Meditation for Spiritual Growth

Although meditation is a way to center ourselves and shut off the outside world for a moment, it can also be a way for you to grow spiritually. When you spend time calming your mind and finding inner peace, you have room to explore your spiritual consciousness. Let’s explore how looking inward through meditation can help you grow.

Meditation Restores Balance

Healthy habits are an important part of feeling energized and balanced. Similar to how exercise, healthy eating, and a full night of sleep are good for you, meditation is one way to take care of your mental health. When you find the world is chaotic, take a moment to close your eyes, be silent, and focus on your breath. After your session, you may feel calm and balanced once again.

How To Meditate Spiritually

Spiritual meditation is the practice of learning how you are connected to something bigger than yourself. Start by reflecting on your inner self and how you move through life. Then, begin to focus on the present moment. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I feel?
  • What do I hear?
  • What do I smell?
  • What do I taste?

As your eyes are closed and your breathing is deep, begin to overcome any negative thoughts or feelings by accepting and acknowledging your entire self. When you learn to find love and compassion for yourself, you can more easily do the same for others. During your practice, focus on the following:

  • Your authentic self.
  • Being open-minded.
  • Directing compassion toward others.
  • Releasing grudges or burdens.

The Takeaways of Meditation for Spiritual Growth

Learning how to quiet your mind and take time to live in the moment requires practice. When you begin meditation, you may find that your thoughts are racing. As you learn to sink into calmness, you can enrich your life, appreciate every moment, and be more mindful.

Mantras for Open mindedness

We want to be inspired, peaceful and creative — while reducing stress in our lives. There is strength in opening our minds to change. Ultimately, this is being open to new ideas, perspectives and information. The challenge is ‘how’ do we attain these goals. One great way is thru meditation and mantras. You may have heard of mantras, but do you understand the difference between a mantra and an affirmation?

Mantra: A Mantra is a ancient tool with hindu and buddhist roots that is used to shift the mind and emotional state. This can be attained through the repetition of sounds.  These sacred sounds and vibrations are repeated again and again to achieve a zen state, removed from your everyday state of focus. A great mantra to start with is Ohm.

Affirmation: An affirmation is a positive statement that you would like to achieve. 

“I am safe” 

“Everyday I attract abundance”

“I sleep easily and wake refreshed” 

Affirmations are a great way to change your mindset when used consistently. 

The key to a mantra is creating a zen state where you can influence your consciousness and mind — which impacts your life outside of meditation. Reach out to an advisor that calls to you for more insights

C) Exercising an open mind with energy healing

Energy healing is a very powerful tool for your mind, body and spirit. Do not get intimidated by this term if you are new to it. You are a powerful and amazing person with many skills, talents and abilities that you have not uncovered yet. Or if you have already jumped into energy healing, you can take it farther and deeper when coming from a more neutral, open mindset. When you approach it with an open heart and a lot of compassion you can learn and grow as a person.

5 Ways to strengthen your energy Healing with an Open Mind

  1. Consciously breathe into your heart space several times, with the intention to open up and expand your energy heart space. Between breaths, pause and listen for any insights or information. This may takes some time, so do not be harsh with yourself. Keep practicing this daily. 
  2. Focus on gratitude from a new perspective. Focus on the love and light in the world, rather than the darker side. Gratitude for your basic needs, and gratitude for you figuring out how to handle the growing and changing world around you. How are you grateful for others, those close to you, and mankind in general? 
  3. Share with others: This can be repurposing items you no longer need, paying for the person behind you in drive thru line, or simply sharing a smile. The flow of giving & receiving really does lighten up the tension in our world. 
  4. Express your creativity in whatever way calls to you. Maybe you remember ways you expressed yourself in the past — or maybe this is something new. Either way, carve out regular time to explore this area, and you will be a much happier you. 
  5. Play and Be Silly. Be like young children and stretch your legs and have some fun. Be downright silly. We are way too serious in our everyday lives and it is time to exercise your silly muscles.You will be very glad that you did!

These techniques will loosen you up to the positive and abundant flow of  energy healing. The energy healing can be for yourself and for others. Remember, with energy healing, we are simply a conduit. The key is to make that powerful connection to the universe, and let the energy flow. 

Staying Calm During Financial Turbulence

Financial stress can cause anxiety, negatively affect your mental and emotional wellbeing, and can even hurt you physically.  It is extremely important to find ways to be calm during hard financial times, but it can be the most difficult time in which to do so.

Meditation, Yoga and Reiki can all help with decreasing your stress levels and keep them from rising when financial hardships occur.  All three of these systems tap into the energy that flows through you and connects your mind, body and emotions together within your being. 

Meditation sometimes stresses people out because they say “I’m no good at meditation.”  Or they think they have to have their mind completely calm in order for meditation to “work.”  That isn’t the case.  Meditation, especially when you are first learning, can be helpful and doesn’t require you to “control your mind.”

Find a place that is comfortable that you can be alone for just a few minutes.  It can even be the bathroom if it is hard for you to find privacy.  Bring your awareness to your breathing.  Focus on trying to elongate your inhale, and then focus on matching the length of your exhale with it. 

Just allow your mind to flow, whatever comes in, just try to gently encourage it to flow right out again.  Try to not allow anything to take up root in your thoughts but if you find your mind spiraling about a thought, try to move your mind back to focusing on your breathing. 

This can help in as little as just a couple of minutes to calm your mind and body and help your emotions not overwhelm you. 

Yoga uses your body and mind connection to ease your stress levels.  Again, so many people say “I’m not flexible enough for yoga.”  That doesn’t matter for stress relief.  It doesn’t have to be a full workout and you don’t have to be a long-time yogi to benefit from the stress relief this can give you.  There are many videos of yoga for beginners that you can find online.    Pick one pose or a couple that won’t make you feel intimidated and that will be easy for you to do in the space you have. 

Standing Mountain pose can be done just about anywhere and by anyone.  You stand up as straight as possible, with your feet parallel.  You lengthen each part of your body slowly focusing first on your legs, then your midsection then lengthening your spine and straightening your shoulders.  You tuck your chin slightly and pull the crown of the head upwards.  You breathe slowly and deeply while holding this position and then let out a breath as you relax your body and release the pose.  This done a few times slowly can calm your system and help bring your mind to ease.

Reiki is an energy technique that allows a Reiki Master to clear your energy and aura of blockages and alleviates stress to allow your Chi to flow in a healthy way through your mind, body and emotions.  This is especially helpful if you have had ongoing financial worries for an extended period of time.  All that stress can build up and the energy blockages can even cause health problems.

Using any of these techniques consistently can help build up a higher tolerance for stress and anxiety and help to prepare you for unexpected financial stress.

Using Meditation and Mantras to reach Financial Stability

Setting goals can be easy to do but reaching them can be a challenge.  Unexpected emergencies can come up, or willpower can fail.  Doing daily meditation and using personalized mantras can help you find success.

First, be honest with yourself about what you are capable of.  Mediation can help put you in the right frame of mind for some hard talks with yourself about finances.  Sit in a comfortable room with either silence or music that isn’t distracting on in the background.  Once you are physically comfortable try to calm your mind with several deep steady breaths, focusing on making the exhale just as slow and long as the inhale.  Focus only on your breathing and keep doing this until you feel calm and at ease.  It doesn’t have to be long, as little as five minutes can help.

The important thing is for you to be in a calm frame of mind when you sit down to write out your goal.  Now have all your monthly bills together and write out the amounts, putting an honest average for any bills that change from month to month.  Then write down all your income that happens from month to month, don’t exaggerate, it is important.

Now think about what it is you want to achieve?  What does financial security mean to you?  Just being able to pay your bills? Or do you want to be able to pay your bills and save up a specific amount each month?  Don’t be extravagant because you will just end up disappointing yourself and becoming discouraged if you don’t set realistic goals for yourself.

So when you have all that decided, this is where the mantras can help.  Create a simple short mantra for whatever your goal is and say it to yourself each morning when you get up, and every night before bed.  For example, if your goal is to pay all your bills, save $100 a month and still have a little extra to have fun with, then create a mantra that goes something like this:

Financial stability will be mine.  I will have the income I need to pay all my bills, save $100 and also still get to have fun, each and every month.  I will do what it takes to make this happen because I work hard and I deserve it.”

It is important to always include a reason for this to happen, such as “you work hard,” but also something that helps positively reinforce this such as “I deserve it.”

This will help your subconscious understand what you are trying to accomplish and will send your intention out into the universe to help bring about your success.  The repetition of doing this morning and night will help you remember to control your impulses that might self-sabotage your goals. 

It is important to revisit your goals every couple of months.  Be kind and honest with yourself.  If you have succeeded, then set new goals, if you haven’t, don’t beat yourself up, just try to dial it back and set more realistic goals based on what has gone wrong so far.

Financial Stability Through Mental Calm

Managing your finances during COVID-19 might seem like an extra challenge. Whether you took a pay cut, lost your job, or resorted to online retail therapy to fill the absence of routine activities, you might be wondering how you should take care of your finances during the pandemic.

Consider these tips and tools to help you determine how you should be budgeting and what you should avoid in order to maintain your budget.

Research Benefits 

One way you can instill a small amount of financial security amidst the pandemic is by doing your research on unemployment benefits and services. If you received a pay cut, you might actually be eligible for a certain percentage of unemployment benefits. If you still have your job and pay, research your state’s unemployment benefits anyway. You’ll feel empowered by taking the initiative, and you can create a plan if you need to use your state’s unemployment services in the future.

Prioritize Food and Home Expenses

To create a detailed budget that cuts away excess expenses, focus on what you absolutely need to get by, like food, housing, and utilities. Install a budgeting app on your phone to help you find out how much you spend on essentials every month. Once you have divided your paycheck among these three areas, you can place the remaining amount in your savings.

Reduce Clutter in Your Home

Retail therapy not only reduces the amount of money that can go toward essentials, but it also clutters your home. Use this time when you cannot see friends or family to reduce clutter from your life. Clean out your closet and junk drawers, and donate items that are no longer of use to you. Find a financial abundance mantra that will help you instill values of wealth in immaterial things, which will help you clear your mind and focus on what really matters during this time.

Mindfulness At Home

Mindfulness is important every day of your life.  But it has never been more true than it is now during this time of isolation and world change. There is no doubt that this is a very challenging time for everyone.  But it is very important to keep your mental, emotional, and physical health at the forefront and do whatever it takes to stay healthy at home. 

Isolation can eat away at your wellbeing.  It is insidious and can catch you by surprise.  That is why mindfulness is extremely necessary.

What does mindfulness mean? It is basically bringing your awareness to this moment in time and paying attention to what your mind, body and emotions are telling you. 

For people who are alone right now, it is important for you to reach out to others.  Video chat with friends or family members, or call someone on the phone, even if you don’t feel like it, because you need it and so do they. 

Sometimes you think you are fine but what you are really doing is just distracting yourself from what you are really experiencing.  This is especially true for people who are caregivers to others.  Whether you are a parent or someone who takes care of their parents or other family members, you think about what the people you are responsible for are needing at any given moment.  Always jumping from one situation to the next keeping yourself busy.  But how often do you check in with yourself to see what you need?

This doesn’t have to take up a lot of time, it just needs you to be brutally honest about what it is you find.  Take a moment, even if it is just when you go to the bathroom.  Sit and think about what your body is feeling.  Are your shoulders drawn up and tight?  Do you have pain anywhere?  Those can be just physical issues, but they can also be signs that you are holding on to stress and trauma that you need to deal with.

Do you have trouble getting your mind to calm enough for you to even take stock of what is going on in your body?  That might mean you are not handling your stress well and your mind is trying to distract you from facing the fact that you need to take some time for yourself.

One would think that during this time where stores and theaters are closed, and many people are either out of a job or working from home that it would be easy to take time to take care of yourself.  But if you are a parent whose children are at home, or someone who is looking out for the welfare of others, you are just as busy as ever, just in new and different ways.  So be kind to yourself.  Make sure you check in with yourself every day and do something that makes you smile, even if it is only for a few minutes.  Watch a show that makes you laugh, read a chapter in your favorite book, or listen to music that releases the tension in your shoulders.

You can’t take care of those you love if you aren’t taking care of yourself first.

Do whatever you need to do to stay safe and healthy at home.

Practicing Mindfulness at Home

Home is your sanctuary, the place you are excited to come back to after a vacation or time away for any other reason. It’s where you lay your head and where you gather for family meals. Although we appreciate what our homes give us, we can still take it for granted. Here are three ways to help you learn how to practice mindfulness in your own house, even when you’re home all the time.

Give Yourself a Break

We all have the tendency to fill every moment of the day, whether that be with organizing a closet or finishing a long-forgotten project. But what if we took a moment to just be? Practicing mindfulness is all about appreciating the moment for what it is, but you may find that hard to do if you’re constantly in motion.

Find a quiet space in your home, allow yourself to relax, and experience a rush of thankfulness for your health and the roof over your head. You can even meditate as part of your mindfulness practice.

Experience Your Thoughts

Mindfulness is being aware of your feelings and thoughts, and there is no need to shy away from them. Give yourself permission to welcome your thoughts as they enter your mind, and give them a farewell as they exit, all without judgment and without forcing emotion. A thought can be just a thought.

Become Aware of Your Movements

While staying at home, you may walk the neighborhood more. As part of your mindfulness practice, and to make walking more fun, become aware of the experience. Absorb how the sun hits your skin, how the ground feels beneath you, and how the wind breezes through your hair. You can practice this same thing with eating, taking a shower, washing the dishes, or anything else you do in a day.

As you work on your mindfulness, know that you may not be an expert at it right away. It takes time to ease into it. Allow yourself that, too.

At-Home Self Care Techniques

Self care, for many, is a foreign concept because we can get so caught up in our everyday responsibilities that we forget to take the time to care for our needs. To establish your own self care routine, here are three techniques you can start implementing today.

Go Screen-Free

If you’re like most of the world, you may aimlessly check through your phone more often than you’d like. One easy self care technique you can implement is to consciously step away from your screen. Try leaving your phone in another room when you’re sleeping so you aren’t tempted to scroll if you wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. 

Establish a Good Sleep Schedule

A good sleep schedule can improve your mood, reduce stress, empower your immune system by reducing inflammation, and even boost your memory. Aim for a consistent seven to nine hours per night. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day so your body can more easily fall into a normal sleep-wake schedule. While you sleep, manifest abundance. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be amazed at the energy you have and how ready you’ll feel to conquer the day each morning.

Eat Whole Foods

For many, food is medicine. What we eat daily can have a strong impact on our health, mood, and more. To make your meals part of your self care plan, try to eat a healthy balance of nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. It’s also important to drink the recommended eight cups of water throughout the day.

Ultimately, learning how to take care of yourself can heal your soul because it’s rooted in what your body and mind tell you. Maybe self care looks like a bubble bath while reading your favorite book, or a meditation session in a dark room. Your body and mind are telling you what they want — all you have to do is listen.

The Difference Between Guided Meditation vs. Active

Meditation can take many forms and a wide range of time intervals. It can work with people of all ages, and stages in life. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Experiment and find the techniques that work best for you. Let’s look at the similarities and differences between a guided meditation and an active meditation.

Guided Meditation: In the beginning of a meditation practice, it is often easier to use a guided program where a person talks you through the process of steps. This can be done live in a class or with a recording. When we are left all on our own to meditate, it may be challenging and distracting because our minds tend to hop around from topic to topic.  Some may be in a peaceful setting or with calming music or nature sounds in the background. 

A few popular types of guided meditation include: Sleep/Relaxation, Pain/Stress Relief or Mindful/Loving. You can find meditations that guide you to let go of anxieties with visualizations and soothing thoughts and images.  Or, you may choose to learn how to be in the here and now while letting your distracting thoughts float away. This type of energy helps you navigate your busy world and still feel in control.

Active Meditation: Active meditation combines focus and mindfulness with specific activity — usually one that you can do without great concentration on the task you’re performing. Some may get more from their meditation while walking or jogging, gardening or knitting, for example. Combining physical concentration with repetitive physical actions can create a deeper mind-body connections and intensify the clarity and peacefulness of the meditation.

It is often useful to do these actions on your own, so you can be in the moment and enjoy the deep inner connection you are creating instead of participating in conversations with others or listening to popular music or your favorite podcast. 

Experiment to find what works best for you each day. Perhaps, like me, you will find that adding some variety to our meditations helps to provide the best results.

How To Meditate

Meditation has been around for thousands of years Originally handed down from generation to generation. The english word, meditation, is based on a latin word meaning ‘to ponder.’ But, you do not need to be a yogi seated in an ashram for hours and hours to benefit. 

Modern meditation is a proven and powerful tool that has many health and life benefits including stress reduction. A basic meditation can be broken down into a few simple steps:

  1. find a desired location 
  2. get comfortable
  3. close your eyes
  4. take deep breaths
  5. quiet your mind and relax

Start with a short time, up to 5 minutes, then work your way up to longer times that fit best for you. Many find meditation upon waking to be helpful. Find the ways meditation helps you the most. 

It is important to be focused and present in the moment. This is not the time to respond to emails or try to get other things done. If distracting thoughts pop up, simply say ‘thank you’ and let them pass like a cloud in the sky.  

Enjoy this process of taking care of yourself. The more you practice meditation, the easier it will be and it will become a beneficial habit of self-care.