I’m feeling the love! I am stoked for this new moon magic and new year upon us. Feels like some major shifts are going on across the board, I bet you feel it too!
New moons and new years are exciting, supportive times for setting awesome intentions. I set a bunch of my own at a DOPE new moon goddess circle (yes, this was a real thing that happened) with my friends from The Babe Collective. I met the most inspiring ladies but most of all felt supercharged to take big steps towards making my intentions come to life. Side note: (somewhat related but kind of tangential) Did you know that Urban Outfitters is selling sage smudge spray and crystals these days? I’m not even annoyed one bit. I think it’s wonderful all this “woo-woo” magic stuff is breaking into the mainstream, hopefully more people will be inspired to connect with healing practices that really help them.
So what were my intentions? No matter what the goal is, I keep coming back to meditation as the means to accomplish whatever it may be. I’ve meditated on and off for years with some memorably consistent periods where I sat for as much as 20 minutes a day. It’s literally a game changer for how different my days can be when I start them off with truly tuning in. I can see everything through a new lens. I’m present for all that’s happening around me and, most magically of all, I’m able to press pause before reacting or acting impulsively when the unexpected surely occurs. For all the other things I envision accomplishing and embodying in my life, everything rests on the foundation of meditation and trusting that the answers to all of my questions and challenges lie within. Even after this past week of solidly sitting every day for at least 10 minutes I can feel a big change. Plus I’ve noticed way more cool serendipitous things happening – more than usual. Certainly there’s a connection here.
This has been coming up again and again lately – and I feel like I can shed some light to hopefully help out when it comes to this common question. In chatting up friends about meditation and suggesting it as a tool to really help with anything – people’s common response is “I’m not sure how to do it so I don’t.” I feel like there’s a lot of talk that goes on about how meditation is all about clearing your mind, emptying your thoughts and sitting lotus-style for hours on some grassy hill with incense burning and candles and mini gongs. Like you have to be a guru or work with a guru in order to meditation or “do it right.” There are so many ways to meditate.
Did you know walking and mindfully noting what colors you see as you walk down the street is a meditation? Dancing, singing, yoga, mindfully eating, and even riding your bike while taking notes on all the sights and sounds you are taking in – it’s all meditation. So, for anyone our there listening, here’s a simple way you can start to meditate. I’ve been using this visualization tool and it’s helped me unbelievably! And remember, there’s no “doing it right” – as long as you’re taking a minute or a few minutes even to close your eyes and check in with yourself and your breath, to just be in your body and connect to all the sensations you’re experiencing, there you are.
- Sit comfortably somewhere you know you’ll be comfortable and undisturbed for a few minutes.
- Sometimes it’s helpful to set a timer so you don’t worry about keeping track, try 5 minutes to start and set a fun alarm on your phone, once it’s set, close your eyes.
- Start breathing deeply, counting in 1-2-3-4-5 as you breathe in, and then counting (in your mind) 1-2-3-4-5 as your breathe out. Repeat this cycle 5 times, saying the numbers in your head as you breathe.
- Now think of something you want to accomplish, achieve or heal. Visualize yourself as actively doing that thing, or embodying that state. Use positive statements and affirmations to define what it is you want to embody. Say the simple affirmation over and over in your mind while visualizing yourself in that healed, empowered state. It can be ANYTHING! My JAM lately has been using this tool to picture my body as balanced, healed and healthy (since I’ve had issues with skin and hormonal balance since forever). So I say to myself: “I am balanced, my body heals itself, I am healthy, I am strong, I am powerful, my body is balanced, my body is healthy, I am strong, my body knows what it needs, I am healthy.” I visualize myself eating all the delicious foods I love to eat, happily enjoying every bite. I see myself with beautiful glowing skin, healthy hair and nails and lots of vibrant energy. I picture myself looking and feeling rested and rejuvenated and waking up easily in the morning and sleeping soundly at night. I really try to hone in on how this actually feels. I try to embody the feelings I want to experience in my everyday life. I’ve also used this for finishing projects and even for, can you even guess, meditation.
You might surprise yourself and find that you’ll want to use the visualization method for way longer than 5 minutes because it feels so good. Call it manifestation or what have you – this methodology is a game changer for sure. Our minds are so beautiful and amazing – we create our own realities over and over. We can change our thoughts and therefore re-create our experiences.
I love the analogy of phones and software updates. I get a new phone almost once a year and get multiple software updates over the course of the phone’s lifetime, right? Well, shouldn’t the same be true for my mind state and beliefs? I was born into the world and literally made up some pretty epic belief systems and core principles. As young as 2 years old I was making tons of awesome ideas up in order to understand the world around me and all the people I was in relationships with. It’s like I was born as a Motorola flip phone and I’ve just been rocking the same operating system since like way back in the day – it’s just not that cute and doesn’t accommodate my modern lifestyle. So nowadays I constantly need upgrades and updates – not just to my technology but for my beliefs.
A lot of my beliefs, looking back, didn’t really work for me, for a long time. But the urge to do work on myself in this deep way didn’t come easily. In fact it took a lot of pain and at times pretty huge wake up calls. But today I’m grateful to know that changing doesn’t have to be catalyzed by pain and suffering. All it takes is an open mind and willingness to have a new experience plus perhaps committing to using some new practices to support growth along the way. Plus, it’s the most fun, creative thing we can do while we’re on the planet – change our lives and have new experiences! I’m all about it. Hey 2016, I’m ready for ya – bring it on!