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How To Eject Your Inner Critic December 2, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.
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We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Carlos Castaneda

Even better than ignoring the “inner critic” (so you can sing, write, laugh, dance, or play in peace for a few minutes at a stretch), terminate his/her lease, and eject your inner critic from the building entirely.

How?  Practice meditation.  Silence the mind.  Just be.   

In meditation practice, as the observer of your thoughts, you start to see all the “crap” (technical tantric term) running through your brain.  That energy could be better utilized in your current creative endeavor.

When you learn to stop that constant stream of noise (your Monkey Mind), you begin to exist in the field of pure potential and pristine silence. 

And that empty space is filled solely with inspiration ~ from inspire, “to breathe” ~ drawing in exactly what you need in that moment.

So meditate. 

Just be here now.  

“Don’t just do something.  Sit there.”

* * * * *

There are many different types of meditation.  Play around until you find a technique that helps you calm your thoughts.  

If you’ve never meditated, here are a few ideas to get you started:

(1) Watch waves crash on the beach (or focus solely on the thought of crashing waves). 

(2) Repeat a positive affirmation, like “Be here now,” or a phrase, like “All we need is love,” or a word, like “Ohm . . . ” 

(3) Focus on a repetitive activity, like chopping wood, waxing a car (“wax on wax off”), or carrying water. 

(4) Watch your breath coming and going: every time you find yourself focused on anything other than your breath, come back to your breath. 

Whatever you choose to focus on, let everything else go.

* * * * * 

Start small. Don’t sit down in a full lotus position for an hour spent berating yourself for your inability to get your mind to “Shut the *$@^ up!”  

Aim for five minutes of just sitting still, and observing a candle flame, or listening to the ticking of a clock, or counting 99 bottles of beer on the wall. 

* * * * *

Meditation, like playing the piano, gets easier the more you practice.  At first, just try not to get attached to any extraneous thoughts for 5 minutes. 

Sit quietly, and comfortably, and let your thoughts drift across your brain like clouds through the sky.  Just watch them come and go. 

As you do, you realize that you not your thoughts and your thoughts are not you ~ you become the observer of unbidden (and sometimes unwelcome) thoughts which constantly stream across your mind like a ticker tape parade.   

Try to slow down those passing thoughts and extend the silence ~ as if the clouds were parting with more and more blue sky showing. 

When you get to patches of cloudless sky, the silence becomes profound, and you start to feel your connection with . . . well, everything.

There’s no right way or wrong way ~ there is only the way. 

“Just start . . . and the way will appear.”

Related posts:  Your Brain On Bliss * Guided MeditationMindfulness Meditation: A Miracle Drug * Deepak Chopra: Mindfulness Meditation

Writer’s Handbook & Writer’s Market December 2, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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Getting serious about getting published?

Ready to earn some bucks for putting words down on paper (or on the screen)?

Pick up copy of the Writer’s Handbook or Writer’s Market (both updated annually), or add them to your Holiday Wish List. 

These valuable writing resources address the How, What, and Where of publishing:

* How to Write (including 110+ chapters of writing tips)

* What to Write

* Where to Sell (including 3000+ Markets for Manuscripts)

What about the Who and the When, you ask?  

The Who is you, of course! 

And, as for the When, there’s no time but the present, is there?

        Be Here Now. 

The Writer’s Handbook and The Writer’s Market both “publish” on-line editions via subscription.

Related article in Writing for $’s:  Turning Old Ideas Into New Sales