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 Day 17: How Hope Goes Viral

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I once had a boss that no matter what I did, I was never good enough.  I was constantly micromanaged, belittled, and picked apart, regardless of the fact that I increased her small business by $1.2 million in less than a year.  She just didn’t like me and she thought that by using negative tactics, I’d mold myself to who she wanted.  When I left, she threw me a party, to thank me for leaving.  I left relieved but incredibly scared that I wouldn’t be good enough for my new job, and unfortunately, that had a rather negative impact on my entire being, often forgoing sleep to get ahead on the next day, ensuring I was always the top performer.  It wore me out a year later.

I’ve learned a lot since that experience, namely that confidence is everything and if you waver, it leaves you highly susceptible to bullies, and other negative types of individuals. This was a key lesson for me to continue to remember when I eventually became my own boss. I learned a lot about how when other people are controlled by another force, those people, in turn, will do the same to you, whether that’s adhering to another culture, personal work style preference, etc.

Now, imagine working for the world’s greatest boss, where you are encouraged to thrive, think outside of the box, take on new skill sets, and learn from your failures.  He encourages you to keep pushing forward, praises you when you do great things, and helps you become better at the things that need work.  In other words, he instills the hope and confidence in you that you can be great, resulting in great work, and even greater performance.  (Shout out to my current boss, who is THE BEST!)

The reason I give these examples is to show what today’s practice is trying to teach us.  The more we encourage others, and not intentionally try to change them, the more hope and confidence are instilled in them, to be better for themselves and for others.  The more we encourage, the happier we are, the happier we are, the more positive place we are all in.

 

So whether you are the controller/the great “boss” that encourages people, and/or the recipient of this, it’s important to remember that kindness and encouragement, from an internal place of nurture, are key to instilling the right hope in others.

My ask to you is to find one person you know who could use a compliment and PAY it!  Yes, it must be sincere.  But I guarantee you that that little compliment will brighten both your days and you will soon find that, that happy/peaceful feeling is addicting 🙂

Namaste

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 13: Finding the Key to Renewal

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Whether we know it or not, we are growing and changing every second of every day- whether that be mentally and/or physically.  We forget that each second that goes by is one second we will never get back, as it’s sent off to join all the other past seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years that we’ve lived.

We’ve all heard the sayings, “Don’t waste your time” or “life is too short”.  When you put into perspective how fleeting our lives are, it reminds you of all of the times you could have been doing something more positive in your life, or at least something that would better yourself in the long run – we all do this.

However, as the saying goes, “there’s no time like the present” to start anew…

That’s the greatest thing about time – it doesn’t matter if it’s right this second, 30 seconds from now, or even tomorrow.  You can always start anew – ALWAYS.

I’ve heard friends of mine say, “Yeah, I would have loved to have done (x) but it’s too late now – I’m too old to do it.”  Tell that to the myriad of senior citizens out there who have accomplished great things later in life that we would have deemed “too old” to do.  For example,  a couple of years ago, Doreetha Daniels became a college grad at the age of 99. Alternatively Kimani Maruge didn’t begin primary school until age 84 in Kenya. John Glenn was the first man to orbit the Earth in space at the age of 77.  Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until age 76. And the list goes on.  What all these people have in common is that they realized they are never too old to start something – they don’t see time as having passed by – there is always time to go onto doing something great.  Thus, YOU have no excuse 🙂

The more we realize that life is precious, the more we want to live a great life, full of beautiful stories.  The more we want this, the less time we want to waste, and the less we want to remain the same.

I’m very appreciative of what meditation has done for me in terms of being so in love with life, that I’m literally the kid in front of the TV, eager to see what happens next.  It’s possible for you too!

Meditation Day 12 had you listing out what you wanted to change for the better, and then putting a plan together for how you do it.  Today, take one of those fears and START making the change!  Believe it or not, taking that first step is you already on your way to a great self-renewal!

Namaste

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 12: Finding the Courage to Change

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In the first 11 days, our practice has been focused on looking deep within ourselves, pulling out what it isn’t working, and beginning to figure out what it is that we truly want with our lives – what will shape us into the human beings we want to be.

In this practice, we are now focused on finding the courage to make this change.

Letting go of the “old” can be incredibly scary.  Perhaps you tried at some point in your life, and it was met with a negative reaction, or even a failure.  Perhaps that one moment made you realize you were “better off” being the way you are.  What makes trying again so hard is the fear of reliving the pain from that experience.

But what if I told you that you would never have to relive that particular pain again because you actually grew and learned from it?  What if I told you, you have the power to not make the same mistake twice?  If we never experienced pain and set backs, we would never grow as human beings – we would never evolve into the best version of ourselves.

 

So how do you get started?

  1. Meditation is absolutely a must.  It will help you to learn to ease your mind and find a place of peace.
  2. Write down a list of fears you would like to conquer.
  3. Write down steps you know you could take to start easing those fears – even if it’s little, and make sure to add a reward you would like to give yourself, once you’ve conquered it.
  4. Each month, pick a fear you would like to work on – meditate on it, and take the steps you’ve written down.
  5. Make sure to journal, each day, about what you’re feeling and the progress you’ve made.
  6. When you’ve conquered that fear, REWARD yourself!

Following this process is guaranteed to get you on the right track to giving yourself the utmost courage to change into the person you want to be!

Namaste

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 7: The Secret to Finding Hope Everywhere

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Gratitude doesn’t require a large explanation, it requires DOING.  When you are grateful for even the little things in your life, the door opens and connects you straight to the universe.  It allows you to find a sense of peace, while giving you hope in every situation.

Instead of some lengthy post, I’m going to share five things I am grateful for today.  Please share with me yours, and make it a practice you do everyday!

  1. I am grateful for my 3 mile walk to and from the grocery store, as it allowed me to get to know my new neighborhood.
  2. I am grateful for the rainstorm we had today, as the flowers are in bloom now and the air is so fresh.
  3. I am grateful for my really hard but new workout routine – I like feeling strong.
  4. I am grateful for the new meal plan I started today – so many delicious recipes!
  5. I am grateful for the time I spent, playing fetch with my dog.

 

Namaste

 

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 4: Become What You Believe – Your Positive Beliefs Shape Your Potential

Yesterday, we focused on how to tackle negativity in the face of judgment.  It’s not an easy thing to do.  Negativity is one of the easiest cycles to get sucked into and very hard to get out of.

Although over the last few days I talked a lot about the negative impact of being judged by others, today’s practice wants you to focus on setting your own positive beliefs to help shape your true potential of who you are.  It’s taking those “I can’t” statements and turning them into “I can’s!”.

We hear a lot about abundance when we think positively.  The more we love someone else, the more love we receive.  The more we allow ourselves to be creative, the more outlets we given to continue being creative.  The more cash flow we allow ourselves, the more money we’ll make.  These are some of the examples of what happens when you see new possibilities – it’s called evolving and expanding, and it’s powerful.

Believe it or not, there are some very powerful people in this world that believe in meditation practices. Every single morning, they take 20 minutes to breathe, center themselves, set their intentions for the day, and then get to work on achieving those intentions.  Their success (although met with plenty of obstacles), comes from a calm, clear-headed space that allows them to think through any issue from a more enlightened perspective.  In other words, they are not personally operating from an ego level, but one of true self.  It’s key in not only keeping beliefs positive, but also being an effective leader.

So what does this have to do with YOU.  Anyone can unlock their potential (as cheesy as that sounds) – it’s figuring out the right tools to get you there, and learning positivity through meditation is one of them.  So how do you get started?

You need to be open to new ways of doing things.  Being closed off from a place of fear or skepticism will not get you there.  I saw a woman on a meditation group on Facebook, claim that meditation was B.S. because it didn’t work for her.  Meditation is a practice that comes from within.  If you’re closed off, you won’t unlock the potential of what it can do.  You have to believe in yourself, to believe this practice.  It also doesn’t come overnight.

Do your best to block out “noise”.  Noise refers to those that send you negative messages, whether it be verbal, physical, or subliminal.  Remember, you have YOU to live with the rest of your life, no one else.  Do what makes YOU happy!  If you feel confident about something in your life, stick to your guns!  I can’t tell you how many times I used to feel like I needed to defend myself on some of my more personal endeavors. What I learned was that if I came across as defensive automatically, it creates a level of uncertainty that opens me up for a negative “attack” of sorts.  OWN who you are and what you believe in, block out the noise of the naysayers, and I guarantee you, it not only creates an energy shift, but also changes everyone’s perception, including your own!  Positive energy is infectious.

Be open to new possibilities.  I have a girlfriend that says “yes” to as many things as she can in her professional life, as it can always open four more doors to greater things.  Her success and what she has unlocked personally is absolutely incredible.  You might be busy because of all these “yeses”, but busy is good – especially if you want to achieve your dreams!

Believe that there is always a solution.  Understand that you might not find it alone but someone else, or the universe will be there to help you.  In lieu of that, having faith that something will resolve itself, sends out a positive beam of energy, helping you to not only find a solution, but a peaceful one at that!  I like the example of the airport line – maybe half of them are about to miss a connecting flight, are agitated, irate, etc.  They stand in line, fuming over the fact that they will not get on the plane they were supposed to be on.  They collect their negative thoughts, think they are doomed to never getting where they need to go, and by the time they get to the counter, they start listing demands, yelling at the attendant, and then storming off, accepting a different flight that leaves at a different time.  Now, watch someone who comes from a positive place, that accepts that they will miss their flight, and that all will work itself out (no one has ever been stranded permanently).  They go to the counter with a smile, take the time to either make a small joke about the crazy person before them, apologize on behalf of the line of those who are mad, etc., and ask that while they ideally would like to get on the next soonest flight out, what is available, and are there any possible upgrades? I’m telling you, that energy shift does wondrous things.  They not only got a solution, but they helped ease someone’s day, even if for a minute.

This is all about having faith in the process, designed to help put you in a positive, successful direction.

Namaste

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

21-Day Meditation Experience: (Day 1) Grace through Gratitude

“Grace is not knowledge or reason but rather the amount of light in our souls.” — Pope Francis.

I can remember a time when I just rushed through life.  Although everyday brought on new challenges and new things to do, I was just going through the motions of checking off things on my daily “to-do list”, often going to bed stressed, frantic, and (silently) moaning at the fact that I had to wake up in the morning and do it again.  I felt trapped, unsettled, and sometimes crazy.  I felt as though if I didn’t accomplish everything, I was missing out on something, and it’s not a good space to be in.  Why?  Because I never took time to truly appreciate (and be grateful for) all of the opportunities (and people) my days were holding.

When I started meditating this past March, I went into this with an open mind and heart.  The more I meditated, the more I found myself being present and grateful for every single moment of my day.  It’s through meditation that I learned to ask myself questions on how I was feeling, allowing myself to go with the flow, telling myself it was okay if my entire “to-do list” didn’t get completed, or that it was okay to say “no” to an event, in order to spend some time with myself.  Being in this “space” allows thoughts to flow more freely, to take stock of my physical and mental well-being; and learn to adjust things based on my internal needs.  The more in-tune I became with myself, the happier I’ve become.

Being grateful can be a difficult thing to achieve on a daily basis, when there is so much frantic, negative energy surrounding us.  It’s hard to isolate yourself into a space where light and love shine around you.  My advice is to start out small – give yourself 5 minutes at the end of the day to write down or say five things you are grateful for, that day.  It can be anything that brought you happiness, peace, warmth, etc.  At the end of each week, read the list.  Are they the same things each day/some of the same things?  If so, make it a note to bring that common experience to the forefront more.  The more grateful experiences you can bring to your life each day, the easier this gets!

Below is a quote from Oprah that I truly love, and a great mantra to set my day:

“Gratitude opens up a space of light in every experience.  It opens up a path for grace to flow.”

Namaste