Reducing stress is the best way we can take care of ourselves no matter what's going on in our lives. 

What does it mean to have SELF care?

It means that you treat yourself like you'd like to be treated. You're so busy taking care of other people that we often neglect taking care of ourselves.

But when we take care of ourselves, it enables you to care for others. It starts with taking care of yourself. 

This is a picture of the path that I traveled at the Chopra Center, when I became a meditation teacher, yoga teacher, and Ayurveda teacher. 

As I walked this path each day during the teacher training, it reminded me that I have the skills to take better care of myself. It just means I have to remember to use them. 

And that's what I'm hoping to do with you today is to give you an opportunity to take a few minutes and see how just a few minutes is going to help you reduce your stress and take exquisite care of yourself. 

So let's talk about stress for a minute. Take a deep breath with me here.

Just think about it for a moment. See what happens to your body, how you tighten, maybe in your jaw or your neck or your back or your stomach. See what happens to your body when you think about the things that are stressing you – it may be a relationship that you're in, it may be something at work. It might be what's going on in the world today. It might be something that you have to finish that you haven't finished yet. It might be a project that you haven't started yet. Just think about what's causing you stress.


Then we're going to work today for just a few minutes on how to reduce that stress. One of the ways you do that is to meditate. 

And what does it mean to meditate?

It can often mean just focusing on your breath for a couple minutes.

It doesn't mean you have to sit cross legged on the floor for 30 minutes at a time where you just go to a moment where nothing is in your mind, because there's always going to be something going on in your mind. You're human, you're alive. You're thinking. And we often think about 60,000 thoughts a day. For those of us, myself included with ADD, I often think I've got a hundred thousand thoughts a day. 

Meditation gives you an opportunity to stop listening to your thoughts, to just take a few breaths, go inside and allow yourself to be present. 

And we'll talk a little bit more about that in this session, but meditation, even if you do a two minutes, even when I do it for two minutes, if I just tell myself the constant churning of my mind is not the only thing that I can listen to.

And if I focus on my breath for even two minutes, and drop down for my busy mind, into my heart and then pick up what I was doing right before I started that two minute meditation,

I feel that I'm being more soul-led more SELF-led and less ego-led by tuning in for just a couple of moments. 


And the other thing to do is to move. Meditating is one way to reduce stress, but let's also remember to move because as you move, you're going to allow yourself to get the blood flowing. 

Think about adding yourself to a walk with someone you care about or all by yourself. Even – I tell my clients – go outside for five minutes and then walk back for five minutes. It doesn't have to be an hour. It doesn't have to be going to the Botanic. It doesn't have to be meeting up with someone.

It just is the ability to move your body and be outside if you can or move your body inside and do some stretches, do some yoga.


The more you move your body, the more you reduce your stress and another way is to breathe. 

Let's everybody take a deep breath, inhale, exhale. And my friend, davidji my friend and mentor,talks about his 16- second reboot. 

He inhales for a count of four, holds for four, exhales for four ,and holds for four. 

So let's try that. Just inhale...two, three, four, hold two, three, four, exhale, two, three, four, hold two, three, four. 

So imagine if you did that, if you're communicating with someone and you get triggered by something they say, and you allowed yourself 16 seconds, just to go inside, quiet your mind, not react, but respond from your higher SELF.

Imagine how much more compassionate our communication could be. 

What you can do is just breathe. 

And with that 16 second reboot, davidji often talks about going into a room. You put your hand on the knob of the door, inhale, turn the knob hold, enter the room, exhale, hold for four. And you've already changed your state, your energy just by taking a breath. 

Remember wherever you are, you can just breathe. 

Stay in the Present.

This is my favorite spot at the Botanic gardens in Chicago and whatever I sit here, it just reminds me to be present, to let go of what's ever bothering me, and to show up in the present moment. 

As you do, no matter what's going on in your mind, remember that your mind is not the only aspect of who you are. 

You're a body, mind and spirit. As Rumi says, “You're not just the drop in the ocean. you're the entire ocean in a drop.”

When you meditate, when you breathe, when you drop down from your head to your heart, you're dropping into that deeper expression of who you are.

You are dropping into your soul.

From that place, you get a different perspective on what's going on in your life. 

And this might be the sign you're looking for to just go inside and quiet for a little bit,

We look outside of ourselves or we believe every thought that we think. Instead, if we go inside, we're allowing ourselves to get in touch with our ability to compassionately communicate – we connect to our highest and best self, that best version of ourself, where we're calm, clear, connected, compassionate. 

It's when we look at our life from a higher level of consciousness where we're not reacting.

Connect to our best self in compassionate communication, and we give ourselves permission to let go of our limiting beliefs. We don't have to believe every thought. We think Byron Katie does some great work with the Work. 

There's a lot of different ways to question your thoughts and create new thoughts. When you create a new thought, you create a new feeling and your feeling can go from stress to peace just by virtue of what you're choosing to think.

You connect to your best SELF. You let go of limiting beliefs and you give yourself permission to unburden the pain from the past. 

Instead of carrying around the hurts or the pain from a relationship from something somebody did or didn't do, you give yourself permission to let it go.

Whether you need to go to therapy, whether you can talk about it with a friend, whether you can journal, whether you can decide to forgive

Forgiveness is the way to inner peace. Whether you're forgiving someone else or forgiving yourself, it brings your stress level down. 

It brings more peace in your heart.

And it brings an ability to let go of any limiting beliefs or judgments, unburden pain from the past, and relate from your heart. 

When you start doing that, when you compassionately communicate with the people in your life, you'll notice your stress reduces because your relationships improve. 

You can remember to be compassionate, accepting, forgiving, and adding more peace, love, and joy to your life starting now.

As a recap, here are a few ways to reduce your stress:

  • stay grateful for your blessings and keep track of them. When you start to get stressed and you're writing out your list of things that are stressing you, take another moment, write the list out of things that are bringing you joy and stay in the present moment.
  • Quit looking at the past or projecting into the future. As you stay grateful with awareness, forgiveness, acceptance, and gratitude for yourself and everyone else you'll see that your stress level starts to decline.
  • The more loving, grateful present you can stay and then treat yourself nicely each day. 
  • Each moment make a choice to think positively, make a choice to take care of yourself and your inner child and all the parts of you that are struggling. 
  • Go for a walk two minutes out, two minutes back, five minutes, just do it and take some stretches.

I know if I get on the floor for even a few minutes and stretch my whole body thanks me because I'm back into my body and out of my mind – not “out of my mind,” but back where I need to be so that I can use my mind for the things that are positive and not deliberate on all the things that bring me stress. 

You can do it to find out what you need to treat yourself nicely, go for a walk, do some movements and take care of yourself in all the ways that will bring you joy. 

You can start now to create the next chapter of your life, where you're going to be the hero or heroine.

It's going to go the way you'd like it because you're going to respond to stress in a way that brings you calm and peace.

Remember whatever your issue is “Love is the answer and it starts with loving yourself.” 

All the things we're talking about now is ways to be more loving to yourself, to take time, to move, to meditate, to breathe, to journal, to be grateful and to find that as the next chapter of your life continues, you're going to write a whole new story. 

That story is going to be even happier than the one you've had so far and even more positive in all the ways you'd like it to be. 

So using compassion for yourself, take good care of yourself and I'll see you soon.

Please join me on Facebook in the Compassionate Communication Community to stay in touch and connect in real time.


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