Trusting the Process

I’ve been feeling creatively stifled for 2 months.

Earlier in the year, I had a wave of inspiration to write. To capture recipes, stories and insight into living a more balanced, peaceful life.

It stopped – came to a halt. Rather than generating ideas or content, I started to look inward. I started to practice healing techniques, meditation, words of wisdom and recipes on myself. I became less social and savored quiet time. I felt this was right for me and trusted the process – I also felt frustrated. But I asked myself, if that was really my feeling of frustration or someone else’s?

I’ve been programmed to hurry up, to keep generating and I’m being lazy if I stop. I’ve been programmed to not be patient with myself. None of this is true. Yet, as I trust my intuition and inner voice to take some time to embrace life — the outside “noise” pipes up causing me to second guess myself.

I think many others feel this way too.

Part of the process in enjoying life is to stop, absorb it and practice the lessons we learn along the way. It’s important to embrace what we’ve learned and what we’re passionate about. If we’re always doing, moving on to the next best thing, we can’t savor it. So many times, we reach our goal or learn a new thing and we’re on to the next. I really admire people who practice what they’ve learned – there is a sense of calmness and expertise.

If I push myself to be generating content or force myself to learn more, it turns into information overload or a power surge, nothing productive happens and in fact, it becomes counter productive. There is a lack of passion, it’s a half baked idea and it’s obvious. Wheels keep spinning, energy is spent, I exhaust myself and go nowhere.

Looking within helps.

When the feeling of impatience comes up with myself, I note it, pause, start to look with in and unpack the way I feel. I try to identify where that feeling is within my body and visualize it. I’ve learned to be kinder to myself and visualize what being kind to myself looks like. Ironically enough, the kinder I am to myself, and more patient I am – the more creative and productive I become.

The take away is, trust the process, look within and be patient. We all have these moments from time to time. It’s part of life. We are human, not machines. 

Do You Really Like Waking Up Grumpy?

cropped-melissa-cover-e1458245750766.jpgDo you find yourself waking up in a bad mood on a daily basis? Are you making excuses such as  – “I’m a night owl” or “I feel better after I take a shower?” Have your housemates, spouse or family commented commented on this? Do you even like waking up every day in a bad mood? Well you’re not alone. It seems with all the stress in our lives, due to more information, striving, paying bills, getting good grades and a million other things, we can get bummed out pretty easily.

There was awhile I was waking up super bummed, day in and day out, after awhile, I was over it. I noticed waking up depressed or in a bad mood really set the stage for the day and didn’t make it any easier. The outside stressors were controlling my life, I didn’t want that. Not to mention, how could I possibly achieve my dreams by starting off the day with a bad attitude? I was painting a negative picture, projecting and that was keeping me further away from my dreams. So, I decided to take some action and turn it around.

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to wake up grumpy every single day. Plus — if you become more aware of your morning attitude, those who live with you won’t have to work overtime to work around it. You probably didn’t think about how your bad mood affects the people who interact with you in the morning. It does. The energy projects.

What if – instead of waking up wanting to hide under a rock and mope around like Grumplestilskins – you wake up, keep your eyes closed and breathe in some stillness around you? Just allowed yourself to breathe. Breathe. BREATHE. Then what if you allowed yourself to feel that wonderful calm morning air? And experience the cool, still morning light, then listen to the symphony outside your window of birds chirping or if you live in an urban environment, the buzz of the city? That doesn’t sound so bad. It’s calming and very nurtuing. As you really sense it and allow it to be just as it is, start to think about everything you are grateful for, that bed you’re sleeping in, the covers that are covering you, your pillow, your ability to breathe, the fact that you are able to wake up and experience the day and so on. Say some nice things to yourself. Then, set an intention for the day. What ever you do – DON’T LOOK AT YOUR PHONE. Looking at your phone, automatically induces stress hormones. You’re trying to mitigate your stress in this morning routine and stress is the reason you’re waking up in a bad mood.

We’re human and I do not discredit things that come up in life that may cause you to wake up totally bummed out. Especially as we get older, the stressors can get super intense. Trust me — I’m talking from experience here. There are plenty, PLENTY of things that have caused me and cause me to wake up bummed. I sit with it, embrace it, but then I start to focus on gratitude and all the things in my life that are going well.

This is a small way of finding peace and balance in your life. It’s also an opportunity to bring awareness into your life. Think about it, how would you feel if your sig other or housemates were waking up in a foul mood day in and day out? You would dread it. It’s an extra layer no one really wants to deal with in the morning. Spending time with yourself and cultivating a joyful, grateful feeling is a way to minimize the stressful clutter in your life.

 

 

 

Turn Up the Volume – Retrograde’s are Amplified Lessons

MoonsetWhen I first learned about Mercury in retrograde, I would be so anxious leading up to it, getting all thrown off during it and dreading the next one. Truth of the matter is, at some point, every single planet goes into retrograde and it’s part of that amazing Universe we live in.

Long story short, I decided, it’s pointless having all that build up of anxiety and started to look at each major retrograde as an opportunity to learn something about myself and my environment. Each retrograde has a theme or lesson that is amplified. Kind of like, turning up the volume on a favorite song, so you can really feel it. If we look at retrogrades as the Universes way of teaching us awareness, we can create the space and to do a little self reflection.  Start to ask yourself, “How can I apply that lesson into my daily life?”

Some examples of the lessons tied to retrograde include the most recent Mars in retrograde, focused on communication and the value of being mindful or selective with how we communicate with others — why is it only during that timeframe we should focus on that, shouldn’t we focus on that in our day to day lives? When Mercury goes into retrograde, technology issues can come up, often creating agitation — the lesson there is patience and acceptance.

It takes 21 days to form a habit, retrogrades vary depending on planet size, but their retrograde period is often a couple of weeks, which is long enough to reflect, learn, and apply the lessons each retrograde is teaching us into our lives. Cultivating awareness is key to becoming more compassionate and conscious.  When we start to self-reflect we can look at how our actions and non-actions affect others and the environment around us.  So the next time a planet is in retrograde, as tempting as it may be, don’t hide under the covers, turn up the volume and really experience the lesson the Universe is teaching!

 

Easy 7th Chakra Meditation for Letting Go

IMG_6352The Crown Chakra or 7th Chakra is located at the very top of your head – which is the universal connection point. Since energy is everything, we are connected at a basic level rooted in nature. This is the center for peace, joy and happiness. The 7th Chakra is the point at which we give and receive energy. Any tension we want to let go, we let out from the top of our head. According to Chakra Anatomy, it’s the point where the finite (body) and infinite (soul) meet. A deep purple is associated with the Crown Chakra, it’s the place that allows us to connect with our more spiritual side.

The 7th Chakra reminds us to have gratitude for this life, to let the ego go and accept that we are all interconnected. As we move through life and through day to day activities, we sometimes take for granted all this life has to offer. We get caught up in the comparison game and the “should’s”- we forget we’re all connected because the “noise” around us is canceling out who we truly are. We forget we’re here for a bigger purpose, which can get overshadowed by the material and superficial status quo that have somehow defined our “happiness.”

An easy way to re-engage with your Crown Chakra, is to sit quietly for 7 minutes, with your eyes closed, no cell phone or other distractions. Breathe deeply seven times, to calm your mind and settle in. Imagine a calming, nurturing white light coming down from the sky, starting at the crown of your head, and running all through your body. Notice how good this light feels. Allow the calming feeling of the light to flow through your body. Repeat the following mantra to yourself, “I trust my intuition, I allow myself to be present, I love and accept myself, I am at peace.”

When nurturing your 7th Chakra, repeat the mantra to yourself throughout the day. Reminding yourself to release any negative energy that is not yours.

What we need to remember is that we’re all part of the bigger story line. We have to have faith and trust that the Universe will guide us to exactly where we set our intentions. What you have to remember is, we all get there at different times. Life is about ebb and flow, yin and yang, finite and infinite, death and life. Once we liberate ourselves from falling into the trap of the comparison game and the “should’s” we open our life up to infinite possibilities. We are human and are not free from stress, struggle, sadness, emotions – however, once we liberate ourselves, become more present and live our own authentic way of living we can truly experience those emotions, let them sit with us and experience the process of life from a clearer lens.

 

What Happens When You Unplug for 20 Minutes?

IMG_5400 (1)I think the word “meditation” gets mixed reviews –  from sounding like a bigger deal than it really is, to some “crunchy” “new ” thing people do, to being reserved for Buddhists and Hindu’s.  Trust me, I used to think the same thing.

So what is it? There are a million articles, books, blogs, apps out there.

Merriam-Webster defines it as:

meditation

noun med·i·ta·tion \ˌme-də-ˈtā-shən\

Simple Definition of meditation

  • : the act or process of spending time in quiet thought : the act or process of meditating

  • : an expression of a person’s thoughts on something

To simply put it, meditation is all about spending time with yourself and being in the present moment and unplugging. It’s about spending a few minutes away from technology and our ever looming list of things to do. Being in the present moment means being aware. Aware of your body, the way it feels at that very moment.

When you meditate sometimes your mind will be really busy, other times like a lake. We close our eyes in meditation, because it’s easier to look inward when they are closed. We’re less likely to get distracted. Things will come up when you meditate – say hello to it. Think of those things as an old friend.  That old friend can be, anxiety or that familiar story from the day before that stresses you out.

Meditation is about noticing what happens to your body, when your old friend anxiety shows up or that story is told. Often times, we’re so busy we don’t allow ourselves to have 20 minutes of stillness. We’re so busy, the feelings associated with anxiety and stress go unnoticed until we’re sick or just so taxed we have to stop.  As we start to notice the old friend anxiety or the familiar story and say hello to them, they become less painful and less of a burden. Whatever story may come up, I now look at it as a story, it makes it easier to be in my own skin.

The whole point of meditation is to connect with yourself in a non-striving, non-judge mental way.

Why is meditation hard for you? What have you started to notice as you meditate?