21 Days of Wisdom, Meditation

21 Days of Wisdom, Days 5-13

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I just finished day 13 of the 21 Days of Wisdom course I started at the beginning of the month. At first, I thought I’d journal every single day, but then I stopped. Why, you may ask? For a few reasons.

  1. I wondered if anyone was truly interested in reading about what I was doing every day with this workshop. Since I’ve had a bit of traction with my posts, maybe people are interested. But I stopped documenting every day because I didn’t want to be boring and repetitive.
  2. There have been a few workshops that have been in-depth and I honestly wouldn’t know what to write about since I’m not an expert on the techniques being led.
  3. I was trying to participate and jot down notes at the same time and I didn’t feel like I was getting much out of it that way.
  4. I decided to be completely present in the workshops, then write about it later.

So, what’s happened in days 5-13? Honestly, I can’t put it into words. I feel a personal victory that I’ve made it this far. Showing up is half the battle. A lot of the breathing techniques take focus and I’ve realized I don’t have a lot of focus. This workshop is helping me in that area.

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I’ve learned different mantras, how to stay present in a moment, and as I mentioned different breathing techniques. It’s been very interesting. Not all days are Zen and Om, some days I feel very warm and energized after a workshop and that’s pretty amazing to me since all of it is done sitting down.

But, most of all, after every workshop, I feel calm. I think that’s a beautiful state of mind, to feel calm, especially in our world right now.

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I’ve alternated using essential oils in Clary Sage and Lavender. I also have been lighting incense for the workshop, also alternating between the scents of Sandalwood and Lavender. Can you see a pattern? I love Lavender!

I won’t be doing a daily post, but I will follow up on this workshop once it’s complete. One more week to go, then I’ll get back to writing about writing. Thank you for reading and joining me on this journey!

21 Days of Wisdom, Meditation

21 Days of Wisdom, Day 4

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I just finished Day 4 of 21 Days of Wisdom. Today we started class with a small chat about how we’re liking the course. Since it’s so early in the morning and a weekend, I stayed off camera but was happy to contribute via audio. It’s nice to interact with others who are also on this journey.

As it seems will be the pattern, a mantra and a breathing exercise were included. Today’s mantra was, Om Namah Shivaya. This mantra is associated with qualities of prayer, divine-love, grace, truth, and blissfulness. When done correctly, it allegedly calms the mind and brings spiritual insight and knowledge.  (FYI, I didn’t come up with that pearl of wisdom, I read it on Wikipedia.)

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The breathing was challenging again. You might read that and think, “Really, how hard is it to breathe?” Well, depending on how controlled the breathing is, or the rhythm of it, it can be quite challenging. Today’s breathing was very energizing. There were frequent moments where I stumbled. I’m learning that’s ok. I’ve never done this before so I can’t expect to be perfect. I’m allowing myself the grace and patience to learn, and I think that is growth right there! Any time I found myself stumbling, I paused, watched the instructor, then jumped back in.

At the end of today’s session, I felt cleansed and energized, almost as if I had worked out. Tomorrow is going to be ceremonial. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m anxious to find out. So, come back tomorrow and see what it is!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re enjoying my thoughts on this course. Make sure to check out my other posts for my thoughts on writing, and while you’re at it, check out my books!

21 Days of Wisdom, Meditation

21 Days of Wisdom, Day 3

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I just finished today’s lesson of 21 Days of Wisdom. We all know… at least we should… that it takes 21 days to break a habit or form a new habit. That’s the premise of this lesson, along with the cycle of the moon and the days getting shorter. I’m sure the very educated instructor would have a lovelier way of saying that, but I’m new to this, so this is what you get!

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One of the breathing exercises we did today included what I learned yesterday, the fire breath. Today we did a technique where we put our hand to our third eye, and with our thumb, held one nostril closed while we practiced the breathing. As the instructor said, there would be more clarity on one side over the other, meaning one of your nostrils is going to be clear and one will feel stuffed up. She wasn’t wrong. We started with breathing from the left nostril, and that was fine. Nice and clear, I found a good rhythm of breathing and felt calm and centered. When we moved to the right side, I struggled. I didn’t realize how stuffed up I was and trying to only breathe from that side made me feel a little panic. Obviously, I know that I can stop any time I want, but I wanted to see it through. I really want to take this meditation seriously and learn everything I can. So, I kept at it and went very slow. I also took breaks when needed… any time I felt panic that I couldn’t breathe, I paused and came out of the pose, then went back into it after a few seconds.

The next exercise we did was a mantra, Alakh Niranjan. This was interesting, and she suggested we use this mantra any time we feel like we’re stepping back into old habits. We said it out loud, then we whispered it, then we went silent with a subtle back and forth shift of our bodies and kept the mantra going in our minds. After a few minutes of this, we reversed the process and went from a whisper to a chant.

I know I’m only 3 days into this course, but I enjoy it and hope to make every live class. She emails a link to download a replay, but I like the consistency of doing it with her first thing in the morning. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, all participants have their camera and microphones off, so we can’t see each other. I tend to either get distracted by that, or I focus on myself and start obsessing over how I look.

These guided meditations are fast, that’s another thing I like. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to go for a long period of time, but for now, 20-ish minutes is working for me.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post!

21 Days of Wisdom, Meditation

21 Days of Wisdom, Day 2

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I just finished Day 2 of the 21 Days of Wisdom course that I’m taking. Today was a little different than yesterday. We focused on our breathing, and techniques on how to snap out of drama and a negative mindset.

Today’s breathing was interesting. She referred to the technique a few different ways. Breath of Fire or Skull Cleansing. Because I’m a research nerd, I Googled both terms and I found that it is also known as Skull Shining. The technical term is called Kapalabhati Breathing, and it’s a series of exhales through your nose while contracting your stomach muscles. The Google search brought up a lot of information that’s a little overwhelming, but it’s definitely something I hope to learn more about. Check out the search here.

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It’s only day 2 of this course, but so far, I like it. I haven’t done anything like it before, but I’ve always been interested in this. She teaches first thing in the morning, which is the best thing for me. I’m an early riser, so anything that’s going to take this kind of focus is best for me when I’m at my most alert. I’m the same with exercise. If I don’t do it first thing in the morning, I’m not doing it!

I also liked that we were taught a technique on how to flip your mindset. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, there are ways to pull you out of that and that was our main focus today. If you’re interested in learning more about this instructor, check out her YouTube Channel.

I’m looking forward to sharing more with you each day. Thanks for stopping by, now it’s time to go slay the day!

21 Days of Wisdom, Meditation

21 Days of Wisdom, Day 1

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

21 Days of Wisdom         

Day 1

A client of mine was leading a workshop and she encouraged me to join. I knew about the workshop because I create monthly emails to go out to her subscribers. I was intrigued, as I am by all the products that she sells and the classes that she offers. Though I was interested in the workshop, I didn’t think I’d do it simply because I have a hard time focusing on meditation and self-centering. In fact, only two days ago I told a group of people that I’m not cut out to meditate and focus on my breathing. It’s just not me. Just like I don’t like to run, and I accept that, I guess maybe I don’t want to meditate. But, I’m an open-minded person, so I thought I’d give it a try.

First, we set the mood, if you will, with a candle, incense, or essential oil of your choice. I didn’t do a candle, simply because I have a fan at my desk and when I’ve tried a candle where I sit, it distracts me because I’m worried it’s going to blow out or get away from me somehow. I didn’t do incense today, either. No special reason, but I might tomorrow since we’re doing this for 21 days. I have a lot of oils and I didn’t know which one to use. I happened to have a Clary Sage blend in a rollerball on my desk, so I used that today. In my research I read that common oils to use in meditation are lavender, sandalwood, frankincense, or cedarwood. I have all of those except for sandalwood. Since I have 2 bottles of cedarwood, I’m going to use that, so I put my oil to good use.

Next, she led us through some breathing exercises and hand placement. At one point, she had us with our palms together in a prayer position, then we rubbed our palms together to open our hearts. This was interesting, because the simple act of doing that had my palms vibrating with energy. It’s been almost an hour after the class that I’m writing this, and my palms are still vibrating.

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I won’t get into the entire details of the class because I don’t remember every tiny detail. I was trying to focus, which is not my strong suit in meditation. Overall, I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to the rest of this 21-day journey. I liked how she talked us through it and reaffirmed that mind wandering is going to happen, and it’s ok. Simply smile at the interruption as you would a young child, acknowledge it, then focus on your breathing.

I think this is a great way to start the day. I feel centered, calm, focused, and strangely, energized.

So, stay tuned if you wish, because I am going to document each day and I’m looking forward to my results at the end of 21 days.

Time to finish a chapter today! Thanks for stopping by!