I imagine a world where the majority of people live by the proposition that we have full power over our wellbeing.
That, at any moment of any given day, we can choose love over fear and possibility over suffering.
Where people get to know the truth of who they are and access the full power of their mind on a daily basis.
This is not to say that life won‘t present its challenges. We‘re not using these tools to bypass or burry our heads in the sand.
This is a matter of transcendence.
When we‘re firmly planted in this perspective, we can go out into the world and interact with each other from a place of wholeness.
Where our suffering is held by our wisdom, found in silence and stillness.
And ease and grace permeate every aspect of our lives.
Gorgeous one, you are powerful beyond measure.
May these tools be useful in getting you closer to the beauty that lives within you.
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Every day I talk to people in my community and I notice how many of us are struggling with overwhelm and burn out.
As a society, we bought into the idea that the natural progress of adult life is a slow decline in joy levels, peppered with struggle and loss of vitality.
We make things more palatable with all sorts of stimulation, distractions and quick fixes.
The best we can expect is to do well inside the limitations, responsibilities and burdens that adulthood has on the menu.
Have you noticed how many people around us have subscribed to that idea and live exactly like that?
With little room for joy, wild dreams, excitement and fun…
The world is organised around the energy of survival. And it’s easy to get sucked in.
But you and I (and every person on earth) are meant for radiance, love and beauty. We’re powerful creators, so full of potential, capable of so much.
We’re meant to be in love with life and radiate out our beautiful gifts, quirks and unique expression of our true essence.
Deep inside we all know this, that’s why the world around us feels SO OFF!
But the radiance we try to get from external sources lives right inside of us. And it can be so easily accessed.
This seems so counter-intuitive because our model for collective mental health convinced us that it’s hard to feel well on a daily basis. The western way of life is also constantly steering us in the opposite direction.
Day in and day out we activate the chemistry of survival (think cortisol, adrenaline, elevated heart rate), but this can be reversed through a simple daily practice.
The (not so) secret to experiencing bliss and turning on your radiance is a harmonised mind-body system. Daily meditation is a powerful way to achieve this.
By activating the right chemistry and priming your state of mind for expansion and creativity, life will feel like it’s meant to; a gift that keeps getting better and better.
One of the most powerful things you can do for yourself today is start a daily meditation practice.
The benefits are simply astounding and they explain why I became a certified meditation instructor.
6 [science-backed] benefits of meditation
1. It’s a powerful antidote to stress
One of the many benefits of meditation is its stress-fighting superpowers. Our body responds to stress with fight or flight response. The fight or flight response pulls us into a state of constricted awareness—it limits our capacity for thinking creatively, for broadening our perspective, or accessing our purpose.
This state is useful to react to actual threats, but when it becomes chronic, it causes physiological changes:
heart rate increases
blood pressure goes up
stress hormones increase
we breathe faster and heavier; anti-aging hormone production goes down
the clotting of blood platelets increases
our immune system weakens.
undermines the areas of the brain that feel gratitude, compassion, and connection.
suppresses the flow of energy and information through our mind-body system. The more stress we accumulate over time, the more constricted and less efficient the system becomes.
Releasing this stress is something very important we should all consider and meditation is a great tool for doing this.
Meditation induces a state of deep rest and in this state the body heals itself by eliminating stress, fatigue, and toxins in an easy, effortless and natural way.
As we meditate, our heart rate decreases, breathing slows down, immune function improves, anti-aging hormones increase, inflammation reduces; blood pressure normalises. All the other factors that were leading to ill health start to be reversed.
Also, our prefrontal cortex—the more evolved part of the brain—becomes more active, awakening a sense of gratitude, compassion, and connection.
The deep rest gained through meditation releases us from our constricted state into a state of expanded awareness. Where we can experience more creativity, equanimity, vitality, joy, and purpose. And this opens the doorway to a healthier, happier life.
2. Feel more bliss
Deep states of rest prompt the brain to release dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. These neurotransmitters are linked to different aspects of happiness, and meditation choreographs their simultaneous release. Meditation has also been linked to significant decreases in rumination, a cognitive process which plays a role in depression and other mood disorders.
Studies have linked mindfulness training to greater neural activity in areas of the brain associated with self-awareness and emotional regulation.
3. Meditation and mindful awareness heal the body
What happens in the mind affects the body (for better or worse).
Chronic stress can cause disease, deteriorate mental health and accelerate ageing. Meditation helps your body release stress, reverse fight-or-flight damage and improve healing processes.
Research suggests that meditation can increase parasympathetic nervous system activity and decrease stress-induced inflammation levels. Studies have even shown that mindfulness training can change the brain and immune system in a way that may strengthen resistance to disease.
4.Awaken your creativity
Meditation is a powerful practice for going beyond conditioned thought patterns into a state of expanded awareness. We connect to the field of infinite possibilities and open to new insights, intuition, and ideas.
Meditation helps you achieve a flow state: you do less and accomplish more. You aren’t burdened by the past or worried about the future—you’re flowing with the present moment.
5.Rewire your brain
Meditation is a powerful tool for creating new neural connections in the brain. By meditating, you can tap into your brain’s deepest potential to focus, learn and adapt.
Researchers have documented meditation-induced changes in the brain’s gray matter, noting marked alterations to brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. Mindfulness training is also linked to gray matter concentration changes in brain regions related to learning, emotional regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.
6. Enjoy healthier relationships
A regular meditation practice helps you develop witnessing awareness. It gives you the ability to calmly observe yourself in a situation and creating the space to respond, instead of react.
It also helps you let go of counterproductive beliefs and past experiences that might be getting in the way of enjoying love and connection with others.
It also dissolves a sense of separation from others and awakens a sense of love and compassion.
There are so many other amazing benefits of having a daily meditation practice, but these alone show how much of our wellbeing and quality of life is in our hands.
So today, I challenge you to meditate (even if for just a few minutes) and notice how you feel. Do this for the next few days and notice what shows up.
Your radiance awaits you. And it’s so needed in the world right now.
P.S. If meditation feels challenging to you, I created this guided meditation to make it easy for you. After you try it, let me know how it felt 💛
To make it extremely easy for you and fast-track your results, I compiled the key tools and practices that reignited my soul and turned me into the goddess I am today – so you can do the same.
To really get the results you’re after, you’ll really want to do all the exercises in the guide and follow each step. But I’ll highlight what’s covered for you here:
Practice #1: Releasing negative beliefs and adopting a new perspective. Uncover the disempowering ways you view and treat yourself, create a new, loving way to look at yourself and your life and learn how to make it stick.
Practice #2: Gratitude. Harness the full (scientifically-proven) power of this practice and expand your self-esteem and wellbeing.
Practice #3: Affirmations. Learn how to use this practice to cultivate unconditional self-love and complete the challenge designed for you.
Practice #4: Meditation. If you decide to skip the entire guide and only do one section, make it this one! Learn how to meditate effectively, guided by a Chopra Meditation™ Instructor (yours truly) and access + reclaim your spark, your joy and the wellbeing that’s already inside you.
The guide is easy to follow/action and you’ll feel better and notice changes pretty much instantly.
The End Goal = Your Power, Freedom & Spark Back, Fast
I believe that there’s no end to the journey towards self-love. Your/my personal expansion is limitless and is a life-long journey and commitment. In my experience, the better it gets, the better it gets.
This is not to say there will be no setbacks and growing pains.
When I chose the title of this guide, I added the words “for good”. Here’s what I mean. You will still experience moments of self-doubt. But they will be fewer and far between. They won’t last as long either. And your baseline of self-love will be so much higher that you’ll never go as low as you have before.
Healing takes courage, for sure. And, on the surface, it may seem much harder to tend to our wounds than to carry on tiptoeing around them. But the toll this takes on our spark is brutal.
So healing is the way, and this guide will take you through it gently, but powerfully.
Grab your free guide here and start reclaiming your spark and confidence.
Ange Macdonald is one of the most inspiring people I know. She’s the founder of You Style Co and is on a mission to empower people to live life on their own terms.
Our paths crossed a few years ago, when we were both killing it in our corporate careers and our connection was instant. Ange’s energy and desire to create an inspiring life is super contagious…
Fast forward a few years and, after dealing with a health scare and taking a few shots at doing work aligned with her essence and purpose, Ange is impacting hundreds of women’s lives as the founder of You Style Co.
If you can believe it, there was once a time when Ange didn’t feel confident about herself (like the majority of women I know) so I asked her to share her story and strategies to get where she is now – if you’re hiding behind your lack of confidence, we’re here to hold your hand.
Maria Vlachou is an amazing, passionate woman with whom I’ve had the privilege of working and sharing a friendship for a decade and a half.
She was one of my first mentors when I lived in Portugal and she made a profound impact in my life, both professionally and personally, as an example of the mark a fully-expressed woman can make in the world.