Don’t you love it when you set out to do something in hopes of a certain outcome, but then what you end up receiving is nothing like what you thought it would be - it’s actually 10x better? Yeah, me too.
For a little backstory, I initially started meditating because it was referenced by all of my favourite entrepreneurs as part of their morning routines. Being someone who always wanted to start their own business, share my message, help people, live well + so on, I was a super fan of these talented business minds, and began to realize that some emulation of their daily habits could serve me well. While my idea of living well means financial freedom, location independence, schedule autonomy, and lots of time spent outdoors, I know yours can differ significantly, which makes the uniqueness of each person’s experience the most beautiful part of it all.
In my experience, meditation has worked to show me the deepest desires of who I am at the core. This practice shows the truth within that is unique only to you, tailor made with an endless supply of hope, belief, compassion, and love… it’s the practice of bringing yourself to all that you have been missing, the answer to everything you are looking for.
Being overwhelmed by myself + everything I wanted to do + be in the world, it was paralyzing in terms of making any sort of a move towards anywhere other than where I was… which was, of course, stuck. Knowing that I wanted to achieve more in my life, and take a step towards a completely different career path, I decided that committing to a 21-day meditation program certainly wouldn’t hurt, and was curious to see what would go down.
I had no clue that I would begin this practice and that it would ultimately be the cause of me quitting my job a year and a half later, traveling to the other side of the world despite knowing nothing about the culture, and taking on the task of learning a brand new business + career path. When I say I had no clue, I had Z E R O idea what was about to unfold for me and looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
So I started by committing myself to 21 days of daily meditation with hopes of becoming a millionaire on day 22. And while that didn’t happen, keep reading to find out what did happen that has had me hooked for the past 3 years. I define success completely differently now. It’s nothing about checking a box, or how many zero’s are in the bank account, but always about how connected I feel to my purpose, how much I enjoy the way I spend my time. Do I feel supported? Do I feel creative? Do I feel excitement? Challenge? New-ness? Adventure? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes - that’s success to me.
“Your life right now is a combination of your daily thoughts coupled with your daily actions.”
#1 - I Stopped Giving Up On Myself
This is #1, because this was the first “holy f*ck meditation is crazy” realization I had, and it happened in the first 14 days of practice. As a forever procrastinator, sticking with a commitment was somewhat foreign to me, and despite the fact that some of the first days of the practice were hard, (I mean don’t get me wrong some days now are hard), not understanding what the goal was, or what I was trying to achieve, I would judge myself thinking that I wasn’t doing it “right” (whatever the hell that means), or there were the days where I would break out of my seat as soon as the timer went, pull the pillow from under my bum and hardly get it up to my face in time to suffocate my scream of frustration that had been bubbling inside for the last torturous 8 minutes of the practice. Despite all of this, there were these moments of… something I don’t even know how to quite properly convey. I could say overwhelming connection, or peace, understanding, freedom, love, acceptance, forgiveness, + on… and it was these moments that had me realize that there was more to this than I had originally thought, and I was intrigued.
It was somewhere around day 14, give or take, I was part way through a meditation, when once again I had found myself on this ruminating hamster wheel of, “I don’t want to be doing this anymore… I want to jump out of my skin…how long has it been… why on earth did I think this mattered… I’m going to give up now… no now… no now!” But I never did, give up that is. The commitment to the 21 days meant something to me that I didn't understand at the time, and it was only on that 14th day when something inside of me woke up and said, “hey, you know you’ve been thinking that thought everyday for the last 14 days, and you haven’t given up or opened your eyes, and you know you aren't going to do it today, so how about we just don’t think that thought anymore, k?” And this was…
And here’s the thing, the best part. I began to see this whole other side where I could choose before reacting. Places where I would battle myself, give in too quickly, or avoid trying altogether, I instead began a rational conversation with myself to continue through - and in place of assuming that giving up is inherently who I am, it officially became part of who I used to be.
#2. I Began To Live a Brighter Life.
Meditation has this beautiful way of showing us more of who we are at the deepest level. In turn, it also allows for acceptance of who we were pretending to be, and leads us down the path to discovering the truest meaning of both truth and compassion. The more we can understand ourselves, and live through the truth of who we are instead of the façade we have built around our persona, or the depiction of what we think is “right”, the brighter we get. Literally, your smile gets bigger + lasts longer. Your hugs have a way of making people feel safe, and your presence is welcomed, warming, and most importantly impactful.
“Allowing yourself to shine bright gives others permission to do the same"
I had seen this quote so many times before and never truly got it until recently. It has taken time, but slowly over time I have stepped into an aligned space of being, and it resonates with people on a level that I could have never predicted nor even knew existed.
Perspectives change from having to do things, to wanting to… we will want to work out our bodies because we know we feel good when we do that. We want to eat healthy (ahem* most of the time) because we want to fuel our bodies to support our new dreams. We are able to take chances, because we know that no matter what, we can handle every outcome. That we have been through many challenges before and have lived to tell the tale, so why not now?
And something really cool happens… when you show up, you show up fully. If you don’t know what I mean by this, think back to a time, any time, where you had to go somewhere you really didn’t want to but felt like you should. Often in a state of anxiety, discomfort, and straining to maintain a happy face and struggle through painfully awkward conversations… That actually sums up a lot of my life to be honest; scared to say no, scared to be by myself. When I came to the conclusion that half-assing my way through a conversation is not how I want to be known, that it does disservice not only to myself, but to the people who I care about, I realized I needed to discover, own, and honor my limits. So that when I choose to show up (and a choice it most certainly is), I am present, engaged, and all there. And let me tell you, the brightness, it just finds you. It just does.
#3. I stopped living for a timeline.
Now, something familiar for many women in their early 30’s - is an idea of where we should be. Should be married, should have a kid on the way. Should know exactly what career path we are made for and be making 6 figures doing it. Should have a bad ass house, with a huge open concept kitchen, greenhouse, fenced in yard in the city (I mean, if we’re should’ing sh*t, let’s go for the gold shall we). Don’t get me wrong - I want these to be a part of my life at some point, not because I should, and not immediately, or at any given specific date because I have survived to an age where society tells me I need to and thus feed my feelings of inadequacy and continue into the life of struggling to “keep up.” Nah, nah, nah, F that.
Timelines are bullsh*t. Timelines and subsequent box checking is boring, and it’s so beautiful when we can take a turn off the hamster wheel for a second to realize maybe something else that is more in line with who YOU are, maybe discover a direction you are meant to be heading, simply because it means more to Y O U!
The closer we get to knowing ourselves, the more we begin to create our own list of priorities, and it can be scary that they may or may not line up with society’s ideas, or your parents, or even your past ideas… trust me when I say I know, how this can be SO uncomfortable.
I have never been one to be a proponent of schedules, timing, or doing what I was supposed to, so of course it’s not surprising I would find myself here. But, even for me, it didn’t change the fact that it still felt awkward. It's almost as if everyone begin to jog out of the ocean because there’s some ominous and scary dark mass, and I am instead sprinting towards it.
It felt, and feels, at times lonely, uncomfortable, and like something akin to FOMO - but meditation has helped me to realize that LIFE IS PRECIOUS, we are promised nothing, and all we can do is make the best decisions for ourselves from the point of reference of where we are right now.
WE ARE EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE MEANT TO BE. LIFE IS UNFOLDING JUST AS IT SHOULD. AND BEING HERE, BEING ALIVE, BEING ALIGNED, AND LOVING + BEING LOVED IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED NOW.
If you were to die tomorrow, would you be happy with the choices that you had made? I may not be able to check those societal boxes, but I know with every fibre of my being that I feel great about where I am, and that place of knowing is different for all of us - all it needs it to be authentically “you”. I will often say that I don’t understand why I am on this path vs. any other, but in following my intuition and inner guide, I don’t need to constantly question it, just to follow it. And so far, so great.
There is a reason why I couldn’t marry either of my last two great boyfriends, why I couldn’t stay in a high paying, amazing job, or why I feel that spending the last year to study and learn a new business is right - I just know it is.
#4 - I learned the lost art of self-trust
And so this is it, the most important lesson of all, the biggest question.
Can you trust yourself? Do you listen to the feeling that turns in your gut, or the voice in your head?
My best friend of 20+ years and the über emotionally intelligent Love Coach, Diana Eskander, always reminds me that our relationships are a mirror of what is going on internally for us and will always reveal the wounds and/or insecurities waiting to be healed. Despite knowing this, I never saw the fact that while trust was often an issue for me in my past relationships, that it was something I needed to first show myself. I always considered trust as this external factor, something created between people, not beginning from within. Realizing that the trust missing was in myself, is to date one of the greatest ah-ha moments of my life. I used to feel like trust was owed to me, that it was to be proven, but now I know that it is an inside job, that once it is completed… once trust is there, I need not demand it of others ever again, because I will make choices selectively with people and places who reflect back to me the same level and/or understanding of trust.
So my mirror was reflecting trust… but for yourself some thoughts to consider are: what are you (or have you) been thirsty for from your partner (or past partners), that you never feel like is enough… and then REALLY ask yourself if you are giving enough of that to yourself.
In Brené Brown's newest book, Braving The Wilderness, (*heads up: this is an affiliate link*) she highlights the importance of owning who we are and to trust that all will be ok. Here's one of my favorite excerpts from the book:
“We are complex beings who wake up every day and fight against being labeled and diminished with stereotypes and characterizations that don’t reflect our fullness. Yet when we don’t risk standing on our own and speaking out, when the options laid before us force us into the very categories we resist, we perpetuate our own disconnection and loneliness. When we are willing to risk venturing into the wilderness, and even becoming our own wilderness, we feel the deepest connection to our true self and to what matters the most.”
So Here’s THE Thing...
Meditation really is a way for us to listen to what our soul is trying to tell us & which direction it is pulling us toward. Once we can hear the message, we can then work on building the faith and trust, to then hear the advice, to finally step outside + go. Blindly. With faith. With courage. With bravery. It can be scary and feel, at times, paralyzing - but doing anything that goes against the norm is difficult. So let’s remember together: we are here for this one life, for this one shot, and we can guess, but never really know what comes next, so why on earth would we waste any of it? Our time in this lifetime is finite, but our impact can be forever. Live with trust + love in your heart. Ask inside, L I S T E N, and act.
Live with a spark, live with intention, live on purpose and watch the world around you open up to everything you are asking for.
It’s time. Go and grab a beautiful meditation cushion from our Mudra + Moss Shop HERE, make the time to connect with yourself. You never know, you may just end up…
TRYING EVERYTHING. MAKING YOUR OWN RULES. SHINING BRIGHTER. TRUSTING IN FAITH. And ultimately and finally, living life as it is meant to be for Y O U !
It’s all inside, and it’s yours to discover.
All the love to all of you,