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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11 ways to Live Life to the fullest

As I write this, it is my birthday. What has happened over the past year?

New grandchild was born•Another grandchild is in a better situation•Traveled to England and saw Stonehenge•Traveled to the Netherlands and saw my grandfathers homeland•Lost my grandmother and a couple of friends•Purchased a boat as a second home in Florida•Had family photos taken with all four children and all four grandchild for the first time ever•Finished renovations on our home•Started renovations on our rental property•Helped my daughters move•Attended a writers workshop and started proposals on, not one, but three books•Started blogging•Traveled to Canada and explored Amethyst mines•Joined Toastmasters and became the club Secretary•Navigated changes in my day job•Began completing my coaching certification•Joined instagram•Had my 1 year wedding anniversary•Formed a deeper more loving relationship with my stepson•Watched as all three of my daughters became even more amazing women•Completed a 5k for charity•Took my stepson and a granddaughter to see the Grand Canyon•Served several holiday meals•Gained ten pounds•Entertained friends•Hosted gatherings to create community•Donated my time to fundraisers, raking leaves for seniors, and my local Buy-Nothing group•Broke my wrist and had surgery to put in a plate to repair it•Went dogsledding for the first time ever•Watched several movies•Cried a little and laughed a lot•Had more than a few glasses of wine•Baked goodies for others•Tried to make the world a brighter place•Listened to my friends and encouraged them when I could•Camped in three different states•Worked hard to be the best wife I can be•Worried about my family and strived to improve my relationships•Read several books•And many more items I cannot even think of right now.

It is amazing how much life can be packed into 365 days. I believe in using everyday to the fullest. We do not know how many breaths we will have in our life. Why waste any of them. I work hard and play harder. Striving to find joy in all aspects of my life, helps keep my focus positive.

It is interesting to reflect on a year. They seem to go by so quickly but when I look back, it has been a glorious year. Full of joy and a little bit of sorrow. The duality of sorrow amongst the joy helps us appreciate the joy. It takes the darkness so we appreciate the light. We need both.

How can we live our life to the fullest between the demands of work, family, and other responsibilities? Make them fun! Find the joy!

Talk. During a family meal, pose a question to get a conversation going. “What did you learn today? What kindness did you witness, what was the most interesting part of your day? What do you hope to accomplish is year?”

Plan a trip. It does not have to be a month long cruise around the world, although it can if that is accessible to you. Take a day trip to a nearby town to explore. Go camping in a state park. Plan a family get away to a historic part of the country or go on a romantic weekend retreat with your love. Whatever kind of trip is right for you, it’ll  give you a break from the routine. It refreshes you and gives you a pause, to enjoy.

Get outside. Go for a walk; feel the sun on your face, hike, run, play, sled, whatever is enjoyable to you.

Laugh. Find the joy in life and share it. One of my Yogi friends is passionate about her mantra: “Feel joy and share it!” It is a beautiful sediment!

Accept yourself  Be kind to your self, love yourself as is. If you want to work on things about yourself, fine, but know you are perfect just as you are.

Notice the positive things  A beautiful tulip in the spring, pretty snow in the winter, a child laughing, the hug of a loved one, a delicious fresh and healthy meal. There are always positive things to be grateful for.

Play. Work is important, it gives us purpose and allows for money to pay for our life, but play is important too. Whether it is paint night with your friends, hopscotch with your child, or bowling with your league, playing is an important part of living life. Just because we grow into adulthood does not mean we should stop playing.

Love. Love your family, friends, furrbabies, coworkers, neighbors, strangers walking down the street; allow that love to flow from you to others, even if you only share a smile with that person.

Create. Create art, community, recipes, games, whatever gets your creative juices flowing. Children create works of art, games, even imaginary worlds. Just because we grow older, does not mean we should stop.

Share  Share stories, thoughts, or journal, even if this means just sharing with yourself.

Learn. Learning should never stop. We can learn formally from classes and seminars, but we can also learn informally from others, watching interesting programs, taking tours, or looking things up in books or on the internet. Learning things enriches our life and helps us grow.

I am wishing you a life full of joy! Thank you for reading my blog today!

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What Do You Regret?

I like to listen to music while I work. It helps me concentrate. Your Side of the Bed by Little Big Town was playing. In that song they ask “Are you sleeping with your own regrets?” It got me thinking about regrets. I have always tried to live a regret free existence. I have always felt that we do the best we can in the time and place we are in. Even with this philosophy, there have been a couple things in my life that I have struggled with. Sharing these regrets makes me very nervous. They are things I do not talk about. What is interesting to me as I reflect on this is that I don’t mind sharing with strangers but I am very nervous to have people who know me aware of them. I guess I fear being judged.
One of those things was related to my first husband’s daughter. She ended up in foster care. I, for a long time, regretted that I didn’t try and get custody of her. At that time in my life, I had two children that I was raising as a single mother. I felt I was not in a place to be able to take on another child. After this girl became an adult, I was able to make contact with her. I told her I was sorry that I did not fight to get custody of her. She was very gracious and said that she was just fine and that she has gone on to get a degree in social services. Perhaps her childhood was related to her calling in life. Perhaps that is why the Universe conspired for me to feel I could not take on raising her. Maybe her upbringing turned out to be better for her than anything I could have provided her with.
Do you believe in soul contracts? The idea that we come into this life with set experiences we are meant to have. When I first heard about the idea, I was not so sure about it. Now I find it is a good fit for my belief system. It makes sense to me. If I had saved her from foster care would I have cheated her out of one of her soul contracts? Or would I have cheated myself out of the experience of regret and trying to make amends? Do soul contracts mean we do not try to help others? I do not think so. Helping others could likely be one of our soul contracts. Do you think regret serves a purpose? Does the avoidance of regret help us make better choices?
Another time in my life, I regretted, was when I was a teenager. I was depressed and was going to commit suicide. One of my friends realized what I intended to do. She told the counselor who drove out to my house. The close call made me re-evaluate the importance of life and I have never been suicidal since. My friend saved my life and I am eternally grateful for the action she took. My regret is in the action I took after the counselor was alerted. I lied. I told the counselor, my mother, everyone, that my friend was wrong. It made her look foolish. We were never friends again after that day. I lost my best friend as a result of that lie. I have since contacted her and expressed my gratitude, as well as, apologized for lying. She forgave me.
I recently wrote a blog called Beneficial Forgiveness.  Dealing with these regrets is a perfect place to practice forgiving yourself. Remind yourself that you did do the best you could, in the time and place you were in then.
How have regrets shaped your life? Do you have regrets? Are there some you can’t seem to move past? How can you work on forgiving yourself for these things?

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Beneficial Forgiveness

Who are you unable to forgive and why? What things do you consider to be unforgivable? What mistakes have you made in life that you are still holding tight to because the pain is too much to think about? Being able to forgive others and even more so, to forgive yourself, can be life changing.

Most people do not set out in life to be a pain the the you know what. As humans, I believe we do the best we can, in the time and space we are in. But because of what we are holding on to, sometime the decisions we make will cause pain for ourselves and or others. I think if we realize that people do the best they can in the time and space they are in, it’ll help you leg go of the anger, regret and disappointment in order to find it in your heart to offer forgiveness.

I was in a toxic marriage once. There was verbal and emotional things happening that have had a lasting impact. I stayed in the marriage because I really believed that my children needed a home with a father and a mother. I also did not believe I could be successful in providing my children with a home and the other things they needed without two incomes. I was wrong about both of these things. I stayed because I didn’t know I was wrong. I stayed because I didn’t understand the lasting impact that this environment was having on my children. I stayed because I did not have enough self worth to believe I could leave. Eventually, I found my self worth and did leave the marriage. I am only now starting to fully understand how my children were hurt and affected by this.

So who do I need to forgive as a result of this story. I need to forgive myself for staying way to long. I need to forgive my ex-husband for the way he treated me and the children. I need to forgive my daughter who still holds so much anger at me for staying too long and for not protecting her more. I need to forgive my catholic up bringing that made me think I couldn’t leave. I need to forgive myself for feeling like a failure, because I couldn’t fix it.

I will tell you I have worked through this and have been able to forgive. Much of this processing and healing took place in the BWCA, with Emy’s support and love. I was able to touch those very painful emotions that were pushed down deep inside. I was able to feel them and understand them and eventually let them go. I was able to understand that my ex-husband was doing the best he could in the time and space he was in. He had learned how to be a family from his own family. Perhaps what had been modeled for him, when he was a child, was also not healthy. I came to understand that he had his own inner demons and probably did not like himself very much. He did not know how to deal with or heal these things. So it came out in these ways that harmed our family. Once I had some understanding of why he acted the way he did, I was able to forgive him. This forgiveness was a gift to him but more importantly it was a gift to myself. Forgiving him freed me from wallowing in the hate and self loathing. Forgiving him allowed me to get to the place where I could forgive myself. Forgiving him allowed me to let go of that “failed” marriage and give it blessings for the experiences I had and the things I learned as a result of it. Forgiving him gave me a new found freedom and a new found peace. Forgiving him was far more beneficial to me than it will ever be to him. Forgiving my daughter is easy. I pray the someday she will forgive me. Not because I feel I need forgiveness but because it will free her and allow her to heal. Forgiving my catholic up bringing was easier once I realized that it was a result of good intentions on my parents part. They were doing what they thought was right. They were doing the best they could to raise their children. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. I think when we can see the good intentions behind the things that hurt us, it is easier to find forgiveness.

The hardest forgiveness that took place from the story I shared above was forgiving myself. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. We do not allow for our own mistakes. We take these perceived “failures” and hold on to them. We often feel they are unforgivable. None of us are perfect. Once I was able to realize that I too did the best I could in the time and place I was in, I began to see that I was able to forgive myself. I forgave myself for staying too long, for “failing” at marriage, for the mistakes I made in the midst of the marriage that made situations worse. The freedom of no longer holding on to these things allowed for a sense of freedom. The chains had been released. I was able to move on. I was able to work on myself and become a healthier version of me. I was able to find a relationship that is happy and healthy.

What in your life are you not able to forgive? Yourself? Others? Situations? Is there a way that you can see these situations from another perspective and find forgiveness? It will change your life. Forgive others, not for their benefit but for your own benefit. Free yourself from having to hold on to that disappointment any longer.

Do you have a story to share about how forgiveness improved your life? Do you have things you are currently working on forgiving yourself for? Do you have things you have learned along the way you would like to share with others?

Thank you for reading my blogs today. Feel free to share it with others you feel it may help. May your life be filled with healthy forgiveness. Blessings, Stacy

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