Does Meditation Work?

                                Meditate,Meditate, Meditate…                                                  meditation

Quiet your mind, your inner voice, sit on the floor and chant OHM.  Many people do it, is it for you?

It certainly won’t make you thinner, quicker, or richer.  What will it do?  How about lower your blood pressure and your heart rate; help anxiety, depression; and increase focus just to name a few.  Overall meditation increases positive daily living and who wouldn’t love a little more inner peace,  happiness and positivity in their life?

My first taste of meditation came as a form of “relaxation therapy” when I was in treatment for bulimia.  Was it my instant salvation? Nope.   Kind of entertainment and “everyone” , at least in my social circle of treatment, was doing it.  Did I sit in lotus or use finger positions, mudras? No, I laid on the floor with my pillow and sometimes a blanket.  What did it feel like? Restful, a short nap.  Clearing of all the noise around me and inside me.  I noticed a clarity in myself I hadn’t experienced in years, an inner peace.  Inner peace, ironic since I was dealing with feelings I’d been numbing out for years.  Yet somehow I felt better even the days I really dug in and dealt with the emotional turmoil inside me or feelings  I avoided for years.

When I left treatment, I didn’t think I’d found salvation through meditation either.  In fact, I kind of left it as an activity I did while “in there”.  It took me several years before I realized the gift I learned and began a consistent practice.

Practice, yes, practice.  It is a meditation practice, not a meditation perfect.  When you learned to read, could you pick up a book and read anything? What about sports? Were you perfect at it the first time someone showed you what to do? Or did you practice gaining finesse and tweaking each time?

We evolve, change and grow in our lives everyday.  Meditation is something you can take with you ANYWHERE.  It evolves, changes and grows with you.

Am I practicing meditation consistently today? YES! Most days I’m there.  It is in my daily schedule like as an appointment.   Sometimes I meditate in my car after a stressful traffic experience too.   Yet, there are days here or there that I miss it.  And not only can I tell, so can my family.  Marc, my hubby, will say: “Did you meditate today?”  And I know each time he’s asked the answer is no for various reasons.  He will then stop me and say “go…take some time” and I know then I’m must be “crunchy” and off I go.  I’m grateful for him noticing and I feel better and notice a big shift after.  And no beat up if I miss it.  It is a practice, not a perfect.

So if you are looking for inner peace, more focus or just more positive daily living in your life.  Give Meditation a chance.  Trust me it can change your day or your life.

Lovingly Lotus

 

Do you really have faith?

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Having faith, trusting, stepping out when you cannot see the ground in front of you and believing it is there.  Somehow knowing when there is no reason to believe that ALL will work out. Such a tiny word, 5 letters, and yet the meaning and the feeling behind the word…LIFE CHANGING.

My son learned about faith last week as a character trait at summer camp.  He is six years old. His take on what he learned:    “Trusting God, your mother, father and everyone is faith.  Faith is purple {purple, a color associated with 7th chakra/spirituality/connection to higher power}.  If someone trusts their counselor, they would be showing faith.  Trusting is part of faith.  If we were talking and listening to each other, we’d would be showing faith.  Listening to each other when we speak shows we have faith in each other.”

I was amazed how easily he grasped the concept of Faith.  I know for me, I struggle from time to time.  I get in my head a timeline or a “how it will happen or look” and when something doesn’t fit into the BOX of my creating or my comfort zone… POOF, I question.  I struggle.  I listen to my  fear.  Can be a relationship, career stuff, purchase related.  Pick a category. Then sometimes like magic,  I have a conversation with myself, write in my journal, meditate, talk to my hubby or a friend or , I pay attention to  an experience and POOF…I realize I’m trying to control and have let go of my faith.  Then I choose to surrender and return to letting go, allowing and BELIEVING again.   Did I stop having faith because I was afraid? Or do you still have faith and sometimes have fear?

I’ve recently changed careers.  I LOVE what I do and believe I am meant to help people shift to happier lives and more positive daily living.  When an event or appearance falls through or I have a day without a client, most days I have FAITH and TRUST those I’m supposed to help will connect with me and everything happens for a reason, BUT…some days I worry about what it means and begin down my funnel of fear until I hear myself telling Marc or see what I’ve written in my journal and catch myself. Turn myself toward gratitude for all I have and the wonder that is coming my way.

I believe having faith doesn’t mean we are perfect.  Sometimes we struggle or forget.  So what is faith?confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability; belief that is not based on proof.  Sometimes we get uncomfortable or afraid and it seems our faith disappears, we stop believing, we forget.  Life is not about perfection.  It is about embracing all experiences, enjoying and learning especially from our perceived imperfections. 

I’m grateful for all the people in my life who provide me opportunities to remember FAITH.

Faithfully,

Lovingly Lotus

faith-MLK

Can you “see”, you are free?

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FREEDOM

“Freedom ain’t a state like Maine or Virginia Freedom ain’t across some county line. Freedom is a flame that burns within ya, Freedom’s in the state of mind.”

As a child, I saw this song performed on Broadway.  The song in the show was about Freedom during the Civil War.  Yet even then, I knew the words meant more than Freedom of the slaves or the freedom of pacifists during the war.  The message is powerful and true for every person on the planet.  Our own freedom is our state of mind.  Is that FREEING?

We keep ourselves from Freedom by creating boxes or rules. We create our own rules, we have rules taught to us about how we are supposed to live, speak, act, feel and more.  Each day it is our choice if we follow the rules or if we allow ourself freedom to live!  I’m not talking about breaking laws or saying or doing anything to hurt yourself or anyone else.  I’m talking about living as our true selves comfortable in our own skin.  FREEDOM!

“Freedom ain’t a boat that’s leavin’ without ya,  Freedom ain’t a place ya float to find. Freedom is the how ya think about ya Freedom’s in the state of mind”

Our desire to be accepted and loved can affect our choice of living our lives FREE.  Not following the “rules”  society has ingrained or taught by our parents or peers can lead us to feeling shame and so we construct our own constricted life to fit in.

I have always had a long loud laugh.  When I was around 10 years old, I recall hearing comments from a variety of people about my loud laugh.  “children should be seen and not heard” comes to mind; ladylike does not include loudlylike; wow, you can hear that laugh across the room and more, none of them embraced my laugh.  I was headed down the road of puberty at the time and desperately wanted to be liked and fit in.  My choice was to place my hand over my mouth when I laughed so I could stifle my own laughter.  A laughter prison cell of sorts.  What did that do for me? Well, my laugh didn’t stick out and call attention that I was different and so I fit IN.  It also affected my ability to fully enjoy funny experiences for a VERY long time.  I realized much later, I stifled my feelings.

“You can’t get to freedom by ridin’ a train The only way to freedom is right on through your brain.  Freedom is a notion sweepin’ the nation Freedom is the right of all mankind. Freedom is a body’s ‘magination Freedom’s in the state of mind. Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom.   Freedom is a notion sweepin’ the nation Freedom is a body’s ‘magination, Freedom is a full time occupation, Freedom’s in the state of mind”              * Freedom, from Shenandoah, by Geld and Udell

If I could choose to condemn my own expression of laughter, something simple and easy, what other chains and prisons do we create that keeps us from FREEDOM due to the fear of SHAME?

My own self work and allowing myself to truly hear my laughter (it slipped out beyond my control occasionally) began to change my perspective.    I felt FREE when I wasn’t focused on controlling my laugh and it slipped out naturally.  I decided to release my laugh from prison permanently.  And one day a confirmation came when a friend shared: “Marni, I LOVE your laugh.  It makes me smile and laugh even more deeply.  It is infectious.”

My FREEDOM affected other people and my laughter helped others lighten a moment in their day.  It wasn’t off putting, it was healing and joyful because I rewrote “the rules” for myself.  Are there rules you’ve written to protect yourself from shame? Are you ready to erase the prison forever (one brick at a time or all at once depending on how you process)?

As we move into this celebration of our Country’s freedom, Free yourself, Free your mind, CELEBRATE and ENJOY your Freedom.

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Lovingly Lotus