In my round up on meditation this month, following is a list of resources that I lean on for my practice. My practice is grounded in going inward, not one particular meditation technique. I find that I get something different from meditation each day with each tool and resource that I rely on. So here is my list of resources, in no particular order. Please share your resources in the comments below. My wish is that each of us find a meditation that resonates so much that we want to come back for more.
Creating a sacred space for your meditation practice serves as a beautiful reminder to mediate. This space can also be used for reading, quiet time, coffee/tea break, digging deep. It will serve as a reminder to slow down when you come to your space.
For me, the room I gravitate towards is our living room. Given the layout of our home, it is not a private space. But it is simply beautiful in the mornings when I typically meditate. I can catch the sky at sunrise through the trees and the gentle sound of the chimes, low and deep, are soothing on a breezy morning. The chair envelopes me and forces me into a straight back, something I am always working on. There are times when I will pop the pillows on the floor and mix it up a bit. I will pull the table toward me and place my meditation tray on the table, light a candle and settle in. When the weather permits, I bring my tray outside to the back deck or into the garden. The days in the garden are truly a time of connection for me. If the house if full of sleepy kids piled up on the couches and floor, I simply make sure to bring my tray upstairs the night before so that I can keep my routine without disturbing the teens. Thus, my portable meditation tray makes up my sacred space.
As you create your sacred space, find a corner, nook, cranny or a beautiful tray to gather your items. For me, the number one item is a candle. Lighting the candle invokes the intention to settle in and get quiet. You may want to ring a chime, read a poem or do some yoga prior to mediating. The key is to create a ritual that calls you inward. Here are a few other things to gather.
Start with what you have around your house. When you are out and about, you will find things that call to you. This should not be a financial drain or a cluttered area as you set up your sacred spot. And if you need inspiration, Pinterest has plenty when you type in “sacred space”. You should be able to sit in your space and feel supported, loved and focused on you. Enjoy your space and connect to your soul.
In my Reiki practice, my clients experience a level of relaxation that they did not realize was achievable. After a few sessions, the majority ask, “How do I keep this feeling of relaxation and focus going before I see you again?” My answer is always, “meditation”.
Just mentioning meditation leads to eye rolls and statements of busyness, too many thoughts, wandering minds, anxiety and flat out “I can’t do that!” claims. I shrug and offer a tip or two. Often times they seek more guidance. So, to help all of us along the meditation path, let’s dig a little deeper into how to incorporate meditation into your life.
You have heard the benefits of meditation before but it is worth another mention. Meditation lowers blood pressure, lessens anxiety, improves circulation, decreases stress and the list goes on. My experience with meditation is that I am better focused, more relaxed to handle everyday stresses, sleep better and in just a better place than when I don’t meditate. Sometimes it is just difficult to articulate how great I feel when I give myself mediation time. When I let go of meditation and let busyness take over, I feel all of the feels of being off - constipation, poor sleep, irritable, littles things overwhelm me and I simply feel don’t feel great.
Myths about meditation often keep people away. Let go of any thoughts you have about meditation and simply start here. My dear friends at Chrysalis in Arlington, MA, are offering a meditation group via Facebook beginning October 2nd through December 29th. Join me here as I welcome the gift of 10 minutes for myself every morning in a supportive community with Vanessa and Denise.
As you decide to commit just 10 minutes a day for yourself in meditation, think about finding a spot that is comfortable, accessible at your time of meditation (mornings are ideal), relatively quiet (headphones are great for meditation) and most importantly, a spot that you love. Following are some basic guidelines to get your started.
I welcome questions and comments as this meditation gig is a journey for me as well. We can simply learn from each other. Next week, look for ideas in setting up a special place to meditate.
The story goes that I kissed this photograph every night when I went to bed and every morning when I woke up. It was next to my crib as my Dad was off at war. He would tell the story of coming home over many flights, no fanfare, no handshakes like you see today. But when he stood by my crib for the first time and I awoke, rolled over and said “Good morning Dad.”, that was enough. It was the picture that connected us across the miles. It was a love and a bond that carried us. And it was the simple act of placing that picture next to my crib that connected me to my Dad. Thanks Mom.
His death is still raw. His life lives on in the many pictures and stories we have. As I spoke when we celebrated his life, each person he met was a thread in this story that he so beautifully wove into the fabric of our family. Connections were important to him. Whether a connection to a person, a book or a newspaper article you were sure to gain from his efforts. Know that the simple compliment you pay, the referral you make, the person you let in front of you on the road, the note you send, the hug you give and the words that you share with others are all connections that make a difference. Threads in their story that they are weaving.
A beautiful soul shared with me today that the hole I have in my heart with his passing will always remain. But slowly I will weave love around that hole to make it beautiful and honor our time together. So those words and hugs and tilts of head in understanding are helping me weave around that hole. Thank you for those connections as they soothe my soul and support my growth.
We are all looking for a little love. Love from our partner, children, ourself. On this day of love (everyday should be a day of love), here are a few tips to bring in love through your space.
Let's focus on you and your partner or finding a partner. Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Have two nightstands that are roughly the same size. Pillows on the bed should be an even number. Move the family pictures out of the bedroom and focus on you all as a couple. Single? Bring in two candles. Artwork should represent pairs - two chairs on a beach. Take a look at your decorations and determine if they represent singles. Rose quartz is a beautiful stone representing love, bring two crystals that are roughly the same size. Get the picture? Think in pairs.
Happy Feng Shui! Happy love!
I know you think you need a weekend for the yearly, big closet clean out. I say, you really don't. We were away for the holidays and as I packed at the last minute, I had this burst of energy come over me to clean.out.my.closet.now. So, as I packed, I went through every hanging top and took out the tattered, the tops that I know I had not worn, the tops that I try on and take off - the ones that land on my closet floor. Without second guessing, I made a to-go pile. Wow, packed and purged before heading out for the week!
Now that I am back, the task of the closet purge seems less daunting. I think I only need a couple of hours now to finish up dresses, bottoms, sleepwear, underpinnings. I encourage you to take one hour to do what I did. Here is all you need to think about.
Happy dressing to you!
As I look ahead to 2017, I am setting my intentions for the new year. Here’s how I am going about it. I hope you too will find time to settle in for some quiet reflection, honor yourself, make some plans and approach the new year with open arms, love and excitement.
I love me a little numerology so let’s take a quick look at 2016 and 2017. The number 9 represents the end of a cycle, of which 2016 (2+0+1+6=9) turns out to be. It’s a year of completion. Remember, all endings bring new beginnings. It has been a year of release for me. Letting go of things (my last garage sale ever…hopefully), limiting beliefs and a few fears that rose up have all been a part of my 2016. As we move into 2017, a 1 year, we will be walking into a year full of new beginnings, expanded opportunities to deeper develop current interests as well as develop new ideas. So with the basic premise of new beginnings, I begin my yearly reflection journal.
In this journal, I have a page for the reflection of 2016 where I list my accomplishments, lessons learned, what I am letting go and what I feel the year ahead will be. My lists are as long as I wish. My look ahead is summed up into just a few words - strong and successful for the coming year.
Now to define what that actually means in terms of how to get to strong and successful. Both of those words relate to relationships, wellness and business for me. So the next page in my journal is titled 2017. This year, I have a new journal to kick this incoming 1 year off so I will do things a little differently. Focused on Wayne Dyer’s approach of “I am” statements, I will move forward with these two gems.
It’s time to determine just how I will manifest these two intentions by getting more specific. I will be looking at relationships, wellness and business as I mentioned above. Here I will define ways in which I will work towards strong and successful.
Let’s look at wellness for a moment, specifically fitness. I have always struggled with keeping up a fitness regime. This past year, I made a commitment to myself that I would head out on our first cruise feeling strong and confident in my body. I worked out 4-5 times a week. I felt great. There was not a noticeable difference in how I looked on the outside but I was rockin’ this feeling on the inside. And then. And then we got home from the cruise. I headed into a summer full of travel and a balancing act and this and that. I let go of my routine, finding reasons in my head as to why it won’t fit in my day. And now, I sit here reflecting on an accomplishment of working towards the cruise goal and a lesson. The lesson of never giving up on yourself despite everyone else’s needs. That’s just what I did. I put everything else above my fitness goals. But, friends, we are heading into a 1 year - the perfect excuse to renew my commitment to fitness, my commitment to myself. I have all of the tools I need and I have started back. So this journal entry looks like this.
I am strong.
For me, it’s as specific as I need to get here to know what I need to do. Same for my other goals as I will translate those into everyday action steps in my calendar. And yes, “workout” is in my calendar too! This yearly journal sits on my bookshelf, next to my desk. I will reach for it when I need a reminder of my direction. A boost. A little motivation. Focus. Most likely a few times a week.
So whatever approach you take, make it your own and make it work for you. But know that there is power in writing all of this down. There is power in planning. There is power in you to make 2017 a year of beginnings.
Thank you all for your continuing interest and questions regarding Reiki. I thought I would pop in here and give a bit more detail around what Reiki is and what the experience is like.
You can refer to my post on energy, found below, but Reiki is a method of increasing a person's supply of life energy. This is important because without the flow of energy, tension builds up in the body. This prevents the body, mind and soul from staying open to healing and relaxation. Reiki allows the mind and muscles of your body to relax which in turn promotes deep healing, both physically and psychologically.
Many of my clients share that they find Reiki energizing yet relaxing. During the session, my clients become so relaxed that they are on the edge of falling asleep. Some do fall asleep and enjoy the nap. Reiki may address your insomnia, headaches, muscle aches, and release feelings of fear, anger, sadness, replacing them with confidence and peace. Many of my clients find they sleep well the evening of a session. The impact of Reiki continues and sets in for a day or two after our time together.
During a session, you lay on a massage table, fully clothed. You are under a blanket for comfort and warmth should your body temp drop a bit. After getting a sense of any blocked energy in your body, often using my pendulum to find those blockages in your chakras (energy channels), we get to work. With a light eye mask over your eyes, spa music playing, lights low, I begin at your head. You will feel my touch over your eyes, ears on and under your head. From there, I hover from the throat to your knees. Then move to your feet, where you will feel my touch. Even those that are ticklish, are so relaxed that I have not had a case of the giggles take over. Once I have cleared stagnant energy, I am back at your head to seal it all in. With a closing ceremony, while you peacefully rest, I end our session. We then gather to chat over a glass of water.
Clients have expressed various feelings while we are in a session. It brings some to tears, others snore right through it, some see color or feel a pull of energy and then a release. Sensations such as hot, cold and vibrations may be felt as well. It is different for each person and different every session.
Many ask how much Reiki they need. I suggest a solid 4-8 weekly session in a row if your schedule (and budget) permits. This is much like a booster shot to get things moving and balancing. From there, you will know when you are ready to move to every other week and then taper off as you see fit. Only you will know when you feel like you are ready to move on. Quite honestly, I could spend every week with you for the rest of your life bringing you back into balance given how stressed many of us are. Ultimately, you will connect with your body and soul through our time together and begin to recognize what frequency works best for you. Trust yourself as much as I trust that you are listening to your body, mind and soul.
I would love to have you share in Reiki with me at Mint Salon in Falmouth, ME. You can schedule an appointment by calling Mint at 207.274.7060. If you have questions, please don't be shy and post them here so that I can share answers with everyone. If you would like to ask me privately, you can email me at email@example.com.
Thanks for all of the feedback and questions coming in. It’s a great mix. One theme is present, moving stuff out, on, away. It’s a pretty consistent message across The Dreamy Dragonfly, the need to de-clutter before much else can happen.
It’s really the first step in moving forward with your style, space and self. But where do I begin? Starting small will give you a sense of accomplishment. Living in a clear space is a practice that ebbs and flows with your needs and your family needs, honor that. Starting small will help keep your practice moving forward as smaller spaces are often easier to maintain. Here are 6 steps to decluttering a space. To start, you will need a comfy place to sit, a drink, pen and paper.
Take a seat and a sip, get clear on where you are going to start. What space is calling to you - the mudroom, the kitchen pantry, etc. Write the name of the space at the top of the page. Now take a few minutes to envision what you want this space to look like. If you pop over to Pinterest, set yourself a timer as not to get stuck on your exploration. Make a few notes on how you see the space, how you will use it, what you would like to keep and what you would like to change.
Take measurements if needed, make a sketch. This is the most important step so take your time as it sets the intention of your space.
Empty the space, give it a good cleaning to remove dust, cobwebs, random bits that have accumulated in the area. As you empty your space, make piles of like things. As you do so, separate items that will be trashed, recycled, donated and kept. Trash the trash, recycle the recyclables, and pack up the donation items to be donated as soon as possible (these items can be creepers and creep back in oh so easily). For those items you are letting go, give them a little mental hug as a thank you for serving their purpose. For those you are keeping, you should have those items in like piles. For those that go elsewhere in the house, put them away now. Yes, immediately. Otherwise, they will sit in place and you will then have another space to clear. Don’t leave them on the stairs, go, put this pile away.
I think the clearing step is fun but this step is typically the most popular. Create your space that you envisioned. Grab that list and make notes of any items you may need to purchase to create your space. Now head to exploring your current space for items that you can use to create your vision. Your inclination will be to want to run to the store and purchase bins and baskets. Before you do that, see what you have at home. An empty iPhone box, top and bottom, makes great storage for paperclips, lipgloss, etc. Get creative and then head to the store (notes in hand) to fill in the gaps.
Now it’s time to load everything back that you have decide will stay. This is your opportunity to do another check to make sure this is where you want the item. If not, make a pile as you load everything back in. Put away everything you decided not to keep in the space.
Cheers to you for creating your space! Raise your glass!
This space of perfection that you have created will ebb and flow with your life. Share this masterpiece with your family or roommates so that they can also commit to keeping the space clear and pulled together. This is the most difficult step, committing that you will maintain your space, all with no judgement. Life happens, you are up against deadlines, fast paced schedules, people coming and going, using this space that you created. Live in it all with the awareness of having a clear space and what that feels like. It frees up your mind to focus on other things. You and your family will know what you own, where things are and simply be more calm in that space. Even something as simple as your pantry or junk drawer will make quite an impact.
As you live in this space, continue to refine it, straighten it when it gets messy, acknowledge it, bask in its' beauty. Continue to honor your work and your space. It will lead to tackling the bigger, tougher areas in your home. It’s a “if you give a mouse a cookie” moment, you will want to keep going.
It's 9-9-9 day. September 9, 2016 = 9th month 9th day 9 year (2+0+1=6). In the numerological world, it's a biggie, one of endings to lead us to new beginnings. It's a day of great healing and an opportunity to walk through a door and release what no longer serves you. And behind the door is the unknown that is rising up inside of you. That desire to be you, to wake up to your true self.
Today, for just a few minutes, get quiet. Find some solitude to listen to your soul. Whether you are at home, in the office or on the run, you can spare a few minutes to take in the energy of today.
Use this door as an image to focus on, imagine walking through it with no fear and only lovely opportunity and support behind it. Too hard to get quiet? Turn on some Pandora - Spa Radio or pop on to YouTube and click play on TheHonestGuys relaxing music. Close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths and then breath gently until you are ready to arrive into the rest of this beautiful day. Blessings.