“I believe that when you stop renewing and are no longer open to change and the possibilities that continually unfold, you stop being alive and are just getting through the years. Transformation doesn’t happen unless you’re willing: It’s your choice.”
~ Oprah Winfrey
Earlier this week, I did a guided meditation by don Miguel Ruiz, famed author of The Four Agreements. Prior to the meditation, he mentioned that he had added a Fifth Agreement to his life plan.
The Fifth Agreement states: “Be skeptical, but learn to listen.”
I remember when I was in the midst of fighting anorexia. Many family members, therapists, friends had urged me to start eating, get out of bed, and live. The truth was I saw no point. I was not truly listening to what they had to say about me (i.e., you are smart, pretty, funny, etc).
They were all happy and busy with their own lives, and I felt nothing. I felt that I added no value to the world around me. I was stuck. I was ungrateful for the gift of life. Slowly but surely, I started to become more willing to change my life. That happened only through learning to forgive myself for things that had happened in the past, forgiving others and expressing gratitude.
When my girls were born, I saw their joy for life, unconditional love, and smiles that filled a room.
When I started to adopt their attitudes about their young lives, mine started to shift. Have you ever noticed a baby’s willingness to try new things? They are little explorers getting into drawers, flipping light switches, trying new foods (Well, some! ha!), climbing stairs, learning to walk, learning to ride a bike, and the list goes on.
These lively young souls learn something new each day and take chances one small shift at a time.
Most of us, as adults, stop learning and end up getting in our own way!
Most likely this is because we forgot to forgive ourselves (and others along the way), for our mistakes.
Here is a five minute meditation/reflection I do when I am feeling stuck, icky and fading into a bad mood:
1. Go to a peaceful, serene spot that you feel most calm in. It must be quiet and free of clutter.
2. Close your eyes and get into a comfortable seated position. Take six deep breaths with a count of six seconds on the inhale through the nose and four seconds on the exhale out of the mouth. Deep breathing for a total of a minute should help you quiet the mind and calm the body.
3. Focus on who/what you need to forgive. It can be yourself or a loved one. It can be an event, argument, illness, loss, etc. Ask yourself: What is ailing you presently? What are you holding onto? What did that person say to you that you just can’t seem to get over/forgive? Send them love and compassion and most of all, forgiveness. They need your love more than anyone. Surrender it and watch it pass in front of you and out into the Universe. Be free.
4. Take a big deep breath. Six count inhale through the nose and 4 count exhale out of mouth. Let it go.
5. After you have completed the Forgiveness Meditation, let your mind take you to all the wonderful things you have right now in your life. Speak softly to yourself and reflect on the abundance you have in your life at this present moment. Make a mental list of all the things and people you are grateful for.
6. Take a big deep breath. Six count inhale through the nose and four count exhale out of mouth. Smile. Forgiveness and Gratitude unlock the door to a happier, healthy life. When you are stuck in resentment, depression and despair, you lose sight of the wonderful things around you and are not willing to listen, to change, to grow, to heal.
Keep practicing this simple meditation. Give yourself just five minutes of self-love a day.
Once you are free of resentment, you can unlock the power of gratitude. The willingness to listen to yourself and others becomes easier.
Now, your best self can shine forward and happiness arrives.
Jensy Scarola is a stay at home mom, blogger, writer and kids yoga instructor. She is the mother to her two greatest teachers of life and happily married to her high school soulmate. She was most recently the Executive Director for Fit & Healthy Schools, a non-profit organization fighting childhood obesity. She has since left that career in order to find her calling as an author, but keeps that passion in mind as she teaches young children yoga. Check out Jensy’s blog, where she shares her tips, struggles, triumphs, spirituality and motivating tools for women and men in hopes to help others overcome their adversity; you can also find her on Facebook. In her spare time, Jensy loves to bake, do crafts with her kids, watch sappy romantic films, read, watch Oprah and Redskins Football.
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Assistant Ed: Renée Picard/Ed: Bryonie Wise
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. I Still Think of You. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. Reading This Takes Guts. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD.