Tag Archives | Meditation

December Meditation Challenge

This December I’m tackling a meditation challenge in the hopes of ending the year feeling more zen than I have for most of the fourth quarter.

I’ve talked about this before, and the benefits, but here’s a little summary.

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Meditating can:

  • Help keep you calm
  • Improve your sleep routine
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase concentration
  • Combat stress
  • Boost productivity

It’s also a wonderful addition to a morning or evening routine to add in a little “me time” that will improve your day or help you wind down at night.

So what will the challenge be for the month of December?

First, a morning meditation, followed by writing down my affirmations for the day. And Second, an evening meditation.

They can be short sessions, active Kundalini sessions, or long guided sessions. It all depends on what I need at that time and what will serve me best in a given moment.

While there are wonderful aps available, I have to admit that my go-to is YouTube. It’s incredibly simple because all you have to do is search what you’re looking for – 5 minute guided, 10 minutes of har tantric, sleep meditations, etc.

And what is my top trick for helping me achieve these goals each day? I set alarms and calendar reminders. It’s pretty hard to ignore an alarm that’s blasting and telling you to meditate! 🙂

Do YOU meditate on a regular basis?

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30 Day Challenge: Results

At the end of July I published a post setting out some goals for myself for August – My 30 Day Challenge.

So what goals did a I lay out for myself? I made a list of three things that I wanted to try to incorporate more of in my life going forward, starting with August, all of which have a single purpose.

Slowing down.

Relaxing.

Enjoying the moment.

So how did I do during my 30 Day Challenge this Summer? Pretty good, actually. I could have done better, of course, but I have to say that I’m pretty proud of the positive changes that I’ve made this month.

Changes that I hope to push forward with for the rest of the year.

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{Activewear + Braids}

Meditation:

My goal was to meditate once or twice a day and I found that I do MUCH better at this in the mornings. I set an Outlook calendar reminder for myself daily, popped into a conference room, and zenned out for a few minutes.

At night I usually remembered a few times a week. I found that I did better at night after enlisting my boyfriend’s help actually. Once he started asking “did you meditate?” each night when we got in bed, I got more consistent with my evening meditations.

Gratitude:

I journaled every morning of August without fail. While my morning affirmations are usually all over the place in terms of content – August was all about gratitude. The people, the places, the experiences – I reminded myself just how lucky I am to have them all in my life. I also showed myself some love and wrote about my gratitude for different things that I do for myself as well.

Yoga:

While I only made it to a few formal yoga classes in August due to travel and scheduling issues, I very consistently did an at-home practice. Tara Stiles videos on YouTube, short sequences to warm up before a workout, restorative yoga stretches after my runs… I incorporated the various movements into my life a few times a week even outside classes.

Which is a good reminder for those who don’t have the time or money or drive to get a membership for a yoga studio. There are TONS of other options that can improve your practice and get you all the wonderful benefits of yoga without a price tag.

 So tell me – How was YOUR Summer? Have you set any goals for yourself?

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30 Day Challenge

I’m kind of obsessed with Snapchat right now, and one of my favorites is Chinae from GetFitBrooklyn. She just started a very inspiring 30 day challenge of new, healthy habits. Her journey includes tackling the Whole 30, taking daily walks, and meditation, among other things.

So what am I going to try out for my personalized 30 day challenge in August?

I’m going to work on relaxing and on reducing my stress levels. I’m pretty self-motivated when it comes to working out and healthy eating, so what I want to challenge myself to do, is to slow down!

I’ve been lazy when it comes to my meditation and gratitude journaling lately, and down right deficient when it comes to including yoga in my daily life. So for August my goal is to:

  1. Meditate 1-2 times a day
  2. Write in my gratitude journal every morning
  3. Do yoga 2+ times a week

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Meditation:

I’m not a great sleeper so meditation before bed is a great habit for me to get into. But unfortunately when I’m frazzled at night, I tend to forget. So this month will be able making it an important part of my wind-down routine. I’ll also try to squeeze in a morning meditation session, time permitting.

Gratitude:

I have a calendar reminder on my computer to jot down an affirmation each morning, but if I’m busy when it goes off, I have a terrible habit of snoozing or dismissing it.

No more!

I’ll be sure to write in my gratitude journal each morning – I love starting the day with some positivity to get things off on the right foot.

Yoga:

I love yoga. Love it.

So why don’t I do it more often? Because I have a terrible habit of choosing sweaty workouts instead. But that needs to stop. Yoga is the perfect way to move on active rest days, especially since I’ve been stressing my body lately with heavy weights and long runs.

So I am challenging myself to make these changes for 30 days.

To make these small improvements to my life daily life, in the hopes that they will outlast the 30 day challenge.

Are YOU up for a 30 day challenge?

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Meditation

I’ve talked about meditation before but I wanted to spend a post to really focus on it for a few minutes.

When someone first explained the practice to me, I was baffled. I have a million things to do and you want me to stop, sit still, and clear my mind?

Never. Going. To. Happen.

And then I tried it… And I was hooked.

Meditation means something different to everyone. For some people it’s the perfect start to the day, for others it’s repeating a mantra throughout the day whenever they need it, and for others it’s an all-day everyday lifestyle.

I think the major takeway is that this practice is deeply personal. You develop a practice that works for YOU, for your needs and your lifestyle.

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I run out the door every morning, makeup barely on, to get to the office at an ungodly hour. That means that, as wonderful as it would be, lighting a candle and enjoying a few minutes of blissful solitude each morning is not feasible right now.

Instead, I do a 5-10 guided meditation in a dark conference room at my office later in the morning a few times a week and a kundalini meditation before bed each night.

Guided meditations are GREAT if you have trouble clearing your mind or find yourself in need of meditation when you’re in a hectic or loud space.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Tell me – Have YOU tried a form of meditation?

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Links You’ll Love: Stress Busting

Welcome back to another Links You’ll Love round-up. Today we’re focusing on dealing with something that haunts most of our waking moments – Stress!

That can mean all sorts of things, from learning to channel positivity to giving meditation a try to picking workouts that’ll help clear your mind. So read on to find some stress-busting techniques that might work for you!

If I had to pick a mentor from the huge pool of talented businesswomen making their mark on the industry right now, my top choice would be Gabby Bernstein. I’ve read all her books, taken her online classes, listen to her talks, subscribe to her newsletter, stalk read her website… She’s also the individual who introduced me to both Kundalini yoga and daily meditation. Needless to say I’m a huge fan. Here’s her advice for coping with the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life:

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Getting quality sleep is an incredibly important part of dealing with daily stressors so read up on Harper’s Bazaar’s top suggestions – Secrets to Better Sleep.

Stress is unavoidable, the key to managing and reacting in positive, helpful ways. Check out Mind Body Green’s 8 Easy Ways To Combat Stress & Anxiety (In 8 Minutes Or Less)

Learning to work through bad moods and create a better mindspace for yourself is a valuable lesson to learn. Check out A Lady Goes West’s A Simple Way To Improve Your Mood Each Day for pointers.

Another strong female figure breaking out online right now is Marie Forleo, I highly recommend checking out her weekly newsletter, and as an entrepreneur she knows all about stress. Check out some of her related videos for dealing with that feeling without getting overwhelmed:

Are you a fan of Ted Talks? Check out  Kelly McGonigal’s How To Make Stress Your Friend

What’s YOUR top coping mechanism? 

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