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I am a semi-skeptic turned spiritual awakening junkie. The Universe plucked me out of a lucrative but miserable corporate job and led me to a bumpy, intense, gut-wrenching and yet oh-so-wonderful journey where I uncovered my true self. Somewhere along the way, "God" showed up, pulled up a scroll with my signature on it and said, "This is what you a...greed to do in that life on that planet," told me to get on with it and spread the Light. Whatever that means. So here I am. Peace out. I mean, namasté. P.S. I am not a teacher or guru nor do I aspire become one. We are all students of life on this school called Earth so I intend to share this journey with fellow students so that we could learn from each other. More

Coming out of the dark: A spiritual journey through depression

depression Coming out of the dark: A spiritual journey through depression

Anyone who has gone through depression—whether their own or someone they know or care about—would know it is such a dark place in which to find yourself to be. Many people suffer from emotional “dips” from time to time and others go through temporary episodes like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or post-partum depression but there are those who have been suffering from it for most of their lives. But whatever is the case, not only is the experience the very description of internal hell, its social stigma as a “mental illness” makes it even worse for those going through it. Being classified as mentally ill is terribly isolating as you are made to think that you are not “normal” and that the only way to sanity-land is by way of medication. My experience tells me different.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of disability worldwide. Time magazine reports that revenue for antidepressants globally is projected to grow to nearly $17 billion by 2020. Briefly, I was part of that 300 million depressed population but I am happy to say that I’ve stopped contributing to that growing anti-depressant revenue.

Twenty years ago, I went through major changes in my life. My marriage fell apart, which took me away from my only child. Needless to say, it was one of the most tumultuous times in my life. Sometime after, a new relationship led me to an entirely different destination than I had originally planned, to a country whose language I didn’t speak.

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Be your SELF not your selfie: The reality about our story on social media

taking-a-selfie-picture-id898834578 Be your SELF not your selfie: The reality about our story on social media

How many of you have taken a selfie? If you have, raise your hand. Okay, I can’t really see you raising your hand but I’m pretty sure most people had taken many selfies. In fact, in the past I took many selfies even before they were called selfies using my camera’s self-timer (yeah millennials, go ahead and laugh), all because of Facebook. That was around 2007 before it exploded to having more than 2 billion daily users. It was back on the day when updating your status was still done in the third person and the newsfeed was called the Wall. These days, even my 68-year old mother takes selfies to post on Facebook. So yeah, we all have done it.

 All these years, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with social media. I’ve deactivated my accounts many times in the past and stayed offline for years. The superficiality of it all really bugged me. I am the type of person who would rather have a handful of close friends instead of a big circle. But the person who introduced me to Facebook is the type of person who “collects” friends because, as she puts it, “You’ll never know when you need them.”

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Don’t stand in the way of your own destiny

its-a-new-day-picture-id637227660 Don’t stand in the way of your own destiny

The only one preventing your life from changing is you

So, what are you actually waiting for? A big break? A miracle? A windfall? Your family’s emotional support? Or perhaps you have some other excuse you haven’t quite formulated yet. Whatever you think those obstacles are, if they are outside of you—people, things or events that you imagine are stopping you from stepping on to your path of purpose and authenticity—you can turn things around because everything that you need for your life to change starts with you.

Sometimes, we want to change our life and live our true purpose but cannot understand why we’re not moving forward. Often, the reasons that stop us are not the external factors that we think stand in our way. We fail to see that the biggest obstacle is us. So, the most important thing that we need to do is to look inward and examine the things that, consciously or unconsciously, hold us back and imprison us within the imaginary walls we created.

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When tears start to fall: Why crying is necessary for emotional healing

tears When tears start to fall: Why crying is necessary for emotional healing

For many people—especially men—crying creates an effect the way garlic has on vampires. It repels people. Some people don’t know what to do and don’t know how to react around someone in tears. It’s considered a weakness, and in some situations like the office, a taboo. While there are inarguable reasons as to why, when and where crying is appropriate, crying—in healthy doses—is actually a cathartic process that is not only healing, but also builds resilience and strength.

I’m a cry baby. There, I admit it, although I wouldn’t call myself such. Ever since I was a little girl, the people around me called me weak-hearted because of it. I would cry out of joy, sadness, grief, anger, fear, pain, and frustration. I would cry if I felt lost or vulnerable. I would cry over tear jerking scenes on television or the movies. Hard as a I try, I do not seem to have an off switch like many people. The waterworks would just come and I have no control over it and I had always wondered why.

I wanted for it to change. I wanted for me to have control over it. I still do. So I kept searching for the answers. It was not until the recent past that I found it. I learned that not only am I a highly sensitive person (HSP), I am also empathic. Judith Orloff, M.D. on Psychology Today defines an HSP as someone who has “a low threshold for stimulation; the need for alone time; sensitivity to light, sound, and smell; and an aversion to large groups. It also takes highly sensitive people longer to wind down after a busy day, since their ability to transition from high stimulation to being quiet is slower.”

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Don’t carpe diem: A closer look at Glennon Doyle’s take on seizing the day

pretty-woman-skydiver-picture-id955145466 Don’t carpe diem

Ah, carpe diem. How many times have you heard this phrase? But have you really paid attention to what it means? It was made popular by the movie Dead Poets Society in 1990 but when I read the blog post Don’t Carpe Diem, I asked myself, “Why not? Isn’t ‘to carpe diem’ a good thing?”

Glennon Doyle is my hero. I never heard of her until I read her book, Love Warrior. I fell in love with this woman who, in my eyes, had the heart of a lion, opening herself up to the world with her real-life vulnerabilities. That is real courage to me. Her life inspired me to get real with my own fears and reservations and embrace my true self. How could I not? There’s this woman who went through alcohol and drug addiction and bulimia and she was not the slightest embarrassed to talk about it. No shame concealed her words and that is both respectable and admirable. My own life experiences are nothing compared to hers but I’ve carefully and desperately covered up my battle scars my whole life and so I finally asked myself, “Why is it so hard for me to show my wounds when they are the very things that made me who I am today?” I am stronger today than yesterday because I stared suffering down many times in the past allowing it to decide that I have become strong enough for it to leave.

One of Glennon’s most—if not the most—popular entries from her Momastery blog is Don’t carpe diem, which garnered over one million views and had been reposted and shared online countless of times. She talked about how she resented people’s well-meaning but unsolicited advice to enjoy the precious moments with her children while she struggled to “carpe fifteen minutes in a row.” And she’s got a point. You can’t really carpe diem when you’re struggling to get past the challenging moments because its very definition, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the ‘enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future.’ How would you feel if the dentist pulling your tooth without anesthesia tells you to carpe diem?

But here’s the disconnect: Carpe diem is derived from the Latin phrase Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero, which means pluck (or seize) the day trusting as little as possible in the future. And Merriam-Webster defines seize the day as: to do the things one wants to do when there is the chance instead of waiting for a later time. Clearly, the modern definition for carpe diem veered away from its true meaning. Here’s why:

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The life we have planned vs. the life we are meant to live

success-846055_1920 The life we have planned vs. the life we are meant to live

We live in a society where life follows a certain pattern that has us chasing after success defined by fame and fortune and all the “perks” that come with it. We are made to believe that this is the key to happiness and feeling fulfilled. But if that is really the case, why are there so many successful people who are still unhappy, get depressed, or worse, end up taking their own lives? Doesn’t this make you wonder, “Is that really the kind of life that we’re meant to live?”

My whole life, I tried very hard to follow the template that society made for many of us—get a degree, get a job, build a career, get married, start a family. I tried to stay on the mainstream—color within the lines—but “failed” in some cases. These “failures” are the areas in my life that get the sometimes-quizzical- sometimes-pitying-but-most-of-the-time-judgmental look from others.

I sat in a taxi once where the driver spent the whole ride lecturing me when my reply to his question, “Do you have kids?” was “No.” For almost an hour, he made it clear to me why deciding not to have kids is wrong. “You have to have kids. It’s the right thing to do.” The truth—which I was not about to share with this middle-aged man driving me home—is that I did choose to have a child once in my life. But life didn’t turn out the way I planned. Her father and I split up and went on our separate ways thousands of miles from each other. I made the painful decision that she will have a better life with him than me. For that, I got criticized, judged, and condemned. People threw stones at me until I was bloody and almost lifeless. And the meanest, cruelest of them all was me. And yet there I was at the back of a cab with a total stranger telling me why I should have kids. Preach.

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When things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place

puzzle When things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place

Often, when things in our life seem to go wrong, we feel as if it's the end of the world because we can't see further than what's right in front of us. It is only when we look back, after we've survived the storm, that we realize that those "broken" parts are actually pieces that make up the beautiful picture that is our destiny.

Five years ago, I lost my job. No, I did not quit, I was made redundant (which is just a pretty word for 'fired') from a job for which I worked so hard it almost broke me. Immediately, I tried to get back on the racehorse, so to speak, but in all the job interviews that I've had, I would always land at the top two and not get it in the end. In fact, there was one time that I was the only one left standing and still did not land that elusive employment contract. Going through rejection after rejection, my ego was hurt by others' blatant disregard of my self-worth and value. But it was not so much the losing the job that I mourned but the career I built; and interestingly enough, when I managed to turn off my churning mind and listen to my heart instead for reasons I could not understand then I felt a little flutter of something I could only describe as joy.

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