Life is pretty amazing. It seems to always give us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. It is up to us, however, to recognize the beauty in each and every moment.
Meditation has been a vital element in my life over the past five years. I did not grow up in a religious home, and while I still do not subscribe to a particular religion, per se, meditation has aligned me with a profound spiritual connection to a greater force that exists universally… a force that’s only purpose is to guide us back to love. Through this connection, I have rediscovered truth and a veridical sense of miracles. I choose the word “rediscovered” because I firmly believe we are each born with this conviction, but often lose sight of it as we go through life. We learn, rather, to attach weight to the negative constructs and delusions our minds create as we experience life.
How many of you can relate to the notion that you are forever chasing happiness? Have you come to believe that much like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, you will find happiness when you have financial freedom? A new house? More free time? A spouse? A baby? The perfect body? Your health? I have definitely been guilty of putting stock in a number of these external “things”, but through my meditation practice, I’ve become certain of one thing and one thing only- happiness is attained only in the heart and mind. And the best part? EVERYONE is entitled to it. It is a CHOICE.
I’m not going to tell you that this is always an easy decision, or a decision you only need to make once. In fact, we need to make a commitment to choose happiness hundreds of times a day. But, if you allow your mind to restore itself to it’s natural state of bliss, even for just a few minutes every day, the practice of channeling your heart’s happiness will become more effortless. You WILL strengthen your happiness muscle ; ) And that is exactly what meditation has done for me.
Given that meditation is something that occurs internally, I’ve never really had any desire to practice with anyone but myself. I know many people that share their practice through group meditation, yoga, etc. and find strength in numbers. And I think that’s awesome! It has just never been my thing. Well, until yesterday. In fact, I learned yesterday that even the assumption of having a “my thing” is really just an illusion manufactured in my mind… and one that can be shed too.
A few weeks ago, I came across a promotion that a local meditation center and Buddhist temple was running for a weekend retreat. The retreat was titled “Living in the Moment & Finding True Bliss”. Despite the fact that I’ve always been someone that finds peace through solo meditation, the title totally grabbed me. Over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that growth of any sort, really only happens when we allow ourselves to become comfortable, getting uncomfortable (side note- my fav football team, the Ravens, made this their slogan this year. Love you guys!) So, I signed up. I mean… who doesn’t want more bliss in their life, right? Duh.
I don’t believe in coincidences, but when my husband offered last week to join me at this retreat, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. While he has always been so supportive of my own spiritual growth and meditation practice, he has never really dipped his toes into these waters and that is okay with me too, btw. Big kudos to him though for really getting comfortable, being uncomfortable! So, there we were, all signed up and really excited/kinda nervous to go… and then something happened. Friday morning, we received some heartbreaking news. This news is something I will probably share with my amazing readers when I feel the time is right, but the in the meantime, please know that regardless of the content, I’m sure you can relate. We have all gotten news that has rocked our souls. Whether it be loss of a family member, a job, a home… you get the point.
But we went to our retreat, anyways. And there amongst 40 strangers, my husband and I found not only peace, but true bliss… less than 24 hours after we felt our world had just crumbled. I’m going to post a few messages we took away from our time at the retreat, because beyond channeling the feeling of hope, happiness, and love I needed, I was reminded that my true purpose of starting Blonde Beet Nirvana was to inspire others- to live life in color!
Some takeaways I hope might help you:
– Stop identifying as anyone other than a happy person, as anything else is an illusion we have created in our mind. The same goes for any of other negative constructs- an “unhealthy” person who struggles to eat well… an “unsuccessful” person in business…an “unlucky in love” person. JUST STOP. If you have had experiences in the past shape this concept, recognize the past no longer exists. And neither does the future. In the present moment, see yourself as exactly who you want to be… and be it!
– Problems are are figments of our imagination. Change your thoughts or perceptions, and your life will change. It can be a challenge, but I try to remind myself in tough situations that every obstacle is really just an opportunity to grow.
– Recognize that attachment to external problems will persist if you are not open to renouncing them. Bliss and happiness are short lived when they stem from external sources. Likewise, relief from external “problems” is also short lived- ever lost your hairbrush on a frantic workday morning? You know, EVERYTHING would be fine in this world if ONLY you could find that damn hairbrush? As someone with major attention deficit disorder, this hits home hard. Don’t let happiness escape you, even when life seems chaotic.
– And lastly, make the intention every morning to find bliss at least 6 times a day… from nothing other than living presently in the moment.
Hope you all had an amazing weekend! Stay tuned for some awesome stuff coming up on Blonde Beet Nirvana… if you would like to know more, please subscribe with your email below. I won’t spam you, I promise. In fact, I don’t even know how to spam you (I’m the Fred Flinstone of technology, remember?).