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About the Author
Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is the author of more than 40 books in the areas of creativity, psychology, coaching, mental health, and cultural trends. He is a psychotherapist and creativity coach, and writes for Psychology Today and Professional Artist Magazine and presents workshops internationally. Visit him at www.ericmaisel.com.
Read an Excerpt
By Eric Maisel
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 2004 Eric Maisel
All rights reserved.
The six decks in the A Little Every Day series are Everyday Calm, Everyday Creative, Everyday Smart, and the soon to come Everyday Mindful, Everyday Centered, and Everyday Joyful. These six ideas—calm, creative, smart, mindful, centered, and joyful—make up a complete program for creating an excellent way of life. Each individual idea supports the other five. If you use the decks in concert with one another, you will find yourself growing in profound, unexpected ways.
The thirty cards in the Everyday Calm deck provide you with thirty different ways to soothe your inner beast. They will teach you strategies for quieting your mind chatter, eliminating your negative self-talk, relaxing your body, and reducing your overall stress. I invite you to learn about breath awareness, self-forgiveness, selective inattention, walking as meditation, and much more. Each card in the Everyday Calm deck will help you grow more calm. Just pick a card and let your journey begin!
I am always happy to hear from readers of my books and users of my decks. You can find the best way to contact me at my web-site, www.ericmaisel.com. I hope that you find the decks in the A Little Every Day series evocative, beautiful, and useful. May you have a calm, creative, smart, mindful, centered, joyful day!
Calmness is a practice. It starts with intention. Hold the intention to be calm.
Grow calm through practice.
Hold the intention to grow calm by saying out loud "I am calm" or "I am growing calm." Put the single word "Calm" or "Calmness" where you can see it, on the refrigerator or above your desk.
Breathing is the secret gold. One cleansing breath can calm you. Mindful breathing works wonders.
Grow calm through breathing.
Inhale deeply for 5 to 6 seconds. Exhale slowly, taking another 5 to 6 seconds. This is a single cleansing breath. Take cleansing breaths throughout the day.
Picture something beautiful. A landscape you once saw. Your child smiling. Picture calm and calm will follow.
Grow calm through visualization.
Create your own visualization. Think about a scene that might calm you. Then picture yourself in the middle of that scene—in the forest, at the beach, in the mountains. Bring the scene to mind whenever you seek calm.
Attend to nature's rhythms. No storm lasts forever. No calm lasts forever.
Grow calm by honoring nature's rhythms.
Keep a journal of the natural rhythms in your life, the alternating periods of calm and agitation. Notice these patterns and plan special calming rituals for those predictable periods of agitation.
Flow like water. Don't fight every battle. Don't run into every wall.
Grow calm through eliminating resistance.
Imagine yourself flowing calmly and effortlessly through your day. What would you have to change in order to make that possible? Make one of those changes.
Get a grip on your mind. Your mind can chatter or hush. Your mind can worry or relax.
Grow calm through mindfulness.
Quiet your mind by softly saying "Hush." Say it as if you were soothing a baby. Every time your mind chatters or a worry erupts, softly and firmly say "Hush" to your mind.
Trust your inner resources. Surrender to your own wisdom. Then a hundred calming ways will come to you.
Grow calm through self-trust.
Whenever you have a worry say, "I have the inner resources to handle this." Truly believe that you do.
Emptying brings a calming peace. Empty yourself of worry, fear, even thought. Let yourself be as empty as the sea at night.
Grow calm through emptying.
Picture a vast empty space. Feel its complete emptiness. Whenever you feel full of turmoil and worry, return in your mind's eye to that vast empty space and say, "Here, take everything."
Let go completely. What you cling to imprisons you. Open the cage and fly free.
Grow calm by letting go.
Name something that you have been fighting hard to make happen—some ambition, some goal, some desire. Then say, "I let go of that completely." Feel the sense of liberation that instantly follows.
Pain prevents calmness. We suffer when our body aches, when our soul aches. Healing is the answer.
Grow calm through healing.
Make a list of healing strategies. Use your imagination and your wisdom to dream up ways of healing yourself. Rank order your list and then try out the strategies you have put at the top.
Flight is not the path to calmness. Stop and face your demons. They will vanish.
Grow calm through bravery.
Name the thing that you fear the most about yourself—that you are unlovable, that you are a failure, that you have no talent. Face that self-indictment bravely and say, "No, I don't think so!"
Conflict is a constant agitation. A resolved conflict spreads calm like a wave. Can you resolve one conflict today?
Grow calm through conflict resolution.
Name a simmering conflict—with your child, with your mate, with a coworker. Then ask yourself the question, "Can I release this conflict? Can I just let it go?" If you can, do!
Be calm in your heart. Be calm in your mind. Be calm in your spirit.
Grow calm by being calm.
Do nothing! There is nothing to do; only a way to be. Picture yourself calm at all times and in all situations. Just enjoy that image. Let it sink in. Let it become who you are.
Love yourself. As you are. Compassionately and completely.
Grow calm through genuine self-love.
Say, "I deserve to love myself." Say it until you feel in your heart that you really mean it. You may become emotional at first, but then a deep calm will follow.
Forgiveness brings calm. Forgive yourself. Forgive others.
Grow calm through heartfelt forgiving.
Name a thing you blame yourself for, some horrible-feeling thing that you've never been able to get over. Then say, "I forgive myself." Repeat this exercise until the forgiveness takes.
Sit still. Stand still. Be still.
Grow calm through stillness.
Set aside ten minutes. Prepare as a mantra, "No thoughts, no worries, no motion." Quietly sit in a relaxed position for ten minutes being calm and still. Breathe easily, smile a little, and repeat your mantra to yourself.
Devotion settles the spirit. A settled spirit is calm. Devote yourself to good works and glorious ideals.
Grow calm through devotion.
Brainstorm a list of good works to which you could truly devote yourself. Let the list inhabit you for a day. You may grow excited rather than calm, but calmness will follow when your devotion begins.
Too much bombards us. From the outside. From the inside.
Grow calm through selective inattention.
Make a list of the things to which you will not attend this week. For each item on the list, say "I will not attend to you and that's all right." Repeat the exercise until it really does feel all right.
Doing is a necessity. But doing is not the goal. Doing is not the answer.
Grow calm by not doing.
Do nothing! But "not doing" requires cunning and an attitude shift. Try saying, "I am not doing for a little while and then I will return to doing." Treat "not doing" as a welcome break and a small gift to yourself.
Sometimes wildness brings calm. Sometimes your mind must race. Sometimes your blood must boil.
Grow calm through wildness.
Let yourself be wild in the service of a positive passion. Write your novel or start your small business with great, fierce energy. Do the giant thing you dream of doing and real calmness with follow.
Marvel. Stand in awe. Embrace the mystery.
Grow calm through rapture.
Go out one night to a spot where you can see the deep sky. Experience the mystery of all eternity without asking who, what, or why. Just marvel at what you see and embrace what you feel.
Trance is a welcome state. Lose yourself in passionate work. Calmness will follow.
Grow calm by inducing trance.
Focus on your work, not on thoughts about your work. If your work is cleaning out the garage, focus on cleaning one area, then the next, then the next. In no time you will find yourself in a working trance.
Sunlight soothes. Make time for the sun. On cloudy days, create your own sunshine.
Grow calm in the light.
If you live in a place where it is dark much of the year, purchase a good sun lamp. Read by it, journal by it, sit by it for at least fifteen minutes a day. Remember to use it on cloudy, unsettled days.
Walking is a meditation. Stroll for fifteen minutes. Breathe, stretch, clear your brain.
Grow calm by walking.
Choose a time of the day as your "walking time." Set aside as little as half an hour. Commit to strolling every day and then honor your commitment by getting up and out the door.
Sleep easier. Go to bed wrapped in joy. Go to bed at peace with the night.
Grow calm through deep sleep.
Notice if you go to sleep worrying. Most people do. To stop that cycle, choose a "last thought mantra." It could be "No worry" or "I am sleeping well." Repeat your mantra until sleep overtakes you.
Morning is the world's rebirth. Rise early. Practice calm. Start your day in tranquillity.
Grow calm through morning ritual.
When you arise, face the sun. If you can, feel the sun on your body. Drink in the warmth and calmness of a new day. Say, "I can hold this feeling all day long." Hold that feeling.
Relaxation is a skill. Relaxation techniques are learned. We are not born knowing them.
Grow calm through relaxation education.
Learn one time-tested relaxation technique—Eastern or Western, mind-oriented or body-oriented— that promotes whole-body relaxation. Practice it on a daily basis, several times a day.
Maturity is a blessing. To know that rust is as real as roses. To know your own heart and your own motives.
Grow calm by maturing.
Every stage of life has its own demands, duties, and joys. What are the demands, duties, and joys of your current life stage? Can you name them? Name the joys especially!
Start with one moment of calm. And a second. And a third.
Grow calm moment by moment.
Use as a mantra, "One moment of calm." If you are calm in this moment you will always be calm, because there is only this moment. Practice saying and feeling "One moment of calm."
Today is the day to be calm. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow.
Grow calm by embracing this moment.
In your mind's eye, circle today on your calendar. Picture the way that embracing circle holds the day. Then circle today in your being as a day of peace and calmness.
Excerpted from Everyday Calm by Eric Maisel. Copyright © 2004 Eric Maisel. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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