Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation: Putting Your Beliefs Into Practice

It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted on my meditative practices, and over the course of that year, I’ve received a lot of comments and messages about bringing it back.  It brings me so much joy to know that there are people out there that I’ve helped in some way, if even only a tiny bit!

Truth be told, I stopped meditating for a good, long while – not because I hated it or felt it wasn’t working, but because I wasn’t allotting myself the time to do it every morning.  Thus, imagine the negative thoughts, beliefs, and physical “trauma” I started to gain!  All of a sudden, I became tense all of the time, feeling as though my world was a step away from crashing around me, resulting in me losing sight of what is so important: I am/should be grateful for the life I have.  It’s up to me to make my happiness a reality.

In February, I went to a Bachelorette party for a bride that is very into holistic healing – something I believe in as well.  We pulled a lot of tarot cards throughout the course of the weekend and the same thing kept popping up: I needed to make big changes in order to be happy.  She then performed Reiki (which I had never done before, but now swear by) and anything that was causing me to panic suddenly left from the top of my head and flew away.  I’m not joking.  I could literally feel the bad energy leave!  After that, I looked something like this:

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(If you don’t know who the guy in the .GIF above is, it’s Peter from “Office Space, The Movie”. He goes to a hypnotherapist to learn to not be so miserable at work. In the middle of the hypnosis, the therapist dies and Peter is left in a state of not caring about a thing.)

When I got back home, I promised myself to bring meditation back into my routine, and I’ve kept good on that promise ever since.  I was using Headspace to start, but found myself back at the Chopra Center to keep with my Transcendental Meditation, using Sanskrit Mantras.  A little over a week ago, they came out with a new 21-Day Meditation Challenge that helped bring me back to the basics.

For those that don’t know, Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey come out with new, free 21-Day Meditation Challenges every so often, and this one is called, “Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body, and Spirit”.  I had pulled away from their challenges for a while because they seemed to follow a path of what was happening in the world, and I really wasn’t getting anything out of them.  But, this new one brought me back to the basics of why meditation is so important: If your mind is healed, so is the rest of you.

In the first nine days I’ve done it so far, there’s a noticeable improvement in my overall mood, my spirit, my thought process, and even my physique (even my brain has muscle memory, so-to-speak).  It has been a great reminder of why each of us need to take 20 minutes out of our day to do some type of exercise geared towards being still, breathing, and letting all thoughts pass through you.

Instead of walking you through my practice this morning, I want to walk you through a concept of why these practices are so important, and up until recently, didn’t truly understand.

I’ve been reading this book called, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One” by Joe Dispenza. Arguably, this is hands down the best book I’ve ever read on how to transform yourself into your full potential.  I read a lot of self-help books, and out of all of them, if you only had time for one, read this!

He structures his book into two parts: The physiology of the brain and how it’s connected to the body; and how to train your brain to think differently.

He breaks down life to it’s very physiological core (through quantum physics), explaining not just our human makeup, but also how the brain and body are separate, yet connected: The body being a vessel for our brain to perform.  When we train the brain to think, react, and feel a certain way, we are also telling our body to automatically respond to it in the same way.  This means that when we allow certain negative behaviors to become habit (i.e. smoking, drinking to excess, or acute anger/depression), our body automatically identifies this as a routine it’s supposed to react to, i.e. only allowing you to feel comfort within these negative habits, not happy ones.  The most profound thing Dispenza said on this was that 95% of our brain is asleep while the other 5% is conscious!  That means that 95% of the time, we allow physical and emotional automatic responses to take over – something that for most of us, isn’t a good thing.  We need to continue to nourish our brain with positivity in order to feel the continual healing effects it has on us physically.  It’s why meditation – the act of training your brain to think, feel, and BE different is so crucial for each of us.

Think of one moment in your life when you felt pure elation.  It could be the day you achieved a physical milestone, such as climbing to the top of a mountain; taking a vacation you had always wanted to take; a pleasant surprise from someone you loved; or even indulging in something little.  Now take that memory, that feeling, and think of how you physically felt.  Perhaps there was a small rush of adrenaline, you felt lighter than air, and/or there was a spring in your step.  Now think of what it would be like if you had those feelings of euphoria more and more.  Suddenly, the small stuff doesn’t matter anymore.  Things that would upset you, no longer do. Or, you walk around with a different lens on life, realizing you have so much to be grateful for and you’d rather remain in that space.  Whatever it is, it’s proof that that happy lifestyle is achievable!  We sometimes just have to work a bit to get there – to train our brains to think more positively on their own so it’s an automatic response.

Tips on How to Achieve This New Mental State

Just as we train our bodies to achieve anything physically, we have to train our brains to be the command center that trains our bodies.  This means “rewiring” our thought processes.  It’s not an overnight process, and just with anything else we train for, we need to do these things repeatedly to get good at it.

  1. Remember that one (or more) moment of pure elation/happiness in your life and hang onto it.  Use it as a goal to try to achieve once a month, then once a week, then once every few days, and so on.  What most don’t realize about this exercise is that by looking to achieve this very simple (yet sometimes difficult to attain) emotion, you are not only reclaiming your own life, you’re making YOURSELF happy for YOU.
  2. Take stock of bad habits and negative thought patterns, and start leaving yourself some reminders about NOT doing these things (post-it notes, throwing out cigarettes, leaving rewards for yourself with instructions on not opening it unless you went a full day without…). Give yourself rewards each week/month, for every period of time you’ve gone without indulging in it, is a fantastic way to stay on track.  For example, you might be a habitual smoker and you decide to quit slowly.  Indulge in a sweet treat if you make it two days, book a weekend getaway if you make it a month, and so forth.  For those trying to break negative thought patterns, start by complimenting someone on something – the reward will be in the positive energy.  Or, pamper yourself with something small to show you love yourself.  This leads to a “want” to continue to do positively-re-inforced things to evoke the positive feelings.  This is also a reward within itself.
  3. To coincide with number 2, at the beginning of each day, write down one positive thought in a journal.  And at the end of each day, write down something new and positive you learned or felt.  Re-read these two entries to feel the gratitude for how great your life truly is.  This practice actually reinforces the connection between mind, body, and soul!

While we’re all on different life journeys, are from different cultures, etc., there’s one thing we all share a “want” for and that is a peaceful existence.  The more we can tune into our own thoughts, behaviors, and actions; and change that for the good of not just ourselves, but for everyone, the more peaceful our coexistence can be!

 

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 10: The Reality of Inner Strength

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After going through this meditation, I was honestly a little taken aback by Deepak’s intro before he dove into the meditation.  I realize that this meditation was created out of the need to help millions of people who felt complete despair after the election, but was hoping the political agenda behind it wouldn’t truly be revealed.

Then came the mention of “Why does one person appear to get all the power, while millions of others give it away?”  This was followed by a message to stand tall, speak your truth, and take responsibility.

While this can be translated into everyday life, it was still too much, too soon and certainly not right, considering meditation teaches us to not judge.

As a human race, we have unfortunately become very fragile.  Between most of our lives being spent/displayed on the Internet, reality shows being the normal thing to watch, and more kids growing up latch key; we’re in a society of weaker-minded, lost individuals that don’t know how to find their inner strength to actually DO things that will make a difference in this world.  No, I’m not saying ALL humans are like this but certainly, there is a very large shift, particularly with this newest generation.  And instead of doing something to curtail it, people find it easier to shut it off by taking on the burden for the other, in order to move forward.  It is this horribly repeated cycle that is causing a generation of lost souls.

Yesterday, I wrote of the need to find yourself first before bringing someone else into your life.  Today, I’m asking for you to reach deep down inside yourself and pull out your greatest strengths, examine them, nurture them, and then USE them.  Each one of us has amazing gifts to share with the world, and there should be no shame or fear in pursuing them – even if it’s a side hobby.  Are you someone that by day wears a suit, really wishing you were at Burning Man, artistically expressing yourself through costume?  DO IT!  Share your artistic brilliance with the world!  Are you someone that really wants to spend more time helping those less fortunate (or even just the general population), and know you can make a difference?  What’s stopping you?  Or, do you feel like you’ve been treated unfairly and know you are better than that?  Step up and be “better than that”.  These are just a few examples but the point is, there is no need to live your life in fear.

So what happens when you come out from the shadows:

  • You are at peace
  • You are strong
  • You no longer feel anxious
  • You feel the world is full of endless possibilities – and you take advantage of it
  • You are able to take on any challenge life throws at you, and you welcome it

I know it’s so much easier said than done, so start small.  Take a class in something that interests you – even only if it’s one time.  Or, if you feel bogged down emotionally, there’s no harm in seeing a therapist – no one has to know but you.  If you can go totally out of your comfort zone and you need a true break, take a drive somewhere, stay the night in a hotel, and just relax – pamper yourself! Start getting to know who you are and learning that you’re your own BFF.  Treat yourself with the same care you would treat others.  Before you know it, you’ll be that kitten in the mirror, staring at a lion 😉

Namaste

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 9: How to Truly Trust in Yourself

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Have you ever felt at war with yourself? You know, totally avoiding yourself altogether and instead, seeking out distractions to quiet that nagging lost feeling?  Or, do you wait for someone else to tell you what to do, how to behave, etc. because it’s easier than figuring out things for yourself; yet deep down, you feel it goes against your beliefs?  If you said yes to any of these, and you were to justify it, you would say, “because it’s just easier” or, “I have too many other things going on to work on me right now”.

Deep down inside, you want to be healed but that comfortability of remaining “broken” is far easier than taking the hard road of spending time with YOU (since you are the only person you truly have to live with the rest of your life).  It’s called learning to trust yourself and it’s one of the HARDEST things to do.

Why am I being so harsh to day…

All too often (almost everyday, including today), I see people walking around in a daze, rushing from place to place (oftentimes glued to their phones), just trying to get through their day.  I hear about them going on dates and never being satisfied, oftentimes finding mundane excuses for why “so and so” isn’t good enough for them.  I hear them constantly complain about their lives and how they’re too busy for “xyz”, while they are at their 3rd event of the evening, needing to be seen.  I see them plowing over people to get what they want, not really caring how it affects others, oftentimes blaming/manipulating others when they speak up.  It seems to be so bad, especially in major cities, that I have a hard time ignoring it.

People who are accustomed to taking the “easier” negative route, find themselves waking up in the morning, completely miserable.  If they didn’t bring someone home and/or are inebriated, they’re going to bed unhappy as well, silently wishing they could just have a peaceful night in, without “being in a million places at once”.   This, my readers, is you being a stranger to yourself, and it’s completely unhealthy.

I’ve been there myself – needing to be seen, blaming everyone else for everything that feels “unfair”, and generally feeling crappy all the time, as though the whole world will forget who I am if I don’t make “x” appearance.  Thousands of dollars, several illnesses from being run down, and 15 lbs. later, I learned it doesn’t matter.  I felt lost, out of control, and broke.  The worst part: when I had to stop going out so I could recoup my losses (financially and physically), I had no idea what to do with myself.  I cried a lot, freaked out a lot, and felt raging jealously that I missed that night’s big soiree and not one soul bothered to text, saying I was missed.  I felt irrelevant and angry.

About four years ago, I had an awakening.  If I felt ugly on the inside, certainly it radiated outward, which means others could see what I was feeling.  I knew I was better than that, and that so much more was meant for me.  There was no way I could live a full life under the conditions I gave myself.  So… I purged… about 1,000 people I didn’t know on Facebook; old blog posts on local happenings that sparked certain feelings; clothes/accessories (which I consigned) that I could’t afford because I wanted to not be seen in the same thing twice (I made a few thousand from consigning); friendships that weren’t friendships at all (I distanced myself); crap food I was eating; alcohol (for a while), and about a hundred other things (exaggeration) that were not going to suit the life I wanted to live.  Was it hard?  Immensely.  Was it worth it?  Completely.

As it turns out, all of that “clutter” was a ridiculous amount of noise that led to a massive fear of being judged – something that I used to be highly sensitive to.  I felt I needed to conform to a certain societal standard in order to have the “right” friends, when in actuality, everyone was doing the exact same thing.  I literally handed over the power of my life to people who were handing over theirs in return.  Imagine a bunch of lost people running around, drinks in their hands, having meaningless conversations, feeling just as run down as you!

Buckling down and focusing on things like my job, my company (at the time), my novel/blog writing, my travels, my diet/exercise routine, my meditation practices, and my close friendships, completely shifted me to the person I love being, as well as into a place of life I want to be in!

I’m not saying it’s all perfect but it’s damn near close for this point in my life.

SO… if you’re stuck in a rut, feel as though you need a life change, or you just need a way to incrementally move onto better things, start small.  Think of one thing you’re afraid to do because it seems to painful to do it, or you’re afraid people will judge you for doing it, or you’re not sure how to do it, so it scares you.  Google it – learn how to do it, see who else in this world has done it, what their outcomes were; and then make it a priority to do it.  I promise you that if you do, it will become addicting and next thing you know, you’ll keep on conquering those things, and it will shape you into the human you want to hang out with for the rest of you life.

To close this out, here are some of my own personal shifts:

Fear: Never being able to afford a home  What I Did About It: Got rid of the luxury car, saved a lot of money (not going out much, keeping expenses low) = I purchased a home!

Fear: Traveling to Asia because I was scared of being unable to read signs/speak with locals What I Did About It: I’m lucky to have a travel partner who 1/2 his family is from India – we went for 16 days, and it was amazing.  Note: Almost everyone there speaks English, and most signs are in English as well.  Now I want to go back

Fear: Taking more outdoorsy trips because I’m scared I’m not physically capable of handling it – you’re always supposed to go to the beach, right? What I Did About It: Booked an Icelandic vacation in the dead of winter and toured the Golden Circle.  It was freezing but it was exhilarating – we’ve booked a trip to the midwest for week-long outdoor adventure this summer!

Fear: Never being good enough to write my novel What I Did About It: Found my groove and decided to plow through it.  I’d rather do that and get rejected by a ton of publishing companies than wonder “what if” I actually wrote it?

Fear: Never being good enough for the “right” person What I Did About It: Started meditating to learn to trust my instincts.  It worked – my other half is the best man I’ve ever dated, and it’s because I took the time to listen to myself

Namaste

 

 

 

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 6: How to Grow in Trust and Belief

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I always thought the trust fall was an interesting exercise in trust, as the liability of accidental physical harm is too great to decide not to catch the other person.  That exercise instills more fear in a potential lawsuit than it does instilling trust in others.  But I digress.

The reason why I use this image and that description is because trust isn’t about one large act – it’s about small moments throughout the course of your life, which define how you build trust with friends, family, and even yourself.  In fact, you truly cannot begin to trust others until you trust yourself.

We develop trust (or even a lack thereof) based on pain/pleasure we feel with certain people and experiences.  If you feel happy in that person or experience, you automatically develop a trust that causes you to say, “I think I’ll see that person again” or “I think I’ll try that experience again”.  On the flip side, if you feel any sort of negative emotion, you believe that you cannot trust that person or experience again, and thus choose to avoid it.

I’ll give an example.  When I was in my very early teenage years, I was a cheerleader and what they call a “flyer”.  I was thrown up in stunts that at the time, seemed death-defying.  One day, a year or so in, I was dropped in a freak accident and while nothing broke or sprained, a fear engulfed me so bad that I ended up becoming a horrible flyer and thus, was taken off of stunts altogether.  (I ended up switching to dance team in high school, as a result.)  This fear that engulfed me was a huge mistrust that my team was going to drop me again.  In fact, that mistrust in my team carried over into a mistrust in my friendships, which caused me to become extremely self-conscious.  In other words, I doubted myself and my abilities as a cheerleader, as a friend, and as a teammate.  When you become self-conscious, you tend to see things in a different lens, as though everyone is out to get you, and even start to expect that nothing will ever go your way.  Pretty big downward spiral at the age of 13, huh (Note: Could have also been related to hormones)?

But, those feelings of mistrust did carry over throughout much of my life (in various forms), causing me to be so wound up that my rather harsh reactions were based on negative expectations I had already set in my mind.  I had a very hard time trusting anyone because I was not trusting myself.  (Note: The teenage years, and my 20s, were rough. My 30s have been amazing!)

 

How meditation changed this:

In meditation practices, there are no beliefs. You connect with own awareness, which results in no need to believe in good/bad, fair/unfair in each experience you encounter. In other words, when I remained present, I began to enjoy all that an experience had to offer, which constantly triggered pleasure, rather than pain.  Thus, the more I remained present, the less I felt pain.  The less I felt pain, the more my trust went up!

So how to put this into practice…

Much like my post yesterday, start with 5 minutes of remaining present anywhere, and increase it by 5 as often as you can.  Alternatively, if you’re already practicing that, think of a negative situation that caused mistrust, think about how else you could have handled it, what you learned from it, and begin to think of how thankful you are for the experience, and how it made you stronger.  I realize there are some very tough situations out there that might make this impossible to do, but I also realize that with even the worst of life experiences, we can turn them into positives, simply by helping others who may be going through the same thing.  Helping even one other person triggers more trust in yourself and others, while bestowing the same on the other.  In turn, that other person might carry the torch and so on. Imagine what much of the world would be like if everyone followed each other down this path.  Your trust and belief in yourself can literally trigger a global change… definitely something amazing to think about as you go through your day!

Namaste

 

 

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 5: When You Are Real, You Have Infinite Hope

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Without getting into too much detail, on Saturday, I spent time with new and old friends, acquaintances, etc. for a dear friend’s baby shower.  It’s always interesting when you bring so many different personalities together, what happens.  Some want to catch up and relax without being rushed (type 1); others want to control the environment and “herd” everyone to do the same thing (type 2); and still, there are others who just want to keep the peace for the sake of not upsetting type 2 (type 3).  For me, socially, I fall in the first. I like spending time having real conversations with real people – it’s what is intellectually/socially stimulating for me.  However, with intellectual stimulation, comes a low tolerance for the other two types – particularly as it relates to feeling my energy being zapped from having to hold back on what I really think of type 2; while not understanding why type 3 can’t think/do for themselves.  In situations, such as this, I will sometimes step away to mentally tell myself to remain present, remember why I’m there, and to appreciate all that is around me, being thankful for who I have become, because of many of these people.  While this sounds incredibly negative in nature, the very definition of the D.C. social scene, includes this word.  It’s why it becomes so important to take some time to get to know yourself, and become comfortable/confident with who you are.  For me, this last year has been life-changing as I go deeper in my meditative practice. Gone are the days of fake conversations with no real substance; gone are the days of being nice to people for the sake of feeling included; and certainly, gone are the days of feeling pressure to do/say certain things because it’s socially “required”.  In each moment in the four hours I was there, I consciously spent my time appreciating the real conversations I got to have, taking note of how glowing the mother-to-be and her mom were; as well as accepting that the other types in the room are on their own path.  While I was tired from little sleep, I was 100% grateful to have that experience, even if it served as a reminder of how blessed I am to know who I am, and who I choose to surround myself with on a more frequent basis.

So what does this story have to do with today’s practice…

One of the keys to living in peace is to understand who you are and not allowing others to skew that (it’s called being real). It’s extremely hard to do for many reasons – maybe you’re new to a group, or are one of those that just wants to be liked by everyone, or even that you avoid getting to know yourself because you want to be what (you think) is cool. We tend to limit our personal realities as a result of that, opting for what is safe and predictable.  In essence, we spend more time trying to control ourselves, based on external forces, than truly exploring who we are and being comfortable with that.

Believe it or not, opting for safe isn’t practical, and it’s not realistic.  Why?  Because as we grow older, people change – your world around you will change and unfortunately, you won’t adapt well.  By taking the time to meditate, you find a peace within that puts you in a risk-taking, life-loving frame of mind.  Suddenly, stuff and meaningless conversation lose its luster and in its place are new experiences, trying things you never thought possible, and achieving goals you never thought you would actually achieve.

Being able to welcome hope into your life means that you’ve triggered the self awareness and understanding you need to accept and embrace that the universe is going to give you what you need in that moment, in order to set you up for something greater in the future.  While that scares most, when you welcome hope, you begin to embrace the beautiful surprises the universe brings!

So how you get started or even have to give yourself a refresher…

  1. Be present 5 minutes at a time, then 10 minutes, and increase by 5 minutes as much as you can – being aware of your surroundings, perhaps relishing the beauty in something that caught your eye like a particularly beautiful flower, or moment.
  2. If you find yourself having a moment where you’re speaking but you’re not really thinking about what you’re saying, excuse yourself to the restroom for a timeout, or wait until the right words come to mind.  There is no need to have to respond to everything someone asks or says!
  3. Remind yourself that the universe doesn’t work, based on your ego-demanding wish list.  It operates on giving us what we need, and the more we embrace that, the more positive tools it gives us!
  4. Finally, never expect the outcome you want.  Instead, expect nothing.  Oftentimes, expecting the latter produces better results because we chose to embrace what was supposed to happen, not controlling how we want it to.

I know it’s difficult for you, and many others, to achieve this level of understanding of sense of self but I do promise that anyone can achieve this!  The more mindful we are, the more full of the “right” hope we become 🙂

Namaste

 

 

Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

MEDITATION EXPERIENCE (DAY 20): Living Without Burdens

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Burdens are the bane of everyone’s existence.  No matter how small or how large, we all have them.  They cause us to say things to ourselves and others like, “I wish this was easier”, or “I wish I could do that”, or even, “I could never do that because I’m not good enough”.

The reality is, burdens weigh us down.  They prevent us from living the life we want to live.  Burdens create sour moods, constant stress (which takes a toll on our entire being), low confidence, and bad habits (such as smoking).  They send us into a spiral of fear, causing us to put ourselves in invisible boxes, sealed with invisible packing tape.

Deepak teaches us, through this meditation challenge, that meditation unseals those boxes for us, naturally freeing us from those burdens.  For those 20 minutes, you feel freer, your mood lighter, and your self-confidence increased.  And, the more you meditate, the closer you get to kicking that box in the trash for good, void of all self-judgment.

While I know this is beginning to sound like a unsolicited Deepak ad, it really has nothing to do with who provides the guided meditations, but is more about the practice itself (I use Deepak because I like the overall experience). Like so many in this world, for years, I carried around needless burdens and bad habits that made me who I was: angry, self-conscious, tired all the time, slightly overweight, and awkward. It was an uncomfortable place to be in.  Then, one day, a girlfriend of mine emailed me with a link to a meditation challenge and told me to just try it.  After the first couple of tries, I was transposed into new worlds that my psyche took me to.  I have “visited” jungles with towering buddha statues, protecting tall but gentle waterfalls.  I have “visited” secluded pagodas, set on top of gently running rivers.  I have “visited” penthouses in New York, overlooking the entire city.  And, I have also “visited” empty beaches at sunset.  It sounds crazy and amazing all at the same time, right?  These places sit in our subconscious and come out when we ask them to.  The jungles helped me to feel love and peace – sometimes, other people were meditating with me, and sometimes it was just me.  The pagoda helped me to feel confident, sexy, and free – sometimes, I had a faceless lover in there while I meditated outside, and other times, it was just me.  The skyline helped me to think big thoughts, giving me the realization I could be successful at anything, which boosted my confidence. The empty beaches made me feel one with the world, loved, cared for, and most importantly, whole.

Meditation has become the single most important practice for the well-being of ourselves, and one of the easiest ways to shed our burdens.  The healing properties it possesses far surpass what most modern-day treatments can.  If this is your first time, I promise you will unlock new (and positive) ways of experiencing life.  If it’s not, then I hope you’re living the happiest life you can live.

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