True Freedom: Letting Go of Resentments

As I strolled through the Back Bay and down to the Esplanade yesterday, I felt a new sense of freedom. It was a beautiful fall day, and I had the chance to head to my favorite spot in Boston- the Charles River.

The freedom I felt was greater than just being able to take time out to enjoy nature, though- it was a sense of freedom within.

I went to a meeting where I saw some people from my past who I avoided due to resentments- and not only did I face those people for the first time in over a year, I raised my hand and spoke about it.

“Resentments kept me sick and my secrets held me hostage.”

For a long time, I only let half of my true self be known.

People in the group nodded and smiled. Over the years, I found every reason in the book to avoid groups, places, jobs, family, or friends- all due to uncomfortable feelings, resentments, or disagreements. Running was my favorite pastime- but not in the jogging sense of the word. I ran from discomfort.

“I’m no longer willing to water down my story or hide from the world,” I continued. In the past I was extremely fearful of judgment or rejection- but the only person that hurt was me. The more honest I am, the more I learn how accepting others are- but I also learn which people don’t matter.

I’ve been working on being my authentic self, loving my truth, and owning my story no matter what others have to say about it, and that is the greatest freedom of all:

Freedom within.

“We Don’t Have to Agree On Anything to Be Kind to One Another”

Right when I needed it, I received the perfect comment on a post from earlier today.  A dear friend- the friend who was right there for me every step of the way during my dark period in October 2016 (right before I came to Boston)- said:

“Ask yourself, ‘what would love do?’ Then do that.”

Ah, yes.  Another perfect message at the perfect time.

This reminds me of “turning the other cheek.”  Having compassion- even when others have hurt or wronged you- is one of the first steps to true freedom.  Sure, sometimes it feels good to hold onto bitterness, anger, or resentment- but who is that really hurting?

When you can act with love, your entire life turns around.  I’m not saying the other party will reciprocate the same kindness, but that doesn’t matter.  This is about setting you free.

However, I am confident that person will remember your kindness.

And maybe, just maybe, they will even follow your example one day. 💞

for maddie 💞

Where To Meditate? Controlling Your Thoughts Any Time, Any Place

Happy Independence Day! 🇺🇸 As I sit by the Mystic River this morning, it makes me think about freedom, and what being free means to me.

I noticed a fish swimming near the top of the water, flipping about and gliding with the current. This fish made me smile, and reminded me of going with the flow, awareness, and shifting your state of consciousness.

Although our brains are often programmed to look out for ourselves or to seek instant gratification for selfish reasons, we can shift our outlook by coming back to center. When we allow our energy to relax, pause, and connect with something bigger than us, magical things happen.

As humans, it’s easy to forget we are all connected- from the fish in the river to the stranger walking down the street. Everyone and everything in your life happens for a reason, as Mother Earth and the Divine do have a grand plan for us all. Each roadblock and challenge provides a lesson in our lives, but sometimes it takes “coming back to center” to understand why.

✨✨

People often ask me about my meditation practice. It’s common for me to hear that they have a difficult time calming down their thoughts; “I can’t meditate,” “it’s boring,” or “I can’t control my thoughts” is the typical feedback I receive.

My answer to all three of those comments is simple:

Meditation takes practice!

When I first started to meditate, I went in with the wrong perspective- I thought I needed to completely sit still and try not to think. Sure, that is an element, but this is what I missed:

To begin meditation, follow your breath, and then focus on each point of your body- from head to toe.

This relaxes both the body and mind, causing a sense of peace and often times, “the tingles.” Guided meditations and body scans were extremely beneficial for me to learn how to train my brain to get into a meditative state, and now I prefer not to be guided. We all have the power within ourselves. After a lot of practice, I am able to control my thoughts thanks to breathwork anywhere- from a cushion on my bedroom floor to the New York City subway.

It’s taken some practice to get where I’m at now, but it’s gotten easier and easier along the way. With a few tools, it will soon be a breeze for you, too!

Here are a few of my favorite places to meditate, which is proof that there is something to suit everyone’s lifestyle!

Outside

There’s nothing quite like meditating in the great outdoors. Not only is it peaceful, but the actual act of grounding is powerful for connecting you to nature and source. I enjoy waking up and immediately going to the Mystic River, the park, or my front porch to connect and recharge. The added bonus is the warm breeze, the birds chirping, and the soothing sounds of nature; voices may enter in and out of your brain, but let those voices go- for this is your time.

Public Places

This seems impossible, doesn’t it? Not at all! I first began meditating on the bus and trains when I began to feel anxious among the crowd. As an empath, I pick up the energies around me, which can sometimes lead to angst or even a panic attack. I remember the very first time I simply closed my eyes, relaxed, and started to focus on my breath while sitting on the Boston red line. As soon as I was able to let go of my thoughts, my outlook on the day completely changed. I was able to arrive at my destination relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready for the day.

At Home

Settling in on a cozy cushion or laying down at home is a wonderful way to meditate. My room is my sanctuary; spending time in what I have created for myself has also been a great practice in gratitude. Your outside can reflect your internal condition, so it’s important to maintain a clean, zen space as much as possible. From protective crystals to sage, I have various tools to assist me in my practice to both cleanse and boost my energy.

Group Meditations

When I lived in Astoria, Queens, I went to a guided group meditation with a wonderful woman named Nilcee. This was my very first experience with a “body scan.” Being guided by a calming voice helps you focus on each energy point in your body, becoming conscious of area of tension. By relaxing the body, you’re also training yourself to relax the mind.

If you’re in NYC, I highly recommend her Tuesday night meditations! I am happy to share more information if so.

Running and Exercise

Although some people say they’re unable to meditate, they have mentioned how they are able to get into a peaceful state while running or exercising. That, my friend, is meditating! Although the physical act is different, the benefits and conscious state are the same. In your own little world, you’re able to let go of your daily concerns and return to center- which is crucial for our everyday happiness.

I hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July, no matter how you spend it. If there’s one thing you take away from this post, may it be this:

We all have the ability to be free like the fish, for true freedom comes from within.

We overcomplicate our lives to the point of worry, fear, and hopelessness, so my intention is to bring light to those who don’t know an alternative way to live. We, as humans, are free to control our thoughts, our reality, and our future. It just takes a little practice. 💫🐟

You can see the fish for yourself on my Instagram stories.