Month: July 2021

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Please Don’t Try Again

A note to readers: I wrote this nearly two years ago. After reading Matt Haig’s book Reasons to Stay Alive, I decided that it was time to finally share this. If we want to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues, we have to be open to discussing them. I have experienced anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation. I now see a therapist, and my children were able to get the help they need.

Our stories may be different, but we are not alone.

“My first suicide attempt was after my youngest child screamed at me for 45 minutes straight, letting loose an avalanche of past trauma. I wondered if an attempt would get us the help we desperately needed. If I died, if I tried to, would someone finally take this seriously enough to step in and help?”

I sat in my car while the rain poured down outside and thought those words, first suicide attempt, ringing in my ears. It was more than a passing thought now. I couldn’t pretend anymore that it was only ever that. It was an active wish at times when I thought I couldn’t handle any more trauma.

I was already thinking in terms of how I would tell the story to explain such an extreme act. I was already looking for an explanation, trying to find a way to encapsulate my state of mind. Method, I would worry about later. I needed the story.

Maybe there’s still hope for me yet.

I love my life. I don’t want to die. But I wondered if an attempt would make someone, anyone, give me the help I need. Not for myself. For my children who are struggling and can’t be helped by me. Forty-five minutes of the same phrase repeated, screamed at me, my body being hurt by the small child’s unreasoning fury.

I just wanted quiet. My thoughts were two-fold. I could not help my child. Clearly. Forty-five-minute screaming fits were happening with greater frequency, and the institute that could evaluate my child wouldn’t see him for another six months. I was alone, and I could not help him.

He was alone, too, as I looked at his red, wet face and open mouth. He wouldn’t be comforted, and I did not have the skills to help him through this obsession. I already suspected autism, but I did not have the tools or techniques necessary to help him through his pain.

Additionally, there was a selfish part of me that realized that my child having this sort of problem would keep me from having the family that I wanted. I’d been married, and it was a miserable experience. I still wanted the happy family, and it wasn’t because of some societal idea. I’d grown out of those. Instead, I wanted to live with someone I love and to raise children together. I didn’t need it, but I wanted it.

And I looked at my screaming child, now throwing himself around the room, now running at me trying to hurt me, now crying harder and screaming louder, and thought: I will never have that. Who but their own mother would take this on?

So, I would be alone, as I’ve always felt I’ve been. My life would be stories that I would tell, but I would be the only witness. I was tired of not being held. I was tired of never being able to lean, if even for a moment. Tired of screaming into the void so quietly that no one could even hear me. Tired of the weight of the world falling on my shoulders and mine alone.

I couldn’t help them, and I couldn’t help myself.

I thought of the world I wanted to see, travel plans already set in motion. I thought of the partner I love deeply with my whole soul, the friends I don’t want to leave behind, my work. So much my work. The untold stories inside me that were rushing out, as if they, too, could sense that my time on the Earth was growing perilously close to expiring by the same hand that writes them.

I thought of my children and how much they love me, how devastating my exit would be for the rest of their lives. No one else could raise them like I can. No one else will love them like I do.

I don’t want to leave them either. I just couldn’t take another day of screaming — not with the echoes of far too much screaming in my past. They overlapped, and I was both the child and the woman, hands clapped over ears, desperate for it to stop. Please make it stop.

So, I thought of the good days and how bright my joy has always been. This dark, merely a natural contrast.

I thought of the timeline on help; it was coming. We were on a waiting list, and I was utilizing every resource available to me. I was doing everything I could — for myself, for my children — and I just needed to hold on.

I told myself that life was already far too short, and I had so much living left to do. I reminded myself of all the good that I’d lived already and the infinite possibilities that stretched before me if I just allowed myself to believe that the help would come and the darkness would pass, as it always had before.

I thought of all the things that I love, and I held on to them so tight because I know one thing to be true:

There would be no “first attempt”.

I’m far too good at finishing things.

The world needs you in it. You matter. You are loved. Hold on.

If you need help, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1–800–273–8255, or text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor. Veterans can call 1–800–273–8255 and press 1, or text 838255.

Crystal Jackson is a former therapist turned author. Her work has been featured on Medium, Elephant Journal, Elite Daily, and The Good Men Project. She’s also the author of Left on Main, the first book in the Heart of Madison series. When she’s not writing for Medium and working on her next book, you can find Crystal traveling, paddle boarding, running, throwing axes badly but with terrifying enthusiasm, hiking, doing yoga, or curled up with her nose in a book in Madison, Georgia, where she lives with her two wild and wonderful children.

Image courtesy of Keenan Constance.

How a Professional Skateboarder Trains

How a Professional Skateboarder Trains

Have you ever wondered if a skateboarder trains?

Whether you’re familiar with the sport or not, you’re probably thinking “no”.

Yes, skating has changed over the years but the culture to this day remains the same.

However, over the last few years the idea that gyms are just for “dudes with muscles and mirrors” has changed within the skating world. The importance of strength and conditioning has grown, with many riders now starting to incorporate a program into their weekly routine.

While skateboarding keeps to the streets, professionals are still turning to other exercises to help improve their performance and help with injuries.

From empty pool bowls to global phenomenon

Whatever you want to call a skateboarder, there is no denying the ability of this sports’ athletes who continue to “wow” those who follow it.

Skateboarding has been an essential part of street culture for decades but has now grown into a global phenomenon. While some skaters maintain the laid-back, street image it was born from, many are drawn to the sport because of the opportunities and success it can bring with its new mainstream cultural following.

Hailing from the streets, skateboarders were self-made, self-taught and experimented on public spaces. Riding a skateboard use to be associated with danger and carelessness and was marginalised negatively in the media.

But since its inception in the 1960s, skateboarding has blossomed into a respectable sport. From empty pool bowls and illegal rides to a multibillion-dollar industry, skateboarding has taken over and its success was rewarded this year by being included into the Olympic Games.

As we see skateboarding make history, it’s not only the sporting world that has seen the effects.

The rise of skate pop culture

There are few examples around the world that have had more of an influence within pop culture than skateboarding. It has had a significant impact on music, fashion and television – plus it has changed how generations should look, feel and communicate.

Over time, skateboard culture became more dominant, bringing people who skate and those who don’t together. And although to some, skateboarding is just considered an activity to do when you’re bored, skating culture is so much more than that with its iconic history and impact on larger society.

Having now permeated the world of music, clothing, video games, film, and most other forms of mainstream media, whether you enjoy skating or not, your lifestyle is almost certain to have been influenced by the unlikely band of original outcasts.

From screaming lyrics to a Blink-182 song on the radio, wearing vans with high cut socks, or watching MTV’s ‘Jackass’, you’ve lived it at some point of your life – and that’s gnarly dude.

Skateboarding is officially a sport

A lot of people would argue that skateboarders aren’t athletes because most of their training involves “playing” around with tricks in the park – which isn’t true.

Our bodies were never designed to ride a board, not to mention to ride on concrete. Skateboarding puts massive stress a on joints, tendons and ligaments. Not only is skateboarding an extreme physical activity, it requires immense skill, endurance, power and not to mention, guts.

In the rider world, strength training probably doesn’t have the “coolest” image. But as we see the sport of skateboarding enter the Olympic Games this year, emphasis has been put on riders being at their very best – both physically and mentally.

Strength training has a long list of benefits, no matter who you are or what sport you’re involved in.

While strength and conditioning won’t make the difference between landing a trick or not, it is the difference for injury prevention and endurance.

It might not seem like the gym and skateboarding are a perfect match, but the sport requires a lot of strength, power and conditioning. Jumping, pushing, balancing, landing – all are results of power and strength.

Have you ever wondered how a professional skateboarder trains?

Read what an expert has to say below.

Hear from an expert:

Exercise Right had the pleasure to speak with Accredited Sports Scientist (Level 2), Paulo Barroso. Paulo is the founder of Solid Sports and has been working for 25 years in the health and sports environment, experienced in Sports Coaching, Sports Science and Exercise Physiology.

His impressive career has seen him work with high-performance swimmers, plus teams and individuals in a variety of other sports including skateboarding, fighting, motorcycle racing, triathlon, hockey, surfing, and sailing among others.

Paulo gives us an insight into how a skateboarder trains and prepares for tournaments.

Is training part of skateboard culture?

The culture and history of skateboarding does not involve much training other than practicing the skills while riding, attempting and learning new tricks, and creating a perfect run. With this, most of the time, skateboarders are not only chasing competition, but ride for the fun and lifestyle that skateboarding can bring. They train according to the modality on the streets, skateparks, bowls, empty pools, mini-ramps or half pipes.

Most professional skateboarders are not too absorbed on competition and their focus is skateboarding as a lifestyle, filming tricks and lines for a skate part in a skateboarding movie, or chasing a perfect picture in the perfect spot. This activity is what moves the industry and attract sponsors, money and fame.

The competitions and circuits, however, do play a role in the world of skateboarding, as we see in the recent Olympic Games inclusion with the two different modalities, STREET and PARK (also known as bowl riding). The inclusion brought excitement and criticism from the skateboarding community. Some saw it as an excellent opportunity to demystify and promote the sport, and others thinking it could corrupt and ruin the skateboarding culture.

What does skateboarding involve?

It’s a very physical activity that requires skills development, strategy, endurance and power, not to mention commitment and resilience to land tricks and complete a run without mistakes and injuries. Most of the effort comes from the lower body, primarily legs, gluts, core, and lower back.

Due to the risk involved in skateboarding, injures are usual among the practitioners. Fractures, subluxations and even concussions are common when flying over the coping, grinding rails or landing tricks in huge gaps such as staircases.

Nowadays, skateboarders are getting more conscious of the importance of doing strength and conditioning training to get better muscular imbalances, injury prevention and rehabilitation, and improve performance.

There is a big part of conditioning such as strength and endurance developed on the top of the board, riding it for hours every day and doing different tricks.

How does a professional skateboarder train?

A skateboarder will ride most days of the week with some days off in-between to recover from a hard session.

Specific functional training has a significant impact on the muscular balance of a skateboarder. Bringing some skating elements to strength and conditioning such as plyometrics to improve the “pop” and body rotation and landing; body waits such as SL squats, Bulgarian lunges, calf raises would help strength development improve knee and ankles accessory muscles.

Some skateboarders prefer to improve flexibility and strength through Pilates and yoga.

Due to the high incidence of injuries, skateboarders tend to start to worry about the importance of strength and conditioning after a significant injury, where they have to follow a recovery plan.

What does a week in the life of a skateboarder look like?

It’s usually a program individually developed to attend needs of each one in any case scenario.

Here is an example of a program developed for a street skateboarder coming back from knee surgery:

Top tips for an amateur skateboarder looking to take their performance to the next level?
    1. Start a session pumping around the park with basic tricks such as ollie, varial and shuvit, and planning which tricks you will try in each obstacle
    2. When learning a new trick in a new spot, assess take-off and landing before jumping into it
    3. Respect the signs of fatigue when trying a trick or a run with a high level of difficulty; it can be harmful if you are already exhausted
    4. Be resilient; skateboarding is a sport of try until you get it, never give up
    5. Keep a healthy and fit body; stay fed and hydrated during the sessions, especially the long ones


Want some additional help to improving your training and performance, your local accredited exercise professional can help.

They will be able to prescribe safe and effective exercises that are tailored to your specific needs. They will also help you to set realistic goals and stay motivated.

The Nike Run Club gives you the guidance, inspiration and innovation you need to become a better athlete. Join Nike Run Club to reach your goals and have fun along the way. Download to get started. 

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We have partnered with Nike Australia Pty Ltd for this article series.

The views expressed in this article, unless otherwise cited, are exclusively those of the author, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA). ESSA is a professional organisation committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners.

Nike had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data or research or the writing of this article.

32 Famous Marilyn Monroe Beauty and Love Quotes

Marilyn Monroe Beauty and Love Quotes


We have compiled for you some of the most famous Marilyn Monroe quotes on beauty, love, women and life.

We hope you enjoy reading them.

Born in 1926, Marilyn Monroe is considered to be one of the most famous and beautiful actresses of all times.

Some of Marilyn Monroe famous films are ‘The Misfits’, ‘Let’s Make Love’, ‘Some Like It Hot’, ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’, ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’, and ‘All About Eve’.

Marilyn Monroe Beauty and Love Quotes

A collection of Marilyn Monroe quotes about beauty, love, women and life.

“I’m very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.”

“Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”

“I just want to be wonderful.”

“Boys think girls are like books, If the cover doesn’t catch their eye they won’t bother to read what’s inside.”

“All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren’t.”

“The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead or smiling into your eyes or just staring into space.”

“A wise girl knows her limits, a smart girl knows that she has none.”

“Your clothes should be tight enough to show you’re a woman but loose enough to show you’re a lady.”

“I could never pretend something I didn’t feel. I could never make love if I didn’t love, and if I loved, I could no more hide the fact than change the color of my eyes.”

Marilyn Monroe Quote


“We are all stars but we must learn how to shine.”

“Love and work are the only two real things in our lives. They belong together, otherwise it is off. Work is in itself a form of love.”

“If you can make a woman laugh, you can make her do anything.

“So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”

“To all the girls that think you’re fat because you’re not a size zero, you’re the beautiful one, its society who’s ugly.”

“A girl doesn’t need anyone who doesn’t need her.”

“A man is more frank and sincere with his emotions than a woman. We girls, I’m afraid, have a tendency to hide our feelings.”

You might also like reading:
Marilyn Monroe Quotes about Life, Beauty and Love
Love and Being in Love Quotes

More of Marilyn Monroe Beauty and Love Quotes

Here are some more quotes for you.

“A wise girl knows her limits, a smart girl knows that she has none.”

“I dress for men. A woman looks at your clothes critically. A man appreciates them.”

“A wise girl kisses but doesn’t love, listens but doesn’t believe, and leaves before she is left.”

“Before marriage, a girl has to make love to a man to hold him. After marriage, she has to hold him to make love to him.”

“Men who think that a woman’s past love affairs lessen her love for them are usually stupid and weak.”

“The way you carry yourself is influenced by the way you feel inside. You must feel attractive to be attractive.”

“Frankly, I’ve never considered my own figure so exceptional; until quite recently, I seldom gave it any thought at all.”

“Be real, be yourself, be unique, be true, be honest, be humble, be happy.”

“I don’t mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. Beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won’t like this, cannot be manufactured. Not real glamour; it’s based on femininity.”

“What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.”

“I never wanted to be Marilyn — it just happened. Marilyn’s like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane.”

“I love a natural look in pictures. I like people with a feeling one way or another – it shows an inner life. I like to see that there’s something going on inside them.”

Quotes Directory >> Marilyn Monroe Quotes

Why Playing Puzzle Games Widens Your Potential

Playing Puzzle Games


Everyone knows that physical exercise is good for your health. Moreover, specialists recommend daily physical activities, especially if you’re no longer in your twenties.

But what about the brain?

After all, the sophisticated machine that lives in our skulls is the main driver (and creator) of our thoughts, beliefs, and motivations. So, how come we don’t put as much care into training our brains as we put into getting that six-pack?

According to Harvard-trained researchers and health specialists, the brain also needs training to grow and improve.

Our brain has the ability to create new connections and grow, but only if we challenge it with new and complex activities. Also, through training, the mind becomes sharper and more reliable as we grow old, and the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia gets lower.

Luckily, brain training is not always about solving problems or learning new and complex activities. Creative activities such as painting, writing, or learning a language are just as efficient.

Additionally, if you want to improve focus, logical thinking, and have fun at the same time, you may want to try puzzle games – both in online and offline formats.

The offer is incredibly varied, and you can choose designs for the entire family or puzzles to enjoy alone (crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or a plain-old brain teaser)

How Puzzle Games Improve Focus & Potential

Puzzles are not just fun and challenging, they are also incredibly useful for a lot of brain-related activities.

Engage Areas from Both Hemispheres

Science tells us that the two hemispheres of the brain have different functions. The left part houses the areas used for logical and analytical thinking, while the right part is all about creativity and communication.

Now, a puzzle game with a visual component has the potential of engaging both hemispheres, putting your brain at work big time.

On the one side, you’ll try to find the logic behind the puzzle, and on the other side, you will try to put together the visual and find patterns based on color and arrangements.

Let’s take printable word searches as an example. These are puzzles that hide words in plain sight and ask the player to find all the words based on specific patterns. By playing, you have the chance to improve visual acuity and pattern recognition skills.

Better Focus & Memory

In the age of smartphones and social media, the brain is stimulated wherever you look (through ads, content, promotional messages, and more). As a result, our attention span is shorter with each generation and it’s not uncommon to find yourself distracted while working or performing other tasks.

By playing puzzles, you refresh the neuronal connections responsive with short-term memory and train your ability to focus on one task at a time (multitasking is not real, it’s just the modern way of making sure you stay distracted).

Quick tip: If you want to improve work productivity, here are a few more useful tips on how to improve focus.

Better Problem-Solving

Puzzles also teach us about taking different approaches, changing our point of view, and finding new patterns, and how to work by trial and error (see what works).

Puzzle games such as Sudoku, chess, or even the Rubik’s Cube are amazing at improving critical thinking and theory formulating and testing.

Higher IQ Score

Puzzles and brain teasers help improve memory and focus, visual acuity and spatial reasoning, and help you stay focused on the task at hand.

All these are factors that influence IQ score results, so you can get smarter (at least in IQ terms) by playing puzzle games.

In summary, puzzles are a fun and efficient brain workout, as long as you keep enjoying them. Just like the body, the brain needs constant exercise to stay sharp.

Enough Already with All the Success Porn

“I left my job, started a business, and now I work part-time from home while earning $6,500 a month.”

“I make four figures every month, let me tell you how so that you can do it too!”

“I paid off my $500,000 house and my student debt in five years, here’s how.”

“Do you want to leave your day job and find greater success? Read how here!”

“Follow me if you want to learn how to pay off your debt and increase your income!”

It’s getting pretty boring, isn’t it?

There’s one thing all of those headlines have in common — money.

We’ve become obsessed with money.

Everything is about how much money you can make or how much money you need to spend or how much you owe. Our entire society revolves around material wealth and we’ve forgotten about what really matters — happiness and family.

Sure, most people would be happier if they had more money because a lot of human unhappiness is tied to an inability to pay bills and afford to address basic needs. That’s not what I’m talking about, though.

What I’m talking about is the obsession with earning and showing that off. Once upon a time, people showed off their wealth by buying big houses and fancy cars. Now they show it off by writing blog posts and articles about their success, thinly veiling it by offering you tips on how to repeat their success.

It’s simply their way of showing off but trying to do so humbly. There’s nothing humble about it. We all recognize it for what it is, yet that doesn’t slow the sheer number of these hitting the internet.

“I want to share how I made my fortune so that you can build your own fortune.”

Spoiler alert: it probably involved help from their parents, whether they admit it or phrase it as a loan. Or, worse, they made their money exploiting others. Yes, there are plenty of honest people producing this type of content and some of them have good intentions. It’s the age-old question of impact versus intent. The harm remains the same.

They call this phenomenon success porn. The content solely focused on emphasizing the sensational bits of success in a bid to create an audience’s compulsive interest. The success porn gets them on the hook and the writer churns more and more of that content in a bid to keep them on the hook.

It might have been intended to inspire, but it does anything but. It’s so harmful because it’s a handful of people who have done exceptionally well who are trying to sell that promise to the majority of people who are ordinary by comparison. It’s perhaps the best example of capitalism. When you tear it down to its bare bones, it’s ugly.

It plants a seed in your mind that makes you ask questions that hurt you.

Do I even deserve success?

Am I good enough for that?

Those are the wrong questions!

A lot of people who create this kind of content come from a place of positivity. They’ve achieved something they’re proud of and even though it’s a humblebrag, they really would like others to learn how to repeat this process for themselves.

The good ones go to great lengths to provide an outline of the strategy they used in order to get to where they are now. They highlight how they organized their time, how they generated income, and the people who post these types of articles show they have an abundance mindset.

An abundance mindset is simply the idea that there is plenty for everyone and even enough to spare. They don’t need to keep their success story a secret because they believe everyone can carve out their own version of success and they want to provide the tools that will help you on your journey.

The problem is that when we obsess about how successful others are it encourages the scarcity mindset which is the opposite of the abundance mindset. So, while many of these content creators may mean well, what they are doing is instilling a scarcity mindset in their audience because it just seems like there isn’t enough for everyone and certainly not enough for the likes of me.

You see these people as high achievers and as a result that paints you as someone who isn’t a high achiever. So, you keep reading content like this and then you compare yourself to it. You feel like you’re failing because there’s no way for you to replicate that.

Think about it like this.

When people talk about their aspirations to act, they think of superstars and the millions they make per movie. They imagine being a Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Stone, or Ryan Gosling.

The average SAG member earns $52,000 annually. Of course, that average is skewed by all those high earners, the majority earn less than a thousand dollars a year from acting jobs.

If everyone could be a high achiever, you would already be a high achiever. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful though.

The issue is that we fall into the trap of playing the imitation game and obsessing over all of the success porn we see online. It gives us the impression that we have to be one of only two things.

Either you’re never going to be a high achiever so you should simply give up. Or you push yourself to produce content, work, or effort that you believe could spawn a success story like the ones you have read.

The problem with option number one is that you’re not allowing yourself to meet your full potential. You’ve convinced yourself you won’t get anywhere so you barely try.

The second option presents its own danger. The danger of total imitation and trying to apply the outlines set out by high achievers to get a slice of the pie for yourself.

If you duplicate what exists you will never be more than average. There’s nothing wrong with being average unless it’s because you’re living on someone else’s terms. If you look at the times you’ve tried to replicate someone else’s approach you can likely realize where the wheels fell off. Your work probably wasn’t good enough because your heart wasn’t in it. They rarely are when guided by external sources.

You have to define success for yourself. Or redefine it as it so happens.

The first step is to stop reading success porn. If you see it, skip it. You need to stop falling for the idea that success is for the few and understand that you can make your success on your terms. Your success aligns with your values and those values are shaped by your experiences.

You might not earn a million bucks in the next two years, or even five years, but if you set the rules that you play your life by, you’re going to be far happier as a result. It’s up to you to define what success means to you and what you envision for yourself.

Forget about the success porn, forget about using someone else’s blueprint for success. The only success that will bring you true happiness is the success you make as defined by you.

George J. Ziogas is an HR Consultant with 15+ years of experience across a number of industries with a specialization in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). He is a qualified vocational instructor/teacher and personal trainer. George is also a blogger and top writer in numerous categories/tags on Medium. He speaks several languages (English, Greek, Macedonian), and enjoys working out/keeping fit, music, reading, and traveling. He is married and lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

Image courtesy of Mikhail Nilov.

Mindfulness of Feelings

Mindfulness of Feelings

Feelings are ever-present. They are a mysterious and rich dimension of our human life. But without mindfulness of them we can react automatically, habitually clinging to the pleasant feelings, avoiding the unpleasant ones, and remaining unaware of what is neutral. This reactiveness limits our ability to find balance and clarity in our daily life, and limits our ability to love.

How do we bring mindfulness to feelings? The first step is to know the feelings in themselves, to become curious. Many of us have learned to suppress or ignore our feelings, yet underneath they still drive our life in an unconscious way. To become mindful, you can begin simply with an awareness of pain as pain, of sadness as sadness. You can name them: this is joy, this is excitement, this is fear, this is contentment. You can gradually become aware of your waves of feelings as they rise and fall. With awareness you see that you are not your emotions. Instead, you see that the ever-changing feelings and emotions are simply part of the dance of life that you can hold with appreciation and wisdom.

As you bring mindfulness to your emotions you learn that emotions themselves are not the problem: your difficulties come from your relationship to them. You can bring a mindful and kind attention to them all, even the difficult ones such as fear, grief, hatred and jealousy. But focusing on difficult emotions alone can become one-sided. Notice the happy ones and the beautiful ones as well as the painful ones. Joy and sorrow are woven together; you can’t have one without the other. You can’t have birth without death, or pleasure without pain, or hot without cold, nor light without dark. Human feelings, and emotions of joy and sorrow, are ever-changing, like a river.

When you’re not aware of your emotions, you can become lost in them or frightened by them. But if you can create enough space to hold them with mindfulness and wisdom, you can see how they represent an important part of the picture, but not the entirety of the truth. You can see that anger has some truth in it, but it also has some delusion in it. And when you see love clearly, you can see that often love has some truth in it and that it also has some delusion. You can learn to become mindful of the river of emotions, resting in loving awareness, knowing that we are not limited by what is arising in the river.

There’s a grace that comes when we’re willing to touch the full measure of our feelings, our fear and longing, failure and tenderness, and great love that’s inside every one of us. We become the loving witness, what my teacher Ajahn Chah called the One Who Knows. As we allow our feelings to be met in the space of loving awareness, where they can come and go, we become free.

Excerpt: A Lamp in the Darkness

The post Mindfulness of Feelings appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

My Morning Meditation Practice (Set Powerful Intentions for the Day!) – 25 Minute Guided Meditation

Hello Spiritual Warrior, today we’ll dive into my morning meditation practice. So, let’s settle in, breathe, ask sacred questions, and set powerful intentions for the rest of the day.

Many of us have specific rituals that we do each morning. Some of us practice yoga, pray, or meditate. Others ask reflective questions or repeat affirmations, and others do heart-opening exercises. These ritualized behaviors are essential to beginning our day on the right path, subtly setting the course that our day will follow.

Starting your day with a meditation ritual provides the perfect environment for your intentions to embed and for your day to unfold with greater grace and greater ease.

When we set an intention and go into meditation, it’s like planting a seed and then going into the garden to cultivate it with quietude. Now we have a seed pregnant with possibilities, a seed with a built-in manifestation being planted into a vibrationally fertile environment that will help it thrive.

Ritual + Meaning = Transformation

In this 25 minute meditation, my morning meditation practice, we will honor the power of starting the day with ritual and introspection. You will create a powerful trajectory for you to move through your day with calm, clarity, decisiveness, and the strength to make new bold, fearless choices.

From this moment forward, your day will be filled with intention, grace and ease.

Inspiration for cultivating your own daily practice

I’ll go through my personal morning meditation practice in this meditation, but you can also formulate your own morning ritual using these five transformational daily practices. These can be used individually or in combination.

Cultivating a morning meditation practice offers you an opportunity to cultivate attention, intention, and action for the rest of your day. These are powerful tools for personal transformation:

  • Ask Sacred Questions – who am I? what does my heart truly long for? what am I grateful for?
  • Plant Intentions – this could be a single word affirmation, a state of mind, or an action you would like to take or see unfold in your life.
  • Repeat a Sacred Affirmation or Mantra – This mantra or affirmation can be repeated in Sanskrit or your native language. It can relate to your intention, or it can be the mantra you always use like your Nakshatra birth star mantra.
  • Meditate  – Do the actual meditation – which means sitting in stillness and silence anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.
  • Begin Your Day – There is no running to or from meditation, so take your time to wrap up your morning meditation practice. As much intention you put into beginning the ritual, honor the end just as much.

More On Asking Sacred Questions…

We begin our day by finding a comfortable place to sit or lie down. We settle in, place our hands on our hearts, and begin the practice of asking the Sacred Questions.

Simply ask the first question over and over for about a minute, and let answers innocently flow. Don’t force! Then do the same with the second question, then the third. Spend up to a minute with each question. When you have completed the process, take a long, slow, deep breath in, and release all the questions and any answers that arose.

Then invite an intention into your mind. Get clear on it, invite it into your heart, and plant that intention like a seed in the fertile soil of your heart. Then breathe in deeply, and let it go as you exhale. Leave it up to the Universe to work out all the details.

And Planting Intentions…

Then invite your intention into your awareness. Allow it to crystallize. And when you are clear on it, invite it into your heart. Begin a gentle, slow process of deep breathing as you see it clearly move into your heart; and keep breathing deeply. Envision your endgame, your goal, your target.

Notice how manifesting your intention makes you feel . . . in your body, in your mind, in your heart. Slowly witness the progressive steps you will need to take to bring you to that moment – the behaviors, conversations, actions you need to do.

What does it look like when it has manifested?

How does it feel when it has actually become a reality?

Visualize the whole process unfolding from the very first seed until its fulfillment. Own it all. And then plant your intention like a seed deep in your heart. Take a deep breath in to anchor it . . . and let it go. You don’t need to think about it anymore.

From this moment forward, every time you connect with the stillness and silence inside your heart, you will strengthen the intention and activate its birth in your life. And begin to repeat your mantra – birth star, Sanskrit mantra, English mantra, or something else.

Morning Meditation Practice

Now that you’ve set the table by asking your Sacred Questions, letting answers flow, inviting your intention into your heart, and releasing it out into the Universe, it’s time to meditate.

Whenever we plant a seed, we first burrow it in fertile soil. Then we water it, and we trust that the seed will grow. When we meditate, we take a “time-in”. We allow the outside world to simply be. We release our grip on how we believe everything is supposed to unfold. We till the soil that will hold our seed and make it as fertile as possible.

Meditation is our incubation period, where we quiet our body and mind. Once we’ve planted our intention and released it, we trust the Master Plan of the Universe to work out the details.

Early morning practice cultivates the soil of our existence so that our intentions will have a garden to flourish. So, let’s go through that process right now with this week’s morning meditation practice.

I’ve found immense value in this practice and I hope you will too. Get comfortable, settle in, and let’s dive deep!

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Sending you expansive love, personal growth, and health. Be well.

Namaste. -davidji & Peaches the Buddha Princess

Originally published on

davidji is a globally recognized mindbody health & wellness expert, mindful performance trainer, meditation teacher & author of Amazon’s Best Seller destressifying: The Real-World Guide to Personal Empowerment, Lasting Fulfillment, and Peace of Mind, Sacred Powers: The Five Secrets to Transformation and Secrets of Meditation: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace & Personal Transformation, & winner of the Nautilus Book Award. Connect with him on . Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Anna Tarazevich.