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 6): The Key to Positive Input

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When we think of positive input, we think of words of affirmation from others that help propel us to achieve even more in life.  In other words, the more positive encouragement we get from others, the more the light within us shines, causing us to continue to feel compelled to keep on going with our hopes and dreams.  However, for us to be fully sated, we need to also provide ourselves with a level of self-positive reinforcement (input) that proves no matter who or what surrounds us, we have enough self-generated light to live by.

We oftentimes forget (in the chaos of our days and evenings) that we are the guardians of our internal harmony and it’s up to us to be choosy on the type of energy we let in (and let out).  Believe it or not, the energy we let in and expend becomes part of our body.  And just as the foods and drinks we allow ourselves to consume can have a profound effect on our being, so can the outside auras that we absorb.

For example, you have a bad experience in a relationship.  Your guard is down and you let this negative energy in. You let it consume you, you get stressed or sad, and you tell yourself you’re not good enough.  This propels you to feel empty inside, searching for something to fill that space.  Some turn to food, some turn to alcohol and drugs, or some will sit on the phone for hours with a friend on “repeat”, talking themselves in circles about what had happened.  The end result?  You’ve gained weight, you have a hangover (or worse), and you may have temporarily lost a friend who doesn’t want that type of negative energy in their lives because you have called them one too many times and they can no longer help you.  This type of cycle (because it is when you let this energy in) is infectious – it spreads to every part of your being and even if you pretend you’re okay, people can sense it.  You have to learn to love yourself first.

Now let’s look at a positive example. Sure, you may be having a bad day at work but you are about to get on the phone with a customer.  You have two choices: carry your mood over into your conversation or put a smile on your face and genuinely be happy for that 30 minutes or an hour, shoving all else out of your mind. You choose the latter. The customer senses your internal light (happiness) and they brighten up.  It ends up being a productive call that leaves you feeling like you have made someone else’s day.  Your worries and frustrations disappear.  By the end of your work day, what made you upset is no longer an issue.  You end up celebrating by going to the gym, or going to dinner with a friend, or even deciding to take a nice long, hot bath.  In other words, you turned a negative into a positive and decided to reward yourself with something happy, proving that you know how to be the guardian of your internal harmony.

Learning how to spin negatives into positives can be super tough to do.  I’ve had my own struggles with it, especially if I’m moving a million miles a minute and really don’t take the time to process how I’m feeling.  So here are my tricks in keeping myself full of positive “input”:

  1. Read motivational books – I’m not even joking – I’ve become addicted.  Reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” was incredibly inspirational – especially as a woman in tech myself.  It helped me navigate through new territory as I prepared for the next chapter in my career, giving me a new level of confidence I didn’t know was in me.  These types of books (and other motivational materials) provide us a new, positive, and affirmative perspective on ourselves that can only propel us in the right direction.
  2. If you’re having a bout of insomnia due to stress, write everything down that is bothering you and then tell yourself there is NOTHING you can do in that moment.  And, make sure to tell yourself you can’t make any decisions when you’re not at your best, so go to bed.  Just as they tell couples never go to bed angry, the same advice serves a purpose when we’re at odds with ourself.  It works for me 9 out of 10 times 🙂
  3. Do something active that boosts endorphins.  Make yourself a priority.  You CAN find 30 minutes to work out.  You CAN find time to take a bath.  You CAN find time to make yourself a nice meal.  Why?  Because it reduces the stress and toxic buildup that can ultimately shorten our lives.
  4. Meditate.  If you’re doing this meditation challenge, then you know what it is doing for you.  Don’t give up on it either.  This will not only completely open up the pathway for more positive input to flow in, but will also fill your pathway WITH positive input in the process.

To begin putting yourself in better charge of guarding what flows in and out of your life, start small.  Pay a compliment forward, go for a walk, or find something that will make YOU happy, even if for 10 minutes.  Practice this once a day until you start craving more and more positive input in your life, to the point you’re living fully in a good place that has YOU in charge of YOU.

Namaste