with Natalie MacNeil
Natalie MacNeil is an Emmy Award-winning media producer, bestselling author of She Takes on the World: A Guide to Being Your Own Boss, Working Happy, and Living on Purpose, and Founder of SheTakesOnTheWorld.com. Come visit us to get Natalie's free 14-day Conquer Course to turn your small business into something big! She Takes On The World is a popular blog for career-minded women and women entrepreneurs. It was recognized by Forbes on its list, "Ten Best Career Sites for Women," and was featured by ForbesWoman in "Top 100 Websites for Women." Natalie is also the Co-founder of Imaginarius, a media company known for its groundbreaking work in animation, games, and interactive innovations. The firm's latest project, Out My Window, was the world's first 360-degree interactive documentary for which Natalie and her business partner earned an Emmy. Natalie is frequently quoted and interviewed in the media discussing entrepreneurship, women in business, and new media. She has appeared in top media outlets like Forbes, ForbesWoman, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Entrepreneur.com, Financial Post, and Mashable.
There are so many myths about how to meditate, what a daily meditation practice means, and what the overall experience of meditation should be. I was happy to see Bhanu Narasimhan from the Art of Living Foundation debunk common meditation myths.
Here’s the thing: Meditation is for everyone, and it’s different for everyone. There is no right or wrong way of doing it, and meditation can help you increase your focus, reduce stress, and prevent common health ailments. While some people have a meditation practice that is part of a larger religious or spiritual path, it certainly doesn’t have to be.
If you’re a little skeptical about the benefits of meditation, I love this Lifehacker post, What Happens to the Brain When You Meditate (And How it Benefits You), written by a former skeptic of meditation.
Every day what you’re experiencing out in the world is a reflection of your inner experience. If you start every day by diving within you’ll notice a big difference in how you see the world around you, and that’s why I’m taking you through a super-simple meditation technique that I learned in China, which I do first thing in the morning, usually even before I open my eyes:
Repeat after me: I am grateful for this day. As I begin a new day I dwell in gratitude and ask for divine guidance.
Now, set your intention for the day ahead. What do you want or need to do today, and more importantly how do you want to feel today? Loving, happy, productive, of service, healthy, energetic, calm. State your intention out loud: I intend <insert your beautiful intention here>.
It’s a brand new day, ripe with opportunities and abundance. There is no space for the past today. What do you choose to release and let go of as you start this brand new day? (For example, Guilt I am hanging onto, feelings of unworthiness, worry, and doubt…) Say out loud what baggage you’re leaving behind today: I am letting go of <state the negative ideas and feelings you have identified that no longer serve you>.
And open your eyes to the room, ready to start your day.
Depending on the intention I set and what I want to let go of, I usually end with a mantra for my day, which I take from A Course in Miracles. If I’m holding onto anger or a limiting belief that I need to let go of I might use, “I am determined to see things differently,” or if I have a negative thought or judgment of someone else maybe, “Love holds no grievances.” If my intention for the day is to be loving and happy I might use, “My happiness and my function here are one.”
Does this meditation speak to you? Be sure to downloaded my free daily morning meditation MP3 if you haven’t already. You can listen to it first thing in the morning or use it as your alarm clock so you wake up to something positive. Namaste.
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