Ask Maddisen

Friday, 10 June 2011 13:46

Are You Afraid of Getting Older?

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Dear Maddisen,
I’m in my 40’s and getting more scared about aging, especially when I see all of the drug commercials for physical problems and depression. I’ve been healthy, but not looking forward to the downward spiral. Any advice? CT

Wednesday, 01 June 2011 13:41

Hot Flashes! Have You Tried Acupuncture?

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Dear Maddisen,
I’ve started to get hot flashes. I understand it’s part of menopause, but it’s really an inconvenience. Have you had them? And if so, how do you deal with it? Thanks, AH

Friday, 27 May 2011 13:26

Why Don’t People Listen To Me?

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Dear Maddisen,
For some reason lately, I’m super aware of feeling like people aren’t really listening when I talk. Like their attention is somewhere else. How do we deal with all the distractions in the world today? I could use some help with this. Thanks, RD

Friday, 20 May 2011 13:23

Enjoy Your Desires Without the Suffering

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Dear Maddisen,
You often talk about living a life of purpose with joy, but my experience is that I feel guilty most of the time when I think about my desires. I think desire causes more suffering than joy. What do you say to that? JT

Thursday, 12 May 2011 13:21

Bye Bye Droopy Face & Neck

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Dear Maddisen,
It’s been hard to watch my face and neck get wrinkly and droopy. I can’t afford the procedures or fillers to fix this and definitely not surgery.  Have you done any of this? Thanks, QL

Friday, 06 May 2011 13:19

The Shock of Suddenly Thinning Hair

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Dear Maddisen,
I’m in my late 40’s and I’ve suddenly started shedding hair. It’s coming out in strands and sometimes clumps.  I spoke with my mother and older sister, and they never experienced this. I’m freaked out. I think it’s connected to menopause, but I don’t know what to do first. Do you have any experience with this? Thank you, SB

Friday, 29 April 2011 01:09

Moving Beyond the Shock of Midlife

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Dear Maddisen:
OK, I get that I'm in midlife, and I want to make a difference and maybe even be happier. But how do I get past this feeling I've done something wrong? Like I'm a misfit now? Help!

This is an excellent question because it hits on a real sore spot that is fostered by a culture obsessed with youth. But not to worry, because it simply points out an imbalance, and one that we can equalize by how we perceive, honor, and befriend ourselves as we walk along this well traveled path of midlife. Everyone, no matter what age, will eventually pass this way, so let's show 'em how it can be done with ownership, vitality, and finesse.

You're not alone in feeling you've done something wrong or that you're suddenly a misfit. I've been there myself, as have many of my clients. Why do we get these unpleasant feelings? It all depends on personal history, but they could stem from judgments we have about our accomplishments or lack thereof, from our own irrational beliefs about aging, from fears that our physical changes make us less attractive and valuable, etc. What's most important here, however, is not focusing on 'what's wrong' but rather on 'solutions' and the steps you can take to reclaim your birthright of power and joy, and move forward with your precious life.

There is a very potent and effective tool for releasing these hurtful perceptions, and it's called self forgiveness. Self forgiveness is one of the very first tools I share with clients, and it's usually the tool that causes the deepest healing and liberation from immobilizing feelings such as fear, anger, shame, unworthiness, and self criticism. Self forgiveness softens our hard places, naturally releases self criticism and self judgment, and frees us to live our lives of greater purpose as our own greatest ally and supporter, which is what we came here to do in the first place.

In previous blogs, I've outlined a full 3 step process of self forgiveness. Now I'm introducing Self Forgiveness on the Fly, which you'll have handy at all times no matter where you are or what you're doing.

Self Forgiveness on the Fly
 
Whether you're alone or around other people, and you become aware of negative judgments or criticisms you are directing at yourself, or that you feel others are directing at you, say this phrase silently or out loud, whatever feels most comfortable.

Say: "I forgive myself for judging myself."

Anytime and anywhere you are, if you're feeling any negative self judgment from yourself or from others, continue to repeat "I forgive myself for judging myself." If you're by yourself doing this, imagine the judgments passing by overhead and disappearing like clouds in the sky. Don't analyze or mentalize any of it, just say: "I forgive myself for judging myself" until you feel calmer or the judgments dissipate.

Try it right now. Make this your mantra for a while.

The Magic 32 Day Commitment
Get out your calendar, and commit to doing Self Forgiveness on the Fly for 32 days. Do this for 32 days in a row, starting this week. Write down your start date and end date, and get going! If you miss a day, forgive yourself for judging yourself, and then start over.

If you really want to feel better, you've first got to change what you're thinking, and a super effective way to change and improve your thoughts and your vibration, is to practice better feeling thoughts for 32 days in a row. After you complete the 32 days, reward yourself with kudos and maybe a favorite treat, and then continue practicing self forgiveness regularly. Make it your soothing, liberating habit.

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way."  - W.H. Murray

This powerful quote describes what happens when we commit to improving our lives, and the 32 day self forgiveness process may be the express train you've been waiting for.

So, there you have it - your first key lesson in midlife empowerment. Transform your mind into your greatest ally. Start practicing self forgiveness today. Share your start dates and comments below. Remember this: when we release the shackles of judgment and accept where we are on the natural timeline of life, it frees us up to thrive, give our gifts, and enjoy the rewards that all of this brings. As midlifers, may we continue to rise as self respecting and empowered adults, expressing and sharing our great value with the world at large.

Your Life Coach,
Maddisen


Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.

 

Friday, 22 April 2011 02:06

Is the Thrill Gone from Your Relationship?

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Dear Maddisen,
I’ve been with my current husband for almost 10 years. We’ve had a good sexual relationship, but for the last year I want nothing to do with him in bed. I’m going through menopause. Is that why? I’m scared. What if he has an affair? Any advice? Thanks, MG

Dear MG,
I understand your concerns. The solution I’m about to suggest will take some courage and perhaps even persistence on your part.

The transition of menopause can definitely impact how you’ve been feeling, but I’m going to focus on the quality of communication between you and your husband. You may also want to speak with your gynecologist about the loss in sex drive, or check out Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book, “The Wisdom of Menopause,” which specifically addresses ways to rekindle libido during this life change.

A relationship needs to be fed and nourished. It requires love, care, a high level of consciousness and awareness, and good communication.  When we’ve been together a long time, we may start coasting and taking things for granted, and before we know it, the thrill is gone. To revive, and renew the thrill, we need to address each other with a new deliberateness that may not have been necessary in the beginning. That’s why I say it may take courage and persistence, because the tendency may be to keep things the way they are, even if we’re not happy. But the results of reigniting the excitement between you two may be juicier and even better than before!  So, get off the couch you two and try this!

Here’s a simple and fun two-part program for getting the juice back into your partnership. Both of you will have to play this game, otherwise it won’t work.

TALK WITH EACH OTHER!!!
What a novel idea, eh?! Practice this simple way of communicating with each other, which is based on Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg's model of Nonviolent Communication.

Set aside one hour this week to practice this together. One of you starts and follows the 4 steps, and then the other does the same. Try doing it once a week for one month and see if things are improving, and continue if it’s working. The first time, do it in privacy without interruptions. After that, perhaps make it part of your weekly date night.

Step 1: Observe
What are you observing? Describe the issue you want to talk about.

Step 2: Feel
What are you feeling? Express the feelings you are experiencing as a result of this issue.

Step 3: Need
What do you need? Share how you would prefer to feel and what you sense is necessary to feel resolved with this issue.

Step 4: Request
What resolve do you seek? Describe the action or solution you are seeking, and respectfully request this of your partner.

GET THE JUICY THRILL BACK
If you really want to try something different to get the juice back in your relationship, check out David Deida, an expert in sexual intimacy. Get two copies of his book, “Intimate Communion: Awakening Your Sexual Essence,” and each read it at the same time. His books are very enlightening and easy to read. If you like David’s style, go to one of his workshops when he’s in town. Well worth the price of admission! His website is: http://www.deida.info/ You can get his books here or on Amazon.com

Shake it up MG!  May you and your hubby use these tools to reconnect and reignite your fires of mutual desire.

Your Life Coach,
Maddisen

Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.

 

Thursday, 14 April 2011 05:06

Stop Giving Yourself Away

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Dear Maddisen,
I’m the kind of person who loves people. I don’t mind sacrificing my needs for others who are really in need. I go out of my way to make people feel comfortable. So why is my life falling apart? I thought I was being a good person. Please help. TJ

Dear TJ,
I’m so glad you asked this question. I don’t know all of the details around your situation or exactly how your life is falling apart, but I have a sense of what’s happening and will do my best here to help.

Being a good person does not mean giving yourself away. It does not mean sacrificing your own needs for the sake of others. On the contrary, in order to be fully and powerfully in service to others, you must first take care of yourself and your own basic needs. It’s like the emergency procedure on airlines that instructs us to first put on our own oxygen mask before putting it on a child or elder.

Being a good person really means taking the time and energy to keep yourself in tip top shape so that you can be of greatest service to others. This is true as it relates to your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well being and nourishment.

Your life may be falling apart because you’re ignoring or not taking care of yourself and your own well being in one or more of these areas. Lack of care in any area creates decline in that area.

My simple and direct suggestion for you TJ, is that you stop giving yourself away, and bring yourself back to center – your center. Center yourself in yourself, call forth your inner self caregiver, ask for Spirit’s assistance, and take small steps to begin caring for yourself in all areas that you have been ignoring or under-nourishing.  Create a nurturing chart with the categories: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – and come up with a regular daily program of ways that you love and care for yourself and well being.  Practice saying this to yourself, especially when you find yourself wanting to give yourself away energetically: “I center myself in myself, I call forth who I truly am, and I ask Spirit for assistance in staying true to myself and my well being, for the highest good of all.” (If the word ‘Spirit’ doesn’t resonate with you, use whatever term does, be it ‘God’, ‘Divine Source’, ‘Higher Power’, Holy Spirit’, etc.)

Service and sacrifice are not the same. When we’re serving others, we’re doing it from a place of self love, self respect, and self care.  When we sacrifice for others, we’re ignoring our self and our well being and perceiving others as victims. Service is mutually nourishing, sacrifice helps no one. Stop sacrificing your health for others. Stop going out of your way to make others comfortable at your own expense. This is not selfish, this is not narcissism. This is Basic Self Care 101. May you bring yourself back home to your own self, your own center, and from this powerful self-honoring and Spirit-supported place, express your love and care with others, in service to the highest good of all, which includes you!

Your Life Coach,
Maddisen

Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.

 

Thursday, 07 April 2011 15:51

The Fairy Tale of Marriage and Divorce

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Dear Maddisen,
After 16 years of marriage, my wife and I came to a mutual decision to divorce. Honestly, I feel like our time together was complete, yet I can’t help but feel the stigma of someone who failed to make it ‘til death do us part’.  Am I a failure because I didn’t stay married? Thanks, MP

Dear MP,
Thanks for bringing this forward. I was divorced after 14 years of marriage, and went through a period of feeling similar to what you’re experiencing. However, as you imply, this sounds more like a happy ending than a failure.

I’m not saying I don’t believe in marriage. On the contrary, I revere marriage as a ceremonial bond between two unique individuals who share mutual love, respect, and a strong desire to walk together as partners in life.

But the fairy tale or tall tale is that marriage to the same person must last forever, ‘til death do us part. And the fairy tale of divorce is that it implies failure.  We are evolutionary beings, children of the earth, cycling and regenerating in many ways every day and throughout our lives, and in constant motion like the earth itself, which is orbiting, rotating, and regenerating itself as I write this blog.

We experience a myriad of beginnings and endings, births and deaths, on a daily basis, not just when we are born and die. And the same is true for marriages or any love partnerships, which are subject to cycles of beginnings and endings, births and deaths – sometimes temporary, sometimes permanent.

Perhaps, once upon a time, it made sense to partner for life, and for some, it may still work out that way today. But as the dynamic pace of living and learning evolves and accelerates, so must we – mentally, emotionally, and physically. And in today’s world, I’d say serial monogamy is what many are more suited to. 

Therefore, although I strongly advocate that we put in time and our best efforts to face and turn into, heal, learn, and grow from our partnerships that seem to be headed for divorce, I do not believe it is at all healthy to force ourselves to stay married or in partnership when we are clearly unhappy together or when we are clearly complete.

I’m simplifying this part, as anyone knows who has gone or is going through this potentially very painful threshold, but the important lesson here is to know that we come into our lives with a higher curriculum, with key lessons to learn about our loving relationships with ourselves, others, nature, and Spirit, and that if we do our best to face these relationships with the intent to love, learn, heal, grow, and uplift – then we are on the right track, and everyone’s highest good can be served.

And so MP, go easy on yourself, and practice self forgiveness as you move through this major life transition. Trust your choices, trust your life, create clear and loving intentions, and set your sights on the birth of the new beginnings that are unfolding before you.

Your Life Coach,
Maddisen


Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.
 

 

Thursday, 31 March 2011 01:54

Online Dating - Good For Your Circulation

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Dear Maddisen,

I’m in my late 50’s and recently divorced, and now faced with what I consider to be the daunting challenge of meeting a new partner. At my age, is it too late to try online dating?  Thanks, AH

Dear AH,

Great question!  The answer – it is ABSOLUTELY NOT too late to try online dating!

Divorced in midlife, I too was faced with that daunting challenge of meeting a new partner. In fact, I was initially afraid and convinced that I may not meet anyone who wanted to date me, let alone become my partner!  Fortunately, these fears are just that – fears not facts, and certainly not the truth for many many midlifers, myself included, who – through divorce or death of a former partner – have been suddenly faced with starting over.

At first, when my friends suggested I try online dating, I blanketly rejected the idea, citing all sorts of reasons why it was not for me. Then, after several months, I decided to take the plunge and register for one of the popular online dating sites. I met someone who I dated for almost one year; and although we decided on a mutual split, we’ve remained friends, and I see now what a valuable experience it was for me. I also know a good number of midlifers who have been very successful in meeting their permanent mates through online dating services.

Because we’re midlifers, I believe online dating is a fantastic idea because it gets us back in circulation, and helps us see that there truly are still plenty of fish left in the sea. Even if we’re hitting the “no thank you” button more than the “yes I’m interested” button, getting back into the mix can invoke lots of emotional movement within us, which is fun, sometimes sadly amusing, but mostly inspiring. Midlife can be the time when people tend to contract and isolate, which is another form of early death, and an online dating program can prevent that from happening.  

Here is the exact program I recommend for you AH and all my readers in this position, no matter what age you are:

1)      32 Day Process

Do a 32 day process. Write down all of the qualities you want in your partner and relationship, and then read that list every day for 32 days. Let yourself savor the words and imagine how you will feel when you are with your new mate who embodies these qualities and values.

2)      Set an intention.

Write down an “I am” statement that describes what you are desiring. For example, “I am in mutually loving and full partnership with my wonderful woman (or man).” Or, “I am so happy that I’ve met my new and wonderful partner. I feel very fulfilled in this relationship.”

3)      Register with an online dating service

Now that you are clear on what you want, you can register on the dating site(s) of your choice. Perhaps sign up for 6 months to give yourself enough time. Read the cancellation guidelines to be sure you understand your rights.

Write your personal profile in a way that clearly states and describes what you are looking for in your mate and in your partnership. Be honest and thorough.

Be Patient. Expect Positive Results

Trust your desires and intentions.  You may have to kiss a few frogs, or NOT. In any event, practice is not a bad thing especially for those of us coming out of long term marriages or partnerships.  Realize that you are not doing this alone – Spirit is on your side, AND your mate is looking for you too! Let yourself love and be loved. Love is the purpose of life.  

Your Life Coach,

Maddisen

Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.

 

Saturday, 12 March 2011 02:41

Perimenopause & Memory Loss – Forgetaboutit!

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Dear Maddisen:
I’m in the throes of perimenopause. I seem to be forgetting things from one second to the next.  This worries me and makes me mad. Any advice on how to deal with this?

Excellent question. Let me answer before I forget what you asked! I too am in the throes of perimenopause, so know that I understand and have great compassion for you.

Intermittent memory loss during the perimenopausal years may result from hormone changes, fluctuations in brain chemistry, and the mental and emotional stresses that many women experience as a result of all the physical and life transformations connected to aging. We may even worry that we’re experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer’s, however, the majority of perimenopausal memory loss problems are natural. On the bright side, the brain chemistry changes of perimenopause that take place in the temporal lobes region are being linked to enhanced intuition. Bottom line: many of these symptoms are not yet fully understood by the scientific or medical communities.

One of my jobs as a midlife empowerment coach is to discover the inherent gifts of this major life transition, and to support others in claiming these gifts and in reframing what is commonly perceived as a negative and deteriorating downfall into something that is truly empowering, uplifting, and renewing. I advocate turning perimenopause into a rebirth – a new and very powerful launch into a fuller and more satisfying life. And for most of us, this means making a very conscious and deliberate choice to trust life and to practice thoughts, feelings, and actions that support vitality, vibrant health, and aliveness in every way imaginable. When it comes to perimenopause, attitude is everything!

This is a heroic challenge, a precious opportunity to take better care of ourselves and to be more present and aware than ever before. And although that may take more intention, attention, and time – all of this devoted and lovingly persistent focus ultimately sets us up for more of what we desire – a life well lived, which is a life of purpose, well-being, and fulfilment. We create what we focus on, so as we journey through this critical and rich life phase, our best results will be guaranteed by looking up, not down.

In summary, here is your simple program for turning the lemons of perimenopause into yummy lemonade:

Memory lapses are not uncommon during perimenopause, so relax a little and go easy on yourself if you forget something. You don’t have to fix this, but if you want some ideas, try reciting a positive mantra, e.g., “I love myself and my memory is strong and clear.” Or, pick up a book or read the internet for simple ways to sharpen your memory. And if you still have concerns or wish to explore other options, consider talking with your health practitioner.

Take excellent care of yourself – every part!  If it helps, create a nurturing chart with the categories: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – and come up with a regular program of ways that you love and care for yourself and well being. This is a big topic, and self care regimes will vary with every woman.

Stay mentally active because learning causes growth of new neurons in brains of every age.

Stay physically active for good health, to look good, to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes, to lower blood pressure, to increase your flexibility and longevity, to reduce the risk of injuries, to increase your overall health, to continue to be productive, and to be happier. There’s nothing like an exercise high.

Tune into your enhanced intuition, and practice using it.

Practice self forgiveness. If you need a refresher, read my archived blog on self forgiveness.

Reframe, reframe, reframe – practice turning lemons into lemonade at every bump in the road. This can be very inspiring, empowering, and renewing! Do it with your girlfriends too; they’ll love you for it.

Say nay to the naysayers. Better yet, bless them, and then simply turn your focus on what makes you say “YES to Life"!

Take a higher viewpoint. Laugh at yourself sometimes. Remember, you are a spiritual being here to have a rich and full human experience. You can choose your inner and outer responses.

The Hero is You

I won’t deny that I have moments when I loathe this natural but profanely lengthy threshold, however, my practice and suggestion for you is to reframe ‘in the throes of perimenopause’ with something more empowering and renewing, such as ‘in the birth channel of perimenopause,’ or ‘in the epic adventure of perimenopause.’ Be the mythological heroine of your own life! Perimenopause and memory loss – forgetaboutit!  Because the truth is you’re a Goddess in training.

Your MidLife Empowerment Coach,
Maddisen

Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.

 

Saturday, 05 March 2011 22:37

MidLife – Don’t Panic, It’s Organic!

Written by

Dear Maddisen:
I’m 51. I’ve reached some of my goals, but there is so much more I expected to achieve by this age, and I’m just wondering if it’s worth it. I’m losing steam. Is it too late for me?

First, the answer is a big “NO! It is not too late!” Until you die, it is never too late to live.

As a MidLife Empowerment Coach, my job is to remind clients that life is meant to be lived fully at every age and that it’s never too late to have and manifest heartfelt goals, and then to coach them in reaching those goals. In fact, once we move into midlife, which I define as the years between 40 and 65, it’s more important than ever to have and actively pursue meaningful goals. Why? Because this is often the time that many people begin to lose hope or even give up on the idea of a purposeful and rewarding life. Therefore, the pursuit of valued goals is a powerful and highly effective way to naturally fuel our lives forward in genuine hope, fulfillment, and eagerness for more life.

While studying for my Master’s degree in Psychology, I read selected works of Erik Erikson, the Danish-German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on human social development. He identifies this midlife age stage as “middle adulthood”, in which the main conflict is “generativity vs. stagnation”, the main question is “Will I produce something of real value?”, and the virtue is “care”. Care in this context is very potent when we see it as care for the well being of self, our loved ones, society, and the earth as a whole. Generativity relates to ways of living that support higher social values and help to guide future generations. In contrast, stagnation relates to ways of living that lack productivity and do not help the positive evolution of society at large.

When clients first come to me, it’s often because they have given up on some level in one or more areas of their lives, and are seeking help in moving out of stagnation and discouragement into more productive, rewarding, and inspired lives. The good news is – the clients who deliberately choose generativity reach their goals and live more inspired lives than ever before.

I feel great compassion for those of us whose time has come to pass through this natural valley of midlife. It’s not for the faint of heart. It takes hope, courage, strength, confidence, persistence, patience, resilience, a sense of humor, and a high level of awareness to navigate this awe inspiring time of life, which is admittedly also a time when we may face a multitude of unconscious critical voices, the insidious opinions of the misinformed, unwelcome physical transformations, surprising life changes, and a host of other challenging dragons. This is also why I teach and encourage the regular practice of self forgiveness, the life saving elixir of midlife champions.

But do we really have a choice? Yes, we can consciously and deliberately choose Life. The other choice is stagnation, which leads to atrophy, which leads to what I call ‘living death’. Why not save death for last?!

Goals keep us inspired, and when we’re inspired we create goals, and when we create our goals, we feel inspired, etc., in perfect symbiosis. This is one of the simplest yet most profound remedies for midlife crisis. In fact, there is no crisis, but rather opportunities for more choices and more life.

As Robert Byrne so aptly stated, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” Dear readers, the real truth is that midlife is a natural stage of life, and potentially the richest, fullest, and most rewarding time of life. So, really there’s no need to panic, because midlife is truly organic. Welcome. Now keep going!

Your Life Coach,
Maddisen

Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.

Sunday, 20 February 2011 21:32

Meditation 101: Meditation Made Easy

Written by


Dear Maddisen:
I’d like to try meditation, but I don’t know where to start. Any recommendations? Thanks, CS

Dear CS,
Thanks for asking. I hear this question often. I’m happy to suggest a few ways to find a meditation practice, and will also provide a simple method for getting started.

Finding a method can feel overwhelming because it seems that there are so many types of meditation. To narrow it down, let's look at general categories of meditation: 

Breathing meditation – which involves sitting with eyes closed and being aware of your breath.

Empty Mind meditation – which involves sitting and emptying the mind of thoughts.

Walking or Moving meditation – which involves moving the body. This can include yoga. In my opinion, most all forms of yoga can be considered meditation.

Mindfulness meditation – which involves becoming deeply aware of what is here right now in the present, including thoughts, feelings, and sensations. The goal is to simply notice and witness what’s present, and do this without judging or analyzing any of it. This is one of my favorite methods for releasing stress and feeling peace.

Mantra meditation – which involves sitting and repeating a mantra, which is a word or phrase you repeat silently or aloud. You may choose your own mantra, or in some traditions such as Transcendental Meditation (TM), an experienced teacher gives the student a mantra.

My first official meditation training was in TM. It was a life changing experience for me, because I discovered that by simply sitting silently for only 20 minutes, 1-2 times a day, I was connecting into my self in a way that was powerfully grounding, centering, and quieting, AND I was connecting into a silent, deep knowing about the source of all life and my purpose here.

I know, that sounds pretty epic, but it’s why I so highly value meditation and stay devoted to my practice of it. And because I’m curious, I’ve benefited by trying different methods over the years. I also believe that anyone who is looking for a meditation practice, like you CS, will find the type that is best suited to them, and that it may differ from person to person. So, move in the direction that feels best to you.

To get started, feel free to try the simple mantra meditation below. If you like it, try it once a day for 32 days. You can do it twice a day too if you like, in the morning and evening.

So Hum Meditation
The So Hum Meditation technique is also known as So Ham, Soham, or Sohum. It is said to come from the Yoga school of Hindu Philosophy. So Hum is Sanskrit and literally means "I Am That" and the mantra’s aim is to bring about the natural union of your individual consciousness with divine or source consciousness.

Step 1
Sit comfortably in a cross-legged lotus pose, or in an upright position with your feet on the floor. Rest your wrists on your knees, with thumb and index fingers lightly touching.

Step 2
Set your alarm for 10-20 minutes. 

Step 3
First, take 5 deep, slow breaths through the nose.

Then, begin the So Hum meditation. INHALE slowly while silently saying the sound "Soooooo" and then slowly EXHALE while silently saying the sound "Hummmm".  Continue this, inhaling to "Sooooo" and exhaling to "Hummmm".

Step 4
When the timer goes off, let yourself sit quietly for another minute or so. Get up slowly.

The Value of So Hum and Breath
One of the easiest and most direct ways to train the breath, and in turn, regulate the nervous system, relax the body, and quiet the mind is through So Hum mantra meditation practiced at a steady, slow speed, with exhalation somewhat longer in duration than the inhalation.

If you like this technique and don’t wish to use a timer, get a set of Mala beads, and use them as your counter/timer. The typical set of mala beads has 108 beads. By counting one bead per breath, it takes about 15-20 minutes or so to complete one round of the mala. Once you read more about Mala beads, you’ll understand what I mean, and they’re easy to find.

You can find a wealth of information about meditation on the internet, in your local bookstore or library, or by asking friends who might know. Set your intention to find a meditation practice that works for you, and I have no doubt you’ll find one. And if you like this So Hum meditation, maybe you've found what you were looking for!  Remember, meditation is a practice, so be patient with your self and your mind and give it time. There’s no place like home, which is the powerful docking station called “You”.

Peace,
Maddisen

Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.

 

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