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CoVid-19 TOTD #4: Mindfulness

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Editor’s Note:

In today’s CoVid-19 TOTD (tip of the day) contributor, Cheryl Minnette recently featured as a Woman On The Move in Beyond Sight Magazine shares important handwashing tips. Thank you, Cheryl! ~Steph

CoVid-19 TOTD #4: Mindfulness

Here at Bold Blind Beauty, our goal is for you to enjoy life, but be well while doing it. During CoVid-19 we want to assist you with that, so here is our CoVid-19 #TOTD (Tip Of The Day).

We are all preoccupied these days and with the weather getting warmer, there is excitement swirling in the air. Stay on full alert and don’t let your guard down. We must all remain mindful, especially in the warm weather.

As the thermometer rises and the days become longer, coming home we are looking for relief from the heat. If you are someone who comes in the house and does one of the following:

  • Turn on an air conditioner
  • Turn on a ceiling fan
  • Open or close windows
  • Open or close blinds

Be aware that the possibility of transferring the unseen virus onto these places is higher than one would think.

  • Knobs
  • Panels
  • Pull strings/chains
  • Windowsills
  • Windows
  • Blinds

It is these actions that one usually doesn’t give much thought to. 

Whenever returning home, your first course of action should be to head straight to the sink and wash your hands, wrists, and nails with soap and water. This detour should not take you more than 60 seconds. A small delay to pay for one’s life. In the event that you skipped the handwashing in your haste, be sure to go back and sanitize all areas that have been touched by using a disinfectant spray or a disinfectant wipe. Comfort is what we want, but safety and wellness must come first. 

Give us your thoughts by commenting below as to whether this TOTD was helpful, what you would like to know as it relates to safety tips, and what you were able to relate to. Your insights and expressions are appreciated.

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Closeup photo of two bright yellow sunflowers against a blue sky.

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Cultivating Resilience Practice 5: Mindfulness

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

Editor’s Note:

Bold Blind Beauty is thrilled to share with you snippets from Becky Andrews’ new book “Cultivating our Resilience Workbook/Journal.” Adversity strengthens and builds resilience; Becky will share weekly practices to help us become more resilient. ~Steph

Hello All 

Sending my love as I take a pause to write this next post. We are all being stretched at this time in so many different ways both collectively and individually. It is a time of cultivating our resilience. As we reflect back on the practices we’ve discussed and how they can help us during this time. 

  • Practice one – give yourself permission to feel. Feelings have one ambition to be felt. I appreciate Dr. Mark Brackett’s book: Permission to Feel. He gives us the guideline: RULER
    • R = recognize emotion;
    • U = understand emotion;
    • L = Label the emotion;
    • E = express emotion;
    • R = regulate emotion. 

      So much more we can talk about on the power of honoring our emotions and then choosing healthy actions to support us in our journey. Take a pause and listen to your feelings and what you need at this time. I know my feelings have been all over the place this week. I have felt such grief and loss, a deep sense of self-awareness as I am learning more how to show up; gratitude; uncertainty; calm; anxiety … What a time of so many emotions!
  • Which leads us to our second practice we talked about that of Self Compassion. Be compassionate to yourself as you would to someone else. Look at what you are experiencing right now with compassion.
  • Our third practice was to recognize and utilize our strengths. Oh, how I love this area and could go on and on! If you haven’t yet, take the test at www.viacharacter.org. Remember your top signature strengths are what will help you navigate a challenging time. They are our go-to that is effortless, energizing, and essential. I reflect on that last one.  They are essential. Even in our challenging times – we so need to be able to utilize that strength. 
  • Then last week we talked about Practice four – Boundaries. A gentle reminder that we need to step back. To set boundaries. To say no. To say yes to what we need.  

Practice 5: Mindfulness

Today practice five is some of my favorites. The practices of Mindfulness: Savor, Gratitude Visit. They come from work as a positive psychology life coach and my learning from this field that I find so helpful.

Mindfulness:

is that awareness of the present moment with acceptance/curiosity – not judgment. Mindfulness can be practiced at any moment of the day. It is simply bringing awareness to the activity. It invites us to notice what is happening while it is happening.

When we are mindful, we are able to be aware of our internal narrative and not get lost in it. If we are mindful of our struggling, we are able to attend to it and respond with compassion.

Mindfulness asks – What am I experiencing right now? Upon which Self-compassion can ask, What do I need right now? 

Put simply, mindfulness consists of cultivating awareness of the mind and body and living in the here and now. 

~Bob Stahl & Elisha Goldstein

Incorporating a practice of even 10 minutes of mindfulness in the day can be such a cultivating resilience practice.  This can be done while you are walking, eating, meditating, driving, or simply taking a pause.  

Mindfulness can increase our resilience by enhancing our self awareness/insight, improving our mood, helping us to decrease anxiety and depression, improvements of physical health, enhanced ability to deal with chronic health conditions, improved interpersonal connections, other ways it has helped you: _______________________________

Practice for this Week:

Mindful eating: Take time to focus and be fully present / mindful as you are eating.

Mindful breathing: At any time you can take a mindful breath – stop what you’re doing and feel your breath.  Conscious breathing is the most common mindfulness technique.  

Mindful Walking (Set the timer for 5-10 minutes if you’d like. Some people find it helpful to know the time is being kept while meditating.)

  • Find a quiet place in your home where you can walk back and forth at least 20-30 feet at a time or in a circle. Make the decision to use the time to cultivate moment to moment kindly awareness. 
  • Stand still for a moment and anchor your attention in your body. Be aware of yourself in the standing posture. Feel your body.
  • Start to walk slowly and deliberately. Notice how it feels to lift one foot, step forward, and place it down as the other foot begins to lift off the floor. Do the same with the other foot. Feel the sensations of lifting, stepping, and placing over and over again. Feel free to use the words “lift” “step” “place” or another word that feels good to focus your attention on the task.
  • When your mind wanders, gently return to the physical sensations of walking. If you feel any urgency to move faster, simply note that and return to the sensations of walking.
  • Do this with kindness and gratitude. Your relatively small feet are supporting your entire body; your hips are supporting your whole torso. Experience the marvel of walking.  
  • Move slowly and fluidly through space, being aware that you’re walking. Some people find it easiest to keep their attention below the knees or exclusively on the soles of the feet. 
  • When you reach the end of your walking space, pause a moment, take a conscious breath, remain anchored in your body, and reverse direction.
  • At the end of the meditation period, invite yourself to be mindful of body sensations throughout the day. Notice the sensations of walking you go on to your next activity. ~Christopher Germer, The Mindful Path to Self Compassion.

Savor: 

Attempt to fully feel, enjoy and extend our positive experiences, appreciate fully.   

Now can be a positive time to savor a past experience. Going through a past memory that brings you joy and sharing it. Take a pause to savor a present moment. Combined with mindfulness this can be a beautiful practice to savor the sunset, a conversation with a friend, a moment of a positive experience.  

This week write about a moment that you have savored.  

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gratitude Visit:

This visit is designed to help you take the time to acknowledge something that another person has done for you. It has positive, resilient lasting effects on both the giver and the receiver of gratitude.  

The Gratitude Visit image text is in the body of the post.
The Gratitude Visit
Here are the steps:
  1. Think of someone who has been especially kind to you / influential to you that you would like to thank. Chose someone with whom you could arrange to have an in-person/ virtual /or social distance meeting at this time.
  2. Your task is to write a gratitude letter to this individual.  Take some time to sit down, reflect, and write a letter. Be specific about what he or she did for you and how it affected your life. Let the person know what you are doing now and how their efforts impacted your life.
  3. Now arrange a time to read your letter out loud to this person — over the phone/facetime/from social distancing/or in your home.

Directly following the gratitude visit answer these questions:

  • How did the other person react to your expression of gratitude?
  • How were you affected by their reaction?  
  • Take some notes of your experience.   
  • Take some time to savor.
  • Take some time to do a Gratitude Visit.  

Share your experience with us. Better yet… join us for our Cultivating Resilience Group to share in the discussion.  Email becky.lpc@gmail.com for details.

About The Author:

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Becky Andrews

Becky Andrews is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Small Business Owner – Resilient Solutions, Inc, and founder of the Daring to Own Your Story ™ Retreats. She is also the author of Look up, move forward – her memoir of Losing her eyesight and finding her vision.  

You can follow her at:

Workbook: 

Cultivating our Resilience Workbook/Journal will be out Fall 2020. Email Becky at becky.lpc@gmail.com to be on the waiting list or preorder.

Image Descriptions:

  • Header: Photo of a woman savoring a cup of coffee as she cradles the cup in both her hands.
  • Becky is sitting on outdoor steps next to her guide dog, Georgie, a gorgeous yellow lab. 
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Mindfully Battling The Cold While Looking Chic

BEAUTY BUZZ

Editor’s Note:

Today’s post is a two-fold fashion and mindfulness article. Since I’ve been practicing mindfulness it makes sense to me to incorporate messages related to it whenever possible.

I Don’t Do Cold

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Facing Right

It seems a little odd that someone from Pittsburgh would say “I don’t do cold” but seriously I can’t. One would think someone from this area of the country would be used to our arctic-like winters. But not me, nope. Nah uh! As a matter of fact, my gauge for cold is anything under 75 degrees. Could it be that my skin has gotten thinner with age? Or is it a matter of I’ve reached the point where looking cute when it’s cold is no longer a priority? We may never know the answers to these questions but I finally traded in my old parka for a new one that I adore.

I’ve had many different winter coats in my lifetime but I honestly can’t remember having a parka until a few years ago. Part of my reasoning I think was a mindset that parkas didn’t fit within my definition of chic. To give you a little insight my previous fashion sense dictated a strict protocol of dress pants, skirts, dresses and ALWAYS heels. Thankfully as I’ve gotten older and hopefully a little wiser I’ve also expanded my viewpoints even within my sense of style.

The Parka Casual/Chic Look

The warmest coat I’ve ever owned believe it or not I got from Costco eons ago. It was an ankle-length suede coat lined with faux fur and I gotta tell ya if coats had a soul this one was my true soulmate. But sadly that coat expired to be replaced with newer models. However, this post isn’t about coats gone by, nay, it’s about the parka and it’s cool features.

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Facing Forward

In the featured and two additional photos, I’m standing outside with my white cane. I’m wearing jeans, brown hiking boots, brown gloves, and my army green parka. Even with this casual gear on I felt so darn fabulous could it be because I was actually comfortable in the cold? Who knows? But I want to take a moment to run through some of the features of this coat with you.

  • First, it’s army green!
  • It has metal hardware (silver zipper, snaps, drawstring tips)
  • Sherpa lining
  • Removable faux fur trim on the hood
  • 2 chest pockets
  • 2 fleece-lined waist zip pockets 
  • Cinch waist
  • Ribbed knit cuffs
  • Water-resistant
  • Mid-length & cute detail in the rear hem

Though my previous parka was the same color, length, and basic style as this one it wasn’t as warm as the new jacket. But it had gold metal hardware and faux leather trim accenting the zipper and pockets. Also, the hood was trimmed with faux fur but it wasn’t detachable and cuffs were not ribbed. Ribbed cuffs may seem like minor details but they are an absolute necessity for someone who requires significant warmth.

Way before I began blogging I’ve always maintained that real beauty isn’t so much about appearance as it is about substance. In my opinion, beauty without character is meaningless. There’s nothing more empowering than real beauty that doesn’t rely on outer appearance.

Being Grounded In Mindfulness

Mindfulness isn’t a passing fancy. It isn’t something we do now then continue with our day. Being mindful requires us to be present, to be aware. Our frenzied pace worries me.

In an age of unbelievable gadgets, apps, and technology, I think we can be easily fooled into believing we can be everywhere and do everything at once. Sure, we can appear to do more but are we really? How efficient are we when our attention is so divided among the many distractions we’re constantly exposed to?

A good friend of mine recently said this to me: “I love how you can make yourself focus in on things and ignore the shiny objects until they fit your schedule.” Ignoring the shiny objects has become a serious practice in my self-care. Setting up boundaries, saying no, and religiously guarding my time is essential. I’ve realized I do not HAVE to do, NOR do I want to be good at EVERYTHING. Doing the best I can with what I have is enough.

It’s taken me a lifetime to reject other’s definition of who I am and to finally be content with myself, imperfections and all. I’m not perfect, never claimed to be but I know this for sure, I’m finally on the right track and really always was I just doubted myself. Getting back to basics and basking in simplicity brings me so much joy.

All of us feel a little lost from time to time and I think the pressure to be “in the know” and “on 24/7/365” is too much for us. The good news is our minds are unmatched simply because we have the power of CHOICE. If you’re feeling overwhelmed take an inventory of your life and whittle down what isn’t serving you any longer.

Image Descriptions:

  • Featured photo – I’m standing outside with my white cane. I’m wearing jeans, brown hiking boots, brown gloves, and my army green parka. My face is turned up to the sky facing left.
  • 2 Additional photos – In these pictures I’m in the same outfit just posing facing forward and facing right.
  • Gallery of 8 photos detailing the bulleted features listed.