Why I Meditate

I began meditating in 2015. By this time, I had been through my health scare, divorce, and had been working as a Registered Nurse in the hospital for over 2 years. I had heard about meditation for years before I actually took note and put it into practice. In 2015, I partook in a “Simple Shift” group hosted by my Homeopath and friend, Torey Ivanic, that was made up of a group of women who were ready to create big change in our lives by shifting in some, small way. The “simple shift” I chose to commit to during this group was meditation. I downloaded the app, Insight Timer, on my phone, which kept track of my progress. I started with 5 minutes a day. Honestly, I’d do 2 minutes some days, 5 minutes others. Then, just after the group ended, I hit a very stressful time in my life.

I was struggling and needed a way to turn off the spiral of thoughts whirring through my mind about the situation. So I began meditating often as a way to positively cope with the turmoil I was experiencing. As I would feel the anxiety well up in me, I’d set the timer on my phone and meditate. I based it around my life, so if I had 5 minutes to spare, I’d meditate for 5 minutes. If I had more time in that moment, I’d set the timer for 15 minutes. Each time I felt myself get overwhelmed with emotions, I’d meditate. When the hamsters in my head would start running in their wheels, I’d meditate. When I felt panic rush in and tighten my chest, I’d meditate. I remember sitting in the cemetery next to the bench that marks the spot where one of my best friends from high school is buried, and I found myself talking to him in the rain, crying, and meditating. I clung to meditation like a life raft. I meditated, because I didn’t know what else to do.

These moments spent in meditation worked as a reset button for my system. I was able to reset myself and breathe. In those days, I didn’t notice a big difference. But it acted as a break from my thoughts and emotions. The break is what snapped me out of my head. It got me through that time with a lot of sanity and clarity. By the end of this 2-week period, I was able to get a sense of a big picture purpose of what was happening. I spoke about it with words that did not feel from me, but more through me. I was then gifted with the most peace I had ever experienced in my entire life. It lasted a week, and during that time I felt so at ease with EVERYTHING in my life. I felt so much love and compassion for myself and everyone else. I realize now that that level of peace is available to all of us when we place priority on our healing and aligning ourselves with our souls.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I didn’t simply gain a week of peace during that time. I also gained the awareness that it was that level of peace that I wanted to feel in my life, all the time. It gave me a contrast to compare everything against. To this day, when a person or situation is causing me to lose my inner peace, I make the needed adjustments, because for me, my inner peace comes FIRST.

This was all just the beginning for me. Last year, after I had taken my leap of faith out of my Registered Nursing job in the hospital when it began affecting my health negatively, and had gotten back from traveling to Australia and Hawaii, I got more serious about meditating again. I was in a time where I was ready to go full force with my business, but I also had to trust that the people who needed the Intuitive Reiki and Joy Coaching with me would come in divine time. I set the intention and began meditating every morning for 25 minutes while also treating myself with Reiki. This consistent practice completely changed my game. I began to have and continue to have so many inspired ideas that led to inspired action that led to so many good things in my life. For instance, it became an important aim of mine to be part of a thriving community of healers and artists, and then I got the idea to create a “Healing Arts” basket for a raffle for the Center of Spiritual Living for their annual fundraiser, which naturally connected me with local healers and artists. There was also the inspired ideas of participating in the fundraiser “Over the Edge” for The Source LGBT+ Center’s annual fundraiser and offering free Reiki sessions every week at The Source which led to me being more connected to the LGBT+ community here which has led me to amazing friendships and more of my tribe! Reaching out to the amazing author, Scott Stabile, about how much I loved his book and would like to have him come to my town to host a workshop was also an inspired idea that I took action on, and it all lined up so effortlessly after that! Scott hosted one of his workshops, “Writing Yourself” here in January!

There’s a reason why so many people urge us to meditate. It works. Deepak Chopra has written MANY books, and you want to know his biggest piece of advice for people? Meditate! I know what you’re thinking, you can’t meditate. You can’t get your brain to slow down long enough to meditate. You don’t have time to meditate. I can assure you that if you had time to read this post about meditating that you have time to meditate. You’re just choosing to use your time in other ways. My life has been a bit of a surrender experiment in the last year. Things I couldn’t have planned for have shown up. Awesome things have shown up. I would say that I owe a lot of that, if not all, to meditation. Meditation has allowed me to align with my soul, my higher self, in a more powerful way than ever before. Following my intuition about everything in my life, right down to what I eat, has further strengthened my intuition, which is also what leads to amazing things. I am so happy to say that I will be teaching kids mindfulness and meditation this summer through Parks and Recreation. I am so excited to share the exercises I’ve used to help teach kids positive ways to cope with life. It is my vision that by teaching kids positive coping mechanisms, they will be able to use them throughout their lives to combat peer pressure, to decrease the rates of teen pregnancy, to decrease addiction, and to decrease the rates of suicide. I love working with kids so much, and pediatrics continues to be the unit of the hospital that I miss working on the most, so I am really looking forward to this new adventure!

I can’t tell you how many times I have been called magic in the last year, the last 8 months especially. I look for magic, I expect magic daily, because I’ve witnessed magic every day. I am aligned with my soul, my higher self. I am following my soul’s path completely which places all kinds of amazing synchronicities on my path. I am human like you, and I got here by trudging through a lot of shit. I did not get here through ease and comfort. I walked through fire to ultimately have my soul set free. When I noticed that my thoughts about myself and my life weren’t serving me well, I worked to adopt new thoughts. I’ve listen to meditations to reprogram my subconscious mind. I’ve followed my intuition to the healing modalities that called to me and the foods that my body was craving. I used journaling. I used positive affirmations. I have a daily gratitude practice. I didn’t grow up knowing about positive ways to cope with life, so I sought them when I needed them. Instead of stressing and ‘grinding’, I learned the importance of quieting my mind through meditation and time spent in nature.

Through the journey I have walked, I have been gifted with the knowledge that our health is our greatest asset, that living in joy is what we are here to do, and that inner peace is the real ‘success’ that we should be working to achieve in this life. I did not come from peace, but I now have more peace than I ever have before. I got tired of suffering. I got tired of playing a victim, so I got serious about finding a way to change my view of the world. I adjusted my priorities. I choose to place my focus on my peace and happiness every day, because I see now how that ripples out from my life into other people’s lives. I choose to prioritize doing things that raise my energy and cause me to vibrate at a higher frequency. When we learn to love ourselves unconditionally, we are able to love others unconditionally. Also in my experience, when I learned to love another unconditionally as I saw their life with empathy and compassion, I loved myself even deeper in return.

Many of the practices I have had great results with are simple and available to anyone who decides to place priority on their own healing. If you struggle to quiet your mind or lead a very stressful life, I urge you to take up daily meditation. It can be as simple as setting a timer for 5 minutes and sitting in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted while you focus on your breath. You might feel resistance to it, I think that’s pretty common. It was for me. But just keep being consistent with it, and eventually, you’ll notice shifts. I lead guided meditations every first and third Wednesday of every month, so if you’re local, reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com. We have meditation happening tonight on the Super Full Moon from 6 to 7 pm. Everyone is welcome.

Meditation is a simple shift we can all make towards our wellness. It’s free. It’s easy. We can do it alone or with a group. We can meditate inside or outside. If you’re finding yourself not satisfied with the way your life has been going, try meditating. What do you have to lose?

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Are You Giving Your Power Away?

“Life is much too short to continue to wait for someone else’s permission to fully live.”

Often we don’t realize we’re doing it, waiting for permission that is, but many of us are. Who are you giving your power away to?

Your parents? The ones who think that you should follow the status quo, because even after their divorce and decision to not date, they still believe that ultimate happiness for everyone lies in the house, the fence, the marriage, and the kids? When are you going to realize that you don’t have to live up to your parents’ expectations of you in order to be a fully whole and worthy human being? If your parents shoot down every idea you present to them that lights you up, stop telling them your plans. Stop asking for their opinions. Your journey is yours alone, and sometimes even your parents won’t understand you. And that’s OK.

Your kids? Maybe you’re a parent and you have Mom guilt about taking a trip alone. I know I did before I left for Western Australia in June of ‘18. Even though my son had balked at the idea of such a long flight, I still felt bad that he wasn’t going with me. But, at one point, I realized that it wasn’t right to put the burden of not following my life-long dream on my son’s shoulders. I think we wrongly do that a lot. We categorize ourselves as parents and then feel bad for anything we do outside of that role without our kids. We’re essentially feeding into the notion that our joy and self-care stops being important once our kids are born. But, if I have learned anything at all, it’s that I am a much better Mom when I have been consciously keeping my own bucket full. Our kids will be much better off if they have parents who take good care of themselves body, mind, and spirit. Our kids learn by what they see us do, not from our words, so in taking care of ourselves, we’re showing them how to take care of themselves. It’s not selfish, it’s vitally important.

Your partner? Perhaps they don’t like to do the things you want to do, and so you’ve just given up and decided that it’s easier if you just don’t do them. If you’re living that way, it’s only a matter of time before you lose yourself completely. It’s depressing to live a life in which you’re not following your joy. If your partner loves you unconditionally, then they will understand that it’s important for you to do things regularly that bring you joy. Maybe that’s not it, but you’ve been miserable for a long time and you’ve tried counseling and nothing is working. Your partner hasn’t made any effort towards making the partnership better, but then tells you they don’t want it to end. Know that you do not need their permission to leave. Know that any outsider who judges you for your feelings about your relationship has no business doing so, because they’re not in it. They can’t understand your experience, and they can’t see the dreams you hold for your life. It’s OK to let go. You don’t need anyone else’s permission but your own. I had friends offer their two cents as I was deciding on what to do about my own marriage. All it did was add to my guilt for feeling the things I felt. I stopped talking about it with other people, and ultimately made the decision that was best for me and my family. Side note: if you’re reading books titled things like “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, it’s really time to leave. If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a no. That goes for any decision in life.

Even when advice comes with good intentions, no one outside of us should hold power over us when it comes to living our best lives. Our journey is unique to us, and we’ve got to stop trying to get others to understand it before we feel comfortable enough in making decisions. We have one life to live. Make it count.

Want to work with me one on one? Check out the Work With Me tab and see if the combination of Intuitive Reiki Healing and Joy Coaching resonates with you. Feel free to email me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com. I love to hear from people!

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The Pain Before the Transformation

I am living proof that great pain can lead to massive transformation.

I spent much of my life as a peacekeeper and people-pleaser. I put the peace of a space and others’ well-being above my own. I became a sort of chameleon, changing in small ways to try and reduce tension in my house growing up, and later as a way to keep other people comfortable. I had an innate sense that if everyone around me was OK, that I would then be OK too. But I wasn’t OK. With each concession I made to create less waves, I moved farther and farther away from my true self. I didn’t notice it at first and couldn’t have predicted the level of depression and dis-ease that changing myself for others would cause someday.

When I found myself in a loveless marriage where I was lonelier than I have ever felt in times where I have actually been alone, I ignored what my heart was telling me. I had been so adamant about creating a family for my son, to be a happy, intact family that I hadn’t experienced, that to follow my heart meant to leave that dream behind for all of us. So, I ignored that knowing sense that I felt. I buried myself in raising my son. But it could not last forever. Eventually, my heart grew weak and nearly stopped working and I found myself at rock bottom. In one fell swoop, my health was taken from me, and I nearly died of heart failure. An emergent heart surgery later and I slowly began to find my way back to myself.

The recovery felt fast at first, until it became apparent that my heart condition was going to be a recurring theme in my life. Doctors had trouble figuring it out, and so they did what they could to ward it off with a steroid bandaid in the form of prednisone pills.

There are lots of parts to this story, but the take away is much more important at this point, for me and for you.

1. Stop putting yourself second to the wishes of others. Humans are fickle beings, and won’t stay happy for long before you’re feeling the need to do more to feed their happiness. You don’t have the ability to make anyone else happy if they themselves haven’t found a way to cultivate happiness in their own life. We can add to another’s happiness, but we are not responsible for creating it.

2. Stop changing yourself to fit in with the people around you. In the end, you’ll feel like a shell of yourself, plus you’ll soon realize that they’re not your people anyway. Who wants to hang out with people who don’t love you for being 100% yourself? The chameleon game is an exhausting one. You’ll find yourself eventually losing yourself and wondering how it happened. It happens in small, incremental changes you make in yourself to make others comfortable. You likely won’t realize it’s happening until you’ve forgotten even the basics of what you like to do for fun, and who you are at your core.

3. Stop doing things that stress you out, like really stress you out. If you’re in a relationship that adds more stress to your life than happiness, don’t feel bad about putting yourself first and leaving. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone by staying. Life is much too short to spend it with people who don’t light you up. Same goes with anything else in life.

4. Stop doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. It’s not only the definition of insanity, but it won’t get you into a different life that you’ve been imagining for yourself. If you want something different than what you currently have, you’ve got to be willing to move out of your comfort zone and do new things.

5. Start putting yourself first. Do things that make you happy, that bring you joy. What have you been putting off that you really want to do? What steps can you take towards doing it now? Start saying no to things you don’t want to do.

We can use our experiences to guide us in life or we can use them to feel like victims. The choice is ours. If you’re stressed, or sick, or not living your best life, it’s time to look at the areas of your life that are no longer working for you. The days of being a people-pleaser, peacekeeper, and martyr are over. The time has come for us all to realize our limitless potential to create a life of our dreams. Life is much too short to continue to wait for someone else’s permission to fully live! Give yourself the permission you need to go after your dreams like this is the only shot you’ve got!

I am passionate about using a mix of intuitive Reiki Healing and Joy Coaching to encourage others to follow their joy and passion towards living a life in alignment with their soul’s purpose (ie. living their best lives). Guiding others in this way and offering the confirmation that they need to follow their dreams lights me up like nothing else! Please follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram for more written content and impromptu FB Live videos. If my words resonate with you, please feel free to reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com to tell me about it! I love connecting with people!! Maybe you have a topic you’d love me to write about?

Photo excerpt from “Life Visioning” by Michael Bernard Beckwith

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Go Within

“In onself lies the whole world and if you don’t know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand, nobody on Earth can give you either the key or the door to open except yourself.” – Juddu Krishnamurti

After being pulled to go to the coast and lie on my back in the sand, listening to the music of the ocean for a few months now, I finally got to go this weekend. It was spectacular and just what I needed. Water is my greatest healer. I crave being around flowing water all the time. My dream place in somewhere in between a cottage next to a wild, roaring river, or next to the breaking waves of the expansive ocean. In all actuality, I have realized that we actually have the ability to cultivate the feelings that being in our favorite places creates within us whenever we want. Home and life are entirely what we make them.

I’ve seen a beautiful pattern unfold in my life this year. As I began to connect more deeply with myself, I began to see my tribe start to form around me. In a place where I used to feel out of place, I now feel at home. In a place where I felt like I’d never find my people, I find more of my tribe every day. While many people have moved back to this area as of late, overall, it is not the people or place that have changed. I am the one who has changed. Instead of believing that I would never find people to connect with deeply here, I began to put myself out there more, out of my comfort zone, and into public places more often. Instead of looking around and seeing only the heat waves and poor air quality, I began to seek rivers and lakes to cool me. I began to be grateful that I am a day trip’s drive away from the ocean AND the mountains! How many people have never gotten to see a fraction of the scenery that is readily available to me at any time? I basically started to see and be grateful for what was here vs what I had decided wasn’t here. Life got really beautiful when I shifted my way of viewing this place. It is our perception that shapes our view of the world, so when we adjust how we choose to see things, we change what we see.

The peace and happiness we say we seek is within our grasp, because these are things that are cultivated from within, never from without. It comes when we find deeper ways to connect with ourselves and those around us. Authenticity and vulnerability are keys to unlocking these deeper kinds of connections. Throw out the small talk, delete the filters, and shed the insecurities (or at least don’t allow them to hold you back). We are all human and we are all working to overcome the things we have been through. We are looking for ways to lessen the pain and increase the joy in our lives. Sometimes we are viscerally aware of what we’re seeking, and sometimes we get so caught up on what is being sold to us that we lose sight of the things that matter most. In order to get to the peace and happiness, we have to get real with ourselves. We have to be true to ourselves at all times. If there is something we’re feeling called to do, we need to do it. For me, that meant taking a life-long dream trip to Australia this year (I still need to put that experience into words). Some days it means saying no to spending time with someone when I’m just not feeling it. Sometimes it means going to the river and lying on a boulder while I meditate, journal, and/or read a book. Sometimes it means following my joy and going on dates with someone who loves to dance as much as I do and dancing our faces off. Sometimes it means going to the coast, lying on my back in the sand while I listen to the waves crash, and wading in the cold Pacific Ocean while I lovingly take in my surroundings and express my gratitude out loud for everything I have to be grateful for. Sometimes it means crying and allowing myself to feel whatever emotions are showing up for me, which is still a constant practice for me since I had nearly a lifetime of stuffing my feelings down as far as they would go. Sometimes it means staying home and hanging out with my cat, or taking a nap. Sometimes it means speaking my truth even if the people around me don’t really know what I am talking about, because it makes me feel more real and heck, anymore, I find more people to add to my tribe this way. After all, how can we find our tribe if we hold back and don’t speak our minds (our real, true minds)? I have seen deep connections come from speaking my truth, and I have also seen someone get curious about what I have to say, even if I’m saying things that are completely new to them. Gone are the days of me trying to conform to fit in. Gone are the days of trying to please other people or make them more comfortable at my expense. If there is anything I have learned from the challenges that I have faced so far in this life, it’s that it’s time for this life, this story, this movie, to star me as the main character! Life is short. It’s time to become the main character in your own story. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? How much longer are you going to let others dictate your life? Begin to see your life as a work of art. What kind of art do you want to create in 2019?

We get bored in life when we hide behind our masks of conformity, keep our truths hidden, our dreams abandoned, and our joy unfollowed, or worse, uncovered. It’s time to cut through the bs (belief systems) that we’ve been fed. It doesn’t have to mean that you change absolutely everything you’re doing, but it does mean releasing what you’ve always done if what you want to experience is something different from what you’ve always known. If you’re wanting more happiness or if you’re tired of living the status quo, make a list of things that bring you joy, and start doing them! Seriously, contrary to popular belief, creating more happiness and peace in our lives can be EASY. A lot of the time, it involves changing things up and getting out of our comfort zones. As I have stated many times before, the juicy parts of life live outside of our comfort zones. What is one thing you can do today that will empower you in your new role as the starring character in your own story? No step taken towards living a life true to yourself is too small. Everything you think matters. Everything you do matters.

Thank you for reading along! If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it. Happy Holidays to all of my readers! Much love to you.