This is Your Brain on Meditation

Seriously, with just 10 minutes of meditation, your brain calms its stress centers, reduces inflammation and improves your life on so many levels. Why would you not try this?! Did you not read the over 141 benefits of daily meditation?

Amid the chaos and busyness of life surrounding you, you can be calm and serene and focused, like this person…

So today is it – the last day of this 30 day meditation challenge.

December’s challenge brings 30-31 days of poetry – a new poem each day. That will be fun! I LOVE poetry!

I’m actually looking forward to January’s challenge of living a plant-based diet. A bit anxious but more excited to experience how much better I’ll feel, how much more energy I’ll have, growing healthier skin, a healthier and stronger body, and I’m sure my teeth will thank me as I’ll be off the coffee and the sugar. I am a Super Sugar Fiend! It’s like CRACK!! I’m sure January will be an interesting journey as I discuss my anxiety, my cravings driving me mad, and probably an angry monster of a stomach growl for 30 days. We’ll see. Maybe it won’t be as tough as I think. And maybe it’ll be worse. Time will tell. Oh no, and no wine, no cheese. I’m hurting already. No alcohol of any kind. I’ll be livin’ it up in December, babeeee!

As for now, let’s get to more benefits from daily meditation:

  1. Beat Addiction
  2. Growth Hormone
  3. Boost Melatonin
  4. Increase Libido
  5. Lengthen Telomeres
  6. Healthy Heart
  7. Life Extension Gene
  8. Less Muscle Tension

And that’s all folks. I hope some of you got something out of this meditation challenge. I hope it’s helping you and I hope you stick with it. I hope I stick with it, too. It’s like going to church – it’s so easy to get out of the habit of going when you stop. Not that it’s a bad thing. But meditation is truly good for you and me and I think if everyone in the world meditated daily, the world would be a more mindful, peaceful, more relaxing, calm, loving place. Is that enough adjectives for you? And then, maybe I live in dream land.

Oh well, on to the next…

The End

…or almost. Today and tomorrow and the meditation challenge will be done.

No mumbo jumbo – I’ll get right to it – more benefits to daily meditation:

  1. Boost Serotonin
  2. Boost DHEA
  3. Have More Energy
  4. Longevity
  5. Fortified Brain
  6. Younger Skin
  7. Relaxed Nervous System
  8. Help Infertility
  9. Break Habits
  10. Willpower & Discipline
  11. Balanced Thought

Oh, and ALSO, the more time you devote to meditation each day, the faster you will reach all of these many benefits, and the faster you’ll reach that state of bliss. So spend some time with yourself in peace and quiet and self-love, because you deserve it. Time is an investment, I realize. Invest in yourself.

Meditation Station – Then a Girl, Some Wine & a Book

Such a good day today. We went deeper into the country and had our family and senior casual pics made. Beautiful log cabin, amazing talented photographer, great props and scenery to work with, and now we are going to have a gazillion pictures to go through to pick out all the best ones – so many great photos – we already saw some on the photog’s computer in between sets. A perfect, albeit chilly, sunshiny day so the lighting was fab. Can hardly wait to see all the pics!

So I know it’s the weekend and y’all are super busy so I won’t keep you for long. I’ll get right to it.

More perks to daily meditating – and I think I’ll add an extra 4 advantages to make up for Day 1 that should have been on Nov 1 –

  1. Lower respiratory rate.
  2. Access deep mind.
  3. Overcome shyness.
  4. Higher consciousness.
  5. Master stress.
  6. Tame monkey mind.
  7. Happiness.
  8. Kundalini Rising.

If you have any questions or would like for me to elaborate on anything, holla! And let me know if you would like me to add more guided/unguided meditations to check out. I’m always here to help a friend out! I’ve been going by the Chopra & Oprah Meditations for their 21 day challenge. Let me know if you need the link again from I think it’s day 2 or 3?

And with that, I will wrap it up so you can get to your next thing. I am off to pour myself a glass or two of wine, cut me some chunks of 8 yr aged cheddar (yeeeeaaahhh baby!) and work on my book. I’ve had to take a little break from it but now I’m ready to jump back on the wagon and finish this sucker. Wish me luck?

Y’all have a fantastic rest of your evening! Love ya! Feel free to drop me a line, about meditation, or about anything at all. Let’s chat!  😀

Oh, and a question for you – What should be our next challenge? I know many of you are NOT into the whole meditation thing, so what would be a challenge that you would enjoy participating in and how long should it last? Your thoughts?

Some ideas –

  1. Weight loss challenge for 30 days +
  2. Stepping out of your comfort zone challenge 30 days +
  3. Making time to read for fun 30 days+
  4. Purposely learn something new every day 30 days+
  5. Learning 1 to 3 new words every day 30 days+
  6. Experiencing a green or plant-based diet for 30 days+
  7. Going caffeine free (meaning no coffee) 30 days+

Some of these might sound lame. I’m just throwing some ideas out. What are your ideas? I’m interested!

-Carol xoxo

Be Still and Grow

I bid you good morning. It’s another melancholy morning over here. Was planning on going to Aunt Sallie’s funeral but Mama was sick all night so I will take her to the doctor this morning after she gets a little rest, if she’ll let me. She’s pretty stubborn. Love you anyway, Mama. So sad to miss Aunt Sallie’s funeral. I know she knows we wanted to be there and she knows we’ll miss her. Love you, Aunt Sallie.

So, today’s post will be a tad shorter. Is anyone reading this? Is this helping anyone? I have no idea but I’ll continue with it anyway, I guess.

More benefits to meditation:

  1. Strengthens immunity.
  2. Fight or flight. Remember this one? How The “Fight Or Flight” Response Triggers Anxiety – The problem is, evolution has hard-wired our DNA to physiologically react in stressful situations — our heart races, our breathing becomes shallow, our blood vessels clinch up, our pupils dilate, our muscles tighten, all in preparation to either fight or flee. The good news is that your body has a built-in stress-defense mechanism — it’s called the parasympathetic nervous system. Your ability to stay anxiety-free is directly tied to activating this often elusive system each and every day. Then, what’s the best way to wake up this sleeping giant? Meditation.
  3. Runners high.  A 1995 study (Harte et al) published in the Biological Psychology Journal, tested the neuro-chemical release of two groups — 11 elite runners and 12 highly trained meditators — after running and meditation, respectively. What did they find? As the scientists suspected, both groups had boosted their endorphin levels. No surprises there.
  4. We are all one. The shift in consciousness achieved through meditation naturally makes you aware of the highest and perhaps most easily forgotten universal law — We Are All One.

Ya know, I honestly wonder how much more peaceful the world would be if we all meditated and got back to this universal truth. Can you imagine? I think the whole world would benefit if we started teaching and practicing meditation in schools. Then, perhaps it would become a daily routine for everyone for the rest of their lives and we could live a more peaceful existence, with ourselves and with each other. A girl can dream…

FYI, some of this research comes from the EOC Institute, though I have several sources for research.

And some of you, I know, think meditation is new age. It’s actually an ancient practice. The activity of meditation appeared in very ancient times. Historians located early cases in Ancient India 10,000 BC. The practice developed in Ancient Greece (which knew the non-marital meditator as a proxenetas). Then in Roman civilization. (Roman law, starting from Justinian’s Digest of 530–533 CE) recognized meditation.

Just thought you ought to know.  🙂

Have a lovely day! ~Hugs~

-Carol xoxo

Day 3 – Stillness

Happy day! I hope you’re having a lovely day.

Today, I’m speaking on stillness. It’s about steadying your body, as well as your mind. The brain is alive and it’s only natural to have ongoing thought patterns not only consciously, but subconsciously. There is no way to clear 100% of the chatter, or else, well… you’d be dead. Even in sleep, our brain/mind stays busy, whether we remember the dreams or not. Simply focus on your breath if your mind strays. It will stray. Just bring it back to your breath or make up a mantra, like the word “Still”. Feel free to observe the thought as if a passing train, and then let it pass.

During meditation, you must find a quiet space, sitting up, preferably, with your head free. You can lean against something like a chair or wall or what have you but lying down is not a great idea, as you may fall asleep. Rest is great and everything but if you want to gain the positive aspects of meditation, you must stay awake to reap the benefits.

You want it to be a still, quiet place. If you’re on the floor, use soft pillows or a comfy mat. I prefer using my home office chair. It has a head rest but I don’t use that. I actually prefer 100% quiet, though the Chopra and Oprah meditations have music in them. I get more out of the quiet, because I can hear nature. I soooo relax more when I can hear the birds chirping, the frogs croaking in the rain, the crickets (if I’m meditating in the evening), the rain falling, the breeze blowing – you get the idea.

I think the best time of day to meditate is first thing in the morning. I find it’s a great way to start my day.

First, I give thanks for all our many blessings and praise the Lord for all his love, mercy, forgiveness and generous nature. I even thank him for what seems bad, only because I’ve learned there are valuable nuggets of wisdom and learning in those situations. I don’t always get the lesson in the moment but I usually do later, sometimes much later – like years later –  😛  but at least I eventually get it, and that’s what matters. It’s growth. It’s the “bad” stuff that makes me appreciate the “good” stuff even more.

Second, I start my coffee, and after Hallie has left for school or while she’s still asleep (if it’s early or the weekend) and go sit in my chair and get in my 20ish minutes of meditation. Right now, I’m doing the Deepak Chopra and Oprah meditations, as I spoke about earlier. I also like the Android App Mindfulness Meditations for Presence and Peace by Diviniti Publishing Ltd (fyi, I receive no money from anyone for advertising – I try to be helpful for free). I listen to the Mindfulness for Releasing Anxiety Free version, which is 23 minutes.

More benefits you’ll receive from meditation:

  1. Meditation can relieve pain.
  2. It helps you in harnessing Neurogenesis (change the adult brain through meditation). Wikipedia defines it as” Neurogenesis is the process of birth of neurons wherein neurons are generated from neural stem cells. Contrary to popular belief, neurogenesis continuously occurs in specific regions in the adult brain.
  3. Cure anxiety – I could use that! How ’bout you?
  4. Lucid dreaming – Wikipedia says a lucid dream is a dream during which the dreamer is aware of dreaming. During lucid dreaming, the dreamer may be able to exert some degree of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment. How cool would this be?! I don’t believe I’ve ever had a lucid dream. I hope to very soon, though.

More to come tomorrow. Let me know how it’s going for you. What’s your method? What are you listening to, if you are listening to anything? Also, please let me know if you have any questions. Always happy to help a friend out.  🙂

Y’all have an amazing day! Hugs!

-Carol xoxo

Let’s Call it Day 2 of the Meditation Challenge?

I’m only saying that because it’s Nov 2 and it’ll be easier to go with the day. Don’t ya think? I’ll double up one day so we can get at least 30 days mixed up into these next 29 days of November.

So welcome to day 2 of the new meditation journey or challenge or whatever you want to call it. The fact that you are taking part in this means that you care about your mental health.  It also means that you care about your physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, because I am here to share with you that meditation helps you in each of these areas.

If I had known the many benefits meditation had to offer, I would have started this years ago. In fact, I suppose I did actually “try” to meditate and I could blame it on not being able to find the ‘right’ meditation for me, or the ‘right’ music, or in the ‘right’ frame of mind. I actually believe – the truth, if I want to be honest here – is that I am very ADD. I always have been.

It wasn’t until I purchased a meditation course that MADE me choose to do the meditation. At first, I got so much out of it, but then the person guiding the meditations, along with her staff, started to annoy me greatly, so once I finished the 32 or 33 day course, I stopped using it. I still got enough out of those 33 days that I wanted to look for ways to continue this practice. I started researching meditation and the different forms and the many benefits and it really turned a light on for me.

If you are anything like me, and I know many of you out there are probably just as much ADD as I am, and very busy, you don’t want to add just one more thing to your already too long daily To Do list. But please believe me when I say you cannot afford not to invest your time in some form of meditation. Each day for the next 29 days, I will include several benefits where meditation can help you better your life. It’ll probably be difficult for you to believe at first, because we are fighters.

We fight tooth and nail not to do things that might change us. Oh, sure, we say we want to better ourselves, we want to live at a higher vibration but most of us want to stay stuck in our old story because it’s what we know. We’re good at it. New stuff? Well, it scares us, so we push it away. Or we don’t know about it and that scares us, so we say no way, it’s not for me.

Well, this challenge is for those of you/us that are choosing to be better, to feel better, to learn how to deal with daily stresses and depressions in a healthier way. There really is a better way to live. And you don’t need money to do it. You don’t have to purchase a meditation package. There are so many freebies out there. Just google meditation videos on youtube. Look for the ones that sound interesting, the ones that have the most views, or listen to it for 5 minutes and see if it’s for you. I will try to list some to help you out.

On to some of the benefits:

  1. It slows aging. Sounds crazy but it’s true. There is scientific evidence of this. Don’t take my word for it. Google it. Research it.
  2. It can help you overcome OCD.
  3. It assists you in learning to control your anger. This is HUGE for me! I have anger issues, okay? I actually think that behaviors can be genetic (not blaming anyone else – I own this), so this is something I must have gotten in the genes from my bio-father, and this is a behavior I work on. Every. Single. Day. And, honestly, I already feel less angry, partly because I will not allow myself to swear. Oh, yes, I can cuss like a sailor but I am attempting to mature into healthier habits and that includes my vocabulary, as well as getting my anger under control.
  4. And last (for today), but not least, meditation fills you with positive energy. We could all use more of that. Am I right?

One little tidbit – if you want to join in this 21-day meditation series that is free, Deepak Chopra and Oprah (hey! that rhymes!  😛  ) are putting on a series right now. I’m on day 4. Check out the link and if you have any problems, let me know. You will receive instructions when you sign up for the series. If you don’t, let me know and I can explain how to sit, etc.

Let me know what you think. If you don’t like this particular meditation, I’ll most likely post a different link tomorrow. All you need is about 20ish minutes of quiet stillness.

Hope y’all are having a great day or evening! Love you!

Carol xoxo

 

Ah… Meditation is Bliss – Challenge!

How many of you meditate?

How many of you would like to start?

I want to start a meditation challenge and am curious how many of you would want to participate.

A-Z Archive: Q! Challenge

Quiet

I’m a day (or week or two) late and a dollar short, but here’s my take on ‘Q’.

Ah, such a peace falls over me when the quiet snow falls.  It seems to make the world still and calm.  The snow blankets all of the noise – even the cars swishing down the road.

I sure do wish it was doing some of that here, rather than being in the 80’s and 90 degrees.  Hot humid weather.  Me.  No.  Likie.  So, I’m just going to melt into this photo for a while and imagine it’s cold out there.  Ooooo, I feel like climbing under a snuggly blanket with my snuggly bear.  😉

If you’d like to join us in this entertaining weekly challenge, or see more amazing shots, the A-Z Archive is led by frizztext:

http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/a-z-archive-q-challenge/

Oh, wait a minute!  Did I do “P!”???  I can’t find it on here.  I need to get my act together.  🙁

I trust you had a lovely day.  Rained here a good bit today.  While I was working, I saw the sky change from bright sunshine, to overcast, to cloudy, to dark stormy blue sky, to dark almost night sky, then rain.  I have a great view of the sky from my desk.  Wish I had time to go out and snap a photo when the sky was stormy blue, because that was beautiful.

Have a lovely, restful night and sweet dreams.  Love ya!  *smooch*

-Carol

Day 123 of my Project 366.