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!
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.
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.
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.
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.