Taking Your Power Back & Healing With Meditation

Have you ever heard the term, “take your power back”? Perhaps unintentionally and to some degree, you have given some of your personal power away to your bosses, coworkers, spouse or to just situations in your life. These days the world can be a noisy and needy environment and working on trying to find peace of mind and balance is something that most of us seem to constantly strive for. Sometimes we may even have to experience traumatic situations or go through a dramatic life change that requires us to take inventory of what is causing our stress or anxiety. If you read one of my recent posts, The Magic of Solitude, then you know that I suggested finding time alone as a means to not only find inner peace but to listen to that voice inside of you. Today we are taking it a step further. As an additional tool to that alone time, I have found that meditation can be an effective aid in seeking tranquility and even wisdom. I remember the very first time I was introduced to meditation and it was at a high school retreat. I attended an all-girls private school and recall sitting in a large, quiet room with all my classmates. One of the guest speakers took us through a guided meditation class using only soft background music, visualization, and breathing techniques. It was an incredible experience at the time but I did also learn that it’s not something that you can turn on or off so quickly. Meditation does take focus and significant practice – but at that very young age, there was a part of me that did find this experience to be so profound. Many years have gone by since that retreat day. A couple of years ago I found myself in an odd place in my life and the passing of my father took me in a different direction on so many levels. It produced a mix of emotions from anxiety, depression and this void was more than I could process or handle. Perhaps that deep sense of loss ignited another part of me that was dormant. I was trying to desperately make sense of what I needed in order to find some balance. So I took moments of solitude and allowed myself take some time for reflection. I learned that I needed to breathe. That is where it all began for me. Before I knew it, conscious inhaling and exhaling became my companion on many occasions. I began to find myself listening to guided meditations or just doing them on my own when I didn’t have much time during the day accompanied by some yoga.

So often we don’t realize how much we tend to hold our breath when we are stressed or anxious. We also tend to bury uncomfortable and painful experiences. Our soul becomes this storage unit where we just keep piles of untapped feelings or unpleasant memories that we decide to put away in a box under lock and key. What can happen is that these unacknowledged emotions begin to creep up and show up in forms of stress, illness or just a sense of unbalance in many parts of our lives and even in our relationships.

Now, I am not here to push meditation on anyone or to tell you exactly what is the best way to practice it. I am only here to share my personal experience. Meditation has been around for centuries but with today’s heightened interest in new age, holistic and wellness lifestyles, it’s no surprise that this has become a very popular self-care practice. If you are in a place in your life where you feel you need answers or are feeling overwhelmed with life decisions then meditating just a few minutes a day can make a difference. It’s a step towards self-empowerment. Think about how much time you dedicate to listening to everyone around you and filtering through so much online information. Don’t you think you deserve to listen to what YOU’RE feeling or thinking? Believe me, the mindfulness that comes with this practice is something that can be challenging but also very healing and therapeutic. Even going for a walk and focusing on your steps can be meditative. Also, while taking a shower you can simply close your eyes, focusing on your breath can help with quieting the racing thoughts. In turn, this can shift your energy and bring some form of calming effect and who knows maybe new ideas may even be born. Remember, you deserve to give yourself just a few moments a day to connect with your true self. It’s not just about eating a clean diet, hitting the gym or drinking that green juice. Wellness and self-care begin from the inside…it is truly mind, body and soul.

So friends, have you engaged in any style of meditation practice? If so, how often and what techniques do you find work best?

 

 

“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” – Voltaire

The Magic of Solitude

We live in such a noisy, busy and chaotic world these days. We also live in a world where being connected online is a daily marathon. Everyone is mindful of likes, sharing photos, personal status updates and hunting for followers. Sure, it’s important to keep up with your circle of friends and family in some way. But the question today is do you ever find alone time? It seems too often people will go out of their way to ensure that they are never alone. More often than not those who do enjoy time on their own are criticized for being anti-social, loners, shy, boring or labeled wallflowers. The fact of the matter is that enjoying time by yourself is actually healthy and valuable to your mental and emotional space. It’s so important to be comfortable enough to do things alone and appreciate your own company. Going for a walk, treating yourself to a movie (yes alone), going for a drive, taking a short or long trip on your own. These are just some ways that you can reconnect with yourself. How often do you get lost throughout the day by going to work, then you go home and it’s time to be a parent, a spouse, sibling, roommate, etc? Being of service and available to those you care about is kind and commendable, but when do you make time to be your own best friend. How about finding a quiet space and just listening to your thoughts and connecting with your inner self? Yes – it’s true that depending on what you have going on in your life you may not want to be in your head too much. Yet, connecting with yourself on a deeper level can be quite transformative and can even be a form of healing. It’s in this moment of solitude where you may likely find answers. It’s when the magic is awakened. The magic is that moment when you can just be free to be your unique self. It’s the moment when you don’t have to be anything you are not, just your authentic YOU and that is pure freedom. Silence is not something you should take for granted. Try it some time. You can start with just a few minutes during the day by taking a few deep breaths. If you feel you have to schedule the time to do so, that’s okay too.  The point is to seek this time and treat it as a gift to yourself and to your soul. The more you do find these small moments to nurture your spirit, the more you will grow and the more peace you will find and within that, there is unlimited power.

So dear readers, do you enjoy alone time or is this something you find challenging? Have you tried taking up the practice of meditation?

 

Photo by Josh Adamski

 

When Change Knocks At Your Door

It’s hard to believe we only have a few months left of the year 2017. This year, it seems so many people are experiencing changes and shifts in some area of their lives that is quite significant. When change knocks at your door, how do you answer? Do you open the door without hesitation or are you extra cautious? It’s safe to say many of us can experience doubt and fear when uncertainty enters our lives. They say progress is impossible without change and no matter how uncomfortable it might be, it could be the gateway to something really incredible. It could be the universe’s way of shaking things up and taking you out of the old comfort zone which is where stagnant energy lives. We are here to grow, evolve and learn and sometimes a major change is necessary. Are you in a soul-sucking job? Are you in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship? Are your relationships unbalanced? Have you outgrown the home where you live or the area where you live? Are you feeling unhealthy and have been considering a lifestyle change? The safe zone is where many of us stay but there does come a time when our inner voice tries so hard to tell us to move on! Do we listen and act, or do we listen and suppress those thoughts? If you have been contemplating a change in your life and you’re reading this now, consider this as your SIGN. The time is now. So what’s the worst that can happen if you leave the old behind? Maybe it’s time to explore that new career, invest in yourself and remove those people or things that no longer resonate with you or bring positivity to your life.

Change may not come easy and yes there may be a bit of struggle but that is where you develop your strength. Think back on a time in your life when you actually made the conscious decision to go in a different direction from where you were. Maybe that decision brought you new relationships or new opportunities. As you can see, the calendar days wait for no one and times moves quickly. We are only here for a limited time so why not take action and do those things that you enjoy. Why not surround yourself with kind and supportive people. The battle of fear of the uncertainty and acceptance can be challenging but very much attainable. The question is how badly do you want to move forward. If you think you’re not ready that means you are! Wait, what? Yes, waiting for the right time or circumstance is just another form of procrastination and comes from a place of fear. Taking that leap of faith is not about timing, it’s about that deep desire to want to be happy. Always trust your inner voice and take that chance. So, now I ask you again –  when change comes knocking at your door, how will you answer? Will you open the door gracefully allowing the ebb and flow of growth to enter or will you push back and struggle through the process? The choice is yours but remember great things comes outside of your comfort zone. So One Style at Time readers, have you experienced any changes in your life? How did you handle these events no matter how big or small?

 

Wellness Begins From The Inside Out

“Your body will be around a lot longer than that expensive handbag. Invest in yourself.” ~ Uknown

I have always been a lover of fashion and of great style but life has also shown me that no matter how glossy and sparkly the outfit, what matters is what’s inside a person. Society has put so much emphasis on impeccable outfits, how skinnier is better and how ‘on fleek’ the brows, nails, hair and shoes have to be. But when does it all become too much? This is not to say aesthetics and treating yourself with a little retail therapy isn’t a good thing but there has to be more than just what’s on the outside. Today we are talking wellness from the inside out.

Wellness is a topic that has made the rounds from the home to the workplace for a long time now. We all have or know someone who has tried a new diet or starting a workout regimen. Perhaps you know someone who has taken on a holistic or new age path with Yoga or meditation practices. No matter which modality is chosen the fact of the matter is that the awareness for an improved healthier living is paramount. We live in a chaotic, stressful world that we can all agree can suck the energy right out of us on a daily basis. People are wound up, tense all around us and it’s no wonder that we all seek to find some inner peace. No matter where you are in the world reading this, you have some exposure to the internet and social media and know that not all the headlines, online comments, and posts are necessarily positive. As glued as we all are to our phones and computers it’s necessary to take steps to cleanse and detox from all of it at some point. Now I’m not here to give you a detox recipe although if you want one, we can talk! But just a simple moment of silence can take your mental health a long way. Putting the phone away during dinner with your friends and family or going for a walk for a few minutes without any devices can make a difference. Everyone has their own way of approaching wellness. The point is to allow your mind and body to find some type of balance. It’s unlikely your boss, spouse or kids will knock on your door to say, “hey do you need a break, a breather or a hug?” Yeah, not likely. So at the end of the day, you have to take matters into your own hands to make this happen.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “oh please I don’t have time”, but the amount of time it takes for you to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter is all it takes for you to close your eyes and take three breaths to clear your mind. With so many illnesses that are being linked to stress a proactive approach can’t hurt. Even some of the most well known corporate companies these days are taking action with employee discounts for gym memberships, incorporating team building activities, healthier cafeteria options and even meditation rooms in some offices. So don’t feel guilty if you need that breather, those five minutes to yourself. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish, it’s part of your life purpose. Take it one breath at a time.

So readers, how do you keep some balance in your daily lives? Have you made taken any steps to improve the quality of your lifestyle?

Photo: Pixabay

Photo: Pinterest

Your Motivation and Your Tribe

The word ‘motivation’ has to be one of the most popular words on social media these days. It’s hard not to notice trending hashtags like #MondayMotivation #TuesdayMotivation…you get the idea. In the times that we are living in, there is certainly a need for positive encouragement and motivation is much-needed. Whether you’re having a rough morning commute, a tough day in the office or maybe you’re just down on yourself because you can’t seem to speed up the changes you want in your life. Perhaps you’ve been challenged with weight issues? What if you’re struggling to get your own business off the ground? Everyone is going through something challenging and in need of some level of support. Motivational quotes have taken a life of its own. Quotes can be found in apparel, jewelry and wall frames. If you read my post Spring: The Season of Renewal, then you know I enjoy a cup of tea with the inspirational quotes attached on the tea tags. Yes, you can have your daily wisdom while enjoying a cup of chamomile tea too. All these tools can serve as great visual reminders but in reality, motivation begins within ourselves. It’s a feeling, an intention that leads to positive action. One thing I can suggest is that when you are going through a tough time or feeling pretty bad about yourself, stop and look around at what you have to be grateful for. Gratitude is a humble way to take inventory of what you do have instead of focusing on what’s missing in your life. Aside from being your own best motivator, the next question is who is your support system? Being surrounded by positive and engaging supporters is just as important. Now, this is not to be mistaken with seeking approval from others or sticking with people that are around you only to give you lip service. Aim to have trustworthy influences that listen and give you honest feedback while on your life path. You want to have the right people lifting you up and in your corner. By now you might be saying to yourself, “I don’t have those kinds of people in my life”. Well, then you just made progress because you have now acknowledged that it’s time to bring change into your network and your circle. Positive attracts positive and as they say, your vibe attracts your tribe!

A little over a year ago I discovered someone who now is one of my favorite motivational speakers and that is Brendon Burchard. I stumbled upon his videos online and became an instant fan. Since then, I have been following his extraordinary work. Brendon is a best-selling American author and an influential force when it comes to personal development. I most recently purchased one of his books, ‘The Motivation Manifesto’ and it is filled with great insights for anyone seeking success and a different approach to life. I highly recommend you follow his YouTube channel if you are in need of inspiration and motivation for your business and personal goals. To quote a line from his book, “For motivation’s sake, we must be vigilant and surround ourselves with genuine and positive people who seek positive aims with positive attitudes.”The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard

If you are doubting your next big move or finding yourself in a place where you are lacking enthusiasm, take a good look inside your mind and soul and find your joy. Take action, do something you have never done before, take yourself out of your comfort zone. Motivation will knock when you hit the reset button. Then charge forward leaving fear and doubts behind. Remember, it’s up to you to be your number one cheerleader and give yourself credit for how far you have come. Life is not easy, but you have certainly made some strides along your path. Pat yourself on the back for what you have learned, accomplished and battled. Light that fire of motivation because you have what it takes to make it a reality. Let it happen, make it happen… one day at a time.

“To the attuned and grateful, the cascade of the universe’s blessings feels like a magnificent waterfall of luck and wonder.”– The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard

Photo: KieferPix