“Week 7” check in – Weekly Meditation Adventure

If you have not already joined our 90 day meditation adventure, I hope you will still do so. Here’s how week seven went for me.

What I have learned: I have learned that if you wait for the ideal time to meditate it might never come. Sometimes you have to meditate in the midsts of everything that is going on around you. In the image (above) on this blog I was at the lake with my grandchildren. It was nonstop talking and action. There was no quiet moment to sneak away. My infant grandson was happy to sit next to me while I meditated and my 4 year old granddaughter was intrigued enough with the process; that she decided to sit down and try it. She didn’t stay long but long enough that I was able to get my meditation in even with all of the activity around me. 

Experiences during the week: Sitting outside, while practicing meditation, was delightful. The sound of the birds, the feel of the breeze on my skin, and the warmth of the Sun with the smell of the grass, all served to enhance my experience. This has been my best week of meditation since the challenge began. I have stuck to my Kundalini Yoga mediations as my preferred technique. I find that it really helps me keep my focus. I still have a mind that wanders from time to time but the combination of mantra, mudras (hand positions), and intention; really improves my experience and decreases my frustration.

My weight: I weighed myself on Friday morning and I lost 0.6lbs since the last time I weighed about 10 days before. Could this be a reflection of really getting into the grove and having a commitment of daily meditation? I would like to believe so. 

How I feel: I feel proud of keeping my commitment to myself and completing daily meditations this week. There were even a couple of days that I got in 2 daily meditations. I feel a deep sense of calm on the days when I meditate in the morning and the evening. I plan to make this the goal for the next week. 

How it is affecting my life: This week the daily meditation enhanced my life. While on the road I made it a point to do meditation in the morning before leaving the hotel room. I feel my thoughts are clearer and my calm stays with me more often throughout the day. I find that I am less stressed by the idea of daily meditation. Where the previous week, it was something that was on my “to do” list, this week it was something I looked forward to. I feel that this shift in my daily meditation experience has the potential to make sustainable improvement in my life.

I would love to hear your experiences with this. Have you found your preferred meditation style? Do you have a preferred meditation space?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of finding the perfect time even when not sure there is a perfect time to meditate.

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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Navigating the Changes of Now – Part 2

In part 1 we talked about discovering how we respond to changes and possibly exploring why we react in the ways we do. Today we will explore tips and techniques we can use when the pressure of change is causing us stress. Here are 9 things you can do to help you float through change more easily.

  1. Take a deep breath – Often times we breath into our shoulders. Breathing into our shoulders can increase feelings of stress and anxiety. Instead, take a deep belly breath; feeling that inspiration go all the way down into your lower abdomen, deeper than your belly button. During a couple of these deep breaths, allow the breath to slowly fill your lungs and then slowly leave your lungs over the course of 20 seconds.
  2. Visuals a happy outcome – Instead of worrying about the outcome you are worried about, visualize a happy outcome. Take a minute, get yourself into a quiet space, close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths, and then spend sometime painting a picture of how you see the situation working out.
  3. Recognize your lack of control – This is a great time to remember what you have control over. You do not have control over the things going on around you. All you can control is your reaction to the events unfolding in your life. If you remember this, you can release a lot of the feelings of stress related to the need to “make things workout”. You can’t “make” them anything. All you can do is work to control how you react to them.
  4. Make a plan – Things are changing and you need to be able to roll with the punches. A great tip is to make a plan. A great plan starts with a goal. Once you make a goal related to this area of change; you can set steps or interventions to take to help you work towards that goal.
  5. Remain flexible – Of course I am talking about remaining flexible in you actions , your plan, and your response to change. However Yoga is also a great way to remain flexible as well as to remain centered. So stay centered and be willing to adjust your plan when the changing times call for it.
  6. Talk about it – Talk about your feelings with a close friend, confident, or Therapist. Sometimes saying it out loud can help you process it better. It gives you opportunity to hear your feelings spoken and this can decrease their power. It also gives you a chance to feel heard by someone. If talking about it doesn’t seem like a possibility for you , then journal about it. Keep a notebook, journal, or even app on your phone handy to give you a place to express yourself. There are some very cool journaling apps now, some even let you add photos or music to your entry.
  7. Look for the positives – There is good and bad in all situations, Yin and Yang. Even though change can be very difficult there are positives in it for you. Look for them and you will surely see them. It becomes easy to focus on the things you perceive as negative. When you shift that to looking forward to the good things about the change, it can change your whole opinion on the upcoming changes.
  8. Remember our exercise from part 1– You made your list of recent changes, you wrote down your reaction, and then you wrote about the outcomes. Exam those outcomes. Often change puts us into a better place. Just acknowledging that change can get you to a better place can help reduce your stress in dealing with new changes.
  9. Acknowledge your feelings – Don’t shame yourself for feeling fearful or stressed about changes that are coming. Many people have these same feelings. It is okay to be afraid or to feel stressed. What is important is to not get stuck in the stress of it. Don’t let it paralyze you. Take a deep breath and take a step forward into your future.

What things do you do to help you overcome nervousness about fear? Have you used any of these tips and techniques? How did they work for you?

Thank you for reading my blog today. May all your changes happen with ease and bring you to an even better place in your life. I love you.

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Navigating the Changes of Now – part 1

I have heard that now, more so than any other time in history, we are combated with multiple changes. Big changes and small changes are happening to us all the time. When I had my holistic healing business, this was one of the main things I wanted to help people through. Change can be so challenging for most of us as adults. Some people seem to effortlessly bob through the river of life, going with the flow, while others are like a rock slowly being changed and moved by the current. Which type of person are you? Are you somewhere in between? I am sure you can think of people in your life who meet both descriptions. Let’s explore why there is so much change right now and what we can do to navigate it more easily.

Why so much change right now? If you look at it from an astrological stand point; look toward what Uranus is doing. He is the planet of change and is associated with originality, progressiveness, and ingenuity. Pluto is another planet of change. He has to do with destruction, upheaval, and control issues. To learn more about the planets you can go to Cafe Astrology .com. If you want to learn more about how the planets affect you directly, you could consult an astrologist. I believe that the rapid changes in technology are another reason why we are having so much change. Few generations have seen the rapid advancement in technology that we are currently experiencing.

Whether change is related to technology, astrology, or something else we need to learn to navigate it. How do you feel when change is occurring? Does it make you feel sweaty? Does your heart race? Do you get angry or fearful and want to run the other way? Do you feel excited and look forward to its approach? Does change inspire you and cause you to set new goals? What is your relationship with change? Before you can make improvements to your navigation of change; dig deeply into how and why you react the way you do to change.

Understanding your response to change: Make 3 columns on a slip of paper. Table the first column change, the second my reaction, and the third outcome. Take some time and make a list of seven recent changes you have experienced in column 1. Think about how you reacted to each and put your reaction in column 2. Now think about how it all worked out in the end. Place that in column 3.  This will give you some insight into how you react to change. Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 10.27.47 AM

Once you understand how you reacted to past changes, think about the fear that was behind the reaction. Why did you have that fear? What kind of beliefs are behind that fear?

In Part 2 we will discuss some tips to help navigate the changes and deal with difficult reaction to and fear around change.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May all your changes are positive in outcome.

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90 Days of Daily Meditation -check in -week 2

If you have not already joined our 90 day meditation adventure, I hope you will still do so. Here is how the last week went for me.

Experiences during the week: This week’s meditation has been a struggle for me. I am disappointed in my meditation performance. I allowed my business of life to get in the way of my daily practice and there were even several nights when I laid down at the end of the day just to realize I had not meditated. When I would attempt to do so, while laying there, I would drift off to sleep. Though I did have one very profound meditation during the week. It happened when I meditated first thing in the morning. During my meditation I received a couple of great inspirations. One, was to rename a class I’m offering with a catchier name, occurred to me during the time I quieted my brain.

What I have learned: I have learned I need to schedule a time to start my meditation or I will try to do it at the end of the day when I lay down before I fall asleep.

My weight: I am still on the road and have no mechanism to measure if my weight has changed. I do not sense a change in how my clothing is fitting me.

How I feel: I feel motivated to do better this next week. I feel a need to put myself first again. My travels this week brought me from the eastern time zone to the pacific. Which I will be reversing tomorrow and then back the following week. Because these switches can be a bit challenging I will need the meditation more than ever, to help keep myself calm and centered.

How it is affecting my life: On the days I meditated early in the day, I found the meditation profound and a blessing to start my day. On the days I did it at the end of the day while laying in bed, I found it induced good sleep. I was exceptionally tired this week due to a demanding schedule and travels that took me to or through 9 different states from Thursday to Monday. Even though I had high hopes for more profound meditation experiences, in reflecting, I see that the meditation experiences I had were the ones I needed.

Thank you for reading my blog today! I am proud of you for the things you are doing and/or wanting to do to take care of yourself. Even baby steps count! I wish you a lifetime of meditations that are exactly what you need. Blessings!

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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7 Common Meditation Myths 

When I was talking about the 90 day meditation to release weight challenge, people mentioned things to me that were just not true about meditation. So I thought maybe I should showcase some of the these myths to help dispel them. What is important to know is meditation is accessible to everyone of every fitness level, from the very young to the very old. Here are some of the myths that I have heard of.

1. You have to sit Criss Cross Apple Sauce! – Many people do meditate in the Lotus position or Easy Pose, but is is not necessary. You can meditate sitting in a chair or on the couch. Even while laying in the bed it is possible to meditate. I met a lovely woman in India who would meditate while she was doing the dishes. 

2. You have to have a lot of free time – Meditation can be done in quick 3 minute intervals. There are longer meditations if you have time for it, but a quick 3 -5 minute meditation while you are in your car waiting to pick up your child or before a job interview, can be very beneficial. Just as people come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so does meditation. 

3. There is only one “right” way to meditate – There are many different ways and types of meditation. Some include chanting a mantra or phrase while some are silent. There are sitting mediations as well as walking meditations. You can meditate with your eyes open or  closed. Watch for a upcoming blog, I intend to write, highlighting several different types of meditation. 

4. You have to be able to quiet your mind – Our minds are not by nature quiet. Our monkey minds jump all around, from planning what we will eat for our next meal to thinking about what we still need to do at work. What meditation does is help you be more present and learn to bring the mind back when it wonders off. 

5. It is religious – Mediation is not about any particular religion. It is about being in relationship with yourself. 

6. It is something only “hippies” do  – Anyone can meditate. Athletes, celebrities, spiritual leaders, children, and everyday people turn to mediation for stress relief and to improve their life. 

7. It takes years to receive benefit – There are so many different ways to meditate. There is no one right or wrong way. There is better or more improved meditation, which comes with practice but even if you are new to meditation and your mind is very busy, you can still receive benefit from the practice of it. 

You are the perfect person to receive benefit from meditation. Give it a try. Join us on our 90 days of daily meditation. We would be glad have you join us. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. I wish you a lifetime of beneficial meditation to help you get to the next level with your goals. 

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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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Transforming Your Life

Do you have aspects of your life that you are not okay with? Of course! We all have parts that we could take out and shine up. There are certain practices that we can leave in the past, to step into our future as a better version of ourselves. There are probably many ways that you have ready done this on some small scale and if you look at how you did, you will begin to see how you can do it on a larger scale.

During my lifetime I have done many things that have transformed my life. When I look back at these things, I see the common factor being my belief in myself. I am a high school drop out. How did I move past that to have a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and several credits in a Graduate program? How did I keep moving on forward to a place of a successful career? I believed that I would. Never once did I think that decision defined me. Perhaps I was lucky to not know the statistics about the future for high school dropouts.

When I was young, I smoked. It had a two pack a day habit. I quit this unhealthy practice 28 years ago. Once again, I quit because I believed I could. I did not allow the term “smoker” to define me. I did not care if the statistics said if I could or would quit. I saw what I was capable of and I worked to make that vision of myself a reality.

I was morbidly obese. Once again, I did not allow this to define who I am. I decided to become a runner. I had never been athletic as a child but why did that have to define me? I have completed 3 half marathons and countless shorter events. I also completed a 150 mile bike ride for charity, done a lot of hiking and kayaking and enjoy an active lifestyle. Once again, it was believing in myself and wanting something better for my life that helped me to pull myself up and push forward.

Whether the aspects of your life that you want to change, are big or small, involve a career goal or creating more healthy habits, you can accomplish it!

You are capable of amazing things! This capability comes from deep within you. There is a strength that lies coiled inside of you. Call on this strength to become more than you are today. Call on this strength to incorporate a new healthy habit into your life. Call on this strength to live the life of your dreams! I believe in you! You should believe in yourself too! You see stories all around you of people improving their lives. No one is more captive of improving your life than you are!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you and I believe in you! I wish you a lifetime full of positive changes.

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