Fun, Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation: How To Take Back Your Power

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In going through the last meditation challenge with Deepak and Oprah, I had a hard time getting through some of the practices, because some of them felt recycled, while others were nice reminders. Most really didn’t take me into my practice the way I had hoped.

Then, about halfway through it, they focused on a subject that will always be important: Taking back your power.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a male or a female, young or old, it applies to everyone.

When I speak of taking back power, I don’t mean developing a false ego to “lord” over others.  I mean being able to make decisions for yourself that not only make you feel fulfilled, but also confident that you’re living your best life.

Think about a job you had or a relationship/friendship you were in, that perhaps, made you feel less than you actually were.  You may have stayed at that job or with that person because you either believed it/they could change, or you accepted that you were less than you really were.  Now, think about the day you liberated yourself from that burden.  How did it feel?  What did you do?  Are you onto greener pastures now?

How to Meditate on It

Now, take that feeling of confidence – that feeling of freedom, close your eyes, hold onto that feeling, and breathe. Focus on that feeling for 5, 10, or 15 minutes.  Visualize what it would be like to move on from any current situation that is wearing you down, and insert that feeling into the visualization.  Repeat this daily, preferably in the morning, and try to live by that feeling during the day.  THAT is meditating to not just take back your power in a current situation, but keep it.

I Need More Than Just Meditation For This!

mindbodygreen has a great article on “11 Ways to Take the Power Back in Your Life”.  While written three years ago, I still find it to be a fantastic guide, especially if you feel you’re needing way more guidance than meditation.  It’s a guide, that no matter your situation, will always apply.

I’m big on people sharing and learning from each other, so I’m interested in hearing stories about how you’ve taken back the power in your own situations!  Feel free to leave them in the comments section of my blog.  I promise I read them and respond!

 

 

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Experience Day 10: Learn to “Be Here Now”

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Think about one special relationship you have or had where you caught yourself saying, “it’s too good to be true”, and genuinely believing that this was going to end badly because you don’t deserve this person.  Perhaps this was followed by fear, or cautiousness, or even doubt.  Along the course of the relationship with this person, you either hit some bumps in the road, or the relationship took a nose dive and you thought to yourself, “I knew it… it is/was too good to be true!”

We are our own worst enemy when it comes to being loved and genuinely believing we deserve something.  Those of us who are grounded enough in our understanding of ourselves (see Meditation Day 9 for why I say this), realize that we do deserve the best because we put our very best selves forward for others.  We BRING something to the table that lets others understand that we are a gift and should be treated as such.  Let me illustrate this with two personal examples, so that you see the difference.

Story A – The Pessimist

I used to be a terrible dater.  I had an idea in my head of what I wanted in someone – someone that far exceeded who I was as a person. I had no confidence, no sense as to who I really was, oftentimes relying on the other person to define me.  As such, I had a hard time trusting my significant others, causing horrible fights, crazy episodes, and eventually, resulting in bad break ups.  (Granted, none of these men were right for me but you don’t know what you don’t know at the time.)  Each and every time this happened, I’d say to myself, “I knew it… this was never going to last.  I’m a failure at dating and I don’t deserve the best.”  This would be followed by another new relationship, rinse and repeat.

The last relationship that was like this for me, produced a swift kick in the ass.  He was everything I had dreamed of at the time (successful, romantic handsome, loving, would constantly bring me gifts, etc.) and each and every day, I practically idolized him, making my entire world about him, telling myself I can’t believe he likes someone like me.  Well, it turns out that he wasn’t all roses but then again, neither was I – I had no idea who I was, what I wanted for myself, and it ended badly 8 months later with me spending the next four months, devastated because I KNEW he was never going to go for someone like me, and that my whole life was a joke.

It’s BECAUSE of this relationship that I slowly started to piece myself together, for the first time ever, taking a couple years off from dating, in order to truly understand who I was.

Story B – The Confident, Well-Deserving Person I Am

The next relationship I got into was someone far superior to the previous one.  When I met him, I didn’t think to myself that there’s no way he could like someone like me.  Instead, I found myself measuring HIM up to see if he at least matched what I bought to the table.  While we unfortunately didn’t last (although we are still friends), over a year later, the universe brought me a gift I wasn’t looking for (as I wasn’t on the hunt for someone new – I learned to be completely satisfied being alone)!  This man defies many beliefs I held about what I deserve, because he brings something to the table in spades that everyone should be searching for – unending love and patience.

In my well-deserved, grounded confidence, I stopped caring about having someone else in my life to define me.  Instead, I decided that when the universe was ready to send me the RIGHT person, I would be 100% receptive, with no doubt as to why they are in my life.  When my (now) boyfriend was introduced to me on my birthday last year, I didn’t even remember meeting him!  In fact, it wasn’t until he reached out to me again a few weeks later that any sort of spark, started.

The poor guy went through almost two months of having to chase me down, confident that we were going to be together.  I, having learned to listen to my gut, was intrigued but wanted to make absolute sure that getting into a relationship with him made sense.  It was a slow process but I’ve never been happier.

As you can see, there’s a vast difference between these two stories because my way of thinking about life had changed immensely.  I was once ridden with fear that nothing would ever go well for me and any life surprises would be horrible.  Now, I wake up everyday like it’s Christmas morning, wondering what’s in store for me.  It is a complete mental shift and nothing else.

While I say this all the time, it’s worth repeating… meditation became the key to my evolutionized thought process.  It became the stillness I needed for 20 minutes a day to clear my head, keep my mind open, and allowed me to once again realize that the universe has a plan, and it’s usually a great one!

If you’re stuck in a rut on something, know that everything happens for a reason in life and it’s usually because there’s something greater you were meant for.  That attitude will pay you back in spades, I promise!

Namaste

 

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

MEDITATION DAY 10: BECOME WHAT YOU BELIEVE – LIVING FROM YOUR CORE

I’m gonna tell you a story about myself that brings us to the very heart of this meditation.

Almost a decade ago, I was with someone that had a horrible temper.  In response to it, I always felt I had to be on the defensive and thus, I developed a temper too.  For 2 1/2 years, we fought like cats and dogs, my work was suffering, and I didn’t have many friends, and according to my family, I looked like a shell of myself.  When I was alone, I’d wonder why I reacted so quickly and so angry to certain things, as internally, the things that were happening, were usually not a big deal. I felt like I was reacting because he wanted me to react – he knew my vulnerable spots, he knew how to tear me down, and I was too weak to leave him until…

About 2 1/2 years into it, we were moving from Seattle to Houston.  He was driving a Uhaul truck, while I was driving his truck.  It’s the middle of summer, so naturally, we both needed functioning air conditioners during the drive.  Somewhere in Oklahoma, we needed to stop for dinner.  I followed him off an exit and to an Applebees.  When we parked our trucks, I saw him get out of his, kick the tire and start screaming like a banshee because his air conditioner went out.  I sat in my truck and watched.  For the first time in my life, I asked myself what the point of yelling was, and what was the point at being angry over everything?  In that one moment, I decided we could not stay together, nor could I allow myself to ever feel this broken again.  Two weeks after I got him settled in, I began my journey towards a new life I actually wanted to live.

But, it’s not really where the story ends.  It took me years past that to understand my true self, to realize that in order for me to have any level of self-worth, I needed to focus on me and not worry about the outside world as much. I had a few “false starts” with relationships and friendships during these years, which I had idealized for the wrong reasons.  In other words, I might have liked the idea of someone or a potential situation but when it came down to it, that person or situation wasn’t the right fit for my life.  It’s the hardest thing in the world to admit and even harder to let go of.

Then, last March, I decided to try meditation, as I felt like I was at a loss for how to get to 100% of where I wanted to be – happy, healthy, successful, etc.  After the first 21-day challenge, the results within me (and even physically) were astounding.  I realized that for the first time in my life, I knew exactly who I was, exactly what I wanted, as well exactly the type of person I wanted in my life (whether it be romantic interest or friend).  By the end of March, I’m proud to say, I started living from my core 100% of the time, and life has been beautiful since.

Living from your core brings about a sense of calm and trust.  You begin reacting differently to negative situations because you are in complete control.  No longer do you feel panicky, in a state of chaos, or in a constant state of depression, anger, sadness, etc.  You realize you are worthy of yourself and can provide value/unique contributions in this world.  You realize quickly that you no longer feel like people are controlling you; that they are preying on you, ready to attack.  You realize that the level of respect and admiration goes up from others, and button-pressing and other predatory behaviors go down.

We all have wild instincts in us at our core.  Those that are more dominant, sense fear in others and prey on those behaviors.  Those that are more confident relay a sense of intimidation and thus, become prey.  It’s an evolutionary cycle that’s all but impossible to avoid.  It’s those of us that understand it, that control it for ourselves.

How to put this into practice…

  1. I once wrote a post on using the word “just”, and what it actually does to our overall perception.  More often than not, people use this word when they are explaining the “why” of something, causing an automatic defensive trigger in others.  It’s a horrible word to use, right up there with filler words, such as “um”, “and”, “you know”, etc. The more you can remove that (and other defensive/weak language) from your vocabulary, the more confident you sound to others, which then changes the predatory perception to one of trust.
  2. Internally focus on you and what YOU want out of life, and WHO you want in it.  I’ve “broken up” with friends that I felt brought me down, or caused negative emotions to emerge and stick.  It sounds selfish but when you think of how much weight you carry everyday: making enough to live on, supporting a family, taking care of family and friends, taking care of your health, having enough time to enjoy your life, etc., you start to realize that absorbing other people’s problems and/or negative emotions, is counterproductive to your progress on being who you are.
  3. Finally, focus on letting your gut guide you.  If something feels off immediately, don’t second guess it, follow it.  I cannot begin to tell you the huge difference it made in my life, trusting my instincts in situations.  Because of it, I’m in the best relationship of my life, work is going very well, and I have an amazing group of friends.

This one practice can take a long time.  Commonly, we’re a lot more wound up inside than we thought.  So focus on those three suggestions everyday, little by little, reassess once a month, and see the positive difference it’s made.

Namaste