Last Day of 2018

This year feels like it did not happen.

2018. The year my life changed.

Those who know me know that I am constantly changing and finding new interests mostly because I’m a naturally curious person but this year was different. I found purpose.

I don’t usually like to write about myself, but here is what happened in 2018:

– I dove deeper into my major and made great relationships with my professors

– I made new friends who continue inspire me

– I created my blog extremely spontaneously and fell in love with it

– I became genuinely happy. Yes there were ups and downs but through bad relationships and experiences I found out how to truly take care of myself

– I became closer to my sister which has been one of the greatest blessings to me

So this is the time of the year where we look back at the year, reflect, then decide on resolutions, right? I keep thinking of the habits I have already implemented and think these “resolutions” are an addition to everything I’ve already added to my life.

So, 2019… I want it to look something like this:

Focus on growth and giving

– Volunteer once a month

– Eat one vegetable a day. Sounds kind of silly I know. Some weeks go by and I’m like when’s the last time I ate a vegetable? So even if it’s just one carrot or even a piece of an avocado this is my goal.

– Read daily. Hard copy. It can be one page but I do need to read more.

– Have a solid morning routine and learn to enjoy working out in the morning. Read, journal, and exercise. I keep hearing that the most productive days are when you get the hardest thing done first.

– Cook more. I am guilty of buying the same foods every time I grocery shop and not making real food. In 2019 I want to learn new recipes and cook one proper meal a week.

– Blog weekly!

-Love more

What’s your resolution?

How Can We Feel More Connected?

Have you ever felt disconnected?

It’s a strange feeling, isn’t it?

Disconnect can take form in a number of ways. This disconnect can be from your authentic self or a disconnect from others.

Being curios to understand how feelings of disconnect occur, I did some research and have compiled a list of potential causes for feeling disconnected and a list of ways to minimize these feelings from my own experience and from what I have read.

I believe that whatever words stand out to you in these lists may be a sign or call to action. I know while doing research that I noticed that some things resonated with me more than others.

Potential Causes

FOMO caused by social media

Not being fully present in conversation

Doing things that don’t align with your goals

Worrying about yourself instead of helping others (yes, obviously you need to take care of yourself, but our purpose on earth is finding ways to serve others)

Not spending enough alone time

Spending too much alone time

Drug use

Chemical imbalances

Potential Solutions

Physical activity

Spending time in nature

Developing mindfulness practices

Paying attention to your emotions (don’t suppress)

Make future plans (events, girls night, etc.)

Talking to a stranger

Eating whole foods

Hugging someone

Writing

Volunteering

Laughing

Playing

Giving gratitude

Playing with a pet

Having a creative outlet

Putting your phone down and taking a break

 

These lists contain causes and solutions for both personal disconnection and disconnection from others.

Again, I think whichever activities resonated with you the most is what is most telling. 

We all crave to feel connected. It’s a human need!

I hope you find love & connection in your day today. Thanks!

 

Any things you do to feel connected? I would love to hear them.

Diving Deeper into: Love and Kindness Meditation

Love and Kindness

In my “Curious About Guided Meditation? Here was my Experience .” blog post, I talked about how impactful the love & kindness practice portion felt- at one point it even had me in tears.

Since this day, I’ve been eager to learn more about this whole Love & Kindness Meditation thing: what it is, the benefits, and how to practice it on my own time. So here is what I’ve found-

What is LKM?

“Put most simply, Loving-Kindness Meditation (LKM) is the practice of cultivating the feeling of universal love – love for all beings, as opposed to personal or romantic love. This is typically done by directing well-wishes towards yourself and others. In Buddhism this is known as Metta, or compassion meditation.” Source here. 

Benefits:

Increases energy

Increases positive emotions & decreases negative emotions

Decreases migraines

Decreases PTSD

Activates & increase empathy

Increases compassion & social awareness

Curbs self-criticism

Better sleep habits

A calmer mind

Brightens complexion

Source 2 + Source 3

How to practice Love & Kindness Meditation in daily life

Here’s one method.

Begin by finding a quiet place, close your eyes, and begin by picturing yourself and say the following-

  1. May I be happy.
  2. May I be safe.
  3. May I be healthy, peaceful, and strong.
  4. May I give and receive appreciation today.

Once you have done this, think of someone you love. picture them in you mind’s eye, and say (in your head or out loud) the following-

  1. May you be happy.
  2. May you be safe.
  3. May you be healthy, peaceful, and strong.
  4. May you give and receive appreciation today.

Repeat this step for everyone you have ever loved, then for someone you feel neutral towards, then someone you don’t particularly like, and end this meditation with picturing the world and do the same.

More information about how to perform meditation here.

 

I hope you learned something new from this post.

This is definitely something I will be putting into practice in my daily life.

Thanks! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Curious About Guided-Meditation? Here Was My Experience.

I walked from the chilling outdoors into a warm, welcoming house. Candles were lit, tea was made, fuzzy blankets were laid out for anybody who wanted one. I was greeted with kindness and a smile when I stepped inside. 

There were three people in the class other than the instructor and me.

We all picked a chair for our relaxation practice. I picked a red chair- one of those that you can rest your head on the sides of. I grabbed a soft purple blanket and reclined my chair. 

The meditation began. It was delivered in three different sections: guided relaxation, imagery, and love and kindness.

Guided Relaxation

In this section, the class was instructed to tighten parts of our body and release them. We started from our toes ending at the top of our heads.

“you may feel like you are melting into your chair” “release all the tension, let go”, our instructor told us gently.

Although worries about my day and future came in and out of my mind, I felt very relaxed. Deep breathing, heavy body. I don’t know if I could’ve gotten out of my chair at that point.

Guided Imagery

In this part, the instructor read a story to us and guided us through it.

In this process, a lot of the story’s details were up to us. It was a guided imagery that had us envision our inner self.

“What colors do you see?”

“What is being said?”

“ What do the people look like?”

This was the hardest one for me. I kept switching what I was seeing because I kept overthinking what I was supposed to be seeing instead of just letting the images flow. I think this part takes a lot of practice. 

Love and Kindness

The was the last part..now this part made me very emotional.

The instructor guided us to imagine two people on either side of us: it could be a family member who you know loves you unconditionally, a trusted friend, or a spiritual being who you know protects you. 

You imagine them sending you love and then you send them love back. This overwhelmed me with emotion. I’m not sure why.

Afterwards, she guided us to picture all of our loved ones (past and present) surrounding us and doing the same thing- getting their love and sending love to them.

We also had to do this with two other groups of people in our lives- people we felt neutral about and someone we didn’t particularly like.

At the end, she had us picturing the world and giving it a hug and wishing everyone love and happiness. I can’t describe how I felt in this moment- almost as though a weight had been lifted but again it was indescribable.

What do I think about guided meditation?

I think everyone should definitely give it a try. It feels really good and even if you try once it can give you tools to practice meditation on your own.

My favorite by far was the love and kindness at the end. This is one I want to put into my daily practice. I think depending on what you want to work on in your meditation one type might resonate with you more than others.

If you have any questions about the process definitely ask and if you have done one yourself I would love to hear what your experience was like!

3 Signs That You Found “It”

Have you ever done something for someone else without expecting something in return? How did you feel after? Doing for others makes us feel happy and fulfilled. Weird right?

Are there other things that you do that give you a similar feeling afterwards?

I believe that there are several signs that you found your true purpose or passion that can be unique to you, but here are three that stand out to me:

It gives you endless energy

Do you ever work on a project or spend time with someone and strangely you have even more energy afterwards? You feel excitement about life and positive thoughts take over your mind. This is definitely a sign.

Everything leading up to it makes sense now

Why did the other things not work out? You begin to understand because it wasn’t for you. All of the experiences led you to where you are meant to be.

Everything else in your life starts to feel right

You have a weird feeling of alignment. Things start to connect and you have some sense of peace and understanding.

 

Is there anything in your life that makes you feel like this?

Don’t ignore the signs!