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 :).
The remainder of this post is a copy from my online journal (days 1 – 10):
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That I am doing well, that I am listening to what my body is saying and that I will take action.
I need to do this again, but it certainly gives me greater motivation to try eating raw for a few days!
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.
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.
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.
This particular theme rings very true for me!
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.
If you can’t change it, accept it.
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.
I can feel tense, anxious, frustrated, angry, or upset… or a combination of those things.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
Listening to my body and taking action accordingly is the big one… very inspirational. But really, many things have resonated with me.
A clean and sacred space… and something spiritual.
Eat consciously, meditate and educate myself about things related to health that interest me.
Really looking forward to putting some of the things I have been inspired to do into action. Eating raw for the first time tomorrow!
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.
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.
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.
Great motivation to continue to do things the way I feel called to!
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.
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.
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.
I feel refreshed and invigorated.
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.
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: