Tag: declutter your mind

So you want to start a meditation practice? Maybe you’ve tried it a couple times but didn’t stick to it. Maybe you dabbled in it once before but got discouraged thinking you weren’t doing it right.

Whatever the experience, you’re still curious about it and all the benefits it could bring into your life…if only you actually did it.

In order to start a meditation practice that will serve you, it helps to know the basics: where, when and how.

Good thing is, you can do it. Meditation is not just for hippies, Buddhists or “new-agey” vegans only. It’s for everyone, you and me.

Starting with confidence will encourage you to keep at it. And consistency is key.

Let’s break down the “Foundational 3” of a strong meditation practice.

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With the end of another school year, spring moving summer, and the final push to be productive before the kids are home all day, the load can leave us drained of energy. All of it can feel pretty stressful.

It’s during these times of change when we have to take care of ourselves so the transition doesn’t wear us out.

Here are a few ways I like to reduce stress and find my calm.

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I get it. You’re busy.

Too busy for friends and family let alone meditation and yoga. Too busy for a proper meal let alone mindfulness training. Too busy for a shower let alone 8 hours of sleep.

You probably feel like you don’t have enough time for much nowadays.

You don’t even know who’s running your schedule, you or your clients. You or your colleagues. You or your spouse. You or your kids. You or [insert everyone else ever].

Meanwhile, you’re frazzled, scatterbrained, overwhelmed…but still determined to get it all done.

So tell me this, out of all the hours in a day, how many of them are spent nurturing your mind? How many are spent catering to the health of your mind? How many are spent appreciating the miracle that is your mind?

Don’t have time for that, you say?

You don’t have time to not have time for that.

I’m here to tell you that no amount of money, success, accolades or fame will do for you what a clear, strong mind can do.

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It’s easy to wake up and just start running around the house like a crazy person making breakfast, checking email, putting dishes away, doing push-ups, rummaging through closet hangers for an outfit and getting the kids out of the house. Ambitiously, in the spirit of “getting it all done.”

Most of us can relate to a morning like that. And how it starts is typically how it ends.

Our days begin to look colorless and feel monotonous, and we can’t see the horizon because we’ve cluttered our view with tasks, obligations, chores and responsibilities. The weight of it all is debilitating.

We have only 24 hours in a day and sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough because we’re cramming too much in.

So much so that it’s confused us, clouded our focus and crippled our peace. Our effort to get it all done is actually counterproductive.

But what if we started a little slower and a little more thoughtfully? How would a peaceful start change our day, its course and momentum? How would our morning affect our focus throughout the day? How would it improve the way we speak to others, what we put in our bodies, and how we feel by the time we return home at night?

How can we use our morning to put us on the good foot? To open us up to receive what comes and to welcome it with open arms, whatever it is? I have an idea how…

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Meditation is for everyone. Even you. How do I know this? Because, as humans made of spirit and flesh, we seek balance. We seek both action and inaction. Both challenge and ease. Both excitement and calm.

Coming into balance, given the daily exchange of stimuli, requires that we pause the incoming and outgoing, and allow for the settling. Like a shaken snow globe returning to still after it is set down.

After encountering stimulation after stimulation in our waking life, we need to calm the mind and center our attention inward. We need to reconnect with and replenish ourselves. Imagine us as little batteries walking around; at some point, we need to get recharged.

The recharging that meditation offers, however, is different than sleep. It’s much more than just relaxing our muscles, closing our eyes and dreaming. Meditation is decluttering.

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You know those thoughts that you have about 100 times a day that you’re not good enough, you’ll never make it, you won’t ever get what you want, blah blah blah?

All that is clutter.

We are all mentally cluttered. We all have these types of thoughts flutter into our minds everyday, messing up the place.

From the moment we learn our first word and take our first piece of advice, we let in the clutter. We store ideas, cling to memories, form habits and collect beliefs.

Not all of it is negative, but anything that distracts you from the you behind the name, beneath the skin, before the accolades, is clutter.

All those beliefs you have of I can’t do it, I’m not enough, and I’m not lovable, is clutter.

Clutter clouds, corrodes and covers up. That’s what it does.

The good news is, we don’t have to stay buried underneath that junk. We don’t have to lay prey to its lies, limitation or lack. With clutter out of the way, we can live up to our highest potential and our purest truth.

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Each and every single day of our lives, we work toward love. The one thing we don’t need to work for at all, yet it is the one thing we work the hardest at. So much so, we never fail at it, searching and finding love.

We don’t always know we’re doing it, but we are. We seek to be loved, to feel loved and to know we’re loved. And we effort toward that through any means necessary.

We search and we find it however we can. Through compliments, awards, sex, food, drugs, gossip, Instagram, shopping, comparing, belittling…

A lot or a little at a time, we distract ourselves from true love and gravitate toward good-for-now. We’ve become addicted to those small detours away from self-judgment. Anything that gets our minds off what we hate about ourselves.

Doesn’t sound like love at all.

Nothing external can be a source (er, a reminder) of love, unless we first love ourselves. Love that comes inside-out is able to recognize love that comes outside-in. We see, feel and know only what’s already inside of us.

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