guidance

Get in the Zen Zone! Meditation Motivation Tips for Beginners

My purpose for writing this blog post is to aid those who are struggling to find motivation for their meditation practice, as well as to provide tips for beginners on their own unique and personal journey with the self-discovery practice and discipline that is meditation. As a newbie to meditation, you may have preconceived notions as to what you are "supposed to" experience, what meditation exactly is, or even "the right way" to meditate. These are some of my favorite tips  and personal guidance that I myself use in my practice to help you get in the zen zone! 

Define your purpose for meditating! Seriously, ask yourself why you are doing this. Having a clear purpose on why you are choosing to begin a journey with meditation can better aid you in finding motivation to begin (or continue) your practice. 

Set the intention prior to meditating. "Today, I am meditating to..." Are you meditating to clear your mind? Clear your energy? Connect with Spirit or your Higher Self? Calm your anxiety? This gives you something to come back to should your mind begin to wander.

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Use crystals to focus and calm your energy. You can even rub on them to keep your left brain busy while your right brain opens for meditation. Stones like clear quartz and amethyst are great for meditation purposes! Whether your meditation is focusing on a particular situation or issue like chakra balancing, seeking guidance and wisdom from Spirit or just to calm the mind, there is a stone for that! Try to find a stone that has energetic properties to help facilitate the type of meditative session you are engaging in. 

Ambiance can make all the difference. Set the mood if you think it may help! Light some incense or candles. Put on soothing relaxation music. Turn off the lights. If possible, meditate in a room that is not a main focal point in your home. For example, if possible try not to meditate in your office as the energy of that space may impact your meditation. Since you are used to being in "working mode" in this space, it may be harder for you to settle your energy here for the purposes of meditation.

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Use guided meditations. This was of great help to me! Go on an adventure of the mind. It is still hard for me to sit in the silence sometimes even after 4 years of meditating. My mind is very active, imaginative, and exploratory. Guided meditations definitely support this! I absolutely love guided meditations - so much so that I have actually written some myself and love guiding others on meditative journeys through classes I teach or online (YouTube). Here are a few I've done thus far...

Start with 5 minutes a day. That's all you need to get started. Each week build upon that 5 minutes. At this rate, you will be able to sit for 20 minutes in a month! Also, try to take note or keep a journal of how you feel before you meditate in comparison to how you feel after your session. You may have some incredible insights!

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Don't stress it! Don't be hard on yourself. This is probably the best advice I can give. Meditation takes time, practice, and effort. Don't compare your journey to someone else's. Just because someone may sit longer than you or "saw something" during meditation doesn't mean they are more skilled or are having a more fulfilling experience. Be patient with yourself and don't give up. 

The Infamous Monkey Mind - Let it come and go! Know that meditation isn't necessarily having no thoughts. This was a huge misconception for me in the beginning. I worried about whether I was doing it right or wrong. I thought if I was seeing images or having thoughts that I was meditating incorrectly. Truly, meditating for me has been about training my brain to come back to center, back to focus, back to peace when my mind goes rogue. Let the thought come and float away as if on the breeze. By pushing away the thought instead of acknowledging it and letting it go, you are actually more inclined to come back to it over and over again during the session. 

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If you have trouble focusing or need to be engaged, try an active form of meditation like yoga, saying affirmations with mala or prayer beads, or focusing on the breath.

Take a class! Sometimes having the support of others, as well as a supportive environment and teacher, makes a huge difference when it comes to a meditative practice. Taking a class can help you to build a sense of community with like minded individuals and can also help to keep you motivated to continue the practice. If classes aren't your thing, find a friend that wants to begin a meditative journey of their own and team up to support, encourage, and motivate each other!

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Give it a try outside! Fresh air does the body and mind good. Go to a scenic park, lake, beach, valley, or forest to help clear the mind and refresh the spirit. This will also aid in lessening distractions by being in a neutral environment. 

Drink a cup of tea or some water first to help calm your mind and refresh your energy. You can even smudge yourself and/or your space to help clear the energy and create a healing environment. 

Try meditating when you first wake up in the morning - before you even get out of bed! Your mind may be clearer in the morning thus making it easier for your consciousness to shift into a meditative state. 

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You may see weird things at first like a random banana that floats by or just the color yellow and nothing else - yes this has happened to me lol. You may just see flashes of light. It's okay! Acknowledge it. Yes, it could just be your mind doing it's thing however, it may be your subconscious or Spirit (wink) trying to get a message through to you. I have had some pretty amazing insights and visuals that come through in meditation. Some of my most powerful healing messages from Spirit have come through weird things I've seen or heard in meditation. If this happens for you, be sure to say thank you! It certainly is magical when it happens. 

How do you best get your zen on? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Happy Meditating,

xo Ariel

Appreciation for the Journey on the Road to Awakening | Maven Mindset

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Looking back at your journey thus far, I'm sure you've learned a lot along the way. You may wish you were better prepared before you embarked on this expedition of self-discovery, but you wouldn't trade your unique experience for anything. Here are some things I've learned thus far in my own journey, as well as what I have come to appreciate about the journey of soul and self-discovery, the road of awakening, and the journey of being your most authentic self...

You're learning what is of heartfelt importance to you. You're better at bringing your focus back to the present. To look back and see how far you've come. Don't sweat the small stuff! Let it go. In the grand scheme go things, is it really that big of a deal? Don't stress about all that you have left to do, dream about, and accomplish. You know it will happen when it's meant to, so there is no need to attach to outcomes.

You have an appreciation for the process of letting go. You've gotten better at releasing! YES! Although it is never easy, the more you do it, the better you become at surrendering. You realize that releasing is vital to the health of not only your immortal soul, but also your human body. You can recognize a good release by the way you stand taller, your shoulders relax, your neck muscles aren't as tight. Everything about your energy is just lighter!

You understand the value of slow steady growth. Is a weed that sprouts up over night stronger than a great oak? You take time to stop and smell the flowers. To relish in the experience. To sink-in to the journey. To allow the road, your soul purpose, to become part of the way you walk and talk. You're not in any rush - where is the fun in that? You'd rather savor every moment, every lesson along the way. That way you really learn them- maybe even the first time around! Strong foundations are important to you. You want your knowledge and experience to have a backbone. Something to stand on that speaks all for itself.

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You've learned some warning signs - who and who not to trust. You have become a better judge of character (by getting to know yourself), but not judgmental - you just know who you would like to invite into your energy and who you'd rather keep at a bit of a distance. You know to pick your battles wisely. To not feed into another's negative behavior. To not get wrapped up in other people's drama - remember, not my circus, not my monkeys. You understand the insanely crazy value of setting boundaries and how it is a benefit to not only you, but also to others in your life as well.

You're getting better at that little thing called Self-Talk. You've been working on healing thoughts of a comparing nature. You understand that the grass really isn't always greener on the other side, but you are too busy focusing on pulling your own weeds, sowing seeds, and spreading fertilizer to notice your neighbor's lawn.  You've become better at freeing yourself from self-oppressing thoughts, self-sabotage, and lower vibrational patterns of behavior. You truly know the worth of thinking positively and the power of your own manifestation abilities!

You have a ton of excitement and hope for the future! You can over come anything and you know that now! You see all of the remnants of past challenges behind you - in a cloud of smoke, lying in the dust. You tore threw them like a hurricane (even though it may not have felt that way in the moment).  You are more sure of where you want to go, what you're looking for, and have a better idea of how to get it. You know where to look for opportunities. Understand the value and deep worth of self-expression. You're better able to determine when and when not to take action. You're more daring and ready for new adventures!

What have you learned on your journey of awakening thus far? What lessons are you currently grappling with? I'd love to hear your insights!

xo Ariel

Have your Spirit Guides been trying grab your attention?

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Was that a message from my Spirit Guide? How do I know when my Spirit Guides and Angels are close by? I feel like they may be trying to tell me something but I'm just not sure if it's my imagination or not? If you're unsure as to whether your Spirit Guides are trying to relay a message to you, here are some great tips to help you know when your personal Spirit Guide entourage may be near!

1.  Chills + Shivers

For years I would get the chills and not know why. It could be 90 degrees outside and I can get a case of the shivers. And it's not that I would be cold, or feel cold when I got them - it was just my body reacting to something and I just didn't have a clue what it was! I accepted it as one of my quirks and moved on. However, after many years of my life with this mystery, I discovered that this is in fact a sign from my guides and Spirit! In my experience, when my Spirit Guides or Spirit (departed loved ones on the Other Side) are close, I will get the shivers unexpectedly. Almost like a rush of wind just goes through you. This is when your guides (or Spirit) step into your aura or your energetic field. You are sensing the change in vibration of your energetic field.

2.  Finding Feathers Unexpectedly

Lovely, light, airy, and free. You may walk out of your house one morning and find a feather on your doorstep or on the windshield of your car. Feathers are often a sign from your Spirit Guides or Angels that they are surrounding you. Feathers are a symbol that a message is trying to be relayed to you from your guides. They are often a sign of comfort and a reminder that you are not alone. I always love when I find a feather out of the blue. It  feels like a direct connection, a secret code from my guides, just for me. The color of the feather you find can also be a part of the message! Here are my personal associations for what a particular color feather may be trying to tell you:

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Red Feather - joy, passion, energy, vitality, strength

Blue Feather - calm, self expression, truthfulness

White Feather - peace, love, purity, unity

Gray Feather - it may be time to find clarity in your situation, just ask us for help!

Black Feather - protection, release of worry + fear, magick

Brown Feather - grounding, connecting with Earth, taking care of your physical body

3.  A tickle or feeling of warmth on your skin

For me, this is particularly noticeable on my back or shoulders. It gives off this feeling of protection like my guides are saying "We literally have your back." There's definitely an increased sense of safety and security when I feel my guides around me. Sometimes the feeling of warm, golden energy is lasting. You feel enveloped in warmth and protection. In terms of feeling a tickle on the skin, that can be quite fleeting. By the time you notice it, it may be gone. Your guides are just checking in and saying 'Hey!' I often feel this as briefly as a peck on the cheek or a brush on my shoulder.

4.  Repeating Numbers

Seeing repeating numbers (also known as Angel Numbers) are a very synchronistic way that your Spirit Guides (and Angels!) may communicate with you. If you are seeing the same number pattern over and over, such as 111, 378, 444, 656,  333, 989, 542, 888...etc. there is definitely a message there for you. Look up the meaning of the numbers you keep seeing. For me, it is always a helpful message about my guides being with me, letting me know I may need to change my focus, or giving me loving encouragement on my path when I need it most.

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5.  A name you keep hearing - What's in a name?

Let's say for a moment that every time you go into meditation, you keep hearing a name over and over again. 'Foster...Foster...Foster' Yes, this could be a message from Spirit, but it could also be the name of a Spirit Guide who is trying to work with you! Here's a tip: If you ask your Spirit Guide for their name, go with the first name you get. Then look up the meaning of that name. I always find something extremely profound when I do this. This can also really help you to form a deeper relationship with and understanding of your Spirit Guide.

6.  A recurring symbol in meditation

In meditation, you may keep seeing a recurring symbol, let's say a conch shell for example. It is troubling you because somewhere in your 20 minutes of meditation this symbol keeps popping up meditation, after meditation, after meditation. This is a HUGE sign from your Spirit Guides! The conch shell is a symbol of truth. Is there a situation in your life where honesty and truthfulness is a concern? My most recent recurring symbol was the crystal Amethyst. I would wake up in the morning hearing and seeing this stone over and over again. At first it was maddening until I took the time to connect with my guides and say 'Hey, what's up with this?' Upon further exploration, it made total sense that my guides wanted me to work with this crystal more to help deepen my connection with them. Always look up the symbolic meaning of the sign or gift you receive in your meditation. And if your still unsure, just ask your Spirit Guides for clarification - they may be trying to tell you something that could lead to a big breakthrough!

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7.  You keep feeling nudged in a certain direction and aren't sure why

You keep feeling the nudge to move to a new city, change careers, or ask that person you think is super cute out on a date. You're not sure where this nudge is coming from but yet it keeps pulling and tugging you in a certain direction. Trust this! This is more than likely your guides dropping hints, giving gentle pushes, and whispering in your ear as to which path you should take. It may even lead you closer to your Soul's Purpose and your destiny! Please note, a Spirit Guide is of the highest vibration and will NEVER encourage you to do something that would be harmful to others and that is not for your best and highest good.

*Bonus: That motivational quote was so on point!

I love how our Spirit Guides can lay little bread crumbs on our path such as motivational and inspirational quotes. These are synchronistic happenings that resonate deeply with your soul and what you are going through at the moment you read them. Automatically you know that you were meant to see this. That it was laid in your path just for you. Your Spirit Guides gave you the smallest of inklings to check your Instagram feed or open to a certain page of a book and there it was! This is a sign that your Spirit Guides are around you supporting you and your tribulations, they see and understand what you are going through, even though you may be feeling like you're going it alone.

I hope this has helped you to give you some hints as to when your Spirit Guides are near (which is always) and what they are trying to tell you!

xo Ariel