Aligned Living

Aligned Living

There are so many lessons that we all learn along this journey of life. Some of us get it the first time and some of us need to be hit upside the head to get it, myself included. When life is presenting challenges, it's an opportunity to pause. To look at how we are operating (existing) and perhaps we need to reevaluate our existence. I was on a good path, following guidance as it came, trying what was working for others, listening to advise from everyone, over-evaluating and critiquing myself, this was my existence (reality).

The shift came when I found myself in front of the person who would teach me this deeper, cleaner, peaceful way of living in Alignment. One thing I know for sure is I am always where I am meant to be and I'm always right on time, and this was one of those moments. After this divinely orchestrated meeting, the studio I was meant to have dropped into my lap next I learned this new way of living, I live it and now assist others to align with themselves. 

We all have a path. We can either follow in someone else's footsteps tuck under their connection, or we can find our own. The gift I have to offer is connecting you to your alignment, source, light, connection, purpose, soul. I am an amplifier, teacher, leader and crusader of truth and purity.

Should You Do a Meditation Retreat?

You’re always hearing it from me: meditation is SO important and retreats are a catalyst for moving forward and connecting deeper with your inner self. Sometimes, it’s just better to hear it from the sources: the courageous and wonderful souls that have been to a Healing Mariah retreat. Read the reviews below from a few recent attendees of the San Diego retreat.

"Overall, I found the retreat to be very restorative and relaxing. The format and timing of the activities were perfect -- not too long, not too short - just right. I was very happy with the experience and learned so much information that's relevant and applicable to everyday life. Thanks again for having me!" - Maria H.
 
"I was able to attend Mariah’s retreat and it was more than I could have ever expected. Mariah’s retreat was in a peaceful beautiful environment with good vibes all around. I felt comfortable from the start.

Everything flowed and I felt safe and comfortable through the whole experience. I definitely came out of it with a lot of clarity and excitement for another retreat and excitement for life and where I'm at. I walked away from the retreat feeling so blessed and grateful to have been able to join her and some other amazing ladies on the journey.
" - Andrea K.
 
"I would like to start out by saying how comfortable I was at this retreat and how inviting the space was. Going into something that can be vulnerable, not knowing the other people, or what to expect can be intimidating. This turned out to be quite the opposite. Mariah has a way of keeping things relaxed and peaceful, and making you feel completely at home.
 
I got so much from my experience, including a deeper understanding of meditation and yoga and how it can benefit me in my daily life, how to make and use a Mantra Mala, trusting and opening myself up to the divine, and many other wonderful gifts.

 
I highly recommend this opportunity to anyone. Thank you for all you do Mariah!" - Amy N.
 
"First, I'd like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You've opened my mind and more importantly my heart to a practice I never understood. The retreat was transformative. I'm sorry if that sounds cliche and not incredibly creative but it really has changed me. It was intense, overwhelming at times, emotional and simply beautiful.

You allowed us to be open with each other and our selves and feel uncommonly safe at the same time. I would do another retreat or weekly practice with you in a heartbeat! Thank you so very much for helping me see myself in a new light. Much love
" - Janene D.
 
Reading this feedback about the retreat helps me not only improve on future retreats, but also realize that I’m right where I’m supposed to be: serving and teaching others simple, positive techniques toward integrated healing.
 
Have a beautiful day and Namaste!

Create Your Personal Mantra with Guided Meditation

“I get by with a little help from my friends.” - The Beatles

beatles-do-yoga

Switch out the word “friends” with “meditation”, “spiritual guide”, “teacher”, or “mindful practice” and you got yourself a statement of truth for anyone on a journey of self-discovery and healing.

I love guided meditation because it focuses on an intention, giving the monkey mind within us something to do. Consequently, I’ve seen deep change and the effectiveness of guided meditation in my classes and meditation retreats.

Since our Chakras (7 energy centers within) are at the core of our being physically, mentally, and spiritually, I believe they are a great place to start for guided meditation AND a great place to go deeper into your current meditation practice.

How come?
 

7-chakras

Do you ever get the feeling that something’s “out of balance” or “just not right”, but can’t figure out how or where? Guided meditation can help reveal which Chakras need a little work or a little help.
 
As a gift to all of you, I’ve created guided meditation videos, each video focusing on one Chakra. I refer to this guided meditation series as building your “Spiritual House” where each floor reflects the Chakra within. The guided meditation invites you to come up with a personal Mantra, a vehicle that energizes your prayers, intentions, and affirmations.
 
I’d love for you to join this practice of daily meditation. The playlist with guided meditations begins with Grounding.

Grounding is our foundation and the roots with which we can grow. So we ground with a strong foundation. We move into the next practice of building a spiritual house that’s meant to last your entire lifetime. As you build your house, you may find that building, constructing and going into your house may provide insights for you.
 
I encourage after each level and step, you take 10-15 minutes to journal and write your experiences. No journal? Let me help you with that!

Sometimes you want to go through the whole house, sometimes you just need to stay on one floor. Enjoy your practice. Enjoy your time going inward.

The best time to start is now. Watch the Guided Meditations on YouTube.
 
Have a beautiful day and Namaste!

Are You Overthinking Meditation? Five Tips For Your Practice

Whether you are new to meditation, have a modest practice, or meditate regularly, it's important to keep it simple and let the energy flow naturally. Some days, it's a breeze. Other days, it's challenging. I find that getting back to a beginner's mind and some simple techniques helps me move along in my practice. Common questions I tend to hear:
 
“Isn’t meditation just concentrating? What does it mean to meditate anyway?”
 “I’ve heard it’s good for you, but I’m not really sure why. What are the benefits?”
 “Where and when is the best place to meditate?”
 “How long should I meditate if I’m just starting out?”

 
Are you nodding your head like “yep, I’ve had these same questions run through my mind”? Well, I’m here to answer some of these questions for you by providing 5 tips to help you move forward in your new meditation journey.

TIP 1: Refer to the A,B,C’s of meditation

A - Awareness:  Pay attention to your physical body. What happens to your body if you stop moving? Do you want to move? Does all of your attention go to physical aches and pains? Do you become agitated or can you find stillness?
 
B - Breath: Find the beauty in following your breath with the inhalation and the exhalation. Gently close your eyes and tune in to the subtle shifts that happen when you become aware of your breath.
 
C - Connection:  What is it that you are trying to connect to? From your inner voice, the God within, or your divine spark to the energy of peace or quieting the mind, take a moment to think about the connection you seek.
 
At its core, meditation is practicing awareness and calming the mind. It’s not so much concentrating on just any ol’ thing versus concentrating on an intention or mantra. With so many things vying for our attention every day, it might be challenging to settle into the meditation mindset in the first few minutes or to sit through the duration of meditation.
 
My first tip is to be aware of your physical body, let your breath be your guide, and think about what you want to connect to. Breathing just happens, so much so that we don’t even pay attention to it most the time. When we learn to control our breathing, we control our heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen intake. A great way to prepare yourself for meditation is to take 3-5 deep cleansing breathes. The next time you meditate, try and match your inhalations to your exhalations (3-count inhale, 3-count hold, 3-count exhale). It should feel like normal, calm breathing so use whatever count that works best with your breath cycle.

TIP 2: Write Down How You Feel After You Meditate

According to these EcoInstitute and Washington Post articles, meditation has been shown to:

• Reduce anger, anxiety, and stress
• Increase focus, mental clarity, and memory
• Increase compassion and empathy
• Increase self-relevance and mood regulation
 
Some people feel these effects immediately the first time meditating. For others, it can take months, even years. And, it’s also hard to tell exactly when these effects have taken place. Some of the most effective, deeper change I’ve witnessed have been students that have completed the yoga and meditation retreat that I guide.
 
My second tip is to write down how feel after meditating. Meditate everyday for 1 week (a minimum of 10 minutes). Afterwards, write down not only how you feel but if any other thoughts or feelings came up. After the week is over, see if you notice any patterns. Ask a friend or loved one if they notice anything different about you.

TIP 3: Meditate in a space that helps you relax and where you feel comfortable.

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again” - Joseph Campbell
 
The best place is as unique as each one of us. For some of us it’s a class with guided meditation, for others it’s sitting in a quiet room, under a favorite tree, the beach, surfing, in a yoga class, and so on. This is a place that speaks to you.
 
My third tip is to not worry so much about “where” meditation happens, rather, focus on conditions that allow time to tune out externally and tune in internally.

TIP 4: Meditation is most effective when you GROUND.

Grounding is the easiest and most effective way to calm the mind, body and spirit. I ground every morning as soon as I get out of bed and every evening before I go to bed. Grounding can be standing outside in the grass, sitting on the earth, or putting your feet in the ocean or water. Whatever you can do to put a smile on your face will help your practice be more effective.
 
My fourth tip for beginners is to do something that helps you gain some calm before meditation.

TIP 5: Start Small, Think Big.

Does sitting down for meditation feel like FOREVER?

forever.png

Start SMALL. A common thing I hear is “I’m BAD at meditating” and “I can’t get other thoughts out of my head.” First, no one is bad at meditating. Everyone will always have thoughts. It’s what we do.

I like to give my thoughts (aka my monkey mind) a task. I have it count my inhalations, the holds, and the exhalations. Guided meditations are a good way to start because they usually give our monkey mind a task or something “to do” or “to follow”.
 
Start with a 10 minute daily practice. We can all afford 10 minutes as a small gift to ourselves. Some days you will most likely meet challenges. That is standard. Some of us will quit and others will stick with it. Don’t give up the benefits of meditation that are, in my experience, endless.

What can you take away from all of this?

I encourage and support you in your practice of meditation. I hope you find these five tips as great place to start or even refresh your practice.
 
We all could use some time to ourselves, to discover the deeper parts of us, and learn that our thoughts are our reality, and that meditation is for anyone and everyone who seeks to find the peace within.
 
Let’s recap the tips:
Tip 1: Refer to the A,B,C’s of meditation (Awareness, breath, and connection)
Tip 2: Write Down How You Feel After You Meditate
Tip 3: Meditate in a space that helps you relax and where you feel comfortable
Tip 4: Meditation is most effective when you GROUND
Tip 5: Start Small, Think Big.

The best time to start meditation is NOW.

Check out my YouTube Channel Healing Mariah for my Guided Meditation Series on the 7 Chakras. These are 10 minute or less guided meditations that are perfect for beginners meditation.

Do you need a journal for your meditation experience? Download my FREE 7-day Mantra Journal designed specifically for the guided meditations on my YouTube channel.

How and Why I Began Meditating - A Mother's Load

I’m not even sure if you could call what I was doing in the beginning “meditation” but I knew I needed to do something. In 2011 for reasons I couldn’t understand at the time, my son left my home and began living with his father full time. Even though it was the next town over and he would be close and we would “see each other” I couldn’t shake the feelings of losing a child.

The guilt, shame, horror and deep sorrow would reopen as a deep wound every time he would come visit and leave again. This gut wrenching tragedy was controlling my every thought.

What did I do wrong?
What could I have done differently?
Would I ever get him back?


My thoughts soon took over my physical body, as it was eating away at me on the inside. Doctors, tests, medications and so on weren’t going to heal my broken heart.

These moments are the call to action.

I knew that I had to do something to begin to trust that this was meant to be and I had to surrender to it, accept it, and learn to live again.

Every morning and night I would close my eyes and imagine that I could float up to the clouds.

This became my sacred space.

The more I visited my space the more familiar it became to me. It had a couch where I could sit and hug my son, a space where we could meet, and there was nothing that could come between us. No matter where we were on earth we could always be together in this sacred space.

I never told anyone what I was doing and after a few months of this new practice, it was Mother’s Day. The day to honor myself as a mother but how could I? The shame of losing a child was still an open wound for me. My son had visited for the day and gave me a card that he had made. On the inside he wrote:

Mom, you are the best mom in the world. And every night I get your “hugs”. Happy Mother’s Day I love you ~ Dillon

Will I meditate for the rest of my life? Yes, I will meditate for the rest of my life.

Because no matter what is happening we can always create a place in our heart, or in the clouds, or in the water where everything will be as you imagine it to be.

 

Happy. Healed. Whole.