Meditation has now become a big part of my life. I meditate wherever I am and even if it is only for five or 10 minutes.
There are several ways to go about meditation. For some, it is a relaxation practice and for others it is a connection with the true self — our deepest core, and thus a true spiritual experience.
For me it is the latter…
I love to discover the inner world that I often find far more interesting and exiting then the so-called reality we live in utilizing our five senses.
Here is what meditation can do for you: Yes, it will most definitely relax you. It will decrease your heart rate, and it is beneficial for a balanced blood pressure. But more importantly, it will clear your mind, refresh your thinking, boost your creativity and it even aids growth of new brain cells!
For me it became my new morning coffee — my wake-up call for mind and soul. And it is even more: If you are lucky and courageous and stick with it, it can shatter your concepts and old beliefs. Over time, you will become more aware and open. You see more clearly how your actions influence your own state and the state of others.
That’s the moment when mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is the ability to live in the now; it is key to life and personal growth. One way of mindfulness is to watch your thoughts and feelings. If you catch them before acting on them you can stop and pause and actually create your reality from a positive point of view.
When we are mindful, we are no longer dependent on what others think of us, because we have recognized who we really are. That gives us the freedom from which we act instead of clinging to people, things, and ideas.
If you dare to get in touch with yourself on a more meaningful level, here is a short introduction to the practice of meditation. As a beginner you may want to start your practice by focusing on your breath. This will help your mind to turn inside.
Set aside at least five minutes each day. Be kind to yourself. As a beginner you may find it difficult to sit still for a couple of minutes — and experienced mindfully, five minutes can be longer than you think! Don’t get angry with yourself if you have to shift around a bit or if your mind needs a bit longer to relax. So start with five minutes and slowly work your way up.
Find a time and place where you are undisturbed.
Sit in a comfortable position — on a chair or on the floor (maybe cross-legged).
Your spine should be upright but relaxed.
Take a few deep breaths — slowly and with ease.
Close your eyes and watch the fall and rise of your breath — how the breath flows in and out of your nose. When thoughts arise (and they will arise) just watch them, as they would be clouds in the sky. Do not engage in them but concentrate on how your breath moves in and out of your body.
Coming out of meditation should be easeful — become aware of your breathing once again, move your fingers and toes and slowly open your eyes.
It is true, that our emotions, thoughts and worries are covering the magnificence of our soul. When we wake up to this divine inner being truly all is well — beyond well.
And who knows — one day you might even sing it… the song of the soul.
PS: Please do not think that you are acting selfish when spending “so much time” on yourself. As my Russian friend Bronisval Vinogrodsky, who is a Taoist, activist, artist and healer says: “We should all meditate in order to stabilize the world.”
I’m sitting at the top of the steps of the Met Museum on this late afternoon. The sun has dipped and so has the temperature. I finish my afternoon call to my sister Patti in Miami. Her speech, lately very slurred from her degenerative condition, is a little better today – I think in part because we’ve reduced her meds. From amidst the din of traffic and people, there suddenly arises a beautiful vocal rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” which resounds like a hymn throughout the museum plaza. I look around for some type of sound system and see the best one of all — a solitary man without a microphone at the bottom of the steps. I approach him. “Sir, may I make a special request?” “If I know it,” he replies. I tell him about Patti and then call her back. “Patti, here’s a little treat for you!” I put the phone on speaker and C.J. breaks into an extended version of “Stand By Me.” When he gets to the chorus he sings “And Patti. Patti stand… by me… Ooohhh stand… by me!” I hear her laughing and enjoying the song and the attention. When he finishes the song I put 10 dollars in his hat. He thanks me and is already into the next song. I stick around for a minute as more people leave the museum. Then C.J. and I shake hands and I start walking down Fifth Avenue. He belts out a heartfelt “Hit The Road, Jack” to me, to the museum crowd, to the gray New York City sky.
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Now with that being said, I have to mention, I too am walking up the speaker path and have been invited to speak on stages this year, speaking to living with passion and on purpose. The first thing my marketing guru says, “Rose Tafoya, you have to do a sizzle reel and download onto your new website.” I am thinking, easy enough. I have been watching plenty of reels and feel like a sizzle reel pro, I know what and what not to do. I reply out loud, “That will be easy, a two- to three-minute reel, no problem, I can do that.”
Here comes my “aha” moment… I was with my videographer and we chose to shoot out at the zoo to get some great natural back drop scenery. As I began to speak into the camera, my mind was distracted by the noises that surrounded us and I could not say what I wanted to say without rambling or stuttering my words. I was not connecting my language with my heart. What was being filmed was flat, boring and was not heartfelt. It was much manipulated and it just did not feel right. That’s when I realized, this could be what happens for many of the speakers who make a flat sizzle reel when they have a great message to share. What we were missing that morning at the zoo was a live audience and a natural way of being. I took a break, got centered, did some breathing, and wrote out what I wanted to say so it could sink into the brain. Now all I had to do was speak from the heart. Finally, I was able to relax and just speak to what I know and from the heart and that is when my true authentic self was captured and my sizzle reel product had true sizzle and was REAL.
The reason I felt a need to share this story was to shed some advice to speakers or anyone trying to share their message using a video camera to promote story and wisdom. My thoughts are, just be real and when you speak into the camera, just pretend it is your child, spouse, friend or parent, whoever it is that knows you for who you are and what you stand for. Let the words flow out of your brain and through your heart… that’s when your reel will be real.
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