How to Create a Solid Meditation Practice

Welcome to week one of my Tools for your Spiritual Journey series – How to Create a Solid Meditation Practice. As we begin a new year, many people will be setting new goals and making resolutions they desire to achieve over the course of 2018.

In the next seven weeks, I will provide you with seven fabulous tools you can put to use immediately for personal and spiritual growth. If you can commit to create a solid meditation practice, it will change your life.

How to Create a Solid Meditation Practice

My own meditation practice is young. I have only been meditating for about six months. I admit that my own practice is not as solid as I would like. This is one of my goals for 2018. Even so, meditation has improved my everyday life immeasurably. So let’s begin.

What do I consider a solid meditation practice to be?

The meditation goal I am personally working towards is twenty minutes, twice a day. I am not there yet, but I am committed to achieving this goal in the coming year. One size does not fit all. Your meditation practice may vary slightly or drastically from my own.

Some people meditate only seven or eight minutes, once a day. Others spend hours a day in deep meditation. You can even meditate for two minutes at time while waiting in line or for your child to get out of school. I’ll explain this technique in more detail later in this post.

You will have to discover for yourself what will work for you as you create a solid meditation practice in your own life. And I definitely do not recommend trying to sit still in silence for twenty minutes on your first attempt. At six months in, I can get still and quiet for about sixteen quality minutes.

What is required for you to create a solid meditation practice?

You really only need two things if you truly wish to create a solid meditation practice. The first and foremost is to simply show up. Commit to doing your best every day. Meditation isn’t as difficult as many people believe.

Choose a time in your day that you will meditate and stick to it. At that same time each day, show up to work on your practice. I like to meditate first thing in the morning and at 8:00 pm in the evening.

My morning session helps me to get my day started off right with clear intention and intuition. My evening session helps to clear away all of the unnecessary information I have accumulated throughout my day.

The second requirement for a solid meditation practice is patience. Quieting your mind can be very difficult for many people. You may feel you are failing to meditate properly because you can’t eliminate your thoughts completely or your meditation doesn’t immediately relax you. Be gentle with yourself.

It’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect at this!

Meditation doesn’t have to be this deep state of thoughtless relaxation. In fact, for the vast majority of us, it isn’t. We think, a lot, all the time in fact. Thoughts are going to come and go even while you are meditating. Let them.

No matter where you choose to meditate, noises are inevitable. Your child might knock on your door. The neighbor may be outside. Someone may honk their horn in the not so far off distance. That is all fine. Just smile and let the sound come and go, then get back to focusing on your meditation.

I often hear geese flying overhead during my evening meditation. I have come to appreciate and enjoy the addition to my stillness.

Start small. A few minutes a day is all that is required for you to get a taste of what meditation can give you. Once you feel the power of looking within, you can gradually increase the time you spend doing it.

You can create a solid meditation practice anywhere!

There are no rules about where you should meditate. You can meditate indoors or outdoors. Sitting on the floor, on a cushion, in a chair or lying flat on your back. It is completely up to you. The most important thing is that you are comfortable and your back is straight.

I have meditated in my living room, my bedroom and my office chair at work. My personal preference is to meditate sitting up in my bed. I can close the bedroom door if I need to and it is also a place I associate with relaxation.

Another goal for me, in 2018, is to dedicate an entire corner of my bedroom to be my meditation space. I believe this will enhance my ability to create a solid meditation practice of twenty minutes each morning and each evening.

There are many forms of meditation available. Find one that suits your practice.

My recommendation, if you are a beginner, is guided meditation. I still enjoy and use guided meditations. I think they are awesome. You can find guided meditations on YouTube and there are also many apps to choose from that can be downloaded directly to your device.

When choosing a guided meditation make sure you find the voice guiding you to be soothing. You want your meditation practice to be something you look forward to. If you are listening to a voice you find irritating, that won’t happen.

One of my favorite guided meditations is Rebecca Campbell’s light sourcing meditation which is free for you to download and try for yourself.

Another type of meditation I find very useful as a beginner is binaural beats meditation. These are very specific sound frequencies, often set to music, designed to alter brain activity.

Again, you can find binaural beats meditations on YouTube and many apps are available. Headphones or ear buds will be required to get the full effect from this type of meditation.

Look for Theta and Alpha frequency recordings to aid your meditation. I like to use Delta frequency recordings to promote sleep on nights when I didn’t get my evening meditation session in.

The online course I am using to create a solid meditation practice in my life.

There are many forms of meditation I have not touched on, including mindfulness, continuous breathing, concentrating your attention, as well as chanting mantras and using vibration in your practice.

I am learning about each of these forms of meditation practice through a fun and practical online course provided by meditation master Davidji and HayHouse online learning.

The course is The Art of Meditation: A Real World Guide to Balance, Inner Healing and Self-discovery. This is where I learned Davidji’s sixteen second meditation practice. You can literally do this any time and anywhere.

Ready? Let’s do it. Get comfortable. Close your eyes (after you have read and understand the next steps). Take a deep breath in for the count of four. Hold it for the count of four. Slowly and gently breath out fully, emptying your lungs, for the count of four. Hold that emptiness for the count of four.

Woohoo! You did it! The sixteen second practice. Use this to calm yourself throughout your day. I like to call it the sixteen second miracle!

If you are interested in reading the other posts in this series, I have included links below.

Thanks for reading and wishing you a stellar 2018!

Week two – Daily soul writing for your spiritual journey

Week three – Using positive affirmations to kick the negative self-talk habit

Week four – What is mirror work and how can it help me?

Week five – How to use the energy of crystals for your spiritual growth

Week six – Try a manifestation box instead of a vision board

Week seven – Pay attention to your inner guidance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My child’s soul – What is my role?

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When it comes to my child’s soul, I can get very confused as to what my role should be. The human part of me wants to correct and protect, while I know deep within myself that he has his own agenda, his very own lessons that he signed on to learn in this lifetime.

I think most parents try to pass on what they have learned, in their own life experience, to their offspring, in hopes of saving them some trials and heartache. It is my belief, however,  that our souls choose to incarnate on this earth for the purpose of growth, learning and connection.

What if my child’s soul knows more than mine does?

Even the most illuminated of parents likely have a difficult time seeing their children as infinite beings. I am becoming more comfortable with this notion each day.

My son is eleven, and sometimes, I swear he could be forty-five! I have absolutely no doubt that I am learning far more from him than he is from me. I think my child’s soul has been around the block a few times.

So here we are, my son and I, two souls on a mission, here on Earth. Our missions may be intertwined, or not. It’s possible our souls have been reincarnating together over many lifetimes. Maybe he was the parent, and I was the child in a previous lifetime.

What is my child’s soul teaching me right now?

Look, I don’t know about you, but of all the people in my life, my kid knows better than anyone else how to push my buttons.

I can be having the best day of my life. I’m flying around on my own shooting star. I’m dancing and twirling through life. I am maintaining this incredibly high vibration, and then…I pick up my child from school.

He is whining and he wants this and he wants that. He is being disrespectful in public and pushing the absolute limits of my sanity. Can you relate to this situation? I bet you can, we have all been there, right?

Life is always our mirror. It makes complete sense that our children will reflect back to us, the things we aren’t appropriately dealing with in our own lives.

What I’m working on and how my child’s soul has upped the ante.

My focus, all day, everyday, is more self-love, more gratitude and more forgiveness, raising my vibration and shining my light. So what is the best way for me to deal with my son’s preteen attitude that sent me tumbling from my shooting star?

Definitely NOT the way I actually did. I got angry and made threats, that he is smart enough to know I won’t keep. And when he was ready to apologize, I wouldn’t accept it. Now we are both upset, hurt and angry with each other.

Sure, it happens and I’m truly okay with it. Open expression of feelings is always welcome in my house. I intentionally make sure my son knows that no matter how angry we get with each other, I love him with everything that I am. NOTHING can EVER change that.

What could I have done better?

I could have forgiven sooner, knowing that forgiveness will benefit my own well-being as well as his. Or not worried so much about what other people might think of me as a parent. If my child had behaved this way at home, rather than in public, I may not have reacted the same way.

I could have realized my anger was more about my own insecurities as a parent than it was about his behavior. Maybe I could have approached the situation from a viewpoint of gratitude. The truth is, I am extremely grateful for the experience of motherhood and all the challenges it brings.

My final conclusion:

We all have a purpose here on Earth. Sometimes we will teach our children. More often, they will teach us. Your child may be an old soul that you have been traveling with for a very long time. That soul deserves your respect and attention.

It may even benefit us to allow our child’s soul to lead from time to time. Who knows what we may learn.

The best I can do for my son is to lead by example. Try to allow him some space to shine his own light. Accept and acknowledge that his inner wisdom comes from the same source mine does. Remember, that with him, as with everyone else, we are in this together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radical Gratitude – the Power of Thank You

So what is radical gratitude anyway? Basically, it’s being thankful for absolutely everything in your life.

Most of us long for more than what we have in this life. We want more money, a better job, a more loving romantic partner, more success, a bigger house, the list goes on and on.

We seem to think that if we have more of what may already exist in our lives, we will become happier people. It simply doesn’t work that way. There are a multitude of people who seem to have it all and are still unfulfilled and miserable.

The reason for this is lack of gratitude for what they do have. If you aren’t truly grateful for what you have right now, how can more of anything change that? More will never be enough simply because you do not feel blessed by what you receive and have already received.

In her book Gratitude, A way of lifeLouise Hay says “By the time I have gotten out of bed, I have probably expressed gratitude for 80 to 100 different people, places, things and experiences in my life.”

Is this kind of radical gratitude even possible?

I posed a gratitude challenge in my post How to live a happier life – 13 actions you can take today, where I asked readers to join me by keeping a gratitude journal for thirty days. The goal was to record three different things each day we were thankful for which would equal 90 things at the end of the month.

I imagine coming up with just three things to be grateful for is daunting for some people, but 100 before even getting out of bed? Wow!

Impressed with the thought of being that grateful, I was inspired to extend myself. I decided that if I applied myself, I could be grateful for 100 things, as long as I had the whole day to do it. Here is how it went:

5:15 am  Radical Gratitude before I get out bed.

Thank you bed for a comfortable nights sleep.

Thank you pillow for cradling my head. I sleep on a My Pillow. I absolutely love it!

Thank you flannel sheets for your softness and warmth.

Thank you Universe for this perfect day!

Thank you Yoshi for the good vibrations. Yoshi is my cat. He is purring.

5:30 am. Radical Gratitude while I get ready for work.

Thank you Kombucha for nourishing my body.

Thank you for this wonderful hot coffee.

Thank you Louise Hay for introducing me to Mirror Work.

Thank you Happy Light for providing my morning light therapy on these dark winter mornings.

Thank you Louise Hay for Power Thoughts and Inner Wisdom meditations.

Thank you Rebecca Campbell for your playlist of soul inspiring music.

Thank you for the bracelet that reminds of my brother, who is no longer of this Earth.

Thank you for the earrings that remind me of my sister, purchased on an amazing girls weekend in Estes Park, Colorado.

Thank you green smoothies for changing the way I eat breakfast.

Thank you for the under counter kitchen fan installed by a friend and former romantic partner.

Radical gratitude quote by Neale Donald Walsh

Thank you for the crescent moon shining in the sky this morning.

Thank you for the stunning pink and orange clouds shrouding the sunrise over the lake.

Thank you for the organic lip balm protecting my lips from the cold.

Thank you for the reliable car that gets my son and I safely where we choose to go.

Thank you for the 36-year-old garage door opener, that still works! It’s a Craftsman.

Thank you to the woman who let me out in traffic during my commute this morning.

8:00 am Radical Gratitude after arriving at work.

Thank you to my cat’s veterinary office for the compassionate sympathy card personally signed by everyone.

Thank you for the low utility bills this month.

Thank you for the support of good friends.

Thank you for my community of fellow bloggers.

Thank you for my paying gig, even when I would rather be writing.

Thank you for a quiet, comfortable office to work in.

Thank you for the windows in our office space.

Thank you for the lunchtime bonding with my co-workers.

Thank you cell phones. Seriously, I have a super computer in the palm of my hand!

Thank you for Facebook groups.

Thank you that I no longer feel like sleeping every afternoon.

Thank you for interesting projects to fill my day.

5:00 pm Radical Gratitude when work is done.

Thank you for heated seats in my car.

Thank you for the computer software I needed being gifted to me.

Thank you for the salt lamp I wanted being gifted to me.

Thank you for the wild bald eagle seen perched in a friend’s tree.

Thank you to everyone who put up outdoor Christmas lights. Beautiful.

Thank you to the person who let into their lane at the accident on 56th Street.

Thank you for my well-lit parking area.

Thank you for my son’s birthday smile.

Thank you for my Keurig.

Thank you for Echinacea tea.

Thank you for the Christmas cat coffee cups I got for $1 last year.

Thank you for my leather chair.

Thank you for my soft warm throw blanket.

Thank you Lilly, for sitting where I can pet you. The other cat.

Thank you Yoshi for my evening hug.

Thank you Eli for doing your homework on the third time I asked instead of the eighth.

7:00 pm Radical Gratitude in my evening hours.

Thank you for my rebounder.

Thank you for my washing machine that sings to me instead of buzzing.

Thank you to my sister for blowing me kisses by text message.

Thank you Eli for your Trampoline Christmas light show!

Thank you for the new Christmas tree that makes Eli’s light show possible.

Thank you for Word Chums with friends.

Thank you for A Course In Miracles. I am currently reading the text portion of the course. I will begin the student’s work book portion on January 1.

Thank you for my girls weekends in Kansas City with wonderful, fun friends.

Thank you for the beautiful handmade Christmas stockings given to us by a special friend.

Pinterest image for Radical Gratitude

Thank you for a functioning dishwasher.

Thank you for warm fuzzy socks.

Thank you for my pink Minnie Mouse pajama pants.

Thank you for guided meditation apps.

Thank you Rebecca Campbell for your sourcing meditation.

Thank you Davidji for your on-line course Secrets of Meditation. I am enjoying this very much!

Thank you for Rose Quartz crystal.

Thank you for make-up removing wipes.

Thank you for poetry.

Thank you for my Chromecast.

Thank you for You Tube.

Thank you Angels.

Thank you Spirit guides.

Radical gratitude quote by Mandy Hale

Thank you for my kitchen trash can pull-out.

Thank you for the cute cat hole in my closet door that leads to the litter box.

Thank you body for performing so many wonderful functions with very little help from me.

Thank you for Eli’s artwork.

Thank you for my parents.

Thank you for indoor plumbing.

Thank you for my good health.

Thank you for healing hand lotion.

Thank you for the lessons I don’t even know I’m learning yet.

Thank you for the memories of loved ones no longer here.

Thank you for the air that I breathe.

Thank you for the many ornaments made by my son Eli, that adorn our beautiful Christmas tree.

Thank you for Canva, which will make the images of this post possible.

Thank you Pinterest, where I find many of my quotes.

Thank you for Google, my very favorite search engine.

9:00 pm. Radical Gratitude before falling asleep.

Thank you for the sleeping state that will mend and rejuvenate my body.

Thank you for the dreams that come, even if I don’t remember them.

Thank you for the stars in the night sky.

Thank you for my night-time wrist brace.

Thank you for new experiences.

Thank you for each new day.

Thank you for every opportunity to learn something new.

Thank you for the peace and love in my heart.

Thank you for quiet neighbors.

Thank you for an incredibly dark bedroom.

Thank you for nature and the wind I hear outside my bedroom window.

Thank you for the miracle that is me.

Thank you for the miracle that is you.

Thank you God!

There it is!

Definitely not an easy task, but absolutely possible. If I can do it, you can too. I bet it will become easier with time and practice.

Smile, hugs and Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

The other reason for my celebrity obsession

Have you ever suddenly been attracted to someone famous and you just couldn’t figure out why? Maybe you’re not into all this celebrity hype, but then, one day you just feel like you want to know more about that movie actor, musician, author, artist or athlete?

You aren’t alone and it is easier than ever to find news and information on just about anyone. Knowing you can trust that information to be true and accurate is another issue entirely.

I was recently “star struck” by a very well-known movie actor. Not since I was a pre-teen, with posters on my bedroom walls, have I had a real celebrity crush.  Sure, we all have favorite celebrities and I do too, but there wasn’t anyone I felt compelled to find out more about.

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My recent crush is Keanu Reeves. It didn’t turn out to be a crush so much, although it definitely felt that way for a while. I was eventually able to view my being drawn to him as my stepping off point to spiritual growth and becoming more self-aware.

The Universe was giving me a mirror to look into. And no, I certainly do not consider myself a female, non-famous version of this man, but we do share some attributes and he definitely exemplifies other characteristics I wish to expand in myself.

And, seriously, this guy is an amazing human being. I must have been living under a rock. Even though The Matrix may be my favorite movie ever, I didn’t know anything about the star beyond his roles in film.

Keanu Reeves has experienced some very deep trauma and pain in his life. Some of what he has endured reflects my own life experience. He has managed to come through the other side of his personal tragedy a better person. I am extremely happy to say that I have too.

There are people who become bitter when exposed to hardship and there are people who decide to numb their pain however they can. I believe exceptional people learn and grow through all life experiences to become more compassionate and empathetic souls.

Keanu Reeves is an exceptional person. He is also known for being kind, thoughtful and incredibly generous. He is an introvert and a loner, two things I can definitely relate to. And although I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, I have a feeling, Reeves’ intellect would blow me away.

Did you know that Reeves is not only an actor but also a published writer. His first book, Ode to Happiness was published in 2011. His second book, Shadows became available in 2016. Both books are a collaboration between Reeves, who wrote the text, and artist Alexandra Grant.

I own and love Shadows, an artsy collectible, with short poems by Reeves paired with photos taken by Grant. Reeves also happens to be the subject of the photography. Definitely a bonus! I missed out on Ode to Happiness, but would graciously accept a gift copy if anyone has one to give up.

Keanu Reeves seems to have a knack for turning his passions into his livelihood. One of his passions is motorcycles and in 2012, he founded Arch Motorcycles with friend Gard Hollinger. In 2017 Reeves, along with Alexandra Grant, Jessica Fleischmann and Florence Grant founded  X Artists Books, a small art book publishing company.

I latched onto him just as I was about to embark on my latest spiritual awakening. Learning about him helped me to achieve a deeper learning of myself and my worth. I was also turned on to other individuals, through him, that helped me continue on my journey.

I have always believed that God, or the Universe if you wish, provides whatever or whomever you need to gently push, or violently shove you down your true path. You know the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This could not be more true.

This is also not the first time I have manifested the appropriate “teachers” into my life. It just happens to be the first time one of them has been a famous actor.

Now that I feel more spiritually aware myself, I can’t help but notice similar awareness in others, literally everywhere. It is like a light has been turned on. I can see the connection in movies, hear it in songs, read it in books.

Celebs, in particular seem to exude spiritual knowledge and abundance. This makes perfect sense to me. Creativity and spirituality have a very obvious connection the way I see it. If you follow what lights you up, the creativity will flow.

Our  favorite celebrities became famous by chasing their joy, living their passion. They have walked through the fear involved with being in the spotlight for doing what they love. We can choose to see them as a shining example of what is possible for each and every one of us.

Thank you Keanu Reeves.