Lessons from Meditation

Perhaps the most important lesson I learned from meditation is that I can always start over. No matter how many times my mind wanders, I can become aware of becoming distracted, and begin again. Breathe in… Breath out, cleaning my slate.

Starting over is not always so easy in life. We all come with a baggage. Each new moment is not really new, because we see it through the lens of our past experiences. We see others as we are, not as they are. We interpret events based what they mean to us.

Each day is a new beginning but if we see it through the same old lens, it is not really so new. Are we aware of the lenses that distort your vision? Can we put our baggage down for a moment to open the door to some new understanding?


Top 3 Obstacles To Goal Accomplishment


Here we are again, starting a new year, full of hope and ready to tackle some new year’s resolutions. Many of us will set goals to change something about our behavior. And, as research has shown, 60% of us will fail within 6 months.

Here are the top three reasons why we may find it challenging to stick with our resolutions:

1. Setting unrealistic goals

The best way to set ourselves up for failure is to create a goal that is beyond our reach. In fact, that is how most of us will sabotage ourselves, by choosing a goal, that we know we cannot accomplish within a given time frame. Pick a goal that you can easily reach, so you quickly gain a sense of accomplishment, that will motivate you to do more. If you do the opposite, you end up feeling like a failure and may give up very quickly. Learn to break down larger goals into smaller sub-steps to feel like you are making progress.

3. Negative self talk

Our inner dialogue can be our worst enemy. We say the most cruel things to ourselves. Next time you struggle with goal accomplishment, ask yourself: Do I actually believe that I will get there? Do I believe I can do it? Do I criticize myself for not accomplishing it quickly enough? Examine the thoughts that run through your mind everyday and learn to practice some self compassion.

3. Setting goals that are not meaningful enough

Feelings and passion have a lot of power to propel us into action. If the goal you are trying to tackle does not feel meaningful enough, it will be hard to motivate yourself to stick with it. Find ways to become excited about the final result. Visualize yourself reaching your goal and get in touch with the feelings of satisfaction you will feel. If despite the effort, you are still not excited about it, then maybe it is the wrong goal.



Note to self


Each year, on January 1st, I write a letter to myself to be read in a year. It is an interesting exercise to try to imagine the kind of person you will be then. Year after year, I realize that it is not just about reminding myself of the goals I want to accomplish. It is also about remembering the good times and all the progress I made in the passing year. Our memory is selective. We all have a tendency to remember the failures and wrongdoings longer than the successes and moments of enjoyment. The letter to my future self is to remind me of what may be long forgotten in a year.

futureme.org, is a service that allows me to deliver my note to self in an email. The creators of this site claim that it is “based on the principle that memories are less accurate than e-mails.” You can choose to make your message public for the enjoyment and inspiration of others. One of the users wrote the following message to himself/herself: “Dear future me, I hope you are sailing the world at this point. If not, you are a looser”. What can I say…Some people’s future self may need a little nudge to stay on track…

I hope we all find something to appreciate about the year we are leaving behind. And as we wish each other Happy New Year let’s also share gratitude for the good memories of 2014.