One of the most common questions I am asked as a spiritual intuitive coach is “how do I meditate?” Following that is usually, “how do I make time to meditate?” I find myself saying the same thing, meditation is not meant to be separate from your daily routine and it is not something that you have to learn how to do with carefully written steps or outlines to follow.
Simply put, meditation is taking a minute, possibly several, to be in the moment with ourselves. It is connecting with our body, using our mind to focus our attention, and deliberately breathing to acknowledge the space and time that we are in as we work to align ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Meditation is self preservation at its finest.
SO, let’s elaborate on the HOW. As I suggested before, many people that are beginning this journey have an impression that meditation is something that we have to plan into our day. Maybe we sit in a folded stance, humming, palms open, with background music. Now, I am not trying to say this is not an approach to meditation, but this is not the ONLY approach.
I find that I meditate at least 20 times a day. Crazy right! But this is true, here are some of the ways that I go about meditating.
Stretch with intention to focus, connect, and breathe.
Send thanks out to the Holy Spirit and guides for guidance and ask for continued support.
Go on brisk focused walks and send out positive intentions with every step.
Sit quietly in my own space and take 3 deep breaths.
Take in the sweet fragrance of a favorite essential oil like peppermint or lilac.
Channel my emotions if I feel ungrounded by excess outside stimuli.
Send thanks out to the universe for providing for me before consuming food.
Take 3 deep breaths with intention to refocus my thoughts.
Reflect on a daily affirmation.
Respond to others carefully with conscious awareness of my surroundings, thoughts, breathing, and emotions.
Write down my thoughts, feelings, needs, fears, ideas...
Some other more common types of meditation that I participate in…
10 minute guided meditation
Color or draw while listening to Tibetan singing bowls
Sit in a quiet space, breathe with intent, calling in light, love, and healing.
I hope that I have set your table with ideas that you can use as you take on meditation. The biggest and most important element is living in the moment with yourself. It is about becoming aware of your ‘different’ aspects, parts, systems, and connecting each of them. Through breathing and careful, mindful work we can manifest these connections.
Are there other ways that YOU meditate? We want to hear from you!!
Blessings my fellow kernels!!
Hi Beautiful People!
Get up, Dress up, and Show Up!
I love this saying. It is as direct as it gets. This is my life motto. In order to live life to our fullest potential, we have to do exactly this.
Let’s face it! Life can be hard!!!!
However, how we go about handling life is really what matters.
Have you ever experienced roadblocks? Tragedy? Had the feeling that the universe is against you because nothing is going right?
If so, I can absolutely relate. Life can be a mess and facing that mess can be much harder. I can choose to handle it by screaming, kicking, being mad, but who would benefit from that? So instead, I decide to clean it up. I make changes or act better based on the circumstance.
Now of course this is just a metaphor, but I find that it can be easier to deal with situations in this manner in order to get a better overall understanding. Life is simple. It comes down to how we deal with it.
I try to find the best in everything. See it in a more positive light. In reality, the universe does not want to see us fail, rather, it wants us to live our life’s purpose and grow.
Have there been unfair situations that have happened to me in life that make me want to turn against the world? Absolutely! Do I want to scream so loud I could be heard miles away? Do I want to succumb to aggressive behavior as a way to deflect my own pain?
Do I? I do not. Well, sometimes I will scream in a pillow, but I find that more therapeutic. As long as I reign it in shortly after the outburst. The negative feelings do nothing but bring about more negativity in my life.
So, I choose to be positive. See for every new day, is a new beginning or a day to continue living, but with a more fulfilling outlook then what I had yesterday. A new day is to learn something new, and be better than the person I was yesterday.
That brings about the first step, Get up.
Get up….. seems easy right? Well not always. It can be hard to find the energy to get up and face the day, especially if you are feeling defeated.
I personally struggle with a disease that makes it hard to get out of bed every day.
The amount of pain I have to work through and the mental work I have to do can feel overwhelming.
I so often feel like throwing in the towel. The pain is so excruciating and unbearable. My legs are weak and I am lifting up what feels like a ton of bricks.
How about when you know you have more work to do and just don’t want to face it. This step, Get Up, involves a lot of mental work.
You have to tell yourself why you need to get up. Remind yourself of your goals. Whether the goals are long term or daily, they were set to be achieved.
I personally love calendars and planners and find them to be beneficial in holding yourself accountable. Even if it is as simple as waking up early in the morning to drink your coffee and writing down your manifestations for the day. Writing down what needs to be done, and when, is a sure fire way to make the progress you want.
You made the first step happen. The second step is about being ready to tackle it.
Dress up. It does not mean to literally dress up, as though you need to be fancy, but get dressed for the day. What is it that you need to tackle, and how do you need to be dressed?
Did you give yourself the goal to wake up every morning to lift? If so, this requires attire that has full range, comfortability, and function.
Are you a stay at home mom, but have a list full of things to get done? Dress for that. Do not stay in your clothes that would inhibit you to just stay in bed or lounge around all day.
The goal is to tackle your day. So dress appropriately and as comfortably as you want to do exactly that.
I love to dress up for myself. This means doing my hair, putting on my mascara and lip liner, and finding an outfit I feel confident in. I like to compare the ‘dress up’ to the superhero stance. When you stand like a superhero, you feel powerful. You feel more confident. When I dress up, it makes me feel more self-assured, and exuberant.
It gives me the energy I need to conquer my day when I dress up. Think about what you feel great in that will give you that extra little push to tackle your day. Dress up!
After you have completed those first two steps and are almost done. Now this part is where action comes into play.
Show up! To show up means that you are ready to do the work. No more excuses, no more procrastination, work!
I have to say that fear has been a complete hindrance for me in my life.
There was one goal in particular, that I had a hard time showing up for, because of fear. The fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of putting myself out there; these fears for the longest time hindered me from starting this blog. I love writing and connecting with people. So with the encouragement from the people in my life, I stopped allowing myself to make excuses for not showing up.
These three steps may seem simple, but you are consciously putting in the effort to make sure you do each one of them, every single day.
This is big, and you should feel proud of yourself. Small steps today, will lead to bigger steps tomorrow, which leads to achieving your overall goal.
Your goals are your own. Unique to you. Only you can decide to accomplish them. I am hoping that with this mantra, Get Up, Dress Up, and Show Up, you attack everyday with the mission to be one step closer to where you want to be. You will start to see the changes over time and hopefully it will empower you to continue to strive towards your goals and life’s purpose.
Balance in life is so important. From start to finish, sunup to sundown, there is a constant flow of events that seem to fold into each other in almost every moment of the day. These events can create havoc in an already busy life if we let it! As a teacher, currently teaching remotely, with 3 children of my own at home, this havoc does not sidestep me. In fact, most days I realize that if it weren’t for automatic response, I would probably forget to breathe. The problem here, then, is that by the end of the day I am feeling not only overwhelmed but I am also wondering “where did the time go?”
It seems that in the middle of grading, planning, changing diapers, making lunch, cleaning the house, checking in with colleagues, helping my kids with homework, cooking dinner, did I say changing diapers..?...oh, and a myriad of other daily stuff, like you know, feeding the dog, or feeding myself, there is little time to think about ‘time.’ Right?! In this moment, as of now, I realize that even in a state of being awake, I am far from feeling ‘awakened.’ Actually, I have developed a robotic function to myself that only seems to go away when I am able to sit and realize ‘wow! I haven’t thought about breathing today! Thank you lungs, and heart, and you know...body!’ This is me, most days.
What can I do to change this robot function-on/off switch? Aside from reading self-help books, talking to friends, and sharing other’s suggestions about my woes out on social media, I found three things that they all have in common. Simple really, but perhaps not as simple when they are put into action. Regardless, I placed them at the top of my to-do list. Quite frankly, once I had established a system, they have changed my life... well, at least the last 4 days since I decided to put them into action!
Let’s go with action step number 1. The first thing I do when I wake up, the very first thing, is to breathe with intention. I choose 3 things I am going to do well during the day and I commit to them. Today I committed to writing this blog, checking in on my finance spreadsheet, and hugging each of my children at least 3 times randomly throughout the day. So far, I have completed two and half of those commitments.
The next step requires a bit more planning. Prior to beginning this process of balance, I sat down and I reflected on my day with the purpose of identifying the 3 most busiest parts and placing in a 5 or 10 minute breakaway activity. Today I went for a walk with the kids, I sat down and ate lunch with them and we talked about our day, and at 8:00 tonight I am going to push in a 5 minute meditation. By giving myself deliberate breaks, I bring myself back to my center. I even allow myself time to focus on my breathing! With regards to this step, it may be more actionable if you set a timer or calendar that can go off to remind you that it is time to take a break. I found this was most helpful as I began to plan my breaks in.
The third step of this plan is to be sure to follow through with steps one and two. It seems redundant, but when we get down to the nitty gritty, balance is about breaking away from the daily routine and constant havoc. It is about making time for the important things, one of which is our family and ourselves. If you are anything like me, it is so easy to put yourself last when you have so many other things to do. But we have to be intentional, deliberate, and, in some cases, plan out our day so that we can find that balance. Balance in life is necessary. When I look at my babies faces, I am reminded of how the little moments are so valuable and irreplaceable.
We want to hear about some ways that you balance out your day. Do you have any recommendations?
I write them on sticky notes and post them on my mirror, the dashboard of my car, and my closet door. I jot them down in my note catcher in meetings at work, announce them out loud even as I cast away emotions of frustration, and I let them dance in my mind as I work to fog out my own negative thoughts.
You are driving along highway I-25 on your way home from work. When you look up you happen to notice the sky. Observe the picture below, and capture your initial reaction. What are your first thoughts? How does the picture make you feel?
If your first thought was, “Oh no! There is a storm coming in! This is going to dampen my plans for tonight!” Know that this is a fairly normal response. In fact, many people, approximately 40% of the population according to a survey conducted by Carol Dweck, an American Psychologist, in 2006, would respond similarly. She concluded that almost half of the population have an established fixed mindset.
Fixed Mindset 101
What is a fixed mindset you may ask? Well, guys, it goes along with that adage, “Is your cup half full, or half empty?” It is this notion that our lives are set for us. It is the belief that your traits are fixed, and we have no control over them. A common saying of a fixed mindset is, “it is what it is” (check out my article “It Could Be Better!”) Hey, I am no innocent soul. Truth, we all have fixed mindsets on certain things. For example, I am very afraid of heights. SO MUCH so, I insisted that I couldn’t look over the Hoover Dam in Nevada because, “I could fall!”
A Great Opposite
On the other side, we have a growth mindset. Individuals with growth mindsets think about the world as half full. This can be challenging at times, because when it is half full it could seem that much more empty. Right? Well, let’s take another look at that picture. I challenge you to think a little differently about that storm that is coming in. Upon seeing the rolling in of the clouds, we could respond by saying things, such as, “I hope that storm brings on the rain;” or “it looks like we may be having an indoor bbq! We can do some indoor games!”
A Happy Medium
My place is not to say either is right or wrong here. I am not in the position to assume anything or place a label. But we are here to reflect on ourselves, our life, and our well-being in order to become the best ‘us’ that we can!! When it comes to stress and frustration, I find that it is clear to note that people that are able to carry the growth mindset are more likely to have better days.
How can I have what they got?
In reference to daily perspective, thoughts, and intelligence, there are ways that we can begin to change our outlook, these are tried and tested strategies I have used myself, I use with my beautiful students in the classroom, and my fellowship friends (those that I have worked with spiritually).
Begin by self-reflection.
Like I mentioned earlier, even that 40% of the population probably carries a bit of fixed mindset. Ask yourself what areas do you find most difficult or ‘blocking’ your way to success. For me, it is as simple as my phobia of heights. Once they are identified, they become manageable and changeable.
Recognize the why behind the fixed-nesses
Try to look for reasons why this has become such a challenge for you-is it fear based? Is it lack of confidence? Do you feel like it could be a personal attack? Perhaps you are thinking that you are not built for the challenge or you are not ‘smart’ enough? Is it just too much of a risk and too problematic?
Breath new life into them
Now that we know fixed mindset traits are rooted in fear, anxiety, lack of self-belief, and could even be rooted in behavioral traits that were carried on from childhood or even past lives (more on that another day!), we can reframe them by channeling our power of manifestation. We can literally breathe new life into them. Instead of “oh man, today is cloudy and dreary” think “I can see the light of the sun peeking through the clouds.” Instead of thinking, “I was never smart enough to be an engineer” say, “I am interested in seeing what it would take to become an engineer.” And, one more for practice, instead of saying “it is what it is,” know that “it could be better when I work to make it better.”
If you would like to take a self assessment on your mindset, you can preview the same survey that was given by Carol Dweck. Have fun with this! As always, share your wonderful kernels of thought with us! We want to hear how you are working to break away your fixed mindset by breaking through!