Viewing entries tagged
meditation

Five Minutes A Day to Change Your Life

I am just like you. My mind doesn’t turn off.  My internal amusement park has more attractions than Disney World, yet it’s not always quite as fun.  With so many ways to distract ourselves, at times it seems impossible to shut it down.  And sometimes, it is.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t reign it in.  We have way more control than we let ourselves believe.

When I first began to practice meditation, I was in the beginning of my divorce process and I knew I had to do whatever I could to stay emotionally balanced.  With the non-stop worrisome thoughts of what to do next, I was determined to slow down my high speed thought train of fear and discomfort.  I tried every tactic I came across. Between meditation challenges with guided imagery, mantras, chanting, and total silence, I was determined to find my niche. Yet no matter what I tried, I could not find one that found the off button for my thoughts. They just kept going…

After several weeks of getting up early to attempt to meditate, I began to notice a change in my practice. The initial dread of failure began to temper.  Despite the constant questioning of whether the practice was helping, I found myself eagerly anticipating the experience each day. I began to look forward to sitting alone with myself, with my thoughts, still.

The more I practiced, the less I began to judge my process. My thoughts still flowed, but I stopped demanding that they go away.  I gave them permission to come in and out while I continued my practice of sitting still.  I began to notice at the end of each experience that I felt calm, clear and at peace.  Was it possible this was meditation after all?  Keep Reading...

Why YOU Need a Date Day with Yourself

I was off. I knew I was off. I felt my inner exhaustion which only made me more frustrated. I didn’t have time to be off. As a professional counselor, my livelihood requires me to be on. But I wasn’t. I heard my inner self, my higher self, Lulu (yes, I’ve named her) say, “You can’t keep going. What are you going to do about it?”

 I’d overworked myself throughout the week and midway through really questioned who I thought I was. I was totally drained, angry, knowing it was my lesson and the only way to help myself was to step back and ask myself what I needed.  

“Honor where you are….” Lulu would say.

“But the laundry and dirt in the house doesn’t honor where I am,” I would retort.  Or the paperwork that was piling up that I kept ignoring.  And how about that need to spend quality time with my kids, despite finding myself repeatedly apologizing for being so cranky and unpleasant. It was time to surrender.

I made plans to walk with a friend on the day I had designated as my catch up day and figured that would be enough of a boost to keep going. It was a great start. Beautiful early morning, enlightening conversation…perfect. Afterwards, I told my friend I was going to take myself to breakfast and do some work there. Balance. Even better. Thanks for the idea Lulu.

As I sat in the café where I had spent many days beginning to create my business, bringing in very little income, generating ideas and writing, I felt nostalgic.  I remembered writing about my technique of taking the fear out to make major decisions and being proud of my work. I remembered the ongoing practice of employing faith into my everyday life as I rarely felt like I knew what I was doing. Instinctually I began to write about it, tears streaming down my face, in public…honoring where I was at.

At the end of the written page I realized why I was there. I was being reminded of the necessity of trusting in myself and how I felt. It was loud and clear, change was upon me again and my most valuable resource was following my own guidance. Got it Lulu. Thanks.  Now help me wipe away these tears before embarrassment kicks in. 

It was then I knew I had to spend the day with myself reconnecting. I felt neglected. I felt depleted. I needed some space to love and honor my valuable time. The most important work I had to do was with myself.

I drove off to my typical date day destination, a meditation bench that had special meaning for me. When I arrived I learned I’d have pay a fee to get in and I only planned to be there for 15 minutes. I quickly chose to turn around and recognized my need to change up my routine, to trust a new plan, to know I’d be okay. 

I let my heart be my guide, turning down streets I’d never been before, driving aimlessly, yet with clear direction.  I drove down windy roads sharing a lake view, up hills displaying hidden orchards, down dirt roads that promised quiet contemplation.  I text a friend telling her what an amazing day I was having and how I had no idea where I was but I was so happy with the freedom. I could not compare the feeling.  I just felt…bliss.

After steering my way back to a main road I had the vision of stopping at a winery. I wanted to do a wine tasting. I have no idea why. I was in yoga pants and a tee shirt, hardly dressed for this type of outing. Within three minutes one appeared on the side of the road.  Seriously??

Taking the sign I drove in, ecstatic at the find. I didn’t even know what town I was in. The first woman I made eye contact with when I walked in greeted me like she knew me, and I felt like I was supposed to be there.  After a brief conversation she realized she recognized me from my social media business page, AND her oldest friend was my friend I had JUST been texting.  We’d never met. Can the world be any smaller?

After a delightful stay and great conversation, she suggested I get lunch at another café down the road. Since I was on an adventure, I knew I had to trust the sign and go for it.  I took off, directions in hand, gleefully on my way for what was next. After driving for at least 20 minutes I questioned if I had gone the wrong way. The sign welcoming me to the next state suggested indeed I had.

I turned around and ventured back to my destination, learning I had gone in the entirely opposite direction. Typical flighty me not paying attention. I laughed at myself, enjoying my own silly mistake, although curious why Lulu felt I needed the extra mileage.

The café was quiet and the food was as delicious as promised. l began jotting down notes of my day, wondering why I ended up there.  Within 10 minutes, the small café was filled and I looked up from my table to see a friend who I met through my oldest friend.  We had lived in the same town 3,000 miles away at different times, but had always found the connection uncanny. She came over to say hello and comment on how she admired the work I was doing.  We were both 30 minutes from our homes, an unlikely destination to meet up. My heart elevated as I realized this encounter was why I was there.

Had I not taken the “wrong” turn, spent extra time enjoying myself in my day, I would not have seen her. The timing was perfect, yet again.  I did not go off course, I was exactly where I needed to be.

Driving home, I marveled at the experience that shifted my energy completely. I felt rejuvenated, inspired and filled with gratitude. 

When we are most connected to ourselves, we are also more likely to fully trust ourselves in the decisions we make, a necessity for even the most day to day living.  To understand and value ourselves is imperative for our emotional health and wellbeing. The key is to commit. Commit to being a priority in our own lives. Commit to respecting ourselves. Commit to being no less important than anyone else.

Reconnecting with ourselves is by far one of the most important and simple ways to bring us the balance we require to live a life full of contentment. We deserve to be taken care of just as much as anyone else. But only we can decide if we will or we won’t. Honoring where we are and giving ourselves the gift of time to care for ourselves not only nourishes our spirit, it enhances the lives of those around us.  

The ultimate win win.  Thanks again Lulu.