Tag Archive | meditation

How Meditation Supports Your Soul Evolution — Part 1: Why Should I?

Meditation, meditation, meditation. It’s everywhere. Everyone is talking about it. You’ve heard them say how wonderful it is. You want to give it a try, but it seems a little mysterious and “out there” to you, and you don’t know where to begin, or why you even should.

Let’s start with what it is. Meditation could be defined as a process: At first, it is the act of focused attention on a single subject. Eventually (and I do mean eventually), it is merging with the Infinite. You only need to be concerned with the first part, which is the discipline itself.

Before you jump into the discipline, it is important to know why you are doing it. What are the benefits of meditation? Surely they are innumerable, and outcomes can be different for you than your friend who meditates. You are a unique soul that will receive unique benefits from your practice!

There are, however, a few given benefits from a consistent meditation practice:

1. Meditation builds the channel for your intuition.

2. You get to practice watching the multitude of thoughts that go through your mind. This is called being the Observer of self.

3. Meditation is an exercise in focusing and stilling the mind.

4. Meditation raises your vibration, which can put you in a better mood than when you began.

5. It helps you learn to discern the truth about yourself from the false beliefs and thoughts that move in and out of your awareness.

6. During meditation, you are “downloaded” with new information, and are able to see things in a new way.

7. It helps you see everyday situations from a spiritual perspective.

8. Meditation helps to detoxify the mind and body from stress.

9. It begins the process of awakening you to greater spiritual gifts and understanding.

10. Meditation helps you hold the light for yourself throughout the day.

11. Your higher vibration from your meditation practice blesses all those around you!

Does it sound worth it now? Excellent! In my next post, I’ll walk you through some steps and methods to support your meditation practice. In the meantime, explore some times of day that would work best for your meditation practice. Look into a space in your home that would serve as a spiritual refuge for you. Get ready to commit to your soul!

How to Use Your Intuition to Support Your Soul Evolution

Soul growth is primarily about taking responsibility for your choices, past, present and future. Intuition is necessary to guide you through each moment, helping ensure your right new course of action.

Intellect can only go so far, since it pulls information and ideas mainly from past experiences—experiences that often hold false beliefs, faulty decisions, and unresolved issues. It’s hard to make clear decisions when you are seeing a situation through a clouded filter.

What is intuition then? It is the avenue for receiving answers from your Higher Self—that part of you that sees through the drama (yours and others’) of a situation. Intuition is a spiritual muscle that takes practice, time, and attention to build, clarify, and trust.

If you haven’t already practiced using your intuition, here are some ideas to being. If you regularly check in with your intuition, these ideas may help you go deeper, and strengthen your intuitive muscles.

  1. Practice with the small stuff. Ask for guidance about insignificant matters daily. When you get your answer, go with it and see what happens!
  2. Observe yourself, your thoughts, your emotions on a regular basis, throughout the day.

Millions of thoughts move through your mind each day. Some of them are true, but most of them are not. When you go through life unaware of these thoughts, you inevitably act on the false ones, reinforcing them. Observe your thinking and begin to discern the difference!

Also, there are times you can let an emotional response go, and be done with it. Other times, you have to watch an emotional or thought pattern for a while so you can understand it enough to let it go. Observing your inner self greatly aids this process.

  1. MEDITATE! This is the best exercise for improving your intuition.

Meditation raises your vibration, allowing you to problem solve at a higher level. Meditation also gives you practice discerning the real versus unreal among the thoughts that whip around your mind all day.

  1. Work with tools to go deeper:
  • Journaling. When in doubt, write it out. Your mind will turn an issue in circles a million times and still not let you have peace about it. As you journal emotional triggers, you will begin to see patterns in the triggers, which helps lead you to the core issue. Then the healing begins.
  • Forgiveness. No matter what, forgive. If you’re holding on to blame—toward yourself or others—your ability to move forward is greatly inhibited.
  1. Detach from the result you think you want in a given situation. When you are follow an intuitive sense, just go with it. Which brings us to…
  2. Trust the process! Your intuition is connected to Universal Wisdom. Trust your inner Self!

Now, go work that intuition!

Mindful Minutes that Last a Lifetime

ImageSince the transition into the new year, there have been many scientific revelations around the practice of mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is focused attention, the observing of sensations and thoughts without getting caught up in them. Often the breath is the focus of mindfulness meditation, and yoga is an example of mindfulness practice.

Meditators and yoga lovers have known the power of focused attention, stillness and breath awareness for a long time—thousands of years, even. Through many recent brain scans studies, science now acknowledges several physiological benefits of taking just five minutes every day to pay attention to the breath:

  • Stress reduction
  • Better memory
  • Increased creativity
  • Increased compassion
  • Emotional stability
  • Decreased pain sensitivity
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Reduced cognitive decline
  • Strengthens will power

Literally, grey matter and folds in the brain increase allowing for faster processing time—mindfulness changes the brain structure so it works better for us! We can be more flexible, efficient at learning new tasks, and resilient during times of change.

Convinced like a scientist yet?

So, where to begin? All you need in your busy schedule is five minutes. Try to pick the same time each day so it becomes part of your daily routine. Think of it as necessary as brushing your teeth, except you are “brushing” away stress from your brain!

Sit comfortably. Begin taking normal breaths. Make sure you are breathing from your diaphragm (“belly breathing”) rather than your lungs only (“chest breathing”). Rest your hand above the stomach and below the ribs, which is where your diaphragm is approximately located. As you breathe normally from your diaphragm, you will feel your belly rise as you inhale, and retract as you exhale. Continue for five minutes.

If you find your mind wandering (which you will!) during this time, gently bring your attention back to your breathe. Notice any sensations in your body, but do not let your mind have a conversation about them. Simply bring your attention back to your breathe. Notice sounds around you, but again, don’t let your thoughts go on about them. Let your belly breathing be your primary focus.

Keep a journal of the changes you notice over time. People have told me that their doctors asked them why their blood pressure was lower than their last check up. Others have noticed emotional equilibrium that wasn’t there before they began practicing. Others appreciate the sense of overall peace throughout their day.

What benefits are coming to you through your practice?

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Further reading:

‘Mindfulness’ Meditation Alters Gene Expression, Study Suggests“, The Huffington Post  |  By Jacqueline Howard Posted: 12/09/2013 7:53 am EST  |  Updated: 01/19/2014 11:49 pm EST

The science behind meditation, and why it makes you feel better“, GEORGE DVORSKY on IO9NEUROSCIENCE
4/04/13 11:28a

The Power of Concentration“, By Maria Konnikova, Published: December 15, 2012

Love Encourages Change

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Each new year brings new energy and desire for change! Often when we have something we want to change in ourselves, the first response we have is anger, frustration, rejection. We then try to go about our desired change with a hammer over our heads!

How many of us do well while getting bossed around, criticized and rejected? It might work for a little while—or a long while, if we are super-tolerant—but after a time, we stop trying so hard, or try to get away from the hammer, thus avoiding the task at hand.

We do better at change when we have encouragement, acceptance and a caring eye guiding us in the new behavior.

Who is the best person to do that for you? Maybe you have a supportive friend, or an encouraging therapist. But you are with you all the time! You are the one who will walk with you through all of the ups and downs of life!

Here are a few ways to encourage yourself through any change you want to make:

  • Love first: Ask yourself, “What is there to love about the situation as it is?”
  • Take one change at a time. Too many changes too fast wear us out! This is why so many New Year’s resolutions are abandoned.
  • Visualize yourself already changed. What does that look like? See yourself happy and enjoying the results of your efforts! Spend five minutes each day with this exercise. Take notes on how it feels. You will likely come up with new steps toward your goal!
  • Imagine what you would say to your best friend who was going through a change. Is your self-talk matching what you would say to someone else? If not, write down encourage statements, affirmations or mantras, and place them around your home, car and work.
  • Remember these kindnesses when you are working with others during changes. Patience with others helps us have more patience with ourselves.

A little love goes a long way to melt raw materials and create a masterpiece. Take a best friend with you throughout 2014…YOU! Happy New Year, and happy new YOU!