Tag Archives: meditation

This Super Simple Tool Will Help You Calm Down and Get Balanced — Instantly!

You wake up in the morning to realize your alarm didn’t go off.  Rushing to get ready in the morning, you run up to your car only to dump your coffee on the ground. To make matters worse, you then find yourself stuck in traffic longer than usual due to an accident. 

When our lives are this chaotic and busy, it’s easily to get super stressed out and feel completely out of balance.

But I have great news…

Despite these outer circumstances, you don’t have to feel this way!

It is possible to live a joyful, fulfilling, miraculous life where you can feel calm, balanced, and peaceful.

And the secret doesn’t come in the form of some magic pill.  Despite how much the pharmaceutical companies and medical industry may want us to believe, it certainly doesn’t come from taking Xanax, Prozac, or Klonopin. 

In fact, it’s much easier, sustainable, and a heck of a lot more cost effective than taking a pill.

Want to know this super simple tool?

Breathing — yep, you read that right!  It’s breathing.

How the heck is that going to do anything? I can hear you say.

Well, allow me to explain.

Often when we get stressed and overwhelmed we tend to either breath improperly, hold our breath, or stop breathing entirely.  We start taking shallow breaths through our upper chest rather than through our diaphragm. 

This is a normal and natural response to stress.  When something stressful happens, our sympathetic nervous system gets activated.  Our heart rate than goes up, our muscles become tense, we breath improperly, and so on.  When we have this reaction, it is commonly referred to as the fight or flight response — so we’ve recognized we may be in danger, so we become activated to decide whether we should fight or flight.

Our fight or flight response is not a bad thing.  In fact, we need it for our survival in case we get into dangerous situations.  We needed it back in the day when we lived in the wild and needed to be concerned about getting attacked by bears, wolves, or whatever.

However, the problem in today’s modern world is that our fight or flight response becomes activated in situations where everything is, in fact, okay.  It may get activated due to simply being impatient with morning traffic.  It may get activated due to overly thinking about about financial issues.  It becomes an issue when we don’t just choose to either fight or flight and then let it go, but, rather, hold on to it.

When our sympathetic nervous system gets activated due to some trigger and we don’t just feel the experience and let it go, that’s when we can feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and drained.  When we’ve spent out entire day ready to either fight or flight, it takes a lot of energy and can get pretty darn exhausting.

This is why breathing is so incredibly important.  Through the power of our breath, we can easily get ourselves out of a fight or flight mode and back into a normal level of function where we can feel calm and relaxed, think clearly, and, ultimately, experience happiness.  This is why I teach some kind of breath work or meditation to all of my coaching clients — because it is pivotal to creating a solid foundation so we can create lives filled with happiness, joy, and love.

So how exactly can we use breath to calm ourselves down and get balanced?  Here’s a super easy breathing technique to use:

Sit up with your back straight and place your hand on your abdomen.  When you breath in through your nose, make sure that your abdomen is expanding outward.  When you exhale, your abdomen should contract towards your spine.

Now, breathe in for three counts, and then exhale for six counts.  Do this cycle of breath a few times.

If you want to go deeper into this, breathe in for four counts and then exhale for eight counts.  Do this cycle of breath anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes.

This is a great breathing exercise to do because it helps calm down our variable heart rate, which will lead us to feeling much more calm, relaxed, and balanced in our mind and body.

In some cases, particularly individuals who have experienced past trauma, doing any kind of breath work can be triggering.  Old emotions of sadness, anger, and fear may come up.  If this happens, it’s important to reach out to a local psychotherapist to get support and care in processing these emotions.

Otherwise, practice this breathing exercise at least once a day for 30 days.  This super simple tool can easily help you create a solid foundation in creating a life of peace, balance, happiness, and joy.

This breathing exercise is one of the meditations I give in my meditation album Ignite Love from Within.  To learn more about my meditation album, click here.  To grab a copy of my free meditation from the album called Healing Blocks to Love, click here.

Remember this: By connecting with our breath, we are able to find peace.

BreathPeace

Click to Tweet: By connecting with our breath, we are able to find peace. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

Do the breathing exercise that I shared in this article and, in the comments below, share with me what the experience was like for you.

These 2 Steps in Forgiveness Will Help You Heal and Let Go For Good

Months back I was spending time with an old friend of mine.  We were hanging out with each other, catching up and just having an overall good time.

In the midst of spending time together, however, my friend had eventually said something that had really hurt me.  The words she said, the way she said it and the way she acted for the remainder of our time spent together left me offended, angry and sad.

In addition, as the night went on I had found that my old friend was following lifestyle choices that made me deeply concerned for her own well-being.

I had no idea what to say, how to say it, or even if I should say something.  And so, I kept my thoughts and feelings to myself for the duration of the time we spent together.

Days later when I was spending time with my boyfriend I told him everything.  What she said, what she was doing, and my own thoughts and feelings about the whole thing.

In response, he said, “Oh I’m sorry babe — that sucks”.

But some validation for my pain wasn’t enough for me to heal and let it go.  The pain still lingered.

I knew I needed to forgive, so I looked into my spiritual toolbox and pulled out prayer and meditation.  I started meditating and praying about it in asking for spirit to help me forgive.

I would do it for a few days and the second I felt some kind of “release” I thought I was “healed” so then I’d stop… only to find that a few days later those hurt feelings would arise again.

This cycle continued for weeks.  And since my hurt feelings were still there I’d talk to my boyfriend about it.  Words of “I can’t believe she said that” were on repeat.

And then one day in the midst of my boyfriend patiently listening to all of this, he eventually said, “Well, you can’t control her”.

I stopped and finally realized the cycle that I was really caught in:  I was caught up in a codependent cycle.

A very basic definition of codependency is when one tries to control another person in some way.  It can be seen through boundary violation either externally or internally.

This can come up externally in the wife of an alcoholic who wants her husband to stop drinking so badly that she tries to throw out all the alcohol in the house.  On the flip side, this can come up internally in a husband who doesn’t like his wife’s spending habits so he complains about her behavior all the time.  The first is a clear codependent behavior because there was an external action.  The second is not as obvious because it is internal, but the energy and feelings of wanting to control is still very present — and can still be felt by others.

Fortunately for me in this case, I wasn’t violating any boundaries externally, but the internal desire to control was certainly there — which was, truly, the reason for my deep struggle to let go and forgive.  I wasn’t fully recognizing the faults in my own behavior, so the prayer and meditation just wasn’t quite cutting it.

So how can we follow to forgive, heal, and let go for good?  Here are the two main steps:

#1 – You gotta recognize your own control patterns

Often when we’re struggling to forgive someone it’s because we wish that the other person would change in some way.  Maybe we want them to apologize to us, maybe we want them to reach out, or maybe we want them to change their lifestyle in some way so the relationship can “heal” and things can be back the way they used to be.

It doesn’t work like that.  People are not going to change on your terms.  They are going to change on their own terms.  And though it may be painful to watch sometimes, the most loving thing to do is to let go and allow the person to live, grow, and learn on their own.

PeopleChange

Click to Tweet: People are not going to change on your terms.  They are going to change on their own terms. via @jenilyn8705

#2 – Release it to spirit

Once we’ve been able to recognize our own control patterns, its effective to do some kind of prayer or meditation with the intention to forgive.  Maybe it’s a visualization meditation like my forgiveness meditation in my album Ignite Love from Within.  Or maybe it’s a simple prayer in saying something like:

Spirit of the highest truth and compassion, I’m struggling to forgive [Name] because of [situation].  I have recognized my wrongs in this.  I can see my desire to control and I know that it is no longer serving me or the relationship.  I surrender my control and my desire to forgive to you.  Heal [Name].  Heal me.  Thank you very much.  Amen.

You can tweek the words so that it most resonates with you, but doing some kind of act to surrender and release to spirit/the Universe in some way on a daily basis is what is going to help you truly heal and release your pain and resentments.

Take action now!

If you’re struggling to forgive someone right now, ask yourself: What is my control pattern in this situation?  How am I wanting to control the other person?  How am I controlling?  Share it in the comments below!

5 Ways to Start Living in the Present Moment

Back in 2010-2011 — before I lived in Korea, before I moved to California — I had a lot of internal distress.  I couldn’t, for the life of me, seem to ever live in the present moment.

Why can’t I ever just enjoy things when its actually happening? I would think to myself.  Why am I so focused on what is yet to come rather than simply enjoy what I’m experiencing now?

Needless to say, a lot has happened between now and then.  And I’m not anywhere near as distressed as I was back then.  While I’m far from an enlightened being that can live in the present moment at all times, it’s certainly something that I struggle with much less than I did years ago.

I managed to make shifts so I can live more in the present, and I know with complete confidence that you can to.  So here are 5 ways you can start living in the present moment:

#1 – Get off your cell phone

Stop playing Candy Crush, solitaire, Words with Friends, or whatever other game you play on your phone.  Stop constantly texting your friend or boyfriend throughout the day.  Stop checking Facebook 50 times a day to catch all the latest news trends.

All of these things make us disconnected from our present moment experience.  When our eyes are glued to our phones, we are disconnected from all of what is going on around us.  We are unable to connect with our colleague at work.  We are unable to really connect with our partner after work.  We are unable to really be present with our friend who is sharing a difficult story.

It’s okay to have a phone, but be mindful about it.  If you see catch yourself mindlessly looking on Facebook, checking e-mail or doing Candy Crush put it away and look at all that is around you.  Put the phone down, and take in the beauty of your present experience.

#2 – Declutter… often!

Do you have a stack of books and notebooks from high school piled up in your closet?  Or how about a stack of CDs that you haven’t listened to a good 10 years?  Or maybe that one top hanging in your closet that your just waiting will be back in style someday?

Well, I’m gonna tell you right now.  If you want to really start living in the present moment, then it’s time to throw it out.

While it’s okay to have a few keepsakes, having too much “old stuff” only weighs us down.  It’s almost like the piles of old stuff that we keep is merely a reflection of all the old emotional baggage that we haven’t quite let go of yet.

Seriously — have you ever walked into the house of someone who has piles and piles of old stuff?  How did you feel walking in there?  I doubt it felt light, free, or gave any sense of renewal.

So let go of the old — both internally and externally — it’ll make it much easier to be in the present.

#3 – Be grateful for what you have right now

One of our habits as humans is that we have a tendency to either live in the past or the future.  We may be nostalgic about the “good ol’ days”, while, on the flip side, we may be caught up in dreaming about how everything is going to be great for us in the future. 

Both of these ways of thinking are distortions created by our ego, and all it does is keep us out of the present moment.

So rather than be wishing that things were as they were 10 years ago or how they could be 10 years from now, be grateful for what you have in your life right now.  Be grateful for that job that’s helping you make ends meet.  Be grateful for that apartment that you’re living in even though it may be smaller than you’d like.

Gratitude brings us back into the present moment quickly and easily, so start bringing gratitude into your daily practice.

Gratitude Present Moment

Click to Tweet: Gratitude brings us back into the present moment quickly and easily. via @jenilyn8705

#4 – Let go of worry

Many of us get so caught up in worrying about things that we can never enjoy what we are experiencing.  We worry about getting bills paid, our love life, our career, and so on.

So when you catch yourself being a worry-wart, stop and take a deep breath.  Take a moment to notice how your body feels.  By getting connected how we feel in our bodies, it helps bring us back into the present moment.

#5 – Meditate… every single day!

If there was only one thing that you could take away from this article and start implementing today it would be this: Start meditating!  It is the easiest tool to help you live more in the present moment and can be the foundation for so many other miraculous changes that can happen in your life. 

If you’re ready to start meditating today and open yourself to love, grab a copy of my free meditation Healing Blocks to Love from my new meditation album Ignite Love from Within.

Take action now!

Out of the 5 listed above, what are you going to start doing this week to better live in the present moment?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Why Buying Stuff Isn’t Going to Make You Happy — and What Will

I used to be in credit card debt…

… and that’s really hard for me to admit to because I had always been diligent about budgeting and money stuff prior to getting into debt.

Fortunately now it’s long gone, but I’ve since been focusing more of my energy into budgeting, my spending habits and reflecting on my money blocks.

In the process I realized that I had been spending money quite carelessly.  Spending it on things that I didn’t really need — or I thought I needed, but it wasn’t giving me what I want.

After I reflected on how I spent plenty of time and money on various things without necessarily having that good of results, I started to realize:  It’s not necessarily the product or service itself that I’m really wanting from this, but an energy that could potentially come with it.

… and I was failing. 

I was failing to get that energy that I wanted from the product or service.  So I kept wanting more.  I kept buying more stuff — more products and more services — thinking that buying something, at some point, could magically get me exactly want I wanted.

But it never did…. and it never could.

Why?  Because, for some reason, I thought the purchase was enough.  I had this thought in my mind (as many of us do) that if I buy that product or service that I’m going to magically and instantaneously feel better.

But it doesn’t work that way.

In fact, by believing that’s all I had to do I was setting myself up for failure.  ‘Cause we can’t just buy something and then experience the energy of happiness, love, and joy that we’re craving to experience.  Rather, we have to do things for ourselves in order to open ourselves to that kind of energy. 

If we want to feel things like happiness and love in our lives, we’re not going to get it by just “buying stuff”.  Rather, we have to do the internal work on ourselves.

We live in a world where we all have a tendency to want instant gratification.  We’re upset when our computer is slow, our phone doesn’t have a signal, or when our Netflix movie just isn’t streaming right.

We’ve become impatient… and not only with things, but with ourselves as well.

And it doesn’t work, because it isn’t realistic.

Sure, we can do simple and short activities to help ourselves that can make drastic shifts and changes in our being, but it’s not that we can totally bypass it and still get results.

We have to do our own inner work in order to create lasting positive changes.  So what are some easy, simple, and very affordable ways that we can do that?  Here are 3:

#1 – Meditation

I used to hate meditation, but with time, practice and experience I’ve come to really realize the transformation that can come by having a daily meditation practice.  Meditation helps us quiet, as Buddhists like to say, our “monkey mind”, so, in other words, our worries, fears, anxieties, and other inner blocks.  By quieting down these internal stressors, it is then easier for us to open up to feelings of happiness, love, and peace.

It doesn’t matter if you do Transcendental Meditation (TM), Kundalini meditation, guided visualizations, a movement-focused kind of meditation, or whatever, you will be able to reap benefits with a regular daily practice. 

So “shop around” and try out different kinds to get a better sense of what will work best for you right now.  You can get started today with my guided visualization meditation Healing Blocks to Love for free.  Plus, when you sign up to get a copy you’ll also eventually receive one of my movement-focused meditations to try out and also learn more about my meditation album Ignite Love from Within: Meditations for Creating Relationships and a Life Filled with Love. 

#2 – Emotional Freedom Technique

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is like a blend of neuroscience and acupressure.  The process involves tapping points on the body while making statements about your past trauma, anxiety, fear, stress, or internal block.

You can get started with EFT by finding a therapist or practitioner that is certified to teach it.  You can also learn more by picking up a copy of The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner.  There are also plenty of YouTube videos out there with people teaching how to go through the points for whatever ailment you’d like to tap on.

#3 – Prayer

Regardless of your religious/spiritual beliefs, prayer can be a very beneficial tool to help heal us from our own internal blocks.  After all, there is a reason that prayer is used in 12-step meetings!

So start a daily practice of asking the Universe, Spirit, the Divine, God or whatever to help you release you from whatever it is that you are struggling with internally. 

If you’re struggling with credit card debt you may say a prayer like, “Spirit of the highest truth and compassion, I surrender my debts to you.  Please help me to purchase only what is in my highest good and in the highest good of all”.  One of my new favorite books on prayer is Marianne Williamson’s Illuminata.  So if you’re looking for some inspiration or guidance on prayer, check it out.

In closing, the path of trying to find happiness in “buying stuff” can be a long, difficult and very stressful journey, so remember this:  What you desire to experience or feel in this world already exists within you. You just have to put forth the effort to get out of your own way to allow the change to occur.  And with time, effort, and practice, the results will be nothing short of miraculous.

DesireExistsWithin

What you desire to experience or feel in this world already exists within you. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

Out of the 3 things I listed above — meditation, EFT, and prayer — what are you going to start doing today?  Share it in the comments below!

3 Tips to Find Stress Relief Daily

When many of us are working 9 to 5 jobs and doing other activities on top of that, like taking some classes, doing some extra part-time work, raising kids, or whatever, it’s pretty darn easy to get stressed out.

But, despite how busy we may be, being able to find stress relief is not something that we have no control over.  Creating and maintaining a solid self-care practice can help us go from a stressed out mess to peaceful and going with the flow. 

Here are 3 tips that you can start implementing into your life right now to help you find stress relief daily:

#1 – Meditate at least once daily.

Starting the habit of meditating every day has been such a game changer for me when it comes to managing stress.  I’ve managed to not only feel less susceptible to stress, but I’ve also found myself experiencing even more feelings of joy, gratitude, and happiness.

Making the goal to meditate every day can be quite intimidating at first, especially if you’ve never done it before (I know I was!) but it doesn’t have to be that difficult.  Just as little as 3 minutes a day (or even 1 minute!) can really make a difference.

You can start off by sitting in a chair or on the floor with your back straight and to simply focus on your breath.  You can count your breath and breath in for 3 and exhale for 5. 

Another option could be to say a mantra to yourself.  A very basic mantra could be “So hum”, meaning “I am that”.  That you can repeat to yourself as you breathe, with the “so” on the inhale and “hum” on the exhale.

When doing a mantra, you’re going to notice a lot of thoughts from your “monkey mind” popping up.  When you catch yourself getting distracted by the thoughts, then simply go back to the mantra the second you notice. 

Remember that having the thoughts is normal and part of the process.  The thoughts come up so that you can process them and let them go.  You’re still going to benefit from the meditation whether you have the thoughts or not.  This is very important to remember because I think I a lot of beginners can get hard on themselves for it (including myself), so remember that it’s normal.

Finally, if you don’t like those types of meditations you could also do a guided visualization type of meditation as well.  There are many people out there with copies of guided meditations, myself included.  So if you would like to go that route, grab a copy of my Self and Relationship Healing Meditation if you haven’t yet and get meditating!

#2 – Start each day with an intention to let it all go. 

That person that cut you off on the way to work?  Let it go.  That very traumatic story that someone told you?  Let it go.  That person who yelled at you and flipped you the bird?  Let it go.

By holding on to the things that have happened to us we create this inner distress and tension within ourselves.  This doesn’t serve us and it only causes us unnecessary suffering.

One of the keys I think in letting go regularly is to live every day remembering this one main concept: If it isn’t happening, right here, right now in this very present moment then it doesn’t matter.

StressReliefPresentMoment

Click to Tweet: If it isn’t happening, right here, right now in this present moment then it doesn’t really matter. via @jenilyn8705

It doesn’t matter that you couldn’t get out of your parking job 2 hours ago, because that was 2 hours ago.  It doesn’t matter that you dropped a jar of spaghetti sauce walking out of the grocery store because that was 20 minutes ago.  And it doesn’t even matter that you need to call your doctor about some test results on Monday because it’s currently Friday night you won’t be able to do it until then anyway.

When we shift our mindsets to focusing on present moment, we can let go of all the stuff we think we have to stress about now — but it truly doesn’t matter in this very moment.

#3 – Move it!

Sometimes stressful things happen that shift us into “fight or flight” mode and it can throw us off for the entire day if we don’t know how to deal with it.

Let me let you in on something when it comes to fight or flight: We all experience it — and I don’t mean just humans, but animals too. 

Have you ever seen two ducks get into a fight?  They’ll beat on each other.  Maybe even look like the one is going to actually kill the other.  But, eventually, they break away.  They go separate ways and fly or maybe flap their wings rigorously a few times and then they’re back to floating around on the water all peacefully, calm and content.

They don’t think about how that other duck pissed them off 2 hours after the fact or the one doesn’t try to “get back” at the other in some way.  They just let it go and get back to their own business.

If you really stop and watch sometime (which I encourage you to do), all animals do this in their own unique ways.  But there’s something you’ll notice across the board:  They all move.

So when someone upsets you, pisses you off, or gets you all worked up then be sure to move.  Take a walk.  Jump around.  Flap your arms.  Stomp your feet.  Do whatever it is that you feel can help you let go of all that tension in your body.

Take action now!

Out of the three tips I’ve listed above, which one are you going to start doing today?  Share it in the comments below!

What are YOU Thinking?

One thing that we are constantly doing in our lives is thinking. It’s a natural part of our present modern-day society. We have to think at school, we have to think at work, we have to think when reading or writing any new material, we have to think when doing math, we have to think when organizing materials, and so on.

Thinking is such a natural and normal thing for us that we never, well, think about how much our thinking actually impacts us in our everyday lives.

So how much does our thinking actually impact us? Actually, a lot. That being said, perhaps the next best question is: How often do our thoughts actually HELP us? One of my favorite authors, Deepak Chopra, talks about this in one of his recent books where he makes the point how the majority of our thoughts (like over 90%) are simply the same exact thoughts that we had the day before.

If we are thinking the same things every day, how can our thoughts actually be helping us to improve and grow? Well, they really don’t… hence why many of us find ourselves disappointed, dissatisfied and feeling overall unfulfilled.

So what can we do about this? Well, for starters we can try to become more aware of our self-defeating thinking. Is it something along the lines of “I didn’t work enough today. Why can’t I be more disciplined? I’m never going to be successful if I don’t push myself to do more” or “I can’t share this about myself with these people. They won’t accept me – I’ll only be rejected.”

Though some of these thoughts can be partially true and be good to help us get ourselves motivated to do something, it still ultimately holds us back. We have to learn how to shift our thinking from negative to positive.

Lately, when I get into this mode of feeling like I should’ve done more work than I did I stop, focus on what I HAVE accomplished rather than what I haven’t, and give myself my own little mental compliment like “Good work today” or “Your gifts are worth being shared”. I try to think of what kind of compliment I’d like to hear from someone else and then, rather than wish someone would tell me that, I actually tell myself the compliment. These can be either said mentally or actually out loud. Personally, I do feel that saying it out loud has a greater impact because it makes it more “real”.

Another way to help shift your thinking to provoke change is to start doing affirmations. You can do them either in the morning, night, or any time during the day when you find yourself being very discouraged or lacking motivation. One affirmation I’ve felt works best to shift my thinking lately has been “I deserve _______”. However, you can play around with the words in whatever way feels best for you. What works for one person may not always work for someone else. Instead, you may want to say something like “[your name], you are healed, come out now” or “[your name], you are beautiful and worthy of love”.

My rule of thumb with affirmations and personal compliments are: If you feel your chest area opening up a bit when you say it, then you’ve got the right one. If it doesn’t, then try something else.

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AffirmationTip

Start Thinking Positively Today!

What are some of the negative thoughts that you often tell yourself? What is a compliment you wish someone would tell you every day? If you were a friend to yourself and you were telling your other self about your problems, what would you tell yourself to make you feel better?