Spiritual Wellness

Meditation: Different Ways to Meditate

Meditation: Different Ways to Meditate

My first attempt at intentional meditation was no less than a total flop, at least in the way I was trying to learn to meditate. Just the word "meditation" means different things to different people. Consequently, I do not believe there is just one way to meditate. The purpose of meditation is to evoke a physiological change that relaxes the body and reduces the heart rate. Some people meditate to relax and rejuvenate the body, some meditate for spiritual enlightenment, and some meditate for both reasons.

SpiritualAs I mentioned, my first experience with intentional meditation didn't go very well. I was living at a yoga Ashram for a month several years ago to learn yoga and increase my spiritual abilities. As I sat on the floor in a room filled with others, the energy I felt emanating in the room was actually too overwhelming to me. So I often skipped out and spent the hour quietly walking down a rural dirt road. I would now call that a walking meditation or contemplation. At that time, I just thought I was failing at all attempts to meditate.

Over the years, I have had various experiences, some more enlightening than others. There are tons of materials and books on the market to teach about meditation, so my words will not be extensive on the subjective. Mostly, I will describe what I consider my more successful experiences.

My second real attempt to meditate brought an amazing experience. Since I didn't seem very capable of just "emptying" my mind of thoughts, I sat and focused on the palms of my hands and just felt. Before I realized it, I could feel the energy pulsating through my hands in the most amazing and calming way. I could tell it was not simply my pulse, because I could feel that too. I had two different energies moving throughout my body. I just sat, experiencing something completely new to me, and let the energy flow. I sat like this for about 45 minutes; then the sensation simply stopped. I wanted to grab it and say, "please come back." I sat there in total amazement and deep relaxation, feeling totally rejuvenated.


MeditationAnother time, I was actually sitting in a group guided meditation session. This doesn't usually work very well for me, but something was different this time. Right off the bat, I could tell I had tuned out the woman guiding the session. I really have no idea what she was saying. I was off somewhere else. Eventually, I could hear her calling us back into reality, but before my body or mind was willing to join everyone else, I had an amazing spiritual experience that I will not even attempt to describe here.

If this type of meditation does not work for you, at least practice simple deep breathing practices while relaxing each part of your body. Many people enjoy moving meditations with and without music, walks in nature, and other activities that produce an enjoyable relaxed meditative state, allowing for meaningful contemplation.

Deep breathing and relaxation help with stress reduction, pain management, and even improved problem-solving skills. To sum it up, time devoted to prayer and meditation always pays off - in one way or another.

When working with Karen as a health educator and wellness coach, you will be encouraged to discover ways that promote relaxation and peace of mind, opening up a new way of thinking, living, and changing your lifestyle habits.


Living Intuitively part 1

Living Intuitively

Learn the difference between "intuitive thoughts and physical emotions." They can guide you to your highest good. Intuitive living produces creativity and peace, not fear.



Simply stating (perhaps oversimplifying) living intuitively is using your sixth sense in your everyday living. Keep in mind the expression of being intuitive can mean different things to different people. A mother's instinct that often proves true is being intuitive. Yet her intuitiveness may not go beyond her immediate life and those of her children. Others may refer to well-known psychics such as Edgar Cayce or Arthur Best as being intuitive. Everyone can learn to live intuitively, but not everyone receives answers about other people's lives, probably very few actually are intuitive to that extent.

Quiet mindLearning about your own intuitiveness is where the trickiness begins. Learning to understand and trust your "gut" instinct as something you should act upon, requires learning to pay attention and understand yourself and practicing receiving, without reacting. For example, just because you get a really bad feeling when you meet someone, does not necessarily mean that the person is a serial killer. It may mean that there is something about the person that triggers a negative memory from your subconscious that has nothing to do with the person you just met. However, the information - that initial instinct - may still be important in understanding yourself and helping you make decisions about yourself. Plus, there is always the chance that the person who sent your emotions into a tailspin really does have something to hide. So just be aware of what you are feeling and what is going on around you.

Growing into a more intuitive way of living will actually teach you to pay more attention to what is going on around you and your own inner thoughts and feelings, thus allowing you to be more open to the obvious as well as the less-than-obvious possibilities and obstacles you face.

Some people find it easier than others to develop intuitiveness. In fact, there has been some evidence that the sensitivity toward being intuitive runs in families. If this is the case, my guess is that eventually, science will figure out the brain connection of why some people are more naturally intuitive than others.

Intuitiveness may come in the form of sensing or feeling something (for me I describe it as a "swishy" feeling that just passed through me); heightened senses such as smelling, hearing, and seeing things others do not see; and having meaningful nighttime dreams that actually guide you in one way or another. I do want to caution you again that just because you have strong emotions about something, you need to figure out the "why" you are having the emotions. Are you tapping into your sixth sense or do you have an anxiety disorder and your emotions are coming from some hidden crisis you buried in your subconscious. However, that knowledge is still valuable.

My personal intuitive abilities have mostly been centered around my own life and those of my family. Occasionally, unannounced or not sought after, they may be about someone else, but not frequently. For example, whenever I was pregnant (I have 8 children), I would dream about whether or not I was carrying a boy or girl. My husband and I would decide on baby names before the baby was born based on my dreams (this was before ultra-sounds). I really didn't think this odd. My brain (subconscious mind) knew what my body was nourishing. I really didn't see it as some amazing spiritual experience. It was just something that happened. 

I personally pay close attention to my dreams and usually keep a dream journal. Dreams use a lot of symbolism, so they often cannot be taken at face value. They need to be figured out if they seem meaningful enough to put forth the effort. I don't personally subscribe to some of the theories I have read in many books. Dreams are very personal. I believe two people can dream about similar things, yet they may mean something very different to each person. For example, if two people dream about a snake, one person may have a pet snake and the dream means something positive, while the other person is terrified of snakes and the dream has a totally different meaning.

Dreams are only one way someone may experience being intuitive. More on dreams will be written in my next post. The important aspect is to try and become perceptive on whether your feelings come from a buried negative part of your subconscious mind or what I call the Sacred Mind, which to some would be called their higher consciousness.

To be continued...


Self-Empowerment: What it means

Self-Empowerment: What does it mean?

It means being the person you want to be
and following the path you want to follow.

Self-empowerment is not about what you do.

Self-empowerment is about who you are.

When you feel helpless in your circumstances, you are not self-empowered. When you are dependent on others to make decisions for you and provide for your every need, you are not self-empowered.

Five Toxic Words NOT to Say

Should – Ought to – Need to - Have to - Must

These five words can be toxic, in that they do not create a sense of self-empowerment; rather they can produce feelings of guilt, resentment, and hopelessness.

Three ways to empower yourself

  1. Be aware and pay attention to the words you say. Are you saying any toxic words to yourself or others?

  2. When you catch yourself saying a toxic word, mentally throw the word into a fire and let it burn to ashes. Do this every time you hear yourself utter a toxic word.

  3. Purposely and with awareness use the words could, choose, and want.

When you are aware that your behavior or circumstances are harmful to you or someone else, using these toxic words may or may not motivate you to change your behavior or circumstances. The goal is to change your behavior by becoming self-empowered and changing your situation from the inside out, not by being forced to by outside influences. When you let others have control over your emotions and actions, you give them your power.

Choose for yourself carefully. For example, if your current situation warrants a major change, telling yourself you should, ought to, need to, have to, or must do this or that, will likely cause you anxiety and produce little change. Instead, after considering all options for your current situation, write down the following:

  1. Things you could do;

  2. Things you choose to do;

  3. Things you want to do, and

  4. Things you will do.

By doing this you are becoming more self-empowered and developing the ability to create what you want to create in your life. Sometimes, however, you may want something; but you are not willing to choose the course of action to achieve your desire, but at least you are taking responsibility for your situation. The act of taking personal responsibility for yourself promotes personal growth, which is itself a sense of self-empowerment.


Spiritual Wellness: Why Develop Spirituality?

By Karen Best Wright

Published in Albemarle Tradewinds

AlbemarleTradewinds.com

Spiritual Wellness refers to developing and experiencing morals, values, and purpose in life. As with the other areas of wellness, spiritual growth affects total wellness. The synergy of all aspects of wellness creates balance or imbalance in life.

There are multiple paths when developing spiritual health and identity. Spiritual wellness has less to do with a specific religion and more to do with experiencing a connection or relationship with a power greater than the conscious mind.

Spirituality is important. It is personal and will be experienced diversely by most everyone. Many people will develop spiritual wellness through religion or religious beliefs. Others will experience the spiritual process through meditation or thoughtfulness on who they are and what is happening in life.

Society often presents many challenges when focusing on developing spiritual awareness. Learning to view these challenges through a spiritual perspective can bring understanding to a chaotic life. That understanding can create motivation to improve life or bring peace to accept it.

Seeking to understand the connection among all earth's living - be they human, animals, or nature -   can bring a sense of spiritual wonder to life. Accepting that there is a reason for the "why" of life, even when it is not fully understood, brings both fascination and personal peace.

For some, being among like-minded people - a church or one's "tribe" - will bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Others may find their spiritual path a private and authentic way of life. Whatever avenue is chosen to achieve spiritual wellness, there are commonalities. A sense of purpose, developing and understanding personal values, and connecting to one's belief in God, a higher power, or a universal greater knowledge promotes spiritual growth and well-being.