Category: Meditation


Feeling unsettled? Here’s a way to find hope.

As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, once said “change is the only constant in life.” Yet in our modern culture, we’re not raised to embrace the varying levels of uncertainty that this adventure called life guarantees us.

On top of our individual challenges, the world around us seems to be increasingly more distressing. Long before the nightly news took a backseat to online news outlets, I had already prohibited myself from watching the sensationalized drama. But even staying connected to more balanced news organizations like the New York Times and CNN is challenging. Last week, it took me several days to muster up the courage to look at some photos from the chemical attack in Syria.

Between our own personal paths and the struggles of the world around us, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and powerless. So, how can we find faith in times of turmoil?

It might surprise you to hear the answer is quite simple: by connecting with your inner self. There’s an amazing power within each one of us to choose our reaction to a situation. To choose hope over despair, action over complacency, power over fear.

While it might sound easier said than done, there are many tools available to help you find that inner voice including one of my favorites: meditation. Just so you know, meditation is not something that comes easily to me. Like many people I know, it’s hard for me to settle my mind and connect with my higher self. But when I do, it’s nothing short of magic. I feel calmer, happier and more grounded.

Additionally, there are many meditation resources available for beginners as well as those who are more seasoned. Personally, I prefer to do guided meditations and love the 21-day meditations from Oprah and Deepak Chopra. There are 13 collections to choose from and each time a new one launches, it’s free for a limited amount of time if you’re a registered member of the site. Today, they released their latest series: Hope in Uncertain Times, which was the inspiration for this post and as they describe, “a way to embrace uncertainty as an opportunity to grow and evolve.”

If you’re looking to find hope, strengthen your sense of hope or just simply learn how to quiet your mind and connect with your inner knowing, I highly encourage you to check out this series. Even if you can’t find the time to do the meditation portion every day, the short messages from Oprah and Deepak at the start of each meditation are worth every minute!

With love, lipstick and lavender,






Why gratitude is the best attitude and how to practice more of it!

When you don’t grow up with much, it’s easy to be thankful for the people, experiences and acts of kindness that come your way. I think (and hope!) I’ve been appreciative of everything and everyone who has helped make my life what it is today.

But even those who live their lives with consistent “thank yous” can lose site of gratitude when the stress of daily life kicks in. Admittedly, I’m one of those people who can be easily thrown off course by the amount of items on my to-do list as well as what I like to call “fear triggers.” These are the big anxiety inducers such as concern for the well-being of loved ones, personal health struggles, finances and fear of death.

With mindfulness becoming more mainstream, I’ve seen an influx of research around the relationship between gratitude and overall health. Many experts claim that actively practicing gratitude can create more optimism which in turn can reduce stress. Additionally, people who are grateful tend to exercise more, take better care of their health and are able to manage stress with more ease.

Because of my ability to go down the rabbit hole in times of stress, I recently started a gratitude practice of my own and have seen a noticeable shift in my thinking to a much more optimistic and peaceful place. While I’m only a study of one, there are a few things that have made implementing this practice relatively easy that I think anyone can try:

  • Kick off every morning by saying one thing you’re thankful for. Yep, that’s it–one thing is all it takes to start your day off on a positive note. This morning, I said I was grateful for having a flexible schedule to take my eldest daughter to an eye doctor appointment. While that might sound insignificant to some, it’s a big deal to me to be physically present with my girls every day.
  • Find a guided meditation that makes it easy for you to get into the zone even if it’s just once a week. Our culture is constantly looking ahead and meditation is all about bringing us back to the present moment. When we’re truly present, we find joy in each day instead of thinking joy hasn’t arrived yet. Like many people, it’s an incredible challenge for me to quiet my mind so I prefer to use guided meditations. I love the 21-day meditation experiences by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. Not only do I relate to both of them as individuals and experts, but I also connect to their content and messages. When they release a new meditation series, which is usually a few times a year, the experiences are free for a limited period of time before a fee is charged. Make sure to register on their site so you’re given a heads-up the next time a new series comes around!
  • Place a gratitude jar in your home and make it a family activity! About a year ago, I came across these cool gratitude jars and thought they were a great way to start teaching my girls about what it means to be thankful and appreciative. Currently, our jar sits in the middle of our dining room table, and we’ll periodically write down what we’re thankful for on slips of paper and drop them in. While Sasha is still too young to make a connection, Natalya has seemed to embrace the idea and I always look forward to what she’ll come up with next. In 2017, my goal is to formalize the process a bit more by making it a weekly activity at the dinner table.

As you think about ways to carve out room for more gratitude in your own life, let me leave you with this final thought: the law of attraction. If like attracts like (and I’m a firm believer that it does), then the more you’re grateful for, the more goodness you attract back into your life.

With love, lipstick and lavender,