Here I sit doing the one thing that is a major stressor,
procrastinating on writing my column for this week. Why did I wait till tonight
I have no clue? I had a whole four days to myself, no kid. I have the research
here in front of me here and have had it since October of 2005. It can easily
be the easiest article I will ever have to write. The answer is I have fallen
prey to that evil procrastination monster that reared its ugly head this week.

I did do some stress management though I burned my favorite
candle scent lilac blossoms courtesy of Yankee Candle Co. I also churned out a
few more designs on my Paint Shop Pro program. Also the one big thing that
helped me tremendously this week was going out to eat at a newer place here and
having a grown up meal in a cozy setting, followed by going to Barnes and Noble
to leisurely browse their shelves.

Ok so by now your thinking when is she going to get to the
thing she promised to write about last week? These are small things that most
of us sadly don't have the time to do. Ask yourself, "When was the last time I
took a leisurely stroll in my favorite store?"

"When have I taken any time for myself this week?" If you
can't begin to answer even these two very simple questions then perhaps it is
worth it to look into some ways to change your life to incorporate stress
management skills into your life.

I stated last week that meditation is one of those
techniques that can be used to manage stress. According to Sharon Salzburg
there are two pillars of meditation concentration- development of stability of
the mind, gathering in and focusing ones normal scattered energy, and quality
of mindfulness- being aware of what is going on as it actually arises.

Meditation has been around since 400 500 B.C. Legend has it
that Buddha or Siddhartha left his family at the age of twenty-nine to become a
homeless spiritual seeker. After six years of severe ascetic practices he
realized that he was not reaching the level of enlightenment he sought and
vowed to meditate under a tree until he attained the realization he sought.

Fast forward to present day and we can still use meditation
to seek spiritual enlightenment and create inner peace. If you are new to
meditation I highly recommend Insight Meditation by Sharon Salzburg and Joseph
Goldstein. I bought mine from One Spirit but I am sure you can find it
anywhere. I also have Bliss in a Box a Weekend Contemplative Retreat at Home by
Susan Piver and have had a chance to peruse it, this is something that takes a
bit more time than Insight Meditation, which offers short guided meditations.

Seven Guidelines for meditation are:

  1. Meditating
    at the same time every day
  2. Establish
    a meditation corner or space
  3. Creating
    an alter of sorts using candles, incense, a picture or book
  4. Sit
    as long as you can each day- forty five minutes each day is ideal
  5. Determine
    beforehand how long you will sit
  6. Sitting
    quietly or using guided meditation
  7. Keep
    it simple

I have done meditation about six times in the last year and
a half and I can honestly say that I have experienced something different each
time, a new sense of awareness if- you- will. About my third time I felt the
negative energies centering themselves in my body, and then channeling outward
thus leaving my body. This took the form of feeling like my limbs were slightly
shaking. It was a bit of an unusual feeling to experience.

If you don't have the time or money to go buy either one of
these great resources you can Google meditation and it should take you to sites
that offer free information on meditation and techniques used. Please email me if you can not find anything at
all, if you do and want to know if it is trusted information, or if you have
any questions at all. I will be happy to help you the best I can.