One of the most common questions and inquiries I have received recently deals with “meditation” and how to include it in one’s routine. Many people want to include more meditation into their routine but have a tough time making it a regular habit.
I have some thoughts…
Let me share some of my thoughts about meditation, how to consistently include more meditation into your schedule, and even debunk some of the myths about it.
First off, meditation does NOT have to be some esoteric, “airy-fairy” exercise where you sit for 30-minutes cross-legged chanting “Ummmmm.” While there is nothing wrong with that and I know many people who practice everything from transcendental meditation and Zazen to mindfulness meditation and prayer.
The bottom line is that taking time “out” to go “in” is extremely beneficial.
To me, meditation is simply quieting the mind and using a specific time period to "Get Your Mind & Spirit Right." Whereas I used to think it had to be a real formal activity, I believe it's most important to set up the discipline to "meditate" regularly. That can be for 30-seconds. 3-minutes. 5-minutes. 15-minutes. Or an hour.
As a matter of fact, many people have even asked me the difference between meditation & prayer. While they are closely interrelated, my definition is that:
“Meditation is listening to God. Prayer is talking to God.”
They are very closely related, and I look at prayer as a form of meditation.
Personally, besides prayer, I actually meditate in a few different ways during the week. Here are my Top 3 Ways:
1. Go on a daily walk for at least 10-minutes. It doesn't matter if it's in the early morning, lunchtime, or after dinner. I'd like for you to start that habit immediately if you are not consistently doing that.
2. Get 2 minutes of quiet time, 5x this week. This is just where you sit or lay in complete silence. You can count your blessings. Pray. Or just be mindless. Try it. Morning or evening. Or both!
3. Journal. Get out a notebook & pen. After sitting in silence for 2-minutes, you can write down your thoughts for 5-minutes or so. Here are a few prompts:
What you are most grateful for…
Who you are most grateful for…
What are the whispers you are hearing…
Who can you pour into today…
What is one thing you must do today personally or professionally to “win the day
Thanks for what you do and who you are. Let’s be a LIGHT today and shine this week. The world sure needs YOU at your BEST.
Much love, lots of light…and even some meditation & prayer.
NATIONAL GRATITUDE MONTH – November
Gratitude is more than simply saying “thank you.” Gratitude’s amazing powers have the ability to shift us from focusing on the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives. Practicing daily gratitude gives us a deeper connection to ourselves, the world around us and to our Creator.
Everything in our lives has the ability to improve when we are grateful. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress and drastically improve our overall level of health and wellbeing. On average, grateful people tend to have fewer stress-related illnesses and experience less depression and lowered blood pressure, they are more physically fit, they are happier, have a higher income, more satisfying personal and professional relationships and will be better liked. Grateful kids are even more likely to get A’s in school.
This is our Thankful Tree! Please share with us a thankful thought!
If everyone practiced daily gratitude, we could change ourselves and the planet for the better. Everyone would be much happier. Love would grow and hate would decrease. And the world would know true peace.
Time for a little Thanksgiving Foodie Friday at Karina Cross Fitness.
I’m back to highlighting a great recipe I found on the Tasty as Fit website. This Thanksgiving Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe will not disappoint. It is packed with flavor, nutrients, veggies, and protein. It’s a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving spread or it can be enjoyed on any cool November evening. Also, this dish is a perfect way to take advantage of in-season fresh, whole food. I hope you enjoy.
Thanksgiving Stuffed Acorn Squash
VEGGIE QUINOA SAUTE
2 cups cooked quinoa (prepared ahead of time) 1 Tbsp avocado, coconut oil, or olive oil 1 small red onion, (about 1 cup chopped onion ) 1 small red apple, chopped (peel on) 1 tsp sage 2 tsp fresh thyme ½ tsp cinnamon 2 cloves garlic 3 cups shiitake mushrooms 1 cup chickpeas or lentils 3 cups loosely packed chopped kale 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans 1/2 - 1 tsp sea salt ( preference) few shakes pepper
SQUASH PREP 2 acorn squash ( or butternut squash) , sliced lengthwise 2 Tbsp avocado or melted coconut oil ( divided) 1 tbsp maple syrup (divided) 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional) pinch sea salt FOR TOPPING 1 cup pomegranate seeds ( divided amongst each half) Drizzle of Maple Tahini Dressing
D i r e c t i o n s
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and set out a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease a baking dish. In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, prepare quinoa according to package instruction. You need 2 cups cooked quinoa for this recipe. Halve the squash lengthwise (tip and stem) and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Brush face with olive oil, maple syrup ( use 1 tbsp to divide amongst each squash half), sprinkle cinnamon and sea salt. Place cut-side down on your lined baking sheet or baking dish. Bake squash for 20 minutes, then flip the squash over to cut-side up. Bake for another 35-40 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the squash in the thickest parts. While baking, prepare your Maple Tahini Dressing and set aside. Now to prepare your veggies – add your oil in you saute pan over medium heat. Add your shallots and chopped apples and saute about 5 minutes. Next, add your seasonings ( thyme , sage, and cinnamon) and garlic and saute about 30 seconds. Now add your shitake mushrooms, chickpeas, and saute until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add your cooled quinoa and continue to saute a few minutes more ( I like to saute until my quinoa gets crispy.) Now add your kale and pecans and saute until kale is just wilted. Add Salt and pepper and stir. Taste and adjust salt. When ready to serve top scoop mix into each acorn squash. Top each squash with pomegranate seeds and drizzle with maple tahini dressing!
MAPLE TAHINI DRESSIN 1/2 cup runny tahini 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey) 1/2 tsp sea salt (water to thin - see directions)
Add your runny tahini and maple syrup into a bowl. Whisk together. Add your lemon juice and whisk. Your tahini will start to seize up – so start by adding 1/3 cup cold water and vigorously whisk in. Keep adding 1 tbsp water until you reach the thinness you want. Taste and adjust.
In the Studio --
Christmas Shoes Angel Tree.
Christmas Shoes Ministry was founded in Greer, SC in 1996. They provide over 2200 shoes annually.
Christmas Shoes Children are handpicked from our community by school counselors, social workers, children's organizations, Greenville and Pickens County Homeless children liason and the Christmas Shoes team. Their ages range from newborn to 18 years old. All the children are at or below poverty level. Some live in foster care. A large number are considered homeless.
All the organizations & schools they support can be found on their website. We encourage you to take a look!
How can you help?
Come by the studio and you can pick a child's name off the tree to sponsor.
Contact Christmas Shoes for more ways to help
Cheryl Carpenter: 864-982-7649 & Tonja Faulkenberry: 864-608-1612