Let’s Talk Lifestyle – Doing Something New

Good Evening God’s people. I pray you’ve all spent the week living with intention and purpose. I wanted to share an experience that I had recently that was a first for me. My husband has really taken the initiative to make sure we are doing a new activity as a family at least once a month. This month he made reservations for us to go paint-balling. This is something that neither of us have done. We thought it would be a good idea to invite a few family members to join us. They were newbies as well. Before I dive into the specifics of this new venture, and how it ties into self-love. I would like to say for the record that I wasn’t nervous at all. Even after I was hit with the paintball that was traveling 275 fps. (Insert side eye emoji)

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way. We arrived at the park, and went through our “training.” They paired us with a few other first-timers and the “non-professional/professional” players. Lol. The other team consisted of a bunch of people who frequent the park. They even had semi-automatic paintball guns. (Insert side eye emoji times 2) I believe 120 seconds went by before I became a human target. The initial sting from being hit by a paintball gun was more surprising then anything. Don’t get me wrong it hurt. Even got a nice bruise when it was all said and done. The round ended shortly after I was taken out of the game, because someone shot me in the chest. That was considered a “kill shot.” After the first round my sister, and I were DONE. The men kept playing though. Even though it wasn’t for me I am so happy that I experienced this new adventure.

When I think about self-care and self-love I think about living my best life. Taking the time to experience a new activity that allows me to get some cardio in while bonding with my family is amazing. People will short themselves in life by doing the same thing over and over year after year. We should really take the time to see the world. If you’re unable to travel then do something locally. We often limit ourselves from experiences, because people associate new experiences with costly events. Life will literally pass you by if you allow all your decisions to be surrounded by money.

Tip: This week try something new that’s positive. Do something that you’ve never done that will allow you to bond with your family, and get your heart rate up. Create new happy experiences that you can reflect on in the future. It’s so easy to meditate on negative things. This is how the enemy torments us. Remember, “what you magnify you get more of.” (Pastor Steven Furtick) So choose to magnify happiness. Choose to magnify the Word of God. Choose to magnify the moments that stimulate you to be in a state of mindfulness. Most importantly choose to magnify life and living it more abundantly. Blessings.

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How I Started Meditating with Intention

Good Morning my brother/sisters in Christ. I pray that you’ve been living with intention, and purpose on today. Just like many of you as I journey on my path to purpose and self-care I’m trying new things that make me press the pause button. Naturally, when I think about being at peace I think about meditating. Whether that’s meditating on the Word of God or meditating in a quiet place. My goal was to find a healthy alternative to some bad habits I had when I found myself stressed or having anxiety. (Tip: In order to be intentional you have to have a reason why you’re doing it. Then you have to establish an end goal.)

I began my meditation pursuit with the Google App store. Lol. There are so many apps that are geared toward meditation. I tired a few of them out. Listened to people telling me to, “focus on their voice. Clear my mind. Be one with myself.” I soon learned that listening to other people talk me through mantra’s wasn’t that peaceful. I spent most of the time thinking about other things. I found a few apps that didn’t have someone talking to me. Instead, they offered an extensive list of sounds. That wasn’t so bad. The only downfall was the app automatically placed ads on my phone. So I was annoyed, again. I finally did some research about things to focus on while meditating and came across what seems to be working for me now. So here is how I finally started meditating with intention:

  1. I first realized why I wanted to explore meditation as a self-care technique. I was drawn to meditation because it was something that I could do to add focus to my life.
  2. I then set a goal. My goal was to find out which meditation technique worked for me. You will have to try a few to find your fit.
  3. I came up with a time frame when to meditate. Ultimately, I would like to do it every day. At this current moment, I do it when I’m stressed, have anxiety, am feeling overwhelmed, or when I need to recharge.

Note: Often times we have a battle going on in our minds. Our thoughts can dictate how we feel, how we express ourselves, and how we react to certain situations. We spend a good amount of time trying to master our thoughts. You know, “show them who’s boss.” Mediation has truly allowed me to acknowledge my thoughts without allowing them to dictate my response. For instance, I acknowledge that work was stressful today. However, my mental focus is on peace. I choose to meditate on my breathing. Allowing each breathe to be intentional. Realizing that as I breathe slowly in through my nose, and out through my mouth that I’m blessed to be living. As I inhale and exhale it resembles the sounds of the music I’m listening to through my earbuds. This is important! I have a meditation Spotify playlist that I listen to THROUGH MY EARBUDS. The sound penetrates through me when it’s in close proximity versus me playing music over a speaker. (Sidenote: If you would like my Meditation Spotify Playlist email me mindfulofmemoments@gmail.com)

As I mention earlier I focus on my breathing when I meditate. I do that through my entire meditation session. I literally have never been so in-tune to inhaling or exhaling in my life. Lol. I wanted to share my breathing counts with you so that you can have a starting point when trying to develop meditation techniques. There are numerous breathing techniques on the web that you can find. I tried a few and decided to make up my own. (Sidenote: When meditating I am positioned in an upright stance with my legs crossed. I also do this sitting upright in a chair focusing on proper posture.) Here is my breathing technique:

  1. Inhale slowly through your nose taking air from stomach diaphragm. As you inhale slowly count to 5.
  2. Hold your breath for 2-3 seconds.
  3. Exhale slowly through your mouth making a whoosh sound. Count to 5.
  4. Repeat

Simple enough, right. Keep in mind folks I am a beginner. My meditation playlist is roughly 30 mins. That seems to be the sweet spot for my time frame currently. As I progress I’m sure I will adapt alternate breathing techniques and postures. As for now, I’m loving my new found zen. Remember, all of this is about self-care. Find something that you can do for yourself that brings you joy, and peace. Blessings.

 

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Everyone Loves a Good Pedicure

Everyone loves a good pedicure. Today, I spent 45 mins in the massage chair listening to some tunes and channeling my inner quiet. A good practice that I’ve acquired while being a frequent visitor to my local nail salon is leaving my list of to-dos at the door. When I treat myself to a pedi I make it a habit to enjoy the experience. It’s a special time that I don’t have to worry about meeting deadlines for work, cooking dinner, completing classwork, grocery shopping, cleaning my home, or tending to other people needs. It’s MY TIME, and I’m allowed to have MY TIME. I know that concept is so foreign to so many people. Who has time to spend with themselves? Lol. You do! I promise. Figuring out tools to promote relaxation starts with how you visualize what it means to relax. Relaxation means clearing your mind. Being in a state of peace. Next time you get a pedi make sure you’ve disconnected from social media, text messages, phone calls, and anything else that will distract you from focusing on being in a state of peace. Find some calming music, plug in your headphones, and allow your mind to take a break. You’re not just getting pretty toes. You’re getting time alone to take a breath. Sometimes that’s all you need to recharge.