I can’t meditate!!! Oh yes you can.

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Hello fit friends,

People who know me know that I like to be on-the-go, sitting still and focusing can be a little bit of a challenge for me. In the past I haven’t given my need to be distracted much thought, I actually thought restlessness meant I was extra ambitious. In more recent years, as I explore personal growth and strive to let go of my ego, I have begun to realize maybe there is more to my resistance to stillness. Upon reflection of my past, I see my antsy tendencies have manifested themselves in several different ways, some positive and some not. Not being able to sit in stillness can be a huge plus in the fitness and sports world, I started running at 12 years old (thanks mom) and fitness is a major part of my life, it has helped me be successful in many areas. On the flip side, my restless nature has also left me feeling tortured. Sitting in school was not always easy, I remember getting stomach aches just thinking about going to school in the morning. As I got older this restlessness became less physical and far more emotional. What happens when everything seems boring? You shake it up! For many of us and certainly in my case, “shaking it” up can be chronic and destructive. At times adding drama to every situation seemed like a natural state or a loop I couldn’t get out of. The most painful part was (and still is at times), I love setting and achieving goals, I thieve with structure and I always wanted/want an extraordinary and spiritually fulfilling life, but something wasn’t sitting right. Something inside of me wanted to escape the present moment. I have come to realize a busy mind can be overwhelming and overbearing, this is why we try to escape. Distraction can manifest itself in many ways: stress, over-scheduling, destructive relationships, procrastination, food, drama, alcohol and the list goes on and on. With time and responsibility I have slowly started to find more productive ways to challenge my need to escape. The irony… stillness helps. I exercise a lot and always have, but the meditation aspect has changed my life the most. It is not always easy to find the will or the time, but it is an absolute must. It allows me to tune in, feel my feelings and emotions, but most importantly it allows me to let them go. Overflowing thoughts, emotions and ideas block the flow of our lives and can weight us down. If we do not take time to breath, we can’t exhale and let go. When there are too many things in the mind it becomes difficult to decipher which thoughts and ideas are useful and which ones create chaos and tension. When the brain is crowded, stories form, drama builds and intense restlessness and distraction ensues. Meditation allows me the exhale and release useless thoughts, it also allows me to manifest really awesome ideas and thoughts. Sometimes during meditation an amazing revelation pops into my mind because it is no longer buried under a million other random ideas. Meditation softens my heart, opens my mind and allows my true spirit to come through. Sitting in stillness is not a natural state for me, but I am committed to going with the natural flow of my life, no need to manufacture a drama or storyline, today I actually enjoy simplicity. Today when someone says” I can’t meditate” I know, they would probably benefit from it the most. Thanks for listening to me spill my guts, I am doing a lot of self exploration and learning from my past these days. It isn’t always easy to share, but I think it is important for me slowly share my stories and experiences to move forward in my journey. xoxo Anna.

3 tips to start a meditation practice:

1- Do not judge yourself. Meditation takes practice and there are no strict rules, just be where you are.

2- Moving meditation. My first experience of entering a meditative state was while running. Next time you are walking or running, focus on your breathing and letting go of greyness or heaviness, breathing in light energy.

3- Ease into it. Try a few minutes at a time, 20 minute can be a long time for a beginner. Try 2 or 3 min per sitting and build on that.

 

See me meditation spots and postures on my instagram:

http://instagram.com/healthwealthandbaby

How to stop worrying about what other people think.

She is soooo Judging me right now.
She is soooo Judging me right now.

1- Acknowledge your part in how you are feeling. Are you projecting? Sometimes the things you think others are thinking about you are actually things you are thinking about yourself. Ask yourself if you blaming your insecurities and negative thinking on other people. Often times it is you that has created the storyline in your head.

2- Put your worries in perspective. Ok, this may sound harsh, but we are not as riveting as we think. Of course your energy, your work and your presence is important, but everyone has their own realities, obsessions and distractions. Chances are, people are not hyper-focused on you. Next time you start wondering if people are judging or commenting on your life, try to remember people are not spending too much time analyzing you.

3- Be kind to yourself. Try not to tear yourself to shreds! Perhaps some people are more prone/addicted to negative self-talk or over self-analysis, this doesn’t make you a better or worse person it is just a part of your journey, chalk it up to being extra thoughtful. If you are the type that has a tendency to critique everything you say or do, please try to be kind to yourself. We are all trying our best to negate our experience in the world and it is not always perfect or pretty.

4- Drop it. What’s that? Drop it? I didn’t even know that was an option. Sure is! Let it go, abandon ship or should I say abandon thought. You do not need to continue down every thought process that comes up. Ask yourself: Is this inner dialogue productive? Of corse some self analysis is good and helps you learn to do things better, but if you find you are simply harping over and catastrophizing(I made this word up) a non-important situation, you need to drop it.

When in doubt…Meditate.

This mini meditation is to help you remember to be kind to yourself and others, let go of heavy energy. Sit or lay in a comfortable position, close your eyes, relax your face and repeat these words: “Let go and be kind.” Mini tip: Set an alarm for 5-10 minutes, that way you can relax in the meditation and not worry about when it is over.

Give Love xoxo

My valentine this morning.
My valentine this morning.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

Self love is so important, we can love ourselves through exercise, through healthy eating, with meditation and most certainly with relaxation. I know we have all heard time and time again that we need to take care of ourselves before we can truly take care of others. But let’s be honest this principal can be an impractical at times. For example: sometimes the kids actually do need to come first (they are high maintenance…). Sometimes a friend or family member needs extra support and our personal self-care routine gets put on hold. But one thing that takes no extra time at all is the practice self love. Be aware of the thoughts you put into your head or the things that you tell yourself. It takes the same amount of effort to say something kind to yourself then to say something cruel. Thoughts are not always facts. Nurture and be kind to yourself and let this light transfer to the outside world. Be open, supportive and loving to yourself and others as you move throughout your day. Give love, its free xoxo

Treats for my sweets! Note: We always have a massive bowl of bananas on our table.
Treats for my sweets! Note: We always have a massive bowl of bananas on our table.

10 Easy Ways to Sneak in a Meditation.

10 Sneaky places to meditate. Remember You can’t do it wrong, you own your practice. Take a deep breath and gift yourself with the present moment. 
1- Do a walking meditation. Not all meditations are done seated in a quiet space. Walking meditations can be ultra relaxing, especially for those people who have extra/nervous energy. Whether you are walking the dog, going to catch the bus, or taking a walk in nature, try listening to calming music or simply tune into the present moment (i.e. recognize the beautiful trees or the fresh air around you).

2- Read a book. Huh?? Yes, read a book, although it is not a traditional meditation, taking time away from technology and getting in touch through inspirational words can be very beneficial. Choose a book of mantras, an inspiring story or a personal growth book. Tune in and connect with the written word.

3- Sitting in your car. Sometimes I arrive at places 10 minutes early, park my car and meditate. This habit started when my first child would have his best naps in the car. I would go to the gym an hour early and sit in the parking lot while he slept. It was actually very peaceful and quiet.

4- In your child’s bed (If you don’t have a child I sure you can borrow one…) Sometimes I will lay with my children if they are taking a nap or going to bed and listen to my breathing and meditate. I will even listen their breathing too (is that creepy? or a mom thing?) It is actually very soothing and grounding.

5- Laying in bed at bedtime. Many days this is the only place I can meditate. Aka when I am procrastinating to the final moment. I may put on music or white noise, keep the lights low and the electronics away.

6- Meditate in the shower. Sometimes the only peace and quiet we get is in the bathroom. Take a few extra minutes and listen to your soul and what you are feeling. Slow down and tune into you, you may discover you have feelings, thoughts or emotions you were not aware of. It is important to be aware of what we are feeling and remember to never judge your thoughts or emotions.

7- Standing in a long lineup. There is no such thing as wasted time. If you go with the natural flow of the universe and remind yourself not to resist things you can’t control, you can use long waits as a gift from the universe or a “sign” telling you to slow down. Just go with it and take in a few energizing breaths. Think about letting go of heavy energy and breathing in fresh vibrant light. Be kind and smile, everything will be ok.

8- Say a prayer at mealtime. This prayer doesn’t have to be religious it is simply about gratitude and connection. While you are seated in front of your meal say a prayer, take a deep breath and connect with your body. Recognize the abundance around you.

9- At the gym. Sometimes after my workout, I will stretch and then lay on a mat and take a few cleansing breaths or listen to relaxing music. Remember your physical fitness will never be where you desire if you do not make a mind body connection. Try using a mantra such as “I respect my body, I respect my mind”.

10- In a waiting room. When you are waiting at the doctor or at the bank (note: child free only, trust me). While sitting or standing, soften your face, soften your collar bone and tune into your breathing. Let your feet feel connected to the earth, ground yourself.

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My Personal Top 6 Tips for Building a Meditation Practice.

I am sooooo busy!…Just kidding.

I will admit I do feel like I have a never ending list of things to do, but the reality is that not everything on this list is as important as I might think it is in the moment. Sometimes it is important to stop and take in the present moment instead of constantly jumping from one thing to another. It is true that there are more distractions and expectations then ever and all the chaos seems to be leeching whatever pockets of time we do have left.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of distractions, I am a social media junkie and I appreciate and thrive on a busy schedule (I need structure, trust me). I also understand the hard work and hustle it takes to make it happen in this world and support your family at the same time. But at times we lose the present moment in preparing for the future.  Time flies by and gets lost, moments are gone and the soul drifts deeper and deeper into the background. Are we hopelessly lost? Never! Meditation is a very important part how I stay connected. Finding 10-20 minutes a day to be present is a good place to start. This does not mean the world has to shut down, it’s not that big of a deal. Your goal is to tune into the present moment, tune into yourself. With practice you will be able to tune into a meditational state wherever and whenever you need it.

Here are my 5 top tips to get you started:

1-Use Headphones: I almost always wear headphones when I meditate . I either listen to meditation music or a guided mediation. They also help block out distractions.

2-Set a stopwatch or alarm: I often set a 10-20 minute alarm or timer on my phone when I meditate, that way I am not preoccupied thinking: “how long have I been doing this?”
3-Wear warm clothes: I love wearing warm socks and a hooded sweatshirt. If you are in a cold climate like me or just tend to have cold hands and feet, I suggest wearing some cozy socks and a warm sweater. I feel much more relaxed when my body temperature is warm.
4-Use a meditation App. This is a MAJOR staple for my meditations. I have the Omvana App on my smartphone, the App is free and so are several of the guided meditations and music tracks included with the App. This is an amazing place to start, if you have a busy mind like me plugging into one of these tracks is extremely helpful.
5- Light a candle. Setting the mood, giving you a focal point or establishing a ritual, lighting a candle is a beautiful way to respect and honour your meditation practice.
6- Remember…You Can’t Do It Wrong! Yay! What a relief 🙂 Mediation is a personal practice and journey, you can’t fail. Set your intensions and then ride the wave and respect your journey. Your practice can range from “I am going to focus on my breathing for 10 minutes” to “I am not going to check my email for 10 minutes” Everyone has their own needs and start off points. Don’t judge yourself xo

PS. I try to post pics of my meditation practice on instagram Check it out

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Hooded sweatshirt and headphones meditating while my son naps.

Never Diet Again. Meditations and Mindsets to Create your Best Body.

Hello Wonderful,
Committing to a plant-based lifestyle means not having to jump on the diet bandwagon every time a new year rolls around. It means not having to count calories or deprive yourself. The best part about the commitment to a lifestyle, is that it doesn’t matter what you look like. Although eating healthy and exercising 4-6 days a week does effect the way my body works it is the confidence in knowing it changes the way my body feels, moves and operates. I am preventing disease , I am energizing my body and this lifestyle is anti-aging. Anyway, I feel like a commercial for kale right now. What I am trying to say and what I am trying to do personally is make daily mental shifts and trust that my body will do what it needs to do and be what it needs to be. I don’t feel like I am forcing myself to do things that I don’t want to do in order to look good. I have committed to a way of life and the results will be they are and I am cool with that, because I confident in what I am doing. It a done deal! Below I will list 3 mantras to meditate with. Focus on making shifts to change your life, instead of quick fixes for the short term. Find a comfortable seat on the floor, in a chair or in bed. You can sit in silence or put on relaxing music, choose a mantra and repeat it to yourself (not out load, unless you want of course).

1- “I respect my body, I respect my mind.” Respect what you put in your body and the thoughts you put in your head. Sit with that notion, witness what comes up and exhale and let go of any heavy or negative thoughts.

2-  “I can create the body and life I want.” Visualize the body you want. See yourself in that body, see yourself eating healthy foods and exercising.

3-  “The time is now.” Feel the excitement of committing to start now. Start by breathing and switching your mindset to long term health, to living the best life ever.