by Dr. Bianka Hardin
In the past month, I made the choice to get away from the office and unplug. During this time, I have reflected on lessons from Rick Hansen’s book, “Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice At a Time.” I have focused on how I remember to be good to myself and enjoy life when I am no longer on vacation.  The hopeful part of this book for me is that research shows that anyone can make positive changes in their life, so you can teach an old dog new tricks! Hanson states, “practice pulls weeds and plants flowers in the garden of your mind and thus your brain. That improves your garden, plus it makes you a better gardener: you get more skillful at directing your attention, thinking clearly, managing your feelings, motivating yourself, getting more resilient, and riding life’s roller coaster.”

During vacation, I relaxed, slowed down, and took in the beauty around me.  Here are some of my ideas on these things can be brought back from vacation and integrated into daily life.
Relax.
Practice relaxing your body by focusing on your breath and taking in your soundings. An easy way to do this is by taking a moment to focus on your breath and note the sensations around you and really take them in and appreciate them.
Slow Down.
Resist the urge to rush through your tasks and try slowing things down. When you are having your coffee, slow down, notice how it smells and tastes.  When you are eating, notice how your food looks, tastes, feels in your mouth.  Do not over-schedule yourself and say no to things that are not important, urgent, or necessary.
Find Beauty.
Take a few moments each day to be open to beauty.  Look around you and notice the vibrant flowers as you are walking to the train or stop and wander through the farmer’s market taking in the beautiful colors and wonderful tastes.  Make an effort to find at least one beautiful thing on your walk to work.