Tag: meditation

How tomatoes encouraged me to meditate

How tomatoes encouraged me to meditate

I love tomatoes. Weird perhaps, but true. But I never thought that tomatoes would show me the path to meditation.

I was first introduced to meditation a long time ago. And for those of you who think meditation is some sort of woo-woo practice (or worse), this occurred in a religious context. A Christian context, if you must know. However, it wasn’t something that I pursued (either the meditation or religion). Although I’ve always thought meditation to be a good habit, the true healing power was only really made clear to me when I started incorporating it into my life as part of mindfulness.

Like many things, I got out of the habit. You know how it goes: life gets busy and all these things fall by the wayside. Which is a pity. It’s also counterproductive because it’s when we get increasingly busy that things such as mindfulness and meditation are that much more crucial. Despite several concerted attempts to practice regularly, I just didn’t develop the habit. That’s where the tomatoes come in.

I was recently reading an article that mentioned the Pomodoro Technique in passing. Upon embarking on the inevitable Google search I discovered that this is not something new. Even though I’m rather late in getting the Pomodoro memo I decided to give it a try. Not because I struggle to procrastinate, but because I tend to focus so much when writing that I neglect to take breaks. Although this might sound like a thinly veiled attempt to sound smug, this pattern is just as destructive as procrastination, if not more so.pomodoro technique

And then, just like anything else in life, I discovered that there are several Pomodoro apps. Because who doesn’t need a desktop tomato kitchen timer? It even has all the sound effects of a traditional timer.

My 5 minute Pomodoro breaks typically involve green Rooibos tea. My daily consumption of the stuff is quite impressive. After four Pomodori I hit the twenty minute break. What to do? And then it hit me: meditate. It’s amazing what a twenty minute mindful meditation can do. I feel much calmer, more focused. And happier.

tomighty pomodoro app

Weird as it may sound, and bizarre it definitely is, as long as I use my desktop tomato kitchen timer, I find the time to include meditation as part of my daily routine. And I’m much the better for it. So you see, I have been right all along to love tomatoes!

What has been your experience of an unexpected source of motivation?

Craft your Heart with Art

Craft your Heart with Art

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso

It is no secret to those who know me that I look to craft to feed my soul. It’s good for the soul to devote some time to admiring and creating beauty.

Time and time again I’ve seen in others that art can be a form of refuge. When you are creative, you create a space in which you can express yourself without fear of judgement. Even for a novice, completing a craft project develops creativity, individuality, independence and confidence.

The process itself allows you to focus on something to the exclusion of your worries, concerns and negative emotions; time simply melts away as you are absorbed into the creative process. It is calming and restorative to find a creation being formed in your hands, something unique, something true to you.  It becomes a true example of mindfulness, even meditative practice, as you devote those moments to something artistic.

20140130_140245Be kind to your soul: invest some time in creative pursuits. It will still your mind, calm your emotions and rejuvenate your body.