Frolicking in Flowers and Meditating in Gardens

This past Saturday, my girlfriend and I traveled up to Carlsbad and Encinatas to spend one of my last Saturdays in Southern California, visiting some of the most beautiful hidden gems along the SoCal coastline.  It was one of those much-needed peaceful days that remind you of how lucky you are to be on this Earth, as well as fortunate enough to live in a place that offers so much beauty.

Flower Fields

Our first stop was the Flower Fields in Carlsbad.  If you’re in the area, I highly suggest you go.  The acres of beautiful flowers in vibrant colors, overlooking the Pacific Ocean were just amazing.  The pictures truly speak for themselves.

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Meditation Garden

Our second stop was to meditate in a place that is designed to provide a zen experience in an outdoor setting.  Overlooking Swami’s, the Self Realization Meditation Gardens offer a variety of areas to meditate in.  Meditating there was a much more amazing experience than being in my own home, especially with this uninterrupted view. :-)

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21 Day Meditation with Deepak Chopra (Day 21): Remaining Open to Success

Note: If you missed the first two-and-a-half weeks of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.

In Day 20 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on opening every avenue for success.

These last three weeks have been an incredible (and indescribable) experience.  The 21-Day Meditation Experience has given me a whole new perspective on how to cope, how to expand, and how to let go.  It has allowed me to work on becoming the best of myself.  With each day that passed, I felt myself becoming stronger, more aware, and more confident.  I felt myself making choices from a better place while feeling incredibly relaxed and inspired to keep pushing on with my goals.  My meditations have taken me to places (visions) that elicit indescribable emotions and breathtaking scenery.  But more than anything else, I felt completely connected.  Each part of my being, coming together, to work in harmony.

What this experience aimed to do was to show you that success comes from every direction because your being is multi-dimensional.  We use all parts of ourselves to achieve success and when something is out of sync, it throws everything else off balance.  It’s why Deepak had us focus on our minds, our bodies and our souls, individually, before tying it all together.  We need to remember to focus on each part of ourselves every single day, to achieve what we set out to do.

It’s through this experience I have modified my daily routine, to include activities that focus on each part of my being:

  1. 20 minutes of meditation each day (mind)
  2. 30 minutes of exercise everyday – I’m super into my Squat Challenge, which has completely transformed my physique! (body)
  3. Continue to utilize the Weight Watchers app to maintain complete control of my diet for feeling my best everyday (body)
  4. 1 hour of relaxation each day to just “be” (mind and soul)
  5. At least 1 hour of writing every night (achieving tangible goal)
  6. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night (mind, body, and soul)

While my posts on meditation have come to an end, my continual need/want for growth, to help achieve my goals and become the best me I can be, will never stop.

For those of you who continued to read my posts (or even glanced at one or two), thank you so much for taking interest.  I hope it at least served as a form of inspiration to continue to achieve/pursue your dreams and become the best YOU there can be!

Namaste

21 Day Meditation with Deepak Chopra (Day 20): Being proud of your uniqueness

Note: If you missed the first two-and-a-half weeks of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.

In Day 20 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on valuing your uniqueness and rejoicing in it.

Imagine living in a world where everyone was the same – everyone had the same thoughts, agreed on the same conclusions, dressed in the same style, and had the same taste in pretty much anything aesthetically pleasing.  When I think of this, I think of everyone wearing white, living in all white abodes, nodding at each other.  Now imagine one person, standing in the middle of this, wearing a bright color, such as red.  They are dancing by themselves, completely bucking all conformity, knowing that one day, someone else will break from the norm and follow suit.

Let’s apply this concept to the real world.  Think about inventions you were reluctant to buy or use because you were “unsure” they would have staying power, that perhaps they were just a fad.  Think of CEOs you have heard of, that people mocked because their idea would never take off.  Think about your own experiences where it seems all forces were against you but you pushed forward on your own agenda anyway.  Uniqueness is what makes civilization evolve and those that push evolution – either in thinking or creating – are the catalysts to this.  They are proud they are different and they don’t care what other people think – they are passionate about what they do and they know that the world will embrace it soon enough.

We oftentimes limit ourselves in thinking outside of the box because there are many people in this world who do not embrace change and it’s often voiced loud and clear.  While this might very well be too much of a generalization, think about someone who told you, you couldn’t do something or that the idea you had was a bad idea.  Yet, you knew it would probably do more good than harm if it was implemented.  Did you really think there was potential for it truly being a bad idea or did you get the sense that the other person might have found it to be too much of a change for them, causing slight chaos in their own world or, maybe it was just more work they didn’t want to do?  It’s at this point that the majority of people would dismiss their idea and agree with the “negative” party and instead, would go about their day, doing what is expected of them.  It’s then that they have accepted that being unique is a hindrance to life and thus, they stop evolving.  The trick to getting past it?  Confidence and passion.

I’ve found that the older I’ve gotten, the more CONFIDENT I am in my abilities and intelligence.  It also helps that I work in an industry where they EXPECT creativity and unique skill sets and for me, that drives my PASSION for what I do.  But in order for me to get there, it was a process.  It was a process of both self-discovery and team work.

I worked for Microsoft for a long time as a Marketing Manager.  It wasn’t the type of environment (at least in the department I was in) that encouraged creativity.  Even when I left and started my own company, I still limited myself to what I offered as services, based on my experience in the corporate world. It wasn’t until I became the Director of Marketing for a luxury mall that I realized I never had a chance to even attempt to tap into my unique and creative potential.  In this job, it was expected.  The more I was encouraged to do this, the more it infiltrated every part of my life.  I found my own “eye” for creativity in everything I did and certainly, my own sense of style became a trademark.  The more this was encouraged, the more confident I became.  It opened the door for opportunities both in the fashion and technology worlds, often bridging the two.  The more this evolved, the more I started coming up with new concepts and working on new projects with people who had similar experiences in the corporate world (before they’d spin off on their own or onto more creative ventures).  They were unique souls who believed in disrupting antiquated processes and often banded together to make it happen.  The more I met these like-minded individuals, the more inspiration I acquired to push myself even further, and the more I realized that uniqueness was highly embraced in today’s work world.

Today, I am incredibly proud of the unique person I’ve become. It’s because of my confidence that my creativity is at an all-time high and when surrounded by the right people, has made a huge difference in my success.  I’m proud of the fact that I stand out in all aspects of my life and no longer feel like I need to conform to what “should” be in this world.  I know that I am making a unique difference and that is one of the best feelings in the world.

Namaste

21 Day Meditation with Deepak Chopra (Day 19): Saying goodbye to judgmental personalities

Note: If you missed the first two-and-a-half weeks of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.

In Day 19 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on finding your success without judging others or yourself.

If you live in a major city (or really anywhere) you know that there is an ABUNDANCE of judgmental people in seemingly every direction.  Judgment might be passed in the form of picking apart someone’s outfit; or it might come in the form of “attacking” someone’s character, based on a brief conversation (or no conversation at all); or it might come in the form of listening to someone else incessantly rant about anything and everything.  Regardless of the nature, being judgmental is one of the biggest personality “addictions” there is (next to narcissism – which can often go hand-in-hand).  Why do I call it an addiction?  Because the more someone falls into this trap of negatively opining on things, the more comfortable it gets.  To some, being judgmental is such an integral part of their life that they don’t know how else to communicate.

Think about someone you know that judges (what seems like) everything.  How do you feel when you’re around them?  Is it uplifting to hear their words or do you feel drained, silently waiting until you can move on with your the day?  Do you feel yourself beginning to judge as well?  Do you feel like you can’t trust them?

What if you’re the one judging others?  Do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable after you have verbally judged someone else?  How does everyone react when you do it? Do they just nod their head or give you a one word acceptance, or do they launch into a negative conversation on it?  Have you lost friends because of your attitude?

Unfortunately, being judgmental of others is so common (especially with social media being a daily part of our lives) that we find coping mechanisms to be able to allow this type of personality into our lives – whether we’re the ones doing the judging or not.

So what is the usual cause of this?  The answer: Insecurity.  We all have insecurities but it’s in how we deal with them that separates those that judge and those that do not. I can give numerous examples of those that project their insecurities onto others in the form of judgmental statements.  They often do it to lift themselves up (that song “Selfie” by the Chainsmokers was unfortunately very accurate) because they’ve found a “strength” in someone else that they currently don’t possess themselves.  For example (and this is VERY common where I’m from): A girl and her girlfriends go to a club.  They see another group of girls and immediately, it’s a huddle to attack the other group.  Usually, there’s a “leader” that begins the attacks.  She’s upset because the other group of girls is thinner, is dating (what she considers) the “right” men, are prettier, and basically just seem intimidating (or bitchy as she would call it).  Instead of getting to know that group of girls and realizing that everyone is human, the first group feels like their night is ruined so they keep on drinking and having a marginal time, while continuing to judge (and blame) the other group.  They don’t feel like the queens of the club and internally, they start listing out everything that doesn’t make them “the best”.

Now think about the other group… and I’ll use me as an example:  I know I’m not a “10” to everyone.  I know I have flaws.  Sure, there are things I can do about some of it (and have) and others are just genetics (I can’t make myself naturally taller or naturally have less freckly skin).  I’ve accepted what I can’t change and instead, have projected confidence to others on what I can offer.  Confidence is sexy, period.  You don’t need to take a million selfies to gain acceptance.  Understanding and accepting your insecurities, changes the view of the world around you.  Instead of judging others to build yourself up, you’re paying compliments left and right to build THEM up.  You’re interested in getting to know anyone and everyone for who they are and in turn, they want to get to know you.  A light inside of you comes out and people see it.  They can trust you and they want to be around you.  It’s hard to put into practice at first but super easy after that.

So how do YOU get this into a practice?  First thing’s first: List out your insecurities.  What’s bothering you?  Complain to a journal and when you feel like you’ve gotten everything out, read the list.  See how you feel.  Did you end up complaining about others in this list? If so, ask yourself if it’s directly related to something you’re insecure about and then write that down.

List out those insecurities you know you can work on and those you can’t change (physical genetics).  Start to put goals around the ones you need to work on – aim for 1 or 2 at a time.  Perhaps the goal is to say something positive to someone else at least once a day; or perhaps turning what is usually a negative in your life, into a positive.  For example, instead of freaking out at work that you’re a horrible employee that can’t do anything right, simply because you got feedback on a PowerPoint you developed; appreciate the fact that someone took the time to review it and help YOU become better at your job.   This positivity can become infectious and before you know it, your confidence is back!

The following personal saying I constructed (and adopted) a long time ago: “I never judge anyone for who they are because I, myself, am no saint.  However, if they harm me in some way, I don’t give it another thought – I just move on and let go because it’s clear they have things they need to deal with and I won’t participate in that.”  This statement is not selfish and it’s not rude- it’s honest.  It allows you to freely move onwards and upwards without risk of being dragged back down into what you have worked so hard to get away from.  Be a shining example for others.  Be honest with yourself.  Be successful in becoming YOU.

Namaste

21 Day Meditation with Deepak Chopra (Day 18): Learning to “Let it go”

Note: If you missed the first two weeks of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.

In Day 18 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on always being in the flow.  In the type of fast-paced society we live in, where “now” is everything, it’s hard to let go and just “be”.   We’re programmed to please others, to succeed at things in life, to live in fear of judgment, and to control the world around us so that we feel just a bit safer/confident.  Living in that fear prevents us from being truly successful at anything we want to do.  While some use fear to drive them forward as a sort of motivation, it “destroys” many others’ paths to growth.  It’s why you will hear certain people say “let it go”.

Like the majority of the population today, I had a super hard time with “letting go” for a long time.  Letting go meant doing something risky that I wasn’t willing to take the risk on (even though I’ve taken a lot of risks in my life).  It usually meant trying to hold onto the instant gratification (usually peace) of something in the short term, versus what was better in the long term (permanent peace).  Like Deepak said, when we don’t trust, control takes over.

Over the last six months or so, it’s something I’ve been really trying to work on.  Through almost all of my previous posts during this experience, the pattern developing has really centered around control and how to let go of it, to embrace every aspect of the success process: Letting go during the creative process, letting go and taking risks, letting go and embracing meditation, letting go to let others fail, etc.  It certainly has restored a level of inner peace and balance I’ve not quite found before because I’m no longer worried about anything other than myself.

So how does one get there?  First, I’m not saying to drop everything and let the universe handle it. There are certain decisions in life that require brain power and control.  For example, if you want to lose weight, the universe isn’t going to do it for you.  Usually you have to exert some control over what you are eating and how much you are exercising :-)  Think about your decisions that were harder to make in life – the ones that put you at a crossroad for days, not seconds.  When you have one, think about every possible combination of problem solving you tried, to help make that decision.  If every method you have tried has failed to produce a decision, it’s when you know it’s time to let it go, to stop thinking about it (which is super hard), and watch as the answer comes to you (in sometimes the most unusual of ways).

Taking a step back and letting the universe step in not only removes the fear, doubt, uncertainty, and stress; it also allows for more expansive thinking, learning opportunities, and self improvement.  It allows us to focus only on our being, reducing our worry of others, as well as boosting our confidence.  It allows us to achieve the level of success in our lives we set out for ourselves.

At risk of sounding like a Disney Soundtrack (sorry to those I put that song BACK in your heads), I’ll leave everyone with this.  Take a deep breath, let go, and let the universe be the boss :-)

Namaste

21 Day Meditation with Deepak Chopra (Day 17): Learning to take risks to create possibility

Note: If you missed the first two weeks of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.

In Day 17 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on turning unpredictability into creative possibility.

Some have a fear of the unknown.  They want to control every aspect of their life to minimize any potential chaos that can occur.  Some have a fear of being let down, as perhaps they used to get high expectations on things that were promised but were never delivered on, resulting in disappointment.  Those that live in the fear of the unknown have a hard time accepting the true life that is waiting for them.  They live by checking boxes, not collecting stories.  They live in a “safe zone” that doesn’t allow them the freedom to “soar” until “it’s too late” (or so I’ve heard some say).  I always say, “I was given one life to live and I’m gonna live it wisely… by not living by rules all the time!”

You ask anyone that knows me, I’m not a rule follower, I never play it safe, and I’ve taken a lot of risks in my life.  Sure, I’ve had failures and disappointments along the way but I like being free.  More often than not, people tell me that they live “vicariously through me” because they could never do/experience some of the things I do.  I’ve picked up and moved to Seattle, I’ve picked up and moved to San Diego (twice!), I’ve left my corporate job to start my own company, I’ve invested in an app company that (unfortunately) didn’t pan out, I’ve taken gambles on startups, and I’ve pushed my own physical/mental boundaries by trying new things (no matter how nervous I was before it). This grew into pushing people to think differently on how to do things; motivating others to think freely; and accepting opportunities I might otherwise be too afraid to say yes to.  While not all of it was roses, these are some of my greatest achievements in life.  I’m proud to say, I am a disruptor and I embrace chaos.

I remember in the 80s and the first half of the 90s (before the dot.com era came to fruition), people did live in a “safer” world.  People went to their jobs and they came home from their jobs.  The majority of the population was married in their early 20s, taking a safe job that provided steady pay, came home at night for dinner and lived a balance life.  This was the “thing” that society said you were supposed to do.  In my own career, I had a hard time conforming.  People called me ungrounded and unsure of my path in life.  I was looked at as a liability because I wanted to make dramatic shifts in how things were done, opting for a less rigid work environment where instead, people were free to think and contribute.  I wanted to be an ideas person because I could see the larger picture and connect the dots on how to get to the end goal.

With the launch of the internet, and in the next 15 years or so, younger generations were more on my level of thinking, leaving the older generations even more afraid of embracing creativity through chaos.  Those safe processes that people conformed to were giving way (quite rapidly) to a million ways to do things with less structure behind it.  These older generations weren’t attempting to embrace the unknown – they were pushing back or worse, retreating completely.  And, as the years continue to fly by, chaos is becoming the new norm, just as is creative, rapid response.

Take a look at any innovative person who is a titan in their industry – each one of them persevered for the sake of their passion to get where they are today: by breaking rules, disrupting process, and thinking “outside the lines”.  (Almost all of them also meditate!)  While some have also been successful at playing it safe, the stories aren’t as numerous and aren’t as inspirational (it’s also not where society has been heading).

While this meditation didn’t really apply to me, it was nice to have an entirely new mental image pop into my head during it – watching myself meditate on the edge of an extremely tall cliff, over-looking a waterfall.  These images are symbolic to me and the fact that it came so easily, tells me that I already do embrace how to turn that “unknown” and “fear”  into creativity.  So how do I do it?  Well, aside from having always been like this, I also try to look at everyday as a “Christmas surprise”.  I wake up everyday, excited to see what today will look like.  Every minute of my life changes from the next and embracing that has been the best thing I have ever done.

For those that feel as though this is an impossible task, I suggest you take today’s meditation to help begin the process of allowing yourself a bit more freedom.  I also suggest you network or go out and meet people who think more freely – push the boundaries with just this step.  They are an incredible source of inspiration that will leave you feeling enlightened and empowered. Before you know it, you’ll be turning “I can’t(s)” into “I can(s)”.

Namaste

21 Day Meditation with Deepak Chopra (Day 16): Our minds and bodies acting in harmony

Note: If you missed the first two weeks of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.

In Day 16 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on the mind and the body acting in harmony.

Whenever there are stresses in your life, it doesn’t just take a toll on you mentally, it takes a toll on you physically as well.  We often forget that taking care of our most basic needs in life, consistently, can be everything, particularly when dealing with negative situations:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating right and at the same time everyday
  • Exercising everyday
  • Getting up at least once an hour during work to promote blood flow
  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Drink water

(amongst many others)

Think about the last time you were stressed… did you end up eating a lot?  Did your body swell up (inflammation)?  Did your head feel like it was going to explode?  These are signs that your body has an imbalance from a basic need that has not been met and while under duress, does what it should do: try to protect itself.  Unfortunately, when you imbalance yourself, these “protections” are “defenses” that can increase mentally negative reactions. While everyone deals with stress and other negative reactions, some choose to take care of themselves, which reduces the negative physical side effects that can occur.

I am no stranger to dealing with stress in bad ways.  When I was in my 20s, I just didn’t know how to cope.  I wasn’t sleeping a lot and was consuming alcohol too much (too much “having a good time”); I wasn’t eating properly (I came to find out in the tail end of my 20s that I have Celiac Disease), and I wasn’t exercising as often as I should (low endorphins).  When I felt attacked, I got extremely defensive. I would yell to get my point across and then my “off switch” would be to cry.  I was unhealthy for years until quite literally, one day, I had an epiphany that changed everything…

Almost a decade ago, an ex-boyfriend (who I was still dating at the time) of mine and I were helping him move across the country. We stopped in Oklahoma for dinner and as I am preparing to get out of his truck, I see him get out of the U-Haul, kicking the front tire and screaming to himself.  I remember just staring at this scene from inside the truck, wondering what the heck set him off.  It then hit me at lightning speed… is that some semblance of what I must look like when I am having a “moment”?  It freaked me out… in that one moment, a rush of memories came to me of times when I should have handled things so differently.  I got out of the truck and asked him what happened.  He said the A/C went out and just went silent and kind of smirked to myself.  He made a scene because of something, that in the scheme of things, was so trivial. From that moment on, I made a vow to change who I was because I sure didn’t want to be him.

Needless to say, we broke up just days after this incident.  I moved to San Diego to give myself a fresh start.  I slept more, ate healthier and worked out almost everyday (Vitamin D can be everything).  I wasn’t perfect at it but in no time, I was much thinner, happier and healthier.  My overall mood was in a much happier state that the old me, even weeks prior, looked like a stark, dark contrast.

The basics I started to instill in myself ebbed and flowed over the next seven years.  And, as I’ve gotten older (I’m now in my mid-30s), I’ve realized that taking care of myself just a little bit more in my 20s, would have made an even bigger difference in who I am today.  But, I really believe that there is no wrong time to start putting yourself on a new routine to improve your overall health at any age.  In the last 6 months alone, I’ve completely overhauled aspects of my life that now not only promote health, but happiness as well.  Here are the top 10 things I’ve done to support a healthier me:

  1. I joined Weight Watchers, and it was the best thing I could have done.  No one can truly know what they are putting into their body until they are held accountable for it.  For the longest time, I bucked this method of weight control because I never considered myself overweight.  However, since I joined last September, I’ve learned that making tweaks can be everything. When I don’t feel “right”, I adjust my menu for the following week. I cook all my meals (I eat out every once in a while) so I know what is going in my body.
  2. I listen to my body and what it needs from foods.  I make sure I’m always eating when I’m hungry. I always have healthy foods available for me to snack on.  A rule of thumb, unless you have stored cut veggies and other healthy snacks, “convenient food” is a big no-no.  It promotes mindless binge eating.
  3. I limit alcohol consumption. It is absolutely AMAZING what alcohol does to you.  Instead, I drink a TON of water.  It’s all I have in my fridge at home (except for the 1/2 cup of coffee I have every morning).
  4. I cut out 90% of the sugar in my diet.  Yes, I’m that person that buys sugar-free ketchup, uses Truvia/Stevia in moderation, and would rather taste something bland than put that stuff in my body everyday.  As I get older, I’ve learned that I’d rather not live with the consequences of higher cancer rates, heart problems, sleeping problems, weight problems, attention issues and other health issues.
  5. I try to get in 30 minutes of exercise or movement a day.  Sometimes, it’s hard for me to get it in.  So, I took up a “Squat and Pushup Challenge” to motivate myself to accomplish something everyday.  I can do it on conference calls!  When that’s completed, I’m onto a combo Squat/Burpee Challenge!
  6. I try to sleep at least 7 hours a night.  That’s the magical number for me.  As long as it’s good, quality sleep I feel good all day!  If I’m still feeling tired, I might nap for 30 minutes to recharge myself.
  7. I meditate 20 minutes a day.  I don’t plan on ever stopping this practice.  What it does for your mind, body, and soul is incredible!
  8. I cut toxic situations out of my life.  No, it’s not selfish.  When you are trying to balance yourself out (since let’s be clear, you have you and only you to live with the rest of your life), sometimes, it’s the best thing you can do to reduce the stress that can cause some of these physical side effects.  It’s also one of the hardest things to do.  (See some of my other posts on letting go.)
  9. I try to be grateful for at least one thing everyday.  Generating your own positivity becomes infectious!
  10. I reward myself.  It doesn’t matter what form that takes.

Even trying one of these things can be a great start to a new you!  I encourage anyone to at least try one of these for 2 weeks and see how they feel.  I guarantee you that not only will your mind and body feel connected, it will also radiate outward to others (and God knows we need more positivity in this world)!

Namaste

21 Day Meditation with Deepak Chopra (Day 15): Learning how to organize for mental clarity

Note: If you missed the first two weeks of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.

In Day 15 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on organizing the power of your awareness.

Amidst all of the chaos that can surround your life, all the decisions you have to make within that, and all of the “to-do’s” that you have as a result, it’s important to be mentally organized.  Mental organization leads to efficiency, which leads to success.

Taking time out each morning to organize your thoughts and to-do’s for the day, mentally sets your day up to ensure that you accomplish what you have set out to do.  Mentally organizing also helps declutter your mind of useless “noise” that can derail you from your day’s tasks.

I live by my calendar.  It’s become not just a meeting/event scheduler, it’s also become my de-facto to-do list place.  Each day, I use it to guide my day – from meetings, to deliverables, to workouts, to personal things I need to accomplish, it holds it all.  Why?  Because I don’t want to have to think about what I need to do next. Because oftentimes, that creates more mental clutter than one knows.  I learned (several times over) that being organized leaves room for your brain to think freely in the time you have allotted it for a particular activity.  My process for daily mental organization:

  1. I give myself 30 minutes to relax in the morning.  That 30 minutes is for ME.  I may just be laying in bed, I might be meditating, I might go workout.  Regardless, I do SOMETHING that doesn’t require me to think.
  2. The first thing I do when I turn on my laptop is review my calendar for the day – something I will have reviewed the night before.  I make sure I can accomplish everything I set out for the day.  If not, I move things around.
  3. I set out to do my tasks/calls.  I review periodically to see if I am still on track. If not, I move things around to meet priorities.
  4. When the day is over, I review the next day and add/edit what I need for that day.  I don’t look at it again until the following morning.

Each of us has our own way to handle how we mentally organize ourselves.  However it works for you, it’s a practice that should be followed everyday, especially if you have large goals for yourself that will take time to complete. As Steven Stromick put it, “The first step to success is getting out of your own way.”

Namaste

21 Day Meditation with Deepak Chopra (Day 14): Trusting that our lives are part of a master plan

Note: If you missed the first two weeks of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.

In Day 14 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on trusting that our lives fit into a larger plan.

Think about a difficult decision you had to make.  You’re stuck at a crossroad, searching an answer that you don’t have.  Your gut isn’t giving you a clear direction, no one else has been able to provide you a clear direction (or an indication of one), and it feels as though you’re gonna be stuck there forever.  You want to control how it comes to you. The logical part of your brain wants to solve it.  But your soul knows that if you let it go, it will come back to you.

I’ve been there too many times in the last month.  Once my ex and I agreed to part ways, everything changed. Everything in my life got thrown up in the air – I could do/be/go anywhere I wanted.  The universe opened me up to infinite possibilities.  I could feel that there was a larger plan brewing for myself and although exciting, made me feel extremely overwhelmed with not knowing how to prepare.

Imagine you’ve unraveled a large ball of yarn into a perfect line and a cat comes in and creates it into a mess of knots and tangles.  You just stare at it, trying to figure out where to start unraveling again.  You want to start at one end, and you do, but you second guess if that end is going to take longer to unravel than working on the other end.  This is how my decision to move, where to move to, and how I wanted my “new” life to be, went.  I tried for weeks to come to decisions on things that are usually easy for me to solve.  When a friend told me to just throw it back out into the universe and let it decide (although painful), within 24 hours, I had my answer (to my move and location on “home” at least).  Letting go of what was bothering me brought things back into focus, giving me a level of confidence in a decision I was extremely uneasy about.  It comes down to trust that there is a larger plan for you with a “higher being” out there that knows what to do.  Trust is not an easy thing to give, particularly if you have been hurt or let down a lot.

Deepak Chopra says that, “…setbacks and disappointments are meant to fit into your evolution.”  He lists out four types of setbacks that we face and what they are:

  1. Temporary – They straighten themselves out with minimal effort
  2. Points you in a different direction – They force you to question what you’re doing
  3. Hidden emotions and beliefs – They expect you to bring them out into the open and work on them
  4. Getting ready to present a new opportunity – It’s time to shed something in the “old you” to make room for the next best thing in your life

When faced with a tough decision, recognizing which of the four it might be is the first step.  The second step is the practice of patience and trust.  These two things are the keys to everything in life.  Having those for others can be difficult from time to time but having those for yourself, especially when faced with a tough decision, can be (sometimes) downright impossible.  Learning that tough decisions (obstacles) are a part of life and are meant to strengthen us in some way, helps us to remove some of the negative feelings we feel when we are faced with these tough decisions.  It teaches us patience that the universe will reveal itself in time and trust that we believe (within ourselves) that this is true.

When I concluded this meditation, I felt a little drained and definitely a bit emotional.  It affirmed everything I’ve put into practice about letting go, having patience and trusting in myself.  It affirmed that I am on the right course (for myself) to being successful and because of that, I am grateful.

Namaste

21 Day Meditation with Deepak Chopra (Day 13): Becoming the master of time in your life

Note: If you missed the first week and a half of my meditation experience, scroll through the home page to review.

In Day 13 of the Meditation Experience, the Centering Thought is focused on mastering time.  Time is precious.  When you consciously realize that you need to appreciate every minute of it, your life becomes full.

Some of us (me included) are huge workaholics.  We spend our time trying to get ahead as much as possible so that we can later spend time on other things that provide more enjoyment.  The problem with that thought is you end up missing out on a lot of life that you NEED, in order to feel FULL.   In this meditation, Deepak focuses on the following aspects of time, reminding us to ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. Sleep – Did you get enough sleep?
  2. Physical – Did you get enough time in to be active?
  3. Focus – Are you concentrating on what matters to you?
  4. Time in – Did you set aside time for meditation, prayer or self reflection?
  5. Time out – Did you have time to simply “be”, resting in existence?
  6. Play time – Did you get to have fun in a carefree mood?
  7. Connecting – Did you set aside time to have intimate private time with those you love and care for?

I’ve never been good with managing my “personal” time.  It took me years to not feel guilty about going on a vacation or taking time out to just “be”.  As I’ve gotten older, I still work a lot (on both professional and personal endeavors) but I also make sure I at least get to bed at a reasonable hour (because sleep is everything), meditate every morning, and work out at least 30 minutes everyday.  These three alone make a huge difference in my mood, which makes an even larger difference in my life.

Still, there are time “wasters” that do creep into my life, as they do with everyone: worrying about people or future events, waiting for things to happen, filling time with toxic people and things that will only bring you down.  All that worry and all that negativity doesn’t carry you forward in your day. Instead, it makes you feel stuck, confused and sometimes, chaotic.  Using the list above, try structuring your day around those – fill it to the brim with positive, healthy experiences.  You will be amazed at how quickly life becomes fuller and more amazing.

Namaste