Monday Mantras w: Meg

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Behind the Darkness

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As I hopped into my car Friday afternoon to drive out of the city, I couldn’t help but feel a wave of nervousness wash over me. We were gearing up for a camping weekend- my younger sister and I- and I had not yet really settled into the fact that we would be alone in the dark. This would not be a problem for many, or even something they would consider, but I did- because I am afraid of the dark.

Being the older sister, I felt like I had to sort of “hide” my fear. I wanted to make my sister feel comfortable and safe. I am the older sister after all, although sometimes she makes me question that.

Looking at myself in the rearview mirror, I gave myself one of those pep talks.

Alright, you got this. Camping. People do it every weekend. There is nothing to be afraid of.

About 5 minutes into my, “Tony Robbins” pump you up motivational headwork, I had an ‘aha’ moment. The dark was not what I was truly afraid of. In fact, what scared me was that I didn’t know what lay behind the darkness. I was afraid of the unknown, of circumstances that might be. I was fearful of uncertainty.

But that is life. Everything is uncertain. In fact, the only thing that is certain is that NOTHING IS CERTAIN.

And so I switched my “self-talk” to embracing the unknown, to trusting that the universe will keep us safe, and to listening to my instinct if anything odd did arise. And from there a wave of calmness settled over me.

You see fear is like the little dark room where negatives (from a photo) are developed. And as we drag our fears out from the darkness of our mind and into the light of day through courageous self-inquiry, logical and grounded thinking, the fear begins to dissipate.

So ask yourself, what am I truly afraid of? And why? And is it reasonable? Or is it something I can’t control? Because if it is out of your control, then there is no sense in worrying about it.

And then it becomes you who get to decide.

How much your fear affects you?

Or is it time to move through it?

Is it time to expose your fear to the light of day and work in the process of growth?

To see yourself- your fears- for what they are and continue forward on your journey of growth and self-discovery in life.

life: your movie reel

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ghandiYour mind creates the world you live in. Quiet literally, you are the director, star actor, supporting roles and extras for you own personal movie. And you get to choose:

What reality do you wish to create?

What perspective will you take?

Sometimes it is hard to see the silver lining. Life catches us in negativity, sadness, confusion, or worry. And that’s okay. Acknowledge yourself in that space and mentally prepare to shift back into the movie you want to see.

 

Below are some of my favorite quotes that pull me back into my best movie reel yet:

“Instead of obsessing over the things you can’t change, focus on what you can. Your attitude, mindset, and energy.” ~Mary Hale

“The cause of bondage and liberation is our own minds. If we think we are bound, we are bound. If we think we are free, we are free. It is only when we transcend the mind that we are free from all troubles.” ~The Yoga Sutra’s

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.” ~Henry Ford

“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it. As long as you believe it 100%.” ~Arnold Schwarzenegger

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~Wayne Dyer

“The mind is everything, what you think you become.” Buddha

“If my mind can concieve it, and my heart can believe it, then I know I can achieve it.” ~Jesse Jacoson 

“There is always a reason to not be upset, and if you give that reason more importance you will live life with a carefree mindset.” ~Ramandeep Singh

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~Walt Disney 

 

#liveyourbestlifeever

 

 

 

the continued journey to living in the present​

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presentAs I sat outside Sip & Ship, a wonderful locally owned coffee/shipping store, I sipped my hemp milk latte. Drake’s beats played in my earbuds as I pulled out my notebook to write- about what I felt was prudent for me & my community on this day- living in the present moment.

As I put pen to paper, I giggled to myself. Becuase I wasn’t even present in the moment I intended to write about being present.

So I pulled my headphones out, slide them back into my bag, sat back in the chair to look up at the sunshine beating down on my face.

And then, as if it was written in a movie script, I took a deep breath in through the nose- slightly opening my mouth to exhale.

This is presence.

It’s not necessarily focusing on one thing- although I have found presence in that. Presence is so many things. Because in each moment, there is a special abundance. Of peace. Of happiness. Of gratitude. Of love. A sense of real fullness. If you can just arrive.

Try taking space in between the texts, calls, emails, conversations, tasks, activities, hobbies…to look around. To look up and see the beauty of the world that surrounds you.

I invite you to practice presence in your life today. To see the beauty and fullness that’s alive and exists in this moment. Right here. Right now.

Here are some of my favorite techniques to arrive: 

  • Stomp your feet (yes- connect with the floor under you)
  • Look at things as if it’s your first time seeing them
  • Pay attention to the details
  • Set an alarm every hour to look around and take in your surroundings. To make space in the places in between.
  • Single task
  • Breath. Long, deep, full inhales and exhales. Both are important

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift- that’s why they call it the present. 

i don’t know

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4bZZKXHQTseRktZuFYsi_OnTheDockThinking back on my middle school years still, makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. It is such a time of change and transformation. (Why don’t they have a movie that explained you’re supposed to be awkward then, that plays in health class?) As my peers and I geared up, from leaving the “elementary nest” to transition into our high school years, we began to see, think, and understand the world in a whole new way.

I remember sitting in the second row in Mr. Cote’s advanced math class. I looked around at the room. It was made up of upperclassman, specifically, boys who made me feel different than they did before, math posters, and a licorice, which was given to us upon answering a question correctly. Glancing back towards the chalkboard, I caught Mr. Cote’s eyes knowing I would be the victim of his next question. I can’t remember what it was he asked but in the next 5 seconds afterwards I will always remember my response. All of the sudden my body was warm, my palms sweaty, I don’t know I thought! Ask someone else? Why me? As I sunk into my chair I spouted off an answer I knew very well wasn’t correct encouraging him to move on to his next target. Phew, that was over, I thought. And returned my gaze to the page where it sat for the rest of class.

I can’t remember what it was he asked but the next 5 seconds after the question I will always remember. All of the sudden my body was warm, my palms sweaty, my heart rate increased, as my eyes raced around the room making contact with my peers.

I don’t know I thought! Ask someone else? Why me?

As I sunk into my chair I spouted off an answer I knew very well wasn’t correct encouraging him to move on to his next target. Phew, that was over, I thought. And returned my gaze to the page where it sat for the rest of class.

Why couldn’t I just say: I don’t know?

These three words are more difficult to say than we think. But why? We will surely all be asked a question we don’t know the answer to.

Fast forward 10 years to my first year working in finance, where I had a mentor address the issue. She -one of the most successful individuals at the firm- said at a seminar one day:

“Each of us will be surprised with questions we don’t know the answer to. And that’s okay. The response is, however, very important. Be confident and simply tell them, hey- that is a great question- I don’t know but I will do my best to research it and find the answer for you. What would be the best way to get that to you after I have discovered the answer?”

With such grace, she admitted to not knowing it all. And rather than shrinking in the moment, embracing it. Because a curious question will keep the mind exploring new and creative topics, in turn, keeping us healthy as we formulate new neural pathways.

Okay, so we don’t know.

Let the mystery transform into curiosity. Be willing and able to explore new information! All while admitting, hey I still don’t know. Because it seems as adults the more we know the more we realize we don’t know.

Be confident and embrace the “unknown”. After all, this world is unknown. What will happen next, tomorrow, next year is really a mystery. As much as we plan for, schedule out, things happen. And rather than being afraid of the unknown, or slouching at the response- “I don’t know”, can we embrace it and live in the excitement of the mystery.

Forever curious. Forever learning. Forever growing.

 

 

step up & lead

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leaders.jpegEach day brings a new opportunity:

To lead. Or to be lead.

And we need both in our society.

To be a leader one must be willing to do the work to understand where people need lead. They must have the ability to inspire and create action. They must lead by example, yet be able to march in the crowd with their tribe.

We need leaders who are willing to admit they are wrong. Who are passionate about their projects. Who are willing to put in the extra work to move the team to achieve the vision.

We need leaders who are not willing to give up on their mission.

We need leaders in our families. Within our friends. In our offices. We need leaders in our communities. We need leaders in our cities, states, and nations. We need people to stand up & lead.

So I ask you, who are you lead by? And then, how can you lead?

Is it time for you to step up and lead in a different capacity? In a different arena?

And if so, what are you passionate about? Where do you want to make an impact? And how can you lead yourself, your family, your community in a way that is authentic to you?

CALLING ALL LEADERS TO STAND UP AND LEAD.

 

 

my morning ritual

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morning

You might say I am a dreamer.

Meaning, I live most often in my mind as opposed to in my feet. I am constantly thinking, creating and dreaming up ideas about life/ the future- which I feel is great- for me. But sometimes, it can be unsettling taking me out of the present moment. You see, if I lived in my feet, I would be very “in the moment”, present in the world around me. And so because of this my grounding practices- that bring me into the present moment- is crucial to balanced living.

My morning routine is something I love to consistently come back to that provides me with the grounding and stability to feel good. It’s a time where I can always find a few extra minutes {to lay in bed}.

I start with a meditation. Placing one hand on my heart, one hand on my belly, to then focus on my breath in the present moment. After 2-3 minutes of just “being,” I move onto my intention setting portion. I consider what happened the previous day, what I have going on that upcoming day, and what intention will support me to live the best day. Sometimes it comes to me right away, other days it just doesn’t. On those days, when I can’t find an intention, I set an intention to be present and aware throughout my day.

I find this practice to be a reliable way to start my day. No matter what storm comes up the day before, what big meetings I may have that day, or how excited I am for an upcoming event, I know that when I take the time to center myself- I can handle anything.

So I ask you, do you have a morning ritual? How do you stay grounded and in the present? Share with us in the comment section below!  

saying yes and meaning it

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saying yes.jpegYesterday morning I woke up with the greatest intention of getting up to run. And then one snooze happened,and then the next and then… I didn’t run. A few years ago, I would have been disappointed in myself. But this day was different, this day- I was proud.

The fact of the matter was the night before I stayed up pretty late chatting with a good friend. We had one of those late night wine talks that really soothes the soul and so I didn’t make it to bed nearly as early as I had intended. When 5am rolled around I really thought about getting out of bed to work out, but then…just didn’t. Because that morning, I needed to say YES to sleep more than anything else.

You see, we have opportunities to say yes- and then the corresponding opportunity to then say no. And each yes means a consequential no to something else. But often times the corresponding no is much harder to see. It doesn’t show up in the initial interaction. It can take days or even months to manifest. Yet time is limited. And we really don’t even have 24 hours in a day, when you include rest time. And so we must make the conscious decision about how we want to spend our time.

Notably, people will pull you to do what they want you to do. Don’t get too caught up in that to the point where you start to live for someone else. This is your life to live.

Instead, make the mindful decision ahead of time to get in touch with what you want. Maybe it’s in the morning when you wake up or at the beginning of your week or even at the start of a new month.

Do you need more down time? Do you want a busy social calendar? How much sleep is necessary for you? What takes priority? How often do you need to work out?

How much time can you devote to the different arenas in your life?

How much time do you set aside to just BE? 

Once we have identified our intentions around how we want to spend our time, can we get confident in those decisions? Can we honor ourselves and set boundaries where we need to? Can we express and communicate with the people in our lives why we need to do something besides what they asked us to do? 

Seattle, in particular, has this social issue called the “Seattle Freeze”. Where people say things like, ‘yes! let’s get together sometime’. When they actually mean ‘the only time I have time to see you again is the next time we bump into each other’. And that’s okay if you just tell people that. They will understand.

Time is limited. Life is precious. So ask yourself, what do I need to say yes to this month? Or better yet, start with what you need to say no to. Make a list. Write it down. Keep it in your wallet.

Each day as you wake, may you honor your time and space in this life. May you say yes to the things you have a burning desire to say YES to. And then politely, smilingly, and non-apologetically say NO it’s right for you.

I invite you to share your “NO” list with us today in the comments. Let the materialization of this list hold you to your commitment to yourself so that you may live your best life possible. Namaste

 

 

 

balance during VATA season

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164H (1)From late fall to early winter the western hemisphere is in the energetic Vata season. When out of balance in this season you may feel excess stress, restlessness, digestive challenges, weakness, cold, anxiousness, or even experience insomnia. Energy can seem to come in sprits leading to burn out and fatigue.

To balance Vata, make choices that bring warmth, stability, and consistency to your life. Find a routine and stick with it. Go to bed before 10 p.m. and wake up by 6 a.m., while eating your meals at regular times. Avoid becoming chilled and perform a daily massage using warmer, heavy oils like sesame and almond.

Stick with light exercise that enhances balance and flexibility. DO YOGA. Take care to not push yourself too far and exceed your energy limits. WALK. Drink ginger tea to sooth your digestion and warm you up. LISTEN TO CALM SOOTHING MUSIC. Get a massage treatment. Favor WARM COLORS in your clothing and environment. Burn AROMAS that are heavy and warm like basil, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Take care of yourself. Take breaks when you need. Listen to your body and mind and know yourself to stop before it’s too much. Happy balancing!

how we start our day

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When my alarm goes off in the morning one of my first thoughts is, ‘how much more sleep can I get’. After doing the calculation, I lay back in bed, attempting to fall back asleep. This doesn’t happen simultaneously so as I lie there, I like to set an intention for the day. My intention is often something along the lines of relaxation, patience, or being mindful and so I lay there thinking about my goal, soaking up any remaining bit of rest possible.

When my last alarm goes off, I pull myself out of bed. Once up, I frantically run around the house trying to get ready for the day in the minimal time I gave myself. In this space, I have found that I lose my intention. No matter how determined, how good it sounded while lying in bed, if I wait to the last second and then rush around in the morning, I lose my sense of calm focus.

I’ve come to realize that it’s not an intentional fault on my behalf; rather, it is a missed connection between goals. I didn’t consider how misaligned the two activities were until recent reflection.

So I ask you, what are your priorities today?

Instead of setting them in bed and then moving through your morning mindlessly until they pop up again, can you set them and then consider the actions that will need to follow?

For example, my actions are now aligned with my intention.

I -Get up when my alarm rings- Take a moment to sit, outside of my bed, and hold space for an intention- Make a commitment to move through my day with the intention, creating little prompts throughout to remind me-

Some prompts I find helpful are setting an alarm to go off every two hours with the intention as the subject line or writing out sticky notes to place on the top of my notebook with my daily intention written on it. Keeping our intention top of mind is important to encourage our alignment with our goal after the day moves into full swing.

While intentions are great, actions speak louder and ring truer to how you feel. Consider what your priorities are and align your actions to demonstrate your true commitment to yourself.