Simple tricks to fit meditation into your day

Simple tricks to fit meditation into your day

Usually when one goes on vacation, the mind is finally supposed to relax and not think about stressful things. Have you ever noticed this well-intentioned plan never works?

I’m a woman constantly obsessing about what I need to face when I’m back at work, or things I need to do around the house. It’s a never-ending saga!

While on vacation for the last week in sunny Huatulco, I spent a lot of time napping under the shade of palm trees and meditating with my spirit guide. One thing I learned is that my mind wanders so much that I can’t even keep it still for 5 minutes at a time!

dog-meditating
This dog is meditating better than me!

This means that for the precious moments that I am focused, I need to make my meditation count!

I started repeating short affirmations to myself whenever I caught myself being unable to stay in meditation mode:

  1. I am powerful and abundant.
  2. The Universe is providing everything that I need.
  3. I am getting whatever I want.
  4. Abundance, abundance, abundance!

These short little affirmations were a lot easier to automate in my head than doing the long drawn out versions like:

  • I am abundant and in the flow of money. The Universe provides me whatever I need. All my dreams are being realized. I want for nothing and am financially provided for.

If you find that you are having issues focusing on meditation or doing manifestation work, try coming up with short mantras that you can repeat to yourself throughout the day that are easy to remember.

Repetition is key! Find ways to build meditation into smaller chunks throughout the day.

There are days that I’ll meditate at my desk while I’m working. I’ll close my eyes for a few minutes and just focus on my breath. This helps me to be more centered and alert.

Active meditation is something I practice a lot. Usually when I’m washing dishes, or walking to get coffee, I’ll focus on the moment. What am I seeing, hearing, or smelling? Being present in the moment can often relax the brain.

Woman washing the dishes in the kitchen.
Washing dishes can be very meditative

It’s very easy for us to let our minds wander all day long, but as I get older I’m learning that my thoughts alone cause me more exhaustion than any other outside stimulus!

Mental breaks are very important when it comes to being productive and present in your life and the lives of others. If you are the type of person who likes to be of service, you have to remind yourself to take a lot of breaks.

Short mantras are also great for manifestation work! Try to figure out the quickest way to say what you want to achieve mentally:

  • I am manifesting an extra $2000 in the next 3 months to go on vacation to Hawaii in May 2017.

The best trick for manifestation is to make it seem like it’s already happening in your mind. That means you need to visualize what your intention looks like. Remember, you’ll always get what you ask for so make sure you are really clear when you do this work!

What does it feel like? Can you smell the dollar bills in your hand?  Is your wallet getting thicker? How happy do you look knowing that you didn’t go into debt to go on holidays? How does that beach sand feel between your toes? Can you feel the heat of the sun on your skin?

The visualization of your meditation is what helps convince you that your intention is becoming reality.

I’ve read some forums where people are attempting to attract the right significant other into their lives. You cannot force someone to fall in love with you. Free will is always going to work against you.

If you have a crush, you might let the red flags slide just to be with them. However, if you are focused on particular personality traits, you might end up attracting a mate more suitable for your needs.

How does this person make you feel? What activities are you doing on your dates? Is this person a great conversationalist? Does he or she make an effort with your family and friends?

There are going to be hundreds of qualities to choose from in a romantic partner manifestation. Just pick your top favourites and give it a go. Make up mantras and repeat them in your head when you think about it.

Hopefully this trick of shortening up affirmations into a repeatable mantras will help you if you can’t sit still long enough to meditate. Successful meditation requires frequency and repetition. The way I meditate looks nothing like how other people would meditate, but it works for me.

What are some tips that you have about fitting meditation into your life? Do you schedule it or just do it when you think of it? Share some of your secrets in the comments!

 

 

 

 

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The Shift: Stop making new year’s resolutions and start changing your mindset

The Shift: Stop making new year’s resolutions and start changing your mindset

Around this time of year, everyone is running around like crazy.  Parties to attend, work deadlines to meet before the holidays, family obligations, and spending an inordinate amount of time online shopping for the perfect gift!  Stop with the madness already!

Maybe it’s a bit early to talk about New Year’s resolutions, but imma do it anyway!

When all this Christmas stuff is over, we get to set up new expectations in the new year of all the bad habits we want to break or all the new habits we’d like to start.  We want to lose weight, eat more vegetables, stop drinking alcohol or quit smoking.  Or there could be more interesting goals like save money for a vacation, buy a new house, travel abroad, or change careers.

According to the stats, only 8% of people ever successfully achieve their new year’s resolutions.

Well…crap!

That’s because we put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect.  Each of the goals listed above is quite lofty in its own way.  How do we keep the momentum once the buzz of the holidays has worn off?  Do you feel withdrawal from cutting out sugar or caffeine?  After a few weeks you’re cranky, hungry, and agitated.  What chance of manifesting success do you really have?

How many diets and weight loss plans have I started and regrettably ended because I lost my willpower?  Dozens of times in the last 20 years.  The featured image I chose for this blog is how I and other gym rats always scoff at the New Year’s “resolution-ers” hitting the gym as of January. Every gym regular knows those people who are attempting to make it based on willpower will most certainly fail by the end of March. Then we don’t have to wait for our favourite machines anymore and the fitness classes become more roomy again! Yaaassssss!

The best advice on achieving goals I ever got was from reading one of those free books you get with a GoodLife gym membership when you sign up.  In Living the Good Life: Your Guide to Health and Success, David-Patchell Evans writes about how “good enough is good enough”. He says perfection is something that no one should be striving to achieve on a day to day basis.  You are more likely to give up your goals or get burnt out over the long-term.  Making smaller incremental changes that become a part of your life are the best way to have them become a permanent part of your life.

There’s going to be days or weeks where you’ll fall off the wagon, but that’s ok.  You have to brush yourself off and try again.

Instead of aiming for new year’s resolutions to start making changes in your life, why not start now?  Each day I do something small to work towards manifesting my goals.  I want to be debt-free and have financial freedom.  So I read a lot of books and articles on how to do that.  I don’t do it for hours, but just enough to get a couple new ideas into my brain.

I listened to a podcast by Tony Robbins this morning where he spoke about the entrepreneur mindset. Robbins believes that 80% of success comes from thought while 20% comes from mechanics.  Tons of books have been written on the subject of changing your thinking.  Fear, which is a construct of our brain, holds people back from executing the tough stuff.  Maybe instead of taking giant leaps forward all the time, we just need to take baby steps and get closer to our dreams.

We need to give ourselves a break from being our worst critics.

It’s hard to achieve a goal and one should be praised for getting it.  Why is a reaching a goal worthy of praise? People forget how hard the journey itself is.  The journey is where we learn how to be the best parts of ourselves, through the learning and the mistakes.  We survive somehow.  It doesn’t make you weak if you don’t succeed at something.  The fact that you tried anything at all should demonstrate how strong you are.  And if you dust yourself off and try again, you are even stronger for doing so.

Success is 99 percent failure.

-Soichiro Honda

So instead of making a list of unrealistic new year’s resolutions that you may achieve a little but then give up on by March, maybe just tell yourself that you aren’t going to make them anymore.  I haven’t made new year’s resolutions in years because I think they are a waste of time and energy.  I’d rather just go on impulse and do whatever I want no matter what time of year it is.

I bought a guitar at the beginning of December 2016 and want to learn how to play it.  Doesn’t mean I’ll succeed but I’m going to give it a go.  I tried to learn by watching YouTube videos but quickly realized that my fingertips weren’t hitting the strings or frets correctly and my posture was completely off.  The strumming didn’t sound right either.  Rather than learning how to play badly without one-on-one instruction, I just figured I’d pay someone to teach me.

Like everyone else, I figured that it was cheaper and just as good to try something on my own. But unlike everyone else, I didn’t give up when I didn’t get it. I changed my mindset to accept that I am not a guitar teacher and I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s better I hire a professional to save me time and energy!

In my first lesson, my instructor helped me loosen the grip on my hands.  He watched me and taught me how to make it feel natural playing chords and strumming the guitar.  I wouldn’t have learned these tricks on my own. I’m not the expert.  Just check out the hundreds of ads on Kijiji where people have written that they bought the guitar on a whim and only ended up playing it a couple times because life got in the way. Basically, for the people who didn’t want to invest in the journey, they gave up.

It doesn’t matter to me that I become an expert at the guitar. I want to play it as a stress reliever because I’ve always loved music. When I was a child, I learned to play a variety of instruments (accordion, harmonium, sitar, clarinet and saxophone) and I remember how good it felt to play a song.  When I was 17, I stopped playing the saxophone because I hated band practice!

So why did I quit music if I loved it so much? I used to force myself to practice at least an hour and I absolutely loathed it.  Knowing what I know now, it was a mistake to make my practice sessions so long to the point that I hated practice at the end of it.  I thought I was being disciplined and everyone else in band was practicing at least an hour a day (or so I thought).  Unfortunately, it made me hate playing music so much that I ended up quitting it for almost 20 years.

Now when I practice the guitar, I don’t practice for an hour.  I practice until my fingers start to hurt too much and then I stop.  That’s maybe 20-30 mins at a time, and sometimes even less. As I build up the calluses, I know I’ll play longer. My goal is just to play what I learned quicker and better than when I started the practice.  If I achieve that, I stop when I reach my high point. It leaves me with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that I’m farther now than I was before.  Good enough is good enough.

How many of you reading this were musicians, dancers, athletes once and have given up because the practice schedule felt overwhelming to you and now you have given it up permanently?

 It’s always a good idea to invest in yourself and work towards personal development.

Sometimes you have to fight yourself against yourself too.  Your inner critic is always waiting for you to fail so why not shut him/her up by changing your mindset?  Push out the negative thoughts and pull in the positive ones.  It’s easier said than done and takes practice. But that’s the Law of Attraction and manifestation for you!

Forget Monday or New Year’s Day.  Start your goals today.  Don’t think in terms of calendars anymore.

Here are some journalling prompts in case you are thinking about goal setting now:

  • What goals are you trying to achieve?
  • What have you started and given up on?
  • Why did you give up?
  • Was there anything you’ve stuck to long-term?
  • What made you stick with something longer than another goal you gave up on quickly?

In the meantime, what is your advice for those of us trying to stick to our goals: resolutions or otherwise?  Have you successfully stuck to a new year’s resolution?  Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know!

 

The “pitfalls” of abundance

The “pitfalls” of abundance

I’ve spoken before on the concept of being specific when you are talking about abundance affirmations and meditations.  It’s kind of a big deal and anyone working with the Law of Attraction shouldn’t take this lightly.

If you ask the Universe for let’s say “connecting with friends” the Universe won’t be able to tell which friends you are requesting.  It will just somehow get the attention of everyone in your friend circle that may be open to receiving the call.  This includes acquaintances and perhaps people who may have lost touch with due to a disagreement.

But is that really what you were going for?  Maybe we need to work on our wording and phrasing so the Universe brings us exactly what we desire.  However, first we must figure out what we want.

It’s always a good idea to do some introspective work.  Ask yourself questions regarding the specifics of your goal.  For instance, going back to the reconnecting with friends bit, maybe you want to have a timeline e.g.) within the next month.  Maybe you want to reconnect with certain friends e.g.) give the Universe some names.  Don’t leave this to assuming the Universe will just figure it out.  That’s not really the right attitude.

I also find that if my request is too broad, then the outcome I am looking for never comes to fruition.  But when I specify what I want in even a few details, I will inevitably receive it.

When I was in my early 20’s dabbling with some Wiccan spell rituals, I decided to cast a love spell under a full moon on Halloween night.  It was perfect timing to accomplish anything.  The veil is known to be the thinnest at that time, so I was ready to work!

I spent a couple days gathering all the ingredients I needed for my spell to work.  This included the right herbs, the right tools like candles, a wand, a knife, offerings, a tablecloth, the correct crystals to enhance the energy, writing the incantation and then figuring out the order of how to do things.  This was before the days of YouTube so I read a lot of books on the subject but didn’t really have a mentor.

My altar was set, I invoked the cardinal directions, cast my circle with a blade, read aloud my spell and set my intention to attract the perfect boyfriend.  I gave a few specifics (I wanted someone tall, kind, loving to animals, and financially stable).  I thanked the spirits, gods and goddesses, closed the circle and grounded myself.

It was pretty powerful stuff I was dabbling with!  In fact, I refuse to even do this kind of work anymore unless it’s something serious that I feel I need assistance with.  I didn’t even know how this all worked or if I would even end up achieving anything.  At that time, I’d been single for a long time and I just wanted to find someone.  The risk was that it could have backfired as well with the Law of Three (any energy good or bad that you send out into the Universe comes back to you threefold).

I did end up meeting a man with all these qualities.  However, we had a hard time communicating. He was not as book smart as I would have liked.  I found out that he was cheating on me. There were things lacking in the relationship that were huge red flags.

From that experience I learned a lot.  Still, I reflect back to what happened and find new things I didn’t know before.  Most importantly, I learned that being as specific as I was, the Universe gave me exactly what I asked for.

Abundance manifestation is not easy and there’s no formula to it.  You must work at it and find your own way.  Our thoughts and intentions are very powerful.  I caution you though: use this at your own risk.  However, be prepared to reap the rewards if you work hard and learn to do it right.

Have you done any abundance or manifestation work that didn’t go as planned?  Tell me what happened if you are open to sharing!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Playing mind games…with yourself

Playing mind games…with yourself

Positive thinking.  It can lead to better health, less stress in life, and improved relationships with people you know.  So if I just tell myself it’s a nice day outside and put a smile on my face, is that enough?  Am I going to achieve great things from making a few small changes?  Will I be abundant?

The answer to all those questions is a giant MAYBE.  Yes, if you have a smile on your face it can make you feel a bit better throughout the day.  Putting your best foot forward is always a good idea.  Making small changes every day will lead to a big change in the near future.  Everything must be in place first before you can move forward.

One of the biggest things people forget is that you have to be precise about what you want to accomplish.  If you have ever gone through a performance review at your job, you know I’m talking about goal setting.  Your boss is always asking you to be specific about the goals for the coming year so that they have a benchmark to base your performance on.

Manifesting your dreams is the same idea.  You must ask for something specific and tangible.

For example:

If you are tired of your current work situation, you can’t just say “Universe, I want a better job!”  The Universe doesn’t know what you mean by “better job”. Instead, say something like “Universe, I am blessed because I have a career with amazing benefits.  It pays me well. I like the people I work with.  I’m happy with my job and I have a great boss.”  Notice the difference in the tone and phrasing.  The tone is present tense as though you already have it.  Then you must believe and feel that you already have it.  Imagine what it feels like to have this dream job.  Visualize the space, the coworkers, the location, how happy and excited you are to be there.  Go ahead and tell the Universe how much money you want to make. Do this exercise every day until you begin to believe it’s real.  Next the universe will catch up to you (rather quickly) and everyone will be shocked that you were so fortunate.

Except you weren’t fortunate or lucky.  You worked to make it happen through the power of your mind.  Thoughts are incredibly powerful.  Books have been written about the subject.  Your mindset is so important if you want to have a rich and abundant life.

Last month, I was feeling really down on myself and things hadn’t gone as I had planned.  I encountered a bit of emotional conflict and wanted to reach out to people to support me but I didn’t know how.  I’d lost touch with a lot of old friends and I wanted to reconnect.  Would they even welcome me back since I’d been so lazy staying in touch?  I asked the Universe for help and phrased my goal in this way: “I’m reconnecting with my old friends.  We are going out for dinner, drinks, hanging out, etc.  I’m feeling so blessed to be surrounded by my friends and they are exactly where I need them to be.”  The Universe responded in a big way.  All of a sudden, my social calendar was filled up with girly dates!  We went for dinner, coffee dates, walks by the river, wine nights, and dancing!  I was going out and having fun.  Friends that I’d lost touch with for months and even years were getting in touch with me.  My texts were filled with notes from beautiful souls!  I would say that from the time I requested being surrounded by friends till I manifested it into reality was maybe a week.  It’s been a month now since the request was made and the manifestation is still happening!

My life has been so enriched by a simple request that was specific and real.  If you haven’t tried this little mental trick yet, give it a shot and see what happens.  What have you got to lose?