“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” 🌸🏵️🌻🌼
I hope you’re having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!
Xoxo Kim 💕💜
“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” 🌸🏵️🌻🌼
I hope you’re having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!
Xoxo Kim 💕💜
Mozart: Canzonetta Sull’aria – YouTube song 🎵
Relaxing songs list – website
How to use 4-7-8 breathing for anxiety – website
Diaphragmatic Breathing – Short youtube video to quickly learn how to breathe most effectively
(Content/possible trigger warning ⚠️: In part of this post, I briefly & lightly mention BDSM, a kink, where people, with consent, may be t**d up, usually in a s*xual context. It’s nothing graphic that I explain but just mentioning something to do with breathing that I learned in a fiction book about BDSM, that helps with meditation. But anyone who has experienced trauma may be triggered even by non graphic things, even by seeing certain words so I may block some things out with *** It’s important to face triggers but only when ready as possible, not by suddenly seeing a post on the internet when not in the frame of mind. Also, some asexual people do not want to encounter anything that has anything to do with s*x even if they weren’t traumatized because it’s icky or repulsive to them[not prudes at all, just grossed out and/or tired of hearing about the s*x constantly when it’s not in someone’s nature to want/crave it].
I’ll put a warning before the mention of the BDSM so any trauma survivors or aces can skip it. And I will put the caution signs ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ at the end so anyone who skips can see where it ends and continue reading.)
“The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as ‘relaxing breath,’ involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.“
This is a very simple and powerful technique to stop anxiety in its tracks. Of course, it may not work for every single person but is effective for many, if not most. For me, it works instantly.
I haven’t been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and never struggled with general anxiety but I have suffered a six month long battle with debilitating health anxiety in 2019. And in 2015 I lost my close friend unexpectedly to a heart attack and after that have struggled with bouts of anxiety off and on and fear of others I know all of a sudden dying. Every now and again but not frequently, I have this terrible suffocating fear arise that someone I know will die soon or is dying right now or will suffer an illness. It’s something that comes and goes and even though it’s not constant or usually frequent, it is difficult to bear when it does occur. It can feel like it will never end and like I am the only one in the world suffering it. I have also struggled with crippling claustrophobia, which I have conquered on my own as I frequently must get on elevators for work. It was important for me to heal it.
So while I don’t have anxiety as badly or frequently as some people and don’t currently have a disorder, I know what it’s like to be plagued by anxiety sometimes. I believe my experience with health anxiety in 2019 would have been diagnosed as a fullblown disorder if I would have asked for help. It takes extreme strength and courage to battle anxiety. It’s a display of strength and courage to live with anxiety, NOT a sign of weakness or cowardice. People with anxiety are forced to be stronger than people without anxiety have to be, yet often feel we are weak and cowardly if we are anxious and fearful. There is no way we would be surviving it each second if we were weak minded. It takes emotional and physical strength to endure. To me, it’s worse than depression and I have suffered severe depression off and on for years. It’s difficult to imagine the strength of anxiety survivors who live with it regularly. Just six months for me was nearly unbearable.
My anxiety when it arises, more often than not, manifests as physical sensations and emotions as opposed to thoughts. Because of this, mine may be easier to calm down when it does arise than if I had deeply rooted fears and thoughts.
My heart pounds, nearly out of my chest, my breathing becomes shallow, my head spins, and bolts of fear run up and down my body, heart palpitations, and I have this terrible feeling that someone I know is dying, near death, or will soon die. Sometimes it lasts off and on for days, usually just off and on in one day. It tends to be worse at night and early mornings when it is occurring. And sometimes my health anxiety for my own self tries to return and convince me I have cancer. It’s absolutely frightening and life destroying when it’s constant like in 2019. I developed uncontrollable rituals each day, incessantly checking for lumps and marks on my body. I stayed on Google day and night reading about diseases and looking at pictures of diseases I was convinced I had. It was a fullblown obsession. How I survived those six months, I still don’t know.
When it’s out of control, it’s very difficult to meditate or just breathe so best to catch it when a symptom or episode is just beginning, or beginning to worsen, or not quite as intense. When my heart begins to pound or those bolts of fear ripple up and down my body, I do the 4-7-8 breathing technique and instantly my body calms. It’s not a cure, of course, but a good way to get instant relief and if it becomes a habit, it may just be a “cure” for some or at least make anxiety less frequent. It’s just it can be difficult finding the motivation or time to make it an ingrained habit. Or for many, their anxiety is just generally too severe to be able to sit there and breathe, mindfully.
But for me, it does work. When I’m out walking, if I am hit with fear or panic or anxious sensations, I do that breathing technique. Also, I haven’t made it a habit yet but at night/morning, I listen to a peaceful song/music and do the breathing technique even if I am not currently anxious. It’s very pleasant and can prevent anxiety. It instills in me a peaceful sensation all throughout.
One thing to be mindful of is if we meditate only infrequently or haven’t in a while, meditation may bring out more fear or anxiety or anger or sadness or grief…, because we have emotions and responses to everyday life and certain experiences already inside us and often pent up. Meditation will loosen it up and bring it all to the surface/consciousness like a plunger loosening all the contents in a sink or toilet. Lol It may make it seem like meditation or mindfulness is a bad thing or just not for us. But could just be we have to meditate more often. Everyday we experience things and our emotional reactions no matter how serious or not, build up. We get cut off in traffic, we drop things, we spill coffee on our white shirt, we see someone almost get hit by a car running across a street, we hear a loud noise that startles us, our coworker says something that ticks us off, we may remember someone dying years ago and feel current distress or sadness about it…all of our emotional reactions to these things stay inside us even if we quickly forget them. Then meditation brings it all out later and we may feel the stress, anger, fear for a while after a meditation session but it’s actually a good thing as all those emotions need a release.
As I mention when promoting breathing exercises, I suggest people who are physically able to, as long as it’s safe for them, do the shoulder blade exercise at the beginning to open up the airways and make breathing easier and deeper.
⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ Content Warning ⚠️⚠️ ⚠️
Some years ago, I read a fiction legal thriller series of books by Stephen Penner, for fun and learned an invaluable life tip. In one of the books, the medical examiner, character, Dr. Kat Anderson, explained that putting our arms back like that opens the chest cavity and helps us breathe better. In the book a woman was accidentally killed by her man while they were engaging in BDSM, a kink where they tie each other up and stuff; it looks and sounds violent but is usually safe and is one hundred percent consensual.
The characters were hooking up and he tied her arms back with her consent and he accidentally killed her. The doctor explained how she would have died sooner if not for her arms being tied back like that. The reason she died is he choked her (with her consent) and since her arms were back, she was breathing better so lived longer. I realized I can do that before meditations to make me breathe more deeply and just randomly throughout the day and then a professional fitness trainer told me the same thing, to do that all day, everyday. It aids in our breathing.
⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️END⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️
So put your arms straight at your sides then lift them to your waist, bend the elbows and squeeze shoulder blades for five seconds then loosen for a few seconds then do the same again however many sessions you see fit. Don’t shrug your shoulders while squeezing the shoulder blades. That isn’t necessary and may not be safe or effective.
This is only for people who can safely do this, don’t have pain or physical limitations, have arms…I understand this isn’t for everyone. I think the average person can do this though. Remember for counting seconds, 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi….I learned this is elementary school just saying one two three is less than a second so put the Mississippi after and it’s closest to one second. 😁
This song in the YouTube video above, Mozart: Canzonetta Sull’aria, is one of my favorite ones to meditate to. It’s beautiful and peaceful and scientifically shown to be one of the most relaxing songs on Earth. Weightless – ten hour version or Weightless – eight minutes version is the actual most relaxing (scientifically proven) and I love that one too. But this one is a bit too relaxing and can make us sleepy or go to sleep. I’m not always trying to go to sleep after meditation. Sometimes I’m meditating in the morning or afternoon or out walking or before work and Weightless isn’t a good idea those occasions. But it’s great right before sleep or if it doesn’t matter if we are sleepy.
When breathing, only the abdomen should move, not the chest. And breathing should always be inhaling through the nose with the stomach expanding and exhaling through the mouth with stomach deflating. It’s called diaphragmatic breathing and does matter. It’s the proper way to breathe, the most healthy, but most of us don’t breathe that way and our breathing is shallow. Diaphragmatic breathing is best for coping with pain and anxiety and just the healthiest in all of life.
Remember to breathe as slowly and deeply as possible, especially breathing out. It takes practice. And remember to gently bring your wandering mind back to breath. That takes practice too. Everyone without exception will have a wandering mind, even those experienced with meditation. It’s just the nature of the human mind. It’s not a flaw or something worthy of self criticism. It’s just important to catch it as best as we can because before we know it our allotted meditation time is over and was taken up daydreaming of our lunch later, or some task at work tomorrow, or stores we have to visit. Again, not a flaw! And not an indication that we aren’t good at mediation. It happens to everyone who tries to meditate or do breathwork. It’s just important to get into the habit of catching it as much as possible for mediation to be most effective.
Anyone who tries meditation or breathwork is successful. Just taking that step to better our own self and be better for those around us is an accomplishment.
Hugs, love, inner peace, and light to all! 💗
“I climb way up to the top of the stairs and all my cares just drift right into space (up on the roof) On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be…”
I hope you’re having a beautiful day or night wherever you are! Here’s an oldie n a goodie, for you!! I was up on the roof recently and captured some of the views surrounding me. There’s so much beauty all around us! Let’s always make the choice to cherish it all no matter what kind of day we are having!
Up on the Roof – James Taylor -mobile
Much love & light to you, always….♡
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Yeaaahh! There’s so many beautiful things to be mindful of and tune into using all the senses we have!
Especially this season! I love the holiday season! All the lovely fragrances and decor! This year it’s hot as hell in Philadelphia! It’s often freezing cold & snowing by now and this year people are still walking around in shorts! Walking to work today, it felt like Summer!
I love cold weather but at least with it so warm, work is opened more days. We often close for “bad” weather. And another great thing about warm temps is some flowers are still in bloom and Summer bugs haven’t all died off. I love those things!
One visited me tonight at work.
What a beauty! They are green with clear green wings. If you can identify this beautiful creature, let me know, please! ❤
It kind of sucks because we already had Spring & Summer this year! We don’t need another. But it’s still beautiful and I’m looking at the bright side!
Much love to you!
xoxo Kim ❤
“The habit of being uniformly considerate toward others will bring increased happiness to you.” ~ Grenville Kleiser
I agree with this. I think it’s important to be mindful of others and how our words/actions may affect them, not just for what we get out of it but because it can help them be happier and put more love out into the world. ❤
It's a great reminder that I think most of us can use sometimes. It can be tempting to be thoughtless or rude on occasion, especially when other people are unpleasant first.
I found this quote in the book on my Kindle app, "Happiness 365." It's a whole book full of happy quotes!
Also, I love it because the authors dedicate their book to us & our happiness.
I love when an author dedicates a book to people in general or certain people they don’t even know! ❤
Much love & happiness to you!
Here is a list of inspiring/thought-provoking/lovie quotes and some of my pictures!
“We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want”
We can do and be anything on the outside but always keep that emptiness within, reserve a place inside to be love, light, bliss…
“Although gold dust is precious, when it gets in your eyes, it obstructs your vision.” ~ Hsi Tang
“To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss.” ~ Bodhidharma
This is a very wise concept. It’s good to have goals and desires but it’s also good to let go once in a while and just be. Be without getting attached to goals, people, places, situations, things…
“Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.”
“The highest state of love is not a relationship at all, it is simply a state of your being.” ~ Osho
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled.” ~ Ray Bradbury
Yes, let go, disown, accept, BE.
“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” ~ Dalai Lama
This is a good one if you’re stuck being around people acting negatively. We can’t always surround our selves with only positive people and sometimes have to interact with or be near people with negative energy and vicious intentions or just bitter, miserable seeming people. But we do not have to let them destroy our INNER peace. I can be whatever I want inside no matter what is going on around me. No one can drag us down if we don’t allow it. Our environment can be chaotic, negative, even abusive but we can remain calm and positive within. True peace isn’t necessarily a peaceful external environment. True peace is being calm and undisturbed INSIDE, whatever our outside is like.
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” ~ Zen proverb
When we open up and become receptive, we will see teachers everywhere, in the form of people, situations, things, encounters….
They are always around, we just aren’t always ready to receive.
I love how in these pictures it look like a gray sky kind of day but the sky was really quite blue that day! It was so bright blue with big fluffy clouds looking all pretty! I was amazed at the beauty and size of the clouds and took the pictures in a way so only the clouds can be seen around the trees.
Look closely, you’ll see the blue shining through! This is the same day and so are the ones above these three pics! All blue skies!! 😀
“Flow with whatever may happen
And let your mind be free.
Stay centered by accepting whatever
You are doing.
This is the ultimate.”
We can try to help things when we can but when we can’t, it’s good to accept, just breathe and be and go with the flow.
Seatbelts save lives so buckle up, buttercup!
And it may save you a traffic ticket or whatever. I couldn’t care less if you get a ticket though, (you deserve one if you aren’t wearing a safety belt anyway) it’s your life and safety I care about.
Even if I don’t know you, I want you to be safe and LIVE! ❤ ❤ ❤
“Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to first let go of the idea that there is a problem.”
It’s all about that attitude!
“Surrender to what is.”
“For sentient beings, poor and destitute, May I become a treasure ever plentiful, And lie before them closely in their reach, A varied source of all that they might need.” ~ Shantideva
“What we learned as children, that one plus one equals two, we know to be false. One plus one equals one. We even have a word for when you, plus another, equals one, That word is LOVE.”
How cheesy! Lol But cute! You know I love my sap!
“If with kindly generosity one merely has the wish to soothe the aching heads of other beings, such merit has no bounds.” ~ Shantideva
I know people often say actions speak louder than words and it doesn't matter what we feel or think if we don't act, and in some cases it seems true but I also think that just what we are, what we wish for, our energy…is important.
We can't always act on what we feel or want and we sometimes, for whatever reason, may just choose not to, but that doesn't take away what we are or want. Just being, is often enough. Well wishes for others is sometimes enough even when we don't express them. What if I see someone suffering and want more than anything to stop it, even if I have to put all the pain on me and bear the burden myself, but for some reason I can't or won't take action or take action but it doesn't work, at least I still have the wish and desire to stop it which is better than not caring or even wanting to add to the pain. What if I see someone on TV suffering or hear of a tragic war in another country and can't do shit about it, that doesn't obliterate my love and compassion. They count for something! And when we feel compassion, we are often more likely to act in compassionate ways.
“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.” ~ Markus Zusak
“Courage to the fearful,
Freedom to the enslaved,
Strength to the weak,
To all sentient beings.” ~ Shantideva sentiment
This thing, it’s superdelicious!!!!! A caramel apple with chocolate and peanut topping!! oh, my! I have been eating them everyday!! so yummy! The red apples are sweeter, jucier, and tastier than the green! mouthwatering!! ❤ 😀 Delectable! One of my favorite things about Fall!
“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.”
Thank you, Bill ( https://worldstrata.wordpress.com/ ), for sharing this one with me!!
“How wonderful will it be when All beings experience each other as limbs on the One body of life.” ~ Shantideva
WE are all in this together!
This is my baby, my friend today! These things are so cute! I never share their pics on facebook because I don’t think most people feel the affection for them I do and while going through their news feed and seeing this, their heart will probably skip a few beats and not in a good way! I don’t think it’s as startling to see pics here of them, they are smaller pictures here, I think and it’s not like one individual picture just in your face. If i’m wrong and you are freaked out, sorry. I just have so much love for kreepy krawlies, no one can imagine or understand. And I want to capture and share their beauty & cuteness. I’m so thankful for their lives. ❤ I will save them every chance i get. 😀
And since I'm in the Halloween spirit, here's Michael Jackson's Thriller for you!
“You hear the door slam
And realize there’s nowhere left to run
You feel the cold hand
And wonder if you’ll ever see the sun
You close your eyes
And hope that this is just imagination
But all the while
You hear a creature creepin’ up behind
You’re outta time
‘Cause this is thriller
Much0 luv to you! ❤
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
This post is about a day that I can say with complete certainty is one of the best days I ever experienced. I can’t say I have one day that is “the best day of my life.” I have occasions many days that I can say qualify as “the best.” And I don’t think there should be just one or a few days that are the best. I want to make every day as best as possible. Some will be better than others. Some will even suck for the most part and that’s quite alright!
But some days really stand out to me as the absolute best! And Monday, June 1st, 2015 is one such day!
Why do I remember the date? I’m really not sure. Maybe because it’s the first day of the month? Nothing significant happened at all. I wasn’t on vacation. In fact I was at work! How many people can say one of the best days of their life, was at work during the work hours?! Lol But I can!
There was no “socially acceptable” (for lack of a better way of putting it) cause for celebration. It wasn’t a holiday (that I know of), no hanging out with friends, no graduations, weddings, engagements, job promotions, childbirths, amazing news,…that I was somehow associated with.
It was just a slow, calm, rainy night at work. I was alone, drinking hot tea, reading my zombie-like/apocalyptic thriller which I was loving to pieces. It’s my favorite! I was listening to a few great songs over and over, including Len Barry’s Bristol Stomp. I probably had a headache (because when do I not have a headache?), I did not have much money (because when do I ever?), my grief was still somewhat new (I lost a coworker, who I was close with, to unexpected death in February) it wasn’t my favorite kind of weather (except the rain and it was cooler that night than it has been), it was bordering on Summer. I’m more of a Fall/Winter kind of girl, it was quiet and still and I was waiting for a mystery thriller novel to come out that was to be released in eight days.
Book 2 of a series by Dr. Carey Baldwin, and I waited seven months for that thing to be released!! Seven months! (and I’m in the middle of another seven waiting for the next! January 2016!) I could not wait! I was so happy that day knowing in just over a week, it would be in my hands (or on my Kindle app to be more accurate). I read it in less than one day! It’s not a novella or anything, I just read it non stop til it was through. (And so did a few others because when I looked there were already four reviews for the book, just a few hours after it was released! So, it appears I’m not the only fanatic who waited up all night til it showed up on Kindle then devoured it all in one sitting!)
So my point is that nothing significant at all happened. And the conditions were not perfect to me. Like I said, I had no money, it wasn’t like it was my favorite season, I wasn’t at home being able to do whatever I wanted or on a big fun-filled vacation…yet I can safely say it’s one of my sweetest, most cherished memories. One I will always keep with me.
I did not want the night to end. I remember I stood up and looked at the clock on the wall hoping it wasn’t nearing 10:00pm because then I would have had to leave. I wasn’t obsessing over the time. I was being mindful that night. But I stole a glance as I leaned against the counter in the store I work at. I remember the exact moment it happened. It was just after 8:00pm. The moment I declared, just in my head though, this to be one of the best days of this life of mine. I even smiled to myself and felt awe at the fact that I can find so much beauty in simplicity and monotony. And as is typical of me, I also felt amused.
This can seem pathetic of me or absolutely wonderful depending upon the way we look at it.
Pathetic version: “seriously?! This girl must have nothing going on, must have a very boring life for a night at work with nothing happening to be the best! Omg, How sad!”
Absolutely wonderful version: “seriously?! This girl must have an amazing life to be able to take an ordinary day, rainy, at work, nothing big going on and STILL find wonder in everything!! Omg!”
See?! All how you look at it! 😀
Let’s go with option number two though!? ;-D
My whole point? Any old day can be the best and our conditions do not have to be perfect to us, at all to be happy, thrilled, serene, to find love and joy and feel that this moment is absolutely, without a doubt, perfect. We can be in pain, broke as a joke, at work!, with nothing of importance (in a social way) going on and it still be the best!! It’s all about mindfulness, gratitude, and attitude!
I can’t say for sure what makes a day “one of the best,” really. There were other great days I was in a fantastic mood, reading something sweet or doing something else fun, even in conditions that were more “perfect” to me. Weather I like better, more money that day, something blatantly thrilling happening, out shopping, on a fun vacation, out at a restaurant….and were still beautiful days but did not necessarily stand out to me as “the best” or as great as that day. It’s not always something that can be identified or defined. But attitude and mindfulness and gratitude definitely play a big part.
“Goodness is easier to recognize than to define.” ~ W.H. Auden
We often tend to think that a “best day of my life” has to be something tremendous like our wedding day, having/adopting a child, getting engaged to be married, graduating some school or program, vacation days, holidays or some dramatic celebration, winning the big lotto,…and it’s fantastic to have those as some of our best days but it’s also ok and amazing to declare a simple, ordinary day as one of those best days! Let’s not hold back waiting for more or better or the perfect conditions, to be happy and consider this day the greatest day of the year/our life! This day is ours to cherish. ❤
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” ~ Mary Irion
I found this image here:
Tina Lewis Rowe – Insights, Information, and Inspiration
We may think of normal days as boring or plain or mundane and feel the need for something more. It’s ok to want and work for more. But let’s remember to cherish those normal days and keep in mind that one day, we may wish with everything we have in us, that today was just a normal day. People struck with tragedy, illness, pain, violence today….may wish that today was just like any other day. No matter what happens today though, we can find some good if we try.
And even if a day is really shitty, there can be some happy moments to seize and hold onto! Let’s remember those ones! Let’s create memorable moments each day or most days. Then we can look back and say “Yes! That was the best!” even if we don’t remember the date. Each day, for most/many of us, is probably so mundane, so ordinary, even if it’s fun and happy, that it slips our memory when it ends. If nothing “big” happens, it’s unlikely to stand out later. All those little pleasant moments slip away into oblivion never to be held again. The scent of the flowers that caress our noses as we walk to a store, the comfort of our child or puppy/kitty curling up on us to sleep, sitting in a cafe with a sweet friend, belly laughing at a hilarious joke or something we read or remembered or saw on tv, drinking hot tea, reading a wonderful book on a cool night…these things we appreciate then they’re gone. So let’s be more mindful of them while they are occurring. They are so fleeting. Let’s grasp them. Imprint them into our hearts forever. Make it a point to remember. Take pictures. Create gratitude lists. Publish blog posts/statuses about them, scrapbooking, journaling…or just be genuinely mindful and then we can always remember.
“Life isn’t perfect but it has perfect moments!”
Much love to you,
Xoxo Kim 😀