Inspire

The Ugly Side of Day Dreaming

 

Oh, how easy it is for me to get lost in a day dream… Today I literally spent 2 hours looking up Ford Econoline vans. Why, you may ask? Oh, well I plan on selling everything I own so I can move into the van and travel the country for a year after I graduate… yep, because I obviously know what I am going to want a year from now… and I obviously need to start looking at van prices right now… and design what the inside of my van is going to look like. Maybe, this is an extreme example of day dreaming (or maybe its nothing compared to yours), but either way, I can safely assume we all spend way too much time day dreaming about the future instead of just living in the present moment. Then we reflect on our past year and realize we didn’t accomplish anything we wanted to and we get no where closer to reaching our dreams. It’s a terrible cycle that is so easy to fall into. I am so guilty of this. The thing is, I am mindful of the effects my day dreaming causes not only for myself, but for others around me. My day dreaming tends to be very selfish and can cause certain relationships to suffer because I start to think my day dream should be a reality and I will start to ignore people who don’t like my day dream or who I think just don’t fit in with it. Getting caught up in the day dreaming trap also tends to send me into a state of depression because I start comparing my “day dream life” to my life right now and feel like it isn’t good enough (COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY! yes, even if the comparison is with yourself). Because I am mindful of the effects that my day dreaming ruts cause for me I found a simple exercise to help me get out of it before the depression gets unmanageable and before I cut ties with everyone in my life. If you ever feel like you are in that day dreaming rut, why don’t you try it too?

What you will need:

  • A journal
  • A pen or pencil
  • A comfortable chair or blanket to sit on

To Do:

  1. 1. In your journal, write down all of your day dreams. This way they are no longer floating around in your mind. You want to write an entry before meditating just to make sure your mind is clear, but you can add to the journal anytime a day dream comes into your head (the best part is looking back on your journals and seeing all of your ideas). You can also start to pick out certain themes in your journal entries. For example maybe all of your day dreams involve traveling, or down sizing, or maybe it involves saving for a big purchase, or moving somewhere, (the list could go on and on), but once you find that theme you can start to do things that are in alignment with that overarching theme and that will help make all your day dreams come together into you living your dream.
  2. After you write the day dream journal entry, write a journal entry on everything you are grateful for in your current life. This helps you come back to the present moment and helps you notice all the amazing things in your life right now.
  3. Close the journal and come to a comfortable seated position. You can do this sitting in a chair or sitting on the ground. If you are sitting in a chair make sure your back in up nice and straight and that your feet are firmly planted on the ground. If you are sitting on the floor make sure that your weight is evenly dispersed between your two sitting bones and that they are nice and grounded.
  4. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. The main goal of meditation is to be able to clear your mind (way easier said than done). However, even just being able to clear your mind for a split second or to concentrate solely on your breath for a hot second is heading in the right direction. Our goal is to become mindful of where our mind is wandering so we can bring it back to the present quicker and stop getting lost in our day dreams. If you have a day dream come up during your meditation, allow your self to notice it, but then let it go (sometimes it helps, if I just say to myself “these are great ideas, but not yet.” The “not yet” isn’t as harsh as a “no” and it makes it easier to let go). Practice meditating for just 5 minutes and then everyday just try to sit for a little longer.
  5. When you finish meditating feel free to journal anything you discovered during your practice. If nothing came to you, no worries, just spending that time in stillness is so beneficial and will start to help you break that day dreaming cycle and help you start living and appreciating the present moment.

Did this help? Let me know in the comments below!

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Inspire

5 Tips to Have a Productive Monday… or any day


Today is my first official day of summer.  No more school, which means no more textbooks to read (besides Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, but that’s just for fun), no more papers to write, and no more tests to study for.  During this time it is so incredibly easy to become… well… a lazy bum.  However, today I already went through my entire plastic bag collection for my Recycled Chanel products, I took all my clothes I have been meaning to get rid of to Plato’s Closet (scored myself $30 cash) and then took the rest to Good Will, and wrote this blog you are reading now, all before 1 o’clock. Kendrick Lamar’s new album might have something to do with my get s**t done attitude, but there are definitely a few other things that have helped me get the motivation to be productive.. even on a Monday.  Here are just a few tips to get your week started on a productive and happy note!

1.  Pick one thing that has been on your to-do list for forever and day and just get it done.  For me, it was taking my clothes to Good Will.  Once you knock that one thing off your to-do list you will feel such a weight lifted from your shoulders and that feeling will make you want to knock more things off your to-do list.  It’s really interesting how being productive can actually feel so good (tomorrow I tackle cleaning my car… wish me luck).

2. Create a Monday morning playlist (I know… so lame, right?).  But this is probably my favorite tip!  Music can really set a mood (I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that **wink wink**), so setting up a playlist that helps you feel motivated, energized, and up beat can really set your week up for success.  I personally enjoy rap at the beginning of the week because I have a very go with the flow personality and the rap is a sharp contrast to my normal personality which helps build that energy I so desperately need.

3.  Treat yo’self!  No, don’t go blowing through your budget for the week, but give yourself a little something to look forward to.  My personal favorite is a vanilla iced latte in the morning because the rest of the week your girl is running on iced americano’s or some instant coffee at home. Just do something for yourself that puts a smile on your face and gets you moving.  (another personal favorite is splurging on a Bikram Yoga Class, the heat helps build a fire inside that keeps me going all week)

4. Eat right, ALL DAY.  This one is really big for me because your Monday truly sets up the rest of your week.  So start your morning with a clean breakfast, make or buy your self a healthy lunch (this should be your biggest meal of the day), then finish with a healthy and light dinner! Also drink plenty of water!  This not only will keep your energy up through out the day, but will also help motivate you to eat healthy the rest of your week.

5.  Shake things off. Remember it is Monday… People tend to be a little extra grumpy (obvi they didn’t read this blog), traffic tends to feel worst than usual, all the work you have been avoiding all weekend is finally catching up to you… but hey, guess what, you got this! And complaining about it or getting grumpy with everyone else isn’t going to get what you need to get done, done.  So instead just shake those negative vibes off.  Jam to your kick a** playlist, enjoy your healthy meals, your iced latte, or your other treat yo’ self gift and just enjoy your Monday.

Time to get your week set up for success- go knock that to-do item off your list, create that playlist, make that meal, and enjoy your productive, boss self.

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I Found My Forever Lover…


Do things with ease and let the universe guide you.  Allow you and the universe to be so connected that you ebb and flow with perfect harmony, indulging in your desires and embracing pleasure all through life.  Become the Universe’s Lover.

Do you ever put your dreams on hold because of some social norm?  And do you constantly feel a calling to follow that dream?  Does that cause you to feel depressed or out of sync?  That is the universe screaming at you.  Screaming at you, “PLEASE, DON’T MISS YOUR PURPOSE.”   You know, you have a purpose to why you are here and the universe wants to conspire with you to create that into a reality.  The problem is, when you fight against the universe, everyone suffers… including you.  It turns into a toxic relationship filled with anxiety, depression, exhaustion, lack of motivation (I could go on), instead of a relationship filled with passion, purpose, and excitement.  You have the chance to listen to the universe’s calling, the one that is drawing you near.

For the longest time, I was trying to create a life that fit into social norms.  A 9-5 job would be the end goal after I graduate college, I would make a decent income working under someone and then focus on building a family.  But living a life like that never felt right.  I would wake up in the middle of the night on the verge of tears, thinking “this is so wrong, that is not suppose to be what my life looks like.” (I wish I was exaggerating).  I finally decided that my life doesn’t have to look like that at all.  I don’t have to fit into the box of social norms that were set in front of me.  I can create the life that fits my purpose.  I finally decided to stop living in conflict with the universe and instead decided to become one with the universe.  I decided to the let the universe guide me and inspire me on my journey and that has made all the difference.  I became the Universe’s Lover.

Don’t fight against the Universe. Allow It to hold doors open for you, allow It to inspire you, to motivate you, to support you. Allow It to protect you, to close doors/keep doors closed for your safety.  Allow It to hold your hand and guide you to your next exciting adventure.  The universe just wants to be there for you.  It wants to be in unison with you.  It doesn’t want to be in a toxic relationship with you filled with conflict.  It wants to be in a conscious relationship with you.  One filled with growth.

Listen to that calling from your lover.  Listen carefully. Allow it to light a fire in your soul that connects you back to your purpose.  Let it guide you on this journey. Become the Universe’s Lover.

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Inspire

A Lesson On Living


I have been volunteering at an assisted living facility for 10 weeks now and I didn’t think it would have as much of an impact on me as it has.  I think I have learned more about what it means to live from those 10 weeks than in my entire life.  As I sat, trying to write a paper on my experience, one quote played on repeat in my mind.

“We all have a story to tell, a story we created, we may not have much of a future anymore, but we can tell you exactly how we got here…”
– Justin, 87

Justin then went on to talk to me about how important it is to decide how you want your future to look so you can start making decisions that will lead you to that today.  I answered all of his questions about my dreams, and goals, and relationships, and told him my name and major at least 50 times in less than an hour.  But this single quote, really made me stop and reflect. And here is the lesson on living I took away…

Every day, we make decisions.  Every day we are creating and writing a page in our story. Every day we are given an opportunity to end one chapter and start another, or to add a plot twist.  Sometimes we get to create the plot twist and exciting moments, other times, they are just put in there due to life circumstances.  Either way, we get to design it, we get to write it, we get to live it, and the way we live will be the way we die.  The way we live today, the way we live this very moment, will be the way we live until our last breath.  Because the way we live our life is the way we write our story.  What perspective are you going to take while writing your story… the hero, the captain, the boss, or are you going to be the victim. Trust me, I know, it is so easy to write in the perspective of a victim. “I couldn’t do ___ because of ____ situation.”  “I can’t believe ____, did this to me, how dare they.  I won’t be able to do anything now.” “That toxic person just caused me too much damage, I could never open up again.”  “I always dreamed of doing that, but because of ____, ____, ___, ____, ____, & _____, I won’t ever be able to.” Do these sound familiar? (they do for me, I have past chapters filled with sayings like these. I’m working on re-interpreting those chapters)

The way you handle today will determine how you view your life in the end.  Don’t just be the writer of your story, because in all honestly we all write our own story.  So instead, write your story in a perspective that sustains life, happiness, and love, most importantly love, because when the day comes when you no longer have much of a future to look towards, you will be reading your story and if that story was written in a perspective other than one focused on life, happiness, and love, then how do you think you will feel at that point in life?

Let’s start to change the perspective we write our stories in now.  Remember we can close one chapter and start another, maybe in this chapter you can finally shift your story telling perspective, to one that puts you in charge and leads you to a life filled with love.

I am so beyond grateful my life crossed paths with Justin and all the other residents that I learned so much from at the Assisted Living Facility.  This lesson I learned on living will be one I hope to share (and remind myself of) continuously on my journey because when the final days do come, I know I will have created a story filled with love. ​

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Why You Are Better At Meditating Than You Think…

 

I’ve been told by so many people this statement: “I suck at meditating.”  I usually follow it with the question, “Why do you suck at it?”  Which, in return I get almost the same answer every single time… “I can’t seem to shut off my mind.”  I can’t help, but laugh because the fact that you are noticing that your mind won’t shut off is a huge first step in practicing meditation.  Here are a four reasons why you are better at meditation than you think…

1. You catch yourself when your mind starts to wonder

  • Yeah, so your mind may have gone grocery shopping during your meditation time, or made a to-do list for when you are done with meditation, but you noticed it.  You noticed your mind as it began to drift away from your breath or mantra.  YOU NOTICED! We call that part of you that notices when your mind drifts off the “witness mind” and the more you connect to this witness mind the more your witness mind will kick in and step up.   The “witness” mind is so important because once it notices your, what I like to call, “squirrel mind” drifting, you can focus your thoughts back onto your center, even if it is just for a split second before your mind begins to go grocery shopping again.

2. You spend time meditating

  • Honestly, I think this is the most important thing.  As long as you are setting time aside in your days to meditate you are doing way better than most.  Just sitting in silence for a few minutes is a huge step and honestly something a lot of people can’t seem to do.  Go you!

3. You have an intention for your meditation practice

  • To me, having an intention for anything you do is key to making it sustainable and purposeful.   My intention for my meditation practice is to connect and become one with the divine being in me.  Your intention can be anything from physical, to emotional, to spiritual, but have an intention so you can keep the motivation to spend time meditating.

4. You have something you use to clear your mind

  • It may not work all the time in the beginning, but pick something that helps you center your mind and stick with it.  This can be bringing your thoughts to your breath, or maybe its counting, or maybe it’s a mantra you repeat over and over again.  If you use one of these while you are meditating then you are on the right track because using these tools will help you continue to grow your practice.

I promise, you don’t “suck at meditation” it’s just part of the journey.  You are starting to train your “witness mind”  to control your “squirrel mind”  and that may take a while, but don’t give up!  You totally got this. ​

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Who is an “Engaged Spirit”?

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An Engaged Spirit is someone who actively pursues an inner positive transformation and who seeks to find peace in themselves in order to engage with others around them and create a positive change in the world.  They are an activist for peace and a change agent in the communities they belong to.  They are the ones that seem to never loss hope for the future.  They are the ones that aren’t ignorant to the evils in this world, but believe that there is more kindness than evil.  They are the ones that are out in their communities speaking up for the speechless.  They are the ones that are standing up for injustices.  They are the ones engaging with the people around them to create thriving communities. They are the ones spreading their light.  

My goal is to truly live the life of an Engaged Spirit.  What about you?  Are you an Engaged Spirit?  Join our community by entering your email at the bottom of page! 

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