A nonmeditator starts a meditation practice — and sticks with it for a year.
Whether you’re a beginner or experienced meditator, you’ll find that getting back to basics is a great way to refresh your understanding of meditation. Check out this alphabetical reminder of the benefits of meditation.
Loving authentically Through our Words and Actions
After coming to the realization that my life had to change drastically, and hearing a few of my mentors and other successful people share how meditation had benefited them, I decided to stop doubting long enough to try.
I’m in the midst of reading a great book right now, which has given me many different inspirations to pass on. When I find a good book (especially a non-reference book, which is rare for me these days), it always makes me realize that I need to take more time to just read stories, as there is so much to be learned. We hear about compassion all the time – compassion for others, as well as self-compassion. I personally know that it’s easier said than done, and that authentically showing compassion takes daily practice. Think about compassion as it relates to your own vulnerability. It’s often difficult to show our vulnerability – due to our own ego, others’ perceptions, fear of getting hurt, fear of failure, the list goes on. If you let go of the ego, most of those other things that emanate as fear will also fall by the wayside and you will get a glimpse of your soul speaking to you through that vulnerability. Maybe it’s time to try something new, ask that friend for help, apologize and let go of resentment to heal a relationship, take a financial risk in support of a dream.
How To Open Up Your Vulnerability….
Back to the easier said than done part….I thought I’d share some content from The Anatomy of a Calling, by Dr. Lissa Rankin
“When you realize that every man and woman on this planet are likely holding something heavy in their heart right now – some loss, some grief, some disappointment, some wound – it becomes easier to open up. Your vulnerability can be your greatest strength. It lies in the willingness to lean into joy, sorrow, anger and any other emotion that arises as you walk your path. Feeling empathy, compassion, and tenderness for yourself and those you meet on your journey is a blessing to nurture. Just embrace experiencing and expressing your feelings without judging others or indulging in self-pity as you move through the human challenges on this earth – as long as you’re not afraid to feel what you feel and keep your heart open to what others may be feeling or experiencing, you will bless this world.”
“As Plato said, ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle’. Take these words as a reminder to be gentle with one another. The woman in front of you at the store just lost her mom to a 9 yr battle with cancer. Your boss just found out his wife is having an affair. The mom who as just rude at school just found out her daughter has a brain tumor. The barista who has been schlepping espresso to find her dream job just got the news that the book she spent 3 years writing just got rejected by yet another publisher. The little boy acting out at the restaurant just found out Daddy is going to Iraq….The list goes on. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. ~ Dr. Lissa Rankin
~ Written by Amy Mazeski
Cultivating A Practice
Perhaps some you are trying to manifest some changes in your lives. Maybe some of you are still pondering what the new year has in store for you. In either case, I know that there are a great many people out there who have decided to manifest a meditation practice of sorts (thanks to my meditation app for providing that inspiring stat). In fact, this first week of January has shown a marked increase in meditators at any given time that I look. Why should you care? Call it meditation, call it sitting still, call it mindfulness. Heck, call it breathing. The research has spoken. Having some type of mindfulness based practice can significantly help manage and reduce stress, result in positive health changes, improve memory and concentration, and have an overall positive impact on your life. Some of the things I hear most often (most were also true for myself) are: “I don’t have the time to fit this in if I am going to get a workout in, practice yoga, eat well, and get all the other things done in my day”, “I’m too tired at the end of the day, I just want to go to bed”, “I don’t know where to start”, “I’ve tried, but my mind just wanders and I can’t stop my thoughts”, “I’m physically uncomfortable and/or agitated when I try to sit still”.
Take a few minutes to find stillness within. The best way to start with stillness is to sit for 1-2 minutes – just set your phone timer (I promise, it goes fast). Or, download the free Insight Timer – Meditation Timer app from iTunes. Now, take a deep breath in through your nose – visualize it filling your abdomen completely full, and then exhale very slowly through your nose. Let your exhales be as long (or longer) than your inhales. Just simply focus on your breath. Allow your thoughts to come and go, as if they are clouds passing in the sky. Don’t judge your thoughts, simply notice them and bring your focus back to your breath. Notice the subtle sensation of relaxation and calm in your body. Congratulations, you’ve just activated your parasympathetic nervous system and given your body a few minutes of amazing physical benefits, while balancing your mind and connecting with your spirit!
Written by Amy Mazeski
Moving Forward With True Intentions
I hope that your celebrations and festivities (be it Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Life, Family, Friends) this past month have been life-giving, filling, and inspiring! As we wrap up the last week of the year, you may feel inclined to reflect on the past year. What major things happened in your life that transformed you (the good and the bad)? Did you manifest any of your intentions? Did you “put yourself out there” – for work or for play? Hopefully there is a lot to celebrate and be proud of. Maybe some things did not go as planned. That’s life, that’s impermanence. Everything is always changing, nothing EVER remains the same. We cannot control the outcome of most situations. We cannot depend on other people in our lives making us happy, and we can’t depend on them “changing” to make us happy. As Colette Baron-Reid recently said in one of her Universal Energy Forecasts, “sometimes you just have to surrender to life on life’s terms.” That said, reflect and move on. Surrender to what was, accept what is, and have faith in what may be.
Do you feel compelled to make New Year’s resolutions just because it’s sort of a “custom” that comes up on autopilot about this time each year or because it seems like everyone else is making them? While the New Year can bring a fresh wave of ideas, positive energy, inspiration and an opportunity to make changes, we forget that those opportunities are available to us all the time. And, a lot of us don’t really know what we want (because we often don’t take time to really reflect on that), so we come up with a resolution (or list) that doesn’t really have a meaning or connection to our true self or to the life we really want to manifest. If you’ve already thought about New Years and have some sort of expectation, consider whether your “wish list” reflects the life you want to manifest – your true self and your true purpose – or whether it reflects the desires or expectations of someone else’s life and expectations. Perhaps it reflects the expectations of your ego, rather than your heart?
Think about ditching any formal resolutions and consider scanning your heart instead. Maybe you take a few minutes this week to sit with yourself, connect with your breathing, go within, and ask
yourself what you really want. Set the timer on your phone for just 2-3 minutes, find a quiet comfortable spot and start taking big, deep breaths. Just notice your thoughts as they come and go. Allow your authenticity to come to the surface. Journaling is another great way to connect with yourself – just start writing thoughts and ideas and see where it takes you…
“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
~ Written by Amy Mazeski
Can’t keep still long enough to take meditation seriously? You don’t have to sit in silence to find inner peace. If “omming” isn’t your thing, there are other ways to experience calm in your life.