10 Tips On How To Heal From Depression

I was at a function last week and the discussion turned to the emotional well being of today’s teenagers. Someone in the group mentioned that they knew of 5 teenagers that had taken their lives in the last year. Adding to that I mentioned how I was also invited to assist with a high school in northern NSW that had 10 students take their lives in the last 2 years.
The sad news is this isn’t confined to teenagers. Its seeping across the whole of society. We have more affluence than we have ever had access to in the history of humankind and yet we have such unbelievable levels of depression and suicide rates. I know that statement means carries little weight though. I know what its like to be deeply depressed and contemplating if life was worth living, and having access to affluence didn’t mean a thing to me. I recall being curled up in a ball on my bed, in a dark misery and self loathing, thinking of the option of not living through this. At one point I was trying to think of all the reasons why I should be happy to help get me out of this state. I had a multiple 6 figure salary, a secure job, a beautiful home, a stable family upbringing, good relationships and on paper an ideal lifestyle. Yet I was miserable. I was deeply depressed. I contemplated not living.
Depression can hit anyone. Young, old, rich, poor. You name it. And yeh, it’s brutal when it comes knocking. There are many factors that contribute to depression as presented here from the Lifeline web site:
* Relationship problems or conflict – e.g. separation/divorce, difficult/abusive relationship
* Job loss, especially long-term unemployment
* Loneliness or feeling isolated
* Excessive drug or alcohol use
* Having another family member who has depression
* Having a serious physical illness
* Changes in how the brain functions
* Personality factors – e.g. anxiety, low self-esteem
Ultimately the end result is that there are low levels of oxytocin and serotonin in the body which leads to a feeling of sadness, depression, emptiness and disconnectedness. The good news there is a way out of that dark abyss. Admittedly there is no magic pill (some doctors may think otherwise) but with a holistic approach there is every possibility that one could come out depression and live a lighter, happier existence. Here are some steps that I took that helped me find my way out of depression:
  1. Daily meditation. This plays a huge part in me feeling happier again. When you are stressed and anxious your body doesn’t produce the happy biochemicals of serotonin and oxytocin. It will produce cortisol, and adrenaline which cuts off your happy chemicals. So the first step is to start finding ways to remove the stress response in the body and meditation will help enormously with that. You can use an app, online programs or ideally, find a qualified meditation teacher who will take you through the steps of learning to meditate.
  2. Regular exercise. This has been scientifically proven to change your biochemicals and increase your happy chemicals in your body. (Black Dog trial ) Not only is exercise good for the increase in happy biochemicals it also is a great release of stress which leads to calmer healthier body and better sleep.
  3. Yoga and stretching. Sitting in a chair most of the day and being stressed will tighten up the body and block the flow of energy through the body. Yoga and stretching will open up the body, calm the mind and realign the body back into a healthier space
  4. Avoid negative media and dark depressing movies and books. Where you attention goes it grows. So if we put our mind on negative depressing content, our mind and body will start to align with the energy of that.
  5. Get off technology and get into nature. Shutting down our phones, iPads, laptops and nature bathing is a powerful way to elevate your energy. When we are in forests, oceans, meadows…anywhere in fresh air and in the simplicity of nature, we start to sync into that local environment which will leave you elevated and enlivened.
  6. Get some natural supplements into you. The American Agriculture Association admitted that there is 60% less minerals and nutrients in our fruit and vegetables than in the 1960’s due to the amount of over farming in the last few decades. Not only that, society in general is eating less fruit and vegetables and more processed food. Boosting your food with supplements with vitamins, minerals and herbs can make a big difference to your moods. For professional advice on this seek out a naturopath in your local village or even try online.
  7. Speaking of foods, stick with more locally grown fruit and vegetables from your growers market, and eat plenty of clean organic live food possible. Avoid greasy fatty foods, processed foods, gluten, caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars where possible.
  8. Sleep! Sounds sensible however we are now sleeping on average less than we ever have. Sleep plays such an important role in healing your mind and body from the stress response and increasing your feeling of wellbeing. I’m all for the afternoon nap just for 20 mins also if you can fit one in.
  9. Open Up To Family and Friends. You may feel like withdrawing from the world, but it’s those precious relationships that make all the difference. When you share your vulnerability and connect, it deepens the bond with them and builds love. There are people in your life that care unconditionally for you. Reach out and let them in. (By the way, it’s been proven that hugs increasing serotonin and oxytocin)
  10. Be active. Sitting in a dark room or curling under your doona all day is what you might feel like doing but it’s not going to help you. Get up and get active. Start doing things. Buy some plants and plant them around your suburb. Volunteer at a local charity. Walk someone’s dog. Go to the zoo. Join your local library and read a book. Find a meetup group and join it. Mow someone’s lawn. There are plenty of things we can do each day that will help you lift out of that dark night and move forward.
Depression can not only take control of your life, but it can also affect many people around you. We can heal from depression, but it will require some action. Doing the same thing over and over again won’t bring about a different result. Keep trying new things, see what works for you. If you are suffering depression, it is recommended that you seek professional help. Have someone to talk with. There are many support facilities around the world that are there to help you through this. You don’t need to do this on your own so please reach out to someone for help.

 

Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and personal coach. He provides one on one coaching as well as group coaching in his Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. To contact Tom about receiving his guidance or booking him to speak at your company click here.

Why I Teach My Teenage Children To Be Rebels

Taj and LaurenI have a dilemma. You see I have two 15 yr old children (yes twins!). Wait, no, having teenagers isn’t the dilemma, although for some people they may feel having teenagers is! ?

No my dilemma is that I inspire them to push the boundaries, break the rules, question authority and be rebels, yet at the same time to adhere to the structures of living in our home and fitting into the rules and regulations of school.

This is not an easy task as a parent.

Why do I inspire them to be rebels? Because deep down I believe boundaries are meant to be leapt over, and some rules are meant to be broken. If I don’t encourage them to leap over boundaries how are they going to thrive and excel in life when their conditioned mindset is to be part of the pack, stay safe and don’t challenge anything? How are they going to find their own identity and belief systems when the are moulded by a hierarchal corporate driven society?

Sure, there are rules in society that are there for a very good reason. But there are many rules that restrict the growth of society as a whole. When these rules get challenged there is tension and friction, as the ones who set the rules push back on the ones that want to break them.

The challenge is determining which rules will enhance society and which ones will diminish society. I teach my children that there is this law called ‘karma’ which tends to be a pretty good force in this process. Many times in my life I broke rules, was a rebel and stepped across boundary lines only to have karma slap me in some way loud and hard. It was painful and I learnt a big lesson that that rule WASN’T meant to be broken. Trying to navigate through this mine field is not an easy process and most of our learning is through trial and error or developing intuition.

My son is a very talented artist and he developed a great affinity for graffiti. So I said that we would explore abandoned buildings together and that he was allowed to do graffiti art only on buildings that were going to be torn down and it wouldn’t have a negative impact on peoples lives. He agreed to these terms. Yes we were bending the rules but there were some rules within that. This was all working out well and good until one day he stepped over that boundary line and did some graffiti where he wasn’t allowed to. The boys in blue didn’t take too kindly to this and …..KARMA!

But I didn’t let this deter him. Sure he suffered some consequences. Me, the police and karma itself let him know that there was a boundary line you simply DON’T cross there. But deep down there was a part of me that was like, yes, push that boundary, test it and find out what’s on the other side. It’s ok. You’re going to screw up sometimes, and yes, it won’t always work out. But don’t let one fail make you spend the rest of your life living in the safe zone and never take the leap.

Get to the edge and peer over it. If you feel “Hmmm, nup, this is not right.” then trust that feeling and pull back. But if you get to the edge, peer over and go “Yup, I’ve got this and I know it’s a safe landing” then take a huge leap! If no one ever did this then Aborigines would still not be allowed to vote, African-Americans would still be sitting in the back of the bus and gay people still would still not be allowed to get married. (Technically in Australia they still can’t get married but I am putting on my prophetic hat and intending this to change very soon!)

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How To Have Your Own Easter Resurrection

Jesus-Resurrection-Walking-out-of-Tomb-900It’s a pretty remarkable story isn’t it? That someone was killed by being nailed to wood and stabbed in the heart then three days later he was seen again walking around the streets? I mean seriously, this is some pretty out there stuff! Really, without the ‘seen again walking around the streets’ part to the story after his death, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be celebrating 4 days holiday and a bunch of chocolate eggs would we? It would be just some guy that said things that the Roman Government didn’t like, they decided to quieten this troublemaker, and then no one would have heard of him again.

Although I was always curious as to why we didn’t hear much more about this person three days later while he was walking around after his death? Like what happened to him 2 weeks, a month, or years later after he resurrected from the dead? Didn’t the Romans want to kill him again? How did he die again after that, or where did he go? If he appeared to the disciples why did he not appear to the Romans? Was he ascended as a soul and no longer physical at all? So many questions…

But in essence, do we need to answer them or can we simply take what valuable insights there are from this Easter story and apply it to our own lives in a way that will add immense value not only to us but those around us? The gist of the story is that there was a resurrection, a return to life from a seemingly dead position. What if we can go through our own metaphoric resurrection when we transform from a dark space of tragedy to a realm of light and love? Can this be our own resurrection of sorts? Perhaps you have already had one, where you had been in a dark tragic circumstance then rose out of the darkness and rebuilt your life with a new awareness and way of living, one based on compassion and love, one on empowerment and vision.

Recently I have met many people who are suffering. I know many of you are facing challenging times. What lies beyond this moment of that dark night of the soul for you? What can you do to have your own resurrection? I always see a big shift in my coaching clients when they shift their awareness from the past of being a victim to the future, where they are empowered with their own choices and change how they feel. It’s often easier to keep looking back at what was, and be influenced by those past circumstances. These situations are very affecting on us, leaving what is called in Sanskrit samscaras. These are deep wounds that leave an imprint that binds and can continue to affect us for many years, if not our entire life when they go unchecked.

Samscaras don’t have to be for life though. Each day our body is replacing cells and our mind is a malleable software that is upgradable. Which means our software and hardware, (ie, our mind and body)  is changeable. We are adaptable and where we are today doesn’t have to be where we will be tomorrow. Something amazing happens when we redirect our attention to what will be. Ask yourself deeply, what would you like to feel? Then take the progressive steps to make this become your new reality. Are you choosing health? Are you choosing love? Are you choosing kindness? Are you choosing compassion?

Beyond our stories and busy mind is a deep sweet serenity of stillness. A calm that heals and nurtures our body. It’s restorative. Of course, the ego doesn’t enjoy this, it’s like a death of sorts for the ego when the mind enters the silent void. And the ego will fight for its existence, it will throw everything at you to stop this silence occurring. “Don’t dare ignore me” it will scream at you in various ways. Yet when you dive into the bliss of Being, the ego surrenders and you are left with your Unbounded Glory of Divine Self. It takes time, have patience, and this Easter, pause, take time out and let go. We have a four day celebration, not for religion, but to celebrate life, rebirth, and transformation. Make this one yours. To me, that is a resurrection worth talking about.

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If you feel you would like some support with your transformation, then our Inner Sanctum monthly meditation coaching sessions might be for you. These monthly coaching sessions are becoming a huge hit around the world! Find out more below. Our last session had a big response with attendees saying:
“Your description of deep transcendence brings me to tears.”
“Wow, Magnificent! Thank you Tom.”
“A brilliant focusing of the concepts developed through meditation.”
“I always feel so invigorated after these sessions, thank you Tom!”

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5 Tips To Help You Think More Positively

positive-thinking-bDo you want to learn how to think positive but aren’t sure how to get started? Positive thinking exercises can help you to spark an optimistic revolution in your brain. When you think positively, you will in turn experience positive emotions like happiness, contentedness, and joy. These feelings and thoughts have been shown to improve your physical health by strengthening your immune system, and contribute to mental stability. When you think about it, you’ve got nothing to lose by thinking positively – except your negative thoughts, that is! The following exercises can help you to get in an optimistic mind frame.

1. Accept the Past
We’ve all made mistakes. But how we deal with those mistakes is what sets some people apart from the pack. If you feel swallowed up by emotions – regret, guilt, or anger – at the thought of your mistakes, you might not be dealing with them in the best way possible. Instead, you need to claim your past, including your mistakes, and move forward. The only way to really grow is to learn from your past, accept it, and move on. People who are truly happy don’t have any regrets, because they recognize the value of their failures in addition to their successes.

2. Practise Stillness
When you make your mind Still through meditation, you enable yourself to ‘turn off’ defeating, negative, or harmful thoughts. It’s a filtering process that leaves you with nothing but bliss and contentment. A clear mind, achieved through Stillness, is one of the most important tools at your disposal to help you inspire positive thought. By moving to a higher state of consciousness you will naturally assume an optimistic mindset.

3. The Future is Now
Part of the power of positivity lies in the fact that people who think positively are hopeful about the future. Are you? Do you dread staying at the job you’re at? Do you welcome change? Do you see yourself in the same position in ten years? Recognize it when you are forecasting doom and gloom for your own future, because it isn’t going to help you. And, just because you’ve experienced failure in the past, doesn’t mean failure is written into your future. Maintaining a hopeful outlook is one thing you can do to ensure that you put your best foot forward.

4. Use Positive Words
Changing the way you speak might seem hard, but it can actually make a profound change in your life. You might not even realize it when you’re saying something defeating. Starting phrases with “I can’t …” is one thing that a lot of people do that can serve to create unnecessary obstacles. When you talk like someone who can’t do something, of course you won’t do it. When you affirm yourself by saying “I can …” or “I will …” your body re-uses the energy from those statements in order to help you accomplish the things you want.

5. Use Meditation to Inspire Positivity
Meditation has been shown to help people feel happier over the long term. People who meditate are able to deal with stressors easily, and often take a positive approach when they face obstacles. By engaging in Stillness-centered meditation, you can learn how to effectively quiet your mind and you actually get rid of the buildup of negative programming that you’ve been exposed to throughout life. Quieting your mind opens you up to natural positive energy and you can access the source of unbounded cosmic intelligence. You will start to see your own potential in a positive light.

Positive thinking exercises can help you, but the most important thing you can do for yourself is learn how to practise Stillness. Find out how to here with our 21 day meditation program

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7 Super Sonic Tips For Overcoming the Cold and Flu

healthyYou might remember years ago how a cold or flu would last a few days and then it was gone? (Admittedly I’m going waaaay back when I was a kid here.) Well I’ve noticed these days’ colds and flu’s seem to last weeks! We recently had a big spate of colds and flu go through Sydney and it didn’t skip past me either and one thing that amazed me was when I asked people how they were treating it I received 1 of three responses:
1. Nothing
2. Taking Coldral or Sudafed
3. Eating an orange
 
So today I’m going to share with you my supersonic tips for knocking a cold or flu out within a matter of a few days (Just like the old days!) Oh and these tips will be more effective the sooner you act with the onset of any cold and flu like symptoms.
 
1. Rest: The reason your body is sick is because it’s run down and it’s your body’s way of saying “You need to pause and rest.” It makes me laugh to see a recent advertisement for Codral cold and flu tablets where one woman is shown to have obvious signs of a cold, then she takes a Codral and with the jingle of “Soldier on with Codral, soldier on” she then proceeds to go swimming in a pool doing laps! With a cold and flu?? Seriously??? Get some rest, you’re body will love you for it.
 
2. High Doses of Vitamin C: One orange contains about 70mg of vitamin C in it. To really boost your immune system when it is at its low point during a cold or flu you are going to need to give your body a high dose of vitamin C. Some sources suggest 1000mg to maintain daily well-being and between 2000 and 6000mg a day to defend an existing cold or flu is recommended. The thing with vitamin C is that if your body doesn’t need the excess, it will simply flush it out when you go to the toilet.
 
3. Herbal Tonic: If you are in local distance to a naturopath or good pharmacist, you could do yourself a favour and get a tonic made up to store in your home for times like this. A powerful immune boosting tonic that I use is one comprised of Echinacea, olive leaf and andrographis. These three herbs combine to make a potent booster to your immune system to ward off the cold and flu.
 
4. Garlic: This simple spice will do wonders for your immune system! The respected research organisation Cochrane Database revealed in a study that those who took garlic daily had fewer symptoms of colds than those on placebo and when they did get colds they lasted for a shorter period of time. You might not smell so good however you will feel better quickly!
 
5. Water: When you feel sick you tend to not get as thirsty, usually because you are doing less activity and exercise. However it’s during this time that you really want to hydrate your body and help it flush out those toxins. There are mixed opinions as to how much water you should drink a day however in my research I have found that 2-3 litres a day will help you feel better.
 
6. Meditate: Deep restful meditations like Vedic Meditation or my Faster Deeper Bliss meditation will take the body into a restorative state of relaxation. This deep rest in meditation is a powerful healer during times of sickness. Usually it is recommended to meditate twice a day, however during times of sickness you could meditate as often as you like. This will lengthen your telomerase; increase your oxytocin and serotonin levels boosting your immune system.
 
7. Visualisation: Usually when we start getting sick people will say things like “I’m coming down with the cold or flu.” There is a Sanskrit saying ‘yadbhavam tat bhavati’ which means what we thing we become. So if you think this and wallow in it then you will become it. To shorten the length of the cold and flu, trying imagining yourself being healthy and vibrant. Really hold that vision long and hard after your deep meditation session. Of course you won’t feel healthy initially this but if you really focus hard on visualising and feeling it, then you will change direction you are travelling in and come out of the sickness more quickly. I’ve used this many times and been astonished at the results!
 
So there you have 7 tips to help you move through a cold and flu quickly! Give these a try and let me know how you go. And if you have any other tips to help recover quickly, please share them below, we’d love to hear them.

 

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The Top 5 Benefits of Positive Thinking

positive-thinkingThink back to the last time you had a bad day. Someone probably told you to “keep your chin up” or “look at the glass as half full.” Whether or not you took that advice, it is wise to try to maintain your sense of optimism in spite of obstacles or setbacks. Why? Because the benefits of positive thinking are far greater than you might think.

Positive psychology is a domain that has recently emerged within the field of psychology. It involves the study of the psychological and physiological effects of positive habits, thoughts, and behaviors. Currently, there is a wealth of research to suggest that positive thinkers are far better off than pessimists. When it comes to stress levels, psychological, and physiological health, optimists are ahead of the game. These are the top five benefits of positive thinking:

1. Better stress-coping mechanisms.
We all face stressful situations from time to time. Job loss, trouble at home, conflict with a co-worker, or having to give a high-pressure exam – these are only a few of the stressful situations that an individual might encounter at any time. However much stress there may be in your life, it’s how you deal with those stressful situations that matters. Researchers have shown that self-professed optimists are more likely to approach disappointment by identifying what actions they can take to ameliorate the situation. Instead of rueing what went wrong or wasting energy focusing on things they cannot change, they try to resolve difficult situations. Non-optimists take the opposite approach, by taking it for granted that they cannot change the situation.

2. Better mental health.
Positive thinkers are less likely to experience mental-health problems such as depression, anxiety, and in general, they enjoy better psychological health as compared to pessimists. While it is true that people suffering from mental illnesses such as depression can’t be “cured” by positive thinking, it does contribute to a healthy mind and positive emotions over the long term. When you learn to approach your life with a positive attitude and to explain events in a constructive manner, it becomes easier for you to deal with those events.

If you don’t see yourself as an optimist, you needn’t worry. It isn’t hard to overcome negative thought patterns and start experiencing the benefits of positive thinking. Stillness is one way to help you overcome negativity. Through meditation, you can learn to break away from the way that you have been conditioned to think. Take some time to find out more by clicking on the link below:

3. Better physical health.
It’s not certain whether people who are positive thinkers are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors such as getting regular exercise. Another theory that explains why optimists tend to be healthier is that they experience less stress or are better able to cope with stress, and thus the effects of stress on the physical body are lesser. Whatever the reason, optimists enjoy better health as compared to pessimists.

  • Optimists live longer.
  • Positive thinkers recover faster from injuries and illnesses.
  • Optimists have better immune systems – they’re less susceptible to the common cold.
  • Positive thinkers are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
  • Optimists experience overall better health.

4. Better social life.
This benefit is fairly intuitive. Think of the people you typically want to be around. Are they negative, always complaining, or frequently in a low mood? We’re willing to guess that’s not the case. It’s natural to want to be around people that are cheerful, upbeat, and optimistic. Therefore people that laugh a lot and tend to see events in a positive light are more likely to have more friends.

5. More success.
In general, optimists are more successful – making more money – at their jobs. In a study of insurance salesmen, optimistic salespeople sold 88% more than pessimistic salespeople. They were also less likely to quit their jobs, less likely to give up when they encounter work-related struggles, and more likely to describe a hopeful future when it came to their careers.

If you would like to learn how to improve your sense of optimism, The Stillness Project can help you. Get our three free videos that will reveal how to live a more positive life below.

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This One Thought Could Change the Entire Direction Of Your Life

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-11-29-51-amYadbhavam Tat Bhavati….what we think we become.

I’m sure you often ponder the life you are living and if its where you want to be. Whether its your job, your relationships, the city you are living in or whether you are living a life of relevance or not. The big challenge for many of us is having a vision for where we want to be that is NOT determined by where we have BEEN. Yes, sounds confusing I know but stay with me.

The choices we make today (which determine our future) are usually influenced by the perception we have about ourselves. The perception of WHO WE ARE is usually determined by our past. For instance if you had a very negative upbringing with lots of abuse, then this becomes your story that you identify with. This previous experience now defines the perception of who you think you are. I’m this person or I’m that person based upon my previous life experiences. This then determines the decisions that you make which determines your future. So your future life is heavily influenced by your past.

This is why we keeping going round and round in circles reliving the same relationships, financial situations and careers over and over again because of this story we have inside our head about who we are and what level of worthiness we feel about ourselves.

How do we break this pattern? This is the exciting part! What if you had a perception about WHO YOU ARE based upon your FUTURE experiences and not your PAST experiences? For instance if you saw yourself in the future as a best-selling author, award winning film-maker, leading CEO of a company, in a loving harmonious relationship, living with affluence, founder of a charity, working in an orphanage, creating a globally successful app or whatever you imagine yourself doing, then this would change the decisions that you make today.

Think of this, the canvas of your future life is blank, and you get to fill it in with whatever you would like!! When you hold that vision firmly inside your head, then this redefines the perception that you have of yourself. This then redefines the decisions that you make and this defines your future. So your new future perception of yourself that you hold today, leads you to becoming this in the future! How cool is that? Yadbhavam tat bhavati.

The big challenge now is to not only continue to hold that firm vision of your future self but to even see it in the first place! This is where the Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership comes in. This is a 12 month coaching program where we help you find that BIG VISION of your future self, hold that vision, and then make it become REAL.

This is what some of our members have said about Zen Academy:

“Thank you Tom, this session has been awesome. I feel back on track, motivated and energised.”

“Hi Tom, firstly I want to say a huge thank you for your responses to my challenges last month!!! They were absolutely on point and have helped me get through the month and move forward!! THANK YOU!!!!”

“I feel I have re-gained my personal power, and will not be shoved around any more. Again thanks for your wisdom!!!!!!”

If you feel it’s time for you to redirect your life then lets chat about the Zen Academy by clicking here.

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This Buddhist Saying Changed My Life!

No doubt you are, or have been, through some difficult times in your life. Often when we pass through these times a common question is “Why me??” and we slip into a deep malaise and heaviness in life.

Well I can certainly relate. However when I came across a Buddhist saying all of that changed. I started to see my difficult times in a different light. I could see a  pattern forming where I would be in a difficult period of my life and I would seek more answers, I would go deeper with my meditation (in fact it was a difficult time that even lead me to meditation!), I would read more spiritual and self-help books, and I would seek guidance from teachers. Once I was able to recognise this pattern and see how it aligned to this Buddhist saying I related to those challenges very differently. Watch this video and I’ll explain it further…

 

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This Couple Was Surprised By My Response When They Said They Didn’t Have Time For Yoga Or Meditation

yogaSometimes days will pass and you just can’t seem to get to your yoga class, sit in meditation or do your gratitude journaling right? I get it…I know how that feels. This gets even more so when there are young children to look after and full time jobs to go to. Life can get pretty jam-packed right?
Recently on my travels I met a lovely couple with two children. After the parents found out I was a meditation teacher they were sharing with me how they just haven’t been able to do their yoga or meditation as much as they would like. Days and even weeks would pass where their practice had subsided to non-existent. They felt a sense of guilt about this and lamented how they weren’t being able to do what they thought they ‘should’ be doing. Yet when I was in their presence I felt a gentleness and kindness and their eyes were still, clear and full of love.

I shared with them how our practice isn’t being on the mat or sitting in meditation. Yes, these are tools to help us achieve a state that enables us to be less attached to the past, kinder, gentler, more joyful and expressive of love. Ultimately though, it’s how we live our lives that matters. Our practice is how we move, how we speak, how we eat, how we sleep, how we work and how we raise our children. There are days when I don’t get to stretch or meditate. Let’s face it, getting to a yoga class can take up to 3 hours when you include travel time, changing and the class itself. That’s ok with me. It’s during those days that I need to be even more mindful of my words and actions…this becomes my practice. I will even talk to myself, “Tom, slow down, be present, where is your mind? Have you got love in your heart?” My practice will go all day long like this.

Recently I had just finished my meditation down at my favourite spot on Bondi Beach. There is a big concrete shelf where each day there are people doing yoga, qi gong, tai chi, meditation and even dancing. It has a beautiful energy. There was a woman there doing yoga. She had a beautiful practice. It was incredibly articulate, down to very precise hand and foot movements. It was some of the most amazing yoga I had seen before. Down by the shore was an older gentleman walking his dog. The dog was off the leash and came up to many of us like dogs do, sniffing our skin and saying hello. People would pat the dog and then it would move on the next person. When the dog came up to the woman doing the sublime yoga she stopped mid-asana, pushed the dog aggressively away and yelled at the man to “get his f—king dog off the f—king beach!! Don’t you know that dogs aren’t allowed on the beach???” But her yoga practice on the mat was very good ?

It’s also ok to accept your humanness. Yes we all get tired, we get overwhelmed, we are still affected by desires and conditioning. Our responses to situations can be distorted by the fatigue and stress where we get snappy, grumpy, and impatient. (Yep, even meditation teachers!!) So acknowledge the imperfection of our humanity. We aren’t perfect and we will often get reminded in some way shape or form that there is more to do.

I said to this couple, “You are doing your practice everyday. I see you, I see how you live, you’re already doing it. Your children ARE your practice; your job IS your practice. Cooking dinner and cleaning the house IS your practice.” They felt a great sense of relief and that yes, everything is ok and there is no need to entertain guilt about not getting to the mat or seat.

Sure, make every effort to get to your mat or sit in stillness each day. But also be adaptable, fluid and detached from the need to do this. Creating stress around not being able to do a practice that removes stress kinda defeats the purpose right? ?

If you’d like to find out more about how to find stillness in your life, then you might like to explore this meditation program I created called Faster Deeper Bliss.

This has over 20 years of my experience studying meditation, all condensed into an easy, simple and effective daily program that guarantees to have you experiencing the deep and proven benefits of meditation within just 21 days … in fact you’ll notice the benefits much sooner.

We’ve helped thousands of people and I’m sure that we can help you too … check it out here … I believe it is the best meditation training available online.

“Tom Cronin! I just finished number 3 of the Stillness Project. I’m IN LOVE! I’ve tried meditation several times and gave up on it EVERY time. Each day, I CAN’T wait for my next meditation. THANK YOU for taking the mystery out of meditation.” – Leslie

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Why Your Mind Gets Stuck In The Negative (And How To Get Unstuck)

Did you know that our minds occupy negative thinking on average around 60-70% of the time? For instance when we catch up with family or friends at the end of the day the common topic of conversation is things that didn’t meet our expectation or disappointed us. Sound familiar?

I can certainly relate to this as I used to be a very depressed and negative person.Talking about positive things can be seen as bragging or boastful and it was always much easier to think and talk about negative things. But I realised this wasn’t serving me and so I dedicated my time to changing this. It took a lot of effort and time to redirect my thinking into the positive space.

I grappled with why this is the case and why we don’t naturally feel compelled to think and speak positively. Well this short 10 minute TED talk by psychologist Alison Ledgerwood will explain it all very clearly for you.  She says at the 6:21 mark that “our view of the world tilts towards the negative”. She goes on to say “that it is very easy to go from good to bad, but we have to work far harder to go from bad to good with our perspective.”

The good news is there is a way to overcome this, although admittedly it will require some daily work. Check this short clip out to find out how to think more positively and as a result, live a more positive life.

If you’d like some support to think more positively then the Empowerment Series will help you! It has 3 x 1 hour audios, ebooks and companion note book that will redefine the way you think about wealth, relationships and life purpose. As one listener said:
“I wanted to express my gratitude to you as you have open a door to something I have been trying to reach for a long time: Myself, my inner strength. Your empowerment series talked straight to my heart and inspired me to be love. So thank you, thank you, thank you for all your hard work and for putting all that knowledge in such a beautiful and simple way.” – Susana V.

Click below to find out more…

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