Meditation Made Easy

This blog post was authored by guest contributor Liberty Forrest.

Why Meditate?

What if you could take a pill that could improve your health, make you relaxed and happy, build your confidence and help you sleep? What if it could get rid of depression and anxiety, along with reducing blood pressure, heart disease and a whole lot of other physical, mental and emotional issues? What if it could reduce or eliminate problems with addictions, eating disorders and a long list of other health concerns?

Better still, what if that little Magic Pill had no toxicity or side effects?

Well, it is possible to achieve all of that – and more – not with a little pill, but with regular meditation.

We know that numerous studies prove that when compared with their non-meditating counterparts, people who meditate regularly are healthier and live longer. And we know that MRI scans show that there are physical changes to the brain after just six weeks of regular meditation. As a hypnotist, this comes as no surprise to me because I have seen the astonishing power of the mind “up close and personal.” Similarly, meditation accesses that power, too.
Many people attempt to learn meditation for years without being able to get the hang of it – and I was one of them! Once I figured out a few tricks, the rest was easy. I’ll share one of the easiest with you today and if you give yourself just ten minutes (minimum) every day to practice, soon you’ll be meditating like a pro!

Simple Way To Start Your Meditation Practice

A simple way to begin meditating is to close your eyes and simply focus on your breath for several minutes. As other thoughts wander in, acknowledge them, let them go, and focus on your breath and nothing more.

Then contemplate – notice – the details of your body, all the while keeping your thoughts on just your breath. How does your body feel on the floor or in the chair? How does the air feel on your skin? Can you feel a draft? How do your clothes feel on your body?

Think about your face, and all aspects of it. Your lips. Your eyes. Your cheeks, nose, eyebrows. Think about your head, your hair, your scalp.

Work your way down, being aware of each section of your body. How is everything feeling? What sensations do you notice? Are there itches? Is there discomfort? You might become so deeply relaxed that you don’t even feel connected to your body after a while. That would be fantastic! And it does happen quite regularly with meditation.

The point with this simple meditation is merely to notice every part of your body and your breath, and how everything is feeling, while letting go of any unrelated thoughts. That’s it!

The more time you have for this each day, the deeper and more beneficial your meditation experiences will become. Ten minutes minimum every day are required but as with most aspects of life, the more you put into your practice, the more you’ll get out of it.

LibertyForrestLiberty Forrest is an inspiring speaker, spiritual mentor, Award-Winning Author, HuffPost contributor and has been a guest on CNN.

What Is The Difference Between Meditation and Hypnosis

Often times when my hypnotherapy clients talk about meditating, they express feelings of inadequacy. They think it’s this hard thing to do. If you listen to some teachers of meditation, they may say things that cause people to react and resist the process. I never understood why anyone would try to convince you that meditation is hard and an arduous task to accomplish. Perhaps, the meditation teaches could use a hypnosis training to know how to deliver their training without creating resistance to meditation. Whether meditation is or is not difficult is not the point. Rather, the point is to sit quietly. Allow thoughts to come and go. Give your mind a break from the thought patterns and make oneself available for new thoughts, energy, healing and more to emerge.

Even If You’ve Never Meditated Before You Can Feel Good About Doing It

If you give up expectations, then it’s super easy to engage in the process of meditating. It becomes more natural every time you site quietly. If you do a “guided” meditation, it’s even easier. There are tons of meditation CDs you can find out there to make meditating simple.

Hypnosis vs Meditation

Hypnosis is similar to meditation in that you sit quietly. The difference is as you sit quietly in a hypnosis session, you are listening to someone who is using relaxation techniques to guide you to dropping deeper into a state where suggestions can be made directly to your subconscious mind. Essentially, hypnosis is guided meditation with intention often to release limiting beliefs or behaviors and create positive change .

Hypnosis works best when the positive suggestions are repeated frequently after the session. Therefore, you could use your meditation to do self-hypnosis. Before you go into your meditation, think about your hypnosis session. Recall the positive suggestions. Imagine your transformed state as clear as you can. Feel that new way of being. Then meditate. You’ll get a double benefit from your meditation.

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How Come Some People Can’t Be Hypnotized?

Why Some People Can’t Be Hypnotized?

Recently I was asked about why some people can’t be hypnotized. The question came after a man attended a hypnosis stage show and saw that the hypnotist  was able to hypnotize most people, but there were some in the crowd that he couldn’t. 
 
Here’s my explanation of why some people can’t be hypnotized…
 
It’s quite simple. All hypnosis is essentially self-hypnosis. The subject is always the one in control. The hypnotist is truly there to give the suggestions that the subject then is more apt to integrate when in a relaxed state. However, if a person says they cannot be hypnotized or are not hypnotizable, they just hypnotized themselves to not take on suggestions from anyone else who would be hypnotizing them per say. Therefore, hypnosis typically won’t be effective for them. 
 
It should be noted that people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol are not hypnotizable due to the impairment of their brains. Also, people who suffer from mental illnesses are typically not easily hypnotized.
 
Therefore the only sober and mentally stable people who cannot be hypnotized are those who say they can’t be hypnotized.
 
A good stage hypnotist does some suggestibility tests to see how hypnotizable subjects are and then asks those who are resistant to leave the stage. 
 
In my private hypnosis practice, I find that people have some fear of losing control and often need a couple of sessions to realize they are actually the one in control. Plus, by working with a hypnotherapist they are learning a valuable skill of self-hypnosis. 

How to Stop “Clean Your Plate” Syndrome

Why Finishing Everything Your Plate Is A Big Waste and How To Give It Up For Good

By Laura Rubinstein, CHt

“Think of all those starving children in India.”  “Be a member of the clean plate club.”  “No dessert until you finish your dinner.”  “It’s a sin to waste food.”  These were the exhortations of our parents trying to get us to eat as children, but they had the unfortunate side effect of training us to overeat.  The attachment of guilt to leaving food on your plate is particularly insidious, because it puts us in a bind: Eat too much (and suffer the consequences), or feel like you’ve let down your mother.  It also allows us to rationalize and feel virtuous while compulsively overeating.

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I am a conservationist.  Wastefulness does feel sinful to me.  I never questioned the validity of the principle of the “clean plate.”  It was only during a recent conversation that I started to realize how absurd this line of reasoning is.  There is still food on my plate, but I feel full.  Will eating the rest help any starving children in India?  Can I mail it to them?  Of course the answer to these questions is no, but won’t the food be wasted if I don’t eat it?  NO!  Let’s say it doesn’t get eaten.  What happens?  It is either saved for later (definitely not wasted), or goes into the garbage.  But going into the garbage doesn’t mean it is wasted.  Food is biodegradable, so no matter where it ends up, it will break down and becomes compost.  The nutrients are returned to the Earth and feed new growth.  This is recycling in its purest form.

In fact, eating that extra food on your plate is wasteful.  Any extra food eaten is stored as fat in your body.  The energy in the food is now locked up in extra body mass.  For as long as it remains in this state it is kept out of the Earth’s food web.  So by eating additional calories that I don’t use, I’m actually selfishly depriving the rest of the world of access to that energy!  In addition, I’m degrading my health, which leads to greater consumption of health care resources.

But someone put effort into making that food.  What can I do?  Don’t take as much food to begin with.  The amount of food that your stomach can hold comfortably is roughly the same volume as your fist.  Compare your fist to the next plate of food you are about to eat and you’re in for a real eye-opener.  Start with a small plate of food, then take a break before rushing for a second. Inf fact, use a smaller size plate. You’ll probably feel full and realize that you don’t want the extra food.  Bingo – no waste!

Portion size in America has been subject to serious inflation.  Recent studies of historic food serving portion size in America published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Public Health confirm what we instinctively know to be true:  since the 1970’s, our cultural concept of food portions has been super-sized.  The ever popular fast food establishments in particular have greatly increased the amount of food in a single serving.  When eating out, it is easy to be confronted with much more food than it is comfortable to eat in a single sitting.

Remember, “all you can eat” is NOT all you should eat, or even want to eat.  Being full is different than being in pain, and yet all of us have experienced the discomfort of eating past when we’re full.  This is a real waste.  It wastes the enjoyment of the meal, and it wastes the calories that are kept out of the world energy economy.  So take a moral stand against wastefulness and push that plate away when you’ve eaten enough.  Then explain to your mother (the voice in your head) why it is OK to leave some food on your plate and the real waste is in consuming extra unnecessary calories. Whether you eat it or not it all goes to waste. The waste on your waist is the most unfortunate.

With the proper reframing and positive suggestions, I help people create positive health habits and a body they are proud of for life. Hypnosis is a very powerful tool for making fundamental changes that can improve your health, happiness and overall success.

Coach Laura Rubinstein is a Certified Hypnotherapist who specializes in health habit creation and body transformation.

Copyright 2011 Transform Today. All rights reserved.

Laura Rubinstein CHt is the founder of www.TransformYourBody.com and author of Transform Your Body in the Mental Gym, Why Diets Don’t Work and How to Overcome Your Weight Challenges for Life.