Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One


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Day 20: Expressing the Harry Potter Meditation

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Wow – just one more blog to write on meditation.  I’d like to say that I can’t believe how quickly that it went by, but truly it didn’t. Yesterday’s entry showcased one of my favourite meditations.  I liked this one quite a bit, but it didn’t speak to me in the same way.  I really love Day 21’s meditation as well, and I’m so happy that the last few were so compelling.  Now, onto the reason that I’m writing this – I’ve got a Candy Crush game to get back to. I know – I’m amazingly deep – huh?

Oprah’s greatest blessing is having an unshakable connection to a power greater than her (is there really such a thing?).  She calls this her sunrise faith because as long as we are on this planet, the sun always rises and this is a truth that we can count on.  Well, there’s also death and taxes, we can all count on those too – bit of a downer though.  No matter what we are going through in life, the sun will always rise tomorrow and this is part of a greater truth.  In Canada, we are taxed on that – it is called the optimism tax.  Just kidding!  Anyway, Oprah believes that the more closely that we connect to the source of every truth, the more wondrous and full our life experience will be.  Our truth self, according to Lady O, is something that we feel when we are doing something or connecting with something that we love or having an AHA moment of insight.  When we feel it, it is the essence of connection like the quiet steady sunrise or when you reach a new level of Candy Crush – I’m just a little obsessed right now if you didn’t guess.

Deepak Chopra answered an important trivia question – what is India’s motto?  The truth alone is victorious.  This was my Harry Potter meditation – it reminded me that good will triumph over evil which is one of the takeaways from the book series and truth will always prevail.  I never thought that I would use Deepak Chopra and Harry Potter in the same paragraph, but there you go, more proof that miracles can happen.  On a more Debbie Downer note, DC reminded us that although this may be his country’s motto, truth isn’t always victorious as much as we wish that it was the case.  Sometimes it seems like deception and lies win out.  Values and beliefs shift, but the truth will inevitably shine and show us it’s true nature.  PHEW – I was getting worried for a second.  It is all about removing doubt so that your true self will shine through.    

According to Deepak, most people think that the truth is relative and that it can be a delusion of a closed mind.  Your true self is not a concept that someone dreamed up.  We glimpse into ourselves in moments of joy, love, inspiration, and insight.  DC called this phenomena your “third eye”.  He wants us to respect everyone’s essence and this lies beyond just appearance.  He also wants us to be our own source of inspiration.  To me, honesty is an inspiration.  The quote, “the truth shall set you free”, isn’t just a platitude, it’s a lifestyle choice.  Lies lead to more lies, where in the truth, you find freedom and peace of mind.  It is the healthy choice, because there is no stress in the truth, it just is.  This makes up for my adoration of Candy Crush doesn’t it?  To end, DC explained what Namaste means – the divinity in me bows to the divinity in you.  It is a reminder to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Saying it reminds us of this powerful lesson. Dr. Oz was right in some respects about this meditation thing – it really makes you think.

Today is Mother’s Day and it gives me another moment to heap praise on my Mummy, as if I hadn’t done enough of that already.  It is fitting that I am writing about honesty today since my mother is the most forthright person that I know. She taught me to strive for the best that I can be and that I shouldn’t need gifts to be a motivator.  When I achieve something, it is for myself, not for a reward.  A very important lesson indeed.  I am grateful that I got to spend Mother’s Day with my family and celebrate with them. Oh and Mummy – I just passed you in Candy Crush, so I am grateful for that too – thanks for teaching me to reach for the stars and the coconut wheel when I need it.

Gratefully and crushingly yours,

Jill 


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Day 19: You Being You, Me Being Me – Expressing Yourself

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This meditation was all about basking in your glory.  I often lie on my “what will become of me couch”, mirror in hand and look at my reflection with a muted “Hello Gorgeous” coming from my lips.  It’s so hard being perfect.  Actually that’s another meditation experience, I got a little confused.  It happens when I get side tracked by a mirror.  Damn you Dr. Oz, your “You Being Beautiful” book made me so lovely, that I can’t even concentrate.  I don’t think my ridiculousness is what Oprah and Deepak had in mind for this experience.  I’ll get back to be serious.

Oprah starts off with a lovely quote from her favourite poet.  I too. have a favourite poet – his name is Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran and if you think that their music isn’t poetry – keep this in mind – some of the lyrics rhyme!  Well, here is what you doubters get to hear from the Divine Ms. O’s library, ” Playing small doesn’t save the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence liberates others.  Now is our time to give voice to our truths, our creativity and our unique purpose.”  How inspiring is that?  This makes up for a very few disappointing days where I didn’t relate to the topic or the meditation.  Thank you Oprah – this was one of the defining moments for me.  Basically, if you really need this translated, never be less than you are to please other people.  Don’t play dumb – being smart can inspire others.  This isn’t all that I got out of this quote, but part of this process is having your own thoughts and feelings about what you have learned.  

Deepak had a hard act to follow today, but he didn’t disappoint me either.  I always knew, by the play of jingly wind chimes when he was about to come on.  He reminded the avid listeners, like me, that your being is the greatest gift that you have to give.  Just remember that at birthdays or the holidays – no more presents to buy – EVER!   This is when he gets into basking in your glory:  “Being is silent, but when you express who you are, your being flows out into the world, then others can bask in your personal expression and feel inspired to find their own way of expressing themselves.”  OK – I get it – you are supposed to inspire others, kind of like those chain emails that we get from time to time that we are supposed to pass along to others or suffer x days of bad luck.  The biggest difference is that we are supposed to gain inspiration too.  Isn’t it nice when things are not abstract?  

Here is a warning to parents out there – everything that you say to your children stays with them good and bad.  If you tell one child that they are perfect and wonderful, they will believe it but if you tell another child that they are problem or a source of worry or even that they will never measure up, that will stay with them too.  I had a nice balance when I was growing up – my mother always told me that I was as good as gold (except when I wasn’t), but sometimes, there isn’t a trickle down effect to each of your parents.  I had some self-esteem issues that at one point, I can’t continue to blame my father for, but I can tell you from experience that words sting.  I always try to be sensitive to children, particularly, my own adult niece and nephew, so that they know, even when they are having a bad day, that they have a big fan in me.  No one is perfect, and we are all guilty of being a word that rhymes with witchy from time to time, but this was a nice reminder that kindness helps and heals.  I know that DC is right that when he says after hearing certain things your whole life, that when you finally discover who you really are (sorry if you are in your 20’s, you won’t know it until your 30’s or even 40’s) that it may come as a shock.  

Deepak believes that a shock can come from the idea that their true self is wise, creative, loving and universal may sound unbelievable but it’s true for many of us, except for the odd jerk – hello kids at a York Region high school that beat up a classmate because he happens to be a different colour.  SHAME ON YOU for being bullies. Anyone who is racist, sexist, homophobic or just plain mean, I can’t hold out a lot of hope for.  People can be redeemed, I’m sure of that, but you have to really want to be.  Going back to the great man himself, he states that to be human is a statement of potential to be awakened mainly because no one can be who you are.  Self-expression is as important as breathing and it happens when we don’t judge or restrict this flow of the self.  Basically, love yourself and be who you are and be kind to yourself so that you can be kind to others.

He would like us to encourage others to be themselves and do this by thinking of a time when you wanted to say something, but your inside voice said that you would sound silly or that no one wants to hear what you have to say.  This is the voice of self-judgment.  DC doesn’t want us to be held back by our own issues and we can do this when self-expression comes more easily.  it can also come when we encourage someone else to speak and express themselves.  You are giving that person a gift and as you give, you will receive.  This meditation was one of my favourites and I was struck by the truth in what both Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra said.  

Today, I am grateful that I got the chance to review this meditation again, since it was so profound.  I am also grateful that I get to see one of my former interviewees for this blog, and a favourite cousin tonight – I’m really looking forward to seeing her (and you too AK)!

Gratefully yours,

Jill


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Day 18: Expressing Like – I Mean Love

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I completed the 21 Day Experience on Wednesday evening – and then, they come out with a bonus meditation *sigh*.  It won’t be part of my blog, but in the interest of doing this experience from start to finish I will do it tonight.  Not to spoil the 21st day entry, but Deepak really ended things on a high note so stay tuned for some great words of wisdom with a few meditations that has small moments of inspiration in between.  So getting back to love making the world go round, I mean expressing love!  The most interesting thing about this meditation was the mantra – Om aHa.  Do Deepak and Oprah have homes in Nebraska?  Is Omaha the new yoga and spiritual centre?  To all of my US readers, nice shout out if you are from the state giving us Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.  Maybe I’m wrong – maybe this was an Oprah licensing thing – she did give us the AHA moment didn’t she?  Maybe she asked Deepak to create a special mantra for her disciples and created the OM-AHA moment?

Moving away from some of my silliness, even though it pains me, Oprah begins by letting us know that when we express ourselves from a centered place of love, miracles happen.  The love that we feel could be the predominant energy that rules the world – just like the Tears for Fears song – “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”  (Jill is saying this part, not Oprah in case you hadn’t guessed).  When we expand our awareness and embrace that which we come from and are love, the universe flows through us, we transform the world in the most natural and wondrous of ways.  This is where my mind starts to wander – when they ideas get a little too out there for me with the flowing energy and the whole world transforming because of little old me.  I think that we can impact some lives, and we need to be kinder and more compassionate, and through that we can change our small part of the world.  We can also be more open to expressing opinions about what is bothering us in the world so that people everywhere know that they are accountable or not forgotten, like the tragedy happening in Nigeria right now.  Just putting it out there, girls are not commodities – they are people and deserve the right to education, security and love, not to be sold into slavery by ridiculous little men who create a new religion to justify their actions (what they are preaching isn’t part of any religion that I know of).  I could go on and on, but I won’t – since this is a health and lifestyle blog.

Getting back to Deepak – he lets us know that fulfillment of the heart chakra elevates all hearts connected to it.  We, tend to limit love to just those people immediately around us (family, friends, etc.).  Deepak Chopra wants us to love the world (I’ll love it with some exceptions – hello bad people, I’m talking to you).  The concept kept getting more abstract, which if you have been following along on my path to meditation, just doesn’t work for me.  He then concludes that we limit ourselves because it is socially acceptable to love our families but not humanity.   Well, sort of, it’s just harder for me to love those people that I don’t have any connection to, but I can feel compassion as I’ve noted above.  AH – he means compassion in the same way that we mean love  – gotcha DC.  This compassion will help us change differences between ourselves and others and unite us in a common goal.  Nice!

Every day, he would like us to make a connection with love beginning in silence – hmmm a woman trying to be silent – don’t you know us at all?  When you experience a positive emotion, he would like us to say to ourselves that this is love flowing from my true self.  I’ll just say, “Oh Happy Day” if you don’t mind.  It can be anything that makes you feel happy like enjoying a sunny day, seeing a puppy tugging it’s owner along, getting to another level in Candy Crush or just watching “The Mindy Project” – whatever brings you that contentment.  Any positive feeling can be traced to love.  Deepak says that you can say “I am love” and know that it’s true and learn to transform small moments along the way.  I think he means make small transformations as a result of this joy that you feel and this will have a positive impact not just on you, but those around you.  This meditation had some bad moments, but overall, when you preach love and compassion, how bad is that?

Today was beautiful.  The weather was warm, and even with the rain, it was still nice.  I’m also grateful that I got to enjoy a good laugh with my massage therapist who always makes me feel better.  I saw my dear friend tonight who spotted Vionic shoes when we were shopping.  They actually are helping with the nasty pain that I’ve been feeling, so I’m totally grateful for that as well.  AND IT”S THE WEEKEND.  Another day, another boatload of gratitude.

Gratefully yours,

Jill

 


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Day 16: Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

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I’m happy for the most part.  I have bad days like everyone else and sometimes I have things going on in my life that make me really sad, but even at the worst of times, I know, even if I don’t admit it to people, that things will turn out fine.  Maybe, in the words of Oprah, I embrace being the source of my happiness, even if it was activated through this meditation.  What she knows for sure is “…that each of us is responsible for the energy that we bring to any moment…the more that we give, the more that we receive.  Choose to express happiness and it will multiply within and around you.”  So freaking true.  We all know what it’s like being around a cheery person – you want to throttle them!  No actually, it can be infectious.  When your friend smiles at you or a baby or even a puppy wags his tail at you, you melt.  OK, I melt, especially with the puppy.  Who doesn’t love dogs?  I like being EFFUSIVE when I am in a good mood, and I’m more distant and introspective when I’m not and I know that it has an effect on people around me.

You aren’t hear to hear my ramblings, you are here to read the wisdom of the deep man himself – DEEPAK!  He believes that we cannot achieve well-bring without happiness.  Dr. Oz, would most likely, agree.  You can have all of the fancy purses and shoes that you want (those are my vices), but the trappings of a happy life are no substitute for being our own source of happiness.  DC thinks that when we express happiness that we change the world.  I think that’s a little ambitious – maybe just a work pod, subway car or household – that sounds a little more reasonable, at least to me.  I do agree that when we radiate happiness, that it can become viral.  People respond to smiles and kindness. Deepak says it in such a lovely way (I love the word lovely in case you haven’t noticed) – he believes that it is nourishing to be around someone who radiates contentment.  

It gets better, if you can believe it.  People who radiate happiness give everything while losing nothing.  They have a generosity of spirit.  All you need to do is participate and show people who you are.  If you are a misery, don’t bother showing it though – it will ruin the whole feel-good experience.  To put yourself in the moment, you are supposed to remember a time when you unexpectedly received some good news.  This was like the time that I won the football pool at work and if you knew me, you’d know how truly unexpected that was.  To me, football is about a lot of big men knocking one another over without saying sorry.  When you receive good news though, it puts you in a good mood and you feel more generous just like DC says!  His advice for the day includes accompanying our words with a smile – the more you give, the more your happiness increases.  Very true. I loved this meditation, it felt short and sweet and relatively hooey-less.

Speaking of happiness, today, I am grateful and happy that I got to hang out with my dear friend BF.  We laughed, we cried, we generated happiness, we laid an egg.  Well, maybe the egg part is an exaggeration, and I just cried because when I was walking to meet her, I noticed a bug flying near me, but it was a delightful evening in the company of an old friend.  I’m off to meditate so until tomorrow, I am…

Gratefully yours,

Jill


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Contemplating Day 15 – The Beginning of the End

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The final week of meditation takes us from activating to expressing each one of the chakras.  That was the deepest line that I’ve ever written!!!  I feel so, so, so….spiritual and chak-deli-cious!  Oh sorry, I thought I was activating expression, it was really activating security.  Loved this one – mostly because I could easily pronounce the mantra using my inside voice like I was supposed to.  This week is supposed to be about transforming flow and expanding it to it’s fullest. 

Oprah ends her usual introduction with a beautiful line, “…we will light up in the fullness of who we all are and who we were meant to be.  Then, we will uplift ourselves and everyone else around us in a shared spiritual exchange.”  I was pretty lit up with fullness last night, but it may have been the fantastic Middle-Eastern dinner I ate.  As much as I like Oprah, she is literally the flight attendant of the meditation welcoming us aboard and introducing us to the pilot…

Deepak Chopra who reminded us with this meditation that our real contribution to the world is who we are inside not what wedo outside.  We affect others, everyday, with the energy that we radiate and he goes on to explain that the best effect that you can have is to radiate the energies of all 7 chakras beginning with inner peace and security.  It’s so true – you can be having the best day ever, and one Debbie Downer or Glum Gladys can put an end to your happy moment, if you let it.  Back to more meditative thoughts…This week is supposed to make these qualities “part of your well-being, bringing a sense of fulfillment that we can depend on and feel.”  Nice thought – and I think if you really try to make meditation part of your day, everyday, it can promote the sense of well-being that Dr. Oz spoke about (and Deepak and Oprah – but ultimately, this is a Dr. Oz blog).

We touched a little on self-awareness in other meditations.  DC reinforces this by stating that those who are self-aware, share their being with everyone and everything around them (kind of like Mary Tyler Moore turning the world on with her smile).  We can all create an atmosphere of positivity or negativity, but usually we do a little of each, kind of like a happy/sad buffet of feelings.  Another truth that Deepak imparts is that we choose the kind of energy that we radiate.  Although ladies, if you have ever suffered from PMS, sometimes, we don’t have a lot of choice – just saying.

We all deserve the feelings of energy, peace and basic fulfillment that the first chakra gives us (DC’s words, not mine).  You must be secure in yourself and a grounding influence to others.  It is possible to do this – as I mentioned, inner security comes as you age – when you realize that you no longer have to impress people but it can also bring you a wisdom that can be helpful to those people in your life who may need you at specific times for specific reasons (I know, self-helpy – but I was inspired).  Deepak ends with a reminder to take time and go within to centre yourself.  We are radiating not just energy, but who we are.  If we radiate peace and security, we are giving others a great gift.  Sigh – he is so lovely.  I wish we could be like that all the time, but I think that we all have to just aim to do our best and this goes back to the mindfulness that I’ve talked about before.

Speaking of the best, today, I am grateful that I got to spend some time with my sister and our one of our besties – AK planning the details of an exciting trip we are taking.  More about that when I don’t have to be rolling in the deep.

Gratefully yours,

Jill

 

 


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Day 14 – What am I Activating Again?

 

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…oh yeah – CONSCIOUSNESS.  Sorry – I’ve been activating a lot of things lately.  Just a little later today, I’ll be activating my new credit card so I got confused.  Speaking of confusion, I credited the chakramediationcenter.com for the pretty picture, it was supposed to be the chopracentermeditation.com.  I guess it’s all chakra all the time for me.  Yesterday, I got excited on the subway when some people were talking about “Chakra Khan” – my ears were deceiving me though, it was Chaka Khan.  D’OH!

Back to our purpose, well, at least my purpose, which is telling you all about my day 14 meditation  Oprah starts out with a very flowery beginning about experiencing your true self.  I’ll cut to the chase and say that you should bask in simply being, something I’ve never been very good at.  Consciousness is the 7th and final chakra (please don’t be like me and confuse it with Chaka Khan, if you do, I’ll feel for you, so embarassing).  It is located at the crown of your head.  I prefer tiaras personally, but more on that some other time.  Deepak states, “Living as your true self is enlightenment.  When you love simply being alive, feel like love and life are filling you up, you are your true self.  Your life is meant to be harmonious and free.”  Deepak, you can really sweep a meditator off of her mantra. 

He goes on to stress that our spiritual secret is simple – that being here is enough. This line reminds me of one of a very few poems that I actually like – Desiderata by Max Ehrmann – especially, this line “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”  At the end of the two weeks, I’ll post this poem – it really is a summary of all of the advice that DOPRAH provided.  Back to Deepak, who advises that self awareness brings you to the source of creativity, intelligence and joy that is your true self.  I know for me, self-awareness has been one of the gifts of getting older.  It is a gift when you feel like you no longer have to apologize for who you are.  Now it’s more, if you don’t like me, well, that’s ok – I’m secure enough in myself to realize that I can’t take that personally.  This is where you need to look up “The Four Agreements” – you don’t need to read the book – but not taking things personally is one of them.  I bet it has Deepak Chopra’s Seal of Approval and if it doesn’t it should.  According to DC, everyone has moments of self-awareness, when things seem effortless.  TRUE.

He goes on to say that being is the feel of all possibilities and when you activate it, you suddenly find all kinds of doors opening.  It’s true and when they say that if your aren’t looking for something, that’s when it finds you.  Sometimes, it just takes longer than others.  I like to say that a lot can change in a day.  DC thinks that each day brings new joy and confidence in your own being.  Like I said – it’s a benefit of getting older.  Pausing during the day for a moment of gratitude helps you “be” – well, I’m on that thanks to this blog and a little advice to start a gratitude journal from Dr. Oz.  This last piece of advice from Deepak is what I really needed to hear, “There is great wisdom in learning to relax, letting go of all tension and stress.  You open the way for grace and a deep inner knowing that being here is enough”.  Truer words have never been spoken and if I could learn just this one lesson from the entire three week experience, I will have gotten my money’s worth.  Oh right, it’s free, you know what I mean. 

Today, I am grateful for new opportunities and getting great advice from DOPRAH.  This was a very relatable topic.

Gratefully yours,

Jill

 

 


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Day 13 – Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

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I meditated twice today to catch up a bit.  I actually am at day 16.  It takes an hour to meditate and then make notes after so that I can share the experience (in certain cases it’s lack thereof) with you.  Day 13’s was all about activating wisdom.  I am actively wise or at least that’s what I like to think – but we all are in a way.  Oprah begins by telling us, again, about how important intuition is.  She wanted us to think back on a time when we had to make an important decision and after doing your research, you decide to sleep on it.  Oprah does this to give herself the space and time to listen to her voice inside and she thinks that it points you in the right direction.  I choose to do it to play hard to get.  Kidding.  I think as we get older, we learn the value of pondering some of life’s bigger decisions – having some breathing room gives us some time to think instead of being impulsive.  Most of the time, I know what I am going to do, but I like having some flexibility and yes, giving my intuiton some time to kick in.  Good one Oprah!  She goes on to say, that we make mistakes when we don’t listen to our intuition.  When we feel doubt, it is the universe telling us to pay attention and it will let us know what we need to do.  Um…maybe.

Wisdom, the sixth chakra, is locating between your brows, so be careful when plucking that you don’t remove it accidentally – just kidding sillies.  Deepak Chopra says that eyes are connected to the soul and only when they have this connection can they see what is real. Thanks DC – now I know where the expression that eyes are the windows to the soul came from.  He then explains that people have a tendency to put wisdom on a pedestal, as if you must live a long time and think deeply to become wise, but your true self is wise already.  I know a few older people who need to learn a life lesson or two so I’m totally with you DC.  He gets concerned when this chakra is blocked because it can leave you feeling lost and confused and then it is hard to make decisions that feel right.

He wants us to trust our inner guidance to have a balanced chakra giving us a calm and easy sense of what we need to do.  Intuition is the light of your true self showing you the way.  Most of the time, it’s just telling you what you know already, at least in my humble opinion.  DC explains that we trust this inner guidance when you use a skill that you have mastered.  When you know what you know, that is inner guidance.  Any situation where there is uncertainty or you doubt yourself, try feeling your way to the right choice instead of just coming to the decision logically.  He suggests that this state of rightness helps you let go of the problem and when you think that you have an answer inside, trust it. I usually have more of a commentary, but I think that CHOPRAH did a great job today guiding us through how to activate wisdom.  I think we all have times when we don’t trust ourselves, but intuition is a good place to start when making one of life’s big decisions. 

I am excited to be closing in on the last week.  Tomorrow, I’ll be writing about day 14.  I’m looking forward to the end of this part of my path on the road to wellness.   I keep telling you everyday that I’m anxious to get back to a more Oz-ified existance.  I do think that I’ll miss listening to this daily meditation.  I’ll probably appreciate it even more when I don’t have to write about it but that isn’t what I am grateful for today.  Today, I am grateful that I got to spend some time with my beautiful niece.  I am grateful anytime I get to see her.  She’s an adult now – but in many ways, I’ve always seen her that way anyway.

Gratefully yours,

Jill


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Day 12: Express Yourself (Part Deux) and Other Challenges

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Life is so complicated.  I have no clue how many more weeks that I have left to blog, but my weekly anniversary is Wednesdays.  I haven’t spent any money on my health since this meditation started except for my Twinrix shot, but that isn’t Oz related so I can’t count that.  I haven’t tried yoga yet, because meditation takes up so much time.  Tomorrow is the start of a new month, but I can’t move into inflammation until I finish meditation and I still have 9 more meditations to go.  Calgon – take me away!  I’m seriously not all that stressed, although, I’d really like to move on to a clean new topic tomorrow like I’m supposed to and go back to the land of Oz.  As I keep saying, I like the meditation, and I will do it again…next year.  I am going to continue reading more from Deepak Chopra, but meditation every day is just not my thing.  I get distracted by whether I am pronouncing the mantra correctly even in my inside voice.  My saving grace is that I don’t think the universe is really listening to me.

Back to expressing myself or expressing a summary and my thoughts on activating expression.  Oprah sounded more like her authentic self meaning she didn’t have that fake gentleness in her voice that she likely thinks is meditative.  I just find it insincere, but because she is Oprah, I forgive her.  She started with a some truthful statements, “Our intentions create our thoughts, our words and our actions.  We are what we feel, say and express.”  She goes on to say that if we hold back on the full expression of our truth, we limit the richness of what life has in store for us.  I’ll buy that.  I don’t agree 100% when she says that when we express negativity and fear, that we experience more of these feelings.  I find if I express something that I’m afraid of, it sometimes helps me get over my fear.  Plus, what she calls negativity, I call venting but you can’t do it all of the time.  Sometimes, it’s a case of better to express how you feel than keep it trapped inside.  She ends on a more positive note saying that you need to give voice to your dreams to actualize them.  The more you talk about something that you want to do, the more likely you are to do it.  I spoke of writing this blog for months before I actually did it, but by telling a lot of people, it created an expectation and my pride wouldn’t let me walk away from the idea.  I love writing this blog and even if I had only 6 people reading it, I would still love the experience.

Expression is the fifth chakra and is located in your throat – so no, that’s not a frog in there, it’s a chakra.  DC speaks to the fact that it makes sense for it to be located in your throat since the way we most often express ourself is through speech.  He goes on to say (or express) that your personal reality, the way you see the world, is connected to how you express yourself.  Right he is!  He picked up on what Oprah said about expressing negativity and his take is that when you keep expressing negative feelings, you will start to filter out anything that isn’t negative and your brain will start to process your reality to fit your beliefs.  I agree to an extent but still think that venting is good.  You just have to balance the glass is half empty with some happy, fulfilling thoughts as well.  I don’t like being around people who are conistently negative, and I try to see the silver lining in many clouds, but there are times that even perky me needs to tell someone that I’m having a crappy day or several.  We all need pity parties at times, but the key is to know when the party is over and get some perspective.  I agree with his theory that if you express yourself from your true self, it is natural to favour optimism, love, appreciation, gratitude, kindness, and compassion.  These feelings are what make us all happy and warm the chakras, I mean cockles of our hearts.

He then went into some symbolism that was a bit much for me, I’d even go so far as to call it hooey.  He got back on track, just like I knew he would by reminding us of connection that comes from communication.  The next part was my favourite – he said that words convey the impulses of consciousness which include encouragement, ENTHUSIASM (sorry got a little carried away there), EXUBERANCE!!!!!! (sorry, got carried away again), and nourishment.  These allow us to open ourselves up to people and the world around you.  He encourages us to be exuberant YAYAYAYAYAY!!! I love exuberance.  As Dr. Phil always says, it’s time to get excited about your life and it will make people around you feel better if you do.  Or they will think you are annoying and fappy (fake happy), but I choose to believe, the more positive that you are, the more people will want to be around you.

To end on a positive note, today, I am grateful for having an umbrella with me on a rainy day, for meetings that don’t always have to be scary, even when they are about change, and for getting a seat on the subway when my hands were quite full.  Life isn’t so  bad now, is it?  I’ve got to go meditate on how I am…

Gratefully yours,

Jill


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Day 11: What the World Needs Now Is Love….

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Image courtesy of chopracentermeditation.com

…sweet love.  Great – now I’m quoting Burt Bacharach songs.  What have I become?  I’m like one of those young American Idol contestants being forced to sing songs by a man at least 4 times their age.  Did you ever wonder how come they all pretended to know who he was?  They’d all act really excited, but I bet only one really old soul actually knew who the man was, the rest were hoping for One Direction or whoever the big band of their season was.  I’d be much more excited to meet One Direction.  I, like Gwyneth Paltrow’s soon to be uncoupled from, husband find them delightful and entertaining.  No offence to the silver haired and tongued, talented Mr. Bacharach intended.  Now back to today’s topic – Activating Love.

Of course D-oprah are both much deeper than myself.  I did enjoy this one a little bit more than yesterday’s meditation.  It was because the concept wasn’t as abstract.  It’s all about being relatable for me.  Oprah started by posing a question, “What can happen in our lives when we allow love and compassion to flow freely?”  Well, like my Momma always told me (I threw in a little Forrest Gump), you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  Sorry – there was more deepness, I got side-tracked “…we begin to feel at one with the force of pure joy, reciprocity and kinship, connected and whole with more to give which means we receive more and life gets better.”  She has a point – just think when you have done something really good, helpful or even compassionate for someone – you feel good about yourself and are more connected to that person.  I always go on and on about the friends who went out of their way for me during a difficult time in my life – and they know that because they showed me compassion, they will always get it back, whenever they need it.  Even when you do something kind for a stranger, there is a small joy in that and the universe will pay you back.  Sorry to go all Oprah on you – but it’s true and I’ve seen it.  It can be as small as helping out a tourist in your city who is lost remembering that one day, you will be that person who needs a hand. Speaking of tourists, the Divine Miss O asks us to remember a moment that took your breath away or melted your heart.  It could be the vast majesty of the sky (not for me – fast moving clouds make me dizzy), the mountains (ok, getting warmer – I love the mountains), ocean waves (totally hot now – adore the ocean) or redwood trees (cold, cold – very cold – trees are full of bugs). 

We learned that the heart chakra is the fourth chakra and helps us to give, receive and connect with others.  To experience love fully means experiencing who you are according to Deepak.  He goes on to say that love can have different intensities but the reality is that the connection to this chakra can be like the feelings of love at first sight (strong) or the love that you feel when you think of a friend from the past (weak).  He suggests that you can live love rather than look for love by experiencing a silent mind.  I’m sure any man that you speak to would rather have have a wife with a silent mouth and a louder mind – just kidding ladies!   He provides us with a couple of lovely lines from a poem to get the point across, ” Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the values within yourself that you built against it.”  I think the translation is essentially, you can’t look for something until you deal with the issues that you have created within yourself. 

His belief is that the energy forces in your heart can remove obstacles effortlessly like warmth dissolves ice.  The man is a poet!  Let’s just say, he wants you to lead with the heart, rather than the head which is a challenge for many of us (although some are too led by their hearts too).  This is to help connect you with others and alleviate feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety  which are all from a lack of love.  He wants us to think of and notice the different “flavours” of love in your heart and these include appreciation, gratitude, enjoyment, affection, romance, and personal attraction.  This can be as simple as acknowledging how beautiful a morning is to remembering that love is gentle – it’s not all about having strong emotion.  I have to say, I love DC – he makes the simplest concepts and advice sound like iambic pentameter.  No wonder Dr. Oz likes the guy so much!

Today, I am grateful for my health.  I went to the doctor to get some test results and what I’ve been doing is helping – no drugs needed for this Oz follower just yet, well except all of the supplements that I take.  Can’t wait to meditate later (only 10 more to go).

Gratefully yours,

Jill


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Day 10: I’ve Got the Power

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Image courtesy of chopracentermeditation.com

Day 10 – not my  favourite meditation so far if I can keep it real, but I did find a word of wisdom or two.  Oprah started out by likening the power of strength, commitment, compassion, vision and love to people like Nelson and Ghandi.  Ghandi – that’s a pretty big toga to fill or Mandela – I can’t compare and before you say au contraire (pardon the rhyme), it’s true.  Yes, perhaps we all have a certain power within as Oprah speculated, but I think some people are able to rise above their circumstance better than others.  Maybe, they had a different type of life experience that afforded them this opportunity.  As much as I admire these two great men, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to walk a mile in their shoes, so Oprah, I’m going to have to assume that some people transcend what we, mere mortals, may be capable of…even if the power of the universe is flowing through us. 

I was hoping my mentor and Dr. Oz guest, Deepak could make some sense of this for me.  He provided me with a been there, powered through that moment when he stated that power is often used to harm rather than heal.  He then went a bit too abstract for a bit.  He reigned it back in by telling us that we could source our power by channeling it into confidence, self-esteem and strength to meet life’s every challenge.  Well, DC, why didn’t you just say so to begin with?  Now, I’m starting to get the point of this whole power meditation.

Our third chakra, according to Deeps, gives us the capacity to accomplish what matters most to us.  I call that being Type A which I cop to being.  He goes on to warn us that if our power centre isn’t balanced, we feel low self-esteem, timid and sometimes victimized.  Some people compensate by bullying, which if you don’t know by now is a horrible thing to do.  This makes sense, you try to instill fear so that you feel better about being fearful.  I guess in his own way, Deepak Chopra is trying to help us understand the sadness that lives within a bully.  I do feel sorry for them, because they are likely victims in some part of their life, but I feel true compassion for the innocents that they seek to harm.  This is a terrible misuse of power. 

He goes on to explain that to keep the flow of inner power activated, think of ways that you would like to have the power to create change and place attention on the change that you would like to see.  Right now, that would be my health and ensuring that I am doing everything in my power to reverse any damage that I have created.  As much as I like the meditation (ok, just the part about listening to Deepak), I miss the day to day health advice that I was seeking from Dr. Oz.  I have ten more days of the meditation experience, then it’s back to finding out which nut I need to eat next.   I felt like I was being more proactive, or powerful when I was researching and finding bits of information towards living a life filled with optimum health.  I do continue to gain valuable insight through this experience, and as I mentioned yesterday, I will continue to explore meditation, it just won’t be a regular feature of my blog – rather, it may just make a special guest appearance from time to time.

Back to feeling powerful…DC believes that if you think you don’t deserve power or hand off decisions to others, or permit someone to control you, that these are inner blocks to keeping your personal power from waking up.  This is where it gets good again – we all have limiting beliefs and judge ourselves.  Once you have seen a limitation, announce to yourself that you want this limitation transformed, and ask the universe to tap into your inner strength to change it.  Sounds easy when he says it – huh?  Hey there, Mr. Universe, please change the thought that I had this morning about how I wished it was still the weekend…well, maybe this is one thought that I’ll have to continue to ponder.

Today, I am grateful for something small and silly.  There are days when more people from the US read my blog than Canadians.  This always makes me feel grateful since I don’t know who these people are and they are still reading my entries even without me forcing them to.  It absolutely thrills me when I see that, so thank you for reading!  As always, I am…

Gratefully yours,

Jill