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mindfulness self care self discovery

A Mindful Weekend

Every Monday morning, people ask, “did you do anything fun this weekend?”

They usually expect a grand answer.  With the exception of my old party days, my weekends are always pretty quiet.  I wake up early to explore the city, take pictures, write, and do a little shopping.  I indulge in coffee, see a few new spots, and do a lot of walking (Saturday alone was 12 miles!).  

My weekends are sacred to me; they’re my time to recharge, reset, and do the things I love.

I’m the rare breed of human who loves solo dining, going to a movie by myself, and exploring alone- not only because I am comfortable in my own company, but because I can truly be in the moment and enjoy the beauty around me.

I used to think I had to change to fit into other people’s lives, but I have finally realized that they’re the ones who need to be able to fit into mine.

I’m grateful to have wonderful people in my life who do fit- and these days, I don’t have to go to a major event or fill my time with activities just so I don’t feel alone.

I am already home within myself.

Categories
conscious living mental health mindfulness self care

More Meditation, Less Medication

0In this day and age, there seems to be a pill for everything.  Not only are people running to their doctors for relief, the providers themselves are over-prescribing, patients are misusing their prescriptions, and often times, they become addicted to their medication.

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common disorders, which are treated by a variety of medications- some addictive, some not.  Although antidepressants and anti-anxiety pills can be helpful, they don’t solve the biggest problem- the root cause of the discomfort.

Researchers and a growing number health care professionals are encouraging patients to practice meditation in addition to their medical treatment and therapy.  Although many disorders are a chemical imbalance, most don’t consider how meditation can help re-wire their brain.

What if treatment facilities and doctors prescribed more meditation, and less medication?

I’ve had anxiety throughout my life, which is something I’ve never been treated for.  My social anxiety was so terrible growing up that it caused me to eat lunch in the library when I didn’t know who to sit with, skip classes or school events, and, as soon as I began college, I started drinking heavily to self medicate.  I may not have taken pills to relieve my discomfort, but I drank my worries away so I wasn’t aware of my surroundings.

I eventually went to therapy and tried antidepressants to keep my depression in check.  I didn’t take the medicine long enough to know whether or not it helped me- life situations had improved and I was abstinent from alcohol- but I also added something else to my life:

Mindfulness and meditation.

Between therapy, group support, and meditation, my anxiety and depression have been alleviated. I learned that spending more time inward was the solution to my issues.  If you break down depression and anxiety, it’s quite simple:

Depression is living in the past, and anxiety is living in the future.

Living in the present is being happy.

Whether you choose to medicate or not, consider adding meditation to your daily routine.  There are many apps that can get you started if you’re a newbie to the practice, such as Calm and Headspace, and even a variety of YouTube videos to guide you along your way.  Meditation has changed my life, and I know it can change yours, too.

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Categories
conscious living

Sacred Space: The Significance of the Number 4

Yesterday I had the day off for Patriot’s Day- a holiday celebrated in both Massachusetts and Maine- and decided to spend my afternoon recharging in nature. Although I was tempted to watch the Boston Marathon runners along Beacon Street, I knew it would be best for me to connect my mind, body, and spirit with a dose peace and quiet.

We are a society on the go, and often times we neglect to honor our natural rhythms and cycles.

The number 4 represents the state of being- “things are as they are.” Through planting myself in nature, I got back to my roots and centered myself.

4 energy also represents a sacred space, a sanctuary, and embodies security- which is exactly how I felt sitting along the Charles River, breathing in the warm air and listening to the birds chirp all around me. I have my own sacred space in my home, but there’s nothing like being one with nature, allowing all feelings and thoughts to flow.

There are 4 seasons, 4 elements, 4 directions; 4 is an instrumental number, symbolizing a strong foundation and the natural cycles of life.

Since April is a 4 month, I’ve been focusing on developing my own solid foundation by taking small steps to build a peaceful and purposeful life on a daily basis. Whether it’s meditating by the river or being mindful of what you eat, consider what you’re doing today to honor your mind, body, and spirit.

You’re worth it.

Categories
mindfulness

When the Fog Clears

I’ve had a vivid imagination for as long as I can remember.  From the detailed characters I created into illustrated story books at age 7 to the imaginary friends who were invited to my grandparent’s house for dinner, I’ve never had a lack of creativity in my life.

That’s even bled into my adulthood, too- I relentlessly see the good in people, create storylines for situations, predict how entire time period will turn out- from friendships to jobs- and sometimes even dream entire relationships in my head.

Well, that would only be if the other party hadn’t fooled me into believing those stories.

Nevertheless, it’s been interesting how the element of storytelling and fantasy has played a role in my adult life.  I’ve dramatized situations, looked fondly at people based on the hope I had for the person they were, and have created negative situations out of nowhere.  My intuition has always played a role in this storytelling, however, the people in my real-life have also become interesting characters.  There comes a day when you stop seeing life as purely a fairy tale, but one big series.  A whole collection of experiences, dramas, comedies, and tragedies.

Perhaps you can separate fantasy from real life.

Maybe it’s time to just start writing a new story.

🐱