OPRAH & DEEPAK 21-DAY MEDITATION CHALLENGE (Perfect Health- my experiences)

Hot on the heels of his last amazing 21-day Creating Abundance meditation challenge, Deepak Chopra has partnered with Oprah to bring us a new challenge, this one being focused on health (great timing for all of us who envisaged getting 2013 off to a healthy start but have yet to reach our full potential ;)). Yes, I know it’s Easter and that I am probably being rather “unfashionable” by blogging about meditation as opposed to something chocolate/baking/food related, but I have been excited to take part in this challenge and I loved the last one so much that I bought the downloadable meditation package afterward. Meditating for 10 minutes a day is so achievable no matter how hectic your schedule. And doing these fantastic guided meditations requires so little effort… it’s such a small investment to make in yourself, but it pays such great dividends.

Before this challenge even started, I had already planned to do certain health-related things, making certain changes/adjustments/additions to my daily life. Not only does this meditation challenge boost my motivation to make improvements to my health and wellbeing, it is spookily synchronistic! I find myself thinking about something on one day and the very next day the guided meditation will address the very same issue I was pondering!

For those who have not signed up for the challenge yet but are interested, it’s not too late! There may only be 2 days left of the “official” challenge, but there are still 2 weeks worth of guided meditations online. So check out the challenge today at choprameditationcenter.com… and don’t forget, IT’S FREE!

Happy Easter to all those celebrating and, as Deepak says, namaste :).

MissMarzipan_Chopra_challenge_perfect_health

The remainder of this post is a copy from my online journal (days 1 – 10):

Day 1 – Question 1
What does perfect health mean to you?

Being in balance, an absence of pain, discomfort, dis-ease (disease), being happy, being able to listen to my body’s cues and act accordingly… and treating my body well.

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Day 1 – Question 2
As you seek perfect health, what would you most like to improve?

I would most like to live the way I would like my children to live. I don’t want to tell them what my ideals are, I want to live by my ideals and be a power of example.

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Day 1 – Question 3
How would your life transform if you felt completely vibrant and strong?

I would be so much more productive and enthusiastic about the things that matter most to me. I would be happier. I would get more out of everyday and be able to give more back.

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Day 1 – Journal
Please use this section to reflect on today’s session.

I have repeated this a few times and find it very relaxing, but as a mother with a newborn baby, I fall asleep almost immediately when I try to do any of these meditations! I do LOVE what Deepak says about believing the diagnosis but not necessarily the prognosis. I heard him say that first a few months ago, just after I was told there was a chance I could lose my baby. I will never forget the feeling of hope Deepak’s words gave me then. And they were prophetic too, it turns out.

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Day 2 – Question 1
How does your body let you know when it’s feeling overworked, tired, or stressed?

I feel sluggish, I feel drawn to things that will give me instant energy- like sugar, I feel emotionally overwhelmed and can overreact to things, I can have pain (like mild stomach pain, for example), I find it hard to sleep and/or get up sometimes.

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Day 2 – Question 2
Describe how your body feels when you eat a non-healthy meal. What does it feel like when you have a healthy meal?

I can feel ok while I am actually eating something unhealthy, but I usually don’t feel great afterwards… It’s not so much about guilt, it’s a physical reaction to eating things my body doesn’t need. When I eat healthy food it is satisfying in the moment and afterwards.

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Day 2 – Question 3
What positive messages can you send your body today to demonstrate self-love and support?

That I am doing well, that I am listening to what my body is saying and that I will take action.

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Day 2 – Journal
Please use this section to reflect on today’s session.

I need to do this again, but it certainly gives me greater motivation to try eating raw for a few days!

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Day 3 – Question 1
How does your body feel when you are faced with a dilemma or important decision? Be specific; describe the sensations in your body.

I can feel tense… anxious (like my heart is beating faster) and/or excited. Sometimes I have felt physically sick and emotionally overwhelmed by making hard decisions… unable to sleep, concentrate… feelings of nausea.

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Day 3 – Question 2
How does your body reveal to you its intuition and inner guidance?

So much when it comes to my children and pregnancy. I have known intuitively how to take care of myself when pregnant… what my body and babies have needed me to do. I am very in touch with my baby daughter’s rhythms too… knowing when to wake to feed her or when she needs something.

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Day 3 – Question 3
Describe a time where you followed your intuition. What was the outcome?

I did it during my last pregnancy, putting myself on bed rest, eating a certain way and drinking lots of water, all before I received a correct high risk diagnosis, for which all of the things I was already doing are recommended. I might have saved my baby’s life by listening to my body when the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me.

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Day 3 – Journal
Please use this section to reflect on today’s session.

This particular theme rings very true for me!

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Day 4 – Question 1
What messages do you tell yourself throughout the day?

I tell myself different messages for different things- depending on my mood, circumstances, etc. I can be very critical of myself, but I am probably kinder today than I have ever been in regards to my self-talk.

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Day 4 – Question 2
When faced with a difficult situation, what is one positive message you could tell yourself?
 

If you can’t change it, accept it.

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Day 4 – Question 3
How can you talk to yourself in more positive ways each day to support optimal wellbeing?

I could actively try to practice affirmations, as I have during both my pregnancies. They really helped me. I used to listen to them everyday… and those such as “My body is healthy and whole”, “I enjoy eating healthy foods everyday” can apply just as well to me today as they did when I was pregnant.

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Day 5 – Question 1
Our bodies constantly give us messages. How does your body speak to you when you are in resistance to something or someone?

I can feel tense, anxious, frustrated, angry, or upset… or a combination of those things.

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Day 5 – Question 2
Recall a time when you decided to let life events unfold without trying to control the outcome. What did you learn from simply letting go?

I walked out of a scholarship interview resigned to the fact that I would not get it. I told my mum. She said she was proud of me anyway. I gave myself credit for having made it so far in the process. I let it go. A few weeks later I received a phone call to say I’d won the scholarship. To this day that scholarship is one of the highlights of my student life and my life in general.

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Day 5 – Question 3
List the ways you can commit to living each day with greater passion and joy.

I need to stop and smell the roses more. There are so many beautiful moments for me to enjoy as a mother in everyday. I also think that by following my heart and listening to my body I will take better care of myself and have more energy to enjoy life to the fullest.

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Day 6 – Question 1
What are three aspects of your body that you love?

That I have general good health, that I have been able to produce 2 amazing, healthy children, that I have always been able to improve my health by doing simple things.

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Day 6 – Question 2
What are some of the messages your body is telling you right now?

That I want to cut back on sugar, that I am turning away from animal products, that I want to do a raw food/whole food/unprocessed food detox… that veganism is appealing, that eating right for me and exercising will give me far more energy, that aromatherapy is great for my sense of wellbeing, that yoga with my baby is a nurturing activity for both of us, that I need to drink more water, that I need to go to bed much earlier, that I want to have more structure in my day to give myself time to take care of me, that I want to consume loads of vitamins and minerals in the form of healthy foods…

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Day 6 – Question 3
Take a moment to list what your body has allowed you to accomplish over the years.

Bearing children (which is the most amazing one!), breast-feeding, recovering remarkably well from all sorts of things (including major blood loss, a dangerous allergic reaction to meds, a high risk pregnancy diagnosis, a fractured arm, etc.). It has also allowed me to dance, walk, run… to travel the world.

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Day 6 – Journal
Please use this section to reflect on today’s session.

I need to think about this more. My body is amazing… I want to treat it as such and make peace with any issues I have had with it.

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Day 7 – Question 1
Over the first week of our Challenge, what points have most resonated with you?

Listening to my body and taking action accordingly is the big one… very inspirational. But really, many things have resonated with me.

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Day 7 – Question 2
When you hear the phrase, “the body is a temple,” what comes to mind?

A clean and sacred space… and something spiritual.

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Day 7 – Question 3
What are three positive changes you can make today to better nurture your body, mind, and spirit?

Eat consciously, meditate and educate myself about things related to health that interest me.

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Day 7 – Journal
Please use this section to reflect on today’s session.

Really looking forward to putting some of the things I have been inspired to do into action. Eating raw for the first time tomorrow!

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Day 8 – Question 1
Take a moment to reflect on your daily patterns and habits. Which behaviors would you like to change?

I would like to have a little more structure in my day now that I have recovered from the birth experience… not so much because I want to have a sense of “control”, but rather a sense of freedom and some time for myself. I feel that with a toddler and a newborn, if I don’t schedule time for me to take care of myself, it wont happen. There are really simple things I can do each day that I now am incorporating in my daily life- remembering to drink 2 liters of water, meditating for 10 minutes, using paraben-free products, juicing, starting my day by drinking ginger tea, cutting back on sugar, dairy and gluten… all achievable things that don’t take time away from my little ones either.

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Day 8 – Question 2
How would your life improve if you changed these current patterns and habits?

I am already changing them because I realised the following: that I would feel more balanced. I would feel like I am prioritizing myself and my health. I would feel like I am setting a good example for my children and exposing them to healthy things in our daily lives without being fanatical. I believe I will feel better, have more energy and live even more according to my principles and ideals than I do today.

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Day 8 – Question 3
When you review your habits and routines, what can learn about yourself?

That my ideals and my actions do not always match up and that, when I have time to stop and reflect, it bothers me. I have learned that I am capable of so much more and that these positive changes/additions/adjustments are not only rewarding, but exciting.

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Day 8 – Journal
Please use this section to reflect on today’s session.

Great motivation to continue to do things the way I feel called to!

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Day 9 – Question 1
How do the environments where you spend the most time impact your goals of perfect health? Do you feel that these spaces support your goals or take you farther away from them?

The environment where I spend the most time now is my home. Thankfully we did so much sorting out, tidying and organising before baby arrived that we really just need to maintain now, which is relatively easy. I love our home so any improvements we do and even a little daily cleaning/tidying makes me feel I am moving closer to my goals.

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Day 9 – Question 2
What can you change in your current environment to create a more nurturing space?

I have just started asking my husband to light a fire (we have a smokeless fireplace) and candles when we read our son stories at night. He loves it and so do we. I have also started using organic lavender oil in his bath, juicing with him and using a humidifier on a regular basis (the air here is very cold and dry). I can tell he feels very special when I take care of him in these extra cosy/healthy ways. It’s nice to find new ways to nurture him and myself. The whole family benefits from the extra effort.

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Day 9 – Question 3
In detail, describe your ideal living or working space. How does it differ from where you are now?

My ideal home would have a larger kitchen and another nursery plus a guest room, office/craft room/library, extra bedroom, sauna, big bath tub (with jets), fireplace, small garden with organic herb and veggie patch that leads onto natural woodland where the kids can explore and pick berries. It would not be too far from town and still be very close to conveniences (eg, school, doctor, shops, public transport connections) but we would feel like we lived out in the country. Our home would be beautifully decorated in a non-cluttered way and would be very clean, but very cosy and welcoming. We would have nice neighbours.

The difference between our dream home and the one we have now comes down to a matter of space essentially, as we live so centrally right now. But I love where we live and it is so convenient and the kids are happy, so we’re in no real hurry to move. We are blessed.
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Day 10 – Question 1
Close your eyes for a moment and allow yourself to enjoy three deep breaths, gently and slowly inhaling and exhaling. Notice and describe how your body feels afterward.

I feel refreshed and invigorated.

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Day 10 – Question 2
How would a few minutes of conscious breathing benefit you throughout the day?

I am sure I would feel much “clearer” for a start! I would feel more relaxed, centered, balanced and probably a lot healthier in general.

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Day 10 – Question 3
Identify situations in your life where you could restore a sense of calm by practicing conscious breathing techniques.

Anything that stresses me out… When my toddler hurts himself, for example, I feel panicked. I try not to show him that and just be there for him, but I feel very tense inside. Breathing would probably help me to let go.

RELATED POSTS WITH REFLECTIONS FROM THE PREVIOUS 21-DAY CHALLENGE, CREATING ABUNDANCE:

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29 thoughts on “OPRAH & DEEPAK 21-DAY MEDITATION CHALLENGE (Perfect Health- my experiences)

  1. Reblogged this on My Awakening Life and commented:
    Take control of your life. No one else is going to do it for you. Couldn’t have said it better, Miss M. It is amazing. I missed a day here and there but they will be on line for a little more time if you want to get started. And the purchase price is very reasonable. It is life changing. And I agree, just when I am thinking of one way to make a change, the next day, that’s what Deepak talks about. Synchronistic! YES! Thank you for posting all this great information!!!

  2. I am glad you are taking time for yourself through this meditation challenge. I found myself breathing quietly and contentedly as I read through your post. I am madly in to lavender oil at the moment. I put it on my hair; on my feet, under my pillow and anywhere else that seems right. It is so soothing.

    • Thank you so much! Lovely of you :)
      Yes, lavender oil is amazing! I was really into aromatherapy years ago after having first been introduced to it in 1995. I had a substantial oil collection and used different ones for different things (to treat cold symptoms, to relax, to create an energised atmosphere, etc). Lavender has always been a favourite. My little boy loves it too now. Last night I could feel that a cut on my thumb was getting inflamed and quite painful. I put organic lavender oil on it and this morning it feels 100% again. Amazing stuff… the power of nature :)

  3. Inspiring post, thank you. You seem to be doing brilliantly, even more so given that you have a baby and a toddler. I keep thinking I don’t have time for meditation but I really have no excuse, and it does make such a difference.

    • Thank you so much! I am trying to incorporate the simplest, most time effective ways to be healthier… if someone told me that I had to devote 2 hours a day to silent meditation I would know that was impossible. I am so glad to have come across a simple 10 minute-a-day program… that’s doable for me ;) All the best to you x

    • Thank you :) I agree! I don’t know why it is so hard for me to just “be”… after all, as I’ve heard it said, we are “human beings not human doings”. Meditation is a great way to quieten the mind.

  4. Such an inspirational post: I have several Deepak guided meditations on my phone and used to listen to them regularly. Reading your post I realised I want to get back into that fabulous habit again! Thank you!

  5. I was excited to find you have the journal questions and you even shared your answers. I created a word document with information I got along the days but I got so busy I missed saving questions starting from Day 12 and I only realized it when the days were already closed :( Do you by chance plan to post the rest of the journal questions?

    I also loved that you posted about the abundance meditation that I missed, I am planning to read through those post, thank you for sharing!

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