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Awake in the World

When winter seems to drag on forever and cabin fever threatens, here are five ways to remain mindful and keep it away.

1)    Cook Up Something New: If you love food, cooking and creativity in the kitchen can focus the mind and bring it to a state of meditation as well as sow good vibes into food. Meditation is often thought of as sitting down, but the experienced meditator brings that still, focused state into every day actions. This is good practice and one that will invigorate rather than weary the mind. So grab that knife and chop those zucchini or tomatoes one concentrated stroke at a time and put all of your love into it. Invite friends along to enjoy your mindful meal.

2)    Play Some Music: If you love music, find a good piece (preferably instrumental) and practice listening to each note as it unfolds and combines with the whole. This meditative practice helps to develop focus and soothe the mind. It will develop concentration, the first step in any meditative practice. If you’re a musician or a wanna-be, then playing notes and practicing will have a similar effect. Simple instruments like recorders or Native American flutes sound lovely and require little effort. The aim is to maintain focus on the breath and notes.

3)    Art with Heart: Drop those perfectionist tendencies, get out your crayons, collage materials or paints and play. Don’t worry about coloring in the lines.  Follows renowned dream analyst, C.G. Jung’s example and create a mandala a day to express how you feel.  Mandala, the circular designs inspired by Asian wisdom traditions, focus on the center and have a circle as their basis. By making it a meditative act without expectation the creative experience may allow in new ideas.

4)    Take a Walk in the Wild – Even though it may be cold get outdoors all the same. Naturalist and author, Henry David Thoreau walked to move energy and open space for creative ideas.  “I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking,” he wrote. “They who never go to the holy land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds, but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean,” he wrote in his essay Walking. Emerson said about him that the length of his walk generally would influence the length of his writing, making it more abundant. Thoreau demanded wild nature. No gardens or sidewalks or anything tame. He loved the harmony of being in wilderness. Getting outside into a forest or by a beach can open up creative spaces in us that we didn’t know existed.

5)   Work with Dreams – Dreams can open the door to self-understanding. By spending some time in the evening focusing on symbols and reflecting on inner life, a new world of the spirit can open up. Make a point to pick up a book by C.G. Jung or read something about dreams. If you haven’t recalled a dreami n awhile consider what kind of dream you’d like to have. Keep a notepad and pen to record them when you wake up.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and “Garden of Bliss: Cultivating the Inner Landscape for Self-Discovery” (Llewellyn Worldwide, February 2013). A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices, writing and creativity in the U.S. and Europe. More at http://www.awakeintheworld.com and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/DebraMoffittAwakeintheWorld

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