Meditation Project on SoundCloud

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to lay down some tracks for helping others to meditate. This past week, I added a creator profile to my SoundCloud account and laid down some meditation tracks!

The links are below. It’s my goal to add 1-2 guided meditations/week. We’ll see what actually unfolds. =)

Sadly, my work on InstaGram has dwindled. It was becoming increasingly more difficult for me to “keep it short & simple” with the memes. When I tried to shorten the memes, I lost their intent and meaning…

Happy Meditating!

Namaste

Funny looking edit here. Tried to reposition the profile image, to no avail. Promise it looks a little better on the app/site.

Celebrating the Pause

Yesterday marked the half-way mark between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, and Summer Solstice and Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. It is interesting that many of us may also find ourselves in transition during this time. I most certainly do!

There is a mixture of excitement and restlessness here. As a very goal-oriented person, it is a challenge for me to feel settled when not working on specific goals. Learning to surrender into this space of unknowing, as if awaiting my next set of orders, creates some anxiety for me. However, I’m learning to recognize the parts of me that want to push and push; pushing is so exhausting!

A great meditation on Insight Timer, which found me, is subtitled “Divine Laziness.” There is so much beauty and wisdom in this space between; in the surrender. Breathing deeply into the unknown also gives a sense of freedom.

May we each find peace in the spaces between what was and what is yet to be. There is SO much potential here, if we can just be patient enough to allow it to be. 

Namaste

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Race for Peace

Have you ever found yourself rushing to get to your peaceful place? Maybe driving faster or rushing to get out of the office to go home so you can relax? Or do you find yourself thinking things such as, “if only this were not here, I would be okay”? I only ask these questions because I must confess that I have lived them each this week.

Just the other day, I was upset about being late because it cut down on my “relaxation” time before work. It meant less time walking with my bare feet in the sand. It meant less “me time” before show time at work.

Then I looked further back and saw how, at times, I’ve been more easily agitated after a good relaxing meditation?! Because I was not at peace with the “chaos” of that moment. It’s easy to be relaxed when we’re in our happy places, not so much so in the day-to-day.

How can we carry the peace from our yoga mats, from our meditations into our daily lives? Daily life is a practice. In giving ourselves the loving grace both in and outside of our happy places, we begin to see that we are being and doing the best that we can be and do in that moment.

Racing after peace means we are never peaceful. (Much like the pursuit of happiness.) Peace is a state of being. At any given moment we have the choice to be at peace or at war with the present moment. And what we resist, persists. We carry it forward with us into the next moment, days, years, decades, etc. Best to practice being at peace with the present. How can we be at peace when we are at war with the present, with who we are or where we are?

May we each rediscover the peace within that is waiting to be seen, releasing the need to fight against ourselves or to use our stories to keep us embattled. 

Namaste

Radiating Love: A Meditation

This is a daily mediation that I started about 3 weeks ago. It has been very helpful in keeping me from becoming overwhelmed when things gets tough. Some of my friends and coworkers have mentioned the differences they’ve seen, even without my telling anyone what I’ve been up to.

At least once a day for 5-10 minutes:

  • Sit upright with feet flat on the floor or ly down on your back.
  • See your body as a vase or vessel, imagine emptying it in the way that feels best for you.
  • Usually I visualize the wind emptying out the vessel, and when it’s been “real bad,” I imagine I “flush” the toilet. Yet without water filling back in.
  • After emptying out as much as possible, then visualize golden light like liquid sunshine filling your body, pouring in from the top of your head.
  • When the vessel is full, begin to see the light radiating outwards from you. Allow the rays to expand as far out from you as you can.
  • Call upon this image of a radiating you as you go through your day, especially when things get tough.

Consistency with this exercise increases its effectiveness. There are some days where you may notice it is easier than others.

Go forth and radiate!

Namaste

The 8-Minute Miracle Shift Every Parent and Child Needs

After an emotionally stressful day at work taking care of post-divorce fall-out, and wrestling with some personal demons, I drove directly to my children’s school to pick them up. They were in their after-school programs and being away from them all day, it had been my habit to make a bee-line to each of their classroom doors. Sometimes when I get to my son’s classroom, he refuses to look at me and drags his feet to leave. I believe now that he must be able to see or sense the stress I’m feeling.

Tuesday, my emotions were too mixed up for the bee-line and I knew it. I waited until I could park in the furthest spot to give myself some privacy. It was then that I set an 8-minute meditation timer with the background sound of a “winter fire” (insight Timer App is AMAZING and free!). Once I closed my eyes, I allowed my emotions the oxygen, light and space they needed to “burn out” on their own. In 8 lovely minutes, I went from feeling like pulling some of my hair out to “I’m ready to be a calm, nurturing mom.” Allowing the emotions and thoughts is the key: to force peace, or any other emotion, just pushes them away!

When I walked into my son’s classroom, he played a game of peek-a-boo, to hide the wide smile on his face. He could tell my mood before I crossed the threshold. From kid pick up to bedtime, we had an amazing night! I even took the kids for a quick trip to the grocery store (something I usually avoid as much as possible). Though I did have to give the kids a few behavioral reminders, I didn’t lose my patience once (that’s a feat!).

In reflecting on this shift, I recognized that when I picked up the kids, it had been my habit to want to rush home so I could “relax.” As if rushing leads to relaxing?! Plus, when did the relaxation ever really come before the kids were in bed?! I’m seeing where this just made the kids, particularly my son, edgy (well, and me, too). So now, I’m committing to NOT rushing to relax, NOR putting it off until later. Why not now? Really!

So today I relaxed first and took a lot of pressure off of all of us. Now why didn’t I think of this before?! I really don’t know. It now seems so simple. BUT, I realized it and now I know how to do it differently!

Namaste

P.S. It is also important to add that I did some visualizations today, seeing my son being happy and grateful to see me when I picked him up. I do believe this was part of how I saw the need to do the meditation that shifted me into relaxation mode pre-pickup.

P.S.S. I believe this type of mini mental break can help improve any caregiver-dependent frustration. Use it at will! Really.

Getting Unstuck in Life: Seeing Our Life Patterns

Our thoughts are our GPS, consciously or not, they affect our actions and our paths. By becoming more aware of our underlying thoughts, we can more easily change our direction in life. 

Meanwhile, allowing our thoughts to run amuck in our minds, we give up our control to them. Our GPS takes us to the wrong places, and sometimes we find ourselves driving in circles; stuck in patterns that do not serve us. By being unaware of our underlying thoughts, they unconsciously drive our actions from the backseat. Here I will illustrate some examples of the growing awareness I have had of my thoughts over the past few weeks.

After reading and implementing the daily meditation recommended in the book, Yoga + Love, I have noticed an unexpected side effect. By becoming increasingly aware of what thoughts have been running like sound tracks in the background of my mind, I see where I have created insomnia, heartbreaks and lack of resources in my life. 

For someone who thought she had at least a foothold on understanding herself, this had been an eye-opening experience. It turns out that there have been many thoughts that I’ve had that have been silently running (and sidelining the progress in) my life.

For most of this year, I had been increasingly suffering from insomnia. After a week or so of twice daily heart-centered meditation, I suddenly saw where I was telling myself that I was not able to sleep, even before I got in bed. I was, in a proverbial sense, making my bed and lying in it: sleepless. 

Once I saw this “I can’t sleep” thought pattern, I was able to change it. Now I rest peacefully at night without taking any supplements to help me sleep! By changing my thoughts, I changed my sleeping patterns!

I have also noticed how often I tell myself that I don’t have something. Examples have included: “I don’t have the time/energy/ability to deal with this.” Guess what has then happened? Your probably guessed correctly, my thoughts became a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Now, if I hear what I am saying to myself is NOT something that I want in my life, I replace the once “subliminal” thought with one that supports the direction in which I wish to move. “I am capable. I am worthy. I have all the resources that I need to do this successfully.”

Then this week I saw where I had had a strong pattern of focusing more on sex compared to the emotional connections that I have desired over the past 2 years of dating. This was a truly necessary moment of truth, albeit a painful one. 

While my intention in the last round of dating had been to focus on emotional connections, and I achieved that, the underlying thoughts about sex were still there. They continued driving me and played a role in my (dis)connection with the last man I was dating. This is a challenging confession to make. Yet it is an important one for me to acknowledge and see as I move forward, so that I can now do things differently.

To fully correct this dysfunctional dating pattern, I am giving up dating right now for  6-months, if needed. It’s time for me to clear a good bit of these (and yet to be seen) thoughts and soundtracks so that I can create the connection that I truly desire. Instead of continuing to create connections that are based on the underlying thoughts of lust. After publishing this post, I read this on Mind, Body, Green

So as you can see, heart-centered meditation has been my key to self-discovery. May each of us find ways to uncover the thoughts that are secretly driving our actions, so that we may consciously choose a different pattern and, when needed, change our direction. 


Namaste

Images: Google

The Power and “How to” of Letting Go

Today is a great day to allow what needs to be let go of to pass. 

Our fears, unresolved emotions and pasts haunt us when we allow them to go unchecked. Unconscious tapes play in the background of our psyche, ruling us with their power to distract us from our truth. We then make choices out of our fears, often treating others in negative or blocked ways because of our haunted pasts.

To be able to move forward in life, it’s imperative that we learn to “let go” of our past hurts. This process allows us to think clearly and make choices that support us instead of choices that keep us further stuck. When we no longer live unconsciously through our wounded selves, we open up more fully to others in our lives. We see that the peace and happiness we sought were right there, all along.

Here is the method that I have found the most helpful and supportive in moving forward. 

When an unwanted thought or emotion first starts to form, begin to:

  • Slowly breathe in and out, allowing your belly to expand as you breathe in (taking in more breath), and slightly contracting it as you breathe out. The lungs and belly work together instead of oppositionaly.
  • Imagine the thoughts and emotions pouring or “leaking” out of you and collecting in a box (use whatever kind of container works for you).
  • Imagine that box being taken to a Higher Power for transformation. You can use angels or your vision of The Creator or The Universe to do so.
  • Trust that the piece you have released is gone. We heal in layers, so there may be more that needs to surface. It’s kind of like unplugging a drain, once you start to pull things out, more comes up to be gotten out of the way.
  • Repeat as needed throughout the day. Again, the sooner the better.

The quicker I perform this Visualization when a thought or emotion takes sprout, the less of a chance it has to take root and bloom. Sometimes I even perform this clearing process preemptively, too.

Anecdotal evidence:

I’ve been doing this consistently for a few weeks and in the last week on an almost continual basis each day. Today I had my annual check up and my BP was 108/69 (I haven’t run since March and my gym routine fell apart last month). The Nurse Practitioner also asked me if I was a runner because I had a “slow and steady” heartbeat like a runner would. This was after gaining weight since my last check up. Also today I had been racing around while drinking heavy coffee, not sleeping well and being at the doctor’s office (I use to have “white coat syndrome”). All this to say is that I believe this mediation process has played a big part in my positive health results today.

Namaste

Images: Google 

Energy Raising & Metta Meditation 

Energy is vital for life. Without energy we become stuck and cannot move forward. It is important to face the areas where you lack energy, or Joy, and then focus on where you are grateful, happy and fulfilled. Ignoring the issues doesn’t make the problems go away.

Here I will outline a meditation I do daily and whenever I have mental downtime. This is also incredibly helpful when I’m moving through emotions that cause turmoil.

Preferably in sitting, focus for a few breath cycles on your breath without altering it. Then allow your belly to slightly contract as you breathe out. As you breathe in, allow your belly to expand. (As your lungs expand, the belly expands. As your lungs get smaller, so does the belly). Follow this pattern for a few breaths, then bring your awareness to the center of your heart. Trust that you are there, and you will be.

Now as you breathe in, imagine that you are pulling up energy from the center of the earth through your body up to your crown. Then as you breathe out, energy from the center of the Universe, the heavens, travels down through your crown and down to your feet. Repeat this for several cycles until you feel a sense of calm. The in breath moves up from the Earth and the out breath moves down from the heavens. This is how to raise your energy and clear out energy blockages. 

Appreciate the energy you feel, even if it just feels like a little bit at first. Just like any skill, the more you practice, the more you will feel.

This next cycle combines both upward and downward energies on the inhale. Continue to focus on the center of your heart, breathe in and bring in energy from the center of the earth upwards while bringing down energy from the center of the universe downwards. Both coalesce and meet at your heart. As you breathe out, imagine the energy emanating from all directions of your heart (as if it were a glowing sphere) and wrapping around the earth. This is Metta. Continue this for several minutes or breath cycles.

So in the first part of the meditation you cleanse and fill your own cup. In the second part, you share this energy with the world. Which also has a return to you, as an inhabitant of the earth.

The more ways you can love you, the more ways you can also be loved by others, and the more ways you can help support others. Light your light, so the blinded ones can see.

Namaste.

Image: Google

Touching the Fraility at the Core

https://youtu.be/hPC2Fp7IT7o

The featured image came up Friday on FB’s “on this day” from last year. I reposted it joking I needed it tattooed on my forearm. Then later in the morning, I witnessed the fraility of a woman who is also my toughest client. She casts out barbs and talks down to me as I genty ask her how she had been, as if blaming me for her very condition (or existence). 

Her behavior triggered me. Within the same treatment session, she gave me a quick glimpse of how truly frail she is at her core. Through the looking glass, I began to see my own wounded little girl and how my own behavior has been over the past…

Today during a guided meditation on self-love, I met my most wounded self. Zooming out from the core, I saw how defensive (and evasive) I can continue to be in an effort to protect my wounded self from the world, or is it to protect the world from me? 

~~~~

Expectations unmet

Disappointment breeds discontent 

The wounded girl cries out

Bound and gagged in the darkest dungeon

Yet her cries can still be felt

Pulling on the strings of my heart

Her confusion drives my mind in circles.

Like the rabbit,

In fear I run back to where I started.

To let her lose would bring annihilation

For the wounded girl at the core knows

How to slay perceived enemies 

In one deadly blow, her sword sharpened 

By years of desolation.

Her battle brings imminent death

In an effort to protect her essential core.

Best to be met at the castle gates by 

Boiling tar, poured out like

Molten lava from cast iron cauldrons

Than to breech the gates.

The moat really is there

For your own protection…

Best to heed its warning.

~~~

Bringing light to the ordinary,

The stranger,

The wounded,

And the lovable

Aspects of myself,

Allowing the seams to 

Fold together,

Stitching the patterns with

Threads of golden light,

Once again breathing in sweet unison

Repeated until the next undoing,

Giving the girl what she really seeks and

Needs: love and attention without any

Conditions. Acceptance brings her 

The light she needs

To see the walls of the dungeon

Only ever existed in her imagination….

“Meditation Studio” is the app I used today. The meditation was “self-love.” While I liked the meditation, I don’t like how the statements seem to ask for permission (i.e. May I be happy). So I changed the affirmations to present tense. This is what I did, instead:

  • I am happy.
  • I am healthy.
  • I am at peace.

Namaste’

Image: Google 

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