Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation: Creating Peace in Your Life

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It may because I’m getting older (I’ll be 40 in August), but I’ve realized I hate disturbances and do my best to avoid them at all costs.  If I can “be” Amy Poehler in this .GIF then I’m heading in the right direction.

For the first (let’s say) 36 years of my life, I allowed myself all sorts of unhealthy imbalances that left me tired, dramatic, and totally unsure of who I was as a person.  I wanted “the right” people to like me, but in turn, wanted them to make me happy.  I really had no idea who I was, and that wasn’t good.

In the last four years, a lot of things changed.  I went from married to divorced, from living in San Diego, to living back in D.C.  I went from renting to being a homeowner, and financially struggling to get by, to dabbling in investing and certainly padding my savings.  I also went from allowing friends that didn’t have it together, to making peace with the fact that I’d prefer quiet nights in than absorb negative energy.  But, the only way  I was able to get there was to create my own peace and self-love, by spending a lot of time taking stock of my life.

We all have that one aspect of this process that’s the most difficult to overcome and for me, it’s other humans.  By nature, I’m a people person and with my aforementioned affliction, it was super hard to take stock of who I surrounded myself with, what I really wanted in a friend, and ultimately, how to gracefully “exit stage left”.  If you’re like me, then you know that deep down, almost everyone is a good person, and quite possibly, they are just as “stuck” as we are/were.  As time goes on and the universe’s “nudge” to follow your path gets stronger, it forces you into a situation of having to make better decisions for the long run. As the saying goes, “Surround yourself by those that inspire you to be where you want to go.”  While it feels down right wrong to fade out something (or someone) that doesn’t serve a purpose, it’s also important.  It’s part of growing into the person you want to be – the person you have to spend the rest of your life with (you).

Sure, I’m focusing on other humans because that’s where my journey has taken me.  But, it could be anything.  It could be a job, bad habits, holding yourself back from something you really want to do, a need to surround yourself with materialistic goods to make yourself happy, etc.  The point is, no matter how painful, it’s necessary to shed what no longer serves in order to find peace.

Many believe peace is about instant gratification; happiness. The actual definitions Miriam-Webster has includes:

: a state of tranquility or quiet: such as

a : freedom from civil disturbance

  • Peace and order were finally restored in the town.

b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom

  • a breach of the peace

2: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions

  • I have been in perfect peace and contentment
  • —J. H. Newman

3: harmony in personal relations

  • The sisters are at peace with each other.

4a : a state or period of mutual concord between governments

  • There was a peace of 50 years before war broke out again.

b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity

  • offered the possibility of a negotiated peace
  • New York Times
5used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell

Imbalance feels disturbing

at peace

: in a state of concord or tranquility

  • The problem was settled and his mind was at peace.

(Originally this word was created in the 14th century – that’s a bit ironic given how much of Asia was being conquered at the time, as well as the spread of the Black Plague.  Perhaps this word was the only word to describe what they wanted 🙂

But, if you look at all of the definitions for it, it proves that most people abuse the word “peace” as something that isn’t an ever-lasting state.  If you take a look at “at peace” (at the bottom of the list of definitions), it denotes a timeless state of being – that it’s the end result we all want to achieve.

How To Get There

As with yesterday’s post, this isn’t an easy journey, and certainly one that can’t be forced. But, there is a path and if it’s followed diligently, it will be easier!

  • Meditate – seriously, I can’t stress that enough.  It can be 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or whatever works for you.  Putting your body and mind in a state of complete calm becomes somewhat addicting.  You’ll realize you like having no disturbances.
  • Consciously think about what would put you at permanent peace.  Write it down and put it somewhere you can save it.
  • Begin to slowly chip away at how to get to that state of peace.  Is it staying in one extra night a week to save money, helping to slip away from those you don’t truly want to be around?  Is it telling yourself you don’t need to go on Amazon everyday? Is it slowly fading out a bad habit by replacing it with a good one?  Regardless of what it is, take it day by day, or hour by hour if you have to!  Make sure to write down the milestones you want to achieve and if necessary, a plan to get there.
  • Write down your positive thoughts and feelings in the morning, and do it again at night.  Read it once to see how your day went, then don’t look back – living in the past doesn’t promote growth

For those reading this, you’re already on the path to self growth, or are looking to achieve this.  I’m not an expert in the slightest, but I’ve been through enough life to get the hardships, difficulties, and the constant wanting of something better.  I, myself, have followed the above, and I’m a believer in the process!  I hope that each of you find the long-lasting peace you want in your lives.  And if you ever need something to aspire to, save that Amy Poehler .GIF 🙂

 

 

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Experience (Day 11): Healing Your Hidden Issues

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The last Pacific Beach sunset I saw before I moved home.

There are days when I don’t want my meditation to end and today was one of those days.  Imagine sitting on a warm beach, the sun is beginning to set, and no one else is around.  All you do is gaze into the ocean, feeling a slight breeze in your hair and on your face, appreciating this pure moment in its entirety.  This is where my practice took me today.

The practice for today was about healing hidden issues – learning to drum up the issues we’ve shoved way down in our beings, releasing them to the universe, and landing ourselves in a place of peace and calm.

For the last four months of my career, I’ve been taking a good, hard, long look at the life I’ve created for myself, constantly stressing about the future and if I will ever attain the long-terms goals I have set for myself.  I’ve always believed that through hard work and persistence, you can achieve anything.  However, as a very close friend and professional coach reminded me earlier this week, there comes a point where you have to believe the the universe has a plan for you, in which you have no control over.  It’s hard to be reminded of that sometimes when you just want to be able to sleep at night, not tossing and turning, wondering when the universe will finally give you an answer 🙂 But for some reason, today’s practice put me back in touch with a reality I became comfortable with again – I have very little control over my future and that’s okay.  Yes, you read that right.

The universe is a funny “being”.  While things will happen from time to time that seem like life is “falling into place”, it will sometimes also force us to face difficult challenges that might seem daunting and unnecessary. What you don’t know (that the universe does) is that the difficult challenges you have to face now, are actually preparing you for something greater down the road.  The universe wants us to understand that in order for us to achieve higher and higher goals in our lives, we have to take steps to strengthen ourselves first.

Imagine when you started out in your career – whatever that might have been.  Remember what the first few weeks or months were like?  If you’re like me, the words that come to mind are “scary”, “new”, “overwhelming”, etc.  Now look at where you are today – what freaked you out about your responsibilities then, might seem so easy now when you look back.  But when you look ahead to your future, you might think to yourself, “My gosh, that (task, project, new responsibility) looks like something I can’t do. I wouldn’t even know how to do it.”  Then one day in the future, when you’ve done it and moved on, you’re going to look back again and shake your head and smile because you realized it wasn’t that bad.  The point I’m trying to make is we are given challenges for a reason.  Each challenge (and how we overcome it) is a stepping stone to something greater (and better) we were meant for in our lives – perhaps it’s to help attain the goals we are working towards or perhaps it’s a stepping stone to something we didn’t know was going to be better for us in the long run.  It’s how we process the challenge that matters.

When someone gives up control to the universe, one is at peace.  Challenges don’t seem so bad – they become exciting, almost as though you get a new present each day.  You become excited for new opportunities to flex your “muscles” and show the world what you’ve got. (Richard Branson is famous for thinking this way – he embraces new challenges with open arms and look at where he is today.)  On the flip side, some people look at giving up control as giving up, perhaps thinking they were not meant for greater things because nothing ever works out for them, or they are tired of facing what they think are up-hill battles.  If you are one of those people, I can tell you right now that meditation will change that.

So in my practice today, while I’m off on my beach, enjoying the sunset, being enveloped by the warmth, I told the universe that everything is in its hands.  No longer will I stress about my work, my life goals, and where my life is going.  I trust that it’s path for me will be a great one and that I am along for the ride.  Instantly, the hidden issues I was facing were released and in just 20 minutes, I became more at peace than I’ve been in four months.

I’m excited to see what the universe has in store for me tomorrow, next week, next month,  next year, and beyond.

Namaste