I am going to tell you a little secret: Nothing will come of nothing.
Your single dose of Monday motivation.
Isn’t it a clever wordplay by Shakespeare. If we do nothing or make no efforts to achieve our goal, we cannot expect a favorable result for our endeavors. Sometimes we just need a push, especially for a Monday motivation. If you’re in a need of a little boost to encourage you, then you’re on the right page.
Daily affirmations with some gratitude and positivity.
Do you know how to tame a critic in your head? Is meditation an answer for a calm and relaxed mind?
We all have a fierce monologue that rambles non-stop, every day and never going on a snooze mode. It makes you miserable, anxious and scared of your own thoughts. Sometimes you need to sit lonely on the floor in a quiet room in order to hear yourself from a totally new perspective. The first step towards a mindful life is to not let yourself drown in the noise of others as it can distract you from yourself. This can be done only when you do exercise for your mind – meditation.
Last year, I found myself affected by all the conundrum around me, I realized that I stopped looking at myself both physically, mentally and spiritually. Somewhere I lost the connect I had with myself and my surroundings. I wasn’t clinically depressed or entrapped in the spiral of anxiety but I was standing on the edge. The only prescription Dr. Google could provide me was a psychology jargon “Practice Mindfulness” to tame my mind.
So, I researched more on Google to understand the concept of mindfulness and meditation. After some time, I found enough in-depth guides on how I should meditate to reap its benefits.
What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz”
Mindfulness is the quality of being open to experiences, without being judgemental, criticizing or mind wandering.
Mindfulness meditation is like an exercise for your mind. The more you exercise, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.
Basic meditation is not a very difficult practice and you really don’t need a master to teach you. There is a plethora of information available to make you stick to a plan.
a) Find a quiet place to sit.
b) Focus on your breath.
c) When your mind wanders, bring attention back to the breath.
d) Rinse. Repeat.
It is a simple practice but the key to meditating effectively is doing it every single day. This is where I struggled and most of us as a beginner struggle.
It doesn’t require a huge time investment.
Just 5 minutes.
But the struggle is real. I couldn’t even take out 5 minutes to concentrate on an activity that can help me overcome stress, improve focus and get clarity of mind.
I subscribed for newsletters, apps and read a lot of material available on the internet. And then finally searched for a master to help me conquer my mind. This required not only time investment but also huge monetary commitment too.
Just recently, my friend approached me and asked me to try an app to restart the practice. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to download a new app to start meditating regularly to experience the benefits.
But it helped!
HOW TO MAKE MEDITATION A HABIT?
Eat. Sleep. Meditate. Repeat
It is as simple as it sounds. But the key to being successful at anything in life is repetition. You have to do a task thousand time to master it.
Step 1: Set up a goal.
I started with 2-minutes every day as I found it easy to concentrate for that short duration. I would advise you to not exceed more than 3-minutes if you are a beginner. Reward yourself after you finish the session.
Every minute or two, I would find myself lost in thought: what will I make for lunch, next blog post, a funny scene from a movie. At first, distraction is inevitable but the idea is to focus again. I read somewhere
“Your mind is like a kindergarten class, and meditating is like trying to get your thoughts to take a nap. If one wakes up, tell them gently to go back to sleep. If your mind thinks, ‘But you have a to-do list!’ just say shhhh.”
Focus, distraction; focus, distraction.
When you want to form a habit, consistency is the key. It doesn’t matter how you perform, what matters is that you come back the next day without fail.
You can always set the goal higher once the habit is formed. Don’t worry if you miss a day…come back and resume the practice!
Step 2: Design your environment
Why do you think that meditation centers are a big success?
One of the key reasons for their success is the environment design. The calm environment, the soothing music, a color theme to help you relax and surrounding to calibrate your mind to shape human behavior.
Find a place that has a calming effect on you, free from distractions.
In this digital universe, we tend to easily get distracted with social-media notifications, news feeds, and e-mails. Easy solution: Put your phone on DND mode or Aeroplane mode or disconnect internet
Design your environment to tempt you to sit down for meditation.
Step 3: Download an App
I like the app Headspace, and I have heard great things about Strive Minutes – Simple Meditation Timer with Sync. I started using Strive Minutes – Simple Meditation Timer as I wanted a timer that tracks my activities and works toward setting a meditation habit. I love its minimalist design and features that make it distraction free. It is a non-guided meditation app to help you learn meditation at your own pace.
The Minutes Timer gives you the facility to:
Track and work upon your meditation habit
Sync data seamlessly on multiple android devices and never lose your session history
A distraction-free meditation session
An option to set your meditation time as short or as long as you need it to be.
A preparation interval before the start of each session
Option to track meditation duration beyond the set time. If you choose to continue your session beyond the closing chime, you will have the option to add the extra minutes to your session stats.
Simple, clean interface and visuals
Set a default meditation duration
A statistics page that tracks your streaks and all-time best sessions to keep you motivated
Start and end your meditations with a beautiful Tibetan gong, no other distractions or voice-overs
After using this App for 20 days, I could easily increase my meditation time to 20 minutes.
DND mode helps you get rid of any distraction coming from your digital space.
There are times when you will miss a day…don’t worry! The idea is to resume your practice and make it a habit.
You can follow Strive Minutes – Simple Meditation Timer on Instagram, here.
You can download the Strive Minutes – Simple Meditation Timer App, here.
By now, you know everything that you basically need to make meditation your habit. There is no right or wrong way of meditation but it’s important to find a practice that meets your need and becomes a habit. In the end, I am still in a learning mode and I would like to keep practicing meditation. I am fully convinced that after close to a month of dedicated meditation, I feel so relaxed and mindful.
Have a wonderful week ahead! Get some Monday Motivation here.
“Life makes more and better sense in 2018, Capricorn. A clearer perspective will make it much easier to achieve your goals and dreams.” – Capricorn Yearly Horoscope
Hello, my love! How was your holiday break? I am back from a long and well-deserved holiday break. As T.S. Eliot said, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” A new year is a new beginning for everyone. It’s an opportunity to change, achieve new heights and improve your life. Like many people, I also believe in stars, eclipses, conjunctions, and predictions – this is the time to read your yearly horoscope predictions. And even if you don’t believe in stars, it’s time for a fresh start to make 2018 a successful year.
But I’d like to tell you one thing that has the potential to transform your life quickly. Even though it is not written in any horoscope or predictions of 2018, it has the power to change your life forever.
It is important to focus on what you want to gain and forget what you might lose. Here are some extremely common excuses.
1- I can’t change my career now – I am 40 years old and it’s too late.
2- I am so unhappy in my marriage, but I can’t break this relationship as it will affect my kids.
3- I want to undergo a cosmetic procedure but I am scared of being called superficial.
4- I want to start my own business but I don’t know-how or skills to take a big step
Have you heard any of this before? I bet yes!
The problem is that we have started playing safe. We focus on what we have to lose than on what we might gain. Chances are fear is holding you back from taking steps towards your happiness but you are only focusing on prevention. You want to hold on to what you’ve already got and played safe. This may sound legitimate but in the end, it is only you who suffer.
“No more excuses.”
This week I watched The Shawshank Redemption for the 10th time. I have got an unhealthy relationship with this movie because it is a movie about integrity, persistence, hope, friendship, and skills. Andy Dufresne had specific goals in mind and he had the vision to achieve it with perseverance and passion. Without these goals, I am sure Andy would have given up in the jail. Watch this movie, if you want some serious inspiration.
“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” – The Shawshank Redemption
Do you have specific goals? Do you have the vision to achieve your dream?
Let’s take a moment and focus on “excuses” that hold you back in taking decisions in life and achieving your dreams.
Fear #1: I can’t change my career now – I am 40 years old and it’s too late.
Reality:You need to connect with new opportunities in order to revise your career. Identify your top-skills, decide how you can leverage those skills, move towards the direction that excites you the most and network extensively to change your career. You don’t have to let go all your experience and start from the scratch. Be optimistic!
Fear #2- I am so unhappy in my marriage, but I can’t break this relationship.
Reality: Relationships require a lot of physical, mental and emotional investment. Your relationship has a direct impact on your decisions and life. If your marriage starts affecting your mental health and well-being, then it is time to let-go your relationship. And a good divorce is better than bad marriage for kids. If you are not happy then you cannot give happiness to your loved ones.
Fear #3: I want to undergo a cosmetic procedure but I am scared of being called superficial.
Reality: When people think of plastic surgery, they often imagine a woman with stretched, unnatural face with lip fillers or with two round breasts. The Internet is flooded with pictures of women whose plastic surgery has gone wrong. The decision to undergo plastic surgery or a cosmetic procedure is not taken lightly. But someone with a crooked teeth or nose is also not taken lightly. If you are considering a cosmetic procedure it is important to be clear why you want to have a procedure and what are your expectations for the procedure. It is important to fully understand the procedure, have realistic expectations and find a plastic surgeon who is certified and is highly recommended. Stop judging people who go for cosmetic surgery. Get all information on Plastic Surgery in Toronto before undergoing any surgery.
Fear #4: I want to start my own business and quit my corporate job but I don’t know-how or skills to take a big step
Reality: If you have the drive to start a new business coupled with a passion to succeed it then you don’t need a miracle to make it work. Leverage on your passion and experience, learn new skills, study the market and follow the basic steps of starting a new venture. You don’t have to start a business in a niche outside of your comfort zone. In this era of technology, learning new skills is not difficult. Learn something new every day.
2018 can truly be an amazing year if you stop making excuses, stop judging people and start accepting what you really want. Start this year with some Motivation and keep a check on motivation killers, here.
Wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Lots of love!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by plasticsurgeryinfo.ca. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience