Learning to Meditate

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I’ve been on a journey of spirituality for quite some time. It’s slowly helping me learn to be calmer, happier and feel more in control of my life. Things that would normally push me over the edge I can now manage to overcome. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not there yet, I have my really bad days but I’m getting there. Whenever things don’t go right in life my initial reaction has been to lose it. I get sick to my stomach and feel helpless and out of control. Now when things go wrong as is the case with life I just don’t focus on the negative. Instead, I’ve made it a habit to count my blessings. I try to look at the glass half full instead of half empty and it makes me feel better every time. I’m determined to keep adding positive tools into my life. I need to be OK in order to raise a healthy and happy child. I am the person she is mirroring. That is just one of  the reasons why I’m trying to make meditation a habit.

I have a lot of trouble keeping my mind clear of worries and thoughts during meditation. My goal is to conquer it because I know that it’s a great way to reduce stress, improve focus and help balance my life. God knows I can use all the help I can get!

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I know a lot of people who would like to meditate, but like me, they have a difficult time doing it. Over the years, I’ve tried meditating many times. I always find my mind wandering, my body becomes uncomfortable and achy. I get fidgety and even claustrophobic!

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This month I’ve made the decision to conquer meditation once and for all! I need to stop focusing on all things digital! I look at my cell phone way too many times. I’m always texting, tweeting or on Facebook communicating and connecting with friends. Too many digital interactions makes me a very jittery person! I much prefer seeing friends and family in person and speaking on the phone instead of texting. For me, I think connecting with people I care about is crucial to my happiness. I need to have people I trust and love in my circle. I need to spend time face to face with them. That takes time and sometimes our busy lives prevent us from doing that. So I plan on making the time because it’s important to me. I also spend very little time sitting still and just living in the present. It’s something I really want to do.

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Like most of you, I have so much going on with my life. Achieving “inner peace” is something that takes effort. So every day I force myself to sit and meditate, even if it’s only for a few minutes. I find that visualization really helps me get in the zone and it’s also important for me to be in the right space during my meditation. I have to have an organized clutter free space and the right scents, which is why I always use essential oils. Lavender is my scent of choice.

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At first I began meditating 5 minutes a day. You would think it would be easy to sit still for 5 minutes well, think again! It was such a difficult thing for me to do. Once I was able to sit for 5 minutes for a few days I realized I was becoming more calm so I extended it to 10 minutes. Now I can go as long as 15 minutes comfortably and 30 minutes not so comfortably. It’s still difficult for me to keep my thoughts at bay. Every time I have a thought come into my head during meditation I just push it aside. I acknowledge it but then I move it aside and try to stay focused on how peaceful I feel. I’m hoping the more I practice, the more comfortable I will become with my practice.

Last week, I recruited a wonderful friend of mine to join me. We meet once a week, every week to meditate together.  It’s a great way to get together for a positive step into our lives. We chat and drink tea for a bit then we sit together in silence and help one another achieve our goal of finding peace. It’s time well spent.

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Here are some great tips to help you Meditate-

1.Find a quiet place, either lie down on your back with your feet on the floor or sit comfortably.

2. Set a timer for 2 minutes at first, then increasing as you become more comfortable and your ability to focus grows.  Take your time, and just do what you can.

3. Relax your body and listen to your breath.  Don’t do anything to try to control your breath, simply observe.

4.  Now, bring in some visualization.  As you exhale, picture being on the beach.  As you inhale, see the waves rolling out of the sea.  With every inhale and exhale, watch the waves go in and out– the sound of your breath is the soundtrack to these waves going in and out, and will set the pace.

5.  If your mind wanders, bring yourself back to the sound of your breathing and the images of the waves.  Again, do not try to change your breathing in any way– simply match the motion of the waves to the sound of your breath.

I hope you find your way to a peaceful life.

Namaste

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What are you thinking?

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What is your mind on, do you know? How many times have you caught yourself just thinking about the things that are going wrong with your life? Did you ever stop and really focus on what it is you are preoccupied with? It can be a conversation you had with your spouse or your friend. You may be going over what you said and what you should have said instead. You maybe thinking about everything that is wrong with your body or just criticizing your parenting skills. What would happen if you just stop the negative thinking?

Believe it or not, the things you think about shape your life. Philosopher Marcus Aurelius said, “The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts. Color it with a run of thoughts like these:

1)Anywhere you can lead your life, you can lead a good one.

2) Things gravitate toward what they were intended for. What things gravitate toward is their goal.

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Basically, it means that the more you concentrate on the positive things in your life the more you attract them. It may seem frivolous but it’s something that has been taught by so many of the worlds spiritual gurus and philosophers. In every religious book it says that we should count our blessings. So even when things go wrong in life, we have to focus on all that is going right. That is the key to happiness.

I hope you keep your minds on all that is good in your life.

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Moving towards my purpose

 

 

 

232323232fp34;_nu=3285_359_557_WSNRCG=3234_86232_2_nu0mrjThere are some days when I question if I’m living the life I’m supposed to live. I wonder if I’m doing enough. Should I be going back to work? Does that allow me to be the kind of mother I want to be? Why is it that some women are perfectly comfortable balancing work and motherhood and some are not? There are also some who are not lucky enough to have a choice and they have to work.

I am grateful to be able to stay home with my child but sometimes I have a sense of unease. I feel like I’ve got to do more, to be more. Recently many in my family and some friends have suggested that I get back to work, but at this stage of my life, I’m not really interested in doing something just to work. I want to do something that adds meaning and value to my life. Having an extra income would be an added bonus but it’s got to be worth my time and energy away from my family.

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Why can’t I have a career and be a mother? I have so many friends who do both beautifully. I have really been looking into the meaning of my life. What is it that I want in life? Is it wealth, fame, acknowledgement and success? How does one define success? For some it’s what they do. For others it’s what they have. I know I have what’s always been important to me. I have a loving family and I am fortunate enough to have a handful of true friends that have stuck with me through thick and thin. Along the way I have lost people who were not supposed to be in my life anymore. In the end, the health and happiness of those I love is all that matters to me and yet there is still something within me that feels unfulfilled.

e1c9bd7c5a6d17f22402ff85f2df772dI think that feeling of wanting to do more helps push me to look for what I’m supposed to do. I think it’s telling me that there is more for me to accomplish. It compels me to continue to strive and move forward.

I often think that there has to be a reason for our existence. I think we are all here in the world to fulfill our purpose. To find it we must get closer to our essence. Part of our essence is giving. We have to look at something larger than ourselves. For me, it’s connecting with God. I’ve blogged about my grateful practice many times. It’s one of the best ways to connect with my source. The more I connect with a higher power the more I learn to let go and let God lead me to where I’m supposed to go.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Marcus Aurelius, the Emperor of Rome.

“Life is shaped from the inside out. Everything is turned to ones advantage when you greet everything that happens in life as something positive. No experience goes wasted. Everything that happens in life is the right material to bring about your growth and the growth around you. Everything contains some special purpose and a hidden blessing. All of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful friend.”