Just Live Mindfully

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Category: Meditation

Crystal Work

Lately I’ve been getting really into crystals.  Some call them stones or rocks, but for me, they’re crystals.  I find the term “crystal” has a stronger meaning.  And trust me when I say this, the crystals I’ve been using lately are S-T-R-O-N-G!  These two have made a powerful impact on me lately.

What are these two stones?  The bigger one is clear quartz.  One of the properties of clear quartz is that it brings clarity to the shadows.  The ones inside your head.  Have you ever had a situation where you can’t figure out which path to go down?  Clear quartz will help with that.

Clear quartz is know as a rockstar in the crystal world because it can do so much.  But it’s always willing to share the limelight.  What I mean is, it likes to work with others.  When you use crystal quartz alongside another stone, it raises the energy level of the other stone.

And it sure did that with the second stone I have here.  The smaller stone is moonstone.  It has the reputation of being the stone of fertility because it’s connected with the Moon and therefore a woman’s cycle.  It’s also known as a symbol of love and clarity.  Hmmm, there’s that word again…

So where and how did it bring me clarity?  Lately I’ve had these two stones together on my nightstand.  I just had a gut feeling these two should be together, so I put them together.  The funny thing about crystals is, they will tell you what they need, not the other way around.  After being on my nightstand for a few days, I woke up and knew that I just had a very graphic, realistic dream.  The second night, the same thing happened.  And the third night, it happened again.  I was blown away.  The first dream wasn’t too helpful, but the second and third were.  There…is my clarity!

My recommendation to you is to start learning about stones and working with them.  You will be drawn to them.  They will call to you.  And the ones you need in your life, will come into your life.  Clear quartz is a go-to for beginners because of how much power it has.  But make sure you get a friend to go with it.  They’ll be stronger together.

 

 

Body Image

When you look in the mirror, do you see this?

Some do.  Including myself.  And it can be hard to handle.  For most women, we don’t see the actual, true reflection.  Instead, we see a more worse-off image of ourselves.  We see the messy hair, the pudge around our waists, the wrinkled skin…the list goes on!  But why?  Why do we do this to ourselves?  The question is so individual, that only we can answer that for ourselves.

For me, the answer is simple.  I’m a perfectionist.  I have felt as though I’m never good enough, that I’m cannot compete with some other people around me and yes, that I’m not good enough.  But I’ve been able to counteract that with YEARS of personal development and spiritual work.  Trust me, those thoughts are not gone, but they are distant a lot more often.  And it is still a daily effort to acknowledge myself for what I am.

I challenge you to think about your answer to the question of why we give ourself negative feedback every time we look in the mirror.  Do some self-exploration, some meditation and some personal development to learn about yourself to find the answer.  And there’s one more thing…

I want you to consider having a daily mantra.  When you get dressed in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror before you leave for the day, I want you to say something good.

“I am beautiful.”

“I am strong.”

“I am ready to conquer the day.”

Your mantra is something you create and should be short that you can remember it and repeat it throughout the day.  Use your mantra over and over again until you believe it. And I mean REALLY believe it!  Once you believe it, make a new mantra for yourself.

Over time, these mantras you create (and the personal development you do) will help you see yourself in a different light.  Instead of seeing the messy hair, you’ll see a hardworking mom that hasn’t gotten to shower.  Instead of seeing the pudge around your waist, you’ll see beautiful skin.  And instead of seeing the wrinkles on your face, you’ll see the laugh lines that have given you amazing memories over the years.  Remember,  you are beautiful inside and out and you have amazing gifts to share with the world.  Love yourself and your love will rub off on everyone you meet.  

 

What is Your Imagination Telling You?

When we’re kids, we use our imagination all the time.  We dream of fairies and giants living in fields of green or trucks with jet engines that go really fast.  We read books and allow ourselves to be taken to other worlds.  But as we age, our imagination goes away.  We don’t use it as much.  Lately I’ve been asking why.

As a kid, our parents and teachers ask “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Some answer policeman or fireman, astronaut or scientist, or even dancer or circus performer.  Some of those answers may seem outlandish and as a result our parents and teachers may encourage us.  But as we get older, that same encouragement may turn a corner.

As teenagers, we get asked what college we’re going to apply to or what job we want to do [for the rest of our life].  At this stage, dreaming and imagination may still implanted in us.  But the reality is, those wild dreams we have may be shunned and we’re set out on a path toward education and work.

As adults, using our imagination or dreaming big can be frowned upon because it is instilled in us that we have to work.  We have to work in order to support our families, buy a house, have 2.5 kids and pay off that massive mountain of college debt.  Why?  Why is imagination left out in the adult stage?  For some it’s still within us, but for most it’s non-existent.  It’s almost sad.

When I started to really dream and use my imagination, my husband thought I was crazy.  Flash forward a few years later and he’s totally into it.  But it took him time.  We both grew up in the time where we were told we had to go to school, get a job, find a partner, have kids and live out our lives in this routine forever.  Because of my imagination, we’re changing that mindset and recreating the mold for our lives.

I challenge you to think about recreating the mold for you life and making it a life that you design.  Dream big, like Empire State building big, and make your dreams a reality.  Share your biggest dream below and lets make it happen!

The Voices in Your Head

Do you ever feel like you have voices in your head?  Like someone marching around with a megaphone saying things over and over again?  I do.  And no, I’m not crazy.  And neither are you!

I relate it to the angel and the devil on our shoulders.  The personalities living inside of our head that have a 3-way conversation with us about this or that, what decisions to make and what actions to decide on.  Whether you see it this way or as the person with the megaphone, you need to start listening.

These voices can either help us or hurt us.  They can cause us to make wild choices about which path to take or can make us live a life that’s stagnant.  But if we’re not listening, like really listening, we might not be taking their advice like we should.

Ok, are you still with me?  Let’s talk about how you can tune in and start paying attention to these voices.  Let me given you a few examples of how this whole thing should work.

Example 1:. It’s Friday night and your friends really want you to go out after work.  Part of you wants to but the other part of you wants to go home because you’ve got the early morning yoga class.  One voice [the angel] says to go home, get some rest and be ready for yoga in the morning.  The other voice [the devil] says you need to go out for a few drinks with your friends.  What do you do?

Example 2:  You’re on your commute to work and listening to your favorite radio station, a podcast or meditation mantra.  While that’s playing in the background, you suddenly get this urge to travel to a place you’ve never been.  You start to have this internal conversation.  You have no idea why you feel drawn to this place, but in your mind you go back and forth – do I stay or do I go.  Do you listen to the voice and figure out what it means or do you ignore it?

These are just a few examples that I’ve experienced and it took me awhile before I really started to listen.  How did I get there?  Meditation, self-care and mindful practices.  I just took 10 minutes a day to start and it has been a life changing!  I set aside just 10 minutes to be with me, myself and I.  I sat quietly, listened to music or day dreamed and things just came to me.  It even happens while I’m working out sometimes.  Only you can find the right place for you for those 10 minutes a day.

These voices can help lead you down a path that you never knew was open to you.  It definitely did for me.  I challenge you to start opening your mind more and paying attention to those little voices.  I’d love to hear what comes out for you!  

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Breakfast with Buddha

I just finished reading a book and it had a very strong reminder for me.  The book is Breakfast with Buddha.  If you’ve read it, I want to hear your thoughts so make sure you comment below.  The book is about a man named Otto who’s parents died suddenly.  Otto has to travel halfway across the country to settle the estate and his sister asks him to bring a monk along for the ride.  Now, Otto has never met this monk and in the beginning, doesn’t necessarily believe in everything the monk stands for.  Along the journey, Otto tries to show the monk a little bit of the American lifestyle – tourist spots, the beautiful scenery and of course, food.  A lot of this book is how tasty food is or can be.  On the other side, the monk also tries to show Otto a bit about his practices.  They have to stop along the route at speaking engagements and while Otto resists learning, he comes around.  In the end, Otto learns a lot and realizes he needs to look at life differently.  Very differently.

The book had a very strong message for me.  And no, it wasn’t about practicing religion or becoming a buddhist.  The message for me was about gratitude.  That word is pretty big.  And most people, including myself, don’t take time to actually think about being grateful.  Think of the food you ate today.  Was it good?  Did it have flavor?  Do you even remember what you ate?  Were you grateful for the meal?  I remember what I ate, but. I definitely can’t say I took the time to be grateful for being able to buy breakfast and lunch and be fed.  Let’s think of it another way.

Most of us have cell phones.  Smart phones, at that.  We use them throughout the day, off and on, and some of us use them more than others.  When they stop working, we freak out!  The volume doesn’t work, the screen is cracked and your favorite app doesn’t open.  Ok, here’s the deal.  Why do we freak out?  This is a material thing and in all honesty, it’s not a priority.  Think of our parents or grandparents.  They didn’t have cell phones and they got by just fine.  I like to call this “First World Problems”…you may have heard of this phrase.  Do you use it?  I use it jokingly but it’s true.  This is a true problem.

Instead of thinking of all the bad or negative things that happen, let’s try to think of it differently.  With your food, savor every bite.  Experience all the flavors by eating slow and enjoying it.  But not too much.  With your modern day life, be grateful that you can have a smart phone.  Some people can’t even afford such a luxury.  With your friends and family, be present and live in the moment.  Enjoy your time with them.  Laugh a little.

My challenge to you is to start thinking of at least one thing to be grateful for each day and increase over time.  Start paying attention to the world around you – the colors, the smells, the senses on your skin.  And say thank you…a lot!  Start tonight!  Comment below with a moment of gratitude from today.  I’ll start…

Wow…What a Week…

Wow!  What a week, right?  Yea, it’s been a crazy one for me and it’s only Tuesday!  I honestly don’t think my emotions can’t handle anymore.  It all exploded after my workout tonight.

This is what I looked like.  Not pretty right?  But honestly, who cares.  I totally broke down.  I’m was done.  Exhausted – mentally,  physically and emotionally.

First, I’ve got a TON going on at my full time job.  I’m in the middle of my normal monthly project and then an even bigger project gets thrown in.  I mean, it’s one where you’d have to drop everything if you got an email.  This one…mental stress.

Then, in the wake of what happened in Las Vegas, I was literally torn apart.  No, I didn’t know anyone attending the concert, but honestly I don’t think that matters.  The fact that this event even took place is devastating for anyone.  I’ve been to Las Vegas and loved it.  I’ve stayed at Mandalay Bay before.  I’ve been to outdoor concerts.  I have never had something this awful happen in my life.  However, the fact that it CAN happen, scares the crap out of me.  Over the past few days so many questions have been running through my mind (and I’m sure yours too) but some of them I can’t answer.  All I can do is tell my loved ones how much I love them and give them all hugs next time I see them.  This one…emotional stress.

Lastly, tonight’s workout was a challenging one.  It was the last straw, if you will.  Tonight we (my husband/accountability partner/workout buddy) did a 45 minute kickboxing workout.  It’s one of my favorites because the music gets you amped, the moves are fun to do because they make you feel like a true fighter and at the end, you’re sweating buckets.  It might not be the workout for everyone, but it’s the workout for me.  There are a few tracks that literally leave you breathless.  Like crazy breathing.  Out your ears breathing.  Whenever I do this workout, it makes me think back to 5 years ago when I first started my journey.  Back then, I would have never been able to get through this workout without pausing the DVD.  This one was not only physical stress but it was emotional stress too.

So what do I do with all this stress?  Well, I could do a few things:

•  I could cry my eyes out every day.

•  I could bottle it up and just harbor all that energy.

•   I could decide not to leave my house because it’s too scary of world out.

•   I could go see someone and get things off my chest.

Granted, I do the first one maybe once a month but that’s not so fun.  Harboring energy, whether good or bad energy is never a good thing so I think I’ll pass on that one.  Leaving my house is just not an option.  But, I can get help.  And listen, it’s not a bad thing to ask for help.  It might feel like you’re failing, but trust me…you’re not.  Getting help is one of the best things you can do for yourself because it’s part of self-care.  There are many, many people out there that swear by therapy because you’re getting feedback from unbiased parties.  It can be as simple as that.

So has your week been stressful like mine?  If so, how are you handling it?  Stress management can happen in a variety of ways and I love to hear what you’re doing to get through it.  Leave me a comment and share!  You  just might be helping someone else in the process.

 

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