Thursday, 16 January 2014

Live a Pure and Happy Life - It's easier than you think.

Waking up each morning with boundless energy and clear skin is starting to become a daily norm for me, but it wasn't always this way and it hasn't been an easy road.  I'm starting to live more in the present and leaving the past where it is and allowing the future to present itself as it pleases.  I can't change anything in the past and I certainly cannot predict the future, all I can do is live in the present and make the most of each and every moment NOW.

By becoming aware of the present moment, I've been able to let go of all the things that hold me down, like fear of the unknown, anxiety and stress.  When I'm living in these feelings, I don't treat myself with the respect that I deserve and I mainly reach for comfort food to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  That warm and fuzzy feeling lasts for all of about 20mins and then the guilt and resentment kick in.  This vicious cycle had to stop, my mind needed a break and I wasn't liking the extra cottage cheese forming on my thighs.

Somehow I stumbled across Echart Tolle's The Power of Now, and downloaded his audio book to my phone.  I only really got about 40mins in, but everything was starting to make sense.  I needed to live more in the present moment and forget about everything else.  So I set about trying to put this into practice.  First I tried walking outside and just taking everything in and being aware of all the sounds around me which was nice at first but I would then find myself looking at all the homes and then becoming really judgemental on the way people were living, how could they leave their yard like that.  That wasn't working.  Then I thought about meditation.  I always loved doing the 10mins of meditation and relaxation at the end of yoga.  So I gave it a try and it works perfectly for me.

Meditation sounds daunting to some, but it is one of the most effective ways to cultivate a happy life. The main benefit of mediation is to teach us how to be okay with just being.  Jess Ainscough's book Make Peace with Your Plate has a great summary on meditation:

When you can close your eyes and sit in meditation, with nothing to achieve and nothing to do apart from concentrate on your breathing and the sensations in your body, you quickly learn how to be content without any of the bells and whistles of our busy modern lives.  You may hate it at first; you may struggle with the silence and stillness.  But trust me when I say that, after a while, you'll notice subtle changes in your everyday life.  Your patience and coping mechanisms will improve, you will be easier to please, you will be able to see the bigger picture, and you'll be more content in the present moment.  You won't need anything else to make you happy - you will be happy for absolutely no other reason than because you are alive in the moment.

Being happy for absolutely no other reason than because you are alive in the moment is a great and liberating feeling.  For me, this state of happiness then flows out into all avenues of my life, I'm so much more grateful for all the little things and my relationships are stronger.

How to meditate:

- Find somewhere comfortable that you can sit and not be interrupted.  You may want to sit on a stool, or a pillow, I sit on the end of my couch.

- Once you are seated in your spot, make sure that you are sitting upright and not leaning on anything, you don't want to be too comfortable or otherwise you may drift off to sleep.

- Close your eyes and focus your attention on the space between them.  This is the 'Third Eye' - it's said to house all your intuitive powers.

- Concentrate on your breathing, listen to the rise and fall of your abdomen.  Become aware of the noises that surround you, listen for birds, cars or people making noises.  Don't focus in on those noises just be aware.

- Your mind may wonder, this is ok and normal.  When it does wander, just bring your attention back to your breathing.

- Try to stay calm and in this position for as long as you can.  Start with 5-10 mins a day then work your way up to 30mins.

Give meditating a try, you will be happier for it, which will spill out into all areas of you life.  Because your more content, you'll make better choices throughout your day, you'll automatically go for foods that nourish your body and you'll be a much kinder person.

I'd love to hear how meditating is working for you, leave me a comment below.


PS.  Don't forget about the Potluck Picnic in the Park on the 15th Feb 2014, come along I'd love to meet you.  For more information click here.

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