Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is recognized as a great stress relief tool with vast and potentially life altering benefits.  Meditation can be done anywhere by anyone.  It can be done while sitting, lying down, taking a shower, eating, cooking, walking, dancing, painting, writing, listening to music, praying, doing yoga………and the list goes on.  Life can be a meditation if living is done mindfully by experiencing and being present moment by moment. 

The benefits of meditation include, but are not limited to:  reduced stress, elevation and maintenance of positive emotions, increased resilience, mind-body connection, greater awareness, self-reflection, clarity, acceptance of present moment reality, quiet mind, increased concentration, greater creativity/imagination and connectedness to all that exists.  Meditation has become the subject of study for neuroscientists and there have been findings to support that meditation positively changes how the brain functions during stressful situations.  Additionally, consistent meditation practice has been shown to restore health in people who experience pain and illness.    

Meditation is a practice worth adding to your self-care regimen or building upon if you already meditate.  Our next blog will provide tips on how to begin a meditation practice.

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Mindful Living

Life can be a meditation if living is done mindfully and with intention in each moment.  According to Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, meditation expert, “mindfulness is the practice of experiencing reality in the present moment through awareness”.  This requires slowing down and being fully present in the here and now.  We often get caught in the stories cycling in our minds about past events or thinking about the future.  We can learn from the past, but it is gone and does not serve us to dwell there.  Thinking about the future can be helpful for the purpose of planning, however can create fear and anxiety regarding the unknown.  The future is not reality and has not yet happened.  The present, the moment of here and now as it is experienced, is the only moment that is real.

One can experience great peace and acceptance by living in the present moment.  There are many gifts and much beauty missed in the present moment because we can find ourselves identifying with the stories played out in our minds regarding the past and/or future.  This is part of the human condition and there is no reason for self-judgment as the purpose of the mind is for thinking.  Over-identification with our thoughts can be counterproductive as they are often driven by emotion and based upon opinions and judgments rather than on reality.  Getting out of our minds and fully living in our bodies through experiencing can be liberating.  In upcoming blogs I’ll explain the benefits of meditation and give tips on how to begin a meditation practice.      

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Spring Cleaning and Clearing

Spring is a great time to do some cleaning up and clearing from the outside-in and the inside-out.  It can be a time for space creation and renewal as one’s energy is often elevated and more motivated for change.  Many people have reported feeling lighter after doing some deep cleaning or getting rid of things that they no longer need or that no longer serve them.  It may be that positive feeling of accomplishment when such endeavors have been completed or the feeling of freedom from letting go.  Additionally, it feels great to donate those things we no longer want to someone who is in need.  It can take some motivation to get started on cleaning, clearing and organizing projects, but the benefits are well worth it.

We can also affect our external world by creating and clearing space internally.  Are there emotions, attachments, relationships, and/or habits within yourself that you would like to release?  Are there activities you still do that are no longer of benefit or people you spend time with that drain your energy or you no longer enjoy?  These questions are worth contemplating and if the answer is yes, now is a good time to release that which no longer serves you in order to create more spaciousness.

Perhaps time spent with a therapist or life coach could be beneficial.  It is possible that taking up a new activity or spending time with a new friend might be enjoyable.  Making more space for yourself to take pause, contemplate and/or relax could be what you do with the additional space created.  We can sometimes feel resentful of the time and effort given to others when we are not spending enough time meeting our needs.  Self-awareness regarding personal needs and responding to those needs can help us to restore balance and peace within a busy life.

I encourage you to think on these things and put intention into what you want to keep, let go of and bring into your life.  It is helpful to evaluate that which is working well and no longer working in your life.  Contemplate on how you can make space and take action.  It is a great time to spring forward in life, as the possibilities are limitless!

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