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Foto Friday

Here are some fun inspirational photos to add to your Pinterest Boards from one of of my favorite bloggers, The Wellness Warrior. She has MANY, many more, check them out!


So, for today, remember…



Use this day to…



And, of course…



Have an amazing weekend, friends!


Wow! I got so many off-line questions about meditation, I thought that I would take a minute to answer some of the most common ones. It feels like many of you are really interested in meditating (which really is another form of prayer, so no wonder you are drawn to it!) but are wanting a little more logistical guidance.


1. How long should you meditate?


The pinnacle (according to the Chopra Center) would be 20-30 minutes, 2 times a day.


This is a little lofty for beginners, so I would say once a day for 20-30 minutes is a great start.


If you are using guided meditation, your timer is built in. I use my phone timer (turn the volume down low) if I am not following a guided meditation.


2. When should you meditate?


Ideally, you should meditate first thing in the morning. Why? First, because are mind has yet to get overloaded with thoughts. Second, you will be less likely to skip if it is the first thing we do. And third, it sets the tone for our whole day.


When I’m in my routine, I get up about an hour before the kids wake up and get straight to it! No email or text checking first!


3. Where should you meditate?


You are best off to pick one quiet and comfortable location and stick with it. You will notice your “place” will have a pavlovian effect on you – your mind will settle down be just being in your meditation spot. Make your spot special: I like to burn a little candle when I meditate.


4. How should I sit when I meditate?


You can sit any way you want! No, you do not HAVE to be in a lotus position with your hands in gian mudra…



I like to sit in a comfortable chair because my hips and back distract me if I’m sitting on the floor. I usually choose not to lay down (but you can!) because I’ll fall asleep. I have a blanket handy to keep warm! I usually keep my hand lying in my lap, palms up. That feels comfortable to me.


5. What do I do when I meditate?


If you are using a guided meditation, like the one offered for free during the 21-day Meditation Challenge, all you need to do is listen and relax. Focusing on the words should keep you from thinking too much about your list 🙂 But, if those thoughts creep in, don’t fret or berate yourself for doing it “wrong.” There is no right or wrong! Just gently re-focus your attention.


If you are doing your own meditation there are two easy ways you can do this:


One, is a breathing meditation. During this you focus on your breath. You can count to 6 on the inhale, then count to 6 on the exhale.


The second is a “mantra” meditation. Select a word you would like to repeat in your head as you are relaxing. You can pick words like…peace, relax, release. You can also pick a sanskrit mantra like Soham – pronounce So Hum.


I remember thinking that speaking in sanskrit was creepy and cultish, but now I’m totally over it and actually prefer it. Since the words have no meaning to me, they produce less thoughts.


6. What should I expect to happen during and after meditation?


If you are a really good meditator you should expect a mystical, out-of body experience, wherein your spirit leaves the physical body and travels in your astral body.


Got you! I’m totally kidding.


You should expect to:
a) fall asleep
b) have thoughts
c) pay attention to guided words or your mantra


That’s it, guys!


After meditation is the most important part. As Davidji says, it isn’t about the 30 minutes of meditation, its all about the 23 1/2 hours after. Think of meditation like going to the gym: you wouldn’t expect to lose 10 pounds after one day, but you will feel the benefits immediately. So stick with it.


I hope this helps! Please keep asking questions if you have more! I am so excited that so many of you are willing to try it. Let’s check in after a couple weeks and see how we all are doing!


If there was one overriding message in my recent retreat at the Chopra Center it was…


MEDITATE!


Meditate, meditate, meditate and meditate some more.



Why does it matter if you meditate?


Besides just grabbing some peace and quiet for yourself, meditation has the power to change your life and the lives of others.


It can change you life by slowing you down, stopping the mental chatter and strengthening your connection to spirit so you can HEAR the answers and NOTICE the signs. We are all getting them, friends. It is whether we pay attention and act on them.


As Deepak explained: Karma = Routine (what we keep doing over and over) and anything that breaks our routine is a coincidence that give us the opportunity to break the cycle of Karma. We are not bound by our past to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. The quieter we are the better chance we will hear our message.


Meditation can change others lives simply because we are all connected. There have been many studies, but one that stands out in my mind: A large group had come together to meditate over a weekend and scientist wanted to measure the effects their meditation had on bystanders. So, they gathering stress hormone levels from random people on the street (NOT participating in the meditation) before and after the meditation weekend. The stress hormone levels were down a statistically significant amount after the weekend of meditation in people that didn’t even know the meditation was going on! It is kind of like your home – when one person is out of synch, the rest of the family pays for it. Vice versa, when mom is in a great mood, everyone benefits. We are all energetically connected so our meditation practice helps change the world.


If relaxing for 20-30 minutes a day can change your life and the lives of others, do I really have to twist your arm?


I didn’t think so.


So join me in a 21-day Meditation Challenge!


I know when I’m off my meditation practice I get all wonky and crabby, so I can’t wait for something to get me back in the routine and hold me accountable.


Here is the scoop:

  • Starts Monday, Feb 20th
  • It is totally free
  • Each day, for 21 days, you will receive a guided meditation to listen to
  • The meditations are varied to give you a good feel for meditation
  • Sign up at ChopraCenterMeditation.com (<—click this link)


Easy, Peasy!


And for those of you (I can hear you now!) that are saying, “Lina, I just can’t sit still,” or “Lina, I can’t stop my mind from thinking.”


GOT OVER IT!


You aren’t supposed to sit perfectly still on a hard wood chair and stop all thoughts. You are human and humans think. Humans move. If you didn’t think or move you would be dead. So, celebrate that you are alive and relax. Meditation isn’t something that you should worry about doing right or wrong because there is no right or wrong!


Now that you have no excuses, sign up with me and we can change the world together 🙂


As I sit hear writing this for you, I feel like crying. I’m not even sure why. I think it is a combination of exhaustion from 5 intense, long days and all the emotions that bubbled up from it.


Most of you know that I just finished a five day retreat at the Chopra Center. The retreat name was “Synchrodestiny” and centered around the teachings in Deepak Chopra’s book, Spontaneous Fullfilment of Desire. This was the last Synchrodestiny retreat after offering it for about 12 years, so the energy of the event was very strong and Deepak’s sessions were particularly intense. There are many things I took away from my five days, but one was Deepak’s incredible intelligence and other-worldiness. He has the ability to blend science with spirit seamlessly. He truly is of another realm.



There are so many things I could tell you about this retreat: give you lists, bullet point main topics, regurgitate mind blowing material. But, instead I think I’ll tell you my story…


I came to the retreat with hopes of getting clarity on what direction to go with my website:


Should I write a book?
Should I pursue an opportunity to develop inspirational products?
Should I think about speaking?
Maybe expand my “Karma Club” idea and take the experiences nationally?


SO many ideas…what should I do?????


I was tired of feeling confused and knew that if I had some direction or intuition, I could commit and take off! I’m good at “doing” things. I excel at trudging forward. I just didn’t know the direction.



So, here I was at a retreat that would help me uncover my path, and the first thing that I notice is how embarrassed I am when people ask, “What do you do?” I felt ashamed at saying, “I stay at home with my kids and have a blog” when engaging with people from across the world with incredible careers and ambitions. Like I had been wasting time.


I tucked that feeling away and keep moving forward, putting my whole heart and soul into each activity and interaction. These sessions were focused on uncovering our true desire – our destiny. So, I keep sensing and feeling around my ideas but I did’t seem to be getting anywhere. Damn. Nothing was presenting itself to me.


Then, in one of the sessions, when the leader asked us to put our hand on our heart and ask ourselves “What do you want right now?” it came to me. I want more than anything to feel totally centered and connected to my children. I want to be excited when they come home! I want to be happy to play with them! I want to look into their eyes and be totally focused on their stories and not distracted by my thoughts and texts and phone calls. I want to be so in the present moment with them that time slows down and I remember all of the details.



What!?! I came hear to find my entrepreneurial path and this is what I come up with! What is the Universe trying to tell me?


So, again, I tucked that feeling away and thought to myself, “Yes, that’s important. I’ll work on my relationship with my kids while I research products and distribution streams.”


That evening, after dinner, we all to came together to play a game called THE WISH. This game would give us clues and guidance through a system of oracle cards. To start the game we each wrote down our desire clearly and succinctly. I thought for a moment about putting, “to be centered and connected to my family” but after seeing the wishes of other players it seamed less-than. How could that possibly stack up with “I open up a substance abuse retreat center in Puerto Rico.”


So, I changed my mind and put down, “I have a company that provides inspirational products” There, now that sounds nice.


The game proceeded and I kept getting cards that I had a hard time connecting to my desire. Things like:


You can only change yourself
You are what you think
To see peace in this world we must first see peace in ourselves
Life if your mirror-it reflects back to you everything you need to learn


One of the teachers came to our table to help us make sense of these clues. She looked at mine and keep prodding and probing and questioning me. “What do you think these are trying to tell you?….What is the message as it relates to your wish?” I was exhausted, my brain was about to explode and I was on the brink of tears. I DON’T KNOW I’M TOO TIRED! I finally said exasperated.


She then said, “I’ve been doing this for some time and what I see is a bunch of cards that are telling you to turn inward and keep working on yourself. It seems like you have some work to do at home before you venture out and start something new.”


Well, I about lost it inside. It felt like a slap in the face…as if everyone had a right to their desires but I had to go back to school. I left feeling defeated and confused.


As I was laying in my bed that night it dawned on me: that was my desire! I did want, more than anything, to feel more peaceful and centered at home. And to achieve that, I DO have to work on myself more! The game WAS telling me my true wish! It wasn’t telling me I can’t do those things in the future, it was reminding me what was important right now.



I have been pushing and struggling for about a year trying to figure out what I was going “TO DO.” I have been DOING things all my life, to the point of losing the present. I am a future addict – I constantly am looking and thinking about the future and how “when I do that I’ll feel more fulfilled.” Noticing that I felt less-than around successful retreat attendees made me realize how distorted my thinking had become. I have been looking for happiness and fulfillment externally and need to find it internally before I will be ready to move to the next adventure.


In many ways, it was quite a relief. It is like I got permission to have fun. The Universe gave me a big green light to be good to myself and good to my family instead of pushing my will and making everyone miserable! I have to trust that things will open up to me in perfect timing. And I am perfectly were I need to be.

With me.

With my Family.

With you.

Thank you for always being there for me when I need to tell my story. You are a Godsend! It’s good to be back home 🙂


Before I bon voyage to San Diego for my Deepak Chopra retreat, I wanted to pass onto you a great book I just finished reading: Make Peace With Your Plate.


Jess Ainscough is an Australian writer, blogger and certified holistic health coach. I ADORE her blog, The Wellness Warrior. Anyone who gives a step-by-step video of how to do a coffee enema (rated G, of course) is super cool in my book. She is darling and hysterical and calls red bell peppers capsicum. I can’t get enough.


Her Story is Amazing


Jess has literally healed herself of terminal cancer through juicing and whole foods using the Gerson Method. Her story is proof that we have what it takes to heal our own bodies! Check out her video of how she has managed to sustain the rigorous protocol of her healing agenda. She has such willpower and strength!



Back to her Book


She just came out with her new e-Book, Make Peace With Your Plate: How to End Your Tortured Relationship with Food.


On my “food” journey (which still continues as my love for Mexican, cheese, and beer will never die) I have read a dozen nutrition and food books. Her book assimilates ALL of those books into one. It is very informative, beautifully layed out, and funny! Jess still manages to keep me laughing while she is talking serious sh$t.


You Know How Much I Love Supporting Women’s Dreams


So, I can’t go on my trip without spreading the word about Jess, her website, and her new book. This girl is moving and shaking and I think we will be seeing her hit it big time. Jump on the band wagon now!


Ta Ta, as they say in Australia! I’ll be on a plane Wednesday and plan on keeping you abreast of any moments of enlightenment. I still can’t believe I’ll be meditating with the Deepak…truly amazing!


Quintessential Dalai Dan


In the spirit of gratitude, brought on by the many emotional things that have occurred recently, I decided to take a moment and tell Dalai Dan what I loved about him the most:


His patience
His laughter
His naturally centered emotional state
His positive outlook
His loyalty to our family
His deep love for our children
His flexibility


I could go on…he is truly a remarkable person. How many men could deal with a wife like me that airs every thought on a international platform? And not only deals with it, loves me more for it?


Seriously, friends, I am lucky.


As the one-sided conversation came to an end, and he was quietly listening to the story of his greatness, I paused and asked him,


“So, what would you say is the part of me that you appreciate the most?”


He thought for a moment (hating to be put on the spot to express his feelings. I didn’t say he was perfect) and then said,


“You will always make me something to eat. You make dinner and make me smoothies…I like not having to worry about food.”


So, there you have it. The Dalai Lina distilled down to her basic function in this family: food management.


The bottom line, ladies, is when it comes to men, don’t underestimate the power of their stomach! They are still boys wanting to be taken care of.


Foto Friday

Want to uncover some of your subconscious beliefs? In this video I talk about how our strong emotions about others can give you a clue. The people we interact with every day are there to help reflect to us our own thoughts and emotions about ourselves. The more we use those opportunities to pay attention and evolve, the less they will bother us!


Have an amazing weekend, my beautiful friends!


Happy Birthday To Me!

Yes, today I officially turn 40! At 9:10am, 40 years ago, in a California hospital, I entered this world butt first. (much to the uncomfort of my mother) As she got to know me over the years, she said it was apropos that I would chose to be born differently than everyone else. Baring it all from the beginning…


Here is a little photo tribute to myself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed looking through our old photo albums.


Thank you for all of the birthday wishes and have a beautiful day!











Women’s Liberation?

My newest obsession is Downton Abby. How did I not know this show existed until 2 weeks ago? You know my preoccupation with all things English and historical…why didn’t you tell me? I’ve been watching the old episodes from Netflix, absorbing every minute like chamois. Then, hovering over the mailbox for the next disc.


I want to be Lady Mary Crawley. Ok, it kind of sucks that she can’t inherit her father’s estate because she is a girl. But she has a personal assistant and a beautiful wardrobe.



What strikes me about this show is how far women have come in 100 years. So many amazing achievements that are due to the sacrifices of women before us.


In Downton Abby, women who do things for themselves and don’t have a staff are looked down on. However, the funny thing is, I think we may have gotten ourselves in the opposite situation! Thanks to Women’s Lib, we are not only allowed to do anything we want, we are expected to be Superwomen and do it all. WITHOUT ANY HELP. I feel like it is often “looked down on” if a women has assistance.


Nanny picking the kids up from school? Hummm…
Housecleaner? Oh, how lucky for her.
A cook to help with meals? Seems indulgent if you ask me.
Personal Assistant? And she doesn’t even have a job!


Remember, ladies, women’s liberation was a movement to ensure our equal place in society. Now we CAN chose to do anything we want, just like men. But, this does’t mean we have to do it all. And it definitely doesn’t mean we have to do all it without help.


Women should support each other and our capacities. If we want to work, great. If we want to stay home, great. If we want a nanny, great.


We have not failed our feminist foremothers if we chose to raise a family and find out that it is so damn hard we need help.


Ok, now for Master Matthew Crawley…the dishes can wait 🙂


{Pause}

I just want to take a time out. Push the pause button for a moment.


Breath.


So many unexpected and emotional things happened in the last 4 weeks.


The sudden and shocking death of our youthful friend and father.


The final days of of my beautiful girlfriend, who’s life was cut short by breast cancer.


The heart wrenching critical illness of a friend, mother, and pillar of the community just days after giving birth to a perfect baby boy.


A house fire in our dearest friend’s home, devastating them and displacing the family for months.



Can we please press pause so we can all take a breath?


It is a lot for this small community to take in. Draining.


It may even feel overwhelming if it were not for exceptional individuals and their compassion, selflessness, and service. I have watched this community open their arms and wrap these families in their love and protection. Stop everything to help, without a question. It has filled me with unimaginable love and admiration.


You are astonishing, Kansas City. You are our rock, St. Pauls.


I adore you and am in awe of your greatness.