Mindfulness, meditation and the spiritual life – DEMYSTIFIED

I lead a happy life. It wasn’t always so much this way. There was a time when my children were small and needed all my attention and I was in a bad marriage. There was a time I was overweight and full of aches and pains. At the time I was not on my to do list. I was worried about taking care of the kids, my husband, the house…you name it. But what about taking care of myself? I didn’t account for that. It’s one thing to put ourselves at the bottom of the list some days but we can not completely forget we exist.

I got in the way of my happiness. I made bad choices that did not serve my health and well being. At the time I could have read ALL the self help books and I wouldn’t have gotten it. There are so many catch phrases we hear these days – mindfulness, self care, gratitude practice, meditation, energetic healing…the list can go on and on. The problem is how do you begin when you haven’t even made yourself a priority yet? How do you begin when you are living your life like a triage nurse? How do you begin when you are in the middle of a shit storm?

Honestly, it can feel daunting. I understand that. So I decided to put together a simple beginners guide to taking better care of you!

Here are 5 ways to start a journey to happiness and peace:

1 – The shit is hitting the fan every day. You can’t even imagine meditating. Get yourself a notebook and start a gratitude practice. That’s right, be grateful for at least 5 things every day. Find the sunshine in your darkest days. Write it down every day when you open your eyes or before you close them. If you think you can’t then take a look at my blog post “3 Terrible Things I am Grateful For”. I promise you there is something and when you shift your attention things start to change.

2 – Make time for you. Some days that is easier than others. For me some days it is a yoga class, the gym, or a run. Moving my body is always great. Some days it’s a hot bath or herbal tea because that’s all I have time for. Some days it can just be sitting in peace with my morning coffee. Worst case scenario, set your alarm for 10 minutes and do absolutely nothing. I guarantee you we all have at least 10 minutes of the 24 hours in a day to gift to ourselves.

3 – Break out you journal again! Keep it simple and make a list of all of the things you want and need. Do it every damn day. It’s a reminder note to you. Writing down our hopes and dreams is powerful. It is the first step to getting what we want.

4 – Turn up the music. When in doubt I like to sing or dance. Traffic got you down – turn up. Lots of cooking to do – turn up. Need to clean – turn up. It is a game changer.

5 – Pray. Ok, praying may (or may not) seem a bit controversial. I had what I would call a “religious crisis” a few years back. I lost my faith. So many obstacles had been put in my way that I felt God or the universe had it in or me. Looking back now I see that was a really egotistical way to look at life. People all over the world are struggling. There are many without food, shelter, human rights…and yes we all have problems. So, I took my ego down and found my own brand of spirituality that works for me. I always think of the amazing Marianne Williamson as she asks,

“Where would you have me go? What would you have me do?”

That is the only prayer I need. I always ask myself how can I be a light in the world. That’s the way I pray. Find the prayer that works for you. I promise it is comforting.

The truth is happiness and sadness ARE CHOICES we make. We get dealt our cards. We play them. It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself the way you would your dearest friend. It is smart. We need to fill up our own gas tank before we can ride for the people we love. That is just fact. So do something for you today. It is essential. Come on, find your happiness and peace!

Love and light,