Insomnia, Meditation, and an Intuition-booster!

Can I tell you what really pisses me off?

Being in bed, half asleep, on Monday morning, feeling crap, and barely having had 5 hours of sleep due to insomnia.

I hate insomnia.

It’s caused some of the worst problems of my life to happen. Almost too effortlessly.

Dragging your heavy-ass out of bed,  wacking on the cold shower just to wake up your dumbass brain is bad enough.

Then you have to quickly prepare yourself by putting on some clothes and then walking to your car while it is raining outside.

You’re essentially a zombie.

You get in the car, and do your usual gratitude affirmations, in a pathetic attempt at trying to force the world to be a more merciful place…

For a while, it almost works, but then you step into the office and all hell breaks loose….and all you wanted was an extra 2 hours in bed..

Thank god for mindfulness!

Thank god for the ability to walk to my car in my morning break, and actually zone out for a few minutes, so I can actually feel the skin on my body for the first time of the day.

At times, I don’t really care for the benefits of mindfulness. Whilst its good to know, I don’t give a crap. You wanna know why?

All I want is to feel alive!

I want a reason to live, and mindfulness does just that. I want to feel that little burst of energy in my head, that almost intuitively says that life is meant to be happy.

I want to feel great, albeit for a measly second, so that I don’t feel like running out of the office like a headless chicken at the first sign of trouble…

I want my life to mean something, and that is why I love mindfulness. I don’t want to walk around on autopilot, or even worse, like a zombie.

I want to feel like sunshine.

It’s like being given a key to a brand new sports-car.

All it takes is a bit of mental effort on your part, and boom, you are inside of a little piece of heaven.

It has gadgets and fantastic leather seats. It allows you to feel really safe, warm and comfortable. Heck, it has even got a nice little drinks cabinet, so you can enjoy some of that refreshing sports drink which makes you feel alive and shine.

The world is an awesome place again;-)

For what it is worth, mindfulness is a great way to bring some zest back into your life, get some mental energy back, all by taking up just a few short minutes. And I’m not talking about sitting down with your legs crossed (unless you’re a pro).

I’m talking about making a weird, but essential, daily commitment to actually putting your body to rest, and deliberately tuning out.

Doing this on a regular basis kicks some serious ass, and your brain will love you for it!

But do you want to know what’s even better? Combining it with a second exercise to super charge your intuition.

meditation-review

This is the first time I’ve ever written this, so pay close attention:

Mindfulness on its own = great.

Mindfulness + Oneness = Seriously awesome intuition!

Wanna know why?

When you become mindful, your brainwaves begin to reduce the electrical activity, allowing you to be in the mid to deep alpha range (borderline theta). This is also the range for psychic ability.

All you do, therefore, is become mindful and then when the timing is right, become at, ‘one’ with everything.

It sounds weired (I know) but let me explain in more detail, so you get to learn this awesome variation.

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First, the mindfulness bit

1. Sit down or lie down and feel your heartbeat.

2. Learn to feel the beating of your heart, and when your imagination dies down, transfer your attention to your breathing, or the outside noise.

3. As you become more relaxed, just notice any images you have, and let them pass you by.

4. After a short while, you will feel very mindful, and will even feel energy flowing into your stomach area. You will have opened your Solar Plexus Chakra (non-physical vortex).

5. Keep this up, until you feel little energy bursts in your mind, which will be your cue for step 2

And now the oneness bit (step 2)

6. After being mindful for a while, and increasing mental energy, learn to shift your attention from the noise (breathing or outside) to the blackness of your closed eyelids.

7. This takes a bit of time to get used to, but imagine you are one with the blackness. See the blackness as a part of your EGO, as something that is with your body, just as your arms and legs are. Something that you could move.

And of course, we are not just talking about any part of the balckness, but the whole lot, so you may need to use your peripheral vision while doing this.

8. Done correctly and after a short while, you may feel a deep love emanate from your Heart. What is actually happening, is that you are opening up your Heart Chakra, and feeling that, ‘connectedness’ to the multiverse.

By doing this on a regular basis will ensure that you not only improve your mindfulness skills, but also increase your intuition as well.

And this intuition will go wherever you go. You can even begin to test it, to see how well something is before you have seen it.

In the bedroom

Lets say, for example, you are trying to find a missing dollar, and you have dropped it somewhere.

You could ask yourself if you will find it in the bedroom if you go searching for it. Notice the Heart area when you ask this question. If you feel little love, or no love at all, there is a high chance that the missing dollar is not in the bedroom.

On the other hand, if you feel a decent chunk of love pouring from your Heart, there is a good chance that you will find this missing dollar.

I recently had an experience of this.

I have recently developed a stupid habit of putting all of my loose change on one of my shelves. After each weekend, I would pour loads of small change, which included 10p’s and 20p’s onto my shelf. Needless to say, it looks like one of those coin games in a casino.

I needed to find a quick £1 coin, so I was moving the coins left and right.

Couldn’t find one.

I then began to use my intuition. I simply said to myself, that I will find a £1 coin. As soon as I did this, I could feel love emanating from my Heart Chakra, which was an indication to me that I was searching in the right place.

Lo and behold, I found one. Needless to say, I felt quite excited. And the other good news, my faith had increased;-)

By practising these two exercises side-by-side will not only allow you to become better at practising mindfulness and seeing the oneness with your eyes closed, but will also allow you to develop your intuition very quickly as well, which means that you can develop your 6th sense which will help you in your daily life.

Developing your intuition while practising mindfulness can be a great way of improving other aspects of your life. However, if you find that mindfulness in and of itself is something that you find difficult to achieve, there is another way you can increase your intuition.

Gerald O’Donnell has produced 2 courses which allows you to listen with your ears to guided instructions with relaxing music, which can also improve your intuition. For more details on the ARVARI courses including my review, please click here.

Till next time

Julian

P.S. Combining oneness and mindfulness is a great way of improving your intuitive ability. Not only will it allow you to become mindful relatively quickly, it will also allow you to develop your gut instinct as well.

However, mindfulness isn’t for everyone, and sometimes you will struggle to quieten your inner chatter. You may need to be helped to become relaxed. The ARVARI courses can be a great way in order for you to become relaxed quickly. To find out more details, please click here.

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Loving-Kindness Meditation: The Secret To Great Compassion?

Imagine opening your eyes, feeling at peace with the world, any form of anger almost evaporating from your soul…

Imagine opening your eyes feeling that little bit lighter, and for once, optimistic about your day.

Imagine feeling more relaxed with yourself, and feeling more focused so you can get out and do more of the things you love.

Wouldn’t it be nice to start you day feeling lighter, more calmer and feeling more love?

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel your Heart chakra open, so you can feel slightly energised and peaceful, any lingering anger almost gone?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a simple way to improve your compassion and love skills, so you can feel more younger and become more of a healthier and happier person?

There is good news for you, because there is a simple exercise which does just that!

Enter in the arena a new weapon for your compassion skills.

This one exercise is arguably the best compassion exercise there is.

It not only allows you to feel love, but also Appreciative Joy, Friendliness, Equanimity and of course Compassion.

All rolled into one!

And not many exercises can do that.

And it gets better

By daily practising this technique, this will naturally make you more into a compassionate person, which has its own rewards.

And not only that, but you will reduce pity and increase genuine compassion aimed at another person (Pity merely copies the quality of concern, but doesn’t have the empathy that compassion has).

With increased practice, one develops a sense of Appreciative Joy; Joy, which any law of attraction student will tell you, can help the process of manifestation (but this will be for a later article;-)

Loving Kindness Meditation is a simple but powerful tool to help you go through your day, whilst increasing your compassion skills

You see, Loving kindness meditation has its origin in the early Sutras of Jainism, but may have been inspired by early Buddhist texts.

This simple exercise can not only help you not only feel compassion but also helps your forgiveness skills as well as open up your Heart chakra.

And don’t get me started on the health benefits this spiritual wonder has for you. Loving kindness can help:

* Increase emotional processing with the brain

* Reduce the sign of Ageing

* Increase the volume of grey matter

* Decrease PTSD

* Decrease Chronic Pain

Plus much more…(Thanks to Emma Seppala for this insight)

So, how do you activate this apparent health promoting, compassion inducer within yourself?

Are you ready?

Here goes

Loving kindness meditation essentially is about using feelings of kindness and goodwill towards someone.

You can do this by either;

* Reflecting on the good qualities of the other person

* By reciting a mantra out-loud (which is what I do) and visualizing a person.

* Or by visualizing directly, a Joyous version of that person, and wishing them good feelings.

The way I personally do it is to use 3 sentences as a form of a mantra to help promote success and emotional well-being.

While they can differ (this exercise is also flexible…of course;-) the below is an example of what you can say

“I wish myself success, I wish myself happiness, I wish myself good health”

That’s it.

(Alight, a bit more then)

So the exercise involves you saying this to not only yourself, but to 4 more people.

One person you love

One person you like

One person you are neutral about

(probably the hardest part of this whole process, because of our quick nature to judge. If it makes it any easier, think of a shop assistant).

And someone you dislike (again, can be tough for some of you)

If you wish to do my version, all you have to do is to think of someone and say these 3 statements to them.

This takes me about 5 minutes

It sounds mad, but the exercise above will do wonders to your emotional well-being.

meditation-review

Not only that, but it can also help increase mental clarity, so this will also help you with your intuition, and should help motivate you to taking more intuitive action.

There is a part 2 to this

Once you have sufficient practice in the above exercise, try to then send the warm feelings towards the north of you, then the east, south and finally west.

I.e. Try to direct the feelings towards not only people that you speak to, but also your local area and ultimately other countries and the world.

This could take longer, but take comfort that you are helping the world at an energetic level.

Buts there’s more…

How would you like to use this exercise in conjunction with a way to deepen your meditation skills and meditate deeper than ever before (and when I say deep, I’m talking about deep Alpha, if not Theta brainwave state),so you can feel more at peace and more healthier, so you can have more fun in your life?

What would you say if I told you that you can do this with some good headphones and a a CD player?

Basically, there are 2 courses that will help you meditate deeper than every before.

This stuff is powerful

So powerful, that you can go into very deep states of meditation, so you can increase your intuition as well as some other cool stuff.

By increasing your intuition, you can get a better chance of noticing your gut feelings, as well as find better ways to get creative which should help with your life style.

I’ve even written a review for you, so you can get my honest opinion on the courses.

Simply click here to read the review.

Until next time

Julian

P.S. Loving Kindness meditation is a great simple exercise which helps you not only begin the forgiveness process of a person, but can also help you increase your compassion and loving abilities.

This in turn helps with your body, as well as help you with your emotional well-being.

This allows you to let go and can help you become a more calmer, happier and fun person, helping you release emotional baggage from the past, as well as helping you concentrate on more important things in life.

Mindfulness meditation is another great way to improve compassion. If you wish to learn to meditate very deeply, please read my review of the ARVARI course by clicking here.

 

These 8 foods Will Help You Learn How To Become Mindful With Ease!

Wouldn’t it be nice to make being mindful as easy as possible. After all, we all know the benefits of becoming mindful, from increased mental clarity to a reduction of phobias and stress. But by changing your diet to include the following foods, your mindfulness practice will be made a lot easier. You will gain clarity and presence sooner rather than later.

Here, we look at the top 8 foods that help you achieve mental clarity, concentration and your general emotional well-being. Adding some of the below to your diet will improve your mindfulness meditation sessions. See what you think;-)

Maca

Can help reduce stress and fatigue, and is also great in helping the blood flow to the brain, by providing amino acids, which also wards of low blood sugar.

Dark Chocolate

Eating a bit of Dark chocolate helps you to focus as it chocolate1contains Magnesium, and also helps release

Serotonin and endorphins, which helps improve your general well-being and mood. While it isn’t recommended that you eat huge bars and scoff your face all day long (tempting though it may be…) we do recommend that you have a tiny bit here and there for good measure, as well as improve your focus abilities.

Spirulina

One of the greatest super-foods out there for maintaining your focus, but that is not all! While it contains Protein, Vitamin B12 and has Iron content, it helps make your general mood better as well as aid your digestion system and helping you reduce stress.

Leafy Greens

Foods such as Collards, Swiss Chard, Kale and Romaine all contain Magnesium, B Vitamins, Chlorophyll, Folic acid, Fibre and Iron which helps with keeping your focus, as well as having loads of carotoids and antioxidants.

Their nutrition will help you keep being grounded as well as having a calm sense, instead of feeling on the edge. These types of leafy greens can help you fight stress, headaches and depression.

Fish

Helps improve your mood and concentration, as well as containing Omega 3 fatty acids which helps improve your mental performance, how your behaviour operates and also helps with your memory. The best sources of fish are Mackerel, Sardines, Kipper, Salmon and Trout. If you find that finding or eating fish is a struggle, I recommend that you take Omega 3 supplements.

Almonds

Rich in Magnesium which helps improve focus, reduces stress and also contains a high fibre content as well as the ability to help lower you blood sugar level as well as help make your nervous system operate more healthily.

Bananasbananas1

Despite their high sugar content, they are packed with some of the best nutrients to keep you being focused, including Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Fibre and Potassium. This combination will help you feel energised throughout the day, while avoiding the, ‘crash’ that eating refined sugars can give you.

Blueberries

One of my personal favourites, Blueberries are a, ‘sort’ of super-food, as they contain antioxidants that help the blood flow to your brain, boosting your memory and concentration for up to over 4 hours from initial consumption.

Not only that, but the anti-oxidants that they contain, which include Tannins, Anthocyanins, Resverartol and Proanthocyanidins also help fight of Dimensia, Cancer and Heart Disease. And don’t forget, I said Resveratrol, which also means that they also help promote telemorase activity, keeping age on your side.

Having the above foods will help you ensure that you can focus more effectively, which will help you with your mindfulness meditation practice. Why not combine the above with a 15 minute special white-noise audio, which will help you become more mindful as well. Simple click here for more information.

 

What ‘Oneness’ is and 3 steps to achieve it

We hear this term splashed everywhere especially in the new age community. It is said that, ‘oneness’ helps with the law of attraction, but what exactly is it?

I came across this term years ago. Having been bought up as a Roman Catholic, I viewed God as someone who demanded respect, and to be also slightly feared. I was also apparently to treat this guy like he was my friend. Needless to say, the concept of, ‘oneness’ was not only a completely new outlook on life, but was also complete blasphemy. I mean, to think yourself as, ‘one’ with the big guy was disillusionment of the highest order!

So I was stunned when I came across my first spiritual book, after having a low point in my life, and realised that God (or whatever name you would like to call it) wasn’t what people were saying he was.

All it took was one small meditation session, and I realised that I couldn’t go back to my old ways again. ‘Oneness’, it seemed, was the ability to feel complete; to feel, ‘whole’, to feel unconditional love…that is, to feel love with no strings attached. It was a pretty neat idea, considering that some peoples definitions of love was more of a, ‘give and take’ variety.

To feel, ‘oneness’ or being, ‘complete’, means ultimate to transcend your EGO, that is, the thoughts you are having. It means that you go from a thinking state to a more, ‘being’ state; that is, you turn yourself into a Human, ‘Being’. There a 3 steps to achieve this:

1 – To start with, imagine your ego extends to the screen that you are watching. This may sound strange, but try to pretend that the screen in front of you is also, ‘you’. If you need to close your eyes to try to imagine seeing from that view point, go ahead. Try to act like the screen that you are watching is also a part of your personality, or if that is difficult to imagine, try to think that you could, ‘float’ there, as it you were in a first person shooter game, and you could float out of your body.

When done correctly, you should feel a chunk of feeling starting to move in your Heart area. Depending on what feeling you have, some people would call this unconditional love, or compassion. It may be very subtle at first, so don’t be too put off if you are unable to feel it straight away.

2 – In my opinion, the first step is always the most difficulty, because you are having to extend your mind, which most people cannot do. You’ll be glad to know that from now on this will get easer.

So now you have got your perception to the screen in front of you (maybe the corner of the screen, but that’s fine), we are going to extend it even further! Try to imagine that, ‘you’ are now not only including your screen, but also the wall behind it.

Again, if you want to loosely visualise being able to, ‘see’ on a speck of the wall to the left or your right, with your eyes open or closed, that’s absolutely fine. And try not to include just the wall in front of you, but also the contents in front of the wall, like the stationary, any papers you have lying around, that cup of coffee, etc. Really try and get into seeing yourself as also part of the wall and the enclosed surrounding area.

You should now feel that lump of energy around your heart area increasing in intensity, and you should also be slightly, ‘present’ or mindful (this is a great way to becoming, ‘present’). If you can, try to let the feelings spread across your body, so it not only encompasses your heart, but also you lungs, back, legs and hands. Try to feel your body getting more energised by this feeling.

3 – Not we have expanded our ego to not only include the screen that we are using to read this, as well as the wall behind, we are now going to take the final step, and move our ego or perception beyond into the wild.

Again, like before, slowly move your perception to a nearby tree, or if that is too difficult for you to imagine, act as if that tree is also another arm that you possess, that you can move it with your heart, as if it was your real arm. This may sound really silly, but it is brilliantly effective and can help you really get in tune with your surroundings. Try to act like every object you see can be moved by the power of your heart, as if it is an extension to your heart.

You should now feel that energy in your heart getting stronger and more intense. You could also describe this feeling as very healing and very, ‘complete’…feels good, doesn’t it;-)

What you have experienced, is what I believe many people and masters over the millennia have described. You were, at, ‘one’ with your multi-verse, and in doing so, have transcended you ego in the process. You didn’t, ‘need’ anything, as you used the power of only your perception (and maybe a tiny bit of visualization;-).

Try to get into a small habit of doing this every day, even if it is only for about 60 seconds, and you’ll find that not only will it become easier for you, you’ll start to see life in a different and more accurate way.

 

Heart Space and 4 Ways To Keep In It

Heart energy is not only a useful space to keep, but is crucial in helping you not only spiritually evolve but also keep your emotions in check. But what is heart space, and how do you stay in it?

Heart space is essentially keeping your heart chakra opened as much as possible, so you feel compassion and love for most of the day. This has numerous healing effects, as well as allowing you to focus and be more productive. It also helps things happen more in your favor, as you start to use consciousness more towards your benefit.

Keeping in your heart space also helps with reducing stress and helps with your intuitive abilities (which has it’s own rewards). Just imagine what it feels like to do everyday routine chores, but instead of being on autopilot, you simply ask yourself if you should be doing this chore, and you get a loving feeling instead.

Wouldn’t that be great, maximizing that loving feeling, so your day winds up being slightly different than you planned but you felt love and joy throughout?

That is what living in your heart space is all about.

It’s about healing and it’s about intuition. It’s about being guided by your higher consciousness and allowing your life to be easier as a result. Small things happen in your favor, and you simply begin to, ‘flow’ with your life.

Here, we talk about the 4 easiest ways of opening up your heart chakra, and keeping in your heart space. If you require more information about your chakras and their benefits, simply click here.

Mindfulness

To help stay with your heart energy, it is often best to be as mindful as much as possible. Being mindful is simply about paying attention to what is happening in this present moment, from the sounds you hear, to what you are seeing, to what is going on with your body.

Usually when you pay attention to the outside noise, or pay attention to your body, your mind-chatter will be reduced significantly, allowing you to feel more present.

When done repeatedly, this feeling can help open up your heart chakra, so you feel heart energy easily and effortlessly. Further repeated attempts can mean that when you become mindful, you also open up your heart chakra, due to increased life energy, or Qi in your non-physical body spreading (kinda like a 2nd reward for reducing your mind-chatter).

If you have issues with being mindful, and would like ways on which to achieve being present, click here for more info.

Listening to a compassionate song

This is a great one if you simply have to think, but are unable to focus that wandering mind.

All you have to do, is to think of a song that allows you to feel nice,warm and healed. A song which is very compassionate, and can even make you slightly tearful (but in a good way).

Next time you have to do a task, and you find your mind wandering from place-to-place (maybe due to the task not being mentally stimulating enough), you can, ‘select’ this song in your head, so you feel more heart energy around your heart chakra.

If you can, try and build up a, ‘song list’ of favorite compassionate tunes, so that if you struggle to remember the tune of one song, you can always fall back on another. This will also prevent another thing from taking place: Boredom of a tune.

Pretending to hug somebody

If you are struggling to feel love, one of the best ways of opening up your heart chakra is to quickly imaging someone that you are in love with, and pretend you are hugging that person from head to toe. This will allow the feelings of love to pass from your heart chakra, and will allow you to feel heart energy radiating out.

Once you get used to this energy, it will only be a matter of time before your heart chakra will open just by thinking of hugging somebody. And once you get good at it, you can simply open up your heart chakra, ‘on demand’ just by thinking of the feeling and letting the heart energy pour out.

Seeing yourself everywhere

This is one that isn’t always taught, but one of the best ways to feel connected to heart energy (and even help the law of attraction due to the reduction of your EGO) is to see yourself at, ‘one’ with everything.

Of course, one could argue (forgive the pun;-); how can you possibly feel what, ‘oneness’ is, if you don’t know what that looks like?

That’s a good question.

The easy answer is to pretend that everything around you, is a personal extension of your self.

So that Computer you can see, that’s you.

That wall behind you…yep, that’s you as well!

But don’t just look at it and half-heartily agree with the concept…actually imagine that you go well beyond your feet and hands, and actually imagine that your surroundings is you as well.

Of course, anyone who has had an out-of-body experience will testify to this,as when you float out of your body, you can literally float though walls, and even be part of the surroundings itself (although for most obe explorers, the excitement itself of leaving the body means that they would rather travel and fly away, such is the awesomeness of obes).

But the reality is, you are more than your mind and more than your body. In fact, your body isn’t just your own personal body, but everybody elses’s as well.

Initially, this may sound like a ridiculously stupid concept to get, and unless you are spiritually incline, will put this down to just plain stupidity.

And yet, when you think of oneness is, can you not think of a better way to describe your consciousness?

When you start seeing yourself everywhere, heart energy becomes a thing of the norm. You begin to question normal everyday dogma, and you start to feel healed. And because consciousness creates form, things will start to happen in your favor.

Keeping in your heart space is crucial to your psychological and emotional well-being. You become less stressed, and start to make life easier for yourself. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. I think you will like the journey.

 

The Top 7 Mistakes People Make About Meditation

Meditation is fast becoming popular, and more and more people are seeing the benefits of meditating. It is certainly a great tool to not only reduce an onset of a panic attack and long term anxiety, but also help you reconnect to your soul.

Here, we look at the top 7 mistakes people make when it comes to meditation. Be sure that you don’t fall for these;-)

Thinking it is boring

The idea that we have to sit or lay still to quieten the mind, for the most parts, may seem like a boring thing to do. And that’s the issue right there. You are not doing anything at all, but being. Meditation is about stilling the mind (as much as possible) and to achieve a being’ness state of pure awareness.

And the reason is not only due to the numerous health benefits to the mind (and as a result, your body due to the mind-body connection) but also due to the lovely rush of relaxing, energizing feeling you get when you do meditate.

Have to be in the lotus position

This is a classic fear. I sometimes come across people who will not meditate, because they don’t want to put their legs in that crossed position.

I don’t blame them as it’s not the easiest posture to maintain if you are not used to it. (I mean, great if you are into Yoga, but not so great if you are just starting out).

But here’s the thing…meditation can be done anywhere, in any (reasonable) position.

I frequently meditate laying in my bed, first thing in the morning, and even sitting in a cramped car. You don’t need to sit up straight, if that is too uncomfortable for you.Whatever position works best for you, that is the position that you need to be in.

Not aloud to think

Another classic error in thinking about meditation, is the ability not to think. I hate to break this too you, but forcing yourself not too think is not only stress inducing, but that is also not how our mind works. Whatever you focus on expands, so by trying hard not too think, you are essentially fueling your mind to do just that…think.

Or to put it another way; if I said to you to never, ever, ever think of an apple, the chances are you are going to think of an apple. And that’s fine by the way, this is how our mind works, good or bad.

The thing is to not care about it, which is why one of the best meditations out there is open ended meditation, which is the ability to simply observe your thoughts without judgment. This is a great way to becoming present.

Sounds too complicated

Another thing can be off putting is the idea of not knowing where to start. There are some many different types of meditations out there, and of course, people have an image of a certain Yoga position. All of this can seem very overwhelming and complicated.

The truth is anything but. Meditation can be as simple as just observing your breath while you are walking.

How easy is that?

Just this alone is a great way to becoming mindful, connect you to nature, and maintain peace. If you would prefer, you can lie down and watch your thoughts instead, like watching a TV program. Both would work great.

Have no interest in it

I was once speaking to my sister when she was driving me somewhere, and I was trying to explain the benefits of grounding yourself when you are around negative people. The subject of meditation, naturally, came up. To which she responded, ‘Why should I care?’.

It’s a good question.

Why should we care about meditation…I mean, why actually bother at all?

Well, let’s put it this way, there is a whole body of reasons that promotes meditation to be good for your mind and body, from increased cognitive function and improved memory, to improved cardiovascular health and a slowing down of aging.

Quite simply, we bother because meditation is not only good for you, but once you get good at it, it’s free. You can use paid guided meditations, but ultimately, just walking somewhere is a great opportunity to meditate. That is why you should care;-)

Relying on guided meditation

Guided meditations can be great, don’t get me wrong, and especially useful for someone who cannot control their imagination and their mind. But don’t rely exclusively for it, just like you can’t rely exclusively on your driving instructor after you passed the test of driving a car. You will need to experience meditating on your own, with no help what-soever.

And that is fine, by the way, as the one biggest drawback of guided meditation is that you are limited to the length of the practice.

When you do it solo, you can decide to stop when you want, and how you want. You have flexibility on your side.

On top of that, if you are not careful you may turn guided meditation into a sort of crutch which will obviously backfire, so it is useful to alternate being guided and solo meditation. Food for thought.

Don’t have time

Some people lead the most busiest of lifes, because we are trained to be like that, yet all you need is a minimum of 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night. Doing this on a regular basis will allow you to feel the effect of meditation, enough (hopefully) to lengthen the practice.

Of course, if you don’t even have 5 minutes to spare, one needs to really have a look at their life, and to re-prioritize their daily tasks. Your mind and body depends on this (and you won’t complain if you look younger;-)

 

Anxiety, Mindfulness And 4 Ways To Achieve It

Mindfulness meditation is fast becoming a great way to not only reduce anxiety and panic disorders, but also a great way to have a more peaceful way of life. Not only does it give you the benefit of multiple body and brain rewards, it also allows you, from a spiritual standpoint, to connect to your soul.

I remember when I first learn’t about mindfulness…It was a few years ago, when I first bought, ‘Be Here Now’ by Ram Dass, and I first go into the idea that all there is the, ‘now’.

Then, ‘The Power Of Now’ By Eckhart Tolle became extremely famous, and being, ‘present’ suddenly became mainstream.

Being mindful isn’t difficult, and here, we talk about the top 4 ways in being mindful and how to achieve them. I will warn you though, they may look simple, but don’t be so easily fooled…the beauty of mindfulness is in it’s simplicity;-)

1- Feeling Your Energy Body

This is a great way of not only being in the, ‘now’, but also reducing the onset of colds and bugs, as well as allowing you to feel happier.

Feeling your energy body is also a great way to feel slightly, ‘alive’ and feel your Qi flowing throughout your body.

True story: I was at work once, having a cold. I was sneezing and coughing (doing all sorts). I wasn’t having a great time…

I began to feel my Qi and try to be, ‘present’. Pretty soon, my body was in mild ecstasy and my sneezing had been significantly reduced. I was almost on the path to self-healing.

This is how powerful this technique is. The trick is to try to feel the Qi in your blood and your body, but therein lies a problem..most people don’t know what Qi is, not alone what it feels like.

The easiest way of finding this one out, is to rub your hands quickly to make them warm; after around 15-30 seconds, if you keep you hands apart from each other by around a few inches, you should feel a subtle energy vibrating that you can, ‘feel’.

This is your Qi. Imagine this flowing through your inner being, and you should be able to feel your body, ‘come alive’.

2- Peripheral Vision

This has numerous benefits, from reducing internal mind-chatter, to allowing your to make quick decisions, to even accessing your sub-conscious mind (I’m still testing this one out with psychic ability, like remote viewing).

When done right, not only will you be activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which will automatically allow you to become more calmer, you will also be slightly more focused and you will find that you will be activating your third eye (used for intuition).

It is no accident, that people use their soft gaze for peripheral vision to see non-physical things, like auras around people.

The only thing about peripheral vision, it has to be said, is that it could be tricky in and of itself to get into that awareness. So you have to start small…look at an object, and slowly expand your awareness, so you can see both the left and then to the right of it. Keep this up until you can see the above and below of this object. Then all you have to do is to increase this vision, until it completely accompanies your field of view.

3- Watching Your Breath

This is an old tried-and-tested method in increasing your presence. Simply by observing your body, you can achieve mindfulness…but this time, instead of focusing on your internal Qi, we are going to focus on your breath.

Just watch your breath coming in and out, and feel it enter your lungs (you should be doing deep, diaphragmatic breathing, or, ‘belly breathing‘ for this to work properly). After a few short moments, you will feel more peace and become more present with everyday life, giving you a clarity of thought.

4- Opening You Eyes

This is one that I discovered several years ago, and only recently remembered that it works to produce a great sense of presence.

The technique is simple: open your eyes as fully as possible, while still comfortable.

That’s pretty much it, yet as simple as this technique sounds, it is brilliantly effective. You should feel more present, more alive, and your thoughts should die down. Not only that, but as it is incredibly easy to do, you can even use the little thoughts you have left for other things.

Of course, no technique is perfect, and with this, there is an issue with complacency. For example, I was walking near the canal the other day, and opened up my eyes a bit wider to really take in the scenery. Great so far, feel pretty much at peace, and feel like I’m present.

Did it stop all of my thoughts though?

No!

Within a few short moments, I found myself fantasizing about something else…

Of course, when this happens, my eyes automatically returned to their normal size, so with repetition this should work very well.

Not only that, but this technique won’t work if you have an eye injury. Widening your eyes it going to prolong any injury you have, so it is best to try other techniques before using this one.

Try the above out, and let me know which mindfulness trick works best for you. I would love to hear your experiences.

 

Mindfulness While Doing Your Job: My Experiment-Part 2

Last week, I decided to do an experiment.

I wanted to find out if by practicing focusing on my breath, could I still maintain a mindfulness, ‘presence’ while doing my job. I figured that, out of all the techniques out there, half-focusing on my breath and half-thinking about the task at hand would be the best balance at being mindful while being at the workplace.

I wanted to give it just 7 days to see how it planned out.

Well, needless to say, I’ve learned a lot in those 7 days…I’ve learned more about how my mind worked, and I’ve also learned a lot about breathing while trying to focus on doing the task at hand.

I was able to stay somewhat present, although in the end I had to use a different technique altogether to achieve this.

The first thing I noticed was that I had to actually remember to be present to begin with. While this may not sound much, our EGO-based culture has ensured that mindfulness is more of a novelty than a minimum required way of living.

As such, I had to constantly remind my-self that I had to be, ‘present’ for this week due to this experiment.

This wasn’t easy.

As noted in my first article, I do tend to fantasize a lot, so actually remembering to be, ‘present’, when my imagination had far more fun and important things to think about was initially very difficult.

However, with reminders, I found myself actually enjoying the moment of remembering and being, ‘present’. Of course, that meant that I had to spend less time in my fantasy world, and more time here in physicality…which meant that I had to actually solve current problems that I was facing.

The weird thing was, while I was fantasying, my problems were automatically amplified. When I was, ‘present’, most of them seemed to just work themselves out. Food for thought;-)

Secondly, I had to actually implement a new technique to being mindful while doing tasks.

I couldn’t keep focusing on my breath and concentrating at the task at hand. I had to use more mental processing power than I originally thought.

True, focusing on your breath while thinking is doable, but the mental power is actually very small. Or to put it another way, if it is a very mundane task, like cleaning your house, focusing on your breath would probably keep you relatively, ‘present’.

However, for more complicated tasks, where more mental thought was needed for more complex problem solving, focusing on your breath just wasn’t going to work.

I needed a new technique to help me in being, ‘present’, yet being able to focus using more thoughts.

I came across a great blog, by Morty Lefkoe. He talks about how events do not have any  ingrained meaning, but only the meaning that you give it. Basically, everything you see in life, including your own life experiences, are just outcomes. If you want to attach meaning to them, that’s up to you.

When I began seeing everything in my life as just outcomes, my EGO seemed to just stop.

I was also able to properly focus at the task at hand, and as I was nearly, ‘present’ (in some cases, quite, ‘present’) I felt more inner peace.

In the end, I began seeing life as nothing more than outcomes to natural consciousness manifestations.

That is, whatever my consciousness, either conscious, sub-conscious, or super-conscious manifested, that would be the outcome I would experience.

If I wanted to label it, I could do. But that was my choice…it was ultimately nothing more but an outcome (similar to a mathematical equation, just giving out an answer…it’s up to you to give the answer a meaning).

I’m not trying to de-value life, merely trying to keep the EGO in it’s place.

As this is a blog about anxiety, you could say that the real question could be this: from a fear point of view, could this actually help you overcome any anxiety disorder?

I would answer that if remembered and practiced daily, I can’t see how this couldn’t dramatically help you reduce the effects, but I cannot say for sure.

Quite simply, there were some parts of my anxiety disorder still remaining (I do suffer from OCD, especially at night).

I found that your Amygdala is still very strong, going to bed. But I cannot see, providing you go to bed on time, why not?

Overall, I learn’t that I fantasized more than I realized, and that I have probably created neurons in my mind to make fantasying very easy. However, any scientist could tell you that with practice, new habits can be formed, which means new neurons would be wired in your brain.

With more practice, comes new behavior.

And with new behaviors comes a new way of life.

I will certainly see more of life as outcomes based, which should help dramatically reduce the fear that I sometimes experience at night, and therefore create new beliefs. I invite you to do the same;-)

 

Panic attacks, mindfulness, and 3 ways to achieve it!

If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, chances are that you would have heard about incorporate mindfulness mediation into your coping strategies tool set. But why is that, since mindfulness is about the direction of your attention, and feelings of anxiety and intense panic is emotional?

To answer this question, lets look at the general design of a panic attack.

Panic attacks are caused by your amygdala, the part of your brain which regulates emotions, going haywire causing you to release a huge rush of adrenaline causing the infamous, ‘fight-or-flight’ response. Simply put, having a panic attack is basically being scared that you want to run away.

When you are having a panic attack, your heart rate increases, you can get clammy/sweaty, you feel weak at the knees, feel light headed, and so on (arguably, similar to that when you’re a running away!).

Your amygdala responds to threats, real or imaginary, and is the key in reducing and eliminating the panic attacks. In order for us to reduce and eliminate an anxiety attack, we need to do something that effectively stops (or at least, nullify) the amygdala, enough for our adrenaline to stop rushing around in our bloodstream.

The easiest, free, quickest way of nullifying your amygdala is to use a tactic which has been scientifically proven to reduce the amygdala, and that is using mindfulness meditation.

Being mindful is all about being fully present, hear and now

It is about stopping the seemingly endless amount of inner self talk and chit chatter, and being attentive to the present moment. Many philosophers and spiritualists have often regarded the present moment as the doorway to your intuition, and also living a greater, healthier and happier lifestyle and it’s easy to see why.

If you consider the fact that being attentive to the present moment helps reduce the effects of your amygdala, you become less fearful, which not only insinuates a greater range of possibilities in living the best life you can, but due to the mind-body connection, should help you become more empowered and more healthier by default.

And not only that but mindfulness also helps the memory and cognition of your brain as well, so not only do you reduce your anxiety but also increases your connection to your soul, as well as getting more smarter and more focused…

Three for the price of one!

So, how do you get mindful to begin with, and what are the inevitable pitfuls that will come your way when using this technique?

There are 3 ways that I tend to use. One involves your peripheral vision, one involves breathing, and one involves being attentive to your body.

1 – Peripheral vision is using the outside wider form your vision, which allows you to make use of the rods in your eyes, the ones responsible for movement, large objects and organization of the spatial scene.

By gazing and trying to fit the whole of your vision into one big huge picture of focus, you will be able to quieten to the mind chatter down and become more present. Just 5 minutes of doing this while walking is enough for you to feel the benefits within a week.

2 – Breathing involves watching your breath, and focusing your attention to your breathing entering and exiting your lungs. By watching your breath, you are re-directing focus and attention away from your panic attack. By focusing on your breath, this will help quieten your inner chatter and will help you become more present.

3 – Being attentive to your body, and by this I mean being able to focus and even feel your body. If you are attentive and great at sensing things, and if you can get good at it, you can even begin to sense your inner energy body and feel (slightly) the life energy or Qi in your body. This takes a bit of practice, so don’t be put off if you don’t feel the Qi straight away.

Again, by focusing on your body and being attentive to your muscles, your organs and your legs, you will reduce your mind chatter. This will reduce your Amygdalas response, and you will become more mindful. This is a great exercise to do if you know you will be walking for about a few minutes, and have no-one to talk to in the meantime.

But what are the pitfuls of using these techniques?

It’s one thing to be present, but it’s another thing to stay there. One thing that I continuously find is that once you become mindful, it is much more difficult to stay being mindful when people are present. You start judging, daydreaming, thoughts about the rest of your day come into your head…all of this stops you from being present.

The easiest way to overcome this, is to try to see people as extensions of your self. I know this may sound silly, but this not only helps keep as much, ‘presence’ as possible, but it also does another thing: helps open up your heart chakra so you feel compassion and, ‘oneness’.

Try it and let me know how you get on. Ask any panic attack recover about mindfulness, and they will tell you that they use it as one of their tools for recovery. They can’t be wrong;-)