Meditation—Just Do It

Do you know what I believe to be the best meditation practice? The one that works for you.

That’s it.

As I go deeper into my personal meditation practices I have been reflecting on my own meditation journey. I know with certainty that I had to start small and start easy. That’s what worked for me.

Perhaps, another method will work for you. That’s awesome. Embrace whatever works.

If however, you are like me and think small and easy is the answer I invite you to try meditating for just one minute a day. Give this a try for a day, or a week, or a month. Then reassess and see. Are you content staying at one minute? Or would you like to try a little longer?

I started my meditation journey with just one minute a day. It wasn’t long before I tried 2 minutes, then 5….

Over the years I have experimented with various types of meditation from guided to breath work, body scans, mantras, and recently have even been exploring death meditations.

In the beginning guided meditation is what worked for me.

I am a huge fan of the free app Insight Timer. You can easily use filters to find meditations based on length of time. You can also narrow searches to specific themes.

One of my favourite teachers is Robin Rice. She currently has 14 one-minute meditations to get you started.

https://insighttimer.com/robinrice/guided-meditations/1-minute-meditation-indulge-in-self-care

Another early option I tried was short mantra meditations. It can be a challenge for me to get out of my head. Focusing on the words of a mantra has been a great tool for me.

This is one of my favourites and just six minutes long

https://insighttimer.com/gordonburnham/guided-meditations/om-mani-padme-hum-buddhist-mantra-slash-kirtan

If you prefer silence, simply setting a timer and focusing on your inhales and exhales is a fabulous option.

Next week I will share some of the benefits of meditation, but this week if you are willing, I invite you to just be curious and explore some meditation. Embark on a little experiment and see what feels right for you.

Namaste

How Well-Resourced Are You?(and how we can work on that this weekend)

How well-resourced are you? I love this question. This is a question I first heard while working through a course led by Mark Walsh.

Often our society celebrates the ‘work hard, play hard’, ‘go big or go home’, ‘all or nothing’ type attitude. But does that ethos help or hurt?

By Mark asking participants in his courses how well-resourced they are, it allows people to really stop and think. Some days on a scale of 1-10 you might be an 8, while other days you might be a 3.

Neither answer is right or wrong. It just is what it is. Any place you fall on the scale is part of our human experience.

Things that might contribute to us not feeling well-resourced could be—not getting enough sleep, working overtime, feeling ill, relationship stress, or financial worries.

Sometimes the things that keep us from feeling well-resourced can be big, such as trauma. Some of the things can be out of our control, such as a loved one facing a serious health issue.

When we look at how well-resourced we are and apply it to fitness expectations (or even life expectations), is it reasonable to always expect 100%?

If you are feeling a 2 on the well-resourced scale, is a power yoga class really the answer? Maybe for you yes it is, but maybe not. Maybe a gentle practice will actually be of more benefit. Maybe skipping a class and getting some sleep would be even better.

The good news is that by starting to think in terms of how well-resourced we are we bring self-awareness to our ever-changing situation. We can also start to collect information on the things that help us feel more well-resourced and try to incorporate them into our days.

For me, it is the simple things that help me feel well-resourced including

-getting outside in nature

-tuning off the TV earlier and getting more sleep

-eating more fruit

-staying hydrated

-putting on some music and dancing

-making time for meditation

When I take the time to make these things part of my day I feel better, no matter what else might be going on in my life.

I have found that thinking about how well-resourced I am also helps to foster self-compassion. If I am a 3, I can lower the expectations I have for myself, be kinder and gentler with myself, and spend some time on activities that nurture and nourish me.

This weekend I encourage you to think about how well-resourced you are. Then, make a list of the things that contribute to you feeling well-resourced. Finally, see if you can add one or two of these soul nurturing things into your days.

Make a great weekend

Namaste

Some Days Are Just Bad Days (and that’s okay)

Yesterday, I started writing a post entitled, New Year, New Possibilities. It was positive and upbeat. However, partway through my writing there were a few interruptions and things that needed my attention.

At some point I began to feel drained. Then something a little more happened. My heart began to flutter, my chest felt tight, I felt sick to my stomach. These are not feelings I usually have.

I tried to walk it out. I stepped outside for fresh air. I sat with my plants and meditated. After a bit of meditation I did indeed feel better. Yet, throughout the day feelings of unease and anxiousness returned.

Eventually, I surrendered. I knew I was not going to be productive and gave up any expectations to be. Instead I baked cookies. I put on music. I had a bath. When dinner time came I decided I didn’t want to cook dinner, so I didn’t. Instead I made a sandwich and popped frozen French fries in the oven. I spent the even listening to an audiobook, then finished my day with a guided meditation.

Today I woke up feeling refreshed and inspired. Today any frustrations or anxiety I had are gone. I feel myself again.

Bad days happen. That’s okay, especially right now as we deal with the second wave of the pandemic.

Bad days happen, even though it is a new year and all around us we see the promotion of new goals, new opportunities, new possibilities.

I promote all those ideas. Yet, life is more than optimism and positive thinking and some days we will have bad days.

So be kind with yourself. Nurture yourself. Nourish yourself with activities that you enjoy.

Sure there’s lots of things we want to do in 2021, but we can do them tomorrow when we’re feeling a little better.

Happy 2021

This morning a picture came up in my Facebook memories and I remembered how 1 year ago today I was driving across the country on my way home from the woods of Quebec. The picture was taken in the middle of northern Ontario. Though I have done cross country trips several times now, I always marvel at the natural beauty Canada has to offer.

Little did I know at that time that for most of 2020 I would be staying at home or close to home. I went into 2020 full of optimism after a 2019 that for me was marked with illness and surgery. I went into 2020 full of goals, dreams and plans.

As with everyone else, 2020 was not what I had envisioned.

Yet, the eternal optimist in me enters 2021 full of hope and a quiet contentment. With my business I still face months of uncertainty as I know that government guidelines will dictate what operations look like. However, this year my goals and dreams are softer. I just want to do work I love, contribute to kindness in the world, and find beauty in the simple things.

Though I know that I can only imagine what this new year might bring, I trust that no matter what there will be days that I smile, moments of joy and times nurturing connections with others.

Wishing you a peaceful 2021 with moments of beauty, fun and a little adventure

A Little Inspiration from Brene Brown

It has been a week of ups and downs for me. I suppose this is typical for 2020. I started to write this evening with feelings of fear and insecurity and in that my purpose wasn’t authenticity and sharing goodness, . However, as I was writing I was reminded of something Brene Brown says, “Don’t shrink, don’t puff up, just stand your sacred ground”.

I realized that my writing was coming from a place of try to ‘puff up’ due to my fears and insecurities. So I deleted what I wrote. I was going to stop writing altogether and watch TV, but then reconsidered. Instead I thought I’d share some of my favourite Brene Brown things.

If you’re not familiar with Brene Brown she is a researcher, storyteller and Texan. Her areas of research include shame, vulnerability, courage and empathy. She has written several books including one of my all time favourite books, The Gifts of Imperfection. She speaks in a down to earth, relatable way and indeed is not shy about sharing her own imperfections. Her writing also offers ideas on actions we can take to live our best lives.

Many people first came to know her through her TED Talk which is one of the most popular of all time.

Brene Brown also hosts two podcasts, Daring to Lead, and Unlocking Us.

After going down the Brene Brown rabbit-hole for just a little while I am now out of that place of insecurity and fear. Instead I am feeling inspired. I know 2020 has been throwing a lot at us. Maybe today or sometime in the week ahead you might find that you too are struggling in one way or another. Perhaps you will find spending a little time with Brene Brown is just the thing you need too.