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Archive for the ‘meditation’ Category

Quieting the Monkey Mind

A Gentle Shove in the Right Direction

A few days ago a friend made me promise to watch a certain episode of “Chef’s Table” on Netflix. She didn’t say why, just made me promise to watch.

Friday night rolled around and I wanted something relaxing to do while eating the Chinese food I’d been craving for days despite knowing it wasn’t the best thing I could be eating. Sometimes you just have to let the craving win and go back to better habits after! I’ve found it keeps me from binging on a lot of stuff I don’t really want because I can’t find what I do want.

But I digress. I remembered the promise and opened Netflix on my computer. Clearly they saw me coming because the show was the very first one on the opening screen. Now, she’d mentioned a couple of episodes in our conversation, so I couldn’t remember exactly which one she’d asked me to watch, remembering only that it was Episode 1 from either Season 2 or 3.

Unlikely Inspiration Via Chef’s Table

I watched the one from Season 2 and though it was excellent and very inspiring. It showcased a chef who’d overcome cancer and the after-effects of treatment to become an even better, more adventurous chef, which says a lot as he was already known for his incredible talent in creating unique, surprising dishes. Yet I felt it wasn’t the right one.

I went back to the episode list looking for what she intended I watch and found an episode about a Buddhist monk in Season 3. Bingo! I knew that was the one she felt would inspire me.

To say the episode opened my mind to new possibilities would be like saying the birth of your first child will make a few changes in your life.

Meditation Over Vegetables

The monk, Jeong Kwan, joined the monastery when she was only 17, making a life choice unfathomable to most of us. She brought with her a love of cooking she’d learned from her recently deceased mother and had internalized as an outpouring of the nurturing of a mother as well as a monk.

I really connected with her story when she talked about cooking as a form of meditation. I get the same feeling when I’m chopping up vegetables for a stir-fry and on a lesser scale, when making a pot of chili or some other batch I’ll later portion out and freeze. There’s something cathartic about chopping up fresh vegetables and combining them into a healthy, nutritious dish which is very soul soothing.

Meditating in Unlikely Places

The episode came back to me while writing my morning pages and I started thinking about other places and situations where I find the peace and tranquility of a meditative state.

The obvious ones are dancing and walking in nature. But my nature walks typically include at least one friend. In fact, every Friday, it’s the same friend, and we tend to chat most of the time we’re walking.

I was about to rule that one out when I realized it really is peaceful and there’s no set plan to our conversation. In fact, it’s kind of a vocal morning pages. We say what’s on our minds, wandering from subject to subject without thought or plan. My muscles warm as we move and our pace is steady and even (assuming we’re not climbing over rocks, of course!). When we’re done, I always feel good both physically and mentally, so why can’t that be a meditation? It’s like dancing but the music is our voices and the sounds of nature around us.

My thoughts wandered to other activities I’ve been taking for granted and I easily found two more meditative practices I’ve simply fallen into.

Sleeping Better, Waking Better

The first is my bedtime ritual. When I lay down at night, I lay on my back and do some neck stretches. Then I just let my body relax and release all of the tension from my neck, spine, and back before assuming my typical sleeping position on my side with my arm draped across one of the extra pillows. I use that time to settle both myself and the cats who snuggle with me. They take turns settling beside or on top of me and getting a few strokes. Pretty soon, I’ll have two or three of them purring softly beside me. Only then do I roll over and fall almost immediately to sleep.



Scrappy Doo relaxing

Scrappy Doo

The second is just the opposite; my morning wake-up ritual. Quite often, I’m woken by Toby or Scrappy Doo playing the blinds or digging at the covers. Unlike humans who have used technology to subvert the demands of our circadian rhythm, cats are motivated by the rising and setting of the sun. Sure, they sleep about 18 hours a day, but in my house, when the sun comes up, they’re appetite alarms are sure to follow, despite the fact that dry food is available 24/7. Once they see I’m awake, I become the base for a cat pile of purrs and snuggles.

Like my night time ritual, by the time I’m fully awake, I’m calm and relaxed. Since I’m no longer at the mercy of someone else’s time table, I’m free to carry that relaxation into my own personal morning rituals. Part of that is the aforementioned morning pages which I also find to be strangely meditative. There’s something about having to slow my thoughts down enough to make it from brain to hand to pen to paper which is similar to slowing my breathing.

Learning to Get Out of My Own Way

I realize as I’m writing that a huge part of the black hole which absorbed any desire to write over the last couple of months has to do with something else Jeong Kwan mentioned. To paraphrase, she said that in order to be creative, you have to let go of ego. Although she was referring to the creativity of her cooking which is both delicious and beautiful, I felt one of those mental jolts when I saw her words translated on the screen.

The fears I’ve been feeling, the lack of confidence, the I’m not good enoughs…those are all my ego talking. Even my inability to answer the question Carolyn Maul recently posed: “What is your unique selling proposition (or USP for you copywriters out there)?” is tied to ego and lack of confidence. I have to ask myself, if ego wasn’t getting in my way, couldn’t I find at least a couple of things I’m especially good at which set me apart from other writers out there?

In Search of My USP

My friend Cruz is always telling me that she loves what she calls “raw Sheri” (usually when she’s kicking my butt over my lack of confidence). What I think she means is the writing I do which is unfiltered and completely honest. She prefers it when I just dive into a topic without a preface, prologue, or any other lead-in. Kind of like a cannonball into the pool, without a care for where or how I land.

But is that raw honesty enough to call my USP? Guess I’ll have to quiet the monkey mind and find the answer through one of my meditations.

Over to You Now. Share What Smooths Your Path.

How do you quiet your monkey mind? How do you still the ego so you can let your creative side out (and don’t say you don’t have one. We all do! It just takes different forms). What have you been doing that’s meditative and you didn’t even realize it? Step back and look at things you do regularly which make you feel calm and relaxed. You might be surprised by what you find.

For all I learn, for all who share, for all who read my words, I am grateful.

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for friends and coaches who help peel me apart from my ego.
  2. I’m grateful for friends who share things they know will inspire me.
  3. I’m grateful for the realization that there are many ways to accomplish the same thing. Some work better than others at times, but they’re all beneficial.
  4. I’m grateful for the increased energy a few well-placed suggestions from friends can give me. Sometimes, motivation just needs a plan of action.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; energy, motivation, inspiration, friendship, self-confidence, dream manifestation, writing, reading, love, joy, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Feature photo courtesy of Stephen Bowler via Flickr


Corralling the Monkey Mind

Cheetah on My Mind

Lately, my mind has been performing a constant series of mental gymnastics. It makes it especially difficult to sit down and put words to page as they flit by so rapidly, even my speedy typing can’t keep up. It took me three days to settle it down enough to produce a 1000 word post about the last event I attended with my photographer friend. Was it my best quality work? Maybe, and maybe not, but at least it got writ.

On several occasions, it crossed my mind to add a post to my blog as well, but the very idea of sitting down and typing actual words sent the monkey into a screaming hissy fit of hysterical screeching and flinging of poo. (not a pretty sight, I assure you!)

I’m not really sure what allowed the furry fellow to settle down enough to let me work, but I got a good 3 hours worth in today and now, here I sit, putting more words to screen. Perhaps it’s the daily meditations. I actually completed 12 weeks of listening and have re-started at Level 1 of WTGOM. Meanwhile, I’ve reached Level 4 of WTGOWL and am slowly but surely releasing fat, thanks in part to a healthier diet, but aided and abetted by NEAT (a concept which says I must get up and move every hour more than just my regular bathroom visits), increasing time spent moving with the music and encouragement of my Wii Fit and of course, the incredibly supportive Neurogym Weight Loss community. With their help, I’m learning to stay on track, cheer my victories and accept the now very minor setbacks with an honest look at the behavior that caused them. No guilt and no blame makes it much easier to get back on track and discourages the binge eating which accompanies self-flagellation.

We and We Alone Are the Creators of Stress

As I sit here, monkey mind is still dashing off in many directions, further complicating my ability to hold a thought long enough to transfer it from brain to fingers. I’m thinking about the interview I’ve yet to turn into an article and questions I need to prepare for the next one. Then there’s my daughter’s graduation, a commitment I’ve made to a local wild animal rescue and the list goes on.

I was reading an e-book about recharging and how we cope with stress today. As I read, I saw how many things I’ve released over the last couple of years which should have brought my stress level down to nothing. But, in some ways, I guess I’m a modified version of a Type A personality as I seem to bog myself down with things I need to do, should do, want to do…and so on. In reality, there isn’t that much, but I’m finding even article writing isn’t simply a matter of looking at my notes and letting words fly. I tend to find, as I write, that I’ll find something I need to check on the net in order to make the article as perfect as I can. Then my mindfulness clock goes off and I know I really should get up and do squats or something.

If that wasn’t enough to rekindle a fire under my stress responses, I’ll suddenly remember something I forgot to do which means jumping up and doing it before I forget it again. Now, I’m further behind on all of my shoulda, coulda, wouldas.

Loving Myself, Warts and All

Ultimately I remember to just stop, breathe and give my little inner monkey time go gather his toys and his blanket and settle down for a nap. Because we really are in charge of that crazy, erratic, seemingly intractable mind running relay races in our head. We can stop our own insanity without shouting ourselves hoarse. All we have to do is stop, relax, take a few deep breaths and allow ourselves a moment or two to just be without accomplishing anything or making lists or berating ourselves for our shortcomings. In those few quiet moments, we can also add a couple of “I love you just the way you are”s. Because in those moments we give ourselves several times a day (or should be if we aren’t already), there is no judgement, no recrimination, no blame and no guilt.

Those moments of pure self-love calm the mental monkey because he feeds on our sense of uber responsibility. Giving ourselves permission to be less than perfect; to only accomplish as much as we reasonably can in any 24 hour period, to eat one small wheat and preservative filled cracker; to be what we really are, and that’s an imperfect but perfectly lovely human being.

Who Knew Letting Go Was the Real Solution?

Funny, when I stopped fighting the mental gymnastics, the words began to flow. When I stopped trying to figure out why a particular article was stressing me out, the answer came like a flashbulb going off. When I stopped worrying about what to write in this blog post, 800+ words found their way from my fingers to the screen. When I let go, everything began to flow smoothly again. Why do we make something so simple seem to difficult?

For those of you (and you know who you are) who are fighting with your own monkey minds as you push to get just one more thing done before you drop into bed at 2 or 3 or 4 AM, I challenge you to do three things: 1. Breathe 2. Let go 3. Give yourself permission to be imperfect. Because you know what? You’re much more beautiful when you’re just you.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for learning to love myself as I am and not like some heavily retouched picture of perfect womanhood.
2. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve been learning and the conclusions I’ve reached while meditating to the WTGOM and WTGOWL audios.
3. I am grateful for the books and articles I’m reading that are written by people who, like me aren’t perfect.
4. I am grateful that I finally finished something I started and, in fact, started over with a new plan in place.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, self-love, joy, productivity, creativity, motivation, words, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Grabbing Inspiration by the Throat

When Passion Hits, Pay Attention!

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve once again changed the title of my blog. It all started when I decided to go back to my basic purpose which is to share my own life lessons and inspirations as a means of supporting other people. I realized that the Leap of Faith I took was really only a small part of the whole.

On the subject of life lessons and inspirations, I am finishing Level 6 of John Assaraf’s “Winning the Game of Money” today and my own inspirations keep coming. The Neurogym community on Facebook is especially helpful as there are insights, support, wins and supplemental material on the Facebook group page. This morning, Mark Robert Waldman posted a video to show us how to find our true passion. Several things stood out for me: Writing, Philanthropy, Animal Welfare and helping people in general.

I Get My Best Ideas While Meditating

I followed up the exercise with my daily guided meditation and made a point of remaining mindful. (The Level 6 Innercise ends with a few minutes of rainfall which typically relaxes me so completely that I fall asleep). As I floated along on the sounds of music, bird song and rainfall, I had what I consider an important epiphany. I should be using my writing to help animal welfare groups promote, not only themselves but the issues concerning animals as a whole! It’s a subject I am truly passionate about and a topic on which I could and have written endlessly, so why not put it to good use by helping the groups who are out there on the front lines? Whether it’s TNR or helping their local areas become completely no-kill, or educating the public to the long-reaching effects of rat poison on our wildlife, someone needs to write the stories, so why not me?

Writing about animals is a lot like the food and wine events I’ve been attending lately. It’s all about laying the groundwork and establishing a recognizable brand. I can and have written on a wide range of topics, and have the research skills to write on a great many more. But people have to read what I write for it to have any value to anyone besides myself and a few loyal readers (who I am continually grateful for, by the way).

If I’ve learned nothing else over the last couple of years (aside from living more frugally until my passion becomes lucrative) it is to listen very carefully to the messages the Universe sends me. In fact, ignoring them is done at my own peril because, as many of you have discovered, the Universe is quite insistent about pushing us to follow our passion and purpose. As the recipient of an inordinate share of Universal head slaps, I have learned to pay very close attention, but also to act promptly on the messages I receive.

Wanted: Animal Rescue/Welfare Groups Needing a Writer to Help Promote Their Cause

Thus, I’m actively seeking rescue groups who could use some help getting the word out. If you know of any, please help us connect. We need to be the voice for the animals, and to make it loud, far-reaching and effective.

You may think this post deviates from my desire to help others through inspiration, but, at the risk of launching into a long and passionate testimonial for the people who devote their lives to animals, the health benefits of pets, and most of all, the environmental impact of animal scarcity, I’ll keep this brief. Helping animals helps humans.

Always Remember Gratitude

Thank you, both for reading this post and for helping me help them. If you have any leads for me, you can either contact me via the website or Facebook pages listed below, or via email:

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the tools which are helping me find my purpose.
  2. I am  grateful for the network which I’m continually expanding to help me use my passions to achieve my purpose.
  3. I am grateful for new and diverse opportunities to step out of my comfort zone.
  4. I am grateful for the lessons I’m learning and how my mind is expanding with possibilities from my membership int he Neurogym community.
  5. I am grateful for abundance: passion, support, opportunities, ideas, epiphanies, writing, reading, learning, sharing, inspiration both given and received, peace, hope, love, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

6 Things I’m Doing to Increase Productivity

The Time Has Come to Dig My Way Out of This Hole

Sometimes, we get ourselves into a rut; doing the same things at the same time on the same day, week after week. We end up in a rut which affects all parts of our lives, and often, we don’t even recognize it. In the last couple of weeks, I realized I’d hit that point and needed to take some drastic steps to re-invigorate my motivation. Here are just a few of the changes I’m making.

Change 1: Change it Up

Since part of the rut was just in the routine, I looked at doing some of the usual things like exercising at different times of day. Instead of doing it right after I get up and feed the cats every day, I’m moving it around. Sometimes, I’ll do it right after breakfast, others, later in the afternoon. My brain is no longer expecting it and will not be able to adjust to a particular time and schedule.

Change 2: Making Meditations More Proactive

I decided to test-drive John Assaraf’s “Winning the Game of Money” program. I say test-drive because, for now, I remain skeptical that it will teach me to make significant changes in the way I approach my writing and making a living, but I’m also keeping the door open to the possibility that it will. As he has a 30-day money back guarantee, I’m going to give it the full 30 days before deciding whether to continue. After only 4 days, I can say that it has opened my eyes to, well, opening my eyes. I admit that there are opportunities staring me in the face that I’m just not seeing right now. As the main component of the program is a 30 minute guided meditation which can be done once a day or more if you like, I’m using it instead of my usual hour-long, silent meditation. The one thing I’ve noticed after only 4 days is that the cats are becoming active participants. Pyewacket, in particular, feels the need to lie on top of my head or climb all over me through the entire recording. I’m also feeling more alert, more positive and more energetic. I can certainly appreciate these benefits and use them to my advantage!

Change 3: Enjoying my Own Company

I’ve been spending more than the usual amount of time out in public lately, between doctor visits, errands, and physical therapy. It’s given me a bad case of human overload. Since I crave a certain amount of alone time, I gave myself three full days of nothing but me and the cats. Half-way through Day 2, I was feeling absolutely wonderful! Then, while doing chores I was visited by a very friendly pit bull puppy, and, better still, an old friend I haven’t gotten to visit with in awhile!

Change 4: A Dance Hiatus.

As you might have read, I had a bit of a meltdown the last time I went dancing. I lost the ability to, as I like to say “leave my shit at the door”, and behaved rather badly. Though I have tendered an apology to the injured parties, I am not ready to return to that environment right now. I’ll go back when my daughter is in town, but have no real pressing urge to do so any sooner. I do miss seeing my friends, but I know they understand and will welcome me back when I’m ready.

Change 5: Setting Deadlines

I have done very little work on any of my novels lately. It’s becoming terminal and I finally decided to switch from working on my 2015 NaNo to going back to the one I wrote in 2013. I tried to finish the latest revision by October 31, but came up about 50 pages or so short. So far, I’ve managed to get another chapter revised, but now, I’m committing to 20 pages per week. It may not sound like much, but revising takes a whole lot longer than writing a draft, as I’ve learned to my frustration. I read today that writers procrastinate because we work better under pressure, and saw myself in that slightly tarnished mirror.

Change 6: Getting More Regular

I used to be really good about writing blog posts several times a week, but in the last few months, I’ve really let my readers down. My goal for now is 3 posts a week, but I can certainly do more if I just plant my tushie in the chair and start writing. I’m hoping the WTGoM program will inspire me to write more and give me things to write about as well. Stay tuned to see how well I do on this one.

Keeping it Simple For Now

The only thing missing from this plan is a more intense exercise plan, but until my neck and shoulder are in better shape, I’m going to leave most of that to my Physical Therapist. She kicked my butt today and I came away feeling a bit battered, but I’d rather she pushes me so I’ll get better more quickly.

At this point, there’s nothing left to do but give you tonight’s gratitudes.
1. I am grateful for support groups. There are many people out there who share interests with me and both cheering their successes and giving each other moral support makes what could be a very lonely journey something uniquely companionable.
2. I am grateful for life’s synchronicities. Just when I feel like I’m making no progress, something happens to assure me I am.
3. I am grateful for beautiful, sunshiny days and emerald green grass. The rains have made our air clearer and allowed the drought-murdered lawns and hillsides to thrive. Even my daffodils are turning their faces to the sun to smile radiantly.
4. I am grateful for my daughter. We don’t always agree and we can really frustrate each other, but there’s a love and a bond we share that nobody can ever break.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, support, inspiration, butt kicking, brainstorming, connections, friendship, family, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Finding Inspiration Wherever it may Lurk

The Writer’s Dilemma

Time and again I see writers asking the same question: “Where do I find inspiration?” Sometimes, they put it a little differently, like: “How do I get my Muse to talk to me?” Either way, I don’t think the answers are as hard to find as we might sometimes make it sound.

For myself, I’m learning a couple of things. First, inspiration or your muse or whatever you choose to call it isn’t going to talk to you unless you are ready to listen. This means one of two things to me. Either you have to be sitting at the computer with your fingers on the keyboard ready to type what your Muse dictates, or you have to let your mind go quiet so the Muse or inspiration can strike. Maybe that’s why people say they get their best ideas while in the shower or answering the call of nature or anything else which allows them to just relax and be.

Aside from just planting myself in front of the computer and letting my mind go limp, I’ve had success with finding ideas, figuring out a direction for an article I need to write or even getting inspiration, full-blown, for my NaNo novel. Here are some of the things I use when my brain becomes muddled with everyday concerns or I’m just stuck in analytical, internal editor, everything is crap mode.

  • Meditation: Though not 100% successful, I try to meditate for an hour every day. Sometimes it’s 40 minutes, sometimes only 20, but my goal is an hour and I’ve learned to set a timer as there are days I could just float for the entire afternoon. In fact, a meditation the day before NaNo began this year yielded not only the concept for my latest endeavor but the title as well. It was also where I got the inspiration I needed to write an article about an event I attended a week or so ago.
  • Cooking: I love the way my mind can just drift away into its own world when I’m doing something menial like chopping vegetables for a soup or stir-fry. Generally, I just keep pulling things out of the refrigerator, chopping, measuring and putting them into bowls according to the order they’ll be added to the dish. It doesn’t take a lot of concentration so my Muse is free to cavort and dream. Of course, it means I have to stop mid-chop to either run to the computer or grab pad and paper to jot the idea down before it flits away again. Such was the case tonight while I chopped what ended up being 5 mixing bowls full of assorted veggies for my latest stir-fry concoction. Twice, I had to run to the computer and start blog posts; one here and one on my website, e’er I forget them entirely.
  • Dancing: One of my personal favorites. I draw my energy around me and seal that egg-shaped field which envelops my physical self. Dancing in this self-imposed bubble, there is no stress. There are no worries. I’m oblivious to the world and people around me and just for a few moments, release any concerns I might have about the outside world. Here is where the magic truly happens, and I’ve finally learned to carry a pad and pen with me at all times. Sometimes, it’s simply a characterization which comes to me because of someone I see. Other times, it’s a dialogue I’ve been needing for my current Work in Progress. Either way, it’s another inspiration I may or may not have known I needed.
  • Walking: Like dancing, this allows me to close myself off into my own personal bubble while remaining semi-aware of the world around me. (after all, I don’t want to walk into the path of a car, and even when fully aware, I have trouble avoiding tripping over my own feet, a crack in the sidewalk or even a pea-sized pebble.)To be honest, I go into a kind of fugue just grocery shopping sometimes!
Living in a World of our own Creation, as Writers We Have to Find our own Way

As writers, and frankly, anyone with a creative bent, we have to figure out what works to unlock our own inspiration. What works for me might simply frustrate someone else. I know people who relax best when their hands are in the dirt or when they’re sewing: both activities which frustrate the stuffing out of me. I tend to refer to it as shutting my mind down and allowing thoughts to meander through the empty space I leave, but that’s not really it either. Nevertheless, like matter which moves to fill an empty space, thoughts, too will swirl and coalesce when they find a welcoming vessel. Thus, all I’m really trying to accomplish is to make myself the welcoming vessel; the place where thoughts, ideas…inspiration can come to play.

Will You Share Your Thoughts?

I’d love to hear what works for you. What helps you let inspiration in? What do you do to declutter your mind? What activities do you find most relaxing? Most cathartic? Leave me a comment and share your thought processes.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful I’ve learned to allow.
2. I am grateful for discipline and lack thereof. A time for each.
3. I am grateful for community. Freelancers and writers seem to realize what so many do not: The Universe is abundant and there is enough for everyone. We don’t need to compete with each other at all. Instead, we support and encourage. Would that the world would come to this realization.
4. I am grateful for the network I’m building. I am meeting people from all walks of life because we share a common interest; a common goal. We all want to get out of the corporate rat race and be our own person, our own boss, our own motivator and the recipient of the bounty from our efforts.
5. I am grateful for abundance: community, friendship, camaraderie, love, joy, inspiration, motivation, progress, productivity, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

10 Things I’ve Learned by Meditating

There’s More to a Meditation than Meets the Eye

I’ve included meditation in my daily routine for several years now. I try to do an hour a day, sitting quietly in my living room, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, I meditate on the dance floor. Others, I meditate while doing my morning stretches. I have even been known to meditate while grocery shopping.

It doesn’t really matter where you meditate or what you’re doing. The trick is to just quiet your mind and allow. Of course, when people hear “quiet your mind” they think you mean turn your brain off. We all know that’s impossible. What it means is to let the thoughts flow without analyzing or judging. In short, you just allow.

I get a lot of ideas from my meditations including both the title and main idea for my latest NaNoWriMo. But I realized today it’s much more than that, So without further ado, here are the 10 things (or should I say 10 of the things) I’ve learned by meditating.

  1. It’s the perfect place to work on forgiving yourself.
  2.  There is no wrong way to meditate.
  3.  A To Do list isn’t just to keep track of tasks I need to do. It’s also a way to show myself how much I actually accomplish even on days I consider lazy.
  4.  You can never have too many accountability partners.
  5.  If you don’t understand a message you receive while meditating, it will come again in a different way and will continue to do so until you get the message and act on it.
  6.  You can change your entire attitude by meditating.
  7.  For cats, meditation is a group sport.
  8.  No matter how frustrating your day might be, meditation will help put things back in perspective.
  9.  You can’t beat yourself up while meditating.
  10.  If you receive a message during meditation which shows you rearranging furniture, don’t ignore it. You won’t be able to settle down, sleep or even enjoy a movie until you do.
Meditation for your Health

Even if I’m pressed for time, I’ve learned to take as little as five minutes out and just breathe. The overall reduction in stress is huge, and even more so if performed with a purring cat on your lap. Reducing stress in any way you can improves your physical, mental, emotional and energetic health. I’m heartily in agreement with those who say it should be taught in our schools. Maybe someday it will be.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the message I received today to swap my sofa and love seat and move the cat tree.
2. I am grateful for a week which, while not as productive as I’d like, saw me getting back on track with my To Do list, MyFitnessPal and my accountability buddy. It also saw me becoming part of a mastermind group who enjoy writing about Alternative health and just plain healthy eating.
3. I am grateful that Patches is being good about taking her meds though I try not to let myself think about how lousy she must be feeling to be so calm.
4. I am grateful for a full and interesting life where new ideas and challenges come up often. I’m reinventing myself almost every week and someday I’ll even know who I am.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, health, well-being, peace, harmony, calm in the midst of a storm, inspiration, motivation, hope, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

Taking Control of Obsessive Thinking

Turning the Tables on Obsessive Loops

I am an obsessive thinker. I see something that interests me and I think about it constantly. I imagine myself having it. I create conversations. I develop entire scenarios, all the while telling myself that because I’m making such a big deal about it, it isn’t really meant to be. I’m especially bad when it’s a person I’d like to meet. I’m my own self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.

This may be surprising coming from someone who walks the Laws of Attraction walk. I’ve made it work in so many areas of my life, but there are a still a couple where my in-bred insecurities take over. The most prominent is interpersonal relations. While I’d like imitate some of my friends who’ve never met a stranger, I’m more the “the world is a scary place!” kind when it comes to other humans.

Moving my Brain into a Quieter Place

It has been said that the best way to cure an addiction or, in this case, an obsession is to recognize the problem. During today’s meditation, that’s exactly what I did. After giving my current obsession a few minutes to spin itself around, I pressed the mental pause button. Then, I tried a few words to see how they made me feel. The first word was ‘Accept’. As soon as it formed in my thoughts, most of the tension in my body released. The second word was, coincidentally, ‘Release’. Again, I felt some of the remaining tension fade away. Finally, I gave my easing mind the word ‘Allow’.

As the last of the tension left my body, I smiled as I listened to a bird chirping loudly on my patio. I drifted on the winds I could hear stirring the leaves on the tree in my front yard. And I sank into the sounds of Scrappy Doo purring on my lap and Toby snuffle-snoring on the other end of the sofa.

My entire being was saying I like this place of accepting, allowing and releasing. It’s much nicer than that other place whose name I dare not utter lest I break the peace we’ve created.

Have I stopped my obsessive thinking for good? Have I ended the self-limiting thinking? Probably not. What I have done is given myself a tool to use when those thoughts start creeping in and gumming up the works. Like any healthy habit, it will take practice and repetition, but the memory of the change it wrought in just one application will motivate me to continue.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for met deadlines.
2. I am grateful for progress on several projects today.
3. I am grateful for the company of my kitties.
4. I am grateful for continued healthy eating and food tracking.
5. I am grateful for abundance; productivity, health, peace, harmony, love, friendship, motivation, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages at and . Please also drop by my website, and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!


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