Meditation For Empaths

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                   I don’t know why everybody makes meditation such a serious, and arduous endeavor. Personally, I think everybody has their own natural way to meditate within- and is simply our job to find what works for us individually. Meditation is one of those things, it is not complex, it does not take a great amount of effort, it is not meant to be perfectly serious, and there is no perfect way to do it. Some will pick it up more easily than others, and some will always struggle with it. But it’s not impossible, for everyone to benefit from- in fact, meditation is something we all do unconsciously already. It is through all of these advanced studies that we better learn to use it, and use it well. We are only training our minds to find a space of peace, and hold it for a few minutes. Over time, we build on that few minutes- second by second, and then it becomes like second nature- more enjoyable, and bringing deeper periods of vitality for all.

To begin, meditation is not hard- it is just a big word that is used to describe a feeling that we want to feel but haven’t made it to yet. Here are a few strategies that help many to feel more comfortable, center, and move forward with their personal meditation goals.

  1. Exercise  Walking Meditation. For those who have struggled with sitting meditations, or who believe that sitting on your rear for hours is the only way to do it right, here is a better answer. To complete a walking meditation, you simply find your space of peace and walk with it. Make sure to clear any potential obstacles from your path, or do this in a space where you feel comfortable and aware of your surroundings. This could even be completed in circles around your couch the first few tries, or in a neighborhood setting during a quiet time of morning when kids are not at play. Walking meditation is very easy. All you need to do is create your own personal ritual to bring yourself to center, let go of all the troubles of the day, and set aside all other thoughts for this time. Your mind is not meant to be completely empty, but full of what you wish to put in it. Choose a thought that is peaceful, imagine a great ocean lovingly supporting your journey. You can make this meditation whatever you want, and add to it as needed to keep yourself challenged.
  2. Exercise Being One. This meditation is also very simple and does not require a lot of hard work to get to a positive space or any level of perfection. Center yourself, and lay down or sit comfortably- but try not doing this in your bed or on a couch or you may fall asleep. Instead, take a moment to turn any music down, to settle the space and area for limited distraction- and set an egg timer or a clock on your phone to go off when you are ready to come back to the real world. At first, plan for about 15 minutes- then increase this by five minutes at a time as your progress. Adding about five minutes every week will gradually improve your ability. With yourself in a centeredness, sitting down or lying staring at the ceiling- check for all the little things you might have forgotten. This will alleviate a lot of stress later- give yourself the next five minutes to grab a pillow, a blanket, roll up a towel for under your neck or knees. Make sure you are not going to be distracted by any pain or bodily functions. It helps to give yourself permission to settle these things first if you are an over thinker. If you have to plan to take out a pen and paper and write down all the things that you are afraid will or might distract you from your goal here, and ways you will overcome them. In this meditation, all you have to do is find your oneness with the universe. All you are obligated to do, is simply think about what makes you feel one with all that is. Do you feel disconnected? Work on that. Take account of where and how you feel disconnected from the great universe. Where do you feel most connected, at peace, and one with your divinity? Is it with God? Is it with Goddess? Is it with a great dragon, by your side? Instead of thinking greatly about these possibilities- think simply- where do you remember being the most at peace, the most centered, the most in ‘unity’? When the timer has gone off simply write down a few things that are important to you about this meditation. What worked for you, what didn’t? How can you get yourself there a little faster? Did it take forever, or was it a slow process? Create your image and write this down, describe in detail even, write a blog or a journal about it. Share it with a friend, or family member. This image will be your space to revisit when in trauma or pain when feeling lost or discombobulated. Viola!
  3. Exercise-The Spot. One of the easiest meditations ever to complete requires no thinking at all, simply find a spot on the ceiling or wall, and stare at it. This sounds redundant, and silly yes but it is most effective for those with ADHD, Hyper thinking, Anxiety, OCD, and other major complications. Again, you will want to set a timer only this time you will set it for five minutes. Each day or week you can increase this by one minute as needed, to make the process easier to set in. You will still quiet yourself, and silence your mind for as much as you can- however in this meditation, you will not be focusing on a ‘place’ to go, or a way to get there. You are simply going to ‘become one’ with this dot. Take a piece of paper and stick it to the wall, with a dot on it. Draw it yourself, large or small. Just a focal point. This type of meditation helps us connect ourselves to orienting to a physical space more readily. It also helps, some with vertigo and physical balance- if that is something you are struggling with.

Now, Excercise Music Meditation

This is my favorite by far of all the options I’ve tried, and for me, it is what works the best. Get out your smartphone, laptop, iPad, tablet or another source- and play a good youtube music meditation. Choose your style wisely as some of these videos are so greatly helpful and so greatly annoying too. High pitched tones, or low pitched tones are a good place to start- choosing which you need right now is important. But have at least one go to, that you feel is most suitable for you. Personally, I try to stay away from the more complicated seeming kinds- as they tend to use a lot of distracting high pitches. It is a scientific fact that these high pitches can be very distracting to your ears, whereas the low pitches and tones will be more gentle to you.

So, now you have 4 exercises to try at home, at work, or at school- in your car, in your doctor’s office, or even on your way to bed. Meditation does not have to be so complicated that we get ourselves all worked up and overly concerned about how we are doing it, and if we are doing right or wrong- or somewhere in between. It should not be a stressful process at all, in fact, if it is feeling stressful to you at all if it is raising your anxiety to take a step back and decide if you can approach it differently. Everybody has their own way of finding peace, creating peace, being one, being relaxed. Everyone is different. Let yourself find the style that suits you best- and stick to that, then build on it. You want to make it to about a half an hour, or less of meditation a day to treat difficult anxiety or stress. But you don’t have to meditate two or three hours each day to gain perfection and those that do often struggle with it.

 

 

 

Wedged: A Generation In Crisis

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You can smell the years of pain, sacrifice, and commitment have not faded from the shoulders of this living room chair. The large leather arm chair in the center of our living room, holds the key to all the great leaders of our family, carries the weight of every generation, and grants a bit of wisdom in it’s distress. This space of this chair in all it’s comfort begs the question: are we really listening?

The impact of listening on different generations.

     Over the many generations of this family, ranging in ages from 1 to 70, there are two things that are unavoidably true- we do not know how to talk to one another, and we do not know how to actively listen. Our greatest strengths in this generation are also our greatest weaknesses, and technology has taken over where healthy family conversation once prevailed.

     We are letting down our great grandparents, and their dreams for us- of unity. Where has their wisdom gone? We have stopped welcoming them. We have stopped sharing the stories of their sacrifices, the legend of their lost loves, and the love that they brought us. We have all become lost, and we don’t know how to communicate or listen with empathy not because we were not taught, because we have forgotten to use and nurture wisdom not just intelligence.

     How do we get back to the heart of our own hearths? How do we find ourselves and each other again, in this sea of self-perpetuated distraction? How do we re-learn how to talk to each other when we are hurting, how do we teach ourselves again how to listen with compassion? These are the things that we have lost touch with in our great act of growing up. We have forgotten to be humans being.

     The only way we will ever find each other, is to become one with our connection to the community again. Whether we use technology to improve our connection to our greater tribes or to avoid them, is up to each of us. Get up, go out for a walk. Get to know your neighbors. Take one step at a time. Sit down and talk to your aging parents, and appreciate their stories. When your kids want to go to the park, take them every day that you can. Give them toys that don’t require a TV, or a movie to get through. Spend time with each other. We all have a place in our own sense of tribe, and community to find and nurture.

    Our ancestors knew we have a great obligation to our tribe to support one another, yet these youngest generations have been taught to serve themselves first- often to the detriment of the greater needs of the community. Here as givers, for Happy the App our choices may be challenged at times- and we are learning to serve. If we can reach these generations that like this arm chair- hold up our spirits, we can reach the whole world.

Meditation, it’s just Buisness!

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For many people, business and spirituality are like oil and water. Of course, you’ve heard the age-old saying ‘you’ll be fine as long as you don’t bring up religion or politics’. Still, you’ve got to admit- the new agers have cornered the market on ‘monetizing spirituality’- and though some may disagree, there is a lot we can learn from them. They are selling out webinars, conferences, and one on one meetings left and right- and how are they doing it? Meditation!

You have to admit, falling back on all of our own ‘internal scripts’ usually means remembering all those great quotes by Dale Carnegie, or scrounging up a happy meme to re-ignite a tired sales team on a dull day. The truth is that we all know- this will never be ‘enough’ to fix the problem at it’s core. Our teams, though talented and diverse, consistently are struggling to balance the ebb and flow of being completely overwhelmed, and then sometimes totally ‘dead’- bored, and happily unmotivated. The truth is that often we actually need to step back as coaches, managers, recruiters, and salespeople- and just give ourselves permission for ‘one moment’ in a day to do two important things:

  1. Just Be: aka, pause, meditate, reflect, be yourself.
  2. Suspend Judgement: aka, give others space to be exactly who they are in this moment.

In the space of business, meditation actually fills an important role. It creates space a space of non-judgement, and it brings the mind to peace. Where normally we are preparing by hyper-focusing on the goal, meditation urges us to take a walk on  the wild side- do something different for a change, take a new route, change things up, and then come to the table ready to negotiate with fresh energy. As beneficial as meditation can be in some important areas of education and career development, it is often ignored as a multicultural tool. Meditation ironically is a ‘multi-platform’ channel of it’s own- which overlaps with every religious belief in the world. Whether you are dealing with a renegade Christian sales person who tries to convert every customer both to their brand and their products, or a ‘soft closer’ who is afraid to try something new- meditation is a new strategy that brings everyone onto the same playing field.

Here are a few strategies for implementing and developing ‘best practices’ for meditation in your workforce:

  1. Enforce your breaks. The first step is really, creating a space for meditation in a daily business environment. Wether you are managing a team of high anxiety sales people, or a team of students preparing for finals- your strategies will work a lot faster, by choosing to do something managers rarely do: enforce 5 to 15-minute breaks regularly. This gives your team a chance to change their routine a bit, and may even engender their trust in you as their ‘fearless leader’. If you are running solo, ask someone to help you be accountable for your break time- and keep it legitimately within your state’s standards.
  2. Create the Space. Meditation appears to most people to be one of the most complicated acts of choice in the world, but it is not. In this case, all you need is a quiet space. On your first break, look for a physical space that meets your basic standards. This does not need to be the new throne for an incoming guru- it can be the quiet corner of a warehouse, the bathroom nobody ever uses, or even your car at lunchtime. Avoid spaces that are unpredictably noisy, or breakrooms.
  3. Actually, Do It. This will likely sound like the last thing you’d expect to hear. You need to actually go and do this, because the number one struggle most beginners have with meditation is following through. Wether you have to start over a million times from the beginning, or you have to literally stretch your legs repeatedly- there is no judgment in this moment. Keep doing it. Write down what you struggle with the most, and then use this as a framework for building tomorrow’s strategies. What you struggle with in meditation the most- will be most likely what you are dealing with at your core.

Remember: This is a private practice, and you do not need to share this information with anybody- but you may choose to talk it over with your spouse, your work buddy, or even an HR Coordinator in order to ‘refine’ your skills in meditation over time.

4. Closing with Grace: Find or use what best works for you in closing. If what you need is to say ‘Namaste’- then to yourself say this with the understanding of what it actually means. However, realize also that you are not training in the Buddhist monk Olympics- you are not being graded, and ‘Namaste’ is not needed or required. If you wish you can say the equivalent by using something similar such as:

“I honor myself as I honor the world.”

“I give gratitude for this day.”

“The love in me honors the love in the world.”

“I wish peace, love, and joy to the world.”

or you can get creative and keep it simple:

“May the Odds be Ever in My Favor.”

As you begin to develop your own strategies, you will most likely want to use a small journal or a notepad on your phone to record your own reflections. You may want to remind yourself the next day to try a different format, or to go to the bathroom beforehand. These, however, do not need to be complex notes on the fundamentals of universal healing poverty. These notes need to be more specific, short, and well thought out.

Believe it or not, just doing a simple meditation may be one of the hardest and yet most rewarding things you ever do for yourself!

In conclusion, whether you are managing a team, directing students, training managers, or even just serving some great food to some great people- meditation is something that you can work on by yourself every day in any environment, at any time, and anyway you like. You can choose a meditation as simple as ‘clearing your mind and breathing’, or you can choose something as complicated as reciting the Buddhist prayer for world peace 100 times. However, in all things- do what works for you. Do what helps you to be the most comfortable and at peace.

Set a timer, and come back to the world recharged, refreshed, and 100% in the now.

By: Empowered Feeback (reblogged)

Empowered Feedback- sales, recruiting, and coaching

Happy The App Launches!

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This week brings in a new wave of app trends, and opportunities for both work and play. Happy the App, is a new service available to anyone who is need of friendship, listening, support, or even just someone to talk to. Starting Friday, April 7th, Happy the App will become available to the public for the reasonable price of $25.00 and hour. For those who are broke, or who are skeptical- the first ten minutes will be free to everyone the first few weeks and moving forward. So you’ll get a chance to call in and chat for free if you are not sure if this option is right for you.

But, hey, considering the price of a counselor or psychotherapy, if you are down and out and just need a boost? Happy the App is coming soon to help!

For those who are more generous with their time and energy, you can also be a giver and make a little money on the side for yourself too! If you are a great listener, definitely consider this opportunity on your list of apps to work for.

http://www.happytheapp.io

#happtheapp

The app will be available on Itunes beginning the 7th of April, for World Health Day! Come celebrate with us, and help us build this amazing and strong change in the way we view mental health for good!