Meditation resources

Last week I was having a conversation with a friend about meditation - he works for a meditation start up so I was curious to learn more about HIS meditation practice.

As we were talking I noticed how it felt good to just talk about meditation: my body was relaxed and I even started to feel my brain go into that "meditated" state where the little things don't stress me out.

I personally have an interesting relationship with meditation. I know my body and brain crave a consistent practice, but it hasn't always been easy for me to make the time and really drop in.

One thing that helps me tremendously is having a handful of recorded meditations I can turn to when I need more guidance and structure with my practice.

Yes, I've used the apps like Headspace and Calm, which are GREAT for just starting a meditation practice. But I've noticed that most of the mainstream meditation resources leave a little something missing.

I've had the good fortune to practice with some next level teachers. I prefer to have something more personal, a little deeper, a little bit more magic in my meditation Rolodex.

With the holiday this week (and all the family and travel and everything that comes with it!) I wanted to share my personal meditation resources with you.

Below I've linked some incredible teachers and recordings that you can access online for support no matter where you are or what you have time for.

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Meditation resources:

- Biet Simkin - Meditation + Music - Biet's an incredible meditation teacher here in NYC. She mainly does in person and private events but I found one of her meditations online (linked here). Her music is also meditative in itself (I love putting in on for some inner peace while commuting or working).

- Orkie Meditations - Orkie is great for a meditation that goes deeper and encourages you to reflect on your own consciousness and subconscious beliefs. You can get a little taste for Orkie on the page I linked. If you're into it, there are many (longer) meditations available for purchase and download.

- Jana Roemer - Yoga Nidra Recordings - Yoga Nidra is the practice of Yogic Sleep and Jana is one of my favorite Nidra teachers. She's based in LA but offers Yoga Nidra recordings every month in connection with the moon cycles. Great for a longer, evening meditation.

- Katonah yoga + pranayama - My current daily meditation practice consists of Katonah yoga and breathwork (pranayama). If you're in NYC you can come experience a class at The Studio, but if not, check out this basic breathwork video I made.

Wishing you a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving!

It's okay to do less

The last few weeks have felt a little wonky - maybe it's the travel or the end of the vacation season, but I feel like I haven't totally found my post-summer flow.

Although I have SO much I want to share with you here, I'm struggling to find a regular time and space to write.

In addition to taking on a few more 1:1 coaching clients and working on some exciting projects with Robyn, I've been focused on my own gut stuff and making my health my #1 priority.

Despite being a health coach and virtually living in a world of wellness, this is the first time in years (or maybe ever???) I'm really, really putting myself first.

And you know what I've realized? Putting yourself first sometimes means being a little quieter and doing a little less while you go in a little more. And for right now, I am okay with that.

I'm okay with not being the first to check out the latest and greatest matcha spot in Brooklyn. I'm okay with passing on dessert during a fancy dinner and sipping hot water with lemon instead (not saying it was easy... but I'm okay with it). I'm okay with saying "no" to some networking opportunities and not immediately responding to every email that comes my way.

It's okay to do less.

It's also okay to share or give less.

If you're in a position of leadership, influence or service (which most people are to some extent), your default setting is likely giving out a lot of energy. Sharing your expertise or advice, teaching or mentoring, or mothering.

This is amazing, but not sustainable 100% of the time. As much as we give, we also need to receive. And I'll take that a step further to say it's not just about receiving support, encouragement and love... it's about digesting those energies as well [see last week's post for more on that!]

All this is to say... I'm digesting!!! ;)

I'm leaning into this space of processing and allowing myself to not juggle all the things and instead focus on fewer things, more important things.

I'm not telling you this as an excuse of any kind, but simply as a reminder that it is okay if you're feeling this way too. It's okay if you need to take a break from something to focus on you. And it's okay if you need to conserve your time and energy and do a little less than what feels normal to you.

It's all okay friends.

Serene sunset over the sound this weekend in Duck, North Carolina

Serene sunset over the sound this weekend in Duck, North Carolina

On that note, I do want to share a few quick reads, views or listens that may provide you with a little inspiration or entertainment while I'm feeling a little more quiet on the sharing front:

  • Watch: Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace - Whether or not you work with anyone from the millennial generation, I think this 15 minute interview is a must-watch. I whole-heartedly believe that social media (and work) are the newest forms of addiction and that we're going to be hearing a LOT more on this subject in the years to come.

  • Listen: Abbie Galvin on The Lifestylist Podcast - I've been practicing a LOT of Katonah yoga the last year. A full blog post is definitely in the works, but if you're curious on learning more about this unique style of yoga and the theory behind it, listen to this episode with my teacher Abbie.

  • Read: Gabby Bernstein's Blog Post on Gut Health - Gabby is a modern spiritual leader, and she's not shy about sharing her own gut and food struggles. This blog post goes into detail about her own challenges and gut healing story. I skimmed it yesterday and look forward to diving in more fully later this week.

Hope one of these will be of interest or useful for you!

Space to reflect

I had another blog post planned for today but when I sat down to finish it, it didn't feel right. 

I was planning to write to you about sugar cravings and some tips I've been sharing with my 1:1 coaching clients the past week (which I'll likely send next week because it is really, really good info!).

But something stopped me when I went to hit publish. I make most of my business decisions from my gut and so I knew I had to heed that hesitation and listen more closely for what wanted to be shared today.

So I took a minute and tuned in. I stopped what I was doing, took a few deep breaths and I asked myself "What would feel more in alignment here?" and the answer became clear.

Nothing new.

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With everything going on this week - the Jewish New Year, remembering 9/11, the hurricane (which hits particularly close for me as my grandparents live most of the year in Duck, North Carolina and I am actually supposed to be going down there next weekend) and the back-to-school/life/work really setting in, it didn't feel like this was a week to share or start something new.

It felt like this should be a week for reflection. For honoring where we're at right in this moment, for feeling gratitude for all the good in our lives (especially the things we take for granted on a daily basis) and for acknowledging our intentions for the year to come.

Holding space for reflection is so important, yet something that we often skip over in our fast paced lives.

We jump from one thing to the next and don't always allow ourselves to "digest" our life experiences (yes, experiences and emotions need to be digested too!).

Personally, I think a lot of the gut issues I've been experiencing lately are a result of this go-go-go mentality. Even if you love your job and fill your life with all things you enjoy, you still need space to just breathe and be.

Photo by Seana Pasic

So today (or this weekend) I encourage you to give yourself just that. Take a break and go for a walk without your phone. Sit on a park bench or your sofa without a book, cell phone or TV for distraction. Leave an hour of your day unscheduled (or if you tend to schedule EVERYTHING, block off an hour in your calendar to do nothing).

The most important part? Let go of your expectations of this time. Literally, expect nothing of yourself. Don't expect to feel amazing or rested or restored afterwards. Don't plan for revelations, insights or big emotional ahas (although those may naturally happen).

In that time, first just breathe. Let your thoughts wander. Allow your gaze to linger. Just be.

And then if there is something that you know you need to reflect on or simply be with, allow yourself to go there. Have your thoughts, feel through your feelings and let your body and your mind digest it all.

This is not a "to do" but if you do try this out or if something I shared above resonated with you, I'd love to hear from you :) Leave a comment below and let me know.

My non-negotiables

As I write this post I’m in the middle of a 10 day trip with some of my best college girlfriends. We’re doing a lot of hiking at some beautiful national parks and also making a weekend stop in Vegas. It’s been an amazing trip so far because I’ve been able to spend quality time with friends I don’t see that often while still sticking to my “non negotiables.”

What’s a non negotiable? Its a practice, routine or ritual that you do every day that makes you feel your best. These are the things that keep you grounded even if everything else around you feels way out of the norm.

Like me, maybe you spent this past weekend celebrating. Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season - a time where we travel more, stay up a little later, spend more time outside, and likely eat and drink a little more loosely since it’s summer and it’s time to relax and have fun.

Me and my girls in the middle of an amazing hike in Zion!

Me and my girls in the middle of an amazing hike in Zion!

Personally I know I don’t feel my best if I let all my healthy habits fall by the wayside (even when I’m on vacation), but I also know I need to enjoy life and have a little wiggle room, especially in the summer.

This is where non negotiables come in.

Your non negotiable may be meditation, eating at least 1 green vegetable a day, journaling, etc. They can change over time with you, or adapt to the situation.

 

 

Right now my non negotiables are:
1. Water first thing when I wake up
2. Morning meditation
3. Getting in plenty of movement AND exercise every day

These are things I’m committed to, even on vacation, even on the weekends. They’re especially important on trips with friends and family because they keep you grounded and connected to yourself, the YOU that you are now and that you’re working to become, versus the YOU you may feel pulled to be around old friends or your fam.

Morning "me" time is one of my non negotiables. Usually this means water, meditation and tea.

Morning "me" time is one of my non negotiables. Usually this means water, meditation and tea.

I first learned about the idea of non-negotiable from Robyn, and it’s something she teaches in the first week of her online coaching program, Your Healthiest You.

I helped Robyn create this program and have had many of my clients, family and friends go through it. The course covers much of the material both Robyn and I start on with our 1:1 coaching clients - it will help you create (or redefine) your healthy foundation.

In the 6 week course you’ll learn:

  • How to identify YOUR non negotiables
  • What to put on your plate at every meal
  • What your cravings may be trying to tell you (it’s likely not as simple as you think)
  • How to create a meditation practice
  • What’s up with your hormones (focused on my ladies, but also super informative for my male friends!)
  • And so much more!

Whether you’ve been on a health kick and want to keep momentum behind that as we move into summer or MDW indulgences already have you feeling less than sparkly in your bikini or swim trunks, this course is for you.

 

 

Because I know how incredible this course is, I’m offering a special bonus when you enroll: in addition to the bonuses listed on the course website, you’ll also receive a 25 minute laser focus coaching session with me ($250 value)!
Head here to learn more + enroll: Your Healthiest You Group Coaching Program.

Resolution Reflections + Headspace

Can you believe that we are already one month in to 2015? It's about this time every year that resolutions start to falter (I blame the cold!) and old, less-than-desirable habits creep back in.  While I am not one to promote crash diets or crazy gym routines, I do think that new years resolutions have the potential to be a positive thing - it's good to reflect on what you want out of life and how you plan to get there.  But why do we all feel the need to commit to one, over-ambitious on January 1st, only to feel dis-heartened and burnt out a few weeks later?    

This year, I'm breaking free of this unproductive cycle.  Instead, I will be making a series of smaller resolutions throughout the year - ones that ring true for the season and that I can (reasonably) hold myself accountable to.  January started off strong - I developed a new, energizing morning routine that has put a pep in my step all month.  So what will I commit to for February? Meditation.  

The more I read, the more I learn about the power of thought and the benefits of visualization. I've been wanting to establish a meditation practice for a while now, but I keep talking myself out of truly trying it.  I think part of the problem is that "meditation" has always implied silence and calm for an extended period of time - something that I'm not ready for, just yet at least.  

And then I learned about Headspace - an app that eases you into meditation 10-minutes at a time.  10 minutes?  Even I can handle that.  Oh, and it's user friendly too, complete with graphics that help you demystify meditation techniques.  You can read more about the app here and here.  

image via Headspace

I'm excited to see where this month of meditation takes me.  There are some big changes going on in my life, so I think this choice of resolution is perfect for me right now.

Have you ever tried to meditate? What were the results?  I'd love to hear your stories, and any tips and tricks from all you seasoned meditators out there.