DOES MEDITATION WORK?

Meditation.  A word that seems quite scary to most.  A word that can make one feel uneasy, resistant, or even anxious. 

Taking time to sit in silence?  Quieting the mind? What does that even mean?  As westerners, it is a concept that goes against everything we are taught.  Since we are young, the majority of us are programmed to constantly work hard, that if we stop for one second, we are holding ourselves back from succeeding or reaching our goals.

While it is important to strive every day towards what we want to achieve, we must do so with a quiet mind.  When we become still and go within, this is where we can accomplish anything we set our mind to.  We break all of the barriers that might be holding us back - we diminish our limiting beliefs.  We ease stress and our anxiety while enhancing our creativity. 

Through meditation we unlock our potential to create an outcome we ultimately desire.  We change our lives. 

I can attest for this firsthand.  When I was young, I was very competitive.  I started competing in dance when I was eight, and by the time I was 11 I was a competitive gymnast.  I was always go, go, go, and strived to always win.  However, this completely changed for me one night in 1998, when I was around 11 years old.  At this time I had joined a diving team and fell in love with the sport (I later ended all other sports to focus solely on diving).   During this particular evening, my diving coach had us watch an old video about using visualization to succeed in sports.  This was a complete game changer in my life (no pun intended!).  The tape taught me how to tap into the power of visualization to achieve what I wanted, and how to create an outcome I desired – basically I learned the buzzword we hear everywhere today, Manifestation.   

The video taught me how to go within and to always focus on the positive (never the negative) outcome when diving.  I learned how to replay each dive in my mind over and over again, performing it perfectly.  The video provided me with tools on how to not let my external environment affect me in any way, always knowing I had the power to be successful, no matter what anyone else tells me.

And you know what’s crazy? It worked. 

From that moment on I trained my mind before each dive, taking time to visualize how I would perform. I started to see success with this technique and used the method in other aspects of my life.

 When my visualization meditation was on, so was my diving.  When I was mentally off, I did not perform well.  I noticed a pattern and began to realize how powerful this new tool was.  The funny thing  – I did not even realize this was meditation.   In fact, this was way before Yoga was even popular in the US.

Flash forward to 2012

…the year I discovered what we call “mindfulness” today.  This was another pivotal time in my life.  I began to read about the power of the mind and meditation, started practicing yoga religiously, and took an interest in studying metaphysics and the science behind shifting our subconscious.

During this spiritual awakening, I was encouraged to meditate by mentors and friends – but why?  I thought it was impossible for me to sit in silence, and to go within.  My mind was completely all over the place.  Yoga had helped, but I definitely needed more guidance.  That was the moment it all clicked with me.  “I started meditating when I was 11 years old.  And it worked!”   I decided to give meditation a second chance.  Soon sitting for 5 minutes turned into 10, which turned into 20.  The benefits were crazy.  I started to unlock creativity that felt dormant inside of me.  I started to release stored emotions that were embedded in my subconscious that no longer served me.  My sleep patterns improved, and my mind started to regain more clarity.  I received “ah-ha!” moments more easily, and life seemed to flow better.  My body and mind soon craved meditation, that quiet time where it is just me, myself, and I.  The time where I tapped into my subconscious and created change.

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 While not always easy, meditation is extremely beneficial and life changing.  I will say, like going to the gym, you might not see changes the first time or overnight.  But with discipline and practice, your life will shift.  You will start to see the world through different, more vibrant eyes.  Meditation teaches you to live more in the moment, to enjoy the little things in life.  The practice takes you back to what really matters – inner growth.  It enhances compassion and joy by decreasing cortisol and other stress hormones within the body.

 

With that being said, I encourage you to listen to my podcast interview with The Global Travel Channel Podcast Show to hear more of my story and how meditation greatly changed my life.  I offer some techniques and personal examples of how to meditate for the first time – meditation really is for everyone!

Thank you to the Global Travel Channel Podcast Show for having me.  Please don’t hesitate to comment or reach out!

PODCAST EPISODE >> HERE

*Tune in this week to listen to my guided meditation*

LIVE LIFE IN THE NOW

Living Your Most Authentic Life.

The idea behind The Now With Nat came to me when I decided to shift my mindset from constant mind-chatter + rehashing my future, to making a conscious effort to live more in the present moment. From doing so, I started to notice positive changes and soon became aware of opportunities around me. I knew there was truth in this theory, and I was eager to discover more!

As a society, we are programmed to over think, over indulge, + over exude ourselves in every aspect of our lives. But what if we took a moment to just be content with where we are now, in this very instant? To trust that life was going to work out in our favor?  I knew this challenging concept was essential for self growth. In order to be fully present I had to make changes that shifted my energy. This meant detaching myself from what has happened in the past and from what was “going” to happen in the future.

Easier said than done, right?!

Stress and anxiety are created from a busy mind recycling the same thoughts over and over - from replaying past, perhaps traumatic, experiences, and projecting a false future for ourselves that is simply not real. These forms of thinking create an energy that leaves us feeling “stuck” and confused as to why our lives are not quite moving in the direction we ultimately desire. Constant worry is a form of attachment which leads to living out of alignment. The more we live out of alignment, the more prone we are to ailments, depression and dis-ease.

What does living in the now mean?

To me, living in the now is non-resistance to all circumstances in our lives. It is a sense of trust that we must cultivate. It is a constant learning experience to become in alignment with our purpose. Ironically, by chasing life we start to feel less happy and more depressed, for “chasing” takes us out of the present moment, or living in the now. Our mind, body and soul crave moments to just BE. By BE-coming present, an energy within us changes, opening up a new wave of experiences + opportunities in our current reality. 

So how do we live life in the now?

Living in the now is a lifelong practice, but there are many steps to take to begin the shift. For me, I start my day with a grounding technique. This can be done by practicing yoga, meditating, and/or journaling (to name a few!).  This helps set the tone for the rest of the day.  {Click here to read my previous post on how to ground.}

Living in the now is an awareness that this exact moment is all that exists. It is calming the mind and working every day to reprogram our thoughts. Our thoughts create our inner + outer reality, so it is important that our inner dialogue is as positive as possible. To live more presently, I use positive affirmations to change my outer circumstances. I highly recommend the book: You Can Heal Your Life by, Louise Hay - she has amazing affirmations you can implement in your day to day routine!  {Click here for affirmation ideas to help you step into your ultimate power.}

Living in the now is not always easy, but crucial. By being conscious of our thoughts, and working day to day to make changes, you will start receiving new downloads, insights + ah-ha! moments that will positively steer your life in the direction you desire.

“The art of life is to live in the present moment.” - Emmet Fox

I would love to hear your feedback on any techniques that help you stay more present, and/or any stories on how shifting your perspective has changed your life. <3

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