A few weeks ago I heard a quote that stopped me in my tracks. In an interview with photographer and writer Teju Cole, he said, “If we are all so woke, why are things so terrible?”

I’ve been turning this over in my head for weeks now, and ultimately, I’ve pulled it out of the larger context in which he offered these words to reflect on them in the smaller space of our individual lives.

You see, most of us have an innate tendency to view life as if it is a problem that we must fix. “If I can line up all these things just so… THEN I’ll be happy!”

And, inevitably, when things do go wrong we take it as a sign that we are failing in some way. Hello, shame! Great to see you again… The feeling of shame triggers our coping mechanisms, whatever they are, and often that reinforces the belief that life is a problem needing to be fixed. You see the cycle here?

In today’s episode of The Mindful Minute, I share three key steps we learn within our meditation practice to help negate that negative view of life. Rather than viewing life as a problem, what if we simply laughed more?

***Did you know I have a FREE Meditation Starter Kit on my website merylarnett.com? It is full of my favorite tips, stories and ideas for starting and maintaining a daily meditation practice. Grab your copy today!***

#meditatewithmeryl

In this month’s meditation series, we are exploring “How to Grow” – either externally as in a job promotion, growing a family, etc. – or internally, as in your personal growth as a being on this planet…

We started last week {see previous episode} with the idea that stillness might just be the missing key to growth. Rather than thinking of growth as a constant doing or a constant motion, what if we use stillness as an act of gathering our “less visible resources” {Pico Iyer} to propel us forward wisely?

From this place of stillness, now we must SAVOR… As a meditation teacher, I often give the instruction to “savor the breath” and this instruction comes from a very real place. I can clearly remember the moment I FINALLY understood the instruction “feel your breath”… For ages it seemed, I was trying to meditate, trying to “focus on my breath” and really what I was doing was talking to myself about the breath “does it feel cool or warm today?” “wow, my breath feels really shallow today…” etc.

And, then one day I kinda gave up. I mentally threw my hands up, slumped back in my chair and just stopped trying. It was then, clear as day, I suddenly felt the luxury of the breath as it moved in my nose. There were no words to say. There was nothing to understand. I just felt.

When you look up “savor” in the dictionary, it says, “to taste and enjoy completely” and this is exactly what we do with our breath in meditation. We experience the breath and enjoy it completely.

What does this have to do with growth? More than you might think! Tune into today’s episode of The Mindful Minute to explore the art of savoring along with a 20-minute meditation practice.

***Did you know I have a FREE Meditation Starter Kit on my website merylarnett.com? It is full of my favorite tips, stories and ideas for starting and maintaining a daily meditation practice. Grab your copy today!***

#meditatewithmeryl

Grow is the word I chose for my 2019 intention, and as I started working with this word, what arrived was to rest more, savor more and laugh more. Not items I would typically associate with growth, but as I explore these individual ideas, the ways they support growth became evident quickly.

In today’s episode, we explore REST – not sleep rest and not chilling-on-the-couch rest, but the deep rest that comes from getting still.

As she describes the sacredness of the ordinary, author Deborah Adele says, “I have found that when the sense of wonder leaves me, when everything becomes dull and ordinary, it is because I have kept too fast a pace for too long. I have pushed past my own boundaries and now I am out of balance. It is time to rest.”

Let’s start this month’s meditation practice with the concept of rest and reclaiming our boundaries and our balance. Join me for today’s talk and 20-minute meditation practice. Then, let me know the ways in which you rest {@merylarnett}.

**In this class as well as a few upcoming classes, you will here some student-teachers co-teaching with me <3 So proud of these students for deepening their practice and taking this next step. The sound quality is a touch off for this first one. I'll be sure to manage better for the next one 🙂 ** ***Did you know I have a FREE Meditation Starter Kit on my website merylarnett.com? It is full of my favorite tips, stories and ideas for starting and maintaining a daily meditation practice. Grab your copy today!*** #meditatewithmeryl

In today’s practice, I am sharing a bit of my own personal practice of self-compassion as a final wrap-up to our month of being At Home In The Heart. The work of self-compassion is integral to our practice of mindfulness and hugely important for the difficult moments –

The feelings of failure, fear or vulnerability rise up time and again throughout our lives, and self-compassion is one of the tools to help us move through these moments with more ease.

We will be guided by the words of Mark Nepo, “Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world, but to unglue ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold, and the car handle feels wet, and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”

This work is an intentional softening of the armor around our hearts and a tenderness sent towards all our thoughts and feelings. Join me today for this brief talk and 20-minute guided meditation. Let’s make self-compassion part of our day today <3 *** Did you know I have a FREE meditation starter kit on my website? It is full of my best tips, explanations and stories to get you meditating TODAY! merylarnett.com to download #meditatewithmeryl Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

This month, our meditation series has worked on arriving home in the heart. Week one, we focused on the simplicity of claiming our hearts as a rightful home. Not just for yoga gurus and earthy-hippie types, all of us intrinsically know our hearts as home. How easily we forget though…

Then, we talked about the discipline of staying once we make the bold declaration to claim our hearts as home. We have to stay even when things get vulnerable and uncomfortable. For it is only in staying that we can truly know the comfort, safety and joy of home.

In this last piece, we will look at renunciation, but not in the ways you might think! Traditionally, part of the meditation practice was to give up all distractions and non-essential activities so focus could remain solely on meditation. As we practice being at home in the heart, our renunciation looks a little different. We must invoke Marie Kondo within our practice!

Marie Kondo, an organizational expert, is known for her credo to only keep things that “spark joy” and for everything else, thank it and release it. My invitation today is to do this for all that we store in our hearts – the stories, beliefs and memories – if it sparks joy, keep it! If it doesn’t, thank that piece of yourself and release it. Uncluttering our hearts so we can be clearer and more connected with ourselves <3 PS. Did you know I have a FREE meditation guide on my website? It is a must-have for starting a home meditation practice! Grab it via merylarnett.com #meditatewithmeryl Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

“Attention without feeling is merely a report.” ~Mary Olivier

In part 1 of this series, we talked about the value and simplicity of claiming our hearts as home. We are doing the work of reclaiming our bodies, our feelings and our intuition as necessary tools for a fully lived life.

And, now, now that we have claimed it, we must have the discipline to stay. There is real value to staying when things get uncomfortable. If we constantly leave – if we run away or ignore or pretend – then we never learn of our own strength and resilience.

In today’s episode of The Mindful Minute we discuss discipline as a key tool to arriving home in the heart. Join me for today’s talk + practice, and then jump on Instagram {@merylarnett} and tell me about your experience with staying when things get uncomfortable…

#meditatewithmeryl
Photo by Mike Marquez on Unsplash

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