730 Days of Meditation 🙏🏻 <3

2.7.17 💕 🙏 💕 

A day late, but nonetheless…yesterday I reached TWO YEARS of MEDITATING!!! That’s 730 days in a row! Waaahooo! You can read all about my meditation journey here. Today I’m very thankful for how far I’ve come and for completing two years of my practices. Over the last two years I have learned some pretty cool things. For example:

  • I need to take care of myself.
  • I need to support and nourish my mind, body and soul.
  • I have become fully present in the now and deeply connected to my inner guide.

Let me tell you friends, meditation does wonders and I would be so lost without it.

I LOVE these images and quotes below. They totally summarizes my thoughts/feelings about meditation. ❤

One of the phrases/quotes that really struck me above was, “one day it just clicks.” This is so very true. Like many of you may know, my first introduction to mindfulness and meditation was in 2011 when I took a mini-series on stress reduction. That mini-series transpired to me taking an 8-week MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) course, where my meditation practice really started. Between 2011-2015 I toggled back and forth with practicing and attending workshops with my dear friend and mentor, Cassie. However, it wasn’t until February of 2015 when I decided to dive “all in” and seriously begin my meditation practice. Like the quote says “one day it just clicks” and that’s exactly what happened for me. After that day I was well on my way. I decided right then and there to begin my meditation practice and to keep at it for one year…and here I am, two years later! 🙂

Meditation is by far the best gift I could ever give myself. Throughout my practice I have gained so much more than I ever thought possible! It’s amazing what happens when you fully incorporate something like meditation into your daily life; the benefits are unbelievable and so very rewarding.

As I approach these types of milestones, I tend to reflect a lot on my practice and always give thanks and gratitude to the person who got me started on this beautiful journey. Cassie, I can’t thank you enough for what you have given me. Thank you for showing me the way and for being such a wonderful friend and mentor. I love you dearly! ❤

My mediation practice is incredibly  important to me and something I will continue to hopefully, always work on. This next year I hope to take my practice a little more seriously and to really deepen my practice. I have a routine, but I would like to develop it more and keep showing up everyday. Throughout my journey I have already experienced so many positive benefits from meditating, but I know there is always more to gain. Most importantly, I know there is more to learn about myself. Here’s to another year of practicing, connecting with myself and deepening my practice!

Thanks as always for reading. Namaste! 💕 🙏 💕 

Xo

30 Days of Thankfulness — Day 27-30

“Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you. Remember, life is an echo. It always gets back to you. So give goodness. ” ~ Unknown

Day 27: RAIN! So very thankful for some rain these last few days and being able to stay cozy inside the house for most of the day! We started a Harry Potter marathon and just soaked in our last day of vacation! 🙂

Day 28: Coming home to a house that smells like CHRISTMAS! We got our tree over the weekend and it just smells wonderful when you walk in the house. Later this week we will work on putting the ornaments on. For now, I will enjoy it’s delicious smell and our pretty lights. The holiday season is upon us!

Day 29: Today I’m very grateful for both of my parents. My mom and dad mean the world to me and I’m so lucky to have them as parents. They have not only made me into the person that I am today, but have loved and supported me unconditionally. I’m so thankful for all that they have provided for me over the years and for all their love. I love you mom and dad!

Day 30: Today I am thankful for long lasting friendships. We may be scattered all over CA and across the US, but I know we are always there for each other. THANK YOU to all of my girls (you know who you are) for being such wonderful friends and making my life all that much better!

Love you! ❤

“Let us rise up and be thankful,
for if we didn’t learn a lot today,
at least we learned a little,
and if we didn’t learn a little,
at least we didn’t get sick,
and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die;
so, let us all be thankful.”

~ Buddha

I really enjoyed doing another installment of 30 Days of Thankfulness. Thank you for joining me! I truly feel that we all have so much to be thankful and it’s important to take the time and really take stalk of what we have! I love keeping track of and writing down everything I am thankful for, not only for this yearly blog series, but throughout the entire year. If you haven’t kept a gratitude journal I highly recommend that you start one. Looking forward to doing this blog post again next year!

Happy Wednesday folks! Hope you have a great week.

Xo

30 Days of Thankfulness — Day 19-26

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~ Cicero

Day 19: Spending the weekend in Huntington Beach visiting with Chris’ mom. Saw an absolutely GORGEOUS sunset. This one just lit up the entire sky and made some of the clouds look like feathers. It was truly breathtaking!

Day 20: I have a few things for today that I am very thankful for:

Completing another 21 Day Meditation challenge! Meditation has become a huge part of my life and I am so very grateful and thankful for my practice. I am also so very thankful of my dear friend Cassie (who I’ve blogged a lot about before). She is the person who introduced me to this wonderful world of mindfulness and meditation. Thank you again Cassie for all of your inspiration, love and friendship! ❤ ❤

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Also, grateful to have celebrated an early Thanksgiving with Chris and his mom. We cooked a turkey with all of the fixing’s and spent the evening relaxing and watching movies. So glad we got to spend some time with her! ❤

Day 21: Thankful for my mentors, especially some from UCSB. I’m so glad to still have these people in my life. It’s always wonderful catching up with them and having good conversations!

Also, Happy 5th Birthday to our sweet nephew Colton and to my sister-in-law Kristin!

Day 22: Feel truly blessed to work/know such wonderful students at SJSU. One of my students, Luna came by to visit me today. Over the summer she studied/traveled abroad and came by to drop off some travel goodies she got me while on her trip. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness. Totally wasn’t expecting any gifts. It was so wonderful catching up and hearing all about her travel adventures. I feel so lucky to know her. Thank you again Luna, you are one of a kind and I know will do fabulous things!

Day 23: Today I am thankful for Emma & Dash. I love these pups more than anything and they really make our family complete. I am so grateful to be their dog mommy and don’t know what I would do without them.

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” Roger Caras

 

“My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.” Author Unknown

Also wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! Hope you all enjoy yummy food, friends and family tomorrow. Enjoy the day! ❤ ❤

Day 24: happy-thanksgiving-images

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!

Today I am thankful for so many things, but most importantly I am incredibly thankful for FAMILY. FAMILY is EVERYTHING! I’m looking forward to eating lots of yummy food, relaxing and just enjoying the day together. I love my family so much and don’t know what I would do without their love and support! Hope you all enjoy the day with loved ones. ❤ ❤

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Day 25: Grateful for some post Thanksgiving wine tasting at our favorite winery, Bella. We absolutely LOVE going here and are even double club members! Dogs are allowed at the winery so that makes it even more fun. So glad to have a relaxing day, drinking wine and spending time with my little family! ❤

 

Day 26: Today I am thankful for brunching with my childhood best  friend Ann and her sweet little Olivia! We always have such a great time and Olivia is cuter than words.

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Ann and I have been friends since we were babies and I’m so grateful that we’ve remained such close friends. She’s my oldest and dearest friend and I love her so much! Thanks for being such a great friend Ann!

ALSO…

Happy 3rd Birthday to our sweet twin nieces, Kendall and Madison! I can’t believe these little girls are already three years old…time is just flying by. Love then and can’t wait to see them soon!

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you.  To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return.  Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you.  Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” ~ Ralph Marston

Xo

Mindful U 2.0

One Wednesday, November 2 I had the pleasure of attending another one of Cassie’s wonderful seminars/retreat called Mindful U. I actually attended this retreat last year. I’m calling this years retreat Mindful U 2.0 because Cassie revamped this program and changed it up. We were back at the beautiful Stillpath Retreat Center in Woodside, CA. I feel very fortunate to have been to Stillpath so many times. 🙂 My very first retreat at Stillpath was in 2014 for Cassie’s Your Mindful Brain workshop. At this rate I seem to visit every year! I always LOVE spending the day with Cassie and soaking up all of her wisdom! Sometimes you just have to take a break from everything, unplug and do something good for your soul.

Stillpath is one of the most beautiful and magical places. Walking into the center and being among the redwood trees makes you feel relaxed automatically. While we were there it was an absolutely gorgeous day in the mountains! These pictures really can’t compare to the pure beauty that’s found in actually being at Stillpath.

Mindful U is a course/series Cassie developed last year. It’s now something that is being taught/used with corporate teams, for organizations evaluating mindfulness as an intervention for stress reduction, employee engagement, or leadership development. Mindful U is a highly interactive program where Cassie guides you through a variety of mindfulness techniques like breath awareness, mindful check-in, body scan, sitting meditation, walking meditation, and provides many simple tools to help heightened awareness in daily life.

Mindful U contains 6 progressive modules that are intended to help cultivate awareness in the hopes of achieving measurable improvements in all aspects of one’s life. The 6 modules include:

  1. Wake Up & Breathe
  2. Get in Your Body
  3. Come to Your Senses
  4. Board the Brain Train
  5. Sit with it All
  6. Plug in and Go!

Throughout the modules we had journal prompts, communication activities and reflection. We also received some take-away items! Yay! We got a lovely journal and a card deck that captures the highlight of each module. The deck of cards Cassie made are fabulous! I really love the idea of the cards and not just having to rely on my notes.

During the day we toggled between activity and rest. We did a siting mediation, body scan, mindful walk as well as other activities related to the modules. Around noon, a delicious lunch was provided. I have to be honest, this is one of my favorite parts about attending Cassie’s retreats. The food is always DELICIOUS! This year we had a make-your-own sandwich bar as well as a few delicious salads.

Aside from being in the beautiful redwoods, Stillpath has all of these gorgeous statues, pictures and fixtures throughout the building. These all add to the peaceful and relaxing environment. Here are some of my favorites!

Our entire day is spent in the Great Room which is stunning itself. They also have a saline pool which I really hope to use at some point. I mean who wouldn’t want to take a dip in this?! I really hope that someday I have the chance to stay on the property. It’s so peaceful, beautiful and relaxing. Such a great place to unwind, unplug and recharge. pool

Everything at Stillpath has some sort of meaning and fits perfectly in the space. I am always so glad to attend any retreat Cassie puts on because is just a wonderful human being. She is so full of wisdom, kindness and love. It’s truly wonderful being able to spend the day with her. I saw a few familiar faces and met so many other great people. So glad I took a mid-week break and was able to attend Mindful U. Already looking forward to what Cassie offers next…you know I’ll be there!

I just love the images above. I am always drawn to things like this now. I especially love the statement of “I am Powerful,” “I am Beautiful,” “I am Strong,” and “I am Enough.” This really speaks volumes to me. Those simple statements are true. I AM ENOUGH. I’ve probably said this a bunch of times, but meditation and mindfulness has done absolute wonders for me. My life has really transformed since starting my practice and from when I first met Cassie back in 2012. It’s because of Cassie that I discovered the wonderful world of meditation and have made it a part of my life. I can’t thank you enough Cassie!

Be sure to check out Cassie’s website to learn more about what she does and upcoming classes and retreats!

Xo

 

30 Days of Thankfulness — Day 1-11

Welcome back friends! Glad you are joining us for another 30 Days of Thankfulness. I first started this blog series in 2013 and am very proud to have kept it going. Bring on year #4! You can check out previous post from 2013, 2014, and 2015.

In today’s world there is so much to be THANKFUL for in this life. It’s really important to take the time to count your blessing and just pay it forward. Thank you for letting me share with you!

Day 1: A new month and Day #2 of another meditation challenge Depak Chopra & Oprah. Check out their 21 Day Meditation Challenge and join me!

Day 2: Mindful U Retreat. Spent a wonderful day in the mountains soaking up all of Cassie’s wisdom and doing something good for my soul. (I will do a separate post all about this retreat).

Day 3: Having a short work week! Today is my Friday so that always feels good!

Day 4: Headed to Indianapolis, Indiana for the annual NODA conference! Last year I was incredibly lucky to have attended the conference as well as OPI (Orientation Professional Institute) prior to the conference. Feel very fortunate to attend again this year! Can’t wait to re-connect with old friends, meet/network with new colleagues and learn more about the field of Orientation, Retention and Transition! (Will also do a separate post about my conference).

Day 5: Thankful for the opportunity to explore a new city (ya for INDY) with my fellow colleague from SJSU. We had a blast getting to know each other more, having deep conversations and exploring a new city! Thanks for hanging out with me Rigo!

Day 6: Presenting for the 2nd time at a national conference! Since graduate school, my professional “bucket list” has had presenting at a national conference on it. Accomplished that goal last year and feel very grateful to have been able to present again this year! TWO years in a row baby!

Day 7: Attending a fabulous Author’s Luncheon during the NODA Conference! This was one of the highlights for me. It was incredible to be in a room hearing from these five authors on topics that are so true and relevant right now. I felt truly inspired by their works and can’t wait to read their stories.

Day 8: The ability and privilege to VOTE!   vote-counts1

Day 9: Thankful for a weeknight dinner and drinks date with my college bestie, Caitlin and our friend Jen (who also went to UCSB). It was so wonderful meeting these girls for dinner, talking about life and just spending time together. Cait lives in Davis, so we don’t see each other too often. I am so thankful for our friendship and love whenever I get to see her. My goal is to make a better effort to see her more often. Jen, recently moved from NYC to the San Jose area…no excuse now in not seeing her now! Glad to have such great women in my life!

Day 10: TRUE statement! Every day IS a NEW beginning and we always have the chance to start over! I love this quote and feel like it rings especially true with everything that has happened since the election… We need to unite together, continue to fight the good fight, keep our heads up high and remember to LOVE! Lets keep moving forward and start again!

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 Day 11: Thank you to all our military personnel for the sacrifices you have made for our freedom! Today we HONOR YOU and THANK YOU!! HAPPY VETERANS DAYS!

 

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie

Xo

 

 

Happy November 1st

Hello All! Happy November 1st! Hope everyone has recovered from the Halloween celebrations last night. We had a pretty low-key evening…ended up having to get my co-workers prescription filled (she was at the ER in the middle of the night with super bad neck and arm pain) so we brought over her meds and a PIZZA! So glad we could spend some time with her (even though she was in pain). When we got home, we hung out with the pups and I soaked up/enjoyed all of our Halloween lights and decorations ONE.LAST.TIME. I mean, everything will still be up/on, but we will start taking everything down this week. 😦  #sadhalloweenisover

And like that…October is GONE and November is here.

goodbye-october-hello-november

Where the heck did October go?!?! It seemed to just fly by, am I right? I say this EVERY year, but I honestly get a little sad when the month of October is over. It’s may favorite month and Halloween is my favorite holiday haha. So sad when it’s all over and done with. Oh well..until next year October/Halloween…you will be missed!

Ok, so now onto Novebmer! For the past 4 years, during the month of November I do a 30 Days of Thankfulness series on my blog. This blog series first started in 2013 and I am very proud to have kept it going all these years. I’ve been keeping a daily gratitude journal on my phone for a few years as well, but really like to do this blog series during November. Bring on year #4! You can check out previous series post from 2013, 2014, and 2015. Please feel free to join me in this series/challenge. I will be posting a recap every 8-9 days so not to totally inendate you with blog posts haha. My first post is scheudled for November 9th. Hope you join me!

Xo

365 Days of Meditation 🙏🏻

💕 🙏 💕 🙏 💕 🙏

A day late, but nonetheless…yesterday I reached a BIG goal. ONE YEAR of MEDITATING!!! Waaahoooo what an accomplishment! When I started on this meditation journey one year ago I had no idea where it would take me or if I would even complete this goal. Today I’m so very thankful for how far I’ve come and the goal I’ve reached. I truly feel honored and blessed to have achieved this milestone. Meditation does wonders and I would be so lost without it.

I love these images and quotes below. The statement by Russell Simmons, “Meditation can reintroduce you to the part that’s been missing” really strikes a chord with me. Sometimes that’s exactly how I feel about meditation; that something has been missing in my life and that something simply is meditation. Like many of you may know, my first introduction to mindfulness and meditation was in 2011 when I took a mini-series on stress reduction at my local yoga studio, Butterfly Yoga. The instructor was amazing and I wanted to learn more. At the time, I was also going through a really difficult period personally and felt like I needed to do something. After the mini-series on stress reduction, I decided to take an 8-week  MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) course, where I learned/practiced formal and informal methods of mindfulness including the body scan, sitting meditation, gentle yoga and walking meditation. Taking that course was one of the best decisions! Although I didn’t continue my meditation practice as much as I planned after the 8 weeks, I still tried and often found myself at mini-retreats and special sessions geared towards mindfulness and meditation. All that matters is that you try and show up to your practice. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to get there.

To learn more about MBSR check out the Center for Mindfulness…pretty cool stuff! Serious life changer!

Meditation is wonderful and the best gift I could ever give myself. I have gained so much more than I ever thought possible from my practice! It’s amazing what happens when you fully incorporate something like meditation into your daily life. I feel transformed, very proud that I’ve kept up with my practice, and that meditation is now a priority in my life! There is so much to gain from meditation and I truly feel it’s benefits every day.

Since reaching this year meditation milestone, I’ve reflected a great deal on how I first got introduce to mindfulness and meditation. None of my practice would be worth anything if it hadn’t been for my dear friend and mentor, Cassie Schindler. Of course I have to give a HUGE shout out and THANK YOU to her. I’ve blogged about/mentioned Cassie here probably dozens of times. She is a truly wonderful individual who I hold in the highest regard. I have to give her full credit for my introduction to mindfulness and meditation. THANK YOU Cassie for showing me the way and taking me on this journey with you! I honestly feel like a new person…or at least have re-discovered the person I really, truly am. In some magical way, I feel like Cassie and meditation has saved me! Since getting my first taste of this special world back in 2011 to my newly complete goal of 365 days of meditation, I have absolutely made meditation a part of my life. As a result, I feel so much more balanced, calm, and at peace. Additionally, my stress level has been significantly reduced or at least feels more manageable when I do my practice. Reducing stress and worry is something that I am always working on because I tend to participate in both all too much. Meditation has helped me tremendously to slow down, approach problems differently and really take the time to be present in live in this very moment.

Thanks as always for reading. Namaste! 💕 🙏 💕 🙏 💕 🙏