There is no stress in the world, only people thinking stressful thoughts. -Wayne Dyer

It’s been a busy time. Between getting work done for a big art exhibit, starting a new podcast project, and prepping to travel to India next month, you could say I have had my hands full with the abundance of the universe. In fact, so much is happening, that I’ve noticed that people I’m in conversation with seem to mention before I do that my life seems really full these days. Boy oh boy.

After one of these conversations, I came to a beautiful realization about this busyness – contrary to the previous patterns in my life, I have not felt very stressed out or anxious at all during this busy time. No stress, wow! I’ve been able to focus on just one thing at a time, let go of unimportant and distracting things, and take care of my well-being, despite the pressures of my work.

I’m not writing this to brag or to proclaim some elite state of mind. I still had to deal with my oh-so-humble habit energies – including my temper and my mistakes. But I did not get dragged down from stress, so I want to share with you how:

How to keep your center in busy times:

  • Meditate Daily – This is the most important factor. Almost every morning, I practice sitting meditation. This keeps me grounded and gives me practice in calming my body and mind, as well as awareness of my thoughts and emotions.  Research has shown meditation to reduce stress and increase well-being in almost every way. You can start with as little as 5 minutes a day to notice a difference!
  • Catch the beginning of stress – Meditation gave me the clarity of mind to catch stress in the beginning. I’d notice small frustrations or distractions that were making my mind jumpy and deal with them. Take 3 deeps breathes to return to center.
  • Self Care – I had a LOT going on, so I didn’t make it to a yoga class. Instead I fit in small bursts of yoga and exercise throughout my day. I made sure I ate well so that I felt good, because I knew that I didn’t have time to mess around with being sick or feeling bad. I also made sure that I slept 8 hours every night. I know that if I need to push myself to work longer, I need my sleep – and my work is better for it.
  • Meaningful work – Both yoga and art provide me with very meaningful work. My paintings are my necessary creative expression, and teaching yoga and sharing this blog are a way for me to be of service. Because I care about my work, I could push through the extra hours. This is a trickier bullet-point to apply, but perhaps you can ask yourself the question, what is meaningful about my work? How can you connect to that?
  • Focus on one thing – Stress happens when our thoughts fly to the future of imagined possibilities. When you have a lot to do, cut out distractions and extra responsibilities. Say no to events to have some personal space and time. Focus on the one thing you can do right now and let everything else go. It can be done with practice.

Stress is a choice that we make. Stress is an indication that your thoughts are pulling you out of center. When you start to feel it, take a moment to stop. Take 3 breathes and notice the cause. Are you distracted by something that isn’t your priority right now? Are you “shoulding” yourself into misery? Make sure you are taking care of yourself – even if it is in just small bits throughout your day. And please, take some time for silence and quiet. It becomes even more important in busy times.

Thanks for reading! As always, the discussion can begin at here or at the facebook page.

Be well,


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