The Skinny – Amy Brunell

Happy New Year-What Returns You to Yourself?

Recently I asked people what made them feel connected to themselves when life threw them for a loop? I thought many people would be able to quickly tell me some strategy they had to connect to their deepest selves. They didn’t. Most people didn’t have an answer.

So Happy New Year.

Let’s make a list of what makes us happy and connected! This will be a gift for yourself. So take it seriously. Go get a piece of paper. Now. Get a pen. Yes! I’ll wait. Really. (Jeopardy theme…)

This is my (not in any order) list-always under construction!

Music. Makes me gleeful. Right now as I’m typing, Bruce Hornsby is serenading me. When I dance and when I sing I feel my body lift, my mood lighten. It’s amazing what music can do for me. I’m so grateful for music.

I think I need to make a new iTunes mix this year…”When I feel down-LISTEN NOW.”

Exercise-okay don’t groan. It’s true. A great walk in a beautiful place is very helpful. Sometimes I like to listen with music, sometimes I like the meditation aspect of just being alone moving.

A good long stretch after a good gym work out, with great music, is also incredibly uplifting. Just moving those muscles and stretching long and slowly. Wow. Giving over to my body and just being in harmony with that. Yowsa!

Chopping all kinds of colors-Eat your vegetables! Put on the good music. Take out at least three colored peppers, fennel, carrots, celery, perhaps some Kobacha squash and start chopping. Awesome. Now you are ready for roasting, salads, etc. Prepare now for happiness the rest of the week.

Mediate. Meditate. Meditate.
Mediation is not about making your mind empty. Don’t worry you aren’t doing it right. If you can sit for 5 minutes to begin with, that’s enough. It’s training your brain to let thoughts go, so inspiration, connection, God, can actually come in. Sit, breath deeply down into your lower regions. When a thought comes, which it definitely will, just tell yourself, “let go.” As each thought comes, notice and then let go.

With practice you’ll find that you’ll have more time your brain isn’t thinking wildly and starts calming down. Eventually wonderful great inspiring thoughts come in. You feel connected to yourself and to your deepest source. Wonderful.

Write-Writing is my middle-aged passion. I’ve become a writer. Who knew? When I write, I feel a sense of deep connection with my source, my divine. Writing also relieves me when I’m down. It lets me “get it all out” so to speak. I find relief when I can express in words my distress. It doesn’t make it all go away, but it does offer relief.

Garden. I don’t do this nearly as much as I want to. When I make this a regular habit, there is something that happens within by body. I feel deeply grounded. Especially doing anything with dirt. Feeling dirt is very settling on a soul. It can just be potting plants, nothing fancy. Just be in dirt. Pull weeds. Clear a space. Lovely.

De-clutter. I can only work on small patches. I get too overwhelmed to think about a whole closet or a whole room-forget it. But I can do a drawer or a shelf. And as I’m throwing things away, I feel more relief. Afterwards, I look and look at what I’ve accomplished. It feels great.

Laugh. I will download stand up comics just to laugh for 10 minutes before bed. It really helps to hear someone talk about something and be able to laugh about it. Puts things into great perspective. And it’s great to go to bed after having laughed a few minutes.

Read Biographies. When I read about people who endured through a difficult time and then read what they have learned, how they overcame difficulties, it gives me strength and often puts my own woes in perspective. We are all much more the same than different.

Talk to someone. I have my therapist. Thank goodness. I also have a couple of dear friends. And I even can talk with my spouse. He knows to play some music. Thank goodness for that!

Hopefully, I’ve given you some inspiration for your own list. When you are down, it’s hard to remember you have a list. Keep it handy. It does really help.

The Actors' Gang

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