Goals of Meditation

Goals of Meditation

Goals of Meditation

originally posted Nov 4, 2019

Some people have asked me, is the goal of meditation to relax and eventually fall asleep?

Not necessarily. You might want to fall asleep after, but that is not the goal. 

For me, Meditation is sitting with yourself, noticing your thoughts, and focusing on your body. Meditation is also focusing on your breath and how it interacts with your body. 

For a long time, I didn’t know how to really sit with my thoughts and listen to my breath. My ego was so loud in my head. It still is. I have to harness the fear and come back to my breath. My ego yelled negative things at me, it pushed me down when I was already down, it told me how bad I was at things. I would come out of my first sessions of meditation, even if only for 2-5 minutes, in tears. Angry with myself, how could I speak to myself like that?

That’s how I learned what my self-talk was and what it was doing to me mentally, physically and psychologically. Why was self talk important? Going further, why was POSITIVE self-talk important?

In order to accomplish things in your life, you need to be kind and compassionate towards yourself. YOU ARE HUMAN. You are NOT (and never will be) perfect. You were not built that way. You were built to be imperfect, the best way to be. The universe created you out of nothing and stopped when it knew, ‘You are a masterpiece’. So once you were born, you were just as you should be in the universe’s eyes. The only work we need to do is to create ideas, be ourselves, and develop a life into what the universe already has in place for us. 

Meditation is to help create that space in which we need to be present in this moment. We are always running around in this life, going to work, grocery shopping, cleaning our house, taking kids to practice, visiting family. We never really are present when doing those things, right? When we are driving are we really focused on our driving? Try and notice when you are on auto-pilot. Can you then bring yourself back to the present moment? Can you feel your body in this present moment?

It is ok if that is hard for you. It takes practice to get out of your head and into your body and breath.

Meditation is there for you to calm your monkey mind. If you are anxious, like me, meditation will help you conquer the busyness in your mind. 

Try to meditate focusing on your breath for 2 minutes. Notice the thoughts, notice your breath, notice your body. Just notice, don’t judge. 

Report back. 

Love & Light,

Katie 

Apostoli, My Savior

Apostoli, My Savior

Apostoli, My Savior

originally posted Oct 28, 2019

It was a hard day at work, teaching English to spoiled Italian children, I made my way to Borgo Apostoli. Santi Apostoli is where I feel my worries and stress melt away. It was winter, so the church was even colder than outside. I warmed myself next to the candles where people look up and pray for loved ones and themselves. I lit myself a candle and looked up to the tabernacle which was adorned with Mary. All I said was ‘help me’ as tears streamed down my face. Help me with what, I don’t know. But at that time in my life I was lost in the streets of Florence, not knowing if what I was doing was impacting others or even advancing myself in this life. Was I on the right path? I knew there was more out there. More things I wanted to accomplish.

As I’m the ayurvedic dosha vata, and impatient in nature, I got frustrated so easily. Sitting in the pews of Santi Apostoli just breathing, feeling the energy around me, the good positive energy that brought me to this amazing city, I was able to calm down. I allowed myself to cry as much as I wanted, it was the only way to feel exactly what I was feeling. I was always told how emotional I was as a child. “I am passionate”, I thought to myself. “I know there is more out there.”

I never stopped at Santi Apostoli at the same time of day but when I needed to stop it always seemed to be open for me. Like it was waiting for me to arrive.

‘Feel what you need to feel, Katie’, it would say as I want walk through its’ wooden doors.

‘Then press on. You are where you need to be.’ 

Even after 5 years of moving away from my beloved city, I still feel its’ pull. Its’ energy telling me it is ok.

Keep your head up. Patience. Be authentically you. 

Meditation doesn’t have to use a mantra, music or special equipment. Sometimes your meditation might just to be in your body, in your spirit, feel your feelings. Without judging how you are feeling, just let go of the anguish, pain, suffering, stress, worry, doubt. Move on then. 

Our problem as a society, we don’t want to feel. We don’t want to feel the pain, the hurt, the struggle. But that is the main part of being human. We must feel the feeling in order to move through life. We cannot ignore it. 

It can be a good feeling as well. Why not feel good once and awhile? Our other problem is not wanting to feel good. Because it is fleeting, perhaps it is setting us up for something bad that is just around the corner. So no one wants to really enjoy feeling good when we get a new job, buying a new house, or welcoming a new baby. Try to sit in a moment of feeling good once and awhile. Notice how it feels when you repeat to yourself

It’s good to feel good.

How does it feel inside?

All we want in this life to feel good in each moment. Yes, there are many moments when it is hard to feel good but what if you try to sit with yourself each morning and say to yourself:

Today is going to be a great day, a great day to feel good about myself, my day will be filled with feeling good moments.

Give it a try tomorrow morning. Report back. ? 

Love & Light, 

Katie

 

Where it Started

Where it Started

Where it Started

originally posted Oct 14, 2019

After teaching my first mindfulness meditation workshop, I felt something light up inside of me. Like this is what I have been meaning to do all my life. I have been through a lot in this young life. I was bullied, didn’t have many friends. I’ve had friends make fun of me. I was always the butt of the joke. I was never the popular one or the pretty one. I was always the outcast or the weird girl in the corner.

I went against all social norms when I was in my 20s. I had a strong urge to live abroad and out of my comfort zone. I followed a path that I knew was very hard. But it couldn’t be as hard as my adolescent years. I wanted the challenge. I wanted to go and do something no one in my family had ever done. Then there was no way to measure if you were doing it wrong or right. It was my own experience.

I wanted to know what it was like to struggle and work hard without the comfort of my family.

Meditation began for me as a place to find my voice and a safe space to express myself. If it was crying, yelling or just looking up to the sky to ask for help from my past loved ones, meditation helped me cope with past traumas and emotional hardships of my childhood. I really started to feel the effects of meditation when I was taking the first of many Bodyflow classes. At the end of the class we had meditation and relaxation, their form of savasana. I physically felt energy vibrating above my body. This energy was telling me to follow my heart and move back “home” which might have been my home in a past life.

I remember feeling tingling and something pulling me to stand up for what I want. “Don’t be afraid,” it whispered to me. Something was telling me to follow the energy that was pulling me over the big blue ocean. Yes, I was scared. Yes, I cried a lot before actually leaving. But it was what my soul yearned for. It was what made me realize that this world is so much bigger than the little town I grew up in. There are so many people who can enter your life if you move yourself to a continent many miles away.

Oh the things you will learn about people, Katie! About life. About love. About how the world is affected by the actions of your country. Why is it so hard to see that when you are right in the thick of it? You are blinded by what you believe to be so, but when you see your country, your people through the eyes of Europeans, Africans, Asians, Irish, English, Australians, you see yourself as a citizen of the world differently too.

It is a great gift to be able to live as an immigrant. I loved every second of it. Because it taught me to listen to everyone’s story. No one person’s story is the same. I saw and felt things I would have never felt if I had never left home. I opened my mind and my heart to new ways of thinking and being.

Meditation while living as an immigrant only really happened for me when I was struggling. My go to place to find comfort and support was a tiny church in the heart of Florence. Santi Apostoli. I was introduced to this gem by my art and architecture teacher, Vera, in the spring of 2002. My first study abroad experience with my university that lasted for 3 months. The best 3 months of my life. I knew that was only the beginning of my schooling in “living as an immigrant”.

More stories and lessons I have learned from coming up in future posts.

This blog will dive into many things, meditation, yoga, self-empowerment, self-discovery, but most of all, how meditation has improved my life thus far.

I hope you’ll enjoy this journey with me.

Light & Love,
Katie 

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