1095 Days of Meditation 🙏🏻💕

1095 days

2.7.18 💕 🙏 💕 

Today I have reached THREE YEARS of MEDITATING! That’s 1095 days in a row! WOW! You can catch up on my meditation journey starting with my first 100 days1000 daysyear #1 and year #2. Today I’m reminded how thankful I am for my practice and for completing three years of meditation. Although I don’t do anything crazy, I still practice every day. In the end, I believe that’s all that really matters. It’s called a practice for a reason. Over the  years I have learned:

  • Awareness — As I meditate, I’ve become aware of the quantitative diversity of my thoughts. And that I have a lot of thoughts. For me it’s all about returning to my tranquil mind, or at least working on making it more tranquil. Through awareness is where I’ve learned to live more in the present moment. Often my thoughts wander and take me away from the synchronized beauty of the present moment, but by continuing to practicing awareness in my meditation, I am brought back to the here and now.

 

  • Letting Go — This is something I am still very much working on today. By returning to my practice every day, I know I am practicing the act of letting go. Letting go of self judgment and self criticism is hard to do and a constant struggle for me. But in meditation, I’m learning to observe the flow of my thoughts, pleasant or painful and try not to get caught up in them…sometimes easier said than done. 😉

 

  • Gentleness — Again something I need to continue to practice. I tend to be very hard on myself and I am always working on trying to be more gentle with myself. In a way, taking the time to sit and be with myself in silence has helped me practice kindness, compassion, love, patience, flexibility, and acceptance. Isn’t that what this is all about? I think so!

 

  • Focus — Each time I return to my practice I really end up with single pointedness = going with the flow. Through meditation I have been able to focus my awareness where I want it to go and have developed my inner experience of being centered. Outside of my practice, I have become more skilled at focusing my energy on thoughts and actions that honor my true nature. Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t happen all of the time. I still struggle with being able to stay focused and “let go” of things I can’t control. However, my inner guide has been strengthened through my practice and I am developing more and more inner peace.

 

  • Increased Spiritual Connection — My meditation practice I think has lead me to an increased spiritual attunement and to a greater understanding of my sixth sense (intuition). I’ve always considered myself to be intuitive, but by being more in tune with myself, my intuition has deepened and my connection with myself has grown. There is something really special that happens when you are in the flow of meditation.cae5faf4e0ca26bde15d2da0fdd92257

 

  • Reduced Stress — Although I still get stressed out (who doesn’t?) I feel like it sometimes is better managed because of my meditating. I also love that one of the apps I use (Stop, Breathe & Think) has specific meditations for stress, anxiety…you name it! They make it so easy with meditations focused on certain feelings/emotions/topics.

Friends, meditation does wonders. I truly feel I would be lost without it. By no means am I perfect, but coming back to my practice day after day allows me to continue to work on myself, gain a deeper understanding and connection with myself and enjoy all the many glorious benefits of meditation.

I LOVE these images and quotes below. ❤❤❤

“The goal of meditation isn’t to control your thoughts, it’s to stop letting them control you.” —Unknown

Meditation is by far the best gift I could ever give myself and one that I will continue to give myself. Through my practice I have gained so much more than I ever thought possible.

As I approach milestones like this, I reflect on my journey and give thanks and gratitude to the person who got me started on this beautiful journey in the first place. 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 always work on. This next year I hope to deepen my practice and keep working on myself. Over the last three years I have already experienced so many positive benefits from meditating, but I know there is always more to gain. Cheers to three years of practicing and to another year of connecting with myself and deepening my practice!

Thanks as always for reading. Namaste! 💕 🙏 💕 

Xo

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November 1st & 1000 Days of Meditation

Happy Wednesday and Happy November 1st! Hope everyone has recovered from the Halloween celebrations last night. We had a pretty low-key evening…pizza, movies and lots of trick-or-treaters! Of course I made sure we lit all our candles and soaked up/enjoyed all of our Halloween decorations ONE.LAST.TIME. 😦  #sadhalloweenisover

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

goodbye-october-hello-november

October seemed to fly by again this year, but we had a ton of fun and packed a lot into it! I say this EVERY year, but I get a little sad when the month of October is over. It’s may favorite month and Halloween is my favorite holiday. I guess it’s until next year October/Halloween…you will be missed!

Today is also an exciting day because today I have reach 1000 DAYS OF MEDITATING! Can you believe it?! 1000 days!

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I’ve been using the Stop, Breath & Think app and absolutely love it! Super easy to use and they have so many different meditations. I love being able to “check-in” everyday, list how I am feeling and then have meditations suggested for me. It’s also pretty neat to see your check-in/meditation streaks. Today’s is especially awesome with 1000 across the board!

You can read about when I reached my first 100 days of meditating here and my one year. Meditation has had a huge impact on my life and this is something I plan on always making a part of my daily routine. I’m so very thankful to have found meditation and am excited for the journey it’s taken me on.Be-Thankful-Print-Image

November is also the start of my 30 Days of Thankfulness series on my blog. For the past 5 years, I’ve been doing this series and plan to keep it going. 30 Days of Thankfulness first appeared on my blog in 2013. I also keep a daily gratitude journal on my phone, but really love this blog series during November. You can check out previous series post from 201320142015, and 2016. Please feel free to join me in this series/challenge. I will be posting a recap every 8-9 days or so, as to not totally inundate you with blog posts. My first post is scheduled for November 9th. Hope you join me and cheers to year #5!

Xo

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

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

 

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! 💕 🙏 💕 🙏 💕 🙏

Mindful U

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending another one of Cassie’s wonderful seminars/retreat called Mindful U. The retreat took place at the Stillpath Retreat Center in Woodside, CA. The last time I was at Stillpath was in 2014 for Cassie’s Your Mindful Brain workshop. You can read about that retreat here.

Stillpath is one of the most beautiful places. Just being among the redwoods already makes you feel relaxed. It was gorgeous and so clear out. We had great views of all the tress and the stunning property. I’m already looking forward to the next time I get to visit. Someday I hope to stay on the property and use the saline pool! These pictures don’t do this place justice, but you get an idea.

Mindful U is a new course/series that Cassie has developed. It is a highly interactive program that “delivers the what, why and how of mindfulness.” There are 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, and
  6. Plug in and Go!

Cassie made these beautiful U-Maps that were designated for each module. They were full of pictures, poetry, mini activities and plenty of space for us to take notes and doodle. I was prepared with my notebook to take a bunch of furious notes (have to soak up all of Cassies’ wisdom!), but her U-Maps were so much more fun. I felt like I could really engage in what Cassie was sharing for each module and be more creative in my “note-taking” since I wasn’t just using a regular notebook.

Throughout the day we also did some light mindful movement (gentle stretching) and had sessions that had us toggling between activity and rest. We did a siting mediation, body scan, mindful walk as well as other activities related to the modules. A delicious lunch was provided by Cassie’s own daughter Glo and her partner Sonya. They have a vegan catering company called the V-List and also do consulting for people interested in a vegan lifestyle. The meal they made for us was so yummy and I know was made with lots of love. One item we had was a creamy broccoli soup…leave it to the V-List to make a creamy soup that doesn’t use milk and is totally vegan! Check them out here. For a snack we had rosemary chocolate chip cookies…so good!

The below statue is located in the Great Room and I just had to take a picture. Isn’t it gorgeous?! I was admiring how perfectly it fit with the painting on the wall and the other women looking at it mentioned that that was done on purpose. Turns out she actually lives on the property (lucky her) and said that all of the pieces at Stillpath have been placed very intentional. Hehe of course they have! So cool.

The 15th century Tahi bronze statues is of Quan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion and Mercy. She embodies compassionate kindness. According to the statue description, “as the Bodhisattva of Compassion, she hears the cries of all human beings. Often shown pouring a stream of healing water, the “Water of Like” from a small vase. With this water all living things are blessed with physical and spiritual peace. She holds a sheaf (bowl) of ripe rice seed as a metaphor for fertility and sustenance. The dragon, an ancient symbol for high spirituality, wisdom, strength, and divine powers of transformation, is a common motif found with Quan Yin.” WOW. So power, beautiful and perfect for the space.

I’m so glad that I was able to attend Mindful U. Cassie is so full of wisdom, kindness and I love being able to spend the day with her. I saw some familiar faces and met so many other great people. Can’t wait for the next retreat or seminar Cassie offers…you know I’ll be there!

Here are a few other quotes/images that I really love.

  

Meditation has done absolute wonders for me. I really do feel that these quotes hold true for me. Mindfulness IS a dance of happiness and I’m so happy to be doing this dance. Something has been missing from my life and it is meditation. I am so incredible happy and eternally grateful that I met Cassie back in 2012. I have said it before and I will say it again, I feel like Cassie has really “saved me”. It is because of her that I discovered the wonderful world of meditation and have made it a part of my life. I can’t thank you enough Cassie!

Cassie will be offering another Mindful U seminar in February 2016. Check it out and join us!

XoXo

P.S. Hope you all are having a great week so far! Looking forward to having the day off from work tomorrow for Veteran’s Day.

Meditation Challenge 

Deepak Chopra and Oprah are at it again…it’s time for another 21 Day Meditation Challenge! It’s hard to believe, but this is my 8th challenge with them. I’m really excited to be participating again and have successfully completed the first week of the challenge.

The theme for this challenge is Manifesting Grace through Gratitude. Could this be any more perfect?! What I love is that these challenges always seem to pop up at exactly the right time! I’m always in a place where I could use a little more support or a little more focus. I love how that works out…kinda like magic. The image below works beautifully with how I am feeling and the essence of this challenge.

Practicing gratitude and manifesting grace has been such a wonderful experience so far during this challenge. They are both really beautiful concepts that are not hard to incorporate in your daily life. I’ve been keeping a daily gratitude journal for a few years now and I think it really helps keep me grounded, focused and in the PRESENT moment. Throughout my mediation practice and even during these challenges the idea of being in the present and recognizing you are IN the present moment is always a big focus.

I am GRATEFUL! Especially GRATEFUL for all the things my practice has shown me and made me feel. It really has been a transformative experience since I started meditating and actively making it a part of the daily life.

Like I have mentioned before, 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 (I love a good/meaningful quote)! The meditations are no more than 20 minutes and pretty easy to do each day. I always enjoy listening to Deepak and Oprah share their wisdom and it’s nice to have a few minutes where I get to be with myself.

Be sure to check out the challenge and join in if you would like. I promise it will be worth it! Until then…namaste.

P.S. I’m currently at 165 days of meditation! Waaahooooo!