Cheers to New Beginnings

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Trust. Your. Vibes.

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5 Things my Grandmother Taught Me About Etiquette that were Really Lessons on Mindfulness

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy grandmother was a wise, understated woman of modest height and build, with a beautiful smile and warm nature. She was the quintessential lady with no air about her. Able to make those around her feel at ease, my grandmother had a way of comforting others by her questions, her words or even presence.

As a long time yoga practitioner and meditator I like to think that I bring mindfulness both to the mat and to my life. I learned early on from living in New York that it’s easier to move yourself than to ask someone else to move and paying attention to one’s surroundings is not just a daily practice, but a moment by moment practice. I always figured it was all of my yogic training and part of being a city dweller.  But lately, I’m finding myself looking at others in both in yoga class and outside and as my grandmothers words ring so loudly in my head, it’s almost as if I have to hold my mouth to stop them from coming out. I’m not sure if it’s age, or just that mindfulness and etiquette are one in the same.

Here are five examples of how my wise grandmother was a really Buddhist all along…

1. ”Not everyone was born with good taste or a sense of humor”
I LOVED when my grandmother said this. I would see someone in a crazy outfit or chew gum like a cow, and I would make a face or a comment to her. My grandma would turn to me, not even crack a smile; she would just touch my hand gently and say, “not everyone was born with good taste and a sense of humor” and move on.

Why this is mindfulness? Love everyone equally for who they are and what they have to offer. In short, Lora, who put you on this earth to judge others?

2. Never put bottles, cans or take out containers on the table
To this day I cringe when I see a bottle on the table. I can’t do it. I just cant! When I see others, do it my inner OCD monster emerges and takes control of the situation.

Why this is actually mindfulness? If we take the time to set a table properly, even if it is taken out, it makes us feel more connected and present with the food we are eating and who we are eating with. We also honor the food that we have in front of us.

3. Always take a plate even if it’s just one cookie.
My brothers and I would so often grab a cookie or something from the fridge, and my grandmother would hand us a plate and a napkin. Of course, we would say “but it’s just one” and she didn’t care.

Why this is mindfulness? Walking and eating is one of the most mindless American things we can do. Not only does it not look good, but there is no way the body can register what you are eating. Taking a plate and sitting down to eat helps the body realize when it is satisfied.

4. Sit down and send a thank you note, before you go to bed.
Who wants to write a thank you note at all let alone before you go to bed! My grandmother was not militant about this, she merely “suggested” I do this.

Why is this mindfulness? Being grateful for what you receive when you receive it and acknowledging it not only presences you to the gift, but makes room for more.

5. Dear, uncross your arms and stand up straight.
Hunching is not only poor posture, but is rude body language to send out to the world and not  a good look for anyone

Why is this mindfulness? Body language and posture is not only how you present yourself to the world, but its how you speak to yourself. Shoulders rolled back gently with your arms to the side is like saying, ‘yes” to the world and “yes” to new opportunities. Crossed arms are quite the opposite.

699539573_wZeAT-XL-960x420As a Nutritional muse, author and speaker, Lora has devoted her life to helping women find a pleasurable path to a balanced lifestyle.


Twitter: @lorakrulak