Just before I went on hiatus, one of my readers sent me a link to an article about 50 successful people who credit meditation as one of the keys to their success. The article categorizes these celebrities into categories based on their expertise, and there are some pretty amazing people on the list!
While many around the world have long known of the benefits of meditation, Western medical science has just recently begun to take note of the short- and long-term effects meditation can have on the body and mind. The practice has been shown to not only help individuals to relax and de-stress, but also to improve concentration, expand understanding, and to actually create sustained changes in the brain itself.
While meditation has grown in popularity in recent years, many of the most successful people in everything from business to writing have been using it for years to expand their minds and find clarity. Some even credit it with helping them to achieve their goals and to advance their careers. Here are just a few big names in literature, acting, business, politics, and music who’ve used meditation to improve their lives and their work, who may just inspire you to take up meditation yourself.
Read the article, and the list here and have an excellent weekend!
*UPDATE: I’ve been asked to remove the link. Sorry everyone!
Hecate is the patron Goddess of my church – The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada. I never felt called to work with her, until I went to visit the Mother Church (aka The Tab) in Washington last June. Then, it was like she tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You’re finally here. Good. Follow me.”
And when a Goddess taps you on the shoulder like that, it is usually a good time to give her your attention.
I’m working on a meditation featuring her right now. I had actually written one several years ago, but my computer ate it. I only had the very beginning – no real journey, no closure. I guess She didn’t like it. So I’m starting over. Only, I’m having a hard time getting started. I think I have added one paragraph in the last 24 hours. Which is why I am writing about it, and Her, here – to get the inspiration flowing.
When I was at The Tab, I read a poem to Hecate that really touched my imagination and inspired me. Perhaps re-typing it now will help inspire me with the meditation.
Daily Prayer for Guidance
Blessed Goddess Hekate
Please continue to show me the path I am meant to walk
And alert me to choices open to me along the way,
So that I may fulfill my own chosen destiny
And make the most of the skills and talents I’ve been given.
Please continue to guide me,
Through symbols and dreams,
Intuition and synchronicity,
And keep me safe and strong,
Healthy and inspired
So that I may follow you, serve you,
And learn whatever you would teach me.
Please keep me under your watchful eye,
And your divine protection,
Lighting my way with your torches
Surrounding me with a shield of light,
That I may walk with confidence,
Knowing that you guide me and guard me,
Now and always.
I’ve been thinking lately about how much work it takes to become an “overnight” success. We hear success stories all the time – like Susan Boyle, the woman who sang on Britain’s Got Talent and overnight became a YouTube Star. It’s everyone’s dream – an woman takes a courageous step and sings on a television show, and it turns out she has a voice like an angel. She is suddenly discovered, and lives happily ever after.
It’s something I sometimes dream about – some publisher will see my writing and ask me to write a book, or some audio book producer will hear my guided meditations and ask me to record a book. Or that ten people will suddenly ask me to be their coach and offer to pay me really well.
And I also know that most of the time, the world doesn’t work that way. The authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books were rejected by over 140 publishers before finally finding one that would take a chance on them. Thomas Edison failed thousands of times to create a working incandescent bulb before finally achieving that goal.
What do these successful people have in common? They kept going. They didn’t let their challenges stop them. They know what needs to be done, and they do it.
And most of us know what we need to do to be successful at whatever our chosen dream is. We just choose not to do it. Why is that?
Because we get discouraged. It’s not very satisfying to work at something day after day and see very little, if any, results, much less financial reward. We’d rather have instant gratification. Or we convince ourselves that we didn’t really want it in the first place, and we let our dream die.
It takes persistence and perseverance to achieve your goals. I’ve been writing at least one blog post a week for almost three years. And only now after my crazy blog challenge are my website hits over 100 per day – most of the time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate directly into people buying my guided meditations or signing up for coaching.
And yet I have a dream that one day I will earn my living through my spiritual work – through coaching, selling guided meditations and one day books. So I keep at it. I keep writing to keep that vision there in front of me.
What is your dream? Is it alive and vivid for you? Or is it gasping and close to death?
Take some time today and dream a little. Think about what your life would be like if you achieved that dream. How would you feel? Then figure out one thing you could do today to move you closer to that dream. It doesn’t have to be big. Just a little step to get you back into action to reach your goal.
Remember, there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic timelines.
I’ve been off work for almost seven weeks now, and it has flown by. I’ve done a lot this summer – I’ve started this blog and video challenge, and I’m about half way through. I’ve recorded videos and recorded meditations, written one course and come up with a concept for another course I plan to teach. I’ve gone to the beach, and spent time with my children, and had surgery. I’ve attended Pagan Pride celebrations in two different cities. I went whale watching!
There are also a lot of things I didn’t do this summer. Things I had hoped to accomplish, and for whatever reason, just did not get to. There are meditations and courses I wanted to write, and meditations I wanted to record. I had planned to do yoga, and travel a bit more. Even though there is still a lot I would like to do and experience, summer vacation is almost over. The children go back to school and I go back to work next week.
I am so grateful for the abundance of time that I had this summer. I have had a taste of time freedom, the freedom to choose what I do with my time. One of my major goals ever since I began this website has been to earn enough from my coaching and guided meditations to have time freedom. It takes a lot of effort and learning to be successful, and to be honest, I am still learning how to market myself. I’m still discovering what my message is and how to share it with the world.
That little taste has definitely left me wanting more! Though there were days I felt I didn’t achieve much, I learned that I have the discipline to put energy into and work at my business every day. I was finding my balance between work and play, filling my cup to spill over to others, planning ahead and taking advantage of opportunities that arose in the moment.
I could bemoan how challenging it is going to be to go back to working for someone else, to trading my time for money. Instead I am going to treasure the memory of this summer, and hold it as an example of what I am working towards. And I think I need to add the words “TIME FREEDOM” to the vision board hanging above my desk. I may not be there yet, but I am well on my way!
What is one of your big goals, and what are you doing to realize it?
Oh, I’m being eaten
By a boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don’t like it–one bit.
Well, what do you know?
It’s nibblin’ my toe.
It’s up to my knee.
It’s up to my thigh.
It’s up to my middle.
It’s up to my neck.
It’s upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff . . .
Have you ever had an idea for a project that has completely consumed you? I imagine it is kind of like being eaten by a boa constrictor.
I had an idea for a creative project about a month ago and now it’s taken over my life (at least for the last few days). We have an old, portable table that we use for our rituals. The top is a round piece of press board, and there are four legs that screw in to the bottom. Simple, portable, and ugly! We use a cloth to cover it, so most of the time you don’t see how ugly and stained the press board is.
Being press board, it is starting to flake away around the edges. So I started thinking about ways to hold it together a little longer. I have some pour on sealant, and I think that will definitely keep it from falling apart for a while.
Of course, I don’t want to just put the sealant right on the press board. I mean, it’s really ugly! So then I started thinking about what I could paint on it before I seal it that would be prettier than the stained press board.
I love Celtic knots. For a while, I was sewing them on everything. That was when I wasn’t working full time, though. A Celtic knot is a natural thing for me to pain on it. The design and the colors started coming to me. I didn’t have a suitable color of paint for the background in a large enough amount – I’d have to buy that. But I should have all the other colors I want to use…
And then there was that pesky thing that ate up much of my time – work. 🙂 This would have to be a project for when I was off work for the summer. As long as I was busy with work, I could (mostly) fend off the boa constrictor. I still bought the paint for the base coat and painted several coats one weekend while I was still working.
So here I am with lots of time on my hands, and the creativity has begun! I have spent the last few days measuring and drawing out the design. Yesterday especially was spent drawing. I stayed up quite late last night beginning to paint. I’m eager to get back at it this morning, too!
Yes, I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor. It won’t let me go until I’ve finished this project. I have at least two guided meditations to put up for you, and they are going to have to wait until the boa constrictor is done with me.
While you’re waiting, would you help me out? I’m curious to know about pricing for the meditations. Please vote in the poll below and let me know what you think!
I recently enrolled in a 90-day intensive coaching program to take my business to the next level (i.e. not just a hobby). One of my mentors shared this with us this week, and it really struck a chord for me.
RUN TO THE FEAR…IT’S WHAT IS VALUABLE!
The things we fear are probably feared by others, and when we avoid them, we’re doing what others are doing as well.
Which is why there’s a scarcity of whatever work it is we’re avoiding.
And of course, scarcity often creates value.
The shortcut is simple: if you’re afraid of something, of putting yourself out there, of creating a kind of connection or a promise, that’s a clue that you’re on the right track. Go, do that.
Garrett J White
That quote, in combination with exploring my story, the turning points in my life, and my message, really got me thinking. A lot of my story – what brought me to this point in my life, this website, the meditations and the spiritual coaching – revolves around my spirituality.
And yet, I’ve been dancing around that spirituality without being clear about it for almost three years. I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid of not being liked. I was afraid of scaring off potential clients.
This week I realized that my fear has kept me small, and it has made my message murky. I haven’t been completely authentic or in alignment with myself on Walks Within. It even kept me from sharing a huge accomplishment a couple of months ago. That changes today.
If you haven’t guessed it from some of my postings, I am Pagan. In fact, I am a High Priestess with the Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada, a legally recognized Wiccan Church. I have a congregation of people that I serve and teach on a regular basis.
The words “Wiccan” and “Pagan” have some negative connotations, and those negative connotations are part of what has driven my fear. It may even bring up some fear for you. Here is what being a Wiccan means to me:
I honor both the feminine and masculine aspects of the Divine
I honor the Divine in everyone
I honor the Divine in the natural world all around me
I honor the Truth in all forms of spirituality
I honor each individual’s path to the Divine
I take responsibility for my actions and everything that happens to me
That’s the basics for me. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my story with you. I want to thank you for being part of my journey, and continuing to learn and grow with me.
I want to thank those of you who were on the Grounding call I held last week. It was a huge learning curve for me, and I was really nervous about it. You helped me feel comfortable and at ease. Thank you.
photo by See-ming lee
I also want to apologize to those of you who tried to get on the call and couldn’t due to technical challenges. Now I know I will need to use a different service. I’ll be experimenting with some in the near future. Thank you for helping me discover the kinks in the system I was using!
I’m starting a course with some other coaches, led by an amazing coach and friend of mine to step up my volume – my action in my business. I am planning to crank out a lot of meditations over the summer, when I have some time off from work. I am also planning to create a group coaching series for some of you who may want to “test the waters” and see how life coaching can benefit you.
There. I said it. It’s in writing. Now I have to do it! 🙂
And I think it is also time to choose a new Goddess to work with. I’d like to choose a “lighter” Goddess. Please vote in the poll below!
PS. I’m raising money to help a friend take some training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). She plans to offer it in conjunction with her counseling in public mental health to those who would not otherwise be able to afford this very effective trauma treatment.
From now until July 8th, every guided meditation I sell will go 100% to help Jamie Sumner raise the funds she needs for the training. Thanks for your assistance!
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – April 5, 2011– Meditation produces powerful pain-relieving effects in the brain, according to new research published in the April 6 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience.
“This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation,” said Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., lead author of the study and post-doctoral research fellow at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
“We found a big effect – about a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness. Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25 percent.”