Every now and again, Jas and I take a step back to evaluate how we can continue to help and support you. In doing this recently, we sat down and reviewed our past content and pulled our top 10 pieces of advice to keep you going (and growing!) as a person and as a meditator. So, without further adieu:
TRACK RECORD OF BAD RELATIONSHIPS?
TAKE A BREAK FROM THEM
This quote came from our wellness on fasting. In it we discussed how fasting can take many forms outside of just restricting food. Fasting can be any type of break (sex, drugs, rock n' roll, you name it) that's going to make you step back long enough to see it from a different perspective. When looking at the nature of fasting, it's the simple act of giving up something we enjoy in an effort to see that behavior, habit, mindset, or personal crutch with more clarity and a deeper understanding about why we are so attached to those things in the first place.
STRESS IS THE GAP BETWEEN A PERSON'S EXPECTATIONS
AND THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION
Generally, we are hardwired as people to have a certain level of expectation about most things in life. Regardless of how we deal with the inevitable ups and downs of what we get versus what we want, one thing is certain - the more we're able to successfully manage our expectations, the more the little annoyances or unexpected moments in life won't turn into a bigger deal than they should. Rather than trying to completely ignore the impulse, a better strategy is learning how to manage those expectations so that an unexpected curve ball in life doesn't throw us off our game.
"When you begin to worry, go find something to do... Talking about your problem or sitting alone, thinking about it, does no good; it serves only to make you miserable. Above all else, remember that worrying is totally useless. Worrying will not solve your problem."
- Joyce Meyer
In addition to regulating our stress levels by managing our expectations, eliminating the act of worrying will also hugely benefit our day-to-day. I'm sure we're not the only ones who have tossed and turned at night over big decisions, life circumstances or a thousand other things that linger in the back of our minds. We've found the best way to move forward is to focus our thoughts on solutions instead of getting mentally caught up in the situation itself. To do this, we first have to recognize when our thoughts are moving into that negative direction (and this is where a meditation practice is particularly useful!) With that new awareness, recognize that worrying only makes the situation worse.
GUILT IS SO UNHELPFUL. IT'S A NEGATIVE REACTION TO PAST EVENTS
THAT ONLY FUNCTIONS TO REMIND US OF OUR SHORTCOMINGS.
...WHO NEEDS THAT WITH THEIR MORNING COFFEE?
The other major component to keeping our heads clear and uplifted is learning how to deal with guilt. At some point in time, despite our best inclinations and intentions, we have all done something we are not proud of. Remembering these experiences can make us cringe, and at its most heavy-handed, make us feel worse about ourselves even long after the shameful event has occurred. Why do we dwell on these old memories? Old shame and past guilt do not know the progress you've made over the years. They do not recognize or acknowledge that you may have become a completely different person who now knows how to make better choices.
Think about it - if you had a friend who always brought up old grievances, embarrassing moments from your shared past or your failings of yesteryear, how often would you want them around? The last thing we could all use in our life is an enemy that constantly tears us down, makes us feel inadequate or somehow "less-than." It's time to let guilt go. Forgive yourself for past actions and replace those memories and associations with something uplifting. We don't have to add this unnecessary baggage to our life and we can choose (although sometimes this requires discipline) what we wish to dwell on.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "NO"
THERE'S AN EXCEPTION TO EVERY RULE
THERE'S NO REASON WHY THAT EXCEPTION CAN'T BE YOU
For Jas and I, our mom's philosophy of "no such thing as no" meant that with persistence and intention anything and everything is possible. The key is to pierce holes in our current thinking and get us to really examine our assumptions of what is and isn't possible. Dreaming big requires vision and clear thinking, and sometimes that process starts with clearing out the old misconceptions and limiting beliefs that were clouding our minds in the first place.
"Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads,
and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results."
- Herman Melville
In this wellness, Jasmine took her usual tumble down the nerdy rabbit hole and studied the Butterfly Effect. This theory tests the idea of tiny changes in complex systems having the ability to cause huge and unknown effects. If we think of ourselves as the system being altered, how large of an impact could we potentially have in affecting our trajectory with tiny changes made in our day-to-day activity? Making frequent, positive choices in life will ultimately boost our outcomes and the ripple effect of our choices has potential for impact in the lives of ourselves and so many others.
NAME YOUR FEAR AND SEEK TO UNDERSTAND IT.
FROM THERE, GO FORTH AND BE FEARLESS!
It's the anxiety of the unknown that creates many of our fears, so naming what we're afraid of takes the mystery out of what we're facing. For example, if I'm afraid of asking someone out, what is that fear really? Is it that I'm afraid of rejection, or do I hesitate because I automatically assume dating this person would end badly? To go even deeper, is it that I'm actually scared of having a close relationship in general? These are the questions we want to ask ourselves when confronted with something that seems scary. It's in asking these questions that we move closer to the root of the problem, and once seen clearly, we now know what we need to work on to get over it. Naming our fears gives us an opportunity to really examine what we're afraid of, or avoiding, and then helps us to push past it.
INFORMATION IS READILY AVAILABLE
AND RESOURCES ARE ABUNDANT
In this wellness, Jas and I both went nerdy and looked at the Room of Requirement from the Harry Potter novels. We looked at just how available the things we need in life really can, and will, appear in our lives right when we need them. With readily available information literally at our fingertips (especially for those of you reading this on your cell phone), access to other ideas, people and organizations, we can always find what we seek... so seek wisely.
FIND THE WILLINGNESS TO CHANGE
WITHOUT HAVING TO HIT ROCK BOTTOM
Before starting an awareness-based practice, ask yourself, "Am I ready and willing to change to live my best life?" If the answer is "No," you're not alone and your honesty about where you are is the first step to awareness. If your answer is "Yes," then get intentional about making that change.
The best way to achieve long lasting change in our life is by re-framing our mindset. Jas and I often discuss how meditation can assist and/or fix any difficult situation in life, and while we stand by this, there is another hitch to this cart to make it work. What meditation won't do is alleviate all of our problems quickly, especially if we don't have a true intention to change. Re-training our mindset is not an easy task. It makes sense then that we have to want something desperately enough to be willing to put in this work. The good news is, the change is most definitely worth it!
THE DREAM OF "TO JUST" IS
JUST NOT ENOUGH
This wellness hit close to home. Someone asked me, "Stacey, what do you want out of life?" My immediate reply was, "To just live comfortably and be happy." It wasn't until I heard the words out loud that I realized just how small and limiting "to just" can look like in real life.
Fam, when we start describing our dreams, expectations and goals with the phrase "to just" we are basically co-signing and then striving for average. It sets us up for small thinking and small thinking keeps us trapped in limiting circumstances. To reach our highest potential we have to do the inner and outer work to see results. While the outer work is putting in the time and energy into what we're pursuing, the inner work is clearing out negative thought patterns and outdated beliefs. We are all limitless, and it's time to start dreaming in this way!