Grief and loss don't even begin to explain the year of 2020. As I was recently processing these emotions myself, I stumbled upon a couple videos I made a few years ago. I found a sense of calm as I went back and watched them, and so I want to share them with you today.
In this 1st video, I share the Buddhist practice of Metta. This is a practice of loving-kindness, and of transforming loss into love. (4 minutes)
In this 2nd video, you'll put into action what you just learned from the 1st video. Find a cozy seat, and follow along in this 5-minute guided loving-kindness meditation practice.
I'd love to hear your experience with this meditation. Leave a comment below to let me know!
I created 2 guided meditations to help you relax and accept the moment. It's undeniable that we're collectively experiencing grief and trauma. This current situation of Covid19 and physical distancing is taking it's toll on us. It may look different for each of us in some ways. But, the collective experience is one that is allowing us to shift gears in many ways. To re-examine our priorities and our general way of being. With that, comes a mix of emotions and experiences. I've created 2 meditations to help you navigate these varying experiences.
The first session is about allowing for the stages of grief to pass through you. (Please note: I realized after recording that I described one of the stages as "guilt." That was a mistake. The 5th stage is actually "depression." According to Dr. Kubler-Ross, "guilt" falls under the stage of grieving called "anger." For more on grieving, refer to the book On Grief and Grieving, by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler.)
The second session is about giving yourself permission to relax. Permission to shift from a productivity mindset to one of intuition and flow.
I hope you enjoy these sessions and that they bring an element of peace to your day! Leave a comment below letting me know how you liked the sessions!!
Challenges are inevitable. Suffering is a choice.
This was the topic of a podcast I listened to recently. In it, Marie Forleo interviewed Krishnaji and Preethaji. Marie Forleo, if you’re not familiar, is an amazing entrepreneur, business and life coach. Krishnaji and Preethaji are the founders of an organization called O&O academy. So, in this interview, they talked about the difference between challenges and suffering. Life will always present you with challenges. But, suffering, they say, is a choice. Challenges are the actual situation. Suffering is your reaction to the situation. Suffering comes from your mind’s thoughts and the emotions that those thoughts evoke.
So, how can you move through life’s challenges without suffering? I’ll be upfront about this. It’s not easy. There’s the day to day challenges. Things like getting to work on time, getting your kids ready for school, or dealing with traffic. Then, there’s the bigger challenges that life throws at you. Things like the loss of a loved one, a new diagnosis, or a career change. It maybe that a completely enlightened person would be able to move through these situations without suffering. But, for the rest of us, I think it’s possible to at least minimize our suffering. To find some sort of peace and acceptance within those challenges. Possibly even find happiness and gratitude.
The first step is awareness. Recognize that you’re suffering. Acknowledge the suffering. Maybe even start a conversation with it. Your feelings are valid. They usually show up as a message. So, ask it: "Suffering, what are you hear to teach me? What’s the lesson I need to learn here?"
And then, sit still. Let the light enter those dark spaces. By asking those questions and being open to what arises, you’re letting the light in. The light of guidance and wisdom. It may be subtle as a little whisper from your inner voice. Or, it may be more obvious, like a blog post, book, or social media post that you stumble upon.
If you find it hard to sit still, then try journaling. I meditate daily, which helps me tune in. But, journaling is actually the way I most easily tune into these messages. So, if meditation seems impossible, try sitting down with a pen and paper. Write down these questions: "Suffering, what are you hear to teach me? What’s the lesson I need to learn here?"
Then, let your pen move. Free flow. Whatever comes out, let it be. And, then go back and read what you wrote. You might be surprised what you find. There may be a new perspective, a solution, or a lesson in what you wrote.
I’m interested to hear what you think of this idea of suffering being a choice. And, what you discover when you try out these practices! Leave a comment below to let me know!
"The goal of meditation isn't to control your thoughts; it's to stop letting them control you." -Unkown
I came across this great quote on Instagram last week. It struck me because it's so true! Whenever I talk to someone about meditation, the first thing they say to me is, "But, I can't stop thinking! I try to sit there and be still, but my mind keeps racing!!"
Here's the thing though: It's your mind's job to race! Yoga calls this "the monkey mind." Yoga says that thoughts are the natural process of your mind. When you sit to meditate, you don't try to STOP the thoughts. You don't try to control or force the thoughts. Rather, you ALLOW the thoughts to be there. You WATCH the thoughts. You say, "Hey thought, I see you there. Thanks for stopping by." And then, you shift your focus.
What do you shift your focus to? Anything you CHOOSE to. Through meditation, you choose what your mind focuses on instead of the other way around! To practice, you can focus on your breath, an object, or an affirmation. In this guided meditation, I lead you through a process of focusing on your breath and a sound vibration. Try it out and let me know how you feel afterwards!
P.S. This guided meditation is part of my new 15-Minutes To Mindfulness Toolkit. Subscribe here for the full toolkit!