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The Body Scan!

What is the body scan? A deep investigation into the moment-to-moment experiences of the body. By bringing awareness and acknowledgement to whatever you feel or sense in the body, the body scan can be very helpful in working with stress, anxiety, and physical pain.

Body Scan Recommendations (FYI, Insight Timer is a free meditation app)

  • Elisha Goldstein (30 minutes) or see on Insight Timer meditation app or click here
  • Longer vision (45 minutes) by Jon Kabat-Zinn on youtube or click here
  • Shorter version (20 minutes) by Elisha Goldstein – see on Insight Timer meditation app or click here
  • Even shorter version (10 minutes) by Elisha Goldstein on youtube or click here
  • For more information about the body scan, click here

Ring the Bells that Still Can Ring by Leonard Cohen

The birds, they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be
Ah, the wars
They will be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

We asked for signs
The signs were sent:
The birth betrayed
The marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
Of every government
Signs for all to see

I can’t run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
A thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

You can add up the parts
But you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march
There is no drum
Every heart, every heart
To love will come
But like a refugee

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in

– Leonard Cohen

Click here to listen to  Leonard Cohen’s complete song: Anthem

11 Tips for Confident Public Speaking by Bill Rosenthal

1). Practice makes perfect. The key to doing something well is doing it often through practice – and public speaking is not an exception. Rehearse your presentation until you are comfortable with the actual words, then try practice it with a real or stand-in microphone to get a feel for it. If possible, record yourself so that you can hear your pacing, pauses, voice clarity, and overall volume.

2). Slow it down. Instead of talking at your audience, try to pace yourself so that it is more like a conversation. Speaking too slowly will put your audience to sleep, while talking too quickly will make it seem like you are trying to get the speech over with as soon as possible. Instead, researchers say to aim for approximately 190 words per minute as a confident pace.

3). Don’t phrase statements as questions. When you ask a question, you are inherently saying that you are missing information or want approval, which makes you sound vulnerable. Instead, project your statements with confidence by maintaining an even tone while speaking and do not let your voice get higher towards the end of a sentence.

4). Speak with greater inflection. Put more power in your voice by emphasizing certain words to make a point. Inflection will also make you sound more passionate about your speech topic.

5). Avoid filler phrases. Whether out of habit or nervousness, many people rely on filler phrases to fill pauses (such as “um” or “well”) or use them as negative prefaces before making a statement (“In my opinion”). These can do a large amount of damage to the tone of confidence that you are trying to convey and will undermine any persuasive aspects of your presentation.

6). Don’t forget about body language. The body language that you use while speaking is just as important as the words themselves. Confident speakers use a variety of gestures to further convey their message, excitement, and knowledge about the topic. However, some actions, such as fiddling with objects, can distract your audience.

7). Smile! Smiling really is contagious, so include a few in your speech. They not only make your voice sound happier and easier to listen to, but they also convey confidence and let the audience know that you are friendly and approachable.

8). Maintain good posture. Standing with your shoulders back and your head held high will not only make you look confident, but will also help improve your voice. Good posture allows you to breathe in more deeply and out through your abdomen, which will help you clearly project your voice.

9. Do not fear silence. Silence is a big fear amongst public speakers, but it can actually be used as a confident presentation tool. Silent periods give the audience a moment to truly absorb and retain information. Additionally, your ability to be comfortable in the momentary silence will make you seem confident with yourself and your subject matter.

10). Remember to stay hydrated. It may sound silly, but staying hydrated is a must before a presentation. Water helps moisturize your vocal chords and enhances the sound of your voice, so drink up the day before you present

11). Maintain eye contact. Confident public speakers want to really connect with their audience. Try to make eye contact with a different audience member during each phrase or sentence.

Bill Rosenthal is CEO of Communispond

Ellen Langer’s (Non-Meditative) Approach to Mindfulness

Really good stuff! Ellen Langer, Harvard professor of psychology, describes how mindfulness is simply the practice of noticing new things.

1. Recognize you don’t know. You might think you know. Ask yourself how it could be different from what you thought it would was?

2. Actively notice new things about everything around you: the physical environment, the people, the work that you’re doing.

3. As soon as find yourself feeling stressed or in any negative emotional state, you need to actively look at it in this mindful way. Ask yourself, what are the advantages of this thing that you’re fearing? As soon as this negative thing has advantages, it becomes less negative.

4. How to mindfully deal with stress:
If you’re stressed, stress relies on two things: on the assumption that something is going to happen, and when it happens, it’s going to be awful. Attack both of those. How do you know it’s going to happen? Give yourself 3, 5 reasons why in fact it might not happen. So now you’re not sure if it’s going to happen or not happen and you immediately start to feel better. Then assume it is going to happen, what are the advantages to it actually happening? And so the stress will dissipate.

Click here to listen to Ellen Langer’s interview on mindfulness.

Happiness, Inner Peace, and a Warm Heart

Happiness depends on inner peace, which depends on warm-heartedness.
There’s no room for anger, jealousy or insecurity.
A calm mind and self-confidence are the basis for peaceful relations with others.
Scientists have observed that constant anger and fear eat away at our immune system, whereas a calm mind strengthens it.
Changing the world for the better begins with individuals creating inner peace within themselves.

– Dalai Lama

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