Meditation, Meditation, Meditation…

It’s like a buzz word. But WHAT is it really? Why would you want to meditate?

A decade ago meditation to me felt like a prison in which I HAD to produce some kind of amazing thought, reaction, or peace and solitude in my mind. The idea of sitting and doing nothing except trying not to think about something had me looking for the exit sign.

Since that time I have become appreciative and even a proponent of meditation.

Linda Meditation

Do you meditate? What holds you back? Time? Interest? Let’s discuss some of the benefits.

If you already meditate how many of these reasons hold true for you?

Five Reasons to Meditate…

1)    Meditation brings us to the realization that we are all connected. We are part of a universal energy in which we play a part. Our energy affects the whole. What I think, what I say, and what I do really does matter.

2)    Meditation fosters mindfulness. It brings us into the present moment and creates a basis for us to respond rather than react to our circumstances. Kabat-Zinn said, “While it won’t get your work done for you, it will profoundly change your orientation, so that your doing comes out of your being, and the choices you make come from a deeper knowing of yourself. That approach can have a profound effect on the quality of our work in the world and how we face the stresses in our personal and professional lives.”

3)    Meditation reduces self-destructive thought patterns. In as little as 30 seconds a day we can learn to let go of poisonous self-depreciating thoughts like revenge, anger, jealousy, greed or hate; and instead foster nourishing life giving thoughts of hope, love, understanding, and kindness. In other words we can learn to “let it go” and focus on actions that are life enhancing.

4)    According to Kabat-Zinn,  meditation helps to “cultivate a capacity to see what is here to be seen, hear what is here to be heard, and feel what is here to be felt.” Imagine the world being more vibrant and delightful to your soul!

5)    Meditation has proven to be a helpful treatment in alleviating symptoms of fibromyalgia, chronic pain, sleep disorders, headaches, depression, and high blood pressure. Studies reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke and other studies conducted through the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (CFM) at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center are just a few that support these claims.

Why do you meditate? Where, when and how? I’d like to hear from you.

Yoga Helps Improve Focus and Mental Clarity

Yoga Tip: Use balancing postures to sharpen your focus and mental clarity.

An article I recently read struck a chord with me.

It pointed out how our mind is one of the resources we rely on most to navigate our life and possibly the one we take most for granted.

“If you think about it you’ll realize that it’s true. Your mind is your greatest asset.

We use it for our intelligence, imagination, creativity and reasoning. When it is gets foggy or overwhelmed and unclear it’s hard to make decisions, remember things or have the mental capacity to complete projects.

Do you feel like your head struggles sometimes? That your memory recall is slow or your intuition can’t be found?

I know I do.

It’s important to maintain and improve mental clarity – why?

  • Job performance – our livelihood depends on how we show up and our focus on the job.
  • Information retention – I don’t believe that as we age our minds get less sharp…I believe we lose the ability to retain information because we aren’t focused on our “focus” muscles. Information recall and retention are directly related to how we assimilate information. Mental alertness and clarity is key.
  • Complex problem solving – reasoning and day to day decision making is easier when our minds are sharp, clear, and tuned in.
  • Having direction and purpose in life – ahhh…this is my favorite and often we overlook the value of having direction and purpose in life. Then in our 40’s we look at where we are and say “What am I doing here?”

And the list goes on…

A great way to increase mental clarity is through meditation and exercise. Yoga combines the two to create excellent clarity in the mind. When we are focused completely on holding balance in a pose the mind becomes sharp, all other thoughts are removed giving the mind clear focus.

When I began to practice yoga back in 2000 I noticed within a few weeks that I was experiencing greater focus, clarity and productivity at work. I still use yoga today as a vehicle to keep my mind sharp, focused and vibrant.

A great pose to practice clarity of mind is Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior 3) pose.

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Top 5 Life-Affirming Practices

I’m here in St. George at the Huntsman Senior Games supporting my man in his quest to be the fastest biker over 50 competing against top cyclists in the state of Utah and from around the country. He’s pretty darn fast! How does he do it?

Single minded focus and great determination. He has what I call self-discipline (see definition of self-discipline in my recent article). Continue reading