How To Starting Using Meditation, Mindfulness And Gratitude To Steer Yourself In A Better Direction During Socially Distant Times

#grounded: a blog series days 11, 12 & 13

 

I wake up everyday roll over and take my thyroid pill. Spend 20-30 more mins in bed while my body shifts into being awake. I get up. I pee. I stumble to the kitchen and I make myself a coffee in my white YETI mug with 2 tablespoons of soy creamer and 1 tablespoons of hazelnut almond creamer. I go back to my bed and do my 5 minute gratitude journal.

Once I am done writing that I aim for a meditation. I either read a raise your vibration meditation and meditate on that, or I listen to a guided meditation, or I just sit there and think and let my mind wander where it wants. I accept that my mind is busy with uncertainty and right now that is okay. 

As this pandemic unfolds – it is hard for me to really process that it is even happening. 1000s of people around the globe are dying – even more are sick. Most of the world is in some sort of isolation or quarantine. People are so used to not really dealing with their thoughts that when thrust into solitude or suddenly not being able to get super distracted they feel the discomfort. I am no different.

 I am here to tell you that the best thing you can do right now is WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU NEED TO DO. But also to say – if you are struggling with getting your mind right here are some useful tips for trying out meditation and why gratitude might be a good place to start. We all have time to carve out new routines so why not start now?! 

 

MEDITATION

There are plenty of reasons to get into mediation right now. We have a lot of thoughts swirling around these days and sometimes I can admit it gets a bit overwhelming. This is why I have been leaning into some meditation time. Meditation helps with changing our thought processes. It helps us slow down, relax and manage our stress. It really is a time to check in with yourself. Dive into your inner Buddha and just make sure you are okay. There are plenty of studies that show that meditation helps to improve anxiety and depression and certainly in this time – we are feeling a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.

 

If you are just diving into this kind of practice – a few helpful tips. It takes time to build up mediation practice so start with 3 mins or 5 mins or something manageable. There are TONS of apps out there and youtube videos that can walk you through a guided meditation. Commit to trying a few out. It is okay if you get distracted and your mind wanders. It happens to the best of us. Notice it and move on.  Realize that meditation is a way to check in with yourself – do that how you want. You don’t need hippie music and zen candles. You can do this however it works for you.

 

GRATITUDE

Are you thankful for the things in your life? You probably are. Why not spend some time acknowledging it?  

There are lots of scientific studies that prove the benefits of expressing gratitude. Taking a small portion of your day to hone in on things that you are grateful for can really shift the way you think. Sometimes I think we get so busy that we forget to focus on the things we are grateful for. Why not make a list of things that you appreciate in your life or a list at the end of the day of 3 things that you were grateful for that day. Heck some days I am just grateful that the barista made my order correctly at Starbucks – – my point, it does not need to be massive things each day but just a way to shift yourself to think about the good things that happened.

achievement confident free freedom
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Appreciating things in your life is not forgetting or dismissing things that are not good right now. I am not saying we need to forget that what we are all going through sucks. It is just a way to shift your thinking for a small portion of your day into something different. 

Here are 7 scientifically proven benefits:

 

MINDFULNESS

What kind of information are you consuming right now? Are you glued to the TV watching updates on the spread of the pandemic? Are you at home paralyzed in fear that going outside most certainly means death or sickness. If you are  – maybe it is time to really start some mindful thinking. 

Someone great once said that ‘thoughts become things’. If you spend all your time worried and stressed about the worst case scenario – that is likely what is going to happen. Have you ever noticed when you start to truly believe something horrible is going to happen that eventually that is what happens? Crazy, right?! Well maybe not so much – maybe there is some serious connection between what we believe to be true and what is truth. Next time you catch yourself thinking really negative fear based thoughts try and switch up your thinking. When you are scrolling on Facebook or Instagram and you see those posts that are just plain shitty – unfollow, disconnect. You control you. You control your social media and you control the content that you chose to fill your head with. So choose wisely.

Choosing how to spend your time while socially distanced from your friends and family is all about what feels good to you. After I spend my time reading, watching YouTube, watching Netflix and maybe going for a walk or getting some sort of exercise. It is time for me to go to bed. I have easily been losing track of my days and time in general but I always finish my day with a small reflection on things that made the day great. And one thing I could have done to make the day better. Starting and ending my day with a small moment of hopefulness sure has done wonders on shifting my mindset to things I really want out of this life. And, in a time like this – it is pretty much what I am relying on to get me through it.

How are you making your time at home manageable during one of the most catastrophic times in our lives?

COOL PEOPLE I KNOW: Rosanna, Rosie, Ro

Awhile back I had a phone conversation with my long-time best friend Rosanna. She had called to tell me that the course that she had purchased online for Yoga teacher training had actually turned out to be a bit of a sham. The issue was that in the end the teacher (her friend) had duped them all and that at the end of the course after paying thousands of dollars – she would not be getting her certification. As we were chatting on the phone I kind of had this brilliant idea that I should make my baby podcast into a series of interviews. I had actually wanted to talk about the scandal that happened, but it turns out what I really want to talk about is the cool people I know and why I find them interesting.

Rosanna has wanted to be a yoga instructor for the better part of a decade, and I have thought she would be amazing at it for about that long. We sat down and started this free flow conversation with the idea that I wanted to talk about yoga but what I actually think is most interesting is our perception of todays society and the journey we have both taken to get to be the badass women we are today.

Sooooooo here is the podcast in all its glory:

https://castbox.fm/app/castbox/player/id1412402/id133234443?v=4.1.0&autoplay=0

Some random footnotes and thoughts to go along with this podcast:

I actually don’t know who she is talking about me dating from Sears. But I thought she was talking about my old friend Ali who I backpacked around Canada with, then I thought she was talking about this other guy I saw on occasion – but turns out I actually have no clue who she is remembering.

Our other old friend she is talking about – we almost drove off the Memorial Street overpass on one of our many drunken adventures to the BackAlley. He still lives to this day and if you are reading this – Hey Buddy, How are you?

I grew up in a family where I was surrounded by small business. My Dad had plenty of random small businesses. I think I was always attracted to the idea of running my own thing way back when I was young. I actually remember at one point telling a career counsellor in Halifax my business plan for my own business and she literally just looked at me and said she thought I was in the wrong space. I think I literally wanted her to help me build my business and she was there to tell people what trade schools they could get into and what programs were offered for their free training after being on pogy. I think one of the issues that I have had long term is that I have had zero confidence in creating my own business. That lack of self confidence has permeated my entire life not just a business life. I mean at this point I am not even sure what exactly I would sell – I just like the idea of not being responsible to anyone else but myself.

I think that really you need to find your power and you really need to understand not following the grain of life – and not letting fear stand in your way, putting yourself out there in a public platform is really hard. Like seriously have you ever read the comment section on any given Instagram post or YouTube video? Like these people have balls of steel putting their work out there for the savage keyboard warriors to pounce. I mean the truth is that getting your dream is a whole lot of hard work. Over night success is a myth and you really need to stay focused on your own path and not get derailed by all the dream zappers that are out there. They are busy being to scared to put themselves out there so they are trying to shatter your dreams because they are to scared to work on their own. Building your business or any online platform (blog, podcast) is all about hustling. Hustle, hustle, hustle. You need to use the platform of people you know and grind it out for years before the success starts to happen.

I mean all this stuff leads back to intention or goal setting (whatever verbiage you like). And not giving a rats ass what other people think. Information is at our finger tips. You want to learn a new skill – all the information you need is online. You want to get education in something new – start reading, watching and listening. Connect with the people. It sounds so easy right?!  I feel like there is a popular quote out there about some law of 10 000 hours. Anybody can learn anything as long as they put in the time. People are their own brand and really we just need to learn how to brand ourselves.
Authenticity is what attracts people and what brings them back for more. You are amazing just as you are, and people will like or dislike you for exactly who you are so embrace that and move forward with your dreams. My dreams are so different from your dreams but, in the end, I think we all have our eyes on the prize of feeling some sort of success in our lives. We want to create something good (whatever that looks like for us). We want to live within a more intentional space and take steps to be in a place of growth.

Anyway, our conversation vibration got derailed a bit in the end, so we wrapped it up.

As always – thanks for listening, reading and supporting my creative endeavors.

More to come,
XOXO,
C