Category Archives: Meditation

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The ancients knew and now we, too, are fast becoming well informed about the amazing wellness benefits of getting grounded. Also known as earthing, grounding is the term used when our bodies get in sync with the earth’s natural energies through the flow of stored electrons back in to our bodies. Some of us who thought grounding just referred to taking away privileges from teenagers who blew curfews or pushed our buttons way beyond our patience warranting a tad bit of discipline, grounding in the wellness context has an entirely different and positive meaning. And, it most assuredly would also be beneficial for those who did have to endure that “time out”.

If you studied Earth Science in school, chances are you can recall a few basic facts about the Earth’s surface that you probably haven’t thought about in years, let alone applied to your own health. You may remember that the Earth’s surface is electrically charged but you may not realize that every time you walk on it, you are coming in contact with a constant flow of electrons that your body needs to be in balance and function properly.

Our ancestors naturally took advantage of this earthly healing resource by staying in close constant contact with nature for thousands of years. That is until progress and its attendant modern-day technologies and cultural mores stepped in. Native American Indians first felt the unnatural effects and resultant debilitating diseases of “progress” when they shed their outdoor lifestyles, leather-soled moccasins included, for a sedentary existence indoors. Other cultures followed suit in dress and daily life, transitioning from farms and countrified towns to man-made urban environments and cityscapes at the turn of the 20th century.

More and more, mainstream wellness advocates and everyday consumers who just like to follow trends are singing the praises about the benefits of getting grounded.  Deepka Chopra just posted an informing article along with his new co-authored book with Kimberly Snyder, Radical Beauty lists “grounding” as one of the six pillars of beauty.  Dave Asprey of Biohacked and The Bulletproof Diet fame is including grounding in his soon to be released book Head Strong. Watch for its release next month.

 

 

Screen-Shot-2013-08-16-at-3_06_45-PM-275x300Meditation isn’t a state of being devoid of all thoughts.  It also isn’t some type of escapism, of “getting away from it all.”   Rather, it’s about tuning IN, being present and aware–and being mindful of yourself.

You choose what you want to concentrate on.  You can’t escape having worries, but you can choose not to focus on them, or on any negative thoughts, while focusing on things like who you are, what goals you have, what’s important to you and other things.

Should you do it lying down?  Actually, no, because you just might fall asleep.  Sit  comfortably in a chair.

Do you need a lot of time?  It’s like anything else–make it a priority and schedule it into your day.  We know someone who actually puts “eat lunch” on her daily calendar, because she tends to get so wrapped up in her projects she’ll forget,  Then her blood sugar drops, she becomes shaky and tired and can’t finish the day.  So she needs that reminder.

We once knew an executive who meditated every day at 5:30 PM no matter what–if he was out of the office, he’d just find a quiet place so he could stick to that schedule.

“In many ways, meditation will leave you feeling so refreshed you might find that you actually have more time.  Deepak Chopra once told The Huffington Post:  “In life’s paradoxical way, when we spend time meditating on a regular basis, we actually have more time. When we meditate, we dip in and out of the timeless, spaceless realm of consciousness… the state of pure awareness that is the source of everything that manifests in the universe. Our breathing and heart rate slow down, our blood pressure lowers, and our body decreases the production of stress hormones and other chemicals that speed up the aging process and give us the subjective feeling that we are “running out of time.”

To learn more, watch this video from Deepak Chopra:

 

 

medition1Anyone remember that scene from the movie “Eat Pray Love” where Julia Roberts travels to India and, during her first time meditating, she looks up at the clock, sees it only moved a few minutes, and opens her eyes to mutter “Kill me now.”

Well, sometimes it’s like that for us.  We get some of our best thoughts when our minds are quiet enough for us to listen (that’s why ideas often come to us when we’re brushing our teeth, showering or even dreaming), but sometimes this life just overwhelms us, what with bills, looming deadlines, sirens, noisy neighbors and more.

So how do you quiet your mind when you just can’t sit still?  Here are some tips:

1.  First, don’t try to force it.  That only creates stress.  Compare meditation and forcing the quiet mind to this example that we’ve probably all experienced:  You need to get up early, but have insomnia.  You keep looking at the clock and say “if I fall asleep now, I’ll get 4 hours of sleep…if I fall asleep now, I’ll get 3 hours of sleep…and so on.”  Doesn’t work, does it?  Rather, take a walk, daydream, do some yoga, read–and THEN go back to it.

Plus, it’s a major misconception that meditation means having an empty mind.  It doesn’t–but what it means is that meditation is really about keeping your mind active, with only the things on which you want to focus.

2.  Breathe.  Try some relaxation breathing techniques. Breathing is one of the best ways to calm the mind, relax and reduce anxiety; in fact, when we’re stressed and anxious, we tend to have shallow breathing.  One of the best breathing techniques is from Dr. Andrew Weil and is called the 4-7-8 breath.  For instructions, click here.

3.  Practice Gratitude.  We know, we know, you’re probably saying “Been there, done that.”  But here’s the point:  You just don’t want to focus on the difficulties of your day, and even the worst one has at least one or two good things about it.  Focus on the positive. And get specific “I appreciate so-and-so because…”

4.  Write it down.  Some people refer to it as “Evening Papers” or “Morning Papers.”  The idea is that they write down every single thing that has them worried, concerned or anxious–then they throw out the paper to make room in the mind for the positive.  You might want to develop your own scheduled “papers,” to coincide with your mediation.

5.  Connect with Nature.  This circles back to our earlier comment about taking a walk.  Or maybe just sit in a park or outdoor area–barefoot, and with your feet on the ground. Try to do it barefoot, so you connect with the Earth, which is one of the most powerful energy sources.  When you connect, you absorb all the Earth’s positive electrons–and that puts you in balance, gives you an overall sense of well-being and helps you stay grounded.  We call it “Vitamin EL.”

 

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