confidence, where she worries about this, or is paranoid about that — all of that stuff going on in her head is silenced (Nyad, 2014). This level of meditation allows the practitioner to experience the peaceful beings they truly are at their core.

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Do Not Complain Unless You Can Suggest a Solution

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Do not be a constant complainer. No one likes that person. If you do not like your current situation, work towards changing it. But don’t sit and complain about it. Complaining will get you nowhere. In fact, it will only make others not want to be around you. Be someone that looks for the positive in every situation. And if you do find a problem, be someone that can suggest a solution. You will never get to where you want to be by complaining about where you are now. Each step in your life is preparing you for the one that comes after it (Smita Malhotra, 2014).

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For more information on Mayr’s published works or to purchase any of Media Magic’s Business Life titles, please visit our website at: Media Magic’s Publications

References:

Chopra, D. (2014, August 20). Living contentment. Retrieved August 20, 2014, from Oprah & Deepak 21 day meditation challenge: https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience.

Nyad, D. (2014, July). Success through stillness. (O. Winfrey, Interviewer).

Smita Malhotra, M. (2014, July 16). 8 lessons I want to teach my daughter. Retrieved August 17, 2014, from The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smita-malhotra/eight-lessons-i-want-to-teach-my-daughter_b_5565037.html.

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“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing!” ― George Bernard Shaw

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Tuesday’s Vacation Week Treat

Published August 19, 2014 by Mayr Berry

Tues Vacation

Tuesday’s Vacation Post Treat

Kindess

kindness

Dr. Smita Malhorta, M.D. Suggests In every Tough Situation Try Kindness First

“People may make ugly comments. The airline may lose your bags. Another driver may cut you off. These situations will happen everyday. How are you going to respond?
 
Although your first response like many others will be to get angry, why not try a different approach? Anger in these situations rarely solves problems. People are more likely to respond to kindness. And you can be kind and be firm.
 
Get your point across without sacrificing your integrity. It is the only response that you will not regret later. No matter how upset you are, always treat others with respect. You will be surprised at how much can be accomplished with kindness” (Malhotra, 2014).

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Stay Positive

happy

How Best Selling Author Dani Shapiro Uses Meditation to Stay Positive

“My meditation is my personal prayer. The phrases I include are,  ‘May I be safe and be happy. May I be strong and live with ease’. You say them quietly enough over and over just to yourself, but then, eventually, you say them to others. You pray for them by saying ‘May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be strong, may you live with ease'”  – Dani Shapiro, Best selling author.
 
 

References:

Smita Malhotra, M. (2014, July 16). 8 lessons I want to teach my daughter. Retrieved August 17, 2014, from The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smita-malhotra/eight-lessons-i-want-to-teach-my-daughter_b_5565037.html.

Shapiro, D. (2014, July). Success through stillness. (O. Winfrey, Interviewer).

For more information or to purchase any of Media Magic’s Business Life Ebook Publications, please visit our website at: Media Magic’s Publications

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“A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love.” ― Mother Teresa

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Monday’s Vacation Week Treat

Published August 18, 2014 by Mayr Berry

Monday vacation

Our team is taking a short vacation this week. While we are away “charging our internal batteries” each day we will post knowledge and wisdom from leaders that have inspired us here at team Media Magic. It is our hope that others may find value in them as well. Have a great week everyone!

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Oprah Winfrey Discusses the Meditation Practices of Eastern Cultures 

Meditation

“People have been meditating for thousands of years across cultures, continents, and spiritual traditions, all with the goal of quieting the mind. Zen Master and Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh, quiets the mind by going into a meditative state, while being mindful and fully present, carrying out simple everyday tasks, like walking and drinking tea.

The ancient Chinese tradition of Tai Chi with its emphasis on graceful, mindful, movement, has also been used for thousands of years to reduce stress and calm the mind. Walking maze-like labyrinths, for instance, have also been used for thousands of years as a meditation tool for reflection and positive awareness.

The Japanese culture on the other hand, has incorporated the meditative principles of Zen Buddhism into many traditions, from the tranquil art of calligraphy to the careful delicate shaping of the bonsai tree and the creation of an exquisite Zen garden designed to inspire quiet relaxation” (Winfrey, 2014)

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Dr. Deepak Chopra, M.D. on the Medical Benefits of Meditation

improved sleep

“Meditation does many things: it quiets the mind; it quiets the body; it takes away stress; and  improves sleep.” (Chopra, 2014) – Dr. Deepak Chopra, author, public speaker and physician.

References:

Chopra, D. (2014, July). Success through stillness. (O. Winfrey, Interviewer)

Winfrey, O. (Producer), & Connor, S. J. (Director). (2014). Super soul sunday series: Success through stillness [Motion Picture]. USA.

For more information or to purchase any of Media Magic’s Business Life Ebook Publications, please visit our website at: Media Magic’s Publications

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“Happiness consists not of having, but of being. It is a warm glow of the heart at peace with itself.”
 ― David O. McKay

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Meditation as a Strategy

Published August 15, 2014 by Mayr Berry

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On Wednesday I talked about how difficult it was to learn how to meditate. What helped me over the hurdle, was approaching this discipline like I did learning anything new: begin slowly, one step at a time. After all, I did not achieve a perfect somersault on my first attempt in gym class, but within a few minutes I was rolling around the mat like a bowling ball. They were fun! I didn’t learn how to perform an aerial cartwheel until years after I perfected the one-handed version. I didn’t learn how to write on my first attempt. In fact, I still vividly recall when I was two, my paternal grandmother trying to teach me the Greek alphabet. Each time I attempted to write the letter epsilon (“E” in English) I couldn’t remember how many short strokes the capital “E” had, so my first attempt at “E’s” looked more like hair combs than a letter of any written language. Realizing that nothing is easily accomplished on the first attempt was my breakthrough. When my inner voice stopped asking questions, or criticizing my lack of progress and I shifted my thoughts from my perceptions of what meditation should be, I began to learn how to appreciate and enjoy that quiet time, no matter what thoughts popped into my head. Rather than judge them for defying my intent to quiet the mind, I eventually learned to smile, and welcome them, even giving thanks in acknowledging they were there.

Woman practicing yoga at sunrise

Since then, I have participated actively in many forms of guided and non-guided meditation, both with equal benefits. Each time I did not include it as a part of a regular practice, I found I was unable to achieve optimum levels of health and performance outcomes. Now that I have added this practice back into a regular schedule, I continue to experience positive effects in my physical well being, emotional health, and relationships. I even look forward to my meditation and exercise sessions now. In fact, a ten minute meditation now feels like a mere few seconds … and there are times when even a half hour goes by like five minutes! The good news is that meditating is not the challenge it once was, the bad news is, that when the session is over, I feel like a kid at an amusement park who just finished a thrilling ride and wants to go on again!

Ethics and Breaching Audio book Ad

The audiobook versions of my eBook publications which are currently available on amazon.com, audible.com and iTunes, Ethics in the Real World and Breaching Communication Barriers, include short mindful practice bonus tracks at the end of each title. These short tracks were developed using the principals of positive thinking. The five-minute audio tracks were created to help encourage productive communication and ethical behavior  with techniques that integrate the power of intention with the laws of attraction. They are meant to be used for short breaks to revitalize energy and focus the mind to help individuals operate from a more balanced state of mind.

Meditating business partners

These work great for people with uber busy schedules. They are meant to provide choices other than coffee or cigarettes for reboot internal systems at break time. Let’s face it, no matter how old we get, we all still enjoy, and frankly need to schedule a little recess time as a picker-upper. Traditionally, when we take breaks we will seek escape from substances like  donuts, cookies, alcohol, a smoke, or some kind of treat to distract us for a little from whatever we’re doing so we can return refreshed and ready to engage. The idea behind these bonus tracks is to offer a different option with healthy benefits that contribute to our well-being rather than relying on substances that increase toxicity levels which then our bodies have to absorb and process, like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or junk food. For those of us working hard to heal our bodies from the effects of stress and avoid further contamination, or at least making concerted efforts to cut back on toxic habits, these tracks provide a tool as an alternative to help individuals engage in behaviors that uplift the spirit and build self-esteem. When we feel confident, we are motivated to perform our best and ultimately achieve higher outcomes. A word of caution, however, this state of mind can also produce infectious personalities that tend to inspire others around them to raise the bar. You may find yourself in a happier state of mind, feeling better, and even enjoying more quality relationships.  Those are the changes I continue to experience now that I have included mindful practices as part of my regular schedule. Try it … what have ya’ got to lose?

Well, that’s it for this week. My team and I are going to take a little time off for a short summer break. We will return again September 1st with all new posts. Until then, enjoy this season and stayorganized.

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“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” ― Emily Dickinson

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Learning to Quiet the Mind

Published August 13, 2014 by Mayr Berry

Conceptual picture - tornado in woman's head

On Monday I disclosed how difficult it was for me to learn how to meditate. Today I reveal the journey that helped me work through the challenges I faced. Once I understood that regular meditation practice would be beneficial in helping me manage my health and well-being, I was ready and open to achieve successful outcomes. Needless to say, although I had a better attitude about this practice, the transformation did not occur overnight. I had to approach this as I did when learning any new behavior, like reading music or playing an instrument. In other words, it was going to take some work, because for me, meditating did not come naturally.

child praying

In my family, we were taught and conditioned to pray regularly. The closest I came then to quieting the mind as a child was when I went inward for prayer. I did not grow up in a culture that taught us how to be still, look inward, and reflect. It was quite the opposite in fact. The environment I grew up in kept us engaged and active. Our caretakers had limited education and wanted a different life for us. As a result, we were kept engaged a variety of activities, in and out of the home. While most kids were out playing with friends, we were given tasks and required to complete them all before we were rewarded with any free time. This included daily school work, Greek lessons, a physical fitness program, plus domestic cleaning and yard work. By the time we were done with our responsibilities, it was time for bed.

We were equally active at church too and joined many organizations to help out. In short, in my family, we were supported and encouraged to keep our bodies and our minds active. I am appreciative of these rewarding experiences because they helped enrich my life in so many ways. What was equally significant, however, was that although I didn’t always appreciate them at the time, many of these activities filled my heart with joy and provided me a sense of accomplishment.

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Once I enrolled at the university to pursue a bachelor’s degree that same level of commitment and dedication to my family and the Greek Community was now driven by the passion of my academic pursuits. In other words, my life didn’t slow down. My lifestyle supported a state of being that kept me active and engaged. This explained why I had such a difficult time quieting the mind to meditate. I lacked experience! The closest I came was in prayer, but even then, I was silently reciting words, so I was never really in a complete state of silence.

The reality was, I could not quiet my mind and focus on the present moment because I was conditioned to keep my mind in an active state. The voice in my head was in constant chatter. In other words, it was natural for my inner voice to remind me how uncomfortable the pillow was in class because it always behaved this way. It was normal that my legs were tickling me now that they had fallen asleep because that’s what happens to my body when I sit crossed-legged for extended periods time. Of course my head got itchy and needed scratching, this was an automatic response. What was not normal was my becoming still to observe it all. In other words, I never slowed down long enough to observe my own behavior. This was new territory!

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The more I focused on keeping quiet, the louder the voice sang, danced, and did everything it could to distract me. My mistake at the time was in keeping silent about how difficult the experience was. Yogi John’s class however, was not a beginner’s class, so many assumed I had experience in this practice. Why else would I have attended? Furthermore, the meditation sessions after yoga class were optional. They were offered as bonus relaxation tools and were not a requirement. The truth of the matter was that a close friend, also a teacher in Yogi John’s classes, invited me to attend. Had this been a beginner’s meditation session, I would have asked for more assistance. The instructors would have offered more guidance and assured me that everything I was experiencing was actually a normal part of the learning process. I discovered this later when I actually attended beginning classes in a small community located in central Virginia called Yogaville. Where better to become more educated about yoga and meditation?

On Friday, I will conclude this discussion before I recess for a short summer break. Until then … stay organized!

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“Happiness is part of who we are. Joy is the feeling.”  —Tony DeLiso

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Mindful Practices: The Arduous Journey

Published August 11, 2014 by Mayr Berry

friendly relationships

The focus of my posts recently, have been centered on the importance of learning how to deal with strong emotions at the work place and in the home in order to maintain good relationships, keep communication open and avoid creating negative or oppressive atmospheres. Last week we examined the positive effects that mindful practices and meditation have as effective coping skills. In today’s post I reveal the difficulty I had trying to navigate a journey that included meditation as a habitual practice in my own life.

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When I attended Yogi John’s classes in Hollywood, meditation time after a workout was really difficult for me, even though I embraced the idea of relaxing after a hard workout. To begin the meditation practice, we were asked to grab a pillow from within the room and sit crossed legged with our backs held straight and our hands resting lightly on our knees. It was great to include a quiet place to chill after these strenuous workouts, but sitting with my back erect, crossed legged, clearing my mind to focus on my breathing was not my definition of relaxation. In fact, I had to work really hard to concentrate on clearing my thoughts and maintain a good posture, as I quickly discovered that slouching added more strain on my back. In short, after a physically challenging workout, I found this was proving to be just as hard as the class!

meditating difficutly

First of all, I was not used to sitting for long periods of time like this. I soon discovered that I was not conditioned to maintain this posture for longer than about five minutes. My back started to feel strained and my legs were starting to fall asleep. So rather than feel a sense of accomplishment from trying this new practice, and unlike the yogic masters that could sit in this posture for hours on end, after 5 minutes, I was now fidgeting and praying I would not not attract attention by how difficult this was proving to be for me. In addition, I was subtly trying to wake up my legs that apparently had no problem with relaxing because by now they had dozed off, leaving me to process the effects of the tingling sensation as they snored away!

I was having an internal meltdown. I kept looking at the clock wondering how long I had been sitting there and how much longer this was going to last. In other words, the more I tried to relax the harder it was. How on earth was this supposed to be a relaxing, enlightening experience? All I felt were heightened levels of stress! It was like trying to pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time; although that I could do that a lot easier! At this point, my mind was racing rather than calming down. My inner voice was asking all sorts of questions: Am I doing this right? Are others struggling as much as I am? What if I can’t get up, or worse, fall down because my legs took a vacation? What am I going to make for dinner tonight? My inner dialogue was like a late night comic’s monologue! Needless to say, my first experience in learning how to meditate proved to be a harder task for me than learning how to read, speak, and write in Greek! So, how did I overcome these challenges? That’s our conversation for Wednesday’s post! Until then stay organized!

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“Peace is not something you wish for, it is something you make, something you are, something you do, and something you give away. – Robert Fulghum

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