46 Days of Meditation

Yesterday marked my 46th day of meditating!!! That’s right, I’ve been meditating for the past 46 days straight (haven’t missed one day)! I am incredibly proud of myself for sticking with it and really working on my meditation practice. As you may know, one of my resolutions this year was to work on my meditation practice (you can read about it again here).

Last month I participated in a Mindfulness Study Group led by my favorite person Cassie! The 6 weeks flew by and I was so sad when our classes ended. It was a great way to refocus myself and get into a routine of meditating on a more regular basis. One of the gals in the class shared a link to 10 meditation apps and some of them are really fantastic! I’ve mostly been using Breathe to track my meditation progress. What I love about the app is that you do a quick mindful check in (10 seconds), then check in on how you are feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally. Based on what you selected a variety of different meditations are set up for you to choose from. You can do all of the meditations picked for you, select others to do in addition to the ones selected, or just do one meditation. There are also a variety of types of meditations (walking meditation, mindful breathing, body scan, engaging your senses, etc.). Then you have meditations that focus on different topics such as: gratitude, change, kindness, compassion, joy, dealing with anxiety, etc.). I really like tracking my emotions and seeing what meditations are recommend based on how I am feeling. One of my favorites is the “Welcoming the Day” meditation. I do this every morning (only 5 minutes) before I even get out of bed. It focuses on creating a sense of peace and calmness to carry throughout your day. It makes me feel less stressed at the start of each day. Another great thing about the app is that it tracks your progress (how many days you check in), lists your top meditations, totals how many minutes/hours you’ve meditated and you can even earn stickers!!! The stickers are just little incentives like completing your first meditation, completing 10 minutes of meditation, meditating for 5 days in a row, meditating before 8am, etc., which makes it all the more fun! It’s also nice that the meditations are relatively short. Some only 3-5 minutes. If you are looking for a good meditation app I highly recommend Breathe.

Right now I am actually doing double meditations each day! I use my Breathe app (in the morning and then again later in the day) and I am also participating in the 21 Day Meditation Challenge that is put on with Deepak Chopra and Oprah. They team up several times throughout the year and do a new series for the 21 Day Meditation Challenge. The challenge theme this time is Manifesting True Success. This is actually my 7th 21 Day Meditation Challenge and I’m currently on day 9 of the challenge. Each day there is a different topic/theme that relates to the overall theme of the challenge, a centering thought for the day, a Sanskrit mantra, and a message of the day with a related quote (you know I love a good/meaningful quote)! There is an online journal feature you can use if you want, but I usually write in my own meditation journal. I really love and enjoy these challenges! Deepak and Oprah always have such powerful and moving things to say. Each mediation is about 20 minutes with 5-7 minutes of wisdom from Deepak and Oprah and then about 15 minutes of actual meditation. They both have such soothing voices so I love listening to what they have to say. Repeating the Sanskrit mantras (as a tool to remain focused during the meditation) is also a nice addition to other meditation practices I do. I also find that the timing of the challenges always seems to be right when I need to refocus or work on something myself. They appear at the most appropriate time and have a focus that just hits the right spot. Funny how that happens! I guess the universe knows when I really need something from it! If you are interested in starting the 21 Day Challenge now I say go for it! Each meditation is only available for 5 days after it is posted, so you won’t be able to totally catch up, but it’s worth a shot if you want to try it out. Other wise you can join the email list and can be notified when the next challenge will be.

Since the Mindfulness Study Group and refocusing on my practice I have become really consistent with my meditation. I am also seeing a big difference in myself (it really is all working!). Overall I feel more calm, centered and genuinely less stressed. If I do get stressed (which let’s be honest happens a lot) I go right to my Breathe app and do a quick meditation to calm down. I think my family and my hubby are also seeing a big difference in me too. Meditation has a powerful affect and I am really noticing all of the wonderful benefits! Feeling pretty proud of myself right now and I’m looking forward to tracking more days on the Breathe app and completing the 21 Day Meditation Challenge. Until next time, namaste!

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HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY everyone from the McConnell’s! Love my Irish hubby so much! Thanks for being a good sport and taking a picture early this morning! 😉 11015856_10103771035870717_603031891910364698_n

Found this cute Irish blessing for today:

For each petal on the shamrock.
This brings a wish your way
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

I also found this fun article from MindBodyGreen with quotes for good luck! Found it very fitting since it’s St. Patrick’s Day! I certainly feel very lucky today and really everyday. Here’s to health, friends, family, and LOVE.

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Last year at this time we were in beautiful Santa Barbara visiting our friends. Always wish/want to be back in sunny SB. Here are a few pics from our visit last year because I just can’t help myself and I love that place!

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Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL and LUCKY day! I’m wearing my green (hope you are too) and brought shamrock sugar cookies to work. I sure do love any excuse to celebrate holidays hehe.

Happy St. Patty’s Day! 

Happy 65th Birthday DAD!!

Over the weekend we celebrated my Dad’s 65th birthday! His actually birthday was on Saturday, March 7, 2015, but we celebrated last night. WOW 65…that’s kind of a big deal! I didn’t really think about too much, but then it hit me. Sixty-five is a big milestone and something to really celebrate! So glad we got together and had such a good time!

For dinner we got together as a family and had ate at one of our favorite restaurants TOWN in San Carlos. OMG the food and cocktails are sooooo delicious!!! I highly recommend TOWN for anyone who loves a good steak or cocktail!

Here were are all together at TOWN! I think we sit at this booth almost every time…hehe

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Complimentary birthday dessert. Bring on the warm bread pudding and extra spoons!!!! Soooooo delicious!

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After dinner we went back to the house for pictures, presents and cake! It was really fun celebrating my Dad’s big 65 and getting him lots of fun gifts! He got a bunch of books (the guy loves to read…I wonder where I get that from), tickets to a Giants game, a new tie, a Giants t-shirt and tickets to three different lectures at the Norris Theater in San Francisco. GREAT picture with my Dad and his girls as well as our big group selfie! My hubby is getting pretty good at taking these!

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For dessert we had the 2nd most moist/delicious carrot cake (the first was from our wedding). My mom got the cake from SusieCakes, another great place in San Carlos. The cakes are always really fresh, have great decorations and the frosting is to die for! This is becoming another favorite spot. I think we need one down in the South Bay! PLEASE?!?!?

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It was a wonderful evening celebrating my Dad. This guys means the absolute world to me and has always loved and supported me. Thanks Dad for being such a wonderful example and for being the BEST Dad a girl could ever ask for! You are amazing and I love so much! Hope you had a fabulous day and fun time celebrating!

HAPPY 65th BIRTHDAY DADDY! I LOVE YOU!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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