THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Halloween Candy: Seven Ways to Stay Awake And Aware in the Face of Chocolate

Oh My! Halloween is almost here! I don't know about you, but I want to stay awake and aware in the face of all those little mini-chocolate bars! With that in mind, here are some fun exercises that we can do today that can help us to exercise our 'awake and aware' muscles!
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Seven Ways to Build Your Stay Awake and Aware

1. Know What You are Eating!
Here's a Halloween Candy Chart. Enough said!

2. Be Present in the Shower
A simple and fun way to start integrating "being present" into your daily routine is in the shower.

The next time you are in the shower concentrate on feeling the hot water cascading over your head and body. Pay close attention to the aroma and sensation of the soap and shampoo on your skin. Take note of your surroundings. That's right ... what does your showerhead look like, the curtain and the tiles.

A beautiful, meditative and aware way to start your day!

3. People Watch
Most of us are on "automatic pilot" when it comes to paying real attention to the people in our lives. Today note those whose who are close to you as if it were the first time you've ever laid eyes on them. Note their unique way of walking, the cadence in their voice, their mannerisms, the crinkles in their faces.

4. Look Around You
We have pre-conceived perceptions of our surroundings, too. When was the last time you noticed the unique features of your home, office, car, or gym (if you have membership!)? Today notice the colors, sounds, shapes of rooms, windows, blinds, floors, ceilings, furniture. What are you noticing that's new? The thing is, whatever looks new to you has been there for quite some time! Today you have chosen to be conscious and notice.

5. Really Taste and Savor Your Food
I know I've written about this before, but it's worth repeating. Really pay attention to what you are eating. Today pay close attention to the smell of the food, the texture, the multitude of tastes as you slowly roll each bite you're your tongue. There is no question that when you pay attention and slow the pace, you will eat less.

6. Smell Something
Smell is one of our God-given senses that is often overlooked. Unless something smells 'bad,' we rarely focus our attention on it. So today, start taking in deep breaths. Take in the walls of your home! Your office! Your car. Yes, that's right ... smell your car. And while you're at it, the street, too! I am taking in a deep breath now and while I cannot tell you how my office smells, I can tell you that there is a difference between my office and the hallway.

7. Listen with Heart
When we are talking with others, we seldom really listen. We're more concerned with what we are going to say when they are done talking. Talk about not being in the moment! Today, when you are engaged in a conversation, try just being there for that person. You don't have to fill in the blanks, the silences. You can leave space for the other person to continue with their thoughts. Imagine ... just listen and with heart. Dare to care about the other person.

Spread the word ... NOT the icing!
Janice

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