Exploring Meditation

Meditation has been shown to be helpful for treating depression in clinical studies conducted by mindfulness Hopkins University. In fact, 30 minutes of meditation daily may improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. It’s important to know that meditation only should not replace meds or other treatments for anxiety and depression. In the world of psychology, treatment is multi pronged. Also, what works for one patient, may not work for another.

This John Hopkins study found that “mindfulness meditation”, a form of Buddhist self awareness designed to focus precise, non judgmental attention to the moment at hand–showed promise in alleviating pain symptoms as well as stress.

If you are new to meditation, or have been doing this for a while, a good app to use is Headspace. Headspace offers guided meditation courses, you can customize the length of each meditation session as well.

In the world of personal development, Gabby Bernstein is an excellent coach in meditation. Head over to her website here and download a free guided meditation. Her books are pretty great too. I just finished ‘The Universe Has Your Back’ and loved the advice.

You can meditate anywhere. At home sitting in a chair, at work, on the subway, the possibilities are endless! I usually sit cross legged on the floor. I feel more centered when I am sitting on the ground. Some people light candles, or play music. Whatever gets you focused.

When starting out in meditation, I find that listening and focusing on my breathing helps keep my thoughts from wandering. Close your eyes, breath and just listen. It’s hard since our minds want to wander. But just practice re-directing your thoughts, and pretty soon, you’ll be meditating.

What Mother’s Day Means to Me

This is the second year I spent Mother’s Day without my son. Granted, last year I was homeless and broke. This year I was just too broke to drive to Naples to see him. He did send me a text message today with a picture he drew for me. I will speak to him on the phone today, which is great. My own mother lives hundreds of miles away in Wisconsin. We Facebook messaged each other this morning, wishing a happy mother’s day. Group texts were sent with co-workers wishing each other a Happy Mother’s Day. My Instagram and Facebook feed were filled with Happy Mother’s Day memes, memories of mom’s that have passed away, and pictures of kids piling on top of mom in bed.

What does Mother’s Day mean to me? A mother is a woman who has had some sort of presence raising you, or guiding you to become the person you are today. A mother does not necessarily mean biological, can be aunts, grandma, family friends, cousins, etc. Mother’s Day is a time we set aside to recognize the hard work, sacrifice, and joy we make in our child’s life. Motherhood is not easy, or even fun at times. But to me, motherhood is the most rewarding and life changing event that has happened in my life. Motherhood changed my perspective of life. What really matters is life, living as authentic as you can, and that there is something out there bigger than yourself.

What does Mother’s Day mean to you?

An Attitude of Gratitude

These past few weeks have trying to say the least. At home, dealing with a pre-teen child who thinks the rules don’t apply to him. At work, with an ever-increasing workload and seemingly endless amount lately of rude patients. It’s frustrating and I get angry. But I read in my personal development this week about having an attitude of gratitude.

When we are in a pissy mood, down and just want to complain, remembering the things you are grateful for can be uplifting. I usually take time in the morning to journal and always write a list of five things I am grateful for. I’ve been through a lot this past year and remembering gratitude shifts my perspective back to what matters most. It’s so easy to complain about what we lack.

Five things I am grateful for: Having a car, Having a job, Having a place to live, My son and Family, and my boyfriend. Those may seem like trivial things to be grateful for. But I was homeless last year for several months, without my own vehicle, job, and a place to live. I could easily be thrown back into that life at any moment if I lost my job.

What things are you grateful for? Do you shift your mindset to positive thoughts when you are feeling pissy or down?

 

Discovering Myself With Human Design

Since I have been on my path of self discovery, I came across Human Design. According to humandesign.net Human Design is basically how to consistently make the right choices in your life. It is a way of allowing your body’s intelligence to guide you. Making decisions based on what is fixed and reliable in you as opposed to making decisions from your mind. The mind is always influenced by the outside environment and doesn’t reflect your uniqueness. It can show you how to live not according to rules, advice and opinions of others, but as an original human being, as yourself.

Human Design uses your birth time and place to calculate your personal Human Design chart. In this calculation, the positions of Sun, Moon and planets at the time of your birth play an important role. Astrology also uses the birth time and place to generate your natal chart, but it interprets the data differently – and Human Design is not astrology.

This may sound kinda “Woo Woo” to some, but I did complete my bodygraph chart and it does make sense on my personality and how I respond to conflict. For more information on how to complete your bodygraph and human design, click on this goop.com article.

After I completed my bodygraph, I found out that I am a Manifesting Generator. Has anyone else experimented with finding their Human Design?

 

Miracle Mornings

Morning routines are tough. I used to wake up every morning with just enough time to get dressed, make a smoothie, and head out the door to work. I kept feeling that my morning was rushed. I dreaded getting up in the morning. I felt tired. I felt directionless.

I started working with a wellness coach and in our Facebook group, she mentioned this book called ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod. Check out the link here. This book is a serious game changer if you want to start your day with intention and achieve your goals.

Basically, the ‘Miracle Morning’ is getting up at 5am and working on personal development for about an hour. This helps prime you for your day. I have revamped my morning routine, starting each day spending 10 minutes on the following: prayer/meditation/silence, affirmations, visualizations, journaling, reading personal development, and working out.

You don’t have to spend 10 minutes on each category, 5 minutes, or 1 minute is fine. The goal is to get your mind focused and ready for the day so you can crush your goals and live your best life. I have done this routine for about a week now and I love it. I feel more awake in the morning. Getting my workout completed first thing in the morning is great!

At first, it feels weird and almost torturous to wake up at 5am every morning. You need to make this a habit. Hal states that to develop a habit takes at least 30 days, not the 21 days we have been told in the past. So get some coffee going and get up at early. Make your day a success. What morning routines do you follow?

Jumping into Personal Development

I made the decision several months ago to explore personal development. Not quite sure how it all started, but I think it was after researching podcasts as an alternative to music to listen to as I rode the bus and train to work. I had no idea that the people I was listening to were personal development or motivational speakers. What happened next was the start of a journey into self discovery and personal development. I started questioning how I responded to things in life and how I could improve my life for the better.

When I used to think of personal or self-development, I pictured old self-help books and sweaty motivational speakers. The old Saturday Night Live skit with the late Chris Farley portraying obnoxious motivational speaker Matt Foley. Or the slimy motivational speaker Frank Mackey in the movie Magnolia, as played by Tom Cruise. Nowadays, the culture of personal development is different, and the field is HUGE with the amount of talented and successful individuals whose passion is helping and inspiring others to be better versions of themselves.

The amount of free self-development online is staggering. In a way this is good and bad. Good in the sense that basically anyone can access quality content, but bad in the sense that there is also a lot of misinformation available as well. In order to weed out the good from the bad, you really need to research the authors and speakers. Like I mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, I started out listening to podcasts and branched out from there. Here are a few of my favorite self-development podcasts. These podcast authors also have great Instagram accounts, filled with motivational quotes, positivity, and more importantly, a sense of realness in which we all can relate in some way. There is no one size fits all approach to self-development.

Podcasts – Note: these are all available on iTunes.

  1. Rise Podcast with Rachel Hollis
  2. The Tony Robbins Podcast
  3. The Brendon Show
  4. Earn Your Happy with Lori Harder
  5. Style Your Mind with Cara Alwill Leyba
  6. Real Talk with Rachel Luna
  7. Rise Together Podcast with Rachel Hollis and Dave Hollis

There are so many other podcasts out there to explore. Just start with one you are interested in, and start listening. These podcasts deal with business development, entrepreneurship, and personal relationships.

Videos

When it comes to self-development, there are a slew of videos on YouTube. However, I really like documentary style videos that are edited and presented in a way that is emotionally moving and easy to understand. Here are two that I am re-watching right now: “Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru” on Netflix, and “Made For More” presented by Rachel Hollis on Amazon video.

The first time I watched “I am Not Your Guru”, I was crying at the end of the video. This was such a well done film. The documentary spans several days with Tony Robbins at his Date with Destiny seminar in Boca Raton, FL. I really liked how the film was unbiased and showed real people having real breakthroughs. The teachings that Tony Robbins presented were no nonsense, and easy to understand.

In “Made For More”, it was focused on interviews with Rachel Hollis and showed footage from her annual Rise Conference. The energy was incredible, Rachel is like a female version of Tony Robbins, no nonsense and just honest. Rachel’s story is incredible, how she built a company with no college degree, and is a working mom trying to inspire other women to live their best life.

Personally, these podcasts have been a lifesaver in terms of trying to live a more positive, meaningful life. In an age of negativity in media and bizarre reality TV Shows, its refreshing to see people out there trying to build up others. What if for once we really focused on how we can improve ourselves to be better people? Self-development isn’t selfish, its a necessity. What podcasts do you like to listen to? Who are your favorite personal development speakers or authors? Comment below.