If you’ve struggled with meditation in the past, or if you’re new to it and you’d like to know more about it, this is for you.
Equally, if you’re looking for a simple, accessible way to boost your resilience, you will want to consider meditation.
I could spend at least three days detailing all the benefits of a regular meditation practice, but today I’d like to highlight 3 aspects that have made a huge difference in my life and my students’.
Before we dive into it, I’ll say this. We live in a world where the majority operate in fight or flight most of the time.
The chaos we see around us is a result of a collective overwhelmed by stress, trauma and an unsustainable pace of life. This means that we have billions of people making decisions every day from a place of fear, scarcity, limitation and insecurity.
Reclaiming our collective and personal power, resilience and balance is imperative, in order to transform the madness into harmony.
Meditation is a powerful tool that can help us achieve this.
Now onto the three benefits I wanted to share with you.
1. Reverse Fight or Flight / Access a calm, expansive state
By releasing stress, fatigue and toxins every day with a regular meditation practice, you’re able to settle into a calmer state of mind and melt away the sources of reactivity (which often show up as negative patterns).
Meditation is a powerful way to release deep-rooted stress, which is made up of unprocessed past experiences, past conditioning and lifestyle-related.
During the process of meditation, the mind-body system gets a signal that it’s safe to relax and turn on our repair and restore response.
You can achieve a very deep level of relaxation, which allows you to go well beyond the superficial level of the mind and start tapping into a different state. Which is more expansive, wiser, creative, resourceful and intelligent.
You can gain access to more of your inner resources and creative potential, which gives you a new level of resilience and capacity to respond to life and fulfil your desires more easily.
The more you practice, the more you start being established in this more productive and healthy state and, naturally, the better you’re able to make decisions that serve you.
2. Access and realise your full potential
Meditation is a journey through different layers of consciousness, until we eventually sink into the field of pure potentiality.
We start at the surface level of mind and body and journey inwards into deeper and deeper states, accessing the silence and stillness that exists within each of us.
In our meditation practice, we make this journey back and forth several times. We expand our awareness a little more each time. And we’re able to experience our true essence and start becoming more established in it.
This allows you to start living life more aligned with who you truly are and find new, creative ways to respond to life. More importantly, you start unlocking your joy, wellbeing and potential.
3. Develop witnessing awareness
A regular Meditation practice helps you develop witnessing awareness. Which is the opportunity to become the observer of your life.
This witnessing awareness allows you to create some distance between your automated ways of thinking and acting, to recognise when you’re not in the present and bring yourself back.
You create some space between what happens in your life and how you act as a result. And, from a balanced state of mind, take action, or postpone taking action where appropriate.
This gives you the opportunity to make decisions and act in ways that are life affirming.
It increases the chances of interrupting self-sabotaging behaviours and acting in ways that support what’s important to you.
Bonus way: a regular meditation practice harmonises the mind, body and spirit
Your true self is naturally healthy, wealthy, abundant, loving, compassionate, connected, creative and powerful.
Stress, past conditioning, limiting beliefs and the life circumstances we create as a result can keep us from experiencing this essence.
A regular meditation practice strips away the ego, the false stories we’ve told ourselves about who we are and who others are that keeps us disconnected and stuck.
We stop identifying with what happened to us and the coping mechanisms and ways of being we’ve adopted in response.
We start experiencing what truly makes us tick, who we are at our core and we start living life from that perspective.
We start doing the things we love, treating ourselves and others with honour, love and respect and we harmonise our lives. Wellbeing flows through every aspect of our mind-body system and we experience a sense of purpose, alignment and meaning.
Perhaps more importantly, you start realising that this essence is in everyone and release ideas of separation and fear of the other, allowing you to experience the world as a safe, friendly and beautiful place.
This last sentence will be the subject of a separate blog post, as this is not how we collectively see the world. We get fed plenty of evidence of the contrary, but is it ultimately true? I’ll write to you about this soon.
For now, I’d love to know… What’s been your experience with meditation? Out of these benefits, which one speaks to you the most?
Let me know in the comments below! 🧘🏻♀️😀
I’d also love to invite you to give meditation a try (or a second chance). Try these free meditations and share with me what opened up as a result.
To your wellbeing.
Chopra Meditation Instructor™ Theta Healing Practitioner® & Author of the children’s book “The Magic of Who You Are”
As I type these words, it’s hard not to feel startled with the state of the world, where we stand as a society.
It’s even harder to try and reconcile it with the contrasting sense of vibrance I feel every day in my own skin.
My sense of perspective means that I do see an invisible order in the chaos, but my sanity pulls me towards calling out the profound level of dysfunction of the times we live in.
You can be peaceful, vibrant, fully alive AND still recognise insanity when you see it.
But simply recognising it isn’t enough. I believe it’s our purpose and duty to take action towards steering the ship in a healthier direction. Starting with ourselves first.
Today’s post is not a philosophical ramble, but an attempt to make the case for personal healing and carving out a vibrant way of existing in the world, no matter how broken it seems.
Not just as the only sane way to live our lives but as a vehicle to bring about much needed harmony to our communities.
So today I pose this question:
Is a vibrant existence possible inside our toxic culture?
The answer is a definite yes.
In fact, it’s the only way to shape our culture away from pathology, into the supportive, healthy, nurturing and empowering structure it needs to be for us to thrive.
But here’s why it seems out of reach for the majority of us…
We’re being collectively sucked into a hollow way of existence, at head spinning velocity.
Every day life is being stripped out of meaning, integrity, purpose and connection. It’s hard to be alive today without feeling exploited and unprotected in some way.
Materialism is taking hold at uncontrollable speed and almost every aspect of our lives is being commoditised.
Mostly as a byproduct of an economic system that relies on and pushes a deep disconnection with our own humanity and our true essence.
We’re being reduced to data points, zombified with superficial thrills. Our very consciousness exploited for profit and highjacked to keep us addicted, alienated, lonely, stressed, unhealthy, disconnected from one another and asleep.
I can’t think of a bigger assault on our humanity than what’s happening before our very eyes; what’s worse, with our willing participation.
We’ve bought into ideas about ourselves and each other that completely contradict who we truly are as human beings.
It’s as if we’ve collectively forgotten the power of the human spirit, imagination, ingenuity and what we’re truly capable of.
As Deepak Chopra says, “we’ve traded the true self for the selfie.” What an accurate description…
The only way forward is to learn, realise or perhaps simply remember, that we have the power to change this paradigm.
Our frazzled, depleted state is not normal
Running around like headless chickens, doing things we don’t love, chasing the next external pursuit, uninspired and out of energy. Racing mind, broken heart, trying to keep our heads above water, longing for something better.
Entrenched in our positions. Divided, fearful and anxious. Feeling average at best; hopeless and in despair at worst.
This state is not how we’re meant to operate but it has been completely normalised. And because there are millions (perhaps billions) of us living like this, we’ve been tricked into believing this is just the way modern life is. And the best we can do.
This is such a harmful, pervasive perspective, not only because it’s not true, but because it’s making many of us ignorant and complacent when it comes to our own wellbeing and that of those around us.
I’ve recently finished reading Dr Gabor Maté’s latest book “The Myth of Normal” and, while it’s hard to single out any particular parts (because of how brilliant and deep this book is), I’ll share this passage with you:
“Lacking, we might say, by design: qualities like love, trust, caring, social conscience, and engagement are inevitable casualties – “sunk costs,” in capitalist argot – of a culture that prizes acquisition above all else. A society that fails to value communality – our need to belong, to care for one another, and to feel caring energy flowing toward us – is a society facing away from the essence of what it means to be human. Pathology cannot but ensue. To say so is not a moral assertion but an objective assessment. “When people start to lose a sense of meaning and get disconnected, that’s where disease comes from, that’s where breakdown in our health – mental, physical, social health – occurs,” the psychiatrist and neuroscientist Bruce Perry told me. If a gene or virus were found that caused the same impacts on the population’s well-being as disconnection does, news of it would bellow from front-page headlines. Because it transpires on so many levels and so pervasively, we almost take it for granted; it is the water we swim in. We are steeped in the normalized myth that we are, each of us, mere individuals striving to attain private goals. The more we define ourselves that way, the more estranged we become from vital aspects of who we are and what we need to be healthy.”
There’s so much to unpack here, more than a humble blog post affords. But there are a few key points I want to bring to you here.
Just because there is a strong pull from our culture in this direction, it doesn’t mean we can’t counter it. In fact, it’s urgent that we do so.
And we must remember that we have the power to do so, no matter how hard our circumstances are.
We must start by acknowledging that the way we feel is not normal; it’s rooted in unprocessed pain and trauma we carry from childhood and compounded stress from life experiences.
Add to it every day stressors due to the way we live, the way we work, our culture’s programming and you have a recipe for how we experience life as a result.
All of this has a huge impact on our wellbeing. The heavier the load, the less we experience joy, connection, passion, inspiration, love and everything that makes life worth living.
Does it really have to be that way? Definitely not! Yet we’ve collectively bought into disempowering ideas that are keeping us stuck in our suffering.
It’s time we wake up.
Reclaiming your wellbeing
It’s tempting to look away from our pain. In some ways, it’s almost easier to cope with it in the many unhealthy ways we do. Including our hiding behind labels, diagnosis and beliefs that we’re so broken that we’re beyond healing.
But we’re fooling ourselves. On giving up on ourselves and the quest for a beautiful life experience, we pay the ultimate price of wasting our lives to drama, negative patterns and suffering. And what’s worse, we help perpetuate our collective status quo.
The truth is, no matter how awful, harsh and unspeakable our life experiences might have been, we CAN recover, heal and go on to create a whole and beautiful experience.
We just have to seek the support that’s right for us and go on to do the work required.
And this includes sometimes trying things that don’t work. This is where a lot of us can lose faith in the process and mistakenly believe that things will never get better.
But if we keep asking questions and doing the work, we will eventually find the tools and support that will bring us back to wholeness.
This work requires confronting the disempowering (often debilitating) meaning we assigned to difficult experiences, process them fully and assign a new meaning that will free us up and allow us to create a new future.
It also requires liberating the body from the impact of these experiences (the work of Dr Bessel Van der Kolk and his brilliant book “The body keeps the score”is an excellent reference if you want to understand this better).
But here’s the good news. We come equipped with everything we need to heal as science is starting to demonstrate.
Taking a step further: transcending stressful thoughts and embodying a new state
On our quest to create a more peaceful, joyful and vibrant internal state, we must go beyond managing difficult emotions.
Yes, these tools can be useful, even life saving, but we must go beyond them.
Whatever work we do, must be in service of our personal liberation from a stressful, fearful mind and the weight and influence of our past conditioning.
When the goal is total freedom from our pain (instead of managing or soothing it), we encounter a different set of practices and answers to get us there.
Some of them can be so simple, within reach and will create, over time, a completely different internal landscape.
Your wellbeing is in your hands
If you’ve felt unwell, stressed, anxious or depressed for an extended period of time, it would be easy to fall into a state of hopelessness. In fact, many people do, looking at the sobering mental health statistics around the world.
Equally, if certain destructive, unproductive patterns in your life keep repeating themselves over and over, you might just believe that that’s all life will ever be for you.
But the truth is you have the choice and the power to start reclaiming your wellbeing today.
It starts with the decision, commitment and conviction that you will do and find what it takes to get better.
Are you ready to draw a line in the sand?
Start today: 4 gentle, yet powerful ways to reclaim your wellbeing
There are so many gentle, yet powerful and effective ways you can start transforming your internal state.
Start meditating – I can’t emphasise this enough. Meditation is a powerful tool that can have a profound impact on your wellbeing. It has countless, scientifically proven benefits.
For example, it turns off fight or flight, calms your nervous system and floods your brain with neurotransmitters associated with happiness. Start with 5 minutes a day and build on from that.
Create an intention for your day, every day – As soon as you wake up, create an intention for your day. State it in the present tense, for example; today I am joyful, today I am compassionate with myself and others, today I make choices that empower me.
This gives your brain the task of creating matching experiences and uses the power of your attention and imagination, which in turns influences the actions you take. It also gives a more productive direction to the mind, even for brief moments.
Take 5 to 10 minutes a day to reflect – Sit quietly for a few minutes and quietly ask yourself these four questions: Who am I? What do I want? What is my purpose? What am I grateful for? This will start connecting you with your awareness and start stripping away your identification with the issues you’re facing.
It’s like a meeting with your wiser self, where the only aim is to notice what arises in the body and your experience as a result of asking the questions.
Use your screen time to watch/listen to experts in wellbeing – We’re all on our devices these days, that’s a given. So take time to listen, read or watch at least one in-depth piece of content by experts in the fields of mental wellbeing, spirituality, neuroscience or personal empowerment (preferably bridged with science).
Some suggestions: Dr Deepak Chopra, Dr Gabor Maté, Dr Joe Dispenza, Eckhart Tolle, Esther Perel, Dr Shefali Tsabary, Dr Bruce Lipton, Byron Katie (add your favourites to the list).
Curating the content we consume can drastically improve our outlook on life. Add to this reducing the amount of time we spend on social media.
Your life is so precious. Are you living your days well? Are you experiencing joy often, are you doing things you love, are you enjoying fulfilling relationships?
If not, and if the tape of life is playing repeated negative scenarios, it’s time to use your power, creativity and imagination in a different direction.
If you start with intention and some of these practices, the how will be shown to you along the way.
And if we all start living in a more wholesome way, our communities and the world will start to look different too. This is the way our toxic culture can heal.
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.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I’d love to invite you to sign up to my mailing list here. Every week I share loving insights & tips on how to reignite your inner spark and I’d love you to join our community!
I don’t know about you, but the chaos of the last few years has been hard to digest.
It seems as though, just as some things seem to get better in the world, we get thrown another collective curve ball.
I’m an optimist at heart and I have a full toolkit to help keep me grounded and my spark and love for life alive and well.
But I see that society is not organised in a way that promotes wellbeing and the full expression of our potential as human beings.
It’s quite the opposite.
We’re socialised on a diet of violence, fear, drama, disenchantment, insecurities and addictions.
The message that you and I (and life itself) are not good enough as we are is exploited for profits and power.
My kids are 5 and 7 and I’ve been noticing how against the grain it is to create an environment of love, empowerment and expansion for them.
Even an innocent game of Minecraft has an underlying level of violence and addiction to it. Children’s movies too.
Some call it low-level, but is there such a thing? And is it actually needed?
Every day we receive thousands of disempowering messages through our screens, the media and other powerful institutions.
No wonder millions of people worldwide feel depressed. Our culture is geared around dimming people’s sparks and it’s time for a change.
That’s why you and I must REBEL! And do everything to empower each other to shine bright.
If enough of us insist on cultivating beauty and power in our own lives, the more this will become the way we all relate to each other as human beings.
Imagine a world designed to keep you vibrant, joyful, creative, connected and in your power.
And I see signs of this materialising all around me. There’s a real yearning from people to live from a place of love, compassion, vitality and creativity.
And the good news is that there are very simple things you can do to have this right now in your daily life.
Today I want to share with you my simple go-tos to experience more joy, love and beauty in my life every single day.
Simple changes in your daily life to have you grounded in a beautiful state
1. Create an uplifting morning routine
From the moment we wake up, we’re either setting ourselves up for joy, or making way for stress and anxiety.
A lot of us start our days with disempowering habits:
Looking at our phones (checking emails, social media and other notifications)
Watching/listening to the news
Snoozing until the very last minute, then rushing out the door
Get through our routine in auto-pilot
All of these habits activate our stress pathways. What’s worse, we’re allowing ourselves to be highjacked by negativity and for external sources to set the tone for our day without our even realising.
Instead, try this:
Start with meditation. If you can’t do 20 minutes, start with 5 and build up to it. This will have you start the day in a state of calm, bliss and spaciousness, before you become exposed to the demands of daily life.
If you have a partner or a pet, enjoy a moment of tenderness with them and really savour it. A good hug does so much for the soul!
Hydrate with water and notice how it feels. This is soooo underrated. Hydrating after a night’s sleep replenishes your body and gives you a chance to pause and be present to its needs.
Keep notifications off on your phone until you’re ready and grounded. This time is yours. Don’t let anyone/anything highjack it.
Set an intention for your day. Use affirmations or simply say out loud how you’d like your day to go. My favourite intention is “I am worthy of the best that love and life have to offer.”
Incorporate movement – from a full-on workout to gentle stretching, dancing to music in the kitchen, going for a walk. Moving gets you present in your body.
Take a mindful shower. Practice noticing the water running through your body, how it feels, notice your breath, inhale the scent of the soap.
Read/listen to something inspiring.
Play uplifting music
Eat nourishing food (if you have an appetite in the morning)
This doesn’t have to be huge or complicated. It can literally take 20 minutes. I have two kids and need to get them to school. Yet, the time between waking up and getting out of the door is infused with joy most of the time.
2. Tweak your day for more joy
Throughout the day we have tons of opportunities to shut down fear and stress and make way for joy and wellbeing.
You already know this, but here’s a reminder of some of the main ways you can explode joy in your day.
Cell Phone usage. Have clear boundaries with news intake, email and social media notifications. Have set periods for checking these and have notifications from apps turned off. This minimises fight or flight response.
Be present to your food. Before preparing or buying your food, ask yourself: what’s the most nourishing food I could give my body right now? After choosing it, be fully present. Eat with someone whose company you enjoy, savour each bite, notice the texture and how it feels in your body. Turn off devices during this time.
Be present to your surroundings. When you notice you’re not present, do a noticing exercise. Name 5 things you can see, something you can touch, something you can smell, sounds you can hear.
3. Swap device time for soul nourishing options
It’s so easy to grab our phones and start scrolling aimlessly as a form of relaxation/entertainment. Because of its addictive nature, it takes a real effort to choose other ways to wind down.
There’s certainly a place for Netflix and scrolling in our lives, but there are 1000 more fulfilling ways to unwind that will leave you feeling wonderful. Here are some of my favourites:
Playing board games (preferably funny ones)
Phone call with a dear friend (not text!)
Reading an uplifting book
Listening to an awesome podcast/audiobook
Taking a long bath
Handwriting love notes and gratitude lists
Dancing in the lounge (see a theme here?)
Picking up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try
Having a meal at the table with our favourite company
Walking in nature
Writing/ drawing/ colouring in)
Beauty, connection, joy, love, compassion and creativity are on the menu every single day, no matter what’s going on.
But we MUST insist on cultivating it. It’s a choice.
If we don’t do it, we’ll keep being steered, by default, in the direction of fear and hopelessness.
And your spark is too precious and needed to be dimmed that way.
So, what are YOUR ways of stoking your inner fire and getting out of hopelessness?
I’d love to hear what you do to keep your vibes high.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I’d love to invite you to sign up to my mailing list here. Every week I share loving insights & tips on how to reignite your inner spark and I’d love you to join our community.
I’m writing to you the very words I need to be reminded of right now.
For the last two years it feels like the world has been upside down, in an irreversible kind of way.
When we thought the world around us couldn’t feel more crazy and uncertain, Russia’s attack on Ukraine throws what feels like the ultimate blow to our already worn out collective spirit.
In times like this, it feels tempting to give into despair and allow hopelessness to infect our own lives. Especially as real time footage invades our screens and we consume horror after horror for way longer than we should.
But adding our despair and hopelessness to the chaos is the last thing the world, our communities (and ultimately ourselves) need.