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.

It’s a Nutrition Plan…Not a diet.

I hate the word diet. It is such a limiting word. I prefer the word nutrition, which brings up an image of health and longevity.  I started my nutrition plan a couple of months ago and wonder why I waited for this all my life!

It’s so simple to follow and I feel so much more energy. No supplements, cleanses, or shakes are required. Just water and veggies most are the requirements. That’s it.

water

I was so used to feeling deprived on other plans. Remember Slim Fast? Having to drink that cup full of chalky  nasty? I tried Weight Watchers, counting points, counting calories, measuring my food. I even tried portion controlling cookies into baggies, but then ended up eating 5 bags in one sitting! I also have tried Adkins and Keto, losing weight, but then gaining it back.

The plan I am currently on is so sustainable, and flexible. Drink at least half your weight in ounces of water daily. More water=more weight loss. Also, style your plate to eat veggies most. In fact, you can eat as much non starchy veggies as you wish. I have found that I am #obsessed with cauliflower rice. That stuff is incredibly versatile. Try to substitute cauliflower rice instead of regular rice in your next recipe and your mind will be blown.

I also love this plan, because recipes are incredibly easy and don’t involve tons of ingredients. Veggies are so versatile, you can eat them any way you like on this plan. (Just don’t eat fried veggies all the time).

But my ultimate favorite part of this plan is that not only have I lost weight, I also feel incredibly healthy. My hair and skin are in great shape. I have more energy. The incredible simplicity of this plan is great!  And if you want to have dessert, eat it!

Then name of the plan is 2B mindset. If you are interested in learning more about this, just let me know. What nutrition plans do you follow, or have tried in the past? I am curious to see what others have tried, failed, or had immense long-lasting success.

Family Ties

I love Game of Thrones! Last night was the start of Season 8, the final season. What I love most about Game of Thrones though, is the strength and loyalty of family.

When it comes to my family, I only know my mother’s side. My father was adopted when he was 13. Over the years, I have had various illnesses and wondered about my family history. I also was curious about where I came from. Its pretty obvious, that I am a typical white woman. But how “white” am I? All I know is that I cannot tan, no matter how long I stay in the sun. And that is a bummer, living in Florida. About 5 years ago, I signed up for ancestry.com DNA kit. It was pretty easy to complete, just swab the inside of your mouth with a big q-tip and drop it in the mail.  A few weeks later, my results were emailed to me and up on my ancestry.com profile. Here are the findings:

Ethnicity Estimate

  • England, Wales & Northwestern Europe 67%
  • Ireland & Scotland 26%
  • Norway 4%
  • Germanic Europe 3%

Additional Communities

  • Northern Arkansas & Middle Tennessee Settlers
    • Tennessee Upper Cumberland Settlers
  • Tennessee & Southern States Settlers
    • Upper Middle Tennessee Settlers
    • West Tennessee, Arkansas & Northeast Texas Settlers
  • Lower Midwest & Virginia Settlers
    • Missouri Ozarks & East Tennessee Settlers

This is crazy! Considering I spent most of my life in southwest Missouri!

And yep, I’m pretty white, and it is apparent after my sunburn this weekend!

I really like using ancestry.com, my DNA results were matched with other users who completed a DNA kit. I have found several extremely close relatives I have never met. Has anyone else tried home DNA kits? I see commercials on TV for 23 and me. Has anyone tried this? What do you think?

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.