March 2021 TDM
The Stress Release issue
Welcome to the March 2021 issue of The Daily Meditator. This is your monthly resource for fun, quirky, interesting, and noteworthy happenings in and around the worldwide meditation community, curated by Light Watkins and co. Our mission is simple: to help broaden the horizon of what a daily meditator looks like while providing you with relevant information and timely inspiration for staying committed to your daily practice (even during a pandemic).
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[ MEDITATION & NEWS ]
Is Meditation TV the Answer to Sleeping Better?
To screen or not to screen before bed. Or is the question more nuanced?
We’ve heard the warnings about blue light causing hormone disruption and circadian rhythm kerfuffles. But, according to a recent poll, 86% of people still reach for screens before bed.
Shows like Netflix’s Headspace Guide to Meditation and HBO Max’s A World of Calm may be the loophole. The shows above offer subjects like the cosmos, the ocean, or a chef making noodles. These are much more relaxing and not as emotionally triggering as, say, the news. And it’s easy to turn them off without getting hooked into the wee hours.
Bottom line: While it may not be “good” for sleep, if you’re one of the almost 9 out of 10 of us who enjoy a little late-day digital entertainment, you may find switching to a soothing meditation show makes a big difference in your sleep.
[ MEDITATION & LIFESTYLE ]
A New Way to Manage Stress: Make It R.A.I.N
Making it R.A.I.N is the top RX from psychology superstar Tara Brach, Ph.D. Brach realized that, like an ocean riptide, stress is best navigated by floating instead of fighting. She created a process to help patients stop struggling against their emotions.
In order to befriend your stress and create inner stillness, follow these four steps:
RECOGNIZE: Name the emotion to observe it without reacting.
ALLOW: You don’t have to like it, but sit with it for a moment without judgement.
INVESTIGATE: Find the emotion’s physical hiding spot.
NURTURE: Bring compassion to that spot with a loving touch.
Bottom Line: This process is about self-compassion and tender curiosity, which gives the patient the space to shift their point of view and respond with clarity.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNOLOGY ]
Now Deepak Chopra Can Remind You to Chill Out
The latest news in meditation and technology: Fitbit has recently joined forces with the master of chill, Deepak Chopra, to put out an exclusive suite of mindfulness sessions for their premium subscribers.
Also in tech this month:
Working with a former Sesame Street puppeteer, Emily Fletcher of Ziva Meditation created a new kid-friendly course. Young meditators can learn how to unlock their bravery, their creativity, and their kindness.
Looking for an app that keeps you motivated to meditate, even when you’re not feeling it? MyLife has customizable recommendations and offerings that complement meditation, like yoga and breathwork.
Bottom Line: Whether it’s smartwatches sensing minor skin changes, apps reminding us to breathe, or a superbunny destressing our kids during a pandemic, one thing is for sure: Meditation is becoming more accessible by the day.
[ MEDITATION & RESEARCH ]
Wait, the Company Matters More Than the Style?
Apparently, who you meditate with could be more important than what style you practice. Brown University just shared a study showing that the active ingredient in meditation may have more to do with the vibe in the room than the technique.
In other words, it’s possible that the instructor and/or the other meditators in the room are having as much of an impact on your experience as your breathing and mantra?They’re saying it could be similar to the therapist-client relationship, in that effectiveness can be enhanced or diminished by rapport. As of now, there are still more questions than answers, and only one study has been conducted so far, but the implications are fascinating.
Bottom line: Although the company you keep may affect your practice, consistency is still the most important thing as far as we’re concerned.
[ MEDITATION & TECHNIQUE ]
Try Using Your Non-Dominant Hand to Meditate
Looking for a style of meditation that you’ve likely never done before? According to Well +Good, you should try journaling with your non-dominant hand. We’ve previously shared the benefits of mindful journaling, but writing with your non-dominant hand is a whole new ballgame.
The goal isn’t to have perfect (or even legible) handwriting. It’s to write with intention, giving you the time and space to slow down access deeper feelings. Journaling in this way abandons the need for perfection and allows you to focus on your thoughts in a non-judgmental way.
Bottom line: If writing with your non-dominant hand is too hard, try brushing your teeth, eating, or holding a cup with your non-dominant hand. It’s all about getting out of your own head.
[ MEDITATION & POP CULTURE]
Celebs Spill the Tea on How They Stay So Relaxed
Mindfulness is good PR these days. This past month has seen a who’s who of celebrities from all across the creative spectrum coming out as daily meditators. We’ve prepared a quick (and obvious) quiz:
What’s the first step in John Legend’s morning creative process?
Why did Ridiculousness star Rob Dyrdek have a dome installed in his house?
What helps Tevaughn Campbell kick ass for the Chargers?
What keeps Russell Brand going so he can be hilariously outrageous?
Bottom Line: If you answered MEDITATION to all of the above, give yourself a gold star. The practice is hotter than a Michelle Obama plum pantsuit.
[ REALITY CHECK ]
Becoming a Space Creator
I’ve been nomading down in Mexico City since January. And my days have largely consisted of cafe hopping, getting in my 10,000 steps, audiobook listening, podcast hosting, writing my Daily Doses of Inspiration, prepping for my upcoming book launch, social media content creation, connecting with local friends, and of course making time for daily meditation.
Sounds like a lot, but that’s what’s nice about being a daily meditator: the practice literally creates more space, so it rarely feels like a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I have “in the weeds” moments, but even on those days, the space created by daily meditation makes it easier to unwind (without the need for substances or binge-watching).
This is the essence of finding our inner flow state. When external balance isn’t available, we have our internal balance to tap into. And no matter where we are, no matter how much we have going on, every time we sit for our practice, we’re creating more space, which protects us from feeling overwhelmed and increases our ability to say “no” to opportunities that aren’t in alignment with our current flow.
[ READ. WATCH. LISTEN. ]
Read: Love Without Reason - The Lost Art of Giving a F*ck
In Love Without Reason: The Lost Art of Giving a F*ck, Gaston lays out practical guidance and inspiring stories to work through social blocks and fears, learn how to really help in a constructive way, cultivate positive energy exchanges, reconnect with your natural instincts for empathy, and more. Love Without Reason is packed with heartwork exercises, journaling prompts, and real-world practices for bringing kindness generosity, and love to a world in need.
Watch: The Minimalists - Less is Now
Longtime friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus team up again to bring us another documentary about minimalism. A Netflix Original film, the title is a play of the phrase “Less is more,” but has been reworded to create a sense of urgency for standing against today’s consumer culture.
Listen: Philosophize This!
Created and hosted by Stephen West, Philosophize This! is a podcast devoted to exploring the works of ancient philosophers through a modern lens. If started from the first episode, they are a beginner-friendly way to learn about philosophy. One of West’s goals is to brighten people’s lives a little bit and this podcast does just that.
[ REPORT FROM THE FIELD ]
In my meditation, I seek answers.
What have you gotten from meditation? I believe that praying is venting to god, and meditation is hearing god’s answers. In my meditation I seek answers.
Strangest meditation moment? I heard in the still voice, “ Everything that you have learned to survive, you must now abandon in this season. To get to a new level, you must be a new you.” That moment shook me. I deeply understood that it was a rebirth I was experiencing.
Most unexpected benefit of meditation? One of the unexpected benefits of mediation for me is the outcome of calmness my soul reaches. There’s peace in stillness.
[ WHO TO FOLLOW ]
Two of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts with a Purpose
Phenomenal (left) is a female-powered lifestyle brand bringing awareness to causes and culture. The organization is 100% black and brown-owned and women-led. Their goal is to give a voice to issues affecting underrepresented communities. Their recent campaigns include shirts with slogans calling for justice for Breonna Taylor, awareness of the plight of farmworkers during the pandemic, and voter registration. Follow them on Instagram: @Phenomenal
Bronnie Ware (right) is the author of the international bestselling book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. She spent eight years conducting intimate interviews with the dying and learned many lessons that she has passed on to the living. Since then she has written two more sensational books: Your Year for Change and Bloom. She is an inspiring writer, singer/songwriter, and public speaker who gives those around her the courage and wisdom to live their best life. Follow her on Instagram: @bronnie.ware
“We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?”
— Marianne Williamson
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