Inspired by Rachael Herron's latest podcast - How Do You Write - Episode 60 (one of my #1 favorite podcasts of ALL TIME!) - I remembered a blog I wrote about 2 years ago for my day job and figured this would be a good time to upcycle/recycle it :)
If you live in America chances are you’re stressed. There are ways to combat stress with supplements, any adaptogen will help. There’s also diet and exercise. But one of the best ways that you can start today and it won’t cost you anything is to learn how to meditate.
Here are 6 easy techniques for beginners:
First - sit in a comfortable position either crossing your legs on a cushion on the floor or sitting comfortably on a chair, the bed or the couch.
Whatever mantra you choose (and you can change it up), the idea is to repeat it silently over and over and over and over. That’s it.
5. Walking Meditation - I love walking meditation! You walk slowly, eyes cast downward so you don’t trip and focus on your steps, you can count them or not. Or if you’re good at multi-tasking you can walk and count your breath or recite a mantra. Regardless, the idea is to walk very very very very very slowly.
6. Exercise as Meditation - People who do extreme sports will find that their exercise is their meditation because if you don’t focus completely on what you are doing at every second you could seriously injure yourself. I have a friend who uses running as her meditation. I use aerial arts. Anything where you have to completely focus can be used. So for example if you’re riding your stationary bike at home and watching TV that is not meditation.
Overall meditation advice no matter which form/s you choose:
If your mind wanders that’s completely normal and just gently bring it back to your meditation (breath, sounds, dot, whatever). If you suddenly feel an inspiration or your mind is telling you that there are other things you need to be doing as soon as you’re done meditating, let it go. Those thoughts will still be there when you’re done. Don’t admonish yourself for having them. Be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge the thought and then go back to the meditation.
Remember that many forms of meditation are to help you quiet your mind. If you can practice even 1-5 minutes a day you will notice a huge difference. Your stress will lessen. You’ll be less reactive to your children, friends, spouse, other drivers... You’ll develop better planning skills, better organizing skills and a calmer demeanor. You’ll be able to relate more to the world and people around you.
There are dozens of types of meditation, more advanced forms can focus on listening to your mind and more. The point of this article though is to give you some simple tools to begin and find one that will work for you. This too can change over time. Like everything in life meditation is fluid, not static.
Set a timer if you have time constraints. After the meditation is over, don’t jump up and go, go, go. Allow yourself 3-5 minutes of “getting back into your body”. It can be a mind-altering experience and you want to honor that. Ideally you want to meditate for 20- 30 minutes a day and if you can eek out 20-30 minutes twice a day, you will be floored at the benefits you will receive but even 1 minute a day is better than zero!
AKA - Confessions of a Girl Gamer From "Long Ago"
I completely realize this will "reveal" (kind of) my age but I'm OK with that and here's why! 1. I don't look my age, peeps 20 yrs younger than me think I'm younger than they are. 2. I don't act my age. 3. I'm proud of my age (probably because of reason #1). 4. Screw ageism. 5. Whatevs.
So my first game was pong. Yup, you read that correctly. I was a kid so I have no idea when the family got it but we played it as a family and we loved it. My dad had a patient who worked for Mattel so when I was a kid I had all the handhelds (old school handhelds!) Remember Merlin? This was BEFORE that! The racing game was my favorite - blips of light, that's all it was. There was a fun football game I remember too. Then I played intellivision. For some reason that was crazy fun.
I spent a lot of my high school years in a bowling alley because they had - you guessed it - video game consoles! Of course I loved Pac Man and learned "the quarter on the string" trick early on but my favorite was Centipede. I could play that game for days (years more likely).
When I was a roommate in college my flatmate had a box Mac (not sure what it was called) and he had this dungeon game with ridiculous "graphics" ie: non-existant but I played that game for a bazillion hours. In 1988/ish I bought my first PC and went to have it built (eventually I learned how to build my own). It was crazy huge and expensive and I asked for an EGA card. The guy at the store asked "why would you want color?" and I said "for gaming" and he said "what's that?" Back then most gaming was text based! Which is a very happy place for me because it combined reading (my favorite) with gaming!
When Mario 16 bit came out - I stayed up all night long with friends - for days on end. For that and for Zelda. Those were some magical days/nights indeed.
Eventually things got serious and so did I. After college I worked for GamePro Magazine and was a game tester. These interests finally led me to co-create the first video game review TV show in the US. It was an interesting path. One thing led to another, to another, to another. There were a few years where I got an inflated ego because strangers in public recognized me and I had some fan mail (very little mind you!). I was flown in a helicopter to a game party, I lounged in the grotto at the Playboy Mansion, I drank champagne and traveled the US. In the end though, I lost part of my soul.
But back to the games - In the early 2000's I became an evercrack (Everquest) fanatic, leading me on yet another journey. I've played a myriad of games, I'm not a fantastic player but I was always "good enough for a girl" and now all that has changed. And I'm so happy about it! Girl gamers abound! Back in the day, guys would come up to me with weird expressions and say "you're a gamer?" but now it's commonplace and some girls even get paid for it! How awesome is that?
Our grandparents may measure their lifetime changes in one form of technology (washing machines, cars, etc.) and we may measure ours in another - video games. I suspect the future will measure theirs in sentience and longevity. If we don't destroy the planet and each other before then.
But for now - take some stress off and go play a video game!
Author Chloe Adler
Here are some musings - Nothing fancy - no outline and no editor - just some stream of consciousness. If you're looking for the Journey of Rain Star (blog/story) you can find it here. If you want to read my books, please go here :)