Meditation Mondays: Review of Guided Meditations on Zencast

It has been one of my goals for a while to find good guided meditations. An even bigger goal is to get in the habit of meditating with my boyfriend Michael on a regular basis. We talked about starting to meditate together probably over a year ago and still have not gotten into the routine. We have done a few guided meditations together that he found online, but I have still been meaning to continue to search for more that we can do together. I plan to expand in a future post on the idea of meditating as a couple.

“Find guided meditations” has sat on my list of things to do for over a year. I just never gave it the attention it deserved. It is one of those things like “organize photos” or “organize garage” that I actually would enjoy doing, but end up feeling like everything else takes priority, and never get around to doing. Maybe that is because I haven’t assigned the proper value to these activities in the past. I thought everything else should come before this, something that I feel so strongly could have a positive impact. continue…

Dreams Don’t Have To Die

The world needs you. The world needs more dreamers. If anything is a sin, hiding your light is. If anything is a crime, it is not flying. – Jonathan Mead, Reclaim Your Dreams

The idea just came to me that I don’t want my blog to die. I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, and every time I start looking up how to become a writer (I guess for those of us who didn’t go to college as an English major), all the advice I read out there always comes back to having a blog. So I started my first blog several years ago, which I basically let die.

I don’t want that to happen to Awaken & Begin. I was so excited about the name when I came up with it about a year and a half ago, and although the design process has been somewhat excruciating, I still hope for the someday that I will have a beautiful home for my ideas. I have yet to build up the courage to actively share my writing with everyone I know and beyond, but I hope that someday soon that will change.

I don’t want my blog to die, and I also don’t want my book ideas to die. How many dreams are just left to die? It is kind of heartbreaking when you think about it. Not all dreams are meant to live forever, and it is okay if they serve their purpose in our lives for the time we share with them. But other dreams absolutely are meant to live and shine and how can we just let them die? I would like to know? continue…

Meditation Mondays: How to Find Time to Meditate

It is difficult to find time everyday to meditate. Our culture doesn’t exactly place high importance on “doing nothing”. With packed schedules, taking even two minutes to “do nothing” might seem impossible, nonproductive, or even selfish.

It is none of these. On the days that I meditate, especially in the mornings, I feel more calm throughout the whole day than on days when I do not make the time to meditate. Meditation makes me a better person. I am happier, more easy-going, and better equipped to deal with stressful situations. I can actually feel myself breathing better the rest of the day after I have meditated.

I am convinced of the many benefits of meditation. Besides health benefits, meditation fosters creativity and facilitates the motivation and courage required to pursue our dreams. Just as physical activity is beneficial for physical health, meditation is an exercise for the mind and spirit (and also produces physical benefits). The problem is actually finding the uninterrupted time to dedicate to such a daily practice. Actually, I take that back. The problem is not finding the time; it is making the time. Just as I can find all kinds of excuses to not exercise for 20 minutes a day, the excuses conveniently present themselves when it comes to finding even 5 minutes to meditate each day. continue…

Fall Seasonal Review

The fall is my favorite season. Just thinking about my plans for this fall makes me happy. Pumpkin spice latte’s at Starbucks, red and yellow leaves, sweater weather, Christmas decorations at the stores…what’s not to like?

As I have mentioned before, I have decided to get my life more organized by breaking down my recurring to-do items by frequency as appropriate, such as daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, and yearly. I have read so many books about productivity, but never really felt like I could truly be the productive, organized person I wanted to be. It all just seemed to be too much to tackle.

Although I have spent years trying to develop just the right systems that work for me, I have recently started reflecting on how to develop my own systems as the person I want to be, rather than who I think other people want me to be. This has freed up a lot of time and energy that I used to spend worrying about what other people think that I can now put towards my own goals and dreams. continue…

Meditation Mondays: Tips for Reducing Flight-Related Stress

I have always been an extremely nervous flyer. Turbulence has pushed me to the point of tears on more than one occasion. I am the person on the plane asking the people around me if they heard that noise and if they think it is normal. I am constantly looking to the flight attendants for a look of reassurance, just making sure I don’t see any signs of panic on their faces.

I now always take my airplane pillow and a black sleeping eye mask whenever I fly. You know how they have those anti-anxiety vests for dogs? The eye mask itself wrapped around my head seems to have a calming effect on me.

Airplane Meditation

I got the idea of meditating on airplanes from either Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra, talking about how a long flight is a great opportunity to meditate. Just the idea of flying made me nervous at the time, so I didn’t really give it much more thought. Since I started bringing my eye mask on flights, I have gotten more brave about using flying time to get in some travel meditation. continue…