Make Meditation a Part of Your Daily Routine

By: Olivia 
So, since the last time I posted about mindfulness, all you faithful readers out there have been relentlessly practicing mindfulness and meditation regularly…right? Right. Well what can I say? I haven’t exactly been able to build mindfulness or meditation into my everyday life either. That’s why I decided to build meditation into my daily routine and make it a habit. 

Today I will be applying the advice from the 99u’s article by Greogory Ciotti 5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick to meditation and suggesting specific ways that you can make meditation a part of your everyday. 

#1 Think big. Do little. 

Facing a big challenge can be intimidating. Instead of charging head on into oncoming goals that you’ve set, try breaking up the big goal into small bite-sized pieces. For a big goal like: Be a Mindfulness Guru, small steps might look like: 

Day 1: read Olivia’s article about how to make meditation a habit

Day 2: Set up a relaxing space in my home where I can meditate

Day 3: Meditate for 5 minutes

….etc…

#2 Build it into your regular routine. 

There is no reason to re-invent the wheel. If you already have a daily routine, just add a 5 minute meditation to the end of it. Maybe you get up early and do some exercise before you go to work…do 5 minutes of mediations after you exercise. Maybe you read your kids a bedtime story every night…do 5 minutes of meditation after you read to your kids. What if you don’t have a daily routine? I assume you brush your teeth every day. Meditate after you brush your teeth.

#3 Delete decisions. 

The more options we have, the more difficult it is to make a decision. This can be built in to step #2. Instead of deciding during what part of your day you should meditate, build it into your already existing routine. This eliminates a lot of the stress of decision making. 

#4 Focus on why you’re doing this.

Instead of thinking to yourself “I brushed my teeth. Now I have to do that stupid meditation thing because I do it every day” try instead thinking “I brushed my teeth. Now I have to do that stupid meditation thing because I am committed to decreasing my stress levels and living more in the present moment”. By adding meaning to the activity you make it harder to guiltlessly skip a task you may find monotonous. 

#5 Just because you messed up doesn’t mean you stop. 

If you slip up and decide to throw meditation down the drain (probably with your toothpaste) for the day, get back to it tomorrow! Getting back on track and persevering is more important than being perfect. Try to find out WHY you skipped meditation that day. Was it because you tied meditation to your evening routine and you always fall asleep halfway through your meditation? Then maybe change your strategy and meditate during your morning routine. Examining exactly what happened and how you can change the outcomes for next time is one of the most important steps to succeeding in your endeavors.

From now until next time, happy meditating! 

You can read the full 99u article here: 

http://99u.com/articles/17123/5-scientific-ways-to-build-habits-that-stick 

Iggy Azalea: Philosophical?

By: Marissa

While Iggy Azalea has faced her fair share of backlash for being a woman in the rap industry, I have always viewed her as just what she is, whether others choose to agree or not: an artist. Now, I don’t know if it was because I was very tired or really felt something, but I really resonated with the beginning line in one of her songs, Work.

“Walked a mile in these Louis Vuittons”

After a full year of rigorous attention to detail and analyzing difficult concepts in religious books, I have been able to find things that other people don’t. While this line may be simple, just a hardworking girl showing off her success, I personally find that to be empowering.

Let’s look at Iggy’s backstory. Amethyst Amelia Kelly, known professionally as Iggy Azalea, was born and raised in Australia. At a young age, which she outlines in most of her songs, she worked extremely hard to be able to leave Australia at 16, to come to America in pursuit of a career in hip-hop. Low and behold, she made it. While she, to some, exhumes the persona of just another rapper conforming to what the world wants to hear, just like anyone else, she has a history. A hard working one nonetheless. Through all that hard work, she has made it to a point in her life where she has achieved things some have only dreamed of. Twerking and all. However, I think we all have something to learn from Iggy: whether you like it or not.

A lot of people now a days are scared of hard work. I know a lot of people that have goals, dreams in fact, that have shaped their entire life and what they want out of life. But, they don’t want to put in the work to get there. Scared of failure. Scared of the unknown. It’s all out of fear that people don’t do the things they dream of. I fall privy to this too; I know I am not perfect. I have this crazy dream of going to graduate school, or another odd dream of becoming a professional bodybuilder. Sometimes I don’t focus on these dreams because I am too scared of the failure that could come.

Will Smith did a motivational talk on fear and how it affects our lives. My favorite line from the talk was when he said, “God placed the best things in life on the otherside of terror.” I cannot express how true this is, much less how important it is to take that concept and live by it. I am sure Iggy had her doubts. I am sure anyone who aspires to do anything great in their life, has doubts. Hell, I have doubts too. But nothing can beat those doubts like actually putting in the work, KNOWING that you are working hard, and then achieving your goals.

Sometimes, things don’t work out. As I said before, Iggy got her share of backlash from many people for doing what she does. But because of all that hard work, dedication, and unwillingness to settle for less than what she wanted, she is where she is now. You can also apply this to any musician, any actor, anyone higher up on the “food-chain.” Just know, they put in the work… and so can you.

So Work hard, and be Fancy