There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps.

Since I ask you to join me in 90 days of daily meditation adventure, I though I would provide you with a review of some helpful tools. On my Join Us On This Adventure, I also included a link to my blog, 9 Ways to Improve Meditation.  Today I am offering you my insight on 6 meditation Apps. There are many meditation Apps out there so I randomly selected 6 to try. Below is a brief look at what I learned about each one. 

10% happier: The Facilitator suggests that you sit in a dignified posture. I really liked how that sounded. It gave you the option to choose meditation from 3 minutes to over 25 minutes. It is also very reassuring, that it is normal for the mind to wonder but when you notice it has, bring it back to the breath. This App is free, unless you choose to upgrade to premium which is $14.99/month or $99.99/year. Provides you a daily reminder. 

Headspace: It compared your thoughts to cars in traffic. A very interesting analogy. With this App you can chose 5 or 10 minutes for meditation. There is a little lesson before each meditation. The Facilitator has a loverly accent.  After the introductory 10 sessions, it is $12.99/month or $94.99/year. Provides a daily reminder.

Breathe: This App lets you rate how you are feeling and then gives you a few meditations to choose from. You can choose a woman’s or  man’s voice to guide you through the experience. The one I tried was a “5 senses” meditation, Here they talked you through your 5 senses, one at a time and help you focus in the here and now. This App is free, unless you choose to upgrade to premium which is $9.99/month or 58.99/year. Provides a daily reminder.

Simple Habit: This one allows you to pick a topic for your meditation from a pretty impressive list. I chose weight loss. This App is free for a month and then $7.99/month. It tracks your meditations for you and lets you choose between 5,10, or 20 minute meditations. It connects you with your Facebook friends and can create a community. Provides a daily reminder.  This one was my least favorite because I felt it was too pushy about signing you up for a subscription to the App. 

Insight Timer: This one also has a wide variety of meditations to choose from. There are very short meditations (3 minutes) to longer meditations (1 hour). I chose a 5 minute meditation called Weight Loss and Your Beautiful Body. I was shocked when the Facilitator used a cuss word. Not that it offended me but just because it surprised me. Even with that it was still a very positive and uplifting meditation. I did not see any cost on this App. Provides a daily reminder. 

Meditation Studio: This one has a free starter series for beginners. I like their analogy of the mind as a puppy, because it will wonder off, just bring it back with a smile. The beginner meditation was a bit longer than 10% happier or Headspace but was very supportive and relaxing. After the starter series this App is $7.99 month or $49.99/year. I didn’t see an option to set up a daily reminder. 

These Apps are not necessary to use but they maybe a helpful tool for you. Especially if you are new to meditation, They provide some instruction and insight into the practice of meditation. I do like that most offer a reminder to help you remember to make your meditation a part of your self care priorities. Along with these Apps, there are also many YouTube videos that offer various levels of meditation, from beginning to experienced. As we start on this journey together, I think it is best to go out an experiment and find the technique and meditation type that are most helpful for you. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a transformative and effortless meditation practice. 

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Join Us On This Adventure!

There has been a lot, in a news lately, about the stress hormone; cortisol. People are talking about how you can gain weight around your middle due to its effects. There are many companies out there peddling pills to help you reduce the weight gain from cortisol. But what if there was something more natural that could be done? What if there was a simple, beneficial thing that could decrease the cortisol as well as benefit your life in other ways and didn’t need to cost you anything but a little of your time. Well, there is such a thing! Meditation. 

I have decided to challenge myself to 90 days of daily meditation to see how it may or may not affect my weight. I love my body as is, but after my winter of hibernation and decreased mobility, I have noticed my clothes are a little tighter. I sat down this morning and the back tore out of my shorts. I’m sure this was related to the fabric being old and not my expanding size; I hope, anyway. I decided to weigh myself, something I seldom do. I hesitated whether or not to share my weight in this blog. In the end I decided it is just a number and not a reflection of my value as a person. So why not share it? I weighed myself midday, fully clothed and was surprised to see my weight has jumped up to 207.4lbs. Okay, I really do need to do something about my weight. It seems to have snuck up about 30lbs from where I used to maintain it. 

My plan is to meditate daily as a way to manage my stress an hopefully decrease cortisone and then see a decrease in my size so that my clothes fit better. I was sharing my idea with my Adventure Sister, Emy, who liked the idea of a healthy stress management process so much so she decided to join me also. 

What a great idea! What if we did this as a community? What if we all supported each other through this and shared our successes, what we learned, and our experiences? For the next 90 days Emy and I will commit to meditation daily. Once a week we will each write a blog to share how it is changing and enhancing our lives. We invite and encourage, all of you, to join us on this adventure. Give meditation a try; whether you are an experienced meditator or new to the practice. I have meditated a fair amount over my life but never been great about maintaining daily practice. I feel that by committing 90 days to ourselves, it gives us a good amount of time for it to become a routine to both our conscious and subconscious minds. We welcome your comments on our blogs and social media sites. Your experiences maybe just what someone else, someone who maybe struggling, needs to hear that others are too. Trust that guidance to share your journey with us on this adventure. 

I am currently experimenting with several meditation Apps. Stay tuned for a future blog that will share which apps I tried and what my thoughts were on these helpful guides. For a jumpstart; please see my earlier blog: 9 Ways to Improve Meditation.  Additionally, I will be writing a blog highlighting several different types of meditation techniques.  Hopefully these will help us all on our 90 days of daily meditation. Our journey to committing to a healthy way to manage our stress. 

So come on this adventure with us! Whether you are doing this for stress management, to release weight, or just to be a part of a community; we look forward to walking this journey with you. If you don’t feel now is the right time to start a daily meditation practice, that is okay. Do what feels right for you, in this time and space. The blogs will be here for you when you are ready. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your lifetime be full of healthy stress management and may your body easily release anything that does not serve your highest good; whether it be weight or outdated beliefs about yourself. 

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Divine Wisdom

I’ve been lucky enough to get to spend a fair amount of time, this weekend, watching and listening to lessons of the Hay House World Summit. It is a free event with many inspirational and instructive lessons to help you be the best version of you, you care to be. I must say, the summit really has me thinking.  A couple of their sessions I have attended this morning spoke of the power of our thoughts. Those of you who are regular readers, of my blog, know that I believe in the power of thought and am always looking to find ways to better connect and utilize that power, to make the world a better place. Louis Hay, the founder of Hay House, was a big believer in, and promoter of, the minds influence over our health. 

Several years ago I started a Holistic Healing Practice. I named my business Divine Wisdom. I believed that everyone has, within themselves, the Divine Wisdom to heal their bodies and their lives. It was kind of a radical idea for a hospice nurse. I was trained in multiple different modalities, not because I thought I was the healer who could mend the illnesses in the bodies of my clients, but rather because I felt I could use these modalities to help my clients awaken their personnel power to improve their own lives and health. The two are tied together; since true wellness includes the mind, body, and spirit. I don’t know if the world was not ready for my view of healing or if I just didn’t, at that time, possess the skills to promote my business. But after two years it was time to try an new adventure and way to help others.

I feel there is a shift coming. People are tired of the side effects of medications. Many of which are often worse than the initial illness. More and more, I meet people who refuse to let a diagnosis define them. We are, after all, not defined by the things that happen to use but rather instructed by these experiences. I see that the world around me is shifting away from the artificial in products and looking for healthier alternatives. I am hopeful that true change, in the way we deal with disease and illness, is coming and here to stay. 

I had a very dear friend who was anxiously awaiting the “shift”. I believe she felt it was going to be an event. A sudden shifting that all would recognize. She passed away a few years ago and I wonder if she ever came to the realization the the shift is happening, everyday all around us. It is an energetic wave that moves across the land, awakening people as it weaves back and forth, like Kundalini energy up the spine. There are times (like now) when I feel her presence with me. She urges me on. Encourages me to continue to spread the light and share the Divine Wisdom as it comes to me. I am grateful for all that I have learned from her. I am also grateful for her continued presence from the other side of the vail. 

How will health and healing manifest in your life? Do you believe and feel the true power of your nature to heal yourself? I am not saying to stop taking medications prescribed by your doctor. I am encouraging you to start to believe in the Divine Wisdom within your nature to improve your life. If you have not already begun, start looking into teachings from others with this similar thought. Trust your intuition to lead you to the teachers who can help you unlock this ability within yourself. Feel for that connection with the shifting consciousness of the planet and believe in magic. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of Divine Wisdom. 

 

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What is Family?

We all know that our family is our blood relatives, right? Not always. There is our family we were born with (or adopted into) but there is also our chosen family. Those people who are part of our soul group. They feel familiar and we love being around them. 

I have an amazing blood family. My Grandmother helped teach me to understand who I am. I have parents who are generous and helpful. All three of the Daughters are strong, loving, and kind. The Grandchildren are adorable and teach me new things daily by their freedom to be themselves. My Brother is full of helpful advice, even though he is younger, it seems he often experiences things in life sooner than I do. I also have a beautiful Niece and great grand Nephew who are a joy to be around. 

On top of this I have married into another spectacular family. If angels live human lives on earth; my Husband is definitely one of them. I am blessed with a Stepson who has artistic gifts and a charismatic personality. My Brother-in-law truly cares about his Mother, Brother and Nephew, he is smart and full of arcaic facts about history. My Mother-in-law is an example to all woman how to continue to live your life, even after you have lost the love of your life. 

But what of those people who “feel” like family. Emy, my Adventure Sister, and I have a special bond. There are many such people in our lives and sometimes we may even be closer to those family members, that we adopt, as we go through life. I recently was on a business trip and met another member of my soul group. As soon as we met, we knew, we had a connection. It is such a cool and amazing thing to be bopping through your life and suddenly you run into someone who feels familiar. You start talking and pretty soon you don’t even realize that you, and this person, have not known each other for all of your life. I believe that this is because they’re a part of your soul tribe. In my belief system, they are someone you have been with in past lives before. So it is with Emy and I. We have been sisters in many past lives. I have another friend who is very dear to me and he has been my Father in at least two past lives and my Brother in one. Have you had this type of experience? Have you met someone who you just clicked with so easily? 

This was one of my requirements for finding my husband. I wanted that instant click. When he and I met we termed it “the best first date ever” because we were both so natural and comfortable with each other. Those people are out there for all of us to find. Those we’ve gone around with before. Have you met them yet? 

I wish you a lifetime of finding people you connect with on a deep level and finding that one that just “clicks!” Thank you for reading my blog today. 

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Spider’s Web

It’s spring! The world is waking up. Nature has thrown back the blanket of snow that has covered the Earth and Mother Nature is stretching her arms and coming to life. The buds are forming on the branches. Birds are sings and hunting for the worms in the lawn. The spiders are emerging and starting to build their webs. It is a magical time to watch as the circle of life renews and spins on. Let’s think about those spider webs for a minute.

I love the symbolism of the spider web. It is a great illustration of how we are all connected. Even though two ends of the spider web may be far apart, you can’t touch one part of the web without vibrating the whole thing. If something walks through the spider web and disconnects a part of the web, the whole web will be affected. When an insect happens to fly into the web, it does not matter what part of the web it is in, the whole web dances with its effort. This is the same for us. We are all connected even if we are far apart. What you do over here will cause ripples to go out, just like when you through a rock into a calm pond. The ripples spread out, affecting more and more of the water. You get to choose what types of ripples you send out though. Will they be ripples of kindness and helpfulness or will they be ripples of anger and hate?

Sending out love and higher vibrations improve the whole world, just as lower vibrations can affect the whole world too. How do you want to change the world? Do you want to make the world a better place? Then keep that in mind when you are making a decision, as to how to respond to something that happens to you, that the energy you put out there affects the whole web of life. Your vibrations have long reaching affects and people you do know, have known or have not yet met will all be touched by the ripples.

Think about it this way. You buy a cup of coffee on your way to work. As you are walking down the sidewalk you stumble a little. Not enough to fall or get hurt, but enough that you drop you coffee. Now you have a choice. You can cuss and complain. You can decide there goes your day and everyone who comes in contact with you should be weary that you may bite their head off. You can enter the office and tell everyone what a crappy day it is and spread that lower vibe. Everyone who see you on the street and interacts with you along the way will have the potential to further spread on that bad mood. The person at the front desk who you snap at. The grandmother on the street who heard you swearing and angry when you dropped the coffee. Your assistant who can’t seem to do anything right for you the rest of that day. Who then, in turn, could spread that negative energy to all the people they interact with and so on. Get it?

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Now let’s look at that same scenario but this time, let’s say you make a choice to look for the positive. Maybe this time you respond with gratitude that you did not spill it on yourself or anyone else. Thank goodness no one got burnt or their clothes stained by this mishap with the coffee. Maybe you are even able to laugh at yourself. How funny you must have looked arms flailing and coffee flying. You giggle and continue on, after picking up the cup and disposing of it in the receptacle. You smile at those you pass and continue to chuckle to yourself as you carry on with your day. You greet the receptionist with a cheery hello and maybe even share the funny story about how your coffee became airborne and end it by telling how grateful you are that no one got hurt. You work collaboratively with your assistant. This time the energy you are sharing, the vibrations on the web of life, are happy and positive. The people you have interacted with will have a positive and happy experience and will continue to spread those higher vibes across the rest of their day.

We all have choices about the way we respond to our day and life. If we truly want to improve the world and make it a great place, then start by simply making the choice to be happy, smile at others, and put those happy vibrations out into the web of life.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of happy interactions in the web of life.

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Control?

Have you heard that control is just an illusion? This is true. There is so much in this life that we cannot control but what do we really have control over? We only really have control over ourselves and how we react to things. 

The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it. ~ Chris Pine

We all have choices in life, this is true, but we cannot control the outcomes of those choices. However, we can work on our perspective about the things that happen around us. You can look for the disappointment and sorrow in a situation or you can look for the silver lining. This is the most powerful thing you can do to control your life. 

You cannot change others but you can change how you react to others. If you are trying to change something or someone you are probably feel very frustrated, because we really do not have that power. We can try and force others to change but in the end the change will likely not be sustainable. If they are just making changes because we are trying to force that upon them, eventually they are likely to slip back into being who they are. I am not saying people can’t change. People can and do change. I have changed a great deal over my lifetime. But none of the change was because someone else made me. All of the change started within myself. There was a time in my life when I was going through huge transformation. It started by a stirring deep down within me. It drove me forward and I started pushing to know more about this. I started studying, reading books, taking classes, and joining discussion groups. And I did change. I changed a great deal. I changed so much that the me, I was before this all started to happen, would not recognize who I am today. The point is, I changed but not because someone wanted me to, it was organic and it came from within me. 

I once had this one particular friend. We started working together and things quickly went bad. She started gossiping about me.  Because of this the way other people treated me changed and they would stop talking when I came around the corner. I couldn’t control her or her behavior, nor could I control the way others responded to her gossip. What I could control (and did) was how I reacted to it. I got another job within the company at a different location. It was actually a promotion for me, so her bad behavior was a blessing in disguise. Because we were still within the same company, those same people could see that I was being quite successful and doing a great job, so their opinion of me started to shift again to the positive. I took control of what I could control. ME! 

The Problem is not your problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem ~Captain Jack Sparrow

With a positive outlook, good attitude and remembering that situations (and people) will happen, but that you can only control your response to them, life will feel a little less out of control. 

Thank you fo reading my blog today. May life always help you move forward in positive ways. 

 

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Exceeding with Determination

This week the Universe had lessons in determination for me. Travel changes and personal goals set a high bar that made determination a must if I was going to achieve the outcome I wanted.  And in one case, I overcame my goal through sheer grit and a lot of help from my friends. 

The week started like most of my weeks do. An early morning flight, with a connection in Chicago, was my commute to work. As I got settled into my seat on the first flight, I received a message that my second flight had been canceled. I had to decide if I was still going on or if I was going to turn around and go home and work from there for the week. I knew the reason for my trip was important to the office I was visiting, so I decided to venture on. Then there was a delay in my first leg of the trip. Again, I reconsidered if the trip was necessary, decided it was and chose to voyage on. The delays and cancelations were due to mechanical issues but the airline was doing the right thing by putting safety first. When I arrived in Chicago, some out of the box thinking produced the idea to rent a car and drive the rest of the way. I was grateful to be able to achieve my purpose for the trip and it was a good week. It was one of those work weeks where you know you made a difference. 

Now to get back home. Getting home on time was really important to me this week because I had changed plans to originally go to Florida Thursday night and instead be home for my daughter’s golden birthday. She is a very family oriented person and I knew my presence was important to her. She even said as much in the numerous text and email inquiries as to whether I’d be there or not. Thursday morning I received word that the first flight of my trip home was canceled. Oh boy! I was determined not to disappoint my daughter, so I got on the phone with the airline and eventually it was determined that the best solution was to again drive back to Chicago where I could catch the second flight, which was still scheduled and showing departure on-time. It was going to be close for me to make it back to Chicago, but again, I was determined! Luckily the stars aligned and I made it with no troubles. 

The second lesson of the week in determination came when I decided that I wanted to boost our numbers on our Facebook page. We have submitted our 3 book proposals to Hay House and are waiting to hear of our acceptance to be the next Hay House Authors. Publishing is a business and the publishing company needs to know that there are people out there who want to buy your books. The numbers of followers you have is important to them and they check to see. So I set out on a campaign to get people, I knew who supported our journey, to click the “like” button of FB. I started messaging my friends. Facebook thought differently and eventually blocked me from sending messages after I sent 136 out. I was not messaging strangers but rather friends, family, and coworkers. I didn’t let that stop me though! I recorded a video of myself (something I have never done before) and posted it to Facebook asking for everyones support to “like” and “share” our page and thanked those who already had. The response was overwhelming.  Our friends and family flew to our aid and started liking and sharing our page. Initially I only wanted to get to 300 likes. This will still be a small number to Hay House but to us it felt huge! Not only did we realize this goal but we have hit 400 in 24 hours! Determination, not being afraid to ask for help, and friends and family who support our mission are what made this success possible. I feel that by the end of the week, we will see us nearing the 500 mark, which is my new personal goal. I am so grateful for the people who cared enough to support us but also for the determination that left me plugging away and thinking outside the box to get to the next milestone and beyond. 

I have a friend who is an astrologer. He always would tell me that even when the stars are aligned, if you don’t make use of the energy, it will not benefit you. When the potential is there, you must use your own will and determination to move the ball forward. Sometimes you may even surprise yourself! 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of supportive people and the determination to exceed your goals! I love you! 

**Photo credit today goes to my Niece Jordan who took this inspiring shot! I appreciate her generosity in letting me use it on today’s blog.

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