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meditation update

13 Oct

 

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In an attempt to meditate more frequently I signed up for a month-long membership at Unplug Meditation. It’s a guided meditation studio in Los Angeles that offers 30 and 45 minute group meditation sessions. They range from mantras to crystal healing classes. While I would like to get to a point where I am meditating by myself at home, I thought a group atmosphere and guided practice might jumpstart my practice again. I was right. This place is a little oasis and it makes meditation easy. It’s a calm atmosphere with soft light and candles. They offer cushions that fold into little chairs on the ground- you can keep them flat if you want to lie down or fold it to give you support when you sit. These cushions are pure gold- I’ve found that if I am not physically comfortable during my practice then my mind never stills. Instead I’m focused on the fact that my foot is falling asleep and my back is aching.

I’ve taken a range of classes at Unplug led by a different people and found that each teacher brings a whole new energy to the practice. One guided meditation that I absolutely loved (it may sound a little strange) the teacher led us back to the days of our ancestors- we weren’t told how far to go back so I decided to visualize 100 years or so back. I found myself standing by myself on a hilltop in Ireland…different shades of green as far as the eye could see…I could literally feel the wind in my face and hear the waves crashing on the rocks below. It was so incredibly powerful. I felt tethered to all that came before me. It was interesting letting my mind explore the new world- I wandered villages, watched people work, children play & animals wander.

When I left class that morning my perspective had shifted from what I could only see and touch in front of me to a vast and endless world beyond…past, present & future. It’s truly amazing where your mind can take you.

My visualization looked much like these photos…

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Slea Head - County Kerry Ireland

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My membership ends at the studio soon (after the month-long new student deal it’s pretty pricy to continue- major bummer!) so I will have to develop a space in my home that inspires me to calmly want to sit for long periods of time. Preferably one that Frank can’t bring his tennis ball into.

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For any of you interested in meditation here are some tips that have worked for me.

meditating in the morning before the day begins. I find my head space is clearer at this time

setting a timer for a desired amount of time so my focus can be on my practice and not the clock

stretching my body before so I feel less restless and more open

putting on light music or an online guided meditation (these free guided meditations are great)

focusing on my breath to anchor in the present moment

lastly, when unwanted thoughts appear I gently let them go by returning my focus to my breath. Don’t try to stop your thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Imagine that they are unwelcome visitors at your door: acknowledge their presence and politely ask them to leave.

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“Meditation is to dive all the way within, beyond thought, to the source of thought and pure consciousness. It enlarges the container, every time you transcend. When you come out, you come out refreshed, filled with energy and enthusiasm for life.”
David Lynch

 

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22 Jan

 

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currently….

thinking about: how excited I am about the possibilities that 2015 already holds, our new business (can’t wait to share more!), babies (I am 32 after all:), how to be the best version of myself everyday, blogging, a new book proposal, travel plans for the year (we have four weddings on the horizon in 2015…one is in England!) expansion, speaking from my truth & being present.

grateful for: there will never be a week that goes by that I am not grateful for my husband (he just makes everything sweeter), hot baths, dates with my momma, feeling connected & sushi.

watching: Girls! I am surprised by how much I adored the first two episodes of season four (I liked the first season but hated the second season so much that I gave up on the show for a bit) but I decided to give it another shot this season and I laughed out loud while watching it- LOVE. I am also on a crusade to watch all the oscar nominated films this year before the big show…I crossed one more off my list this week, Selma- it was such a beautiful film. Watching it made me feel aware (and possibly bad) that I didn’t march in the ferguson or Michael Brown protests. I think we (or maybe just me) forget what a difference we can make in combatting injustice with our voices.

loving: my life

I survived

15 Jan

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(one of my favorite pressed juicery flavors on the cleanse)

Raise your glasses! It’s time for a celebration! I survived a three-day juice cleanse! YAHOOOOO. If you can’t tell, I feel pretty damn accomplished. The first day was pretty miserable. The coffee withdrawal headache was no joke and my stomach growled deep within. I spent most of the day either shooting Brian dirty looks for eating (pizza, no less!), sleeping or complaining. I was not a happy camper. But, I didn’t break down and eat. I stayed on course and drank my six juices on schedule. Every time I thought I couldn’t possibly do it for three days I would simplify it and think…just get through the next hour. I took it step by step. The highlight of the day was juice 6- it’s an almond, date, vanilla bean, sea salt & filtered water bottle of heaven.

The second day I woke up feeling more energetic and decided to go to a 9am hot yoga class with Rachel & Sophie. It wasn’t my best idea. Note to self: When on a three-day juice cleanse avoid strenuous activities such as a yoga class in a 120 degree room. I felt as if I was going to pass out. I actually think I had an out-of-body experience. When I got back home, I curled up in a ball on the couch, in my sweaty yoga clothes and sipped on juice for a few hours. Around 1pm Brian and I decided to go to the movies and it was a fabulous distraction from my hunger. I spent two glorious hours in a dark room immersed in Argo. Then I spent the next four hours at home immersed in the Golden Globes. Then I went to bed. Avoidance was key.

The third day I woke up feeling really good. Of course, still hungry- I mean I hadn’t eaten in over two days for christ sakes! But I finally felt what everyone had been talking about. I felt energetic, light and clear! Oh, and my skin- never looked better.  It looked so hydrated and the tone so even. Better than a 200 dollar facial. The rest of the day was smooth sailing. I felt alive! That was until 6pm when all I could think about was grilled salmon, sautéed veggies and buttery chardonnay. I could almost taste it! I was so close though, so I cracked open an almond date juice and hid from Brian when he ate dinner.

All in all, I am totally a fan of juice cleanses. Yes, they are difficult. But, the juices from Pressed Juicery are fabulous and I feel like a million bucks today. So clean! It was the perfect thing to try during my month of health.

2013, just you wait, I feel unstoppable.

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“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
Jim Rohn