How Often Should You Meditate?

How Often Should You Meditate?
The simple answer is, as often as you can make time for it.  
 
Ideally, with mantra-based meditation, it is often recommended that you meditate for 20 minutes twice a day. 
 
Here’s the thing.  At the beginning, when you are just learning to make time for yourself and are trying to make space to squeeze meditating into your day, ANY time that you can get to sit in quiet is the perfect amount of time. 
 
The goal is simply to start making time for it.  It is like exercising.  It’s pretty hard to make the time for it until you start seeing the results and feeling the benefits.  Once you have a routine and notice a payoff, you make the time.  It then gets easier and easier and suddenly you can’t go without or you miss it.
 
So, what is the payoff to meditating?  

Well, the #1 payoff is that it reduces stress and increases feelings of relaxation and peace, but in addition to that, it helps you to relax your body, helps you connect to yourself, gives you mental clarity, helps with your focus,  lowered blood pressure, decreased inflammation in the body, helps relationships, better sleep and so much more!  
 
It really is the simplest way to set a strong foundation for physical and mental health.
 
I’m at the point in my practice now where I crave it.  If I’m feeling a little off, cranky, foggy brained, disconnected or tired, I just give myself the time to mediate for 20 minutes because I know it will increase my mood and productivity dramatically if I do.  

If you can incorporate 20 minutes twice a day, I recommend you do it once in the morning after you use the washroom and maybe have a glass of water or hot water with lemon.  
 
The second time would ideally be late afternoon or after work, but before dinner.  It will give you a sense of relaxation, but also energy, so you don’t want to do this too close to bed time or too late in the evening.
 
These time suggestions are just a guideline to be able to get the most out of your practice and your day.  In the morning, you set your day up for success and in the afternoon, you release any tension and stress you picked up that day.
 
In the end, do what works for you, but BE CONSISTENT.  As with anything else in life that is when you will see the biggest results.  Focus on the process and the progress, not perfection.
 
Namaste,
Tina xo

If you’re into it, check out my Facebook community where we chat about meditation and many more ways to get the most out of each day.  Come on in here!
 
 

Start Your Morning Like This for an AMAZING Day!

Start Your Morning Like This for an AMAZING Day!
I’m sure you have heard a lot of suggestions on how to create a morning routine.  I know that I have read about them for years, but never bothered to actually DO IT.
 
When the kids were little I was just trying to sleep enough and get a shower in.  That was enough for me.  
 
Now that the kids have gotten a little older I feel motivated to get organized.  I am actually implementing a morning routine and it has made me so much more productive and the best part of it is that it has made me so much happier and energized.
 
My goal with this morning routine was to make time to take care of myself, to have more joy with the family and to not have to nag and feel overwhelmed before the day really even started.
 
Here’s what worked for me and hopefully you can gather a few ideas too.
 
#1 Get up at least an hour before the kids
 
This is non-negotiable.  You cannot accomplish an effective, happy morning if you just roll out of bed at the same time as everyone else and jump straight into everyone needing you and chores, rushing, chaos before you’ve even brushed your teeth or had a coffee.
 
I give myself an hour and a half because it gives me 30 minutes to get ready, 30 minutes to connect with my inner being and 30 minutes to move my body. For you, maybe 20-20-20 would work better.  
 
#2 Meditate
 
I like to meditate for about 20 minutes every morning.  When you first wake up, you are in the best mental space to connect to our inner being, the Universe, Source, God.  You have no negative momentum or resistance built up from the day before.  You are starting fresh.  I like to sync up with the power of connecting to something bigger before I take on my day.   It reminds me that I’m co-creating my life and that I’m not in this alone.  
 
#3 Connect with yourself and talk to a higher power 
 
After my meditation, I like to take no more than 10 minutes for some reflection and I put on an essential oil that I love to support what I want to accomplish that day.  I then like to pull a card of positive affirmations to give me focus. I really enjoy Gabby Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back card deck for this.  I take a few minutes to think and journal a few things that I’d like support with and I talk to a higher power.  If you like to pray or read scripture, this is when I would that.  I just ask God/Universe to direct me and support me and I clearly state my goals and dreams and express gratitude for the opportunity for a new day and new experiences.  This really changes the energy of your day and sets you up to feel excitement about all that is possible.
 
#4 Move your body
 
Moving your body is a great way to get the energy flowing and add some momentum to your day.  When I move my body in the morning, I feel so free because I don’t feel any guilt about not taking care of myself.  I’m more likely to make healthy food choices and drink my water because I’m in a health-consious state.  
 
I’m not a hard-core workout girl.  I prefer to go for a brisk walk, do some morning yoga or a quick 15-minute workout geared toward the female body.   I love Danette May workouts and Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube.
 
#5 Freshen up, get dressed and put on a little make-up
 
I like to shower before bed and since I don’t do a really sweaty workout, I just like to freshen up with a quick shower or wash my face before getting ready.  My hair is always dry in the morning, so it makes it faster to get ready.
 
I have a quick and easy all-natural face cleansing and make-up routine.  I love having a simplified make-up drawer now and just having an easy go-to fresh face for my day look.  I find that even just a little mascara and bronzer makes me feel more confident and ready for whatever pops up in the day.  
 
I throw a few curls in my hair or a braid and put on the clothes I picked out the night before.
 
This has eliminated a lot of the decision fatigue I used to start my day with.
 
#6 Listen to a podcast or audiobook while doing step 5
 
Personal development is a big deal for me.  It’s something I love and feel that I’m such a better version of myself now that I include it in my every day routine.  I love learning more and more each day.
 
I listen while I sip my coffee and get “polished”.
 
 
#7 Five minute morning energy routine
 
Each morning, or whenever I need a “reset”, I love to do five-minute energy routine.  It doesn’t even quite take that long, but it’s very effective in getting the energy moving throughout my body.  It activates the chakras and helps me feel grounded, clear and energized.
 
My tapping on my body and doing a series of breathwork exercises I give myself an energetic tune-up before going out to take on the day.
 
#8 Fill the diffusers
 
Just before I go wake up the kids, I fill up the diffusers with a morning joy and energy blend to fill the air and wake up our senses.   Some days it’s lemon, peppermint and lavender and other days it’s orange, valor and grapefruit.  I just use whatever I’m in the mood for that day, but it’s usually a citrus oil combined with something energizing or emotionally supporting.  
 
That’s it!  It seems like a lot maybe, but it really isn’t.  It’s the only way, as a busy mom, that I can comfortably make the time to connect with myself.  If I don’t do it, there is so much less of me available for my family and work.  
 
Some mornings I leave some of it out because, well, I’m not in the mood.  I give myself grace and I move on.  I will say though that the days I skip it are mediocre days where I kind of just skim through which is ok for a short bit, but not how I want to live my life.
 
Setting my morning up this way connects me to my creativity and helps me be a brighter light in everyone’s day.  It helps me feel like I know myself and I’m more cheerful and attentive.
 
Give it a try!  Maybe pick just one or two of these and try it for a week.  You are going to love starting your day intentionally.
 
Have the BEST day!
Tina xo

I'd love to hear from you!  Comment below to tell me about your morning...what's a non-negotiable in your morning routine?  Share with a friend who feels overwhelmed each morning - maybe this could bring them some joy!

I Don't Have Time.

I Don't Have Time.
I DON’T HAVE TIME.
 
How many times, as busy moms, do we say this to ourselves?

Before this all happened and we were going through the daily motions of life I’m sure most of us thought about time a lot.
 
You wake up thinking, I wish I had more time in bed.  I wish I had time to workout.  You hurry to get yourself ready for work, check the time…time to wake up the kids.
 
It’s taking them so much time to get dressed and get to the table.  It’s a quick breakfast today because that’s all we have time for.  You say, let’s go guys, hurry, mommy has work to do or mommy has to go to work, you can’t miss the bus, you’re going to be late for school, etc.
 
Next, you are hurrying to get to work on time.  Do I have time to pick up a coffee?  Forget it, the line is too long.  Maybe you get caught behind a school bus or a driver who has a little more time to take it slow.
 
You get to work having thought of time, or the lack of it, so many times you don’t even notice you’re doing it.  
 
Next, you work until it’s time for your break…no, forget it, too busy, no time for breaks today.  
 
You get home, chit chat with the kiddos about their day and then make a quick meal because that’s all there is time for before swimming lessons.  You hurry the kids to get washed up and dressed after lessons because they seem to be in no rush at all and you just want to get home, so you can finish tidying up, get laundry done, get lunches made, get ready for work and then relax (zone out watching Netflix).  
 
All this so that you can hurry up to go to bed way too late.  Sound familiar?
 
WHAT THE HECK?!  Why do we do this?  Why is this the norm?
 
Is that what you are here on this earth to do?  Is that a quality life?  I promise you that is not the only choice.    
 
We talk about time freedom, spare time, quality time, me time, but how do you start?  Why bother?
 
Your time is YOUR LIFE.  You have a finite amount of time on this earth.  Tick tock.  This is not meant to make you feel worse about how little time there is, but rather to be mindful of how you are spending it.  Stop going through the motions.
 
If the phone rings, you have the choice to answer.  Feel like you only have time for a shower, but would rather take a bath?  TAKE THE BATH.  Take your work breaks.  Heck, just take a break.  
 
Taking five minutes to just sit there in a day can be so uncomfortable at first.  Imagine setting that timer and doing nothing for five full minutes.  Was it a waste of time?  Hell no.  For the first time in a long time, perhaps you heard your inner voice.  You thought about something that was bugging you a bit, came up with a solution for something, remembered something, had an idea, took a deep breath, felt gratitude, let yourself feel sad, cried out the overwhelm, laughed at a funny thought, loosened your tense muscles, the list goes on and on.  
 
We always talk about how busy we are.  Like that’s just the way it is.  It comes out of our mouths without even thinking about it.  We feel overwhelmed and chaotic, so it automatically means that we have no time.  
 
I’d like to propose a thought.  You need to make time.  You get to choose.  Say no stuff that doesn’t excite you.  You know when something is a yes, you FEEL it.  Your breaths get a little shorter, your mouth smiles and you can actually feel the joy in your heart just by thinking about it and you never forget the event or appointment.  We always find a way to make time for the important stuff.  Listen to yourself.  You know when it’s a NO.  
 
White space is important. Take that five minutes.
 
It’s easier said than done, yes.  Baby steps.  I’ve found that the more I make time for things that matters to me like meditation or a simple walk, the more of me there is for everyone else.  You can’t give from an empty bucket.  Ever.  
 
When you stop doing things you don’t care about or that don’t add value to your life you make space for the things that do. 
 
Be intentional about your day.  Make sure you make time for the things you love and ultimately you will stop wasting it and feel less overwhelm, you will have high quality days, your kids will see you smile, you won’t be so eager for their bed time and you will be on your way to creating a life you love.

You deserve to protect your time. 
 
Tina xo

Want to learn how to create more time for what you actually WANT to do?  Check out my free guide to help you take back the clock and experience more of what you lights you up.

Banish bloat overnight with this hot cuppa magic!

Banish bloat overnight with this hot cuppa magic!
Do you ever go to bed having over indulged or your tummy just not feeling quite right?  Do you have issues with digestion or wake up bloated before even having breakfast?
 
This nightly banish bloat drink has helped me with all of these issues so much!
 
The raw apple cider vinegar in this drink helps to control blood sugar, supports your metabolism and supports a healthy gut by promoting good bacteria.
 
These ingredients help with your digestion and encourage healthy detox which can reduce your bloat and even help clear your skin as you eliminate more toxins.
 
You will feel so much better after even just one week of doing this every night.  I make sure it’s the last thing I consume before bed.  You can even start your morning with the same drink if you prefer.  
 

I love to add a drop of Thieves vitality essential oil for added immune support and delicious taste. 
 
If you don’t have any of this EO, you can add a sprinkle of cinnamon to make it more flavourful.  Or go without the extra cinnamon flavour :).
 
I’ve been drinking this nightly for over two years now and when I don’t do it, I sure do miss it!  It has become a big part of my nightly routine.  Give it a try for a week and leave a comment below to let me know how you feel.  What improvements have you noticed in your body?
 
Cheers!
-Tina