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How did you get into meditation and how has meditation impacted your life?
When I was only twelve years old, I had the good fortune to meet a mentor, Charlie Goodman, a master intuitive and metaphysical teacher to guide me. He worked with me for years on how to develop and stabilize my intuition, both for my own inner guidance, and also so I would be able to skillfully intuitively support and guide in their lvies, which was my purpose in life.
My very first lesson with Charlie included how to meditate. He said without it I would never be able to effectively tune into the subtle frequency that is my intuition and would flounder through life in fear and drama instead. That was enough to get my interest on board. He asked me to focus on the sound Om and take a deep breath in and chant it over and over again, as a means to calm my mind.
Of course being a typical, self-conscious, and nervous twelve-year- old, I found the entire process initially hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing each time I did it. He kept his eyes closed, chanted OM himself, and ignored my ridiculous outbursts. Eventually my laughter gave way to curiosity and eventually the chanting of “OM” along with him calmed me down. After ten minutes of this my body fully relaxed in such a way that it took me by surprise. I had my first successful meditation experience and was thrilled.
I have been meditating daily ever since. It’s the first thing I do every morning upon opening my eyes. As a result I can truthfully say it is my refuge, the highlight of my day, my daily vacation from my mental craziness and has increased my intuition 1000%.
I consider it a Super Power and simply cannot imagine managing my life in any grounded, peaceful, inspired guided way without my daily practice acting as my compass to higher vibration and physical calm
How does it feel when you are in a meditative state?
I believe the biggest challenge most beginning meditators face is the unrealistic expectation that they are going to zone out into some other realm and not even hear the noise in their head, and if that doesn’t happen they have somehow failed. If you are a champion meditator, which I certainly do not consider myself to be, this may be the case, but the rest of us mere mortals have a different experience.
When you begin to meditate, you start to relax and become less and less reactive to both the outside world, and your own thoughts and emotions. You begin to observe both as if watching a movie, and no longer find yourself caught up in the middle of the drama as you so often were before meditation.
This may not be overly remarkable right away. The shift is far more subtle. Yet, even in as quickly as a few days of meditation, you can expect this welcome calm to begin take over. Your mind relaxes more. Your emotions are less up and down. And you feel less stressed and tired. It feels as though there is more open space inside. I call the benefit of meditating creating your inner “room to breathe.” It becomes your safe, calm place, where you energetically sit in the lap of the Divine and allow yourself to deeply rest.
I explain to my students that the point of meditation is to create more and more detachment from your noisy thoughts and expand the quiet space inside you. I suggest that your noisy talk-y brain is like your untrained pet dog. It likes to bark and make noise at every passing thing that goes by. Meditation is a way to stop reacting to the inner barking dog, and begin to train it to settle down and be quiet. When mediating, when thoughts arise and distract you just say to yourself, “That’s my inner dog barking. I don’t have to listen to it or pay attention because he or she is just making noise.” The idea is not to fight with your thoughts or feelings. Just to notice and create some distance and space from them. The feeling is that you become less and less reactive to your own thoughts and emotions. Early in the game, and often for even long term meditators, you get distracted.
What is the top 3 most valuable life advice you can give from your life experience so far?
The first piece of advice I can give is:
#1 Whatever is happening in your life right now, and however stressful it is, it will pass. Trust that you will get through all challenges, learn and grow, and be better for it in the end, so save your nervous system from overload and breathe. Ask for help and listen and learn.
#2 Meditate because helps you become more clear and intuitive, and gives you direct access to ways and means to creatively solve any problem, make better decisions, and steer clear of trouble before it happiness, bringing more peace, calm, success and joy to your life.
It is worth it, even if you are tempted to believe you don’t have the time or patience to do it. Even five minutes a day in your “room to breathe” will keep you healthier, younger, sharper, more creative, and happier overall.
#3 Life is to be enjoyed. Believe this. Spend time every single day doing something you fully enjoy, without guilt, as keeps your heart open, your Spirit happy, your creativity developing, and your body relaxed. Make a list of the things you enjoy, so that when you are under stress you have a go to list to change the vibe. And love yourself. Unconditionally. You are a gorgeous courageous amazing spirit have a big human adventure and you are deeply loved and important. So love yourself more and more every single day.
What is your favourite quote?
That’s tricky because I have so many. I’ll give you more than one. 🙂
“Always trust your vibes.”
“There is always a solution and the game of life is to discover it.”
“The situation is critical but never serious. Breathe and Dance.”
What is something easy and simple that we can do right now to make the world a better place?
One very simple thing we can do every single day is to genuinely smile and listen to people. Make those in your life feel seen, respected, valued, and important by doing this. You don’t have to care take, rescue, agree with others, and share their point of view. Simply honor others by being generous of spirit and kind and loving in these simple ways.
What would you say has been the biggest benefit from meditation?
The biggest benefit from meditation for me is that I have become clear and constantly intuitively guided in every matter of my life as a result of my daily intuitive practice. I completely trust my Spirit, the Spirit of others, and the Universe because meditation has proven to me that I can.
I feel safe, loved, and guided at all times, and I am not afraid to follow my heart, take risks, and love fully.
Because of my meditation practice I have come to experience life as a beautiful adventure, and I am confident that I’ll always be able to attract and create all that I need and desire, no matter what, using meditation as the superpower is is as my foundation.
What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome? How did you overcome it? And what lessons did you learn from it?
My biggest challenge has been to overcome the grief, despair, and the loss of my home, security, and identity due to my unwanted divorce after 32 years of marriage, four years ago. I had to recover from a broken heart, loss of self-confidence, loss of feeling liked I was loved, and more, and build a new life in France, a foreign country, as a way of starting over and healing.
I can honestly say without my daily meditation practice to keep me sane and grounded through this wild storm of emotions and loss, I would have had a nervous breakdown. I meditated and prayed several times a day. I depended upon mindful meditation as well in daily walks for hours and hours in the streets of Paris to stay calm, grounded, and hopeful.
I went on a several walking pilgrimages to work on healing shame, forgiveness for both my ex-husband and myself, and find self-acceptance and self-love after loss.
I learned to love and forgive myself unconditionally. I learned to fully forgive and unconditionally love my ex-husband as well. I learned to take 100% responsibility for my life, my mistakes, and my soul lessons, and create a new life from scratch with what I learned. I learned to face my deepest fears of loneliness and isolation and open myself up to love once again. I learned patience as this all took several years. And I learned that in the end every life experience, even the most difficult bring with them enormous, bountiful, beautiful soul gifts.
When you think about happiness, how do you define that for yourself?
Happiness for me has finally come to mean being content in the moment, and not postpone my contentment until some future condition may or may not show up. I find happiness in being alive, being grateful, attentive and aware, of the beauty around me, and not take the day at hand for granted. I had suffered a lot of loss, death, and endings over the past few years, and along with that I have gratefully learned that happiness is a choice and not a consequence of things being in life the way I want them to, and accept what is instead.
I have also learned that the more I love myself, the more my happiness increases. With more and more self-love, I also love and accept others more and more. I feel connected, and part of this great adventure called life and not on the sidelines and alone. Happiness is having an open and courageous heart and trusting that the Universe is your loving partner and support through it all.
Do you have a message for our Mindbliss Community?
Always Trust your vibes
Forgive everyone, everything, every time
Breathe Meditate Dance
~ All my love, Sonia.