That was the number one answer I got when I asked my readers what they'd like me to blog about. Things that can make their lives better, not over time, not with years of practice, not with persistence, but right this very red-hot minute. So that's what I'm going to be blogging about in the coming weeks, until I run out of ideas for you to make your life better.
Step One: Decide and Commit
I can sit here and write out suggestions for you all day long, and none of them are going to help you unless you actually apply them. Some things might seem like they won't work for you. Try them anyway. Some things might seem perfect for you, and not work out as well as you'd thought. Here's the thing. If you already knew how to make your life great, your life would be great, right? If your life isn't bringing you joy, and you want it to bring you joy, you have to change something. That's the first thing to really accept. Going about things in the same way as before isn't going to bring about change. So your very first life-improving act is to decide, right here, right now, this very moment, that you are going to try doing a few things a little bit differently.
Treat This Like Science
Experiment. Try each thing suggested (*unless you're getting a clear “hell, no” feeling. Always trust your gut!) and take notes of how you feel during the week of the experiment. I've been doing this with my first suggestion for you, and the success I've had with it is the reason I'm suggesting it. In fact, every item I suggest for you will be something I have tried and found success with. That doesn't mean everything that works for me will work for you. But trying some things that are out of your comfort zone is how you shake things up. Get up and do something, girls! Shake up your life, change your routine, and see if your results change too.
First New Thing to Try: Meditation
I know, I know, you've heard it 10,000 times. But have you tried it? Have you taken one full week and consistently experimented with meditation every single day, and then noticed how you feel?
I had tried meditation here and there, now and then, once in a while, when I felt like it. But recently, I decided to start trying lifestyle shifts like scientific experiments, and I decided to give a real meditation practice an actual trial run. Fifteen Minutes really isn't a very big time commitment. And I had a great Meditation app & CD from Abraham-Hicks that I knew would be my best bet, since I resonate strongly with their message.
I wasn't happy that my mind kept racing during my 15 minute morning meditation, but I let that go and headed into my office to begin writing my daily 2000 words. 90 minutes later, I was finished. I looked at the clock, then looked at my word count, then double checked my math. But yes, the daily quota that usually takes me from 2 to 4 hours, was completed in 90 minutes, and I felt great. Could it be the meditation?
Days 2 Through 8
I kept up my morning meditation every week day, and every day that week, had my 2000 words in 90 minutes or less. Normally, when I write, it takes several pages before I hit “the zone” where the words flow effortlessly. It seemed to me that I was already in “the zone” when I sat down at the computer. And it was that way every single time.
Full disclosure, I skipped meditating on the weekend and restarted on Monday, so it was five days on, two days off.
The book had taken off so beautifully that ideas were coming to me like a flood. On the morning of Day 9, I was so eager to write the next scene, that I skipped my morning meditation and went straight to my desk to begin.
It took 3 full hours to hit the zone, and about 3 hours and 20 minutes to get my 2000 words down.
Other Side Effects
I also noted that my mood was consistently better (and my mood is always very good!) on days I meditated than on days I did not. I noticed it was easier for me to stick to my Weight Watchers program. I had more time for fun. Spent more time outside. Got some fabulous brainstorms and inspirations. My mind felt clearer. My decisions were easy and obvious. I was more patient and happier. And I just felt physically better all around.
I proved to myself that cultivating a meditation habit of just 15 minutes a day improved my life immediately in a number of measurable ways. So that's the first way you can improve your life right now, today.
How To Do It
You can use any meditation CD or MP3 you want, or just some ambient music you like, or even nature sounds. For me, the Abraham meditations did the trick, and I'll post links to those below.
Set a timer, so you're not opening one eye to look at the clock every few minutes.
Turn off the TV, mute the sounds on your phone, tablet and computer. It's only 15 minutes. The world won't end, I promise.
Find a comfortable place to sit. I like a chair with my feet on the floor, or lying on my back.
Have a shawl or wrap nearby, so you can pull it on easily if you get chilly.
Do it outdoors every chance you get!
If you are outdoors, make sure you have shade or a big hat to protect your face.
Just focus on your breaths. Nice easy, natural breaths in, and long slow easy breaths out.
Each time your mind starts racing, just notice it, and gently move your focus back to your breaths. In, 2, 3, Out, 2, 3, 4, 5. In 2, 3, Out, 2, 3, 4, 5. That's the pattern that works for me. find one that works for you.
Below are two links, one to the Abraham-Hicks Guided Meditation App on iTunes, the other to the Guided Meditation CD at Amazon. Again, you can use any meditation recording you like, or just music, or nothing at all.
We'll have another way you can make your life better! Stay tuned!