Reposted from my July 5th newsletter:
Writing blog posts causes me to dig deep – to think, to search and to go beyond the surface to the meat of the topic de jour. In writing about how to live a simple life, I’ve spent some time thinking about my own path to simplicity.
Like most people I started with the outside me – removing the clutter, lowering my expectations about cleanliness and buying fewer and less costly things. But it wasn’t until I started doing the inside stuff, the energy work, the meditation, the breathing, that I truly came to that feeling-state of simplicity.
As a society we are all about doing, not being. We think that by striving, craving, reaching, working at it, we will attain our desired result. And we do, in a way. We get halfway there. Our closets are clean, we are organized, and our life looks simplified, but inside our minds are still chaotic, and our inner critic is still demanding our attention.
The question then becomes, how do you start on the interior work? For me, meditation was the foundational building block. I’ve heard from lots of people that they’ve tried meditation in the past but have given up because they thought they were doing it wrong.
Here’s my skinny on meditation:
1. You do not need to sit on a cushion with incense burning chanting mantras all night long. Meditation doesn’t have to be all that formal or all that woo-woo. In fact, there is no one right way to meditate. Some people like to listen to music, some take long meditative walks in nature, and some people swim laps. I teach a form of creative visualization – giving your mind something to focus on while you enter deeper and deeper states of relaxation. That seems to work for me.
2. You don’t actually silence your thoughts. If you do find a form of meditation based upon breathing and repeating a mantra, your mind doesn’t have to go blank. In fact, you will still have thoughts. But instead of attaching emotion to your thoughts, you just watch them go by. I’ve heard it described it as watching traffic without deciphering between the cars. When you realize you’ve become distracted by a certain thought, you simply come back to the breath and start again. No judgment. No emotions. Just return to breathing and continue on.
3. Meditation doesn’t have to take hours. Sometimes I meditate for ten minutes, sometimes twenty, sometimes five. It doesn’t have to be a certain amount of time, or at a certain time of day to be effective. In fact, I often find that little three minute meditative breaks throughout the day are of great benefit. I sit in a quiet spot, check my grounding, fill in with a golden sun or two, say a heartfelt thank you and then get up and move on with my life. Other days I will spend some time really checking in with my intuition, asking myself, “What do I need right now?” Then I sit in silence as the answer comes to me; sometimes in a warm nurturing energy that surrounds me in peace and contentment, other times as words of wisdom or new ideas that just pop into my awareness.
I truly believe that if we find the peace and calm on the inside first, our outer world will match.
This is an example of the type of information I include in my newsletter. In fact, the above post was actually part of my July 5th mailing. I have re-posted it here in the hopes that you will choose to join us as we delve into the month’s topic in a deeper way. I also send out a special meditation designed around the topic at hand. (July’s meditation – Living in Joy and Simplicity, August’s meditation – Free to be Me). Find your own true path to a life of prosperity and abundance. Join Us!