OPRAH & DEEPAK 21-DAY MEDITATION CHALLENGE (Perfect Health- my experiences, part 2)

So, the Chopra Center’s latest 21-day meditation challenge, Perfect Health, has come to an end and the free meditation sessions can no longer be found online… well, all except for the bonus 22nd meditation, Global Perfect Health, which I share with you here as part of the “Meditate it Forward” movement. I hope you enjoy it (if you haven’t already).

Simply click on the image below to listen… 🙂

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“Meditate it forward with over half a million people from over 200 countries just completed Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge, a transformational journey to Perfect Health.

We invite you to be a part of our global movement! Please listen to Oprah & Deepak’s empowering “Global Perfect Health” meditation for greater balance, inner peace, and wellbeing. Then, share this meditation gift with everyone you know! Together, we can create a collective experience of unity and change the world. 

It begins with you. Share Oprah & Deepak’s FREE Global Perfect Health meditation NOW to #MeditateItForward

Namaste”

The changes and additions I have made to my daily routine during the process of undertaking this fabulous, FREE, meditation challenge have had such a positive impact already, not only on my personal health and wellbeing, but that of my family too. I already led what I considered to be a rather healthy and balanced life, but I am a firm believer that we never really “arrive”… that we are on a continuous journey… and that there is always room for self-improvement.

Taking part in this challenge gave me a huge boost of motivation to implement certain changes in my life that I was already planning on/in the midst of making. The timing was uncanny… in the most lovely of ways. And again, I must stress that a 10 minute investment in myself on a daily basis is so little a commitment to make to receive pay-offs as massive as the ones I have gotten. It really is quite amazing!

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The remainder of this post is a copy from my online journal (days 11 – 22):
Day 11 – Question 1
What are some foods your body often craves? Are they healthy and supportive to your wellbeing? Is your body speaking to you about something it requires for balance?

I really have a sweet tooth, but thankfully I have seen that it can translate to fruit or other healthy options. I often crave vegetarian food… and many vegetarian versions of traditional “comfort foods” are some of my favourites. I am getting into juicing and feel that my body really loves it. I have often said that breakfast cereal (or indeed any traditional breakfast food!) is my favourite meal. Juicing and drinking ginger tea instead of having something based on grains/wheat is very different for me, but I have not found it a problem so far.

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Day 11 – Question 2
How do you feel when you eat fresh, healthy food?

I feel healthy! And proud of myself too. My body feels “clean” from the inside out.

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Day 11 – Question 3
What changes can you make today to plan more nutritious meals and eat with more awareness?

I feel I am making them. I am trying to eat a mix of vegan, raw and gluten-free foods right now. I am taking not of how my body feels when I eat certain things/combinations of foods. I am also making note of my favourite recipes, ones my husband and toddler like, how well different meals keep, whether they can be frozen, etc. It’s fun to get back into meal planning and cooking in earnest.

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Day 12 – Question 1
How much time do you spend each day connecting with loved ones, whether in person or through social media?

I spend quite a lot of time. I am with my newborn fulltime. When she sleeps I am active on social media. When my toddler is home he gets lots of love, cuddles and attention from me. When my husband is home we try to do things together and split chores. On weekends we like to do most things as a family unit. We have friends/family over for afternoon tea regularly. I also have lunch dates with girlfriends during the week when my husband is at work.

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Day 12 – Question 2
How do you feel after you’ve spent time with good friends?

Happy and grateful. I feel connected and a part of.

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Day 12 – Question 3
What are the unique qualities and talents that you can offer your community?

I have been through a lot of interesting, unusual and miraculous things when it comes to my motherhood journey… as well as many of the more common ones. I feel that my empathy and experience with what I have been though has been a help to others I have come across. I also believe that my interests in art, design, education, food and nutrition can also be of benefit to others. I am really putting it “out there” that I would like to know how best I can help others/the wider community… even if that means changing career path. I am hoping a direction will be revealed to me in time.

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Day 13 – Question 1
List the types of movement and exercise that make you the happiest.

Dance! I like moving in general… I love walking… I can walk for hours and not get tired. I am not much of a runner, but I love the feeling when I am in condition and can manage 10km. I have always enjoyed swimming although I am not a big fan of public pools, which is what I have access to here. I don’t mind circuit training, I enjoy Zumba and aerobics very much (always have). I like yoga and pilates.

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Day 13 – Question 2
How does your body and mind feel when you engage in those activities?

Happy, healthy, energised, motivated to continue.

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Day 13 – Question 3
How can you bring that good feeling you enjoy during your exercise back with you into your interaction with others?

I am trying to already by doing “mama/baby” yoga not only with my newborn but also including my toddler and husband. In general I can bring more positive energy and enthusiasm to my interactions with others.

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Day 14 – Question 1
What do you desire for your life and overall health?

I want to be as healthy and happy as is possible. I want to be able to carry that positivity into all that I do and make the world a better place.

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Day 14 – Question 2
What intentions can you set to help bring you the wellbeing you envision?

I want to incorporate my interests in natural healing, nutrition, cooking and exercise in practical ways into everyday life. I want my kids to be exposed to the above so that they always have healthy options around them and are educated about things that can benefit them for life. I want to be the best, happiest, healthiest me I can be.

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Day 14 – Question 3
How can you create time each day to continue building a sustained meditation practice, long after our Challenge has ended?

I have already bought the meditation pack from the last challenge and plan to continue doing at least one 10 minute session a day. At some point (maybe when my baby is a little older and needs me less frequently for food/comfort, etc.) I would like to increase the time I spend meditating. When we move somewhere larger it would also be great to have a space set aside for meditation/yoga.

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Day 15 – Question 1
What does living well mean to you?

It means living as closely according to my principles and what makes me the happiest/healthiest as possible.

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Day 15 – Question 2
How do you envision incorporating everything that you’re learning into your daily life?

I already am… I still have a way to go, but I am already seeing the positive benefits and the impact the little things I am doing are having not just on me but on my family too. It inspires me to continue and to do even more.

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Day 15 – Question 3
List the positive changes you have made during this Challenge.

I have started trying to use paraben-free products where possible. After participating in Earth Hour, we decided to have “lights out” time every night… lighting candles and our smokeless fireplace and having quiet family story time and cuddles. I am starting my day by drinking ginger tea (even my toddler is into it now, taking sips of mine). I am drinking 2 liters of water a day consciously. I have a daily program that I follow with things that I can cross off and keep track of both for me and my kids. I am doing body brushing, juicing, journaling, meditation, pelvic floor exercises, etc. everyday. I did a raw food and juicing reboot for 3 days and have kept eating mostly veggie/vegan/raw/gluten-free since. I am trying out more eco products, not just for me but for my kids (eg, paraben-free shampoo for me, biodegradable and cloth diapers for my baby). I have started exercising with my kids- doing a very relaxed version of zumba with my toddler and doing gentle yoga with the whole family. We are also shopping as a family and letting our toddler help choose fruit and veggies. He loves it!

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Day 16 – Question 1
How do you feel when you’ve spent time outdoors?

Usually I feel energised. Sometimes I feel inspired too.. the more beautiful and picturesque the surroundings, the more inspired I am.

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Day 16 – Question 2
What special places make you feel most connected with the beauty that surrounds you?

I love going out to the countryside (in any country I have been in). I love beaches, lakes and rivers. I am also inspired by beautiful gardens and veggie/herb patches.

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Day 16 – Question 3
How can you connect with nature each day no matter where you are?

I can try to spend some time outdoors each day if possible. The weather here can prevent me from feeling inspired to go outside (who wants to go for a stroll in a snow storm when its pitch black and minus 20 degrees celsius?!). I can also try my hand at growing plants indoors. We have one that we have successfully grown and nurtured and we are very proud of it, especially as we don’t have green thumbs!).

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Day 17 – Question 1
How do you express yourself?

Through acts of kindness, through creative projects, through conversation, through cooking, through experimenting, through movement/writing/activities/social interaction…

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Day 17 – Question 2
What creative pursuits bring you the greatest joy?

Creating beautiful things. Design, drawing, craft, writing, doing things with my toddler and, more and more, cooking & baking (plus decorating).

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Day 17 – Question 3
When you have free time, how do you spend it?

Trying to do the things listed previously… plus trying to get in some physical exercise (even if it’s just 20-30 minutes per day). I am also trying to take care of my body by body brushing, using oils, etc.

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Day 18 – Question 1
What are the things you are most passionate about?

Motherhood. Family. Creativity. Travel. Life, love, peace (inner and global), adventure. Creating a lovely home. Food (particularly vegetarian), cooking, baking, nutrition, celebration (special occasions and everyday fun). Beauty (creating beautiful things and being exposed to them in the form of art and nature). Health. Healing (naturally). Animal and child welfare are causes that I am passionate about. Environmental issues. Personal growth!

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Day 18 – Question 2
How do you feel when you engage in those activities that truly excite you?

Invigorated, alive, happy and motivated to do more… and more. Sometimes frustrated that there is just not enough time in the day or enough years in a lifetime for me to do everything I’d like to do.

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Day 18 – Question 3
Envision a day spent dedicated to living your passion. What does that day look like, feel like?

I get up early (maybe with the sunrise)… I meditate first then I do some kind of invigorating and grounding exercise… A brisk walk outdoors, a quick run on the treadmill, some yoga or pilates, perhaps. I shower (and body brush), moisturise, change and then have a healthy delicious breakfast (like my amazing super micronutrient fresh juice smoothie with raw chia seeds). The rest of my day is spent uninterrupted immersed in my project (be it crafting/writing/cooking), with breaks for herbal tea, healthy, delicious lunch/snacks and pauses for reflection here and there. It feels amazing. I am happy, inspired and very productive. I look forward to sharing my work/ideas with others. I feel blessed and grateful. I feel like I am heading somewhere but also that the journey is just as important as any final destination/goal. I finish the day with a healthy and yummy meal, time with my family and perhaps a nice bath/sauna/cuddle in front of the fire-place, before heading to bed to read or meditate before a peaceful night’s sleep.

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Day 19 – Question 1
What are 3-5 new messages that you can tell yourself each day to support your path to perfect health?

I only eat what I need and what is best for my body. Cooking is a joy and I happily use the best and healthiest ingredients available. I intuitively know how to treat my body at all times, I listen to my body and act in its best interest. I love myself and I love my body. My body is a temple.

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Day 19 – Question 2
How often do you express gratitude for all that you have in your life? What are you grateful for today?

I certainly feel gratitude everyday… I hope I manage to express it everyday too. I don’t think it’s possible to genuinely express gratitude too much, so I hope to do it more passionately and more often. I have so much to be grateful for!

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Day 19 – Question 3
How do you know when you are living in or out of alignment with your purpose or dharma?

Anxiety, resentment and frustration are key feelings that arise for me when I am not living according to my principles and/or following my heart.

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Day 20 – Question 1
How do you feel about aging?

Generally fairly positive. I feel better now about myself than I did 10 years ago. I know myself better. I feel more “me” than I have before. So I have evidence to suggest that this process of growth and attunement will continue as I age and develop. In this way I am not afraid of aging. I still struggle with the idea of the absoluteness of death… and I sometimes wish I hadn’t squandered the proverbial gold of my youth. I sometimes wish I had what I had in my youth but with the wisdom I now posses. I sometimes dream that I am a teenager again… but that I know what I know today.

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Day 20 – Question 2
What wisdom has come to you with age?

The understanding of the paradox that the more personal responsibility I take, the greater my freedom. And another paradox- that the more I allow myself to feel and be vulnerable, the stronger I am. I truly believe that knowing myself IS the key, that people respect you more when you can say “no” than when you try to please to your own detriment… and more importantly, that I respect myself more when I can say “no”, put my foot down or set boundaries.

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Day 20 – Question 3
What activities can you enjoy to help you live agelessly each day?

I do some form of physical activity each day. I take care of myself in terms of grooming and personal hygiene. I eat consciously. I try to meditate. I drink water and fresh, homemade juices and I eat consciously… as much organic produce as possible and mostly plant-based meals. I try to get enough sleep. I play with my children, engage in their activities, rediscover the world through their eyes and laugh with them. I love and I receive love.

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Day 21 – Question 1
What have you learned that you find most useful in living perfect health?

Its’ hard for me to say which nugget of wisdom has been the most valuable to me, but certainly the whole process of doing the challenge has been a huge and timely motivating factor in me following my heart and making changes in my life in matters affecting my health and wellbeing. The changes have all been very positive.

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Day 21 – Question 2
What new, positive messages are you telling your body each day?

I don’t know if I am consciously telling my body positive messages, but certainly I am living as though I care about my body and that has to be the most positive message of all.

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Day 21 – Question 3
How is your meditation practice aiding your health and wellbeing?

It is providing me with immense inspiration to care for myself in the most optimal ways. It also helps me to sleep which, in itself, is invaluable to me as a mother to a toddler and a newborn!

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Day 22 – Question 1
What do you want to share from our journey with others?

I want to share the benefits of taking care of oneself! I truly believe that if we all took time to focus on our health and wellbeing, if we all focused on attaining inner peace, the ripple effect would result in world peace! I have a long way to go on my journey, but I am so glad and grateful to be on it… and I hope everyone goes on their own journey of deep self-discovery which results in global positive transformation.

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Day 22 – Question 2
How can you radiate the message of perfect health within your family, your community, and ultimately our global community?

I blog about my experiences- that is one way of sharing a message. I share my experience, hope, strength, trials and tribulations with friends and family. I offer support to other women I am in contact with (particularly when it comes to all things fertility/pregnancy/motherhood related) and I truly enjoy doing so. I endeavour to educate my family about matters related to health and nutrition and expose my toddler to a variety of experiences that I hope will broaden his horizons and his knowledge. I try to live by example… I try to live the message, not just preach it.

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Day 22 – Question 3
How can you connect more deeply with others in all that you do each day?

Through honesty and emotional availability. I try to let people know when I have been thinking of them. If I think of something nice to do for someone, I would like to take action more promptly. I can try to have more sincere communications with random people who I may interact with when I am out and about. This meditation in particular gave me the insight and motivation to act on a couple of things I wanted to in order to bring some joy to friends who needed it, including making a donation to a charity in honour of someone. It feels great to know that my actions can have a positive effect on someone else’s life.

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12 thoughts on “OPRAH & DEEPAK 21-DAY MEDITATION CHALLENGE (Perfect Health- my experiences, part 2)

    • Hi Elena! I’ll try to let you know the next time I hear of a challenge coming up… otherwise go to the Chopra Center home page and register… I believe you’ll get email notifications. All the best 🙂 xx

  1. This is the first I’ve heard of this event. Meditation was ‘key’ for me, many years ago. It enabled me to change my life, literally; I only have good things to say about it. I’m so pleased for you; finding it (this way of life) is such a boon for anyone, especially a young mother… Enjoy..!

  2. I think what you are doing is brilliant. It’s all the things I want to do with my life but don’t ever seem to get round to. And I don’t have a newborn and toddler so really have no excuse. Don’t know how you manage it, well done

    • Thank you so much for the kind words 🙂 I think that it is maybe as a result of doing some of the things I mentioned in this post that I am coping with a toddler and a newborn 😉 I don’t spend very long on any of these things: body brushing I do in the shower, meditation I do for 10 minutes before going to sleep, juicing I do the night before (with my husband’s help)… I try to keep it simple as I don’t have lots of time for myself. All the very best to you and yours xx

  3. I just replied to your comment on my blog as to if you were going to do a new post soon and decided to just come check out your blog and lo and behold you did post. For some reason this did not show up in my reader. This is amazing all of the things you are doing! I am incredibly impressed by all of it but #15 really amazed me! Good for you! I think you have just inspired me to look into this more and start incorporating these things into my life as well!!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this! I meditate once in a while but have not made it a part of my daily routine. I just did the 22nd day meditation and loved it – such tranquility!

    • Hi Naomi! I wish I had more time to devote to it. My biggest issue now is tiredness… I always seem to fall asleep once starting meditation. Luckily Deepak Chopra says that if that happens, it is your body’s way of telling you that you need to sleep… so you should! 😉

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